Bible Study Guides – A Broken Covenant Relationship

April 19, 2009 – April 25, 2009

Key Text

“They have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.” Jeremiah 22:9.

Study Help: “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 948; Testimonies, vol. 2, 303–307.


“How widely have the popular churches throughout Christendom departed from the Bible standard of humility, self-denial, simplicity, and godliness!” The Great Controversy, 385.

1 What happened when God’s people trusted in their prosperity and renown? Ezekiel 16:15, first part, 32. Upon what had they fixed their hope?

Note: “The Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness. From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan, they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen. It was in vain that God sent them warning by His prophets. In vain they suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression. Every reformation was followed by deeper apostasy.” The Desire of Ages, 28.

2 What steps led Israel and Judah again to break God’s covenant and suffer the consequences? Hosea 4:6; Jeremiah 11:10.

Note: “Tenderly had the Lord dealt with them, instructing them by His prophets line upon line, precept upon precept.

“Had Israel heeded the messages of the prophets, they would have been spared the humiliation that followed. It was because they had persisted in turning aside from His law that God was compelled to let them go into captivity.” Prophets and Kings, 296, 297.

3 How is Israel’s separation from God described? Jeremiah 3:2, 3, 20. What was the cause of this separation? James 4:4. What warning should we take from this experience?

Note: “The unfaithfulness of the church to Christ in permitting her confidence and affection to be turned from Him, and allowing the love of worldly things to occupy the soul, is likened to the violation of the marriage vow. …

“In the New Testament, language very similar is addressed to professed Christians who seek the friendship of the world above the favor of God.” The Great Controversy, 381, 382.

“Alas, to what a fearful extent is that friendship of the world which is ‘enmity with God,’ [James 4:4] now cherished among the professed followers of Christ! How widely have the popular churches throughout Christendom departed from the Bible standard of humility, self-denial, simplicity, and godliness!” Ibid., 385.

4 How did the Lord summarize the unreasonable behavior of His people? Jeremiah 2:11, 12. How can this description apply to us today?

Note: “[Jeremiah 2:11–13, 20–22 quoted.] Why is it that the people in this age are so easily drawn away from the observance of God’s commandments? Why is it that they relish the mockery of those who profess to be teachers of righteousness, who yet cast contempt upon the commandments of Jehovah? Is it not because the heart of this people is carnal?” The Signs of the Times, October 2, 1893.

“ ‘Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people hath changed their glory for that which doth not profit.’ [Isaiah 28:16; Jeremiah 2:11.] ‘Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?’ [Jeremiah 18:14.]

“There is great danger in our casting aside the counsel of God for the counsels of men. Satan is delighted when he lays his snares and we walk into the meshes of his net. It is spread for our feet. Shall we be led in false paths? … We are to beware of men. Trust in the Lord, heed his voice, and turn from men.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 6, 248.

5 How did the Lord depict the two evils committed by His people? Jeremiah 2:13. Describe Solomon’s woe in turning away from the truth. Ecclesiastes 2:10, 11, 17.

Note: “The pride of prosperity brought separation from God. From the joy of divine communion Solomon turned to find satisfaction in the pleasures of sense.” Education, 153.

“By his own bitter experience, Solomon learned the emptiness of a life that seeks in earthly things its highest good. He erected altars to heathen gods, only to learn how vain is their promise of rest to the spirit.” Prophets and Kings, 76.

6 What is one of the polluted “fountains” found in Solomon’s counsel? Ecclesiastes 12:12. What is our duty if we have such “fountains” in our home? Acts 19:19.

Note: “Evil angels are ever on the alert that they may exalt before the minds of the youth that which will do them injury, and as books expressing infidel and pagan sentiments are read, these unseen agents of evil seek to impress those who study them with the spirit of questioning and unbelief. Those who drink from these polluted channels do not thirst for the waters of life; for they are satisfied with the broken cisterns of the world. They think they have the treasures of knowledge, when they are hoarding that which is but wood and hay and stubble, not worth gaining, not worth keeping. Their self-esteem, their idea that a superficial knowledge of things constitutes education, make them boastful and self-satisfied, when they are, as were the Pharisees, ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 168, 169.

“When the Ephesians were converted, they changed their habits and practices. Under the conviction of the Spirit of God, they acted with promptness and laid bare all the mysteries of their witchcraft. … They were determined to turn from the service of the evil one, and they brought their costly volumes and publicly burned them. Thus they made manifest their sincerity in turning to God. …

“I would ask the young who have been connected with the truth, Have you burned your magical books?” Messages to Young People, 275.

7 Where can we find, as did Jeremiah, the fountain of life-giving water? Jeremiah 15:16.

Note: “As those who have been cleansed and sanctified through a knowledge of Bible truth engage heartily in the work of soulsaving, they will become indeed a savor of life unto life. And as daily they drink of the inexhaustible fountain of grace and knowledge, they will find that their own hearts are filled to overflowing with the Spirit of their Master, and that through their unselfish ministry many are benefited physically, mentally, and spiritually. The weary are refreshed, the sick restored to health, and the sin-burdened relieved. In far-off countries thanksgiving is heard from the lips of those whose hearts are turned from the service of sin unto righteousness.” Prophets and Kings, 234.

8 What assurance belongs to those who follow the word of God? I Chronicles 22:13.

9 What prophecy connected Christ to the new covenant? Jeremiah 33:14–16. What divine help is available to those who want to correct wrong habits? Jeremiah 31:10, 11; Micah 7:18, 19.

Note: “Christ’s death and resurrection completed His covenant. Before this time, it was revealed through types and shadows, which pointed to the great offering to be made by the world’s Redeemer, offered in promise for the sins of the world. Anciently believers were saved by the same Saviour as now, but it was a God veiled. They saw God’s mercy in figures.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 932.

“The blessings of the new covenant are grounded purely on mercy in forgiving unrighteousness and sins. The Lord specifies, I will do thus and thus unto all who turn to Me, forsaking the evil and choosing the good. ‘I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.’ [Hebrews 8:12.] All who humble their hearts, confessing their sins, will find mercy and grace and assurance.” Ibid., 931.

10 What was predicted about the renewal of God’s covenant with His people in the last days, and what was the difference between the old and new covenants? Jeremiah 31:31–34; 32:40.

Note: “The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth ‘the fruits of the Spirit.’ Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 372.

“Under the new covenant, the conditions by which eternal life may be gained are the same as under the old—perfect obedience. Under the old covenant, there were many offenses of a daring, presumptuous character, for which there was no atonement specified by law. In the new and better covenant, Christ has fulfilled the law for the transgressors of law, if they receive Him by faith as a personal Saviour. ‘As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.’ [John 1:12.] Mercy and forgiveness are the reward of all who come to Christ trusting in His merits to take away their sins. In the better covenant we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 931. [Emphasis in original.]

Additional Reading

“It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who will be alive on the earth when past woes and celestial glory will be blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By the means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles; for Satan would counterfeit any miracle that might be worked. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18. They are to take their stand on the living Word—‘It is written.’ This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without hope and without God in the world.

“The worshipers of God will be especially distinguished by their regard for the fourth commandment—since this is the sign of His creative power, and the witness to His claim upon man’s reverence and homage. The wicked will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator’s memorial, to exalt the institution of Rome. In the issue of the contest, all Christendom will be divided into two great classes—those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark. …

“Fearful tests and trials await the people of God. The spirit of war is stirring the nations from one end of the earth to the other. But in the midst of the time of trouble that is coming—a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation—God’s chosen people will stand unmoved. Satan and his angels cannot destroy them; for angels that excel in strength will protect them.” This Day with God, 69.

“If we would come into possession of the heavenly inheritance, the glorious, eternal substance, we must be in covenant relation with God, and employ every faculty of our being to win souls to Christ. … God’s people must be a peculiar, holy people, distinct in character and practice from the world, distinguished from all the religionists of the day. They must be patterns in personal piety and good works. There is higher, holier work for us to do than we have yet done. Christ has said, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world.’ [John 18:36.] It has no principles that will meet the principles of the world. The Lord has set His church as a light in the world, to guide the world to heaven. It is to be a part of heaven on the earth, flashing divine light on the pathway of benighted souls.” The Faith I Live By, 304.

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

Bible Study Guides – God’s Covenant With His People

April 12, 2009 – April 18, 2009

Key Text

“And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, [even] ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.” Deuteronomy 4:13.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 370–373; “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 931–933.


“Under the new covenant, the conditions by which eternal life may be gained are the same as under the old—perfect obedience.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 931.

1 When did Israel first enter into a covenant relationship with God? Exodus 19:1, 8. What did the people promise to do after additional instruction had been given? Exodus 24:3, 7.

Note: “God’s favor toward Israel had always been conditional on their obedience. At the foot of Sinai they had entered into covenant relationship with Him as His ‘peculiar treasure … above all people.’ Solemnly they had promised to follow in the path of obedience. ‘All that the Lord hath spoken we will do,’ they had said. Exodus 19:5, 8. And when, a few days afterward, God’s law was spoken from Sinai, and additional instruction in the form of statutes and judgments was communicated through Moses, the Israelites with one voice had again promised, ‘All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.’ At the ratification of the covenant, the people had once more united in declaring, ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ Exodus 24:3, 7. God had chosen Israel as His people, and they had chosen Him as their King.” Prophets and Kings, 293.

2 At the close of the wilderness wandering, how was the condition of the covenant repeated? Deuteronomy 4:5, 6, 9.

Note: “Near the close of the wilderness wandering the conditions of the covenant had been repeated. At Baalpeor, on the very borders of the Promised Land, where many fell a prey to subtle temptation, those who remained faithful renewed their vows of allegiance. Through Moses they were warned against the temptations that would assail them in the future; and they were earnestly exhorted to remain separate from the surrounding nations and to worship God alone.” Prophets and Kings, 293, 294.

3 What specific counsel did the Lord give to His people through Moses? Deuteronomy 4:15, 16, 19, 23.

Note: “Plain and decided were the warnings that had been given Israel against the idolatrous customs prevailing among the neighboring nations. …

“Moses traced the evils that would result from a departure from the statutes of Jehovah. Calling heaven and earth to witness, he declared that if, after having dwelt long in the Land of Promise, the people should introduce corrupt forms of worship and bow down to graven images and should refuse to return to the worship of the true God, the anger of the Lord would be aroused, and they would be carried away captive and scattered among the heathen. ‘Ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it,’ he warned them; ‘ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.’ [Deuteronomy 4:26.]” Prophets and Kings, 294, 295.

4 What would be the ultimate result of Israel’s refusal to honor their covenant of obedience to God? Deuteronomy 4:26–28.

Note: “The apostasy of Israel had developed gradually. From generation to generation, Satan had made repeated attempts to cause the chosen nation to forget ‘the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments’ that they had promised to keep forever. Deuteronomy 6:1. He knew that if he could only lead Israel to forget God, and to ‘walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them,’ they would ‘surely perish.’ Deuteronomy 8:19.” Prophets and Kings, 296.

5 What has always been the basis of God’s covenant with His people? Deuteronomy 4:13. How did Moses vividly illustrate Israel’s violation of this covenant?

Note: “Before Moses left his people for the mount, he read to them the words of the covenant that God had made with them, and they with one voice answered: ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ [Exodus 24:7.] How great must have been the sin of Aaron, how aggravated in the sight of God! …

“When he saw their idolatry, and that they had broken in a most marked manner the words of the covenant, he became overwhelmed with grief and indignation at their base idolatry. Confusion and shame on their account took possession of him, and he there threw down the tables and broke them. As they had broken their covenant with God, Moses, in breaking the tables, signified to them that so also God had broken His covenant with them. The tables whereupon was written the law of God were broken.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 297, 298.

6 Throughout the ages, what has been the result of ignoring or disobeying God’s law? Genesis 6:5–7; Hosea 4:1, 2.

Note: “What was it caused the destruction of the people in the world before the flood?—It was their own sin; for the thoughts and imaginations of their hearts were only evil, and evil continually. They trampled upon the commands of God, as did the Jews, and suffered God’s retributive judgment.” The Review and Herald, August 27, 1895.

“The time preceding the captivity of the ten tribes of Israel was one of similar disobedience and of similar wickedness. God’s law was counted as a thing of nought, and this opened the floodgates of iniquity upon Israel.” Prophets and Kings, 297.

7 How does the Lord describe His faithful followers? Jeremiah 6:2. How close is the relationship to be between God and His people? Ezekiel 16:8, last part; Hosea 2:19.

Note: “In the Bible the sacred and enduring character of the relation that exists between Christ and His church is represented by the union of marriage. The Lord has joined His people to Himself by a solemn covenant, He promising to be their God, and they pledging themselves to be His and His alone.” The Great Controversy, 381.

“Very close and sacred is the relation between Christ and His church—He the bridegroom, and the church the bride; He the head, and the church the body. Connection with Christ, then, involves connection with His church.” Education, 268.

8 While Israel was faithful to God, what beautiful description is given of her? Ezekiel 16:13, 14. When was this condition most applicable? II Chronicles 1:1.

Note: “For many years Solomon’s life was marked with devotion to God, with uprightness and firm principle, and with strict obedience to God’s commands. He directed in every important enterprise and managed wisely the business matters connected with the kingdom. …

“The name of Jehovah was greatly honored during the first part of Solomon’s reign. The wisdom and righteousness revealed by the king bore witness to all nations of the excellency of the attributes of the God whom he served. For a time Israel was as the light of the world, showing forth the greatness of Jehovah. Not in the surpassing wisdom, the fabulous riches, the far-reaching power and fame that were his, lay the real glory of Solomon’s early reign; but in the honor that he brought to the name of the God of Israel through a wise use of the gifts of Heaven.” Prophets and Kings, 32, 33.

9 Describe the conditions laid down in the Bible for the blessings of spiritual and material prosperity. Deuteronomy 26:17–19. What exalts a nation? Proverbs 14:34.

Note: “Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them ‘high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.’ ‘All people of the earth,’ said Moses, ‘shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.’ ‘The nations which shall hear all these statutes’ shall say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ Deuteronomy 26:19; 28:10; 4:6.” The Desire of Ages, 28.

“The strength of nations, as of individuals, is not found in the opportunities or facilities that appear to make them invincible; it is not found in their boasted greatness. It is measured by the fidelity with which they fulfill God’s purpose.” Education, 175.

10 What specific blessing did the Lord especially desire for Israel to share with other nations? Genesis 12:1–3; Psalm 33:12. How are we to impart these blessings? Matthew 5:14–16.

Note: “Through Israel it was His [God’s] design to impart rich blessings to all peoples. Through them the way was to be prepared for the diffusion of His light to the whole world. The nations of the world, through following corrupt practices, had lost a knowledge of God. Yet in His mercy God did not blot them out of existence. He purposed to give them opportunity for becoming acquainted with Him through His church. He designed that the principles revealed through His people should be the means of restoring in man the moral image of God. …

“God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 221, 222.

Additional Reading

“Our God is a jealous God. It is a fearful thing to trifle with Him. Anciently, Achan coveted a golden wedge and a Babylonish garment, and secreted them, and all Israel suffered; they were driven before their enemies. And when Joshua inquired the cause, the Lord said: ‘Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.’ [Joshua 7:13.] Achan had sinned, and God destroyed him and all his household, with all they possessed, and wiped the curse from Israel.

“I saw that the Israel of God must arise and renew their strength in God by renewing and keeping their covenant with Him. Covetousness, selfishness, love of money, and love of the world, are all through the ranks of Sabbathkeepers. These evils are destroying the spirit of sacrifice among God’s people. Those that have this covetousness in their hearts are not aware of it. It has gained upon them imperceptibly, and unless it is rooted out, their destruction will be as sure as was Achan’s. Many have taken the sacrifice from God’s altar. They love the world, love its gain and increase, and, unless there is an entire change in them, they will perish with the world. God has lent them means; it is not their own, but God has made them His stewards. And because of this, they call it their own and hoard it up. But, oh, how quick, when the prospering hand of God is removed from them, it is all snatched away in a moment! There must be a sacrificing for God, a denying of self for the truth’s sake. Oh, how weak and frail is man! How puny his arm! I saw that soon the loftiness of man is to be brought down, and the pride of man humbled. Kings and nobles, rich and poor, alike shall bow, and the withering plagues of God shall fall upon them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 140.

“God’s word to His people is: ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate, … and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters.’ ‘Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.’ II Corinthians 6: 17, 18; I Peter 2:9. God’s people are to be distinguished as a people who serve Him fully, wholeheartedly, taking no honor to themselves, and remembering that by a most solemn covenant they have bound themselves to serve the Lord and Him only.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 17.

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

Bible Study Guides – God Chooses Jeremiah

April 5, 2009 – April 11, 2009

Key Text

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 407–409; The Review and Herald, October 20, 1896.


“It is the privilege of the watchmen on the walls of Zion to live so near to God, and to be so susceptible to the impressions of His Spirit, that He can work through them to tell men and women of their peril and point them to the place of safety.” The Acts of the Apostles, 361.

1 By nature, what kind of person was Jeremiah? Jeremiah 9:1, 2.

Note: “Naturally of a timid and shrinking disposition, Jeremiah longed for the peace and quiet of a life of retirement, where he need not witness the continued impenitence of his beloved nation. His heart was wrung with anguish over the ruin wrought by sin.” Prophets and Kings, 419, 420.

2 Despite Jeremiah’s timid nature, why did the Lord call him? Jeremiah 15:20, 21. What lesson do we thus learn?

Note: “In the youthful Jeremiah, God saw one who would be true to his trust and who would stand for the right against great opposition. In childhood he had proved faithful; and now he was to endure hardness, as a good soldier of the cross.” Prophets and Kings, 407.

“We must meet troubles and sorrows. Temptations and wearisome toil will afflict the soul, but we must patiently wait in faith to reap with joy. In the final victory God will have no use for those persons who are nowhere to be found in time of peril and danger, when the strength, courage, and influence of all are required to make a charge upon the enemy. Those who stand like faithful soldiers to battle against wrong, and to vindicate the right, warring against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, will each receive the commendation from the Master: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant: … enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ [Matthew 25:23.]” Testimonies, vol. 3, 327. [Emphasis in original.]

3 What important office did Jeremiah’s father hold in the temple? II Kings 22:4. What unusual double office was Jeremiah called to occupy? Jeremiah 1:1, 5.

Note: “Among those who had hoped for a permanent spiritual revival as the result of the reformation under Josiah was Jeremiah, called of God to the prophetic office while still a youth, in the thirteenth year of Josiah’s reign. A member of the Levitical priesthood, Jeremiah had been trained from childhood for holy service. In those happy years of preparation he little realized that he had been ordained from birth to be ‘a prophet unto the nations.’ [Jeremiah 1:5.]” Prophets and Kings, 407.

4 For what specific mission did the Lord choose Jeremiah, even before his birth? Jeremiah 1:9, 10.

Note: “Thank God for the words, ‘to build, and to plant.’ [Jeremiah 1:10.] By these words Jeremiah was assured of the Lord’s purpose to restore and to heal.” Prophets and Kings, 409.

5 When the Lord called Jeremiah, what warning did He give him? Jeremiah 1:17. What can we learn from this call, and how are we included in the commission? Isaiah 43:10, first part.

Note: “The same God who gave his messages to Moses and Jeremiah will give his word to his witnesses in this generation. ‘For it is not ye that speak,’ Christ declares, ‘but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ [Matthew 10:20.] This word of the Lord has been verified in all ages, and it will be verified to the close of time in all who hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end.” The Review and Herald, May 24, 1898.

“Each has his place in the eternal plan of heaven. Each is to work in cooperation with Christ for the salvation of souls. Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 326, 327.

“In this closing work of the gospel there is a vast field to be occupied; and, more than ever before, the work is to enlist helpers from the common people. Both the youth and those older in years will be called from the field, from the vineyard, and from the workshop, and sent forth by the Master to give His message. Many of these have had little opportunity for education; but Christ sees in them qualifications that will enable them to fulfill His purpose. If they put their hearts into the work, and continue to be learners, He will fit them to labor for Him.” Education, 269, 270.

6 How is the faithful watchman instructed to labor for those under his care? Ezekiel 33:7; Acts 20:28. What should God’s ambassadors always remember?

Note: “We are Christ’s ambassadors, watchmen unto the house of Israel, to see the dangers that await souls, and give them warning. The pastor is a shepherd of the sheep, guarding them, feeding them, warning them, reproving them, or encouraging them, as the case may require. There is visiting to be done, not to have a pleasant chat, but to do the work required of a watchman. There should be earnest conversation and prayer with these souls. This is the kind of work that gains valuable experience in the upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom.

“But if this work is neglected, the wolves will find access to the flock. They will work for their master, as the watchman has failed to work for his. The sheep will be wounded and bruised, owing to the cold indifference and irresponsible course pursued toward them by the shepherd.

“God has enjoined upon the watchmen to watch for souls as they that must give an account.” The Review and Herald, October 20, 1896.

7 How did Jeremiah react when the Lord called him? Jeremiah 1:6, 7. What did the Lord say to His servant concerning the spiritual condition of His professed people? Jeremiah 1:14, 16.

Note: “Stern were the messages to be borne in the years that were to follow. Prophecies of swift-coming judgments were to be fearlessly delivered. From the plains of Shinar ‘an evil’ was to ‘break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.’ ‘I will utter My judgments against them,’ the Lord declared, ‘touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken Me.’ [Jeremiah 1]. Verses 14, 16. Yet the prophet was to accompany these messages with assurances of forgiveness to all who should turn from their evil-doing.” Prophets and Kings, 409.

“God does not send judgments upon His people without first warning them to repent. He uses every means to bring them back to obedience and does not visit their iniquity with judgments until He has given them ample opportunity to repent.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 179.

8 For how long was Jeremiah to be a faithful spokesman? Jeremiah 1:3.

Note: “For forty years Jeremiah was to stand before the nation as a witness for truth and righteousness. In a time of unparalleled apostasy he was to exemplify in life and character the worship of the only true God. During the terrible sieges of Jerusalem he was to be the mouthpiece of Jehovah. He was to predict the downfall of the house of David and the destruction of the beautiful temple built by Solomon. And when imprisoned because of his fearless utterances, he was still to speak plainly against sin in high places. Despised, hated, rejected of men, he was finally to witness the literal fulfillment of his own prophecies of impending doom, and share in the sorrow and woe that should follow the destruction of the fated city.” Prophets and Kings, 408.

9 Facing a very difficult time, what comforting promise did Jeremiah receive from the Lord? Jeremiah 1:8, 19.

Note: “Cruel were the mockings he [Jeremiah] was called upon to endure. His sensitive soul was pierced through and through by the arrows of derision hurled at him by those who despised his messages and made light of his burden for their conversion. …

“But the faithful prophet was daily strengthened to endure. ‘The Lord is with me as a mighty terrible One,’ he declared in faith; ‘therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.’ ‘Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for He hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.’ Jeremiah 20:11, 13.” Prophets and Kings, 420.

10 What prophetic view did God give to Jeremiah? Jeremiah 31:12.

Note: “Amid the general ruin into which the nation was rapidly passing, Jeremiah was often permitted to look beyond the distressing scenes of the present to the glorious prospects of the future, when God’s people should be ransomed from the land of the enemy and planted again in Zion. He foresaw the time when the Lord would renew His covenant relationship with them.” Prophets and Kings, 408, 409.

Additional Reading

“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. The inhabitants of Jerusalem were in danger of losing sight of the sanctity of the Sabbath, and they were solemnly warned against following their secular pursuits on that day. A blessing was promised on condition of obedience. ‘If ye diligently hearken unto Me,’ the Lord declared, and ‘hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein; then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain forever.’ Jeremiah 17:24, 25.

“This promise of prosperity as the reward of allegiance was accompanied by a prophecy of the terrible judgments that would befall the city should its inhabitants prove disloyal to God and His law. If the admonitions to obey the Lord God of their fathers and to hallow His Sabbath day were not heeded, the city and its palaces would be utterly destroyed by fire.

“Thus the prophet stood firmly for the sound principles of right living so clearly outlined in the book of the law. But the conditions prevailing in the land of Judah were such that only by the most decided measures could a change for the better be brought about; therefore he labored most earnestly in behalf of the impenitent. ‘Break up your fallow ground,’ he pleaded, ‘and sow not among thorns.’ ‘O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved.’ Jeremiah 4:3, 14.

“But by the great mass of the people the call to repentance and reformation was unheeded. Since the death of good King Josiah, those who ruled the nation had been proving untrue to their trust and had been leading many astray. Jehoahaz, deposed by the interference of the king of Egypt, had been followed by Jehoiakim, an older son of Josiah. From the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign, Jeremiah had little hope of saving his beloved land from destruction and the people from captivity. Yet he was not permitted to remain silent while utter ruin threatened the kingdom. Those who had remained loyal to God must be encouraged to persevere in right -doing, and sinners must, if possible, be induced to turn from iniquity.

“The crisis demanded a public and far-reaching effort. Jeremiah was commanded by the Lord to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people of Judah who might pass in and out. From the messages given him he must diminish not a word, that sinners in Zion might have the fullest possible opportunity to hearken and to turn from their evil ways.

“The prophet obeyed; he stood in the gate of the Lord’s house and there lifted his voice in warning and entreaty.” Prophets and Kings, 411–413.

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

Bible Study Guides – A Reformatory Movement

March 29, 2009 – April 4, 2009

Key Text

“And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all [their heart] and all [their] soul.” II Kings 23:3.

Study Help: “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1038, 1039; Prophets and Kings, 392–406.


“The whole congregation of Israel entered into a solemn covenant to keep the commandments of Jehovah. This is our work today.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1038.

1 What had the Lord promised to ancient Israel if they would be faithful to Him? Exodus 19:5, 6. What was their responsibility toward the heathen nations? Malachi 1:11.

Note: “God, in His infinite wisdom, chose Israel as the depositary of priceless treasures of truth for all nations. He gave them His law as the standard of the character they were to develop before the world, before angels, and before the unfallen worlds. They were to reveal to the world the laws of the government of heaven. By precept and example they were to bear a decided testimony for the truth. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1180, 1181.

2 What great evil provoked God’s displeasure against Israel? I Kings 11:7–10; Jeremiah 32:32–35. What warnings are given for these last days?

Note: “Children are not to be trained to be the devotees of society. They are not to be sacrificed to Molech, but they are to become members of the Lord’s family. Parents are to be filled with the compassion of Christ, that they may work for the salvation of the souls that are placed under their influence. They are not to have their minds all engrossed in the fashions and practices of the world. They are not to educate their children to attend parties and concerts and dances, to have and attend feasts, because after this manner the Gentiles walk.” Child Guidance, 181.

3 What were God’s truehearted people doing amidst this wickedness? Habakkuk 1:2–4.

Note: “From a human point of view the divine purpose for the chosen nation seemed almost impossible of accomplishment. The apostasy of former centuries had gathered strength with the passing years; ten of the tribes had been scattered among the heathen; only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained, and even these now seemed on the verge of moral and national ruin. The prophets had begun to foretell the utter destruction of their fair city, where stood the temple built by Solomon, and where all their earthly hopes of national greatness had centered. Could it be that God was about to turn aside from His avowed purpose of bringing deliverance to those who should put their trust in Him? In the face of the long-continued persecution of the righteous, and of the apparent prosperity of the wicked, could those who had remained true to God hope for better days?” Prophets and Kings, 384, 385.

4 Whom did God use while King Josiah did the work of reformation? Jeremiah 1:2. What is recorded about King Josiah? II Kings 22:1, 2.

Note: “With the accession of Josiah to the throne, where he was to rule for thirty-one years, those who had maintained the purity of their faith began to hope that the downward course of the kingdom was checked. … Born of a wicked king, beset with temptations to follow in his father’s steps, and with few counselors to encourage him in the right way, Josiah nevertheless was true to the God of Israel.” Prophets and Kings, 384.

5 At the beginning of Josiah’s reformation, what was providentially found in the temple? II Kings 22:8–10.

Note: “[The prophesied] reform movement, by which threatened judgments were averted for a season, was brought about in a wholly unexpected manner through the discovery and study of a portion of Holy Scripture that for many years had been strangely misplaced and lost. …

“The long-lost manuscript was found in the temple by Hilkiah, the high priest, while the building was undergoing extensive repairs in harmony with King Josiah’s plan for the preservation of the sacred structure.” Prophets and Kings, 392, 393.

6 How did Josiah react when he heard about the content of the long-lost manuscript, and how did the Lord answer the king? II Kings 22:11–20.

Note: “When Josiah heard the words of warning and condemnation because Israel had trampled upon the precepts of heaven, he humbled himself. He wept before the Lord. He made a thorough work of repentance and reformation, and God accepted his efforts. The whole congregation of Israel entered into a solemn covenant to keep the commandments of Jehovah. This is our work today. We must repent of the past evil of our doings, and seek God with all our hearts. We must believe that God means just what He says, and make no compromise with evil in any way. We should greatly humble ourselves before God, and consider any loss preferable to the loss of His favor.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1038.

7 After receiving an answer from the Lord, what did Josiah immediately do? II Kings 23:1–14.

Note: “The royal reader was deeply affected, and he delivered his message with the pathos of a broken heart. His hearers were profoundly moved. The intensity of feeling revealed in the countenance of the king, the solemnity of the message itself, the warning of judgments impending—all these had their effect, and many determined to join with the king in seeking forgiveness. …

“In the reformation that followed, the king turned his attention to the destruction of every vestige of idolatry that remained. So long had the inhabitants of the land followed the customs of the surrounding nations in bowing down to images of wood and stone, that it seemed almost beyond the power of man to remove every trace of these evils. But Josiah persevered in his effort to cleanse the land.” Prophets and Kings, 400, 401.

8 What prophecy about Josiah, uttered three centuries before, did he literally fulfill? I Kings 13:1, 2; II Kings 23:15–20.

Note: “Three centuries had passed. During the reformation wrought by Josiah, the king found himself in Bethel, where stood this ancient altar. The prophecy uttered so many years before in the presence of Jeroboam, was now to be literally fulfilled.” Prophets and Kings, 402.

9 What important service was re-established to increase faith and unity among God’s people? II Chronicles 35:1, 16–19.

Note: “Josiah had read to priests and people the Book of the law found in the side of the ark in the house of God. His sensitive conscience was deeply stirred as he saw how far the people had departed from the requirements of the covenant they had made with God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1038.

“The king sought further to establish the faith of Judah in the God of their fathers by holding a great Passover feast, in harmony with the provisions made in the book of the law. Preparation was made by those having the sacred services in charge, and on the great day of the feast, offerings were freely made. ‘There was not holden such a Passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah.’ II Kings 23:22.” Prophets and Kings, 405.

10 Apart from his good work, what serious mistake did King Josiah make that brought his life to a sudden end? II Chronicles 35:20–24. What should we learn from this?

Note: “Because Josiah died in battle, who will charge God with denying His word that Josiah should go to his grave in peace? The Lord did not give orders for Josiah to make war on the king of Egypt. When the Lord gave the king of Egypt orders that the time had come to serve Him by warfare, and the ambassadors told Josiah not to make war on Necho, no doubt Josiah congratulated himself that no word from the Lord had come directly to him. To turn back with his army would have been humiliating, so he went on. And because of this, he was killed in battle, a battle that he should not have had anything to do with. The man who had been so greatly honored by the Lord, did not honor the word of God. The Lord had spoken in his favor, predicted good things for him; and Josiah became self-confident, and failed to heed the warning. He went against the word of God, choosing to follow his own way, and God could not shield him from the consequences of his act.

“In this our day men choose to follow their own desires and their own will. Can we be surprised that there is so much spiritual blindness?” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1039, 1040.

Additional Reading

“Many who are seeking a preparation for the Lord’s work think it essential to accumulate large volumes of historical and theological writings. They suppose that the study of these works will be a great advantage to them in learning how to reach the people. This is an error. As I see shelves piled with these books, some of them rarely looked into, I think: Why spend money for that which is not bread? The sixth chapter of John tells us more than can be found in such works. Christ says: ‘I am the Bread of Life.’ ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.’ John 6:35, 63.

“There is a study of history that is not to be condemned. Sacred history was one of the studies in the schools of the prophets. In the record of His dealings with the nations were traced the footsteps of Jehovah. So today we are to consider the dealings of God with the nations of the earth. We are to see in history the fulfillment of prophecy, to study the workings of Providence in the great reformatory movements, and to understand the progress of events in the marshalling of the nations for the final conflict of the great controversy.

“But too often the motive of those who study these many books is not so much to obtain food for mind or soul. It is an ambition to become acquainted with philosophers and theologians, a desire to present Christianity to the people in learned terms and propositions.

“ ‘Learn of Me,’ said the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. ‘Take My yoke upon you, learn My meekness and lowliness.’ [Matthew 11:29.] Your intellectual pride will not aid in the work of communicating with souls that are perishing for want of the bread of life. In your study of these books you are allowing them to take the place, in mind and heart, of the practical lessons you should be learning from the Great Teacher. With the results of this study the people are not fed. Very little of the study and research which is so wearying to the mind furnishes anything that will make one a successful laborer for souls.

“Men and women who spend their lives in humble, commonplace work need words as simple as Christ gave in His lessons, words that are easily understood. The Saviour came ‘to preach the gospel to the poor.’ [Luke 4:18.] And it is written that ‘the common people heard Him gladly.’ [Mark 12:37.] Those who are teaching the truth for this time need a deeper insight into the lessons He has given.

“The words of the living God are the highest of all education. The studied phrases designed to please the taste of the supposed-to-be refined fall short of the mark. Those who minister to the people need to eat the bread of life. This will give them spiritual strength; then they will be prepared to minister to all classes of people. The piety, the spiritual energy of the church is sustained by feeding on the bread that came down from heaven. At the feet of Jesus we are to learn the simplicity of true godliness.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 307, 308.

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

Food – Gallstone Treatments

From “Back to Eden” by Jethro Kloss

Several years ago, I witnessed something that as a registered nurse was hard for me to believe. An elderly friend of mine suffered a severe attack of gallstones. She believed in natural remedies and wanted me to help her treat the gallstones naturally. I researched natural treatment of gallstones and found a complete treatment protocol in Jethro Kloss’s book, Back to Eden, so after discussion with my friend, we chose to follow the protocol as outlined by Kloss.

As I said, the results were amazing, with my friend passing hundreds of small softened stones. The pain went away, the jaundice disappeared, and the fever decreased to normal. I was truly expecting my friend to require surgery, but God blessed and the problems resolved with faithful natural remedies and prayer. Praise God!

  1. In the absence of severe pain, give an enema, preferably of catnip tea.
  2. Apply hot fomentations of lobelia and hops over the right upper abdomen or liver area. In the absence of the herbs, just use hot fomentations.
  3. Do a hot footbath and drink a cup of hot tea as soon as possible. The tea would be made of equal parts of hyssop, gentian root, skullcap, and buckthorn bark. Complete instructions for making and administering this tea may be obtained from Back to Eden.
  4. One-half hour after taking the tea, take 4 ounces of olive oil and 4 ounces of lemon or grapefruit juice beaten well. You should then lie on your right side with your hips elevated on two pillow.
  5. Finally, a thorough massage under the right ribs, rubbing toward the center of the body will help facilitate the passage of the gallstones. This massage and the use of the oil and juice drink should be done three days in a row.
  6. It is important to have an alkaline diet during this time, using orange, grapefruit, and unsweetened pineapple juice. The potassium broth recipe is alkaline and highly nourishing, and should also be used.
  7. Other references that I have researched also stressed the importance of keeping the bowels moving freely, and suggested a daily enema, which we did after the massage.

RECIPE – Potassium Broth

2 cups bran

1 cup oatmeal

4 quarts water

2 large onions

2 stalks celery with leaves

½ bunch minced parsley

4 medium potatoes

2 vegetable oysters (a Mediterranean herb)

2 large carrots

Mix the first 3 ingredients and soak overnight. Beat up with an eggbeater and strain through a fine sieve. Thoroughly wash and thinly slice the potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, parsley, and vegetable oysters. Cook there in the bran/oatmeal water. Let simmer in a covered kettle until the vegetables are done. Mash up vegetables and strain again through a fine sieve.

Children’s Story – A Glass of Milk

One day a poor boy, who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, when a lovely young woman opened the door, he lost his nerve and instead of asking for a meal, he asked for a drink of water.

The young lady thought that he looked hungry, so she brought him a large glass of milk instead. He drank it very slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”

“You do not owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us to never accept pay for a kindness done.”

“Then I thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” he said.

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was also strengthened. He had been ready to give up and quit, but was given the courage to go on.

Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled, and they finally sent her to the big city where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for consultation.

When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown, he bent over to look at her, and he recognized her at once. He returned to his office determined to do his best to save her life.

From that day on he gave special attention to the case, and after a long struggle, the battle was won. On the day that his patient was to be discharged from the hospital, Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked it over, then wrote something on the edge of the bill and sent it to her room. She was afraid to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for such a long and expensive hospital stay as hers had been. Finally she could endure the suspense no longer, and she opened the bill. Something scribbled in the margin caught her eye, and she read these words: “Paid in full with one glass of milk.” And it was signed by Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed, “Thank You, God, that Your love has spread abroad through human hearts and hands.”

Editor’s note:
Each day as we pass through our humble lives, we never know when a kind touch, a word of encouragement and cheer or a humble act of generosity might give a discouraged, hurting human being just the lift that will make the difference in his or her life. We must remember, also, that our harsh words, our criticism and coldness can also destroy someone who is already hurting, and can be the final straw to make him or her lose all hope. Let us remember to share love, as Jesus shared love, always lifting each other up, and pointing the way to heaven.

Health – Liquid Life

When God created Adam, He made him from the dirt of the earth; and Eve He formed from a bone of her husband’s body. Miraculously, somewhere along the way, though, 75% of their bodies turned into water. (That’s right! 75%; only 25% of the human body is solid matter.) The largest component of the body is H2O, which makes up 45–75% of the body’s weight. It is common knowledge that water is good for the body, but it is little recognized just how essential it is to our well-being. Neither are the consequences of dehydration recognized for what they truly are.

Every part of the body has a role to play in our functionality. Given the fact that we are ¾ water, it is obvious that this element is very important to our livelihood. Furthermore, it is found in every single body system—skeletal: 22%, muscular: 70%, blood: 90%, internal organs: 80%, brain: 80%—meaning that if we are deficient of water, every part of our being is affected.

The body has a system to regulate the distribution of water to ensure that the vital organs have first dibs on the water supply when there is a shortage. Each organ, or system, in turn, has its own alarm signals that sound off to alert the rest of the body of its water shortage. Most people regard a dry mouth as the body’s first sign of thirst, and do not drink water unless this symptom is present. The truth is, however, that by the time a person suffers from cottonmouth, the rest of the body is screaming for lack of water. It is the last cry given by our bodies to draw our attention to thirst.

The body manifests the drought in four consecutive stages. If the first doesn’t grab our attention, the second is implemented; and so on down the line. The first of these signals is perceptive feelings. Fatigue which cannot be attributed to excessive physical activity or other stressors, ranks highest among these. Also, anxiety, anger, depression, sleeplessness, cravings for soda, caffeine, alcohol, and introversion are early expressions of onsetting dehydration. If this does not grab our attention, the body moves to stage two. If we still do not recognize our need for water, the regulatory system in the body takes measures to conserve and distribute what water it does have in an attempt to function as capably as possible without its main ingredient. Some of the signs of this phase are constipation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, asthma, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.1

At this point, if there is still no correction of the issue—that is, if the body still remains in a state of dehydration—other, more localized signs begin to appear. Just like a car cannot go for long with insufficient oil before there is damage, the body cannot run without damage with a lack of sufficient water before it manifests the damage. These crisis signs are heartburn, rheumatoid joint pain, back pain, migraines, colitis pains, fibromyalgic pains, and angina pains. Here, the body has not yet deteriorated into a diseased state; however, the early onset signals of disease are quite apparent.

Why exactly is water so very important, and what does it do in the body that its absence would prompt disease? It is the body’s water supply that regulates every single function of the body. When we are not adequately hydrated, the body cannot function properly. From vital organs right on down to the molecular level, function is impaired. Nothing in creation can operate without energy. Just like a car runs on gas, our bodies run on water—through a chemical reaction known as hydrolysis. The flow of water through the body and its cells generates hydroelectricity, actual voltage, which empowers the body in immediate function and also spawns the creation of ATP and GTP—the chemical energy sources in the body. Water, believe it or not, has the amazing ability to serve as “glue” for the cell’s many structures and, at the same time, is used as a “waterway,” starting in the brain, that is used to transport the many signals of the brain and other parts of the body so that every material can be delivered to its respective “address.” It is a mode of transportation for nutrients, neurotransmitters, and cells. It is necessary for the reproduction of cells and the livelihood of existing ones.

What happens when a car runs low on oil? A light appears as an indicator that warns you that you had better replenish the vehicle’s oil. And what happens if you ignore the light? The car components that make your car run are severely damaged. The same applies to the body and water. The “indicator” is the experience of physical discomfort in the area that has been severely rationed due to drought, and the body’s system of self-preservation. And, in an attempt to remedy the pain, rather than giving the body what it is asking for—what it needs—we give it painkillers and other medications that only exacerbate the issue through negligence. This is kind of like turning off the car’s indicator light and giving it sand instead of oil. The body, over time, then begins to deteriorate. Nutrients that are consumed cannot process properly, thus depriving it of needed minerals, vitamins, sugars, and calories necessary for basic function. This in turn is obviously an open door to numerous body malfunctions; cells cannot reproduce properly, creating mutant cells. Cholesterol is allowed to build, blocking blood paths. The blood itself becomes thick, and issues with blood pressure arise. Bones are tapped for energy and are then depleted. When water is not abundant enough to produce the needed energy, the bones become the backup energy supply. Here, cells can be drawn upon to produce the chemical energy necessary for the basic functionality. However, in tapping the skeletal system of its resources, other diseases are spawned, namely osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, as well as the overwork of the body to supplement the energy source we are supposed to be giving it. This results in fatigue; untreated, this turns to severe chronic fatigue and other sleep disorders. Body organs are in need of fuel to function; the lack of this fuel can cause ulcers, angina, high blood pressure and its resulting issues, high cholesterol and its resulting issues, asthma, diabetes and arthritis. But the issues with dehydration span to the cells also. In order to carry out their duties, they also need the energy source provided by H2O. If this does not happen, the cells miscommunicate and create other cells that are mutant and unable to function normally. This can lead to numerous forms of cancer if the issue goes unattended for an extended period of time.

If “feeling” thirsty is not a reliable indicator of when to drink, what is the best way to make sure that the body is adequately hydrated? As a rule of thumb, a person divides their weight in pounds in half and drinks that amount in ounces. When this is done, the body will become more sensitive to monitoring, and you will actually begin to feel thirsty more frequently. Always respond to this prompt, but never wait for it to drink. If a person is physically active or lives in a warmer climate, an additional 8 ounces of water should be consumed for every hour of hard physical labor or each day in warmer climates.

The optimal time to drink water is one-half hour before eating, and an hour after. This prevents the blood from becoming too concentrated from the intake of nutrients. When blood becomes too concentrated, it robs surrounding cells of their water supply to make up for the lack so that nutrients can be distributed more efficiently.

Just as any vehicle will operate efficiently for an extended period of time when it is serviced regularly, so will the body with adequate care. That care is not found in traditional medicine after disease has already taken its toll; rather it is found in the natural basics such as proper rest, nutrition, and, of course, water. It is up to us to take responsibility for our own well-being. The information and understanding that is now available on the body and its operation allows the public that is interested to take their health and quality of life in their own hands, and practice what is not always practiced in modern medicine—preventative medicine. And the cost is most frequently as cheap as the water you drink.

This article is based on scientific findings of the past two decades. Additional information can be found in the works of 1F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.

Question – Is it right to go out to eat in restaurants on the Sabbath?

Question – Is it right for Seventh-day Adventists to go out to eat in restaurants on the Sabbath?

This question has come up through the years. One thing we do know is that we are to keep the Sabbath holy. It is a day to learn how to enjoy fellowship with the Lord, and it is well for God’s people to eat together and enjoy one another’s friendship with brotherly love.

We know that the Lord does not expect us to fast every Sabbath; however, there is advice given about the preparation of food for the Sabbath both in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, so we will look at the subject of food on Sabbath a little bit.

When the children of Israel were traveling through the wilderness, the Lord gave them special instructions about preparing their food for the Sabbath. This is what happened, and the response: “And it came to pass, [that] on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one [man]: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This [is that] which the Lord hath said, To morrow [is] the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake [that] which ye will bake [to day], and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.” Exodus 16:22, 23.

Here is a paragraph from the pen of inspiration in our day: “Then search the Scriptures, parents. Be not only hearers, but doers of the Word. Meet God’s standard in the education of your children. Let them see that you are preparing for the Sabbath on the working days of the week. All preparation should be made, every stitch taken, on the six working days; all cooking for the Sabbath should be done on the preparation day. It is possible to do this, and if you make it a rule, you can do it. The commandment is, ‘Bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe [boil] that ye will seethe, for tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath.’ That day is not to be given to the cooking of food, or pleasure seeking, or worldly employment. Explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them help themselves and their parents in their preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment. Lead your children to consider the Sabbath a delight, the day of days, the holy of the Lord, honorable. Do not allow yourself to spend the precious hours of the Sabbath in your bed. The heads of the house should be astir early.” Lake Union Herald, April 14, 1909.

This is another quotation from the pen of Ellen White: “We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating befogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many have done more than they think to dishonor God.

“While cooking upon the Sabbath should be avoided, it is not necessary to eat cold food. In cold weather let the food prepared the day before be heated. And let the meals, though simple, be palatable and attractive. Provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the family does not have every day.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 357.

When you eat out at a restaurant, the food is most likely not prepared for the Sabbath a day ahead of time, and besides that, you are really doing business on the Sabbath day. You are buying your food on Sabbath, and it should be purchased on one of the six working days.

May God bless you, and we can eat our Sabbath meal in heaven soon!

If you have a Bible question you wish to have answered, please e-mail it to:

Pen of Inspiration – Foundations

Parental Government to Be a Study

The work of the parent is seldom done as it should be. … Parents, have you studied parental government that you may wisely train the will and impulse of your children? Teach the young tendrils to entwine about God for support. It is not enough that you say, Do this, or, Do that, and then become utterly regardless and forgetful of what you have required, and the children are not careful to do your commands. Prepare the way for your child to obey your commands cheerfully; teach the tendrils to cling to Jesus. … Teach them to ask the Lord to help them in the little things of life; to be wide awake to see the small duties which need to be done; to be helpful in the home. If you do not educate them, there is one who will, for Satan is watching his opportunity to sow the seeds of tares in the heart.

Approach Task With Restful Spirit and Loving Heart

My sister, has God entrusted you with the responsibilities of a mother? … You need to learn right methods and acquire tact for the training of your little ones, that they may keep the way of the Lord. You need to seek constantly the highest culture of mind and soul, that you may bring to the education and training of your children a restful spirit, a loving heart; that you may imbue them with pure aspirations, and cultivate in them a love for things honest and pure and holy. As a humble child of God, learn in the school of Christ; seek constantly to improve your powers, that you may do the most perfect, thorough work at home, by both precept and example.

The Effect of a Quiet, Gentle Manner

Few realize the effect of a mild, firm manner, even in the care of an infant. The fretful, impatient mother or nurse creates peevishness in the child in her arms, whereas a gentle manner tends to quiet the nerves of the little one.

Theories Are to Be Tested

The study of books will be of little benefit, unless the ideas gained can be carried out in practical life. And yet the most valuable suggestions of others should not be adopted without thought and discrimination. They may not be equally adapted to the circumstances of every mother, or to the peculiar disposition or temperament of each child in the family. Let the mother study with care the experience of others, note the difference between their methods and her own, and carefully test those that appear to be of real value.

Methods Employed in Ancient Times

From the earliest times the faithful in Israel had given much attention to the matter of education. The Lord had directed that the children, even from babyhood, should be taught of His goodness and His greatness, especially as revealed in His law and shown in the history of Israel. Through song and prayer, and lessons from the Scriptures, adapted to the opening mind, fathers and mothers were to instruct their children that the law of God is an expression of His character, and that as they received the principles of the law into the heart, the image of God was traced on mind and soul. In both the school and the home, much of the teaching was oral, but the youth also learned to read the Hebrew writings; and the parchment rolls of the Old Testament Scriptures were open to their study.

Teach With Kindliness and Affection

It is the special work of fathers and mothers to teach their children with kindliness and affection. They are to show that as parents they are the ones to hold the lines, to govern, and not to be governed by their children. They are to teach that obedience is required of them.

The restless spirit naturally inclines to mischief; the active mind, if left unoccupied with better things, will give heed to that which Satan may suggest. The children need … to be instructed, to be guided in safe paths, to be kept from vice, to be won by kindness, and be confirmed in well-doing.

Fathers and mothers, you have a solemn work to do. The eternal salvation of your children depends upon your course of action. How will you successfully educate your children? Not by scolding, for it will do no good. Talk to your children as if you had confidence in their intelligence. Deal with them kindly, tenderly, lovingly. Tell them what God would have them do. Tell them that God would have them educated and trained to be laborers together with Him. When you act your part, you can trust the Lord to act His part.

Take Time to Reason

Every mother should take time to reason with her children, to correct their errors, and patiently teach them the right way.

Vary the Manner of Instruction

The greatest care should be taken in the education of youth, to vary the manner of instruction so as to call forth the high and noble powers of the mind. … There are very few who realize the most essential wants of the mind, and how to direct the developing intellect, the growing thoughts and feelings of youth.

Teach the First Lessons in the Out-of-doors

Mothers, let the little ones play in the open air; let them listen to the songs of the birds and learn the love of God as expressed in His beautiful works. Teach them simple lessons from the book of nature and the things about them; and as their minds expand, lessons from books may be added and firmly fixed in their memory.

The cultivation of the soil is good work for children and youth. It brings them into direct contact with nature and nature’s God. And that they may have this advantage, there should be, as far as possible, in connection with our schools, large flower gardens and extensive lands for cultivation.

An education amid such surroundings is in accordance with the directions which God has given for the instruction of youth. …

To the nervous child or youth, who finds lessons from books exhausting and hard to remember, it will be especially valuable. There is health and happiness for him in the study of nature; and the impressions made will not fade out of his mind, for they will be associated with objects that are continually before his eyes.

Make Lessons Short and Interesting

When parents thoroughly act their part, giving them line upon line, and precept upon precept, making their lessons short and interesting, and teaching them not only by precept but by example, the Lord will work with their efforts and make them efficient teachers.

Say It Simply; Say It Often

Those who instruct children should avoid tedious remarks. Short remarks and to the point will have a happy influence. If much is to be said, make up for briefness by frequency. A few words of interest, now and then, will be more beneficial than to have it all at once. Long speeches burden the small minds of children. Too much talk will lead them to loathe even spiritual instruction, just as overeating burdens the stomach and lessens the appetite, leading even to a loathing of food. The minds of the people may be glutted with too much speechifying.

Encourage Independent Thinking

While the children and youth gain a knowledge of facts from teachers and textbooks, let them learn to draw lessons and discern truth for themselves. In their gardening, question them as to what they learn from the care of their plants. As they look on a beautiful landscape, ask them why God clothed the fields and woods with such lovely and varied hues. Why was not all colored a somber brown? When they gather the flowers, lead them to think why He spared us the beauty of these wanderers from Eden. Teach them to notice the evidences everywhere manifest in nature of God’s thought for us, the wonderful adaptation of all things to our need and happiness.

Direct Childhood Activity

Parents need not feel that it is necessary to repress the activity of their children, but they are to understand that it is essential to guide and train them in right and proper directions. These active impulses are like the vines, that, if untrained, will run over every stump and brush, and fasten their tendrils upon low supports. If the vines are not trained about some proper support, they waste their energies to no purpose. So it is with children. Their activities must be trained in the right direction. Give their hands and minds something to do that will advance them in physical and mental attainments.

Teach Helpfulness at an Early Age

Very early the lesson of helpfulness should be taught the child. As soon as strength and reasoning power are sufficiently developed, he should be given duties to perform in the home. He should be encouraged in trying to help father and mother, encouraged to deny and to control himself, to put others’ happiness and convenience before his own, to watch for opportunities to cheer and assist brothers and sisters and playmates, and to show kindness to the aged, the sick, and the unfortunate. The more fully the spirit of true ministry pervades the home, the more fully it will be developed in the lives of the children. They will learn to find joy in service and sacrifice for the good of others.

Parents, help your children to do the will of God by being faithful in the performance of the duties which really belong to them as members of the family. This will give them a most valuable experience. It will teach them that they are not to center their thoughts upon themselves, to do their own pleasure, or to amuse themselves. Patiently educate them to act their part in the family circle.

Fashion Character by Little Attentions, Often Repeated

Parents, in the training of your children, study the lessons that God has given in nature. If you would train a pink, or rose, or lily, how would you do it? Ask the gardener by what process he makes every branch and leaf to flourish so beautifully, and to develop in symmetry and loveliness. He will tell you that it was by no rude touch, no violent effort; for this would only break the delicate stems. It was by little attentions, often repeated. He moistened the soil and protected the growing plants from the fierce blasts and from the scorching sun, and God caused them to flourish and to blossom into loveliness. In dealing with your children, follow the method of the gardener. By gentle touches, by loving ministrations, seek to fashion their characters after the pattern of the character of Christ.

Give Attention to Little Things

What a great mistake is made in the education of children and youth, in favoring, indulging, and petting them! They become selfish and inefficient, and lack energy in the little things of life. They are not trained to acquire strength of character by the performance of everyday duties, lowly though they may be. …

No one is qualified for great and important work, unless he has been faithful in the performance of little duties. It is by degrees that the character is formed, and that the soul is trained to put forth effort and energy proportionate to the task which is to be accomplished.

Talented Children Require Greater Care

We should imprint upon our children’s minds that they are not their own, to go, and to come, and dress, and act, as they please. … If they possess personal attractions and rare natural abilities, greater care should be taken in their education, lest these endowments be turned to a curse, and are so used as to disqualify them for the sober realities of this life, and, through flattery and vanity and love of display, unfit them for the better life.

Refrain From Undue Notice or Flattery

Give children but little notice. Let them learn to amuse themselves. Do not put them on exhibition before visitors as prodigies of wit or wisdom, but leave them as far as possible to the simplicity of their childhood. One great reason why so many children are forward, bold, and impertinent is they are noticed and praised too much, and their smart, sharp sayings repeated in their hearing. Endeavor not to censure unduly, nor to overwhelm with praise and flattery. Satan will all too soon sow evil seed in their young hearts, and you should not aid him in his work.

Read to Your Children

Fathers and mothers, obtain all the help you can from the study of our books and publications. Take time to read to your children. … Form a home reading circle, in which every member of the family shall lay aside the busy cares of the day, and unite in study. Especially will the youth who have been accustomed to reading novels and cheap storybooks receive benefit from joining in the evening family study.

“Train,” Not “Tell”

To parents is committed the great work of educating and training their children for the future, immortal life. Many fathers and mothers seem to think that if they feed and clothe their little ones, and educate them according to the standard of the world, they have done their duty. They are too much occupied with business or pleasure to make the education of their children the study of their lives. They do not seek to train them so that they will employ their talents for the honor of their Redeemer. Solomon did not say, “Tell a child the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” But, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Educate for Self-control

No work ever undertaken by man requires greater care and skill than the proper training and education of youth and children. There are no influences so potent as those which surround us in our early years. … The nature of man is threefold, and the training enjoined by Solomon comprehends the right development of the physical, intellectual, and moral powers. To perform this work aright, parents and teachers must themselves understand “the way the child should go.” This embraces more than a knowledge of books or the learning of the schools. It comprehends the practice of temperance, brotherly kindness, and godliness; the discharge of our duty to ourselves, to our neighbors, and to God.

The training of children must be conducted on a different principle from that which governs the training of irrational animals. The brute has only to be accustomed to submit to its master, but the child must be taught to control himself. The will must be trained to obey the dictates of reason and conscience. A child may be so disciplined as to have, like the beast, no will of its own, his individuality being lost in that of his teacher. Such training is unwise, and its effect disastrous. Children thus educated will be deficient in firmness and decision. They are not taught to act from principle; the reasoning powers are not strengthened by exercise. So far as possible, every child should be trained to self-reliance. By calling into exercise the various faculties, he will learn where he is strongest, and in what he is deficient. A wise instructor will give special attention to the development of the weaker traits, that the child may form a well-balanced, harmonious character. Child Guidance, 31–39.

God our Dependence

“To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, His faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5. This is the only way that anybody in this world can ever become righteous: first admit that he is ungodly; then believe that God justifies, counts righteous, the ungodly, and he is righteous with the very righteousness of God.

Everybody in the world is ungodly. “Ungodly” means “unlike God.” And it is written, “All have sinned and come short of the glory [the goodness, the character] of God.” [Romans 3:23.]

Anybody, therefore, who will admit that he ever came short of being like God in anything, in that confesses that he is ungodly.

But the truth is that everybody, in everything, has come short of being like God. For “they are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:9–18.

Then, as there is not one on earth who is not ungodly, and as God justifies the ungodly, this on God’s part makes justification—righteousness, salvation—full, free, and sure to every soul on earth.

And all that anybody needs to do to make it all sure to himself on his own part is to accept it—to believe that God does justify, personally and individually, him who is ungodly.

Thus, strange as it may sound to many, the only qualification, and the only preparation, for justification is for a person to acknowledge that he is ungodly.

Then, having such qualifications, having made such preparations, all that is required of him to obtain justification, full, free, and sure, is to believe that God justifies him, the ungodly one.

It is quite easy for many to believe that they are ungodly, and even to acknowledge it; but for them to believe that God justifies them—that is too much.

And the sole reason why they can not believe that God justifies them is that they are ungodly, so ungodly.

If only they could find some good in themselves, or if only they could straighten up and do better, they might have some courage to hope that God would justify them. Yes, they would justify themselves by works, and then profess to believe in justification by faith!

But that would be only to take away all ground for justification; for if a man can find good in himself, he has it already, and does not need it from anywhere else. If he can straighten up and do better himself, he does not need any justification from anywhere else.

It is, therefore, a contradiction in terms to say that I am so ungodly that I do not see how the Lord can justify me. For if I am not ungodly, I do not need to be made righteous; I am righteous. There is no half-way ground between godliness and ungodliness.

But when a person sees himself so ungodly as to find there is no possible ground of hope for justification, it is just there that faith comes in; indeed, it is only there that faith can possibly come in.

For faith is dependence on the word of God only. So long as there is any dependence on himself, so long as there is any conceivable ground of hope for any dependence upon anything in or about himself, there can be no faith; so long as there is no place for faith, since faith is dependence on “the word only.”

But when every conceivable ground of hope of any dependence on anything in or about himself, is gone, and is acknowledged to be gone; when everything that can be seen is against any hope of justification, then it is that, throwing himself on the promise of God, upon the word only, hoping against hope, faith enters: and by faith he finds justification full and free, all ungodly though he be.

For forever it stands written, “To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ.” “Whom God hath set forth … to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past.” [Romans 4:5; 3:22, 25.]

This is what it is to exercise faith. Are you exercising faith? For “understanding how to exercise faith: this is the science of the gospel.”

“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.

Since faith is the depending upon the work of God only, for what that word says, being justified by faith is simply being accounted righteous by depending upon the word only.

And since the word is the word of God, dependence upon the word only is dependence upon God only, in the word. Justification by faith, then, is justification—being accounted righteous by dependence upon God only; and upon him only because he has promised.

We are all together sinners,— sinful, and ungodly. We are, therefore, all subject to the judgment of God. Romans 3:9–19. Yet for all of us there is escape from the judgment of God, But the only way of escape from the judgment of God is to trust in God.

When David had sinned in numbering the people, and so had incurred the exemplary judgment of God, the Lord gave him his choice as to whether there should be seven years of famine, or he should flee three months before his enemies, or there should be three days’ pestilence. But David would not choose at all; he deferred it all to the Lord, for him to choose: saying, “Let us fall now into the hand of the Lord, for his mercies are great.” II Samuel 24:11–14.

When depending upon God alone, in his word, for righteousness, we have peace with God; because thus we really obtain righteousness, and “the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.” Isaiah 32:17.

When depending upon God alone in his word, for righteousness we have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ, because “He is our peace, who hath both” God and man “one,” “having abolished in his flesh the enmity” “for to make in himself of twain”—of God and man—“one new man, so making peace.” Ephesians 2:14,15.

Further, when depending upon God alone, in his word, for righteousness, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, because God has “made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; … whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproachable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith”—if you continue to depend only upon God alone in his word. Colossians 1:20–23.

When he has made the way so plain, the justification so complete, and the peace so sure to all, and asks all people only to receive it all by simply accepting it from him, and depending upon him for it, why should not every soul on earth be thus justified, and have the peace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ?

This is “what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of exercising faith.” Are you exercising faith? Are you justified by faith? Have you righteousness by faith? Have you peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ?

“Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22.

Faith is complete dependence upon the word of God only, for the accomplishment of what that word says.

This being so, it must never for a moment be forgotten that where there is no word of God, there cannot be any faith.

This is shown also in the truth that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. Since faith thus comes indeed by the very word of God itself, it is perfectly plain that where there is no word of God, there can be no faith.

This is beautifully illustrated by an instance in the life of David: because David had it in his heart to build a house unto the Lord, the Lord spoke to him by the prophet Nathan, saying, “The Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house. … And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.”
[I Chronicles 17:14.]

Then David prayed and said, “Now, O Lord God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it forever, and do as thou hast said, And let thy name be magnified forever saying, The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.

“For thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.
[I Chronicles 17:23–25.]

“And now, O Lord God, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: that it may continue forever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed forever.” II Samuel 7:11–29.

His prayer was altogether of faith, because it was altogether the word of God: the word of God was the cause of it; the word of God was all the hope of David that the prayer would ever be answered.

He asked according to the will of God, because the will of God was expressed in the word of God. Having asked according to the plainly stated will of God, David knew that his prayer was heard. And knowing that his prayer was heard, David knew that he had the petition which he desired of him. I John 5:14. Therefore he said, So let it be. And therefore also the answer to that prayer was, and is, and forevermore shall be, sure unto David.

And this was written for our learning; that we might know how to pray in faith, and how in prayer to cultivate faith. Therefore, Go and do thou likewise. Because “the knowledge of what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of cultivating faith is more essential than any other knowledge that can be acquired.”

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Therefore the word of God is the only means of faith.

Therefore, where there is no word of God, there can not be any faith.

And where the word of God is, faith is the entire dependence upon that word for the accomplishment of what that word says.

From all this, which is the truth, it is perfectly plain that in order for any one to ask in faith, he must first of all be sure that he has the word of God for what he asks.

Having the word of God for what he asks, he, like David, can find it in his heart to pray with perfect confidence, which is only in perfect faith.

He who thus prays knows that he is asking according to the will of God: for he knows that he has the plain word of God for it.

Therefore he knows that God hears him; and knowing that God hears him, he knows that he has the thing for which he has asked; because the sole basis of his hope for it is the word which has spoken it, and which is the sole basis of his asking.

The Lord tells us thus to pray; and thus he has made provision for the steady, strong, and continuous growth of faith.

Many people pray, but do not have what they pray for, and so do not know whether they can certainly claim it; and not knowing whether they can claim it, they are all at sea as to whether their prayers are answered or not.

The Lord does not want anybody to move uncertainly. Therefore he has given his word, which thoroughly furnishes every one unto all good works, and by which are given all things that pertain unto life and godliness.

And any one who seeks in the word of God the things which God has there provided for all, and upon that specific word prays for that thing, thus asking according to the plainly expressed will of God, knows that his prayer is heard, and that he has the thing for which he prayed.

So doing, the prayers will be always certain, the life will be filled with the direct gifts of God, and the faith will be sure and strong, and will be ever increasing in strength.

Many pray the prayer of the disciples, “Lord, increase our faith.” This is well. Yet along with this, it must never be forgotten that faith comes only by the word of God. Therefore, as certainly as your faith shall be increased and it can be only by there being in you an increase of the word of God, is by harkening to that word, praying to the Lord for the thing which that word says, depending wholly upon that word for that thing, and thanking him that you have received it. Then and thus that word is received by you, and lives in you.

Thus while we can pray, “Lord, increase our faith,” at the same time we must remember that we are to build up ourselves on our most holy faith. Jude 20.

This is how to exercise faith. Faith can be exercised only on the word of God; for where there is no word of God, there can not be any faith.

And “understanding how to exercise faith, this is the science of the gospel.”

“The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17.

Who are the just?—They are only those who are of faith; because men are justified only by faith.

For though we all “have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” yet we are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” [Romans 3:23, 24.]

For “to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” [Romans 4:4, 5.]

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Romans 5:1.] Those who are of faith, and those alone, are the just in the earth.

Now faith is entire dependence on the word of God, that that word shall accomplish what that word says. “It shall accomplish that which I please.” Isaiah 55:11.

To be justified, then, is to be justified by entire dependence upon the word of God. The just are those who are of the word of God. This is how men become just.

Men must not only become just by faith,—by dependence upon the word of God,—but being just, we must live by faith. The just man lives in precisely the same way, and by precisely the same thing, that he becomes just.

We become just by faith; faith is entire dependence on the word of God. We, being just, must live by precisely the same thing by which we become just; that is, by entire dependence upon the word of God.

And this is exactly what Jesus said: Man shall live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4.] When Jesus said that, it is perfectly plain that he simply said, in other words, Man shall live by faith.

There is no other way truly to live than by faith, which is simply living by the word of God. Without faith, without the word of God, men only die.

Indeed, without the word of God, everything only dies; for in the beginning everything came by the word of God. The word of God is the origin and life of everything; for, “He spake, and it was.”

All things animate and inanimate,—sun, moon, and stars, animals and men,—all are entirely dependent upon the word of God for existence. Only in the case of men, God has bestowed upon them the wondrous gift of choice as to whether they will do so or not. This gift opens the door of faith. And when a man does choose to live by the word of God, which is the only means of life, faith—entire dependence upon the word of God—is the means by which he lays hold on the means of life.

Thus “the just shall live by faith,” and thus “whatsoever is not of faith is sin”; which is simply to say, The just must live by the word of God; and whatsoever is not the word of God is sin.

“We can not have a healthy Christian experience, we can not obey the gospel unto salvation, until the science of faith is better understood; and until more faith is exercised.”

“Hast thou faith?” Have the faith of God. Here are they that keep “the faith of Jesus.”

“The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” Romans 1:17.

Faith is complete dependence upon the word of God, expecting that word to do what the word itself says. Is there, then, righteousness spoken by the word of God, so that people can depend completely upon that word, that the word shall accomplish what the word says?

There it is. Indeed, that is the very object of the gift of Christ. For him “God hath set forth … to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Romans 3:25.

Seeing then that God hath set forth Christ expressly to declare, to speak, the righteousness of God, it is certain that the word of God has spoken, upon which there can be complete dependence, expecting that word to do what that word says. In other words, there is righteousness that can be received by faith.

Wherein is the word spoken? It is spoken in the word “forgiveness.” “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins”; “there is forgiveness with thee.”

Now what is the meaning of “forgive”? The word “forgive” is composed of “for” and “give,” which is otherwise to give for. To forgive, therefore, is simply to give for. For the Lord to forgive sin, is to give for sin. But what does the Lord give for sin?—He declares “his righteousness for the remission of sins.”

Therefore, when the Lord forgives—[He] gives for—sins. He gives righteousness for sin. And as the only righteousness that the Lord has for his own, it follows that the only righteousness that God gives, or can give, for sin is the righteousness of God.

This is the righteousness of God as a gift. All men have only sinned, and, if they are ever clear, must have forgiveness entirely free, as the forgiveness of sin—the righteousness of God as a free gift “upon all men unto justification of life.” Romans 5:18.

Every soul, therefore, who ever asks God for forgiveness of sin, in that very thing asks God to give him righteousness for sin. Every soul who asks God for forgiveness, asks it solely upon the word of God, which speaks forgiveness. And faith is entire dependence upon the word for what the word speaks. Thus righteousness is altogether of faith.

“Every one that asketh receiveth.” You have asked the Lord many a time to forgive your sins; that is, you have asked him to give for your sin. But when you ask the Lord to give for your sin, in that you ask him to give the only thing that he does or can give for sin, which is righteousness. That is what it is to ask forgiveness of the Lord.

And he does forgive—he does give for—your sins when you ask him. He says he does, and he does. “He is faithful”—that is, he will never fail—“and just to forgive our sins.” And the only thing he gives for our sins is his righteousness.

Then why not thank him for the righteousness that he freely gives for your sins when you ask him to?

Do you not see that righteousness by faith is just as plain and simple as asking God for forgiveness of sin? Indeed, it is just that.

To believe that righteousness is given to you for your sin, when you ask forgiveness—and thankfully to receive that righteousness as the gift of God,—this is what it is to exercise faith.

Yet how true it is that we suffer much trouble and grief because of our unbelief, and show our ignorance of how to exercise faith.

“Hast thou faith?” Have the faith of God. “Here are they that keep … the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] [Emphasis author’s.]

Taken from the book, Lessons on Faith, A.T. Jones & E.J. Waggoner.

©1995, TEACH Services, Inc.

Used with Permission