Bible Study Guides – Promises of Victory

April 22, 2007 – April 28, 2007

Key Text

“The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.” Psalm 121:7.

Study Help: Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 343, 344.


“God proves His people in this world. This is the fitting-up place to appear in His presence. Here, in this world, in these last days, persons will show what power affects their hearts and controls their actions. If it is the power of divine truth, it will lead to good works. It will elevate the receiver, and make him noblehearted and generous, like his divine Lord. But if evil angels control the heart, it will be seen in various ways. The fruit will be selfishness, covetousness, pride, and evil passions.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Professors of religion are not willing to closely examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith; and it is a fearful fact that many are leaning on a false hope. Some lean upon an old experience which they had years ago; but when brought down to this heart-searching time, when all should have a daily experience, they have nothing to relate. They seem to think that a profession of the truth will save them. When they subdue those sins which God hates, Jesus will come in and sup with them and they with Him. They will then draw divine strength from Jesus, and will grow up in Him, and be able with holy triumph to say: ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 1, 188.

1 What is sin? 1 John 3:4; 5:17.

note: “God did not make the infinite sacrifice of giving His only-begotten Son to our world, to secure for man the privilege of breaking the commandments of God in this life and in the future eternal life. This is an infamous lie originated by Satan, which must be made to appear in its false, deceitful character. This law that Satan so much desires to have regarded null and void, is the great moral standard of righteousness. Any violation of it is an act of transgression against God, and will be visited with the penalty of the divine law. To all the inhabitants of the world who make void the law of Jehovah, and continue to live in transgression, death must surely come.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1116.

2 What examples are given by the wise man of what sin is? Proverbs 24:9; 10:19.

note: “We may deny Christ by our worldly conversation and by our pride of apparel. You have a circle of friends who are a snare to you and to your children. You love their companionship. Through association with them, you are led to dress yourselves and your children after the fashions followed by those who have no fear of God before their eyes. You thus show that you have friendship with the world. . . . Does your intercourse with these friends incline you to visit the closet and ask divine love and grace, or does it estrange your mind from God?” Testimonies, vol. 5, 437.

3 When the Saviour magnified the law, what did He say it covered? See Matthew 5:21–28.

note: “It [God’s law] extends to the deep secrets of man’s moral nature and throws a flood of light upon that which has been concealed from the sight and knowledge of men. What the hands may do or the tongue may utter—what the outer life reveals—but imperfectly shows man’s moral character. The law searches his thoughts, motives, and purposes. The dark passions that lie hidden from the sight of men, the jealousy, hatred, lust, and ambition, the evil deeds meditated upon in the dark recesses of the soul, yet never executed for want of opportunity—all these God’s law condemns.” The Acts of the Apostles, 424.

“The righteousness which Christ taught is conformity of heart and life to the revealed will of God. Sinful men can become righteous only as they have faith in God and maintain a vital connection with Him. Then true godliness will elevate the thoughts and ennoble the life. Then the external forms of religion accord with the Christian’s internal purity. Then the ceremonies required in the service of God are not meaningless rites, like those of the hypocritical Pharisees.

“Jesus takes up the commandments separately, and explains the depth and breadth of their requirement. Instead of removing one jot of their force, He shows how far-reaching their principles are, and exposes the fatal mistake of the Jews in their outward show of obedience. He declares that by the evil thought or the lustful look the law of God is transgressed. One who becomes a party to the least injustice is breaking the law and degrading his own moral nature.” The Desire of Ages, 310.

4 What standard of moral perfection is to characterize those waiting for the coming of the Lord? 11 Peter 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:23. To what state of character must we attain in order to see God in peace when He comes? Hebrews 12:14. Compare Exodus 3:2–5; Joshua 5:13–15.

note: “The Scriptures teach us to seek for the sanctification to God of body, soul, and spirit. In this work we are to be laborers together with God. Much may be done to restore the moral image of God in man, to improve the physical, mental, and moral capabilities. Great changes can be made in the physical system by obeying the laws of God and bringing into the body nothing that defiles. And while we cannot claim perfection of the flesh, we may have Christian perfection of the soul. Through the sacrifice made in our behalf, sins may be perfectly forgiven. Our dependence is not in what man can do; it is in what God can do for man through Christ. When we surrender ourselves wholly to God, and fully believe, the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin. The conscience can be freed from condemnation. Through faith in His blood, all may be made perfect in Christ Jesus. Thank God that we are not dealing with impossibilities. We may claim sanctification. We may enjoy the favor of God. We are not to be anxious about what Christ and God think of us, but about what God thinks of Christ, our Substitute.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 32, 33.

5 Through whom is victory over sin gained? 1 Corinthians 15:57.

note: “The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, but he will maintain a constant warfare against it. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims: ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57.” The Great Controversy, 469, 470.

6 What will the armor of God enable us to do? Ephesians 6:13.

note: “The gaining of eternal life will ever involve a struggle, a conflict. We are continually to be found fighting the good fight of faith. We are soldiers of Christ; and those who enlist in His army are expected to do difficult work, work which will tax their energies to the utmost. We must understand that a soldier’s life is one of aggressive warfare, of perseverance and endurance. For Christ’s sake we are to endure trials.

“Victories are not gained by ceremonies or display but by simple obedience to the highest General, the Lord God of heaven. He who trusts in this Leader will never know defeat. Obedience to God is liberty from the thraldom of sin, deliverance from human passion and impulse. Man may stand conqueror of himself, conqueror of his own inclinations, conqueror of principalities and powers, and of the ‘rulers of the darkness of this world,’ and of ‘spiritual wickedness in high places.’ [Ephesians 6:12.]” In Heavenly Places, 259.

7 How continuous may be our victory through Jesus? Where is this victory manifest? 11 Corinthians 2:14. What further assurance of victory is given us through Him who loves us? Romans 8:35–37.

note: “The love of God does not lead Him to excuse sin. He did not excuse it in Satan; He did not excuse it in Adam or in Cain; nor will He excuse it in any other of the children of men. He will not connive at our sins or overlook our defects of character. He expects us to overcome in His name.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 316.

“The tempter’s agency is not to be accounted an excuse for one wrong act. Satan is jubilant when he hears the professed followers of Christ making excuses for their deformity of character. It is these excuses that lead to sin. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, believing child of God.” The Desire of Ages, 311.

8 From what does the psalmist say the Lord will preserve us? Psalm 121:7. Compare Isaiah 56:2. How will submission to God affect the enemy? James 4:7.

note: “Satan carefully studies the constitutional sins of men, and then he begins his work of alluring and ensnaring them. We are in the thickest of temptations, but there is victory for us if we fight manfully the battles of the Lord.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 97.

“Every Christian must stand on guard continually, watching every avenue of the soul where Satan might find access. He must pray for divine help and at the same time resolutely resist every inclination to sin. By courage, by faith, by persevering toil, he can conquer. But let him remember that to gain the victory Christ must abide in him and he in Christ.” Ibid., 47.

9 What standard of life did Jesus set before the man healed of an infirmity? John 5:14.

note: “The Saviour in His miracles revealed the power that is continually at work in man’s behalf, to sustain and to heal him. Through the agencies of nature, God is working, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, to keep us alive, to build up and restore us. When any part of the body sustains injury, a healing process is at once begun; nature’s agencies are set at work to restore soundness. But the power working through these agencies is the power of God. All life-giving power is from Him. When one recovers from disease, it is God who restores him.

“Sickness, suffering, and death are work of an antagonistic power. Satan is the destroyer; God is the restorer. . . .

“When Christ healed disease, He warned many of the afflicted ones, ‘Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.’ John 5:14. Thus He taught that they had brought disease upon themselves by transgressing the laws of God, and that health could be preserved only by obedience.” The Ministry of Healing, 112, 113.

10 What power is promised to the believer? Ephesians 1:17–22.

note: “Satan cannot hold the dead in his grasp when the Son of God bids them live. He cannot hold in spiritual death one soul who in faith receives Christ’s word of power. . . . God ‘hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.’ Colossians 1:13. It is all offered us in His word. If we receive the word, we have the deliverance.” The Desire of Ages, 320.

11 How did the 70 testify concerning the power given to them? What additional assurance was given? What was a greater cause of rejoicing? Luke 10:17–20.

note: “Christ’s followers were to look upon Satan as a conquered foe. Upon the cross, Jesus was to gain the victory for them; that victory He desired them to accept as their own. [Luke 10:19 quoted.]

“The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy’s power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.” The Desire of Ages, 490.

12 In whom are we complete? Colossians 1:19; 2:9, 10.

note: “The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus. When a man is filled with the Spirit, the more severely he is tested and tried, the more clearly he proves that he is a representative of Christ. The peace that dwells in the soul is seen on the countenance. The words and actions express the love of the Saviour. There is no striving for the highest place. Self is renounced. The name of Jesus is written on all that is said and done.

“We may talk of the blessings of the Holy Spirit, but unless we prepare ourselves for its reception, of what avail are our works? Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for his fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us,—the perfection of his character? When the Lord’s people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, ‘It is finished.’ ” Review and Herald, June 10, 1902.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.

Bible Study Guides – The Mission of Jesus

April 15, 2007 – April 21, 2007

Key Text

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10.

Study Help: God’s Amazing Grace, 257.


“Christ came to bring salvation within the reach of all. Upon the cross of Calvary He paid the infinite redemption price for a lost world. His self-denial and self-sacrifice, His unselfish labor, His humiliation, above all, the offering up of His life, testifies to the depth of His love for fallen man. It was to seek and to save the lost that He came to earth. His mission was to sinners, sinners of every grade, of every tongue and nation. He paid the price for all, to ransom them and bring them into union and sympathy with Himself. The most erring, the most sinful, were not passed by; His labors were especially for those who most needed the salvation He came to bring. The greater their need of reform, the deeper was His interest, the greater His sympathy, and the more earnest His labors. His great heart of love was stirred to its depths for the ones whose condition was most hopeless and who most needed His transforming grace.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 603.

1 What was the mission of Jesus to this world? Matthew 1:21; Luke 19:10.

note: “From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency.” The Desire of Ages, 22.

“While Christ opens heaven to man, the life which He imparts opens the heart of man to heaven. Sin not only shuts us away from God, but destroys in the human soul both the desire and the capacity for knowing Him. All this work of evil it is Christ’s mission to undo. The faculties of the soul, paralyzed by sin, the darkened mind, the perverted will, He has power to invigorate and to restore.” Education, 28, 29.

2 By what name did a prophet say the infant Saviour should be called? Matthew 1:23.

note: “ ‘Emmanuel, God with us.’ This means everything to us. What a broad foundation does it lay for our faith. What a hope big with immortality does it place before the believing soul. God with us in Christ Jesus to accompany us every step of the journey to heaven. The Holy Spirit with us as a comforter, a guide in our perplexities, to soothe our sorrows, and shield us in temptation.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 18.

3 Whose nature did Jesus take upon Himself? Why did He do this? Hebrews 2:14–18.

note: “It was Satan’s purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. . . . God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. . . . God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the ‘Son of man’ who shares the throne of the universe. It is the ‘Son of man’ whose name shall be called, ‘Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6. . . . In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love.” The Desire of Ages, 25, 26.

“Christ, who knew not the least taint of sin or defilement, took our nature in its deteriorated condition. This was humiliation greater than finite man can comprehend. God was manifest in the flesh. He humbled Himself. What a subject for thought, for deep, earnest contemplation! So infinitely great that He was the Majesty of heaven, and yet He stooped so low, without losing one atom of His dignity and glory! He stooped to poverty and to the deepest abasement among men. For our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 253.

4 What testimony is borne concerning Jesus’ life? 1 Peter 2:22; John 19:4.

note: “Before the believer is held out the wonderful possibility of being like Christ, obedient to all the principles of the law. But of himself man is utterly unable to reach this condition. The holiness that God’s Word declares he must have before he can be saved, is the result of the working of divine grace, as he bows in submission to the discipline and restraining influences of the Spirit of truth. Man’s obedience can be made perfect only by the incense of Christ’s righteousness, which fills with divine fragrance every act of obedience. The part of the Christian is to persevere in overcoming every fault. Constantly he is to pray to the Saviour to heal the disorders of his sinsick soul. He has not the wisdom nor the strength to overcome; these belong to the Lord, and he bestows them on those who in humiliation and contrition seek him for help.” Review and Herald, September 19, 1912.

5 For whom did Jesus die? Romans 5:6–8.

note: “Jesus did not seek you and me because we were his friends; for we were estranged from him, and unreconciled to God. It was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us. But he has promised to give us his Holy Spirit, that we might become assimilated to his nature, changed into his image. Therefore we must put away everything like passion, impatience, murmuring, and unrest, and find a place for Jesus in the heart. We must have the buyers and the sellers cleared out of the soul-temple, that Jesus may take up his abode within us.” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January 15, 1892.

6 To whom are we to look for salvation? Isaiah 45:22–25; Hebrews 12:1, 2. Compare 11 Corinthians 3:18. How did Jesus illustrate this in His night talk with Nicodemus? John 3:14, 15. Compare Numbers 21:5–9.

note: “Many make a serious mistake in their religious life by keeping the attention fixed upon their feelings and thus judging of their advancement or decline. Feelings are not a safe criterion. We are not to look within for evidence of our acceptance with God. We shall find there nothing but that which will discourage us. Our only hope is in ‘looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.’ [Hebrews 12:2.] There is everything in Him to inspire with hope, with faith, and with courage. He is our righteousness, our consolation and rejoicing. . . .

“As we rely upon His merits we shall find rest and peace and joy. He saves to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 199, 200.

7 Upon whom has help for salvation been laid? Psalm 89:18, 19. Compare Isaiah 63:1–3. How many are within the reach of this great salvation? John 3:16; Isaiah 1:18.

note: “Your salvation depends on your acting from principle—serving God from principle, not from feeling, not from impulse. God will help you when you feel your need of help and set about the work with resolution, trusting in Him with all your heart. You are often discouraged without sufficient reason. You indulge feelings akin to hatred. Your likes and dislikes are strong. These you must restrain. Control the tongue. . . . Help has been laid upon One that is mighty. He will be your strength and support, your front guard and rearward.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 698.

“Whatever molding and fashioning needs to be wrought in the soul, Christ can best do. The conviction may not be deep, but if the sinner comes to Christ, viewing Him upon the cross, the just dying for the unjust, the sight will break every barrier down. Christ has undertaken the work of saving all who trust in Him for salvation. He sees the wrongs that need to be righted, the evils that need to be repressed. He came to seek and save that which was lost.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 178.

8 Through whom are we washed from our sins? Revelation 1:5. To what extent is Jesus able to save? Hebrews 7:25.

note: “God is approached through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, the only way through which He forgives sins. God cannot forgive sins at the expense of His justice, His holiness, and His truth. But He does forgive sins and that fully. There are no sins He will not forgive in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the sinner’s only hope, and if he rests here in sincere faith, he is sure of pardon and that full and free. There is only one channel and that is accessible to all, and through that channel a rich and abundant forgiveness awaits the penitent, contrite soul and the darkest sins are forgiven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 912, 913.

9 What assurance have we that the Lord remembers His people? Psalm 40:17; Exodus 28:29.

note: “[Exodus 28:29 quoted.] What a beautiful and expressive figure this is of the unchanging love of Christ for His church! Our great High Priest, of whom Aaron was a type, bears His people upon His heart.” Gospel Workers, 34.

“Christ, the great High Priest, pleading His blood before the Father in the sinner’s behalf, bears upon His heart the name of every repentant, believing soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 351.

10 What is Christ made to every believer? 1 Corinthians 1:30; 11 Corinthians 5:21.

note: “If there is anything upon the earth that should inspire men with sanctified zeal, it is the truth as it is in Jesus. It is the grand, great work of redemption. It is Christ, made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

“The Lord has often made manifest in His providence that nothing less than revealed truth, the word of God, can reclaim man from sin or keep him from transgression. That word which reveals the guilt of sin has a power upon the human heart to make man right and keep him so. The Lord has said that His word is to be studied and obeyed; it is to be brought into the practical life; that word is as inflexible as the character of God—the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 80, 81.

11 How is man’s helplessness to save himself expressed? John 15:5; Jeremiah 13:23. By what illustration does the Saviour show wherein the strength of the believer lies? John 15:2–4, 7.

note: “The connection of the branch with the vine, He said, represents the relation you are to sustain to Me. The scion is engrafted into the living vine, and fiber by fiber, vein by vein, it grows into the vine stock. The life of the vine becomes the life of the branch. So the soul dead in trespasses and sins receives life through connection with Christ. By faith in Him as a personal Saviour the union is formed. The sinner unites his weakness to Christ’s strength, his emptiness to Christ’s fullness, his frailty to Christ’s enduring might. Then he has the mind of Christ. The humanity of Christ has touched our humanity, and our humanity has touched divinity. Thus through the agency of the Holy Spirit man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is accepted in the Beloved. . . .

“The branch becomes a part of the living vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the root to the branches is unobstructed and constant.” The Desire of Ages, 675, 676.

12 To whom will the redeemed through all eternity ascribe praise? Revelation 5:9, 10; 19:1, 5–7.

note: “Before entering the City of God, the Saviour bestows upon His followers the emblems of victory and invests them with the insignia of their royal state. The glittering ranks are drawn up in the form of a hollow square about their King, whose form rises in majesty high above saint and angel, whose countenance beams upon them full of benignant love. Throughout the unnumbered host of the redeemed every glance is fixed upon Him, every eye beholds His glory whose ‘visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.’ [Isaiah 52:14.] Upon the heads of the overcomers, Jesus with His own right hand places the crown of glory. For each there is a crown, bearing his own ‘new name’ (Revelation 2:17), and the inscription, ‘Holiness to the Lord.’ In every hand are placed the victor’s palm and the shining harp. Then, as the commanding angels strike the note, every hand sweeps the harp strings with skillful touch, awaking sweet music in rich, melodious strains. Rapture unutterable thrills every heart, and each voice is raised in grateful praise: ‘Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.’ Revelation 1:5, 6.” The Great Controversy, 645, 646.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.

Bible Study Guides – Power of God’s Word in Overcoming

April 8, 2007 – April 14, 2007

Key Text

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11.

Study Help: Lift Him Up, 281.


“The life of God, which 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 it to all the Old Testament writers. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ. It is our only source of power. . . .

“The word of God is the standard of character. In giving us this word, God has put us in possession of every truth essential to salvation. Thousands have drawn water from these wells of life, yet there is no diminishing of the supply. Thousands have set the Lord before them, and by beholding have become changed into the same image. But these searchers have not exhausted these grand and holy themes. Thousands more may engage in the work of searching out the mysteries of salvation.” Gospel Workers, 250, 251.

1 What is said of God’s Word in heaven? Psalm 119:89.

note: “God’s truth is the same in all ages, although differently developed to meet the wants of his people in various periods. . . .

“The word of God covers a period of history reaching from the creation to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. Yea, more; it carries the mind forward to the future life, and opens before it the glories of paradise restored. Through all these centuries the truth of God has remained the same. That which was truth in the beginning is truth now. Although new and important truths appropriate for succeeding generations have been opened to the understanding, the present revealings do not contradict those of the past. Every new truth understood only makes more significant the old.” Review and Herald, March 2, 1886.

2 How were the heavens made? How was the power of the Lord manifested? Psalm 33:6, 9. How were the worlds framed? Out of what were the things which are seen not made? Hebrews 11:3.

note: “In true science there can be nothing contrary to the teaching of the word of God, for both have the same Author. A correct understanding of both will always prove them to be in harmony. Truth, whether in nature or in revelation, is harmonious with itself in all its manifestations. But the mind not enlightened by God’s Spirit will ever be in darkness in regard to His power. This is why human ideas in regard to science so often contradict the teaching of God’s word. . . .

“In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, are not only the work of His hand; they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 258, 259.

3 Of what are men willingly ignorant? How are the present heavens and earth kept? 11 Peter 3:5–7.

note: “The wisdom of men may or may not be valuable, as experience shall prove, but the wisdom of God is indispensable, and yet many who profess to be wise are willingly ignorant of the things that pertain to eternal life. Miss what you may in the line of human attainments, but this you must have, faith in the pardon brought to you at infinite cost, or all of wisdom attained in earth, will perish with you.” Review and Herald, November 24, 1891.

“The same creative energy that brought the world into existence is still exerted in upholding the universe and continuing the operations of nature. The hand of God guides the planets in their orderly march through the heavens. It is not because of inherent power that year by year the earth continues her motion round the sun and produces her bounties. The word of God controls the elements.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 185.

4 By what forceful figures is the power of God’s Word set forth? Jeremiah 23:29.

note: “All should copy the Pattern as closely as possible. While they cannot possess the consciousness of power which Jesus had, they can so connect with the Source of strength that Jesus can abide in them and they in Him, and so His spirit and His power will be revealed in them. . . .

“The faithful witnesses for Christ and the truth will reprove sin. Their words will be like a hammer to break the flinty heart, like a fire to consume the dross.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 254.

5 What is the regenerating agency in the new birth? 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18.

note: “[John 5:24 quoted.] In every command and in every promise of the word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 38.

6 What are some of the characteristics of God’s Word? Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23. How should this Word be received? What will the Word of God do? 1 Thessalonians 2:13.

note: “Only he who receives the Scriptures as the voice of God speaking to himself is a true learner. He trembles at the word; for to him it is a living reality. He opens his understanding and his heart to receive it. . . .

“A knowledge of the truth depends not so much upon strength of intellect as upon pureness of purpose, the simplicity of an earnest, dependent faith. To those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance, angels of God draw near. The Holy Spirit is given to open to them the rich treasures of the truth.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 59.

7 When God’s people in distress cry to Him, what is sent to heal their troubles? Psalm 107:19, 20.

note: “All the worth and greatness of this life is derived from its connection with heaven and the future, immortal life. God’s everlasting arm encircles the soul that turns to Him for aid, however feeble that soul may be. The precious things of the hills shall perish; but the soul that lives for God, unmoved by censure, unperverted by applause, shall abide forever with Him. The city of God will open its golden gates to receive him who learned while on earth to lean on God for guidance and wisdom, for comfort and hope amid loss and affliction. The songs of angels will welcome him there, and for him the tree of life will yield its fruits. . . .

“Not one of us is excusable, under any form of trial, for letting our hold upon God become loosened. He is our source of strength, our stronghold in every trial. When we cry unto Him for help, his hand will be stretched forth mightily to save.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 328, 329.

8 When the centurion’s servant was sick, what did he ask that Jesus might do to heal him? Matthew 8:5–8. What reply did Jesus make? What was the result? Verse 13.

note: “A centurion’s servant was lying sick of the palsy. Among the Romans the servants were slaves, bought and sold in the market places, and often treated with abuse and cruelty; but the centurion was tenderly attached to his servant, and greatly desired his recovery. He believed that Jesus could heal him. He had not seen the Saviour, but the reports he had heard inspired him with faith. . . . In the teaching of Christ, as it had been reported to him, he found that which met the need of the soul. All that was spiritual within him responded to the Saviour’s words. But he thought himself unworthy to approach Jesus, and he appealed to the Jewish elders to make request for his servant’s healing.” The Ministry of Healing, 63.

“The Jewish elders had commended the centurion to Christ because of the favor he had shown to ‘our nation.’ He is worthy, they said, for ‘he hath built us a synagogue.’ But the centurion said of himself, ‘I am not worthy.’ Yet he did not fear to ask help from Jesus. Not to his own goodness did he trust, but to the Saviour’s mercy. His only argument was his great need.

“In the same way every human being can come to Christ.” Ibid., 65.

9 What effect did the word of Jesus have upon the stormy sea? Mark 4:37–39. What did this cause them to say? Verse 41.

note: “Every man’s experience testifies to the truth of the words of Scripture, ‘The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. . . . There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.’ Isaiah 57:20, 21. Sin has destroyed our peace. While self is unsubdued, we can find no rest. The masterful passions of the heart no human power can control. We are as helpless here as were the disciples to quiet the raging storm. But He who spoke peace to the billows of Galilee has spoken the word of peace for every soul. However fierce the tempest, those who turn to Jesus with the cry, ‘Lord, save us,’ will find deliverance. His grace, that reconciles the soul to God, quiets the strife of human passion, and in His love the heart is at rest. ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven.’ Psalm 107:29, 30. ‘Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ ‘The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.’ Romans 5:1; Isaiah 32:17.” The Desire of Ages, 336, 337.

10 What will be the effect of the Word when hidden in the heart? Psalm 119:11.

note: “The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us ‘partakers of the divine nature,’ and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin.

“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.’ 11 Peter 1:4.

“Bid the tempted one look not to circumstances, to the weakness of self, or to the power of temptation, but to the power of God’s word. All its strength is ours.” The Ministry of Healing, 180, 181.

11 By what is the heart cleansed? John 15:3.

note: “The Bible is not exalted to its rightful place among the books of the world, although its study is of infinite importance to the souls of men. In searching its pages the imagination beholds scenes majestic and eternal. We behold Jesus, the Son of God, coming to our world, and engaging in the mysterious conflict that discomfited the powers of darkness. O how wonderful, how almost incredible it is, that the infinite God would consent to the humiliation of his own Son that we might be elevated to a place with Him upon his throne! Let every student of the Scriptures contemplate this great fact, and he will not come from a study of the Bible without being purified, elevated, and ennobled. The truth will be opened to the mind, and applied to the heart by the Spirit of God. . . . When there is little attention given to the Word of God, divine counsels are not heeded, admonitions are in vain, grace and heavenly wisdom are not sought that past sins may be avoided and every taint of corruption cleansed from the character.” The Bible Echo, October 15, 1892.

12 What great weapon does the Holy Spirit use? Ephesians 6:17.

note: “In the Bible we have the unerring counsel of God. Its teachings, practically carried out, will fit men for any position of duty. It is the voice of God speaking every day to the soul. . . . The work of the Holy Spirit is to enlighten the darkened understanding, to melt the selfish, stony heart, to subdue the rebellious transgressor, and save him from the corrupting influences of the world. The prayer of Christ for His disciples was: ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.’ [John 17:17.] The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, pierces the heart of the sinner and cuts it in pieces.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 441.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.

Bible Study Guides – The Word of God

April 1, 2007 – April 7, 2007

Key Text

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39.

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 15–21.


“God committed the preparation of His divinely inspired Word to finite man. This Word arranged into books, the Old and New Testaments, is the guidebook to the inhabitants of a fallen world; bequeathed to them, that by studying and obeying the directions, not one soul would lose its way to heaven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 944.

“The writers of the Bible had to express their ideas in human language. It was written by human men. These men were inspired of the Holy Spirit.” Ibid., 945.

1 What does Jesus say concerning the Scriptures? Of whom do they testify? John 5:39.

note: “No man, woman, or youth can attain to Christian perfection and neglect the study of the word of God. By carefully and closely searching His word we shall obey the injunction of Christ, [John 5:39 quoted]. This search enables the student to observe closely the divine Model, for they testify of Christ. The Pattern must be inspected often and closely in order to imitate it.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 17.

2 How is the Scripture given? How much of the Scripture is given in this way? For what is it profitable? 11 Timothy 3:16. What will it do for the man of God? Verse 17.

note: “The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ (2 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed have themselves embodied the thought in human language.

“The Ten Commandments were spoken by God Himself, and were written by His own hand. They are of divine, and not of human composition. But the Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ John 1:14.” The Great Controversy, v, vi.

3 By what agency were holy men of God, or prophets, moved to speak? 11 Peter 1:21. Who spoke to the fathers in times past? Through whom did He speak? Hebrews 1:1. Who speaks to us in the last days? Through whom? Verse 2.

note: “The writers of the Bible had to express their ideas in human language. It was written by human men. These men were inspired of the Holy Spirit. . . .

“The Scriptures were given to men, not in a continuous chain of unbroken utterances, but piece by piece through successive generations, as God in His providence saw a fitting opportunity to impress man at sundry times and divers places. Men wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 945.

“The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers.

“It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired.” Ibid.

“His [Jesus] word, the ever-present evidence of His divinity, had a convincing power that reached their [Samaritans] hearts. Christ was pained that His own people, to whom the Sacred Oracles had been committed, should fail to hear the voice of God speaking to them in His Son.” The Desire of Ages, 198.

4 Whose were the words spoken by the prophet Ezekiel? Ezekiel 1:1; 3:10, 11. What responsibility rested upon him concerning the message given him? Ezekiel 33:7–9.

note: “The position of those who have been called of God to labor in word and doctrine for the upbuilding of His church, is one of grave responsibility. In Christ’s stead they are to beseech men and women to be reconciled to God, and they can fulfill their mission only as they receive wisdom and power from above.” The Acts of the Apostles, 360.

5 What care was demanded of Jeremiah in delivering his God-given messages? Jeremiah 26:2.

note: “Jeremiah called their [the nation of Israel] attention repeatedly to the counsels given in Deuteronomy. More than any other of the prophets, he emphasized the teachings of the Mosaic law and showed how these might bring the highest spiritual blessing to the nation and to every individual heart. . . .

“On one occasion, by command of the Lord, the prophet took his position at one of the principal entrances to the city and there urged the importance of keeping holy the Sabbath day. . . .

“Thus the prophet stood firmly for the sound principles of right living so clearly outlined in the book of the law.” Prophets and Kings, 411, 412.

6 How much higher are God’s thoughts than man’s thoughts? Isaiah 55:8, 9.

note: “[Job 11:7, 8; Isaiah 55:8, 9; 46:9, 10 quoted.] It is impossible for the finite minds of men to fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. To the keenest intellect, to the most powerful and highly educated mind, that holy Being must ever remain clothed in mystery.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 698, 699.

“Even the prophets who were favored with the special illumination of the Spirit did not fully comprehend the import of the revelations committed to them. The meaning was to be unfolded from age to age, as the people of God should need the instruction therein contained.” The Great Controversy, 344.

7 What assurance is given us concerning God’s Word? Isaiah 55:10, 11.

note: “Receive into the soul by faith the incorruptible seed of the word, and it will bring forth a character and a life after the similitude of the character and the life of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 38.

“Entreat the heralds of the gospel of Christ never to become discouraged, never to regard the most hardened sinner as beyond the reach of the grace of God. The one apparently hopeless may accept the truth in the love of it. He who turns the hearts of men as the rivers of water are turned, can bring the most selfish, sin-hardened soul to Christ. Is anything too hard for God to do? [Isaiah 55:11 quoted.]” Gospel Workers, 267.

“Often our merciful Father encourages His children and strengthens their faith by permitting them here to see evidence of the power of His grace upon the hearts and lives of those for whom they labor.” Ibid., 515.

8 What do the words of the Lord contain? John 6:63, 68. What does the apostle call these words? Philippians 2:16, first part.

note: “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.

“The apostle Paul felt a deep responsibility for those converted under his labors. Above all things, he longed that they should be faithful. . . . He knew that preaching alone would not suffice to educate the believers to hold forth the word of life. He knew that line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, they must be taught to advance in the work of Christ.” The Acts of the Apostles, 206.

9 What is the place of the Word in the Christian’s armor? Ephesians 6:17. (Compare Revelation 1:16.)

note: “God is merciful, and with the truth rejoicing, purifying, ennobling the life, we can do a sound and solid work for God. Prayer and faith will do wonderful things. The Word must be our weapon of warfare. Miracles can be wrought through the Word; for it is profitable for all things.” Evangelism, 489.

“I must be an example to others. I must meditate upon the word of God night and day and bring it into my practical life. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is the only sword which I can safely use.” The Adventist Home, 180.

10 What is Christ called? Why is He so called? John 1:1–4; Revelation 19:11–13.

note: “The One appointed in the counsels of heaven came to the earth as an instructor. He was no less a being than the Creator of the world, the Son of the Infinite God. The rich benevolence of God gave Him to our world; and to meet the necessities of humanity, He took on Him human nature. To the astonishment of the heavenly host, He walked this earth as the Eternal Word. Fully prepared, He left the royal courts to come to a world marred and polluted with sin. Mysteriously He allied Himself to human nature. ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ [John 1:14.] God’s excess of goodness, benevolence, and love was a surprise to the world, of grace which could be realized, but not told.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 400.

“Who is Christ?—He is the only begotten Son of the living God. He is to the Father as a word that expresses the thought,—as a thought made audible. Christ is the word of God. . . . His words were the echo of God’s words.” The Youth’s Instructor, June 28, 1894.

11 How are we cleansed from sin? John 15:3; Psalm 17:4. How may we be kept from sin? Psalm 119:9, 11. What will the words of the Lord be to us? Jeremiah 15:16.

note: “There always have been and always will be two classes on the earth to the end of time—the believers in Jesus, and those who reject Him. Sinners, however wicked, abominable, and corrupt, by faith in Him will be purified, made clean, through the doing of His word.” My Life Today, 77.

“Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to neglect prayer and the searching of the Scriptures, will be overcome by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind.” The Great Controversy, 519.

“The Word of God is our sanctification and righteousness, because it is spiritual food. To study it is to eat the leaves of the tree of life. Nothing is more uplifting to God’s servants than to teach the Scriptures just as Christ taught them. The Word of God contains divine nourishment, which satisfies the appetite for spiritual food.” Evangelism, 138, 139.

12 By what do we grow? 1 Peter 2:1, 2.

note: “The word of God is the seed. Every seed has in itself a germinating principle. In it the life of the plant is enfolded. So there is life in God’s word. Christ says, ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.’ John 6:63.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 38.

“The understanding takes the level of the things with which it becomes familiar. If all would make the Bible their study, we should see a people further developed, capable of thinking more deeply, and showing a greater degree of intelligence, than the most earnest efforts in studying merely the sciences and histories of the world could make them. The Bible gives the true seeker an advanced mental discipline, and he comes from contemplation of divine things with his faculties enriched; self is humbled, while God and His revealed truth are exalted. It is because men are unacquainted with the precious Bible histories, that there is so much lifting up of man, and so little honor given to God. The Bible contains just that quality of food that the Christian needs in order that he may grow strong in spirit and intellect. The searching of all books of philosophy and science cannot do for the mind and morals what the Bible can do, if it is studied and practiced. Through the study of the Bible, converse is held with patriarchs and prophets. The truth is clothed in elevated language, which exerts a fascinating power over the mind; the thought is lifted up from the things of earth, and brought to contemplate the glory of the future immortal life.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 130.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.

Recipe – Lemon Dessert

Lemon Dessert

1 package Mori-Nu Extra Firm Tofu

2 – 3.4-ounce boxes Instant JELL-O Lemon Pudding

1/3 cup lemonade concentrate

1 cup soy milk

Mix together in food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a baked graham cracker crust. Chill for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Gelatin Dessert

12 ounces kosher gelatin (your choice of flavor)

1 1/2 cups boiling water

20-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 cup mashed bananas

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix gelatin with the boiling water until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients; chill until solid. Top with non-dairy whipped topping. Note: Pecan halves may be put on top of the dessert instead of mixing in walnuts, and then add the whipped topping.

Food for Life – Cancer Can Be Prevented Pt. II

It is the job of the immune system to recognize, attack, and destroy foreign invaders, one of which is a cancerous cell. Therefore, anything that strengthens the immune system helps to ward off cancer. Vitamin A is essential in stimulation of the immune system. Plant products are the best source of beta-carotene and other relatives called carotenoids. These are the best forms of vitamin A for the body and its immune system. These compounds serve as antioxidants, which help the body dispose of chemicals called free radicals. Free radicals can genetically damage normal cells and set the stage for cancer. Vitamin A also helps body tissue to develop in a normal, orderly way. It is this lack of normal, orderly development that is common in cancerous cells. Vitamins C and E also play vital roles in antioxidant and free radical scavenger activity.

Whole foods provide more anticancer protection than does just taking vitamins. Another advantage to whole foods is the phytochemicals found in them. There are thousands of phytochemicals that seem to have a role in fighting cancer. An increased fiber intake clearly reduces the risk of developing colon cancer, and there is virtually no fiber in meat and animal products. Selenium, a trace mineral found in whole grains, has also been shown to decrease some forms of cancer.

Increased body weight, increased meal frequency, and eating between meals have been linked to an increase of several types of cancer, including colon cancer.

Regular exercise has many benefits, including increasing interleukin-1, plasma interferon levels, natural killer cells, and blood lymphocytes. Each of these is important in the fight against cancer. Although excess sunlight is harmful, sunlight in moderation may be helpful in preventing some forms of cancer. Adequate control of stress is also vital for a healthy immune system and the ability to fight cancerous cells.

By adapting a personal cancer preventative and protective lifestyle, we can greatly reduce our risk of cancer. Surely you want to have this protection against cancer and to share this information with the general public. Most cancers can be prevented! For a more detailed explanation of this topic, see Chapter two, “Good News About Cancer: It Can Be Prevented!” in the book Proof Positive by Dr. Neil Nedley (Nedley Publishing, Ardmore, Oklahoma, 1998.)

Question – What does God require of those who do not have health and strength of body?


What does God require of those who do not have health and strength of body? Are they excused from the responsibility of doing God’s work?


Praise God! God is love! We really do not understand love. Consequently, we do not always know how to relate to it, because we do not know what love expects of us. The best way to find that out is to study the Bible and the inspired writings that the Lord has given us.

We human beings sometimes go by feelings, thinking it is love when it is only emotional excitement. God has created emotions in us for our joy and happiness, but He also gave us a mind and a heart, which go deeper than emotions. He bids us to reason things out and decide what is best in each situation. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now and let us reason together.” It is not reasonable to expect a handicapped person to do what a strong, healthy individual can do.

God is not in need of our help. We are in need of the service that we can do to gain a character that will fit us for the heavenly society. Some individuals need to learn patience by being handicapped, some by responsibility, and some by illness and by whatever the Lord sees that is needed. God is more interested in our characters than in what we do, because our characters are all that we can take to heaven.

There are several texts that spell out what the Lord expects of us as individuals. “He hath showed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8. “For if there be first a willing mind, [it is] accepted according to that a man hath, [and] not according to that he hath not.” 11 Corinthians 8:12.

Ellen White also gives counsel on this subject:

“Now when you can no longer be active, and infirmities press upon you, all that God requires of you is to trust Him. Commit the keeping of your soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. His mercies are sure, His covenant is everlasting. Happy is the man whose hope is in the Lord his God, who keepeth truth forever. Let your mind grasp the promises and hold to them. If you cannot call to mind readily the rich assurance contained in the precious promises, listen to them from the lips of another. What fullness, what love and assurance are found in these words from the lips of God Himself, proclaiming His Love, His pity and interest in the children of His care:

“ ‘The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin’ (Exodus 34:6, 7).” Reflecting Christ, 281.

But everyone must witness for God in some way—maybe only by being patient with difficulty, maybe only by a smile during pain and distress, or maybe with words of encouragement. None of us are released from the responsibility of reflecting the character of Christ in some way.

The Pen of Inspiration – Necessity of Harmony

The Spirit of God will not abide where there is disunion and contention among believers in the truth. Even if these feelings are unexpressed, they take possession of the heart, and drive out the peace and love that should characterize the Christian church. They are the result of selfishness in its fullest sense. This evil may take the form of inordinate self-esteem, or of an undue longing for the approbation of others, even if that approbation is obtained undeservedly. Self-exaltation must be renounced by those who profess to love God and keep His commandments, or they need not expect to be blessed by His divine favor.

The moral and religious influence . . . must be elevated in order to meet the approbation of heaven. The indulgence of selfishness will surely grieve the Spirit of God from the place. . . . Helpers should work harmoniously in the spirit of Christ, each esteeming others better than himself.

The apostle Jude says: “Of some have compassion, making a difference.” [Jude 22.] This difference is not to be exercised in a spirit of favoritism. No countenance should be given to a spirit that implies: “If you favor me, I will favor you.” This is unsanctified, worldly policy, which displeases God. It is paying favors and admiration for the sake of gain. It is showing a partiality for certain ones, expecting to secure advantages through them. It is seeking their good will by indulgence, that we may be held in greater estimation than others fully as worthy as ourselves. It is a hard thing to see one’s own errors, but everyone should realize how cruel is the spirit of envy, rivalry, distrust, faultfinding, and dissension.

We call God our Father; we claim to be children of one family, and when there is a disposition to lessen the respect and influence of another to build up ourselves, we please the enemy and grieve Him whom we profess to follow. The tenderness and mercy that Jesus has revealed in His own precious life should be an example to us of the manner in which we should treat our fellow beings and especially those who are our brethren in Christ.

God is continually benefiting us, but we are too indifferent to His favors. We have been loved with an infinite tenderness, and yet many of us have little love for one another. We are too severe upon those we suppose to be in error, and are very sensitive to the least blame or question in regard to our own course.

Hints are thrown out and sharp criticisms of one another, but at the same time the very ones who throw out these hints and criticisms are blind to their own failings. Others can see their errors, but they cannot see their own mistakes. We are daily recipients of the bounties of heaven and should have loving gratitude springing up in our hearts to God, which should cause us to sympathize with our neighbors and make their interests our own. Thoughts and meditations upon the goodness of God to us would close the avenues of the soul to Satan’s suggestions.

God’s love for us is proved daily; yet we are thoughtless of His favors and indifferent to His entreaties. He seeks to impress us with His Spirit of tenderness, His love and forbearance; but we scarcely recognize the marks of His kindness and have little sense of the lesson of love He desires us to learn. Some, like Haman, forget all God’s favors, because Mordecai is before them and is not disgraced; because their hearts are filled with enmity and hatred rather than love, the spirit of our dear Redeemer, who gave His precious life for His enemies. We profess to have the same Father, to be bound for the same immortal home, to enjoy the same solemn faith, and to believe the same testing message; and yet many are at strife with one another like quarrelsome children. Some who are engaged in the same branch of the work are at variance with one another and therefore at variance with the Spirit of Christ.

The love of praise has corrupted many hearts. Those who have been connected with the Health Institute have at times manifested a spirit of finding fault with the plans laid, and Satan has given them a hold upon the minds of others there who have accepted these persons as blameless while innocent persons have been charged with wrong. It is a wicked pride that delights in the vanity of one’s own works, that boasts of one’s excellent qualities, seeking to make others seem inferior in order to exalt self, claiming more glory than the cold heart is willing to give to God. The disciples of Christ will heed the Master’s instruction. He has bidden us love one another even as He has loved us. Religion is founded upon love to God, which also leads us to love one another. It is full of gratitude, humility, long-suffering. It is self-sacrificing, forbearing, merciful, and forgiving. It sanctifies the whole life and extends its influence over others.

Those who love God cannot harbor hatred or envy. When the heavenly principle of eternal love fills the heart, it will flow out to others, not merely because favors are received of them, but because love is the principle of action and modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and elevates and ennobles the affections. This love is not contracted so as merely to include “me and mine,” but is as broad as the world and as high as heaven, and is in harmony with that of the angel workers. This love cherished in the soul sweetens the entire life and sheds a refining influence on all around. Possessing it, we cannot but be happy, let fortune smile or frown. If we love God with all the heart, we must love His children also. This love is the spirit of God. It is the heavenly adorning that gives true nobility and dignity to the soul and assimilates our lives to that of the Master. No matter how many good qualities we may have, however honorable and refined we may consider ourselves, if the soul is not baptized with the heavenly grace of love to God and one another, we are deficient in true goodness and unfit for heaven, where all is love and unity.

Some who have formerly loved God and lived in the daily enjoyment of His favor are now in continual unrest. They wander in darkness and despairing gloom because they are nourishing self. They are seeking so hard to favor themselves that all other considerations are swallowed up in this. God in His providence has willed that no one can secure happiness by living for himself alone. The joy of our Lord consisted in enduring toil and shame for others, that they might be benefited thereby. We are capable of being happy in following His example and living to bless our fellow men.

We are invited by our Lord to take His yoke and bear His burden. In doing this we may be happy. In bearing our own self-imposed yoke and carrying our own burdens, we find no rest; but in bearing the yoke of Christ there is rest to the soul. Those who want some great work to do for the Master can find it just where they are, in doing good and in being self-forgetful and self-sacrificing, remembering others and carrying sunshine wherever they go.

There is great need that the pitying tenderness of Christ should be manifested at all times and in all places—not that blind sympathy which would gloss over sin and allow God’s cause to be reproached by ill-doing, but that love which is a controlling principle of the life, which flows out naturally to others in good works, remembering that Christ has said: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” [Matthew 25:40.] . . .

We are slow to learn the mighty influence of trifles and their bearing upon the salvation of souls. . . . God does not mean that any of us shall constitute a privileged few, who shall be looked upon with great deference while others are neglected. Jesus was the Majesty of heaven; yet He stooped to minister to the humblest, having no respect to persons or station. . . .

Our Lord, after performing the most humiliating office for His disciples, recommended them to follow His example. This was to keep constantly before them the thought that they must not feel superior to the lowliest saint.

Those who profess our exalted faith, who are keeping God’s commandments and expecting the soon coming of our Lord, should be distinct and separate from the world around them, a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Among the peculiarities which should distinguish God’s people from the world in these last days, is their humility and meekness. “Learn of Me,” says Christ, “for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29.] Here is the repose which so many crave and in vain spend time and money to obtain. Instead of being ambitious to be equal to another in honor and position, or perhaps even higher, we should seek to be the humble, faithful servants of Christ. This spirit of self-aggrandizement made contention among the apostles even while Christ was with them. They disputed who should be greatest among them. Jesus sat down and, calling the twelve, said unto them: “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” [Mark 9:35.]

When the mother of two sons made a request that her sons should be especially favored, one sitting on the right hand and the other on the left in His kingdom, Jesus impressed upon them that the honor and glory of His kingdom was to be the reverse of the honor and glory of this world. Whoever would be great must be a humble minister unto others, and whoever would be chief must be a servant, even as the Son of God was a minister and servant unto the children of men.

Again, our Saviour taught His disciples not to be anxious for position and name. “Be not ye called Rabbi. . . . Neither be ye called masters. . . . But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased.” [Matthew 23:7–11.] Jesus cited the lawyer to the sacred law code given from Sinai: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Luke 10:27.] He told him that if he did this he should enter into life.

“Thy neighbor as thyself.” The question arises: “Who is my neighbor?” His reply is the parable of the good Samaritan, which teaches us that any human being who needs our sympathy and our kind offices is our neighbor. The suffering and destitute of all classes are our neighbors, and when their wants are brought to our knowledge, it is our duty to relieve them as far as possible. A principle is brought out in this parable that it would be well for the followers of Christ to adopt. First meet the temporal necessities of the needy and relieve their physical wants and sufferings, and you will then find an open avenue to the heart, where you may plant the good seeds of virtue and religion.

In order to be happy, we must strive to attain to that character which Christ exhibited. One marked peculiarity of Christ was His self-denial and benevolence. He came not to seek His own. He went about doing good, and this was His meat and drink. We may, by following the example of the Saviour, be in holy communion with Him, and by daily seeking to imitate His character and follow His example, we shall be a blessing to the world and shall secure for ourselves contentment here and an eternal reward hereafter.

Testimonies, vol. 4, 221–227.

Children’s Story – Crutches on the Altar

One day a minister received a request from a missionary society to preach a missionary sermon to be followed by a collection for a certain foreign field. The minister put his whole soul into the effort, encouraging the people to give cheerfully for the Lord’s work.

After the sermon, the collection basket was passed as usual, but the minister watched the result with depressed feelings as only small amounts were dropped in. Evidently, his words had not reached the hearts of his listeners. He noticed how those who were well able to give kept looking at the time, eager to be out and about other things.

On the last bench, in the meantime, a battle was waging in the heart of a poorly clad girl. Through an accident, Margaret had been crippled. She could not take a step without assistance. One day a kind lady procured a pair of crutches for her, and since then her life had been much happier. This same week she had ventured for the first time to church. What a great blessing it was to be able to listen to the gospel once more.

As the usher came near with the basket, Margaret said to herself, with a sad heart, “I have nothing to give—‘not a cent’—and there in the foreign land the missionaries are expecting our gifts; they need so much to carry on their work. Oh, what can I do?” These thoughts went through her mind and made her shudder.

“My new crutches could be sold for a sum of money, but I cannot spare them; I must have them; they are my very life.”

“Yes, your life,” said a voice within; “but did not Christ give His life for you? If you give what is your life, some poor souls in Africa will hear that He is their Saviour too. Oh, if you only would!”

Finally a glow came over her face. She pressed a kiss on the crutches and waited, her heart pounding.

The collection basket came to where Margaret sat. The usher knew her well. He gave a friendly nod and was about to pass on when, to his astonishment, she made an effort to lay the crutches on the basket.

The man grasped the situation, took the crutches out of her hand, put them on the basket, and carried them slowly through the aisle, laying them without a word on the altar.

Everyone watched him in breathless suspense. They all knew the young girl, and many eyes filled with tears. The minister, deeply affected, laid his hand on the crutches and repeated solemnly the words of Jesus: “She hath done what she could.” [Mark 14:8.]

What a stir this incident made in the meeting! Suddenly, perspiration came upon the banker’s brow, and he wiped his face with his handkerchief and pulled out his wallet. The rich lady fumbled about for her purse. A local merchant whispered something in the ear of the usher, who passed the collection basket once more from bench to bench. This time money came pouring forth like raindrops.

Afterwards, the people solemnly left the church. One lady stepped up to Margaret and gave back her new crutches. She had redeemed them for the benefit of the missionaries for the sum of one hundred dollars. The happy girl returned home, little realizing how much she had done that day for her Master.

Nature Nugget – King of Grasses

Bamboos are woody, perennial evergreen plants that are members of the true grass family. There are about 1,200 species worldwide occurring in diverse climates from cold, 12,000-foot mountains to low, hot, tropical regions. They occur naturally on all continents except for Europe.

Bamboo stems, called culms, can range in height from a few centimeters to 40 meters (131 feet), with stem diameters ranging from 1 millimeter to 30 centimeters (about 12 inches). The stems are jointed with regular nodes, with the sections of stems between the nodes being hollow. A single stem of bamboo grows to full height from a rhizome (root) in one growing season and can persist for several years. Bamboos are the fastest growing woody plants, with some tropical species capable of growing from 1 to over 3 feet per day, but 1 to 2 inches per day is more typical for most garden variety species. When it comes to flowering, bamboos are gregarious, meaning that all of the same species within a region bloom at the same time. Some species flower only every 28 to 120 years, with some species dying after going to seed.

Numerous species of wildlife are dependent on bamboo and bamboo forests for food and shelter. Rare animals such as the giant pandas of China, mountain gorillas of Africa, golden lemurs of Madagascar, and the mountain tapirs of South America are dependent upon or closely connected with bamboo. Several birds are known to drill holes and nest in the hollow stems. The world’s second smallest bat species roosts in holes in bamboo stems. Many little known invertebrates are specially adapted to the environment within the hollow bamboo stems. Cavities that catch and hold water become the home and breeding place for frogs and numerous aquatic insects.

Millions of people use and depend on bamboo also, especially in third world countries. Because of its diversity of uses, it is known as the “friend of the people” in China and as the “wood of the poor” in India. Traditional uses by man include housing, furniture, food, cooking, paper, musical instruments, and boats. A single bamboo clump can produce up to 9 miles of usable poles in its lifetime. There are currently 1,500 documented uses of bamboo which support a 2 billion dollar bamboo industry.

Bamboo is one of the many gifts that God has given us and the animals to use for food and shelter. “Nature and revelation alike testify of God’s love. It is from Him that we receive every good gift. He is the source of life, of wisdom, and of joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature. Think of their marvelous adaptation to the needs and happiness, not only of man, but of all living creatures. The sunshine and the rain, that gladden and refresh the earth, the hills and seas and plains, all speak to us of the Creator’s love. It is God who brings the bud to bloom, the flower to fruit. It is He who supplies the daily needs of all His creatures as brought forth in the beautiful words of the Psalmist: ‘The eyes of all wait upon Thee, And thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.’ [Psalm 145:15.]” Bible Training School, November 1, 1908.

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