Bible Study Guides – Statutes and Judgments

July 22, 2012 – July 28, 2012

Key Text

“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” Malachi 4:4.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 307–310, 824.


“That God who reads the hearts of everyone, will bring to light hidden things of darkness where they are often least suspected, that stumbling blocks which have hindered the progress of truth may be removed, and God have a clean and holy people to declare His statutes and judgments.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 333.


  • What item in the Ark of the Covenant reveals the character of our Creator? Matthew 22:36–40; I John 4:7, 8; 5:3.

Note: “The law of God is as sacred as God Himself. It is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 52.

“God has set forth in His word the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life—obedience to His commandments, through faith in Christ. God has elected a character in harmony with His law, and anyone who shall reach the standard of His requirement will have an entrance into the kingdom of glory.” Ibid., 207.

  • Besides a clear understanding and belief of the truth, what else do we need in order to be saved? Matthew 5:20; 19:17–19; James 2:10; Galatians 5:6.

Note: “You may believe all the truth; yet if its principles are not carried out in your lives, your profession will not save you.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 161.

“The righteousness which Christ taught is conformity of heart and life to the revealed will of God.” The Desire of Ages, 310.


  • Because of God’s great love for those who had lost their understanding of His law, what further clarification did He send? Deuteronomy 4:1, 2.

Note: “He [God] then came still closer to His people, who were so readily led astray, and would not leave them with merely the ten precepts of the Decalogue. He commanded Moses to write, as He should bid him, judgments and laws, giving minute directions in regard to what He required them to perform, and thereby guarded the ten precepts which He had engraved upon the tables of stone. These specific directions and requirements were given to draw erring man to the obedience of the moral law, which he is so prone to transgress.

“If man had kept the law of God, as given to Adam after his fall, preserved in the ark by Noah, and observed by Abraham, there would have been no necessity for the ordinance of circumcision. And if the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a token or pledge, they would never have gone into idolatry, nor been suffered to go down into Egypt, and there would have been no necessity of God’s proclaiming His law from Sinai, and engraving it upon tables of stone, and guarding it by definite directions in the judgments and statutes given to Moses.

“Moses wrote these judgments and statutes from the mouth of God while he was with Him in the mount. If the people of God had obeyed the principles of the ten commandments, there would have been no need of the specific directions given to Moses, which he wrote in a book, relative to their duty to God and to one another. The definite directions which the Lord gave to Moses in regard to the duty of His people to one another, and to the stranger, are the principles of the ten commandments simplified and given in a definite manner, that they need not err.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 264, 265.

  • Since the statutes simply explain God’s law, do they include more than the writings of Moses? Isaiah 8:20; II Kings 17:13; Luke 24:44, 45. Would they be included in the restoration of the breach in the law? Isaiah 58:12.

Note: “The law of God has been given for the regulation of our conduct, and it is far reaching in its principles. There is no sin, no work of unrighteousness, that escapes the condemnation of the law. The great statute book is truth, and truth only.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 316.


  • Did God ever give statutes that were not designed for the benefit of humanity— and if so, why? Ezekiel 20:19–26; Psalm 81:11, 12. Name one such example regarding the use of flesh meats. Deuteronomy 12:20, 21.

Note: “In this instance [when quails were blown into the Israelite camp] the Lord gave the people that which was not for their best good, because they would have it. They would not submit to receive from the Lord only those things which would prove for their good.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 377.

“Because they [the Israelites] were so determined to have the flesh of dead animals, He [God] gave them the very diet He had withheld from them.” Medical Ministry, 277.

  • Why does God give certain laws that are in conflict with His eternal principles? Ezekiel 14:1–5; Mark 10:5.

Note: “Sin is the transgression of the law, and the arm that is now mighty to save will be strong to punish when the transgressor passes the bounds that limit divine forbearance. He who refuses to seek for life, who will not search the Scriptures to see what is truth, lest he should be condemned in his practices, will be left to blindness of mind and to the deceptions of Satan. To the same degree that the penitent and obedient are shielded by God’s love, the impenitent and disobedient will be left to the result of their own ignorance and hardness of heart, because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 313.

“God is no respecter of persons; but in every generation they that fear the Lord and work righteousness are accepted of Him; while those who are murmuring, unbelieving, and rebellious, will not have His favor or the blessings promised to those who love the truth and walk in it. Those who have the light and do not follow it, but disregard the requirements of God, will find that their blessings will be changed into curses, and their mercies into judgments. God would have us learn humility and obedience as we read the history of ancient Israel, who were His chosen and peculiar people, but who brought their own destruction by following their own ways.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 379.


  • Since some of the good statutes have to do with dietary reform, what is the result of obeying them? Genesis 1:29; Exodus 15:25, 26.

Note: “The importance of caring for the health should be taught as a Bible requirement. Perfect obedience to God’s commands calls for conformity to the laws of the being.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 295.

“He [The Lord] made a covenant with them [His people], if they would obey Him in all things, He would preserve them from disease.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 412.

  • How does the New Testament show that the health statutes affect both body and soul? III John 2; I Corinthians 6:19, 20.

Note: “In the preparation of a people for the Lord’s second coming a great work is to be accomplished through the promulgation of health principles. The people are to be instructed in regard to the needs of the physical organism and the value of healthful living as taught in the Scriptures, that the bodies which God has created may be presented to Him a living sacrifice, fitted to render Him acceptable service. There is a great work to be done for suffering humanity in relieving their sufferings by the use of the natural agencies that God has provided and in teaching them how to prevent sickness by the regulation of the appetites and passions. The people should be taught that transgression of the laws of nature is transgression of the laws of God.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 224, 225.

“The science of education includes as full a knowledge of physiology as can be obtained. No one can properly understand his obligations to God unless he understands clearly his obligations to himself as God’s property. He who remains in sinful ignorance of the laws of life and health, or who willfully violates these laws, sins against God.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 295.

“Let it ever be kept before the mind that the great object of hygienic reform is to secure the highest possible development of mind and soul and body. All the laws of nature—which are the laws of God—are designed for our good. Obedience to them will promote our happiness in this life, and will aid us in a preparation for the life to come.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 120.


  • What is said about the statutes in these last days—and the results which follow if God’s people obey them? Malachi 4:2, 4.

Note: “In consequence of continual transgression, the moral law was repeated in awful grandeur from Sinai. Christ gave to Moses religious precepts which were to govern everyday life. These statutes were explicitly given to guard the ten commandments. They were not shadowy types to pass away with the death of Christ. They were to be binding upon men in every age as long as time should last. These commands were enforced by the power of the moral law, and they clearly and definitely explained that law.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1104.

“As men, women, and children proclaim the gospel, the Lord will open the eyes of the blind to see His statutes, and will write upon the hearts of the truly penitent His law. The animating Spirit of God, working through human agencies, leads the believers to be of one mind, one soul, unitedly loving God and keeping His commandment—preparing here below for translation.” Ibid., vol. 7, 984.

  • Why are these statutes part of the restoration to be accomplished by the Elijah people in the last days? Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 11:14.

Note: “Those who are to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ are represented by faithful Elijah, as John came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ’s first advent. The great subject of reform is to be agitated, and the public mind is to be stirred. Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message, to turn the people of God from their idolatry, their gluttony, and their extravagance in dress and other things.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 62.

“Many are not obeying the commandments of God, yet they profess so to do. If they would be faithful to obey all the statutes of God they would have a power which would carry conviction to the hearts of the unbelieving.” Ibid., vol. 2, 446, 447.

“The instructions given to Moses for ancient Israel, with their sharp, rigid outlines, are to be studied and obeyed by the people of God today.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1103.

“How can we pass on so indifferently, choosing our own course, following the sight of our own eyes, and departing farther and farther from God, as did the Hebrews? God cannot do great things for His people because of their hardness of heart and sinful unbelief.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 379.


1 Why does God expect more than a mere intellectual assent to the truth?

2 How did God reacquaint His people with the principles of His law?

3 Because of rebellion against the revealed will of God, what was introduced to His people, and what were the results?

4 What are some specific examples of the good statutes?

5 Before Christ returns, what is included in the restoration process?

Extra Reading

“From Genesis to Revelation the conditions upon which eternal life is promised, are made plain. God requires that those who shall enter heaven shall be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Keep my commandments and live, is the requirement of God. But one says, ‘My conscience does not condemn me in not keeping the commandments of God.’ But in the word of God we read that there are good and bad consciences and the fact that your conscience does not condemn you in not keeping the law of God, does not prove that you are uncondemned in His sight. Take your conscience to the word of God, and see if your life and character are in accordance with the standard of righteousness which God has there revealed. You can then determine whether or not you have an intelligent faith, and what manner of conscience is yours. The conscience of man cannot be trusted unless it is under the influence of divine grace. Satan takes advantage of an unenlightened conscience, and thereby leads men into all manner of delusions because they have not made the word of God their counselor.” The Review and Herald, September 3, 1901.

“The statutes concerning marriage, inheritance, and strict justice in deal with one another, were peculiar and contrary to the customs and manners of other nations, and were designed of God to keep His people separate from other nations. The necessity of this to preserve the people of God from becoming like the nations who had not the love and fear of God, is the same in this corrupt age, when the transgression of God’s law prevails and idolatry exists to a fearful extent. If ancient Israel needed such security, we need it more, to keep us from being utterly confounded with the transgressors of God’s law. The hearts of men are so prone to depart from God that there is a necessity for restraint and discipline.” Ibid., May 6, 1875.

“We have the example of ancient Israel, and the warning for us not to do as they did. Their history of unbelief and rebellion is left on record as a special warning that we should not follow their example of murmuring at God’s requirements.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 172.

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

Bible Study Guides – Following the Ark

July 15, 2012 – July 21, 2012

Key Text

“When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.” Joshua 3:3.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 348, 349; 481–486.


“Study carefully the experiences of Israel in their travels to Canaan. Study the third and fourth chapters of Joshua, recording their preparation for and passage over the Jordan into the promised land.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 994.


  • Where did the children of Israel encamp before crossing into the Promised Land? Joshua 3:1.

Note: “The Israelites were still encamped on the east side of Jordan, which presented the first barrier to the occupation of Canaan. ‘Arise,’ had been the first message of God to Joshua, ‘go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them’ [Joshua 1:2]. No instruction was given as to the way in which they were to make the passage. Joshua knew, however, that whatever God should command, He would make a way for His people to perform, and in this faith the intrepid leader at once began his arrangements for an advance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 482.

  • During the time of their preparation for the longed-for crossing, what event were the people waiting for as the signal for advance? Joshua 3:2, 3.

Note: “The ‘ark of the covenant’ was to lead the way before the host. When they [the Israelites] should see the token of Jehovah’s presence, borne by the priests, remove from its place in the center of the camp, and advance toward the river, then they were to remove from their place, ‘and go after it’ [Joshua 3:3].” Patriarchs and Prophets, 483, 484.


  • Why was a great space required between the ark and the congregation? What were they to follow in order to have absolute safety? Joshua 3:4.

Note: “At the appointed time began the onward movement, the ark, borne upon the shoulders of the priests, leading the van. The people had been directed to fall back, so that there was a vacant space of more than half a mile about the ark. All watched with deep interest as the priests advanced down the bank of the Jordan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 484.

  • What was God preparing to show them once again as they continued their journey? Joshua 3:5.

Note: “Leaving their encampment in the acacia groves of Shittim, the host descended to the border of the Jordan. All knew, however, that without divine aid they could not hope to make the passage. At this time of the year—in the spring season—the melting snows of the mountains had so raised the Jordan that the river overflowed its banks, making it impossible to cross at the usual fording places. God willed that the passage of Israel over Jordan should be miraculous. Joshua, by divine direction, commanded the people to sanctify themselves; they must put away their sins and free themselves from all outward impurity; ‘for tomorrow,’ he said, ‘the Lord will do wonders among you’ [Joshua 3:5].” Patriarchs and Prophets, 483.

  • At the time of the remarkable event, what commands of Joshua prepared the people to move in an orderly and godly fashion? Joshua 3:6, 7.

Note: “When ancient Israel journeyed, the ark of the covenant went before them. Beneath the mercy-seat, which was the cover of the ark, were the tables of the law. The ark was a symbol of the presence of God; and the glory of the Lord, which is His righteousness, shall be the rearward of His people.” The Review and Herald, February 20, 1894.


  • How was the miraculous crossing of the Jordan going to give the people an assurance of victory in their future endeavors to conquer the Promised Land? Joshua 3:8–10.

Note: “When the tidings that God had stayed the waters of Jordan before the children of Israel, reached the kings of the Amorites and of the Canaanites, their hearts melted with fear. The Hebrews had already slain the five kings of Midian, the powerful Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og of Bashan, and now the passage over the swollen and impetuous Jordan filled all the surrounding nations with terror. To the Canaanites, to all Israel, and to Joshua himself, unmistakable evidence had been given that the living God, the King of heaven and earth, was among His people, and that He would not fail them nor forsake them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 485.

  • What can we learn from the way some were called to take the lead in exercising faith by entering the turbulent waters of Jordan? Joshua 3:14, 15.

Note: “The priests obeyed the commands of their leader and went before the people, carrying the ark of the covenant. The Hebrew hosts took up the line of march and followed this symbol of the divine presence. The wide column filed down the bank of Jordan, and, as the feet of the priests were dipped in the brim of the river, the water was cut off from above, and the volume below rolled on, leaving the bed of the stream dry. The priests passed on, bearing the ark of God, and Israel followed in the rear. Halfway over Jordan the priests were commanded to stand still in the channel of the river till all the Hebrew host had crossed over. This was to impress upon their minds more forcibly the fact that the power which stayed the waters of Jordan was the same that enabled their fathers to cross the Red Sea forty years before.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 157.

“Young men who have never made a success in the temporal duties of life will be equally unprepared to engage in the higher duties. A religious experience is gained only through conflict, through disappointment, through severe discipline of self, through earnest prayer. The steps to heaven must be taken one at a time, and every advance step gives strength for the next.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 100.


  • As the Israelites moved forward in faith, what miracle made it possible for the entire people to cross over into the land of Canaan? Joshua 3:11–17.

Note: “They [the congregation] saw them [the priests] with the sacred ark move steadily forward toward the angry, surging stream, till the feet of the bearers were dipped into the waters. Then suddenly the tide above was swept back, while the current below flowed on, and the bed of the river was laid bare.

“At the divine command the priests advanced to the middle of the channel and stood there while the entire host descended and crossed to the farther side. Thus was impressed upon the minds of all Israel the fact that the power that stayed the waters of Jordan was the same that had opened the Red Sea to their fathers forty years before. When the people had all passed over, the ark itself was borne to the western shore. No sooner had it reached a place of security, and ‘the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land’ [Joshua 4:8], than the imprisoned waters, being set free, rushed down, a resistless flood, in the natural channel of the stream.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 484.

  • What did God request once the people had crossed the river? Joshua 4:1–5. Why do we need tangible reminders of God’s miracles? Revelation 12:11.

Note: “All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb.” Early Writings, 114.

“We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.


  • What was the purpose of the twelve stones that needed to be picked up from the midst of the Jordan’s dry riverbed? Joshua 4:6–10, 20–24.

Note: “Coming generations were not to be without a witness to this great miracle [of crossing the Jordan]. While the priests bearing the ark were still in the midst of Jordan, twelve men previously chosen, one from each tribe, took up each a stone from the river bed where the priests were standing, and carried it over to the western side. These stones were to be set up as a monument in the first camping place beyond the river.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 484.

  • What was the first thing that entered the river, and what was the last thing that came out? Joshua 3:15; 4:18. Why do we need to keep our eyes on the ark of God? Numbers 10:33.

Note: “In all the journeyings of Israel, ‘the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them, … to search out a resting place for them’ (Numbers 10:33). Borne by the sons of Kohath, the sacred chest containing God’s holy law was to lead the van. Before it went Moses and Aaron; and the priests, bearing silver trumpets, were stationed near. These priests received directions from Moses, which they communicated to the people by the trumpets. It was the duty of the leaders of each company to give definite directions concerning all the movements to be made, as indicated by the trumpets. Whoever neglected to comply with the directions given was punished with death.

“God is a God of order. Everything connected with heaven is in perfect order; subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. Success can only attend order and harmonious action. God requires order and system in His work now no less than in the days of Israel. All who are working for Him are to labor intelligently, not in a careless, haphazard manner. He would have his work done with faith and exactness, that He may place the seal of His approval upon it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 375, 376.

  • Where was the communication center with God found among His ancient people? Exodus 25:21, 22. Through what Source do we have access to such a center today? I Thessalonians 5:17; Hebrews 4:16.


1 In their travels, upon what were the Israelites expected to keep their eye in order to be found faithful in every trying situation?

2 What was associated with the ark that made it so important?

3 What did God design to have the new generation experience as they entered the Promised Land through a miracle?

4 What is the purpose of erecting memorials or reminders of special events in our life?

5 If we want to be preserved, at what do we need to keep looking?

Extra Reading

“We need to keep the heart and mind in training, by refreshing the memory with the lessons that the Lord taught His ancient people. Then to us, as He designed it should be to them, the teachings of His Word will ever be interesting and impressive.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 994.

“Every deliverance, every blessing, that God in the past has granted to His people, should be kept fresh in memory’s hall as a sure pledge of further and richer, increasing blessings that He will bestow. The Lord’s blessings are adapted to the needs of His people.” Ibid., vol. 4, 1183.

“God permitted His ark to be taken by their [Israel’s] enemies [the Philistines] in the days of Eli, to show Israel how vain it was to trust in the ark, the symbol of His presence, while they were profaning the commandments contained in the ark. God would humble them by removing from them that sacred ark, their boasted strength and confidence.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 404.

“Israel trusted in the ark of God and worshipped it instead of the God which the ark represented. And the Lord removed from His people the symbol of His presence, the assurance to them of the presence and power of God. Then the Jewish nation no longer stood as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. They had forgotten their God, and were scattered into all parts of the world. Those who were loyal and steadfast and true in obedience to His commandments, the Lord favored. … Even in the land of their captivity was the Lord God revealed. For all who were faithful, wherever they were, the way was left open to approach God through prayer and supplication and heavenly communion.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 210.

“How few are aware that they have darling idols, that they have cherished sins! God sees these sins to which you may be blinded, and He works with His pruning knife to strike deep and separate these cherished sins from you. You all want to choose for yourselves the process of purification.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 543.

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

Bible Study Guides – Lessons from the Wilderness

July 8, 2012 – July 14, 2012

Key Text

“Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 124–133.


“We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” The General Conference Daily Bulletin, January 29, 1893.


  • What was a very old custom among God’s people when extraordinary events took place, and why? I Samuel 7:12; Joshua 4:5–7; Malachi 3:16.

Note: “Every deliverance, every blessing, that God in the past has granted to His people, should be kept fresh in memory’s hall as a sure pledge of further and richer, increasing blessings that He will bestow. The Lord’s blessings are adapted to the needs of His people.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1183.

  • Why is the study of history so important? Ecclesiastes 1:9; Romans 15:4.

Note: “Every part of the Bible is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. The Old Testament no less than the New should receive attention. As we study the Old Testament we shall find living springs bubbling up where the careless reader discerns only a desert.” Education, 191.

“The work of God in the earth presents, from age to age, a striking similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same.” The Great Controversy, 343.


  • What specific Bible history is symbolic of God’s people approaching the final days of earth’s history? I Corinthians 10:6–15.

Note: “The experience of Christians in these days is much like the travels of ancient Israel. Please read I Corinthians 10, especially from the 6th to the 15th verse.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 284.

  • How did Satan manage to bar Israel from entering the Promised Land? What was his aim, and how is this a warning to us? Hebrews 3:9–12, 16, 17.

Note: “Satan was determined to keep his hold on the land of Canaan, and when it was made the habitation of the children of Israel, and the law of God was made the law of the land, he hated Israel with a cruel and malignant hatred and plotted their destruction. Through the agency of evil spirits strange gods were introduced; and because of transgression, the chosen people were finally scattered from the Land of Promise.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 688, 689.

“The sin of unbelief, by which their confidence in the Son of God was destroyed, led Israel far astray. At the very time when they should have been praising God and magnifying the name of the Lord, talking of His goodness, telling of His power, they were found in unbelief, and full of murmuring and complaint. The deceiver was seeking through every means possible to sow discord among them, to create envy and hatred in their hearts against Moses, and to stir up rebellion against God.” The Signs of the Times, April 25, 1895.

“Some are always anticipating evil or magnifying the difficulties that really exist, so that their eyes are blinded to the many blessings which demand their gratitude. The obstacles they encounter, instead of leading them to seek help from God, the only Source of strength, separate them from Him, because they awaken unrest and repining.

“Do we well to be thus unbelieving? Why should we be ungrateful and distrustful? Jesus is our friend; all heaven is interested in our welfare; and our anxiety and fear grieve the Holy Spirit of God. We should not indulge in a solicitude that only frets and wears us, but does not help us to bear trials. No place should be given to that distrust of God which leads us to make a preparation against future want the chief pursuit of life, as though our happiness consisted in these earthly things.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 293, 294.


  • Since God’s principles are distinct from the principles of the world, what is He calling for among us? Amos 3:3; II Corinthians 6:14–17; Mark 14:38.

Note: “Our holy faith cries out, Separation.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 240.

“Christ’s followers are required to come out from the world, and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and they have the promise of being the sons and daughters of the Most High, members of the royal family. But if the conditions are not complied with on their part, they will not, cannot, realize the fulfillment of the promise.” Ibid., vol. 2, 441.

“This history [of evil spirits introducing strange gods to cause God’s chosen people to transgress] Satan is striving to repeat in our day. God is leading His people out from the abominations of the world, that they may keep His law; and because of this, the rage of ‘the accuser of our brethren’ knows no bounds. … The antitypical land of promise is just before us, and Satan is determined to destroy the people of God and cut them off from their inheritance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 689.

  • What is the result of voluntary unity with the world? James 4:4.

Note: “Whoever voluntarily enters into such [ungodly] relations will feel it necessary to conform, to some degree, to the habits and customs of his companions. The time thus spent is worse than wasted. Thoughts are entertained and words are spoken that tend to break down the strongholds of principle and to weaken the citadel of the soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 563.

“To parents who are living in the cities, the Lord is sending the warning cry, Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil. Get out of the cities as fast as possible.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 400.

  • What question should we ask ourselves? II Corinthians 13:5.

Note: “It is the duty of every child of God to inquire: ‘Wherein am I separate from the world?’ Let us suffer a little inconvenience, and be on the safe side.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 278.


  • Why was Israel’s 40-year wilderness wandering needed? Numbers 32:11–13.

Note: “They [most of the Israelites] had complained at nothing, and now God gave them cause to weep. Had they mourned for their sin when it was faithfully laid before them, this sentence [to wander in the wilderness for forty years] would not have been pronounced.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 392.

  • What marked the entrance into Israel’s time of testing in the wilderness, and what marked its conclusion? Exodus 14:21, 22, 29–30; Joshua 3:15–17; 4:18. How is this paralleled in the history of the Advent believers?

Note: “The history of ancient Israel is a striking illustration of the past experience of the Adventist body. God led His people in the advent movement, even as He led the children of Israel from Egypt. In the great disappointment their faith was tested as was that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea. Had they still trusted to the guiding hand that had been with them in their past experience, they would have seen the salvation of God. If all who had labored unitedly in the work in 1844, had received the third angel’s message and proclaimed it in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts. A flood of light would have been shed upon the world. Years ago the inhabitants of the earth would have been warned, the closing work completed, and Christ would have come for the redemption of His people.

“It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness; He desired to lead them directly to the land of Canaan and establish them there, a holy, happy people. But ‘they could not enter in because of unbelief.’ Hebrews 3:19. Because of their backsliding and apostasy they perished in the desert, and others were raised up to enter the Promised Land. In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed and His people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which He had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays His coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the warning and find in Him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out.” The Great Controversy, 457, 458.


  • What types of issues will the people of God be facing in these last days? Numbers 11:4; I Corinthians 10:6.

Note: “It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness. He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there a holy, healthy, happy people. But those to whom it was first preached, went not in ‘because of unbelief’ [Hebrews 4:6]. Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion, and hatred, and He could not fulfill His covenant with them.

“For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.” Evangelism, 696.

  • Lust was the problem the Israelites faced in the wilderness (I Corinthians 10:6). In this context, what lust will we be facing in our time? Philippians 3:19; I Samuel 15:23.

Note: “When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, it was His purpose to establish them in the land of Canaan a pure, happy, healthy people. Let us look at the means by which He would accomplish this. He subjected them to a course of discipline, which, had it been cheerfully followed, would have resulted in good, both to themselves and to their posterity. He removed flesh food from them in a great measure. He had granted them flesh in answer to their clamors, just before reaching Sinai, but it was furnished for only one day. God might have provided flesh as easily as manna, but a restriction was placed upon the people for their good. It was His purpose to supply them with food better suited to their wants than the feverish diet to which many of them had been accustomed in Egypt. The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy state, that they might enjoy the food originally provided for man—the fruits of the earth, which God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 377, 378.

“With the history of the children of Israel before us, let us take heed, and not be found committing the same sins, following in the same way of unbelief and rebellion.” The Review and Herald, April 18, 1893.


1 How can the study of history be of great value to us?

2 What Bible history is cited as a type for God’s church in the last days?

3 How does voluntary association with unbelievers affect believers?

4 What event in the history of modern Israel compares to the crossing of the Red Sea?

5 What are the sins that delay the second coming of Christ?

Extra Reading

“It was not the teaching of the schools of Egypt that enabled Moses to triumph over his enemies, but an ever-abiding, unflinching faith, a faith that did not fail under the most trying circumstances. At the command of God, Moses advanced, although apparently there was nothing ahead for his feet to tread upon. More than a million people were depending on him, and he led them forward step by step, day by day. God permitted these lonely travels through the wilderness that His people might obtain an experience in enduring hardship, and that when they were in peril they might know that there was relief and deliverance in God alone. Thus they might learn to know and to trust God, and to serve Him with a living faith.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 408, 409.

“Temptations will come to us in the most seductive guise, but it is at our peril that we turn from the plain command of God to follow the assertions of men. To follow the word of the Lord, to embrace the truth, involves cross-bearing and self-denial; but it is not safe to do otherwise than to bear the cross. As you see the light, walk in the light. Let a solemn, unalterable purpose take possession of you, and resolve in the strength and grace of God, that henceforth you will live for Him, and that no earthly consideration shall persuade you to disown the divine law of ten commandments, and thus disown your Saviour and your God. Seek your counsel of God, and you will find that the path of obedience to His commandments is the path of the just, that ‘shineth more and more unto the perfect day’ [Proverbs 4:18].

“The first step in the path of obedience is to surrender the will to God. This may seem a difficult thing to do; for Satan will present every possible objection, and will manufacture difficulties, and magnify perplexities before the mind; but take the first step, and the next step on the ladder of progress will be easier. The ladder of progress must be climbed round by round; but God is above the ladder, and His glory will illuminate every step of advancement. The path of faith and self-denial is an upward path; its way is heavenward, and as you advance, the misleading clouds of doubt and evil will be left behind.” The Review and Herald, October 9, 1894.

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

Bible Study Guides – Going on to Perfection

July 1, 2012 – July 7, 2012

Key Text

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.” Hebrews 6:1.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 529–538.


“We are not yet perfect; but it is our privilege to cut away from the entanglements of self and sin, and advance to perfection.” The Acts of the Apostles, 565.


  • How does an individual become a Christian? John 3:5; I Peter 1:23.

Note: “The change of heart by which we become children of God is in the Bible spoken of as birth.” Steps to Christ, 67.

“When truth becomes an abiding principle in the life, the soul is ‘born again.’ … This new birth is the result of receiving Christ as the Word of God. When by the Holy Spirit divine truths are impressed upon the heart, new conceptions are awakened, and the energies hitherto dormant are aroused to co-operate with God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 520.

  • What type of experience did the believers at Ephesus enjoy at the very beginning of their Christian life? Revelation 2:2, 3; Acts 4:32–34.

Note: “After the descent of the Holy Spirit the disciples went forth to proclaim a risen Saviour, their one desire the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of the communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. In their daily association with one another they revealed the love that Christ had commanded them to reveal. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 241.


  • What do we expect from babies as they age? I Peter 2:2.

Note: “In giving us the privilege of studying His word, the Lord has set before us a rich banquet. Many are the benefits derived from feasting on His word, which is represented by Him as His flesh and blood, His spirit and life. By partaking of this word our spiritual strength is increased; we grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. Habits of self-control are formed and strengthened. The infirmities of childhood—fretfulness, willfulness, selfishness, hasty words, passionate acts—disappear, and in their place are developed the graces of Christian manhood and womanhood.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 207.

  • Spiritually speaking, how important is proper food intake in the growth of a child? II Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:14, 15.

Note: “The work of sanctification begins in the home. Those who are Christians in the home will be Christians in the church and in the world.” My Life Today, 261.

“If as newborn babes you desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, you will have no appetite to partake of a dish of evil speaking, but all such food will be at once rejected, because those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious cannot partake of the dish of nonsense, and folly, and backbiting. They will say decidedly, ‘Take this dish away. I do not want to eat such food. It is not the bread from heaven. It is eating and drinking the very spirit of the devil; for it is his business to be an accuser of the brethren.’ ” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 458.

“As they [God’s hungering, thirsting people] feed upon His [God’s] word, they find that it is spirit and life. The word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature. Love takes the place of hatred, and the heart receives the divine similitude. This is what it means to live ‘by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ [Matthew 4:4]. This is eating the Bread that comes down from heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 391.


  • How does God treat those who have a limited amount of knowledge in the present truth? Acts 17:30; James 4:17.

Note: “Said the angel: ‘If light come, and that light is set aside or rejected, then comes condemnation and the frown of God; but before the light comes, there is no sin, for there is no light for them to reject.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 1, 116.

  • What is expected of those who are privileged to hear and understand the truth? Proverbs 4:18; Hebrews 6:1.

Note: “It is a sad thing when a people claiming to be reformers cease to reform.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 185.

“God requires of His people according to the grace and truth given them. All His righteous demands must be fully met. Accountable beings must walk in the light that shines upon them. If they fail to do this, their light becomes darkness, and their darkness is great in the same degree as their light was abundant.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 123.

“The word of the Lord, spoken through His servants, is received by many with questionings and fears. And many will defer their obedience to the warning and reproofs given, waiting till every shadow of uncertainty is removed from their minds. The unbelief that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to the evidence that God is pleased to give. He requires of His people faith that rests upon the weight of evidence, not upon perfect knowledge. Those followers of Christ who accept the light that God sends them must obey the voice of God speaking to them when there are many other voices crying out against it. It requires discernment to distinguish the voice of God.

“Those who will not act when the Lord calls upon them, but who wait for more certain evidence and more favorable opportunities, will walk in darkness, for the light will be withdrawn. The evidence given one day, if rejected, may never be repeated.” Ibid., vol. 3, 258.


  • Does punishment and destruction come to a people because of a lack of knowledge—or is it through a rejection of the knowledge that God gives us? Hosea 4:6.

Note: “It is not for lack of knowledge that God’s people are now perishing. They will not be condemned because they do not know the way, the truth, and the life. The truth that has reached their understanding, the light which has shone on the soul, but which has been neglected or refused, will condemn them. Those who never had the light to reject will not be in condemnation. What more could have been done for God’s vineyard than has been done? Light, precious light, shines upon God’s people; but it will not save them unless they consent to be saved by it, fully live up to it, and transmit it to others in darkness.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 123.

  • How dangerous is neglecting to follow the light we are privileged to receive? Galatians 3:1.

Note: “Religious knowledge has accumulated, and this has increased corresponding obligations. Great light has been shining upon the church, and by it they are condemned because they refuse to walk in it. If they were blind they would be without sin. But they have seen light and have heard much truth, yet are not wise and holy. Many have for years made no advancement in knowledge and true holiness. They are spiritual dwarfs. Instead of going forward to perfection, they are going back to the darkness and bondage of Egypt. Their minds are not exercised unto godliness and true holiness.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 123, 124.

“God requires of us according to the grace that He has bestowed upon us, and He will not accept less than He claims. All His righteous demands must be fully met. In order for us to discharge our responsibilities, we must stand on that elevated ground which the order and advancement of holy, sacred truth has prepared for us.” Ibid., vol. 3, 65.

“Every person who cherishes a known error, in faith or practice, is under the power of sorcery, and is practicing sorcery upon others. Satan employs him to mislead other souls.” The Signs of the Times, May 18, 1882.


  • How are we to maintain continual development as we walk with Jesus? Hebrews 13:12; Philippians 3:15; I Thessalonians 4:4.

Note: “The Word of Christ is the bread of life that is furnished for every soul that liveth. To refuse to eat this bread is death. He that neglects to partake of the Word of God shall not see life. Receiving the Word is believing the Word, and this is eating Christ’s flesh, drinking His blood. To dwell and abide in Christ is to dwell and abide in His Word; it is to bring heart and character into conformity to His commands.” The Southern Work, 52.

  • To what extent are we to continue our growth? Hebrews 6:1; Matthew 5:48.

Note: “Let us be growing Christians. We are not to stand still. We are to be in advance today of what we were yesterday; every day learning to be more trustful, more fully relying upon Jesus. Thus we are to grow up. You do not at one bound reach perfection; sanctification is the work of a lifetime.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 193.

“Every living Christian will advance daily in the divine life. As he advances toward perfection, he experiences a conversion to God every day; and this conversion is not completed until he attains to perfection of Christian character, a full preparation for the finishing touch of immortality.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 505.

“The Lord chooses His own agents, and each day under different circumstances He gives them a trial in His plan of operation. In each true-hearted endeavor to work out His plan, He chooses His agents not because they are perfect but because, through a connection with Him, they may gain perfection.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 330.

  • How can we see ourselves as we really are? Isaiah 6:1, 5; II Corinthians 13:5.

Note: “Every follower of Christ should daily examine himself, that he may become perfectly acquainted with his own conduct.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 511.

“The more experience we gain, the nearer we draw toward the pure light of heaven, the more shall we discern in ourselves that needs reforming.” Ibid., vol. 3, 542.


1 When we are truly dedicated to our Saviour, how will our priorities change?

2 For proper spiritual growth, of what type of food do we need to partake?

3 As reformers by name, are we—am I—continuing the process of true reformation?

4 What is the true cause of destruction?

5 At what point can we rest satisfied in our Christian journey?

Extra Reading

“We may all do a good work in blessing others if we will seek counsel of God and follow on in obedience and faith. The path of the just is progressive, from strength to strength, from grace to grace, and from glory to glory. The divine illumination will increase more and more, corresponding with our onward movements, qualifying us to meet the responsibilities and emergencies before us.

“When trials press you, when despondency and dark unbelief control your thoughts, when selfishness molds your actions, you do not see your need of God and of a deep and thorough knowledge of His will. You know not the will of God, neither can you know it while you live for self. You rely upon your good intentions and resolutions, and the principal sum of life is composed of resolutions made and resolutions broken. What you all need is to die to self, cease clinging to self, and surrender to God. Gladly would I comfort you if I could. Gladly would I praise your good qualities, good purposes, and good acts; but God was not pleased to show me these. He presented before me the hindrances to your gaining the noble, elevated character of holiness needful for you to have that you may not lose the heavenly rest and immortal glory He would have you attain. Look away from yourselves to Jesus. He is all and in all. The merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour will avail to cleanse from the least and greatest sin. In trusting faith commit the keeping of your souls to God as unto a faithful Creator. Be not continually in fear and apprehension that God will leave you. He never will unless you depart from Him. Christ will come in and dwell with you if you will open the door of your hearts to Him. There may be perfect harmony between you and the Father and His Son if you will die to self and live unto God.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 542, 543.

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

Recipe – Confetti Couscous

1 ½ cups water

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground cumin

1 cup uncooked couscous

15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup thawed frozen corn

½ cup diced red onion

½ cup diced yellow bell pepper (optional)

½ cup diced red bell pepper (optional)

¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

3 to 4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (2 limes)

In medium sauce pan, combine salt, cumin and 1 ½ cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add couscous, stir and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff again. Add beans, corn, onion, bell peppers if using, cilantro and jalapeno. Stir in oil and enough lime juice to give salad a puckery edge. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Food – Couscous

“Our Creator has furnished us, in vegetables, grain, and fruits, all the elements of nutrition necessary to health and strength.” The Signs of the Times, January 6, 1876.

Couscous is among the healthiest grain-based products.

A Berber dish of semolina traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it, the name is derived from Berber seksu, meaning well rolled, well formed, rounded. Today, it is still a staple in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Western Libya. One of the first written references of couscous is from an anonymous thirteenth century Moroccan/Andalusian cookbook. To this day, couscous is known as the Moroccan national dish.

Originally made from millet, historians have different opinions as to when wheat began to replace the use of millet. The conversion seems to have occurred sometime in the twentieth century. The best and most famous couscous is made from hard wheat.

The key to preparing an authentic couscous is patience and care. There are two basic steps in preparing couscous before the cooking process: forming the couscous and humidifying and drying the couscous. The first of these steps, forming the couscous—that is, preparing couscous from “scratch”—is rarely done anymore. The original “from scratch” process involves rubbing and rolling together large grains of hard wheat semolina with finer grains of semolina sprayed with salted water to raise the humidity of the semolina so the two sizes affix to each other to form couscous, the large grain serving as a kind of nucleus for the smaller grains. Modern couscous factories do all of this by machine, including the needed drying process. When one buys couscous, in a box or in bulk, this first step has been done.

The second basic step is the only step with which you need to be concerned. The couscous is best if it is steamed and not submerged in liquid. However, the couscous that is sold in most Western supermarkets has been pre-steamed and dried, and the package directions usually instruct to add 1.5 measures of boiling water or stock and butter to each measure of couscous and to cover tightly for 5 minutes. The couscous swells and within a few minutes it is ready to fluff with a fork and serve. Properly cooked couscous is light and fluffy, not gummy or gritty. It should taste tender, not al dente and not mushy; the grains should be separate and taste moist, not wet and not dry.

Couscous may be prepared in a variety of ways with vegetables, fruit and spices. The Confetti Couscous salad is perfect for a summer dinner, served over a bed of radicchio or watercress. Garnish the salad with sliced avocados and cherry tomatoes or dice a half cup of each and toss right in.

Children’s Story – The Right Decision

It was the beginning of vacation when Mr. Davis, a friend of my father, came to see us, and asked to let me go home with him. I was much pleased with the thought of going out of town. The journey was delightful, and when we reached Mr. Davis’ house everything looked as if I were going to have a fine time. Fred Davis, a boy about my own age, took me cordially by the hand, and all the family soon seemed like old friends. “This is going to be a vacation worth having,” I said to myself several times during the evening, as we all played games, told riddles, and laughed and chatted merrily as could be.

At last Mrs. Davis said it was almost bedtime. Then I expected family prayers, but we were very soon directed to our chambers. How strange it seemed to me, for I had never before been in a household without family worship. “Come,” said Fred, “mother says you and I are going to share the bed,” and I followed him up two pair of stairs to a nice little chamber which he called his room; and he opened a drawer and showed me a box, and boat, and knives, and powder-horn, and all his treasures, and told me a world of new things about what the boys did there. He undressed first and jumped into bed. I was much longer about it, for a new set of thoughts began to rise in my mind.

When my mother put my portmanteau (a leather trunk that opens into two halves) in my hand, just before the coach started, she said tenderly, in a low tone, “Remember, Robert, that you are a Christian boy.” I knew very well what that meant, and I had now just come to a point of time when her words were to be minded. At home I was taught the duties of a Christian child; abroad I must not neglect them, and one of these was evening prayer. From a very little boy I had been in the habit of kneeling and asking the forgiveness of God, for Jesus’ sake, acknowledging His mercies, and seeking His protection and blessing.

“Why don’t you come to bed, Robert?” cried Fred. “What are you sitting there for?” I was afraid to pray, and afraid not to pray. It seemed that I could not kneel down and pray in front of Fred. What would he say? Would he not laugh? The fear of Fred made me a coward. Yet I could not lie down on a prayerless bed. If I needed the protection of my heavenly Father at home, how much more abroad. I wished many wishes—that I had slept alone, that Fred would go to sleep, or something else; I hardly knew what. But Fred would not go to sleep.

Perhaps struggles like these take place in everyone’s mind when he leaves home and begins to act for himself, and on his decision may depend his character for time, and for eternity. With me the struggle was severe. At last, to Fred’s cry, “Come on, come to bed,” I mustered courage to say, “I will kneel down and pray first; that is always my custom.” “Pray?” said Fred, turning himself over on his pillow and saying no more. His propriety of conduct made me ashamed. Here I had long been afraid of him and yet when he knew my wishes he was quiet and left me to myself. How thankful I was that duty and conscience triumphed.

That settled my future course. It gave me strength for time to come. I believe that the decision of the “Christian boy,” by God’s blessing, made me the Christian man; for in after years I was thrown amid trials and temptations which would have drawn me away from God and from virtue, had it not been for my settled habit of secret prayer.

Let every boy who has Christian parents, read and think about this. You have been trained in Christian duties and principles. When you go from home do not leave them behind you. Carry them with you and stand by them, and then in weakness and temptation, by God’s help, they will stand by you. Take a manly stand on the side of your God and Saviour, of your father’s God. It is by abandoning their Christian birthright that so many boys go astray, and grow up to be young men dishonoring parents, without hope and without God in the world.

M.A. Vroman, Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle, A. B. Publishing, Ithaca, Michigan, 1905, 29–31.

Keys to the Storehouse – Fake and Artificial

It is often hard to realize just how artificial our lives have become and the destruction it has caused in all areas of life—physically, mentally and also spiritually.

“Our artificial civilization is encouraging evils destructive of sound principles. Custom and fashion are at war with nature. The practices they enjoin, and the indulgences they foster, are steadily lessening both physical and mental strength, and bringing upon the race an intolerable burden. Intemperance and crime, disease and wretchedness, are everywhere.” The Ministry of Healing, 125.

Artificial is not genuine or natural. We are right in the middle of this artificial civilization, which is encouraging evils and destroying sound principles.

Artificial is something that is fabricated—a counterfeit. The devil is destroying our minds and bodies through the artificial, which all seem so real. Look around and you will see the fruits of the devil’s labor:

  • Artificial snow, artificial ice, artificial flowers.
  • Artificial lighting creates more awake time, making it easy to cram more activities into each day and ignore the health law of good rest, which ends in health problems.
  • Television creates artificial scenarios and “encourages evils destructive of sound principles.”
  • “Custom and fashion are at war with nature.” Most of the material in our clothing is of manmade synthetics that are destructive, preventing good ventilation that allows the pores of the body to breathe.
  • “A fashionable life is a hard, thankless life. How often time, money, and health are sacrificed, the patience sorely tried, and self-control lost, merely for the sake of display.” Christian Education, 168.
  • Modern farming practices using genetically modified seeds (GMO) and the abundant chemical fertilizers and pesticides have stripped most of our food of its natural nutrients and often flavor. Results of this can be seen in the overweight population of the West and the increase of diabetes, heart conditions and cancers that are affecting people younger and younger each year. Our bodies are suffering from its effects. We eat more but get less nutrition. In fact, we are being gradually destroyed.

“Our artificial habits deprive us of many blessings and much enjoyment, and unfit us for living the most useful lives. Elaborate and expensive furnishings are a waste not only of money, but of that which is a thousandfold more precious. They bring into the home a heavy burden of care and labor and perplexity.

“What are the conditions in many homes, even where resources are limited and the work of the household rests chiefly on the mother? The best rooms are furnished in a style beyond the means of the occupants and unsuited to their convenience and enjoyment. There are expensive carpets, elaborately carved and daintily upholstered furniture, and delicate drapery. Tables, mantels, and every other available space are crowded with ornaments, and the walls are covered with pictures, until the sight becomes wearying. And what an amount of work is required to keep all these in order and free from dust! This work, and the other artificial habits of the family in its conformity to fashion, demand of the housewife unending toil.” The Ministry of Healing, 367.

The opposite of artificial is genuine or natural. When you look around, there is not much that is natural or genuine to be seen. We really do live in an artificial society. But, there are certain things that are unacceptable when faked and must be absolutely genuine. One is faith. Is your faith genuine or is it artificial? The artificial or synthetic manmade faith, also known as presumption, can seem so real but is so dangerous to spiritual health.

“Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption, for presumption is Satan’s counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God’s promises and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression.” Mind, Character and Personality, vol. 2, 534.

Father: Help me to recognize the artificial in my life and turn toward the genuine. I do not want a counterfeit faith presuming on Your mercies in the midst of my disobedience and yet still claiming Your promises. Forgive me Father; keep me from presumptuous sins; let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight. Amen.

Health – That Pesky Wart

Not too long ago several people asked for suggestions in getting rid of warts naturally. After a little research, this is what I found.

The wart is classified as a viral skin infection that remains solely within the skin. Because it takes repeated contact with the wart to spread, it is usually not contagious unless you continually rub your wart onto another person’s skin. Some people have more than one wart on their body because of the repeated contact with their own skin. Most warts are harmless, but they are just plain ugly.

Is there a way to get rid of the unsightly, pesky wart naturally? Many people have tried different things that have worked for them. Here are a few comments and suggestions I found while researching for natural ways to annihilate it.

“The simplest and probably most effective natural way to get rid of warts that I know of is to apply vitamin E directly to the thing and keep applying it once or twice a day until it falls off or disappears. Many people have found it most convenient to saturate the gauze portion of an adhesive bandage, apply it over the wart and change daily. It may take anywhere from one week to several months to achieve results.

“Curiously, I have never come across a single word in the medical literature about applying vitamin E to warts. But many readers have sent in letters to Prevention, describing what often seems to be astonishing success, and when others try it, they too write in about amazing results. So the therapy is kept alive—a true folk remedy.

“Robert Rodale, editor of Prevention, told me that as a young boy he developed some ugly-looking warts on his arm, and his father, J. I. Rodale, took him to a doctor. The doctor, apparently a wise old bird, looked at the warts and told young Robert that if they did not go away within two weeks, he was going to have to burn them off. To the child’s mind the idea of having his skin burned was a horrifying prospect. Two weeks later, all the warts had vanished.

“I should add, though, that the action of vitamin E on warts seems to be rather more than a placebo effect, as a number of readers report that warts on their pet dogs went away after application of the vitamin.

“An interesting remedy involving the application of banana skins was described in the journal Plastic Reconstructive Surgery (December 1981). In this report, an Israeli doctor found the inner side of a banana skin to be ‘a painless, non-inflammatory local treatment’ in curing warts, especially plantar warts. ‘A piece of fresh banana skin is applied once daily to the affected area [by surgical tape], after washing,’ she writes. ‘After one week of treatment, the wart becomes softer and the pain diminishes. … After two weeks of treatment shrinkage of the wart becomes obvious.’ After six weeks, the warts ‘completely disappear’ and a two-year follow-up revealed no recurrence whatsoever.

“Plantar warts on the feet have been reported to die of heat prostration following daily 15-minute baths of the affected foot in water heated to 118° to 120° F (just about as hot as you can tolerate). Trim the callus off the growth first, and keep up the baths for two weeks. The virus that causes plantar warts, it seems, is sensitive to heat, and when the temperature reaches 120° F, its goose is cooked.” Mark Bricklin, Executive Editor Prevention Magazine, The Practical Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, New, Revised Edition, by Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, p. 517, 518.

Then he continues with the following folk remedies for warts:

“An old Indian method, which a woman from Ontario, Canada, told us ‘really works,’ is to ‘go out and pick a dandelion two or three times a day and put the milk from the cut end on the wart.’ The woman said that she got rid of her warts ‘in no time after they grew back again after having them burned off.’

“This anecdote brings up an important point. Many people probably imagine that having warts burned off or surgically removed by a doctor is the swiftest and most reliable method to rid yourself of warts.

“Not true. The fact is, as any honest dermatologist will tell you, warts that are ‘destroyed’ have an amazing propensity to return over and over again, no matter how many times they are treated, often spreading or growing in the process. This does not seem to happen with vitamin E or other natural methods.

“Another reader took the advice of the mystic, Edgar Cayce, who suggested putting warm castor oil on gauze and applying it three times a day for half an hour. The reader reported that Cayce’s method got rid of 14 warts on both hands in two months.

“Cod-liver oil, rubbed often on a wart, is yet another remedy reported to us.

“If this doesn’t work, you may be interested in knowing about a combination herbal-abrasive technique described to us by Dr. Karl-Heinz A. Rosler, of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Rosler, who holds a Ph.D. in pharmacognosy, and is therefore highly knowledgeable about herbs, said that as a youth he suffered acute embarrassment from warts on his hands. He tried an emery nail file and worked on the warts until they almost bled, but had to stop because they became so inflamed.

“The warts stayed with him for many years. Then, he was told by a neighbor that the juice of the aloe plant, famed as an anti-inflammatory agent, could be useful in getting rid of warts. What the neighbor had done was to deliberately burn his warts with a match and then apply juice from the aloe leaf, so the inflammation would disappear along with the wart.

“Dr. Rosler said that by coincidence, at about this time, a Ph.D. wrote a paper saying there is nothing beneficial in the aloe plant. Nevertheless, Dr. Rosler told us, ‘I decided to try a little folk medicine on myself. I again filed the warts back and applied the juice from a fresh aloe plant, and this did keep down the inflammation, to such an extent that the next day I was able to continue filing—and I filed the warts flat, applying the aloe juice each day. I soon had all of the warts filed down to nothing, and they never reappeared.’ ” Ibid., 518, 519.

In The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Second Home Edition, published by Pocket Books, New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, 1229, the following information is given:

“In general, warts can be removed with chemicals, cut off, frozen off, or burned off with a laser or electrical current.

“Typical chemicals used for removal include salicylic acid, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, trichloroacetic acid, cantharidin, and podophyllin. Flat warts are often treated with peeling agents such as retinoic or salicylic acid. 5-Fluorouracil cream or solution may also be used. Some chemicals can be applied by the person, whereas others must be applied by a doctor. Most of these chemicals can burn normal skin, so when they are applied at home, it is essential to follow directions carefully. Chemicals usually require multiple applications over several weeks to months. The wart is scraped to remove dead tissue before each treatment.

“Freezing [cryotherapy] is safe and does not usually require any numbing of the area but may be too painful for children to tolerate. Warts may be frozen with various commercial freezing probes or with liquid nitrogen sprayed on or applied with a cotton swab. Cryotherapy is often used for plantar warts and warts under the fingernails. Multiple treatments at monthly intervals are often required, especially for large warts.”

We have looked at some natural ways and some chemical ways to destroy the pesky wart. When it comes right down to it, you will need to make the final decision of what is best for you.

Current Events – Mob Mentality

“In every mob wicked angels are at work, rousing men to commit deeds of violence.” Last Day Events, 23.

Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began in September 17, 2011. Solidarity encampments and demonstrations have been organized across the United States and throughout the world to call for economic, political and social change. It’s unclear what the Occupy protests have accomplished, but millions of dollars in costs of repair and maintenance and police overtime have been incurred by cities since the protesters began gathering, and protesters are beginning to camp out again.;, April 25, 2012.

Saudi Arabia closed its Cairo embassy and recalled its ambassador following protests over a detained Egyptian human rights lawyer in a sharp escalation of tension between two regional powerhouses already on shaky terms due to uprisings in the Arab world. The unexpected Saudi diplomatic break came following days of protests by hundreds of Egyptians outside the Saudi Embassy in Cairo and consulates in other cities., April 28, 2012.

Bahrain is a small desert island kingdom in the Persian Gulf, an oil-producing nation of about one million. In mid-February 2011, Bahrain was gripped by a series of pro-democracy demonstrations in Manama, the capital, set off by the example of revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. At least 70 people have been killed in violence related to the uprising., April 23, 2012.

Tens of thousands of anti-regime protesters have taken to the streets in Syria on the second day of the UN [United Nations] and Arab League-brokered ceasefire. Security forces were widely deployed and despite the agreed truce, activists claim that more than 15 people have been killed. Syrian troops fired tear gas and bullets on thousands of protesters who spilled out of mosques after noon prayers on Friday, activists said. State media reported that bombs and shootings killed 17 soldiers as the latest diplomatic efforts failed to halt more than 13 months of bloodshed in the country., April 20, 2012;, April 21, 2012.

KANO, Nigeria (AP) – Gunmen attacked church services on a university campus on Sunday in northern Nigeria, using small explosives to draw out panicked Christian worshipers, who were then shot in an assault that killed at least 16 people, officials said., April 29, 2012.

A Tibetan exile who set himself on fire in Delhi [India] earlier this week has died, as Indian police and paramilitaries launch a security crackdown to prevent further protests or self-immolations during the visit of the Chinese premier, Hu Jintao. Authorities fear that more Tibetans will follow suit to protest at Chinese policies in their homeland. About 30 Tibetans have died and another dozen have been seriously injured in the past 13 months in similar protests, mainly inside China., March 28, 2012.

The protesting employees of the National Commission for Women Development staged a demonstration outside the Karachi [Pakistan] Press Club on Monday. They were forced to disperse when personnel of the police department were apparently ordered to use high-pressure water cannons on them. Moreover, a large number of demonstrators were baton-charged and some of them arrested, because nothing the law enforcers did was enough for making the protesters stop voicing their grievances and demands., April 3, 2012.