Bible Study Guides – The Sabbath in the New Testament

June 22, 2008 – June 28, 2008

Key Text

“The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” Mark 2:27, 28.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 281–289.


“Jesus had come to ‘magnify the law, and make it honorable.’ [Isaiah 42:21.] He was not to lessen its dignity, but to exalt it. … He had come to free the Sabbath from those burdensome requirements that had made it a curse instead of a blessing.” The Desire of Ages, 206.

1 How did Christ define His mission regarding God’s law? Matthew 5:17–20.

Note: “It is the Creator of men, the Giver of the law, who declares that it is not His purpose to set aside its precepts. Everything in nature, from the mote in the sunbeam to the worlds on high, is under law. And upon obedience to these laws the order and harmony of the natural world depend. So there are great principles of righteousness to control the life of all intelligent beings, and upon conformity to these principles the well-being of the universe depends. Before this earth was called into being, God’s law existed. Angels are governed by its principles, and in order for earth to be in harmony with heaven, man also must obey the divine statutes. To man in Eden Christ made known the precepts of the law. … The mission of Christ on earth was not to destroy the law, but by His grace to bring man back to obedience to its precepts.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 48.

2 How did John, the beloved disciple, define sin? I John 3:4.

Note: “The beloved disciple, who listened to the words of Jesus on the mount, writing long afterward under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaks of the law as of perpetual obligation. … He makes it plain that the law to which he refers is ‘an old commandment which ye had from the beginning.’ I John 2:7. He is speaking of the law that existed at the creation and was reiterated upon Mount Sinai.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 48.

3 How did Christ identify Himself regarding the origin of the Sabbath? Luke 6:1–5.

Note: “Upon one Sabbath day, as the Saviour and His disciples returned from the place of worship, they passed through a field of ripening grain. Jesus had continued His work to a late hour, and while passing through the fields, the disciples began to gather the heads of grain, and to eat the kernels after rubbing them in their hands. On any other day this act would have excited no comment, for one passing through a field of grain, an orchard, or a vineyard, was at liberty to gather what he desired to eat. See Deuteronomy 23:24, 25. But to do this on the Sabbath was held to be an act of desecration. Not only was the gathering of the grain a kind of reaping, but the rubbing of it in the hands was a kind of threshing. Thus, in the opinion of the rabbis, there was a double offense. …

“The Jewish teachers prided themselves on their knowledge of the Scriptures, and in the Saviour’s answer there was an implied rebuke for their ignorance of the Sacred Writings. ‘Have ye not read so much as this,’ He said, ‘what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him; how he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, … which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?’ ‘And He said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.’ ‘Have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.’ ‘The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.’ Luke 6:3, 4; Mark 2:27, 28; Matthew 12:5, 6.” The Desire of Ages, 284, 285.

4 What was Jesus’ custom on the Sabbath? Luke 4:16.

Note: “During His childhood and youth, Jesus had worshiped among His brethren in the synagogue at Nazareth. Since the opening of His ministry He had been absent from them, but they had not been ignorant of what had befallen Him. As He again appeared among them, their interest and expectation were excited to the highest pitch. Here were the familiar forms and faces of those whom He had known from infancy. Here were His mother, His brothers and sisters, and all eyes were turned upon Him as He entered the synagogue upon the Sabbath day, and took His place among the worshipers.” The Desire of Ages, 236.

5 Besides worshiping on the Sabbath, what else did Christ do on that day? Luke 6:6–10.

Note: “Upon another Sabbath, as Jesus entered a synagogue, He saw there a man who had a withered hand. The Pharisees watched Him, eager to see what He would do. The Saviour well knew that in healing on the Sabbath He would be regarded as a transgressor, but He did not hesitate to break down the wall of traditional requirements that barricaded the Sabbath. Jesus bade the afflicted man stand forth, and then asked, ‘Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?’ It was a maxim among the Jews that a failure to do good, when one had opportunity, was to do evil; to neglect to save life was to kill. Thus Jesus met the rabbis on their own ground. ‘But they held their peace. And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.’ Mark 3:4, 5.” The Desire of Ages, 286.

6 What purpose did Christ have in mind by healing on the Sabbath? Luke 14:1–5.

Note: “As the Jews departed from God, and failed to make the righteousness of Christ their own by faith, the Sabbath lost its significance to them. Satan was seeking to exalt himself and to draw men away from Christ, and he worked to pervert the Sabbath, because it is the sign of the power of Christ. The Jewish leaders accomplished the will of Satan by surrounding God’s rest day with burdensome requirements. In the days of Christ the Sabbath had become so perverted that its observance reflected the character of selfish and arbitrary men rather than the character of the loving heavenly Father. The rabbis virtually represented God as giving laws which it was impossible for men to obey. They led the people to look upon God as a tyrant, and to think that the observance of the Sabbath, as He required it, made men hard-hearted and cruel. It was the work of Christ to clear away these misconceptions. Although the rabbis followed Him with merciless hostility, He did not even appear to conform to their requirements, but went straight forward, keeping the Sabbath according to the law of God.” The Desire of Ages, 283, 284.

7 How did Christ spend the Sabbath after the crucifixion? Luke 23:44–47. What did the disciples do on that Sabbath? Luke 23:53–56.

Note: “At last Jesus was at rest. The long day of shame and torture was ended. As the last rays of the setting sun ushered in the Sabbath, the Son of God lay in quietude in Joseph’s tomb. His work completed, His hands folded in peace, He rested through the sacred hours of the Sabbath day.

“In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after Their work of creation. When ‘the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them’ (Genesis 2:1), the Creator and all heavenly beings rejoiced in contemplation of the glorious scene. ‘The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ Job 38:7. Now Jesus rested from the work of redemption; and though there was grief among those who loved Him on earth, yet there was joy in heaven. Glorious to the eyes of heavenly beings was the promise of the future. A restored creation, a redeemed race, that having conquered sin could never fall,—this, the result to flow from Christ’s completed work, God and angels saw. With this scene the day upon which Jesus rested is forever linked. For ‘His work is perfect;’ and ‘whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever.’ Deuteronomy 32:4; Ecclesiastes 3:14. When there shall be a ‘restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’ (Acts 3:21), the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as ‘from one Sabbath to another’ (Isaiah 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.” The Desire of Ages, 769, 770.

8 What is the meaning of the Sabbath for God’s people? Matthew 11:28–30; Hebrews 4:1–4, 9–11.

Note: “To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him. The Sabbath points them to the works of creation as an evidence of His mighty power in redemption.” The Desire of Ages, 289.

9 How can we receive the promised rest? John 16:13; Hebrews 3:7, 8; Isaiah 48:18; Jeremiah 6:16.

Note: “[Hebrews 4:9, 11 quoted.] The rest here spoken of is the rest of grace, obtained by following the prescription, Labor diligently. Those who learn of Jesus His meekness and lowliness find rest in the experience of practicing His lessons. It is not in indolence, in selfish ease and pleasure-seeking, that rest is obtained. Those who are unwilling to give the Lord faithful, earnest, loving service will not find spiritual rest in this life or in the life to come. Only from earnest labor comes peace and joy in the Holy Spirit—happiness on earth and glory hereafter.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 928.

10 How will the redeemed spend the Sabbath on the earth made new? Isaiah 66:23.

Note: “The Sabbath was not for Israel merely, but for the world. It had been made known to man in Eden, and, like the other precepts of the Decalogue, it is of imperishable obligation. Of that law of which the fourth commandment forms a part, Christ declares, ‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.’ So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun. ‘From one Sabbath to another’ the inhabitants of the glorified new earth shall go up ‘to worship before Me, saith the Lord.’ Matthew 5:18; Isaiah 66:23.” The Desire of Ages, 283.

Additional Reading

“The New Testament has not changed the law of God. The sacredness of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is as firmly established as the throne of Jehovah. John writes: ‘Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth [transgresseth the law] hath not seen him, neither known him’ (I John 3: 4-6). We are authorized to hold in the same estimation as did the beloved disciple those who claim to abide in Christ, to be sanctified, while living in transgression of God’s law. He met with just such a class as we have to meet. He said, ‘Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning’ (verses 7, 8). Here the apostle speaks in plain terms, as he deemed the subject demanded.” The Sanctified Life, 68.

“Many endeavor to evade the claims of the fourth commandment by urging that the law of God was given to the Jews exclusively; that the seventh day of the week is the Jewish, while the first day is the Christian Sabbath. This distinction is not recognized in the Scriptures. There is no such contrast as is often claimed to exist between the Old and the New Testament, the law of God and the gospel of Christ, the requirements of the Jewish and those of the Christian dispensation. Every soul saved in the former dispensation was saved by Christ as verily as we are saved by him today. Patriarchs and prophets were Christians. The gospel promise was given to the first pair in Eden, when they had by transgression separated themselves from God. The gospel was preached to Abraham. The Hebrews all drank of that spiritual Rock, which was Christ. It was by Christ that the worlds were made. By Christ the law was proclaimed from Sinai. Hence, Christ is, in the fullest sense, as he declares himself to be, ‘Lord of the Sabbath.’ He made the day sacred to himself, on which to receive the worship of angels and of men.

“How dare any, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, trample upon its requirements?” The Signs of the Times, September 14, 1882.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Sabbath

June 15, 2008 – June 21, 2008

Key Text

“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I [am] the Lord that sanctify them. . . . And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I [am] the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 201–213.


“Like the Sabbath, the week originated at creation, and it has been preserved and brought down to us through Bible history. God Himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and he then blessed this day, and set it apart as a day of rest for man.” Christian Education, 190.

1 What did the Creator do on the seventh day? Genesis 2:2.

Note: “The weekly cycle of seven literal days, six for labor, and the seventh for rest, which has been preserved and brought down through Bible history, originated in the great facts of the first seven days.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 90.

“He [God] rested, not as one weary, but as well pleased with the fruits of His wisdom and goodness and the manifestations of His glory.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 47.

2 Besides resting on the seventh day, what else did the Lord do? Genesis 2:3.

Note: “After resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of rest for man. Following the example of the Creator, man was to rest upon this sacred day, that as he should look upon the heavens and the earth, he might reflect upon God’s great work of creation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 47.

3 Before giving the Ten Commandments at Sinai, what specific instructions did the Lord give to His people? Exodus 16:22–30.

Note: “God requires that His holy day be as sacredly observed now as in the time of Israel. The command given to the Hebrews should be regarded by all Christians as an injunction from Jehovah to them. The day before the Sabbath should be made a day of preparation, that everything may be in readiness for its sacred hours. In no case should our own business be allowed to encroach upon holy time. God has directed that the sick and suffering be cared for; the labor required to make them comfortable is a work of mercy, and no violation of the Sabbath; but all unnecessary work should be avoided. Many carelessly put off till the beginning of the Sabbath little things that might have been done on the day of preparation. This should not be. Work that is neglected until the beginning of the Sabbath should remain undone until it is past. This course might help the memory of these thoughtless ones, and make them careful to do their own work on the six working days.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 296.

4 What miracles did the Lord perform in connection with Sabbath observance? Exodus 16:16–27.

Note: “Every week during their long sojourn in the wilderness the Israelites witnessed a threefold miracle, designed to impress their minds with the sacredness of the Sabbath: a double quantity of manna fell on the sixth day, none on the seventh, and the portion needed for the Sabbath was preserved sweet and pure, when if any were kept over at any other time it became unfit for use.

“In the circumstances connected with the giving of the manna, we have conclusive evidence that the Sabbath was not instituted, as many claim, when the law was given at Sinai. Before the Israelites came to Sinai they understood the Sabbath to be obligatory upon them. In being obliged to gather every Friday a double portion of manna in preparation for the Sabbath, when none would fall, the sacred nature of the day of rest was continually impressed upon them. And when some of the people went out on the Sabbath to gather manna, the Lord asked, ‘How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 296, 297.

5 In reference to God’s example at the end of creation, what does He require of His people? Exodus 20:8–11.

Note: “God saw that a Sabbath was essential for man, even in Paradise. He needed to lay aside his own interests and pursuits for one day of the seven, that he might more fully contemplate the works of God and meditate upon His power and goodness. He needed a Sabbath to remind him more vividly of God and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator.

“God designs that the Sabbath shall direct the minds of men to the contemplation of His created works. Nature speaks to their senses, declaring that there is a living God, the Creator, the Supreme Ruler of all. … The beauty that clothes the earth is a token of God’s love. We may behold it in the everlasting hills, in the lofty trees, in the opening buds and the delicate flowers. All speak to us of God. The Sabbath, ever pointing to Him who made them all, bids men open the great book of nature and trace therein the wisdom, the power, and the love of the Creator.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 48.

6 What is included in the fourth commandment? Isaiah 58:13, 14.

Note: “All who keep the seventh day signify by this act that they are worshipers of Jehovah. Thus the Sabbath is the sign of man’s allegiance to God as long as there are any upon the earth to serve Him. The fourth commandment is the only one of all the ten in which are found both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It is the only one that shows by whose authority the law is given. Thus it contains the seal of God, affixed to His law as evidence of its authenticity and binding force.

“God has given men six days wherein to labor, and He requires that their own work be done in the six working days. Acts of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath, the sick and suffering are at all times to be cared for; but unnecessary labor is to be strictly avoided. … Those who discuss business matters or lay plans on the Sabbath are regarded by God as though engaged in the actual transaction of business. To keep the Sabbath holy, we should not even allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307.

7 What is the relation between creation and the Sabbath? Exodus 31:13–17.

Note: “God’s memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath, the sign of His work in creating the world, has been displaced by the man of sin. God’s people have a special work to do in repairing the breach that has been made in His law; and the nearer we approach the end, the more urgent this work becomes. All who love God will show that they bear His sign by keeping His commandments. They are the restorers of paths to dwell in. … Genuine medical missionary work is bound up inseparably with the keeping of God’s commandments, of which the Sabbath is especially mentioned, since it is the great memorial of God’s creative work. Its observance is bound up with the work of restoring the moral image of God in man. This is the ministry which God’s people are to carry forward at this time. This ministry, rightly performed, will bring rich blessings to the church.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 265, 266.

8 How does sanctification relate to the Sabbath? Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

Note: “The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness. To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character. And the Sabbath is the sign of obedience. He who from the heart obeys the fourth commandment will obey the whole law. He is sanctified through obedience.

“To us as to Israel the Sabbath is given ‘for a perpetual covenant.’ [Exodus 31:16.] To those who reverence His holy day the Sabbath is a sign that God recognizes them as His chosen people. It is a pledge that He will fulfill to them His covenant. Every soul who accepts the sign of God’s government places himself under the divine, everlasting covenant. He fastens himself to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise.

“The fourth commandment alone of all the ten contains the seal of the great Lawgiver, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Those who obey this commandment take upon themselves His name, and all the blessings it involves are theirs. ” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350.

9 What reforms were needed before and after the captivity of Israel and Judah? Jeremiah 17:19–27; Nehemiah 13:15–22.

10 What reformation is needed today? Isaiah 56:1–8.

Note: “Far more sacredness is attached to the Sabbath than is given it by many professed Sabbathkeepers. The Lord has been greatly dishonored by those who have not kept the Sabbath according to the commandment, either in the letter or in the spirit. He calls for a reform in the observance of the Sabbath.

“At the very beginning of the fourth commandment the Lord said: ‘Remember.’ He knew that amid the multitude of cares and perplexities man would be tempted to excuse himself from meeting the full requirement of the law, or would forget its sacred importance. Therefore He said: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ Exodus 20:8.

“All through the week we are to have the Sabbath in mind and be making preparation to keep it according to the commandment. We are not merely to observe the Sabbath as a legal matter. We are to understand its spiritual bearing upon all the transactions of life. All who regard the Sabbath as a sign between them and God, showing that He is the God who sanctifies them, will represent the principles of His government. They will bring into daily practice the laws of His kingdom. Daily it will be their prayer that the sanctification of the Sabbath may rest upon them. Every day they will have the companionship of Christ and will exemplify the perfection of His character. Every day their light will shine forth to others in good works.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 353, 354.

Additional Reading

“Not all our people are as particular as they should be in regard to Sabbath observance. May God help them to reform. It becomes the head of every family to plant his feet firmly on the platform of obedience.” Counsels on Health, 491.

“Everything that can possibly be done on the six days which God has given to you, should be done. You should not rob God of one hour of holy time. Great blessings are promised to those who place a high estimate upon the Sabbath and realize the obligations resting upon them in regard to its observance.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 702.

“Parents should have a thorough understanding with their family that the sacred hours of the Sabbath are to be spent to God’s glory. They should be up with the sun, and have plenty of time to prepare for Sabbath school without getting into a rush, and perhaps losing self-control. If the proper preparations have been made the previous day, there will be abundance of time to review the lesson studied during the week; and both parents and children can go to the school with the assurance that they have the lessons well learned.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 54.

“Those who, from whatever cause, are obliged to work on the Sabbath, are always in peril; they feel the loss, and from doing works of necessity, they fall into the habit of doing things on the Sabbath that are not necessary. The sense of its sacredness is lost, and the holy commandment is of no effect. A special effort should be made to bring about a reform in regard to Sabbath observance.” Medical Ministry, 215.

“The Sabbath question is to be the issue in the great final conflict in which all the world will act a part. Men have honored Satan’s principles above the principles that rule in the heavens. They have accepted the spurious sabbath, which Satan has exalted as the sign of his authority. But God has set His seal upon His royal requirement. Each sabbath institution bears the name of its author, an ineffaceable mark that shows the authority of each. It is our work to lead the people to understand this. We are to show them that it is of vital consequence whether they bear the mark of God’s kingdom or the mark of the kingdom of rebellion, for they acknowledge themselves subjects of the kingdom whose mark they bear. God has called us to uplift the standard of His downtrodden Sabbath. How important, then, that our example in Sabbathkeeping should be right.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 352, 353.

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

Bible Study Guides – Divine Power in Creation Pt.2

June 8, 2008 – June 14, 2008

Key Text

“Know ye that the Lord he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 111–116.


“In God’s word alone we find an authentic account of creation. Here we behold the power that laid the foundation of the earth, and that stretched out the heavens. Here, only, can we find a history of our race, unsullied by human prejudice or human pride.” Christian Education, 38.

1 What was God’s work on the fourth day? Genesis 1:14–19.

Note: “The sun and the moon were made by Him [Christ]. There is not a star which beautifies the heavens that He did not make.” The Ministry of Healing, 424.

2 What should the sun bring to our mind? Psalm 84:11; Malachi 4:2, first part.

Note: “The Sun of Righteousness did not burst upon the world in splendor, to dazzle the senses with His glory. It is written of Christ, ‘His going forth is prepared as the morning.’ Hosea 6:3. Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth, dispelling the shadow of darkness, and waking the world to life. So did the Sun of Righteousness arise, ‘with healing in His wings.’ Malachi 4:2.” The Desire of Ages, 261.

“After association with the Son of God, the humble follower of Christ is found to be a person of sound principle, clear perception, and reliable judgment. He has a connection with God, the Source of light and understanding. He who longed to be of service to the cause of Christ, has been so quickened by the life-giving rays of the Sun of Righteousness, that he has been enabled to bear much fruit to the glory of God.” Christian Education, 199.

3 Describe the creative work on the fifth day. Genesis 1:20–22. What declaration is made about each day thus far? Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23.

Note: “Geology has been thought to contradict the literal interpretation of the Mosaic record of the creation. Millions of years, it is claimed, were required for the evolution of the earth from chaos; and in order to accommodate the Bible to this supposed revelation of science, the days of creation are assumed to have been vast, indefinite periods, covering thousands or even millions of years.

“Such a conclusion is wholly uncalled for. The Bible record is in harmony with itself and with the teaching of nature. Of the first day employed in the work of creation is given the record, ‘The evening and the morning were the first day.’ Genesis 1:5. And the same in substance is said of each of the first six days of creation week. Each of these periods Inspiration declares to have been a day consisting of evening and morning, like every other day since that time. In regard to the work of creation itself the divine testimony is, ‘He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.’ Psalm 33:9. With Him who could thus call into existence unnumbered worlds, how long a time would be required for the evolution of the earth from chaos? In order to account for His works, must we do violence to His word?” Education, 128, 129.

4 Why is it so difficult for scientists to accept God’s word? Romans 1:18–21.

Note: “A terrible picture of the condition of the world has been presented before me. Immorality abounds everywhere. Licentiousness is the special sin of this age. Never did vice lift its deformed head with such boldness as now. The people seem to be benumbed, and the lovers of virtue and true goodness are nearly discouraged by its boldness, strength, and prevalence.

“I [Ellen G. White] was referred to Romans 1:18–32, as a true description of the world previous to the second appearing of Christ.

“It is sin, not trial and suffering, which separates God from His people and renders the soul incapable of enjoying and glorifying Him. It is sin that is destroying souls. Sin and vice exist in Sabbathkeeping families.” Child Guidance, 440.

5 What was created during the first part of the sixth day? Genesis 1:24, 25. How does God regard all these creatures? Matthew 6:26; 10:29.

Note: “Harsh treatment, even to the brutes, is offensive to God. Those who profess to love God do not always consider that abuse to animals, or suffering brought upon them by neglect, is a sin. The fruits of divine grace will be as truly revealed in men by the manner in which they treat their beasts, as by their service in the house of God. Those who allow themselves to become impatient or enraged with their animals are not Christians. …

“God, who created man, made the animals, also. They were to minister to man’s comfort and happiness, to serve him, and to be controlled by him.” The Signs of the Times, November 25, 1880.

6 What was the crowning work of the Creator? Genesis 1:26–28.

Note: “After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetable life had been called into existence, man, the crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up, was brought upon the stage of action. … ‘So God created man in His own image; … male and female created He them.’ [Genesis 1:27.] Here is clearly set forth the origin of the human race; and the divine record is so plainly stated that there is no occasion for erroneous conclusions. God created man in His own image. Here is no mystery. There is no ground for the supposition that man was evolved by slow degrees of development from the lower forms of animal or vegetable life. Such teaching lowers the great work of the Creator to the level of man’s narrow, earthly conceptions. Men are so intent upon excluding God from the sovereignty of the universe that they degrade man and defraud him of the dignity of his origin. He who set the starry worlds on high and tinted with delicate skill the flowers of the field, who filled the earth and the heavens with the wonders of His power, when He came to crown His glorious work, to place one in the midst to stand as ruler of the fair earth, did not fail to create a being worthy of the hand that gave him life. The genealogy of our race, as given by inspiration, traces back its origin, not to a line of developing germs, mollusks, and quadrupeds, but to the great Creator. Though formed from the dust, Adam was ‘the son of God.’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 44, 45.

7 What institution did the Creator establish in the sixth day? Genesis 1:27, 28.

Note: “Jesus pointed His hearers back to the marriage institution as ordained at creation. ‘Because of the hardness of your hearts,’ He said, Moses ‘suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.’ Matthew 19:8. He referred them to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things ‘very good.’ … Then, as the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, saying, A man shall ‘leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one’ (Genesis 2:24), He enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time. That which the Eternal Father Himself had pronounced good was the law of highest blessing and development for man.

“Like every other one of God’s good gifts entrusted to the keeping of humanity, marriage has been perverted by sin; but it is the purpose of the gospel to restore its purity and beauty. In both the Old and the New Testament the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people, the redeemed ones whom He has purchased at the cost of Calvary.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 63, 64.

8 What diet was provided for man at creation? Genesis 1:29.

Note: “In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. ‘Behold,’ He said, ‘I have given you every herb yielding seed, … and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.’ [Genesis 1:29.] Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man received permission to eat also ‘the herb of the field.’ [Genesis 2:5.]

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 81.

9 What did Malachi prophesy concerning these last days? Malachi 4:5, 6.

Note: “Those who are to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ are represented by faithful Elijah, as John came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ’s first advent. The great subject of reform is to be agitated, and the public mind is to be stirred. Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message, to turn the people of God from their idolatry, their gluttony, and their extravagance in dress and other things.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 62.

10 What did the apostle Peter say, prophetically, about this work? Acts 3:19–21.

Note: “The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are ‘the times of refreshing’ to which the apostle Peter looked forward …” Acts 3:19. The Great Controversy, 611, 612.

“In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired. God’s remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue. Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to co-operate with Him in building up the waste places. They are to be repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in. [Isaiah 58:12.]” Prophets and Kings, 678.

Additional Reading

“The most difficult and humiliating lesson that man has to learn is his own inefficiency in depending upon human wisdom, and the sure failure of his own efforts to read nature correctly. Sin has obscured his vision, and of himself he cannot interpret nature without placing it above God. He cannot discern in it God, or Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. He is in the same position as were the Athenians, who erected their altars for the worship of nature. Standing in the midst of Mars’ Hill, Paul presented before the people of Athens the majesty of the living God in contrast with their idolatrous worship. [Acts 17:22–29 quoted.]

“Those who have a true knowledge of God will not become so infatuated with the laws of matter or the operations of nature as to overlook, or refuse to acknowledge, the continual working of God in nature. Nature is not God, nor was it ever God. The voice of nature testifies of God, but nature is not God. As His created work, it simply bears a testimony to God’s power. Deity is the author of nature. The natural world has, in itself, no power but that which God supplies. …

“In its human wisdom the world cannot know God. Its wise men gather an imperfect knowledge of God from His created works, and then in their foolishness they exalt nature and the laws of nature above nature’s God. Those who have not a knowledge of God through an acceptance of the revelation He has made of Himself in Christ, will obtain only an imperfect knowledge of Him in nature; and this knowledge, so far from bringing the whole being into conformity to His will, will make men idolaters. Professing themselves to be wise, they will become fools.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1068.

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

Bible Study Guides – Divine Power in Creation

June 1, 2008 – June 7, 2008

Key Text

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1, 2.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 44–51.


“Divine wisdom, infinite grace, were made plain by the things of God’s creation. Through nature and the experiences of life, men were taught of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 22.

1 Who took an active part in the creation of the universe? Genesis 1:1, 2, 26; John 1:1–3.

  • God, the Father — Hebrews 11:3
  • Jesus Christ — Colossians 1:16, 17
  • The Holy Spirit — Psalm 104:30

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

2 As we contemplate creation, what do we realize? Psalm 19:1–6.

Note: “God encourages us to contemplate His works in the natural world. He desires that we shall turn our mind from the study of the artificial to the natural. We shall understand this better as we lift up our eyes to the hills of God, and contemplate the works which His own hands have created. They are God’s work. His hand has molded the mountains and balances them in their position, that they shall not be moved except at His command. The wind, the sun, the rain, the snow, and the ice, are all His ministers to do His will.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1144, 1145.

3 How did the universe come into existence? Psalm 33:6–9.

Note: “God spoke, and His words created His works in the natural world. God’s creation is but a reservoir of means made ready for Him to employ instantly to do His pleasure.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1081.

4 What should cause us to truly marvel at God’s creation? Hebrews 11:3.

Note: “In the creation of the earth, God was not indebted to preexisting matter. ‘He spake, and it was; … He commanded, and it stood fast.’ Psalm 33:9. All things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, came into existence by the breath of His mouth.” The Ministry of Healing, 414, 415.

“Nature in her work testifies of the intelligent presence and active agency of a being who moves in all His works according to His will. It is not by an original power inherent in nature that year by year the earth yields its bounties and continues its march around the sun. The hand of infinite power is perpetually at work guiding this planet. It is God’s power momentarily exercised that keeps it in position in its rotation.

“The God of heaven is constantly at work. It is by His power that vegetation is caused to flourish, that every leaf appears and every flower blooms. Every drop of rain or flake of snow, every spire of grass, every leaf and flower and shrub, testifies of God. These little things so common around us teach the lesson that nothing is beneath the notice of the infinite God, nothing is too small for His attention.

“The mechanism of the human body cannot be fully understood; it presents mysteries that baffle the most intelligent. It is not as the result of a mechanism, which, once set in motion, continues its work, that the pulse beats and breath follows breath. In God we live and move and have our being. Every breath, every throb of the heart, is a continual evidence of the power of an ever-present God.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 260.

5 What is revealed by God’s creation? Romans 1:20.

6 What was created on the first day of creation? Genesis 1:3–5.

Note: “He [God] causes ‘the light to shine out of darkness.’ II Corinthians 4:6. When ‘the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep,’ ‘the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.’ Genesis 1:2, 3.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 415.

7 What other light also comes from the same source? John 1:6–10; 8:12; 9:5.

Note: “God is light; and in the words, ‘I am the light of the world’ [John 8:12], Christ declared His oneness with God, and His relation to the whole human family. It was He who at the beginning had caused ‘the light to shine out of darkness.’ II Corinthians 4:6. He is the light of sun and moon and star. He was the spiritual light that in symbol and type and prophecy had shone upon Israel. But not to the Jewish nation alone was the light given. As the sunbeams penetrate to the remotest corners of the earth, so does the light of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon every soul.” The Desire of Ages, 464.

8 How does this light affect all who accept it? Isaiah 60:1, 2.

Note: “In the night of spiritual darkness, God’s word goes forth, ‘Let there be light.’ To His people He says, ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’ Isaiah 60:1. …

“It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 415.

“It is the highest duty of every Christian to let the light God has given shine forth in steady rays.” Review and Herald, December 12, 1893.

9 What did God create on the second day? Genesis 1:6–8. What do we learn from God’s work in the firmament? Psalm 19:1–3.

Note: “Shall we not commit to memory the lessons nature teaches? Shall we not open the eyes of our senses; and take in the beautiful things of God? We would do well to read often the nineteenth psalm that we may understand how the Lord binds up His law with His created works. …

“We are to contemplate the wonderful works of God, and repeat the lessons learned from them to our children, that we may lead them to see His skill, His power, His grandeur in His created works.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1143.

10 What was God’s main purpose in creating the world? Isaiah 45:18.

Note: “In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space. … And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father’s love.” The Desire of Ages, 20.

11 Explain why the sky can be especially inspiring to the Christian. Job 37:14–18.

Note: “Several years ago, while journeying from Christiania, Norway, to Goteborg, Sweden, I [Ellen G. White] was favored with the sight of the most glorious sunset it was ever my privilege to behold. Language is inadequate to picture its beauty. The last beams of the setting sun, silver and gold, purple, amber, and crimson, shed their glories athwart the sky, growing brighter and brighter, rising higher and higher in the heavens, until it seemed that the gates of the city of God had been left ajar, and gleams of the inner glory were flashing through. For two hours the wondrous splendor continued to light up the cold northern sky—a picture painted by the great Master Artist upon the shifting canvas of the heavens. Like the smile of God it seemed, above all earthly homes, above the rock-bound plains, the rugged mountains, the lonely forests, through which our journey lay.” The Faith I Live By, 248.

12 What was brought forth in the third day? Genesis 1:9–13.

Note: “When God formed the earth, there were mountains, hills, and plains, and interspersed among them were rivers and bodies of water. The earth was not one extensive plain, but the monotony of the scenery was broken by hills and mountains, not high and ragged as they now are, but regular and beautiful in shape. The bare, high rocks were never seen upon them, but lay beneath the surface, answering as bones to the earth. The waters were regularly dispersed. The hills, mountains, and very beautiful plains, were adorned with plants and flowers, and tall, majestic trees of every description, which were many times larger, and much more beautiful, than trees now are. The air was pure and healthful, and the earth seemed like a noble palace. Angels beheld and rejoiced at the wonderful and beautiful works of God.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 33.

“It is through the gift of Christ that we receive every blessing. Through that gift there comes to us day by day the unfailing flow of Jehovah’s goodness. Every flower, with its delicate tints and its fragrance, is given for our enjoyment through that one Gift.” The Ministry of Healing, 424.

13 What relationship exists between creation and the first angel’s message? Revelation 14:6, 7.

Note: “In the first angel’s message men are called upon to worship God, our Creator, who made the world and all things that are therein.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 106.

Additional Reading

“While the Bible should hold the first place in the education of children and youth, the book of nature is next in importance. God’s created works testify to His love and power. He has called the world into being, with all that it contains. God is a lover of the beautiful; and in the world which He has fitted up for us He has not only given us everything necessary for our comfort, but He has filled the heavens and the earth with beauty. We see His love and care in the rich fields of autumn, and His smile in the glad sunshine. His hand has made the castle-like rocks and the towering mountains. The lofty trees grow at His command; He has spread earth’s green velvet carpet and dotted it with shrubs and flowers.

“Why has He clothed the earth and trees with living green, instead of with dark, somber brown? Is it not that they may be more pleasing to the eye? And shall not our hearts be filled with gratitude as we read the evidences of His wisdom and love in the wonders of His creation?

“The same creative energy that brought the world into existence is still exerted in upholding the universe and continuing the operations of nature. The hand of God guides the planets in their orderly march through the heavens. It is not because of inherent power that year by year the earth continues her motion round the sun and produces her bounties. The word of God controls the elements. He covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth. He makes the valleys fruitful and ‘grass to grow upon the mountains.’ Psalm 147:8. It is through His power that vegetation flourishes, that the leaves appear and the flowers bloom.

“The whole natural world is designed to be an interpreter of the things of God. To Adam and Eve in their Eden home, nature was full of the knowledge of God, teeming with divine instruction. To their attentive ears it was vocal with the voice of wisdom. Wisdom spoke to the eye and was received into the heart, for they communed with God in His created works. As soon as the holy pair transgressed the law of the Most High, the brightness from the face of God departed from the face of nature. Nature is now marred and defiled by sin. But God’s object lessons are not obliterated; even now, rightly studied and interpreted, she speaks of her Creator. …

“In the natural world, God has placed in the hands of the children of men the key to unlock the treasure house of His word. The unseen is illustrated by the seen; divine wisdom, eternal truth, infinite grace, are understood by the things that God has made. Then let the children and youth become acquainted with nature and nature’s laws. Let the mind be developed to its utmost capacity and the physical powers trained for the practical duties of life. But teach them also that God has made this world fair because He delights in our happiness; and that a more beautiful home is preparing for us in that world where there will be no more sin. The word of God declares: ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.’ I Corinthians 2:9.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 185–188.

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

Recipe – Split Pea Dal

1 cup dried yellow or green split peas

5 cups water

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon turmeric or saffron

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 tomato, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Rinse split peas. Bring water to boil in a large pot, and add peas. Return to boil, stir, then lower heat, and simmer 1 to 2 hours until tender. Add spices, salt, and tomato to peas, and cook 30 minutes. Serve with plain brown rice and vegetable curry.

FOOD – Fiber – Start Roughing It

Aside from not smoking, the most important determinants of good health are what we eat and how active we are. Fiber is one of those nutrients that many of us know is important but that remains a bit of a mystery.

Basically, the term fiber refers to carbohydrates that cannot be digested. Fiber is present in all plants that are eaten for food, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. However, not all fiber is the same, and there are a number of ways to categorize it. One is by its source or origin. For example, fiber from grains is referred to as cereal fiber. Another way of categorizing fiber is by how easily it dissolves in water. Soluble fiber partially dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. These differences are important when it comes to fiber’s effect on your risk of developing certain diseases. Soluble fiber includes oatmeal, oat bran, nuts and seeds, apples, pears, strawberries, and blueberries. Foods such as whole grains―whole wheat breads, barley, couscous, brown rice, and bulgur―carrots, celery, zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes are considered to be insoluble fiber sources.

Long heralded as part of a healthy diet, fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation. Despite what many people may think, however, fiber probably has little, if any effect on colon cancer risk. But just because fiber plays little role in preventing colon cancer does not mean you should abandon a high-fiber diet.

High intake of dietary fiber has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease in a number of large studies that followed people for many years. Fiber intake has also been linked with the metabolic syndrome, a constellation of factors that increases the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes. These factors include high blood pressure, high insulin levels, excess weight (especially around the abdomen), high levels of triglycerides, the body’s main fat-carrying particle, and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Several studies suggest that higher intake of fiber may somehow ward off this increasingly common syndrome.

Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, and you should get a least the minimum recommended amount of 21-38 grams of dietary fiber per day for adults, depending on gender and age. For children over age one, the recommended intake is at least 19 grams per day.

Some tips for increasing fiber intake:

  • Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices.
  • Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole-grain products.
  • Choose whole-grain cereals for breakfast.
  • Eat raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars.
  • Eat legumes two to three times per week in chili and soups.
  • Experiment with international dishes (such as Indian or Middle Eastern) that use whole grains and legumes as part of the main meal (as in Indian dals) or in salads (for example, tabbouleh).

Children’s Story – Don’t Get Burned

I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my life. One of the dumbest was nearly burning my house down.

I was melting wax to make candles while my parents were at work. I knew that I needed to put the can of wax in a water bath to keep it from burning. But I was too impatient to wait that long.

My sister was watching a video in another room. I sat down to watch with her while I waited for the wax to heat up, totally forgetting about my candle project. The video was almost over when I noticed smoke drifting past me. I’d been so distracted that I hadn’t noticed that my wax had caught fire!

When I ran into the kitchen, I saw flames leaping four feet high and almost touching the ceiling. “Keri,” I yelled, “there’s a fire on the stove!”

Before Keri got into the kitchen I turned the gas off at both the stove and the gas cylinder. I was scared that the gas tank was going to explode!

Keri shouted for me to throw baking soda on the fire, but that seemed to make the flames jump higher. I started to get tongs to carry the can outside. I’ll just let the fire die out, I thought. But before I could return to the flaming can, Keri had tossed a pitcher of water on the fire. It put the fire out but also threw stinky wax (the baking soda made it smell bad) all over the walls, ceiling, stove, and Keri!

It took the two of us four hours to clean up the wax, but smoke stains on the kitchen ceiling still remind me of when I tried to rush candle making.

I’ve also gotten others to do dumb stuff. Where we live, we put trash in big pits to keep it from looking bad or blowing away. Our nextdoor neighbors had just dug a new pit to burn leaves and grass in. As soon as it was finished, Keri and I went over to play in it.

The next day we returned to the pit to play some more. We looked in and saw ashes instead of trash in the bottom of the pit. We thought it was just a thin layer of ash and had already cooled down, but neither of us wanted to jump in first. Suddenly Keri said, “I dare you to jump in.”

“You’ll have to jump in first,” I responded.

I didn’t expect her to actually jump, but she did. As soon as her feet touched the ashes, she began screaming and trying to crawl back out.

I pulled Keri out by her arms, leaving her sandals in the pit. I carried her home on my back, and she started soaking her feet in cold water while I ran the eighth of a mile to the hospital to get my mom. After that I went back to the pit to see if I could get Keri’s sandals. The soles had melted off.

Keri’s feet have healed now, but we still remember both of these incidents. They remind us to think things through before doing things that might hurt others or ourselves.

Health – Tobacco’s Effect Upon Health

Over a hundred years ago, God, through His messenger Ellen White, provided much counsel regarding the use of tobacco and its effect upon health.

“Tobacco, in whatever form it is used, tells upon the constitution. It is a slow poison. It affects the brain and benumbs the sensibilities so that the mind cannot discern spiritual things, especially those truths which would have a tendency to correct this filthy indulgence. Those who use tobacco in any form are not clear before God. In such a filthy practice it is impossible for them to glorify God in their bodies and spirits, which are His. And while they are using slow and sure poisons, which are ruining their health and debasing the faculties of the mind, God cannot approbate them. He may be merciful to them while they indulge in this pernicious habit in ignorance of the injury it is doing them; but when the matter is set before them in its true light, then they are guilty before God if they continue to indulge this gross appetite.” Healthful Living, 109.

“It is unpleasant, if not dangerous, to remain … in a crowded room that is not thoroughly ventilated, where the atmosphere is impregnated with the properties of liquor and tobacco. The occupants give evidence by the breath and emanations from the body that the system is filled with the poison of liquor and tobacco.

“Many infants are poisoned beyond remedy by sleeping in beds with their tobacco-using fathers. By inhaling the poisonous tobacco effluvium, which is thrown from the lungs and pores of the skin, the system of the infant is filled with poison. While it acts upon some infants as a slow poison, and affects the brain, heart, liver, and lungs, and they waste away and fade gradually; upon others it has a more direct influence, causing spasms, paralysis, and sudden death. The bereaved parents mourn the loss of their loved ones, and wonder at the mysterious providence of God, which has so cruelly afflicted them, when Providence designed not the death of these infants. They died martyrs to the filthy lust for tobacco. Every exhalation of the lungs of the tobacco slave poisons the air about him.” Ibid., 110, 111.

Science and medical research now confirm the correctness of this counsel.

Tobacco Is Bad For You

The fact that tobacco is bad for you is no secret. The Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-92) required that the warning “Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health” be placed in small print on one of the side panels of each cigarette package. [Emphasis added.]

In 1969, Congress passed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act (Public Law 91-222), which prohibited cigarette advertising on television and radio and required that each cigarette package contain the label “Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health.” [Emphasis added.]

In 1981, the Federal Trade Commission issued a report to Congress that concluded that health warning labels had little effect on public knowledge and attitudes about smoking. As a result of this report, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Smoking Education Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-474), which required four specific health warnings on all cigarette packages and advertisements:


  • Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy.
  • Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health
  • Smoking by Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, and Low Birth Weight
  • Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide

The Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-252) required three rotating warning labels on smokeless tobacco packaging and advertisements:


  • This product may cause mouth cancer
  • This product may cause gum disease and tooth loss
  • This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes

Warning labels on tobacco packages in the United States are weaker and less prominent than those of many other countries!

Despite these warnings, people continue to smoke, and new smokers adopt the habit every single day. Amazingly, smoking can still be viewed as an adult thing to do, and children continue to be influenced by this. Their parents or guardians smoke; therefore, they should smoke too if they want to be really grown up—or at least that is their perception. Smokers wish they had never smoked that first lousy cigarette and shake their heads in disbelief when they see their own young children or teenagers starting to smoke.

Tobacco can be “ingested” in more than one way. Some people chew it, others inhale it as snuff but the majority smoke it in the form of cigars and cigarettes. Regardless of how tobacco is used, it is dangerous.

When smokers inhale a single “shot” of nicotine from a cigarette, the lungs allow the nicotine to pass into the blood stream almost instantly. The smoker then feels the “hit” from the nicotine in his or her bloodstream and this is the sensation that they later crave.

Do not just assume that the inhalant is “pure” tobacco smoke either. That smoke inhaled from a cigarette contains 40+ carcinogenic substances. These are substances that have been clinically proven to cause various types of cancer. Cigarette smoke also contains 400 other toxins that can be found in rat poison, nail polish remover, and various types of wood varnish. As these carcinogens and toxins gather in the body, they begin to cause serious problems for the heart and lungs.

Smoke-Related Diseases

Of all the diseases associated with smoking, cancer is the most common. Lung cancer is the most common cancer associated with cigarette smoking, but a smoker can also get cancer of the mouth, bladder, kidney, stomach, esophagus, larynx, and pancreas. Some of these cancers can be treated, but others are 100 percent fatal.

Cancer is not the only disease that smoking causes, either directly or indirectly. Seventy-five percent of all fatal cases of emphysema and bronchitis are linked to smoking. Both of these diseases cause extreme breathing difficulties. Emphysema in particular is an extremely nasty disease, as an individual’s ability to breathe on his or her own slowly vanishes.

Smokers have dramatically shorter lives than nonsmokers. On average, a smoker will die 15 to 20 years before a nonsmoker.

Secondhand Smoke

The risk from smoking is not just limited to the smoker. The serious effects of secondary smoke are now very well-known. Smoking near others puts their health at risk also. Secondhand smoke is still loaded with chemicals and toxins as it was when first inhaled.

Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 250 chemicals known to be toxic or cancer causing, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide.

Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 deaths each year from lung cancer in nonsmokers. It also causes irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and can also irritate the lungs, leading to coughing, excessive phlegm, and chest discomfort. Secondhand smoke has been identified as the cause of death from heart disease in thousands of adult nonsmokers.

Since their internal organs and immune systems are still developing, children are in the highest risk group. Children exposed to secondary smoke are far more vulnerable to asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (cot death), bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections, among other things.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

This is what you can do to protect yourself and your family from secondhand smoke:

  • Do not allow smoking in your home.
  • Choose restaurants and other places where you spend time that are smoke-free.
  • Let family, friends, and people with whom you work know that you do care if they smoke around you.
  • Ask your employer to make sure you do not have to breathe other people’s smoke at work.
  • Help people who are trying to quit smoking. Give them copies of the tract, “Just One Puff,” or Dr. John J. Grosboll’s booklet, “How to Quit Smoking,” available through the Mail Order Services Department of Steps to Life.

Resource information:;; (February 2008).

Question – Is it Sabbath-breaking for me…


Is it Sabbath-breaking for me, who keeps Saturday as the Sabbath holy unto the Lord, to sell patterns to a lady who does her sewing on Saturday?


The Bible has much to say about buying and selling and about how to keep the Sabbath.

The children of Israel bought and sold to idolaters. There are several examples of this. In Genesis 23, the record is given of Abraham buying a gravesite from the children of Heth. When the children of Israel were passing through the desert, Moses offered to buy water from the Edomites (Numbers 20.), and when Solomon built the temple, he bought and sold to the heathen. (II Chronicles 4, 5.)

Jesus said, in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” The Sabbath has been given to us as a gift from God. The Sabbath is also a sign to the people of God that they belong to Him and that He is their God. (Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:20.)

If we are God’s people and He is our God, we will keep the Sabbath according to the Ten Commandments. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. If we do not love the Lord, we will not be blessed by keeping His commandments. He also stated this another way: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37–40.

Jesus also said, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45. In other words, God does not discriminate between those who serve Him and those who do not. He blesses them all with the natural resources.

We find in the Bible that man was made to be a free moral being, and he has the right to choose to serve whomever he wishes. As Joshua said, “If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.

Elijah said, to the people of Israel, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord [be] God, follow Him: but if Baal, [then] follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21.

In the fourth commandment, God recognizes the rights of property ownership, as He specifically states, “thy stranger within thy gates”: “The seventh day [is] the sabbath of the Lord thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates.” Exodus 20:10. He does not say that you are responsible for the stranger outside thy gates. We should recognize ownership as well.

Once you sell a pattern, you are not responsible for what the buyer does with it, because it belongs to them. Thus we may conclude that it is not wrong to sell to non-Sabbathkeepers. It is the buyer’s choice as to how and when the product will be used.

Nature Nugget – Sunflowers

sunflower fieldThere are 67 species and 19 subspecies of sunflowers in the genus Helianthus, and all are native to North America. Sunflowers are currently commercially grown around the world for various uses. Native Americans have been using wild sunflowers for thousands of years for a variety of uses, such as flour to make bread, nut butter, cooking oil, hair treatment, wart removal, and treatments for snake bite and sun stroke. One perennial species, the Jerusalem artichoke, was grown by American Indians as a root vegetable which they called “sun roots.”

Of all the sunflower species, the most important and familiar species is the common sunflower. Believed to have been domesticated by Native Americans even before corn was, the common sunflower found its way to Europe by Spanish explorers around 1500 where it was initially used as an ornamental. Then its value as a source of cooking oil was discovered, which led to the commercialization of the species in Russia where two types of seed were then developed—one for oil and one larger variety for human consumption. Russian immigrants brought the commercialized varieties back to North America where it is now one of the leading cash crops grown today.

The common sunflower is second only to soybeans as one of the world’s leading oil seed crops. Recent new uses for the oil seeds and plants include the production of biodiesels, which burn 75 percent cleaner than petroleum diesel and have higher lubricating qualities, and rhizofiltration, where the sunflowers are used to remove toxic wastes from the environment.

Sunflowers love the sun. As they are growing, sunflowers will face their flowers in the direction of the sun, tracking it along during the day. That is why a field full of sunflowers will always be pointed the same direction. This phenomenon is known as Heliotropism. However, nearing maturity, most sunflowers stop tracking the sun and just face east to catch the morning sunrise.

Just as sunflowers love and follow the sun, so should we love and follow the Son of God. All true Christians should be pointed in the same direction and, like the maturing sunflowers, be watching the east for the return of the Son.

“Like the sunflower, which turns its face constantly toward the sun, you must look continually toward the Source of light, that you may catch every ray possible.” Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 141.

“We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts may turn to God as naturally as the flower turns to the sun. The sunflower keeps its face sunward. If it is turned from the light, it will twist itself on the stem, until it lifts up its petals to the bright beams of the sun. So let everyone who has given his heart to God, turn to the Sun of Righteousness, and eagerly look up to receive the bright beams of the glory that shine in the face of Jesus. Thus we may educate the soul to press its way out of the corrupted moral atmosphere of the world, of sin and selfishness, into the atmosphere that is divine and health-giving.” The Signs of the Times, December 16, 1889.

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