Bible Study Guides – At Home with Our Deliverer

June 21 – 27, 2020

Key Text

“Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” (Isaiah 60:18).

Study Help: God’s Amazing Grace, 351–363.


“The day is coming in which the battle will have been fought, the victory won. The will of God is to be done on earth, as it is done in heaven. Then the nations will own no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving—the robe of Christ’s righteousness.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 42.



  • What attitude does God want us to have when things go wrong? Habakkuk 3:17, 18; Philippians 4:4.

Note: “The children of God may rejoice in all things and at all times. When troubles and difficulties come, believing in the wise providence of God, you may rejoice. You need not wait for a happy flight of feeling, but by faith you may lay hold of the promises and lift up a hymn of thanksgiving to God.” In Heavenly Places, 123.

“The Father’s presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. Whatever comes to him comes from the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Nothing can touch him except by the Lord’s permission. All our sufferings and sorrows, all our temptations and trials, all our sadness and griefs, all our persecutions and privations, in short, all things work together for our good. All experiences and circumstances are God’s workmen whereby good is brought to us.” The Ministry of Healing, 488, 489.



  • What attitude did David have when he was in trouble? How did God deliver him? Psalm 40:1–3, 5.

Note: “The mercies of God surround you every moment; and it would be profitable for you to consider how and whence your blessings come every day. Let the precious blessings of God awaken gratitude in you. You cannot number the blessings of God, the constant loving-kindness expressed to you, for they are as numerous as the refreshing drops of rain. Clouds of mercy are hanging over you, and ready to drop upon you. If you will appreciate the valuable gift of salvation, you will be sensible of daily refreshment, of the protection and love of Jesus; you will be guided in the way of peace.” Messages to Young People, 409, 410.

“As we behold the beauty and grandeur in the works of nature, our affections go out after God; and though our souls are awed and our spirit subdued, our souls are invigorated by coming in contact with the Infinite through His marvelous works. Communion with God, through humble prayer, develops and strengthens the mental and moral faculties, and spiritual powers increase by cultivating thoughts upon spiritual things.” The Youth’s Instructor, July 13, 1893.

  • What does God give to those who make Him their hiding place? Psalm 32:7.
  • What spiritual covering does God provide His children? Isaiah 61:10.

Note: “The Lord Jesus Christ has prepared a covering—the robe of His own righteousness—that He will put on every repenting, believing soul who by faith will receive it.” The Upward Look, 378.

“If we constantly seek to follow Jesus, the blessed hope is ours of standing before the throne of God without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, complete in Christ, robed in His righteousness and perfection.” That I May Know Him, 361.



  • How did Moses and the children of Israel express their gratitude to God for delivering them at the Red Sea? Exodus 15:1, 21.

Note: “This song and the great deliverance which it commemorates, made an impression never to be effaced from the memory of the Hebrew people. From age to age it was echoed by the prophets and singers of Israel, testifying that Jehovah is the strength and deliverance of those who trust in Him. That song does not belong to the Jewish people alone. It points forward to the destruction of all the foes of righteousness, and the final victory of the Israel of God. …

“In freeing our souls from the bondage of sin, God has wrought for us a deliverance greater than that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea. … The daily blessings that we receive from the hand of God, and above all else the death of Jesus to bring happiness and heaven within our reach, should be a theme for constant gratitude.” God’s Amazing Grace, 352.

  • What does God want us to do today when He gives us victory? Psalms 98:1; 146:2.

Note: “By beginning to sing songs of triumph and thanksgiving now, we may prepare ourselves to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb when we meet on the sea of glass.” The Upward Look, 306.

  • What song will the special class of the redeemed sing in heaven? What will this class have gotten the victory over? Revelation 15:2–4; 14:1–5.

Note: “It is the song of Moses and the Lamb—a song of deliverance. None but the hundred and forty-four thousand can learn that song; for it is the song of their experience—an experience such as no other company have ever had. … They have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob’s trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God’s judgments. But they have been delivered, for they have ‘washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’ (Revelation 7:14).” The Great Controversy, 649.



  • What is one thing God gives deliverance from? Psalm 34:4–7. How? 1 John 4:18.

Note: “The Lord frequently permits His people to be brought into strait places, that they may turn to Him, their protector and deliverer, as a child would turn to his parents when in trouble and fear. It is no evidence that God is against us, because we are afflicted. … It is true that pain and death are the consequence of sin. But the Lord permits those He loves to be brought into trial, that they may learn the precious lessons of trust and faith. If trials are received aright, they will prove of the highest value to us in our religious experience. As they lead us to put our trust more firmly in God, we become better acquainted with His character.

“When the Lord has answered our prayers, and proved Himself better to us than our fears, we should not fail to express our gratitude for His mercies. Like the Hebrew host, we should praise Him for His wonderful works. Here many fail to glorify God. They do not tell of His goodness, making known to all around them that the Lord is to them a present help in every time of need.” The Signs of the Times, March 10, 1881.

  • Whom does the Lord look after? How will He protect His people in the last days? Psalm 33:18, 19.

Note: “From His resources He [God] can spread a table in the wilderness. By the touch of His hand He can increase the scanty provision and make it sufficient for all.” Conflict and Courage, 226.

  • How does God provide final victory to His people? Isaiah 25:8; 1Corinthians 15:57.

Note: “When Christ shall come the second time, to be ‘admired in all them that believe’ (2 Thessalonians 1:10), death shall be swallowed up in victory, and there shall be no more sickness, no more sorrow, no more death!” That I May Know Him, 362.



  • What future does God promise to His people? Isaiah 32:18; Revelation 21:4.

Note: “There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.” The Great Controversy, 675.

  • What has God promised us today in preparation for a glorious future? 1 Chronicles 29:11.

Note: “Instead of mourning, weeping, and despairing, when troubles gather about us like a flood and threaten to overwhelm us, if we would not only pray for help from God, but would praise Him for so many blessings left—praise Him that He is able to help us—our course would be more pleasing to Him, and we would see more of His salvation.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 258.

“Eternal realities must be kept before the mind’s eye, and the attractions of the world will appear as they are—altogether profitless.” That I May Know Him, 357.



1    How should I view the difficulties and trials that come my way?

2    How can I grow both spiritually and mentally?

3    What significance does the song of Moses and the Lamb have for me today? To whom will this song have special significance in the future?

4    How do we often fail to glorify God?

5    As we focus our eyes upon Christ and His mission to save us, what will we discover?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Deliverance from Destruction

June 14 – 20, 2020

Key Text

“Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name” (Psalm 91:14).

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 613–634.


“God will destroy the wicked from off the earth. But the righteous will be preserved in the midst of these commotions, as Noah was preserved in the ark. God will be their refuge, and under His wings shall they trust.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 110.



  • What is the condition of the whole earth as a result of sin? Romans 8:22.

Note: “The sin of man has brought the sure result—decay, deformity, and death. Today the whole world is tainted, corrupted, stricken with mortal disease. The earth groaneth under the continual transgression of the inhabitants thereof.

“The Lord’s curse is upon the earth, upon man, upon beast, upon the fish in the sea, and as transgression becomes almost universal the curse will be permitted to become as broad and as deep as the transgression.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1085.

“As the ‘whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together’ (Romans 8:26, 22), the heart of the infinite Father is pained in sympathy. Our world is a vast lazar house, a scene of misery that we dare not allow even our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, through co-operation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end. ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come’ (Matthew 24:14).” Education, 263, 264.



  • What is God’s plan regarding the earth? Revelation 21:5; Isaiah 65:17.

Note: “The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. … ‘There shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him’ … (Revelation 22:3).

“There is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, I am sick; there are no burial trains, no mourning, no death, no partings, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there. There ‘they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them’ (Isaiah 49:10).” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 17, 18.

  • How should we respond to God’s plans for the future? What is said about those who dwell there? 2 Peter 3:13.

 Note: “There will soon be a new heaven and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. The Lord has instructed me that our physical and mental and moral powers will, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, be trained to carry on the work in all purity, in all goodness, without one thread of Satan’s science brought in to spoil the pattern Christ has given us. The powers and faculties that have been sanctified in righteousness will be employed, strengthened, and prepared to do the works of Heaven’s appointment.” The Upward Look, 97.

“As a people are we sufficiently considering this warning? If we neglect to take heed, if we regard the warning with indifference, if we allow earthly, temporal things to take our attention, and we lose our realization of the essential character of prayer, we shall be found among those who are not accounted worthy to escape. The righteousness of Christ should be our first consideration. The service of God should be our first business.” The Signs of the Times, December 5, 1895.

  • What further blessings will God bestow upon the faithful? Isaiah 65:21, 22, 25.



  • Before God can make things new, what must first happen to the old? 2 Peter 3:10; Isaiah 51:6.
  • What means will God use to destroy the world? 2 Peter 3:6, 7. Who will perish in this destruction? Luke 3:17.

Note: “The feet of the wicked will never desecrate the earth made new. Fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour them—burn them up root and branch. Satan is the root, and his children are the branches.

“The same fire from God that consumed the wicked purified the whole earth. The broken, ragged mountains melted with fervent heat, the atmosphere also, and all the stubble was consumed. Then our inheritance opened before us, glorious and beautiful, and we inherited the whole earth made new.” Maranatha, 351.

  • How should this knowledge of God’s plans of destruction affect our daily life? 2 Peter 3:11, 12, 14.

Note: “There are attractions on every hand to draw the mind away from the contemplation of the coming of our Lord and Saviour; but it is absolutely necessary to bear in remembrance that ‘the great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly’ (Zephaniah 1:14). The God of Heaven has multiplied warnings, entreaties, and instructions, that we may be prepared to stand in the time of the overwhelming destruction. We are not left in darkness. Those who meditate and act upon the instructions that God has given will cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit. They will keep in mind the command to ‘be diligent’ (2 Peter 3:14), to be holy in all their conversation and life. …

“We are approaching the time when the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and we must make haste to depart from all iniquity, that our calling and election may be made sure. We are looking for new heavens and a new earth wherein the righteous shall dwell throughout eternity.” The Signs of the Times, February 10, 1888.



  • How will the righteous be protected during the time when God begins to pour out His judgments upon the earth? Psalm 27:5; 91:4; Isaiah 26:20.

Note: “There are troublous times before us; the judgments of God are coming upon our world. The nations of the earth are to tremble. There will be trials and perplexities on every hand; men’s hearts will fail them for fear. And what shall we do in that day? Though the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and be removed like a cottage, if we have made God our trust, He will deliver us.” Sons and Daughters of God, 354.

“The eye of God, looking down the ages, was fixed upon the crisis which His people are to meet, when earthly powers shall be arrayed against them. Like the captive exile, they will be in fear of death by starvation or by violence. But the Holy One who divided the Red Sea before Israel, will manifest His mighty power and turn their captivity. ‘They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him’ (Malachi 3:17).” The Great Controversy, 634.

“Before the Son of man appears in the clouds of heaven, everything in nature will be convulsed. Lightning from heaven uniting with the fire in the earth, will cause the mountains to burn like a furnace, and pour out their floods of lava over villages and cities, molten masses of rock, thrown into the water by the upheaval of things hidden in the earth. There will be mighty earthquakes and great destruction of human life. But as in the days of the great deluge Noah was preserved in the ark that God had prepared for him, so in these days of destruction and calamity, God will be the refuge of His believing ones.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 309, 310.

  • What attributes of God can give us assurance for that time? 1 Timothy 1:17.
  • How do we know that God will always be ready to help His followers? Psalm 121:4–8.



  • Which promises show God to be a refuge for us today? Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 9:9.

Note: “In the Psalm David speaks of God’s being a refuge and a strong tower, a refuge and a fortress; unto Him we can run and we can be saved. How precious is the thought that God is our refuge and that He will be our helper in all times and in all places, and that in every emergency we have God with us. He says that He will give His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 58, 59.

  • How can we have confidence in God? Psalms 62:7, 8; 46:1–3; 57:1.

Note: “No one need despond who commits his soul to Jesus. We have an all-powerful Saviour.” The Upward Look, 321.

“True prayer engages the energies of the soul and affects the life. He who thus pours out his wants before God feels the emptiness of everything else under heaven. …

“Your prayers may rise with an importunity that will not accept denial. That is faith.” In Heavenly Places, 73.



1    What has God done to end the misery of sin on this earth? How can I do my part?

2    What will the new earth be like? What about its inhabitants?

3    What dual purpose does the fire have upon this old world?

4    As everything in nature is turned out of its course before Jesus’ second coming, what will happen to God’s people?

5    In what situations will God be a refuge and help to His people?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – God Delivers His People

June 7 – 13, 2020

Key Text

“Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” (Psalm 91:14, 15).

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 582–602.


“God would have us recall His dealings with His people in the past to save them from their enemies. He has always chosen extremities, when there seemed no possible chance for deliverance from Satan’s workings, for the manifestation of His power. Man’s necessity is God’s opportunity.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 714.



  • When Elisha was surrounded by the horses and chariots of the king of Syria, his servant was troubled. What did Elisha tell him? 2 Kings 6:16.
  • What did Elisha pray for, and how did God answer his prayer? 2 Kings 6:17. How can we have the same protection in the day of trouble?

 Note: “Between the servant of God and the hosts of armed foemen was an encircling band of heavenly angels. They had come down in mighty power, not to destroy, not to exact homage, but to encamp round about and minister to the Lord’s weak and helpless ones.

“When the people of God are brought into strait places, and apparently there is no escape for them, the Lord alone must be their dependence.” Prophets and Kings, 257.

“Pray much. Be willing to separate from everything that separates you from God. Then, in the day of trouble, He will come to your deliverance, and will hide you under the shadow of His wings.” Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 234.



  • What test was given to Daniel’s three friends? Daniel 3:4–6. What was their response? Verse 12.
  • When brought before the king and given a second chance, what answer did the three young men give? Daniel 3:16–18.

Note: “Conscience in regard to the things of God is a sacred treasure, which no human beings, whatever be their position, have a right to meddle with. Nebuchadnezzar offered the Hebrews another chance, and when they refused it, he was exceedingly angry and commanded the burning fiery furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated. He told the captives that he would cast them into this furnace. Full of faith and trust, the answer came, Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us; if He does not, well: we commit ourselves to a faithful God.” Mind, Character, and Personality, Book 1, 327.

  • How did God deliver them? Daniel 3:19–27. What did the king acknowledge? Verse 29, last part.

 Note: “We should now purpose, as did Daniel and his fellows in Babylon, that we will be true to principle, come what may. The flaming fiery furnace heated seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated, did not cause these faithful servants of God to turn aside from allegiance to the truth. They stood firm in the time of trial, and were cast into the furnace; and they were not forsaken of God. The form of the Fourth was seen walking with them in the flames, and they came forth not having even the smell of fire upon their garments.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 329, 330.

“If you are called to go through the fiery furnace for Christ’s sake, Jesus will be at your side. ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee’ (Isaiah 43:2).” Our High Calling, 358.



  • How did Satan influence a Persian king to make a decree against God’s people? Esther 3:12, 13.

Note: “Haman cherished bitter malice against Mordecai, a Jew. Mordecai had done Haman no harm, but had simply refused to show him worshipful reverence. Scorning to ‘lay hands on Mordecai alone,’ Haman plotted ‘to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai’ (Esther 3:6).

“Misled by the false statements of Haman, Xerxes was induced to issue a decree providing for the massacre of all the Jews ‘scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces’ of the Medo-Persian kingdom (verse 8). A certain day was appointed on which the Jews were to be destroyed and their property confiscated. Little did the king realize the far-reaching results that would have accompanied the complete carrying out of this decree. Satan himself, the hidden instigator of the scheme, was trying to rid the earth of those who preserved the knowledge of the true God.” Prophets and Kings, 600, 601.

  • What action did Esther take in response to the decree? Esther 4:15–17.

Note: “Through Esther the queen the Lord accomplished a mighty deliverance for His people. At a time when it seemed that no power could save them, Esther and the women associated with her, by fasting and prayer and prompt action, met the issue, and brought salvation to their people.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1140.

  • How did God intervene to deliver His people? Esther 8:11–14; 9:1, 2.

Note: “God wrought marvelously for His penitent people; and a counter decree issued by the king, allowing them to fight for their lives, was rapidly communicated to every part of the realm by mounted couriers. …

“Angels that excel in strength had been commissioned by God to protect His people while they ‘stood for their lives’ (Esther 9:2, 16.)” Prophets and Kings, 602.



  • What great test will come upon God’s people just before the second coming of Jesus? Revelation 13:15–17.

Note: “The decree has been passed by the highest earthly authority that they shall worship the beast and receive his mark under pain of persecution and death. May God help His people now, for what can they then do in such a fearful conflict without His assistance!

“Courage, fortitude, faith, and implicit trust in God’s power to save do not come in a moment. These heavenly graces are acquired by the experience of years. By a life of holy endeavor and firm adherence to the right the children of God were sealing their destiny. Beset with temptations without number, they knew they must resist firmly or be conquered. They felt that they had a great work to do, and at any hour they might be called to lay off their armor; and should they come to the close of life with their work undone, it would be an eternal loss.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 213.

  • Who will follow this false system of worship? Revelation 13:8.
  • How can we retain our names in the Book of Life? Revelation 3:5.

 Note: “If we would be overcomers, we must search our hearts to be sure that we are not cherishing anything that is offensive to God. If we are, we cannot wear the white raiment that is here promised. If we would stand before God in the white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints, we must now do the work of overcoming. …

“Whose names will not be blotted out of the book of life? Only the names of those who have loved God with all the powers of their being, and their neighbors as themselves.” Lift Him Up, 326.

“I beseech you, in the name of Christ, that you confess your sins and reform your ways, that your name may not be blotted out of the book of life, but may be confessed before the Father and before His angels. Jesus is pleading His blood before the Father; and now, while mercy lingers and probation is prolonged, seek the approbation of Heaven.” Reflecting Christ, 57.



  • How can we be overcomers in the last great conflict with evil? Revelation 12:11.

Note: “It is through the grace of Christ that we are to be overcomers; through the merits of His blood we are to be of that number whose names will not be blotted out of the book of life.” This Day With God, 175.

“The spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, faithful children of God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world. Their names are retained in the Lamb’s book of life, enrolled among the faithful of all ages. They have resisted the wiles of the deceiver; they have not been turned from their loyalty by the dragon’s roar. Now they are eternally secure from the tempter’s devices.” Prophets and Kings, 591.

  • What is promised to those who are faithful? Revelation 2:7, 10; 3:21.

Note: “We must share the conflicts if we wear the crown of victory. Like Jesus, we must be made perfect through suffering. … We can walk safely in the darkest path if we have the Light of the world for our guide.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 71.

“The redeemed saints, who have loved God and kept His commandments here, will enter in through the gates of the city, and have right to the tree of life.” My Life Today, 355.



1    What daily sacrifice should we be willing to make in preparation for the deliverance God is seeking to give us in the future?

2    How can I be true to principle today, like Daniel’s three friends?

3    How did God bring salvation to His people in the time of Esther? What can we learn from this?

4    Whose names will be retained in the Book of Life?

5    What does it mean to “have the Light of the world for our guide”?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Deliverance from Our Enemies

May 31 – June 6, 2020

Key Text

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:5).

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 505–510.


“There is help for us only in God. We should not flatter ourselves that we have any strength in wisdom of our own, for our strength is weakness, our judgment foolishness. Christ conquered the foe in our behalf because He pitied our weakness and knew that we would be overcome and would perish if He did not come to our help.” That I May Know Him, 269.



  • Who is our greatest enemy, and how does he manifest himself? 1 Peter 5:8.

Note: “The more nearly the Christian imitates the divine Pattern, the more surely will he make himself a mark for the attacks of Satan.” The Great Controversy, 510.

“Men under the influence of evil spirits will work miracles. They will make people sick by casting their spell upon them, and will then remove the spell, leading others to say that those who were sick have been miraculously healed. This Satan has done again and again.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 53.

  • Why is he working so hard against us? Revelation 12:12.

Note: “Satan is a diligent Bible student. He knows that his time is short, and he seeks at every point to counterwork the work of the Lord upon this earth.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 16.

“The great conflict that Satan created in the heavenly courts is soon, very soon, to be forever decided. … Now, as never before, Satan is exercising his deceiving power to mislead and to destroy every unguarded soul.” Ibid., vol. 7, 141.



  • When we are overwhelmed by the work of the enemy, what can give us courage? Psalm 61:1–3; Isaiah 59:19, second part.

 Note: “The enemy cannot overcome the humble learner of Christ, the one who walks prayerfully before the Lord. Christ interposes Himself as a shelter, a retreat, from the assaults of the wicked one. …

“There is no power in the whole satanic force that can disable the soul that trusts, in simple confidence, in the wisdom that comes from God.

“Christ is our tower of strength, and Satan can have no power over the soul that walks with God in humility of mind. … In Christ there is perfect and complete help for every tempted soul. Dangers beset every path, but the whole universe of heaven is standing on guard, that none may be tempted above that which he is able to bear. … If we will give ourselves unselfishly to the work, never swerving in the least from principle, the Lord will throw about us the everlasting arms, and will prove a mighty helper. If we will look to Jesus as the One in whom we may trust, He will never fail us in any emergency.” My Life Today, 316.

“In the daily life you will meet with sudden surprises, disappointments, and temptations. … Look unto Jesus at all times and in all places, offering a silent prayer from a sincere heart that you may know how to do His will. Then when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for you against the enemy.” The Adventist Home, 214.

  • How can we rise above our enemies? Psalm 119:98; Proverbs 16:7.

Note: “Could our spiritual vision be quickened, we should see souls bowed under oppression and burdened with grief, pressed as a cart beneath sheaves and ready to die in discouragement. We should see angels flying swiftly to aid these tempted ones, who are standing as on the brink of a precipice. The angels from heaven force back the hosts of evil that encompass these souls, and guide them to plant their feet on the sure foundation. The battles waging between the two armies are as real as those fought by the armies of this world, and on the issue of the spiritual conflict eternal destinies depend.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 119.



  • From where do our “enemies” sometimes come? Micah 7:6. Why? Amos 3:3.

Note: “Between the believer and the unbeliever there is a radical difference of tastes, inclinations, and purposes. They are serving two masters, between whom there can be no concord.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 174.

  • Who turned against David? Psalm 41:9. As David sought comfort from the Lord, what assurance was he given? Verses 11, 12.

Note: “When your names are cast out as evil, and friends turn against you, remember how Jesus was treated on earth. Spies were constantly upon His track, seeking to catch Him in His words, that they might find accusation against Him. Can His followers expect better treatment than He received?” Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 234.

  • Tell how Jesus had a similar experience. Luke 22:48.

Note: “Judas the betrayer did not forget the part he was to act. When the mob entered the garden, he had led the way, closely followed by the high priest. To the pursuers of Jesus he had given a sign, saying, ‘Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He: hold Him fast’ (Matthew 26:48). Now he pretends to have no part with them. Coming close to Jesus, he takes His hand as a familiar friend. With the words, ‘Hail, Master’ (Matthew 26:49), he kisses Him repeatedly, and appears to weep as if in sympathy with Him in His peril.

“Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, wherefore art thou come’ (verse 50)? His voice trembled with sorrow as He added, ‘Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss’ (Luke 22:48)? This appeal should have aroused the conscience of the betrayer, and touched his stubborn heart; but honor, fidelity, and human tenderness had forsaken him. He stood bold and defiant, showing no disposition to relent. He had given himself up to Satan, and he had no power to resist him. Jesus did not refuse the traitor’s kiss.” The Desire of Ages, 695, 696.



  • How should we treat those who hurt us? How did Jesus give us an example of this? Matthew 5:43–47; Romans 5:6–8.

Note: “Not because we first loved Him did Christ love us; but ‘while we were yet sinners’ (Romans 5:8) He died for us. He does not treat us according to our desert. Although our sins have merited condemnation, He does not condemn us. Year after year He has borne with our weakness and ignorance, with our ingratitude and waywardness. Notwithstanding our wanderings, our hardness of heart, our neglect of His Holy word, His hand is stretched out still.” The Ministry of Healing, 161.

“Even sinners whose hearts are not utterly closed to God’s Spirit, will respond to kindness; while they may give hate for hate, they will also give love for love. But it is only the Spirit of God that gives love for hatred. To be kind to the unthankful and to the evil, to do good hoping for nothing again, is the insignia of the royalty of heaven, the sure token by which the children of the Highest reveal their high estate.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 75.

  • How can we practically love our enemies? Romans 12:20, 21.

Note: “We may never know until the judgment the influence of a kind, considerate course of action to the inconsistent, the unreasonable, and unworthy. If, after a course of provocation and injustice on their part, you treat them as you would an innocent person, you even take pains to show them special acts of kindness, then you have acted the part of a Christian; and they become surprised and ashamed, and see their course of action and meanness more clearly than if you plainly stated their aggravated acts to rebuke them.” Medical Ministry, 209, 210.

  • Tell of a time where this spirit was practiced. What were the results? 2 Kings 6:18–23.

 Note: “Every word of love, every act of kindness—even the cup of cold water that has been given in the name of Christ—is recognized and rewarded.” The Signs of the Times, February 10, 1888.



  • How can we have victory over our great enemy, the devil? James 4:7–10.

Note: “To us, as to Peter, the word is spoken, ‘Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not’ (Luke 22:31, 32). Thank God, we are not left alone. He who ‘so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16), will not desert us in the battle with the adversary of God and man.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 119.

  • When does God promise to deliver us? Psalm 50:15.

Note: “Sweet and abiding will be the influence emanating from Him who seeth in secret, whose ear is open to hear the prayer arising from the heart. By calm, simple faith the soul holds communion with God and gathers to itself rays of divine light to strengthen and sustain it in the conflict with Satan.” Steps to Christ, 98.

“Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.” In Heavenly Places, 256.

“When it becomes the habit of the soul to converse with God, the power of the evil one is broken, for Satan cannot abide near the soul that draws nigh unto God. If Christ is your companion, you will not cherish vain and impure thoughts; you will not indulge in trifling words.” That I May Know Him, 250.



1    What should we consider if we find life easy, without any struggles with the enemy?

2    What makes the soul invincible to the attacks of the enemy?

3    Why do we sometimes clash with relatives and supposed friends? Who else had this experience?

4    What works most effectively in dealing with the inconsistent and unreasonable?

5    How does prayer give us the victory over our enemies?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Basil Pesto

Healthy Basil

Recent research suggests that basil can help fight bacteria, viruses, and chronic diseases.

Basil, an aromatic herb belonging to the mint family, is perhaps best known as the key ingredient in pesto – that savory Italian sauce made from olive oil, garlic, crushed pine nuts [or walnuts] and loads of fresh basil leaves.

The type of basil used in Mediterranean cooking – Italian large-leaf – pairs well with tomato dishes. Other common varieties like sweet, lemon, Thai and holy basil are used judiciously in Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cuisine.

There are more than 40 cultivars of this pungent plant, each with its own characteristic color and aroma. Depending on the variety, basil can be green, white or purple with a scent reminiscent of lemon, cloves, cinnamon, anise, camphor or thyme.

But it is basil’s medicinal properties, rather than its culinary value, that extend the herb’s uses far beyond the humble pesto. Like other aromatic plants, basil contains essential oils and phytochemicals in the leaves, stem, flowers, roots and seeds that have biological activity in the body.

Throughout history, ancient cultures have used herbal remedies to prevent and treat illness and disease. Basil is just one example of the wide range of medicinal flora historically used in plant-based tinctures, compresses, syrups and ointments.

For instance, holy basil, or tulsi in Hindi, has been used as a treatment for gastric, hepatic, respiratory and inflammatory disorders as well as a remedy for headache, fever, anxiety, convulsions, nausea and hypertension.

In addition to its culinary uses, basil is also used in perfumes, soaps, shampoos and dental preparations. It is recommended in herbals for the relief of dysentery, gas pains, nausea, and as a cure for worms and warts.

Recipe – Basil Pesto


One package of fresh basil (4 oz.), always available at Trader Joe’s or any Asian market

2 handfuls walnuts

2 small garlic cloves

Juice of one lemon

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

¾ cup olive oil



Blend all ingredients in blender; add more olive oil if more liquid consistency is desired. Serve on pasta. The pesto will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It can also be used as spread on sandwiches or added to salads, or anywhere instead of mayonnaise.

Life Sketches – A Convenient Time

Is it true that somewhere a record is kept of your life? No one is forgotten. Every thought, feeling, and action are noted and understood by a loving God, and one day all will stand before Him and acknowledge Him as righteous, just and true. Some will delight in His presence; however, we are told that the majority will call for the rocks to fall on them to hide them from His presence.

Our great work on this earth as Christians is not to criticize the character and motives of others, but rather to closely examine our own hearts and lives to see if they are in harmony with the word of God. When tempted by the devil, Jesus said to him, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).

The result of resisting the truth that is in the word of God is a heart that becomes hard. The Bible calls it the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). That hard heart, confirmed by impenitence, is fatal, and those people who have this condition, while at the same time claiming to be Christian, are deceiving not only themselves but also others. These “Christians” outwardly pay homage to Christ and most of them go to some church. They unite in the services of the Christian religion, but their heart, whose loyalty alone Jesus prizes, is estranged from Him. When men refuse to accept the truth that God sends to them from His word, they are oblivious of the path they take, or its destination.

The Jewish nation in the days of Christ had this same problem. Though God had sent much evidence, they refused to accept the truth and receive Jesus as the longed-for Messiah. The critical question is never how much truth you know, but whether you obey the truth that you do know. The person who knows a thimble full of truth and follows it by putting it into practice is more righteous in God’s sight than a person who knows all about theology yet refuses to live in harmony with that knowledge.

The apostle Paul was brought to Caesarea to stand before Felix the governor, and within just a matter of days the Jewish people had hired an orator by the name of Tertullus to represent them in accusing him.

It says in Acts 24, verse 1, “After five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul.” To gain favor with the governor, Tertullus decided the best way to proceed was to use flattery. He said, “ ‘Seeing that through you we enjoy great peace, and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight, we accept it always and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us. For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him, and wanted to judge him according to our law. But the commander Lysias came by and with great violence took him out of our hands, commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him’ ” (verses 2–8). To these accusations the Jews assented that this was true (verse 9). However, the facts are that in this speech, Tertullus descended to barefaced falsehood.

Historians have revealed that Felix practiced all kinds of lusts and cruelty with the power of a king and the temper of a slave. Now it is true that he had rendered some services to the nation by driving out the robbers and ridding the country of certain dangerous persons. However, the treacherous cruelty of his character is demonstrated by his brutal murder of the high priest Jonathan, who was largely responsible for him getting the position that he had.

Jonathan, though little better than Felix himself, had ventured to reprove him for some of his acts of violence. For doing this, the procurator, Felix, had caused Jonathan to be assassinated while employed in his official duties in the temple. Felix was also known for his unbridled licentiousness. An example of this is seen in his alliance with Drusilla, a young Jewish princess. Through the deceptive arts of Simon Magus, a Cyprian sorcerer hired by Felix, the princess was induced to leave her husband and to become his wife. Drusilla was young and beautiful. She was devotedly attached to her husband, who had made a great sacrifice to obtain her hand. There was little indeed to induce her to forego her strongest prejudices and bring herself into an association with an elderly, cruel profligate, and bring upon herself the abhorrence of her own nation by forming this adulterous connection.

Yet, the Satanic devices of the conjurer and the betrayer succeeded, and Felix accomplished his purpose. Now the Jews who were present at Paul’s examination shared in the general feelings of animosity toward Felix, but their desire was so great to gain his favor in order to secure the condemnation of Paul that they assented to the flattering words of Tertullus. These were men in holy office, robed in priestly garments, who were very exact in the observance of the ceremonies and customs of their religion. They were very scrupulous to avoid any outward pollution. At the same time, their soul temples were defiled with all manner of iniquity. Jesus said they appeared to be righteous on the outside, but inside they were full of all manner of lawlessness (Luke 11:39). The outward contact with anything that was thought to be unclean was considered by them to be a great offense, but in their eyes, the murder of the apostle Paul was a justifiable act. What an illustration of the blindness that can come upon the human mind.

Here are people who claimed to be God’s covenant people, but like the barren fig tree in Jesus’ parable, they were clothed with pretentious leaves, destitute of the fruits of holiness. How is it in your life, friend? If you profess to be a religious person of any kind, is there something in your life more than a profession? Do you actually have the fruit of holiness described in Galatians 5?

Paul said that in the last days one of the problems would be that many people would have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5). That is a true description of what we see today. The Jews were filled with malice toward Paul, a pure and good man, and sought by every means, fair or foul, to take his life by praising a vindictive, profligate man as his judge. There are many today who estimate human character in the same way, prompted by the adversary of all righteousness; they call evil good and truth evil. The prophet Isaiah said, “Truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter” (Isaiah 59:14).

It is because of this condition in the world that God calls upon His children to come out and be separate. God says through the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians, the 6th chapter, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty’ ” (verses 14–18). This is not referring to physical uncleanness, but the spiritual uncleanness of the sin of envy and jealousy and evil thoughts.

Those who mingle with the world will eventually come to view matters from a worldling’s standpoint instead of the way that God sees them. “It takes time to transform the human to the divine, or to degrade those formed in the image of God to the brutal or the Satanic. By beholding we become changed.” The Adventist Home, 330.

The pure and the good will always be honored and loved by those who are good. In Tertullus’ speech against Paul, it was charged that he was a pestilent fellow, that he created sedition among the Jews throughout the world, and that he was consequently guilty of treason against the emperor, and that he was a leader of a sect of the Nazarenes and chargeable with heresy against the law of Moses. Another accusation was that he had profaned the temple, which was a lie. It was then falsely stated that Lysias, the commander of the garrison, had violently taken Paul from the Jews as they were about to judge him by their ecclesiastical law, and thus had improperly forced them to bring the matter before Felix.

These lying statements were skillfully designed to obtain the governor’s favor. But Felix, in spite of the fact that he was a profligate and cruel, was not stupid and perceived the motive for the flattery. When he saw that the Jews had failed to substantiate their charges, Felix turned to Paul and asked what he had to say concerning himself. “Then Paul, after the governor had nodded to him to speak, answered: ‘Inasmuch as I know that you have been for many years a judge of this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself, because you may ascertain that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship. And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city. Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me. But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation, in the midst of which some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a mob nor with tumult. They ought to have been here before you to object if they had anything against me. Or else let those who are here themselves say if they found any wrongdoing in me while I stood before the council, unless it is for this one statement which I cried out, standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day’ ” (Acts 24:10–21).

Step by step Paul refuted all of the charges brought against him and declared that he had caused no disturbance in any part of Jerusalem. He had not profaned the sanctuary; he had not been in the temple disputing or raising a ruckus and said that none of the charges could be proved and that he believed in the law and the prophets just the same as the Jews claimed to believe.

Jesus had stated clearly that there would be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust (John 5:28, 29). In a candid, straight-forward manner, the apostle Paul stated the reason for his visit to Jerusalem and the circumstances of His arrest and trial. He spoke with earnestness, sincerity, and conviction of truthfulness. Felix had a better knowledge of the Christian religion than the Jews had supposed, because in Caesarea there were many Christians and he was not deceived by the misrepresentations of these Jews. Felix understood the situation and knew this man before him was not guilty. The Jews had not proven anything.

However, Felix was motivated by no higher motive than being interested in himself. Instead of pronouncing sentence and setting the apostle Paul free as he ought to have done right then, he procrastinated, and Paul was left in prison so that he would not stir up any more the animosity of the Jews.

Later, Felix had Paul brought in to speak to himself and Drusilla, his young wife. Felix’ and Drusilla’s relationship was not a Biblical marriage but an adulterous one. This time, the apostle had a small audience in this licentious couple, a cruel profligate Roman governor and a profligate Jewish princess. The Roman governor had heard about the future resurrection of both the just and the unjust and when Paul spoke about it, he desired to know more. Paul was able to improve on this opportunity. He knew the man and woman before whom he was standing had the power either to put him to death or to preserve his life, but he did not address them with praise or flattery. He knew that how they responded to what he would say to them would determine their eternal destiny.  So, forgetting all selfish considerations, he sought to arouse within them the peril of their souls.

The gospel message does not allow any neutrality. The gospel counts all men to be decidedly for the truth or against it. Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30). If we do not obey and receive the teachings of the gospel, then we become its enemies. But at the same time, the gospel does not know any respect of person, class, or condition. The gospel is addressed to all mankind, and every human being who hears it must make a decision for or against it. If you are not for it, you are against it.

The Lord said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:13). So, the apostle presented the gospel to Felix. This was not like a whole series of prophecy seminars or evangelistic meetings like preachers conduct today. Paul had one chance to present the truth to this heathen man and his profligate wife.

Notice the three subjects Paul thought best to address with Felix and Drusilla. He “… reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come” (Acts 24:25, first part).

The Bible says that “Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you’ ” (verse 25, last part). Paul presented to Felix the righteousness of God, the justice of God, and the nature and obligation of the divine law. He clearly showed that every human being has an obligation to live a life of sobriety and temperance, keeping the passions under the control of reason in conformity with God’s law, and preserving the physical and mental powers in a healthful condition.

Paul presented that a day of judgment would surely come when every human being will be rewarded according to the deeds done in their bodies. Notice what he wrote to the Corinthians: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

So, a day of reckoning will come. Wealth, or position, or honor will be powerless in the Day of Judgment to elevate a man before God or to ransom him from the penalty of sin. This life is the only period of probation. This is your only chance to develop a character that will be fit to be given the gift of immortality. If we neglect our present privileges and opportunities it will prove to be an eternal loss, because no new probation is going to be given at the end of the world.

If, in the Day of Judgment, you are found to be unholy in heart or defective in any respect when judged by the Law of God, you will suffer the punishment of your guilt. Paul dwelt upon the far-reaching claims of God’s law and showed that the law of God extends not just to outward actions, but to the deep secrets of man’s moral nature. The law extends to the thoughts, to the motives, to the purposes of the heart. In both the Old and New Testaments, we are told that God knows our thoughts. He knows our feelings. The dark passions that are hidden from the sight of men, such as jealousy, revenge, hatred, lust, wild ambition, and evil deeds that are meditated upon in the dark recesses of the mind, yet may never be executed for want of opportunity, God knows.

Men may imagine that they can safely cherish these secret sins, but in the Day of Judgment, Paul says, all the secret sins of man will be laid open. Jesus said the same thing. All secrets of men will be revealed in the judgment. The only hope for fallen man is to manifest faith in the blood of Christ, receive the Holy Spirit and be born again, so that not only his sins might be forgiven, but that a new nature, a new heart, a new Spirit, be instilled within him. This was the message Paul fearlessly preached to Felix.

Felix saw that God justly claims the love and obedience of all His creatures. But man has forgotten his Maker. God did not bestow His grace upon the human race so that the binding claims of His law would be lessened, but rather to be established. Paul said, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31).

Paul, the prisoner, urged upon the Jew and the Gentile the claims of the divine law and presented Jesus, the despised Nazarene, as the Son of God, the world’s Redeemer and the only One able to forgive sin. The Jewish princess well understood the sacred nature of that law which she had so shamelessly transgressed, but her prejudice against the man of Calvary steeled her heart against the words of life. However, Felix, who had never listened to truth before like this, was deeply agitated. The Spirit sent home the truth to his conscience and he was greatly troubled. Conscience had made her voice heard, and Felix felt that Paul’s words were true.

Memory went back over Felix’s guilty past. With terrible distinctness came to his mind the secrets of his early life; the lust, the bloodshed, the black record of his later years, licentious, cruel, rapacious, unjust, steeped in the blood of many innocent people, the public massacres for which he was responsible and he was filled with terror. The thought that all the secrets of his career of crime were open before the eye of God and that one day he would be judged according to his deeds caused him to tremble with guilty dread. But he decided to put it off.

Refusing the invitation to accept eternal life, Felix told Paul to go away and when it was more convenient, he would call on Paul again. Tragically, that convenient time never came for Felix. There are many people today doing the very same thing. They see the gospel and fear that time when their true character will be laid open for all to see, but they say, “I’ll be saved later.”

How is it with you friend? It is dangerous to wait for the convenient season. It never comes.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – The Rise of Veganism

Browsing the grocery store aisles, one can’t help but notice the rise of veganism in the United States. There are more vegan products on the shelves by the week. Multiple documentaries have been released on Netflix, such as The Game Changers in 2019, or HOPE – What You Eat Matters in 2018 on YouTube. People are turning to the vegan lifestyle because the future of our planet is at stake.

Meat and dairy production is the single largest contributor to global warming. Rainforests, the lungs of our planet, are being cleared to graze cattle or cultivate cattle feed, such as soybeans. Only 2% of soy produced worldwide is consumed by humans. Seventy percent is cattle feed, 28% biofuel.1 Animal agriculture consumes more precious water than all the other world’s industries combined.


What the Health H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters
The Game Changers Food Choices
Cowspiracy Super Size Me
Vegucated Diet Fiction
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead Forks over Knives
Food, Inc. Eating You Alive
Plant Pure Nation
Let us be Heroes


Environmental agencies had traditionally focused on plastic waste and car pollution, but the largest threat to our planet was a taboo. Why? Food is a sensitive issue. People react with anger when someone tells them what to eat or not to eat, especially when we’re talking about meat. As a society, we have been fed the meat industry lie that meat and dairy are essential for our nutrition. Only recently, these taboo questions are being answered and the public is learning the truth.

As Seventh-day Adventists, we have known this truth for 150 years. Yet, we have been unable to convince the public with our health message. Not only that, we have been abandoning these truths in order to be more “mainstream.” According to the PBS research, only 30% of Seventh-day Adventists practice some form of vegetarianism.2 Even with just 30%, we achieve better health and longevity than the general population. Imagine the difference if all church members adhered to the health message. The results would be worth bold letters in every news outlet.

As Adventists, we should be on the cutting edge of nutritional science, plant-based culinary arts, and exemplary lifestyle. Yet, quite the opposite has been the case. Those of us who adhere to some form of vegetarianism have earned the reputation for bland food preparation. I often get inspired by one of my favorite cuisines – Indian food, which is considered one of the world’s best ethnic kitchens. Why? The Hindu people of India have been on the vegetarian diet for thousands of years. They have had all these years to perfect their recipes to the gourmet level of today. Various vegan movements turn to Hinduism as the poster child for humane treatment of animals and saving our planet.

Shouldn’t it be the Seventh-day Adventists that the world is turning to? At one point in history, Seventh-day Adventists changed the way America eats breakfast. How did it happen that we are so behind modern food trends? Sadly, we have abandoned our health message.

If we had upheld the health message that was given to us in the 1800s, the world today would be at our feet asking for help and expertise. What a tremendous evangelism opportunity lost! I can’t think of a greater opportunity lost in the entire history of Adventism. The entire world would learn of Seventh-day Adventists and their message via mainstream media. For free! Instead, it’s the Hollywood stars who are spreading the health message. Every week I hear of a new Hollywood star going vegan.

When watching the various documentaries on veganism that have become popular in recent years, I see the Adventist health message being preached. I can’t help but notice that many of the nutritional experts take their knowledge directly out of Spirit of Prophecy, down to the last letter. The history is being repeated as in biblical times. If God’s people abandon the message that God gave them, He can raise someone else to do the work—in this case, saving our planet from an ecological collapse. This could have been our role that God had in store for us, but we turned it down. God gave us decades of preparation time for this moment in history. We have had over 100 years to perfect our nutritional science, culinary arts, and natural medical treatments. Yet, we have lost the opportunity. As today’s vegan movement is gaining momentum, no one knows that this message has existed for over 100 years, gathering dust on the bookshelves of Adventist households.

Is it too late? As the saying goes, better late than never. Although the health food world is light years ahead of us, we can still come to the forefront and say: “Hey, we have known all this for 150 years! But nobody paid attention.”

There are various diet trends such as the Atkins diet, gluten free diet, ketogenic diet, etc. But veganism is not a temporary fashion. It is here to stay. Let’s dust off our treasured publications such as The Ministry of Healing, Counsels on Diet and Foods, and Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene. People will be astounded to find out that this information has been available for over 100 years. Although the majority of Seventh-day Adventists are indifferent to the health message, there are a few who adhere to it. Let’s talk to people, let’s share the newest documentaries available (see table for list) as a conversation starter. No one will say that this is extreme anymore. People accept this message because the very existence of our planet is at stake. Let’s share our recipes with people. Let’s forge strong friendships. Relationships are created around food in all of the world’s cultures. We have forgotten this reality in our country. Let’s start cooking at home and share with friends and neighbors. You can make a difference.

I live in a condominium unit in a large city and have made friends with my neighbors. Lately I had overseas visitors staying in my home. I enjoyed cooking for them and one night we just had too much food left over. I called one of my neighbors, explained the situation, and asked if I could bring her a take-out box of food. She happily accepted and said that she hadn’t had her dinner yet and was thinking what to eat, but her fridge is empty. I delivered the box promptly; she said a big thank you. The next day, I received a phone call. The lovely lady asked from what restaurant I ordered the meal. Hah! It was made from scratch in my kitchen! Ravioli garnished with fresh basil pesto (see a pesto recipe on page 49). Fresh herbs make a big difference and give your dish a gourmet touch.

My neighbor requested a visit in my home for a basil pesto demonstration. She is a successful woman in her ‘70s who operates her own business. She suggested a Saturday morning as it’s the best time for her new boyfriend to come as well, whom she’d love for me to meet. I assured her that her boyfriend is welcome as well and explained that Saturday mornings are not suitable for me because I attend a church at these hours. “On Saturday?” she asked. “Come on Sunday morning and I’ll explain why my day of worship is Saturday,” I replied. She happily agreed. Talking about outreach opportunities! They come themselves if we are friendly to our neighbors!

Large cities also have vegan support groups. Many people want to start this lifestyle, but don’t know how and search for like-minded individuals. These places are great to get involved. You can make friends there, organize potluck lunches, or the like.

But first, we have to return to our roots, to our health message. Once people find out what a treasure we have, they will request visits to our homes. May God bless you and keep you as you live His health message.

1 H.O.P.E. What You Eat Matters


Question – What does it mean: “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” [riches]?

The inhabitants had before them living evidences of the power and mercy of Him whom they drove from their midst. They saw that the lunatics had been restored to reason; but they were so fearful of incurring pecuniary loss that the Saviour, who had baffled the Prince of Darkness before their eyes, was treated as an unwelcome invader, and they turned the priceless Gift of Heaven from their doors, and blindly rejected His visit of mercy. We have not the opportunity of turning from the person of Christ, as did the Gadarenes; but there are many in these days who refuse to follow His teachings, because in so doing they must sacrifice some worldly interest. Many, in the various pursuits of life, turn Jesus from their hearts, fearful that His presence may cost them pecuniary loss. Like the selfish Gadarenes, they overlook His grace, and ruthlessly drive His Spirit from them. To such His words apply: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon’ (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13, last parts).” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 314.

“Double-minded men and women are Satan’s best allies. Whatever favorable opinion they may have of themselves, they are dissemblers. All who are loyal to God and the truth must stand firmly for the right because it is right. To yoke up with those who are unconsecrated, and yet be loyal to the truth, is simply impossible. We cannot unite with those who are serving themselves, who are working on worldly plans, and not lose our connection with the heavenly Counselor. We may recover ourselves from the snare of the enemy, but we are bruised and wounded, and our experience is dwarfed.” The Review and Herald, April 19, 1898.

“Those who stand under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel cannot be united with the Free Masons or with any secret organization. The seal of the living God will not be placed upon anyone who maintains such a connection after the light of truth has shone upon his pathway. Christ is not divided, and Christians cannot serve God and mammon. The Lord says, ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate … and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty’ (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18).” Selected Messages, Book 2, 140.

Nature – Deep Waters

While thousands of climbers have successfully scaled Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, only two people have descended to the planet’s deepest point – the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. This trench is approximately 200 km east of the Mariana Islands. In 2009, the Mariana Trench was established as a United States National Monument.

If Mount Everest were to be dropped into the Trench, its peak would still be more than a mile underwater. The crushing water pressure on the floor of the trench is more than 8 tons per square inch. This is 1,000 times the pressure felt at sea level or the equivalent of 50 jumbo jets piled on top of a person.

My favorite underwater world is the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, Australia. It is one of the seven wonders of the natural world with a picture postcard of multicolored fish and coral. When I witness such beauty, I think of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

So let us picture the love of Jesus as we look at Ephesians 3:17–19: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

I love the analogy of our sins being cast into the deep. Micah 7:19 says, “He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

God took care of the Israelites by using the depth of the sea to divide the water so they could cross on dry land and then swallow Pharoah’s chariots and his army (see Exodus 15:3–5; Nehemiah 9:11).

The Red Sea has a maximum dept of 9,970 feet in the Central Suakin Trough and an average dept of 1,608 feet. Can you imagine walking on dry land through the sea with a wall of water on either side?

Here are a couple more verses of hope:

“Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgments are a great deep: Oh Lord, Thou preservest man and beast” (Psalm 36:6).

The psalmist says, “Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me” (Psalm 69:14,15).

We are living in troublous times, but we do know how God led His people in the past and saved them from their enemies. Amazing events are ahead!

“I dwell with pleasure upon the resurrection of the just, who shall come forth from all the parts of the earth, from rocky caverns, from dungeons, from caves of the earth, from the waters of the deep. Not one is overlooked. Every one shall hear His voice. They will come forth with triumph and victory.” Letter 113, 1886.

Wonderful words of comfort. Dear Lord, please make us ready.

Keys – Are You Ready?

As I sit here thinking about the past few days, I ask myself, “Judy, are you really ready?” There are days so stressful when we are brought right up to the end of our string and we lose it. Have you ever felt like that or has that happened to you? I suppose it is only human, but we are told we must get past “losing it” or else we will never make it past the gates to the City of God. God says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) but I am sure many of you know how hard it is to “be still” at times under frustration.

All these things that happen in life happen for good to them that love the Lord. He is preparing us for the future conflict that will be so much more severe than we can ever imagine. Are you ready? Can you handle, in a Christ-like manner today, the battles you are facing?

“God calls upon His people to prepare themselves for scenes of severe conflict.

Take up your duties in a meek and lowly spirit.

Ever face your enemies in the strength of Jesus.

Discharge with faithfulness every duty.

“Realize that you must now obtain by daily conversion and humility an unquestioning trust in the One who has all power and who will not leave you to be destroyed. You may know Christ by personal experience. … In the trials of these last days Christ will be made unto His people wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. … They are to develop an experience that will be a convincing power in the world.” In Heavenly Places, 297.

I ask myself, Am I ready? Am I ready to let go of self that likes to bite back and rebel when things do not go the way I think they should? Oh, how hard it is to die to self! And Jesus tells us that the future conflict will be so much more severe than we can ever imagine. Are you ready?

I must learn right now to depend totally on the sufficiency of Jesus and so must you. Are you ready to give up self to Jesus? We must really believe that Christ is all-sufficient, faithful, and powerful.

“What wonderful lessons we shall learn as the result of depending constantly on the sufficiency of Christ. He who is learning these lessons need not depend on another’s experience. He has the witness in himself, and his experience is the actual knowledge that Christ is all-sufficient, faithful, and powerful. He has the realization of the promise, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). ‘God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able’ (1 Corinthians 10:13).” Ibid., 297.

Are you ready to give up self and let Jesus? Are you really ready?

Heavenly Father: I am so sorry I have taken the reigns of self and plowed right into the devil’s territory and left Jesus out. Please Lord, I submit my life to You. Give me strength to be still and know that Thou art my God and that You will take care of each situation. Help me to hide in Thee more and more, for self is so ugly when joined with rebellion and the devil.  Am I ready? Only Thou knowest! Help, Lord! Amen.