Bible Study Guides – Preparation for Translation

June 24, 2007 – June 30, 2007

Key Text

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2.

Study Help: Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4b, 34-37.


“God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome. . . . Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols. . . . Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.” Maranatha, 43.

1 What yearning of heart did the Saviour express in prayer the night of His betrayal? John 17:24.

note: “Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped Their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race. This pledge Christ has fulfilled. When upon the cross He cried out, ‘It is finished,’ He addressed the Father. [John 19:30.] The compact had been fully carried out.” The Desire of Ages, 834.

2 Before His ascension, what cheering promise did the Saviour give His people? John 14:1–3.

note: “Long have we waited for our Saviour’s return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and touching our golden harps, we shall fill all heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 254.

3 What assurance did the apostle Paul give of the translation of the righteous when Jesus appears? 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18.

note: “The living righteous are changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ [1 Corinthians 15:52.] At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels ‘gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ [Matthew 24:31.] Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God.” The Great Controversy, 645.

4 What physical change will those who are translated experience? 1 Corinthians 15:51–54. What will be their spiritual condition? 1 John 3:2; Matthew 5:8.

note: “Soon I [Ellen White] heard the voice of God which shook the heavens and the earth. [See Joel 3:16; Hebrews 12:26; Revelation 16:17.] There was a mighty earthquake. Buildings were shaken down, and fell on every side. I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear. I looked upon this company, who, a short time before, were in such distress and bondage. Their captivity was turned. A glorious light shone upon them. How beautiful they then looked! All weariness and marks of care were gone; health and beauty were seen in every countenance.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 184.

5 While the righteous will be “caught up” at the coming of the Lord, what will be the experience of the wicked? 11 Thessalonians 1:7–10; Jeremiah 25:30–33.

note: “In the mad strife of their own fierce passions, and by the awful outpouring of God’s unmingled wrath, fall the wicked inhabitants of the earth priests, rulers, and people, rich and poor, high and low. [Jeremiah 25:33 quoted.]

“At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. Christ takes His people to the City of God, and the earth is emptied of its inhabitants. [Isaiah 24:1, 3, 5, 6 quoted.]” The Great Controversy, 657.

6 As a preparation for translation, what solemn call to a deeper consecration comes to us from the Lord? Amos 4:12; Joel 2:11–17. How is the same solemn call voiced by another prophet? Zephaniah 2:1–3.

note: “I [Ellen White] saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. But there will be no time then to do it and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father. . . . I saw that none could share the ‘refreshing’ unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence.” Early Writings, 71.

7 What was Enoch’s experience before his translation? Hebrews 11:5; Genesis 5:22–24.

note: “Pray in your closet, and as you go about your daily labor let your heart be often uplifted to God. It was thus that Enoch walked with God.” Steps to Christ, 98, 99.

8 What is said concerning the translation of Elijah? 11 Kings 2:9–11.

note: “Elijah was a type of the saints who will be living on the earth at the time of the second advent of Christ and who will be ‘changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump,’ without tasting of death. 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52. It was as a representative of those who shall be thus translated that Elijah, near the close of Christ’s earthly ministry, was permitted to stand with Moses by the side of the Saviour on the mount of transfiguration. In these glorified ones, the disciples saw in miniature a representation of the kingdom of the redeemed. They beheld Jesus clothed with the light of heaven; they heard the ‘voice out of the cloud’ (Luke 9:35), acknowledging Him as the Son of God; they saw Moses, representing those who will be raised from the dead at the time of the second advent; and there also stood Elijah, representing those who at the close of earth’s history will be changed from mortal to immortal and be translated to heaven without seeing death.” Prophets and Kings, 227.

9 Who only will ascend into the hill of the Lord? Psalm 24:3, 4. (Compare Psalm 15.) What description is given of those who will be redeemed from the earth when the Lord comes? Revelation 14:1–5.

note: “I [Ellen White] was shown that quite a number who were thinking it their duty to teach the word of God publicly had mistaken their work. They had no call to devote themselves to this solemn, responsible work. They were not qualified for the work of the ministry, for they could not instruct others properly.

“The experience of some had been obtained among a class of religious fanatics who had no true sense of the exalted character of the work. The religious experience of this class of professed Seventh-day Adventists was not reliable. They had not firm principles underlying all their actions. They were self-confident, and boastful. Their religion did not consist in righteous acts, true humility of soul, and sincere devotion to God, but in impulse, in noise and confusion, spiced with eccentricities and oddities. They had not felt, neither could they feel, the necessity of being clothed with Christ’s righteousness. They had a righteousness of their own, which was as filthy rags, and which God can in no case accept. These persons had no love for union and harmony of action. They delighted in disorder. Confusion, distraction, and diversity of opinion were their choice. They were ungovernable, unsubdued, unregenerated, and unconsecrated, and this element of confusion suited their undisciplined minds. They were a curse to the cause of God and brought the name of Seventh-day Adventists into disrepute.

“These persons had not experienced the work of reformation, or sanctification through the truth. They were coarse and uncultivated. They had never tasted of the sweet, pure refinement of the world to come. They had never experienced, neither had their hearts been awed by, the mystery of godliness. They placed divine and eternal things upon a level with common things, and would talk of heaven and the coming of Jesus as they would of a horse. They had a superficial knowledge or theory of the truth, but further than this they were ignorant. Its principles had not taken hold of their lives and led them to an abhorrence of self. . . . They had never been slain by the law of God, and had not separated themselves from their impurities and defilement. It is the favorite occupation of some of this class to engage in trifling conversation and levity. This habit they contracted, and indulged upon occasions which should have been characterized by solemn meditation and devotion. In doing this, they manifested a lack of true dignity and refinement, and forfeited the esteem of sensible persons who had no knowledge of the truth. This class threw themselves into a current of temptation and kept where the enemy led them successfully, and he has so easily controlled their minds and corrupted their entire experience that in all probability they will be unable to recover themselves out of his snare and obtain a healthful experience.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 553, 554.

10 What song of victory was sung by those who were raised from the dead and ascended with our divine Lord? Revelation 5:9, 10. (Compare Matthew 27:50–53; Ephesians 4:8.)

note: “All heaven was waiting to welcome the Saviour to the celestial courts. As He ascended, He led the way, and the multitude of captives set free at His resurrection followed. The heavenly host, with shouts and acclamations of praise and celestial song, attended the joyous train. . . .

“Then the portals of the city of God are opened wide, and the angelic throng sweep through the gates amid a burst of rapturous music.

“There is the throne, and around it the rainbow of promise. There are cherubim and seraphim. The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God, the representatives of the unfallen worlds, are assembled. The heavenly council before which Lucifer had accused God and His Son, the representatives of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought to establish his dominion, all are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King.” The Desire of Ages, 833, 834.

11 What spiritual change will have been experienced by those who are saved when the Lord comes? Colossians 1:13, 14.

note: “Satan cannot hold the dead in his grasp when the Son of God bids them live. He cannot hold in spiritual death one soul who in faith receives Christ’s word of power.” The Desire of Ages, 320.

12 What reward awaits the overcomer? 1 Corinthians 2:9; Psalm 17:15; Revelation 21:3–7.

note: “Those who accept the teachings of God’s Word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. . . . Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God.” The Story of Redemption, 430, 431.

“Eternity alone can reveal the glorious destiny to which man, restored to God’s image, may attain.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 61.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.

Bible Study Guides – Repentance and Confession

June 17, 2007 – June 23, 2007

Key Text

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 629-635; Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 517.


“The Lord has plainly revealed His will concerning the salvation of the sinner. And the attitude which many assume in expressing doubts and unbelief as to whether the Lord will save them is a reflection upon the character of God. Those who complain of His severity are virtually saying: ‘The way of the Lord is not equal.’ But He distinctly throws back the imputation upon the sinner: ‘ “Are not your ways unequal?” Can I pardon your transgressions when you do not repent and turn from your sins?’ The character of God is fully vindicated in the words of Scripture I have placed before you. The Lord will receive the sinner when he repents and forsakes his sins so that God can work with his efforts in seeking perfection of character. The promises are not yea and nay, but if man complies with the conditions, they are, in Christ, ‘yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.’ [11 Corinthians 1:20.] The whole purpose in giving His Son for the sins of the world is that man may be saved, not in transgression and unrighteousness, but in forsaking sin, washing his robes of character, and making them white in the blood of the Lamb. He proposes to remove from man the offensive thing that He hates, but man must co-operate with God in the work. Sin must be given up, hated, and the righteousness of Christ must be accepted by faith. Thus will the divine co-operate with the human.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 631, 632.

1 What was the mission of Jesus to this world? Luke 5:32; Matthew 9:13.

note: “He [Christ] might have gone to the pleasant homes of the unfallen worlds, to the pure atmosphere where disloyalty and rebellion had never intruded; and there He would have been received with acclamations of praise and love. But it was a fallen world that needed the Redeemer. ‘I came not to call the righteous,’ said He, ‘but sinners to repentance.’ [Matthew 9:13.]” Review and Herald, February 15, 1898.

2 What did Jesus say should be preached among all nations? Luke 24:45–47.

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

3 What exhortation to repent is given through an ancient prophet? Ezekiel 18:30. How is this exhortation repeated by another prophet of olden times? Jeremiah 3:12–14.

Note: “True repentance is more than sorrow for sin. It is a resolute turning away from evil.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 557.

“There must be a new birth, a new mind through the operation of the Spirit of God, which purifies the life and ennobles the character. This connection with God fits man for the glorious kingdom of Heaven. No human invention can ever find a remedy for the sinning soul. Only by repentance and humiliation, a submission to the divine requirements, can the work of grace be performed. Iniquity is so offensive in the sight of God, whom the sinner has so long insulted and wronged, that a repentance commensurate with the character of the sins committed often produces an agony of spirit hard to bear.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 132, 133.

4 What warning concerning repentance is given by John on Patmos? Revelation 2:5; 3:3.

note: “ ‘Hold fast.’ [Revelation 3:3.] This 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? We are to ‘hold fast’ and live up to all the light we receive from heaven. Why?¾Because God wants us to grasp the eternal truth, and act as His helping hand by communicating the light to those who are not acquainted with His love for them. When you gave yourself to Christ, you made a pledge in the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,¾the three great personal Dignitaries of heaven. ‘Hold fast’ to this pledge. . . .

“The enemy can never take out of the hand of Christ the one who is simply trusting in His promises. If the soul is trusting and working obediently, the mind is susceptible to divine impressions, and the light of God shines in, enlightening the understanding. What privileges we have in Christ Jesus!” Sons and Daughters of God, 351.

5 What message did John the Baptist bear? Matthew 3:1, 2, 7, 8.

note: “We are living in the close of this earth’s history. . . . Prophecy is fulfilling. Soon Christ will come with power and great glory. We have no time to lose. Let the message sound forth in earnest words of warning.

“We must persuade men everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come. They have souls to save or to lose. Let there be no indifference in this matter. The Lord calls for workers who are filled with an earnest, decided purpose. Tell the people to be instant in season and out of season. With the words of life upon your lips go forth to tell men and women that the end of all things is at hand.

“Let us keep our souls in the love of God. The note of warning must be given. The truth must not languish upon our lips. We must rouse people to immediate preparation, for we little know what is before us. My [Ellen White] faith is as strong as ever that we are living in the last remnant of time. Let every teacher present an open door before all who will come to Jesus, repenting of their sins.” Evangelism, 217.

6 What message did the apostles give? Mark 6:12.

note: “Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God’s law, they were not His people. . . .

“All who became the subjects of Christ’s kingdom, he said, would give evidence of faith and repentance. Kindness, honesty, and fidelity would be seen in their lives. They would minister to the needy, and bring their offerings to God. They would shield the defenseless, and give an example of virtue and compassion. So the followers of Christ will give evidence of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen. Otherwise they are like the chaff that is given to the fire.” The Desire of Ages, 107.

7 When Peter, on the day of Pentecost, was asked by the people what they must do to be saved, what did he answer? Acts 2:38. What precedes true conversion? Acts 3:18–20.

note: “Repent, repent, was the message rung out by John the Baptist in the wilderness. Christ’s message to the people was, ‘Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’ Luke 13:5. And the apostles were commanded to preach everywhere that men should repent.

“The Lord desires His servants today to preach the old gospel doctrine, sorrow for sin, repentance, and confession. We want old-fashioned sermons, old-fashioned customs, old-fashioned fathers and mothers in Israel. The sinner must be labored for, perseveringly, earnestly, wisely, until he shall see that he is a transgressor of God’s law, and shall exercise repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.” Evangelism, 179, 180.

“The arguments of the apostles alone, though clear and convincing, would not have removed the prejudice that had withstood so much evidence. But the Holy Spirit sent the arguments home to hearts with divine power. The words of the apostles were as sharp arrows of the Almighty, convicting men of their terrible guilt in rejecting and crucifying the Lord of glory.” The Acts of the Apostles, 45.

8 To what example of repentance did the Saviour direct attention on a certain occasion? Matthew 12:40, 41. (Compare Jonah 3:4–10.)

note: “As Jonah entered the city, he began at once to ‘cry against’ it the message, ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.’ [Jonah 3:4.] From street to street he went, sounding the note of warning.

“The message was not in vain. The cry that rang through the streets of the godless city was passed from lip to lip until all the inhabitants had heard the startling announcement. The Spirit of God pressed the message home to every heart and caused multitudes to tremble because of their sins and to repent in deep humiliation.” Prophets and Kings, 270.

9 What promise is given to those who confess their sins? Proverbs 28:13; Leviticus 26:39–44. To whom is salvation promised? Romans 10:9, 10.

note: “The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.” Steps to Christ, 37.

“No man of himself can repent, and make himself worthy of the blessing of justification. The Lord Jesus is constantly seeking to impress the sinner’s mind and attract him to behold Himself, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. We cannot take a step toward spiritual life save as Jesus draws and strengthens the soul, and leads us to experience that repentance which needeth not to be repented of.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 390, 391.

10 What example of confession was seen in the life of Daniel? Daniel 9:4, 5.

note: “The gospel makes no compromise with evil. It cannot excuse sin. Secret sins are to be confessed in secret to God; but, for open sin, open confession is required.” The Desire of Ages, 811.

11 How is pardon for sin received? 1 John 1:9. What leads the sinner to repentance? Romans 2:4, last part. From whom do we receive repentance? Acts 5:31; 11 Timothy 2:25.

note: “The love of God still yearns over the one who has chosen to separate from Him, and He sets in operation influences to bring him back to the Father’s house. The prodigal son in his wretchedness ‘came to himself.’ The deceptive power that Satan had exercised over him was broken. He saw that his suffering was the result of his own folly, and he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father.’ [Luke 15:17, 18, first part.] Miserable as he was, the prodigal found hope in the conviction of his father’s love. It was that love which was drawing him toward home. So it is the assurance of God’s love that constrains the sinner to return to God. ‘The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.’ Romans 2:4. A golden chain, the mercy and compassion of divine love, is passed around every imperiled soul. The Lord declares, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.’ Jeremiah 31:3.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 202.

“We cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, ‘Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.’ Acts 5:31. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon.” The Desire of Ages, 175.

12 How many are called upon to repent? Acts 17:30. What cheering promises are made to those who come to God by repentance and forsaking of sin? John 6:37; Isaiah 1:18; Jeremiah 3:22, 23.

note: “Arise and go to your Father. He will meet you a great way off. If you take even one step toward Him in repentance, He will hasten to enfold you in His arms of infinite love. His ear is open to the cry of the contrite soul. The very first reaching out of the heart after God is known to Him. Never a prayer is offered, however faltering, never a tear is shed, however secret, never a sincere desire after God is cherished, however feeble, but the Spirit of God goes forth to meet it. Even before the prayer is uttered or the yearning of the heart made known, grace from Christ goes forth to meet the grace that is working upon the human soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 206.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.

Bible Study Guides – Victory Through the Spirit

June 10, 2007 – June 16, 2007

Key Text

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 47-56.


“The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.

“The office of the Holy Spirit is distinctly specified in the words of Christ: [John 16:8 quoted]. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts of sin. If the sinner responds to the quickening influence of the Spirit, he will be brought to repentance and aroused to the importance of obeying the divine requirements.

“To the repentant sinner, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, the Holy Spirit reveals the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. [John 16:14; 14:26 quoted.]

“The Spirit is given as a regenerating agency, to make effectual the salvation wrought by the death of our Redeemer. The Spirit is constantly seeking to draw the attention of men to the great offering that was made on the cross of Calvary, to unfold to the world the love of God, and to open to the convicted soul the precious things of the Scriptures.” The Acts of the Apostles, 52.

1 How much can we do in our own strength to attain to a life of victory? John 15:15; 11 Corinthians 12:9. Through Christ, what are we able to do? Philippians 4:13; Colossians 1:11.

note: “The effort to earn salvation by one’s own works inevitably leads men to pile up human exactions as a barrier against sin. For, seeing that they fail to keep the law, they will devise rules and regulations of their own to force themselves to obey. All this turns the mind away from God to self. His love dies out of the heart, and with it perishes love for his fellow men. A system of human invention, with its multitudinous exactions, will lead its advocates to judge all who come short of the prescribed human standard. The atmosphere of selfish and narrow criticism stifles the noble and generous emotions, and causes men to become self-centered judges and petty spies.

“The Pharisees were of this class. They came forth from their religious services, not humbled with a sense of their own weakness, not grateful for the great privileges that God had given them. They came forth filled with spiritual pride, and their theme was, ‘Myself, my feelings, my knowledge, my ways.’ Their own attainments became the standard by which they judged others. Putting on the robes of self-dignity, they mounted the judgment seat to criticize and condemn.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 123.

“There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, by putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God.” The Desire of Ages, 250, 251.

2 In what is the power of a victorious life? Zechariah 4:6. What promise did Jesus make to His disciples concerning the Holy Spirit? John 14:16–18.

note: “The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy’s power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.” The Desire of Ages, 490.

“By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God,¾a patient, protracted process.” Ibid., 172.

3 What did the Saviour say the Holy Spirit would do when He came? John 14:26. Of whom would He testify? John 15:26.

Note: “The Holy Spirit has been given us as an aid in the study of the Bible. Jesus promised, [John 14:26 quoted]. When the Bible is made the study book, with earnest supplication for the Spirit’s guidance, and with a full surrender of the heart to be sanctified through the truth, all that Christ has promised will be accomplished. The result of such Bible study will be well-balanced minds. The understanding will be quickened, the sensibilities aroused. The conscience will become sensitive; the sympathies and sentiments will be purified; a better moral atmosphere will be created; and new power to resist temptation will be imparted.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 357.

4 What effect did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would have in the world? John 16:7–11. What will He do for the believer? Verse 13.

note: “There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.” The Desire of Ages, 172.

5 Of what did Jesus assure His disciples on the day of His ascension? Acts 1:4, 5. What will the Spirit impart to those who receive Him? Verse 8.

note: “In the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit are contained all of heaven’s resources. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 419.

“In all who will submit themselves to the Holy Spirit a new principle of life is to be implanted; the lost image of God is to be restored in humanity.” Ibid., 96.

6 By what means is victory wrought in the life? Romans 8:11–14; John 3:3–8.

note: “Religion consists in doing the words of Christ; not doing to earn God’s favor, but because, all undeserving, we have received the gift of His love. Christ places the salvation of man, not upon profession merely, but upon faith that is made manifest in works of righteousness. Doing, not saying merely, is expected of the followers of Christ. It is through action that character is built. . . . Not those whose hearts are touched by the Spirit, not those who now and then yield to its power, but they that are led by the Spirit, are the sons of God.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 149, 150.

7 How is the willingness of the Lord to give us the Holy Spirit expressed? Luke 11:13.

note: “It is the absence of the Spirit that makes the gospel ministry so powerless. Learning, talent, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment, may be possessed; but, without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner won to Christ. On the other hand, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of His disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them channels for the outflowing of the highest influence in the universe.

“Why do we not hunger and thirst for the gift of the Spirit, since this is the means by which we are to receive power? Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, preach concerning it? The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to us than parents are to give good gifts to their children. For the baptism of the Spirit every worker should be pleading with God. Companies should be gathered together to ask for special help, for heavenly wisdom, that they may know how to plan and execute wisely. . . .

“The presence of the Spirit with God’s workers will give the presentation of the truth a power that not all the honor or glory of the world could give. The Spirit furnishes the strength that sustains striving, wrestling souls in every emergency, amidst the unfriendliness of relatives, the hatred of the world, and the realization of their own imperfections and mistakes.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 21, 22.

8 What is the fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22, 23.

note: “Wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy, wherever the heart reaches out to bless and uplift others, there is revealed the working of God’s Holy Spirit. In the depths of heathenism, men who have had no knowledge of the written law of God, who have never even heard the name of Christ, have been kind to His servants, protecting them at the risk of their own lives. Their acts show the working of a divine power. The Holy Spirit has implanted the grace of Christ in the heart of the savage, quickening his sympathies contrary to his nature, contrary to his education. The ‘Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’ (John 1:9), is shining in his soul; and this light, if heeded, will guide his feet to the kingdom of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 385.

9 By what is a tree known? Matthew 7:17–20. What application is made of this principle to our Christian experience? Luke 6:43–45.

note: “Every tree is known by its own fruits. Our words, our actions, are the fruit we bear. There are many who hear the sayings of Christ, but do them not. They make a profession, but their fruits are such as to disgust unbelievers. They are boastful, and pray and talk in a self-righteous manner, exalting themselves, recounting their good deeds, and, like the Pharisee, virtually thanking God that they are not as other men. Yet these very ones are crafty, and overreach in business deal. Their fruits are not good. Their words and acts are wrong, and yet they seem to be blinded to their destitute, wretched condition.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 416.

10 What sentence did the Saviour pronounce upon the fruitless fig tree? Mark 11:12–14, 20, 21.

note: “Christ’s act in cursing the tree which His own power had created stands as a warning to all churches and to all Christians. No one can live the law of God without ministering to others. But there are many who do not live out Christ’s merciful, unselfish life. Some who think themselves excellent Christians do not understand what constitutes service for God. They plan and study to please themselves. They act only in reference to self. Time is of value to them only as they can gather for themselves. In all the affairs of life this is their object. Not for others but for themselves do they minister. God created them to live in a world where unselfish service must be performed. He designed them to help their fellow men in every possible way. But self is so large that they cannot see anything else. They are not in touch with humanity. Those who thus live for self are like the fig tree, which made every pretension but was fruitless. They observe the forms of worship, but without repentance or faith. In profession they honor the law of God, but obedience is lacking. They say, but do not. In the sentence pronounced on the fig tree Christ demonstrates how hateful in His eyes is this vain pretense. He declares that the open sinner is less guilty than is he who professes to serve God, but who bears no fruit to His glory.” The Desire of Ages, 584.

11 For what spiritual refreshing are we urged to pray at this time? Zechariah 10:1. What promise of the latter rain is given? Joel 2:23.

note: “I [Ellen White] heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth in great power. It had effect. I saw those who had been bound; some wives had been bound by their husbands, and some children had been bound by their parents. The honest who had been held or prevented from hearing the truth, now eagerly laid hold of it. All fear of their relatives was gone. The truth alone was exalted to them. It was dearer and more precious than life. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered: ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 1, 182, 183.

12 What blessed invitation is given to all? Revelation 22:17; John 7:37, 38.

note: “The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth, and it appeals to us with even greater power than to those who heard it in the temple on that last day of the feast. The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life.” The Desire of Ages, 454.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.

Bible Study Guides – Victory Through Believing

June 3, 2007 – June 9, 2007

Key Text

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].” Mark 11:24.

Study Help: Gospel Workers (1915), 161, 162, 259-261.


“Jesus said: ‘If Thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’ [Mark 9:23.] All things are possible with God, and by faith we may lay hold on his power. But faith is not sight; faith is not feeling; faith is not reality. ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ [Hebrews 11:1.] To abide in faith is to put aside feeling and selfish desires, to walk humbly with the Lord, to appropriate his promises, and apply them to all occasions, believing that God will work out his own plans and purposes in your heart and life by the sanctification of your character; it is to rely entirely, to trust implicitly, upon the faithfulness of God.” Special Testimonies on Education, 115.

1 What things are possible to the believer? Mark 9:23; Matthew 21:22.

note: “All things are possible to him that believeth; and whatsoever things we desire when we pray, if we believe that we receive them we shall have them. This faith will penetrate the darkest cloud and bring rays of light and hope to the drooping, desponding soul. It is the absence of this faith and trust which brings perplexity, distressing fears, and surmisings of evil. God will do great things for His people when they put their entire trust in Him. . . . Christ will prove a never-failing source of strength, a present help in every time of trouble.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 140.

2 What must we have to please God? What must those who come to God believe? Hebrews 11:6.

note: “Many feel that they lack faith, and therefore they remain away from Christ. Let these souls, in their helpless unworthiness, cast themselves upon the mercy of their compassionate Saviour. Look not to self, but to Christ. . . . As you come to Him, believe that He accepts you, because He has promised. You can never perish while you do this¾never.” The Ministry of Healing, 66.

“Faith can endure trial, resist temptation, bear up under disappointment. Jesus lives as our advocate. All is ours that His mediation secures.” Ibid., 488.

3 How worthless is our righteousness, or our own works, in saving the soul? Isaiah 64:6. What mistake did the Pharisees make? Romans 10:3.

note: “In the estimation of the rabbis it was the sum of religion to be always in a bustle of activity. They depended upon some outward performance to show their superior piety. Thus they separated their souls from God, and built themselves up in self-sufficiency. The same dangers still exist. As activity increases and men become successful in doing any work for God, there is danger of trusting to human plans and methods. There is a tendency to pray less, and to have less faith.” The Desire of Ages, 362.

4 What alone gives victory to the struggling soul? 1 John 5:4. What explanation is given of what is to be overcome in the world? 1 John 2:16.

note: “Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power.” The Desire of Ages, 347.

“The greatest victories gained for the cause of God are not the result of labored argument, ample facilities, wide influence, or abundance of means; they are gained in the audience chamber with God, when with earnest, agonizing faith men lay hold upon the mighty arm of power.” Gospel Workers, 259.

5 How does Christ dwell in our hearts? Ephesians 3:17–19.

note: “Christ must abide in the heart by faith. His word is the bread of life and the water of salvation. Trust in its fullness comes to us through constant communion with God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the lifeblood of the heart, and Christ and the Holy Spirit give nerve power. Begotten again unto a lively hope, imbued with the quickening power of a new nature, the soul is enabled to rise higher and still higher.” Counsels on Health, 593.

6 What shield is given to the believer? What will this shield do? Ephesians 6:16.

note: “The work of conquering evil is to be done through faith. Those who go into the battlefield will find that they must put on the whole armor of God. The shield of faith will be their defense and will enable them to be more than conquerors. Nothing else will avail but this¾faith in the Lord of hosts, and obedience to His orders. Vast armies furnished with every other facility will avail nothing in the last great conflict. Without faith, an angel host could not help. Living faith alone will make them invincible and enable them to stand in the evil day, steadfast, unmovable, holding the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 182.

7 What hinders the fulfillment of God’s promises to us? James 1:6, 7; Mark 11:24.

note: “Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand. Christ says, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ Mark 11:24. He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God’s will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal.” Education, 257, 258.

“True faith lays hold of and claims the promised blessing before it is realized and felt. We must send up our petitions in faith within the second veil and let our faith take hold of the promised blessing and claim it as ours. We are then to believe that we receive the blessing, because our faith has hold of it, and according to the Word it is ours. [Mark 11:24 quoted.] Here is faith, naked faith, to believe that we receive the blessing, even before we realize it. When the promised blessing is realized and enjoyed, faith is swallowed up. But many suppose they have much faith when sharing largely of the Holy Spirit and that they cannot have faith unless they feel the power of the Spirit. Such confound faith with the blessing that comes through faith. The very time to exercise faith is when we feel destitute of the Spirit. When thick clouds of darkness seem to hover over the mind, then is the time to let living faith pierce the darkness and scatter the clouds. True faith rests on the promises contained in the Word of God, and those only who obey that Word can claim its glorious promises.” Early Writings, 72, 73.

8 What proclamation of deliverance is made to those in the bondage of sin? Isaiah 61:1–3. What further assurance of deliverance is given the captives? Isaiah 49:24, 25.

note: “Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. The greater the sinner’s guilt, the more he needs the Saviour. His heart of divine love and sympathy is drawn out most of all for the one who is the most hopelessly entangled in the snares of the enemy. With His own blood He has signed the emancipation papers of the race.

“Jesus does not desire those who have been purchased at such a cost to become the sport of the enemy’s temptations. He does not desire us to be overcome and perish. He who curbed the lions in their den, and walked with His faithful witnesses amid the fiery flames, is just as ready to work in our behalf to subdue every evil in our nature. Today He is standing at the altar of mercy, presenting before God the prayers of those who desire His help. He turns no weeping, contrite one away. Freely will He pardon all who come to Him for forgiveness and restoration.” The Ministry of Healing, 89, 90.

“The Lord Jesus is making experiments on human hearts through the exhibition of His mercy and abundant grace. He is effecting transformations so amazing that Satan, with all his triumphant boasting, with all his confederacy of evil united against God and the laws of His government, stands viewing them as a fortress impregnable to his sophistries and delusions. They are to him an incomprehensible mystery. The angels of God, seraphim and cherubim, the powers commissioned to cooperate with human agencies, look on with astonishment and joy, that fallen men, once children of wrath, are through the training of Christ developing characters after the divine similitude, to be sons and daughters of God, to act an important part in the occupations and pleasures of heaven.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 18.

9 From how many things in the life may we be delivered? Hebrews 2:18. (Compare Hebrews 4:15.) What should deliverance lead men to do? Psalm 107:15, 16.

note: “Jesus . . . 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. When tempted, just say, He cares for me, He makes intercession for me, He loves me, He has died for me. I will give myself unreservedly to Him. We grieve the heart of Christ when we go mourning over ourselves as though we were our own savior. No; we must commit the keeping of our souls to God as unto a faithful Creator. He ever lives to make intercession for the tried, tempted ones. Open your heart to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and let not one breath of doubt, one word of unbelief, escape your lips, lest you sow the seeds of doubt. There are rich blessings for us; let us grasp them by faith.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 391.

10 What declaration of faith did Paul once make under trying circumstances? Acts 27:22–25.

note: “Those who open their hearts and homes to invite Jesus to abide with them should keep the moral atmosphere unclouded by strife, bitterness, wrath, malice, or even an unkind word. Jesus will not abide in a home where are contention, envy, and bitterness. . . .

“Paul had a healthful religious experience. The love of Christ was his grand theme and the constraining power that governed him.

“When in most discouraging circumstances, which would have had a depressing influence upon halfway Christians, he is firm of heart, full of courage and hope and cheer, exclaiming, ‘Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice.’ [Philippians 4:4.] The same hope and cheerfulness is seen when he is upon the deck of the ship, the tempest beating about him, the ship going to pieces. He gives orders to the commander of the ship and preserves the lives of all on board. Although a prisoner, he is really the master of the ship, the freest and happiest man on board. When wrecked and driven to a barbarous island, he is the most self-possessed, the most helpful in saving his fellow men from a watery grave. His hands brought the wood to kindle the fire for the benefit of the chilled, shipwrecked passengers. When they saw the deadly viper fasten upon his hand, they were filled with terror; but Paul calmly shook it into the fire, knowing it could not harm him; for he implicitly trusted in God.” My Life Today, 334.

11 How did Abraham lay hold of a wonderful promise of God? Romans 4:19, 20. Of what was he fully persuaded? For what was his faith imputed? Verses 21, 22.

note: “No cross, no crown. How can we be strong in the Lord without trial? To have physical strength, we must have exercise. To have strong faith, we must be placed in circumstances where our faith will be tried. Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience, and advances us in the work of character building.” Reflecting Christ, 349.

“God is testing the motives and principles of men and women. Strong faith and much prayer will bring heavenly angels to our side. By patient continuance in well doing, we become channels of light.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 254.

12 What is the source of victory? 1 Corinthians 15:57.

note: “If we would enter the city of God, and look upon Jesus in His glory, we must become accustomed to beholding Him with the eye of faith here. The words and the character of Christ should be often the subject of our thoughts and of our conversation; and each day some time should be especially devoted to prayerful meditation upon these sacred themes.” Messages to Young People, 114.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.

Bible Study Guides – Examples of Victory Through Prayer

May 27, 2007 – June 2, 2007

Key Text

“Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].” John 14:13, 14.

Study Help: Gospel Workers (1892), 112-114.


“There are two kinds of prayer,¾the prayer of form and the prayer of faith. The repetition of set, customary phrases when the heart feels no need of God, is formal prayer. . . . We should be extremely careful in all our prayers to speak the wants of the heart, and to say only what we mean. All the flowery words at our command are not equivalent to one holy desire. The most eloquent prayers are but vain repetitions, if they do not express the true sentiments of the heart. But the prayer that comes from an earnest heart, when the simple wants of the soul are expressed just as we would ask an earthly friend for a favor, expecting that it would be granted¾this is the prayer of faith. . . .

“In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual intercourse with God. Our minds may be drawn out toward him; we may meditate upon his works, his mercies, his blessings; but this is not communing with him. To commune with God we must have something to say to him concerning our actual life. . . . He who wrought wonderfully for his servants of old will listen to the prayer of faith and pardon our transgressions. He has promised, and he will fulfill his word.” The Signs of the Times, August 14, 1884.

1 What cheering promise did Jesus leave as an incentive to prayer? John 14:13.

note: “ ‘If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.’ 1 John 5:14, 15. Then press your petition to the Father in the name of Jesus. God will honor that name. . . .

“When we come to Him confessing our unworthiness and sin, He has pledged Himself to give heed to our cry. The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfillment of His word unto us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 148.

“To pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer. It is to pray in the mind and spirit of Jesus, while we believe His promises, rely upon His grace, and work His works.” Steps to Christ, 100, 101.

2 At what set times did the psalmist call upon God? Psalm 55:17. What was the custom of Daniel in this matter? Daniel 6:10, 13.

note: “Three times a day Daniel offered his petitions to God. He knew that One mighty in counsel was the source of wisdom and power. The truth as it is in Jesus¾the sword of the Spirit, which cuts both ways¾was his weapon of warfare.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 229.

“Both in public and in private worship it is our privilege to bow on our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Luke 22:41. Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, ‘kneeled down, and prayed.’ Acts 9:40. Paul declared, ‘I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 3:14. In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. See Ezra 9:5. Daniel ‘kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.’ Daniel 6:10.” Prophets and Kings, 48.

3 When Israel sinned in making the golden calf, what did the Lord say to Moses? Exodus 32:9, 10. What did Moses do? Verses 11–13. What answer was given? Verse 14.

note: “ ‘Let Me alone, . . . that I may consume them,’ [Exodus 32:10] were the words of God. If God had purposed to destroy Israel, who could plead for them? How few but would have left the sinners to their fate! How few but would have gladly exchanged a lot of toil and burden and sacrifice, repaid with ingratitude and murmuring, for a position of ease and honor, when it was God Himself that offered the release.

“But Moses discerned ground for hope where there appeared only discouragement and wrath. The words of God, ‘Let Me alone,’ he understood not to forbid but to encourage intercession, implying that nothing but the prayers of Moses could save Israel, but that if thus entreated, God would spare His people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 318.

4 What insolent message did the king of Assyria once send to Hezekiah through Rabshakeh concerning Jerusalem? Isaiah 37:8–13. What did Hezekiah do? Verses 14–20.

note: “Hezekiah’s pleadings in behalf of Judah and of the honor of their Supreme Ruler were in harmony with the mind of God. Solomon, in his benediction at the dedication of the temple, had prayed the Lord to maintain ‘the cause of His people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.’ 1 Kings 8:59, 60. Especially was the Lord to show favor when, in times of war or of oppression by an army, the chief men of Israel should enter the house of prayer and plead for deliverance.” Prophets and Kings, 359.

5 What encouraging message came to Hezekiah through Isaiah the prophet? Isaiah 37:33–35. What deliverance came from the hand of the Lord in answer to prayer? Verse 36; 11 Chronicles 32:20, 21.

note: “God answered the prayers of his servants. To Isaiah was given the message for Hezekiah.” Prophets and Kings, 354.

“The God of the Hebrews had prevailed over the proud Assyrian. The honor of Jehovah was vindicated in the eyes of the surrounding nations. In Jerusalem the hearts of the people were filled with holy joy. Their earnest entreaties for deliverance had been mingled with confession of sin and with many tears. In their great need they had trusted wholly in the power of God to save, and He had not failed them.” Ibid., 361, 362.

6 When Elijah was urged by the widow to restore her son to life, what did he do? 1 Kings 17:17–21. What answer was given to his earnest prayer? Verse 22.

note: “We have a God whose ear is not closed to our petitions; and if we prove his word, he will honor our faith. He wants us to have all our interests interwoven with his interests, and then he can safely bless us; for we shall not then take glory to self when the blessing is ours, but shall render all the praise to God. God does not always answer our prayers the first time we call upon him; for should he do this, we might take it for granted that we had a right to all the blessings and favors he bestowed upon us. Instead of searching our hearts to see if any evil was entertained by us, any sin indulged, we would become careless, and fail to realize our dependence upon him, and our need of his help.

“Elijah humbled himself until he was in a condition where he would not take the glory to himself. This is the condition upon which the Lord hears prayer, for then we shall give the praise to him. The custom of offering praise to men is one that results in great evil.” Review and Herald, June 9, 1891.

7 For what did Elijah pray on another occasion during a time of great apostasy? James 5:17, 18. (Compare 1 Kings 17:1; 18:41–45.)

note: “[James 5:17 quoted.] Faith such as this is needed in the world today¾faith that will lay hold on the promises of God’s word and refuse to let go until Heaven hears. Faith such as this connects us closely with Heaven, and brings us strength for coping with the powers of darkness.” Prophets and Kings, 157.

8 When Dorcas died, for whom did the believers send? What scene did Peter behold on his arrival? Acts 9:36–39. What wonderful victory over death came through the prayer of faith? Verses 40, 41.

note: “In Joppa there was a Dorcas, whose skillful fingers were more active than her tongue. She knew who needed comfortable clothing and who needed sympathy, and she freely ministered to the wants of both classes. And when Dorcas died, the church in Joppa realized their loss. It is no wonder that they mourned and lamented, nor that warm teardrops fell upon the inanimate clay. She was of so great value that by the power of God she was brought back from the land of the enemy, that her skill and energy might still be a blessing to others.

“Such patient, prayerful, and persevering fidelity as was possessed by these saints of God is rare; yet the church cannot prosper without it. It is needed in the church, in the Sabbath school, and in society. Many come together in church relationship with their natural traits of character unsubdued; and in a crisis, when strong, hopeful spirits are needed, they give up to discouragement and bring burdens on the church; and they do not see that this is wrong. The cause does not need such persons, for they are unreliable; but there is always a call for steadfast, God-fearing workers, who will not faint in the day of adversity.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 304.

9 When Peter was in prison, what was the church doing? Acts 12:5.

note: “Persevering prayer has been made a condition of receiving. We must pray always if we would grow in faith and experience. . . . Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life, and from our life purity and holiness flow back to God.

“There is necessity of diligence in prayer; let nothing hinder you. You will obtain the blessing you desire if you faint not. Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden him; you cannot weary him.” The Signs of the Times, August 21, 1884.

10 What wonderful deliverances came to the Lord’s servant, Peter, in answer to the prayers of the church? Acts 12:6–10.

note: “The same angel who had come from the royal courts to rescue Peter, had been the messenger of wrath and judgment to Herod. The angel smote Peter to arouse him from slumber; it was with a different stroke that he smote the wicked king, laying low his pride and bringing upon him the punishment of the Almighty. Herod died in great agony of mind and body, under the retributive judgment of God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 152.

“We need to understand better than we do the mission of the angels. It would be well to remember that every true child of God has the co-operation of heavenly beings. Invisible armies of light and power attend the meek and lowly ones who believe and claim the promises of God. Cherubim and seraphim, and angels that excel in strength, stand at God’s right hand, ‘all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.’ Hebrews 1:14.” Ibid., 154.

11 When Paul and Silas were in prison, what did they do? Acts 16:25. What victory over earthly power and bondage came in response to their earnest prayers? Verses 26–31.

note: “Through his long term of service, Paul had never faltered in his allegiance to his Saviour. Wherever he was¾whether before scowling Pharisees, or Roman authorities; before the furious mob at Lystra, or the convicted sinners in the Macedonian dungeon; whether reasoning with the panic-stricken sailors on the shipwrecked vessel, or standing alone before Nero to plead for his life¾he had never been ashamed of the cause he was advocating. The one great purpose of his Christian life had been to serve Him whose name had once filled him with contempt; and from this purpose no opposition or persecution had been able to turn him aside. His faith, made strong by effort and pure by sacrifice, upheld and strengthened him. . . .

“The true minister of God will not shun hardship or responsibility. From the Source that never fails those who sincerely seek for divine power, he draws strength that enables him to meet and overcome temptation, and to perform the duties that God places upon him. The nature of the grace that he receives, enlarges his capacity to know God and His Son. His soul goes out in longing desire to do acceptable service for the Master.” The Acts of the Apostles, 500, 501.

12 What will hinder the answering of prayer? Psalm 66:18; 1 Peter 3:7; James 4:3.

note: “God hears prayer. . . . If we live according to His word, every precious promise He has given will be fulfilled to us. We are undeserving of His mercy, but as we give ourselves to Him, He receives us. He will work for and through those who follow Him.

“But only as we live in obedience to His word can we claim the fulfillment of His promises. The psalmist says, ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ Psalm 66:18. If we render to Him only a partial, halfhearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us.” The Ministry of Healing, 226, 227.

Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.

Recipe – Multigrain Bread

1 3/4 cups water

4 Tablespoons flaxseed

1/3 cup olive oil

1 to 2 teaspoons salt

1 cup white flour

4 Tablespoons gluten flour

1 cup rye flour

3 Tablespoons honey

2 cups whole wheat flour

3 to 4 teaspoons yeast

Mix warmed water, oil, honey, whole wheat flour, gluten flour, and yeast. Let set until bubbling. Mix in salt and flaxseed, and slowly add remaining flours. Knead well. Let rise until double in size, punch down; let rise again. Shape into two small loaves or one large loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack and paint with water to create a soft crust.

Food for Life – Importance of Health Reform

In the vision given me [Ellen White] in Rochester, New York, December 25, 1865, I was shown that our Sabbath keeping people have been negligent in acting upon the light which God has given in regard to the health reform; that there is yet a great work before us; and that, as a people, we have been too backward to follow in God’s opening providence, as he has chosen to lead us.

“I was shown that the work of health reform has scarcely been entered upon yet. While some feel deeply, and act out their faith in the work, others remain indifferent, and have scarcely taken the first step in reform. There seems to be in them a heart of unbelief, and as this reform restricts the lustful appetite, many shrink back. . . .

“In order to be fitted for translation, the people of God must know themselves. . . . The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body.

“Some have sneered at this work of reform, and have said it was all unnecessary; that it was an excitement to divert minds from present truth. They have said that matters were being carried to extremes. Such do not know what they are talking about. While men and women professing godliness are diseased from the crown of their head to the soles of their feet, while their physical, mental, and moral energies are enfeebled through gratification of depraved appetite and excessive labor, how can they weigh the evidences of truth, and comprehend the requirements of God? If their moral and intellectual faculties are beclouded, they cannot appreciate the value of the atonement or the exalted character of the work of God, nor delight in the study of his Word. . . .

“There are but few as yet who are aroused sufficiently to understand how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their characters, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny. I saw that it is the duty of those who have received the light from heaven, and have realized the benefit of walking in it, to manifest a greater interest for those who are still suffering for want of knowledge. Sabbath keepers who are looking for the soon appearing of their Saviour should be the last to manifest a lack of interest in this great work of reform. Men and women must be instructed, and ministers and people should feel that the burden of the work rests upon them to agitate the subject, and urge it home upon others.” Review and Herald, April 30, 1914.

The Pen of Inspiration – A Lesson for Mothers

For forty years the children of Israel were constantly harassed [by the Philistines], and at times completely subjugated, by this cruel and warlike nation. They had mingled with these idolaters, uniting with them in commerce, in pleasure, and even in worship, until they seemed to be identified with them in spirit and interest. Then these professed friends became their bitterest enemies, and sought by every means to accomplish their destruction. . . .

Manoah’s Wife

At this time the Lord appeared to the wife of Manoah, an Israelite of the tribe of Dan, and told her that she should have a son. He gave her special instruction concerning her own habits, and also for the treatment of her child. “Beware, I pray thee,” he said, “and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing.” [Judges 13:4.] He also directed that no razor should come on the head of the child; for he was to be consecrated to God as a Nazarite from his birth, and through him the Lord would begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines.

The woman sought her husband, and after describing the heavenly messenger she repeated his words. Then, fearful lest they should make some mistake in the important work committed to them, the husband prayed earnestly, “Let the man of God which Thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” [Verse 8.]

In answer to this petition the angel again appeared, and Manoah’s anxious inquiry was, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” [Verse 12.] The previous instruction was repeated,¾“Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. She may not eat of anything that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; all that I commanded her let her observe.” [Verses 13, 14.]

Let Her Beware

The words spoken to the wife of Manoah contain a truth that the mothers of today would do well to study. In speaking to this one mother, the Lord spoke to all the anxious, sorrowing mothers of that time, and to all the mothers of succeeding generations. Yes, every mother may understand her duty. She may know that the character of her children will depend vastly more upon her habits before their birth and her personal efforts after their birth, than upon external advantages or disadvantages.

“Let her beware,” the angel said. Let her stand prepared to resist temptation. Her appetites and passions are to be controlled by principle. Of every mother it may be said, “Let her beware.” There is something for her to shun, something for her to work against, if she fulfils God’s purpose for her in giving her a child. If before the birth of her child she is unstable, if she is selfish, peevish, and exacting, the disposition of her child will bear the marks of her wrong course. Thus many children have received as a birthright almost unconquerable tendencies to evil.

But if she unswervingly adheres to the right, if she is kind, gentle, and unselfish, she will give her child these traits of character.

Very explicit was the command prohibiting the use of wine by the mother. Every drop of strong drink taken by her to gratify appetite endangers the physical, mental, and moral health of her offspring, and is a direct sin against her Creator. The command forbidding the use of strong drink was made by the One who made man, and who knows what is for his best good. Dare any one regard it with indifference?

The Only Hope

Unwise advisers will urge upon the mother the gratification of every wish and impulse as essential to the well-being of her offspring. Such advice is false and mischievous. By the command of God Himself the mother is placed under the most solemn obligation to exercise self-control. Whose voice shall we heed¾the voice of divine wisdom, or the voice of human superstition?

The mother who is a fit teacher for her children must, before their birth, form habits of self-denial and self-control; for she transmits to them her own qualities, her own strong or weak traits of character. The enemy of souls understands this matter much better than do many parents. He will bring temptation upon the mother, knowing that if she does not resist him, he can through her affect her child. The mother’s only hope is in God. She may flee to Him for grace and strength. She will not seek help in vain. He will enable her to transmit to her offspring qualities that will help them to gain success in this life and to win eternal life.

Fathers as well as mothers are involved in this responsibility, and they too should seek earnestly for divine grace, that their influence may be such as God can approve. The inquiry of every father and mother should be, “What shall we do unto the child that shall be born?” By many the effect of prenatal influence has been lightly regarded; but the instruction sent from heaven to those Hebrew parents, and twice repeated in the most explicit and solemn manner, shows how the matter is looked upon by the Creator.

Careful Training

It was not enough that the child who was to deliver Israel should receive a good legacy from his parents. This must be followed by careful training. From infancy he was to be trained to habits of strict temperance. From his birth he was to be a Nazarite. Thus he was placed under a perpetual prohibition against the use of wine and strong drink.

So today lessons of temperance, self-denial, and self-control are to be taught to children from babyhood. It should be the constant effort of every mother to conform her habits to God’s will, that she may work in harmony with Him in the training of her children. Let mothers place themselves in right relation to their Creator, that by His grace they may build round their children a bulwark against intemperance. If they would but follow the course God has outlined for them, they would see their children reaching a high standard in moral and intellectual attainments, see them becoming a blessing to society and an honor to their Creator.

If mothers studied the Scriptures more and the magazines of fashion less, if they realized that their course affects the destiny of hundreds and perhaps of thousands, how different would be the condition of society. The cause of reform is suffering for want of men and women of integrity and steadfastness, men and women whose lives are an illustration of the self-denial and self-control that bar the way against intemperance.

Can we look upon the unbelief, the intemperance, the crime, that seem to be deluging the earth, without feeling our souls stirred to their very depths? Infidelity is rearing its proud head, saying, “There is no God.” Intemperance marches boldly through the land, carrying with it degradation, desolation, and death. Ere long the cry of men and nations that have forsaken God, and have been forsaken by God, will rend the heavens. What can hinder the crime, what stay the woe, that is filling the world? The evil might have been prevented, had past generations been trained to fear, love, and obey God. Let us now do what we can to bring about the change that needs to be made. Explicit instruction has been given in the Word of God. Let these principles be carried out by the mother with the co-operation and support of the father. Let children be trained from infancy to habits of self-control. Let them be taught that the object of life is to bring blessing to one another and honor to God.

Fathers and mothers, labor earnestly and faithfully, trusting in God for wisdom. Let your aim be the highest good of your children and then require obedience. Keep yourselves constantly under the control of the Spirit of God. Then indeed may we hope to see our sons “as plants grown up in their youth,” and our daughters “as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” [Psalm 144:12.]

The Signs of the Times, February 26, 1902; March 5, 1902.

Question – How can I find out if I am deceived?


Since a person who is deceived does not know that he is deceived, how can I find out if I am deceived?


We are living in the time of the end, very close to the end of all things here on this earth, and Satan is out to deceive the whole world. Since he has had at least 6,000 years of experience, and we have only been here a brief time, we surely are no match for him. There is no way that we could ever in our short span of life come to the place where we could outwit the deceiver, who was able to deceive one-third of the angels of heaven.

“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.” The Great Controversy, 595.

This makes it look as though we are in an impossible situation. How thankful we can be for the Bible promises: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Luke 1:37; Matthew 19:26.

Here is the key to unlock our problem. Jesus said, in John 17:3, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” If we know the One with whom all things are possible, then it will be possible for Him to keep us from being deceived by the devil.

The question, then, is, How do we get to know Him? First, we must become intimately acquainted with Him through Bible study and prayer. Then, we must spend time reading and studying the Spirit of Prophecy, store in our memory precious promises from the Bible and pertinent statements from the inspired writings, and develop the habit of talking to Him about everything in our life. This is a good beginning, but to complete the fortification against the devil, we must, after reading and praying, begin practicing all that we have learned. Step by step we must practice walking with Jesus and talking to Him about everything we do. We must invite the Holy Spirit into our lives and ask Him to guide our life, and we must listen for that still, small voice and obey it.

“Every one of us will be sorely tempted; our faith will be tried to the uttermost. We must have a living connection with God; we must be partakers of the divine nature; then we shall not be deceived by the devices of the enemy, and shall escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 50.

“As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error. We need to make every effort to keep the way of the Lord. We must in no case turn from His guidance to put our trust in man. . . . Every day we are to come to the Lord with full assurance of faith, and to look to Him for wisdom. . . . Those who are guided by the Word of the Lord will discern with certainty between falsehood and truth, between sin and righteousness.” God’s Amazing Grace, 201.

“None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.” The Great Controversy, 593.

Nature Nugget – Bowerbirds

Bowerbirds are native to Australia and New Guinea. Unlike most birds which use just showy plumes and/or melodious songs to attract a mate, bowerbirds construct an elaborate structure on the forest floor called a bower. These structures are not nests for raising young but are bachelor pads designed to attract and seduce one or more females for mating.

Bowers vary from a simple circle of cleared earth with a small pile of twigs in the center to complex and highly decorated structures of sticks and leaves, which into and around the male places a variety of objects he has collected. These objects are usually brightly colored or shiny and may include hundreds of shells, leaves, flowers, feathers, stones, berries, insect parts, and even pieces of plastic and glass. The male will spend hours carefully sorting and arranging his collection, with each item having its own specific place. If an object gets moved while the bird is away, it is carefully placed back in its place. No two bowers are the same, with each collection of objects reflecting the personal taste of each bird and its ability to procure rare and unusual items. Male bowerbirds spend nine to ten months of each year working on their bowers.

There are three basic types of bowers: mats, avenues, and maypoles. Mat bowers are among the simplest, consisting of thick pads of plant material ringed with ornaments. Avenue bowers have two close-set parallel walls of sticks that sometimes arch over to create a tunnel. A couple of species even paint the inner walls of their avenue bowers with a stain made from chewed plants, charcoal, and saliva, using a leaf or twig as a paintbrush. Maypole bowers are the most elaborate of all, consisting of twig towers and hut-like structures built around one or more saplings in a carefully groomed courtyard decorated with ornaments. Some create lawns of moss around their creations. The first European naturalists to observe the hut-like bowers believed they were built by human pygmies because of their skillful and aesthetic design.

Researchers have noticed that the drab species of bowerbirds build the more fancy and elaborate bowers, and the brighter colored species build the more plain and simple bowers. Apparently, the drab birds, which can look similar to their females, compensate for their dull appearances by building flashier bowers. The Vogelkop Bowerbird is the plainest of the bowerbirds and is the builder of the largest and most elaborate bower. Its bower is a cone-shaped hut 40 inches high and 60 inches in diameter, with an entrance and a front lawn artistically arranged and decorated with colorful flowers and fruits. In addition, this bird is an amazing songster and mimic. Many species even vary their decoration schemes from year to year, like a fashion trend, to keep up with the changing tastes of the females.

As the male bowerbirds go to much trouble to prepare bowers for their females, so our Saviour is preparing mansions for us in heaven. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.” John 14:1−3. “What a comfort these words should be to us! Think of the work Christ is now doing in heaven—preparing mansions for His children. He wants us to prepare to dwell in these mansions.” That I May Know Him, 363.

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