Bible Study Guides – Life

July 20, 2008 – July 26, 2008

Key Text

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 463–475; Testimonies, vol. 6, 369–379.


“Jesus came to ‘destroy the works of the devil.’ ‘In Him was life,’ and He says, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ I John 3:8; John 1:4; 10:10.” The Desire of Ages, 270.

1 How was Adam brought into existence, and when? Genesis 2:7; 1:26–28, 31.

Note: “The Lord created man out of the dust of the earth. He made Adam a partaker of His life, His nature. There was breathed into him the breath of the Almighty, and he became a living soul. Adam was perfect in form—strong, comely, pure, bearing the image of his Maker.

“Man came from the hand of his Creator perfect in organization and beautiful in form. The fact that he has for six thousand years withstood the ever-increasing weight of disease and crime is conclusive proof of the power of endurance with which he was first endowed.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1082.

2 Who were involved in the creation of Adam and Eve? Genesis 1:2, 26; 2:7; Colossians 1:16, 17. By what power is all things sustained? Psalm 93:1.

Note: “The hand that sustains the worlds in space, the hand that holds in their orderly arrangement and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for us.” Education, 132

3 What is God’s plan for every human being? John 10:10.

Note: “Jesus came to ‘destroy the works of the devil.’ ‘In Him was life,’ and He says, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’; He is ‘a quickening spirit.’ I John 3:8; John 1:4; 10:10; I Corinthians 15:45. And He still has the same life-giving power as when on earth He healed the sick, and spoke forgiveness to the sinner. He ‘forgiveth all thine iniquities,’ He ‘healeth all thy diseases.’ Psalm 103:3.” The Desire of Ages, 270.

4 What did Christ say about His mission on earth? John 3:16, 17.

Note: “Christ does not weigh character in scales of human judgment. He says, ‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.’ John 12:32. Every soul who responds to this drawing will turn from iniquity. Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. He who comes to Jesus is setting his feet upon a ladder that reaches from earth to heaven. Teach it by pen, by voice, that God is above the ladder; the bright rays of His glory are shining upon every round of the ladder. He is looking graciously upon all who are climbing painfully upward, that He may send them help, divine help, when the hand seems to be relaxing and the foot trembling. Yes, tell it, tell it in words that will melt the heart, that not one who shall perseveringly climb the ladder will fail of an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; those who believe in Christ shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of His hand.

“Tell the people in clear, hopeful language how they may escape the heritage of shame which is our deserved portion. But for Christ’s sake do not present before them ideas that will discourage them, that will make the way to heaven seem very difficult. Keep all these overstrained ideas to yourself.

“While we must often impress the mind with the fact that the Christian life is a life of warfare, that we must watch and pray and toil, that there is peril to the soul in relaxing the spiritual vigilance for one moment, the completeness of the salvation proffered us from Jesus who loves us and gave Himself that we should not perish but have everlasting life, is to be the theme.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 181, 182.

5 What is God’s plan for our physical life? III John 2.

Note: “The body must be kept in a healthy condition in order that the soul may be in health. The condition of the body affects the condition of the soul. He who would have physical and spiritual strength must educate his appetite in right lines. He must be careful not to burden the soul by overtaxing his physical or spiritual powers. Faithful adherence to right principles in eating, drinking, and dressing is a duty that God has laid upon human beings.

“The Lord desires us to obey the laws of health and life. He holds each one responsible to care properly for his body, that it may be kept in health.” Evangelism, 261.

6 What is the basic condition for a healthy life? Deuteronomy 7:9, 11, 15.

Note: “Our bodies are Christ’s purchased possession, and we are not at liberty to do with them as we please. All who understand the laws of health should realize their obligation to obey these laws, which God has established in their being. Obedience to the laws of health is to be made a matter of personal duty. We ourselves must suffer the results of violated law. We must individually answer to God for our habits and practices. Therefore the question with us is not, ‘What is the world’s practice?’ but, ‘How shall I as an individual treat the habitation that God has given me?’ ” Child Guidance, 367, 368.

“Whether they acknowledge it or not, God lays upon all human beings the duty of taking care of the soul temple. The body is to be kept clean and pure. The soul is to be sanctified and ennobled. Then, God says, I will come unto him and take up My abode with him. We are responsible for our own salvation, and God holds us accountable for the influence we exert on those connected with us. We should stand in such a position, physically and spiritually, that we can recommend the religion of Christ. We are to dedicate our bodies to God.” Medical Ministry, 295.

“When speaking to persons on the subject of health, they often say, ‘We know a great deal better than we do.’ They do not realize that they are accountable for every ray of light in regard to their physical well-being, and that their every habit bears the inspection of God. He made the human being. We are His property, bought with a price, and what a price!” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 8.

7 What instruction did Christ give to those whom He healed? John 5:14; 8:11.

Note: “If, after so much light has been given, God’s people will cherish wrong habits, indulging self and refusing to reform, they will suffer the sure consequences of transgression. If they are determined to gratify perverted appetite at any cost, God will not miraculously save them from the consequences of their indulgence. They ‘shall lie down in sorrow.’ Isaiah 50:11.

“Those who choose to be presumptuous, saying, ‘The Lord has healed me, and I need not restrict my diet; I can eat and drink as I please,’ will erelong need, in body and soul, the restoring power of God. Because the Lord has graciously healed you, you must not think you can link yourselves up with the self-indulgent practices of the world. Do as Christ commanded after His work of healing—‘go, and sin no more.’ John 8:11. Appetite must not be your god.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 25.

8 How are we bidden not to hurt ourselves by failing to practice health reform? Exodus 20:13; I Corinthians 6:19, 20. What do we do to others when we are unfaithful in health reform?

Note: “There are many expensive indulgences that are at the same time very injurious. They derange the digestive organs, and destroy the appetite for simple, wholesome food; and sickness and suffering are the result. With dyspepsia and its attendant evils comes the loss of a sweet disposition. There is irritability, fretfulness, and impatience, often resulting in harsh, unkind words and wrong acts.” The Health Reformer, December 1, 1887.

“If the churches expect strength, they must live the truth which God has given them. If the members of our churches disregard the light on this subject, they will reap the sure result in both spiritual and physical degeneracy. And the influence of these older church members will leaven those newly come to the faith. The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” Testimonies, vol. 6, 370, 371.

9 What is the only way to be faithful both to physical and spiritual laws? John 14:15, 23.

Note: “The ten commandments, Thou shalt, and Thou shalt not, are ten promises, assured to us if we render obedience to the law governing the universe. …

“That law of ten precepts of the greatest love that can be presented to man is the voice of God from heaven speaking to the soul in promise, ‘This do, and you will not come under the dominion and control of Satan.’ There is not a negative in that law, although it may appear thus. It is DO, and Live. …

“The love of Jesus in the soul will banish all hatred, selfishness, and envy; for the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. There is health in obedience to God’s law. The affections of the obedient are drawn out after God. Looking unto the Lord Jesus, we may encourage and serve one another. The love of Christ is shed abroad in our souls, and there is no dissension and strife among us.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1105.

10 What is God’s plan for our whole life? I Thessalonians 4:3, 4; 5:23, 24; Philippians 2:12, 13.

Note: “The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, but he will maintain a constant warfare against it. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims, ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57.” The Great Controversy, 469, 470.

Additional Reading

“The same power that upholds nature is working also in man. The same great laws that guide alike the star and the atom control human life. The laws that govern the heart’s action, regulating the flow of the current of life to the body, are the laws of the mighty Intelligence that has the jurisdiction of the soul. From Him all life proceeds. Only in harmony with Him can be found its true sphere of action. For all the objects of His creation the condition is the same—a life sustained by receiving the life of God, a life exercised in harmony with the Creator’s will. To transgress His law, physical, mental, or moral, is to place oneself out of harmony with the universe, to introduce discord, anarchy, ruin.” Medical Ministry, 10.

“God has placed it in our power to obtain a knowledge of the laws of health. He has made it a duty to preserve our physical powers in the best possible condition, that we may render to him acceptable service. Those who refuse to improve the light and knowledge that have been mercifully placed within their reach, are rejecting one of the means which God has granted them to promote spiritual as well as physical life. They are placing themselves where they will be exposed to the delusions of Satan.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 111.

“All should have an intelligent knowledge of the human frame that they may keep their bodies in the condition necessary to do the work of the Lord. The physical life is to be carefully preserved and developed that through humanity the divine nature may be revealed in its fullness. The relation of the physical organism to the spiritual life is one of the most important branches of education. It should receive careful attention in the home and in the school. All need to become acquainted with their physical structure and the laws that control natural life. He who remains in willing ignorance of the laws of his physical being and who violates them through ignorance is sinning against God. All should place themselves in the best possible relation to life and health. Our habits should be brought under the control of a mind that is itself under the control of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 348.

“The transgression of physical law is the transgression of God’s law. Our Creator is Jesus Christ. He is the author of our being. He has created the human structure. He is the author of physical laws, as He is the author of the moral law. And the human being who is careless and reckless of the habits and practices that concern his physical life and health, sins against God. Many who profess to love Jesus Christ do not show proper reverence and respect for Him who gave His life to save them from eternal death. He is not reverenced, or respected, or recognized. This is shown by the injury done to their own bodies in violation of the laws of their being.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 43.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Power of God’s Word Pt.2

July 13, 2008 – July 19, 2008

Key Text

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11.

Study Help: Child Guidance, 511–515.


“We must search the Scriptures, not merely rush through a chapter and repeat it, taking no pains to understand it, but we must dig for the jewel of truth which will enrich the mind, and fortify the soul against the wiles and temptations of the archdeceiver.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 19.

1 How did Christ illustrate belief in Him as the personal Saviour? Matthew 7:24, 25.

Note: “It is not enough, He [Christ] says, for you to hear My words. By obedience you must make them the foundation of your character. Self is but shifting sand. If you build upon human theories and inventions, your house will fall. By the winds of temptation, the tempests of trial, it will be swept away. But these principles that I have given will endure. Receive Me; build on My words.” The Desire of Ages, 314.

2 On the other hand, how did He illustrate the theoretical religion without practice? Matthew 7:26, 27.

Note: “The reason why our people have not more power is that they profess the truth, but do not practice it. … The service of God is made a secondary matter, while worldly interests receive prompt attention. … If we realize the importance of the truth which we profess to believe we should feel that we have a sacred mission to fulfill, a responsibility involving eternal results. All temporal interests would yield to this.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 613, 614.

3 In His interview with the Jews, what promise did Jesus make? John 8:31, 32.

Note: “The means by which we can overcome the wicked one is that by which Christ overcame—the power of the word. God does not control our minds without our consent; but if we desire to know and to do His will, His promises are ours: ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ ‘If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching.’ John 8:32; 7:17, R. V. Through faith in these promises, every man may be delivered from the snares of error and the control of sin.” The Desire of Ages, 258.

4 In His intercessory prayer, how did Christ define the truth? John 17:17. How does it work in our sanctification?

Note: “ ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Romans 10:17. The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’ John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

“You need to be sanctified by the truth, having your mind elevated above every personal consideration and every selfish interest.

“I point you to the life of Jesus as a perfect pattern. His life was characterized by disinterested benevolence. Precious Saviour! What sacrifices has He made for us that we should not perish, but have everlasting life! Heaven will be cheap enough if we resign every selfish interest to obtain it. Can we afford to have our own way, and take ourselves out of the hands of God, because it is more pleasing to the natural heart? God requires perfect submission and perfect obedience. Eternal life is worth everything to us. You may come in close connection with God if you will agonize to enter in at the strait gate.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 218.

5 What figure of speech is used to illustrate God’s word? Ephesians 5:26, 27.

Note: “In giving us His word, God has put us in possession of every truth essential for our salvation. Thousands have drawn water from these wells of life, yet there is no diminishing of the supply. Thousands have set the Lord before them, and by beholding have been changed into the same image. Their spirit burns within them as they speak of His character, telling what Christ is to them, and what they are to Christ. But these searchers have not exhausted these grand and holy themes. Thousands more may engage in the work of searching out the mysteries of salvation. As the life of Christ and the character of His mission are dwelt upon, rays of light will shine forth more distinctly at every attempt to discover truth. Each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 133, 134.

“Trust in its fullness comes to us through constant communion with God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the lifeblood of the heart, and Christ and the Holy Spirit give nerve power. Begotten again unto a lively hope, imbued with the quickening power of a new nature, the soul is enabled to rise higher and still higher.” Counsels on Health, 593.

6 How does Jeremiah depict God’s word and our feeble appreciation of it? Jeremiah 2:13.

Note: “The many contradictory opinions in regard to what the Bible teaches do not arise from any obscurity in the book itself, but from blindness and prejudice on the part of interpreters. Men ignore the plain statements of the Bible to follow their own perverted reason. Priding themselves on their intellectual attainments, they overlook the simplicity of truth; they forsake the fountain of living waters to drink of the poisonous stream of error.” Review and Herald, January 27, 1885.

“There is far too much self-complacency among those who engage in Sabbath school work, too much machinery and routine, and all this tends to lead the soul away from the Fountain of living water.” Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, 74.

7 What must we realize and appreciate about God’s word? Psalm 12:6.

Note: “There are professed Christians who read the Bible without a fine perception of the gems they are handling. There are portions of Scripture that they are not sure are inspired, and they think that in God’s word there are errors and human reasoning. With the lamp of life in their very hands, they stumble. They interpret the Scriptures to suit themselves; they cannot appreciate the wisdom of God, and their own human wisdom is the light that guides them.” The Bible Echo, August 26, 1895.

8 What inspired symbolism is used to refer to God’s word? Psalm 119:105.

Note: “Those who study the word of God with hearts open to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, will not remain in darkness as to the meaning of the word. ‘If any man willeth to do His will,’ Christ said, ‘he shall know of the teaching whether it be of God, or whether I speak from Myself.’ John 7:17, R.V. All who come to Christ for a clearer knowledge of the truth will receive it. He will unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and these mysteries will be understood by the heart that longs to know the truth. A heavenly light will shine into the soul temple, and will be revealed to others as the bright shining of a lamp on a dark path.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 36.

9 How does Zechariah employ a similar comparison? Zechariah 4:1–6, 12–14.

Note: “From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God’s presence His Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to His service. The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God’s people that heavenly grace which alone can make His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 408.

10 How does Revelation 11:1–4 parallel with Zechariah’s prophecy?

Note: “The two witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Both are important testimonies to the origin and perpetuity of the law of God. Both are witnesses also to the plan of salvation. The types, sacrifices, and prophecies of the Old Testament point forward to a Saviour to come. The Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament tell of a Saviour who has come in the exact manner foretold by type and prophecy.” The Great Controversy, 267.

11 What does it mean to “prophesy clothed in sackcloth”? Revelation 11:3.

Note: “[Revelation 11:3 quoted.] During the greater part of this period, God’s witnesses remained in a state of obscurity. The papal power sought to hide from the people the word of truth, and set before them false witnesses to contradict its testimony. When the Bible was proscribed by religious and secular authority; when its testimony was perverted, and every effort made that men and demons could invent to turn the minds of the people from it; when those who dared proclaim its sacred truths were hunted, betrayed, tortured, buried in dungeon cells, martyred for their faith, or compelled to flee to mountain fastnesses, and to dens and caves of the earth—then the faithful witnesses prophesied in sackcloth. Yet they continued their testimony throughout the entire period of 1260 years. In the darkest times there were faithful men who loved God’s word and were jealous for His honor. To these loyal servants were given wisdom, power, and authority to declare His truth during the whole of this time.” The Great Controversy, 267, 268.

Additional Reading

“The life of God, which gives life to the world, is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons. By His word He stilled the sea and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God as He had spoken it to all the Old Testament writers. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ. It is our only source of power.

“This word does not repress activity. It opens before the conscientious searcher channels for activity. It does not leave men in uncertainty, without an object, but places before them the highest of all aims—the winning of souls to Christ. It puts in the hand a lamp that lights the way to heaven. It tells of unsearchable riches, treasure beyond estimate.

“The word of God is the standard of character. In giving us this word, God has put us in possession of every truth essential to salvation. Thousands have drawn water from these wells of life, yet there is no diminishing of the supply. Thousands have set the Lord before them, and by beholding have become changed into the same image. But these searchers have not exhausted these grand and holy themes. Thousands more may engage in the work of searching out the mysteries of salvation.

“As the worker studies the life of Christ, and the character of His mission is dwelt upon, each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last; and looking to heaven with its unnumbered years, he will exclaim, ‘Great is the mystery of godliness!’ I Timothy 3:16.” Gospel Workers, 250, 251.

“It is of the greatest importance that you continually search the Scriptures, storing the mind with the truths of God. You may be separated from the companionship of Christians and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God. You need the treasures of God’s Word hidden in your heart.

“All over the field of revelation are scattered grains of gold—the sayings of the wisdom of God. If you are wise, you will gather up these precious grains of truth. Make the promises of God your own. Then when test and trial come, these promises will be to you glad springs of heavenly comfort.

“Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons. But angels are round about those who are willing to be taught in divine things; and in the time of great necessity they will bring to their remembrance the very truths which are needed. …

“The heart that is stored with the precious truths of God’s Word is fortified against the temptation of Satan, against impure thoughts and unholy actions.

“Keep close to the Scriptures. The more you search and explain the Word, the more your mind and heart will be fortified with the blessed words of encouragement and promise.

“Let us commit its precious promises to memory, so that, when we are deprived of our Bibles, we may still be in possession of the Word of God.” My Life Today, 28.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Power of God’s Word

July 6, 2008 – July 12, 2008

Key Text

“Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105.

Study Help: Child Guidance, 505–510; The Desire of Ages, 660, 661.


“The Bible contains a simple and complete system of theology and philosophy. It is the book that makes us wise unto salvation. It tells us how to reach the abodes of eternal happiness. It tells us of the love of God as shown in the plan of redemption, imparting the knowledge essential for all—the knowledge of Christ.” The Signs of the Times, June 25, 1902.

1 What was the most important tree in the Garden of Eden? Genesis 2:9. What property made it so important? Genesis 3:22–24.

Note: “In the midst of Eden grew the tree of life, whose fruit had the power of perpetuating life. Had Adam remained obedient to God, he would have continued to enjoy free access to this tree and would have lived forever.” The Great Controversy, 532, 533.

2 What was promised to the faithful of the period of Ephesus? Revelation 2:7.

Note: “Not all the conditions of that first school of Eden will be found in the school of the future life. No tree of knowledge of good and evil will afford opportunity for temptation. No tempter is there, no possibility of wrong. Every character has withstood the testing of evil, and none are longer susceptible to its power.

“[Revelation 2:7 quoted.] The giving of the tree of life in Eden was conditional, and it was finally withdrawn. But the gifts of the future life are absolute and eternal.” Education, 302.

3 To what does God’s word compare heavenly wisdom? Proverbs 3:13–18.

Note: “The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is an exaltation above everything else that is esteemed on earth or in heaven. It is the very highest education. It is the key that opens the portals of the heavenly city. This knowledge it is God’s purpose that all who put on Christ shall possess.” The Ministry of Healing, 457.

4 What is said about the tree of life in the New Earth? Revelation 22:2, 14. How can we enjoy it even now?

Note: “In his efforts to reach God’s ideal for him, the Christian is to despair of nothing. Moral and spiritual perfection, through the grace and power of Christ, is promised to all. Jesus is the source of power, the fountain of life. He brings us to His word, and from the tree of life presents to us leaves for the healing of sin-sick souls. He leads us to the throne of God, and puts into our mouth a prayer through which we are brought into close contact with Himself. In our behalf He sets in operation the all-powerful agencies of heaven. At every step we touch His living power.” The Acts of the Apostles, 478.

“Teachers need an intimate acquaintance with the word of God. The Bible, and the Bible alone, should be their counselor. The word of God is as the leaves of the tree of life. Here is met every want of those who love its teachings and bring them into the practical life. Many of the students who come to our schools are unconverted, though they may have been baptized. They do not know what it means to be sanctified through a belief of the truth. They should be taught to search and understand the Bible, to receive its truths into the heart and carry them out in the daily life. Thus they will become strong in the Lord; for spiritual sinew and muscle are nourished by the bread of life.” Counsels to Teachers, Parents, and Students, 352, 353.

“The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be the rule of our faith. It is a leaf from the tree of life, and by eating it, by receiving it into our minds, we shall grow strong to do the will of God. By our Christlike characters we shall show that we believe the word, that we cleave to the Bible as the only guide to heaven.” Review and Herald, May 4, 1897.

5 What is written about Christ and God’s word? John 1:14; II Timothy 3:16.

Note: “The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ (II Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed have themselves embodied the thought in human language.

“The Ten Commandments were spoken by God Himself, and were written by His own hand. They are of divine, and not human composition. But the Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ John 1:14.” The Great Controversy, v, vi.

6 What are we instructed to do? Hebrews 12:1, 2. What will be the result?

Note: “No man is so high in power and authority but that Satan will assail him with temptation. And the more responsible the position a man occupies the fiercer and more determined are the assaults of the enemy. Let God’s servants in every place study His word, looking constantly to Jesus that they may be changed into His image. The inexhaustible fullness and the all-sufficiency of Christ are at our command if we walk before God in humility and contrition.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 281.

“In the epistle to the Hebrews is pointed out the single-hearted purpose that should characterize the Christian’s race for eternal life: ‘Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.’ Hebrews 12:1, 2. Envy, malice, evil thinking, evilspeaking, covetousness—these are weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully the race for immortality.” The Acts of the Apostles, 312.

7 What special provision was granted to the Israelites in the wilderness, and what reveals its superiority over any other food? Exodus 16:14, 15.

Note: “The education of the Israelites included all their habits of life. Everything that concerned their well-being was the subject of divine solicitude, and came within the province of divine law. Even in providing their food, God sought their highest good. The manna with which He fed them in the wilderness was of a nature to promote physical, mental, and moral strength. Though so many of them rebelled against the restriction of their diet, and longed to return to the days when, they said, ‘We sat by the fleshpots, and when we did eat bread to the full’ (Exodus 16:3), yet the wisdom of God’s choice for them was vindicated in a manner they could not gainsay. Notwithstanding the hardships of their wilderness life, there was not a feeble one in all their tribes.” Education, 38.

8 What comparison did Christ make between the manna and Himself? John 6:48–51.

Note: “They [the Jews] had referred Him [Jesus] to the manna which their fathers ate in the wilderness, as if the furnishing of that food was a greater miracle than Jesus had wrought; but He now declared unto them that the temporal food then given from heaven was but a meager gift compared with the blessing of eternal life which He now offered them. The food eaten then sustained the strength, but did not prevent the approach of death, nor insure immortal life. The bread that the Son of God offered to man was death-destroying, giving in the end immortal life to the body.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 281.

“As the human agent presses forward in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, as he receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, he will feed on the bread of life. The word is spirit and life, and if it is brought into the daily practice it will ennoble the whole nature of man. There will be opened to his soul such a view of the Saviour’s love as portrayed by the pen of Inspiration that his heart will be melted into tenderness and contrition.” Medical Ministry, 124.

9 What timeless explanation did Christ provide for our benefit? John 6:63.

Note: “When men submit entirely to God, eating the bread of life and drinking the water of salvation, they will grow up into Christ. Their characters are composed of that which the mind eats and drinks. Through the Word of life, which they receive and obey, they become partakers of the divine nature.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1135.

10 What else is included in this figurative language? John 6:56–58.

Note: “To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament. …

“[John 6:54, 56, 57 quoted.] To the holy Communion this scripture in a special sense applies. As faith contemplates our Lord’s great sacrifice, the soul assimilates the spiritual life of Christ. That soul will receive spiritual strength from every Communion. The service forms a living connection by which the believer is bound up with Christ, and thus bound up with the Father. In a special sense it forms a connection between dependent human beings and God.” The Desire of Ages, 660, 661.

Additional Reading

“In the study of the Bible the student should be led to see the power of God’s word. In the creation, ‘He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.’ He ‘calleth those things which be not as though they were’ (Psalm 33:9; Romans 4:17); for when He calls them, they are.

“How often those who trusted the word of God, though in themselves utterly helpless, have withstood the power of the whole world—Enoch, pure in heart, holy in life, holding fast his faith in the triumph of righteousness against a corrupt and scoffing generation; Noah and his household against the men of his time, men of the greatest physical and mental strength and the most debased in morals; the children of Israel at the Red Sea, a helpless, terrified multitude of slaves, against the mightiest army of the mightiest nation on the globe; David, a shepherd lad, having God’s promise of the throne, against Saul, the established monarch, bent on holding fast his power; Shadrach and his companions in the fire, and Nebuchadnezzar on the throne; Daniel among the lions, his enemies in the high places of the kingdom; Jesus on the cross, and the Jewish priests and rulers forcing even the Roman governor to work their will; Paul in chains led to a criminal’s death, Nero the despot of a world empire.

“Such examples are not found in the Bible only. They abound in every record of human progress. The Vaudois and the Huguenots, Wycliffe and Huss, Jerome and Luther, Tyndale and Knox, Zinzendorf and Wesley, with multitudes of others, have witnessed to the power of God’s word against human power and policy in support of evil. These are the world’s true nobility.” Education, 254.

“Bid the tempted one look not to circumstances, to the weakness of self, or to the power of temptation, but to the power of God’s word. All its strength is ours. ‘Thy word,’ says the psalmist, ‘have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.’ ‘By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.’ Psalms 119:11; 17:4.” Temperance, 107.

“The secrets of the Lord are with them that fear him and keep his covenant. We need faith in God, that under the sanctifying power of God’s word, the principles of human brotherhood may be manifested. We need the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Its power upon mind and heart will enable us to present the truths of God’s holy word. Sound doctrines brought into actual contact with human souls will result in sound and elevating practises [sic]. The truth as it is in Jesus must be cherished. Then Christians will not be Christians in name only. The love of Christ will pervade their lives.” Review and Herald, February 28, 1899.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Divine Power in Redemption

June 29, 2008 – July 5, 2008

Key Text

“Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord [there is] mercy, and with him [is] plenteous redemption.” Psalm 130:7.

Study Help: Lift Him Up, 152.


“In the courts above, Christ is pleading for His church—pleading for those for whom He has paid the redemption price of His blood. Centuries, ages, can never lessen the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice.” The Acts of the Apostles, 552, 553.

1 Who was involved in the plan of redemption? II Corinthians 13:14; Isaiah 48:16.

Note: “The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that He could have done more. With Christ He gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting in the plan for man’s uplifting.” Counsels on Health, 222.

2 When was this plan established? Romans 16:25.

Note: “The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of ‘the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.’ Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency.” The Desire of Ages, 22.

3 With what words did John and Paul explain the incarnation of Christ? John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16.

Note: “The incarnation of Christ is the mystery of all mysteries.

“Christ was one with the Father, yet … He was willing to step down from the exaltation of one who was equal with God.

“That He might accomplish His purpose of love for the fallen race, He became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.

“How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem’s manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one.

“It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.” The Faith I Live By, 48.

4 When was the prophecy of the incarnation fulfilled? Hebrews 10:5–7; Galatians 4:4.

Note: “[Over] two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, ‘Lo, I come.’ ‘Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me. … Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.’ Hebrews 10:5–7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, ‘A body hast Thou prepared Me.’ Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence.” The Desire of Ages, 23.

5 What are the main purposes of Christ’s incarnation? Matthew 18:11; John 17:4, 26.

Note: “The plan of redemption had a yet broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of man. It was not for this alone that Christ came to the earth; it was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded; but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe. To this result of His great sacrifice—its influence upon the intelligences of other worlds, as well as upon man—the Saviour looked forward when just before His crucifixion He said: ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.’ John 12:31, 32. The act of Christ in dying for the salvation of man would not only make heaven accessible to men, but before all the universe it would justify God and His Son in their dealing with the rebellion of Satan. It would establish the perpetuity of the law of God and would reveal the nature and the results of sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 68, 69.

6 What did Christ declare at the end of His earthly mission? John 17:4–6.

Note: “In the intercessory prayer of Jesus with His Father, He claimed that He had fulfilled the conditions which made it obligatory upon the Father to fulfill His part of the contract made in heaven, with regard to fallen man. He prayed: ‘I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. [That is, He had wrought out a righteous character on earth as an example for men to follow.] And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’ [John 17:4, 5.] In this prayer He further goes on to state what is comprehended by the work which He has accomplished, and which has given Him all those who believe on His name. He values this recompense so highly that He forgets the anguish it has cost Him to redeem fallen man. He declares Himself glorified in those who believe on Him. The church, in His name, is to carry to glorious perfection the work which He has commenced; and when that church shall be finally ransomed in the Paradise of God, He will look upon the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Through all eternity the ransomed host will be His chief glory.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 260, 261. [Comment in brackets is in the original.]

7 How does Paul define the gospel? Romans 1:16, 17.

Note: “Christ should be uplifted by those whom He has redeemed by dying on the cross a death of shame. He who has felt the power of the grace of Christ has a story to tell. He seeks to put in operation methods of work which will diffuse the gospel of Christ. Humanity, drawing its efficiency from the great source of wisdom, is made the instrumentality, the working agency, through which the gospel exercises its transforming power on mind and heart.” Lift Him Up, 230.

8 What did the angel reveal to Joseph about Christ’s mission? Matthew 1:21.

Note: “God is as powerful to save from sin today as He was in the times of the patriarchs, of David, and of the prophets and apostles. The multitude of cases recorded in sacred history where God has delivered His people from their own iniquities should make the Christian of this time eager to receive divine instruction and zealous to perfect a character that will bear the close inspection of the judgment.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 15.

“We are all sinful, and of ourselves are unable to do the words of Christ. But God has made provision whereby the condemned sinner may be freed from spot and stain. ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’; ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ [I John 2:1; 1:9.] But while Christ saves the sinner, He does not do away with the law which condemns the sinner. It is the work of redemption to exalt that law, and Christ’s great sacrifice was made in order that man might be a doer of that law. The law shows us our sins, as a mirror shows us that our face is not clean. The mirror has no power to cleanse the face; that is not its office. So it is with the law. It points out our defects, and condemns us, but it has no power to save us. We must come to Christ for pardon. He will take our guilt upon His own soul, and will justify us before God. And not only will He free us from sin, but He will give us power to render obedience to God’s will.” The Signs of the Times, September 24, 1896.

9 What is amply provided through the plan of redemption? Matthew 11:28–30; Hebrew 7:25.

Note: “We are to enter the school of Christ, to learn from Him meekness and lowliness. Redemption is that process by which the soul is trained for heaven. This training means a knowledge of Christ. It means emancipation from ideas, habits, and practices that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness. The soul must be delivered from all that is opposed to loyalty to God.” The Desire of Ages, 330.

10 On which main condition can we have complete redemption? Jeremiah 29:12, 13.

Note: “In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. But many who profess to be His followers have an anxious, troubled heart, because they are afraid to trust themselves with God. They do not make a complete surrender to Him; for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender, they cannot find peace.” The Desire of Ages, 330.

Additional Reading

“In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.” The Desire of Ages, 466.

“We can understand the value of the human soul only as we realize the greatness of the sacrifice made for its redemption. The word of God declares that we are not our own, that we are bought with a price. It is at an immense cost that we have been placed upon vantage ground, where we can find liberty from the bondage of sin wrought by the fall in Eden. Adam’s sin plunged the race into hopeless misery; but by the sacrifice of the Son of God, a second probation was granted to man. In the plan of redemption a way of escape is provided for all who will avail themselves of it. God knew that it was impossible for man to overcome in his own strength, and he has provided help for him. How thankful we should be that a way is open for us, by which we can have access to the Father; that the gates are left ajar, so that beams of light from the glory within may shine upon those who will receive them!

“Christ began the work of redemption just where the ruin began. His first test was on the same point where Adam failed. It was through temptations addressed to the appetite that Satan had overcome a large proportion of the human race, and his success had made him feel that the control of this fallen planet was in his hands. But in Christ he found one who was able to resist him, and he left the field of battle a conquered foe. Jesus says, He ‘hath nothing in me.’ John 14:30. His victory is an assurance that we too may come off victors in our conflicts with the enemy. But it is not our heavenly Father’s purpose to save us without an effort on our part to co-operate with Christ. We must act our part, and divine power, uniting with our effort, will bring victory.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 15, 16.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Crockpot Grains

¼ cup millet, uncooked

¼ cup barley, uncooked

1/3 cup brown rice, uncooked

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped green pepper

½ cup finely chopped carrots

1 16-ounce can kidney beans

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 16-ounce can tomatoes, chopped, drained (reserve liquid)

1 ½ cup canned or frozen corn, drained

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot. Add water to reserved tomato liquid to equal 2 1/2 cups. Stir into grain mixture. Cover and cook on low setting 8 hours. Stir before serving. Serves 8.

Food – Health Gains From Whole Grains

For centuries, the grains humans ate came straight from the stalk. That means they had a carbohydrate package rich in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, plant enzymes, hormones, and hundreds of other phytochemicals. Even after we learned how to grind grain, we still received all of the goodness that grains pack in their three layers. Whole grains have a tough, fibrous outer layer called bran that protects the inside of the kernel. The interior contains mostly the starchy endosperm. Its job is to provide stored energy for the germ, the seed’s reproductive kernel, which nestles inside the endosperm. The germ is rich in vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated oils.

The invention of industrialized roller mills in the late 19th century changed what we obtained from grains. Milling strips away the bran and germ, making the grain easier to chew, easier to digest, and easier to keep without refrigeration (the healthy oils in the germ can turn rancid, giving the grain an off taste). Processing also pulverizes the endosperm, turning it from a small, solid nugget into millions of minuscule particles.

Refining wheat creates fluffy flour that makes light, airy breads and pastries. But there is a nutritional price to be paid. The process strips away more than half of wheat’s B vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin E, and virtually the entire fiber. It also makes the starch easily accessible to the body’s starch-digesting enzymes.

Returning to whole grains and other less-processed sources of carbohydrates improves health in a myriad of ways. As researchers have begun to look more closely at carbohydrates and health, they are learning that the quality of the carbohydrates you eat is at least as important as the quantity. Most studies show a connection between eating whole grains and better health.

The bran and fiber in whole grains make it more difficult for digestive enzymes to break down the starches into glucose. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol. Insoluble fiber helps move waste through the digestive tract. Fiber may also kindle the body’s natural anticoagulants and so help prevent the formation of small blood clots that can trigger heart attacks or strokes. The collection of antioxidants prevents low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from reacting with oxygen. Phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) found in whole grains may protect against some cancers.

Children’s Story – When the Bandit Chief Paid a Debt

Way back in the hill country of China, many days’ journey from the coast, lived Dr. Walter Judd, a young American physician who had gone to China in search of an opportunity to use his education and his skill. He had been assigned to the hospital in Shawou.

When he first went to Shawou, there was a Christian Mission in the city, and several missionaries were already at work. Then the bandits came sweeping through valleys, and the missionaries were ordered by the government to leave their homes and their work and go to the coast, where they could be protected.

Since Dr. Judd did not have a family, he told the other missionaries he would stay in Shawou and try to protect the Mission property. He felt that he was needed among the native Christians. So he was left behind.

The bandits soon came swarming into Shawou. They looted the village and the Mission Station. Being an American citizen, Dr. Judd was apparently free, but he knew that he was continually being watched and that he would pay with his life for any trouble he might cause.

The head of the bandits in that region was Chief Lu Hsin-Ming, a very cruel and wicked man. He was ignorant and degraded. Human life to him meant nothing at all. By his brute force he held his company of nearly a thousand men. Every day they looted and made the life of the residents of Shawou miserable.

One day Lu Hsin-Ming was taken violently ill. He took Chinese medicine, and it did him no good. He grew steadily worse. At last he came to the hospital to be cared for by Dr. Judd, and in a little while he was well again. While he was ill, he had a good chance to watch the young doctor and to feel his kindness and his skill. He saw that he was brave and unselfish, and he admired him.

On New Year’s Day, a man came secretly to him from the bandit camp, saying, “I must tell you something, Doctor. The army of the Nationalists is only 20 miles away, and we must flee to the hills. We are going tonight, for I heard the men talking about it. They are going to take you. They will take many of the women also, and then they will demand ransom. They plan to loot the city again before they go. You are too ill to go. I told you because you have been kind to us.”

Dr. Judd thanked him, but there was nothing he could do. Slowly the time went by and evening came.

About seven o’clock, Lu Hsin-Ming himself came to the dispensary. He sat down, and Dr. Judd waited for the order to go. Instead the bandit chief said: “Dr. Judd, we are leaving town tonight. I was going to take you along, as you have probably guessed. I am not going to take you. You have been fair with us. You have willingly and faithfully cared for my men and me. You are not doing it for money. I do not really know why you do it. You have been sick, and if you had to live as we shall have to do, you would soon die. You can do good work, so I am not going to take you.” The men shook hands, and Lu Hsin-Ming went out to command the retreat.

That night, after all the stores were tightly closed, Lu Hsin-Ming gave the order to march. Not a shop was looted; not a woman was taken along. Lu Hsin-Ming was repaying fairness and kindness with fairness and kindness, and Dr. Judd’s life was safe.

Nature – Morpho Butterflies

Over 80 species of butterflies occurring in rainforest habitats from Mexico to South America belong to the genus Morpho. Not only are they some of the largest butterflies in the world, with wingspans reaching eight inches, but they are some of the most beautiful, coming in a variety of colors such as blue, green, orange, and white. The majority of the species come in various shades of blue and are known as blue Morphos. The adult butterflies feed mainly on the juices of fermenting fruit and tree sap while their larvae or caterpillars feed on toxic leguminous plants. Some caterpillars are cannibalistic. Morpho butterflies have few predators because of poisonous compounds stored in their bodies from their diet as caterpillars, but some birds such as jacamars and flycatchers are able to eat them in spite of their toxicity. Though mainly forest and canopy dwellers, the Morphos will come out into clearings to warm themselves in the sunlight. Males are very territorial and will chase off other males that enter their territories. Their eyes are believed to be highly sensitive to UV light to enable them to see each other at great distances. Some species are colonial, living in groups.

Blue Morphos are famous for the brilliant, iridescent colors on their upper wings which are not the result of pigments but of the structural array of scales on their wings. Females are less vivid than the males who use their bright color to intimidate rival males that fly into their territories. The wings also have a wide angle of reflectability which maximizes their visibility as they fly about in the rainforest. Their under wings are brown with ocelli or eyespots which help camouflage them when their wings are closed. Blue Morphos use a “flashing” defense mechanism. Due to the slow beating pace of their wings, the iridescent upper wing color is flashed, then disappears as the wings are raised, revealing the brown undersides, only to flash again as the wings come down again a few moments later. This flashing causes predators to lose track of them in flight as the brown-patterned under wings blend them in with their forest habitat.

“If the youth could only see how much good it is in their power to accomplish, if they would make God their strength and wisdom, they would no longer pursue a course of careless indifference toward Him; they would no longer be swayed by the influence of those who are unconsecrated. Instead of feeling that an individual responsibility rests upon them to put forth efforts to do others good, and lead others to righteousness, they give themselves up to seek their own amusement. They are useless members of society, and live as aimless lives as do the butterflies. The young may have a knowledge of the truth, and believe it, but not live it. Such possess a dead faith. Their hearts are not reached so as to affect their conduct and character in the sight of God, and they are no nearer doing His will than are unbelievers. Their hearts do not conform to the will of God; they are at enmity with Him. Those who are devoted to amusements, and who love the society of pleasure seekers, have an aversion to religious exercises. Will the Master say to these youth who profess His name, Well done, good and faithful servants, unless they are good and faithful?” Testimonies, vol. 2, 235.

“We are not here to be butterflies and to gratify self, but we are here to be lights to a crooked and perverse nation. We are to be loyal to God and heaven.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 257.

David Arbour writes from his home in De Queen, Arkansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:

Health – Healthy Bones

A healthy, active life is one in which you can participate in all the activities that make life worth living! Strong bones are without doubt a significant measure of overall health and vitality.

Bone loss and fractures have in recent years become an increasing concern for women over 65, and rightly so. But a couple of decades ago research indicated that bone loss speeds up in the years immediately after menopause, raising concerns about osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and break easily, among much younger women. Suddenly any woman over 40 felt she was at risk for osteoporosis. Strong bones help prevent osteoporosis; such prevention should begin at an early age and continue throughout your lifetime.

A Natural Process

Bone loss is a natural, in fact, vital process. Only bone loss (called resorption) can initiate healthy new bone formation (called deposition or formation). As with all things in nature, good bone health relies on a balance between this action and counter-action, like breathing out and breathing in.

New bone is strong and flexible with the ability to bear both compression (running, jumping) and tensile (flexing) pressure. Bones strengthen with use, just like muscle, all through your life. But at some point, bone loss gradually begins to outpace bone growth—when this begins happening is highly individual, but it can be as much as 20 years or more before menopause.

Bone health is influenced by many factors: family history, body frame size, diet, calcium intake, vitamin D levels, physical exercise, hormonal balance, stress, and lifestyle. And because bones are constantly regenerating, every step you take to support their function will make a big difference—whenever you take them.

Bone health depends on the give-and-take process described above, also called remodeling. During this process, bone cells called osteoclasts travel through bone tissue retrieving old bone and leaving small, jagged spaces behind. This triggers their counterparts, called osteoblasts, to come into these spaces and deposit new bone. About 5 to 10 percent of all your bone tissue is replaced—or turned over—in a year in this way. Osteoblasts cannot work properly without sufficient osteoclast activity, and new bone is stronger and—this is key—more flexible than old bone.

No matter how much bone you make, you will still experience bone loss with age, but bone health is important at every age. Building and maintaining strong bones depends on calcium, vitamin D, and physical activity.


Calcium is an important nutrient for your body and for your health. Calcium helps your heart, muscles, and nerves function. It is also important for bone health. Ninety-nine percent of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones. Children and teenagers need adequate calcium in their diets so they can maximize the calcium storage in their bones. In later years, adequate dietary calcium helps minimize calcium loss from the bones.

Studies show that over half of Americans do not get the recommended calcium from their diets. Starting early with the right nutrition is important. Girls frequently do not obtain the needed amount of calcium during their teen years, which has great effect on their bone density in later life.

There are a variety of foods which could give you the needed nutrition in your diet. Collard and kale are two of the most concentrated sources of calcium for a vegan. Fortified calcium orange juice is also good for your skeleton, in addition to kiwis and figs. Grain products are excellent sources of calcium and should be part of your everyday diet from early childhood.

Although dairy products are considered to be the best source of calcium, in addition to those foods mentioned above, vegan vegetarians may obtain needed key nutrients from calcium-rich alternatives: dry beans, such as black-eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans; turnip greens and broccoli.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an integral role in nutrition and a healthy body. Vitamin D works alongside calcium to ensure the formation and maintenance of healthy bones. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to rickets in children or osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults.

Vitamin D can be made from a non-food source: the sun! Fifteen minutes a day during peak hours (with skin exposed) should be enough for fair-skinned individuals, but those who have darker skin, are older, or live at more Northern latitudes might not get enough exposure, especially in the winter.

Sometimes vitamin D must be provided in the diet, but dietary sources of vitamin D are rare. Whole, fatty fish are a good source, but are obviously not vegetarian. Milk may be fortified with vitamin D, and egg yolks also contain some, but these are not desirable sources for vegan vegetarians. If a vegan diet does not include fortified soy milk, orange juice, or margarine, on a regular basis, a supplement can be taken.

Physical Activity

It may be hard to believe, but exercises do not just help your muscles; they help your bones. Scientific research has shown that athletes have higher bone density than people who are not active. There are two types of exercises that are important for having healthier and stronger bones: weight-bearing and resistance exercises.

Weight-bearing exercise helps keep bones strong and prevents calcium loss. Calcium loss can take place at any age, even during childhood. For example, astronauts (weightlessness in space) and sedentary people are at risk for losing calcium from their bones.

Weight-bearing exercises are the exercises that make your muscles work against gravity and make your bones handle your body weight. Exercises of this sort include jogging, walking, and tennis. Try a daily activity with your family, neighbors, or friends—walking at the mall, joining a fitness club, or doing a hobby. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity on most days of the week. You can add up the minutes throughout the day. It does not need to be all at one time.

Resistance exercises are the ones which improve your muscle mass and that help fortify and strengthen your bones. Weight lifting is an example of a resistance exercise. Resistance exercises are very vital not only for your bone density, but also for your heart, lungs, and blood circulation in general.

There are many ways to keep your bones healthy and strong for longer time. Personal habits like proper diet and a good amount of exercise will increase your chances to keep your bones healthy and strong for a long time.

“The pure air, the glad sunshine, the flowers and trees, the orchards and vineyards, and outdoor exercise amid these surroundings, are health-giving, life-giving.” The Ministry of Healing, 263.

“The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones.” Isaiah 58:11.


Question – What do my eating habits have to do with my religion?


What do my eating habits have to do with my religion?


We all have certain eating habits. Some are very neat and dainty; some are course and rough, but we all eat, or we would not have life. What we eat and how we eat are an individual matter.

Health is one of the most important possessions we human beings can have. We may have wealth or intelligence, but if we do not have the health to use them properly, we cannot be the blessing God intends us to be.

God Himself instructed our first parents as to what they should and should not eat. (Geneses 1, 2, and 3.) Since sin entered this world when Adam and Eve ate what God told them not to eat, getting out of this sinful world may have something to do with what we eat. Regarding this, Ellen White wrote: “The reason why many of us will fall in the time of trouble is because of laxity in temperance and indulgence of appetite.

“Moses preached a great deal on this subject, and the reason the people did not go through to the promised land was because of repeated indulgence of appetite. Nine-tenths of the wickedness among the children of today is caused by intemperance in eating and drinking. Adam and Eve lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, and we can only regain it by the denial of the same.” Review and Herald, October 21, 1884.

The Bible is the very best guide for our religious principles, so we should consider what it says about health. John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, wrote: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” III John 2.

God is love, and every instruction that He gives us is for our best good and happiness. (See Deuteronomy 6:24.) Since He tells us that He wants us to prosper in health as well as in our spiritual lives, it would be well for us to study how we can have good health. Good health depends on good health habits, which includes our diet. Therefore, it is well for us to study what our bodies need in the way of nutrition that we may fulfill the desire of the Lord in having good health as well as a good religious experience.

Paul wrote: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.” I Corinthians 10:31; 3:16, 17.

One way that many people destroy their bodies is by poor choices of food. Many people are suffering from obesity, heart attacks, strokes, and many other maladies that could be prevented by proper diet.

The psalmist says, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvelous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14. God gave us a wonderful body, and He also gave us intelligence. It is up to us to use our intelligence in choosing healthful food to eat.

“There is work for us to do—stern, earnest work. All our habits, tastes, and inclinations must be educated in harmony with the laws of life and health. By this means we may secure the very best physical conditions, and have mental clearness to discern between the evil and the good.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 25.