Bible Study Guides – Christ’s Intercession

April 20, 2008 – April 26, 2008

Key Text

“For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” I Timothy 2:5.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 423–432; 479–491.


“God is approached through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, the only way through which He forgives sins.” The Faith I Live By, 102.

1 Since His resurrection and ascension, what has Christ been doing in behalf of His people? Hebrews 7:25.

Note: “Not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a Conqueror claiming His victory. …

“Christ has pledged Himself to be our substitute and surety, and He neglects no one. He who could not see human beings exposed to eternal ruin without pouring out His soul unto death in their behalf, will look with pity and compassion upon every soul who realizes that he cannot save himself.

“He will look upon no trembling suppliant without raising him up. He who through His own atonement provided for man an infinite fund of moral power, will not fail to employ this power in our behalf.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 156, 157.

“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.” The Faith I Live By, 102.

2 What should we realize in considering Christ’s intercession for us? Hebrews 10:7–13.

Note: “The work of Christ in the sanctuary above, presenting His own blood each moment before the mercy seat, as He makes intercession for us, should have its full impression upon the heart, that we may realize the worth of each moment.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 111.

3 How can we be sure of our acceptance before God? Revelation 5:8; 8:3, 4.

Note: “As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so, while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ’s atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour’s character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are to remember that there is One who can take away sin, and who is willing and anxious to save the sinner. With His own blood He paid the penalty for all wrongdoers. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 970.

“That blood alone is efficacious. It alone can make propitiation for our sins. It is the blood of the only-begotten Son of God that is of value for us that we may draw nigh unto God, His blood alone that taketh ‘away the sin of the world.’ [John 1:29.] Morning and evening the heavenly universe behold every household that prays, and the angel with the incense, representing the blood of the atonement, finds access to God.” Ibid., 971.

4 How can our prayers be answered? John 15:16.

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

5 What are the conditions for our sins to be blotted out? Acts 3:19; I John 1:9.

Note: “Oh, let us live wholly for the Lord and show by a well-ordered life and godly conversation that we have been with Jesus and are His meek and lowly followers. We must work while the day lasts, for when the dark night of trouble and anguish comes, it will be too late to work for God. Jesus is in His holy temple and will now accept our sacrifices, our prayers, and our confessions of faults and sins and will pardon all the transgressions of Israel, that they may be blotted out before He leaves the sanctuary. When Jesus leaves the sanctuary, then they who are holy and righteous will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God. But those that are unjust and filthy will be unjust and filthy still; for then there will be no Priest in the sanctuary to offer their sacrifices, their confessions, and their prayers before the Father’s throne. Therefore what is done to rescue souls from the coming storm of wrath must be done before Jesus leaves the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.” Early Writings, 48.

6 What is the role of repentance and confession in regard to the blotting out of sins? Proverbs 28:13; Acts 26:20.

Note: “In the time of trouble, if the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep sense of their unworthiness, they will have no concealed wrongs to reveal. Their sins will have been blotted out by the atoning blood of Christ, and they cannot bring them to remembrance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 202.

“There must be a reformation. The plowshare of truth must plow deep furrows in our proud hearts, and tear up the sod of our unsanctified natures, that the Spirit and love of Jesus may be planted in our hearts. Time is fast hastening on, and every work will soon be brought into judgment, and either our sins or our names will be blotted out of the Book of Life.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 13, 1898.

7 What is true repentance? Give an example. Psalms 32:1–5; 51:1–7.

Note: “Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life. …

“But when the heart yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, the conscience will be quickened, and the sinner will discern something of the depth and sacredness of God’s holy law, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth. … Conviction takes hold upon the mind and heart. The sinner has a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah and feels the terror of appearing, in his own guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. He sees the love of God, the beauty of holiness, the joy of purity; he longs to be cleansed and to be restored to communion with Heaven.

“The prayer of David after his fall, illustrates the nature of true sorrow for sin. His repentance was sincere and deep. There was no effort to palliate his guilt; no desire to escape the judgment threatened, inspired his prayer. David saw the enormity of his transgression; he saw the defilement of his soul; he loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart. He longed for the joy of holiness—to be restored to harmony and communion with God. …

“A repentance such as this, is beyond the reach of our own power to accomplish; it is obtained only from Christ, who ascended up on high and has given gifts unto men.” Steps to Christ, 23–25.

8 What is the sure result of true repentance? Give an example. Luke 19:9; Ezekiel 33:14, 15.

Note: “He [Zacchaeus] felt that he was a sinner in the sight of God. Yet what he had heard of Jesus kindled hope in his heart. Repentance, reformation of life, was possible, even to him. … Zacchaeus began at once to follow the conviction that had taken hold upon him, and to make restitution to those whom he had wronged.” The Desire of Ages, 553.

“No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.” Ibid., 555, 556.

9 What is written about confession? Leviticus 5:5; Psalm 32:5; James 5:16.

Note: “Confession of sin, whether public or private, should be heartfelt and freely expressed. It is not to be urged from the sinner. It is not to be made in a flippant and careless way, or forced from those who have no realizing sense of the abhorrent character of sin. …

“True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty.” Steps to Christ, 38.

10 Why will confessions after the close of probation be of no use or value? Luke 13:27, 28. Give examples. Joshua 7:20, 21; Matthew 27:3, 4.

Note: “Confessions will be made by the guilty when they stand before the bar of God, after every case has been decided for life or death. The consequences to result to himself will draw from each an acknowledgment of his sin. It will be forced from the soul by an awful sense of condemnation and a fearful looking for of judgment. But such confessions cannot save the sinner. …

“When the records of heaven shall be opened, the Judge will not in words declare to man his guilt, but will cast one penetrating, convicting glance, and every deed, every transaction of life, will be vividly impressed upon the memory of the wrongdoer.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 498.

Additional Reading

“The intercession of Christ in our behalf is that of presenting His divine merits in the offering of Himself to the Father as our substitute and surety; for He ascended up on high to make an atonement for our transgressions. ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world’ (I John 2:1, 2). ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins’ (I John 4:10). ‘He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them’ (Hebrews 7:25).” Faith and Works, 105.

“There is no reason for our being discouraged, no reason for talking of our trials and doubts. We have done altogether too much of this, but let us put it away. When we meet our friends, we should not strive to relate our worst experiences. Let us try to keep our minds upon the open door that Christ has set before us. Let us dwell upon the soul-comforting thought that Jesus lives to make intercession for us. It is not Christian-like to talk of your troubles and trials. It does not rightly represent Christ or his service. Angels are listening to hear what kind of report you are going to bear to the world about your heavenly Master. Christ does not cast across your pathway that dark shadow of which you complain. It is Satan who darkens your way with his own shadow, but we must not talk of his darkness. Let your conversation be of Him who liveth to make intercession for you before the Father. When you take the hand of a friend, let praise to God be on your lips and in your heart. This will attract his thoughts to Jesus. If you calmly and trustfully contemplate the promises of God, and by simple, childlike faith claim them as your own, you will find that the darkness will vanish. Search the Scriptures, and light will break upon you. Confess the peculiar sins that you have cherished; repent of them, and put them away. If you profess to be followers of Christ while you have cherished worldliness, pride, and formality, you put your Lord to an open shame. The mighty Conqueror has presented toil and struggle as the price of victory. Those who would win the crown must lift and bear the cross.” Review and Herald, March 26, 1889.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Christ’s Resurrection

April 13, 2008 – April 19, 2008

Key Text

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” I Corinthians 15:3, 4.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 779–795; The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 198–206.


“Only He who is one with God could say, I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death.” The Desire of Ages, 785.

1 What happened after Christ had rested the Sabbath day in the tomb? Matthew 28:1–4.

Note: “The [mightiest] angel [from heaven] approached the grave, and rolling away the stone as if it had been a pebble, he sat upon it. Then his voice was heard, Son of God, come forth; thy Father calls thee; and Jesus came forth from the grave with the step of a mighty conqueror.” The Youth’s Instructor, July 28, 1898.

“This was He [Christ] who had been nailed to the cross. … Mountains piled upon mountains over His sepulcher could not have prevented Him from coming forth.” The Desire of Ages, 780, 781.

2 What message did the women receive? Matthew 28:5–8.

Note: “With combined wisdom and tenderness, the angels reminded the women of the words of Jesus, warning them beforehand of his crucifixion and resurrection. The women now fully comprehended the words of their Master, which at the time were veiled in mystery to them. They gathered fresh hope and courage.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 200.

3 What took place at the death and resurrection of Christ? Matthew 27:51, 52.

Note: As Christ arose, He brought from the grave a multitude of captives. The earthquake at His death had rent open their graves, and when He arose, they came forth with Him. They were those who had been colaborers with God, and who at the cost of their lives had borne testimony to the truth. Now they were to be witnesses for Him who had raised them from the dead.

“During His ministry, Jesus had raised the dead to life. He had raised the son of the widow of Nain, and the ruler’s daughter and Lazarus. But these were not clothed with immortality. After they were raised, they were still subject to death. But those who came forth from the grave at Christ’s resurrection were raised to everlasting life. They ascended with Him as trophies of His victory over death and the grave. These, said Christ, are no longer the captives of Satan; I have redeemed them. I have brought them from the grave as the first fruits of My power, to be with Me where I am, nevermore to see death or experience sorrow.” The Desire of Ages, 786.

“In this scene of the resurrection of the Son of God is given a lively image of the glory that will be revealed at the general resurrection of the just at the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Then the dead that are in their graves shall hear His voice and come forth to life; and not only the earth, but the heavens themselves, shall be shaken. A few graves were opened at the resurrection of Christ; but at His second coming all the precious dead, from righteous Abel to the last saint that dies, shall awake to glorious, immortal life.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1110.

4 What did the resurrected ones do? Matthew 27:53.

Note: “These [resurrected ones] went into the city, and appeared unto many, declaring, Christ has risen from the dead, and we be risen with Him. Thus was immortalized the sacred truth of the resurrection. The risen saints bore witness to the truth of the words, ‘Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise.’ [Isaiah 26:19.] Their resurrection was an illustration of the fulfillment of the prophecy, ‘Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.’ Isaiah 26:19.” The Desire of Ages, 786.

5 What kind of report did the Roman guards take to the Jewish priests? Matthew 28:11.

Note: “At sight of the angels and the glorified Saviour the Roman guard had fainted and become as dead men. When the heavenly train was hidden from their view, they arose to their feet, and as quickly as their trembling limbs could carry them, made their way to the gate of the garden. Staggering like drunken men, they hurried on to the city, telling those whom they met the wonderful news. They were making their way to Pilate, but their report had been carried to the Jewish authorities, and the chief priests and rulers sent for them to be brought first into their presence. A strange appearance those soldiers presented. Trembling with fear, their faces colorless, they bore testimony to the resurrection of Christ. The soldiers told all, just as they had seen it; they had not had time to think or speak anything but the truth. With painful utterance they said, It was the Son of God who was crucified; we have heard an angel proclaiming Him as the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory.” The Desire of Ages, 781.

6 What was the attitude of the priests? Why did the priests fear the report in regard to Christ’s resurrection? Matthew 28:11–15.

Note: “The priests overreached themselves. How could the soldiers say that the disciples had stolen the body while they slept? If they were asleep, how could they know? And if the disciples had been proved guilty of stealing Christ’s body, would not the priests have been first to condemn them? Or if the sentinels had slept at the tomb, would not the priests have been foremost in accusing them to Pilate?

“The soldiers were horrified at the thought of bringing upon themselves the charge of sleeping at their post. This was an offense punishable with death. Should they bear false witness, deceiving the people, and placing their own lives in peril? Had they not kept their weary watch with sleepless vigilance? How could they stand the trial, even for the sake of money, if they perjured themselves?

“In order to silence the testimony they feared, the priests promised to secure the safety of the guard, saying that Pilate would not desire to have such a report circulated any more than they did. The Roman soldiers sold their integrity to the Jews for money.” The Desire of Ages, 782.

7 How did the disciples react when they heard the good news of Christ’s resurrection—and why? Luke 24:10–12; John 20:9.

Note: “While the Saviour was in God’s presence, receiving gifts for His church, the disciples thought upon His empty tomb, and mourned and wept. The day that was a day of rejoicing to all heaven was to the disciples a day of uncertainty, confusion, and perplexity. Their unbelief in the testimony of the women gives evidence of how low their faith had sunk. The news of Christ’s resurrection was so different from what they had anticipated that they could not believe it. It was too good to be true, they thought.” The Desire of Ages, 790, 793.

“Trouble seemed crowding upon trouble. On the sixth day of the week they had seen their Master die; on the first day of the next week they found themselves deprived of His body, and they were accused of having stolen it away. …

“And all the time they might have been rejoicing in the knowledge of a risen Saviour. In the garden, Mary had stood weeping, when Jesus was close beside her. Her eyes were so blinded by tears that she did not discern Him. And the hearts of the disciples were so full of grief that they did not believe the angels’ message or the words of Christ Himself.” Ibid., 794.

8 How can our own attitude, often similar to Mary’s, improve? John 20:11–13.

Note: “How many are still doing what these disciples did! How many echo Mary’s despairing cry, ‘They have taken away the Lord, … and we know not where they have laid Him’! [John 20:2.] To how many might the Saviour’s words be spoken, ‘Why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?’ [Verse 15.] He is close beside them, but their tear-blinded eyes do not discern Him. He speaks to them, but they do not understand.

“Oh that the bowed head might be lifted, that the eyes might be opened to behold Him, that the ears might listen to His voice! ‘Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen.’ [Matthew 28:7.] Bid them look not to Joseph’s new tomb, that was closed with a great stone, and sealed with the Roman seal. Christ is not there. Look not to the empty sepulcher. Mourn not as those who are hopeless and helpless. Jesus lives, and because He lives, we shall live also. From grateful hearts, from lips touched with holy fire, let the glad song ring out, Christ is risen!” The Desire of Ages, 794.

9 By what method did Christ unveil to His emotionally overwhelmed disciples key prophecies they needed to understand? Luke 24:13–27.

10 What far-reaching results stem from the resurrection of Christ? I Corinthians 15:13–19, 51–58; I Thessalonians 4:13–18.

Note: “We read in the Bible about the resurrection of Christ from the dead; but do we act as though we believed it? Do we believe that Jesus is a living Saviour, that he is not in Joseph’s new tomb, with the great stone rolled before it, but that he has risen from the dead, and ascended on high, to lead captivity captive, and to give good gifts unto men? He is there to plead our cases in the courts of heaven. He is there because we need a friend in the heavenly court, one who is to be our advocate and intercessor. Then let us rejoice in this. We have everything for which to praise God. Many judge of their religious state by their emotions; but these are not a safe criterion. Our Christian life does not depend upon our feelings, but upon our having a right hold from above. We must believe the words of God just as he has spoken them; we must take Christ at his word, believe that he came to represent the Father, and that the Father, as is represented in Christ, is our friend, and that he desires not that we should perish, or he would never have given his Son to die our sacrifice. The cross of Calvary is an eternal pledge to every one of us, that God wants us to be happy, not only in the future life, but in this life.” Review and Herald, March 8, 1892.

Additional Reading

“The spirit of Jesus slept in the tomb with his body, and did not wing its way to Heaven, there to maintain a separate existence, and to look down upon the mourning disciples embalming the body from which it had taken flight. All that comprised the life and intelligence of Jesus remained with his body in the sepulcher; and when he came forth it was as a whole being; he did not have to summon his spirit from Heaven. He had power to lay down his life and to take it up again.

“The brightest morning that ever dawned upon a fallen world, was that in which the Saviour rose from the dead; but it was of no greater importance to man than the day upon which his trial and crucifixion took place. It was no marvel to the heavenly host that He who controlled the power of death, and had life in himself, should awaken from the sleep of the grave. But it was a marvel to them that their loved Commander should die for rebellious men.

“Christ rested in the tomb on the Sabbath day, and when holy beings of both Heaven and earth were astir on the morning of the first day of the week, he rose from the grave to renew his work of teaching his disciples. But this fact does not consecrate the first day of the week, and make it a Sabbath. Jesus, prior to his death, established a memorial of the breaking of his body and the spilling of his blood for the sins of the world, in the ordinance of the Lord’s supper, saying ‘For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.’ And the repentant believer, who takes the steps required in conversion, commemorates in his baptism the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. He goes down into the water in the likeness of Christ’s death and burial, and he is raised out of the water in the likeness of his resurrection—not to take up the old life of sin, but to live a new life in Christ Jesus.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 203, 204.

“The Lord’s covenant is with His saints. Everyone is to discern his weak points of character and guard against them with vigor. Those who have been buried with Christ in baptism, and been raised in the likeness of His resurrection, have pledged themselves to live in newness of life.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 258.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Christ’s Death on the Cross

April 6, 2008 – April 12, 2008

Key Text

“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 741–764.


“For the purpose of redeeming a lost world, the divine Son of God had endured the cross, despising the shame, and had ascended to heaven triumphant over death and the grave.” The Acts of the Apostles, 436.

1 When did Christ offer Himself to die for our salvation? Revelation 13:8.

Note: “The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of ‘the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.’ Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. 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. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son.” The Desire of Ages, 22.

2 When man sinned, what typical sacrifice was offered? Genesis 3:21.

Note: “To Adam, the offering of the first sacrifice was a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which only God could give. It was the first time he had ever witnessed death, and he knew that had he been obedient to God, there would have been no death of man or beast.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 68.

3 How did God reveal the plan of salvation to Abraham? Genesis 22:12, 13.

Note: “It was to impress Abraham’s mind with the reality of the gospel, as well as to test his faith, that God commanded him to slay his son. The agony which he endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption. No other test could have caused Abraham such torture of soul as did the offering of his son. God gave His Son to a death of agony and shame. The angels who witnessed the humiliation and soul anguish of the Son of God were not permitted to interpose, as in the case of Isaac. There was no voice to cry, ‘It is enough.’ [Mark 14:41.]

“To save the fallen race, the King of glory yielded up His life. What stronger proof can be given of the infinite compassion and love of God? ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ Romans 8:32.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 154.

4 What prophetic description did Isaiah make about Christ? Isaiah 53:6, 7.

Note: “The Holy Spirit through Isaiah, taking up the illustration, prophesied of the Saviour, ‘He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,’ ‘and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53:7, 6); but the people of Israel had not understood the lesson. Many of them regarded the sacrificial offerings much as the heathen looked upon their sacrifices,—as gifts by which they themselves might propitiate the Deity. God desired to teach them that from His own love comes the gift which reconciles them to Himself.” The Desire of Ages, 112, 113.

“The Majesty of heaven was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and amid scoffing and jeers, ridicule and false accusation, He was nailed to the cross. The crowd, in whose hearts humanity seemed to be dead, sought to aggravate the cruel sufferings of the Son of God by their revilings. But as a sheep before His shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. He was giving His life for the life of the world, that all who believed in Him should not perish.” The Upward Look, 90.

5 How did John the Baptist introduce Christ to the people? John 1:29, 36.

Note: “John had been deeply moved as he saw Jesus bowed as a suppliant, pleading with tears for the approval of the Father. As the glory of God encircled Him, and the voice from heaven was heard, John recognized the token which God had promised. He knew that it was the world’s Redeemer whom he had baptized. The Holy Spirit rested upon him, and with outstretched hand pointing to Jesus, he cried, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ [John 1:29.]” The Desire of Ages, 112.

6 How did Peter describe the price of our redemption? 1 Peter 1:18, 19.

Note: “In Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead. But the only way in which He could reach men was to veil His glory by a garb of humanity. The angels beheld the hiding of His glory, that divinity might touch humanity. Christ ever retained the utmost hatred for sin, but He loved the purchase of His blood. He suffered in the place of sinful men, taking them into union with Himself.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 904.

“Men need to understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary. Yet Jesus Christ whom God gave for the ransom of the world purchased the church with His own blood. The Majesty of heaven was made to suffer at the hands of religious zealots, who claimed to be the most enlightened people upon the face of the earth. …

“We are not to praise the gospel, but praise Christ. We are not to worship the gospel, but the Lord of gospel. Christ is a perfect representation of God on the one hand, and a perfect specimen of sinless humanity on the other hand. Thus He has combined divinity and humanity.

“In Christ dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This is why, although He was tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world, from His first entrance into it, untainted by corruption, though surrounded by it. Are we not also to become partakers of that fullness, and is it not thus, and thus only, that we can overcome as He overcame?” Ibid., 907.

7 What did the cross mean to the apostle Paul? I Corinthians 1:18.

8 What was the main subject of Paul’s preaching? I Corinthians 1:22–24.

Note: “To the minds of multitudes living at the present time, the cross of Calvary is surrounded by sacred memories. Hallowed associations are connected with the scenes of the crucifixion. But in Paul’s day the cross was regarded with feelings of repulsion and horror. To uphold as the Saviour of mankind one who had met death on the cross, would naturally call forth ridicule and opposition.

“Paul well knew how his message would be regarded by both the Jews and the Greeks of Corinth. ‘We preach Christ crucified,’ he admitted, ‘unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.’ I Corinthians 1:23. Among his Jewish hearers there were many who would be angered by the message he was about to proclaim. In the estimation of the Greeks his words would be absurd folly. He would be looked upon as weak-minded for attempting to show how the cross could have any connection with the elevation of the race or the salvation of mankind.

“But to Paul the cross was the one object of supreme interest. Ever since he had been arrested in his career of persecution against the followers of the crucified Nazarene he had never ceased to glory in the cross. At that time there had been given him a revelation of the infinite love of God, as revealed in the death of Christ; and a marvelous transformation had been wrought in his life, bringing all his plans and purposes into harmony with heaven. From that hour he had been a new man in Christ. He knew by personal experience that when a sinner once beholds the love of the Father, as seen in the sacrifice of His Son, and yields to the divine influence, a change of heart takes place, and henceforth Christ is all and in all.” The Acts of the Apostles, 245.

“Under the inspiration of the Spirit, the apostle Paul represents Christians as those who have purified their souls in obeying the truth. Just in accordance with the faith and love we bring into our work will be the power brought into it. No man can create faith. The Spirit operating upon and enlightening the human mind, creates faith in God. In the Scriptures faith is stated to be the gift of God, powerful unto salvation, enlightening the hearts of those who search for truth as for hidden treasure.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1899.

9 How can we glory in the cross? Galatians 6:14; Romans 7:18.

Note: “The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more clearly we discern the purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves. There will be a continual reaching out of the soul after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the heart before Him. At every advance step in our Christian experience our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone.” The Acts of the Apostles, 561.

“The anguish and humiliation of God’s people is unmistakable evidence that they are regaining the strength and nobility of character lost in consequence of sin. It is because they are drawing nearer to Christ, because their eyes are fixed on His perfect purity, that they discern so clearly the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Meekness and lowliness are the conditions of success and victory. A crown of glory awaits those who bow at the foot of the cross.” Prophets and Kings, 590.

10 What should be the center of our message? John 3:14–17.

Note: “The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light which streams from the cross of Calvary, and in connection with the wondrous, central truth of the Saviour’s atonement. Those who study the Redeemer’s wonderful sacrifice grow in grace and knowledge.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1137.

Additional Reading

“Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ ascended into the heavens, Christ coming again, should so soften, gladden, and fill the mind of the minister that he will present these truths to the people in love and deep earnestness. The minister will then be lost sight of, and Jesus will be made manifest.” Evangelism, 185.

“The gospel is the power and wisdom of God, if it is correctly represented by those who claim to be Christians. Christ crucified for our sins should humble every soul before God in his own estimation. Christ risen from the dead, ascended on high, our living Intercessor in the presence of God, is the science of salvation which we need to learn and teach to children and youth.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 262.

“On the cross the sinner sees the only-begotten of the Father, dying in his stead, and giving the transgressor life. All the intelligences in earth and heaven are called upon to behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Every sinner may look and live. Do not survey that scene of Calvary with careless, thoughtless mind. Can it be that angels shall look down upon us, the recipients of God’s love, and see us cold, indifferent, unimpressible, when heaven in amazement beholds the stupendous work of redemption to save a fallen world, and desires to look into the mystery of Calvary’s love and woe? Angels in wonder and amazement look upon those for whom so great salvation has been provided, and marvel that the love of God does not awaken them, and lead them to pour forth melodious strains of gratitude and adoration. But the result which all heaven looks to behold is not seen among those who profess to be followers of Christ. How readily do we speak in endearing words of our friends and relatives, and yet how slow we are to speak of Him whose love has no parallel, set forth in Christ crucified among you.” Ibid., 197, 198.

“Christ, the highly exalted of God, God dwelling in humanity, is to be loved and obeyed. His life is a pattern for the whole world to copy. Every one of us may know God in Christ, one with every believer. . . . In the cross of Christ is the sure evidence that there is pardon for sin. Christ crucified is the source of all wisdom and virtue for man.” The Signs of the Times, January 2, 1896.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Justification

March 30, 2008 – April 5, 2008

Key Text

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” II Peter 1:1.

Study Help: Faith and Works, 103–109.


“Through all the ages the great truth of justification by faith has stood as a mighty beacon to guide repentant sinners into the way of life.” The Acts of the Apostles, 373.

1 What is justification? Romans 5:18.

Note: “Pardon and justification are one and the same thing.” Faith and Works, 103.

“Justification is the opposite of condemnation.” Ibid., 104.

2 What is the only acceptable way to be justified? Romans 3:21, 22; 5:1.

Note: “The Lord does not save sinners by abolishing His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and in earth. The punishment has been endured by the sinner’s substitute… In the councils of heaven, before the world was created, the Father and the Son covenanted together that if man proved disloyal to God, Christ, one with the Father, would take the place of the transgressor, and suffer the penalty of justice that must fall upon him.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1070.

“When the Spirit of God controls mind and heart, the converted soul breaks forth into a new song; for he realizes that in his experience the promise of God has been fulfilled, that his transgression has been forgiven, his sin covered.” The Acts of the Apostles, 476.

3 How does Paul explain God’s way to justify sinners? Romans 5:14–19.

Note: “Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner’s behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. Separated from the presence of God, the human family had been departing every successive generation, farther from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possessed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1081.

“In what contrast is the second Adam as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan single-handed. Since the Fall the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking lower in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ’s advent to the earth. And in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that he might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him.” Review and Herald, July 28, 1874.

4 Since we all are sinners, what is our only hope and assurance? Romans 3:23–26; Titus 3:5–7.

Note: “Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light.” Faith and Works, 101.

5 What is the role of the blood of Christ in our salvation? Romans 5:9.

Note: “God calls for faith in Christ as our atoning sacrifice. His blood is the only remedy for sin.

“It is not God’s will that you should be distrustful, and torture your soul with the fear that God will not accept you because you are sinful and unworthy… You can say: ‘I know I am a sinner, and that is the reason I need a Saviour… have no merit or goodness whereby I may claim salvation, but I present before God the all-atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is my only plea.’ ” The Faith I Live By, 102.

6 Why is the blood a key so essential in the plan of salvation? Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22.

Note: “We are to have free access to the atoning blood of Christ. This we must regard as the most precious privilege, the greatest blessing, ever granted to sinful man. And how little is made of this great gift! How deep, how wide and continuous is this stream. To every soul thirsting after holiness there is repose, there is rest, there is the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, and then the holy, happy, peaceful walk and precious communion with Christ… Its cleansing virtue gives strength and vigor to faith, power to prayer, and happiness in cheerful obedience.” Sons and Daughters of God, 224.

“Christ has made reconciliation for sin, and has borne all its ignominy, reproach, and punishment; and yet while bearing sin, He has brought in everlasting righteousness, so that the believer is spotless before God…

“But there are many who claim to be children of God who are resting their hopes upon other dependencies, rather than on the blood of Christ alone. When urged to rest their faith wholly upon Christ as a complete Saviour, many reveal the fact that they have faith in something that they think they can do. … They imagine that they have a great deal to do themselves to save their own souls, and that Jesus will come in and piece out that part which is lacking, and give the finishing stroke to their salvation. These poor souls will not be strong in God until they accept Christ as a complete Saviour. They can add nothing to their salvation.” Ibid., 227.

7 Among the Israelites, what was the only way of escape from destruction when they were about to leave Egypt? Exodus 12:13.

Note: “The Israelites were required to sprinkle the doorposts with the blood of a slain lamb, in order that when the angel of death passed through the land, they might escape destruction. But if instead of doing this simple act of faith and obedience, they had barricaded the door, and taken every precaution to keep the destroying angel out, their pains would have been in vain. … When the blood was seen upon the doorpost, it was enough. The salvation of the house was assured. So it is in the work of salvation; it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth from all sin.” Sons and Daughters of God, 227.

8 How can we be clean before God? 1 John 1:7–9. What attitude will this inspire in our heart?

Note: “Thank God that He who spilled His blood for us, lives to plead it, lives to make intercession for every soul who receives Him. [1 John 1:9 quoted.] The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. It speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, for Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us. We need to keep ever before us the efficacy of the blood of Jesus. That life-cleansing, life-sustaining blood, appropriated by living faith, is our hope. We need to grow in appreciation of its inestimable value, for it speaks for us only as we by faith claim its virtue, keeping the conscience clean and at peace with God.

“This is represented as the pardoning blood, inseparably connected with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer, illustrated by the ever-flowing stream that proceeds from the throne of God, the water of the river of life.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 947, 948.

“None but God can subdue the pride of man’s heart. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot regenerate ourselves. In the heavenly courts there will be no song sung, To me that loved myself, and washed myself, redeemed myself, unto me be glory and honor, blessing and praise. But this is the keynote of the song that is sung by many here in this world. They do not know what it means to be meek and lowly in heart; and they do not mean to know this, if they can avoid it. The whole gospel is comprised in learning of Christ, His meekness and lowliness.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 456.

9 How can we be overcomers over Satan and his devices? Revelation 12:11.

Note: “We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.

10 What will be our song in heaven? Revelation 15:3.

Note: “I urge you to prepare for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Day by day cast the love of the world out of your hearts. Understand by experience what it means to have fellowship with Christ. Prepare for the judgment, that when Christ shall come to be admired in all them that believe, you may be among those who will meet Him in peace. In that day the redeemed will shine forth in the glory of the Father and the Son. The angels, touching their golden harps, will welcome the King and His trophies of victory—those who have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. A song of triumph shall peal forth, filling all heaven. Christ has conquered. He enters the heavenly courts, accompanied by His redeemed ones, the witnesses that His mission of suffering and sacrifice has not been in vain.” The Adventist Home, 550.

Additional Reading

“As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ’s atonement in his behalf and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his will entirely to God’s will and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory.

“Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety. The Lord speaks to His heavenly Father, saying: ‘This is My child, I reprieve him from the condemnation of death, giving him My life insurance policy―eternal life―because I have taken his place and have suffered for his sins. He is even My beloved son.’ Thus man, pardoned, and clothed with the beautiful garments of Christ’s righteousness, stands faultless before God.

“The sinner may err, but he is not cast off without mercy. His only hope, however, is repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Father’s prerogative to forgive our transgressions and sins, because Christ has taken upon Himself our guilt and reprieved us, imputing to us His own righteousness. His sacrifice satisfies fully the demands of justice.

“Justification is the opposite of condemnation. God’s boundless mercy is exercised toward those who are wholly undeserving. He forgives transgressions and sins for the sake of Jesus, who has become the propitiation for our sins. Through faith in Christ, the guilty transgressor is brought into favor with God and into the strong hope of life eternal.” Faith and Works, 103, 104.

“It is the righteousness of Christ that makes the penitent sinner acceptable to God and works his justification. However sinful has been his life, if he believes in Jesus as his personal Saviour, he stands before God in the spotless robes of Christ’s imputed righteousness.” Ibid., 106.

“We have a living Saviour. He is not in Joseph’s new tomb; He is risen from the dead and has ascended on high as a Substitute and Surety for every believing soul. ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Romans 5:1.) The sinner is justified through the merits of Jesus, and this is God’s acknowledgment of the perfection of the ransom paid for man. That Christ was obedient even unto the death of the cross is a pledge of the repenting sinner’s acceptance with the Father. Then shall we permit ourselves to have a vacillating experience of doubting and believing, believing and doubting? Jesus is the pledge of our acceptance with God. We stand in favor before God, not because of any merit in ourselves, but because of our faith in ‘the Lord our righteousness.’ [Jeremiah 33:16.]” Ibid., 107.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Food – Laws of Health

God expects us to learn the laws of health, to practice the laws of health, and to teach the laws of health. When we comply with God’s expectations, then He can fulfill in us His desire for us to have health. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” III John 2. Jeremiah 30:17 makes it very clear that the Lord wants to restore health to us: “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord.” All of us desire health, but none desire it more than God desires to give it to us.

If we comply with God’s expectations through obedience, then He can bless us with greater health than would be possible without our obedience and His blessing. This can mean a life that is healthy and filled with vitality. Exodus 15:26 says, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the Lord that healeth thee.” In Psalm 105:37 we see the fulfillment of this promise. Speaking of the Israelites that left Egypt, we read: “He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and [there was] not one feeble [person] among their tribes.” It has been estimated by some historians that as many as one million people may have been part of the exodus from Egypt. Where before or since could we find a million people on the planet earth in which there was not one feeble person among them?

Daniel and the three Hebrew worthies are also examples of the results of obedience to God’s requirements concerning health. In Daniel 1 is given the faithful recording of what the results are when we refuse to defile ourselves with the meats and wine of the world. Daniel and his three companions were found to be fairer in countenance and ten times greater in knowledge and wisdom than all the wise men of Babylon. (Daniel 1:1–21.)

We must, through obedience, cooperate with God’s design if we ever hope to have the health that He wants to give us. Regardless of our current health status, we can experience a greater blessing if we begin to faithfully obey God’s health laws. These laws are simple and available to everyone. An overview of these laws will be given in future LandMarks.

Question: How do we know that the seventh day of the week today…


How do we know that the seventh day of the week today is the same seventh day as when God created this planet?


Who is the Author of the weekly cycle? It is certain that if some man figured it out and established it as a way to keep time and days straight, it would be recorded in the history books. But, then, if man did it, how did the weekly cycle become known in every country and tribe in the world? We know about the history of the sundial, about the calendar, and about Augustus Caesar changing the calendar. But the weekly cycle stayed the same through it all.

Considering the development of and changes to the calendar; the addition of months; the addition or subtraction of days due to calendar errors; the addition of “leap years”; the complete change from one calendar to another; changes to the beginning of the year; and many other changes noted in the historical record lead to one inescapable discovery: There is no historical record suggesting that the steady, seven-day week has ever been broken! When Julius Caesar added his 90 days to correct for errors in the Babylonian/Roman calendar, the date changed, not the day of the week. When the Gregorian calendar came into effect in 1582, the date changed, not the day of the week. Considering the supreme power emperors, kings, and rulers have had over the millennia, none have changed the day of the week.

Our best resource is the Bible—even though there are many other evidences. If we believe the Bible, we accept the creation story as it is written. “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Genesis 2:2.

The fourth commandment says: “For [in] six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11. Here the Lord Himself acknowledges the seven-day weekly cycle and the creation of the world in six days.

When Jesus was here on earth, He kept the commandments, including the fourth: “And, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” Luke 4:16. Then, in Revelation we read: “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14. Therefore, we may come to the conclusion that the best and real source to believe that the seventh day is still the same day as the one at creation is the Bible. If we believe that the Bible is God’s Word, we should have no trouble believing that the Sabbath is still God’s holy day, and it is the same day of the week as when our world was created.

The seventh day was the last day of the cycle, and was the Sabbath set aside for God. Despite a long history since the resurrection of the Messiah where the “Christian Church” has foolishly attempted to change the day of rest to the first day, Sunday, the seven-day cycle still has not been broken. Those who wish to obey God and observe the Sabbath and keep it holy may be comforted to know that if you can determine the number of years which have passed since Adam, and divide the total number of days since then by seven, you will know exactly the number of weeks that have passed and know that the Sabbath you are observing is the same Sabbath observed since the beginning! The fact is that since the dawn of man, by the hand of God, the seven-day period was established, the seventh day declared “set aside” and “holy,” a day of rest, and despite the many opportunities by man to alter it (even still today), it has never been altered!

Restoring the Temple – Foods and Arthritis

Millions of people suffer from painful and swollen joints associated with arthritis. In the past, many doctors told arthritis patients that dietary changes would not help them. However, this conclusion was based on older research with diets that included dairy products, oil, poultry, or meat.1,2 New research shows that foods may be a more frequent contributor to arthritis than is commonly recognized. It is clear that, at least for some people, a healthier menu is the answer.

Different Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is actually a group of different diseases. Osteoarthritis is a gradual loss of cartilage and overgrowth of bone in the joints, especially the knees, hips, spine, and fingertips. Over 20 million Americans, mostly over age 45, suffer from osteoarthritis, which seems to be the result of accumulated wear and tear. Although it can cause painful episodes, it is characterized by only transient stiffness and does not cause major interference with the use of the hands.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which affects over 2 million people, is a more aggressive form of the disease. It causes painful, inflamed joints, which sometimes become damaged.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of medicine’s mysteries. There were no medical reports of the disease until the early 1800s. Some have suspected that a virus or bacterium may play a role, perhaps by setting off an autoimmune reaction. Genetics may also be a factor, in that it may influence susceptibility to the disease.

The Role of Diet

For years people have suspected that foods are an important factor in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Many notice an improvement in their condition when they avoid dairy products, citrus fruits, tomatoes, eggplant, and certain other foods. . . .

A 1989 survey of over 1,000 arthritis patients revealed that the foods most commonly believed to worsen the condition were red meat, sugar, fats, salt, caffeine, and nightshade plants (e.g., tomatoes, eggplant).3 Once the offending food is eliminated completely, improvement usually comes within a few weeks. Dairy foods are one of the principle offenders, and the problem is the dairy protein, rather than the fat, so skim products are as much a problem as whole milk.4

An increasing volume of research shows that certain dietary changes do in fact help. For example, polyunsaturated oils and omega-3 supplements have a mild beneficial effect, and researchers have found that vegan diets are beneficial.5 One 2002 study looked at the influence of a very low-fat vegan diet on subjects with moderate-to-severe RA. After only four weeks on the diet, almost all measures of RA symptoms decreased significantly.6 The journal Rheumatology published a study that found a gluten-free vegan diet improved the signs and symptoms of RA.7 An uncooked vegan diet, rich in antioxidants and fiber, was shown in another study to decrease joint stiffness and pain in patients with RA.8 Some research studies have looked at fasting followed by a vegetarian or vegan diet. A review of multiple research studies concluded that this dietary treatment might be useful in the treatment of RA.9

Vegan diets dramatically reduce the overall amount of fat in the diet, and alter the composition of fats. This in turn can affect the immune processes that influence arthritis. The omega-3 fatty acids in vegetables may be a key factor, along with the near absence of saturated fat. The fact that patients also lose weight on a vegan diet contributes to the improvement.

In addition, vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which can neutralize free radicals. Oxygen free radicals attack many parts of the body and contribute to heart disease and cancer, and intensify the aging processes generally, including of the joints. Iron acts as a catalyst, encouraging the production of these dangerous molecules. Vitamins C and E, which are plentiful in a diet made of vegetables and grains, help neutralize free radicals. Meats supply an overload of iron, no vitamin C, and very little vitamin E, whereas vegetables contain more controlled amounts of iron, and generous quantities of antioxidant vitamins.

As well as being helpful in preventing arthritis, antioxidants may also have a role in reducing its symptoms. Some arthritis treatments, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, work at least in part by neutralizing free radicals. For the most part, however, vitamins and other antioxidants will be of more use in preventing damage before it occurs, rather than in treating an inflamed joint.10

A diet drawn from fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans therefore appears to be helpful in preventing and, in some cases, ameliorating arthritis. . . .

Pain-Safe Foods

Pain-safe foods virtually never contribute to arthritis or other painful conditions. These include

  • Brown rice
  • Cooked or dried fruits: cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes (but not citrus fruits, bananas, peaches or tomatoes)
  • Cooked green, yellow, and orange vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, chard, collards, lettuce, spinach, string beans, summer or winter squash, sweet potatoes, tapioca, and taro (poi)
  • Water: plain water or carbonated forms, such as Perrier, are fine. Other beverages—even herbal teas—can be triggers.
  • Condiments: modest amounts of salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract are usually well-tolerated. . . .

Avoid Major Arthritis Triggers

  • Dairy products*. . .
  • Meats**. . .
  • Eggs. . .
  • Coffee

*All dairy products should be avoided: skim or whole cow’s milk, goat’s milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.

**All meats should be avoided: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.


  1. Panush RS, Carter RL, Katz P, Kowsari B, Longley S, Finnie S. Diet therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism 1983;26:462-71.
  2. Lithell H, Bruce A, Gustafsson IB, et al. A fasting and vegetarian diet treatment trial on chronic inflammatory disorders. Acta Derm Venereol 1983;63:397-403.
  3. Sobel D. Arthritis: What Works. New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1989.
  4. Skoldstam L, Larsson L, Lindstrom FD. Effects of fasting and lactovegetarian diet on rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol 1979;8:249-55.
  5. Skoldstam L. Fasting and vegan diet in rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol 1986;15:219-23.
  6. McDougall J, Bruce B, Spiller G, Westerdahl J, McDougall M. Effects of a very low-fat, vegan diet in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Feb;8(1):71-5.
  7. Hafstrom I, Ringertz B, Spangberg A, von Zweigbergk L, Brannemark S, Nylander I, Ronnelid J, Laasonen L, Klareskog L. A vegan diet free of gluten improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis: the effects on arthritis correlate with a reduction in antibodies to food antigens. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2001 Oct;40(10):1175-9.
  8. Hanninen, Kaartinen K, Rauma AL, Nenonen M, Torronen R, Hakkinen AS, Adlercreutz H, Laakso J. Antioxidants in vegan diet and rheumatic disorders. Toxicology. 2000 Nov 30;155(1-3):45-53.
  9. Muller H, de Toledo FW, Resch KL. Fasting followed by vegetarian diet in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review. Scand J Rheumatol. 2001;30(1):1-10.
  10. Merry P, Grootveld M, Lunec J, Blake DR. Oxidative damage to lipids within the inflamed human joint provides evidence of radical-mediated hypoxic-reperfusion injury. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:362S-9S.

©2007 Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; all rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

[Editor’s Note: Avoid foods that may cause an allergic reaction. Some people with arthritis cannot use nightshade vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, and eggplant. Ellen White wrote: “Some persons cannot subsist upon the same foods upon which others can do well . . . .” Testimonies, vol. 2, 254.]

Nature Nuggett – The Basilisks

Closely related to the iguanas, the basilisk lizards of the rainforests of Central and South America are never found far from water. Several species, varying in color from bright green to gray and sporting stripes, are commonly found along the shores of lakes, rivers, and streams where they live amongst rocks and in trees. Male basilisks have spectacular crest-like sails on their heads, backs, and tails, which they use to impress females. Basilisks range from 2 to 2.5 feet long when adult and are excellent climbers and swimmers. They can stay submerged under water for up to 30 minutes. Their diet consists of plant material, fruit, insects, and small vertebrates. When disturbed, basilisks run upright on their hind legs using their tails as a counterweight.

The most amazing thing about basilisks is their ability to walk on water for short distances. When disturbed, these lizards flee across the surface of the water as readily as they do across land. On water, an average sized basilisk weighing 80 grams (about 3 ounces) can run at a speed of 5 feet a second for 15 feet or more before sinking and continuing its flight by swimming. Small individuals can travel much further—up to 60 feet—across the surface of the water. The basilisks are able to do this because of their fast limb speed and large hind feet with long fringed toes that allow them to take advantage of the surface tension of the water. The toe fringes are special flaps of skin that open up to increase the surface area of the foot on the water relative to the lizard’s weight. As the foot pushes down into the water, it creates a hole, trapping a pocket of air which holds the lizard up. This motion produces 110 to 225 percent of the force needed to support the lizard’s weight. All this would be lost if the lizard was not fast enough to pull its foot back out of the hole before it refilled with water and created drag.

To be able to walk on water, an averaged sized man would have to run 65 miles an hour and expend 15 times more energy than a human is able to expend. But one man can and did walk on water. “As a fond mother watches the child she has in kindness corrected, so the compassionate Master watched his disciples; and when their hearts were subdued, their unholy ambition quelled, and they humbly prayed for help, it was given them. At the very moment they believed themselves lost, a flash of lightning revealed the figure of a man walking toward them upon the water. An unspeakable terror seized them. The hands that had grasped the oars with muscle like iron, relaxed their hold, and fell powerless by their sides. The boat rocked at the will of the waves, while their eyes were riveted upon this vision of a man stepping firmly upon the white-capped billows.

“They thought it must be a spirit, which omened their immediate destruction. Jesus calmly advanced as though he would pass them, but they recognize his form, and feel that he will not leave them in their distress. They cry out, supplicating his help! The figure turns! It is their beloved Master, whose well-known voice speaks, silencing their fear, ‘Be of good cheer. It is I, be not afraid.’ [Matthew 14:27.] Were ever words so welcome, so reassuring as these! The disciples are speechless with joy. Their apprehensions are gone. The storm is forgotten. They hail Jesus as their Deliverer!” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 268, 269.

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

The Pen of Inspiration – Adornment

As I have seen many Sabbathkeeping Adventists becoming worldly in thought, conversation, and dress, my heart has been saddened. The people who claim to believe that they have the last message of mercy to give to the world, are attracted by worldly fashions, and make great exertions to follow them as far as they think their profession of faith allows them to go. Worldly dress among our people is so noticeable that unbelievers frequently remark, “In their dress you cannot distinguish them from the world.” …

Those who meet the world’s standard are not few in numbers. We are grieved to see that they are exerting an influence, leading others to follow their example. When I see those who have named the name of Christ, aping the fashions introduced by worldlings, I have the most painful reflections. Their lack of Christlikeness is apparent to all. In the outward adorning there is revealed to worldlings as well as to Christians an absence of the inward adorning, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. . . .

Heart Condition Indicated

The house of God is profaned by the dress of professedly Christian women of today. A fantastic dress, a display of gold chains and gaudy laces, is a certain indication of a weak head and a proud heart. …

The one who is simple and unpretending in her dress and in her manners shows that she understands that a true lady is characterized by moral worth.

Self-denial in dress is a part of our Christian duty. To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind, is in keeping with our faith. Are we of the number who see the folly of worldlings in indulging in extravagance of dress as well as in love of amusements? If so, we should be of that class who shun everything that gives sanction to this spirit which takes possession of the minds and hearts of those who live for this world only and who have no thought or care for the next.

Where Are We Drifting?

A sister who had spent some weeks at one of our institutions in Battle Creek said that she felt much disappointed in what she saw and heard there. …

Before accepting the truth, she had followed the fashions of the world in her dress, and had worn costly jewelry and other ornaments; but upon deciding to obey the word of God, she felt that its teachings required her to lay aside all extravagant and superfluous adorning. She was taught that Seventh-day Adventists did not wear jewelry, gold, silver, or precious stones, and that they did not conform to worldly fashions in their dress.

When she saw among those who profess the faith such a wide departure from Bible simplicity, she felt bewildered. Had they not the same Bible which she had been studying, and to which she had endeavored to conform her life? Had her past experience been mere fanaticism? Had she misinterpreted the words of the apostle, “The friendship of the world is enmity with God, for whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God”? [James 4:4.]

Mrs. D., a lady occupying a position in the institution, was visiting at Sister —-’s room one day, when the latter took out of her trunk a gold necklace and chain, and said she wished to dispose of this jewelry and put the proceeds into the Lord’s treasury. Said the other, “Why do you sell it? I would wear it if it were mine.” “Why,” replied Sister —-, “when I received the truth, I was taught that all these things must be laid aside. Surely they are contrary to the teachings of God’s Word.” And she cited her hearer to the words of the apostles, Paul and Peter, upon this point, “In like manner, also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.” [1 Timothy 2:9, 10; 1 Peter 3:3, 4.]

In answer, the lady displayed a gold ring on her finger, given her by an unbeliever, and said she thought it no harm to wear such ornaments. “We are not so particular,” said she, “as formerly. Our people have been over-scrupulous in their opinions upon the subject of dress. The ladies of this institution wear gold watches and gold chains, and dress like other people. It is not good policy to be singular in our dress; for we cannot exert so much influence.”

Conformity to Christ or to the World

We inquire, Is this in accordance with the teachings of Christ? Are we to follow the word of God or the customs of the world? Our sister decided that it was safest to adhere to the Bible standard. Will Mrs. D. and others who pursue a similar course be pleased to meet the result of their influence in that day when every man shall receive according to his works?

God’s word is plain. Its teachings cannot be mistaken. Shall we obey it, just as He has given it to us, or shall we seek to find how far we can digress and yet be saved? …

Conformity to the world is a sin which is sapping the spirituality of our people, and seriously interfering with their usefulness. It is idle to proclaim the warning message to the world, while we deny it in the transactions of daily life.

Practice Self-denial

Those who have bracelets, and wear gold and ornaments, had better take these idols from their persons and sell them, even if it should be for much less than they gave for them, and thus practice self-denial. Time is too short to adorn the body with gold or silver or costly apparel. I know a good work can be done in this line. Jesus, the Commander in the heavenly courts, laid aside His crown of royalty and His royal robe and stepped down from His royal throne, and clothed His divinity with the habiliments of humanity, and for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might come into possession of eternal riches, and yet the very ones for whom Christ has done everything that was possible to do to save perishing souls from eternal ruin feel so little disposition to deny themselves anything that they have money to buy.

Let us live simply, and work in simplicity. Let us dress in such a modest, becoming way that we will be received wherever we go. Jewelry and expensive dress will not give us influence, but the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit—the result of devotion to the service of Christ—will give us power with God. Kindness and forethought for those about us are qualities precious in the sight of heaven. If you have not given attention to the acquirement of these graces, do so now, for you have no time to lose.

Selected Messages, Book 3, 243–249.

[All emphasis added.]

Children’s Corner – Carl’s Garden, Part III

[The story to now: Carl was a World War II veteran who lived in an inner city community. He volunteered to care for a garden at the local community church. While working in the garden, he was twice assaulted by members of a gang. He would offer the young men a drink of cool water from his hose, but he never defended himself or retaliated. The leader of the gang returned one day with a paper bag containing the personal items that had been stolen from Carl. When Carl died, this young man responded to the need for someone to care for Carl’s garden at the church.]

The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the flowers and vegetables just as Carl had done. During that time, he went to college, got married, and became a prominent member of the community, but he never forgot his promise to Carl’s memory and kept the garden as beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it.

One day he approached the new minister and told him that he could not care for the garden any longer. He explained with a shy and happy smile, “My wife just had a baby boy last night, and she is bringing him home on Saturday.”

“Well, congratulations!” exclaimed the minister, as he was handed the garden shed keys. “That is wonderful! What is the baby’s name?”

“Carl,” came the reply.

That is the whole gospel message simply stated.

From a Strictly Mathematical Viewpoint

What equals 100 percent? What does it mean to give more than 100 percent? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100 percent? We have all been in situations where someone wants us to give over 100 percent. How about achieving 101 percent? What equals 100 percent in life? What equals 101 percent? Carl gave 101 percent. What do you give?

Here is a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:


Is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26


K-I-N-D-N-E-S-S = _____ percent,


A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E = _____ percent,

and look how far the love of God will take you:

L- O- V- E-O-F-G-O-D = _____ percent.

Surely Carl showed the love of God!

“If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in the heart, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God.” Conflict and Courage, 359.

“Persons of little talent, if faithful in keeping their hearts in the love of God, may win many souls to Christ.”Christian Service, 101