Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 10:21–25

June 22-28, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25.

SUGGESTED READING: Testimonies, vol. 5, 630, 631.

INTRODUCTION: “The sacrificial heifer [see Numbers 19] was conducted without the camp and slain in the most imposing manner. Thus Christ suffered without the gates of Jerusalem, for Calvary was outside the city walls. This was to show that Christ did not die for the Hebrews alone, but for all mankind. He proclaims to a fallen world that He has come to be their Redeemer and urges them to accept the salvation He offers them. The heifer having been slain in a most solemn manner, the priest, clothed in pure white garments, took the blood in his hands as it issued from the body of the victim and cast it toward the temple seven times. ‘And having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.’ [Hebrews 10:21, 22.]” Testimonies, vol. 4, 121.

1 How does faith come to us? Romans 10:17.

NOTE: “[Romans 10:17 quoted.] The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’ John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.

“The truths of the word of God meet man’s great practical necessity—the conversion of the soul through faith. These grand principles are not to be thought too pure and holy to be brought into the daily life. They are truths which reach to heaven and compass eternity, yet their vital influence is to be woven into human experience. They are to permeate all the great things and all the little things of life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

2 What is necessary to obtain full assurance of faith? Hebrews 10:22.

NOTE: “Many people mistake strong feeling for an assurance of faith, though they are essentially different. Strong feeling may be an accompaniment of faith, though it is not faith itself. And many suppose that there can be no faith without a happy state of feeling, which is a great mistake. Paul had great faith, though circumstances caused him to have great heaviness and continual sorrow of heart. (Romans 9:2.) Compare Isaiah 50:10; Matthew 5:4. Faith rests entirely upon the word of God, but feeling is often the outgrowth of impressions, produced in various ways. Self-complacency, deep satisfaction over one’s own experience, is very often mistaken for assurance of faith, while, oftentimes, the individual has no faith at all—no clear conception of the teachings of God’s Word. Full assurance of genuine faith is unwavering confidence in God, with knowledge of his word and implicit belief of the word. The clearer the word is to our understanding, the better is the chance for full assurance of faith; for how can we have faith in that of which we are ignorant? The mystical system of interpreting the Scriptures, by which they are made to mean anything that can be imagined, precludes faith. Under that system the mind is filled only with fancies, while faith is something substantial.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, California, July 8, 1889, 45, 46.

3 What should we desire to be done to the heart? Hebrews 10:22.

NOTE: “God gave special directions to Moses in regard to the children of Israel having nothing unsightly or unclean about their dwellings, lest He should pass by and see their uncleanness and be offended, and refuse to go out to co-operate with them in their battles against the enemy.” Testimonies to Southern Africa, 86, 87.

“Truth never places her delicate feet in a path of uncleanness or impurity. . . . He who was so particular that the children of Israel should cherish habits of cleanliness will not sanction any impurity in the homes of His people today. God looks with disfavor on uncleanness of any kind.” My Life Today, 129.

4 What are we told is sprinkled upon the heart to purify it? Hebrews 10:22. Compare 1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 12:24.

NOTE: “The passover pointed backward to the deliverance of the children of Israel, and was also typical, pointing forward to Christ, the Lamb of God, slain for the redemption of fallen man. The blood sprinkled upon the door-posts prefigured the atoning blood of Christ, and also the continual dependence of sinful man upon the merits of that blood for safety from the power of Satan, and for final redemption.” The Signs of the Times, March 25, 1880.

5 How is the blood of Christ applied to our hearts? Jude 1:20, 21. Compare Colossians 2:6, 7.

NOTE: “When the law was proclaimed from Sinai, God made known to men the holiness of His character, that by contrast they might see the sinfulness of their own. The law was given to convict them of sin, and reveal their need of a Saviour. It would do this as its principles were applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit. This work it is still to do. In the life of Christ the principles of the law are made plain; and as the Holy Spirit of God touches the heart, as the light of Christ reveals to men their need of His cleansing blood and His justifying righteousness, the law is still an agent in bringing us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.’ Psalm 19:7.” [Emphasis supplied.] The Desire of Ages, 308.

6 What is meant by “our bodies washed with pure water”? Hebrews 10:22, last part. Compare Titus 3:5; Acts 22:16.

NOTE: “There is outward evidence testifying to the inward transformation that has taken place. The rite of baptism proclaims to all men the intention of each candidate to enter into the privileges and to accept the responsibilities that follow upon conversion. . . . In the physical world water is an important and valuable cleansing agent, and it is a fitting symbol of the cleansing of the life from sin.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 463.

7 How should we hold our profession of faith? Hebrews 10:23.

NOTE: “What is our profession? We profess to be following Christ. We claim to be Christians. Do we, then, reveal the Christlikeness? Do we serve the Saviour intelligently? Does the love of God continually flow from us to others? Do we, in word and action, confess our Redeemer? Do we conform our lives to His holy principles? Are we pure and undefiled? Christians must hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. It is not enough to profess the faith. There must be a patient endurance of all trials and a brave resistance to all temptations. Faith can be maintained only by bringing the Christian religion to the test of practice, thus demonstrating its transforming power and the faithfulness of its promises (Manuscript 42, 1901).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 928, 929.

” ‘Hold fast’ . . . does not mean, Hold fast to your sins; but, Hold fast to the comfort, the faith, the hope, that God has given you in His Word. Never be discouraged. A discouraged man can do nothing. Satan is seeking to discourage you, telling you it is of no use to serve God, that it does not pay, and that it is just as well to have pleasure and enjoyment in this world. But ‘what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ [Mark 8:36.] You may have worldly pleasure at the expense of the future world; but can you afford to pay such a price?” Ibid., 959.

8 What is said of him that wavereth? James 1:6.

NOTE: “Some men have no firmness of character. They are like a ball of putty and can be pressed into any conceivable shape. . . . This weakness, indecision, and inefficiency must be overcome. There is an indomitableness about true Christian character which cannot be molded or subdued by adverse circumstances. Men must have moral backbone, an integrity which cannot be flattered, bribed, or terrified.” Sons and Daughters of God, 210.

9 What is meant by considering one another? Hebrews 10:24.

NOTE: “You will often meet with souls that are under the stress of temptation. You know not how severely Satan may be wrestling with them. Beware lest you discourage such souls and thus give the tempter an advantage.

“Whenever you see or hear something that needs to be corrected, seek the Lord for wisdom and grace, that in trying to be faithful you may not be severe.

“It is always humiliating to have one’s errors pointed out. Do not make the experience more bitter by needless censure. Unkind criticism brings discouragement, making life sunless and unhappy.

“My brethren, prevail by love rather than by severity. When one at fault becomes conscious of his error, be careful not to destroy his self-respect. Do not seek to bruise and wound, but rather to bind up and heal.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 265.

10 Unto what are we to provoke (stimulate or incite) one another? Hebrews 10:24.

NOTE: “The Christian pilgrim cannot be sour, gloomy, depressed. It is a misrepresentation of the Christian faith to be surly, unreasonable, or sour in spirit. . . . Heed the apostle’s admonition to provoke one another unto love and good works. How can you do this?—By conscientious, consistent behavior. Occasionally pause to sum up the results of such a course, to ascertain whether it is the wisest course to pursue. You will find that careful regard for one another’s needs, kindly words of sympathy, and thoughtful assistance in helping others in their work, encourage not only them, but yourselves as well, because you thus become laborers together with God.” Bible Training School, February 1, 1910.

11 Why is faithfulness in social meetings encouraged? Hebrews 10:25.

NOTE: “If Christians would associate together, speaking to each other of the love of God, and of the precious truths of redemption, their own hearts would be refreshed, and they would refresh one another.” The Faith I Live By, 246.

Our camp meetings . . . are to promote spiritual life among our own people. . . .

“God has committed to our hands a most sacred work, and we need to meet together to receive instruction, that we may be fitted to perform this work. We need to understand what part we shall individually be called upon to act in building up the cause of God in the earth . . . . We need to meet together and receive the divine touch, that we may understand our work in the home. . . . We need to understand in regard to the division of labor and how each part of the work is to be carried forward. Each one should understand the part he is to act, that there may be harmony of plan and of labor in the combined work of all.” [Emphasis supplied.] Testimonies, vol. 6, 32, 33.

12 What is the “day approaching” mentioned in Hebrews 10:25? Compare Romans 13:11; Philippians 4:5.

NOTE: “Shall we say we have been deceived in regard to the doctrine of Christ’s near coming? Shall we declare that all our talking of his appearing has been in vain? Shall we say that all our work to make ready a people, prepared for his coming, has been for nought?—Never. We are not to become impatient and fretful, because time still lingers. We are to wait patiently for the work of God to be accomplished. ‘But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ [Jeremiah 31:33.] ‘Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; and let us consider one another to provoke’—unto doubts and unbelief, and apostasy?—No, but ‘unto love and good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ [Hebrews 10:23–25.]

“We must have a knowledge of the Scriptures, that we may trace down the lines of prophecy, and understand the specifications given by the prophets, and by Christ and the apostles; that we may not be ignorant; but be able to see that the day is approaching, so that with increased zeal and effort, we may exhort one another to faithfulness, piety, and holiness.” Review and Herald, July 31, 1888.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 10:10–20

June 15-21, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:12.

SUGGESTED READING: Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 50–53.

INTRODUCTION: “Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come to Him in faith. He will cleanse them from all defilement if they will let Him. But if they cling to their sins, they cannot possibly be saved; for Christ’s righteousness covers no sin unrepented of. God has declared that those who receive Christ as their Redeemer, accepting Him as the One who takes away all sin, will receive pardon for their transgressions. These are the terms of our election. Man’s salvation depends upon his receiving Christ by faith. Those who will not receive Him lose eternal life because they refused to avail themselves of the only means provided by the Father and the Son for the salvation of a perishing world (Manuscript 142, 1899).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 931.

1 What is done for us by the will of God? Hebrews 10:10.

NOTE: “Entire conformity to the will of our Father which is in heaven is alone sanctification, and the will of God is expressed in His holy law. The keeping of all the commandments of God is sanctification. Proving yourselves obedient children to God’s Word is sanctification. The Word of God is to be our guide, not the opinions or ideas of men. Let those who would be truly sanctified search the Word of God with patience, with prayer, and with humble contrition of soul. Let them remember that Jesus prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth’ (John 17:17).” Faith and Works, 121, 122.

2 How is the Law of God identified in Psalm 119:142? Compare Psalm 119:151.

NOTE: “His law is truth. . . . God gave man a perfect law. An imperfect law would have perpetuated sin—made God the author of sin. Jesus came to condemn sin in the flesh, to bear the curse of sin for us; and he took the law from beneath the feet of those who were trampling upon it, and made it honorable. He kept his Father’s commandments; and only by being a partaker of the divine nature, can man keep them.” Review and Herald, September 15, 1896.

“His law is truth—immutable, eternal truth. His precepts are consistent with His attributes. But Satan makes them appear in a false light. By perverting them, he seeks to give human beings an unfavorable impression of the Law-giver. Throughout his rebellion he has sought to represent God as an unjust, tyrannical being.” The Signs of the Times, July 23, 1902.

3 What was the prayer of Jesus? John 17:17.

NOTE: “We must be sanctified through the truth, be wholly consecrated to God, and so live out our holy profession that the Lord can shed increasing light upon us, and that we may see light in His light, and be strengthened with His strength.” Early Writings, 105.

4 What elements are essential for salvation? 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

NOTE: “[2 Thessalonians 2:13 quoted.] In this text the two agencies in the work of salvation are revealed—the divine influence, and the strong, living faith of those who follow Christ. It is through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth that we become laborers together with God. Christ waits for the co-operation of His church. He does not design to add a new element of efficiency to His word; He has done His great work in giving His inspiration to the word. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the divine word, are ours. The object of all this provision of heaven is before us—the salvation of the souls for whom Christ died; and it depends upon us to lay hold on the promises God has given, and become laborers together with Him. Divine and human agencies must co-operate in the work.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 22.

5 How might some be deceived regarding their salvation? 2 Thessalonians 2:8–12. Compare Matthew 24:11; 1 Timothy 4:1.

NOTE: “Faith in a lie will not have a sanctifying influence upon the life or character. No error is truth, or can be made truth by repetition, or by faith in it. Sincerity will never save a soul from the consequences of believing an error. Without sincerity there is no true religion, but sincerity in a false religion will never save a man. I may be perfectly sincere in following a wrong road, but that will not make it the right road, or bring me to the place I wished to reach. The Lord does not want us to have a blind credulity, and call that the faith that sanctifies. The truth is the principle that sanctifies, and therefore it becomes us to know what is truth. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual. We must prove all things, but hold fast only that which is good, that which bears the divine credentials, which lays before us the true motives and principles which should prompt us to action.—Letter 12, 1890.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 56.

6 Besides believing the truth, what more is required? James 2:14, 17, 20, 26.

NOTE: “Your spiritual strength and growth in grace will be proportionate to the labor of love and good works which you do cheerfully for your Saviour, who has withheld nothing, not even His own life, that He might save you. You have the injunction of the apostle: ‘Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.’ [Galatians 6:2.] It is not enough to merely profess faith in the commandments of God; you must be a doer of the work. . . . God requires of you good works, self-denial, self-sacrifice, and devotion to the good of others, that through your instrumentality souls may be brought to the truth.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 228.

7 To be sanctified through the truth, what is necessary? 1 Peter 1:22. Compare James 2:19.

NOTE: “[1 Peter 1:13–23 quoted.] This sanctification we must all experience, else we can never gain eternal life. It is obtained by a union with Christ, a union which no power of Satan can break.

“Christ demands undivided heart-service,—the entire use of mind, soul, heart, and strength.” Review and Herald, July 25, 1899.

8 After our High Priest offered His sacrifice, where did He go? Hebrews 10:12. Compare Mark 16:19; Hebrews 1:3.

NOTE: “Christ had ascended to heaven in the form of humanity. The disciples had beheld the cloud receive Him. The same Jesus who had walked and talked and prayed with them; who had broken bread with them; who had been with them in their boats on the lake; and who had that very day toiled with them up the ascent of Olivet,—the same Jesus had now gone to share His Father’s throne.” The Desire of Ages, 832.

“He walked once a man on earth, His divinity clothed with humanity, a suffering, tempted man, beset with Satan’s devices. He was tempted in all points like as we are, and He knows how to succor those that are tempted. Now He is at the right hand of God, He is in heaven as our advocate, to make intercession for us. We must always take comfort and hope as we think of this. He is thinking of those who are subject to temptations in this world. He thinks of us individually, and knows our every necessity.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 391.

9 What is Christ expecting? Hebrews 10:13.

NOTE: ” ‘The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.’ [John 5:22.] The Judge, the Prince of sufferers for the truth’s sake, is on the throne,—he who suffered himself to be arraigned before Herod and Pilate, who was rejected by his own nation, and condemned by the man who had declared, ‘I find no fault in him,’ [John 19:6]—he who was lacerated with stripes, spit upon, degraded, and whose holy brow was crowned with thorns. He does not now stand before the bar of Pilate or Herod. He himself is judge, and these men stand before him whom they scourged, and delivered up to the will of his enemies. Pilate and Herod, who suffered the Lord to be scourged; priests and rulers, who clamored for the death of the Messiah; those who mocked him,—all now understand what it means to meet the wrath of the Lamb.” Review and Herald, September 20, 1898.

10 Who puts His enemies under His feet? Psalm 110:1. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:27, 28.

NOTE: “God will most assuredly call the world to judgment to avenge the death of his only begotten Son, the One who stood at the bar of Pilate and Herod; that One is now in the heavenly courts making intercession for the people who refused him. Shall we choose the stamp of the world, or shall we choose to be God’s separate, peculiar people? Shall we receive a ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ for the ‘Thus saith’ of man? The papal power, the man of sin, decides that the Roman Catholic Church has changed the law of God. In the place of the seventh day, they have baptized and presented to the world a child of the papacy, the first day of the week, to be observed as a holy day of rest. The Protestant world has received this child of the papacy, has cradled it, and given to it the honor that God has placed on the seventh day.” Pamphlet 086, Special Testimony to Battle Creek Church (1898), 37.

11 By what means do we enter the heavenly sanctuary? Hebrews 10:19. Compare Hebrews 9:12.

NOTE: “For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record. As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ’s work for the redemption of men is completed there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work—to cleanse the sanctuary.” The Great Controversy, 421.

12 What is the “new and living way” by which the sanctuary work is performed for us? Hebrews 10:20.

NOTE: “When Christ on the cross cried out, ‘It is finished,’ the veil of the temple was rent in twain. This veil was significant to the Jewish nation. It was of most costly material, of purple and gold, and was of great length and breadth. At the moment when Christ breathed His last, there were witnesses in the temple who beheld the strong, heavy material rent by unseen hands from top to bottom. This act signified to the heavenly universe, and to a world corrupted by sin, that a new and living way had been opened to the fallen race, that all sacrificial offerings terminated in the one great offering of the Son of God. He who had hitherto dwelt in the temple made with hands, had gone forth never again to grace it with His presence.” The Signs of the Times, December 8, 1898.

“As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation—a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12.” The Great Controversy, 421, 422.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 10:1–9

June 8-14, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.” Psalm 40:8.

SUGGESTED READING: The Desire of Ages, 23.

INTRODUCTION: “God’s people, whom He calls His peculiar treasure, were privileged with a two-fold system of law; the moral and the ceremonial. The one, pointing back to creation to keep in remembrance the living God who made the world, whose claims are binding upon all men in every dispensation, and which will exist through all time and eternity. The other, given because of man’s transgression of the moral law, the obedience to which consisted in sacrifices and offerings pointing to the future redemption. Each is clear and distinct from the other.

“From the creation the moral law was an essential part of God’s divine plan, and was as unchangeable as Himself. The ceremonial law was to answer a particular purpose in Christ’s plan for the salvation of the race. The typical system of sacrifices and offerings was established that through these services the sinner might discern the great offering, Christ. But the Jews were so blinded by pride and sin that but few of them could see farther than the death of beasts as an atonement for sin; and when Christ, whom these offerings prefigured, came, they could not discern Him. The ceremonial law was glorious; it was the provision made by Jesus Christ in counsel with His Father, to aid in the salvation of the race. The whole arrangement of the typical system was founded on Christ. Adam saw Christ prefigured in the innocent beast suffering the penalty of his transgression of Jehovah’s law.” Review and Herald, May 6, 1875.

1 What was the nature of the law of sacrifices? Hebrews 10:1, first part.

NOTE: “Paul endeavored to direct the minds of his hearers to the one great Sacrifice for sin. He pointed to the sacrifices that were shadows of good things to come, and then presented Christ as the antitype of all those ceremonies—the object to which they pointed as the only source of life and hope for fallen man. Holy men of old were saved by faith in the blood of Christ. As they saw the dying agonies of the sacrificial victims they looked across the gulf of ages to the Lamb of God that was to take away the sin of the world.” The Acts of the Apostles, 424, 425.

“The types and shadows of the sacrificial service, with the prophecies, gave the Israelites a veiled, indistinct view of the mercy and grace to be brought to the world by the revelation of Christ. . . . Only through Christ can man keep the moral law. By transgression of this law man brought sin into the world, and with sin came death. Christ became the propitiation for man’s sin. He proffered His perfection of character in the place of man’s sinfulness. He took upon Himself the curse of disobedience. The sacrifices and offerings pointed forward to the sacrifice He was to make. The slain lamb typified the Lamb that was to take away the sin of the world. . . .” God’s Amazing Grace, 15.

2 Could the sacrifices of that law make anyone perfect? Hebrews 10:1, last part.

NOTE: “Before Christ came, a ceremonial holiness could be obtained by offering the blood of bulls and of goats; but these sacrifices could not cleanse the conscience.” Review and Herald, July 25, 1899.

“No one less holy than the Only Begotten of the Father, could have offered a sacrifice that would be efficacious to cleanse all—even the most sinful and degraded—who accept the Saviour as their atonement and become obedient to Heaven’s law. Nothing less could have reinstated man in God’s favor.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 309.

“The types and shadows of the sacrificial service, with the prophecies, gave the Israelites a veiled, indistinct view of the mercy and grace to be brought to the world by the revelation of Christ. To Moses was unfolded the significance of the types and shadows pointing to Christ. He saw to the end of that which was to be done away when, at the death of Christ, type met antitype. He saw that only through Christ can man keep the moral law. By transgression of this law man brought sin into the world, and with sin came death. Christ became the propitiation for man’s sin. He proffered His perfection of character in the place of man’s sinfulness. He took upon Himself the curse of disobedience. The sacrifices and offerings pointed forward to the sacrifice He was to make. The slain lamb typified the Lamb that was to take away the sin of the world.” Ibid., 237.

3 If the shadow sacrifices could have made a person perfect, what would have been the result? Hebrews 10:2.

NOTE: “If Satan can so befog and deceive the human mind, and lead mortals to think there is an inherent power in themselves to accomplish great and good works, they cease to rely upon God to do that for them which they think exists in themselves to do. They acknowledge not a superior power. They give not God the glory he claims, and which is due to his great and excellent Majesty. Satan’s object is thus accomplished. He exults that fallen man presumptuously exalts himself, as he exalted himself in Heaven, and was thrust out.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4b, 84.

4 What is meant by there being remembrances in sin? Hebrews 10:3. Compare Leviticus 16:21.

NOTE: “Come to Jesus just as you are, weak, sinful, ignorant, unworthy, and he will receive you. He says, ‘A new heart also will I give thee.’ [Ezekiel 36:26.] Among the Jews there was a continual remembrance made of sin. Every year on the day of atonement a fresh sacrifice was brought forth; for sin was still remembered, and the blood of the sacrifices could not take away sin. But sins forgiven through Christ are remembered no more. The Lord says, ‘I will remember their sins no more.’ [Jeremiah 31:34.]” [Emphasis supplied.] The Signs of the Times, September 4, 1893.

5 Why were the sins of the children of Israel kept in continual remembrance? Hebrews 10:4.

NOTE: “The great truth that was to be kept before men, and imprinted upon mind and heart, was this, ‘Without shedding of blood is no remission.’ [Hebrews 9:22.] In every bleeding sacrifice was typified ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ [John 1:29.] Christ Himself was the originator of the Jewish system of worship, in which, by types and symbols, were shadowed forth spiritual and heavenly things. Many forgot the true significance of these offerings; and the great truth that through Christ alone there is forgiveness of sin, was lost to them. The multiplying of sacrificial offerings, the blood of bulls and goats, could not take away sin.” The Signs of the Times, January 2, 1893.

6 What is the meaning of the words Christ is represented as saying when He came into the world? Hebrews 10:5.

NOTE: “God and Christ knew from the beginning, of the apostasy of Satan and of the fall of Adam through the deceptive power of the apostate. The plan of salvation was designed to redeem the fallen race, to give them another trial. Christ was appointed to the office of Mediator from the creation of God, set up from everlasting to be our substitute and surety. Before the world was made, it was arranged that the divinity of Christ should be enshrouded in humanity. ‘A body,’ said Christ, ‘hast thou prepared me’ (Hebrews 10:5). But He did not come in human form until the fullness of time had expired. Then He came to our world, a babe in Bethlehem.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 250.

7 For what purpose did Christ say He came to this world? Hebrews 10:7.

NOTE: “The fall of our first parents broke the golden chain of implicit obedience of the human will to the divine. Obedience has no longer been deemed an absolute necessity. The human agents follow their own imaginations which the Lord said of the inhabitants of the old world was evil and that continually. The Lord Jesus declares, I have kept my Father’s commandments. How? As a man! ‘Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.’ To the accusations of the Jews He stood forth in His pure, virtuous, holy character and challenged them, ‘Which of you convinceth me of sin?’ [John 8:46.] The world’s Redeemer came not only to be a sacrifice for sin, but to be an example to man in all things.” Lift Him Up, 169.

“Yet this glorious Being [Christ] loved the poor sinner and took upon Himself the form of a servant, that He might suffer and die in man’s behalf. Jesus might have remained at His Father’s right hand, wearing His kingly crown and royal robes. But He chose to exchange all the riches, honor, and glory of heaven for the poverty of humanity, and His station of high command for the horrors of Gethsemane and the humiliation and agony of Calvary. He became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, that by His baptism of suffering and blood He might purify and redeem a guilty world. ‘Lo, I come,’ was the joyful assent, ‘to do Thy will, O My God.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 4, 121.

8 Where is the will of God expressed? Psalm 40:8. Compare Romans 2:17, 18.

NOTE: “The will of God is expressed in the precepts of His holy law, and the principles of this law are the principles of heaven. The angels of heaven attain unto no higher knowledge than to know the will of God, and to do His will is the highest service that can engage their powers.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 109.

“The will of God is the law of heaven.” Child Guidance, 79.

9 Where should the law of God be written? Psalm 40:8. Compare Jeremiah 31:33; Proverbs 3:1–4.

NOTE: “If Jesus is abiding in the soul, the heart is filled with the holy graces of His Spirit, which makes itself manifest in the transforming of the features. If you would have beauty and loveliness of character, the divine law must be written upon the heart and carried out in the life.” Conflict and Courage, 26.

“If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in us, our feelings, our thoughts, our purposes, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God as expressed in the precepts of His holy law. ‘Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.’ 1 John 3:7. Righteousness is defined by the standard of God’s holy law, as expressed in the ten precepts given on Sinai.” Steps to Christ, 61.

10 Where did God promise to put His law, in the new covenant? Hebrews 8:10.

NOTE: “The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ, ‘I delight to do Thy will, O my God.’ Psalm 40:8.” The Desire of Ages, 175.

11 What is meant by Christ taking away the first? Hebrews 10:9.

NOTE: “Another compact [other than the Abrahamic covenant]—called in Scripture the ‘old’ covenant—was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the ‘second’, or ‘new’ covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant.” God’s Amazing Grace, 135.

12 What is the “second” that Christ came to establish? Hebrews 10:9.

NOTE: “Christ takes away the first, that He may establish the second. In this is found the only contrast in the argument, and it is made very prominent. The sacrifices and offerings of the Mosaic law could not perfect the conscience, could not reform the life, could not write the law of God in the heart. These are taken away, that He may come in whose heart is the law, and who alone can fulfill the promise of the new covenant.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, California, July 8, 1889, 40.

“In this last act of Christ in partaking with his disciples of the bread and wine, he pledged himself to them as their Redeemer by a new covenant, in which it was written and sealed that upon all who will receive Christ by faith will be bestowed all the blessings that heaven can supply, both in this life and in the future immortal life.

“This covenant deed was to be ratified with Christ’s own blood, which it had been the office of the old sacrificial offerings to keep before their minds.” Review and Herald, May 31, 1898.

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 9:24–28

June 1-7, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:18.

SUGGESTED READING: The Great Controversy, 429.

INTRODUCTION: “All who did service in connection with the sanctuary were being educated constantly in regard to the intervention of Christ in behalf of the human race. This service was designed to create in every heart a love for the law of God, which is the law of His kingdom. The sacrificial offering was to be an object lesson of the love of God revealed in Christ—in the suffering, dying victim, who took upon Himself the sin of which man was guilty, the innocent being made sin for us.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 233.

1 Where has Christ as our High Priest entered? Hebrews 9:24.

NOTE: “Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There he ceases not to present his people moment by moment, complete in himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon his mercy, and become careless, indifferent, and self-indulgent. Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in him by faith.” The Signs of the Times, July 4, 1892.

2 Why could Christ not act as priest in the earthly sanctuary? Hebrews 8:4. Compare Hebrews 7:11–16.

NOTE: [Under the first covenant] “the sins of the people were transferred in figure to the officiating priest, who was a mediator for the people. The priest could not himself become an offering for sin, and make an atonement with his life, for he was also a sinner. Therefore, instead of suffering death himself, he killed a lamb without blemish; the penalty of sin was transferred to the innocent beast, which thus became his immediate substitute, and typified the perfect offering of Jesus Christ. Through the blood of this victim, man looked forward by faith to the blood of Christ which would atone for the sins of the world.” [Emphasis supplied.] Selected Messages, Book 1, 230.

3 What significance does the word “true” have in Hebrews 9:24?

NOTE: “Moses made the earthly sanctuary after a pattern which was shown him. Paul teaches that that pattern was the true sanctuary which is in heaven. And John testifies that he saw it in heaven.” [Emphasis supplied.] The Great Controversy, 415.

4 How often did the high priest enter the most holy place in the earthly sanctuary? Hebrews 9:25.

NOTE: “No mortal eye but that of the high priest could look upon the sacred grandeur of the inner apartment, the especial dwelling-place of God’s visible glory. Only once a year could the high priest enter there, after the most careful and solemn preparation. With trembling he went in before God, and the people in solemn silence waited his return, their hearts uplifted to God in earnest prayer for the divine blessing.” The Signs of the Times, June 24, 1880.

5 How often does Christ enter the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary for us? Hebrews 9:12; 10:10.

NOTE: “But clearer light came with the investigation of the sanctuary question. Now was seen the application of those words of Christ in the Revelation, addressed to the church at this very time: ‘These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth; I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.’ [Revelation 3:7, 8.] Here an open as well as a shut door is brought to view. At the termination of the 2300 prophetic days in 1844, Christ changed his ministration from the holy to the most holy place. When, in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary, the high priest on the day of atonement entered the most holy place, the door of the holy place was closed, and the door of the most holy was opened. So, when Christ passed from the holy to the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary, the door, or ministration, of the former apartment was closed, and the door, or ministration, of the latter was opened. Christ had ended one part of his work as our intercessor, to enter upon another portion of the work; and he still presented his blood before the Father in behalf of sinners. ‘Behold,’ he declares, ‘I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.’ ” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 268.

6 For what purpose did Christ appear? Hebrews 9:26, last part. Compare 1 Peter 3:18.

NOTE: “Christ was manifested as the Saviour of men. The people were not to trust in their own works, in their own righteousness, or in themselves in any way, but in the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. [John 1:29.] In Him the Advocate with the Father was revealed. Through Him the invitation was given, ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ [Isaiah 1:18.] This invitation comes sounding down along the lines to us today. Let not pride, or self-esteem, or self-righteousness keep any one from confessing his sins, that he may claim the promise: ‘He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.’ [Proverbs 28:13.] Keep nothing back from God, and neglect not the confession of your faults to the brethren when they have a connection with them. ‘Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ [James 5:16.] Many a sin is left unconfessed, to be confronted in the day of final accounts; better far to see your sins now, to confess them, and put them away, while the atoning Sacrifice pleads in your behalf. Do not dislike to learn the will of God on this subject. The health of your soul, the unity of your brethren, may depend upon the course you pursue in these things. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, ‘casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.’ [1 Peter 5:6, 7.]” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 239.

7 What act was necessary for sin to be put away? Hebrews 9:26, last part. Compare 1 John 1:7.

NOTE: “The Lord created man pure and holy. But Satan led him astray, perverting his principles and corrupting his mind, turning his thoughts into a wrong channel. His purpose was to make the world wholly corrupt.

“Christ saw man’s fearful danger, and He determined to save him by the sacrifice of Himself. That He might accomplish His purpose of love for the fallen race, He became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.” Reflecting Christ, 17.

8 Whose sins does Christ put away? Matthew 7:21. Compare Romans 2:13.

NOTE: “[The sins are put away of] only those who cease to sin. They who continue to transgress the law of God never have their sins put away; they retain them.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, CA., July 8, 1889, 34.

“Transgression is disobedience to the commands of God. Had these commands always been obeyed, there would have been no sin. The penalty of transgression is always death. Christ averted the immediate execution of the death sentence by giving His life for man. . . . Justice requires that men shall have light, and it also requires that he who refuses to walk in the Heaven-given light, the giving of which cost the death of the Son of God, must receive punishment. It is a principle of justice that the guilt of the sinner shall be proportionate to the knowledge given, but not used, or used in a wrong way. God expects human beings to walk in the light, to testify before angels and before men that they acknowledge Christ as the great propitiation for sin and that they respect His sacrifice as their greatest blessing. . . .” In Heavenly Places, 153.

9 What is appointed to all men? Hebrews 9:27. Compare Genesis 3:19.

NOTE: “In consequence of Adam’s sin, death passed upon the whole human race. [See Romans 5:12.] All alike go down into the grave. And through the provisions of the plan of salvation, all are to be brought forth from their graves. ‘There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;’ ‘for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:22. But a distinction is made between the two classes that are brought forth. ‘All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.’ John 5:28, 29. They who have been ‘accounted worthy’ of the resurrection of life are ‘blessed and holy.’ ‘On such the second death hath no power.’ Revelation 20:6. But those who have not, through repentance and faith, secured pardon, must receive the penalty of transgression—‘the wages of sin.’ [Romans 6:23.] They suffer punishment varying in duration and intensity, ‘according to their works,’ but finally ending in the second death. [Revelation 20:12, 13.] Since it is impossible for God, consistently with His justice and mercy, to save the sinner in his sins, He deprives him of the existence which his transgressions have forfeited and of which he has proved himself unworthy. Says an inspired writer: ‘Yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.’ And another declares: ‘They shall be as though they had not been.’ Psalm 37:10; Obadiah 16. Covered with infamy, they sink into hopeless, eternal oblivion.” The Great Controversy, 544, 545.

10 What comes after death? Hebrews 9:27. Compare John 5:25–27.

NOTE: “Christ became our substitute and surety. He took the case of fallen man upon himself. He became the Redeemer, the Intercessor. When death was proclaimed as the penalty of sin, he offered to give his life for the life of the world, in order that man might have a second probation, and that individually he might enjoy the privileges that would come to us through this divine provision, and receive power to form a character after the divine image. But God has a day in which he will judge the world by that Man whom he hath ordained. [See Acts 17:31.]” The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1896.

11 Who carries out the judgment? John 5:22, 2 Corinthians 5:10.

NOTE: “All judgment is given into the hands of the Son. Christ has engaged to become the sinner’s surety, but he does not engage to lessen or detract from the obligation to the divine law. Should Christ change the law in any particular, the demands of Satan would be fulfilled, and God and Christ and the universe would be brought under bondage to his claims. Christ is the star of hope. He is the one to contest the claims of Satan; he is the seed of the woman that shall bruise the serpent’s head. He overcame Satan in heaven, and cast him out because of his rebellion and apostasy.” The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1896.

12 To whom will Christ appear and for what purpose? Hebrews 9:28.

NOTE: “The thrilling truth that has been sounding in our ears for many years, ‘The Lord is at hand; be ye also ready,’ is no less the truth today than when we first heard the message. The dearest interests of the church and people of God, and the destiny of an impenitent and ungodly world, for time and for eternity, are here involved. We are all judgment bound. ‘The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain [unto the coming of the Lord] shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.’ [1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.] Christ will then be revealed from heaven, ‘taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.’ [2 Thessalonians 1:8.]

“These momentous events are nigh at hand, yet many who profess to believe the truth are asleep. They will surely be numbered with the unfaithful servant who saith in his heart, ‘My Lord delayeth His coming,’ if they remain in their present position of friendship with the world. [Luke 12:45.] It is only to those who are waiting in hope and faith that Christ will appear, without sin unto salvation. Many have the theory of the truth who know not the power of godliness. If the word of God dwelt in the heart, it would control the life. Faith, purity, and conformity to the will of God would testify to its sanctifying power.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 14, 15.

Food for Life – Olive Spread

Nuts and nut foods are coming largely into use to take the place of flesh meats. With nuts may be combined grains, fruits, and some roots, to make foods that are healthful and nourishing. Care should be taken, however, not to use too large a proportion of nuts. Those who realize ill effects from the use of nut foods may find the difficulty removed by attending to this precaution. It should be remembered, too, that some nuts are not so wholesome as others. Almonds are preferable to peanuts, but peanuts in limited quantities, used in connection with grains, are nourishing and digestible.

“When properly prepared, olives, like nuts, supply the place of butter and flesh meats. The oil, as eaten in the olive, is far preferable to animal oil or fat. It serves as a laxative. Its use will be found beneficial to consumptives, and it is healing to an inflamed, irritated stomach.” The Ministry of Healing, 298.

Olive Spread

1 cup olives, chopped

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, chopped

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 Tablespoon celery, chopped (optional)

1/4 cup almonds, chopped

1 Tablespoon chicken-style seasoning

Mix all ingredients together. Stir in enough mayonnaise to make a spread.

Tofu Mayonnaise

1 cup tofu

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 cup water

1 Tablespoon tahini

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Chill and serve.

Chicken-style Seasoning

1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast flakes

2 teaspoons paprika

3 Tablespoons onion powder

1 teaspoon sage

1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon rosemary

2 1/2 Tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons fructose

2 1/2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

2 Tablespoons dried parsley

Blend all ingredients together to a powder. Store in airtight container.

Patricia Evans is a LandMarks reader from Polk City, Florida. She actively shares her enthusiasm for a vegetarian lifestyle through cooking schools and through nutrition presentations given at local public schools. These recipes are selected from her recently published cookbook, Abundant Life. For more information you may contact Pat at

Ask the Pastor – Where we will spend eternity


Dear Pastor Mike,

I would like to know where we will spend eternity. Some people say that we will go to heaven when Jesus comes and stay there. Others say that we will go to heaven, but we will come back to this earth to spend eternity. What does the Bible say about this?


Before we see where the Bible says we will spend eternity, let’s look at some background information, which should help us understand this issue.

On the sixth day of creation, the Bible tells us that God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . . .” Genesis 1:26. Verse 27 continues, “So God created man in his [own] image, . . . male and female created he them.” Genesis 2:7 tells us how this was done: “And the Lord God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life . . . .”

Man was formed out of the dust of this earth’s surface. The very elements of which man consists come from this planet. That in itself is significant. Man did not come from some foreign soil in outer space. Man is an earth creature.

When sin entered this planet, God had to delay His plan for this particular world, for the man and the woman and for all the rest of creation. We can now only glean little glimpses of just what God had in mind. But it must have been something! Every thing that God had created was good. (Genesis 1:31.)

Sin has caused a delay in the realization of God’s plan for some 6,000 years. But one day soon sin will no longer be able to interrupt God’s plan. That which He planned out long ago will become a reality to the redeemed and to this earth.

When God called Abraham, He gave him a promise that he and his offspring would inherit this earth. (See Genesis 17:8.) The Hebrews were to multiply upon the face of the earth, and they were to occupy the entire land. Sadly, the plan that God had for Abraham never reached fulfillment. When Jesus came to earth and died, the nation of Israel was cast aside and those who follow Jesus took its place. Jesus, speaking to the leadership of His day in Matthew 23:38, tells them, “Your house is left unto you desolate.” The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:29, “If [ye be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

The promise to Abraham is not lost. It will still be realized, but now through those who follow Jesus. When He comes back again, He will take us to heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 assures us of that. But we are also told that after the 1,000 years of Revelation 20 are over, God is going to create a new earth. (See Revelation 21:1–7.) This new earth will be the home of the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from God. The inheritance will then become a reality. This earth will be the home of the redeemed throughout eternity. Jesus promised us this. (See Matthew 5:5.) So, we are going to heaven, for a while. But we will come back to earth and live here forever.

Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life Ministry. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to, or mail it to LandMarks, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.

Children’s Story – A Mother’s Love

The story is told of a sharecropper family who lived in the South shortly after the Civil War. Every year when the crops were harvested, the family’s share was barely sufficient to provide food and clothes for the next year. There was never enough for any luxuries or things that could make life easier or more pleasant.

One year the fields yielded a bumper crop, and after all of the necessities were bought, there was enough money left over to buy something special for the entire family. The only condition was that the purchase had to be approved by every family member. So the mail order catalog was opened and the pages turned slowly. The pages pictured wonderful attractions for various members of the family, but nothing suited the liking of every member of the family until they came to the page featuring mirrors. When they saw the mirrors, the family decided unanimously that a mirror was something they could all use.

Well, the day came when the mirror arrived. The package was quickly opened, and the father beheld his own image for the very first time. At first there was a look of puzzlement, then a smile, and then great laughter as his face displayed the sheer delight of seeing himself in the mirror.

By now the rest of the family members were anxiously waiting their turn, and as the mirror passed from member to member, the response was the same, until it passed into the hands of the youngest member. In a moment the look of anticipatory joy vanished and was replaced by a look of grief and terror, as he saw his reflection for the first time. The family’s laughter ended abruptly as they all realized the little boy’s pain. As a baby he had been burned in a fire, and his face was badly disfigured.

Looking in the mirror, then back at his mother, then in the mirror and back to his mother, he said to her, “Did you know I looked like this?”

“Yes, son,” came her response.

Looking again in the mirror and then back at his mother, a tear running down her cheek, he asked, “How could you love someone as ugly as me?”

Grasping the child and holding him close, she looked deep into his eyes and said, “I love you because you’re mine.”

The love of a mother that looks beyond her son’s disfiguring burns and says, “I love you, because you are mine,” reminds us of God’s love that looks beyond our sins and weaknesses, that grasps us close to His breast with those same words, “I love you, because you are mine.”

God loves us so much that He wants us to live with Him in Heaven. He sent Jesus to show us how we must live each day on earth so we can go to Heaven. If you live like Jesus, obeying all the things God asks you to do in His Word, you will be able to see Him one day soon.

Nature Nugget – Mammalian Aviators

There are nearly 1,000 species of bats in the world, which amounts to approximately a quarter of all mammal species. They are found everywhere except in the most extreme desert and Polar Regions. Bats are the only mammals that are capable of sustained flight. All bats fit into one of two groups, the Microchiroptera (typical bats) or the Megachiroptera (flying foxes). The flying foxes are named for their fox-like faces and are found only in the Old World tropics.

Bats are highly varied in appearance and size. Some have long, angora-like fur, ranging in color from bright red or yellow to jet-black or white. One species, the naked bat, is furless while others are so brightly patterned that they are known as butterfly bats. Others have enormous ears, or leaf-shaped noses, or intricate facial features, which play a sophisticated role in navigation. The bumblebee (or hog-nosed) bat of Thailand, weighing one-third the weight of a penny, is the world’s smallest mammal. In contrast, some flying foxes have wingspans of up to six feet.

Seventy percent of all bats are insect eaters. A few tropical species feed exclusively on fruit or nectar. Others are carnivorous, feeding on small vertebrates such as fish, frogs, mice, and birds. Vampire bats, of which there are three species, feed exclusively on blood. Bats are beneficial in that they play essential roles in keeping populations of night-flying insects in balance, including mosquitoes. In the tropics, the seed dispersal and pollination activities of fruit- and nectar-eating bats are vital to the survival of rain forests, with some acting as keystone species in the lives of plants crucial to entire ecosystems. For example, only bats pollinate the Baobab tree of African savannahs, which is often referred to as the Tree of Life because it is so important to the survival of numerous wildlife species. In the Old World tropics alone, more than 300 plant species are known to rely on the pollinating and seed dispersal services of bats.

Among the slowest reproducing mammals on earth, bats average only one young per year. But they are long-lived, with some surviving for more than 34 years. Some tropical bats engage in elaborate courtship displays. Male epauleted bats sing and flash large fluffs of white shoulder fur to attract mates. Male crested bats perform a spectacular display by expanding long hairs on top of the head similar to a peacock spreading its tail.

Bats are not blind, and many have excellent vision. Like dolphins, most bats navigate by echolocation, which involves the use of high-frequency sounds. Using sound alone, bats can “see” everything but color. In echolocation a series of short, high-pitched sounds are emitted. These sounds travel out away from the bat and then bounce off objects and surfaces in the bat’s path, creating an echo. The echo returns to the bat giving it a sense about what is in its path. This echolocation system is so accurate that bats can detect insects the size of gnats and objects as fine as a human hair.

Just as the bat’s echolocation shows it what is in its path and guides it safely through the darkness, so the Word of God guides the Christian in the path he should follow in this world of sin and darkness. “Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. “This book is God’s great director. . . . It flashes its light ahead, that we may see the path by which we are traveling . . . .” My Life Today, 27. “The path where God leads the way may lie through the desert or the sea, but it is a safe path.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 290.

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

Restoring the Temple – The Digestive System

“A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; [and] with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.” Proverbs 18:20.

We have a lot of mouths to feed. Our bodies are made up of billions of cells, and each one is hungry. Every cell has a specific duty that it accomplishes day in and day out, a process that uses a lot of energy, which must be replenished or the cell will die. Cells cannot absorb food in its natural state. If you smeared peanut butter on your skin, the cells would not absorb its nutrients. The purpose of the digestive system is to break down food into nutrients that can be absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to each of those billions of hungry mouths.

The first stop in the trip through the digestive system is the mouth. Teeth crush the food so that it can be swallowed and processed more easily by the stomach. The tongue helps with the chewing process and is also designed to detect flavors. The purpose of tasting is both for pleasure (as when biting into a juicy peach) and for detection of potential toxins (as when a slice of bread tastes moldy).

Saliva is produced and mixes with the food. Saliva contains enzymes that begin the chemical breakdown of the food. Ellen White noted that, “Food should be eaten slowly, and should be thoroughly masticated. This is necessary, in order that the saliva may be properly mixed with the food, and the digestive fluids be called into action.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 107. The body is designed to make enough saliva to moisten the food properly for its trip down the esophagus. If you feel the need to drink a tall glass, or more, of fluid with each meal in order to “wash it down,” that is probably because you have accustomed yourself to that habit. Fortunately, the habit can be reversed. Too much fluid during a meal dilutes the digestive juices necessary to break down the nutrients.

When the food has been chewed into a soft mass, it can then pass easily into the esophagus. When you swallow, the epiglottis closes off the entrance to the trachea or windpipe so that food travels down the correct tube. Muscular action in the esophagus helps food make its way to the stomach and prevents it from going backwards. This is why you are able to drink upside down and the water still makes it to your stomach!

The stomach is rather j-shaped and is toward the left of the center of your upper abdomen. The purpose of your stomach is to continue the process of breaking down the food into absorbable nutrients. The stomach produces acids, which help break down food. The stomach has a special mucus-secreting lining that prevents the acid and chemicals from breaking down itself. This is particularly important since the digestive juices are powerful enough to burn a hole in carpet. The muscular layers of the stomach wall churn the food and acid into a substance called chyme which is then passed through a sphincter—like a gate—and into the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.

The small intestine is made up of three parts: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. As the chyme passes through the duodenum, more digestive chemicals are added, such as enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the liver. The small intestine also has a special lining, upon which are tiny finger-like projections (villi), and upon which are even tinier finger-like projections (microvilli). This dramatically increases the surface area of the small intestine, as God planned it, to make sure that as many nutrients as possible can be absorbed into the body. Each villus has its very own blood capillary and lymph capillary, so that the nutrient transfer is extremely efficient and rapid. The small intestine terminates at the beginning of the large intestine. The appendix is attached to this last portion of the small intestine.

Now that the majority of the nutrients have been absorbed, the job of the large intestine, or colon, is to turn chyme into feces and eliminate it. So far, the chyme has been quite moist, but the large intestine absorbs a large amount of the water. The body’s goal is to be able to easily eliminate the soft, formed stool. The very last portion of the intestine is called the rectum. When the stool makes it to the rectum, you have a feeling of pressure and the urge to eliminate. The feces are then eliminated as the last sphincter, the anus, opens and closes. Fortunately, the anal sphincter is controlled by voluntary and involuntary muscle action (which is why stool doesn’t continually leak in infants and paralyzed persons), and has the ability to distinguish between gas and solid rectal contents. The entire length of the intestines, large and small combined, is about 25 feet (7.6 meters) in an adult.

Other organs assist in digestion and are therefore part of the digestive system. They include the salivary glands, which moistens and predigests food; and the pancreas, which adds enzymes to the intestine and also produces insulin, which regulates blood sugar. Another digestive organ, the liver, produces bile, which is stored in the gallbladder and then secreted into the intestine. Part of bile helps to break down fats, but the other portion is waste being excreted from the liver via the gallbladder. The multi-tasking liver also stores nutrients, which it releases into the blood stream when the body needs them. These nutrients include a version of sugar and vitamins.

The digestive system is a created wonder, but it is up to the individual to maintain its health. As you have seen, anything that you eat or drink is likely to be transported to every cell in your body, so it is important to be wise about the food and beverage choices you make. Ellen White stated, “Respect paid to the proper treatment of the stomach will be rewarded in clearness of thought and strength of mind. Your digestive organs will not be prematurely worn out to testify against you. We are to show that we appreciate our God-given intelligence by eating and studying and working wisely.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 101.

“Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.” Psalm 136:25.

Sheryle Beaudry, a certified teletriage nurse, writes from Estacada,Oregon where she lives with her husband and twin daughters. She may be contacted by e-mail at

From the Pen of Inspiration – The Mother a Missionary

An important missionary field is opened before the mother. The humble round of duties which women have learned to regard as a wearisome task, should be looked upon as a grand and noble work. It is the mother’s privilege to bless the world by her influence; and in doing this, she will bring joy to her own heart. She may make straight paths for the feet of her children, through sunshine and shadow, to the glorious heights above. Let the mother go often to her Saviour, with the prayer, Teach us, how shall we order the child, and what shall we do unto him? [Judges 13:8, 12.] This simple petition, breathed from the heart of the finite, will find its way to the heart of the Infinite. If the mother will but heed with care the instructions already given in the sacred word, she will receive further light and knowledge as she shall have need.

It is only when she seeks in her own life to follow the teachings of Christ that the mother can hope to form the characters of her children after the divine pattern. In every generation there have been corrupting influences to blight and contaminate. Fashion and custom exert a strong power over the young. If the mother fails in her duty to instruct, counsel, and restrain, her children will naturally accept the evil and turn from the good. God would have parents enter upon their work with energy and courage, and prosecute it with fidelity. Whatever he has made it their duty to do, he will give them wisdom and strength to accomplish.

While they should, above all else, train their children for the future life, parents should by no means neglect to prepare them for the present life. The mother should study how she may best train her sons and daughters to become useful and happy members of society. She should remember that every habit formed, every thought or feeling cherished, every act performed, however unimportant, will either promote or hinder the accomplishment of this object. The Lord desires that we should enjoy the blessings with which he has surrounded us, and that in all the acts of our lives we should express our continual gratitude. We can do this, not by neglecting and abusing his gifts, but by putting them to a wise and noble use, by exerting a right influence over our fellow-men, by reforming wrong customs, instead of following them. “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” [Psalm 97:11.] It is only in pursuing a right course that light and gladness attend our path.

Society is molded by the influence of the mother. She may be wholly occupied within the narrow limits of her home, apparently engaged in life’s humblest duties; yet if she does her work as well as she may do it, in the fear of God, she is gaining greater victories than the leader of armed hosts. She may send forth from her home young men and young women strong in right habits and firm principles. The upright deportment and unblemished morals of her children will be a blessing to the church and to society.

God brought the Israelites from Egypt that he might establish them in the land of Canaan, a pure, holy, and happy people. In the accomplishment of this object he subjected them to a course of discipline, both for their own good and for the good of posterity. Had they been willing to deny appetite, in obedience to his wise restrictions, there would have been no feeble ones in all their tribes. Their descendants would have possessed both physical and mental strength. They would have had clear perceptions of truth and duty, keen discrimination, and sound judgment. But the requirements of God were disregarded then as they are disregarded now. The people were dissatisfied with the simple, wholesome food which had been provided by their Creator. Habits of self-indulgence brought the sure result,—degeneracy and decay.

God’s commands are never designed to make men unhappy. They are the dictates of infinite wisdom, goodness, and love. While they secure the glory of God, they also promote the happiness of men. His restrictions are a safeguard against depravity of heart and corruption of life. The appetites and passions, indulged without restraint, enslave and degrade the higher and nobler powers.

Intemperance in eating and drinking leads to the indulgence of the animal passions. And those who, understanding the effect of their course, indulge appetite and passion at the expense of health and usefulness, are preparing the way to disregard all moral obligations. When temptation assails them, they have little power of resistance. This was the cause of Israel’s continual backsliding; and it is the reason why there is so much crime and so little true godliness in the world today. The only path of safety is the path of daily restraint and self-denial.

Nothing but the power of God, combined with human effort, can accomplish the work of ennobling and uplifting our race. Had men been willing to learn the lessons which God had given them, successive generations would not have deteriorated so greatly in physical, mental, and moral power. Christ, enshrouded in the cloudy pillar, had spoken again and again to Israel for their good; but they had not heeded his voice. Again he appeared to Manoah and his wife with definite instructions concerning the course she should pursue to insure physical and moral health to her offspring. God had a work for the promised child of Manoah to do,—a work which would require careful thought and vigorous action. It was to secure for him the qualities necessary for this work that all his habits were to be carefully regulated. There are today many statesmen, senators, lawyers, judges, and others in responsible positions, whose physical habits have been, nearly all their life-time, at war with natural laws. At the outset of their career, these men may have possessed rare intellectual powers; but the precious gifts of God have been soiled and dimmed, and in too many cases buried, in the mire of self-indulgence.

He who will observe simplicity in all his habits, restricting the appetite and controlling the passions, may preserve his mental powers strong, active, and vigorous, quick to perceive everything which demands thought or action, keen to discriminate between the holy and the unholy, and ready to engage in every enterprise for the glory of God and the benefit of humanity.

It is the mother’s work to train, to educate, and to discipline. While she seeks to store the mind of her child with useful knowledge, let her fortify the young heart with good principles. There is missionary work to be done at home by the fireside. This important field is neglected because of the difficulties to be met; because the work requires labor and self-denial. But will not the result compensate for the sacrifices made, the efforts put forth? Are souls in heathen lands more precious than souls at home? It is indeed a matter which should concern us, that in foreign lands young girls are growing up to wifehood and motherhood knowing nothing of their duties to themselves, to their children, or to God. But should we not at the same time give some thought to the fact that the girls of America are almost wholly destitute of that knowledge and training which would make them useful and honored as wives and mothers? Would that we could lead mothers who are now worshiping at fashion’s shrine to become missionaries at home, training their children to become an honor to God and a blessing to humanity. Would not our Maker look upon such a work with approval?

There is a wide field of labor opened before every mother. If her work is wrought faithfully, in the fear of God, it will bring forth fruit unto eternal life. The mother’s work should begin at home. This is the fountain-head from which her influence and usefulness should flow. If her duties here are discharged with fidelity, she will see all around her fields where she may work with the best results. And by-and-by those words from her Master will fall as sweetest music upon her ear—”Well done, thou good and faithful servant. . . . Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” [Matthew 25:21.] The Signs of the Times, September 29, 1881.

Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.