Bible Study Guides – The Final Warning, Part 1

June 19, 2005 – June 25, 2005

Memory Verse

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:1, 2, 4.

Suggested Reading: Selected Messages, Book 3, 413–428.

1 What is the relationship of the message of Revelation 18:1, 2, 4 to the second angel’s message of Revelation 14:8?

note: “ ‘I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit. . . .’ ‘And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.’ Revelation 18:1, 2, 4.

“This scripture points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844. A terrible condition of the religious world is here described.” The Great Controversy, 603.

2 When people place contempt upon God’s Word and His people, what are they also doing? John 1:14, 10, 11; 6:63, 64, 66.

note: “In defiance of the warnings which God has given, they will continue to trample upon one of the precepts of the Decalogue, until they are led to persecute those who hold it sacred. Christ is set at nought in the contempt placed upon His word and His people. As the teachings of spiritualism are accepted by the churches, the restraint imposed upon the carnal heart is removed, and the profession of religion will become a cloak to conceal the basest iniquity.” The Great Controversy, 603, 604.

3 What two messages united with the third angel’s message constitute the final warning? Revelation 18:1, 2, 4.

note: “Of Babylon, at the time brought to view in this prophecy, it is declared: ‘Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ Revelation 18:5. She has filled up the measure of her guilt, and destruction is about to fall upon her. . . . Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard: ‘Come out of her, My people.’ These announcements, uniting with the third angel’s message, constitute the final warning to be given to the inhabitants of the earth.” The Great Controversy, 604.

4 What is the issue to which the whole world is to be brought? Revelation 13:16; 14:12.

note: “Fearful is the issue to which the world is to be brought. The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that ‘all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond’ (Revelation 13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death. On the other hand, the law of God enjoining the Creator’s rest day demands obedience and threatens wrath against all who transgress its precepts.” The Great Controversy, 604.

5 What will all receive who yield to the laws to worship on Sunday? Revelation 14:9–11.

note: “With the issue thus clearly brought before him, whoever shall trample upon God’s law to obey a human enactment receives the mark of the beast; he accepts the sign of allegiance to the power which he chooses to obey instead of God. The warning from heaven is: ‘If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation.’ Revelation 14:9, 10.” The Great Controversy, 604, 605.

6 How far-reaching will the Sunday/Sabbath controversy be in this world? Revelation 14:6, 8; 16:13, 14.

note: “But not one is made to suffer the wrath of God until the truth has been brought home to his mind and conscience, and has been rejected. There are many who have never had an opportunity to hear the special truths for this time. The obligation of the fourth commandment has never been set before them in its true light. He who reads every heart and tries every motive will leave none who desire a knowledge of the truth, to be deceived as to the issues of the controversy. The decree is not to be urged upon the people blindly. Everyone is to have sufficient light to make his decision intelligently.” The Great Controversy, 605.

7 What is the great final test that is to be brought to bear upon men? Revelation 14:9, 10; 13:14–17.

note: “The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false Sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.” The Great Controversy, 605.

8 In the reference above, what will the true people of God receive in this conflict? Revelation 7:2, 3.

note: “The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. ‘The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.’ [Psalm 34:15, 16.]” Testimonies, vol. 5, 212.

9 Describe the attitude and work of those who receive the seal of God. Ezekiel 9:4; Revelation 7:2–4; 14:1–5.

note: “In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. . . . Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 210.

10 Who will not receive the seal of God? See the prophecy of Ezekiel 9:9.

note: “The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: ‘Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.’ [Ezekiel 9:5, 6.]

“Here we see that the church—the Lord’s sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus ‘Peace and safety’ is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 211.

11 What power will move upon the people of God to give them the strength to give the final warning? For New Testament type, see Acts 2:1–4.

note: “Many reformers, in entering upon their work, determined to exercise great prudence in attacking the sins of the church and the nation. They hoped, by the example of a pure Christian life, to lead the people back to the doctrines of the Bible. But the Spirit of God came upon them as it came upon Elijah, moving him to rebuke the sins of a wicked king and an apostate people; they could not refrain from preaching the plain utterances of the Bible—doctrines which they had been reluctant to present. They were impelled to zealously declare the truth and the danger which threatened souls. The words which the Lord gave them they uttered, fearless of consequences, and the people were compelled to hear the warning.” The Great Controversy, 606.

12 List the four powers that are involved in this controversy, as identified in the following two paragraphs, and match these with the powers that are named in Revelation 16:13, 14.

note: “The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. . . .

“The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and, in this work, papists and Protestants unite. As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked against commandment keepers. They will be threatened with fines and imprisonment, and some will be offered positions of influence, and other rewards and advantages, as inducements to renounce their faith.” The Great Controversy, 606, 607.

13 Like the Pharisees of old, how will the popular ministry respond to the final warning? For New Testament type, see John 7:23; 10:19–21; 11:57; 15:20; Luke 6:7, 10, 11; Matthew 26:47, 50.

note: “As the people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, Are these things so? the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet the awakened conscience. But since many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men and demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce the message as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it.” The Great Controversy, 607.

14 What is one way the truth will come before thousands who would otherwise not hear about it? For New Testament type, see Luke 21:12, 13.

note: “Those who are arraigned before the courts make a strong vindication of the truth, and some who hear them are led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God. Thus light will be brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths.” The Great Controversy, 607.

“We must know the reasons of our faith. The importance and solemnity of the scenes opening before us demand this, and on no account must the spirit of complaining be encouraged. . . .

“We may have to plead most earnestly before legislative councils for the right to exercise independent judgment, to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience. Thus in His providence God has designed that the claims of His holy law shall be brought before men in the highest authority.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 415.


Bible Study Guides – The Scriptures a Safeguard, Part 11

June 12, 2005 – June 18, 2005

Memory Verse

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

Suggested Reading: The Great Controversy, 525–530; Testimonies, vol. 8, 319–324.

1 What cannot be used as an excuse for error or sin? Proverbs 16:25.

note: “Ignorance is no excuse for error or sin, when there is every opportunity to know the will of God. A man is traveling and comes to a place where there are several roads and a guideboard indicating where each one leads. If he disregards the guideboard, and takes whichever road seems to him to be right, he may be ever so sincere, but will in all probability find himself on the wrong road.

“God has given us His word that we may become acquainted with its teachings and know for ourselves what He requires of us. When the lawyer came to Jesus with the inquiry, ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ the Saviour referred him to the Scriptures, saying: ‘What is written in the law? how readest thou?’ [Luke 10:25, 26.] Ignorance will not excuse young or old, nor release them from the punishment due for the transgression of God’s law; because there is in their hands a faithful presentation of that law and of its principles and claims.” The Great Controversy, 597, 598.

2 What is the true foundation for every soul’s salvation? 11 Timothy 2:15, 16.

note: “It is not enough to have good intentions; it is not enough to do what a man thinks is right or what the minister tells him is right. His soul’s salvation is at stake, and he should search the Scriptures for himself. However strong may be his convictions, however confident he may be that the minister knows what is truth, this is not his foundation.” The Great Controversy, 598.

“The whole Bible is a revelation of the glory of God in Christ. Received, believed, obeyed, it is the great instrumentality in the transformation of character. And it is the only sure means of intellectual culture.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 319.

3 What is the first and highest duty of every individual with reasoning power? John 5:39; 12:35, 36.

note: “It is the first and highest duty of every rational being to learn from the Scriptures what is truth, and then to walk in the light and encourage others to follow his example. We should day by day study the Bible diligently, weighing every thought and comparing scripture with scripture. With divine help we are to form our opinions for ourselves as we are to answer for ourselves before God.” The Great Controversy, 598.

“The knowledge of God as revealed in His word is the knowledge to be given to our children. From the earliest dawn of reason they should be made familiar with the name and the life of Jesus. The very first lesson given them should be that God is their Father. Their very first training should teach them to render loving obedience.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 320.

4 List two things that, if done, would bring thousands into the fold of Christ. Mark 12:24; John 7:17; 11 Timothy 2:15; Matthew 5:15, 16.

note: “The truths most plainly revealed in the Bible have been involved in doubt and darkness by learned men, who, with a pretense of great wisdom, teach that the Scriptures have a mystical, a secret, spiritual meaning not apparent in the language employed. These men are false teachers. It was to such a class that Jesus declared: ‘Ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God.’ Mark 12:24. The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed. Christ has given the promise: ‘If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ John 7:17. If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds, a work would be accomplished that would make angels glad and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error.” The Great Controversy, 598, 599.

5 With what attitude must we approach the study of the Scriptures to obtain the knowledge of our Father in heaven? Psalms 25:4, 5, 9; 86:11; Isaiah 66:1, 2.

note: “We should exert all the powers of the mind in the study of the Scriptures and should task the understanding to comprehend, as far as mortals can, the deep things of God; yet we must not forget that the docility and submission of a child is the true spirit of the learner. Scriptural difficulties can never be mastered by the same methods that are employed in grappling with philosophical problems. We should not engage in the study of the Bible with that self-reliance with which so many enter the domains of science, but with a prayerful dependence upon God and a sincere desire to learn His will. We must come with a humble and teachable spirit to obtain knowledge from the great I AM.” The Great Controversy, 599.

6 What will happen if we approach the study of the Bible without this attitude? 11 Thessalonians 2:9–12.

note: “Otherwise, evil angels will so blind our minds and harden our hearts that we shall not be impressed by the truth.” The Great Controversy, 599.

“Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the word of God. They are governed by impressions which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.” Ibid., vii, viii.

7 On what does a proper understanding of Bible truth depend? Jeremiah 32:39; Matthew 5:16; 11:28–30.

note: “Many a portion of Scripture which learned men pronounce a mystery, or pass over as unimportant, is full of comfort and instruction to him who has been taught in the school of Christ. One reason why many theologians have no clearer understanding of God’s word is, they close their eyes to truths which they do not wish to practice. An understanding of Bible truth depends not so much on the power of intellect brought to the search as on the singleness of purpose, the earnest longing after righteousness.” The Great Controversy, 599.

8 List two things that angels do for the earnest seeker after truth. Hebrews 1:14; 2:1–3, first part.

note: “It is the office of heavenly angels to prepare the heart so to comprehend God’s word that we shall be charmed with its beauty, admonished by its warnings, or animated and strengthened by its promises. We should make the psalmist’s petition our own: ‘Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.’ Psalm 119:18. Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons. But angels are round about those who are willing to be taught in divine things; and in the time of great necessity they will bring to their remembrance the very truths which are needed.” The Great Controversy, 600.

9 What two things does the Holy Spirit also do for the faithful student of the Word of God? John 14:26.

note: “Jesus promised His disciples: ‘The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ John 14:26. But the teachings of Christ must previously have been stored in the mind in order for the Spirit of God to bring them to our remembrance in the time of peril. ‘Thy word have I hid in mine heart,’ said David, ‘that I might not sin against Thee.’ Psalm 119:11.” The Great Controversy, 600.

10 In the final struggle between truth and error, what will assail the very pillars of the truth? 11 Peter 3:3–5; Jude 17–19.

note: “All who value their eternal interests should be on their guard against the inroads of skepticism. The very pillars of truth will be assailed. It is impossible to keep beyond the reach of the sarcasms and sophisms, the insidious and pestilent teachings, of modern infidelity. Satan adapts his temptations to all classes. He assails the illiterate with a jest or sneer, while he meets the educated with scientific objections and philosophical reasoning, alike calculated to excite distrust or contempt of the Scriptures.” The Great Controversy, 600.

11 What is about to be decided in the history of this world? 11 Peter 3:10–12.

note: “We are living in the most solemn period of this world’s history. The destiny of earth’s teeming multitudes is about to be decided. Our own future well-being and also the salvation of other souls depend upon the course which we now pursue.” The Great Controversy, 601.

“When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Christ in the Revelation, looking forward to that time, declares: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ [Revelation 22:11.]” Ibid., 490, 491.

12 Identify four things every follower of Christ should do. Acts 9:6; 11 Chronicles 7:14; Joshua 1:8; Isaiah 55:6, 7.

note: “We need to be guided by the Spirit of truth. Every follower of Christ should earnestly inquire: ‘Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?’ [Acts 9:6.] We need to humble ourselves before the Lord, with fasting and prayer, and to meditate much upon His word, especially upon the scenes of the judgment. We should now seek a deep and living experience in the things of God. We have not a moment to lose. Events of vital importance are taking place around us; we are on Satan’s enchanted ground. Sleep not, sentinels of God; the foe is lurking near, ready at any moment, should you become lax and drowsy, to spring upon you and make you his prey.” The Great Controversy, 601.

13 What will be revealed during the final testing time? Jeremiah 17:7, 8; Matthew 12:33.

note: “When the testing time shall come, those who have made God’s word their rule of life will be revealed. In summer there is no noticeable difference between evergreens and other trees; but when the blasts of winter come, the evergreens remain unchanged, while other trees are stripped of their foliage. So the falsehearted professor may not now be distinguished from the real Christian, but the time is just upon us when the difference will be apparent.” The Great Controversy, 602.

14 What effect will this time of trial, persecution, and testing have on the true Christian? Proverbs 3:13; Jeremiah 17:8; Psalm 119:99, 104.

note: “Let opposition arise, let bigotry and intolerance again bear sway, let persecution be kindled, and the halfhearted and hypocritical will waver and yield the faith; but the true Christian will stand firm as a rock, his faith stronger, his hope brighter, than in days of prosperity.” The Great Controversy, 602.


Bible Study Guides – The Scriptures a Safeguard, Part 1

June 5, 2005 – June 11, 2005

Memory Verse

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.

Suggested Reading: Testimonies, vol. 5, 573–580.

1 Why does the God of heaven direct the people to the Scriptures for their safety during the final warning? For New Testament counsel, see 1 John 4:1; 11 Thessalonians 2:1–3.

note: “The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible; for its plain utterances reveal his deceptions. At every revival of God’s work the prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his utmost efforts for a final struggle against Christ and His followers.” The Great Controversy, 593.

2 What is the only way faithful believers will be able to distinguish between the counterfeit and the true religion? For New Testament teaching, see 11 Timothy 3:16, 17.

note: “The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.” The Great Controversy, 593.

“In the religious life of every soul who is finally victorious there will be scenes of terrible perplexity and trial; but his knowledge of the Scriptures will enable him to bring to mind the encouraging promises of God, which will comfort his heart and strengthen his faith in the power of the Mighty One. He reads: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward;’ ‘that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.’ [Hebrews 10:35; 1 Peter 1:7.]” Testimonies, vol. 5, 578.

3 What is required of those who will successfully endure the trial before them? For applicable biblical principles, see Proverbs 2:1–8; Ephesians 5:17; Hosea 14:9; Psalms 111:10; 119:33, 34; Philippians 2:12, 13.

note: “Those who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and derided. They can stand only in God. In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them.” The Great Controversy, 593.

“The trial of faith is more precious than gold. All should learn that this is a part of the discipline in the school of Christ, which is essential to purify and refine them from the dross of earthliness. They must endure with fortitude the taunts and attacks of enemies, and overcome all obstacles that Satan may place in their path to hedge up the way. He will try to lead them to neglect prayer and to discourage them in the study of the Scriptures, and he will throw his hateful shadow athwart their path to hide Christ and the heavenly attractions from their view.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 578.

4 Who only will stand through the last great test? For biblical teachings, see Deuteronomy 6:4–9; John 8:31, 32; 17:17.

note: “None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand.” The Great Controversy, 593, 594.

“Those who are called of God to labor in word and doctrine should ever be learners. They should constantly seek to improve, that they may be ensamples to the flock of God and do good to all with whom they are brought in contact. Those who do not feel the importance of advancement and self-improvement will not grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 573.

5 List two things that multitudes do not understand today but are opened to us as plainly as Christ revealed the events regarding His death and resurrection to the disciples. These important truths are introduced in the following texts: Daniel 7:9–13; 12:1; Matthew 22:1–14; 25:1–13; Acts 3:19; Revelation 7:1–3.

note: “Before His crucifixion the Saviour explained to His disciples that He was to be put to death and to rise again from the tomb, and angels were present to impress His words on minds and hearts. But the disciples were looking for temporal deliverance from the Roman yoke, and they could not tolerate the thought that He in whom all their hopes centered should suffer an ignominious death. The words which they needed to remember were banished from their minds; and when the time of trial came, it found them unprepared. The death of Jesus as fully destroyed their hopes as if He had not forewarned them. So in the prophecies the future is opened before us as plainly as it was opened to the disciples by the words of Christ. The events connected with the close of probation and the work of preparation for the time of trouble, are clearly presented. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed.” The Great Controversy, 594.

Comment: Because of our great need in these last days, God has revealed these truths to us in much more detail through the Spirit of Prophecy.

6 What message does God require every person with reasoning powers to understand? Revelation 14:9–11.

note: “When God sends to men warnings so important that they are represented as proclaimed by holy angels flying in the midst of heaven, He requires every person endowed with reasoning powers to heed the message. The fearful judgments denounced against the worship of the beast and his image (Revelation 14:9–11), should lead all to a diligent study of the prophecies to learn what the mark of the beast is, and how they are to avoid receiving it. But the masses of the people turn away their ears from hearing the truth and are turned unto fables.” The Great Controversy, 594.

7 List four things that should not be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. For biblical counsel, see Psalms 118:8, 9; 146:3; Proverbs 25:19; Jeremiah 7:4; 1 Timothy 6:20.

note: “But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority—not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ in its support. . . .

“The spirit which actuated those priests and rulers is still manifested by many who make a high profession of piety. They refuse to examine the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the special truths for this time. They point to their own numbers, wealth, and popularity, and look with contempt upon the advocates of truth as few, poor, and unpopular, having a faith that separates them from the world.” The Great Controversy, 595, 596.

8 To whom does Satan direct the people to look as guides for their religious faith? What biblical warning is given against this practice? 11 Peter 2:1–3; Isaiah 2:22; Jeremiah 17:5.

note: “Those who laud and flatter the minister, while they neglect the works of righteousness, give unmistakable evidence that they are converted to the minister and not to God. We inquire: ‘Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’ Was it the voice of the Holy Spirit or merely the voice of man which you heard in the message sent from God?” Testimonies, vol. 5, 227.

“Satan is constantly endeavoring to attract attention to man in the place of God. He leads the people to look to bishops, to pastors, to professors of theology, as their guides, instead of searching the Scriptures to learn their duty for themselves. Then, by controlling the minds of these leaders, he can influence the multitudes according to his will.

“When Christ came to speak the words of life, the common people heard Him gladly; and many, even of the priests and rulers, believed on Him. But the chief of the priesthood and the leading men of the nation were determined to condemn and repudiate His teachings. Though they were baffled in all their efforts to find accusations against Him, . . . yet they incased themselves in prejudice; they rejected the clearest evidence of His Messiahship, lest they should be forced to become His disciples. These opponents of Jesus were men whom the people had been taught from infancy to reverence, to whose authority they had been accustomed implicitly to bow. ‘How is it,’ they asked, ‘that our rulers and learned scribes do not believe on Jesus? Would not these pious men receive Him if He were the Christ?’ It was the influence of such teachers that led the Jewish nation to reject their Redeemer.” The Great Controversy, 595, 596.

9 What did Christ see that would not cease with the dispersion of the Jews? Jeremiah 5:31. For New Testament type, see Acts 9:1, 2, 14; 26:9–12.

note: “Christ foresaw that the undue assumption of authority indulged by the scribes and Pharisees would not cease with the dispersion of the Jews. He had a prophetic view of the work of exalting human authority to rule the conscience, which has been so terrible a curse to the church in all ages. And His fearful denunciations of the scribes and Pharisees, and His warnings to the people not to follow these blind leaders, were placed on record as an admonition to future generations.” The Great Controversy, 596.

10 What principle of Rome prevents multitudes today in the Protestant churches from searching the Scriptures? For a similar attitude in Jesus’ day, see John 7:45–49.

note: “The Roman Church reserves to the clergy the right to interpret the Scriptures. On the ground that ecclesiastics alone are competent to explain God’s word, it is withheld from the common people. Though the Reformation gave the Scriptures to all, yet the selfsame principle which was maintained by Rome prevents multitudes in Protestant churches from searching the Bible for themselves. They are taught to accept its teachings as interpreted by the church; and there are thousands who dare receive nothing, however plainly revealed in Scripture, that is contrary to their creed or the established teaching of their church.” The Great Controversy, 596. [Emphasis in original.]

11 Although the reason and consciences of many are convinced of the truthfulness of the message, why do they not accept and act in accordance with it? See again John 7:45–49; see also Jeremiah 5:31, last part.

note: “A lack of moral courage to step aside from the beaten track of the world leads many to follow in the steps of learned men; and by their reluctance to investigate for themselves, they are becoming hopelessly fastened in the chains of error. They see that the truth for this time is plainly brought to view in the Bible; and they feel the power of the Holy Spirit attending its proclamation; yet they allow the opposition of the clergy to turn them from the light. Though reason and conscience are convinced, these deluded souls dare not think differently from the minister; and their individual judgment, their eternal interests, are sacrificed to the unbelief, the pride and prejudice, of another.” The Great Controversy, 597.

12 What is impossible for us to do when the Bible is within our reach? For Old Testament type, see Jeremiah 14:14–16; 23:32–34; Hosea 4:6. For New Testament teaching, see Hebrews 6:4–6; 1 John 2:21–23.

note: “The truth and the glory of God are inseparable; it is impossible for us, with the Bible within our reach, to honor God by erroneous opinions. Many claim that it matters not what one believes, if his life is only right. But the life is molded by the faith. If light and truth is within our reach, and we neglect to improve the privilege of hearing and seeing it, we virtually reject it; we are choosing darkness rather than light.” The Great Controversy, 597.

“The position that it is of no consequence what men believe is one of Satan’s most successful deceptions. He knows that the truth, received in the love of it, sanctifies the soul of the receiver; therefore he is constantly seeking to substitute false theories, fables, another gospel. From the beginning the servants of God have contended against false teachers, not merely as vicious men, but as inculcators of falsehoods that were fatal to the soul. Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul, firmly and fearlessly opposed those who were turning men from the word of God. That liberality which regards a correct religious faith as unimportant found no favor with these holy defenders of the truth.” Ibid., 520.

Bible Study Guides – The Impending Conflict, Part 11

May 29, 2005 – June 4, 2005

Memory Verse

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.

Suggested Reading: Testimonies, vol. 5, 98–105, 711–718.

1 In the final conflict, how will Satan appear? What kind of work will he and his spirits do? 11 Corinthians 11:13, 14; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2; Mark 13:5, 22, 23.

note: “As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.” The Great Controversy, 588.

2 List three groups that Satan brings under his deceptions. Revelation 16:13, 14.

note: “The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.” The Great Controversy, 588.

3 What objective does this coalition hope to achieve? Revelation 16:14, 16; 1 Thessalonians 5:3. See Old Testament type in Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:10.

note: “Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.” The Great Controversy, 588, 589.

exercise: See if you can match the four groups identified in the two references above with those described in Revelation 16:13, 14.

4 Who is the instigator of the many wars that are occurring around the world today? For the teaching of Jesus, see John 8:44. See also Revelation 12:9. For Old Testament type, see Isaiah 14:4–6, 12, 16, 17.

note: “Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer. His temptations are leading multitudes to ruin. . . . Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.” The Great Controversy, 589.

5 Who works through the elements to cause as much destruction as possible? For Old Testament example, see Job 1:9–19; 2:6, 7.

note: “Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields his creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. . . . Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some in order to further his own designs, and he will bring trouble upon others and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them.

“While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hail-storms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. ‘The earth mourneth and fadeth away,’ ‘the haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.’ Isaiah 24:4, 5.” The Great Controversy, 589, 590.

6 Who does the great deceiver persuade the people of the world to perceive as the cause of all the wars, disease, and natural disasters that are occurring in the world? For Old Testament type, see 1 Kings 18:17, 18.

note: “And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: ‘And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.’ 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah. . . .

“Communications from the spirits will declare that God has sent them to convince the rejecters of Sunday of their error, affirming that the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God. They will lament the great wickedness in the world, and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday. Great will be the indignation excited against all who refuse to accept their testimony.” The Great Controversy, 590, 591.

7 What has been Satan’s policy since the war in heaven began? Matthew 24:24.

note: “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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 38.

“Satan’s policy in this final conflict with God’s people is the same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in Heaven. He professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government, while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow. And the very work which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish he charged upon the loyal angels.” The Great Controversy, 591.

8 How has the Roman church been carrying out this same policy all through its history? Daniel 7:20, 21, 25; 8:23–25; 11:36–39.

note: “The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Roman Church. It has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself above God and to change His law. Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evil-doers; they were declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear in the eyes of the people and even to themselves as the vilest of criminals.” The Great Controversy, 591.

Comment: This work of the papacy was described by the prophet Daniel in Daniel 7:25.

9 In the final conflict, upon which we are now entering, how will Satan try to destroy God’s people? 1 Peter 2:12; 3:16; Revelation 12:10.

note: “So it will be now. While Satan seeks to destroy those who honor God’s law, he will cause them to be accused as law-breakers, as men who are dishonoring God and bringing judgments upon the world.” The Great Controversy, 591.

10 Describe the difference between the way the God of heaven works with people and the way Satan works. Exodus 34:6, 7; 1 John 4:16; John 14:15, 23; 7:37; Matthew 11:28–30; Revelation 13:15, 16.

note: “God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan’s constant resort—to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce—is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself. To accomplish this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.” The Great Controversy, 591.

11 From the above reference and the one below, whom does it say that Satan works through to accomplish his objectives? For New Testament type, see John 19:1–16.

note: “The church has received warning after warning. The duties and dangers of God’s people have been plainly revealed. . . . No man can tell how far he may go in sin when once he yields himself to the power of the great deceiver. Satan entered into Judas Iscariot and induced him to betray his Lord. Satan led Ananias and Sapphira to lie to the Holy Ghost. Those who are not wholly consecrated to God may be led to do the work of Satan, while yet they flatter themselves that they are in the service of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 103.

12 How will the popular ministry respond to those who honor the Bible Sabbath in the controversy over the law of God? For Old Testament type, see Jeremiah 26:7–11.

note: “Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority. They will be accused of disaffection toward the government. Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned. A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives.” The Great Controversy, 592.

13 How will the Protestant churches respond to those who honor the law of God in place of their Sunday laws? For New Testament type, see Acts 18:5–7, 12–16.

note: “As the Protestant churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of God’s law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible. Though they blind their own eyes to the fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal Sabbath.” The Great Controversy, 592.

14 What course will the secular rulers and legislators follow in this controversy over the law of God? For New Testament type, see Acts 16:16–24.

note: “The dignitaries of church and State will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet’s words: ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 12:17.” The Great Controversy, 592.

Food for Life – Whole Wheat Bread

In Genesis 1:29, we find the original diet for mankind, which is what we call today fruits, grains, and nuts. In Genesis 3:18, we see that, after sin entered the world, God added the green herb of the field to man’s diet. In Genesis 9, we read that God added flesh food to man’s diet. In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, it is spelled out which animals are clean and may be eaten and which animals are unclean and may not be eaten. God’s children, even in the days of Noah, did not eat unclean animals, because only two of each unclean animal were taken into the ark, and if Noah had eaten either one, then that species of animal would not be with us today. Nowhere in Leviticus is mankind forbidden to eat plants that do not bear seed.

God attempted to bring his people back to a largely vegetarian diet in Moses’ time, but they rebelled, and so it was not done. (See Numbers 11 and 14 and The Ministry of Healing, 311–317.)

We do not have information as to exactly when mankind began using milk and eggs and other foods that could not be classified as either a flesh food or a vegetable. We do know, from the biblical record, that God’s people were using these foods in Abraham’s time and in Moses’ time.

There are several kinds of foods eaten today that are in this category. First, is common bread. Bread is made with yeast. Yeast is a substance of aggregated cells of minute unicellular sac fungi. It has been debated whether these minute fungi are plants or animal. In the presence of sugar, the yeast ferments the bread dough, making alcohol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is what raises the bread. The alcohol has such a low boiling point that most of it is released into the air during baking. Ellen White calls bread the staff of life, so it is not an optional food. (Counsels on Diet and Foods, 315.)

Some years ago, there were men in the Middle East who were not reaching complete sexual maturity. An investigation revealed that they were experiencing a zinc deficiency. There is plenty of zinc in whole wheat bread, which they were eating, but the phytic acid in the bread dough was binding the zinc, so it was not being absorbed. They were not using leavened bread. When bread is leavened, the leavening action uses up some of the phytic acid, making the zinc in the wheat available for absorption. I know of no population group with a zinc deficiency, if that population group uses whole-grain, leavened bread. It is important to use leavened bread. (There are some disease processes that force a person to abstain from leavened bread, and special diets must be formulated for these people so they do not suffer from mineral deficiencies.)

Dr. John J. Grosboll, Director of Steps to Life, is also trained in the field of nutrition, having earned a Doctor’s Degree in Health Science and a Master of Public Health degree in Public Health Nutrition from Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California.

Whole Wheat Bread, Oil-Free

4 cups very warm water

3 Tablespoons yeast

1/4 cup honey

9–10 cups whole wheat flour

1 Tablespoon salt

In a large bowl, mix the first three ingredients together with a whisk. Add 3 cups flour and beat well. Add salt and enough flour to make pliable—not sticky—dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Return dough to bowl, cover with a towel, and place in a warm location until double. Knead dough again for 5 minutes; shape into loaves and place in prepared pans. Cover pans with a towel and let rise 30–45 minutes. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 50 minutes.

Nature Nugget – The Alligator Snapping Turtle

Known as the dinosaur of the turtle world, the Alligator Snapping Turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in the world. Native to the southeastern United States from Florida to Texas and north in the Mississippi River Valley to Iowa and Indiana, the Alligator Snapping Turtle is found in the deepwater areas of lakes, swamps, bayous, canals, and rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. They average in size from 70 to 150 pounds with the carapace (upper shell) reaching 30 inches in length. The largest individual turtle ever documented was a 236-pounder, but there are legends of much larger individuals, including one that reportedly weighed over 400 pounds! They are long-lived, believed to live well over 100 years.

Unlike the Common Snapping Turtle, which has its eyes on top of its head, the Alligator Snapping Turtle has its eyes on the sides of its extremely massive head. It has a strong, hooked beak and very long tail which is slightly prehensile in very young individuals. The head, neck, and front legs are covered with fleshy projections of the skin. The carapace has three rows of prominent keels and is usually covered in algae growth, which helps camouflage the turtle. Almost totally aquatic, Alligator Snapping Turtles can stay submerged for up to 50 minutes, but they usually come up for air every 15 to 20 minutes.

Alligator Snapping Turtles mate in the spring and lay eggs in the summer, with the young hatching in the fall. They lay from 8 to 52 eggs in a nest dug in the sand about 55 yards from the shore. The incubation temperature determines the sex of the young. High and low temperatures yield more females while moderate temperatures yield more males. They reach sexual maturity in 11 to 13 years.

Being an omnivore, the Alligator Snapping Turtle is both a scavenger and an active hunter. Its diet consists of just about anything it can find or catch such as carrion, fish, smaller turtles, aquatic plants, snakes, frogs, clams, snails, worms, crayfish, fruit, and even small alligators. It is mainly nocturnal, when it actively moves around searching for food. During the day, it passively hunts by lying still on the bottom of the body of water with its mouth wide open. In the bottom of its mouth, it has a small, pink, worm-like lure, which it wiggles to attract fish. The fish, believing the lure to be a worm, comes close and is caught with lightning speed in the powerful jaws of the turtle.

Just as the Alligator Snapping Turtle attracts fish to their doom with its worm-like lure, so Satan attracts souls to their doom with worldly allurements. “Satan invents earthly allurements, that the carnal mind may be placed on those things which cannot elevate and refine and ennoble.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 581. “He who is not blind to the attraction of worldly honors, indifferent to threats, and unmoved by allurements will be, all unexpectedly to himself, overthrown by Satan’s devices.” Ibid., 544. “The temptations by which Christ was beset in the wilderness—appetite, love of the world, and presumption—are the three great leading allurements by which men are most frequently overcome.” Ibid., 576. “If the frivolous and pleasure-seeking will allow their minds to dwell upon the real and true, the heart cannot but be filled with reverence, and they will adore the God of nature. The contemplation and study of God’s character as revealed in His created works will open a field of thought that will draw the mind away from low, debasing, enervating amusements.” Ibid., 581.

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

Restoring the Temple – Regularity in Eating

It is the custom and order of society to take a slight breakfast. But this is not the best way to treat the stomach. At breakfast time the stomach is in a better condition to take care of more food than at the second or third meal of the day. The habit of eating a sparing breakfast and a large dinner is wrong. Make your breakfast correspond more nearly to the heartiest meal of the day.

“For persons of sedentary habits, late suppers are particularly harmful. With them the disturbance created is often the beginning of disease that ends in death.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 173.

Intervals Between Meals

“In many cases the faintness that leads to a desire for food is felt because the digestive organs have been too severely taxed during the day. After disposing of one meal, the digestive organs need rest. At least five or six hours should intervene between the meals; and most persons who give the plan a trial, will find that two meals a day are better than three.

Two-Meal Plan

“Many indulge in the pernicious habit of eating just before sleeping hours. They may have taken three regular meals; yet because they feel a sense of faintness, as though hungry, will eat a lunch or fourth meal. By indulging this wrong practice, it has become a habit, and they feel as though they could not sleep without taking a lunch before retiring. In many cases, the cause of this faintness is because the digestive organs have been already too severely taxed through the day in disposing of unwholesome food forced upon the stomach too frequently, and in too great quantities. The digestive organs thus taxed become weary, and need a period of entire rest from labor to recover their exhausted energies. A second meal should never be eaten until the stomach has had time to rest from the labor of digesting the preceding meal. If a third meal be eaten at all, it should be light, and several hours before going to bed.” Ibid., 173, 174.

“In most cases, two meals a day are preferable to three. Supper, when taken at an early hour, interferes with the digestion of the previous meal. When taken later, it is not itself digested before bedtime. Thus the stomach fails of securing proper rest. The sleep is disturbed, the brain and nerves are wearied, the appetite for breakfast is impaired, the whole system is unrefreshed, and is unready for the day’s duties.” Ibid., 176.

“If those who only eat two meals have the idea that they must eat enough at the second meal to answer for the third meal also, they will injure their digestive organs.” Ibid., 178.

Not a Test

“The practice of eating but two meals a day is generally found a benefit to health; yet under some circumstances, persons may require a third meal. This should, however, if taken at all, be very light, and of food most easily digested. Crackers—the English biscuit—or zwieback, and fruit, or cereal coffee, are the foods best suited for the evening meal.

“Most people enjoy better health while eating two meals a day than three; others, under their existing circumstances, may require something to eat at suppertime; but this meal should be very light. Let no one think himself a criterion for all,—that every one must do exactly as he does.” Ibid., 176

“I eat only two meals a day. But I do not think that the number of meals should be made a test. If there are those who are better in health when eating three meals, it is their privilege to have three.” Ibid., 178.

Regularity Important

“After the regular meal is eaten, the stomach should be allowed to rest for five hours. Not a particle of food should be introduced into the stomach till the next meal. In this interval the stomach will perform its work, and will then be in a condition to receive more food.

“In no case should the meals be irregular. If dinner is eaten an hour or two before the usual time, the stomach is unprepared for the new burden; for it has not yet disposed of the food eaten at the previous meal, and has not vital force for new work. Thus the system is overtaxed.

“Neither should the meals be delayed one or two hours, to suit circumstances, or in order that a certain amount of work may be accomplished. The stomach calls for food at the time it is accustomed to receive it. If that time is delayed, the vitality of the system decreases, and finally reaches so low an ebb that the appetite is entirely gone. . . .

“Regularity in eating is of vital importance. There should be a specified time for each meal. At this time, let every one eat what the system requires, and then take nothing more until the next meal. There are many who eat when the system needs no food, at irregular intervals, and between meals, because they have not sufficient strength of will to resist inclination. . . .

No Between Meal Snacks

“Regularity in eating should be carefully observed. Nothing should be eaten between meals, no confectionery, nuts, fruits, or food of any kind. Irregularities in eating destroy the healthful tone of the digestive organs, to the detriment of health and cheerfulness. . . .

“I am astonished to learn that, after all the light that has been given in this place, many of you eat between meals! You should never let a morsel pass your lips between your regular meals. Eat what you ought, but eat it at one meal, and then wait until the next.” Ibid., 179, 180.

“Three meals a day and nothing between meals—not even an apple—should be the utmost limit of indulgence. Those who go further violate nature’s laws and will suffer the penalty.” Ibid., 182.

Christ our Example

“With Christ, as with the holy pair in Eden, appetite was the ground of the first great temptation.” Ibid., 185.

“Christ entered upon the test upon the point of appetite, and for nearly six weeks resisted temptation in behalf of man. That long fast in the wilderness was to be a lesson to fallen man for all time. Christ was not overcome by the strong temptations of the enemy, and this is encouragement for every soul who is struggling against temptation. Christ has made it possible for every member of the human family to resist temptation. All who would live godly lives may overcome as Christ overcame, by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony. That long fast of the Saviour strengthened Him to endure. He gave evidence to man that He would begin the work of overcoming just where ruin began,—on the point of appetite.

“When Christ was the most fiercely beset by temptation, He ate nothing. He committed Himself to God, and through earnest prayer, and perfect submission to the will of His Father, came off conqueror. Those who profess the truth for these last days, above every other class of professed Christians, should imitate the great Exemplar in prayer.” Ibid., 186.

True Fasting

“The true fasting which should be recommended to all, is abstinence from every stimulating kind of food, and the proper use of wholesome, simple food, which God has provided in abundance. Men need to think less about what they shall eat and drink of temporal food, and much more in regard to the food from heaven, that will give tone and vitality to the whole religious experience.

“Now and onward till the close of time the people of God should be more earnest, more wide-awake, not trusting in their own wisdom, but in the wisdom of their Leader. They should set aside days for fasting and prayer. Entire abstinence from food may not be required, but they should eat sparingly of the most simple food.

“All the fasting in the world will not take the place of simple trust in the word of God. ‘Ask,’ He says, ‘and ye shall receive.’ [John 16:24.]” Ibid., 188, 189.

What About You?

“Many eat at all hours, regardless of the laws of health. Then gloom covers the mind. How can men be honored with divine enlightenment, when they are so reckless in their habits, so inattentive to the light which God has given in regard to these things? Brethren, is it not time for you to be converted on these points of selfish indulgence?” Ibid., 182.

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.

The Pen of Inspiration – The Mother’s Work

I wish to arouse parents to see the importance of their position. Few parents take time to think of how much depends on the instruction and training a child receives during the early years of its life. It is at this time that the foundation of a child’s character is laid. “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” are the words of the wise man. [Proverbs 22:6.] The lessons a child learns at the mother’s knee determine its future experience.

How few parents realize this as they should. As I have called mothers’ attention to the wrong habits they were encouraging in their little ones, some have listened indifferently, while others have said, with a smile, “I can not bear to cross my children. They will do better as they grow older. They will then be ashamed of these passionate outbursts. It is not well to be too strict with little ones. They will outgrow the inclination to tell untruths, to meddle, to be indolent and selfish.”

A very easy way truly to dispose of the matter, but a way that is not in harmony with the will of God. If a field is left uncultivated, a crop of weeds is sure to appear. So it is with children. If the soil of the heart is uncultivated, Satan sows his seeds of anger and hatred, selfishness and pride, and they quickly spring up, to bear a harvest that parents reap with bitter regret. Too late they see their terrible mistake. The wrong they have done can never be wholly undone. Even if the child, by patient, untiring care, is at last won to the Saviour, his character will always bear the marks of Satan’s seed-sowing.

Children left to themselves grow up selfish, exacting, unlovable. Unable to enjoy their own society or the society of others, their lives are filled with discontent.

Aided by the grace of Christ, mothers have it in their power to do a great and grand work. This Satan knows, and he works with all his power to prevent them from doing this work. He seeks to fill the mind with thoughts of fashionable dress. Thus he absorbs the time and strength of even Christian mothers so that they have no time to give to the training of their children or to self-improvement. When the enemy thus secures the attention of the mother, he rejoices; for he knows how much he has gained. He looks on the children as an easy prey; for he has won the mother. She thinks more of display, more of what others think and say of her, than she does of the training of the precious souls in her care. As she sets her feet in the path of fashion, she becomes infatuated. In order to keep pace with the demands of the bondage in which she has sold herself, she works early and late, overtaxing mind and body. She becomes so wearied with remodeling unfashionable garments and making new ones, that she has no heart to read her Bible or to pray. She is too tired to give time to her children. She becomes perplexed and distressed. The yoke that she is trying to bear is very galling; but she imagines that it must be borne, and martyr-like she toils on, struggling under her self-imposed burden. Jesus is calling, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. . . . My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28, 30.] But she does not hear the gracious invitation. The Saviour’s voice is drowned by the clamorous demands of fashion.

Mothers, do not forget that God requires you to give your children constant, loving care. He does not want you to be a slave to your children, but he does want you to teach them to live for him. Day by day give them lessons that will prepare them for future usefulness. One lesson that you will have to repeat over and over again is the lesson of obedience. Teach your children that they are not to rule, that they are to respect your wishes, and yield to your authority. Thus you are teaching them self-control. Give them nothing for which they cry, even though your tender heart would lead you to indulge them. If they gain the victory once by crying, they will expect to do so again, and the next time they will be harder to control.

Children inherit inclinations to wrong, but they also have many lovely traits of character. These should be strengthened and developed, while the tendencies to evil should be carefully guarded against and repressed. Children should never be flattered, for flattery is poison to them; but parents should show a sanctified, tender regard for them, thus gaining their confidence and love.

When children lose their self-control, and speak passionate words, the parents should for a time keep silent, neither reproving nor condemning. At such times silence is golden, and will do more to bring repentance than any words that can be uttered. Satan is well pleased when parents irritate their children by speaking harsh, angry words. Paul has given a caution on this point: “Fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” [Colossians 3:21.] They may be very wrong, but you can not lead them to the right by losing patience with them. Let your calmness help to restore them to a proper frame of mind.

Jesus loves children and youth. He rejoices when he sees Satan repulsed in his efforts to overcome them. Many a youth is in imminent peril through manifold temptations, but the Saviour has the tenderest sympathy for him, and sends his angels to guard and protect him. He is the good shepherd, ever ready to go into the wilderness to seek for the lost, straying sheep.

Mothers, do you sigh for a missionary field? In your home you have a missionary field in which you may labor with untiring energy and unflagging zeal, knowing that the results of your work will endure through all eternity. Are not the souls of your children of as much value as the souls of the heathen? Then tend them with loving care, bringing God into their thoughts.

Who can do this work so well as a God-fearing mother? The work of the mother who has a close connection with Christ is of infinite worth. Her ministry of love makes the home a Bethel. Christ works with her, turning the common water of life into the wine of heaven.

Christian parents, you are charged with the responsibility of showing the world the power and excellency of home religion. Be controlled by principle, not by impulse. Work with the consciousness that God is your helper. Allow nothing to divert you from your God-given mission. Be true to your trust. God will help you. Guided by him, your children will grow up to bless and honor you in this life and in the life to come.

Review and Herald, January 24, 1907.

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.

Ask the Pastor – Understand Hyperbole


What did Jesus mean, in Mark 9:43, 45, 47, when He said that if the hand, foot, or eye causes you to sin, to cut off the hand or foot or pluck out the eye? I have heard sermons where it was said that Jesus did not mean that literally. I could accept this, if it were not for the fact that He goes on to say that it would be better to enter life with one hand, foot, or eye than to have them both and be cast into hell.


The language used by Christ in this context employs a figure of speech that is common to all languages. It is called hyperbole. The term is derived from two Greek components, hyper (over, above) and bole (from ballein, to throw), hence “to throw above.” It is a specially designed exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis. My mother, with somewhat of a twinkle in her eye, used to say, “Son, if you do that again, I’m gonna skin you alive.” I knew she was speaking figuratively; nonetheless, I got the point!

Thus, Christ, in this context, was emphasizing the supreme value of pursuing the kingdom of God above all else. To stress this principle, He chose, for illustration purposes, items that are very precious to us—such as the eye, hand, or foot. The obvious meaning is this: Recognize the value of eternal things; do not be derailed by temporal and physical distractions.

Moreover, the language in the latter portion of the passage in no way negates the symbolism employed in the warning.

That this is the fair meaning of the passage is obvious from the fact that a mere amputation of a hand or a foot or the removal of an eye does not alter the condition of the heart. Therefore, such actions, drastic though they are, would not provide sufficient motive for a transformed heart.

It was the heart that Jesus was trying to reach, as is seen in the passages of Mark 7:1, 18–23. The surgery that Jesus talked about, in Mark 9, is spiritual, not physical. The point is this: The value of being eternally with the Creator makes all of earth’s circumstances seem trivial.

A comprehension of at least some of the basic figures of speech utilized by the Bible writers is absolutely essential for a correct interpretation of Scripture in many cases. A lack of such understanding has resulted in a variety of errors—some of which were painfully experienced.

Origen, a theologian of the early third century a.d., misinterpreted Jesus’ admonition about becoming a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. (See Matthew 19:12.) As a consequence of his misguided exegesis, he emasculated himself. Eusebius, a fourth century historian, noted that Origen’s method of interpretation was “too literal and puerile in a sense.” (Ecclesiastical History, vi.viii.) The historian paid a rather high price for failing to understand a significant biblical figure of speech.

The Saviour’s teaching in the context cited in Mark, therefore, is to be viewed figuratively—not literally.

This is why we are told, in 11 Timothy 2:15, to study the Scripture: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Study brings with it a putting together in such a way that truth is made known from a heavenly perspective. I hope that this helps with your study of this matter.

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

Lessons from the Children of Israel, Part V

The word chode is an Old English word, the past participle of the word chide. If we were to give it a modern application, we would probably say that it means to oppose noisily with the exhibiting of bodily violence. When the people chode with Moses (Numbers 20:3), loudly making their requests for water, their faces probably turned red, and the veins on their necks protruded. They were most likely gesturing with their hands, and they perhaps threw dust up in the air, as they demanded, “Why have you brought us out here?”

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I just wish I could die”? The children of Israel expressed this desire: “Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!” Numbers 20:3. They were referring to the incident when the earth swallowed up Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their supporters. (See Numbers 16.) They whined, “Those people all died; we wish to God that we had died too.” They were not concerned about anything but themselves. When this is the case, watch out!

When all of this complaining and all of this bitterness began boiling up and manifesting itself, what happened? Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle, where they knew there would be protection, and they fell on their faces. They probably covered their heads with their hands and said, “Lord, the fire is going to fall. We do not want to be a part of this.”

Lessons to Learn

One lesson we can learn from this experience concerning the children of Israel is that a discontented heart makes for a very reckless tongue. Forty years of divine chastisement had taught them absolutely nothing. They could not see the hand of God in their leading. They could only see Moses and Aaron; they could not see God.

Do we have those kinds of things happening today? I think so. When things are not going the way they should—or the way that we think they should—we begin to complain about that which is visible to us. That which we can see is that which we blame. Should we not be asking ourselves, “Does God have a hand in all of this?” Is He not the One to whom we should be appealing for help?

There is another lesson in all of this for us, and that is to answer the question, Is God leading, or is He not leading? I would like to suggest to you that perhaps, in the not too distant future in the historic movement, because the number of leaders are dwindling and the focus of attention is more and more upon those who remain, there may come about circumstances in which the water will stop. What are we going to do then? Are we going to focus on the leaders and cry, “You have led us on a merry chase; would to God we had stayed with the denomination; you got us out here in the wilderness to kill us”? I would like to suggest to you that something similar could happen in the very near future. We need to ask ourselves, Where am I going to be found in all of this? On whose side am I really going to be? Am I going to focus on the leadership and chide them, or am I going to carry my problem to God who will be merciful and will supply my needs? It is something to ponder.

Selective Hearing

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together . . . .” This is the rod that Moses had used to perform miracles before Pharaoh. “. . . thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.” Numbers 20:7, 8.

You see, sometimes we have to make sure that we are rightly dividing the word of truth. Moses, perhaps, only heard part of what God told him. The part he heard was, “And thou shalt bring forth to them water.” Moses should have known that the source of the water was God and not himself.

There is a tendency for us to hear only certain kinds of things in our distress. We have to make sure that we do not allow a discontented heart to bring forth a reckless tongue, because Moses, in this regard, was just as guilty as were the children of Israel. The people had been pressing on him for so long and he had been through so much with them, that this became, as we say, “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” But, even so, there was no excuse.

Here is where Moses failed. He did not follow the counsel that God gave to him. God told him to speak to the rock, and it would bring forth water. Moses received a test here, which shows us that we never reach a point in our Christian experience where we are beyond the point of testing. We never reach a level or an age where we are not presented with decisions and tests. Many times we like to believe that God passes us by without a test, but He does not. How are we going to relate to such testing?

“Take the rod, Moses, and go over to that rock with the rod in your hand and speak to that rock.” Moses was naturally an impatient person, and he had 80 years previously failed that same test. He killed the Egyptian, because he was impatient and angry at what was taking place. (See Exodus 2:11–14.) God was going to work out every last bit of this part of his nature, so He said, “I want you to go and speak to this rock.” But Moses “lost his temper.” The people had raised his blood pressure. They had rebelled against God once again, and Moses was angry. Moses went out to the rock after hearing God speak, probably fully intending to do what God had told him to do. But when he was actually confronted with the situation, he failed the test.

Moses’ Sin

If Moses had a problem, he should have gone into his closet alone and complained to God. God would have listened to every complaint Moses had, if he would have gone to God alone. When you go into your closet, you can tell God anything you want to tell Him. You can pour out your heart, even if it is filled with bitterness. He is able to deal with it in a way that is altogether different than if you pour out your bitterness in front of people.

This was Moses’ sin. God was not sanctified before the people by what Moses did. He knew what God told him. He did not have any question about it, but perhaps, because of his anger, he heard only a part of it, and then he moved ahead. The Bible says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17.

It was a sin of greater magnitude than if the congregation had done the same thing, but Ellen White wrote that Moses and Aaron “were not chargeable with willful or deliberate sin; they had been overcome by a sudden temptation, and their contrition was immediate and heartfelt.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 419. As soon as Moses struck the rock—twice—instead of speaking to it, the conviction of the Holy Spirit was there, and Moses said, “Oh, Lord, please forgive me.” Mrs. White said that their contrition was immediate and heartfelt. “The Lord accepted their repentance, though because of the harm their sin might do among the people, He could not remit its punishment.” Ibid.

No Respecter of Persons

“The transgression was known to the whole congregation; and had it been passed by lightly, the impression would have been given that unbelief and impatience under great provocation might be excused in those in responsible positions.” Ibid., 420. Consider that for just a moment.

Suppose that was the case. Suppose that somehow there was “Exemption 102” that said it was all right for a leader who was under great provocation and stress to lose his or her self-control—but only under great stress and provocation. Can you imagine the effects that such behavior would have on the congregation of God’s people? (We think we have turbulent spirits now!) “But when it was declared that because of that one sin Moses and Aaron were not to enter Canaan, the people knew that God is no respecter of persons, and that He will surely punish the transgressor.” Ibid.

No one is going to escape. It does not matter how your past faithfulness has been. Ezekiel 18 says that all the righteousness that you have done will never be mentioned, and all the sin that you have sinned is going to come back upon you, if repentance does not take place. (Verses 24–26.)

The moral of the story is given in the words of the Spirit of Prophecy: “But few realize the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Men flatter themselves that God is too good to punish the transgressor. But in the light of Bible history it is evident that God’s goodness and His love engage Him to deal with sin as an evil fatal to the peace and happiness of the universe. . . .

“Past faithfulness will not atone for one wrong act. The greater the light and privileges granted to man, the greater is his responsibility, the more aggravated his failure, and the heavier his punishment.” Ibid.

Our Responsibility

In 1 Corinthians 10:11, we are told: “All these things happened unto them for ensamples . . . upon whom the ends of the world are come.” So we may ask, “What is our responsibility in all of this?” Well, the responsibility we have is in the acknowledgement that there is a Saviour who is able to save to the uttermost. In the process of salvation, not only is there justification for the past, but there is also sanctification for the present. By going through that process of sanctification for the present, we begin to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ that would, or should, bring us to the point where we are not repeating these historical failures. This applies especially to those in positions of leadership.

We need to begin to train our thinking so that we will be able to relate to this in the right way—not flattering nor exalting those in positions of leadership, but realizing that those who are called into positions of leadership are going to have far greater accountability than those who are within the congregation. Therefore, everyone in the congregation is responsible for contributing to the peace, prosperity, and safety of those who are in positions of leadership. The members of the congregation should not endeavor to throw stumbling blocks in the way of leadership.

Some people say, “You are just trying to pad your own place.” No, I am not padding my own place. I am just trying to make it into the kingdom of heaven with the calling that God has given to me. I know that Pastor John Grosboll is in that same category. He is trying to make it into the kingdom of heaven with the calling that God has given to him, as well. We are not going to be able to do it without your help. There must be a supportive aspect of the congregation saying, “We are behind you. If you step off the path, we are going to have a visit with you concerning it, so we all stay on the path together.”

This is why Ellen White tells us that the work will never be finished until the laity and the ministers work together. “The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 117.

I see the passage of Scripture, Numbers 20, as outlining these very things and showing us how to again get back on track. We see the failures that took place with the children of Israel. We do not want to repeat their history, but we are destined to repeat it unless we learn the lessons that are there.


“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” Verse 12.

I would like to say, “Poor Aaron,” but I cannot do that. Aaron had his own set of problems. It was not because of what took place with the golden calf that Aaron was closed out of the kingdom. It was because he had an association with Moses when they went to the rock. He was Moses’ mouthpiece. It was here that he should have nudged Moses and said, “Let me do the talking for you.” Aaron had an opportunity, but he was silent. He had known his brother for 120 years. He could probably tell when Moses’ temperature gauge was rising, and he should have said, “Shh, let me do the speaking for you. Rock, bring forth water.” Perhaps both Moses and Aaron could have gone into the Promised Land. But Aaron, as the helper of Moses, did not speak when he should have spoken. Was it because he was afraid of Moses? No, I think that Aaron just did not respond when he should have.

Wisdom to Counsel

This leads us to yet another lesson. When we have been placed in the position of counselor to someone, we need to give counsel in God’s wisdom so that our associates do not experience failure. With the Lord’s help, we need to be on a level of communication that we can share things without becoming worked up or upset about them. Doing this may prevent us from a greater failure down the road.

As it was, Aaron climbed the mount Hor, and his clothes—the priestly robes—were removed and placed on Eleazar, and Aaron died. Verses 25– 28. Moses, though he pleaded with the Lord, was not going to enter the Promised Land either.

There are some tremendous object lessons in the story of the children of Israel for us. The thing that we need to ask ourselves is, “Are we up to learning the lessons?” I pray that we are.

Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life. He may be contacted by e-mail at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.