Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 8:8–13

April 20-26, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “[Our Saviour Jesus Christ] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14.


INTRODUCTION: “We want more, much more, of the spirit of Christ, and less, much less, of self and the peculiarities of character which keep us apart from our fellow-men. We can do much to break down these barriers by revealing the grace of Christ in our own lives. Jesus has intrusted his goods to the church, age after age. One generation after another for over eighteen hundred years has been gathering up this hereditary trust, until the increasing responsibilities have descended to the people of our time. Do we now realize our responsibility? Do we feel that we are stewards of God’s grace? Do we believe that the lowest, humblest service will be accepted, if it is only directed to doing, not our own, but our Master’s will, to promote his glory? We must be clothed, not with our own garments, but with the robe of Christ’s righteousness.” Gospel Workers (1892), 304.

1 With whom was the old covenant made? Jeremiah 31:31, 32.

NOTE: “To Israel encamped before Mount Sinai the Lord had declared: ‘I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God.’ Exodus 29:45, 46. And now, notwithstanding the fact that they had repeatedly ‘rebelled, and vexed His Holy Spirit’ (Isaiah 63:10), God once more, through the messages of His prophet, was stretching out His hand to save. As a recognition of their co-operation with His purpose, He was renewing His covenant that His Spirit should remain among them; and He bade them, ‘Fear not.’ ” Prophets and Kings, 575, 576.

2 With whom did the Lord say He would make a new covenant? Hebrews 8:8.

NOTE: “Those who have by baptism given to God a pledge of their faith in Christ, and their death to the old life of sin, have entered into covenant relation with God. The three powers of the Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are pledged to be their strength and their efficiency in their new life in Christ Jesus.” Australasian Union Conference Record, October 7, 1907.

3 What part, if any, do Gentiles have in the covenants? Ephesians 2:11–13; Colossians 1:21.

NOTE: “Moses beheld the disciples of Jesus as they went forth to carry His gospel to the world. He saw that though the people of Israel ‘according to the flesh’ had failed of the high destiny to which God had called them, in their unbelief had failed to become the light of the world, though they had despised God’s mercy and forfeited their blessings as His chosen people—yet God had not cast off the seed of Abraham; the glorious purposes which He had undertaken to accomplish through Israel were to be fulfilled. All who through Christ should become the children of faith were to be counted as Abraham’s seed; they were inheritors of the covenant promises; like Abraham, they were called to guard and to make known to the world the law of God and the gospel of His Son. Moses saw the light of the gospel shining out through the disciples of Jesus to them ‘which sat in darkness’ (Matthew 4:16), and thousands from the lands of the Gentiles flocking to the brightness of its rising. [Isaiah 60:3.] And beholding, he rejoiced in the increase and prosperity of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 476.

“He [Christ] was the Mediator of the covenant, the one in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted Him, were to be blessed.” Lift Him Up, 16.

4 What are the promises of the new covenant? Hebrews 8:10–12.

NOTE: “The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone, is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness, we accept the righteousness of Christ. [Romans 10:3.] His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth ‘the fruits of the Spirit.’ [Galatians 5:22, 23.] Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as he walked. [1 John 2:6.] Through the prophet he declared of himself, ‘I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.’ Psalm 40:8. And when among men he said, ‘The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.’ John 8:29.” Review and Herald, October 17, 1907.

5 What does God promise those who choose to be His people? Hebrews 8:12.

NOTE: “The most striking feature of this covenant of peace is the exceeding richness of the pardoning mercy expressed to the sinner if he repents and turns from his sin. The Holy Spirit describes the gospel as salvation through the tender mercies of our God. ‘I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,’ the Lord declares of those who repent, ‘and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more’ (Hebrews 8:12). Does God turn from justice in showing mercy to the sinner? No; God cannot dishonor His law by suffering it to be transgressed with impunity. Under the new covenant, perfect obedience is the condition of life. If the sinner repents and confesses his sins, he will find pardon. By Christ’s sacrifice in his behalf, forgiveness is secured for him. Christ has satisfied the demands of the law for every repentant, believing sinner. . . .” God’s Amazing Grace, 138.

6 Whom will those be like who have the Law of God written on their hearts? Psalm 40:7, 8; 1 Peter 2:21.

NOTE: “Consider the life of Christ. Standing at the head of humanity, serving His Father, He is an example of what every son should and may be. The obedience that Christ rendered God requires from human beings today. He served His Father with love, in willingness and freedom. [Psalm 40:8 quoted.] Christ counted no sacrifice too great, no toil too hard, in order to accomplish the work which He came to do.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 282.

“He [Christ] exalted the law, and made it honorable.

“Every soul is under obligation to follow in the footsteps of Christ, the great example for the human family.” Sons and Daughters of God, 48.

7. What characteristic will be seen in those who have the law written in their hearts? Titus 2:14.

NOTE: “God is leading out a people to stand in perfect unity upon the platform of eternal truth. Christ gave Himself to the world that He might ‘purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’ This refining process is designed to purge the church from all unrighteousness and the spirit of discord and contention, that they may build up instead of tear down, and concentrate their energies on the great work before them. God designs that His people should all come into the unity of the faith. The prayer of Christ just prior to His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one, even as He was one with the Father, that the world might believe that the Father had sent Him.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 17.

8 In order that this work may be done, what must men do? James 4:7, first part; 1 Peter 5:6; Romans 6:13.

NOTE: “Brethren, I entreat you to move with an eye single to the glory of God. Let His power be your dependence, His grace your strength. By study of the Scriptures and earnest prayer seek to obtain clear conceptions of your duty, and then faithfully perform it. It is essential that you cultivate faithfulness in little things, and in so doing you will acquire habits of integrity in greater responsibilities. The little incidents of everyday life often pass without our notice, but it is these things that shape the character. Every event of life is great for good or for evil. The mind needs to be trained by daily tests, that it may acquire power to stand in any difficult position. In the days of trial and of peril you will need to be fortified to stand firmly for the right, independent of every opposing influence.

“God is willing to do much for you, if you will only feel your need of Him. Jesus loves you. Ever seek to walk in the light of God’s wisdom, and through all the changing scenes of life do not rest unless you know that your will is in harmony with the will of your Creator. Through faith in Him you may obtain strength to resist every temptation of Satan and thus increase in moral power with every test from God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 561.

9 What is the reason why many who profess to desire righteousness do not obtain it? Romans 10:3.

NOTE: “While the law is holy, the Jews could not attain righteousness by their own efforts to keep the law. The disciples of Christ must obtain righteousness of a different character from that of the Pharisees, if they would enter the kingdom of heaven. God offered them, in His Son, the perfect righteousness of the law. If they would open their hearts fully to receive Christ, then the very life of God, His love, would dwell in them, transforming them into His own likeness; and thus through God’s free gift they would possess the righteousness which the law requires. But the Pharisees rejected Christ; ‘being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness’ (Romans 10:3), they would not submit themselves unto the righteousness of God.

“Jesus proceeded to show His hearers what it means to keep the commandments of God—that it is a reproduction in themselves of the character of Christ. For in Him, God was daily made manifest before them.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 54, 55.

10 If the people would humble themselves and submit to God, what would He do for them? Isaiah 61:10.

NOTE: “Is it our greatest concern today that our lives shall be refined and purified, and that we shall reflect the similitude of the divine? This must be the experience of all who join that company who are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. They must be arrayed in the righteousness of Christ. His name must be written in their foreheads. They must rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Christ has engraved the names of His people on the palms of His hands. He will never lose His interest in any dependent soul.

“Say to the church members that there is need of thorough consecration to God. Let all understand that they must make a covenant with God by sacrifice. We need the blessings of the gospel every day and every hour. Every proof of the Lord’s power, His presence, and His love, is to be recognized with grateful thanks. Happiness is to be achieved by the right action of the soul toward God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 56.

11 Through whom alone can this righteousness be obtained? Romans 5:17, 19.

NOTE: “If you would stand through the time of trouble, you must know Christ, and appropriate the gift of his righteousness, which he imputes to the repentant sinner.” The Review and Herald, November 22, 1892.

12 What is the condition on which Christ’s righteousness is given? Romans 3:22.

NOTE: “Do you ask, ‘How am I to abide in Christ?’ In the same way as you received Him at first. ‘As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.’ Colossians 2:6. ‘The just shall live by faith.’ Hebrews 10:38. You gave yourself to God, to be His wholly, to serve and obey Him, and you took Christ as your Saviour. You could not yourself atone for your sins or change your heart; but having given yourself to God, you believe that He for Christ’s sake did all this for you. By faith you became Christ’s, and by faith you are to grow up in Him—by giving and taking. You are to give all—your heart, your will, your service—give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements; and you must take all—Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper—to give you power to obey.” The Faith I Live By, 125.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 8:7–10

April 13-19, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” Hebrews 8:10.

SUGGESTED READING: Sons and Daughters of God, 50.

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

“Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons. But angels are round about those who are willing to be taught in divine things; and in the time of great necessity they will bring to their remembrance the very truths which are needed. Thus ‘when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.’ [Isaiah 59:19.]

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

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

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

1 How does the second covenant compare with the first? Hebrews 8:6.

NOTE: “The blessings of the new covenant are grounded purely on mercy in forgiving unrighteousness and sins. . .All who humble their hearts, confessing their sins, will find mercy and grace and assurance. Has God, in showing mercy to the sinner, ceased to be just? Has He dishonored His holy law, and will He henceforth pass over the violation of it? God is true. He changes not. The conditions of salvation are ever the same. Life, eternal life, is for all who will obey God’s law. . . .

“Under the new covenant, the conditions by which eternal life may be gained are the same as under the old—perfect obedience. . . . In the new and better covenant, Christ has fulfilled the law for the transgressors of law, if they receive Him by faith as a personal Saviour. . . . In the better covenant we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ.” God’s Amazing Grace, 136.

2 What was the necessity for the second covenant? Hebrews 8:7.

NOTE: “Under the new covenant, there were many offenses of a daring, presumptuous character, for which there was no atonement specified by law. In the new and better covenant, . . . Mercy and forgiveness are the reward of all who come to Christ trusting in His merits to take away their sins.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 931.

3 What did the people promise to do in their first covenant with God? Exodus 19:5, 8; 20:1–17.

NOTE: “If Israel would be true to the oath they had taken, a bright future was before them; for the Lord has always magnified his law before his people, pouring rich blessings upon them so long as they have been obedient. The history of God’s ancient people is full of instruction for the church of today. While the Bible faithfully presents the results of their apostasy as a warning to all future generations, it portrays, as a worthy example, the deep humiliation and repentance, the earnest devotion and generous sacrifice, that marked their seasons of returning to the Lord. There is encouragement, too, in the record of God’s willingness to receive his backsliding but repentant people. It would be a scene well-pleasing to God and angels, would his professed followers in this generation unite, as did Israel of old, in a solemn covenant to ‘observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes.’ [Nehemiah 10:29.]” The Southern Watchman, June 7, 1904.

4 What is said of the nature of God’s Law? Psalm 19:7; 119:172.

NOTE: “God’s law is his great standard of righteousness. This law is perfect in all its requirements; and God calls upon us to obey it; for by it our cases will be decided in that day when the books of heaven are opened, and the deeds of all come up in review before the Judge of the universe.” The Signs of the Times, February 11, 1897.

5 What is said of those who obey God’s Law? Psalm 119:1–3.

NOTE: “We have the Word of God as our assurance, to inspire us with hope and comfort. God declares that He will not be unmindful of our labors of love in carrying out His will in behalf of our fellow-men. God has made those who believe in Him His stewards. They are to live His law, showing the world by their good works that this law is perfect, converting the soul, uprooting from the heart all selfishness and covetousness, and planting there the precepts of righteousness.” The Signs of the Times, August 8, 1900.

6 The children of Israel could have promised nothing better than to keep God’s Law. Wherein, then, was the fault? Hebrews 8:8. Compare Romans 9:30–10:3.

NOTE: “The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken . . . .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 371, 372.

“He [God] could not carry out the good that he had meant to do them [Eli and his sons], because they failed to do their part.” The Signs of the Times, April 6, 1888.

“The weakness of the first covenant was not in the covenant itself; nor did the fault lie in God. It was the people who were faulty.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 445.

7 What can the Law of God not do? Romans 3:20.

NOTE: “As you look into the Lord’s great moral looking glass, His holy law, His standard of character, do not for a moment suppose that it can cleanse you. There are no saving properties in the law. It cannot pardon the transgressor. The penalty must be exacted. The Lord does not save sinners by abolishing His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and in earth. The punishment has been endured by the sinner’s substitute.” Man-script Releases, vol. 21, 194, 195.

8 What renders the law powerless? Romans 8:3.

NOTE: “Not without hindrance was the Commander of heaven to win the souls of men to His kingdom. From the time when He was a babe in Bethlehem, He was continually assailed by the evil one. The image of God was manifest in Christ, and in the councils of Satan it was determined that He should be overcome. No human being had come into the world and escaped the power of the deceiver. The forces of the confederacy of evil were set upon His track to engage in warfare against Him, and if possible to prevail over Him.” The Desire of Ages, 116.

9 To what is all human righteousness likened? Isaiah 64:6.

NOTE: “Naked and ashamed, they [Adam and Eve] 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.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 311.

“In their professed service to God, the Jews were really working for self. Their righteousness was the fruit of their own efforts to keep the law according to their own ideas and for their own selfish benefit. Hence it could be no better than they were. In their endeavor to make themselves holy, they were trying to bring a clean thing out of an unclean. The law of God is as holy as He is holy, as perfect as He is perfect. It presents to men the righteousness of God. It is impossible for man, of himself, to keep this law; for the nature of man is depraved, deformed, and wholly unlike the character of God.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 54.

10 What is the only true righteousness? Philippians 3:9. Compare Romans 3:21, 22.

NOTE: “Christ is a risen Saviour; for, though He was dead, He has risen again, and ever liveth to make intercession for us. We are to believe with the heart unto righteousness, and with the mouth make confession unto salvation. [Romans 10:10.] Those who are justified by faith will make confession of Christ. . . . The great work that is wrought for the sinner who is spotted and stained by evil is the work of justification. By Him who speaketh truth he is declared righteous. The Lord imputes unto the believer the righteousness of Christ and pronounces him righteous before the universe. He transfers his sins to Jesus, the sinner’s representative, substitute, and surety. Upon Christ He lays the iniquity of every soul that believeth. ‘He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him’ (2 Corinthians 5:21).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 392.

11 To receive this righteousness, where must God’s Law be written? Hebrews 8:10.

NOTE: “My dear brethren and sisters, let the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ be in your minds continually and let them crowd out worldly thoughts and cares. When you lie down and when you rise up, let them be your meditation. Live and act wholly in reference to the coming of the Son of man. The sealing time is very short, and will soon be over. Now is the time, while the four angels are holding the four winds, to make our calling and election sure.” Early Writings, 58.

“I saw that it is our duty in every case to obey the laws of our land, unless they conflict with the higher law which God spoke with an audible voice from Sinai, and afterward engraved on stone with His own finger. . . . He who has God’s law written in the heart will obey God rather than men, and will sooner disobey all men than deviate in the least from the commandment of God. God’s people, taught by the inspiration of truth, and led by a good conscience to live by every word of God, will take His law, written in their hearts, as the only authority which they can acknowledge or consent to obey. The wisdom and authority of the divine law are supreme.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 361.

12 What is said of those in whose hearts the Law of God is written? Psalm 119:11; 37:31.

NOTE: “The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the word of God. By trusting in God’s promises, He received power to obey God’s commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage. To every temptation His answer was, ‘It is written.’ So God has given us His word wherewith to resist evil. Exceeding great and precious promises are ours, that by these we ‘might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ 2 Peter 1:4.” The Ministry of Healing, 181.

“The prayer of Christ for His disciples was, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.’ [John 17:17.] If we are to be sanctified through a knowledge of the truth found in the word of God, we must have an intelligent knowledge of His will therein revealed. We must search the Scriptures, not merely rush through a chapter and repeat it, taking no pains to understand it, but we must dig for the jewel of truth which will enrich the mind, and fortify the soul against the wiles and temptations of the archdeceiver.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 19.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 8:2–6

April 6-12, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” Hebrews 8:6.

SUGGESTED READING: Evangelism, 597–599.

INTRODUCTION: “The condition of the unbelieving Jews illustrates the condition of the careless and unbelieving among professed Christians, who are willingly ignorant of the work of our merciful High Priest. In the typical service, when the high priest entered the most holy place, all Israel were required to gather about the sanctuary and in the most solemn manner humble their souls before God, that they might receive the pardon of their sins and not be cut off from the congregation. How much more essential in this antitypical Day of Atonement that we understand the work of our High Priest and know what duties are required of us.” The Great Controversy, 430.

1 Why did God direct Moses to build a sanctuary? Exodus 25:8.

NOTE: “He [God] abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them. So Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment. He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us and make us familiar with His divine character and life. . . .

“Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. . . .

” ‘God with us’ is the surety of our deliverance from sin, the assurance of our power to obey the law of heaven.” My Life Today, 290.

2 Who were permitted to go into the sanctuary? Numbers 18:1–7.

NOTE: “By divine direction the tribe of Levi was set apart for the service of the sanctuary. In the earliest times every man was the priest of his own household. In the days of Abraham the priesthood was regarded as the birthright of the eldest son. Now, instead of the first-born of all Israel, the Lord accepted the tribe of Levi for the work of the sanctuary. By this signal honor He manifested His approval of their fidelity, both in adhering to His service and in executing His judgments when Israel apostatized in the worship of the golden calf. The priesthood, however, was restricted to the family of Aaron. Aaron and his sons alone were permitted to minister before the Lord; the rest of the tribe were entrusted with the charge of the tabernacle and its furniture, and they were to attend upon the priests in their ministration, but they were not to sacrifice, to burn incense, or to see the holy things till they were covered.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 350.

3 How often did the priests go into the holy place? Hebrews 7:27.

NOTE: “The ministration of the sanctuary consisted of two divisions, a daily and a yearly service. The daily service was performed at the altar of burnt offering in the court of the tabernacle and in the holy place; while the yearly service was in the most holy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 352.

4 Who was permitted to go into the most holy place? Hebrews 9:7. Compare Leviticus 16:2–20.

NOTE: “Once a year the high priest performed a special work of atonement in the most holy, for the cleansing of the sanctuary.” The Great Controversy, 418.

“On the Day of Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood of this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directly over the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and bore them from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people.” Ibid., 420.

5 In what does our High Priest minister? Hebrews 8:2.

NOTE: “The Jewish tabernacle was a type of the Christian church. It was a wonderful structure, made in two parts, the outer and the inner, one open to the ministration of all the priests, the other to the high priest alone, who represented Christ.

“The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the ‘true tabernacle,’ whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform. This tabernacle is Christ’s body, and from north, south, east, and west, He gathers those who shall help to compose it. . . .

“A holy tabernacle is built up of those who receive Christ as their personal Saviour. . . .

“Christ is the Minister of the true tabernacle, the High Priest of all who believe in Him as a personal Saviour: and His office no other can take. He is the High Priest of the church, and He has a work to do which no other can perform.” The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1900.

6 Where was the blood of the sin offerings presented before the Lord in the earthly sanctuary? Leviticus 4:7; 16:14, 15.

NOTE: “Christ, in counsel with His Father, instituted the system of sacrificial offerings; that death, instead of being immediately visited upon the transgressor [of God’s law], should be transferred to a victim which should prefigure the great and perfect offering of the Son of God.

“The sins of the people were transferred in figure to the officiating priest, who was a mediator for the people. The priest could not himself become an offering for sin, and make an atonement with his life, for he was also a sinner. Therefore, instead of suffering death himself, he killed a lamb without blemish; the penalty of sin was transferred to the innocent beast, which thus became his immediate substitute, and typified the perfect offering of Jesus Christ. Through the blood of this victim, man looked forward by faith to the blood of Christ which would atone for the sins of the world.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 230.

7 Why could Christ not have held a priesthood on earth? Hebrews 8:4. Compare Numbers 16:39, 40.

NOTE: “The apostle [Paul preaching at Corinth] showed that according to the prophecies and the universal expectation of the Jews, the Messiah would be of the lineage of Abraham and David. He then traced his descent from the great patriarch Abraham, through the royal psalmist. He proved from Scripture what were to have been the character and works of the promised Messiah, and also his reception and treatment on earth, as testified by the holy prophets. He then showed that these predictions also had been fulfilled in the life, ministry, and death of Jesus, and hence that he was indeed the world’s Redeemer.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 103, 104.

8 Who were the priests that served according to the law, and what was the nature of their service? Exodus 28:1; Numbers 18:1, 7; Hebrews 8:5, first part.

NOTE: “Later, when the tabernacle was to be built in the wilderness, chosen men were specially endowed by God with skill and wisdom for the construction of the sacred building. And when it was completed, certain men were appointed to perform certain parts of the holy service. Moses, and Aaron and his sons, were to minister before the tabernacle of witness. . . .

“So particular was the Lord that this sacred work should be performed only by those whom he had appointed, that he declared: ‘The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.’ [Numbers 18:7.] Every worker was to know his place, and to perform faithfully the special duties committed to him; and he was to let alone that which another worker had been appointed to do.” Review and Herald, October 5, 1905.

9 What is meant by “the example and shadow”? Hebrews 8:5; Exodus 25:40.

NOTE: “In the building of the sanctuary as a dwelling place for God, Moses was directed to make all things according to the pattern of things in the heavens. God called him into the mount, and revealed to him the heavenly things, and in their similitude the tabernacle, with all that pertained to it, was fashioned.” The Faith I Live By, 192.

“The people were taught each day, by means of types and shadows, the great truths relative to the advent of Christ as Redeemer, Priest, and King; and once each year their minds were carried forward to the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, the final purification of the universe from sin and sinners. The sacrifices and offerings of the Mosaic ritual were ever pointing toward a better service, even a heavenly.” Ibid., 195.

“What was done in type in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary.” The Great Controversy, 420.

10 Of what is Christ the mediator? Hebrews 8:6.

NOTE: “Those who today teach unpopular truths need not be discouraged if at times they meet with no more favorable reception, even from those who claim to be Christians, than did Paul and his fellow workers from the people among whom they labored. The messengers of the cross must arm themselves with watchfulness and prayer, and move forward with faith and courage, working always in the name of Jesus. They must exalt Christ as man’s mediator in the heavenly sanctuary, the One in whom all the sacrifices of the Old Testament dispensation centered, and through whose atoning sacrifice the transgressors of God’s law may find peace and pardon.” The Acts of the Apostles, 230.

“The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God’s right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ’s propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable. Then gracious answers are returned.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 344.

11 What was the old covenant? Exodus 19:5–8; 24:3–8.

NOTE: “Another compact [other than the Abrahamic covenant]—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.” God’s Amazing Grace, 135.

“God . . . gave them [Israel] His law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: ‘If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then . . . ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.’ Exodus 19:5, 6. The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant, and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. . . .

“The terms of the ‘old covenant’ were, Obey and live: ‘If a man do, he shall even live in them;’ but ‘cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.’ Ezekiel 20:11; Leviticus 18:5; Deuteronomy 27:26.” The Faith I Live By, 78.

12 Upon what was the better covenant established? Hebrews 8:6.

NOTE: “The ‘new covenant’ was established upon ‘better promises’—the promise of forgiveness of sins, and of the grace of God to renew the heart, and bring it into harmony with the principles of God’s law.

“The only means of salvation is provided under the Abrahamic covenant.” The Faith I Live By, 78.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 7:27–8:2

March 30- April 5, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “Now of the things which we have spoken [this is] the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens . . . .” Hebrews 8:1.

SUGGESTED READING: The Great Controversy, 413–417.

INTRODUCTION: “By His spotless life, His obedience, His death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for the lost race. And now not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a conqueror claiming His victory. His offering is complete, and as our intercessor He executes His self-appointed work, holding before God the censer containing His own spotless merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness, the incense ascends to God as a sweet savor. The offering is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression. To the true believer Christ is indeed the minister of the sanctuary, officiating for him in the sanctuary, and speaking through God’s appointed agencies.

“Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come to Him in faith. He will cleanse them from all defilement if they will let Him. But if they cling to their sins, they cannot possibly be saved; for Christ’s righteousness covers no sin unrepented of. God has declared that those who receive Christ as their Redeemer, accepting Him as the One who takes away all sin, will receive pardon for their transgressions. These are the terms of our election. Man’s salvation depends upon his receiving Christ by faith. Those who will not receive Him lose eternal life because they refused to avail themselves of the only means provided by the Father and the Son for the salvation of a perishing world (Manuscript 142, 1899).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 930, 931.

1 How often did the priests of the order of Aaron offer up sacrifice? Hebrews 7:27, first part. Compare Exodus 29:38–42; Numbers 28:2–10.

NOTE: “The daily service consisted of the morning and evening burnt offering, the offering of sweet incense on the golden altar, and the special offerings for individual sins. And there were also offerings for sabbaths, new moons, and special feasts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 352.

“As the priests morning and evening entered the holy place at the time of incense, the daily sacrifice was ready to be offered upon the altar in the court without. This was a time of intense interest to the worshipers who assembled at the tabernacle. Before entering into the presence of God through the ministration of the priest, they were to engage in earnest searching of heart and confession of sin. They united in silent prayer, with their faces toward the holy place. Thus their petitions ascended with the cloud of incense, while faith laid hold upon the merits of the promised Saviour prefigured by the atoning sacrifice. The hours appointed for the morning and the evening sacrifice were regarded as sacred, and they came to be observed as the set time for worship throughout the Jewish nation. And when in later times the Jews were scattered as captives in distant lands, they still at the appointed hour turned their faces toward Jerusalem and offered up their petitions to the God of Israel. In this custom Christians have an example for morning and evening prayer. While God condemns a mere round of ceremonies, without the spirit of worship, He looks with great pleasure upon those who love Him, bowing morning and evening to seek pardon for sins committed and to present their requests for needed blessings.” Ibid., 353.

2 For whom were the sacrifices offered? Hebrews 7:27, middle part; Leviticus 9:7.

NOTE: “In the typical service the high priest, having made the atonement for Israel, came forth and blessed the congregation.” The Great Controversy, 485.

3 How often did the High Priest of the new covenant offer sacrifice? Hebrews 7:27, last part; Hebrews 10:10.

NOTE: “Jesus is our atoning sacrifice. We can make no atonement for ourselves; but by faith we can accept the atonement that has been made. ‘For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God’ (1 Peter 3:18). . . . It was through infinite sacrifice and inexpressible suffering that our Redeemer placed redemption within our reach. He was in this world unhonored and unknown, that, through His wonderful condescension and humiliation, He might exalt man to receive eternal honors and immortal joys in the heavenly courts.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 321, 322.

“In the depths of omnipotent wisdom and mercy the Father took the work of salvation into His own hand. He sent His only begotten Son into the world to live the law of Jehovah. The law, revealed in the character of Christ, was a perfect manifestation of the Father. And by His perfect obedience and the sacrifice of Himself, which He through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, He has fully satisfied the justice of the Father, and purchased not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven for all those whom the Father has given Him.” The Bible Echo, November 20, 1899.

4 What sacrifice did Christ offer? Hebrews 7:27, last part.

NOTE: “Christ took upon Himself humanity, and laid down His life a sacrifice, that man, by becoming a partaker of the divine nature, might have eternal life. Not only was Christ the Sacrifice but He was also the Priest who offered the sacrifice. ‘The bread that I will give,’ said He, ‘is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world’ (John 6:51).” Selected Messages, Book 3, 141.

“The great High Priest has made the only sacrifice that will be of any value. The incense that is offered now by men, the masses that are said for the deliverance of souls from purgatory, are not of the least avail with God. All the altars and sacrifices, the traditions and inventions whereby men hope to earn salvation, are fallacies. . . . Christ is the only sin-bearer, the only sin-offering. . . .” The Faith I Live By, 105.

5 Why did Christ not make a sacrifice for Himself, as the other priests had done for themselves? Hebrews 7:26, 27.

NOTE: “The priests who should have been teachers in Israel, were but machines for performing unmeaning ceremonies and repeating the law they did not themselves understand nor practice.” The Signs of the Times, May 10, 1883.

“Christ took human nature upon him, and became a debtor to do the whole law in behalf of those whom he represented. Had he failed in one jot or tittle, he would have been a transgressor of the law, and we would have had in him a sinful, unavailing offering. But he fulfilled every specification of the law, and condemned sin in the flesh; yet many ministers repeat the falsehoods of the scribes, priests, and Pharisees, and follow their example in turning the people away from the truth.” Ibid., January 16, 1896.

“He [Christ] was innocent of all guilt. He gave Himself in exchange for the people who had sold themselves to Satan by transgression of God’s law,—His life for the life of the human family, who thereby became His purchased possession.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 38.

6 What characterized the high priests made by the law of Moses? Hebrews 7:28, first part. Compare Leviticus 4:3.

NOTE: “Had they [Eli’s sons] sinned ignorantly, the priest might have presented a sin-offering for them, and secured their pardon. But their sins were so interwoven with their ministration as priests of the Most High, in offering sacrifice for sin; the work of God was so profaned and dishonored before the people, that no expiation could be accepted for them.” The Signs of the Times, December 8, 1881.

“The Jewish nation were outwardly religious, priding themselves upon their sacred temple, the pomp of priests and the imposing ceremonies of the morning and evening services, gorgeous synagogues and sacrificial offerings. Here were abundant leaves, beautiful and bright, to cover the hollow hypocrisy, malice, and oppression at the heart of all this vain display.” Ibid., February 21, 1878.

“The mock trial of Christ shows how base the priesthood had become. The priests hired men to testify under oath to falsehoods.” Review and Herald, June 12, 1900.

7 What kind of priest was made by the oath, and what was the oath? Hebrews 7:28, last part, Psalm 110:4.

NOTE: “Christ is the Minister of the true tabernacle, the High Priest of all who believe in Him as a personal Saviour: and His office no other can take. He is the High Priest of the church, and He has a work to do which no other can perform. By His grace He is able to keep every man from transgression. His ambassadors, those who receive Him, are born again, and are thus fitted to represent Him. [Hebrews 7:26–28 quoted].” The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1900.

8 In Hebrews 7 Paul has been contrasting the priest-hood order of Aaron with the priesthood of Christ. How does he summarize this? Hebrews 8:1, 2.

NOTE: “As you near the cross of Calvary there is seen love that is without a parallel. As you by faith grasp the meaning of the sacrifice, you see yourself a sinner, condemned by a broken law. This is repentance. As you come with humble heart, you find pardon, for Christ Jesus is represented as continually standing at the altar, momentarily offering up the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is a minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. The typical shadows of the Jewish tabernacle no longer possess any virtue. A daily and yearly typical atonement is no longer to be made, but the atoning sacrifice through a mediator is essential because of the constant commission of sin. Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain. Jesus presents the oblation offered for every offense and every shortcoming of the sinner.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 343.

9 Where is our High Priest and of what is He a minister? Hebrews 8:1, 2.

NOTE: “While Christ is the minister in the sanctuary above, he is also, through his delegates, the minister of his church on earth. He speaks to the people through chosen men, and carries forward his work through them, as when, in the days of his humiliation, he moved visibly upon the earth. Although centuries have passed, the lapse of time has not changed his parting promise to his disciples. ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ [Matthew 28:20.] From Christ’s ascension to the present day, men ordained of God, deriving their authority from him, have become teachers of the faith. Christ, the True Shepherd, superintends his work through the instrumentality of these under-shepherds. Thus the position of those who labor in word and doctrine becomes very important. In Christ’s stead they beseech the people to be reconciled to God.” Gospel Workers (1892), 11.

10 Where do we first learn of the sanctuary? Exodus 25:1–8.

NOTE: “God Himself gave to Moses the plan of that structure [the sanctuary], with particular directions as to its size and form, the materials to be employed, and every article of furniture which it was to contain. The holy places made with hands were to be ‘figures of the true’ (Hebrews 9:24), ‘patterns of things in the heavens’ (Hebrews 9:23)—a miniature representation of the heavenly temple where Christ, our great high priest, after offering His life as a sacrifice, was to minister in the sinner’s behalf. . . .” The Faith I Live By, 193.

11 How many apartments or rooms did the sanctuary have, and what were the rooms called? Exodus 26:33.

NOTE: “The Israelites were journeying through the wilderness, and the tabernacle was so constructed that it could be removed from place to place; yet it was a structure of great magnificence. Its walls consisted of upright boards heavily plated with gold and set in sockets of silver, while the roof was formed of a series of curtains, or coverings, the outer of skins, the innermost of fine linen beautifully wrought with figures of cherubim. Besides the outer court, which contained the altar of burnt offering, the tabernacle itself consisted of two apartments called the holy and the most holy place, separated by a rich and beautiful curtain, or veil; a similar veil closed the entrance to the first apartment.” The Great Controversy, 411, 412.

12 According to what pattern was the earthly sanctuary built? Exodus 25:9, 40.

NOTE: “In the wisdom of God the particulars of this work [the ministry of the earthly sanctuary] were given us that we might, by looking to them, understand the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.

“As Jesus died on Calvary, He cried, ‘It is finished,’ and the veil of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom. This was to show that the services of the earthly sanctuary were forever finished, and that God would no more meet with the priests in their earthly temple, to accept their sacrifices. The blood of Jesus was then shed, which was to be offered by Himself in the heavenly sanctuary. As the priest entered the most holy once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary.” Early Writings, 252, 253.

Food for Life – Tofu Salad Sandwiches

Favorite Recipes from Staff and Friends of Steps to Life

God requires of His people continual advancement. We need to learn that indulged appetite is the greatest hindrance to mental improvement and soul sanctification. With all our profession of health reform, many of us eat improperly.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 156. “We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this, the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. A clogged stomach means a clogged brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many do more than they think, to unfit themselves for receiving the benefit of its sacred opportunities.” The Ministry of Healing, 307.

Recipe – Tofu Salad Sandwiches

1 10 1/2 ounce package extra firm tofu

1/4 cup raisins

1 cup seedless green grapes, halved

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 cup Vegenaise or soy mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sliced celery

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Drain tofu and discard liquid. Finely chop tofu. In a large bowl combine chopped tofu, grapes, celery, almonds, and raisins. In another bowl, stir together the Vegenaise or soy mayonnaise, curry powder, salt, and ground ginger. Add dressing to tofu mixture, stirring to combine. Cover and chill till serving time.

To serve, spread tofu mixture on lettuce-lined toast. Makes 4 servings.

Add or subtract items to your taste. For an added treat, use flavored almonds, if available.

Submitted by Jerry Timmons. Jerry Timmons manages the shipping and mailing for Steps to Life Ministry.

Happy Cooking!

Children’s Story – Missionary Spirit

Oh!” thought Anna Markham to herself as she closed the book she had been reading about a mission in Madagascar. “How I wish it were possible for me to do something like this for Christ,” and here Anna lost herself in a sort of heroic dream. She pictured herself teaching, exhorting the unbelievers in India, or in some far African station, where the gospel had never before been heard. She fancied herself enduring suffering, starvation, imprisonment and torture for her faith, and had just come so far in her romance as to be “led out for execution,” and “forgive her murderers with her last breath,” when her mother called her from the next room.

The rapt, ecstatic look on Anna’s face gave way instantly to a fretful frown. “Oh, dear!” she said sharply to herself, “I never can be let alone a minute.”

She threw down the book and went to her mother.

“Well, what is it?” she asked in a most ungracious tone.

“I want you to run over to Mrs. O’Hara and take her the dinner I have prepared for her, and Anna, if you can, get her up and make up her bed.”

“Oh, Mother!” said Anna, as if she had been asked to perform impossibilities, “I can’t bear to go to Mrs. O’Hara’s, and the house is so dirty and disagreeable.”

“She is an old lady and all alone,” said her mother with some displeasure. “She cannot do anything for herself now, and it is the duty of her neighbors to take care of her till she is well.”

“She might go to the resthome and let the nurses take care of her.”

“She won’t go, as you know very well, and there are some good reasons on her side too. Besides, do you think it would be any more agreeable for the staff at the resthome to nurse Mrs. O’Hara than it is for you?”

“Well, I don’t like to,” said Anna very crossly.

Anna obeyed her mother; however, she performed her errand in so ungracious and uncharitable a manner and assumed such an air of martyrdom that Mrs. O’Hara, who was by no means reserved in speech, told her that she’d “never be the lady her mother was.” So Anna went home disgusted and wished herself away from a home where “no one understood her.”

By the next day, however, she had forgotten about the matter and was telling her mother about the missionary story she had been reading and how she should like nothing better than to go as a missionary to Africa.

“What would you do there?” asked Mother, rather amused.

“Oh! Teach the children, and the women, and take care of the sick, and so forth.”

“You think the natives of Africa would be less disagreeable than Mrs. O’Hara and you would take more pleasure in doing for them than for your own neighbor?”

The question at first angered Anna, but then she began to feel a little ashamed.

“Isn’t it rather better on the whole,” said Mother, “to look about us and see what little things we can do if we will, than to spend the time fancying what great things we would do if we only could?”

After a little consideration, Anna began to see how little of the true missionary spirit she possessed and to feel that she was not actuated by right motives.

We must be willing to take up the little crosses that lie in our pathway and to labor for the good of others. In doing this we may show a true missionary spirit.

Nature Nugget – The Emperor Penguin

The Emperor Penguin is the largest of the penguins. They reach a height of nearly four feet (over one meter) and can weigh up to 90 pounds (40 kg). Emperor Penguins are the only species of bird that never sets foot on dry land, living exclusively on the Antarctic ice pack and in the surrounding sea. Like all penguins, Emperors are flightless, and use their modified wings as flippers to swim through the water. Emperor Penguins feed on fish, squid, and crustaceans and can dive deeper and remain under water longer than any bird. The average dive is over 700 feet (212 meters) for up to 18 minutes, but a record has been set at 1,700 feet (515 meters) for 22 minutes. When traveling across the ice, they toboggan on their bellies, using their flippers to push themselves along.

During the perpetual darkness of the Antarctic winter, Emperor Penguins gather in large colonies on the pack ice. The female lays a single egg. Soon after laying, she passes the egg to her mate and leaves for the sea to feed.

The male incubates the egg by balancing it on top of his feet and covering it with a thick roll of skin and feathers called the “brood pouch.” The temperature in the brood pouch is a constant 96.8 degrees F (36 degrees C). The incubation period runs through the coldest months of winter when temperatures drop to as low as minus 80 degrees F (27 degrees C) and winds reach velocities of up to 112 miles ( 190 kilometers) per hour. For added warmth and protection, the incubating males will huddle together in huge bunches. They take turns moving to the inside of the group, where they are protected from the icy wind.

Males do not eat during this incubation period, and by the time the females return, two months later, the males will have lost up to half their body weight. Females return to the colony at roughly the same time that the eggs hatch. If the chick hatches before the return of the female with food, the male can actually produce a “milk,” by a gland in his esophagus, to feed the chick for a short period of time.

With the return of the female, the male takes his turn in the sea to fatten up, before coming back to help feed the growing chick. The young chick stays sheltered in its mother’s brood pouch for two months. If a young chick falls out of the safety of this warm spot, it can freeze to death in as little as two minutes. As the chicks get older, the adults leave them in groups while they go fish. By January, as the ice begins to break up, the chicks are finally mature enough to head out independently to the open sea.

What patience and faith it must take for the male Emperor Penguin to stand on the freezing ice pack in the cold, dark, winter for two months, not knowing if his mate will survive to relieve him of his brooding duties. We Christians need such patience and faith to endure times of trial and darkness while waiting on our Lord’s return. “God’s chosen servants should meet with courage and patience the trials and sufferings that befall them through reproach, neglect, and misrepresentation. They should continue to discharge faithfully the work God has given them to do, ever remembering that the prophets of old and the Saviour of mankind and His apostles also endured abuse and persecution for the Word’s sake.” Prophets and Kings, 437.

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

Restoring the Temple – The Lymphatic System

“The God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.” Psalm 68:35.

God has given us strength in many ways: physical strength to lift heavy loads or walk a long distance; mental strength to solve difficult problems; emotional strength to handle stressful moments; and spiritual strength to withstand temptations. He has also designed our bodies with a wondrous immune system—the lymphatic system—that provides strength against invading germs. Without a working immune system, each one of us would die soon after birth. Germs are everywhere, and although many of them are friendly to man, the microbes that are not would conquer us quickly.

Last month we discussed the cardiovascular system. The lymphatic system works in tandem with the cardiovascular system, and the systems have a lot in common. Like the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system has vessels. Larger lymph vessels are very similar to veins, complete with valves, and the tiny ones are called capillaries. Lymph fluid does not use a pump like the heart but uses the contraction of skeletal muscles to move the fluid through the lymph vessels.

The lymphatic system actually has three major functions: absorption of excess fluid and its return to the bloodstream; absorption of fat; and the function of the immune system. Besides the vessels, the lymphatic system consists of lymph nodes and organs such as the bone marrow, spleen, and thymus. Certain cells called lymphocytes, monocytes, and leukocytes are produced in bone marrow. Lymph nodes are areas of concentrated lymphocytes along the lymphatic veins. The spleen is like a large lymph node except that it is also filled with blood. The spleen filters and purifies the blood and lymph fluid that flow through it. The thymus secretes a hormone that causes certain immune cells to mature.

The capacity to repel and destroy foreign substances and cells is called immunity. Your skin is the body’s first line of defense, providing a barrier to microbes and toxins. If this barrier is breached, or if foreign substances bypass it, then more specific immune defenses must be deployed.

Someone once said, “A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” When we get an illness, such as a cold or the flu, we develop symptoms. The market is full of over-the-counter medications designed to reduce or mask these symptoms. Such medication may make you feel better temporarily, but will not cure. The reason is because the symptoms are not the problem. They are only evidence of the existence of a problem; they are the body’s efforts to kill the bug. (See The Ministry of Healing, 127.)

Fever, for example, is not an illness in itself but a symptom. Damaged cells release chemical signals that increase the blood flow to the area. When a scratch or cut becomes red, swollen, and warm, for example, the warmth makes an unpleasant environment in which germs are less likely to survive. The warmth also increases the mobility of immune cells. The body raises its temperature in order to kill the bug. It is said that for every degree the temperature rises, white blood cells (powerful immune cells) race to the site of infection twice as fast.

A runny nose and cough are the body’s way of shedding invading microbes from the nose and lungs, respectively. It is better to support the body in its fight back to health than to simply mask the symptoms.

Often the inflammatory process is enough to halt the invasion. Sometimes, however, microbes continue to survive. If this occurs, the body sends in its next line of defense. Certain proteins, called complement proteins, are made in the liver and form a membrane-attack complex (MAC) that embeds itself into the “skin” of the invading microbe. The complex makes a hole in the microbe and fluid rushes in. The microbe swells and finally bursts, dying instantly. Another defense occurs via production of antibodies. Each microbe invader has antigens on their surface. Antibodies bind to the antigens in a lock-and-key method, killing or inactivating the microbe.

The lymphocytes that are formed in the bone marrow migrate to the thymus and become T cells, very important immune soldiers. Another type, B cells, also mature in the bone marrow and produce antibodies. Macrophages are a type of white blood cells that is continually in search of foreign invaders. They are like police cruisers patrolling the city. When the macrophage finds an invader, it does not cart it off to jail. It eats it!

If the immune system over-reacts, people develop allergies or autoimmune diseases. If it under-reacts, disease and death may result. Allergies are caused by a hypersensitivity to weak antigens that the immune system ignores in most people. When some people are exposed to an allergen (like grass) the first time, their bodies make antibodies against it. The next time the person mows the lawn, they develop a much larger immune response, releasing histamine, which starts the inflammatory process. This response can range from mildly annoying all the way to life threatening.

Normally, the immune system is able to distinguish “me” from “not-me.” That is why it attacks invading microbes and not the body’s own cells. Occasionally, the immune system attacks and destroys cells of the body. Examples of these autoimmune diseases include multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

We must make every effort to keep our immune systems healthy and well-able to defend us from the germs all around us. Ellen White warns us also of spiritual germs that we must have strength to fight against: “Satan has wrought with deceiving power, bringing in a multiplicity of errors that obscure the truth. Error cannot stand alone, and would soon become extinct if it did not fasten itself like a parasite upon the tree of truth. Error draws its life from the truth of God. The traditions of men, like floating germs, attach themselves to the truth of God, and men regard them as a part of the truth. Through false doctrines, Satan gains a foothold, and captivates the minds of men, causing them to hold theories that have no foundation in truth.” Review and Herald, October 22, 1895.

“Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defense, and the God of my mercy.” Psalm 59:17

Sheryle Beaudry, a certified teletriage nurse, writes from Estacada, Oregon where she lives with her husband and twin daughters.

From the Pen of Inspiration – Unity among Laborers

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:13–18.

The principle here laid down is the natural outgrowth of the Christian religion. Especially will those who are engaged in proclaiming the last solemn message to a dying world seek to fulfill this scripture. Although possessing different temperaments and dispositions, they will see eye to eye in all matters of religious belief. They will speak the same things; they will have the same judgment; they will be one in Christ Jesus.

We are here today to compare ideas and to form plans so that all may labor in harmony. No one should feel that his judgment is faultless, that his ideas are above criticism, and that he can pursue a course of his own, regardless of the opinions of others with whom he is united in labor. When we think we know all that is worth knowing, we are in a position where God cannot use us. The third angel’s message is not a narrow message. It is world-wide; and we should be united, so far as possible, in the manner of presenting it to the world.

Man is fallible; but the message is infallible. With it all should be in harmony; it is the center of interest, in which all hearts should be united. We may get up points that are of no consequence, and seek to maintain them; but we shall gain no strength by so doing. The message is to prepare a people to stand in the last great day, and to be united in heaven above. None should feel that it is of no special importance whether they are in union with their brethren or not; for those who do not learn to live in harmony here will never be united in heaven.

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:11–13.] God is seeking through his prophets and apostles to make us perfect; but if we would become perfect men and women in Christ, we must “come in the unity of the faith.”

Some have a natural independence which leads them to think more highly of their own judgment than of that of their brethren. In so doing they place themselves where they fail to obtain much knowledge that God would have them gain. The history of God’s work in the past shows that some have an understanding of one thing, others of another. It is his plan that there should be a counseling together. In the multitude of counselors there is safety. There should be harmony in sentiment and action among the workers. Doctrines and plans should be compared with the law and the testimony. We should never feel too independent to learn of one another. While it is not according to God’s plan that one man’s mind shall control all other minds, he is not pleased to have individuals strike out on a new track, and present new theories independent of the body.

As ministers, as the church of Christ, labor to be in harmony among yourselves, to be one in heart, one in sympathy. If you cannot all see alike on every subject, do not allow hard feelings to arise. When the cause was young, if there was one who did not view some point of truth as the body viewed it, a day of fasting and prayer was observed. We did not then try to see how far apart we could get; but we prayed, and searched the Scriptures until the light of truth illuminated the darkened mind, and all could see eye to eye.

The truth is a unit, so powerful that our enemies cannot controvert it. Therefore they try to excite jealousies, to create variance, among brethren, that they may be led to separate their affections from God and from one another. In unity there is strength. In Luther’s time it was considered a great misfortune when differences arose among the believers, because it strengthened the opposition of their enemies. There was a time when the Reformation was carrying everything before it, and if the leaders had been united, it would have been, through God, a still more powerful agent for the pulling down of the strongholds of Satan; but variance arose among them, and the enemies of truth greatly rejoiced.

Even so Satan will come in among us, and sow discord if he can. How shall we resist him? By each cultivating love and forbearance in his own heart toward his brethren. If you see that one of your brethren is in fault, do not turn from him: and speak against him; but see how much good you can do him by treating him tenderly. Instead of allowing selfish feelings to arise, and seeking to preserve personal dignity, let self drop out of sight. Jesus with his long human arm encircles the fallen race and seeks to connect them with the throne of the Infinite. This is the work that you should be engaged in. Do not disappoint Jesus by your dissensions.

Even though you think you are right, you are not to urge your individual ideas to the front, so that they will cause discord. Do not take the position that you cannot err. All are liable to make mistakes; all need to anoint their eyes with the eye-salve spoken of by the True Witness, that they may see themselves as they are in God’s sight.

Here are two brethren laboring together. Will these brethren, if the spirit of Christ reigns in their hearts, be found warring against each other? Will they cherish envy, evil surmisings, and hard feelings against each other? Impossible. Neither one will possess exalted views of himself while he undervalues his brother. Each will esteem the other better than himself. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34.] The love here spoken of is not that sentimentalism, that low order of love, that attracts the affections from Christ and places them upon one another. The love here described is pure; it arises from having the affections centered upon Jesus, making him first, and last, and best in everything.

Brethren, it is your privilege to carry with you the credentials that you are Christ’s,—love, joy, and peace. Will you seek earnestly to have this heavenly plant of love become rooted in your hearts, and then will you tenderly cherish it lest it wither and die? Let Christ appear. Do not cherish a spirit of independence which will lead you to feel that if your brethren do not agree with you they must be wrong. The opinions of your brethren are just as precious to them as yours are to you. Christ in you will unite you to Christ in them, and there will be a sweet spirit of union.

Jesus is ready to do great things for us when we lay ourselves upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” [Isaiah 13:12.] How? Through the spirit of Christ. It is through the infinite sacrifice of Christ that this high estimate has been placed upon man. When we have his spirit in our hearts, we shall be of one mind in him. We shall not then seek to cover up the defects in our characters; but we shall strive earnestly to overcome them. Our eyes will be fixed upon Jesus, and we shall learn from him to dwell in love and harmony with one another here, and shall finally be permitted to dwell with Christ and angels and all the redeemed throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.

Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists (1886), 124–126.

Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.

Before Honor is Humility

Revelation 12 tells us that Satan is very aware of the times in which we live. This has caused him to put forth more effort to deceive as many as possible, even the very elect of God. But Satan is not the only one at work today. God is at work today, also, because He knows, better than any one of us, the time in which we are living. God has a burden for humanity. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” that they might be saved. 11 Peter 3:9. The question I would ask you is this, Is God working in your life?

John 15 gives an illustration of Jesus’ relationship with His people—the abiding of the branch in the vine. He tells us there of the experience of either being fruit bearers or of not being fruit bearers. Someday He is going to have to burn those branches that have no fruit, but interestingly enough, those who are bringing forth fruit are going to receive the pruning knife, the close work of God upon their hearts. Is God working on your heart? It is a close work, and it will become so close that it will hurt. But do not draw back, because He that holds the knife loves you. (See Hebrews 12:6.)

Run the Race

Let us look at some thoughts from God’s Word that will lift us up, knowing and believing that God is and that He is all that He says He is. (See Hebrews 11:6.) Paul said, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:24.

Did Paul realize that the Christian life was going to involve some effort, some discipline? Oh, yes, he did. He portrayed the Christian life as a race. Thinking of this takes me back to my high school days when I ran track. I ran in those races to be the first across the finish line. I never finished first, but I did finish second. Is second good enough in this race that Paul is talking about? No, we must be winners in this race, if we are to win the crown.

Essentials for Victory

There are definite attributes essential for victory, whether we are running a physical race in this world or running the race of salvation. One of the most important attributes is given in The Desire of Ages, 437: “It was not enough [essential but not enough] for the disciples of Jesus to be instructed as to the nature of His kingdom. What they needed was a change of heart that would bring them into harmony with its principles.” What principles? The principles of His kingdom. They needed a heart that would be in harmony with the nature of His kingdom.

You and I have been called in these last days to give a warning message to the world, very similar to that given in the days of Noah. We find that message in Revelation 14:6–12. It is a message full of truth, but there is more to truth than the truth! Jesus said to the woman at the well, “For the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” John 4:23. Friends, it matters how we tell the truth and in what spirit we tell it. There must be a balance between the truth and the spirit. For example, it is not enough to know merely that the Sabbath is Saturday in the weekly cycle and that it is God’s day. God wants us to worship on this day in the spirit of the Sabbath.

We often take for granted the knowledge that God has given us of Himself and of heaven through His Word. If I asked you the question, Who does God dwell with in heaven, and you did not know the answer, you would be very curious, would you not? You would want to know, especially if you had begun a race to eventually be in heaven. We have just noted that the truth is not enough; we must have the spirit of the truth.

By the Knife

There are 12 gates to God’s city. Someday we, by His grace, will have the privilege to walk through one of those 12 gates. Have we stopped to think about what is in that city and what kind of people we will have to be to walk through one of those 12 gates? God makes it very clear who will dwell with Him: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15. Do you know that God is in the business, in regard to salvation, of giving you and me a spirit like that of heaven? That spirit is a spirit of humility or humbleness of mind. But it does not come as a result of just naturally possessing it, because we come into this world totally on the opposite end of that spirit of humility and humbleness. It comes only by the knife, as we allow God’s Word to do His work upon us, to cut out the things that stand between Him and us.

For three and one-half years the disciples were constantly focused on one object. They had a preoccupation with the question of who would be first in Christ’s kingdom. “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:1–3. The disciples wanted to know who would be the greatest, and if He gave them the answer, then that was the goal they would attempt to achieve, because they had decided to run the race. You will not be able to walk through one of those 12 gates into My Father’s house, Jesus told them, if you do not become as a little child in spirit. What does that involve? It involves change. Some of the changes we make in this world are totally painless. When my wife and I left Texas and moved to Kansas, it was not too much of a pain. We moved our bank account from one bank to another, and that was not too much of a pain. But there are some changes that involve pain, and the change identified in these verses is one of them.

Ellen White comments on this verse: “They did not understand the nature of Christ’s kingdom, and this ignorance was the apparent cause of their contention. But, the real cause lay deeper. By explaining the nature of the kingdom, Christ might for the time have quelled their strife; but this would not have touched the underlying cause. Even after they had received the fullest knowledge [let us not be deceived by a mere knowledge of truth; it will not save us], any question of precedence might have renewed the trouble.” The Desire of Ages, 435. The knife had to go farther in to cut out the obstacle that was in the way, so they would not only be able to perceive the true nature of His kingdom but also to receive the spirit by which they could enter that kingdom.

Most Precious Attribute

God lays out a principle for us in Proverbs 15:33: “The fear of the Lord [is] the instruction of wisdom; and before honour [is] humility.” This is one of the most precious attributes of God, and it becomes more precious as we understand the power and the wisdom that our God has. This humility is the most marvelous attribute in the character of God. Before honor is humility, and before the crown is the cross.

The apostle Paul has told us that the things God has left on record in His Word are for our learning.

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4. We can have hope, because God is well able to take a proud heart and humble it, to give to us the very spirit of humility that is in harmony with heaven’s spirit. He can do that.

I am reminded of the statement that Gabriel said to Mary regarding the miracle Child that was to be born. He said, “With God, nothing is impossible.” (Luke 1:37.) Here is a being who stands in the very presence of God; he is right next to the Father today; he knows Him, and he says, “Nothing is impossible with the God Who created us!”

Examples for us

We have the record of Moses. He was not known as a humble man! He was a great general; he was very arrogant, proud, and aware of the abilities that God had given him. But there came a time in his life when God called him, and he fled into the wilderness. He spent 40 years in the wilderness before God called him again. What happened to this man’s proud, arrogant heart in 40 years? The Pen of Inspiration tells us, “Shut in by the bulwarks of the mountains, Moses was alone with God. Moses was shut in with God. The magnificent temples of Egypt no longer impressed his mind with their superstition and falsehood. In the solemn grandeur of the everlasting hills he beheld the majesty of the Most High, and in contrast realized how powerless and insignificant were the gods of Egypt. Everywhere the Creator’s name was written. Moses seemed to stand in His presence and to be over-shadowed by His power. Here his pride and self-sufficiency were swept away.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 248. How was he humbled? As he viewed God and the greatness of God, he took on the spirit of humility.

Another character that is recorded in Scripture had the tremendous privilege of physically walking with Jesus Christ for three and one-half years. His name was John, and he had a brother, James. God tells us that they had a nickname; they were known as “The Sons of Thunder.” (See Mark 3:17.) That does not sound too humble, does it? They were not; they were just like us. But something took place in the life of John that caused him to become humble-minded like his Saviour and Lord. “During the years of his [John’s] close association with Christ, he was often warned and cautioned by the Saviour, and these reproofs he accepted. As the character of the Divine One was manifested to him, John saw his own deficiencies, and was humbled by the revelation. Day by day in contrast with his own violent spirit, he beheld the tenderness and forbearance of Jesus, and heard His lessons of humility and patience. Day by day his heart was drawn out to Christ, until he lost sight of self in love for his Master.” The Acts of the Apostles, 557. Accepting reproof and correction is one of the ways we are to receive humility. Before pride is swept away, before self is laid down, we must see Someone greater that we admire and desire to be like.

Saul of Tarsus was another person who was filled with pride. How was he brought to the point of being humbled in spirit? “As Saul yielded himself fully to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, he saw the mistakes of his life and recognized the far-reaching claims of the law of God. He who had been a proud Pharisee, confident that he was justified by his good works, now bowed before God with the humility and simplicity of a little child, confessing his own unworthiness and pleading the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour.” Ibid., 119. Receiving humility of spirit involves acknowledging our deficiencies and our mistakes.

Effort Required

What the gospel of Jesus Christ did for these men, it can do for us in this day. It can change us; it can help us run the race and win the crown. But as you read about the lives of these men, you will find that their humility did not come without effort. These men were changed, not by a theory, but by a Person. There is a power beyond what you and I can see, and He is very real.

I have decided and determined that I, by the grace of God, am going to walk through one of those 12 gates someday. I am going to be there, and I want you to be there, but there is only one way we are going to be there. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21.

One Spirit; One Truth

Jesus was not merely our substitute. The majority of the Christian world is deceived regarding this, because they believe that a mere acknowledgement and confessing of sin is sufficient in and of itself for salvation. That is not true! Jesus is not only our substitute at Calvary; He is our example in life. He not only paid the penalty for our sins, but He wants to provide us with power to overcome sin. He was tempted in all points, yet without sin. (See Hebrews 4:15.) He is our example. He is the One who changed Moses’ heart; He is the One that changed John’s heart; He is the One who did the work on Paul’s heart. Jesus Christ lives today in the Most Holy Place. He knows you, and He wants to change your heart. He wants to bring your spirit into harmony with His truth, that they will be one spirit and one truth.

Paul gives us counsel in this matter: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Philippians 2:5, 6. There was a being in heaven one time who thought it was sufficient to grasp God’s power. Ellen White wrote: “While Lucifer counted it a thing to be grasped to be equal with God, Christ, the Exalted One, ‘made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ Philippians 2:7, 8. Now the cross was just before Him; and His own disciples were so filled with self-seeking—the very principle of Satan’s kingdom—that they could not enter into sympathy with their Lord, or even understand Him as He spoke of His humiliation for them.” The Desire of Ages, 436. To enter into an understanding of the spiritual significance of those truths that God wants us to proclaim to the world, we must have a spirit by which we receive from Him understanding of those truths. Humility, a humbleness of mind, a willingness to be taught, corrected, instructed, and reproved if necessary, is the very means by which God is going to give us the ability to understand His Word and His truth.

Time of Laodicea

In the history of this world, we are at the end of time, but where are we in the race for the crown? In Revelation, a sad, sad condition is brought to view. You and I form a part of that period called Laodicea, the church at the end of earth’s history. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus said, in regard to Laodicea, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” These are the people who have been given the special truths with which to warn the world, but there is an obstacle that stands in their way. What is it? “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing . . . .” Revelation 3:17. What spirit is that? That is the spirit of arrogance toward God. They feel satisfied with just having a Bible, if I may illustrate it as that. They feel comfortable—”I have my Bible, and I take it with me to church once a week. I feel comfortable with that.” God tells us that there is going to be, in these days of which we are talking, a form of godliness that denies the power. (See 11 Timothy 3:5.) What are we denying when we deny the power? We are denying the very means by which God wants to give to us a spirit that He will be able to take safely to heaven someday, and that spirit is the spirit of humility. Laodicea has pride standing in the way. Pride, pride of opinion, is the greatest obstacle to humility, and we all come into this world bent in that direction. There is only one Being in the entire universe Who can bend us back straight, and He has done it for many people.

He is willing to help us. Christ wants to give to us a spirit of humility, a spirit of brotherly love one to another, wherein we are not striving against each other but working together. With this spirit of humility, we are not wondering who has the greatest work and who does not, but we are doing the work God has given us to do.

Who Will Give the Loud Cry?

We are living at the last days, and Jesus said He was going to cut the work short. (See Romans 9:28.) Who is God going to use to give the Loud Cry in the last days? Is He going to use us? “Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions.” The Great Controversy, 606.

I do not want you to misunderstand what I am saying. I am not devaluating truth, but truth involves far more than the mere doctrine. If we are truly His people, we shall carry His message with His spirit. We will be humble instruments, used by Him to give a most marvelous message to the world. “Men of faith and prayer will be constrained to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them. The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked [by a humble instrument]. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred.” Ibid.

We Can Win!

The gates to the city in heaven are going to open someday, all 12 of them. Who will enter? “That which even the greatest and wisest can not earn, the weakest and most humble may receive.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 404. We have the potential, through His grace, to win the race, to enter those gates. We can win! Satan wants to tell us just the opposite, but we can quell his suggestions and his temptations with the Word of God.

Do you feel weak and inferior? We should not be comparing ourselves with one another in the gifts that God has given, but we need to have a spirit where we can appreciate the gifts that God has given others—that is the spirit of humility. Heaven’s golden gates open not to the self-exalted, to the proud in spirit, but the everlasting portals will open wide to the trembling touch of a little child.

Jesus our Example

Jesus is our tremendous example. “It shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26–28.

I believe one of the most marvelous attributes and characteristics of our God is humility. In my own personal experience I see a God who is so great, so awesome, and so powerful, who is able to do anything, yet He is humble enough to wash my feet. That contrast makes the attribute of humility stand out. If we are not humbled by that contrast, we will never, ever be humbled. This is the King of kings. He is equal with the Father. He took our flesh and came into this world 2,000 years ago to save us from pride and from every other sin that would seek to keep us from Him. He was a servant, yet He was and is a King. To the proud heart and mind, that is a contradiction, but not in heaven. Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit dwell with beings who are of a humble and contrite spirit. I stand amazed at the humility of our Creator!

By His Grace

We are going to win the race, by His grace, if we allow Him to do the cutting work to cut out all obstacles. What is the key obstacle? It is pride; it is striving to be number one; it is striving to be seen of men. Jesus portrayed a character totally opposite from that. “Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” Luke 12:37. Everyone who walks through those 12 gates is going to be a servant. They will have come to be a servant on this earth, to experience the humility of Christ and serve others instead of themselves.

Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever—He never changes. When we get to heaven, we are going to find the Being that we have read about, the One whom we became like, and He is going to serve us! The God of heaven is going to gird Himself, and He is going to wait upon each one of the redeemed. I want to be there to say “Thank you” to His face, how about you? We can have courage, because God has made provision, and He has a willingness, far above and beyond what we can understand, to do the needed work in our hearts. He wants to do that, and He is able, but time is running out. We are told in Revelation 22 that there is coming a time when God is going to say, He that is humble, let him be humble still; and He that is proud, let him be proud still. It is over; it is done! (See Revelation 22:11.) Today is the day of salvation. Today, let Him cut away the obstacle; let Him have it; it is not worth losing the race. Be satisfied with what He has given you and with what He has promised to do for you. Let us determine to exchange our pride for His humility, that we may have a place with the humble and contrite ones that will make up His eternal kingdom! What do you say?