Bible Study Guides – The Faith Of Abraham

April 22 – April 28, 2001

Memory Verse “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” Romans 4:20.

Study Help: Conflict and Courage, 56; The Faith I Live By, 115–120.


“The so-called faith that does not work by love and purify the soul will not justify any man. ‘Ye see,’ says the apostle, ‘how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.’ James 2:24. Abraham believed God. How do we know that he believed? His works testified to the character of his faith, and his faith was accounted to him for righteousness. We need the faith of Abraham in our day, to lighten the darkness that gathers around us, shutting out the sweet sunlight of God’s love, and dwarfing spiritual growth. Our faith should be prolific of good works; for faith without works is dead.” The Faith I Live By, 115.

“By Faith Abraham…”

  • What challenge to his faith did Abraham face and how did he respond? Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 12:1–4.

note: “It was no light test that was thus brought upon Abraham, no small sacrifice that was required of him. There were strong ties to bind him to his country, his kindred, and his home. But he did not hesitate to obey the call. He had no question to ask concerning the Land of Promise,—whether the soil was fertile, and the climate healthful; whether the country offered agreeable surroundings, and would afford opportunities for amassing wealth. God had spoken, and His servant must obey; the happiest place on earth for him was the place where God would have him to be.” Christian Service, 181.

  • What sort of life did this step in faith bring to Abraham? Hebrews 11:9.

note: “Abraham had no possession in the earth, ‘no, not so much as to set his foot on.’ Acts 7:5. He possessed great substance, and he used it to the glory of God and the good of his fellow men; but he did not look upon this world as his home. The Lord had called him to leave his idolatrous countrymen, with the promise of the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession; yet neither he nor his son nor his son’s son received it. When Abraham desired a burial place for his dead, he had to buy it of the Canaanites. His sole possession in the Land of Promise was that rock-hewn tomb in the cave of Machpelah.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 169.

“Let There Be No Strife”

  • When conflict arose, how did Abraham respond? Genesis 13:7–9.

note: “Here the noble, unselfish spirit of Abraham was displayed. How many under similar circumstances would, at all hazards, cling to their individual rights and preferences! How many households have thus been rent asunder! How many churches have been divided, making the cause of truth a byword and a reproach among the wicked! ‘Let there be no strife between me and thee,’ said Abraham, ‘for we be brethren;’ not only by natural relationship, but as worshipers of the true God. The children of God the world over are one family, and the same spirit of love and conciliation should govern them. ‘Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another’ (Romans 12:10), is the teaching of our Saviour. The cultivation of a uniform courtesy, a willingness to do to others as we would wish them to do to us, would annihilate half the ills of life. The spirit of self-aggrandizement is the spirit of Satan; but the heart in which the love of Christ is cherished, will possess that charity which seeketh not her own. Such will heed the divine injunction, ‘Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others’ (Philippians 2:4).” Conflict and Courage, 47.

  • What error did Lot’s selfishness lead him to commit? Genesis 13:10–13.

note: “The most fertile region in all Palestine was the Jordan valley. There were cities also, wealthy and beautiful, inviting to profitable traffic in their crowded marts. Dazzled with visions of worldly gain, Lot overlooked the moral and spiritual evils that would be encountered there.…He ‘chose him all the plain of Jordan,’ and ‘pitched his tent toward Sodom.’ How little did he foresee the terrible results of that selfish choice! Lot chose Sodom for his home because he saw that there were advantages to be gained there from a worldly point of view. But after he had established himself, and grown rich in earthly treasure, he was convinced that he had made a mistake in not taking into consideration the moral standing of the community in which he was to make his home. The dwellers in Sodom were corrupt; vile conversation greeted his ears daily, and his righteous soul was vexed by the violence and crime he was powerless to prevent. His children were becoming like these wicked people, for association with them had perverted their morals. Taking all these things into consideration, the worldly riches he had gained seemed small and not worth the price he had paid for them.” Conflict and Courage, 48.

“My Covenant Is With Thee”

  • What promise did God make to Abraham? Genesis 12:2. (Compare Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:14–17; Genesis 15:1–6; Genesis 17:1–8.)

note: “The covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden, when after the Fall there was given a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. To all men this covenant offered pardon and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God’s law. Thus the patriarchs received the hope of salvation. This same covenant was renewed to Abraham in the promise, ‘In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.’ Genesis 22:18. This promise pointed to Christ. So Abraham understood it (see Galatians 3:8, 16), and he trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It was this faith that was accounted unto him for righteousness. The covenant with Abraham also maintained the authority of God’s law. The Lord appeared unto Abraham, and said, ‘I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.’ Genesis 17:1. The testimony of God concerning His faithful servant was, ‘Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.’ Genesis 26:5. And the Lord declared to him, ‘I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.’ Genesis 17:7.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 370.

  • How does the Bible reveal that the covenant God made with Abraham is the ‘new covenant’ which God wishes to make with us also? Galatians 3:8, 9, 14–16. (See Hebrews 6:13, 17, 18.)

note: “Though this covenant was made with Adam and renewed to Abraham, it could not be ratified until the death of Christ. It had existed by the promise of God since the first intimation of redemption had been given; it had been accepted by faith; yet when ratified by Christ, it is called a new covenant. The law of God was the basis of this covenant, which was simply an arrangement for bringing men again into harmony with the divine will, placing them where they could obey God’s law. Another compact—called in Scripture the ‘old’ covenant—was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the ‘second,’ or ‘new, covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. That the new covenant was valid in the days of Abraham is evident from the fact that it was then confirmed both by the promise and by the oath of God—the ‘two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie.’ Hebrews 6:18.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 370, 371.

“I Will Establish My Covenant With Him”

  • How did Abraham and Sarah seek to fulfill God’s promise for Him? Genesis 16:1–3.

note: “Abraham had accepted without question the promise of a son, but he did not wait for God to fulfil His word in His own time and way. A delay was permitted, to test his faith in the power of God; but he failed to endure the trial. Thinking it impossible that a child should be given her in her old age, Sarah suggested, as a plan by which the divine purpose might be fulfilled, that one of her handmaidens should be taken by Abraham as a secondary wife. Polygamy had become so widespread that it had ceased to be regarded as a sin, but it was no less a violation of the law of God, and was fatal to the sacredness and peace of the family relation. Abraham’s marriage with Hagar resulted in evil, not only to his own household, but to future generations.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 145.

  • How did the Lord emphasize to Abraham that Isaac, not Ishmael, was the son of the promise? Genesis 17:19–21.

note: “When Abraham was nearly one hundred years old, the promise of a son was repeated to him, with the assurance that the future heir should be the child of Sarah. But Abraham did not yet understand the promise. His mind at once turned to Ishmael, clinging to the belief that through him God’s gracious purposes were to be accomplished. In his affection for his son he exclaimed, ‘O that Ishmael might live before Thee!’ Again the promise was given, in words that could not be mistaken: ‘Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish My covenant with him.’ Yet God was not unmindful of the father’s prayer. ‘As for Ishmael,’ He said, ‘I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him,…and I will make him a great nation.’” Patriarchs and Prophets, 146.

“He Was Called The Friend Of God”

  • What may we learn of Abraham through his treatment of strangers? Genesis 18:2–5. (Compare Hebrews 13:2.)

note: “Three travelers are passing near. They make no appeal for hospitality, solicit no favor; but Abraham does not permit them to go on their way unrefreshed. He is a man full of years, a man of dignity and wealth, one highly honored, and accustomed to command; yet on seeing these strangers he ‘ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.’ Addressing the leader he said: ‘My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant’ (Genesis 18:2, 3). With his own hands he brought water that they might wash the dust of travel from their feet. He himself selected their food; while they were at rest under the cooling shade, Sarah his wife made ready for their entertainment, and Abraham stood respectfully beside them while they partook of his hospitality. This kindness he showed them simply as wayfarers, passing strangers, who might never come his way again.” Conflict and Courage, 50.

  • When the Lord revealed the mission of the angels to Abraham, how did he react? Genesis 18:23–32.

note: “With deep reverence and humility he urged his plea: ‘I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes.” There was no self-confidence, no boasting of his own righteousness. He did not claim favor on the ground of his obedience, or of the sacrifices he had made in doing God’s will. Himself a sinner, he pleaded in the sinner’s behalf. Such a spirit all who approach God should possess. Yet Abraham manifested the confidence of a child pleading with a loved father. He came close to the heavenly Messenger, and fervently urged his petition. Though Lot had become a dweller in Sodom, he did not partake in the iniquity of its inhabitants. Abraham thought that in that populous city there must be other worshipers of the true God. And in view of this he pleaded, ‘That be far from Thee, to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked:…that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ Abraham asked not once merely, but many times. Waxing bolder as his requests were granted, he continued until he gained the assurance that if even ten righteous persons could be found in it, the city would be spared. Love for perishing souls inspired Abraham’s prayer. While he loathed the sins of that corrupt city, he desired that the sinners might be saved. His deep interest for Sodom shows the anxiety that we should feel for the impenitent. We should cherish hatred of sin, but pity and love for the sinner.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 139–140.

“God Will Provide Himself A Lamb”

  • How was Abraham’s faith ultimately tested? Genesis 22:2.

note: “It was to impress Abraham’s mind with the reality of the gospel, as well as to test his faith, that God commanded him to slay his son. The agony which he endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption. No other test could have caused Abraham such torture of soul as did the offering of his son. God gave His Son to a death of agony and shame. The angels who witnessed the humiliation and soul anguish of the Son of God were not permitted to interpose, as in the case of Isaac. There was no voice to cry, ‘It is enough.’ To save the fallen race, the King of glory yielded up His life. What stronger proof can be given of the infinite compassion and love of God? ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ Romans 8:32.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 154.

  • What was Abraham’s response to God’s command and what was his reward? Genesis 22:15–18.

note: “Abraham had greatly desired to see the promised Saviour. He offered up the most earnest prayer that before his death he might behold the Messiah. And he saw Christ. A supernatural light was given him, and he acknowledged Christ’s divine character. He saw His day, and was glad. He was given a view of the divine sacrifice for sin. Of this sacrifice he had an illustration in his own experience. The command came to him, ‘Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest,…and offer him…for a burnt offering.’ Genesis 22:2. Upon the altar of sacrifice he laid the son of promise, the son in whom his hopes were centered. Then as he waited beside the altar with knife upraised to obey God, he heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me.’ Genesis 22:12. This terrible ordeal was imposed upon Abraham that he might see the day of Christ, and realize the great love of God for the world, so great that to raise it from its degradation, He gave His onlybegotten Son to a most shameful death. Abraham learned of God the greatest lesson ever given to mortal. His prayer that he might see Christ before he should die was answered. He saw Christ; he saw all that mortal can see, and live. By making an entire surrender, he was able to understand the vision of Christ, which had been given him. He was shown that in giving His only-begotten Son to save sinners from eternal ruin, God was making a greater and more wonderful sacrifice than ever man could make.” Desire of Ages, 468, 469.

Bible Study Guides – A Just Man And Perfect

April 15 – April 21, 2001

Memory Verse “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24.

Study Help: Maranatha, 65; Conflict and Courage, 28–31.


“Enoch, we read, walked with God three hundred years. That was a long time to be in communion with Him.…He communed with God because it was agreeable to him,…and he loved the society of God. Enoch was a marked character. Many look upon his life as something above what the generality of mortals can ever reach. But Enoch’s life and character…represent what the lives and characters of all must be, if like Enoch, they are subjects to be translated when Christ shall come. His life was what the life of every individual may be if he closely connects with God. We should remember that Enoch was surrounded with influences so depraved that God brought a flood of waters on the world to destroy its inhabitants for their corruption.” Conflict and Courage, 29.

“Without Shedding of Blood Is No Remission”

  • In what way did the Lord cover the nakedness brought about by Adam’s sin? Genesis 3:21. (See Proverbs 28:13 and Psalm 32:1–5.)

note: “The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. All the strength of their affections was given to their heavenly Father. A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair. This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence. Had they remained true to God it would ever have continued to enshroud them. But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering. This is what the transgressors of God’s law have done ever since the day of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They have sewed together fig leaves to cover the nakedness caused by transgression. They have worn the garments of their own devising, by works of their own they have tried to cover their sins, and make themselves acceptable with God. But this they can never do. Nothing can man devise to supply the place of his lost robe of innocence. No fig-leaf garment, no worldly citizen dress, can be worn by those who sit down with Christ and angels at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Only the covering which Christ Himself has provided can make us meet to appear in God’s presence. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310, 311.

  • What was the lesson taught by the deaths of the creatures whose skins covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve? John 1:29; 1 John 1:7.

note: “A system of sacrifices was then established, to keep before the fallen race that which the serpent made Eve disbelieve, that the penalty of disobedience is death. The transgression of God’s law made it necessary for Christ to die as a sacrifice; for only thus could He redeem man from the penalty of the broken law, and yet maintain the honor of the divine government. The sacrificial system was designed to teach man humility, in view of his fallen condition, and to lead him to repentance toward God and faith in the promised Redeemer for pardon of past transgressions. Had the law of God never been transgressed, there would have been no death, and hence no need of additional precepts to suit man’s fallen condition.” Signs of the Times, June 10, 1880.

“The Lord Had Respect Unto Abel And To His Offering”

  • How did Abel show his understanding of this truth and his faith in the coming Saviour? Genesis 4:4.

note: “Abel grasped the great principles of redemption. He saw himself a sinner, and he saw sin and its penalty, death, standing between his soul and communion with God. He brought the slain victim, the sacrificed life, thus acknowledging the claims of the law that had been transgressed. Through the shed blood he looked to the future sacrifice, Christ dying on the cross of Calvary; and trusting in the atonement that was there to be made, he had the witness that he was righteous, and his offering accepted.” Conflict and Courage, 24.

  • By contrast, what action did his brother Cain take? Genesis 4:3.

note: “His gift expressed no penitence for sin. He felt, as many now feel, that it would be an acknowledgement of weakness to follow the exact plan marked out by God, of trusting his salvation wholly to the atonement of the promised Saviour. He chose the course of selfdependence. He would come in his own merits. He would not bring the lamb, and mingle its blood with his offering, but would present his fruits, the products of his labor. He presented his offering as a favor done to God, through which he expected to secure the divine approval. Cain obeyed in building an altar, obeyed in bringing a sacrifice, but he rendered only a partial obedience. The essential part, the recognition of the need of a Redeemer, was left out.” Conflict and Courage, 25.

  • What was the essential difference between Cain and Abel? Hebrews 11:4.

note: “Cain and Abel represent two classes that will exist in the world till the close of time. One class avail themselves of the appointed sacrifice for sin; the other venture to depend upon their own merits; theirs is a sacrifice without the virtue of divine mediation, and thus it is not able to bring man into favor with God. It is only through the merits of Jesus that our transgressions can be pardoned.…It is claimed by some that the human race is in need, not of redemption, but of development—that it can refine, elevate, and regenerate itself. As Cain thought to secure the divine favor by an offering that lacked the blood of a sacrifice, so do these expect to exalt humanity to the divine standard, independent of the atonement. This history of Cain shows what must be the result. It shows what man will become apart from Christ. Humanity has no power to regenerate itself. It does not tend upward, toward the divine, but downward, toward the satanic. Christ is our only hope. ‘There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ ‘Neither is there salvation in any other’ (Acts 4:12).” Conflict and Courage, 25.

“Only Evil Continually”

  • To what state did the human race deteriorate? Genesis 6:5, 11, 12.

note: “In sparing the life of Cain the murderer, God gave the world an example of what would be the result of permitting the sinner to live to continue a course of unbridled iniquity. Through the influence of Cain’s teaching and example, multitudes of his descendants were led into sin, until ‘the wickedness of man was great in the earth’ and ‘every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.’ ‘The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.’ Genesis 6:5, 11. In mercy to the world, God blotted out its wicked inhabitants in Noah’s time. In mercy He destroyed the corrupt dwellers in Sodom. Through the deceptive power of Satan the workers of iniquity obtain sympathy and admiration, and are thus constantly leading others to rebellion. It was so in Cain’s and in Noah’s day, and in the time of Abraham and Lot; it is so in our time. It is in mercy to the universe that God will finally destroy the rejecters of His grace.” Great Controversy, 543.

  • In contrast to the prevailing evil, which people continued to live righteous lives? Genesis 5:24; Genesis 6:9.

note: “With the word of God in his hands, every human being, wherever his lot in life may be cast, may have such companionship as he shall choose. In its pages he may hold converse with the noblest and best of the human race, and may listen to the voice of the Eternal as He speaks with men.…He may dwell in this world in the atmosphere of heaven, imparting to earth’s sorrowing and tempted ones thoughts of hope and longings for holiness;…like him of old who walked with God, drawing nearer and nearer the threshold of the eternal world, until the portals shall open, and he shall enter there. He will find himself no stranger. The voices that will greet him are the voices of the holy ones, who, unseen, were on earth his companions—voices that here he learned to distinguish and to love. He who through the word of God has lived in fellowship with heaven, will find himself at home in heaven’s companionship.” Conflict and Courage, 31.

  • Does God take into account the circumstances into which people are born? Psalm 87:6.

note: “Consider Christ’s pity for man. He knows just how they were born. He knows just how they were surrounded in childhood. You don’t know what temptations came with their birth. You don’t know the conditions of their parents. Put away all judgment. Judgment belongs to the Son of God. He is the One who is to judge the world.” The Upward Look, 332.

“By Faith Enoch…”

  • What was the secret of Enoch’s walk with God? Hebrews 11:5, 6.

note: “When we learn to walk by faith and not by feeling, we shall have help from God just when we need it, and His peace will come into our hearts. It was this simple life of obedience and trust that Enoch lived. If we learn this lesson of simple trust, ours may be the testimony that he received, that he pleased God. In every phase of your character building you are to please God. This you may do; for Enoch pleased Him though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day.” Conflict and Courage, 31.

  • What glorious privilege was granted to Enoch? Hebrews 11:5, first part; Genesis 5:24, last part.

note: “Enoch had temptations as well as we. He was surrounded with society no more friendly to righteousness than is that which surrounds us. The atmosphere he breathed was tainted with sin and corruption, the same as ours; yet he lived a life of holiness. He was unsullied with the prevailing sins of the age in which he lived. So may we remain pure and uncorrupted. He was a representative of the saints who live amid the perils and corruptions of the last days. For his faithful obedience to God he was translated. So, also, the faithful, who are alive and remain, will be translated. They will be removed from a sinful and corrupt world to the pure joys of heaven. Our present work is to come out from the world and be separate. This is the only way we can walk with God, as did Enoch.” Conflict and Courage, 29.

“A Preacher Of Righteousness”

  • What was the work of witness that Noah was called to perform? 2 Peter 2:5.

note: “Before the Flood God sent Noah to warn the world, that the people might be led to repentance, and thus escape the threatened destruction. As the time of Christ’s second appearing draws near, the Lord sends His servants with a warning to the world to prepare for that great event. Multitudes have been living in transgression of God’s law, and now He in mercy calls them to obey its sacred precepts. All who will put away their sins by repentance toward God and faith in Christ are offered pardon. But many feel that it requires too great a sacrifice to put away sin. Because their life does not harmonize with the pure principles of God’s moral government, they reject His warnings and deny the authority of His law. Of the vast population of the earth before the Flood, only eight souls believed and obeyed God’s word through Noah. For a hundred and twenty years the preacher of righteousness warned the world of the coming destruction, but his message was rejected and despised. So it will be now.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 102.

  • What testimony is given of Noah’s life? Genesis 6:22.

note: “Those who are watching for the Lord, are purifying their souls by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they combine earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to co-operate with the divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls. These are the faithful and wise servants who give to the Lord’s household ‘their portion of meat in due season.’ Luke 12:42. They are declaring the truth that is now specially applicable. As Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses each declared the truth for his time, so will Christ’s servants now give the special warning for their generation.” Desire of Ages, 634.

“God Remembered Noah”

  • When the promised destruction engulfed the earth, what are we told concerning Noah? Genesis 8:1. (Compare Isaiah 43:2.)

note: “When the rain descended and the flood came, Noah and his family had entered the ark, and God had shut them in. Noah had faithfully warned the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, while they had mocked and derided him. And as the waters descended upon the earth, and one after another was drowning, they beheld that ark, of which they had made so much sport, riding safely upon the waters, preserving the faithful Noah and His family. So I saw that the people of God, who had faithfully warned the world of His coming wrath, would be delivered. God would not suffer the wicked to destroy those who were expecting translation and who would not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark. I saw that if the wicked were permitted to slay the saints, Satan and all his evil host, and all who hate God, would be gratified. And oh, what a triumph it would be for his satanic majesty to have power, in the last closing struggle, over those who had so long waited to behold Him whom they loved! Those who have mocked at the idea of the saints’ going up will witness the care of God for His people and behold their glorious deliverance.” Early Writings, 284.

  • What precious promises will those who walk with God rely on? Psalm 91:9, 10, 14; Psalm 27:5.

note: “God ever commends obedience. For their obedience Enoch was translated to heaven, and Noah was saved from the flood that deluged the earth. ‘Behold,’ writes the psalmist, ‘the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.’ ‘I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not; yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace.’” Signs of the Times, February 11, 1897.

Bible Study Guides – Yea, Hath God Said?

April 8 – April 14, 2001

Memory Verse “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62.


“It is not safe for us to linger to contemplate the advantages to be reaped through yielding to Satan’s suggestions. Sin means dishonor and disaster to every soul that indulges in it; but it is blinding and deceiving in its nature, and it will entice us with flattering presentations. If we venture on Satan’s ground, we have no assurance of protection from his power. So far as in us lies, we should close every avenue by which the tempter may find access to us.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 118

“It Was Very Good”

  • What was God’s purpose in creating mankind? Isaiah 43:7. (For ‘glory’ see Exodus 33:18, 19.)

note: “We need to consider both the nature of man and the purpose of God in creating him. We need to consider also the change in man’s condition through the coming in of a knowledge of evil, and God’s plan for still fulfilling His glorious purpose in the education of the human race. When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. ‘God created man in His own image’ (Genesis 1:27), and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image—the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator. All his faculties were capable of development; their capacity and vigor were continually to increase. Vast was the scope offered for their exercise, glorious the field opened to their research. The mysteries of the visible universe—the ‘wondrous works of Him which is perfect in knowledge’ (Job 37:16)—invited man’s study. Face-to-face, heartto-heart communion with his Maker was his high privilege. Had he remained loyal to God, all this would have been his forever. Throughout eternal ages he would have continued to gain new treasures of knowledge, to discover fresh springs of happiness, and to obtain clearer and yet clearer conceptions of the wisdom, the power, and the love of God. More and more fully would he have fulfilled the object of his creation, more and more fully have reflected the Creator’s glory.” Education, 14, 15.

  • What test of obedience did the Lord devise for Adam and Eve? Genesis 2:16, 17.

note: “To deprive man of the freedom of choice would be to rob him of his prerogative as an intelligent being, and make him a mere automaton. It is not God’s purpose to coerce the will. Man was created a free moral agent. Like the inhabitants of all other worlds, he must be subjected to the test of obedience; but he is never brought into such a position that yielding to evil becomes a matter of necessity. No temptation or trial is permitted to come to him which he is unable to resist. God made such ample provision that man need never have been defeated in the conflict with Satan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 331.

“The Woman Being Deceived”

  • With what words did Satan begin his temptation of Eve? Genesis 3:1.

note: “How artfully had Satan approached Eve in Eden! ‘Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ Genesis 3:1. Thus far the tempter’s words were truth; but in his manner of speaking them there was a disguised contempt for the words of God. There was a covert negative, a doubt of the divine truthfulness. Satan sought to instill into the mind of Eve the thought that God would not do as He had said; that the withholding of such beautiful fruit was a contradiction of His love and compassion for man.” Desire of Ages, 118.

  • How did Eve respond to this suggestion? Genesis 3:2, 3. (Compare Genesis 2:17.)

note: “Eve had overstated the words of God’s command. He had said to Adam and Eve, ‘But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ In Eve’s controversy with the serpent, she added the clause, ‘Neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.’ Here the subtlety of the serpent was seen. This statement of Eve gave him advantage, and he plucked the fruit, and placed it in her hand, and used her own words, ‘He hath said,’ ‘If ye touch it, ye shall die.’ ‘ ‘You see no harm comes to you from touching the fruit, neither will you receive any harm by eating it.’ Eve yielded to the lying sophistry of the devil in the form of a serpent. She ate the fruit, and realized no immediate harm. She then plucked the fruit for herself and for her husband.” Review and Herald, February 24, 1874.

“Ye Shall Not Surely Die”

  • What lie did Satan now tell? Genesis 3:4.

note: “The great original lie which he [Satan] told to Eve in Eden, ‘Ye shall not surely die,’ was the first sermon ever preached on the immortality of the soul. That sermon was crowned with success, and terrible results followed. He has brought minds to receive that sermon as truth, and ministers preach it, sing it, and pray it. After the Fall, Satan bade his angels make a special effort to inculcate the belief in man’s natural immortality; and having induced the people to receive this error, they were to lead them on to conclude that the sinner would live in eternal misery. Now the prince of darkness, working through his agents, represents God as a revengeful tyrant, declaring that He plunges into hell all those who do not please Him, and causes them ever to feel His wrath. A large class to whom the doctrine of eternal torment is revolting, are driven to the opposite error. They see that the Scriptures represent God as a being of love and compassion, and they cannot believe that He will consign His creatures to the fires of an eternally burning hell. But holding that the soul is naturally immortal, they see no alternative but to conclude that all mankind will finally be saved. Many regard the threatenings of the Bible as designed merely to frighten men into obedience, and not to be literally fulfilled. Thus the sinner can live in selfish pleasure, disregarding the requirements of God, and yet expect to be finally received into His favor.” The Faith I Live By, 178.

  • To whom alone does immortality naturally belong? 1 Timothy 6:13–16.

note: “The popular ministry cannot successfully resist spiritualism. They have nothing wherewith to shield their flocks from its baleful influence. Much of the sad result of spiritualism will rest upon ministers of this age; for they have trampled the truth under their feet, and in its stead have preferred fables. The sermon which Satan preached to Eve upon the immortality of the soul—‘Ye shall not surely die’—they have reiterated from the pulpit; and the people receive it as pure Bible truth. It is the foundation of spiritualism. The word of God nowhere teaches that the soul of man is immortal. Immortality is an attribute of God only. 1 Timothy 6:16: ‘Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.’ God’s word, rightly understood and applied, is a safeguard against spiritualism. An eternally burning hell preached from the pulpit, and kept before the people, does injustice to the benevolent character of God. It presents Him as the veriest tyrant in the universe. This widespread dogma has turned thousands to universalism, infidelity, and atheism. The word of God is plain. It is a straight chain of truth, and will prove an anchor to those who are willing to receive it, even if they have to sacrifice their cherished fables. It will save them from the terrible delusions of these perilous times.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 344, 345.

“Ye Shall Be As Gods”

  • What further lie did Satan then add? Genesis 3:5.

note: The word translated “gods” in this verse is “Elohim,” exactly the same word translated as “God” elsewhere in these opening chapters of Genesis. “Satan beguiles men now as he beguiled Eve in Eden by flattery, by kindling a desire to obtain forbidden knowledge, by exciting ambition for self-exaltation. It was cherishing these evils that caused his fall, and through them he aims to compass the ruin of men. ‘Ye shall be as gods,’ he declares, ‘knowing good and evil.’ Genesis 3:5. Spiritualism teaches ‘that man is the creature of progression; that it is his destiny from his birth to progress, even to eternity, toward the Godhead.’ And again: ‘Each mind will judge itself and not another.’ ‘The judgement will be right, because it is the judgement of self.…The throne is within you.’ Said a spiritualistic teacher, as the ‘spiritual consciousness’ awoke within him: ‘My fellow men, all were unfallen demigods.’ And another declares: ‘Any just and perfect being is Christ.’ Thus, in place of the righteousness and perfection of the infinite God, the true object of adoration; in place of the perfect righteousness of His law, the true standard of human attainment, Satan has substituted the sinful, erring nature of man himself as the only object of adoration, the only rule of judgement, or standard of character. This is progress, not upward, but downward.” Great Controversy, 554, 555.

  • What picture are we given of the all-pervasive influence of spiritualism in the last days? Revelation 16:13, 14.

note: “Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: ‘Ye shall not surely die.’ ‘In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ Genesis 3:4, 5. Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: ‘I saw three unclean spirits like frogs;…they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.’ Revelation 16:13, 14. Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God.” Great Controversy, 561.

“The Woman Being Deceived”

  • What difference does Paul point out between the sin of Adam and the sin of Eve? 1 Timothy 2:14.

note: “God has given man precious promises upon conditions of faith and obedience; but they are not to sustain him in any rash act. If men needlessly place themselves in peril, and go where God does not require them to go, and self-confidently expose themselves to danger, disregarding the dictates of reason, God will not work a miracle to relieve them. He will not send His angels to preserve any from being burned if they choose to place themselves in the fire. Adam was not deceived by the serpent, as was Eve, and it was inexcusable in Adam to rashly transgress God’s positive command. Adam was presumptuous because his wife had sinned. He could not see what would become of Eve. He was sad, troubled, and tempted. He listened to Eve’s recital of the words of the serpent, and his constancy and integrity began to waver. Doubts arose in his mind in regard to whether God did mean just as He said. He rashly ate the tempting fruit.” Review and Herald, April 1, 1875.

  1. What was the consequence for the whole human race of Adam’s sin? Romans 5:12.

note: “God has seen fit plainly to present in His holy word the consequences of the sin of Adam, which opened the flood-gates of woe upon our world, that men might be warned not to do as did Adam. The penalty of sin is death; and to listen to the deceitful temptations of Satan, to venture in the path of transgression, is to imperil the soul. We are not to follow the words of men, however wise they may appear to be, unless their testimony is in harmony with a ‘thus saith the Lord.’ 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. It is never safe for us to enter into controversy with Satan, or to linger to contemplate the advantages to be reaped by yielding to his suggestions. Sin is blinding and deceiving in its nature. Disobedience to God’s commandments is too terrible to be contemplated for a moment. Sin means dishonor and disaster to every soul that indulges in transgression of God’s holy law, which is immutable.” Bible Echo, December 17, 1894.

“Cursed Is The Ground For Thy Sake”

  • What consequence for the natural world followed Adam’s sin? Genesis 3:17–19.

note: “In drooping flower and falling leaf Adam and his companion witnessed the first signs of decay. Vividly was brought to their minds the stern fact that every living thing must die. Even the air, upon which their life depended, bore the seeds of death. Continually they were reminded also of their lost dominion. Among the lower creatures Adam had stood as king, and so long as he remained loyal to God, all nature acknowledged his rule; but when he transgressed, this dominion was forfeited. The spirit of rebellion, to which he himself had given entrance, extended throughout the animal creation. Thus not only the life of man, but the nature of the beasts, the trees of the forest, the grass of the field, the very air he breathed, all told the sad lesson of the knowledge of evil.” Education, 26.

  • What precious hope was given to Adam and Eve through God’s words to Satan? Genesis 3:15.

note: “When the curse was pronounced upon the race, in connection with the curse there was given the promise of pardon through a Saviour who was to come. This promise was the star of hope that lighted up the gloom, that, like the pall of death, hung over the future of man, and of the world which was given him as his dominion. The gospel was first preached to Adam and Eve in Eden. They sincerely repented of their guilt, believed the promise of God, and were saved from utter ruin.” Signs of the Times, April 22, 1886.

Bible Study Guides – “War In Heaven”

April 1 – April 7, 2001 

Memory Verse “And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.” Revelation 12:7, 8.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 33–43; Great Controversy, 492– 500.


“So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfil the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies. But a change came over this happy state. There was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, ‘son of the morning,’ was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

‘It Was Very Good’

  • How is God’s creation described? Genesis 1:31. (Compare Job 38: 4–7; Psalm 104:24; Isaiah 40:26.)

note: “The great Jehovah had laid the foundations of the earth; He had dressed the whole world in the garb of beauty and had filled it with things useful to man; He had created all the wonders of the land and of the sea. In six days the great work of creation had been accomplished. And God ‘rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.’ God looked with satisfaction upon the work of His hands. All was perfect, worthy of its divine Author, and He rested, not as one weary, but as well pleased with the fruits of His wisdom and goodness and the manifestations of His glory. After resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of rest for man. Following the example of the Creator, man was to rest upon this sacred day, that as he should look upon the heavens and the earth, he might reflect upon God’s great work of creation; and that as he should behold the evidences of God’s wisdom and goodness, his heart might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 47.

  • How was the creation of the one we now know as Satan described? Ezekiel 28:15.

note: “Evil originated with Lucifer, who rebelled against the government of God. Before his fall he was a covering cherub, distinguished by his excellence. God made him good and beautiful, as near as possible like Himself. Of him it is written, ‘Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.’” Review and Herald, September 24, 1901.

“Till Iniquity Was Found In Thee”

  • What are we told about the trend of Lucifer’s thinking while he was in heaven? Isaiah 14:13, 14.

note: “Lucifer had said, ‘I will be like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14:12, 14); and the desire for self-exaltation had brought strife into the heavenly courts, and had banished a multitude of the hosts of God. Had Lucifer really desired to be like the Most High, he would never have deserted his appointed place in heaven; for the spirit of the Most High is manifested in unselfish ministry. Lucifer desired God’s power, but not His character. He sought for himself the highest place, and every being who is actuated by his spirit will do the same. Thus alienation, discord, and strife will be inevitable. Dominion becomes the prize of the strongest. The kingdom of Satan is a kingdom of force; every individual regards every other as an obstacle in the way of his own advancement, or a steppingstone on which he himself may climb to a higher place.” Desire of Ages, 435.

  • What effect did Lucifer’s brightness have upon him? Ezekiel 28:17.

note: “Lucifer might have remained in favor with God, beloved and honored by all the angelic host, exercising his noble powers to bless others and to glorify his Maker. But, says the prophet, ‘Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.’ Verse 17. Little by little, Lucifer came to indulge a desire for self-exaltation.…Pride in his own glory nourished the desire for supremacy. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as the gift of God and called forth no gratitude to the Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation, and aspired to be equal with God. He was beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host. Angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all.” Great Controversy, 494–495.

“And His Tail Drew The Third Part of the Stars of Heaven”

  • What result did Lucifer’s desire for self-exaltation have on the other heavenly beings? Revelation 12:7.

note: “Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. Working with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealing his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to excite dissatisfaction concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that they imposed an unnecessary restraint. Since their natures were holy, he urged that the angels should obey the dictates of their own will. He sought to create sympathy for himself by representing that God had dealt unjustly with him in bestowing supreme honor upon Christ. He claimed that in aspiring to greater power and honor he was not aiming at self-exaltation, but was seeking to secure liberty for all the inhabitants of heaven, that by this means they might attain to a higher state of existence.” Great Controversy, 495.

  • What was the outcome of the war that resulted? Revelation 12:8.

note: “Satan grew bold in his rebellion, and expressed his contempt of the Creator’s law. This Satan could not bear. He claimed that angels needed no law; but should be left free to follow their own will, which would ever guide them right; that law was a restriction of their liberty, and that to abolish law was one great object of his standing as he did. The condition of the angels he thought needed improvement. Not so the mind of God, who had made laws and exalted them equal to Himself. The happiness of the angelic host consisted in their perfect obedience to law. Each had his special work assigned him; and until Satan rebelled, there had been perfect order and harmonious action in Heaven. Then there was war in Heaven. The Son of God, the Prince of Heaven, and His loyal angels, engaged in conflict with the arch rebel and those who united with him. The Son of God and true, loyal angels prevailed; and Satan and his sympathizers were expelled from Heaven. All the heavenly host acknowledged and adored the God of justice. Not a taint of rebellion was left in Heaven. All was again peaceful and harmonious as before.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 22.

“He Was Cast Out Into The Earth”

  • When Satan and those who followed him were defeated, to where did God banish him? Revelation 12:9. (Compare Isaiah 14:12.)

note: “Even when he was cast out of heaven. Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since only the service of love can be acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven and of the worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted out of existence, some would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages, he must more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings, and that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might be forever placed beyond all question. Satan’s rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages—a perpetual testimony to the nature of sin and its terrible results. The working out of Satan’s rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God’s government is bound up the well-being of all the creatures He has made. Thus the history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy beings, to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin, and suffering its penalty.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 42, 43.

  • Where and in what guise did Satan next appear? Genesis 3:1. (Compare Revelation 12:9.)

note: “Satanic agencies are clothing false theories in an attractive garb, even as Satan in the Garden of Eden concealed his identity from our first parents by speaking through the serpent. These agencies are instilling into human minds that which in reality is deadly error. The hypnotic influence of Satan will rest upon those who turn from the plain word of God to pleasing fables. It is those who have had the most light that Satan most assiduously seeks to ensnare. He knows that if he can deceive them, they will, under his control, clothe sin with garments of righteousness, and lead many astray.” Maranatha, 59.

“He Is A Liar”

  • What title did Jesus give to Satan? John 8:44.

note: “After his defection in heaven, the Lord declares of Satan that he abode not in the truth. After his sin, he became a rebel, an avowed antagonist of God, and for the purpose of working out his rebellion, he established an infernal empire, and unfurled the standard of rebellion, rallying around him the powers of evil. Satan worked upon such principles as would conform those who sympathized with him to his own corrupt standard, and would assimilate them with his own Satanic nature. It was his determined purpose to efface from man the image of God, and stamp upon the souls of his subjects his own image and superscription. He employed in his work the most deceptive methods, and was successful in leading men to co-operate with him in rebellion against God. Christ gives to him the title of ‘the father of lies,’ ‘the accuser of the brethren,’ ‘a murderer from the beginning.’ By his bewitching power he instilled into man the same spirit of opposition and hatred of God as he himself had, and set up his throne as the rallying point for the confederacy of wickedness.” Signs of the Times, June 13, 1895.

  • What two lies formed the basis of his temptation of Eve? Genesis 3:4, 5.

note: “Here the father of lies made his assertion in direct contradiction to the expressed word of God. Satan assured Eve that she was created immortal, and that there was no possibility of her dying. He told her that God knew that if she and her husband should eat of the tree of knowledge, their understanding would be enlightened, expanded, and ennobled, making them equal with Himself.” Confrontation, 13. “Satan, who is the father of lies, deceived Adam…telling him that he need not obey God, that he would not die if he transgressed the law. But Adam fell, and by his sin he opened the floodgates of woe upon our world.” Evangelism, 598.

  • What are we told will be the fate of liars? Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15. (Compare 1 John 4:20; 1 John 2:4.)

note: “Falsehood and deception of every cast is sin against the God of truth and verity. The word of God is plain upon these points. Ye shall not ‘deal falsely, neither lie one to another.’ ‘All liars shall have their part in the lake, which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.’ God is a God of sincerity and truth. The word of God is a book of truth. Jesus is a faithful and true witness. The church is the witness and ground of the truth. All the precepts of the Most High are true and righteous altogether. How, then, must prevarication and any exaggeration or deception appear in His sight?” Testimonies, vol. 4, 336.

“Never Shalt Thou Be Any More”

  • How are we shown that Satan’s fall from heaven did not change his hatred against God? Revelation 12:13.

note: “This great change of position had not increased his love for God, nor for His wise and just law. When Satan became fully convinced that there was no possibility of his being reinstated in the favor of God, he manifested his malice with increased hatred and fiery vehemence.” The Story of Redemption, 27.

  • When the great controversy is ended, what has God promised will be the fate of Satan? Ezekiel 28:19.

note: “The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived. After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is still to live and suffer on. In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch—Satan the root, his followers the branches. The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah. Satan’s work of ruin is forever ended.” Great Controversy, 673.

Food for Life – Millet Pancakes

“The present enfeebled condition of the human family was presented before me. Every generation has been growing weaker, and disease of every form afflicts the race. Thousands of poor mortals with deformed, sickly bodies, shattered nerves, and gloomy minds are dragging out a miserable existence. Satan’s power upon the human family increases. If the Lord should not soon come and destroy his power, the earth would erelong be depopulated.

“I was shown that Satan’s power is especially exercised upon the people of God. Many were presented before me in a doubting despairing condition. The infirmities of the body affect the mind. A cunning and powerful enemy attends our steps, and employs his strength and skill in trying to turn us out of the right way. And it is too often the case that the people of God are not on their watch, therefore are ignorant of his devices. He works by means which will best conceal himself from view, and he often gains his object.

“Man came from the hand of his Creator perfect in organization and beautiful in form. The fact that he has for six thousand years withstood the ever-increasing weight of disease and crime is conclusive proof of the power of endurance with which he was first endowed. And although the antediluvians generally gave themselves up to sin without restraint, it was more than two thousand years before the violation of natural law was sensibly felt. Had Adam originally possessed no greater physical power than men now have, the race would ere this have become extinct.

“Through the successive generations since the Fall, the tendency has been continually downward. Disease has been transmitted from parents to children, generation after generation. Even infants in the cradle suffer from afflictions caused by the sins of their parents.…

“The violation of physical law, with its consequent suffering and premature death, has so long prevailed that these results are regarded as the appointed lot of humanity; but God did not create the race in such a feeble condition. This state of things is not the work of Providence, but of man. It has been brought about by wrong habits—by violating the laws that God has made to govern man’s existence. A continual transgression of nature’s laws is a continual transgression of the law of God. Had men always been obedient to the law of the Ten Commandments, carrying out in their lives the principles of those precepts, the curse of disease now flooding the world would not exist.

“When men take any course which needlessly expends their vitality or beclouds their intellect, they sin against God; they do not glorify Him in their body and spirit, which are His. Yet despite the insult which man has offered Him, God’s love is still extended to the race, and He permits light to shine, enabling man to see that in order to live a perfect life he must obey the natural laws which govern his being. How important, then, that man should walk in this light, exercising all his powers, both of body and mind, to the glory of God!” Counsels on Health, 18–20.

Recipe – Millet Pancakes

Place in Blender:

2-1/2 cups distilled water

½ teaspoon sea salt

1-1/2 cups tofu

1/3 cup Fruit Source Granules

1-1/2 cups millet flour or sweetening of your choice

Let stand 10 minutes. Pour on non-stick skillet. Can be used as crepesand filled. Variation: Use half oat flour or cornmeal.

Children’s Story – God Made Me Too

When John brought out his blue shirt to wear, it was much too small for him.

“Oh, my,” said Mother, “see how much you have grown!”

‘Yes,” laughed John; “this shirt won’t do at all.”

“How do I grow, Mother?” he wanted to know.

“God planned our bodies,” said Mother. “He plans for boys and girls to grow.”

“Suppose I keep on growing until I’m taller than this house?”

“You won’t,” laughed Mother. “You’ll grow to be just right and then you won’t grow anymore.”

“I wonder about a lot of things about me,” said John. “I wonder how my ears can hear and my eyes can see. Did God plan that too?”

“Yes, God gave us eyes to see and ears to hear. He made us so we can feel and talk. Now find another shirt, John, and run out to play.”

When John ran out on the porch he found the baby kittens playing there.

“The kittens are growing too,” he said to himself. “Soon they will be big like their mother.”

He picked up the little yellow and white kitten and held it against his cheek. Its silky fur felt soft and tickly, and it purred a happy song right in his ear.

“I’m glad that I can see and hear and feel,” thought John; “I’m glad God made me as I am. I like being me.”

In the Bible, King David wrote a song because he was so happy, and he sang this song to Jesus. . .”I will praise Thee; for I am. . .wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14.

Restoring the Temple – Nutrition, Eat Well and Live Well, Part I

How many times have you filled your car’s tank with premium gasoline (perhaps only a memory now, with today’s gas prices) or carefully fertilized your houseplants? We understand that the machine is only as good as the fuel it was given. You would never put fertilizer in your gas tank, or pour gasoline over your houseplants. You know what is best—and worst—for running each ‘machine,’ whether it is mechanical or natural. Yet when it comes to the human body, we treat food as merely something to fill our bellies and please the palate. When improper substances are added to the tank the machine breaks down. Anyone can understand the logic, yet it wasn’t until 1988 that the Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released the Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health, which was the government’s first formal recognition of the role of diet in disease. Because the study of the body has never been emphasized in most schools, the vast majority does not give this delicate machinery a second thought. Until it breaks down.

While Greek and Latin, which are seldom of any advantage, are made a study by many, physiology [the study of how the human body works] and hygiene are barely touched upon. The study to which to give thought is that which concerns natural life, a knowledge of oneself….It is the house in which we live that we need to preserve, that we may do honor to God who has redeemed us. We need to know how to preserve the living machinery, that our soul, body, and spirit may be consecrated to his service. As rational beings we are deplorably ignorant of the body and its requirements….This living machinery should be understood. Every part of its wonderful mechanism should be carefully studied. Physical life cannot be treated in a haphazard manner. Awaken to your responsibilities. Healthful Living, 13,14

A healthy diet provides energy to every cell in our bodies; supplies essential nutrients that the body is unable to make itself; and provides the raw materials for cell maintenance and growth. If you are missing one or more essential nutrients you are malnourished. It is possible for the overnourished individual to be malnourished,1 which is the profile of the common human, particularly in the Western civilizations.

For hundreds of years isolated groups of people, such as American Indians and the poorer classes, did not commonly have diseases such as heart disease and cancers. Those were considered the rich man’s diseases, for only the wealthier classes could afford to have meats, pastries, and other rich foods appear regularly on their table. When technological progress allowed even the poorest of people access to rich and refined foods, the incidence of heart disease skyrocketed.

According to the American Cancer Society, one third of cancer deaths are related to poor nutrition.2 Many medical practitioners believe the numbers to be far higher. The annual cost of cancer in the United States alone amounts to $107 billion.3 Coronary artery disease results from reduced blood supply to the heart. It is known that diet is the major factor in preventing and treating heart disease, yet more than half of Americans have cholesterol levels above the recommended maximum of 200mg/dL. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer and cost the United States $286.5 billion in 1999.4

What foods contain the nutrients essential for our growth? Not surprisingly, the perfect diet was given to us not by a government agency in the 20th century, but by God to our first parents.

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Genesis 1:29

Through God’s Eternal Truth, we know that fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains provide all the fuel and nutrients our bodies require for health and vitality. Ellen White also comments on this:

Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet. Ministry of Healing 296

At least three-quarters of Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.5 The average Western diet consists of meat, dairy, and highly refined foods such as white bread, and most bakery products. Vegetables and whole grains appear as afterthoughts in small portions on the plate, if they appear at all.

But doesn’t my bowl of Sugar Bombs that I eat each morning contain 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals? The label also says it contains wheat, isn’t that good for me? Let’s examine that for a moment. The little wheat kernel, packed full of nutrition, takes a trip from the farm to the mill where it is processed into soft white flour. In doing this, the parts that contain the majority of the vitamins and minerals and all the fiber—the germ and the bran—are removed. Often, these nutritious parts are sent back out to the farm where it is fed to livestock. Then, the manufacturers add a selection of cheap vitamins (that the body cannot easily absorb) so that they can now label their product as enriched. Does this sound like the height of nutrition to you?

Although many choose to take supplements, vitamins and minerals are best absorbed from food and are naturally balanced in food sources.6 These foods are best eaten as close as possible to how they came from nature. What could be better than a fresh juicy peach on a warm summer day or a bowl of steamed vegetable stir-fry to enliven a winter’s afternoon? How many of our diseases could be prevented by eating for nutrition instead of merely satisfying the taste buds? There’s a saying familiar to most dieters: a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. Although not as catchy, it could be paraphrased into: a moment on the lips, a lifetime of paying for the damage.

Nutrients are required for life and health. Junk food and refined foods are poor sources of nutrition and can contribute to disease. Nature provides the ideal sources of fuel in the form of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Let us awaken to our responsibilites.

Do You Really Love Jesus? Part I

Do you love Jesus? Do you really love Jesus? I hope that you do, and I hope I do. I want to study with you one very important aspect of having love for Jesus which, if we understand it, will bring us into much more unity.

In Revelation 12:17 it says, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Is the devil extra mad at just those who keep the Ten Commandments? No. It is good to keep the Ten Commandments, but I tell you, there is more to it than just keeping the seventh–day Sabbath and the other nine commandments. It says, “…and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Some people, even those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists and claim to believe in Ellen White, say that this verse is not a prophecy about Ellen White and the Spirit of Prophecy. Even though Revelation 19:10 says the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, some still deny this. If they do claim to believe in Ellen White, then let us see what Ellen White has to say about it.

As a true prophet, she does not go around bragging, claiming that this verse in Revelation is about her. True prophets do not brag. That is one of the marks of her being a true prophet. But consider this quote in Testimonies to Ministers, 114, “We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” She is referring to Revelation 12:17. But she continues, “We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the Spirit of Prophecy.” So if you are going to believe in Ellen White, then you are going to believe that Revelation 12:17 is about the Spirit of Prophecy.

In Revelation 19:10 and Revelation 22:8, 9, John the Revelator starts to worship the angel, and the angel says, “No, worship God. I am thy fellowservant and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus and thy brethren the prophets.”

If you compare those verses, one verse puts in the testimony of Jesus and the other verse puts in the prophet, the testimony of Jesus and the prophets. That is all the prophets, of course, not just Ellen White, but other Bible prophets as well, constitute the testimony of Jesus Christ.

“Our work is to proclaim the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Selected Messages, book 2, 116. What is our work? It is to preach the law to the world, the seventh–day Sabbath, the Ten Commandments, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of Prophecy.

Two great errors of doctrine that are mentioned in The Great Controversy, 588 are the natural immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness. But there are really three fundamental subjects, according to Mrs. White, which are very important in the end time.

“The subjects of the Sabbath, the nature of man, and the testimony of Jesus are the great and important truths to be understood; these will prove as an anchor to hold God’s people in these perilous times.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 300.

What is important according to this quote? The Spirit of Prophecy, the testimony of Jesus, is very important. It is right up there with the Sabbath and the state of the dead.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5, 6.

If you have read the New Testament, you know what Jesus said John the Baptist was the Elias which was to come. In Luke 1:17 it even quotes from Malachi 4:6, “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.” So John the Baptist was a fulfillment of this Elijah prophecy. But it was not only John the Baptist who was to fulfill this prophecy, because the great and dreadful day of the Lord is primarily, throughout the Scriptures, referring to the Second Advent.

Elijah, the prophet before the Second Advent, was also to fulfill this prophecy of Malachi 4:5, 6. Once again Ellen White did not brag; never once did she say, “I am the Elijah prophet.” In fact, she never even said she was a prophet. This alone is pretty strong evidence, in and of itself, that she was a true prophet.

She not only knew her mission as a prophet; she knew her mission as a fulfillment of the Elijah prophecy. “To claim to be a prophetess is something that I have never done. If others call me by that name, I have no controversy with them.” “Others have called me a prophetess, but I have never assumed that title. [Do you see the humility?] I have not felt that it was my duty thus to designate myself.… [Now read carefully.] My work includes much more than this name signifies. …My commission embraces the work of a prophet. …It embraces much more than the minds of those who have been sowing the seeds of unbelief can comprehend.” “I know that many have called me a prophet, but I have made no claim to this title. …My work includes much more than the word ‘prophet’ signifies.” Selected Messages, book 1, 34, 36, 32.

Why is this important? What significance is this in relation to the Elijah prophecy? Well, in Luke 7:26, Jesus said, referring to John the Baptist, the second Elijah, “…what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.” This is the very same phrase that is referred to of Ellen White, “Much more than a prophet.”

John the Baptist was the second Elijah who was sent before the coming of the first advent of the Lord to prepare the way for the people to be ready. Scriptures regarding that may be found in Luke 1; Luke 3; Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3, and John 1:23. John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way of the Lord and make straight the path.

Well, Ellen White, the third Elijah, was sent to prepare people for the Second Coming of Christ. “…the very means that God has chosen to fit up a people to stand in the day of the Lord.” Selected Messages, book. 1, 45. So she is what? preparing people to stand in the day of the Lord.

It is true that Jesus said of John the Baptist, “…Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.” Matthew 11:11. Of course, that refers to greater in mission and message. We are all sinners; we are all equal through the cross, in that sense, but John had a greater mission and message than any among those born of women.

However, when Jesus said that, was Ellen White yet born? No, she had not yet been born. Notice what God said to Ellen White about her mission and message: “Dedicate yourself to the highest work ever committed to mortals.” Selected Messages, book 1, 39. Would that be higher than John the Baptist? Yes, it would.

Another way we know that Ellen White is the third Elijah is because the second Elijah came in fulfillment of the time prophecy of Daniel 8 and 9. 457 B.C. down to 27 A.D. is when John the Baptist came on the scene to prepare the way for the Messiah. Well, take the same time prophecy and 2300 days, 457 B.C. down to 1844, is when Ellen White received her prophetic mission shortly, after the disappointment.

But, some may say, Ellen White is not the Elijah prophet because she herself said, “Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears [Male or female? Male], men may say, ‘You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.’” Selected Messages, book 1, 412.

So they say that she herself said that the Elijah prophet was yet in the future and that this prophet would be male in gender. However, if you examine the context of that statement, she was actually referring to the situation in the Minneapolis General Conference, 1888, the problems there and the people who were rejecting the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy. (See Ibid., 406–416.)

She was modestly referring to herself by saying, “is to come” (future tense) and “he” (male gender), she was speaking so that she was not bragging or saying, “I am the Elijah prophet, you are rejecting me.” Really, it was not Ellen White herself, it was the message from God, the testimony of Jesus that they were rejecting. (Also see Testimonies to Ministers,Appendix Notes for page 415, 534, 535.)

The male pronoun, “he,” also is used no doubt because the original Elijah the Tishbite was a male, as was John the Baptist. God even called two men before Ellen White, remember? But the apostle Paul said something similar in 2 Corinthians 12. He is addressing the very same subject—people who were undermining his apostolic and prophetic authority—and he is defending his authority as modestly as he can. (See also 2 Corinthians 9, 10, 11.)

Paul says, “I knew a man, . . . And I knew such a man, . . . How that he was caught up into paradise.” 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. Who was he talking about? Himself! The same type of situation as we just discussed with Mrs. White. Consider also the story of John the Baptist. The people came and asked him, “Are you Elijah?” What did he say? “I am not.” If John the Baptist can say, “I am not the Elijah prophet” and still be the Elijah prophet, surely Ellen the Adventist can say, “When he comes,” and still be the Elijah prophet.

Some people say that Ellen White was not really the Elijah prophet; but the Elijah prophet really includes all of God’s people at the end of time who are faithful and give the Three Angels’ Messages. Have you ever heard that? They claim that is the fulfillment of the Elijah prophet in Malachi 4. There are several Spirit of Prophecy quotes that seem to refer to that, also. But what you need to notice is the difference between the word “prophet” and the word “message.” We are all to help spread the Elijah message. We can all be Elijah messengers. None of us are the Elijah prophet. Ellen White was the Elijah prophet. (See Testimonies, vol. 3, 62; Prophets and Kings, 142, 186; Gospel Workers, 150; Early Writings, 233.)

We should look at Matthew 17:10, 11 also. Jesus here is referring to John the Baptist and the disciples are asking why the scribes say that Elias, or Elijah, must first come. “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” Matthew 17:11.

Why did all things need to be restored? How long had it been since there was a living prophet? It had been about 400 years since Malachi, the last living prophet. The devil had had 400 years to twist the truth and deceive people more and more, so the Elijah prophet came to restore all things after a long period of no living prophet.

What about Ellen White? Was there a long period of no living prophet when Ellen White came? It was even longer. The world had gone through the Dark Ages. Ellen White came to restore all things. When you read the Spirit of Prophecy, you find that all of the things modern Christianity has twisted up are straightened out in the Spirit of Prophecy. Praise God, all things have been restored!

However, the next verse is even more important. “But I say unto you, That Elias [or Elijah] is come already, and they knew him [her] not.” Matthew 17:12. The same thing has happened; the very same thing, sad but true. That is another identification of a true prophet. Down through history, true prophets have not been readily accepted. They were stoned to death and rejected!

Let us look now at the Third Angel’s Message. What does that message include? The mark of the beast and the commandments of God (See Revelation 14:12.), but it is not just the Sabbath commandment, the commandments are plural. As we have already read in Revelation 12:17, the remnant not only keep the commandments but they have the testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of Prophecy.

There are many Sabbath–keeping religions. Some religions believe the truth on the state of the dead. Neither one of those things make them Seventh-day Adventists or makes them ready for the Second Coming of Christ—as good as they are, in and of themselves.

Belonging to the General Conference does not make you a Seventh-day Adventist, either. The 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8:14, the sanctuary, the cleansing of the sanctuary, the Three Angels’ Messages and the Spirit of Prophecy are the things that are unique to the Seventh-day Adventist message. They are very important if we are going to be prepared for the Second Advent of Christ.

That does not just mean you and me; it includes preparing others during the Loud Cry to be ready. “As the end draws near and the work of giving the last warning to the world extends [What would that be, giving the last warning to the world,—”Earth’s Final Warning,” the Loud Cry? ], it becomes more important for those who accept present truth [What would that be? the Three Angels’ Messages.] to have a clear understanding of the nature and influence of the Testimonies, which God in His providence has linked with the work of the Third Angel’s Message from its very rise.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 654. So what is linked to the Third Angel’s Message? The Testimonies. And it is more important, as the Loud Cry goes out, that people understand the nature and influence of the Testimonies.

“…the Testimonies have their place in the Third Angel’s Message.” The Ellen G. White, 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 684. “We had regarded the testimonies as interwoven with the Third Angel’s Message.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 52.

In case it is not clear yet, look at this quote: “The proclamation of the Third Angel’s Message, the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus, is the burden of our work. The message is to be proclaimed with a loud cry, and is to go to the whole world.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 75. I do not know if it could get any clearer. Those giving the true Loud Cry are not only going to be presenting the Sabbath and the state of the dead, but they are going to be defending the Spirit of Prophecy.

Some think they are part of the Loud Cry. “These persons are disposed to conceal the fact that in connection [Notice this again.] with the work of the Third Angel’s Message the Lord through the Spirit of Prophecy has been communicating to His people a knowledge of His will. They think that the truth will be received more readily if this fact is not made prominent. [Have you ever heard that? Do not bring the Spirit of Prophecy out to these non-Adventists; just read the Bible to them; just quote the Bible.] But this is mere human reasoning.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 808.

Let us look at the seriousness of the rejection of the Spirit of Prophecy, which is rampant among professed Seventh-day Adventists. I am sad to say that this is true everywhere I turn.

Many will profess to be a Seventh-day Adventist, profess to believe in the Spirit of Prophecy and to love Jesus. But do they really love Jesus, if they reject the Spirit of Prophecy and the Spirit of Prophecy is the testimony of Jesus? “…the Lord came to me in the night season and spoke precious words of encouragement concerning my work. . . . With regard to those who have turned from the light sent to them, He said: ‘In slighting and rejecting the testimony that I have given you to bear, it is not you, but Me, your Lord, that they have slighted.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 688.

Who are they slighting? Jesus! It is not the testimony of Ellen White; it is the testimony of Jesus. They do not love Jesus as much as they say they do. Jesus said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8.

“There can only be two classes. Each party is distinctly stamped, either with the seal of the living God, or with the mark of the beast.” Last Day Events, 215. In the end, you are either going to receive the seal of God or the mark of the beast. Many people are not only losing their salvation now, but many who are Saturday–keepers are going to lose their salvation and receive the mark of the beast because they have rejected the Spirit of Prophecy. They will not keep Sunday as the Sabbath, yet they will still receive the mark of the beast.

“Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 213. If you are keeping Sunday, are you professing to keep the Sabbath? No, so there are some who will be keeping Saturday, professing to keep the Sabbath, who will not be sealed, and they will receive the mark of the beast.

“When you find men questioning the testimonies, finding fault with them, and seeking to draw away the people from their influence, be assured that God is not at work through them. It is another spirit. . . . they find fault, and condemn the very means that God has chosen to fit up a people to stand in the day of the Lord.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 45. If we are not prepared to stand in the day of the Lord, we are not going to receive the seal of God. If we reject the testimonies, we are going to receive the mark of the beast.

“Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully. …Oh, how many… [are found] in the time of trouble without a shelter. …Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, . . . will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building.” Early Writings, 71.

We have already studied that John the Baptist was the second Elijah; Ellen White is the third Elijah. Those who rejected the testimony of John the Baptist were placed “where they could not readily receive the strongest evidence that He was the Messiah [Jesus]. Satan led on those who rejected the message of John to go still farther, to reject and crucify Christ.” Early Writings, 259.

To crucify Christ literally was the worst thing that has even been done and ever will be done. It was done by those who rejected the message of the second Elijah, and it is happening again, spiritually. We crucify Christ spiritually by rejecting Him and His testimony. Those who are rejecting the message of the third Elijah will not be ready for the Second Advent.

Not that it has not been clear enough already, but the more we read from the Spirit of Prophecy, the more it shows how very important this subject is and how serious it is that the people are undermining its authority.

“I saw the state of some who stood on present truth [In other words, they claimed to believe the Three Angels’ Messages and the Sabbath.], but disregarded the visions. . . . I saw it was a small thing to speak against the instrument [referring to Ellen White herself], but it was dangerous to slight the words of God. I saw if they were in error and God chose to show them their errors through visions, and they disregarded the teachings of God through visions, they would be left to take their own way, and run in the way of error, and think they were right, until they would find it out too late. Then in the time of trouble I heard them cry to God in agony, ‘Why didst Thou not show us our wrong, that we might have got right and been ready for this time.’ Then an angel pointed to them and said, ‘My Father taught, but you would not be taught. He spoke through visions, but you disregarded His voice.…’” Selected Messages, book 1, 40. Just like that quote we read before from Early Writings, people will come up to the time of the plagues and then see that they needed to be “hewed by the prophets.”

“The truths committed to me, as the Lord’s messenger, stand immortalized, either to convict and to convert souls, or to condemn those who have departed from the faith.…” Publishing Ministry, 359.

“My Saviour declared me to be His messenger. ‘Your work,’ He instructed me, ‘is to bear My word…. The messages for these last days shall be written in books, and shall stand immortalized, to testify against those who have once rejoiced in the light, but who have been led to give it up because of the seductive influences of evil.…’” Selected Messages, book 1, 32.

“What reserve power has the Lord with which to reach those who have… accredited the testimonies of the Spirit of God to no higher source than human wisdom? In the judgment what can you who have done this offer to God as an excuse for turning from the evidences He has given you that God was in the work?… You cannot neglect God’s messages of warning, and cannot reject them or treat them lightly, but at the peril of infinite loss.” Testimonies To Ministers, 465, 466.

People everywhere are treating the Testimonies lightly. Not only rejecting them, but also treating them lightly, puts the soul in peril.

“Through His Holy Spirit the voice of God has come to us continually in warning and instruction, to confirm the faith of the believers in the Spirit of Prophecy…. Those who are indifferent to this light and instruction must not expect to escape the snares which we have been plainly told will cause the rejecters of light to stumble, and fall, and be snared, and be taken.” Selected Messages, book 1, 41.

“One thing is certain [No question about it here; one thing is certain.]: Those Seventh-day Adventists who take their stand under Satan’s banner will first give up their faith in the… Testimonies of God’s Spirit.” Selected Messages, book 3, 84.

“Let not those who seek to hedge up my way and destroy the influence of my words, deceive themselves with the belief that they are doing God service. They are serving another master, and they will be rewarded according to their work…. Rebellion will exist as long as Satan exists.” Selected Messages, book 1, 72. What does she call this? “rebellion.” Undermining the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy, casting doubt upon it, is rebellion.

“When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts til he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 211.

Well, you say, what if someone does not even believe that Ellen White was a true prophet or qualifies as a true prophet? “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:18, 19.

They are already condemned if they do not believe. Light has come into the world. When Jesus was here, the light came in through John the Baptist and through Jesus Himself, and people were condemned if they rejected the light, regardless of whether or not they believed. It says, “He that believeth… is not condemned. He that believeth not is condemned….”

We are not talking about those who have not had the opportunity to study the question of whether Ellen White was a prophet of God. We are talking about those who have had the opportunity, but because they loved darkness rather than light, they say, “I do not believe that Ellen White was a true prophet.” They are condemned anyway and we cannot make the judgment as to whether they have had enough light or not. The principle, however, is very clear. “…because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.…” Hosea 4:6.

“If you feel just as safe in following your own impulses as in following the light given by God’s delegated servant, the peril is your own; you will be condemned because you rejected the light which heaven had sent you.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 688.

“These words were spoken to me: ‘Your work is appointed you of God. Many will not hear you, for they refused to hear the Great Teacher.’” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 29. Almost all of them rejected Christ, right? Does that justify them because they said I do not believe Christ is the true Messiah? No, we just read that. They are condemned anyway. “‘Many will not hear you, for they refused to hear the Great Teacher; many will not be corrected, for their ways are right in their own eyes.’” Ibid.

In fact, this has been a problem, not just since the days of Christ, but since Old Testament times. In Jeremiah 25:4, we read, “And the Lord hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not harkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.”

“And He said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against Me: they and their fathers have transgressed against Me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house).…” Ezekiel 2:3-5.

Why is it that they were rebellious? It says, “…yet shall [they] know that there hath been a prophet among them.” Verse 5. We just read this same thing from the Spirit of Prophecy. Rejection of the Spirit of Prophecy is rebellion. That is what it says here, rejection of the prophets.

“Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.” II Chronicles 24:19. In II Chronicles 36:16 we are told, “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” Verse 17 says this rejecting the messages of the prophets is why He brought upon them the king of the Chaldeans and they were taken captive into Babylon.

Have carnal hearts changed in this day and age? No, sad to say, they have not. In fact, down through history the professed people of God have claimed to accept previous prophets and maybe even lived by what was written, but the present prophet has always been rejected.

The same thing is happening now. Previous prophets are accepted and believed, but when it comes to the present prophet, Ellen White, she is rejected.

“When once men have admitted doubt and unbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, they are strongly tempted to adhere to the opinions which they have avowed before others…. The doubts indulged through ignorance, pride, or love of sinful practices, rivet upon the soul fetters that are seldom broken. Christ, and He alone, can give the needed power to break them.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 46. Praise God! Jesus can break the soul fetters!

Again, I can testify that this is true. When people admit with their mouth (or even worse in writing) doubts about the Spirit of Prophecy or things that the Spirit of Prophecy teaches, they are unwilling, in almost every case because of pride, to admit that they were wrong and to change and submit to the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy.

Let us get into some specifics. “The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ (Proverbs 29:18.) Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony. There will be hatred kindled against the Testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.” Selected Messages, book 1, 48.

In this quote we not only see the principle, the prophecy of the deception of making of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God in unsettling confidence, but it says Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways with the remnant people, who have their confidence unsettled.

In Part 2 we will look at some of the ingenious ways the devil has used to unsettle the faith of the remnant.

To be continued . . .

Break Every Yoke

Do you remember the experience of Moses where the children of Israel had sinned? God said, “Look, let me destroy them. Let them go and I will make of you a new beginning and a new nation and you will be the promised people.”

“And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” Exodus 32:31, 32.

There is a book, friends, which contains the names of God’s people. If God would not forgive the children of Israel for the golden calf, Moses was willing to give up his leadership, and the chance for his descendents to be the promised people and the great nation that is going to receive the covenant. “If you cannot forgive the sin of the children of Israel,” he said, “blot me out of the Book of Life.” Do you know what that means? That means that he was willing to give up his right to heaven.

God then told Moses what His policy is. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” Verse 33. Now how many of you have not sinned against God? That is the way to get your name out of the Lamb’s Book of Life, right? We are all sinners. So your name goes into the Book of Life, and your name can go out of the Book of Life if you are a sinner. What hope is there for us if we have sinned against God?

Let us take a look at the Bible, for there we find how to keep our name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” Revelation 3:5.

These two Scriptures contain the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment. You get your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. If you continue in sin, your name will be taken out of the Lamb’s Book of Life. But if you overcome, with God’s help it will be left in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Very simple. Now then, there has to be an investigation of the names in the Lamb’s Book of Life, right?

And it makes a difference, friends, whether you are continuing in sin or whether you overcome. If I took the position that evangelical Seventh-day Adventists take, that you cannot stop sinning, then, of course, I do not want an Investigative Judgment, because if I cannot stop sinning, my name will be blotted out of the Book of Life. So, along with their idea that you cannot stop sinning, they have to do away with the idea of an Investigative Judgment, because if they do not, friends, the people who accept the idea that they cannot stop sinning are all doomed to be lost.

If you believe that you can overcome, then your name will be left in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and you are going to be in a select group of people at the end. “…all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8. Whom shall they worship? The first beast of Revelation 13. Who is that? It is the Papacy and, indirectly, it is the devil.

Now, friends, this select group of people, those who overcome and whose names are left in the Lamb’s Book of Life, are the only ones who will not worship the devil. It is important that your name remain in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Church Books vs. Heaven’s Books

How do you get your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life? How do you know that it is there? I have actually cringed and felt like standing up and saying, “No, it is not so,” when I have been in Seventh-day Adventist meetings and heard the minister say, “As soon as you are baptized and voted into the Seventh-day Adventist Church, your name is inscribed in letters of gold in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

No, friends, that is not how you get your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I dare say that the majority of the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church never have their names put in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

“And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the Book of Life.” Philippians 4:3.

Now, friends, you have to be a fellowlabourer, a true yokefellow, and then you may be assured that your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life. In other words, it is not a matter of baptism and being voted into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is a matter of accepting the invitation of Christ found in Matthew 11:28–30, where He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you [You must take the yoke of Christ if you hope to have your name inscribed in the Lamb’s Book of Life. You must be a true yokefellow, wearing the yoke of Jesus and no other yoke.] and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

After Isaiah tells us that what the children of Israel were doing was not what God wanted, he says, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6. You cannot wear two yokes at a time.

Breaking the Yoke

The yokes that Isaiah calls to be broken are the things that, for many, many years, I did not understand, and I do not believe that most people understand them. I do not believe that the people of the denomination, or the leadership in particular, understand what he is talking about and what this appeal means.

There is more than one yoke. There is the yoke of Christ, and if you are wearing that yoke, then you may be positive and certain that your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life. If you are wearing any other yoke, you have no assurance at all that your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Christ says His burden is light. That is the big difference between the yoke and the burden of Christ and that of any other yoke that you can find.

If we continue reading in the book of Matthew, we find that Christ gives a little sermon on the church of His day. “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:1–4.

What was the purpose of their life? “But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” Verses 5–7.

Yokes of Bondage

Now, friends, this is a description of another yoke. What kind of a yoke? It is a yoke of bondage, of heavy burdens. All other yokes, except the yoke of Christ, are yokes of bondage, of heavy burdens, and these are the yokes that we are called to break in Isaiah 58. Was it a political yoke that they had foisted on the people, or was it a church yoke? They were sitting where? Not on the throne of King David, but in Moses’ seat.

In my reading I came across an address by Ellen G. White. Sometimes I think we should not use her name. I think we ought to say we have an address from the Holy Spirit to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, because that is what she says we have. She says that if you slight the Testimonies and belittle them you have thereby insulted the Holy Spirit. I take this as a message from God. (See Testimonies. vol. 5, 234.)

The Holy Spirit Speaks

In my studies of the early pioneers, the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Ellen G. White, I find that Mrs. White did not go around looking for problems in the church about which she could write testimonies to people. It was her nature to always look on the good side and always give people the benefit of the doubt. She was always on the positive side and she had difficulty writing these kinds of testimonies.

When Sister White writes these things, friends, it is the Holy Spirit speaking, not Sister White. She was not a genius who knew all the things that the brethren were doing and all that was going on in the church. Those things had to be revealed to her by God. So she says, “I write thus fully, because I have been shown that ministers and people are tempted more and more to trust in finite man for wisdom, and to make flesh their arm. To conference presidents, and men in responsible places.” Testimonies to Ministers, 480.[To whom is she talking? To the world? No! She is talking to the leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.] “I bear this message: Break the bands and fetters that have been placed upon God’s people.” Ibid., 480, 481. I am afraid that most baptized Seventh-day Adventists have taken a church yoke on their necks, instead of the yoke of Jesus. I did, and I fully believed, for most of my life, that the yoke of the church and the yoke of Jesus were one and the same.

I believe that most Seventh-day Adventists regardless of the group they belong to, believe that the yoke they have taken is the yoke of Jesus. And when I first read this quote, it did not fit my thinking. It did not fit what I wanted to believe. What I am going to say, friends, may not suit your thinking or your beliefs, either.

“I bear this message: Break the bands and fetters that have been placed upon God’s people.” Ibid. Every Seventh-day Adventist, according to this testimony, is wearing bands and fetters put on them by conference presidents and men in responsible positions. “To you the word is spoken, ‘Break every yoke.’” Ibid. How many? Every one except Christ’s, because you cannot wear the yoke of Christ until you have broken from off your neck every other yoke, whether it be the yoke of the church, the yoke of the American Medical Association, Labor Unions, Fraternal organizations, the Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club, or you name it. All of these organizations put a yoke upon your neck. Yet we do not perceive this because our thinking is not tuned to it.

Divorces from God

I worked for the Seventh-day Adventist Church for 27 years as a minister. I grew up in the church. Before I went into the ministry, I worked at the Glendale Sanitarium; I worked there when it was really doing sanitarium work. I worked in an academy. I went through our schools, friends, and I did not know that I was wearing a yoke. I thought I was wearing the yoke of Jesus. I had my doubts at times, because the yoke of Jesus was always described as being light, easy. “To you the word is spoken, Break every yoke, [What yoke is she talking about? Well, she tells us.] Unless you cease the work of making man amenable to man.” Ibid.

Have you ever been called to account to the church for what you did? Have they ever come to you and said, “You cannot do this?” or, “You do that!” “Unless you cease the work of making man amenable to man, unless you become humble in heart, and yourselves learn the way of the Lord as little children, the Lord will divorce you from His work.” Ibid.

We are to treat one another as brethren, as fellow laborers. In other words, fellow yokefellows, as Paul calls it, wearing the yoke of Christ, not any other yoke.

“… as men and women who are, with us, seeking for light and understanding of the way of the Lord, and who are jealous for His glory. God declares, ‘I will be glorified in My people.’” Ibid.

Friends, there is going to be a group of people in this world who are going to throw off every other yoke and wear only the yoke of Christ and glorify God. The world is going to be lightened with the message they bring. Is that not what it says?

So, “God declares, ‘I will be glorified in my people;’ but the self-confident management of men has resulted in putting God aside, and accepting the devisings of men.” Ibid.

That is exactly what the Pharisees were rebuked for all the time while Jesus was here. “Ye teach for doctrines the traditions or commandments of men.” (See Matthew 15:9.)

Books of a New Order?

When I was born there was no General Conference working policy. There was no General Conference educational policy. There was no church manual. When people wanted to know what to do, they only had two places to go: the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. When I was three years old, the brethren put together the first General Conference Constitution and By-laws and Working Policy. I do not remember the exact number of pages then, but now it is over 500 pages of rules and regulations to be followed by you and the leaders of the church. If time goes on, it will probably expand to a thousand, and the next thing we will have to do is train scribes to interpret it!

We need them right now, because when I used to attend committee meetings where the brethren would be laying plans, I would say, “Do you not know that in the Working Policy it says such and such?” And they would say, “No, we do not,” because nobody can remember 500 pages of rules and regulations, not even the leaders.

A few years back I checked on the educational policies. I went to the local church school, pulled open the teacher’s file and took out the Pacific Union Conference Educational Code. Then I pulled out the supplement, because the rules of men are never adequate and consequently they are always adding to them. I counted 1,000 pages! This was not fine print, like the General Conference Working Policy; this was 1,000 mimeographed pages of rules to govern the colleges and church schools in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.

When I was nine years old, the first Church Manual was issued. The statement as to the reason for voting a church manual was, “We hope this will stop the headlong plunge of the church into apostasy.” Has it?

The first Church Manual was advisory. It had no authority; nobody had to follow it or pay any attention to it. But in 1946, when I had been in the ministry one year, the General Conference in session gave full authority to the Church Manual. This is a yoke, friends, made by men and put on your neck and on their own necks.

Would you like to know what the apostle Peter and the brethren in Jerusalem had to say about the yoke of the Jewish Church? Acts 15:10 tells us the people in Jerusalem were starting down the same headlong rush to put a yoke other than the yoke of Christ upon the church:

“Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples? [How long did it take the early Christian church to start putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples? Why, they had just barely gotten started. A yoke] which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear.” Oh, friends, all human yokes are heavy, difficult. The yoke of Jesus and His burden is light.

You may say, “Well, I do not think I have a yoke on my neck.” Maybe you feel quite comfortable with it because you have gotten so used to it. Or maybe, like I did for many years, you believe that the yoke of the church is the yoke of Jesus. Sometimes I wondered how He ever thought to say that His yoke was easy and light, though, and I used to really puzzle over those two words describing the yoke of Jesus when I had the two confused.

Calling Sin By It’s Right Name

I have been puzzling over this question of yokes for years and years. What was Sister White talking about? I know that we cannot be amenable to mankind. I know that making men responsible to man puts God aside, and that was at least part of the yoke. “For years our physicians have been trained to think that they must not give expression to sentiments that differ from those of their chief. Oh, that they had broken this yoke.” Series B, 28.

The belief that you cannot express an idea that differs with the pastor or the church is a yoke that you must break. I cannot break the yoke from off your neck unless I put it there. And even then, you may not let me remove it. Only you can break a yoke off your neck. These physicians had accepted a yoke which required them to agree with the boss, the head of the Battle Creek Sanitarium and Hospital, even though they differed with him.

Sister White said, “Oh that they had broken the yoke.” Ibid. Have you worn that yoke and kept your mouth shut? Have you accepted that yoke? If so, you had better break it, because they did not, and Mrs. White said, “Oh, that they had called sin by its right name!” Ibid.

Have you ever been quiet when you should have spoken out and called sin by its right name? A yoke you have to break. A yoke the church puts on your neck. I know, because they put it on my neck and when I threw it off, they immediately rushed in to replace it.

Oh, friends, the yoke to keep quiet, to not disagree with your boss, your leader, so you do not call sin by its right name is a yoke you have to break before you can wear the yoke of Christ.

Mrs. White continues, “They would not be regarded in the heavenly courts as men who, though bearing weighty responsibilities, have failed of speaking the truth in reproof of that which has been in disobedience to God’s Word.” Ibid.

A Yoke of Silence

This yoke that the brethren impose upon the necks of the ministry, upon the necks of the laity, and anyone else, is a yoke of silence when it comes to denominational policy and procedure. If you dared to open your mouth, you were a faultfinder, condemner and criticizer.

It was not until the brethren disfellowshipped me that the yoke of the church was actually fully removed. I am not saying you have to be disfellowshipped, but I would like to see Seventh-day Adventists fully remove the yoke of the church from off their neck without being disfellowshipped. All you have to do is to throw off the yoke that has you not disagreeing with the leadership, the one that has you not calling sin by its right name, not reproving things that are contrary to God’s Word.

I cannot support things contrary to the Spirit of Prophecy. The only program that I hope anybody can trust me to support is the one found in the Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy. That which is found in the Church Manual and Working Policy I cannot support if it is contrary to the Bible and to the Spirit of Prophecy.

So continuing in Series B, and again addressing the people under the Alpha of apostasy, here is what was wrong that caused the church to go into the Alpha of apostasy: “Our physicians have lost a great deal out of their lives because they have [1] seen wrong transactions and [2] heard wrong words spoken, [3] and seen wrong principles followed, and have not spoken in reproof, for fear that they would be repulsed.” Ibid., 29.

The yoke of man silences you so that you will not object to a policy of the church that is contrary to the Spirit of Prophecy.

Anything else that is contrary to the Bible and to the Spirit of Prophecy is a yoke of man who says, “Do not speak out, be a loyal Seventh-day Adventist.” Are you wearing that yoke? Have you refrained from speaking out about something? Have you seen wrong principles followed and not spoken in reproof? It worked on me, friends, for years. I wore a yoke of silence when I should have spoken out, and yet the brethren always thought I was speaking out too much. But I kept quiet too often, friends.

If things need adjusting at the heart of the work, what do we do? Well, friends, if we do not speak out, if we wear this yoke of silence, God will take care of things, but how much better it would be if we did it ourselves. Every wrong within the Seventh-day Adventist Church is going to be taken care of, either by God or by the membership.

Worst Sins are Unrevealed

Sister White states: “The abominations for which the faithful ones [These are the ones who did not wear the yoke of silence.] were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed. The great Searcher of hearts knoweth every sin committed in secret by the workers of iniquity. These persons come to feel secure in their deceptions and, because of His long–suffering, say that the Lord seeth not, and then act as though He had forsaken the earth. But He will detect their hypocrisy and will open before others those sins which they were so careful to hide.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 211.

The sad thing I have observed is that people take the yoke off from their necks that is imposed by the Adventist Church, and run right over to some other group and put that yoke on their necks. The only yoke I am interested in you having around your neck, is the yoke of Jesus, so your name will be in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

The yoke of Jesus has no stress, no tension, no frustration. It is a yoke of victory. It is a yoke of being an overcomer. It is a yoke that is easy and the burden is light. Oh, yes, it promises you persecution, but it says you will be able to “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad when man shall persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely.” (See Matthew 5:12.)

When you wear the yoke of Christ, then and then alone, you are God’s free man. If you are not wearing the yoke of Christ, then you are in bondage. You cannot be God’s free man until you become Christ’s servant. You must! God will not place the yoke upon your neck. You must willfully choose to take the yoke of Christ. He says, “Take My yoke.” He does not say, “Accept it and I will put it on your neck.” He says, “Take up the cross.” He does not say, “Lean over and I will put it on your back.”

No yokes can be forced on your neck. You may die resisting it, but you do not have to accept any yoke.

The Final Warning

“The Final Warning,” is a chapter in The Great Controversy that we need to study and restudy. If you take the yoke of Christ, understand that you are enlisting the opposition of the hosts of darkness. Your life will become very interesting. You will probably not have another boring day. “Evil angels will assail him, alarmed that his influence is taking the prey from their hands. …Evil men, rebuked by His example, will unite with them in seeking to separate him from God by alluring temptations.” The Great Controversy, 610.

You want a lot of the luring of temptations? You just put on the yoke of Christ.

“When these do not succeed, then a compelling power is employed to force the conscience.” Ibid.

You have an interesting life ahead of you, never a dull moment.

Mrs. White tell us: “It is the first and highest duty of every rational being to learn from the Scriptures what is truth, and then to walk in the light and encourage others to follow his example.” Ibid., 598.

We had better get busy on the first and highest duty of every rational being.

“We should day by day study the Bible diligently, weighing every thought and comparing Scripture with Scripture. With divine help we are to form our opinions for ourselves, as we are to answer for ourselves before God.” Ibid. I beg of you, throw off every other yoke and put on the yoke of Christ because your life depends on it; your eternal life depends upon it. Soon, very soon, your name will be called in the Investigative Judgment and it is either going to be blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life, or it is going to stay.

The General Conference Inquisition? Part II

If I were to ask you, What is the similarity, the likeness, between a bank president and a town drunkard, what would you say?

If I were to ask you, What is the similarity between a bartender and a college professor, what would you say?

And, if I were to ask you, What is the similarity between a thief and a scientist, what would you say?

What about a gambler and a college president? What is the similarity between them?

I think I know what you would say, and I think I know what you are thinking right now. I believe you are thinking, “Ralph, those are dumb questions. There is no similarity at all between those people.”

But I would respectfully have to disagree with you. I believe that there is a point on which these people are not only similar, they are practically identical. It is on the point of self-idolatry, which Ellen White describes as “the foundation of all sin.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 27.

Self-idolatry lies at the foundation of all sins.

When we hear the word “idolatry” we think of idols and images, things carved out of wood or stone, before which people bow and pray, and even offer sacrifices. In Honolulu I lived for awhile across a narrow street from a Bhuddist temple where the people bowed and prayed before an image of Bhudda. In Japan, I visited a temple of a thousand Bhuddas. There were actually a thousand idols there, standing on their feet in order to use less room than the more familiar seated Bhuddas. Sri Lanka, the island kingdom to the south of India, is a land of many idols and images. Idolatry is not always practiced with images of wood or stone. In Manila I watched a man and a woman walk with bare feet across a bed of hot coal, and afterward bow before the fire and pray to it.

I have seen idols and images of many gods, but I have never seen an image or idol of the god “self,” have you? Yet self-idolatry must be very common, if it lies at the foundation of all sin. We may remember that Lucifer laid the original foundation, as we read in Isaiah 14:12–14: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

When we read these words, we think that surely this was the ultimate insanity, for a created being to think that he could put himself above his own Creator. Such craziness could happen only once in the history of the universe, we feel sure. But actually, this self-idolatry is happening every day, all around us. People on every side of us are daily saying, “I will be like the most High; I will make my own rules; I will be my own god.” Why do they do this? Because of a grim reality that we do not often think about but should. We remember that in Genesis 3:15 the Lord said to Satan, “…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” Let us look carefully at some Spirit of Prophecy comments on this verse:

The Lord says, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman.’ The enmity does not exist as a natural fact. As soon as Adam sinned, he was in harmony with the first great apostate and at war with God; and if God had not interfered in man’s behalf, Satan and man would have formed a confederacy against heaven, and carried on united opposition against the God of hosts. Signs of the Times, July 11, 1895.

“There is no natural enmity between evil angels and evil men; both are evil through transgression of the law of God, and evil will always league against good. Fallen men and fallen angels enter into a desperate companionship.” Youth’s Instructor, October 11, 1894.

Note carefully—the evil in both men and angels is defined as transgression of the law of God. That would include everyone in the world, except sincere Christians, for they are all transgressing the law of God. This is the basic point in their similarity. Do you see now why I said there is a point in which the people I mentioned are not different at all? We may divide them into two separate groups. We would put the bank president, the college professor, and the scientist in one group and the drunkard, the bartender, the thief and the gambler in another group and say that the two groups are completely different, but we would be wrong. Except for the few Christians who might be found in the first group, they are all alike in their transgression of the law of God. On this point there is no difference between the drunkard and the bank president or the thief and the scientist, or any of the others who were mentioned. They are all practicing self-idolatry. They are all saying, “I will be like the most High.” In their rejection of God’s Law they are rejecting God, and putting self on the throne, just like Lucifer did.

They are also alike in their association with fallen angels. There is no enmity between them, and they are in a “desperate” companionship, although they may not realize it. And what of their relationship with Christians?

Evil will always league against good.

If you question that statement, just read the newspapers for awhile. They will convince you. I used to read the well-known statement by Ellen White, which calls for men who, among other things, are not afraid “to call sin by its right name.” (See Education, 57.) I would wonder then why calling sin by its right name should require courage, but I do not wonder any more. People are being criticized, denounced, and even sued for calling sin by its right name in our time. The “bad guys” are declaring war on the “good guys” all over the country. Even the Bible is being attacked because it clearly states that certain practices are an abomination to God.

Add it up. There is no enmity between fallen angels and fallen men. Fallen angels and fallen men are in a “desperate companionship.” Fallen angels and fallen men are alike in their transgression of God’s Law. Fallen angels and fallen men are united in a league against good, for evil will always league against good.

Once we get this picture clearly in our minds, we are better able to understand some of the peculiar things that are being done around us by highly trained and highly educated persons. I once hired a university student to help me do some work on my evangelistic equipment. As we worked, he told me about some of his classes. One of his professors, he said, made a point of telling the students, every few days, that Christianity is dead. “He must be a frightened man,” I said.

“Why? What do you mean?” the student asked.

“If you really believed that a man was dead,” I answered, “would you go back and stick your knife into him every few days? It looks to me like your professor is afraid that Christianity is not dead.”

I digress to make a point of which you might not be aware. You have probably understood that Christianity must not be discussed in public school classrooms. This is only partially true. You may freely discuss Christianity in the public school classrooms as long as you are putting it down, discrediting it. If the professor mentioned above had taken time, every few days, to tell his students something favorable about Christianity, he would soon have been in trouble. Evil will always league against good. We must not draw the conclusion that highly educated men are exceptions to this rule. They are not. On this point they are not different from the drunkard, the gambler, or the thief.

Getting Away with Murder

I read with astonishment how a highly respected judge, on the Raphael Perez case, (The General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists of Silver Spring, Maryland vs Raphael Perez and the Eternal Gospel Church of Miami, Florida, Case #98-2940-CIV-KING) let the lawyers for the General Conference “get away with murder,” to use a familiar expression, in the first few minutes of the trial. The first witness that they called to the stand was a Seventh-day Adventist lawyer named Clark Floyd. The questioning went approximately like this:

“Do you have any degrees in theology?


“Are you a member of any theological society?”


“Do you subscribe to any theological journals?”


“Your honor, I move that this witness be dismissed because he is not qualified to testify in this case.” Ibid., Court Transcript

And the judge dismissed him! And he dismissed the second witness in the same manner. What a mockery of judicial procedure!

What should the judge have done? He should have addressed the lawyer and said to him very firmly, “Counsel, this is not a theological court, it is a court of civil law. We are not dealing with questions of theology; we are dealing with a matter of civil law. You will please confine your questions to matter of civil law, and say no more about theology.” But the judge permitted theological questions all the way through the trial. How are we to understand this? Evil will always league against good. Was the judge consciously trying to do evil against Raphael Perez? Possibly not. He may not have even been aware of what he was doing, but the wrongful trial and the wrongful decision make us keenly aware that Bible Christians cannot expect justice from worldly courts.

This is underscored by the results of the appeal to a higher court. The last report that reached me was that this court was trying to settle the matter through arbitration, whereas they should have declared it a mistrial because of the mixture of theological matters with matters of civil law. This is contrary to the constitution, which guarantees our freedom of religion. But we should not be surprised. Evil will always league against good.

Most Americans are familiar with the tragic story of Aaron Burr, who challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel because of some small matter, and shot and killed Hamilton, while Hamilton, who did not believe in duels, fired his shot into the air. But public opinion turned strongly against Burr, and his life went downward and downward until he finally committed suicide. Most Americans know that story, but few people know of the experience that lies behind it. While Burr was a student at Princeton University, an evangelist came to town and preached the gospel. Burr attended several of the meetings, and felt a strong conviction that he should become a Christian. Feeling the need of some advice, he asked the President of the University what to do. The President said: “I cannot tell you whether you should be a Christian. You will have to decide that for yourself. But I would advise you to wait until the meetings are all over, and the evangelist has gone on to his next appointment, then think it over and make your decision, by yourself, as to what you want to do.”

Burr accepted this advice. He ignored all of the evangelist’s appeals, and waited until the meetings were over. Then one night, while Burr’s fellow students were studying in their dormitory rooms, they heard a sudden noise. Looking out, they saw that Burr had thrown open his dormitory window, and was leaning out and looking up at the sky. He looked for a long moment, and then the other students heard him say:

“Goodbye, God. I have made my decision.”

That is the experience that lies behind the tragic story of Aaron Burr. We know that the president was not a Christian, because no Christian would ever give that kind of advice to anybody. The president may have thought that he was giving Burr good advice, but he was a fallen man in league with fallen angels, whether he realized it or not. Evil will always league against good.

Put not your trust in princes.

We have to face it, folks. We cannot put our trust in princes of science, or in princes of education, or in princes of industry, or in princes of politics. And we cannot put our trust (are you ready for this?) in princes of the church. Let us go without further delay to the very heart of the problem.

The August 2000 issues of the Adventist Review and Ministry magazines present a report to the church regarding the activities of such independent ministries as Hope International, led by Ron Spear; Hartland Institute, led by Colin Standish; and Remnant Ministries, led by Russell Standish. It proposes that 12 months will be given to them in which they may either submit to the authority of the church or suffer the consequences. The report is filled with grossly false allegations. I have written a firm rebuttal of the false allegations, which is in the November issue of LandMarks magazine, and so I will not repeat them here. But it is my painful duty to point out that these false allegations were concocted and published by princes of the church. It is an appalling, unbelievable, spectacle, but we must face it. As in all times of trial, we go to the inspired writings for guidance. Here is a sampling of what we find there:

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the Third Angel’s Message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become themost bitter enemies of their former brethren. The Great Controversy, 608. [Emphasis supplied.]

The “men of talent and pleasing address” may well be princes of the church. And carefully consider this:

Through his evil angels, Satan contrives to form an alliance with professedly pious men,…He knows that if he can induce men, as he induced the angels, to join in rebellion, under the guise of servants of God, he will have in them his most successful allies in his enterprise against heaven. Under the name of godliness,he can inspire them with his own accusing spirit, and lead them to charge God’s servants with evil and guile. Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1142. [Emphasis supplied.]

Words of Hate

Would you like to sample a foretaste of what she was writing about? Roy Adams, associate editor of the Adventist Review, provides us with a sample. In a book that he wrote called The Nature of Christ he uses the following words to describe historic Adventists and their leaders:

Sour, festering, self-appointed, infected with the virus of judgmentalism and suspicion, disease, martyr complex, seasoned controversialists, spirit of accusation, outraged, aghast, scandalized, pathetic, self-confessed expert, misguided, wrong-headed, steeped in their cherished position, impenetrable to any theological logic, irresponsible, almost dishonest, deluded self-appointed gurus, disgruntled, pious self-appointed prophets, turncoats, charlatans, and scoundrels, like Jim Jones and David Koresh. The Nature of Christ,

He then describes our reasoning and our writings in these terms:

Mumblings, innuendos, broken faith with the church, specious theology, perfectionistic agitation, picayune, disgusting, speciousness, repetitive, exasperating, subtle spin, overblown, vacuousness, subtle legalism, anger, irritation, anger to new heights, radical articulation, fuss, ingenious theological gymnastics, willfulness, mischief, dishonesty, far-fetched explanations, artificial and contrived, totally fabricated, thoughtlessly, narrow, shallow, facile admonitions, simplistic pietism, shrill, provincial, manipulate, dogmatism, trap of perfectionistic legalism, heated, quoted piously, specious reasoning, vehement, inordinate insistence, maliciously accusing, sharpened tongues, navel-gazing, and self-flagellation. Ibid.

An Accusing Spirit

Look again at what Ellen White predicted. The devil will inspire professedly pious men with his own accusing spirit, and they will charge God’s servants with evil and guile. Did she know what she was writing about? Need we wonder what part Adams will take in the court procedures against true Adventists who are on trial for their faith? And how can we doubt that Ellen White was inspired? You would think that she had been shown a copy of Adams’ book. And the book carries on its back cover recommendations from Adventist scholars and from then General Conference President, Robert Folkenberg. Make no mistake about it, dear friend. The report and the ultimatum to historic Adventists that were prepared by princes of the church and published in the Adventist Review and in Ministry magazine, with all of their grossly false accusations, are not to be taken lightly. They are obviously inspired by the same spirit that inspired Adams.

As for the theology that Adams recommends to his readers, here is a sample. In his argument against the idea of character perfection, Adams says that some sins, called chata’ah in Hebrew, cannot be overcome, that they are not counted against us, and that they have nothing to do with our fitness or unfitness for heaven (See Ibid., 97). Let us therefore go to the Old Testament to see what kind of sins are there defined as chata’ah. The list includes:

  • The sin of adultery into which Potiphar’s wife tried to lure Joseph. Genesis 39:9.
  • The selling of Joseph into slavery by his brothers. Genesis 50:17.
  • The sin of idolatry. Exodus 23:33.
  • The rebellion of Korah against Moses, for which he died. Numbers 16:22.
  • Eli’s sons’ rebellion against the Lord, for which they died. I Samuel 2:25.
  • The planned murder of David by Saul. I Samuel 19:5.
  • The multiple sins into which Jereboam led Israel, which caused God to reject Israel. I Kings 14:16.
  • The sins of Manasseh, who filled Jerusalem with blood and caused Israel to do worse than the heathen. II Kings 21:9, 16.

These sins, according to Adams, cannot be overcome, are not counted, and have nothing to do with out fitness or unfitness for heaven. Need we wonder what spirit is inspiring all of this? Put not your trust in princes, not even the princes of the church.

So How Shall We Relate to These Horrifying Circumstances?

Rejoice. The evidence shows that the end is near; thank God that we have been given ample warning in advance through the precious writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. Marvel again at the uncanny accuracy of Ellen White’s words: Professedly pious men will charge God’s servants with evil and guile.

Do not Panic. The God who was able to tell us in advance about the great apostasy in Adventism is well able to bring us safely through that apostasy and the great time of trouble that will follow it.

Do not Retaliate. Bitter as it is to be betrayed by church leaders, and to see our beautiful truth trashed by persons in high church office, we must not return evil for evil. Jesus was calm and undisturbed while being falsely accused, and by His grace we may do the same. It may be that some of the false accusers and truth trashers will yet repent and be saved.

Stay Close to the Lord. Read, read and reread the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Guard carefully your prayer program, and cultivate the habit of talking to God while about your daily affairs.

Keep Your Guard Up. Put no blind confidence in anyone. We can no longer take it for granted that persons in high church office will be truthful with us, either in their words or in their writings. The situation is grave now, and it will certainly get worse as the end draws near. But we have read “the last pages in the book,” and we know how it is going to end!

Courage in the Lord!