Bible Study Guides – False Ideas at the Time of the End

July 22 – 28

Key Text

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 210–212.


“There are dangerous heresies that will be presented as Bible doctrines; and we are to become acquainted with the Bible so that we may know how to meet them. The faith of every individual will be tested.” Evangelism, 590, 591.



  •  What strategy does the enemy of souls use to entice many sincere souls who believe in Jesus’ soon return? Matthew 24:11, 24.

 Note: “Satan’s angels are wise to do evil, and they will create that which some will claim to be advanced light, and will proclaim it as new and wonderful; yet while in some respects the message may be truth, it will be mingled with human inventions, and will teach for doctrine the commandments of men. If there was ever a time when we should watch and pray in real earnest, it is now. Many apparently good things will need to be carefully considered with much prayer, for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path which lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from it.” Evangelism, 590.

“The testimony of the Spirit of God is true. Change not your faith for any phase of doctrine, however pleasing it may appear, that will seduce the soul.

“The fallacies of Satan are now being multiplied, and those who swerve from the path of truth will lose their bearings. Having nothing to which to anchor, they will drift from one delusion to another, blown about by the winds of strange doctrines. Satan has come down with great power.” Ibid., 362.



  •  Explain the clever trick used by God’s adversary as a deceptive ploy in Moses’ time—and repeated today. Exodus 7:10–13; 2Timothy 3:5–9.

Note: “The magicians … their god, Satan, who assisted them in counterfeiting the work of Jehovah.

“The magicians did not really cause their rods to become serpents; but by magic, aided by the great deceiver, they were able to produce this appearance. It was beyond the power of Satan to change the rods to living serpents. The prince of evil, though possessing all the wisdom and might of an angel fallen, has not power to create, or to give life; this is the prerogative of God alone. But all that was in Satan’s power to do, he did; he produced a counterfeit. To human sight the rods were changed to serpents. Such they were believed to be by Pharaoh and his court.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 264.

  • What deception is the enemy of souls soon to employ? Revelation 13:13.

Note: “Men are deceived by the miracles which Satan’s agents have power to do, not what they pretend to do.” The Great Controversy, 553.

  • With what warning did Christ prophesy of the occult? Matthew 24:25, 26.

Note: “Have not thousands gone forth into the desert, hoping to find Christ? And from thousands of gatherings where men profess to hold communion with departed spirits is not the call now heard, ‘Behold, He is in the secret chambers’ (Matthew 24:26, last part)? This is the very claim that spiritism puts forth.” The Desire of Ages, 631.

  • As we see the prophecies against the enchanting wiles of spiritualism fulfilling throughout the world, what must we realize? Ephesians 6:11, 12.



  •  As the end approaches, what special warnings are given to us to avoid trusting in signs and wonders, and why? Matthew 24:4, 5, 11, 24, 25.

Note: “As the people of God approach the perils of the last days, Satan holds earnest consultation with his angels as to the most successful plan of overthrowing their faith. He sees that the popular churches are already lulled to sleep by his deceptive power. By pleasing sophistry and lying wonders he can continue to hold them under his control. Therefore he directs his angels to lay their snares especially for those who are looking for the second advent of Christ and endeavoring to keep all the commandments of God.

“We are warned that in the last days he will work with signs and lying wonders. And he will continue these wonders until the close of probation, that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not of darkness. …

“Some will be tempted to receive these wonders as from God. The sick will be healed before us. Miracles will be performed in our sight. Are we prepared for the trial which awaits us when the lying wonders of Satan shall be more fully exhibited? Will not many souls be ensnared and taken? By departing from the plain precepts and commandments of God, and giving heed to fables, the minds of many are preparing to receive these lying wonders. We must all now seek to arm ourselves for the contest in which we must soon engage. Faith in God’s word, prayerfully studied and practically applied, will be our shield from Satan’s power and will bring us off conquerors through the blood of Christ.” Maranatha, 208.

  • Why do we need to be aware of one of Satan’s favorite occult ploys? 2Thessalonians 2:9–12; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6.

Note: “He [Satan] has power to bring before men the appearance of their departed friends. The counterfeit is perfect; the familiar look, the words, the tone, are reproduced with marvelous distinctness. Many are comforted with the assurance that their loved ones are enjoying the bliss of heaven, and without suspicion of danger, they give ear ‘to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils’ (1 Timothy 4:1).” The Great Controversy, 552.



  •  How does the preaching of Noah relate to us as we teach present truth—including the light entrusted on health? Luke 17:26, 27; 1Peter 2:11.

Note: “Noah preached to the people of his time that God would give them one hundred and twenty years in which to repent of their sins and find refuge in the ark; but they refused the gracious invitation. Abundant time was given them to turn from their sins, overcome their bad habits, and develop righteous characters; but inclination to sin, though weak at first with many, strengthened through repeated indulgence, and hurried them on to irretrievable ruin.” The Review and Herald, October 20, 1885.

  • Instead of giving us a smooth, easy path, why does God give us a character-building health message that requires self-denial? Matthew 7:13–15.

Note: “Satan will work miracles. He will make people sick, and then will suddenly remove from them his satanic power. They will then be regarded as healed. These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test.” Maranatha, 209.

“The way in which Christ worked was to preach the Word, and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way; for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles, because spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, will be wrought.

“For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing combined with the teaching of the Word. Sanitariums are to be established, and with these institutions are to be connected workers who will carry forward genuine medical missionary work. Thus a guarding influence is thrown around those who come to the sanitariums for treatment.

“This is the provision the Lord has made whereby gospel medical missionary work is to be done for many souls. These institutions are to be established out of the cities, and in them educational work is to be intelligently carried forward.” Medical Ministry, 14.



  •  Describe the ultimate delusion Satan will perform. 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Note: “As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation (Revelation 1:13–15). The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: ‘Christ has come! Christ has come!’ The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion.” Maranatha, 276.

  • In view of such peril, what must be our focus? 2 Corinthians 4:8–10, 18.



 1      Why are present-truth Bible doctrines so important at the end of time?

2      How can we explain the apparent miracle of Pharaoh’s magicians?

3      Name some of the archenemy’s ploys especially aimed at God’s remnant.

4      As a general rule, why are we advised not to expect instant healings today?

5      How are we to identify the impending counterfeit of Christ’s soon return?

 Copyright © 2017 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Messages of Warning for Our Day

July 15 – 21

Key Text

“Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:9).

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 270; Patriarchs and Prophets, 156–170.


“The voice of God is heard in a message of warning, bidding His people separate themselves from the prevailing iniquity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 166.



  •  To what time in the history of the world did Jesus compare our days? Matthew 24:37–39; Genesis 6:5, 13.

Note: “The same sins exist in our day which brought the wrath of God upon the world in the days of Noah. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking to gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah and led to general corruption, until their violence and crimes reached to heaven, and God washed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 163.

  • What do believers have to face today? 2 Peter 3:3–6.

Note: “The world, full of rioting, full of godless pleasure, is asleep, asleep in carnal security. Men are putting afar off the coming of the Lord. They laugh at warnings.” The Desire of Ages, 635.



  •  Besides comparing these last days to Noah’s time, to what other historical scene did the Lord compare the hour of His return? Luke 17:28–30.

Note: “The state of the world now is similar to that which existed in the days of Lot, when Sodom’s corruption called for the angel’s visit to that wicked city, to see whether the cries coming up before heaven were of such a character that the inhabitants of beautiful Sodom—a city that had been so highly favored of God—had so corrupted their ways before the Lord that there was no hope of their redemption. God’s wrath was revealed so signally because the corruption of the Sodomites was so deep.” Southern Union Worker, October 16, 1913.

  • What sin was prominent in Lot’s day? Genesis 19:5–7; Romans 1:21, 26, 27.

Note: “They [the Sodomites] crowded about the house of Lot, and as the crowd increased, vile speeches were made which revealed the state of corruption that existed among the people, and the worst suggestions were received and acted upon. The crowd became more clamorous in their cries to have Lot bring forth the strangers to them; for they had become so base through the indulgence of evil passions, that every good thought had been uprooted, and reason was so clouded that they would even do violence to the angels of heaven.” The Signs of the Times, October 9, 1893.

  • Why is Sodom’s fate a warning to all? Genesis 19:24–26; Luke 17:32, 33.

Note: “The angels had come to see if there were any in the city who were not corrupted, and could be persuaded to flee from the impending doom that threatened Sodom. That night the evil doers added the last drop to their cup of iniquity, and the wrath of God could no longer be delayed.” The Signs of the Times, October 9, 1893.

“The warning that was given to Lot comes down to us who live in this degenerate age—‘Escape for thy life.’ The voice of the tempter is crying peace and safety. The evil one would have you feel that you have nothing to fear, and bids you eat, drink, and be merry. Which voice will you heed, the voice of heaven, or the voice that lures you to destruction?” Ibid., October 16, 1893.



  •  What warnings are given about Sodom’s spiritual decline? Ezekiel 16:49.

Note: “Many of those who have so long rejected divine guidance and guardianship are rushing on in the path of levity and selfish pleasure, yea, more, into baser acts and defilement of the body. As a consequence their minds are polluted, and religion is distasteful to them. Some have gone so far in this downward course, and followed so earnestly in the path of the Sodomites, that they are today nigh unto cursing, and the voice of reproof and warning is lost upon them.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 39.

  • How are we, who are entrusted with great light, warned of degradations more serious even than those of Sodom? Hosea 4:6; Proverbs 1:24–30, 33.

Note: “The Redeemer of the world, the compassionate Friend of man, discloses to our eyes the fact that there is a sin greater than the sin of Sodom. It is that of sinning against greater light. To those who have heard and have not heeded the gospel invitation to repent and have faith in Christ, the sin is greater than was the sin of Sodom. To those who have professed the name of Jesus, who have professed to know God, and to keep His commandments, and yet who have misrepresented Christ in their daily life and character, who have been warned and entreated, and still dishonor their Redeemer by their unconsecrated lives, the sin is greater than that of Sodom.” The Signs of the Times, October 16, 1893.

“Many who profess to believe the truth do not want God in their thoughts, any more than did the antediluvians or Sodomites. One sensible thought of God, awakened by the Holy Spirit, would spoil all their schemes. Self, self, self, has been their god, their alpha and their omega.” Counsels on Stewardship, 141.

“The sins of Sodom are repeated in our day, and the earth is destroyed and corrupted under the inhabitants thereof; but the worst feature of the iniquity of this day is a form of godliness without the power thereof. Those who profess to have great light are found among the careless and indifferent, and the cause of Christ is wounded in the house of its professed friends.” The Signs of the Times, October 16, 1893.



  •  To avoid Lot’s mistake that had led his family in a downward path, what must we realize? Genesis 13:12, 13; 19:30–38; 1Corinthians 15:33.

Note: “The corruption of Sodom in breaking the law of God was especially manifested in licentiousness.” The Great Controversy, 269.

“When Lot entered Sodom he fully intended to keep himself free from iniquity and to command his household after him. But he signally failed. The corrupting influences about him had an effect upon his own faith, and his children’s connection with the inhabitants of Sodom bound up his interest in a measure with theirs. The result is before us.

“Many are still making a similar mistake. In selecting a home they look more to the temporal advantages they may gain than to the moral and social influences that will surround themselves and their families. They choose a beautiful and fertile country, or remove to some flourishing city, in the hope of securing greater prosperity; but their children are surrounded by temptation, and too often they form associations that are unfavorable to the development of piety and the formation of a right character. The atmosphere of lax morality, of unbelief, of indifference to religious things, has a tendency to counteract the influence of the parents. Examples of rebellion against parental and divine authority are ever before the youth; many form attachments for infidels and unbelievers, and cast in their lot with the enemies of God.

“In choosing a home, God would have us consider, first of all, the moral and religious influences that will surround us and our families. We may be placed in trying positions, for many cannot have their surroundings what they would; and whenever duty calls us, God will enable us to stand uncorrupted, if we watch and pray, trusting in the grace of Christ. But we should not needlessly expose ourselves to influences that are unfavorable to the formation of Christian character. When we voluntarily place ourselves in an atmosphere of worldliness and unbelief, we displease God and drive holy angels from our homes.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 168, 169.

  • Give various reasons why we must avoid the typical attitudes characteristic of today’s culture. 2Timothy 3:1–5; Isaiah 1:9.



  •  What does God say about where His people can prosper? Isaiah 32:18, 19.

Note: “My warning is: Keep out of the cities. Build no sanitariums in the cities. Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children. …

“Our restaurants must be in the cities; for otherwise the workers in these restaurants could not reach the people and teach them the principles of right living. And for the present we shall have to occupy meeting-houses in the cities. But erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities that those who wish to leave them will not be able.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 6, 1903.

“Parents can secure small homes in the country, with land for cultivation, where they can have orchards and where they can raise vegetables and small fruits to take the place of flesh-meat, which is so corrupting to the lifeblood coursing through the veins. On such places the children will not be surrounded with the corrupting influences of city life. God will help His people to find such homes outside of the cities.” Medical Ministry, 310.

  • Why must we heed the appeals for country living? Proverbs 15:31, 32.

Note: “There was a coming out, a decided separation from the wicked, an escape for life. So it was in the days of Noah; so with Lot; so with the disciples prior to the destruction of Jerusalem; and so it will be in the last days.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 166.



 1      In facing those who scoff at Christ’s return, what should we keep in mind?

2      Why do all need to be aware of the history of Sodom and Gomorrah?

3      What impact should the fate of these cities exert on the people of God?

4      Am I in danger of repeating the mistake of Lot—and if so, how?

5      What are the benefits of country living?

Bible Study Guides – Signs of Christ’s Return

July 8 – 14

Key Text

    “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand” (Luke 21:31).

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 31–38, 304–316, 333, 334.


“Christ had bidden His people watch for the signs of His advent and rejoice as they should behold the tokens of their coming King.” The Great Controversy, 308.



  •  What prediction did the Son of man make about the grand temple existing in His day—an event the disciples could not fathom? Matthew 24:1, 2.

Note: “As Christ’s attention was attracted to the magnificence of the temple, what must have been the unuttered thoughts of that Rejected One! The view before Him was indeed beautiful, but He said with sadness, I see it all. The buildings are indeed wonderful. You point to these walls as apparently indestructible; but listen to My words: The day will come when ‘there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down’ (Mark 13:2, last part).” The Desire of Ages, 627.

  • What questions intrigued the disciples, and how was this intermingled with Christ’s prophecies concerning the end of the world? Matthew 24:3.

Note: “With the overthrow of Jerusalem the disciples associated the events of Christ’s personal coming in temporal glory to take the throne of universal empire, to punish the impenitent Jews, and to break from off the nation the Roman yoke. The Lord had told them that He would come the second time. Hence at the mention of judgments upon Jerusalem, their minds reverted to that coming.” The Great Controversy, 25.



  •  What warning should we heed from the spiritual implications of the fate of the temple in A.D. 70, just as Jesus had prophesied? Isaiah 30:12, 13.

Note: “The blind obstinacy of the Jewish leaders, and the detestable crimes perpetrated within the besieged city, excited the horror and indignation of the Romans. … In their fury the soldiers hurled blazing brands into the chambers adjoining the temple, and then with their swords they slaughtered in great numbers those who had found shelter there. Blood flowed down the temple steps like water. Thousands upon thousands of Jews perished. Above the sound of battle, voices were heard shouting: ‘Ichabod!’—the glory is departed.” The Great Controversy, 33.

“Both the city and the temple were razed to their foundations, and the ground upon which the holy house had stood was ‘plowed like a field’ (Jeremiah 26:18).” Ibid., 35.

  • Name some interesting points we can glean from how only those who had heeded the words of Jesus were spared. Luke 21:20–22; Psalm 27:5.

Note: “For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city. … This strange being was imprisoned and scourged, but no complaint escaped his lips. To insult and abuse he answered only: ‘Woe, woe to Jerusalem!’ ‘woe, woe to the inhabitants thereof!’ His warning cry ceased not until he was slain in the siege he had foretold.

“Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign. [Luke 21:20, 21 quoted.]” The Great Controversy, 30.

“This warning was given to be heeded forty years after, at the destruction of Jerusalem. …

“ ‘Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day,’ Christ said (Matthew 24:20). … Forty years after His crucifixion it [the Sabbath] was still to be held sacred. For forty years the disciples were to pray that their flight might not be on the Sabbath day.” The Desire of Ages, 630.



  •  What would eventually come upon the believers after the general destruction of the city of Jerusalem in A.D. 70? Matthew 24:21, 22.

Note: “From the destruction of Jerusalem, Christ passed on rapidly to the greater event, the last link in the chain of this earth’s history—the coming of the Son of God in majesty and glory. Between these two events, there lay open to Christ’s view long centuries of darkness, centuries for His church marked with blood and tears and agony.” The Desire of Ages, 630, 631.

  • How was this same historic period of tribulation depicted in prophecy in the book of Revelation? Revelation 11:2, 3; 13:5.
  • What scriptural guideline about prophetic time helps us understand how to calculate mathematically the actual length of this period, keeping in mind that the prophetic reckoning is a 30-day month with 360 days each year? Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6.

Note: “The suppression of the Scriptures under the dominion of Rome, the terrible results of that suppression, and the final exaltation of the word of God, are vividly portrayed by the prophetic pencil. To John the exile on lonely Patmos was given a view of the 1260 years during which the papal power was permitted to trample upon God’s word.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 188.

“The forty and two months are the same as the ‘time and times and the dividing of time’ (Daniel 7:25, last part), three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7—the time during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people. This period, … began with the supremacy of the papacy, A.D. 538, and terminated in 1798. At that time the pope was made captive by the French army, the papal power received its deadly wound, and the prediction was fulfilled, ‘He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity’ (Revelation 13:10).” The Great Controversy, 439.



  •  Just before the end of the 1260-year-prophetic-time period (since the actual persecution was “shortened”), what signs in nature showed that Jesus’ return was soon? Matthew 24:29, 30; Mark 13:24–26; Revelation 6:12, 13.
  • Examining these prophecies one by one: According to the record of Inspiration and history, which occurred first? Revelation 6:12.

Note: “In fulfillment of this prophecy [of Revelation 6:12] there occurred, in the year 1755, the most terrible earthquake that has ever been recorded. Though commonly known as the earthquake of Lisbon, it extended to the greater part of Europe, Africa, and America. It was felt in Greenland, in the West Indies, in the island of Madeira, in Norway and Sweden, Great Britain and Ireland. It pervaded an extent of not less than four million square miles.” The Great Controversy, 304.

  • How was the prophecy about the sun and the moon fulfilled? Mark 13:24.

Note: “The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution had almost wholly ceased. Following this persecution, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened.” The Great Controversy, 306.

“May 19, 1780, stands in history as ‘The Dark Day.’ Since the time of Moses no period of darkness of equal density, extent, and duration, has ever been recorded. The description of this event, as given by eyewitnesses, is but an echo of the words of the Lord … ‘The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come’ (Joel 2:31).” Ibid., 308.

  • How was the prophecy of the stars fulfilled? Mark 13:25; Revelation 6:13.

Note: “[Revelation 6:13 quoted.] This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfillment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded.” The Great Controversy, 333.



  •  Besides the three great natural events Christ gave as signs of His soon return, name some other signs, and explain how they are rapidly fulfilling more and more. Matthew 24:6–12; Mark 13:7–9; Luke 21:9–11, 25–27.
  • What should we recall in seeing these signs? Luke 17:26; Jeremiah 8:11, 12.

Note: “Calamities, earthquakes, floods, disasters by land and by sea, will increase. God is looking upon the world today as He looked upon it in Noah’s time. He is sending His message to people today as He sent it in the days of Noah. There is in this age of the world a repetition of the wickedness of the world before the flood.” The Advocate, December 1, 1900.

  • Why can we be encouraged by prophecies being fulfilled? 1 Samuel 12:16; 1 Peter 2:9.

Note: “Those who accepted the advent doctrine were roused to the necessity of repentance and humiliation before God. Many had long been halting between Christ and the world; now they felt that it was time to take a stand. ‘The things of eternity assumed to them an unwonted reality. Heaven was brought near, and they felt themselves guilty before God.’ … Christians were quickened to new spiritual life. They were made to feel that time was short, that what they had to do for their fellow men must be done quickly.” The Great Controversy, 340.



 1      In A.D. 70, why did God allow the magnificent temple to be destroyed?

2      Why was the lone man pronouncing woe against Jerusalem not spared?

3      How do we know that a day in prophetic time often equals a year?

4      Name the dates of the great three-landmark-signs of Christ’s soon return.

5      As I see the signs fulfilling, what impact should I allow it to make on me?

Bible Study Guides – Behold, I Come Quickly! — A Glorious, Joy-Inspiring Hope

July 1 – 7

Key Text

“Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints” (Jude 14, last part).

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 299–303.


“To God’s pilgrim people, so long left to sojourn in ‘the region and shadow of death,’ a precious, joy-inspiring hope is given in the promise of His appearing, who is ‘the resurrection and the life,’ to ‘bring home again His banished’ (Matthew 4:16; John 11:25; 2 Samuel 14:13, last part).” The Great Controversy, 299.



  •  Very early in history, what was the seventh patriarch from Adam shown in vision—and how did it motivate him in a powerful way? Jude 14, 15.

Note: “By the spirit of prophecy He [God] carried him [Enoch] down through the generations that should live after the Flood, and showed him the great events connected with the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. …

“In prophetic vision he was instructed concerning the death of Christ, and was shown His coming in glory, attended by all the holy angels, to ransom His people from the grave. He also saw the corrupt state of the world when Christ should appear the second time—that there would be a boastful, presumptuous, self-willed generation, denying the only God and the Lord Jesus Christ, trampling upon the law, and despising the atonement. He saw the righteous crowned with glory and honor, and the wicked banished from the presence of the Lord, and destroyed by fire.

“Enoch became a preacher of righteousness, making known to the people what God had revealed to him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 85, 86.



  •  Describe the way God’s people in Old Testament times expressed their hope in Christ’s second coming. Psalms 50:1–4; 96:11–13.

Note: “The coming of Christ to usher in the reign of righteousness has inspired the most sublime and impassioned utterances of the sacred writers. The poets and prophets of the Bible have dwelt upon it in words glowing with celestial fire.” The Great Controversy, 300.

  • With what exalted language did the prophet Habakkuk describe Jesus’ return? Habakkuk 3:3–6.
  • What comforting, encouraging promise is repeated to New Testament believers, and how should this influence us in a mighty way? Acts 1:10, 11.

Note: “The Saviour’s parting promise upon Olivet, that He would come again, lighted up the future for His disciples, filling their hearts with joy and hope that sorrow could not quench nor trials dim.” The Great Controversy, 302.

“[Acts 1:11 quoted.] Precious, indeed, was this promise to those sorrowing disciples, that they should again see Jesus who was greatly beloved by them all. Precious also is this promise to every true follower of Christ. None who truly love Jesus will be sorry that He is coming again. And as they approach nearer to the coming of the Son of man, the true lovers of Jesus will look forward with joyous hope, and will seek to get all ready to behold Him whom their souls loveth, who died to redeem them.

“Jesus is coming! But not to listen to the woes of mankind, and to hear the guilty sinner confess his sins, and to speak pardon to him; for every one’s case will then be decided for life or death. Those who have lived in sin will remain sinners forever. Those who have confessed their sins to Jesus in the sanctuary, have made Him their friend and have loved His appearing, will have pardon written for all their sins, and they, having purified their souls ‘in obeying the truth’ (1 Peter 1:22), will remain pure and holy forever.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 1, 1854.



  •  How can we gain courage from the hope expressed by Paul? Titus 2:11–13.

Note: “We are pilgrims and strangers who are waiting, hoping, and praying for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If we believe this and bring it into our practical life, what vigorous action would this faith and hope inspire; what fervent love one for another; what careful holy living for the glory of God; and in our respect for the recompense of the reward, what distinct lines of demarcation would be evidenced between us and the world.” Evangelism, 220.

“God designs that His people shall fix their eyes heavenward, looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. While the attention of worldlings is turned to various enterprises, ours should be to the heavens; our faith should reach further and further into the glorious mysteries of the heavenly treasure, drawing the precious, divine rays of light from the heavenly sanctuary to shine in our hearts, as they shine upon the face of Jesus. …

“The desire of our Lord is that we should be watching, so that when He cometh and knocketh we may open to Him immediately.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 194, 195.

  • How will Jesus appear to those who are eagerly awaiting His return? Hebrews 9:28, last part.

Note: “Christ, at the close of His work as mediator, will appear ‘without sin unto salvation’ (Hebrews 9:28), to bless His waiting people with eternal life.” The Great Controversy, 485.

“Jesus is coming as He ascended into heaven, only with additional splendor. He is coming with the glory of His Father, and all the holy angels with Him, to escort Him on His way. Instead of the cruel crown of thorns to pierce His holy temples, a crown of dazzling glory will deck His sacred brow. He will not then appear, the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; but His countenance will shine brighter than the noonday sun. He will not wear a plain seamless coat, but a garment whiter than snow—of dazzling brightness.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 1, 1854.



  •  What message in Luther’s sermons resonated with the teaching of Paul with regard to the final-judgment hour? Hebrews 9:27.

Note: “Luther declared: ‘I persuade myself verily, that the day of judgment will not be absent full three hundred years. God will not, cannot, suffer this wicked world much longer.’ ‘The great day is drawing near in which the kingdom of abominations shall be overthrown.’ ” The Great Controversy, 303.

  • What conviction did other Reformers have, and what is likewise to be our main priority today? Revelation 16:15.

Note: “ ‘This aged world is not far from its end,’ said Melanchthon. Calvin bids Christians ‘not to hesitate, ardently desiring the day of Christ’s coming as of all events most auspicious’; and declares that ‘the whole family of the faithful will keep in view that day.’ ‘We must hunger after Christ, we must seek, contemplate,’ he says, ‘till the dawning of that great day, when our Lord will fully manifest the glory of His kingdom.’

“ ‘Has not the Lord Jesus carried up our flesh into heaven?’ said Knox, the Scotch Reformer, ‘and shall He not return? We know that He shall return, and that with expedition.’ Ridley and Latimer, who laid down their lives for the truth, looked in faith for the Lord’s coming. Ridley wrote: ‘The world without doubt—this I do believe, and therefore I say it—draws to an end. Let us with John, the servant of God, cry in our hearts unto our Saviour Christ, Come, Lord Jesus, come.’ ” The Great Controversy, 303.

“The return of Christ to our world will not be long delayed. Let this be the keynote of every message.

“The blessed hope of the second appearing of Christ, with its solemn realities, needs to be often presented to the people. Looking for the soon appearing of our Lord will lead us to regard earthly things as emptiness and nothingness. …

“It cannot now be said by the Lord’s servants, as it was by the prophet Daniel: ‘The time appointed was long’ (Daniel 10:1). It is now but a short time till the witnesses for God will have done their work in preparing the way of the Lord.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 406.



  •  Explain the responsibility of all who are serious about meeting the Master in peace when He returns. Amos 4:12, last part; Zephaniah 2:3.

Note: “Christ says, ‘I know thy works’ (Revelation 2:2). He knows whether you are living a life of perfection and if you love to talk and think of Him, and whether it is your joy to praise Him. Do we expect to get to heaven at last and join the heavenly choir? Just as we go into the grave we will come up as far as the character is concerned. … Now is the time for washing and ironing. It is the time to wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.

“When the lawyer came to Christ and asked, ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ the answer was, ‘Keep the commandments’ (Luke 10:25; Luke 18:18, 20). Here a positive question is asked by the lawyer, and he receives an answer just as positive.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 262.

  • What will be the deep sentiment of all who wholeheartedly embrace Christ’s promise that He will come back soon? Revelation 22:20.

Note: “I want to honor Him that sitteth on the throne. I want my voice to echo and re-echo through the courts of heaven. Will you be there? Then you must educate your voice to praise Him on earth, and then you can join the heavenly choir and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. God help us, and fill us with all fullness and power, and then we can taste of the joys of the world to come.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 128.



 1      What should I consider about the depth of my longing for Jesus’ return?

2      Why are the promises concerning Jesus’ return to provide us strength?

3      Why is it important to cultivate a real desire to share this truth with others?

4      How did the 16th century Reformers inspire faith in Christ’s return?

5      We are saved by faith, so what reveals genuine commitment in our faith?

Recipe – Cranberry Smack

1/2 cup or more fresh cranberries (or thawed) 1/2 cup pitted dates
1 large orange, peeled  
In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, or hand processor, process all ingredients until the desired chunky texture is reached. I blend until mostly smooth. Use on oatmeal or on toast. It is delicious! Makes about 1½ cups.


Food – Cranberries All Year ‘Round

These little fruits are not just for holidays. Cranberries are great when a few are added to smoothies, which will give your immune system a boost. Yum!

“Cranberries are low in calories (44 per cup), high in fiber, and low in sugar. But like grapes, many of their real benefits aren’t readily apparent from the typical nutrition facts label.

“Studies presented at the 223rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society show that the ruby red berries have some of the most potent antioxidants of any common fruits studied. They possess anticancer properties, inhibit the growth of common food-borne pathogens, and contain antibacterial properties to aid in the prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

“Catherine Neto, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, isolated several bioactive compounds from whole cranberries and found compounds in the berries that were toxic to a variety of cancer tumor cells. ‘The tumor cell lines that these compounds, inhibited most in our assays included lung, cervical, prostrate, breast, and leukemia’, according to Neto.

“Cranberries are high in phenols (also known as phenolic acids), plant chemicals known to be highly protective against a wide range of health problems and conditions. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cranberries had a higher phenol concentration than any of the twenty commonly eaten fruits studied: A ½ cup contains 373 phenols per serving, more than red grapes, apples, strawberries, or blueberries.

“It’s widely known that cranberries help prevent UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections). This is accomplished by preventing bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. … Recently studies have also revealed that compounds in cranberries stop certain disease-causing bacteria from sticking to the stomach lining, thus helping to prevent ulcers.

“Remember now, we’re talking about actual, raw cranberries here. Once you dry and sweeten them they may still have a lot of the healthful phenolic compounds, but the calories jump into the stratosphere (from 44 per cup to 370 per cup) and so does the sugar. …” 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., pages 109, 110.

Another Note: “… cranberries aren’t easy to grow. Cranberry farmers often use a variety of chemicals to keep their production rates high … . And most farmers believe chemicals are necessary for growing cranberries. … avoid all the chemicals and eat organic cranberries.”



Cranberry Smack

1/2 cup or more fresh cranberries (or thawed) 1/2 cup pitted dates
1 large orange, peeled  
In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, or hand processor, process all ingredients until the desired chunky texture is reached. I blend until mostly smooth. Use on oatmeal or on toast. It is delicious! Makes about 1½ cups.


Story Time – The Righteous Never Forsaken

It was Saturday night, and the widow of the Pine Cottage sat by her blazing bundle of sticks, with her five tattered children by her side, endeavoring by listening to the artlessness of their prattle, to dissipate the heavy gloom that pressed upon her mind. For a year her own feeble hand had provided for her helpless family, for she had no supporter: she thought of no friend in all the wide, unfriendly world around.

But that mysterious Providence, the wisdom of whose ways is above human comprehension, had visited her with wasting sickness, and her little means had become exhausted. It was now, too, mid-winter, and the snow lay heavy and deep through all the surrounding forests, while storms still seemed gathering in the heavens, and the driving wind roared amid the neighboring pines and rocked her puny mansion.

The last herring smoked upon the coals before her; it was the only article of food she possessed, and no wonder her forlorn, desolate state brought up in her lone bosom all the anxieties of a mother, when she looked upon her children. And no wonder, forlorn as she was, if she permitted the heart swellings of despair to rise, even though she knew that He whose promise is to the widow and to the orphan, cannot forget His word.

Providence had, many years before, taken from her her eldest son, who went from his forest home to try his fortune on the high seas, since which she had heard no tidings of him; and, in her latter time, had by the hand of death, deprived her of the companion and staff of her earthly pilgrimage, in the person of her husband. Yet to this hour she had been upborne; she had not only been able to provide for her little flock, but had never lost an opportunity of ministering to the wants of the miserable and destitute.

The indolent may well bear with poverty, while the ability to gain sustenance remains. The individual who has but his own wants to supply, may suffer with fortitude the winter of want; his affections are not wounded, his heart not wrung. The most desolate in populous cities may hope, for charity has not quite closed her hand and heart, and shut her eyes on misery.

But the industrious mother of helpless and depending children, far from the reach of human charity, has none of these to console her. And such a one was the widow of the Pine Cottage. But as she bent over the fire and took up the last scanty remnant of food, to spread before her children, her spirits seemed to brighten up, as by some sudden and mysterious impulse, and Cowper’s beautiful lines came uncalled across her mind:


Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

But trust Him for His grace;

Behind a frowning Providence

He hides a smiling face.


The smoked herring was scarcely laid upon the table, when a gentle rap at the door and loud barking of a dog, attracted the attention of the family. The children flew to open it, and a weary traveler in tattered garments and apparently indifferent health, entered and begged a lodging and a mouthful of food. Said he, “It is now twenty-four hours since I tasted bread.” The widow’s heart bled anew as under a fresh complication of distresses, for her sympathies lingered not around her fireside. She hesitated not even now. Rest and a share of all she had she proffered to the stranger. “We shall not be forsaken,” said she, “or suffer deeper for an act of charity.”

The traveler drew near the board, but when he saw the scanty fare, he raised his eyes toward heaven with astonishment: “And is this all your store?” said he, “and a share of this do you offer to one you know not? Then never saw I charity before! But madam,” said he, continuing, “do you not wrong your children by giving a part of your last mouthful to a stranger?”

“Ah,” said the poor widow, and the teardrops gushed into her eyes as she said it, “I have a boy, a darling son, somewhere on the face of the wide world, unless heaven has taken him away, and I only act toward you, as I would that others should act toward him. God, who sent manna from heaven, can provide for us as He did for Israel. And how should I this night offend Him, if my son should be a wanderer, destitute as you, and he should have provided for him a home, even as poor as this, were I to turn you unrelieved away.”

The widow ended, and the stranger springing from his seat, clasped her in his arms: “God indeed has provided your son a home and has given him wealth to reward the goodness of his benefactress: my mother! oh my mother!” It was her long lost son, returned to her bosom from the Indies. He had chosen that disguise that he might the more completely surprise his family; and never was surprise more perfect or followed by a sweeter cup of joy.

That humble residence in the forest was exchanged for one comfortable, and indeed beautiful, in the valley. The widow lived long with her dutiful son, in the enjoyment of plenty, and in the delightful employments of virtue. And at this day the passer-by is pointed to the willow that spreads its branches above her grave.

The Moore McGuffey Readers, Book 4, 114–117.

Life Sketches – Will You Stand?

Many people would obey and follow God if He would only remove the struggles and tribulations that they are going through. But since God does not immediately remove their trials, they remain uncommitted and follow the path of least resistance. But the question is still asked, “Why do Christians worldwide suffer so many troubles?”

Jesus said that whatever we give to others will eventually be returned to us. He said, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:37, last part, 38).

This is an eternal principle that God has established in the universe. As we give to others, the same will come back to us, whether we give good or evil.

Before his conversion, the apostle Paul was the leading persecutor of Christians in the world. He was responsible for having men and women put in prison just because they were Christians, and also for the death of many of whom we do not know the number.

The Bible says Paul was present and consenting to the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr who was stoned to death. However, when he was converted on the road to Damascus, the Lord said to Ananias concerning him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:15).

Saul’s name was changed and he became the apostle Paul. He suffered many things for Christ’s name sake. He was beaten, put in prison, shipwrecked a number of times. He even suffered the same fate that he had consented done to Stephen when on his very first missionary journey he was stoned. The persecutors left him for dead, but after a while he came to and then left town. There is no doubt that during that experience he remembered what he had allowed to be done to Stephen and thought his end had come, but it was not his time to die yet.

After that experience, Paul went back through the cities where he and Barnabas had preached the gospel. Acts 14:21, 22 says, “When they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra (where Paul had been stoned), Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.’ ”

This is troubling to many people who wonder why it is that if they choose to become a Christian, the only way they can get to the Kingdom of God is through many tribulations.

There are several texts in the New Testament that explain why this is so. In John 7, Jesus’ brothers told Him to go and show people what He was doing and declare Himself to the world as the Messiah (see verses 3, 4). Then it says, “For even his brothers did not believe in Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil’ ” (verses 5–7).

In John 15:18–25, on the night that He was betrayed, Jesus said to His disciples, “ ‘If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his Master.” If they’ve persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, “They hated Me without a cause.” ’ ”

Jesus told His followers that they were following Him because He chose them out of the world and because the world hated Him they would also hate His followers. The apostle John, in his letter in 1 John 3:10–15 explains why they are hated: “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”

In 1 John 5:19, literal translation, John says, “The whole world lies in wickedness.” The Christian, without even saying anything, by the very fact that he exists and is living in harmony with the law of God, his life is a rebuke to those who are transgressing the law of God. So, according to worldlings, something must be done to get this disturbing element out of the way. That is exactly what happened with Cain and Abel. Cain wanted to get Abel out of the way so he would not show him up. This resulted in Cain killing his brother.

John says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15–17). Before He left them, Jesus said to His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). His followers soon found these words to be true. Paul was stoned. Peter was crucified. James was killed with the sword. In fact, the Jews tried to kill all of Christ’s apostles. Every one of them was martyred except for the apostle John. The Jews tried without success to kill him but God still had a work for him to do – write the book of Revelation on the lonely Isle of Patmos.

Christ’s followers stood out from the crowd. The way they lived was a rebuke to the Jews so they did their best to eliminate them. So, the world today does not like to be rebuked for its lifestyle.

There is a story that has been told of a man who lived in the southern United States before the emancipation proclamation, who had slaves, one of whom was a Christian. He said to this slave, “Why are you having so much trouble? Look at me, I’m not a Christian and I do not have all the trouble that you have.” The slave replied, “When you go hunting with your bird dogs and you shoot a bird and it falls down dead, the bird dog doesn’t go over to it because the bird is dead. But then you shoot another bird, and it is not dead but just wounded, the bird dog goes after that one.” He continued, “That is like you and me. The devil is not after you, because he’s already got you. But he is after me, because I am just wounded and that is why I am having a lot of trouble.” The devil is the one that brought suffering, sickness and sin into this world that results in death.

As long as the devil exists there will be conflict in our world between good and evil. Eventually, every person is going to be totally on either one side or the other. Today there are still many people who are in the valley of decision trying to figure out on what side of the great controversy between good and evil they want to be. Do they love sin so much that they are willing to do whatever they can to be on that side? Or, would they like to have eternal life? Eternal life can only be given to the person who chooses to surrender his sinful nature and follow the Lord.

O, friend, what is happening in your life? Are you like the bird that is dead, or like the one that is wounded, and having a lot of trouble? Remember, it is the devil that causes so much trouble for those who are on the path that leads to everlasting life, but they are not alone in their journey. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, last part).

If you’re not following the Lord, Jesus said, “All those who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36). “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). In Matthew 10:34–39, Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; And ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake, will find it.”

The apostle Paul said, “… all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). But do not be discouraged for God has promised His people who are suffering trouble because they have chosen to be Christians that, “As your days, so shall your strength be.” “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:25, 27).

God has promised to never forsake His own. He has promised to be with them to strengthen and help them in all the troubles and trials that they go through. In Psalm 9:9, 10, it says, “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Isaiah says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord, forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3, 4).

Reading the New Testament we find promises equally comforting. Notice what the apostle Paul said about the Christian who is suffering trouble and trial because he has chosen to follow the Lord: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13).

Peter also speaks to those who suffer because they are Christians: “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19). God is a faithful Creator; He does not forsake His own. Even though they go through trials and troubles, He has promised to be with them, to support them, to sustain them, to help them, right up to the moment of death.

However, there is coming a time when the tables are going to be completely turned. Jesus will say, “Enough!” God will avenge His people, when all cases have been decided. He is going to judge this world and bring judgments upon it because of its sin.

The book of Revelation is very clear that in the last days, because of the wickedness of the world, the Lord God of heaven is going to come down and walk through the whole earth, spreading desolation everywhere. (See Revelation 16.) That is called the “seven last plagues.” These plagues will come upon the people who deliberately choose to remain in violation and rebellion against the law of God. To be in rebellion against the law of God means you are in rebellion against the government of God, and against God Himself.

As we approach the time of the end of the world, it is going to become more and more wicked. Jesus talked about it Matthew 24. Paul talked about it in 2 Timothy 3. John talked about it in the last half of the book of Revelation how the wickedness in this world would become so great that God would finally say, “It’s not going to go on anymore.”

The Lord is going to come to this world in judgment. When that happens, those who have been obedient will not suffer the plagues that are to come upon the rest of the world. In the Old Testament, foreseeing what would happen at the end of time, the Lord predicted the protection that He was going to put around His own. Notice Psalm 91:4–7: “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.”

Then the Lord will say to His people, “Come, My people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain” (Isaiah 26:20, 21). Up until now, when people die, we bury them and the earth covers up the dead. But there is coming a time when the earth is not going to cover the slain anymore. It says, “ ‘And the songs of the temple shall be wailing in that day,’ says the Lord God—‘Many dead bodies everywhere, They shall be cast out in silence’ ” (Amos 8:3).

Jeremiah 25:32, 33 says, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, disaster shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest parts of the earth. And at that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.’ ”

When that time comes, the Lord says to His people, “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling” (Psalm 91:7–10).

O, friend, although Christians suffer a lot in the world and have for thousands of years, there is coming a time when the tables are going to be turned. Those who break God’s law and persist in their wickedness are going to receive God’s judgments while His people are protected. When that time comes, where will you be? Whatever troubles, or trials, or tribulations that you are suffering right now because you are following Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, they are temporary. That is a wonderful thought. All of a Christian’s troubles are temporary; they will all be over soon. The question is, “Will you be one of those who is accounted ready when your Lord comes?”

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – Galloping Consumption

Has anybody noticed the “galloping consumption” taking place at our food tables and eateries?

“It is often asserted that the present generation lives more in twenty-five years than our ancestors of two centuries ago did in fifty. It may be said with equal truthfulness that the present generation eats as much in twenty-five years as our forefathers did in fifty, and in one half the time.

“Haste in traffic, haste in business, haste in education, haste in pleasure, have led to haste in eating, drinking, thinking, sleeping, until physical degeneracy and premature decay stare us in the face on every hand. But of all the evils resulting from the terrible momentum of modern life, hasty eating is the most far-reaching and the worst.

“That nature intended man to find a real pleasure in eating, is evident from the fact that natural foods are variously and delicately flavored, and that man is endowed with the sense of taste to appreciate these flavors, and with the sense of smell to enjoy natural odors. The surface of the tongue is the seat of the sense of taste; hence the pleasure that attends eating does not consist in the amount of food that can be disposed of, nor in the rapidity with which it can be eaten, but in the length of time it remains in the mouth, stimulating this sense of taste. It would be well for the rapid eater to take notice that the taste buds are on the tongue and not scattered throughout the length of the esophagus or in the walls of the stomach.” The Practical Guide to Health by Frederick M. Rossiter, B.S., M.D., Review and Herald Publishing Assn., 1910, pgs. 555, 556.

I think each one of us has noticed this “galloping consumption” activity either in our own homes or at fast food places and restaurants. When you go out to eat you will see many people gulping down their water or coffee to help “wash” the food down. It seems as if many cannot get the food down fast enough.

“Nature furnishes man with thirty-two teeth, some for breaking off pieces of food, and others designed to crush it. The entire anatomy of the mouth clearly indicates that food should remain in it some time before being swallowed. If food remains in the mouth only a few moments, an insufficient amount of saliva is secreted, and mingled with the food; hence salivary digestion is but partially performed. If mastication is neglected, the food is not properly crushed and so is not readily acted upon by the saliva or by the gastric juice. Food that is poorly masticated is swallowed in chunks, which resist the action of the gastric juice for a long time, and produce irritation of the walls of the stomach.

“Hasty eating produces a sensation of thirst, hence the common practice in America and other countries of rinsing down food with tea, coffee, ice water, etc. This delays digestion by diluting the little saliva and gastric juice that have been given time to form; the cold drinks also lower the temperature of the gastric contents, so that digestion is completely at a standstill until the temperature at which digestion takes place is restored, and the fluid has been absorbed.

“Hasty eating leads to overeating, so that the entire digestive system is overburdened, causing all the organs to do too much work—to put in extra time—to rid the system of this surplus food. Excessive consumption of food eventually leads to a consumption of the tissues, either in general or in part, because of the poisons circulating in the fluids of the body and retained in the tissues.

“The galloping consumption of food, or eating on the run, is not only a great physical evil, but is a social evil as well. We have come to such a pass that conversation at the home table, if no guests are present, is very little practiced; for galloping consumption and fluent conversation cannot be carried on at the same time. Thus far it is the conversation that has suffered, while the consumption is increasing at a high rate, the hearty laugh, that proverbial digestive tablet, and the light and airy table talk that make the charm of social eating, are in these days classed among the luxuries of life, and made the accompaniment of evening dress, cut glass, and three-hour banquets or elegant dinners. But they really belong among the necessities, and should accompany slow eating, careful mastication, and a quiet frame of mind. A longer time spent at the table every day in thoroughly preparing food for the different processes of digestion, would save many a man and woman years of misery, ill health, and disappointing, ineffective work.” Ibid., 557–559.

Understanding a little bit more about how we are to chew our food in preparation for digesting it, let us not be part of the galloping consumers at our tables. We are to give glory to God in all areas of our life, which includes the chewing of our food.  Let’s try a little “trot” instead of a “gallop”.

Question & Answer – Where Was Samson’s Strength

His soul was vexed to death, that he [Samson] told her [Delilah] all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man” (Judges 16:17).

“There was no virtue in the length of his hair, in itself, but it was a token of his loyalty to God, and when the symbol was sacrificed in the indulgence of lustful passion, the blessings of which it was a token were also forfeited. Had Samson’s head been shaven without fault on his part, his strength would have remained. But his course had shown contempt for the favor and authority of God as much as if he had in disdain himself severed his locks from his head. Therefore God left him to endure the results of his own folly.” The Signs of the Times, October 13, 1881.

“The divine promise to Manoah was in due time fulfilled in the birth of a son, upon whom the name of Samson was bestowed. By the command of the angel no razor was to come upon the child’s head, he being consecrated to God as a Nazarite, from his birth. As the boy grew up, it became evident that he possessed extraordinary physical strength. This was not, however, as Samson and his parents well knew, dependent upon his well-knit sinews, but upon his condition as a Nazarite, of which his unshorn hair was a symbol.” Ibid., October 6, 1881.

“The Spirit of God keeps evil under the control of conscience. When man exalts himself above the influence of the Spirit, he reaps a harvest of iniquity. Over such a man the Spirit has less and less influence to restrain him from sowing seeds of disobedience. Warnings have less and less power over him. He gradually loses his fear of God. He sows to the flesh; he will reap corruption.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1112.