Bible Study Guides – The Disciples’ Preparation to Receive the Holy Spirit

April 24, 2005 – April 30, 2005

Memory Verse

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1.

Suggested Reading: Acts 1:2–13; The Acts of the Apostles, 35–37, 45, 46.


In the lessons thus far, we have traced the similarities of the trials and attitudes between the first and second advent movements from the first cleansing at the beginning of each movement to the second cleansing at the close. Following the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, about 120 disciples met together to prepare for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit.

1 When was the Day of Pentecost observed in the Jewish ceremonial system? Leviticus 23:15, 16.

2 How many days did Jesus remain on this earth following the Passover? Acts 1:3.

note: “For forty days Christ remained on the earth, preparing the disciples for the work before them and explaining that which heretofore they had been unable to comprehend.” The Acts of the Apostles, 26.

comment: The events of the remaining ten days to Pentecost are of great interest and importance to us for two reasons: (1) in heaven, it was the time of Christ’s inauguration and the opening of His ministry to become our Mediator in the Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary; (2) on earth, it was the time for the disciples to complete their preparation to receive the Holy Spirit.

3 Describe the setting of the opening of the Holy Place in heaven and Christ’s inauguration as our High Priest. Revelation 4, 5.

note: “Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race. This pledge Christ has fulfilled. When upon the cross He cried out, ‘It is finished,’ He addressed the Father. The compact had been fully carried out. . . .

“The voice of God is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. . . . The Father’s arms encircle His Son, and the word is given, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’ Hebrews 1:6.

“With joy unutterable, rulers and principalities and powers acknowledge the supremacy of the Prince of life. The angel host prostrate themselves before Him, while the glad shout fills all the courts of heaven, [Revelation 5:12 quoted].

“Songs of triumph mingle with the music from angel harps, till heaven seems to overflow with joy and praise. Love has conquered. The lost is found. Heaven rings with voices in lofty strains proclaiming, ‘Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.’ Revelation 5:13.” The Desire of Ages, 834, 835.

4 Of what was the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost a token? Hebrews 5:8–10; Romans 8:34.

note: “Christ’s ascension to heaven was the signal that His followers were to receive the promised blessing. For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished. According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people.” The Acts of the Apostles, 38, 39.

exercise: The coming of the Holy Spirit for the “early rain” on the Day of Pentecost is the fifth event on the First Advent Time Line on page 42. Enter “Day of Pentecost” above the fifth upright on the First Advent Time Line. Below the line enter “early rain.”

5 While this ceremony was taking place in heaven, what did these approximately 120 disciples do during these ten days that prepared them to receive this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit? Acts 1:14, 15; 2:1; Luke 24:53.

note: “These disciples prepared themselves for their work. Before the day of Pentecost they met together, and put away all differences. They were of one accord. . . . The gospel was to be carried to the uttermost parts of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of the power that Christ had promised. Then it was that the Holy Spirit was poured out, and thousands were converted in a day.” The Desire of Ages, 827.

6 What was the burden of Jesus’ prayer for His disciples at the time of the Lord’s supper? John 17:20–23.

note: “In order successfully to carry forward the work to which they had been called, these men, differing in natural characteristics and in habits of life, needed to come into unity of feeling, thought, and action. This unity it was Christ’s object to secure. To this end He sought to bring them into unity with Himself. The burden of His labor for them is expressed in His prayer to His Father, [ John 17:21, 23 quoted]. His constant prayer for them was that they might be sanctified through the truth.” The Acts of the Apostles, 20.

7 What did the disciples need to learn in and through Christ? Philippians 2:1–4.

note: “The apostles differed widely in habits and disposition. . . . These were brought together, with their different faults, all with inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil; but in and through Christ they were to dwell in the family of God, learning to become one in faith, in doctrine, in spirit.” The Desire of Ages, 296.

8 List four things the lessons of the Master would do for the disciples? John 13:31–35; Luke 22:24–30; John 17:20–23.

note: “His love would lead to love for one another; the lessons of the Master would lead to the harmonizing of all differences, bringing the disciples into unity, till they would be of one mind and one judgment. Christ is the center, and they would approach one another just in proportion as they approached the center.” The Desire of Ages, 296.

9 Describe the character preparation the disciples did during these ten days prior to the Day of Pentecost. Ephesians 4:2; Acts 17:30; 1 John 1:9.

note: “As the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief. As they called to remembrance the words that Christ had spoken to them before His death they understood more fully their meaning. Truths which had passed from their memory were again brought to their minds, and these they repeated to one another. They reproached themselves for their misapprehension of the Saviour. Like a procession, scene after scene of His wonderful life passed before them. As they meditated upon His pure, holy life they felt that no toil would be too hard, no sacrifice too great, if only they could bear witness in their lives to the loveliness of Christ’s character.” The Acts of the Apostles, 36.

10 What two things did the disciples need to do before they could come together and fulfill their desire to bring souls to Jesus? 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 2:3.

note: “The disciples prayed with intense earnestness for a fitness to meet men and in their daily intercourse to speak words that would lead sinners to Christ. Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship. . . .

“These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the power that Christ had promised.” The Acts of the Apostles, 37.

11 What was the ambition of the believers? Philippians 1:21.

note: “Every Christian saw in his brother a revelation of divine love and benevolence. One interest prevailed; one subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.” The Acts of the Apostles, 48. (See John 13:34, 35.)

12 Since the disciples completed the work of character preparation before the Day of Pentecost, what then was the purpose of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? Acts 2:4, 6, 8.

note: “The Holy Spirit, assuming the form of tongues of fire, rested upon those assembled. . . . [It] enabled them to speak with fluency languages with which they had heretofore been unacquainted. . . .” The Acts of the Apostles, 39.

[All emphasis supplied.]

Bible Study Guides – Second Cleansing of the Churches, Part 11

April 17, 2005 – April 23, 2005

Memory Verse

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4.

Suggested Reading: The Great Controversy, 607–612.


As we continue our study of the trials and attitudes of the leaders and people of the second advent movement, we want to keep in mind the warning that they are similar to the experiences of the leaders and people at the time of the second cleansing of the temple during the first advent of Jesus. The warning is very clearly stated as follows: “We want to understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. We do not half take it in. My heart trembles in me when I think of what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly we are prepared to meet him. The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ—how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 406.

In our last lesson, we studied about the rejection of the Christian churches regarding the instruction God has specifically given to prepare them for the closing events of the world and the Second Coming of Jesus. In this study, we are going to focus in a little closer on the events and phrases used in connection with the closing scenes leading up to the close of probation.

1 What event is identified as the “second distinct call” in the time leading up to the close of probation? Revelation 18:4.

note: “When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation [John 2:13–16]. Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the temple [Matthew 21:12–16; Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45–47]. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. The second angel’s message [first distinct call] is, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ [Revelation 14:8.] And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message, a voice is heard from heaven [second distinct call], ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ [Revelation 18:4, 5.]” Review and Herald, December 6, 1892.

2 In the reference above, what phrase is used to identify the message of Revelation 18:1, 2?

3 What message will continue to be emphasized during this same time along with the message of Revelation 18:1–4? Revelation 14:9–12.

note: “God still has a people in Babylon; and before the visitation of His judgments these faithful ones must be called out . . . . Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard: ‘Come out of her, My people.’ These announcements, uniting with the third angel’s message, constitute the final warning to be given to the inhabitants of the earth.” The Great Controversy, 604.

4 What do the three messages identified in Questions 2 and 3 constitute? (See above reference.)

comment: We have now documented that (1) the second distinct call, Review and Herald, December 6, 1892; (2) a voice heard from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people,” Revelation 18:4; (3) the loud cry of the third angel, Review and Herald, December 6, 1892; (4) the mighty angel coming down from heaven announcing the sins of Babylon, Revelation 18:1, 2; (5) the final proclamation of the third angel’s message, Revelation 14:9–12; and (6) the final warning, The Great Controversy, 604, all refer to the same time period leading up to the close of probation. The chapter in The Great Controversy entitled “The Final Warning” is now seen to be a detailed description of the second cleansing of the various organizations that constitute Babylon.

5 What are the messages of Revelation 18:1, 2, and 4 also said to be?

note: “Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6–12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last that will ever be given to the world.” The Great Controversy, 390.

comment: In this statement, “the second distinct call” is described as “the last” message “that will ever be given to the world.” Just as Jesus cleansed the temple a second time to remind the people that it was His work to remove sin from the heart, so the final call to come out of Babylon is the last call to the people to separate from sin.

6 How is the message of Revelation 18:1, 2 identified in this next statement?

note: “The latter rain is to fall upon the people of God. A mighty angel is to come down from heaven [Revelation 18:1, 2], and the whole earth is to be lightened with his glory.” Review and Herald, April 21, 1891.

7 In Early Writings another term is applied to this same time period. What is it? Acts 3:19.

note: “I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’ ” Early Writings, 271.

8 What event begins during the second cleansing of the Christian world just before the close of probation? Daniel 12:1, middle part; Psalms 27:5; 91:15. What promises are given for the people of God during this time? Psalm 91.

note: “ ‘The commencement of that time of trouble’ here mentioned, does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out [Revelation 16:2–9], while Christ is in the sanctuary. . . . At that time the ‘latter rain,’ or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel.” Early Writings, 85, 86.

9 What else are we told will take place during the time of the final warning? 11 Corinthians 11:14.

note: “At every revival of God’s work, the prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his utmost efforts for a final struggle against Christ and His followers. The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true, that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. [Isaiah 8:19, 20.] By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.” The Great Controversy, 593.

10 The time of the closing message of the third angel is referred to as a time of storm. What type of storm is it? Luke 6:22.

note: “Yet when the storm of opposition and reproach bursts upon them, some, overwhelmed with consternation, will be ready to exclaim: ‘Had we foreseen the consequences of our words, we would have held our peace.’ They are hedged in with difficulties. Satan assails them with fierce temptations. The work which they have undertaken seems far beyond their ability to accomplish. They are threatened with destruction. The enthusiasm which animated them is gone; yet they cannot turn back. Then, feeling their utter helplessness, they flee to the Mighty One for strength. They remember that the words which they have spoken were not theirs, but His who bade them give the warning. God put the truth into their hearts, and they could not forbear to proclaim it.” The Great Controversy, 609. (Compare with Revelation 12:17.)

11 This will be a time of what for the people of God? Matthew 24:9; Luke 21:12; 11 Timothy 3:12.

note: “In this time of persecution the faith of the Lord’s servants will be tried. They have faithfully given the warning, looking to God and to His word alone. God’s Spirit, moving upon their hearts, has constrained them to speak. Stimulated with holy zeal, and with the divine impulse strong upon them, they entered upon the performance of their duties without coldly calculating the consequences of speaking to the people the word which the Lord had given them. They have not consulted their temporal interests, nor sought to preserve their reputation or their lives.” The Great Controversy, 608, 609.

12 When the storm approaches, what will many who have professed faith in the third angel’s message do? Matthew 24:10; 1 Timothy 4:1.

note: “As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. . . . Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.” The Great Controversy, 608.

13 Where will Sabbathkeepers be brought to answer for their faith during this time? See above reference. Mark 13:9; Luke 21:12.

14 As the final warning is proclaimed by the servants of God, what will all the inhabitants of the earth have to do? Joshua 24:14, 15; Revelation 14:7; 13:15–17.

note: “Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.” The Great Controversy, 612.

Bible Study Guides – The Second Cleansing of the Churches, Part 1

April 10, 2005 – April 16, 2005

Memory Verse

“After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Revelation 18:1, 2.

Suggested Reading: The Great Controversy, 603–607.

1 What message in the second advent movement is a counterpart to the second cleansing of the temple by Jesus? Revelation 18:1, 2, 4.

note: “When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the temple. [Matthew 21:12–16.] So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. The second angel’s message [first distinct call] is, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message, a voice is heard from heaven [second distinct call], ‘Come out of her, my people . . . .’ [Revelation 18:4.]” Review and Herald, December 6, 1892.

comment: A similar statement is recorded in The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 725, 726: “When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. Almost the last act of His ministry was to cleanse the temple again. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches; the second angel’s message [first distinct call], and the voice heard in heaven [second distinct call], ‘Come out of her, my people, . . . for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ [Revelation 18:4, 5.]”

2 List four phrases from the following reference that indicate that the attitudes of the people of the second advent movement get worse following the proclamation of the first angel’s message.

note: “This scripture [Revelation 18:1, 2, 4] points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844. A terrible condition of the religious world is here described. With every rejection of truth the minds of the people will become darker, their hearts more stubborn, until they are entrenched in an infidel hardihood. In defiance of the warnings which God has given, they will continue to trample upon one of the precepts of the Decalogue, until they are led to persecute those who hold it sacred. Christ is set at naught in the contempt placed upon His word and His people.” The Great Controversy, 603.

“At the close of His mission He came again to the temple, and found it still desecrated as before. The condition of things was even worse than before.” The Desire of Ages, 589.

comment: The above references are clear that as the condition of the church was worse when Jesus cleansed the temple at the second Passover, so the condition of the Christian world is worse at its close than when the second advent movement began in the 1840s.

3 What instruction was banished from the minds of the disciples that found them unprepared when their time of trial came? Matthew 16:21; Luke 18:31–34.

note: “Before His crucifixion the Saviour explained to His disciples that He was to be put to death, and to rise again from the tomb, and angels were present to impress His words on minds and hearts. But the disciples were looking for temporal deliverance from the Roman yoke, and they could not tolerate the thought that He in whom all their hopes centered should suffer an ignominious death. The words which they needed to remember were banished from their minds; and when the time of trial came, it found them unprepared. The death of Jesus as fully destroyed their hopes as if He had not forewarned them.” The Great Controversy, 594.

4 What identical condition does God say is occurring among God’s people in the second advent movement? For the Jewish type, see Hosea 4:6; 8:12.

note: “So in the prophecies the future is opened before us as plainly as it was opened to the disciples by the words of Christ. The events connected with the close of probation, and the work of preparation for the time of trouble, are clearly presented. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed.” The Great Controversy, 594.

5 In the reference above, what two points of instruction are specifically mentioned that the multitudes do not understand? See Isaiah 33:14–17 concerning preparation for the time of trouble.

6 Describe the attitude of the chief of the priesthood and the leading men of the nation that finally led the Jews to reject Jesus and His work to remove sin from their hearts. Isaiah 59. (The Desire of Ages, 458, says that Isaiah 59 describes the character of the priests and rabbis.)

note: “When Christ came to speak the words of life, the common people heard Him gladly; and many, even of the priests and rulers, believed on Him. But the chief of the priesthood and the leading men of the nation were determined to condemn and repudiate His teachings. Though they were baffled in all their efforts to find accusations against Him, though they could not but feel the influence of the divine power and wisdom attending His words, yet they incased themselves in prejudice; they rejected the clearest evidence of His Messiahship, lest they should be forced to become His disciples. . . . It was the influence of such teachers that led the Jewish nation to reject their Redeemer.” The Great Controversy, 595, 596.

7 What spirit and attitude is manifested by many in the Christian world? For the Jewish type, see John 12:37–40.

note: “The spirit which actuated those priests and rulers is still manifested by many who make a high profession of piety. They refuse to examine the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the special truths for this time. They point to their own numbers, wealth, and popularity, and look with contempt upon the advocates of truth as few, poor, and unpopular, having a faith that separates them from the world.” The Great Controversy, 596.

8 What did Christ say about the undue assumption of authority by church and state over the consciences of men? Matthew 20:25, 26; Mark 10:42, 43.

note: “Christ foresaw that the undue assumption of authority indulged by the scribes and Pharisees would not cease with the dispersion of the Jews. He had a prophetic view of the work of exalting human authority to rule the conscience, which has been so terrible a curse to the church in all ages. And His fearful denunciations of the scribes and Pharisees [Matthew 23:1–39], and his warnings to the people not to follow these blind leaders, were placed on record as an admonition to future generations.” The Great Controversy, 596.

9 How will the popular ministry today respond when their authority is questioned? For the Jewish type, see Matthew 21:45, 46; 22:15.

note: “As the people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, Are these things so? the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears, and quiet the awakened conscience. But since many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men, and demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce the message as of Satan [Mark 3:22] and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it.” The Great Controversy, 607.

10 Why are people today deceived, as were the Jews? 11 Thessalonians 2:9–12.

note: “Many are deceived today in the same way as were the Jews. Religious teachers read the Bible in the light of their own understanding and traditions; and the people do not search the Scriptures for themselves, and judge for themselves as to what is truth; but they yield up their judgment, and commit their souls to their leaders.” The Desire of Ages, 459.

11 Upon what foundation may all, both Jew and Gentile, safely build that will keep them safe through the final struggle over the Law of God? Matthew 21:42–44; John 7:17.

note: “In quoting the prophecy of the rejected stone, Christ referred to an actual occurrence in the history of Israel. The incident was connected with the building of the first temple. While it had a special application at the time of Christ’s first advent, and should have appealed with special force to the Jews, it has also a lesson for us.” The Desire of Ages, 597.

“Upon this living stone, Jews and Gentiles alike may build. This is the only foundation upon which we may securely build. . . . Our eternal safety depends upon our building upon the sure foundation. Multitudes are today building upon foundations that have not been tested. When the rain falls, and the tempest rages, and the floods come, their house will fall, because it is not founded upon the eternal Rock, the chief cornerstone Christ Jesus.” Ibid., 599, 600.

12 What was it that destroyed the Jews and will also destroy the careless and unrepentant sinner in the closing hour of the kingdom of grace? Luke 20:17–19.

note: “And what was it that destroyed the Jews? It was the rock which, had they built upon it, would have been their security. It was the goodness of God despised, the righteousness spurned, the mercy slighted. Men set themselves in opposition to God, and all that would have been their salvation was turned to their destruction. . . . So it will be in the great final day, when judgment shall fall upon the rejecters of God’s grace. Christ, their rock of offense, will then appear to them as an avenging mountain. The glory of His countenance, which to the righteous is life, will be to the wicked a consuming fire. Because of love rejected, grace despised, the sinner will be destroyed.

“By many illustrations and repeated warnings, Jesus showed what would be the result to the Jews of rejecting the Son of God. In these words He was addressing all in every age who refuse to receive Him as their Redeemer. Every warning is for them. The desecrated temple [Luke 19:45, 46], the disobedient son [Matthew 21:28–32], the false husbandmen [Matthew 21:33–41], the contemptuous builders [Matthew 21:42–46], have their counterpart in the experience of every sinner.” The Desire of Ages, 600.

Bible Study Guides – The Second Cleansing of the Temple

April 3, 2005 – April 9, 2005

Memory Verse

“Hath the Lord [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22.

Suggested Reading: The Desire of Ages, 589–600.


In this study, we want to review the trials and attitudes of the Jewish people at the time of the fourth Passover, when Jesus cleansed the temple the second time, so we can better understand the issues that we are facing today.

1 What did Jesus do at the close of His ministry? Matthew 21:12–16. See also Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45, 46.

note: “At the beginning of His ministry, Christ had driven from the temple those who defiled it by their unholy traffic; and His stern and godlike demeanor had struck terror to the hearts of the scheming traders. At the close of His mission He came again to the temple, and found it still desecrated as before. The condition of things was even worse than before.” The Desire of Ages, 589.

comment: At the end of three years of ministry, Jesus returned to the temple only to find it “still desecrated as before. The condition of things was even worse than before.” Here is evidence that the work and teachings of Jesus had no positive influence. This is consistent with their opposition to Him at the first cleansing of the temple, their rejection of Jesus at the healing at Bethesda during the second Passover, and the turning back of “His disciples” during the crisis in Galilee.

2 What did the priests and rulers put in place of humble repentance for sin? 1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:10–12, 16, 17.

note: “In place of humble repentance of sin, they had multiplied the sacrifice of beasts, as if God could be honored by a heartless service. The priests and rulers had hardened their hearts through selfishness and avarice. The very symbols pointing to the Lamb of God they had made a means of getting gain.” The Desire of Ages, 590.

3 What divine mission did Jesus announce when He cleansed the temple the first time? Malachi 3:2, 3.

note: “In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul. ‘The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple . . . . But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver.’ [Malachi 3:1–3.]” The Desire of Ages, 161.

4 What result did Jesus know the second cleansing of the temple would have as he tried to help the priests and people understand His work of removing sin from their hearts? Matthew 23:37, 38.

note: “He who had Himself given these prophecies now for the last time repeated the warning. In fulfillment of prophecy the people had proclaimed Jesus king of Israel. He had received their homage, and accepted the office of king. In this character He must act. He knew that His efforts to reform a corrupt priesthood would be in vain; nevertheless His work must be done; to an unbelieving people the evidence of His divine mission must be given.” The Desire of Ages, 590.

5 How did the priests and rulers respond to the final work of Jesus to remove sin from the heart? Luke 19:47; Matthew 21:45, 46; Mark 11:18.

note: “The Pharisees were utterly perplexed and disconcerted. One whom they could not intimidate was in command. Jesus had taken His position as guardian of the temple. . . . In presence of the people who had witnessed His wonderful works, the priests and rulers dared not show Him open hostility. Though enraged and confounded by His answer, they were unable to accomplish anything further that day.” The Desire of Ages, 593.

6 In the parable of the two sons, who did the second son represent? Matthew 21:31, 32.

note: “The second son represented the leading men of the Jewish nation. . . . Like the second son, who, when called, said, ‘I go sir,’ but went not, the priests and rulers professed obedience, but acted disobedience. They made great professions of piety, they claimed to be obeying the law of God, but they rendered only a false obedience.” The Desire of Ages, 595.

7 Jesus then presented another parable about a landowner and his tenants. Who did the tenants (husbandmen) represent in this parable? Matthew 21:33–41.

note: “Jesus addressed all the people present; but the priests and rulers answered. ‘He will miserably destroy those wicked men,’ they said, ‘and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.’ The speakers had not at first perceived the application of the parable, but they now saw that they had pronounced their own condemnation. In the parable the householder represented God, the vineyard the Jewish nation, and the hedge the divine law which was their protection. The tower was a symbol of the temple. The lord of the vineyard had done everything needful for its prosperity. ‘What could have been done more to my vineyard,’ he says, ‘that I have not done in it.’ Isaiah 5:4. Thus was represented God’s unwearied care for Israel. And as the husbandmen were to return to the lord a due proportion of the fruits of the vineyard, so God’s people were to honor Him by a life corresponding to their sacred privileges. But as the husbandmen had killed the servants whom the master sent to them for fruit, so the Jews had put to death the prophets whom God sent to call them to repentance.” The Desire of Ages, 596.

8 When Jesus asked the question, “When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?” (Matthew 21:40), how did He design that the Pharisees should answer?

note: “Christ designed that the Pharisees should answer as they did. He designed that they should condemn themselves. His warnings, failing to arouse them to repentance, would seal their doom, and He wished them to see that they had brought ruin on themselves. He designed to show them the justice of God in the withdrawal of their national privileges, which had already begun, and which would end, not only in the destruction of their temple and their city, but in the dispersion of the nation.” The Desire of Ages, 597.

comment: This event is noted on the First Advent Time Line included with this study. This point was established in the two quotations used in connection with the first cleansing of the temple—The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 725, 726 and Review and Herald, December 6, 1892.

9 In the parable of the builders, who was represented by the cornerstone? Matthew 21:42–46; Isaiah 8:13–15; 28:16; 1 Peter 2:3–8.

note: “This prophecy the Jews had often repeated in the synagogues, applying it to the coming Messiah. Christ was the cornerstone of the Jewish economy, and of the whole plan of salvation. This foundation stone the Jewish builders, the priests and rulers of Israel, were now rejecting.” The Desire of Ages, 597.

10 What is the meaning of the following verse: “And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder”? Matthew 21:44; 1 Peter 2:4–8.

note: “To those who believe, Christ is the sure foundation. These are they who fall upon the Rock and are broken. Submission to Christ and faith in Him are here represented. To fall upon the Rock and be broken is to give up our self-righteousness and to go to Christ with the humility of a child, repenting of our transgressions, and believing in His forgiving love. And so also it is by faith and obedience that we build on Christ as our foundation.” The Desire of Ages, 599.

11 What is the only true foundation upon which people can safely build? 1 Corinthians 3:11.

note: “This is the only foundation upon which we may securely build. It is broad enough for all, and strong enough to sustain the weight and burden of the whole world. And by connection with Christ, the living stone, all who build upon this foundation become living stones.” The Desire of Ages, 599.

12 Upon what kind of foundations are many people building today? Matthew 7:24–27.

note: “Many persons are by their own endeavors hewn, polished, and beautified; but they cannot become ‘living stones,’ because they are not connected with Christ. Without this connection, no man can be saved. Without the life of Christ in us, we cannot withstand the storms of temptation. Our eternal safety depends upon our building upon the sure foundation. Multitudes are today building upon foundations that have not been tested.” The Desire of Ages, 599.

comment: Paul says that every man’s work will be tested according to how he builds on the Foundation—whether gold, silver, and precious stones or wood, hay, and stubble. See 1 Corinthians 3:11–15.

Bible Study Guides – Parallel Messages of the First and Second Advent Movements

March 27, 2005 – April 2, 2005

Memory Verse

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.

Suggested Reading: John 6:25–69; The Desire of Ages, 383–385, 390–394; The Great Controversy, 582, 583, 593, 594, 603–605.


In this lesson, we are going to study the similarities between the chapter in The Desire of Ages entitled “The Crisis in Galilee” and those chapters in The Great Controversy entitled “The Impending Conflict,” “The Scriptures A Safeguard,” and “The Final Warning.” The similarities of “The Crisis in Galilee” to these three chapters in The Great Controversy and the attitudes of the people to which they were addressed have very significant meaning to the people of God during the second advent movement.

The Impending Conflict in Both Advent Movements

1 Identify at least three sentences in the following paragraph that reveal that there is an impending conflict. For Jewish type, see Malachi 3:1–3; John 6:14, 15, 60, 66.

note: “When Christ forbade the people to declare Him king, He knew a turning point in His history was reached. Multitudes who desired to exalt Him to the throne today would turn from Him tomorrow. The disappointment of their selfish ambition would turn their love to hatred, and their praise to curses. Yet knowing this, He took no measures to avert the crisis. From the first He had held out to His followers no hope of earthly rewards. . . . If men could have had the world with Christ, multitudes would have proffered Him their allegiance; but such service He could not accept. Of those now connected with Him there were many who had been attracted by the hope of a worldly kingdom. These must be undeceived. The deep spiritual teaching in the miracle of the loaves had not been comprehended. This was to be made plain. And this new revelation would bring with it a closer test.” The Desire of Ages, 383.

2 From the reference above and The Great Controversy reference below, find two problems common to the people of both advent movements. For Jewish type, see 1 Corinthians 1:22, 23.

note: “Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.” The Great Controversy, 588, 589.

3 Describe the attitude of the crowd in the synagogue at Capernaum after they rejected Christ’s statements of divine truth. John 6:52, 61.

note: “Their dissatisfied hearts queried why, if Jesus could perform so many wondrous works as they had witnessed, could He not give health, strength, and riches to all His people, free them from their oppressors, and exalt them to power and honor? The fact that He claimed to be the Sent of God, and yet refused to be Israel’s king, was a mystery which they could not fathom. His refusal was misinterpreted. Many concluded that He dared not assert His claims because He Himself doubted as to the divine character of His mission. Thus they opened their hearts to unbelief, and the seed which Satan had sown bore fruit of its kind, in misunderstanding and defection.” The Desire of Ages, 385.

4 What similar characteristics are found among the enemies of God’s people in the second advent movement? John 6:60–66; 11 Timothy 3:1–5; 11 Thessalonians 2:9–11.

note: “Thousands who pride themselves upon their wisdom and independence regard it as an evidence of weakness to place implicit confidence in the Bible; they think it a proof of superior talent and learning to cavil at the Scriptures and to spiritualize and explain away their most important truths.” The Great Controversy, 583.

comment: In The Desire of Ages, 383–390, and in The Great Controversy, 582–586, we see that in both advent movements a large group of people turned against the words of Jesus and His Word. This turning back on the part of His professed believers causes a major crisis in both advent movements.

The Scriptures a Safeguard in Both Advent Movements

5 Where were the people of Galilee to find their spiritual life? John 6:63.

note: “The life of Christ that gives life to the world is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His word He stilled the sea, and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God, as He had spoken through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ, and the Saviour desired to fix the faith of His followers on the word. When His visible presence should be withdrawn, the word must be their source of power. Like their Master, they were to live ‘by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4.” The Desire of Ages, 390.

6 What were “His disciples” to find in the study of the Scriptures? John 6:63.

note: “By looking constantly to Jesus with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people. They will find that Christ is a personal Saviour. As they feed upon His word, they find that it is spirit and life. The word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature. Love takes the place of hatred, and the heart receives the divine similitude.” The Desire of Ages, 391.

7 Who only will stand through the last great conflict? Revelation 14:12.

note: “Those who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and derided. They can stand only in God. In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men?” The Great Controversy, 593, 594.

8 What is the highest duty of every rational being today? Acts 17:11; John 12:35; 1 John 1:7.

note: “It is the first and highest duty of every rational being to learn from the Scriptures what is truth, and then to walk in the light and encourage others to follow his example. We should day by day study the Bible diligently, weighing every thought and comparing scripture with scripture.” The Great Controversy, 598.

comment: In the crisis in Galilee and in the final conflict in the second advent movement, the Scriptures are the safeguard for the people. It was those who believed the Word that passed the test in the first advent and it will be those that fortify the mind with the truths of the Bible that will succeed during the second advent movement.

The Final Warning in Both Advent Movements

9 What happened to “His disciples” who turned their backs on Jesus in the crisis in Galilee? John 6:66.

note: “By the public rebuke of their unbelief these disciples were still further alienated from Jesus. They were greatly displeased, and wishing to wound the Saviour and gratify the malice of the Pharisees, they turned their backs upon Him, and left Him with disdain. They had made their choice,—had taken the form without the spirit, the husk without the kernel. Their decision was never afterward reversed; for they walked no more with Jesus.” The Desire of Ages, 392.

10 Describe the work that Jesus was doing in the crisis in Galilee. Luke 3:16, 17.

note: “ ‘Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner.’ Matthew 3:12. This was one of the times of purging. By the words of truth, the chaff was being separated from the wheat. Because they were too vain and self-righteous to receive reproof, too world-loving to accept a life of humility, many turned away from Jesus.” The Desire of Ages, 392.

11 As the people in the synagogue in Capernaum were brought to the place where they had to decide whether they would accept or reject Jesus (John 6:53–59), what will also be required of the people during the final warning of the second advent movement? Revelation 16:15.

note: “But not one is made to suffer the wrath of God until the truth has been brought home to his mind and conscience, and has been rejected. There are many who have never had an opportunity to hear the special truths for this time. The obligation of the fourth commandment has never been set before them in its true light. He who reads every heart and tries every motive will leave none who desire a knowledge of the truth, to be deceived as to the issues of the controversy. . . . Everyone is to have sufficient light to make his decision intelligently.” The Great Controversy, 605.

12 What will the great final test do? Matthew 6:24; 1 Kings 18:21.

note: “The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false Sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.” The Great Controversy, 605.

comment: As the decision of “His disciples” at the crisis in Galilee was their final decision, so the decision of every individual concerning the seventh-day Sabbath will be their final test during the final warning.

Food for Life – Tropical Chewies

Sugar is not good for the stomach. It causes fermentation, and this clouds the brain and brings peevishness into the disposition. . . .

“Sugar clogs the system. It hinders the working of the living machine.

“There was one case in Montcalm County, Michigan, to which I [Ellen White] will refer. The individual was a noble man. He stood six feet, and was of fine appearance. I was called to visit him in his sickness. I had previously conversed with him in regard to his manner of living. ‘I do not like the looks of your eyes,’ said I. He was eating large quantities of sugar. I asked him why he did this. He said that he had left off meat, and did not know what would supply its place as well as sugar. His food did not satisfy him, simply because his wife did not know how to cook.

“Some of you send your daughters, who have nearly grown to womanhood, to school to learn the sciences before they know how to cook, when this should be made of the first importance. Here was a woman who did not know how to cook; she had not learned how to prepare healthful food. The wife and mother was deficient in this important branch of education; and as the result, poorly cooked food not being sufficient to sustain the demands of the system, sugar was eaten immoderately, which brought on a diseased condition of the entire system. This man’s life was sacrificed unnecessarily to bad cooking. . . .

“He died a victim to poor cooking. He tried to make sugar supply the place of good cooking, and it only made matters worse.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 327, 328.

Tropical Chewies

Cream together:

1/4 cup margarine (or oil)

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup orange juice concentrate

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Slowly add:

1/2 cup crushed pineapple (drained)

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup oats

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

3/4 cup carob chips (or raisins)

Place mixture in an 11-3/4 inch x 7-1/2 inch baking pan that has been sprayed with Pam or lightly oiled. Bake at 350 degrees until browned.

Cathy Summers Timmons, a Steps to Life staff member and a member of LandMarks’ editorial staff, also serves as Director of Pacific Missionary Outreach. She may be contacted by e-mail at:

Do you have a favorite vegan recipe you are willing to share with LandMarks’ readers? Send it to us with a photo of you, if available, and a two or three line bio. We will consider all submissions. Send to the address below or by e-mail at:

Children’s Corner – A Little Child Shall Lead Them

Many years ago, in the Wild West, in the days when the train was the main way of travel, a minister and his wife were traveling with their little boy. They tucked him into bed in the sleeping car, all dressed warmly in his little, red nightshirt, and kissed him goodnight. They then went up to the observation car to watch the stars in the quiet night.

Now, on this same train was a man known as Gambler Jim. He was rough and untaught, making his living off the only skill he had—playing cards. Down in the club car dealing a game, he was about to come face to face with destiny.

After the preacher and his wife had been up in the observation car for about an hour, a rough-looking fellow suddenly made his way into the car.

“Anybody here got a kid what’s dressed in a red nightgown and sings like a bird?” he demanded awkwardly.

The father and mother sprang to their feet, gasping in fear.

“The’ ain’t nothing the matter of him,” the man reassured them, then went on with deeper embarrassment. “The matters with us. You’re a parson, ain’t you? The kid, he’s been singin’ to us an’ talkin’. If you don’t mind, we’d take it mighty good of you to come with me. Not you, ma’am. The kid’s all safe, an’ the parson’ll bring him back in a little while.”

The parson followed through 13 cars to the smoky club car, near the front of the train. There they stopped to listen. Up on a table stood the tiny boy, his face flushed, his voice shrill and sweet.

“Is you ready?” he cried insistently. “My papa says the Bridegroom is Jesus, an’ He wants everybody to be ready when He comes, just cause He loves you.”

Then with childish sweetness came the song which had evidently made the deepest impression on the child’s mind, “Are you ready for the Bridegroom when He comes?”

“He’s sung it over and over,” whispered the gambler, “And I couldn’t stan’ no more. He said you’d pray, Parson.”

As the two approached, the boy lifted his sweet, serious eyes to his father’s. “They want to get ready,” he said simply. With his boy snuggled childishly in his arms, the minister prayed, as he had never prayed before, for the men gathered around the child.

In a few minutes, the father took the child to his anxious mother, and then returned to talk with the men, four of whom that night decided to “get ready.” Among them was the rough man, Gambler Jim.

To this day, it remains a mystery how the child succeeded in reaching the smoky club car unnoticed and unhindered. As for the little fellow himself, his work was early done, for a few weeks later, upon the return trip, he was stricken with a swift and terrible disease and fell asleep in Jesus.

But what of Gambler Jim? He gave up his old life that night and served the Lord from that day onward. He sought an education and became a preacher. Preacher Jim loves to tell the sweet story of the little child that led him to Jesus.

Restoring the Temple – Improper Eating

A continual transgression of nature’s laws is a continual transgression of the law of God. Had men always been obedient to the law of the ten commandments, carrying out in their lives the principles of those precepts, the curse of disease now flooding the world would not exist. . . .

“We are in a world that is opposed to righteousness, or purity of character, and especially to growth in grace. Wherever we look, we see defilement and corruption, deformity and sin. How opposed is all this to the work that must be accomplished in us just previous to receiving the gift of immortality! God’s elect must stand untainted amid the corruptions teeming around them in these last days. Their bodies must be made holy, their spirits pure. If this work is to be accomplished, it must be undertaken at once, earnestly and understandingly. The Spirit of God should have perfect control, influencing every action. . . .” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 118, 119.

Willing Ignorance

“The strange absence of principle which characterizes this generation, and which is shown in their disregard of the laws of life and health, is astonishing. Ignorance prevails upon this subject, while light is shining all round them.” Ibid., 119.

“There are conditions to be observed by all who would preserve health. All should learn what these conditions are. The Lord is not pleased with ignorance in regard to His laws, either natural or spiritual. We are to be workers together with God for the restoration of health to the body as well as to the soul.” Ibid., 121.

Sickness Follows Indulgence of Appetite

“Many persons bring disease upon themselves by their self-indulgence. They have not lived in accordance with natural law or the principles of strict purity. . . .

“The mind does not wear out nor break down so often on account of diligent employment and hard study, as on account of eating improper food at improper times, and of careless inattention to the laws of health. . . . Diligent study is not the principal cause of the breaking down of the mental powers. The main cause is improper diet, irregular meals, and a lack of physical exercise. Irregular hours for eating and sleeping sap the brain forces.

“Many are suffering, and many are going into the grave, because of the indulgence of appetite. They eat what suits their perverted taste, thus weakening the digestive organs and injuring their power to assimilate the food that is to sustain life. This brings on acute disease, and too often death follows. The delicate organism of the body is worn out by the suicidal practices of those who ought to know better.” Ibid., 122, 123.

Price of a “Good Meal”

“A wrong course of eating or drinking destroys health and with it the sweetness of life. Oh, how many times have you purchased what you called a good meal at the expense of a fevered system, loss of appetite, and loss of sleep! Inability to enjoy food, a sleepless night, hours of suffering,—all for a meal in which taste was gratified!

“Thousands have indulged their perverted appetites, have eaten a good meal, as they called it, and as the result, have brought on a fever, or some other acute disease, and certain death. That was enjoyment purchased at immense cost. Yet many have done this, and these self-murderers have been eulogized by their friends and the minister, and carried directly to heaven at their death. What a thought! Gluttons in heaven! No, no; such will never enter the pearly gates of the golden city of God.” Ibid., 125, 126.

A Common Sin

“Overtaxing the stomach is a common sin, and when too much food is used, the entire system is burdened. Life and vitality, instead of being increased, are decreased. . . .

“By taking too much food, we not only improvidently waste the blessings of God, provided for the necessities of nature, but do great injury to the whole system.” Ibid., 131.

Gluttony a Capital Offense

“Some do not exercise control over their appetites, but indulge taste at the expense of health. As the result, the brain is clouded, their thoughts are sluggish, and they fail to accomplish what they might if they were self-denying and abstemious. These rob God of the physical and mental strength which might be devoted to His service if temperance were observed in all things.

“Paul was a health reformer. Said he, ‘I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.’ [1 Corinthians 9:27.] He felt that a responsibility rested upon him to preserve all his powers in their strength, that he might use them to the glory of God. If Paul was in danger from intemperance, we are in greater danger, because we do not feel and realize as he did the necessity of glorifying God in our bodies and spirits, which are His. Overeating is the sin of this age.” Ibid., 132, 133.

Physical and Mental Debility

“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.” Ibid., 136.

For Sedentary Workers

“At each meal take only two or three kinds of simple food, and eat no more than is required to satisfy hunger. Take active exercise every day, and see if you do not receive benefit. . . .

“One person cannot lay down an exact rule for another. Every one should exercise reason and self-control and should act from principle.” Ibid., 139.


“The habit of overeating, or of eating too many kinds of food at one meal, frequently causes dyspepsia [indigestion]. Serious injury is thus done to the delicate digestive organs. In vain the stomach protests, and appeals to the brain to reason from cause to effect. The excessive amount of food eaten, or the improper combination, does its injurious work. In vain do disagreeable premonitions give warning. Suffering is the consequence. Disease takes the place of health. . . .

“A diseased stomach produces a diseased condition of the brain, and often makes one obstinate in maintaining erroneous opinions. The supposed wisdom of such a one is foolishness with God.” Ibid., 139, 140.

“With all our profession of health reform many of us eat im-properly. . . . Let the individual who is seeking to possess purity of spirit bear in mind that in Christ there is power to control the appetite.” Ibid., 127.

Nature Nugget – Mosquitohawks

Mosquitohawks, or dragonflies as they are more commonly called, are members of the insect order Odonata. Odonates have two pairs of wings and consist of three suborders: true dragonflies, damselflies, and ancient dragonflies. Except for two living species, the ancient dragonflies are known only from the fossil record. True dragonflies are easily separated from others in that they keep their wings open when at rest. There are nearly 3,000 species of dragonflies worldwide, from the tiny Scarlet Dwarf of Asia with a wingspan of around three-fourths of an inch to the large Bornean Dragonfly of Borneo with a wingspan of around 6.4 inches. Giant dragonflies with wingspans up to 30 inches existed before the flood and are known today from the fossil record.

Dragonflies are excellent flyers and are capable of hovering motionless in one spot, flying backwards, and can even do loops. Unlike other insects, they can flap or beat their four wings independently of each other at different speeds and angles, which allows them great maneuverability. They can flap their wings close to 30 beats a second, which is slow compared to a hoverfly or honey bee, and are capable of flying at speeds of up to 38 miles per hour. Dragonflies have excellent eyesight, with 80 percent of their brain being devoted to sight. Each of their two, large, compound eyes consists of up to 30,000 individual, six-sided lenses. In comparison, our eyes only have one lens each. Together, these smaller lenses enable the dragonfly to have a 360-degree field of view and enable them to detect even the slightest movement up to 40 feet away.

Mosquitohawks, as their other name suggests, are carnivores, feeding on mosquitoes as well as numerous other insects such as gnats, flies, winged termites, and ants. Using their bristle-covered legs to form an oval-shaped basket, they scoop their prey right out of the air. Along with bats, they are the main mosquito eaters on the planet. They often concentrate in swarms over ant and termite mounds when winged individuals are swarming.

Dragonflies lay their eggs in water or damp places at the edge of the water, which hatch into larvae called nymphs. Some species can lay up to 100,000 eggs at a time, but many species only lay one egg at a time but do it frequently throughout the day and over a period of several days. In many species, the male guards the female while she lays eggs. The aquatic nymphs, like the adults, are carnivorous, feeding on a variety of aquatic organisms. Unlike other aquatic insect larvae, dragonfly nymphs have their gills inside their abdomens. They use abdominal muscles to move water into and out of their abdomen to breathe. They can also use these muscles to jet propel themselves away from danger. Depending on the species, the nymphs can live up to four years and shed their skins up to 15 times before becoming adults. After leaving the water and becoming adults, they live a maximum of only a few months.

Dragonflies are often very colorful and can come in about any color of the spectrum. Some have unusually shaped abdomens. They also sport interesting names such as: clubtails, sanddragons, snaketails, forceptails, boghaunters, sundragons, baskettails, meadowhawks, dragonlets, pondhawks, pennants, and more!

Sin has marred nature with death and ugliness and with insect pests that plague us, but God, in His love for us, has preserved beauty and balance in nature, such as with the dragonfly. If it were not for the dragonflies, bats, and birds, the earth would be overrun with insect pests. “Nature testifies of an intelligence, a presence, an active energy, that works in and through her laws. There is in nature the continual working of the Father and the Son.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 114.

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

The Pen of Inspiration: Abiding in Christ, Part II

Men and women are going forth more and more to carry the gospel message. We thank God for this, but we need a greater awakening. We slide back into self-indulgence; we do not exercise to the utmost power the virtues that Christ has promised if we ask for them in faith. That which we receive from Christ we must give to others. Just as surely as we receive, so surely we must give. None who receive the grace of Christ can keep it to themselves. As soon as Christ becomes an abiding presence in the heart, we shall not be able to see souls perishing in ignorance of the truth, and be at rest. We will make any sacrifice that we may reach them; and there are none of us so poverty-stricken but we can make sacrifices for Christ daily.

It is our privilege to see the work of God advancing in our cities. Christ is waiting, waiting for places to be entered. Who are preparing for this work? We will not say that we are destitute of laborers. We are glad that there are some; but there is a greater, a far greater, work to be done in our cities. Far greater self-denial is to be practised [sic] in order that the word of life may be carried from place to place. . . .

Little companies of workers are going out into the mountains and laboring for those who have not heard the message, and here and there little companies of believers are being raised up. . . . I ask you in the name of Jesus of Nazareth to take your light from under the bushel, and let it shine forth, that others may be profited. We must let our light shine forth in our actions. If we will seek to do this, the light of heaven will surely abide with us, and we shall stand on vantage ground.

It is worth everything to be where you can reach out the hand of faith, and say, Lord, lead me; guide me; direct me in every place where I shall go. It is the duty of every soul to look to God for guidance, to be taught of God, to be led by God, and to do the work of God intelligently.

The Saviour . . . compares himself and his work and experience of abiding with the Father with the experience and work to which he has ordained us, because he represents humanity and divinity combined. It is our privilege to lay hold of the divine nature and say, Lord, you promised it. We ask thee to give us a spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Help us to understand what it means to abide in thee.

To abide in Christ means that you shall be a partaker of the divine nature. Humanity lays hold upon divinity, and you have divine power. But if you cling to old habits and practises [sic] of self-indulgence, and refuse to carry the burden of souls, you will lose your own soul. You will not value your own soul highly, and you will not carry on a straightforward work. It is the privilege of every believer to purify his soul, that he may have the life that measures with the life of God in the kingdom of glory. This is what we all desire—to live through the ages of eternity in the kingdom of glory. But we can never do it if we continue to follow our own habits and inclinations. O, that this burden might be rolled upon souls, and that they might realize that if they will be overcomers, they can help others to overcome. . . .

The work of overcoming is not a joyless work; no, indeed. It means communication with heaven. You can go to God in prayer; you can ask, and receive; you can believe, hanging your helpless soul on Christ. It means that humanity can work the will and ways of God. Humanity and divinity are combined for this very purpose. O, what a different world we should have if every professed Christian would come to Christ just as he is, practise [sic] self-denial, permit the fruitless branches to be cut away, and the good branches to be improved. Such an experience of constantly abiding in Christ would result in souls being brought to a knowledge of the truth. Let the petition come up before God, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do today? Let thy light shine upon me. Terrible trials are to come upon our world, and the world is preparing itself for this. We, too, must be prepared, that we may have the protection of our Heavenly Father. And if we lose our life in the conflict, let us have faith to believe that it will be restored to us again. . . .

God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him might have eternal life. [John 3:16.] That “whosoever” is firm and sure and broad. He who will follow on to know the Lord shall know that his goings forth are prepared as the morning. My brethren and sisters, let the world see the love of Christ manifested in your lives. This will have a tremendous influence, and souls will take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus and learned of him. Do not feel that you must follow the world’s fashions, and copy its indifference. Lay hold upon the Mighty One. Consider the work to be done for the souls that are perishing all around us. Heaven will unite with you in working for them. . . .

The unity existing between Christ and his followers is to be as much greater than now exists as you can possibly comprehend. When you have that unity, you will have power. Angels will minister through your words and through your works in every place where you are. There will be revealed a living connection with the living God who rules in heaven and in earth. . . . Take your light from under the bushel, and give life and light to the world. God help us that we may arouse from our state of stupor.

O, that . . . the great blessing of God might come upon each one of us! . . . We need to pray, and to pray in faith. We need to carry forward the work that God has given us to do. Our children are to be saved; our neighbors are to be labored for; and we are to act as if eternal life meant something to us. Let us labor unitedly, that the joy of the Lord may be in our souls.

The General Conference Bulletin, May 17, 1909.

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.