Bible Study Guides – The Word Became Flesh

April 21, 2013 – April 27, 2013

Key Text

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 19–26; “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 903–905.


“Jesus was the Commander of heaven, one equal with God, and yet He condescended to lay aside His kingly crown, His royal robe, and clothed His divinity with humanity.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1130, 1131.


  • How does Scripture confirm the eternal existence of Christ? Micah 5:2; John 8:58; 17:5.

Note: “If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity. God over all, blessed forevermore.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1126.

“In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.” The Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900.

  • Besides the creation, what other important work has Christ accomplished? Isaiah 43:1; John 1:29.

Note: “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. He gave His precious, innocent life to save guilty human beings from eternal ruin, that through faith in Him they might stand guiltless before the throne of God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 914.


  • What should we understand about the divinity of Christ even after His incarnation? Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22, 23; Philippians 2:5–11.

Note: “Although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions ‘human’ and ‘divine’ were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own. …

“Equal with the Father, honored and adored by the angels, in our behalf Christ humbled Himself, and came to this earth to live a life of lowliness and poverty—to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Yet the stamp of divinity was upon His humanity.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1129.

  • What fact should we bear in mind concerning the human nature of Christ? I Peter 2:22; John 14:30, last part.

Note: “Be careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him; he was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. …

“Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to, corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called ‘that holy thing’ (Luke 1:35). It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin. The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1128, 1129.


  • What was the purpose for which divinity was united to humanity? John 1:14; 14:7–10.

Note: “The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” The Desire of Ages, 664.

  • Into what new relationship do we enter by receiving the provisions brought by the mystery of godliness (I Timothy 3:16)? John 1:12, 13.

Note: “Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1130.

  • What words of Christ should be echoed in our experience? John 8:29.

Note: “As Jesus was in human nature, so God means His followers to be. In His strength we are to live the life of purity and nobility which the Saviour lived.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 289.

“Not by outward display, not by worldly patronage, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God’ (John 1:12, 13). Here is the only power that can work for the uplifting of humanity. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and preaching of the Word of God.” Evangelism, 531.


  • Once the new relationship becomes established, how is God manifested in us? John 14:15–18, 21, 23; I John 4:12.

Note: “Man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting life; he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 65.

  • What promise belongs to us as we accept Christ, with the blessings derived from His incarnation? Hebrews 2:16–18; 5:2; Philippians 4:13.

Note: “Christ’s humanity was united with divinity, and in this strength He would bear all the temptations that Satan could bring against Him, and yet keep His soul untainted by sin. And this power to overcome He would give to every son and daughter of Adam who would accept by faith the righteous attributes of His character.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 927.

“Christ came to give to the world an example of what perfect humanity might be when united with divinity. He presented to the world a new phase of greatness in His exhibition of mercy, compassion, and love. He gave to men a new interpretation of God. As head of humanity, He taught men lessons in the science of divine government, whereby He revealed the righteousness of the reconciliation of mercy and justice. The reconciliation of mercy and justice did not involve any compromise with sin, or ignore any claim of justice; but by giving to each divine attribute its ordained place, mercy could be exercised in the punishment of sinful, impenitent man without destroying its clemency or forfeiting its compassionate character, and justice could be exercised in forgiving the repenting transgressor without violating its integrity.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 260, 261.

“Let the self-distrustful, whose lack of self-reliance leads them to shrink from care and responsibility, be taught reliance upon God. Thus many a one who otherwise would be but a cipher in the world, perhaps only a helpless burden, will be able to say with the apostle Paul, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’ (Philippians 4:13).” Education, 256.

“Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” The Desire of Ages, 671.


  • How, and for what purpose, should we know Christ better and better? John 5:39.

Note: “No man, woman, or youth can attain to Christian perfection and neglect the study of the word of God. By carefully and closely searching His word we shall obey the injunction of Christ, ‘Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me’ (John 5:39). This search enables the student to observe closely the divine Model, for they testify of Christ. The Pattern must be inspected often and closely in order to imitate it. As one becomes acquainted with the history of the Redeemer, he discovers in himself defects of character; his unlikeness to Christ is so great that he sees he cannot be a follower without a very great change in his life. Still he studies, with a desire to be like his great Exemplar; he catches the looks, the spirit, of his beloved Master; by beholding he becomes changed.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 17.

  • What should we experience as a result of our communion with Christ? Romans 12:2. What must we do if we actually want Christ to be our Saviour? Revelation 3:20.

Note: “Just as a good tree will bear good fruit, so will the tree that is actually planted in the Lord’s garden produce good fruit unto eternal life. Besetting sins are overcome; evil thoughts are not allowed in the mind; evil habits are purged from the soul temple. The tendencies which have been biased in a wrong direction are turned in a right direction. Wrong dispositions and feelings are changed, new principles of action supplied, and there is a new standard of character. Holy tempers and sanctified emotions are now the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. An entire transformation has taken place.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1080.


1 What is revealed about the preexistence of Christ?

2 What should we realize about the nature of Christ after His incarnation?

3 On what condition can we reap the benefits of His incarnation?

4 Where is the merging of divinity with humanity to be seen today?

5 How are we to become transformed?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – A Plan to Regain Paradise

April 14, 2013 – April 20, 2013

Key Text

“Jesus saith unto him [Thomas], I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” John 14:6.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 71–79; “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 931.


“The Father has given the world into the hands of Christ, that through His mediatorial work He may redeem man and vindicate the authority and holiness of the law of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 366.


  • What promise has God often repeated? Genesis 12:3; 22:18; 28:14; Galatians 3:8, 16.

Note: “Not alone at the Saviour’s advent, but through all the ages after the Fall and the promise of redemption, ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself’ (II Corinthians 5:19). Christ was the foundation and center of the sacrificial system in both the patriarchal and the Jewish age. Since the sin of our first parents there has been no direct communication between God and man. … All the communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ. It was the Son of God that gave to our first parents the promise of redemption. It was He who revealed Himself to the patriarchs. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses understood the gospel. They looked for salvation through man’s Substitute and Surety. These holy men of old held communion with the Saviour who was to come to our world in human flesh.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 366.

  • What does the Bible call God’s promise to send His Son into the world, and how was the promise fulfilled? Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18, 21.

Note: “The gospel preached to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses was to them good news; for their faith embraced a coming Saviour.” The Signs of the Times, August 7, 1879.


  • How was Abel blessed, accepted, and justified through the gospel? Hebrews 11:4.

Note: “ ‘By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain’ (Hebrews 11:4). Abel grasped the great principles of redemption. He saw himself a sinner, and he saw sin and its penalty, death, standing between his soul and communion with God. He brought the slain victim, the sacrificed life, thus acknowledging the claims of the law that had been transgressed. Through the shed blood he looked to the future sacrifice, Christ dying on the cross of Calvary; and trusting in the atonement that was there to be made, he had the witness that he was righteous, and his offering accepted.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 72.

  • How did Cain forfeit the blessings and acceptance of the gospel, and why? Genesis 4:3, 5.

Note: “Cain came before God with murmuring and infidelity in his heart in regard to the promised sacrifice and the necessity of the sacrificial offerings. His gift expressed no penitence for sin. He felt, as many now feel, that it would be an acknowledgment of weakness to follow the exact plan marked out by God, of trusting his salvation wholly to the atonement of the promised Saviour. He chose the course of self-dependence. He would come in his own merits. He would not bring the lamb, and mingle its blood with his offering, but would present his fruits, the products of his labor. He presented his offering as a favor done to God, through which he expected to secure the divine approval. Cain obeyed in building an altar, obeyed in bringing a sacrifice; but he rendered only a partial obedience. The essential part, the recognition of the need of a Redeemer, was left out.

“So far as birth and religious instruction were concerned, these brothers were equal. Both were sinners, and both acknowledged the claims of God to reverence and worship. To outward appearance their religion was the same up to a certain point, but beyond this the difference between the two was great.” [Author’s italics.] Patriarchs and Prophets, 72.


  • What two classes of worshipers do Cain and Abel represent? How do the two phases in the life of Paul illustrate the difference between these two classes? Philippians 3:4–9.

Note: “Cain and Abel represent two classes that will exist in the world till the close of time. One class avail themselves of the appointed sacrifice for sin; the other venture to depend upon their own merits; theirs is a sacrifice without the virtue of divine mediation, and thus it is not able to bring man into favor with God. It is only through the merits of Jesus that our transgressions can be pardoned. Those who feel no need of the blood of Christ, who feel that without divine grace they can by their own works secure the approval of God, are making the same mistake as did Cain. If they do not accept the cleansing blood, they are under condemnation. There is no other provision made whereby they can be released from the thralldom of sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 72, 73.

  • What lesson should we learn from the fig-leaf garments of our first parents and from the offering of Cain? Genesis 3:7; Jude 11, first part. What principle underlies the belief and practice of those who fail to abide by the true gospel?

Note: “The class of worshipers who follow the example of Cain includes by far the greater portion of the world; for nearly every false religion has been based on the same principle—that man can depend upon his own efforts for salvation. It is claimed by some that the human race is in need, not of redemption, but of development—that it can refine, elevate, and regenerate itself. As Cain thought to secure the divine favor by an offering that lacked the blood of a sacrifice, so do these expect to exalt humanity to the divine standard, independent of the atonement. The history of Cain shows what must be the result. It shows what man will become apart from Christ. Humanity has no power to regenerate itself. It does not tend upward, toward the divine, but downward, toward the satanic. Christ is our only hope.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 73.


  • How are we in danger of failing—as the Israelites failed—to truly understand the gospel? Exodus 24:7; Joshua 24:19–21; Hebrews 3:15–17; 4:2.

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

  • What covenant did the Lord offer to establish with Israel and is offering to each one of us? Jeremiah 31:31–34; Hebrews 8:8–12.

Note: “The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. 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.’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 372.

“It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.’ ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Job 14:4; Romans 8:7). Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.” Steps to Christ, 18.

“By His perfect obedience He [Christ] has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.


  • Since the days of Eden, men and women have been saved by only one gospel. How does this apply to us? John 14:6; Acts 4:12.

Note: “Christ is the connecting link between God and man. He has promised His personal intercession by employing His name.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1078.

“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.

  • How are we to benefit from the gospel? I Timothy 1:15; Ephesians 1:4–11.

Note: “Jesus … took humanity upon Himself that He might touch and elevate humanity. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He reached to the very depth of human misery and woe, to take man as He found him, a being tainted with corruption, degraded with vice, depraved by sin, and united with Satan in apostasy, and elevate him to a seat upon His throne.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 199.


1 Why is the plan of salvation referred to as the “gospel”?

2 How do we know that Abel was under the “new” covenant?

3 What will make us today to be an “Abel” instead of a “Cain”?

4 How can we be sure our religious experience is really in accordance with the new covenant?

5 How would you summarize the gospel to someone who has never heard it before?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – God’s Supreme Plan

April 7, 2013 – April 13, 2013

Key Text

“If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” Job 33:23, 24.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62; The Story of Redemption, 42–50.


“It is the glory of the gospel that it is founded on the principles of restoring in the fallen race the divine image.” The Review and Herald, May 2, 1912.


  • How does God the Father address His Son? Hebrews 1:8–10. What distinctions characterize the Son of God? Colossians 2:9.

Note: “In the work of creation, Christ was with God. He was one with God, equal with Him, the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person, the representative of the Father.” The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1893.

“Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity. God over all, blessed forevermore.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1126.

  • How does the Son of God summarize His relationship with the Father? John 10:30. What should we then realize as we seek to worship God?

Note: “In Christ is gathered all the glory of the Father. In Him is all the fullness of the Godhead.” The Signs of the Times, November 24, 1898.

“Our ministers must be very careful not to enter into controversy in regard to the personality of God. This is a subject that they are not to touch. It is a mystery, and the enemy will surely lead astray those who enter into it.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 343.


  • What was to be the crowning act of God’s entire creation? Genesis 1:26; Psalm 100:3. In view of the crisis that had occurred in heaven, what did the Father and Son consider?

Note: “The Father consulted His Son in regard to at once carrying out their purpose to make man to inhabit the earth. He would place man upon probation to test his loyalty before he could be rendered eternally secure. If he endured the test wherewith God saw fit to prove him, he should eventually be equal with the angels.” The Story of Redemption, 19.

  • How did the Father and Son plan to redeem humanity in case they would fall prey to the archrebel? Zechariah 6:13, last part; Job 33:27–30.

Note: “The great plan of redemption was laid before the foundation of the world. And Christ, our Substitute and Surety, did not stand alone in the wondrous undertaking of the ransom of man. In the plan to save a lost world, the counsel was between them both; the covenant of peace was between the Father and the Son. ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16). The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, would become a servant. The only-begotten Son, in whom the Father delighted, was given for the ransom of a fallen race. …

“The Father gave Himself to the world in the gift of His Son. It was the love of the Father for fallen man that devised in union with the Son the plan of redemption. And in this great gift the character of God is exemplified to all who shall receive the world’s Redeemer by faith, as a God of holiness and a God of love. In the crucifixion of His dear Son upon the cross of Calvary, He gives to all the sons and daughters of Adam an expression of His justice and His love. This offering made manifest the immutability of the holiness of His law. In the cross of Calvary justice and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

“The Lord God omnipotent is the God of His people. He is also a tender, loving Father, ready to hear their prayers; for God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. God sent forth His Son to be the propitiation for them through faith in His atoning blood.” The Signs of the Times, December 23, 1897.


  • What distinguishes humanity from all God’s other creatures? Genesis 1:27.

Note: “Created to be ‘the image and glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 11:7), Adam and Eve had received endowments not unworthy of their high destiny. Graceful and symmetrical in form, regular and beautiful in feature, their countenances glowing with the tint of health and the light of joy and hope, they bore in outward resemblance the likeness of their Maker. Nor was this likeness manifest in the physical nature only. Every faculty of mind and soul reflected the Creator’s glory. Endowed with high mental and spiritual gifts, Adam and Eve were made but ‘little lower than the angels’ (Hebrews 2:7), that they might not only discern the wonders of the visible universe, but comprehend moral responsibilities and obligations.” Education, 20.

  • What should we realize about the high calling of humanity? Psalm 8:3–9.

Note: “The same unseen Hand that guides the planets in their courses, and upholds the worlds by His power, has made provision for man formed in His image, that he may be little less than the angels of God while in the performance of his duties on earth.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 415, 416.

  • Describe the Edenic scene of Adam’s early existence. Genesis 1:31; 2:8, 15.

Note: “Adam was surrounded with everything his heart could wish. Every want was supplied. There was no sin, and no signs of decay in glorious Eden. Angels of God conversed freely and lovingly with the holy pair. The happy songsters caroled forth their free, joyous songs of praise to their Creator. The peaceful beasts in happy innocence played about Adam and Eve, obedient to their word. Adam was in the perfection of manhood, the noblest of the Creator’s work. He was in the image of God, but a little lower than the angels.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 268.


  • How and why did God test Adam’s fidelity? Genesis 2:9, 16, 17.

Note: “God created man in His own image, after His likeness, free from sin, and with organs well developed. The earth was to be populated with intelligent beings who were only a little lower than the angels. But God would first prove the holy pair, and test their obedience; for He would not have a world filled with beings who would disregard His laws.” The Signs of the Times, January 23, 1879.

  • What warnings should we heed from observing the way Adam failed the test? Genesis 3:1–13.

Note: “The very fact that Adam’s trial was small, made his sin exceeding great. God tested him in that which was least, to prove him; and with the prohibition He stated that the punishment consequent upon his disobedience would be death. If Adam could not bear this smallest of tests to prove his loyalty, he surely could not have endured a stronger trial had he been taken into closer relationship with God, to bear higher responsibilities. He evidenced that God could not trust him; should he be exposed to Satan’s more determined attacks, he would signally fail. …

“Adam did the worst thing he could do under the circumstances. In doing that which God had expressly forbidden he set his will against the will of God, thus waging war with His requirements. The pen of inspiration has with accuracy traced the history of our first parents’ sin and fall, that all generations may be warned not to follow Adam’s example, in the slightest disregard of God’s requirements. Had the test been in regard to larger matters, men might have excused the sin of disobedience in what they call smaller things. But God made the test with Adam upon things that are least, to show man that the slightest disobedience to His requirements is sin in every sense of the word. God, the Governor of the universe, has made all things subject to law; things apparently insignificant, and things of the greatest magnitude, are all governed by laws adapted to their natures. Nothing that God has made has been forgotten or left to blind chance. To man, as being endowed with reasoning powers and conscience, God’s moral law is given to control his actions. Man is not compelled to obey. He may defy God’s law, as did Adam, and take the fearful consequences; or by living in harmony with that law he may reap the rewards of obedience.” The Signs of the Times, January 23, 1879.


  • How did the angels exemplify unselfish love? John 15:13. What was to be their privilege? Romans 15:1.

Note: “The angels prostrated themselves at the feet of their Commander and offered to become a sacrifice for man. But an angel’s life could not pay the debt; only He who created man had power to redeem him. Yet the angels were to have a part to act in the plan of redemption. Christ was to be made ‘a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death’ (Hebrews 2:9). As He should take human nature upon Him, His strength would not be equal to theirs, and they were to minister to Him, to strengthen and soothe Him under His sufferings. They were also to be ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who should be heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). They would guard the subjects of grace from the power of evil angels and from the darkness constantly thrown around them by Satan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 64, 65.

  • In the words addressed to the serpent, what hope did God offer to the fallen pair? Genesis 3:14, 15; Romans 16:20.

Note: “The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption.” The Review and Herald, May 2, 1912.

“Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin—sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 63.

“Adam marveled at the goodness of God in providing such a ransom for the sinner.” The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1893.


1 What are the heavenly credentials of the Son of God?

2 What was the “counsel of peace”?

3 Why was Adam tested? Why is each of us tested?

4 Explain why the test in Paradise was relatively small. Why are our daily tests small as well?

5 Can we be inspired by the response of all Heaven to this crisis?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Keys to the Storehouse – Forgotten Gifts, Forgotten Joys

Forgotten Gifts, Forgotten Joys!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). He is still giving, but many have become so blinded by the cares of this world that blessings innumerable have been forgotten or ignored. Christ was the greatest gift God could have given to us, but few appreciate this Gift with all of its benefits and joys.

“The Prince of heaven was among His people. The greatest gift of God had been given to the world. Joy to the poor; for Christ had come to make them heirs of His kingdom. Joy to the rich; for He would teach them how to secure eternal riches. Joy to the ignorant; He would make them wise unto salvation. Joy to the learned; He would open to them deeper mysteries than they had ever fathomed; truths that had been hidden from the foundation of the world would be opened to men by the Saviour’s mission.” The Desire of Ages, 277.

There is a joy listed for every person:

  • Joy to the poor; for Christ had come to make them heirs of His kingdom.
  • Joy to the rich; for He would teach them how to secure eternal riches.
  • Joy to the ignorant; He would make them wise unto salvation.
  • Joy to the learned; He would open to them deeper mysteries than they had ever fathomed; truths that had been hidden from the foundation of the world.

Have you overlooked and taken for granted the joy available for your life? Praise God for all the joy that is listed plus all the others that are not! And besides all of these “joys,” Christ is also made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. (See I Corinthians 1:30.)

These benefits through Christ tremendously affect our lives.

Wisdom: God solves the problem of our ignorance through Jesus. By imparting His wisdom to us through the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to discern our sin, our danger and the way into the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary for cleansing and forgiveness.

Righteousness: Christ’s righteousness is placed upon each person who has repented of his or her sins and has chosen to live for Christ and reflect His character. The guilt is removed.

Sanctification: He sets us apart and sanctifies us, or makes us a holy people, moment by moment. What a growing experience we may encounter if we choose to receive His way.

Redemption: We have been purchased by the blood of Jesus—saved from loss, redeemed to a wonderful, eternal future.

And let’s not forget the faithful heavenly angels and the Holy Spirit! God’s gifts and joys are innumerable. Do not allow the shadow of care, stress or business to dampen these joys and gifts from your memory! Keep them fresh in your heart by praising Him throughout each day!

Father: I had forgotten all of the joys You have given me through Jesus. Please forgive me. I now raise my heart and voice to Thee in praise and thankfulness for the gift of Jesus and all of the benefits which follow. Praise God from Whom all blessings and joys flow. Amen

Bible Study Guides – The Government of Heaven

March 31, 2013 – April 6, 2013

That I Might Live

Key Text

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” Psalm 33:6.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 33–43; The Story of Redemption, 13–19.


“The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.


  • What characteristic is unique to the Godhead? Psalm 33:6, 9. How—and by Whom—were all things in the universe created? John 1:1–3.

Note: “The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. …

“The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. [Colossians 1:16 quoted.] Angels are God’s ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the ‘express image of His person,’ ‘the brightness of His glory,’ ‘upholding all things by the word of His power,’ holds supremacy over them all (Hebrews 1:3).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.

  • What does Inspiration reveal about the throne of God? Jeremiah 17:12. How does this relate to the Son of God? Hebrews 1:8.

Note: “The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. … The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their [the angels’] homage and allegiance were due.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.


  • What are some of the fundamental characteristics of the government of Heaven? Psalm 89:14; I John 4:16.

Note: “The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.

“God’s love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love. It had been Satan’s purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that the righteousness of God’s law is an enemy to peace. But Christ shows that in God’s plan they are indissolubly joined together; the one cannot exist without the other. ‘Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other’ (Psalm 85:10).” The Desire of Ages, 762.

  • What characterized the relationship between the entire host of heavenly creatures and their beneficent Creator? Psalm 103:20, 21.

Note: “So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

“All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients of the life of God. From the highest seraph to the humblest animate being, all are replenished from the Source of life.” The Desire of Ages, 785.

“When the Lord created these [angelic] beings to stand before His throne, they were beautiful and glorious. Their loveliness and holiness were equal to their exalted station. They were enriched by the wisdom of God, and girded with the panoply of heaven.” The Signs of the Times, April 14, 1898.


  • What ambition was nourished by Lucifer, the highest created being? Ezekiel 28:12–15.

Note: “There was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, ‘son of the morning,’ was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him. ‘Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering. … Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee’ (Ezekiel 28:12–15).

“Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. The Scripture says, ‘Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness’ (Ezekiel 28:17). ‘Thou hast said in thine heart, … I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. … I will be like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14:13, 14). Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

  • What was the real cause of Lucifer’s dissatisfaction? Proverbs 13:10; Psalm 10:4.

Note: “Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he [Lucifer] ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.


  • How did Heaven’s reasoning with Lucifer exemplify God’s tender appeals to His erring creatures throughout all ages? What was Lucifer’s attitude?

Note: “In heavenly council the angels pleaded with Lucifer. The Son of God presented before him the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator, and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law. God Himself had established the order of heaven; and in departing from it, Lucifer would dishonor his Maker and bring ruin upon himself. But the warning, given in infinite love and mercy, only aroused a spirit of resistance. Lucifer allowed his jealousy of Christ to prevail, and became the more determined.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.

  • In sharp contrast to God’s methods, what means did Lucifer use to subtly dissuade many angels from their trustful allegiance to God? Psalm 55:21.

Note: “Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the Father, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. He worked with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealed his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God. He began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that though laws might be necessary for the inhabitants of the worlds, angels, being more exalted, needed no such restraint, for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide. They were not beings that could bring dishonor to God; all their thoughts were holy; it was no more possible for them than for God Himself to err. The exaltation of the Son of God as equal with the Father was represented as an injustice to Lucifer, who, it was claimed, was also entitled to reverence and honor.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 37.

“While claiming for himself perfect loyalty to God, he urged that changes in the order and laws of heaven were necessary for the stability of the divine government. Thus while working to excite opposition to the law of God and to instill his own discontent into the minds of the angels under him, he was ostensibly seeking to remove dissatisfaction and to reconcile disaffected angels to the order of heaven. While secretly fomenting discord and rebellion, he with consummate craft caused it to appear as his sole purpose to promote loyalty and to preserve harmony and peace.” Ibid., 38.


  • Trace the final stages of Lucifer’s rebellion in heaven. Revelation 12:7–9.

Note: “He [Lucifer] nearly reached the decision to return [to God], but pride forbade him. It was too great a sacrifice for one who had been so highly honored to confess that he had been in error.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 39.

  • How is Satan’s fall summarized? Isaiah 14:12–15. Why didn’t the Lord immediately destroy him? Ezekiel 28:17, 19.

Note: “Even when he was cast out of heaven, Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since only the service of love can be acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven and of the worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted out of existence, some would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages, he must more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings, and that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might be forever placed beyond all question.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 42.


1 Why is the Son of God entitled to share the Father’s throne?

2 What can we learn from the heavenly plan of government?

3 How can we avoid even the initial steps of Lucifer’s personal disaffection?

4 What warning should we take from the way so many angels were influenced by Lucifer?

5 Explain the wisdom of God’s methods of handling this crisis.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

7 sweet peppers (red, orange or yellow)

1 cup whole grain quinoa

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup diced sweet onion

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. cardamom

¾ tsp salt

1 cup dried figs, roughly chopped

½ cup unsalted cashews, roughly chopped

Seed and dice 1 of the peppers. Slice remaining 6 peppers from stem to bottom; seed. In a medium lidded pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa; return to a boil. Cover, reduce to medium-low and cook 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Return pot to stove; place over medium heat. Add olive oil. Stir in the diced pepper and onion. Cook 5 minutes. Mix in cumin and cardamom; cook 1 more minute. Stir in figs, cashews, quinoa, and salt. Fill pepper halves with quinoa mixture and place cut-side up in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 30 minutes or until peppers are tender.

Food – What is Quinoa?

While quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah or keh-NO-ah) is usually considered to be a whole grain, it is actually a seed belonging to the Goosefoot family, but it can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley. It comes from the Andes Mountains of South America and was one of the three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, of the Inca civilization.

Quinoa is a favorite whole grain for three reasons. First, it takes less time to cook than other whole grains. One cooking method is to treat quinoa much like rice, bringing two cups (or less) of water to a boil with one cup of grain, covering at a low simmer and cooking for 10–15 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed.

Second, unlike other grains such as millet or teff, quinoa has a delicious flavor all its own. Add a bit of olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice and it is quite tasty! It is light and easy to digest, not sticky or heavy like most other grains, and it can be substituted for almost any grain in almost any recipe.

Finally, of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content—an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. It also provides all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein—so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Besides its unique protein, quinoa also provides starch, sugars, oil (high in essential linoleic acid), fiber, minerals, and vitamins. The nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals.

Quinoa in its natural state has a coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making it unpalatable. This bitterness has beneficial effects during cultivation, as the plant is unpopular with birds and therefore requires minimal protection. Most packaged quinoa has already been cleaned, but it doesn’t hurt to soak and rinse it just in case. The leaves are frequently eaten as a leafy vegetable, like spinach, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.

Children’s Story – A Boy who Lived Again

Elisha went about through all the land, teaching the people, but especially teaching the students in the schools of the prophets. There were many now who turned to the Lord, and Elisha was greatly encouraged. He journeyed here and he journeyed there, and everywhere he came to be known as a great prophet.

Elijah had fought against the evil worship of Baal, brought in by Jezebel, when it threatened to overwhelm all the worship of Jehovah; and the road that Elijah trod was a hard road. But now the worship of Baal was lessening, though many followed after the gods that Jeroboam had set up. So the way of Elisha was easier, but not easy. He was highly honored in Israel, both by the king and by the people.

One of the places that he used to stop as he went on his journeys was in the city of Shunem at the house of a good and great woman. After several visits, the woman said to her husband, “I see this is a holy man who stops and eats with us sometimes. Let us build a room for him on the side of the house, and put in it a bed and a table and a stool and a lamp, and let it be for the man of God only, when he comes.”

Her husband said, “All right; let’s do.” So they built the room and furnished it. When Elisha came, she took him up and showed him the room, with all its good furniture and he was glad. So he asked her what she wanted, but she said, “Nothing!” However, when she was gone, he asked his servant, Gehazi, what he might do for the good woman. And Gehazi said, “I’ll tell you, master. She has no child of her own, and she does so much wish for a son.”

Then Elisha called her back and said, “Listen! Next year about this time you shall have a baby boy born to you.”

She was so thrilled she could hardly believe it. And she said, “O my lord, don’t tell me any lies.”

“No, indeed!” said Elisha. “Truly, you shall have a son.”

And so it came to pass. For the next year there was born to her a baby boy. How she loved him! He grew to be quite a lad. When he was perhaps five years old, one day he followed his father out to the wheat field. The sun was hot, and it beat down on the little boy’s head and made it ache. He went to his father and said, “My head! My head!”

His father said to a big boy, “Take the little chap up and carry him to his mother.” So the big boy carried the little boy to his mother. She took him in her arms and sat down with him and rocked him. But he grew sicker and sicker, until at noon he died.

She took him up in her arms and laid him on the prophet’s bed and shut the door. Then she called to her husband and said, “Have the ass saddled for me. I want to go to the prophet.”

“Why do you want to go to the prophet?” he asked. “This isn’t new moon or Sabbath.”

She didn’t tell him the little boy was dead. She just said, “It’s for the best.” So he had the ass saddled.

And she said to her servant, “Go behind and drive fast and faster.” And she rode to Mount Carmel, where the prophet Elisha was. He saw her coming, and he said to his servant, “Here comes this Shunammite woman. What can be the matter?”

When she came up to him, she fell down at his feet, and she cried, “Did I ask for a son? Did I not say, ‘Tell me no lies’?”

Then he knew her little boy was dead. And he said to Gehazi, “Take my staff, and go ahead and lay it on the face of the child.” So his servant took his master’s staff and went ahead. But the mother said to Elisha, “I’ll not go unless you go with me.” He arose then and went with her. On the way they met Gehazi, and he said, “I laid the staff on the face of the lad, but he is not awaked.” So they went on till they came to the house.

Elisha went up to the room alone, and opened the door. There lay the little dead boy. Elisha looked at him; then he walked up and down in the room and prayed to God. Then he went and laid himself on the little boy. He put his mouth on his mouth, and his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and the little boy’s flesh grew warm. Again Elisha walked up and down and prayed to God. And again he went and laid himself on the little boy, eyes to his eyes, mouth to his mouth, hands to his hands. And the child sneezed seven times, and he opened his eyes, and he was alive!

Elisha summoned his servant, and said, “Call this Shunammite.” And when she came, he said to her, “Take up your son.”

She looked over to the bed where she had laid her little dead son. But now his eyes were open! He smiled at her and stretched out his hands to her. She fell at the prophet’s feet and thanked him. Then she took up her little boy and carried him out, more thankful for him now than when first as a little babe he had been laid in her arms. (You can read this story in the Bible in II Kings 4:8–37.)

Arthur Whitefield Spalding, Golden Treasury of Bible Stories, Southern Publishing Association, Nashville, Tennessee, 1954.

Honesty – The Vision of the Missing Hairnet

It all happened many, many years ago in Northern California. Mrs. Ellen G. White, the Lord’s messenger, was living at Healdsburg only a few blocks from our new college. Since her husband, Elder James White, was now dead, Sister White invited several young ladies to live in her home as they attended school. Among these was one young lady of considerable ability who did some teaching at the school.

How this young lady enjoyed living in Sister White’s home! It was a large, white, two-story, frame house, surrounded with garden and orchard. Sister White was a big-hearted, understanding mother to the girls who lived with her. All went well for a few months. Then it happened. As this girl went through Sister White’s bedroom on some errand, she saw something on the dresser she wanted very much. She stopped and looked at it. The longer she lingered, the more she felt she just had to have it. She looked this way and that, and seeing no one around she reached out her hand and took it.

And what was it? A watch, or something valuable, you think? No. It was just a hairnet. The women at that time often wore a net over their hair. True, it was a well-made, silk hairnet. Sister White would not miss it, she thought, and it was just what she so much wanted.

Leaving Sister White’s bedroom, with the hairnet in her closed hand, the young lady went to her bedroom and opening her trunk, put the net in the corner of the tray. She closed the trunk and went about her duties. But there was no song in her heart now. You know why.

A few hours later in the day, Sister White was preparing to go out, and entering her bedroom to get ready, she brushed her hair, and thought to put on the net, as was the custom of that day. But she could not find the net anywhere. It was not on the top of the dresser. She looked back of it, she looked under it, but could not find the missing article anywhere. Giving up, she did without it.

That evening at worship time the girls gathered with Sister White around the open fireplace. Often Sister White, in connection with the worship, told a story of the early days. How they did enjoy these stories! But this evening, Sister White had a question to ask the girls.

“Have any of you seen my hairnet?” she asked. Continuing, she said, “It was right there on my dresser in the bedroom. When I went to get it, it was gone. It must be found. It could not go away by itself.” But no one seemed to know about the hairnet, for no one responded. There was one girl there, however, who wished Mrs. White would not say anything about a hairnet. The matter was dropped.

A day or two later, as Sister White was passing through this girl’s room, a voice spoke to her as she passed the trunk, “Lift the lid of that trunk!”

But it was not Sister White’s trunk and she would not think of looking into someone else’s trunk.

Again the voice spoke to her, “Lift the lid of that trunk.”

Now she recognized the voice to be that of an angel, and she obeyed and opened the trunk. In the tray was the missing hairnet. She left it there, closed the trunk, and went about her tasks.

That evening, as the family came together again for worship, the hairnet question came up. “Does anyone know where the hairnet is?” Sister White asked. “I am sure it can be found. It could not go away by itself.” But there was no response, and [as] no one seemed to know anything about the hairnet, Sister White did not press the matter further. One girl was worried and in her heart she determined to destroy the hairnet, lest Sister White should discover that she had taken it. How ungrateful this would seem!

A few days after this, Sister White was seated in the living room in front of the fire in the fireplace, busy with her writing. It may have been a personal testimony she was writing to someone, or she may have been working on some of the last chapters of The Great Controversy. For several hours she had been busy with her pen and her hand was tired, her mind was tired, and her eyes were tired. She laid her pen down and looked into the fireplace, and then just for a moment she was in vision. This was one of the shortest visions ever given to Sister White.

In this vision she saw the hand and arm of a girl. In the hand was a hairnet. She also saw on the table a kerosene lamp which was burning. She saw the hairnet held over the lamp and then lowered until the net touched the flame. In a flash of light, the silk net burned, and it was gone. The vision was over, and Sister White found herself in the living room by the open fire. Now she knew what had happened to the missing hairnet.

That evening when the family was together around the fireplace, Sister White again asked about the hairnet. Did not someone know what had happened to it? Someone must know about it. But nothing was said; no one seemed to know. Sister White dropped the matter.

A little later Sister White called aside the girl in whose trunk she had seen the hairnet. She told her about the voice that spoke to her. She told her what she saw when she opened the trunk. Then she told her about the short vision and of how she saw the hairnet burn up over the lamp.

The girl broke down in tears. “Yes, Sister White, I took it,” she confessed. “I wanted it so much, and I did not think you would miss it, but when you began to press the matter I feared you would find out that I had taken it, so I held the net over a lamp and burned it up, just as you saw in the vision, and I said to myself, ‘Now no one will ever know about the hairnet.’ ”

But someone was watching from up in heaven. The angels made a record of what took place, and God sent His angel down to this world with a vision for Sister White just about the hairnet. It was such a small thing for the Lord to bother about. God who created the earth and guides the planets, sent His angel down to this world with a vision for Sister White just about a hairnet a girl had taken. But it was a matter much more important than the value of the hairnet. Here was the soul of a young lady at stake.

She was a member of the church. She went to Sabbath School and to church. She was a Seventh-day Adventist, and she felt that she was all right. She did not realize that there were little sins in her life—sins which led her to steal and to deceive. But when she saw that God loved her so much that He sent His angel down to this world with a vision for Sister White just about the hairnet, then she began to see some things differently. Some of the seemingly little things now seemed much more important. How much the Lord must love her; how important the little things were!

Not only did this girl confess her sin of stealing and make the matter right with Sister White and with the Lord, but this experience became the turning point in her life.

This young lady gave her heart anew to God, and she lived a sweet, consistent Christian life. And that was why the vision was given to Sister White. It was to help men and women, and boys and girls to live sweet, consistent Christian lives that so many visions were given to Sister White. And the counsels were written out in the Spirit of Prophecy books to help everyone live good lives, and to get ready to meet Jesus.

Campfire Junior Stories from the days of Seventh-day Adventist Pioneers, 9. Ellen G. White Estate, Review and Herald Publishing Association.

Health – A Merry Heart

Your body was created for action, and each system of the body has a specific need to retain its health. The immune system is one of those internal systems that needs action to work properly.

Your immune system depends upon a good internal jog each day. How do you accomplish this? You laugh! Many of us have read or heard that a good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving our muscles relaxed. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving our resistance to disease. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow.

“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15:13.

“The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected the other sympathizes. The condition of the mind affects the health to a far greater degree than many realize. Many of the diseases from which men suffer are the result of mental depression. Grief, anxiety, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, all tend to break down the life forces and to invite decay and death.” My Life Today, 151.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22.

So often we seem to overlook the simple things in life that can help to preserve or restore our immune systems, including internal jogging. The following excerpt is taken from the book, The Owner’s Manual for The Brain, Everyday Applications from Mind-Brain Research, Second Edition, Pierce J. Howard, Ph.D., Bard Press, Austin, Texas, 170, 171.

“Norman Cousins is known as the founder of phychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Originally he called the concept of mentally influencing the immune system “hardiness.” One of the four critical ingredients of hardiness is positive emotions, which Cousins defines as maintaining a sense of humor and general joyfulness. He refers to laughter as “internal jogging.” Laughter is healthy. Laughter appears to be an especially important ingredient in recovering from life-threatening illnesses. Cousins found that even a few moments of laughter can reduce the sedimentation rate, which is a measure of inflammation. Specifically, according to research by Lee S. Berk, a professor at the Schools of Medicine and Public Health at Loma Linda University in California (APA Monitor, September 1997, p. 18), laughter results in:

  • Enhanced respiration
  • An increased number of immune cells
  • An increase in immune-cell proliferation
  • A decrease in cortisol
  • An increase in endorphins
  • An increase in salivary immunoglobulin type A concentrations

“Tests of problem-solving ability yield better results when they are preceded by laughter. Laughter has a way of turning off posterior hypothalamic activity and allowing the cerebral cortex to carry on stress-free activity. Cousins reports that ten minutes of laughter can provide a person who is in pain with at least two hours of good sleep.

“Michelle G. Newman, a psychologist at Pennsylvania State University, reports from her research that people can learn to use humor as a coping device and that this learned humor has marked effects. Ibid.

Even the world is realizing that what our minds are thinking upon affects our health and that a merry heart is needed for our health. The Christian knows where to find that merry heart.

“The condition of the mind affects the health of the physical system. If the mind is free and happy, from a consciousness of rightdoing and a sense of satisfaction in causing happiness to others, it creates a cheerfulness that will react upon the whole system, causing a freer circulation of the blood and a toning up of the entire body.” Counsels on Health, 28.

Let’s put on those garments of rejoicing as stated in the following:

“Sorrow comes and goes; it is the lot of man; we should not seek to magnify it, but rather dwell upon that which is bright and pleasant. When winter spreads its icy covering over the earth, we do not let our gladness freeze up with the flowers and brooks and continually mourn because of the dismal days and the chilling winds. On the other hand, we reach forward in imagination to the coming summer, with its warmth and life and beauty. Meanwhile we enjoy all the sunshine that comes to us, and find much comfort, in spite of the cold and snow, while we are waiting for nature to put on her fresh, bright garments of rejoicing.” In Heavenly Places, 274.

Don’t think upon the negative, but look forward to our heavenly home and let some of that internal jogging take place right here and now; have a merry heart that will help to preserve our immune systems and keep them in good working order so that heaven’s influence may touch others.