Bible Study Guides – Eternal life

December 23 – 29, 2001

“I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish”

MEMORY VERSE: “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Romans 6:22.

STUDY HELP: Evangelism, 247; The Faith I Live By, 217.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17.


“Christ gave Himself for sinners. With what anxiety for the salvation of souls we should be filled as we see human beings perishing in sin! These souls have been bought at an infinite price. The death of the Son of God on Calvary’s cross is the measure of their value. Day by day they are deciding whether they will have eternal life or eternal death.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 28, 29.

“Death by Sin”

1 What two alternatives are available to the human race? Romans 6:23; John 3:36.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 123.

2 Who was the first to teach that those who disobey God will never perish? Genesis 3:3–5.

NOTE: “The great original lie which he [Satan] told to Eve in Eden, ‘Ye shall not surely die,’ was the first sermon ever preached on the immortality of the soul. That sermon was crowned with success, and terrible results followed. He has brought minds to receive that sermon as truth, and ministers preach it, sing it, and pray it. After the Fall, Satan bade his angels make a special effort to inculcate the belief in man’s natural immortality; and having induced the people to receive this error, they were to lead them on to conclude that the sinner would live in eternal misery. Now the prince of darkness, working through his agents, represents God as a revengeful tyrant, declaring that He plunges into hell all those who do not please Him, and causes them ever to feel His wrath.…” The Faith I Live By, 178.

“What Shall I Do That I May Inherit Eternal Life?”

3 What did Jesus say is the first condition for receiving eternal life? Luke 13:3, 5.

NOTE: “Christ’s message to the people was, ‘Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’ Luke 13:5. And the apostles were commanded to preach everywhere that men should repent. The Lord desires His servants today to preach the old gospel doctrine, sorrow for sin, repentance, and confession. We want old-fashioned sermons, old-fashioned customs, old-fashioned fathers and mothers in Israel. The sinner must be labored for, perseveringly, earnestly, wisely, until he shall see that he is a transgressor of God’s law, and shall exercise repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.” Evangelism, 179, 180.

4 What is the next condition for us to receive eternal life? John 3:15–17.

NOTE: “You are a sinner. You cannot atone for your past sins; you cannot change your heart and make yourself holy. But God promises to do all this for you through Christ. You believe that promise. You confess your sins and give yourself to God. You will to serve Him. Just as surely as you do this, God will fulfill His word to you. If you believe the promise,—believe that you are forgiven and cleansed,—God supplies the fact; you are made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, ‘I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised.’” Steps to Christ, 51.

“You may say that you believe in Jesus, when you have an appreciation of the cost of salvation. You may make this claim, when you feel that Jesus died for you on the cruel cross of Calvary; when you have an intelligent, understanding faith that His death makes it possible for you to cease from sin, and to perfect a righteous character through the grace of God, bestowed upon you as the purchase of Christ’s blood. The eyes of fallen men may be anointed with the eye-salve of spiritual comprehension, and they may see themselves as they really are,—poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked. They may be brought to realize their need of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Review and Herald, July 24, 1888.

5 What further condition is required for us to receive eternal life? Matthew 19:16, 17. Compare John 5:24.

NOTE: “These words meet the individual cases of all. Are we willing to comply with the conditions? Will we obey God and keep His commandments? Will we be doers of the Word and not hearers only? God’s law is as immutable and unchangeable as His character. Whatever men may say or do to make it void does not change its claims or release them from their obligation to obey.” Faith and Works, 42

“This is Life Eternal”

6 What is an essential preparation for eternal life? John 17:3.

NOTE: See Maranatha, 76.

7 When we know God and recognize His voice, from what danger will we be protected? John 10:3–5, 27, 28. Compare John 6:68.

NOTE: “Christ is the Good Shepherd. He leads the way, calling upon His sheep to follow Him. Those who hear and obey His voice will follow His example in all things. Becoming acquainted with Him, they will grow daily more and more like Him. They will be meek and lowly, free from jealousy and envy. Do we hear Christ’s voice? Are we following him? It is of great importance that we know whether we are following the True Shepherd. In order to know this, we must search His word; for it is His voice speaking to us. ‘What saith the Scriptures?’ is to be our watchword at every step. In God’s word we may find an answer to every question.” Youth’s Instructor, October 3, 1901. See also Faith and Works, 56.

“Eat His Flesh and Drink His Blood”

8 What further condition for eternal life did Jesus give? John 6:51–55.

NOTE: See The Desire of Ages, 389.

9 How did Jesus stress the importance of hearkening to His Word? John 5:24.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 38.

10 How did Jesus show that reading the Bible is not enough? John 5:38, 39.

NOTE: “It is not enough to study the Bible as other books are studied. In order for it to be understood savingly, the Holy Spirit must move on the heart of the searcher. The same Spirit that inspired the Word must inspire the reader of the Word. Then will be heard the voice of heaven.…The mere reading of the Word will not accomplish the result designed of heaven; it must be studied and cherished in the heart. The knowledge of God is not gained without mental effort. We should diligently study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His Word. We should take one verse and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell on the thought till it becomes our own, and we know ‘what saith the Lord.’ There is but little benefit derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures. One may read the Bible through and yet fail to see its beauty or to comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained. Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory. Even while you are walking the streets you may read a passage and meditate upon it, thus fixing it in mind.” In Heavenly Places, 138.

“Patient Continuance”

11 What quality of character will be found in those who receive eternal life? Romans 2:7.

NOTE: “We must all exercise faith.…We are exhorted to be sober and watch unto prayer, but this does not mean that we are to mourn and repine, like orphaned children. True, the struggle for continual advancement in the Christian life must be lifelong, but our advancement in the heavenly path may be hopeful. If we manifest an intense energy, proportionate to the object for which we are striving, even eternal life, we are made partakers of Christ and of all the rich graces He is willing and ready to give to those who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality. If we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end we shall see the King in His glory.” That I May Know Him, 170.

12 What promise did Jesus make to those who have sacrificed in order to follow Him? Mark 10:30.

NOTE: “May it not be our great anxiety to succeed in this world; but may the burden of our souls be, How shall I secure the better world? What have I to do to be saved?…The position all must come into, is to value salvation dearer than earthly gain, to count everything but loss that they may win Christ. The consecration must be entire. God will admit of no reserve, of no divided sacrifice, no idol. All must die to self, and to the world. Then let us each renew our consecration to God daily. Everlasting life is worth a lifelong, persevering, untiring effort.” Our High Calling, 308.

By Gordon Anderson

Bible Study Guides – Judgment

December 16 – 22, 2001

“The Hour of His Judgment is Come”

MEMORY VERSE: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:2.

STUDY HELP: The Great Controversy, 423–432.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing.” Ecclesiastes 12:14.


“The message of salvation has been preached in all ages; but this message [that the hour of judgment has come] is a part of the gospel which could be proclaimed only in the last days, for only then would it be true that the hour of judgment had come. [Revelation 14:6-7.] The prophecies present a succession of events leading down to the opening of the judgment. This is especially true of the book of Daniel. But that part of his prophecy which related to the last days, Daniel was bidden to close up and seal ‘to the time of the end.’ Not till we reach this time could a message concerning the judgment be proclaimed, based on a fulfillment of these prophecies. But at the time of the end, says the prophet, ‘many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.’ Daniel 12:4.” The Great Controversy, 356.

“Is There Knowledge in the Most High?”

1 What is there about this world that requires a judgment to take place? Psalm 73:3–12.

NOTE: “There are times when under adversity and sorrow, the servants of God become discouraged and despondent. They brood over their circumstances, and, contrasting their condition with the prosperity of those who have no thought or care for eternal things, they feel aggrieved. They manifest a spirit of reproach, and murmur and repine at their lot. They seem to consider that God is under special obligation to bless them and prosper their undertakings, and therefore, as they are placed in situations of trial, they grow rebellious, and look with envy on the wicked who flourish in their iniquity. They seem to regard the condition of the transgressor as preferable to their own. These bitter thoughts are suggested to the mind by the deceiver of mankind.” Signs of the Times, February 3, 1888.

2 As the psalmist struggled with this problem, where did he find the solution? Psalm 73:16, 17.

NOTE: “But when he [David] went into the sanctuary, and communed with the Lord, he no longer desired the portion of the wicked; for then he understood their end. He saw that their way led to destruction at last, and their pleasure was but for a season. Envy had no more a place in his heart. His rebellious spirit bowed in humble submission to his God, and he declared, ‘Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.’ He saw that the guidance of the Lord was of infinitely more value than all the temporal prosperity of the world; for the way of the Lord kept the feet in the paths of righteousness that lead to eternal glory.” Ibid.

“Thy Way, O God, is in the Sanctuary”

3 How did God teach the truth about the judgment and its outcome to His people of old? Exodus 28:29, 30. Compare Isaiah 59:15–20.

NOTE: “The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days.” Evangelism, 221. See also Patriarchs and Prophets, 351.

4 What picture of the judgment was Daniel shown? Daniel 7:9, 10.

NOTE: “Thus was presented to the prophet’s vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to every man should be rendered ‘according to his works.’ The Ancient of days is God the Father.…It is He, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the judgment. And holy angels, as ministers and witnesses, in number ‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’ (Revelation 5:11), attend this great tribunal.” The Faith I Live By, 209.

5 Whose intervention in the judgment was crucial to the outcome of the judgment? Daniel 7:13, 14, 18, 27. Compare Malachi 3:1–4; John 5:22.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 480.

“Judgment Must Begin at the House of God”

6 With who is the work of judgment first concerned? 1 Peter 4:17.

NOTE: “In the typical service only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later period. ‘Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel?’ 1 Peter 4:17.” Ibid.

7 Which people are protected in the time of God’s judgment? Ezekiel 9:1–6. Compare Revelation 7:1–4.

NOTE: “He who presides over His church and the destinies of nations is carrying forward the last work to be accomplished for this world. To His angels He gives the commission to execute His judgments. Let the ministers awake, let them take in the situation. The work of judgment begins at the sanctuary. ‘And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar.’ Read Ezekiel 9:2–7. The command is, ‘Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.’ Saith God, ‘I will recompense their way upon their head.’ The words will soon be spoken, ‘Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.’ One of the ministers of vengeance declares. ‘And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because Thou hast judged thus.’” Testimonies to Ministers, 431.

8 What is the significance of the mark or seal placed upon God’s faithful people? 2 Timothy 2:19.

NOTE: “The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken, and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. ‘The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry;’ but ‘the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.’ Psalm 34:15, 16.…Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul-temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost.…The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God,—candidates for heaven. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour.” Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 187, 189, 191. See also Review and Herald, July 13, 1897.

“With What Judgment Ye Judge, Ye Shall be Judged”

9 What is a fundamental principle in the judgment? Matthew 7:2. Compare Matthew 6:14, 15; Matthew 5:19; Romans 2:3.

NOTE: “We are not forgiven because we forgive, but as we forgive. The ground of all forgiveness is found in the unmerited love of God, but by our attitude toward others we show whether we have made that love our own. Wherefore Christ says, ‘With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.’ Matthew 7:2.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 251.

“He who takes upon himself the work of judging and criticizing others, lays himself open to the same degree of judgment and criticism. Those who are ready to condemn their brethren, would do well to examine their own works and character. Such an examination, honestly made, will reveal the fact that they, too, have defects of character, and have made grave blunders in their work. If the great Judge should deal with men as they deal with their fellow workers, they would regard Him as unkind and unmerciful.” Christian Leadership, 59.

10 What warning did Christ give about the judgment? Matthew 12:36, 37. Compare Ecclesiastes 12:13.

NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 323.

“The Righteous Judge”

11 How did Paul express his confidence in Christ as his Judge? 2 Timothy 4:7, 8. See also Matthew 25:31–40.

NOTE: “In the account of the judgment scene, when the reward is given to the righteous, and sentence is passed on the wicked, the righteous are represented as wondering what they have done that they should receive such reward. But they cherished an abiding faith in Christ. They were imbued with His Spirit, and, without conscious effort, they performed for Christ, in the person of His saints, those services that bring a sure reward. But their motive in working was not to receive compensation. They regarded it as the highest honor to be allowed to work as Christ worked. What they did was done from love to Christ and to their fellowmen, and He who has identified Himself with suffering humanity accredited these acts of compassion and love as though done to Himself.…Our every endowment, our every talent, we owe to the Lord. Every victory gained is gained through His grace. Therefore, it is entirely out of place for us to boast.…” Lift Him Up, 343.

12 How does Christ announce the verdict of the judgment and what will He do immediately after this? Revelation 22:11, 12.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 490, 491.

By Gordon Anderson

Bible Study Guides – The New Birth

December 9 – 15, 2001

“Except a Man be Born Again”

MEMORY VERSE: “Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” John 3:3

STUDY HELP: Christ’s Object Lessons, 98–102.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Born again means a transformation, a new birth in Christ Jesus.” The Adventist Home, 206.


“All are not constituted alike. Conversions are not all alike. Jesus impresses the heart, and the sinner is born again to new life. Often souls have been drawn to Christ when there was no violent conviction, no soul rending, no remorseful terrors. They looked upon an uplifted Saviour; they lived. They saw the soul’s need; they saw the Saviour’s sufficiency and His claims; they heard His voice saying, ‘Follow Me,’ and they rose up and followed Him. This conversion was genuine, and the religious life was just as decided as was that of others who suffered all the agony of a violent process.” Evangelism, 287, 288.

“O Wretched Man that I Am!”

1 What must each of us admit before we can be born again? Romans 7:18. Compare Ephesians 2:2, 3.

NOTE: See Steps to Christ, 19.

2 How does Jeremiah state the impossibility of a person transforming himself? Jeremiah 13:23.

NOTE: “Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them.… Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.” God’s Amazing Grace, 120.

“Through Jesus Christ Our Lord”

3 What is the only remedy for the soul’s sickness? Romans 7:24, 25, first part.

NOTE: “The converting power of God can transform inherited and cultivated tendencies; for the religion of Jesus is uplifting. ‘Born again’ means a transformation, a new birth in Christ Jesus.” The Adventist Home, 206.

“The change of heart represented by the new birth can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.…Pride and self-love resist the Spirit of God; every natural inclination of the soul opposes the change from self-importance and pride to the meekness and lowliness of Christ. But if we would travel in the pathway to eternal life, we must not listen to the whispering of self. In humility and contrition we must beseech our heavenly Father, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Psalm 51:10. As we receive divine light, and cooperate with the heavenly intelligences, we are ‘born again,’ freed from the defilement of sin by the power of Christ. The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus.” The Faith I Live By, 137.

4 How does Paul describe the change that God makes through Christ? Ephesians 2:4–6. Compare Ephesians 1:3–6.

NOTE: “We must each become acquainted with Christ in order properly to represent Him to the world. ‘His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue’ (2 Peter 1:3). None of us need excuse our hasty temper, our misshapen characters, our selfishness, envy, jealousy, or any impurity of soul, body, or spirit.…We must learn of Christ. We must know what He is to those He has ransomed. We must realize that through belief in Him it is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Then we are cleansed from all sin, all defects of character. We need not retain one sinful propensity. As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine Teacher, daily partaking of His nature, we cooperate with God in overcoming Satan’s temptations. God works, and man works, that man may be one with Christ as Christ is one with God. Then we sit together with Christ in heavenly places. The mind rests with peace and assurance in Jesus.…In Him there is inexhaustible fullness.…God has given us every facility, every grace. He has provided the riches of heaven’s treasure, and it is our privilege to draw continually from this capital.” God’s Amazing Grace, 235.

“A Living Sacrifice”

5 What part must we play in the work of conversion? Romans 12:1. Compare Psalm 50:5.

NOTE: See Early Writings, 66.

6 What precious gifts will this sacrifice buy for us? Revelation 3:18.

NOTE: “Buy faith and love, the precious, beautiful attributes of our Redeemer.…He invites us to buy the white raiment, which is His glorious righteousness; and the eyesalve, that we may discern spiritual things. Oh, shall we not open the heart’s door to this heavenly visitor? We cannot provide a robe of righteousness for ourselves, for the prophet says, ‘All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.’ Isaiah 64:6. There is nothing in us from which we can clothe the soul so that its nakedness shall not appear. We are to receive the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven, even the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness. The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The ‘eyesalve,’ the Word of God, makes the conscience smart under its application, for it convicts of sin. But the smarting is necessary that the healing may follow, and the eye be single to the glory of God.…Says Christ, By renouncing your own self-sufficiency, giving up all things, however dear to you, you may buy the gold, the raiment, and the eyesalve that you may see.” Our High Calling, 350.

“Crucified with Christ”

7 How does Paul describe this living sacrifice? Galatians 2:20.

NOTE: “God will accept nothing less than unreserved surrender. Half-hearted, sinful Christians can never enter heaven. There they would find no happiness; for they know nothing of the high, holy principles that govern the members of the royal family. The true Christian keeps the windows of the soul open heavenward. He lives in fellowship with Christ. His will is conformed to the will of Christ. His highest desire is to become more and more Christlike.…Earnestly and untiringly we are to strive to reach God’s ideal for us. Not as a penance are we to do this, but as the only means of gaining true happiness. The only way to gain peace and joy is to have a living connection with Him who gave His life for us, who died that we might live, and who lives to unite His power with the efforts of those who are striving to overcome.” This Day With God, 145.

8 What change will this sacrifice of self work in us? Romans 12:2.

NOTE: “The transforming power of Christ’s grace molds the one who gives himself to God’s service. Imbued with the Spirit of the Redeemer, he is ready to deny self, ready to take up the cross, ready to make any sacrifice for the Master. No longer can he be indifferent to the souls perishing around him. He is lifted above self-serving. He has been created anew in Christ, and self-serving has no place in his life. He realizes that every part of his being belongs to Christ, who has redeemed him from the slavery of sin; that every moment of his future has been bought with the precious lifeblood of God’s only-begotten Son.” Lift Him Up, 58.

“Christ came to restore to its original loveliness a world ruined by sin.…In the new earth there will be no sin nor disease.…And the body will be restored to its original perfection. We shall wear the spotless image of our Lord.…As the heart becomes transformed by the renewing of the mind, the graces of the Spirit leave their impress on the face, and it expresses the refinement, delicacy, peace, benevolence, and pure and tender love that reign in the heart.” My Life Today, 153.

“A New Heart Will I Give You”

9 How is the contrast between the sinner and the converted soul described? Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26, 27.

NOTE: “Be not discouraged because your heart seems hard. Every obstacle, every internal foe, only increases your need of Christ. He came to take away the heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh. Look to Him for special grace to overcome your peculiar faults. When assailed by temptation, steadfastly resist the evil promptings.…Cry to the dear Saviour for help to sacrifice every idol and to put away every darling sin. Let the eye of faith see Jesus standing before the Father’s throne, presenting His wounded hands as He pleads for you. Believe that strength comes to you through your precious Saviour.” God’s Amazing Grace, 84.

10 What plea does the Lord make to His people? Ezekiel 18:31, 32.

NOTE: See Prophets and Kings, 325.

“Create in Me a Clean Heart”

11 What prayer of David’s should also be ours? Psalm 51:10. Compare Matthew 23:25–28.

NOTE: “Unless the mind of God becomes the mind of man, every effort to purify himself will be useless; for it is impossible to elevate man except through a knowledge of God. The outward gloss may be put on, and men may be as were the Pharisees whom Jesus describes as ‘whited sepulchres,’ full of corruption and dead men’s bones. But all the deformity of the soul is open to Him who judgeth righteously, and unless the truth is planted in the heart, it cannot control the life. Cleansing the outside of the cup will never make the vessel pure within. A nominal acceptance of truth is good as far as it goes, and the ability to give a reason for our faith is a good accomplishment, but if the truth does not go deeper than this, the soul will never be saved.” Our High Calling, 142.

12 What prayer must accompany our desire for a new heart? Psalm 139:23, 24.

NOTE: “The Lord Jesus has given man an example in His own life. For the selfish heart of sin, He gives the new heart of love. He changes the heart, and produces an entire revolution in the soul. He brings light out of darkness, love out of enmity, and holiness out of impurity, that those who believe in Christ may represent Christ’s life and character to the world.” Testimonies to Southern Africa, 39.

“If Christ is abiding in the heart, He will be in all our thoughts. Our deepest thoughts will be of Him, His love, His purity. He will fill all the chambers of the mind. Our affections will center about Jesus. All our hopes and expectations will be associated with Him. To live the life we now live by faith in the Son of God, looking forward to and loving His appearing, will be the soul’s highest joy. ” In Heavenly Places, 163.

By Gordon Anderson

Bible Study Guides – Obedience

December 2 – 8, 2001

“Blessed Are They That Do His Commandments”

MEMORY VERSE: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3.

STUDY HELP: The Faith I Live By, 93, 291; Maranatha, 79.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “The path of obedience is the only path that leads to Heaven.” Review and Herald, March 18, 1875.


“Obedience to the law of God is sanctification. There are many who have erroneous ideas in regard to this work in the soul, but Jesus prayed that His disciples might be sanctified through the truth, and added, ‘Thy word is truth’ (John 17:17). Sanctification is not an instantaneous but a progressive work, as obedience is continuous. Just as long as Satan urges his temptations upon us, the battle for self-conquest will have to be fought over and over again; but by obedience, the truth will sanctify the soul. Those who are loyal to the truth will, through the merits of Christ, overcome all weakness of character that has led them to be molded by every varying circumstance of life.” Faith and Works, 85.

“That the Righteousness of the Law Might be Fulfilled in Us”

1 Is obedience possible for the unconverted? Romans 8:7.

NOTE: See The Desire of Ages, 172.

2 By what means has Christ made it possible for us to render obedience to God’s law? Romans 8:3, 4. Compare Romans 12:1, 2.

NOTE: “The law requires righteousness,—a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God’s holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ.” Ibid., 762.

“His Servants Ye are to Whom Ye Obey”

3 What does our obedience reveal about us? Romans 6:16. Compare Romans 2:8, Matthew 15:9.

NOTE: “Let none deceive themselves with the belief that God will pardon and bless them while they are trampling upon one of His requirements. The willful commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit, and separates the soul from God. Whatever may be the ecstasies of religious feeling, Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine law. God will honor those only who honor Him.” Lift Him Up, 144.

“If we indulge anger, lust, covetousness, hatred, selfishness, or any other sin, we become servants of sin. ‘No man can serve two masters.’ If we serve sin, we cannot serve Christ. The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit; but the Spirit striveth against the flesh, keeping up a constant warfare. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims, ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!’” Messages to Young People, 114.

4 To whom will the Holy Spirit be given? Acts 5:32.

NOTE: “Christ declares that those who do His words are like a man who built his house upon a rock. This house the tempest and flood could not sweep away. Those who do not do Christ’s words are like the man who built his house upon the sand. Storm and tempest beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. It was an entire wreck. The result of professing to keep the law of God, yet walking contrary to the principles of that law, is seen in the wrecked house. Those who make a profession while failing to obey cannot stand the storm of temptation. One act of disobedience weakens the power to see the sinfulness of the second act. One little disregard of a ‘Thus saith the Lord’ is sufficient to stop the promised blessing of the Holy Spirit. By disobedience the light once so precious becomes obscure.” The Review and Herald, February 7, 1957.

5 Is eternal life available to those who are not obedient? Matthew 19:16–19.

NOTE: “Here are the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life. Your obedience to God’s commandments will prove your right to an inheritance with the saints in light. God has elected a certain excellence of character; and every one who, through the grace of Christ, shall reach the standard of His requirement, will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of glory. All who would reach this standard of character, will have to employ the means that God has provided to this end. If you would inherit the rest that remaineth for the children of God, you must become a co-laborer with God. You are elected to wear the yoke of Christ,—to bear His burden, to lift His cross. You are to be diligent ‘to make your calling and election sure.’ [2 Peter 1:10.] Search the Scriptures, and you will see that not a son or a daughter of Adam is elected to be saved in disobedience to God’s law. The world makes void the law of God; but Christians are chosen to sanctification through obedience to the truth.” Christian Education, 118.

“Let this Mind be in You”

6 Who is our example in obedience? Philippians 2:5–12. Compare Hebrews 5:8, 9.

NOTE: “The life of Christ was a perfect fulfillment of every precept of the law. He said, ‘I have kept My Father’s commandments.’ John 15:10. His life is our example of obedience and service. God alone can renew the heart. ‘It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.’ But we are bidden, ‘Work out your own salvation.’ Philippians 2:13, 12. To the obedient child of God, the commandments are a delight.” The Faith I Live By, 89. See also The Acts of the Apostles, 505

7 What example of obedience did Paul reveal? Acts 25:8.

NOTE: See The Acts of the Apostles, 314, 315.

“The Doers of the Law Shall be Justified”

8 What is to be the extent of our obedience? Romans 2:13; 15:18; 2 Corinthians 10:5. Compare James 2:10–12.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 311, 312.

9 How is obedience possible? Hebrews 11:8. Compare Romans 16:26. See also Romans 3:31.

NOTE: “John did not teach that salvation was to be earned by obedience; but that obedience was the fruit of faith and love. ‘Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins,’ he said, ‘and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.’
1 John 3:5, 6. If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in the heart, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God. The sanctified heart is in harmony with the precepts of God’s law. There are many who, though striving to obey God’s commandments, have little peace or joy. This lack in their experience is the result of a failure to exercise faith. They walk as it were in a salt land, a parched wilderness. They claim little, when they might claim much; for there is no limit to the promises of God. Such ones do not correctly represent the sanctification that comes through obedience to the truth. The Lord would have all His sons and daughters happy, peaceful, and obedient. Through the exercise of faith the believer comes into possession of these blessings. Through faith, every deficiency of character may be supplied, every defilement cleansed, every fault corrected, every excellence developed.” The Acts of the Apostles, 563, 564.

“Them that Love Him and Keep His Commandments”

10 What principle must be the basis of our obedience? Joshua 22:5; 2 John 6; Romans 13:10.

NOTE: “There are those who profess holiness, who declare that they are wholly the Lord’s, who claim a right to the promises of God, while refusing to render obedience to His commandments. These transgressors of the law claim everything that is promised to the children of God; but this is presumption on their part, for John tells us that true love for God will be revealed in obedience to all His commandments. It is not enough to believe the theory of truth, to make a profession of faith in Christ, to believe that Jesus is no impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable. ‘He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments,’ John wrote, ‘is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.’ ‘He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him.’ 1 John 2:4, 5; 3:24.” Ibid., 562, 563.

11 How does the Bible show that obedience identifies God’s true people? 1 John 2:3, 4; 3:24; Revelation 12:17; 14:12.

NOTE: “‘He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.’ Again Christ repeated the condition of union with Him. This promise is made to every sincere Christian. Our Saviour speaks so plainly that no one need fail to understand that true love will always produce obedience. The religion of Jesus Christ is love. Obedience is the sign of true love. Christ and the Father are one, and those who in truth receive Christ, will love God as the great centre of their adoration, and will also love one another.” Bible Echo, June 17, 1901.

12 What sign especially has God chosen to identify His people? Ezekiel 20:12.

NOTE: “In the twelfth chapter of Revelation is represented the great conflict between the obedient and the disobedient. The sign of obedience is the observance of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. The Sabbath is a test to this generation. In obeying the fourth commandment in spirit and truth, men will obey all the precepts of the Decalogue. To fulfill this commandment one must love God supremely, and exercise love toward all the creatures that He has made.” The Faith I Live By, 291.

“As Obedient Children”

13 What are we told about the fate of those who chose to be disobedient to God? 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8; Matthew 5:18.

NOTE: “Angels, pure and holy, obey His word; and shall we be deceived and deluded into the service of Satan? Shall we refuse obedience to His requirements? Shall it not be said of us individually, ‘But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ Here the divine blessing is pronounced upon the obedient. Now see the denunciation against the disobedient: ‘The ungodly are not so; but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the Judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ Psalm 1.” Youth’s Instructor, October 20, 1886.

14 What is promised to the obedient? Revelation 22:14.

By Gordon Anderson

Bible Study Guides – Repentance

November 25- December 1, 2001 

“Except Ye Repent, Ye Shall All Likewise Perish”


“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7.

STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 23–35.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it.”


“The prayer of David after his fall, illustrates the nature of true sorrow for sin. His repentance was sincere and deep. There was no effort to palliate his guilt; no desire to escape the judgment threatened, inspired his prayer. David saw the enormity of his transgression; he saw the defilement of his soul; he loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart. He longed for the joy of holiness,—to be restored to harmony and communion with God. This was the language of his soul.” Steps to Christ, 24, 25.

“The Goodness of God Leadeth Thee to Repentance”

1 From where does the impulse to repent come? Romans 2:4. Compare Acts 5:31.

NOTE: “When before the high priests and Sadducees, Peter clearly presented the fact that repentance is the gift of God. Speaking of Christ, he said, ‘Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins’ (Acts 5:31). Repentance is no less the gift of God than are pardon and justification, and it cannot be experienced except as it is given to the soul by Christ. If we are drawn to Christ, it is through His power and virtue. The grace of contrition comes through Him, and from Him comes justification.” A New Life, 21.

2 How concerned is God that people should repent? 2 Peter 3:9.

Note: “The members of the church of God need converting. Unless they are converted, they will lead away from Christ, making crooked paths for their own feet, and turning the lame out of the way. There is just as much need of repentance in and among believers who err from the principles of Christ as among those who have not a knowledge of the way of the Lord” Review and Herald, February 5, 1901.

“The great day of the Lord is near at hand. When Christ appears in the clouds of heaven, those who have not sought Him with all the heart, those who have allowed themselves to be deceived, will surely perish. Our only safety is to be found through repentance and conversion, and the blotting out of sins. Those who will now seek the Lord earnestly, humbling their hearts before Him, and forsaking their sins, will, through the sanctification of the truth, be fitted to unite with the members of the royal family, and will see the King in His beauty.” This Day With God, 248.

“Godly Sorrow”

3 What two types of sorrow does Paul contrast? 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10.

NOTE: “The mourning spoken of by Christ is a godly sorrow for sin, that works repentance unto eternal life. Many grieve when their guilt is discovered, because the result of their evil course has brought them into disagreeable circumstances. It was thus that Esau mourned the sin of despising and selling his birthright; but it was the unexpected consequences of that sin which caused his grief. So Pharaoh regretted his stubborn defiance of God, when he cried for the plagues to be removed from him; but his heart was unchanged, and he was ready to repeat his crime when tempted. Such mourning is not unto repentance. He who is truly convicted of sin feels his whole life to have been one continued scene of ingratitude. He feels that he has robbed his best Friend of the time and strength which was bought for him at an infinite price. His whole soul is filled with unutterable sorrow that he has slighted and grieved his compassionate Saviour. Such mourning is precious, for it will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The worldling, from his stand-point, may pronounce this sorrow a weakness; but it is the strength which binds the penitent to the Infinite One with links that cannot be broken.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 205.

4 What examples of godly sorrow are recorded for us? Psalm 25:16–18; Luke 22:61, 62.

NOTE: “David sinned grievously against God; but he ‘sorrowed after a godly sort.’ He prayed that the Lord would remove the cause of His displeasure: ‘For Thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity; for it is great.’ And Peter’s sorrow for his apostasy was sincere. He brought to God a broken and contrite heart; and this God has promised that He will not despise. His repentance was accepted of heaven, and Jesus entrusted to him not only the care of the sheep of his flock, but also of the tender lambs, the young converts to the faith.” Signs of the Times, February 4, 1897.

“If We Confess Our Sins”

5 What is required of us before we can receive forgiveness? 1 John 1:9.

NOTE: See Steps to Christ, 37.

6 What is meant by confession? Leviticus 5:5.

NOTE: “True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty.” Steps to Christ, 38.

“I Acknowledged My Sin unto Thee”

7 In what spirit did David repent for his sins? Psalm 32:5, first part.

NOTE: “The strongest temptation cannot excuse sin. However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer.” Conflict and Courage, 110.

See also Ibid., 69.

8 What promise does the Lord make to those who acknowledge their sins? Jeremiah 3:12, 13.

NOTE: “We must have a knowledge of ourselves, a knowledge that results in contrition, before we can find pardon and peace. It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. We must know our true condition, or we shall not feel our need of Christ’s help. We must understand our danger, or we shall not flee to the refuge. We must feel the pain of our wounds, or we shall not desire healing.” Signs of the Times, April 9, 1902. See also Desire of Ages, 300, 301.

“Restore Again”

9 What is also required of the repentant sinner? Ezekiel 33:15.

NOTE: “If we have in any manner defrauded or injured our brother, we should make restitution. If we have unwittingly borne false witness, if we have misstated his words, if we have injured his influence in any way, we should go to the ones with whom we have conversed about him, and take back all our injurious misstatements. It will not be long before probation will close. If you do not now serve the Lord with fidelity, how will you meet the record of your unfaithful dealing?…If you have refused to deal honestly with God, I beseech you to think of your deficiency, and if possible to make restitution. If this cannot be done, in humble penitence pray that God for Christ’s sake will pardon your great debt. Begin now to act like Christians. Make no excuse for failing to give the Lord His own. Now,…while it is not yet too late for wrongs to be righted, while it is called today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” The Faith I Live By, 132.

10 What example of true repentance is recorded for us? Luke 19:1–9.

NOTE: “No sooner did Zacchaeus yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit than he cast aside every practice contrary to integrity. No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin. Every converted soul will, like Zacchaeus, signalize the entrance of Christ into his heart by an abandonment of the unrighteous practices that have marked his life. Like the chief publican, he will give proof of his sincerity by making restitution.…If we have injured others through any unjust business transaction,…we should confess our wrong, and make restitution as far as lies in our power. It is right for us to restore not only that which we have taken, but all that it would have accumulated if put to a right and wise use during the time it has been in our possession.” Conflict and Courage, 302.

“Let the Wicked Forsake His Way”

11 What counsel is given to sinners who seek pardon from the Lord? Isaiah 55:7.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 298, 299.

12 What promise is made to those who resolve to forsake their sins? Proverbs 28:13.

NOTE: “Repentance includes sorrow for sin, and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.” The Faith I Live By, 127.

“The conditions of obtaining mercy from God are simple and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order to gain forgiveness. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression. He that ‘confesseth and forsaketh’ his sin ‘shall have mercy.’ Proverbs 28:13.” Acts of the Apostles, 552.

“Can you believe that when the poor sinner longs to return, longs to forsake his sins, the Lord sternly withholds him from coming to His feet in repentance? Away with such thoughts! Nothing can hurt your own soul more than to entertain such a conception of our heavenly Father. He hates sin, but He loves the sinner.…As you read the promises, remember they are the expression of unutterable love and pity. The great heart of Infinite Love is drawn toward the sinner with boundless compassion.… He wants to restore His moral image in man. As you draw near to Him with confession and repentance, He will draw near to you with mercy and forgiveness.” God’s Amazing Grace, 82.

By Gordon Anderson

Food for Life – Millet Patties

Pure, Soft Water, Continued

Exercise and a free and abundant use of the air and sunlight—blessings which Heaven has freely bestowed upon all—would give life and strength to the emaciated invalid.…” Counsels on Health, 54.

“Pure air, sunlight, abstemious-ness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. Every person should have a knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them.” Ibid., 90.

“If you would have your homes sweet and inviting, make them bright with air and sunshine. Remove your heavy curtains, open the windows, throw back the blinds, and enjoy the rich sunlight, even if it be at the expense of the colors of your carpets. The precious sunlight may fade your carpets, but it will give a healthful color to the cheeks of your children. If you have God’s presence and possess earnest, loving hearts, a humble home, made bright with air and sunlight, and cheerful with the welcome of unselfish hospitality, will be to your family and to the weary traveler a heaven below.” Ibid., 196.

“Life in the open air is good for body and mind. It is God’s medicine for the restoration of health. Pure air, good water, sunshine, the beautiful surroundings of nature—these are His means for restoring the sick to health in natural ways. To the sick it is worth more than silver or gold to lie in the sunshine or in the shade of the trees.” Ibid., 166.

“It is not a denial of faith to use such remedies as God has provided to alleviate pain and to aid nature in her work of restoration.…There are many ways of practicing the healing art, but there is only one way that Heaven approves. God’s remedies are the simple agencies of nature that will not tax or debilitate the system through their powerful properties.” Counsels on Health, 324.

“Nature will want some assistance to bring things to their proper condition, which may be found in the simplest remedies, especially in the use of nature’s own furnished remedies—pure air, and with a precious knowledge of how to breathe; pure water, with a knowledge of how to apply it; plenty of sunlight in every room in the house if possible, and with an intelligent knowledge of what advantages are to be gained by its use.…” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 289-289.

“It would have been better if, from the first, all drugs had been kept out of our sanitariums, and use had been made of such simple remedies as are found in pure water, pure air, sunlight, and some of the simple herbs growing in the field. These would be just as efficacious as the drugs used under mysterious names, and concocted by human science. And they would leave no injurious effects in the system.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 292.

Recipe – Millet Patties

1/2 cup cashews

1 cup distilled water

1–1/2 cups precooked millet

1 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 medium onion, chopped fine

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon Braggs Amino Acids

Blend cashews and water. Pour over millet, wheat germ, oats, and onion. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into patties and bake for 25–30 minutes at 325°.

Children’s Story – Pinewood Derby

My eight year old son, Gilbert, had been in Cub Scouts only a short time. During one of his meetings, he was handed a sheet of paper, a block of wood and four tires, and told to return home and give all of these things to “Dad.”

That was not an easy task for Gilbert, as his dad was not receptive to doing things with his son. But Gilbert tried. Dad read the paper and scoffed at the idea of making a pinewood derby car with his young, eager son. The block of wood remained untouched as the weeks passed.

Finally, I stepped in to see if I could figure this all out. The project began. Having no carpentry skills, I decided it would be best if I simply read the directions and let Gilbert do the work. And he did. I read aloud the measurements, the rules of what we could and could not do, and Gilbert applied himself to the task.

Within days his block of wood was turning into a pinewood derby car. It was a little lopsided, but looking great, at least through the eyes of Mom. Gilbert had not seen any of the other children’s cars and was feeling pretty proud of his “Blue Lightning,” the pride that comes with knowing that you did something on your own.

Then the big night came. With his blue car clutched in his hand, and pride in his heart, we headed to the big race. Once there, my little one’s pride turned to humility. Gilbert’s car was obviously the only car made entirely on his own. All the other cars were a father-son partnership, with cool paint jobs and sleek body styles made for speed.

A few of the boys giggled as they looked at Gilbert’s lopsided, wobbly, unattractive vehicle. To add to the humility, Gilbert was the only boy without a man at his side. A couple of the boys who were from single parent homes at least had an uncle or grandfather with them. Gilbert had only his mom.

The race was done in elimination fashion. Each child kept racing their car as long as they were the winner. One by one the cars raced down the smoothly sanded ramp. Finally, all had been eliminated except Gilbert’s little car and the sleekest, fastest-looking car there.

As the last race was about to begin, my wide-eyed, shy eight-year-old, asked if they could stop the race for a minute, because he wanted to pray. The race stopped. Gilbert went to his knees, clutching his funny-looking block of wood between his hands. With a wrinkled brow he set to converse with his Father. He prayed in earnest for a very long minute and a half. Then he stood, smile on his face, and announced, “Okay, I am ready.”

As the crowd cheered, a boy named Tommy stood with his father as their car sped down the ramp. Gilbert stood with his Father within his heart, and watched his little block of wood wobble down the ramp with surprisingly great speed, rushing over the finish line a fraction of a second before Tommy’s car.

Gilbert leaped into the air with a loud shout, “Thank You!” as the crowd roared in approval. The Scout Master came up to Gilbert, microphone in hand, and asked the obvious question, “So you prayed to win, huh, Gilbert?”

To which my young son replied, “Oh, no sir! That wouldn’t be fair to ask God to help you beat someone else. I just asked Him to make it so I wouldn’t cry when I lost.”

Children seem to have a wisdom far beyond us. Gilbert did not ask God to win the race; he did not ask God to fix the outcome. He simply asked God to give him strength in the outcome. When Gilbert first saw the other cars, he did not cry out to God, “No fair! They had a father’s help!” No, he went to his Father for strength.

Perhaps we spend too much of our prayer time asking God to rig the race, to make us number one, or too much time asking God to remove us from the struggle, when we should be seeking God’s strength to get through the struggle. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13.

Gilbert’s simple prayer spoke volumes to those present that night. He never doubted that God would indeed answer his request. He did not pray to win, thus hurt somebody else; he prayed that God would supply the grace to lose with dignity. Gilbert, by stopping the race to speak to his Father, also showed the crowd that he was not there without a “dad” but that his Father was most definitely there with him.

Yes, Gilbert walked away a winner that night, with his Father at his side. May we all learn to pray as he did.

Be Ye Holy in all Manner of Conversation

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13–16.

“The apostle Peter here gives instruction for believers to gird up the loins of their minds. We are to have special care over the thoughts of the mind. We are not to allow our minds to be diverted and allured by different things, because there is something more important for us. If we would allow the mind to take its natural turn, it might dwell upon unimportant things and we receive no benefit thereby.

“Here is presented before us the one great event—the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when the graves are to be opened and the dead be raised, and we are to be changed. This event should fill our mind and crowd out everything else. We want to make the most of the privileges and opportunities we have to prepare for the future immortal life.

“The truth of God has taken us out of the quarry of the world to fit us up for the heavenly temple of God. We may look upon one another and think, ‘There is a great work to be done for that brother and for that sister,’ but we may not take into consideration the work that is to be done for ourselves. And if Satan can get in among the people [and produce] a spirit of criticism, then he is satisfied, for a root of bitterness springs up in these [members] wherewith he will be satisfied. We are not all of the same character, but we are brought together in church capacity and we count ourselves as children of God, and we talk of having a home in the city of God.

“Our faith is that if we perfect a Christian character we shall be numbered as the family of God in the mansions that He has gone to prepare for us. Now, our heavenly father brings us together in church capacity that we may gain in knowledge and be fitting up for the community of heaven. ‘Well,’ some may say, ‘All I want is that everyone should see eye to eye.’ But there are those who want everyone to see just as they do. They do not consider that they have traits of character that must be changed. Then, what is the work before us in order to be ready to be among those who are waiting for their Lord to come in the clouds of heaven? It is for us to be in a position of humility before God. ‘Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’

“The Lord has not placed before one individual the trade of becoming a church tinker, but we want individually to feel that we have a responsibility before God to be a blessing to everyone with whom we associate. And we are to consider that every brother and sister is the purchase of the blood of Christ. Here we are, living stones out of the quarry, and we are to be chiseled and fitted for the new Jerusalem. Do not let any of us think that we are all right. As soon as we are taken out of the quarry, we have a work to do for ourselves. ‘The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh,’ and we want to be considering those things that will give us solidity of character. We do not want to have a high estimate of ourselves, but we want to esteem others better than ourselves. We want that our souls shall be uplifted to God every moment for help, for fear we shall fall. And while some are so diligent to look after others, they will forget the work there is for their own soul.

“We are to heed the exhortation of the apostle, that we are to be holy in all manner of conversation. And as we separate those things from us which will be a hindrance to our advancement, the Holy Spirit will come in. We want to be filled with the spirit of Jesus, and if you are not closely connected with Christ, then the thoughts of your mind will be upon unimportant things; but if you are connected with Jesus, you will just as surely be a channel of light as Jesus is light, for Jesus has said to His followers, ‘Ye are the light of the world.’

“Now, we are by living faith to keep our eyes fixed upon the Author and Finisher of our faith. ‘As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.’

“Before we become acquainted with Jesus, the conversation is upon the dress, and what shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and what shall we wear? And we find fault with one another. But as soon as we become acquainted with Christ, our conversation changes.

“Here we are, objects of His love. Has the change taken place in us? Namely, have we passed from death unto life? Have we died indeed to self? Have we fastened our hearts and affections upon the great God? He is all light and power.

“Every provision has been made for us that can be made by our precious Saviour, that we may have that abundant grace so that we may overcome every defect in our character. And we cannot afford to satisfy ourselves in this life, but we want the fullness that is in Jesus, and we must train ourselves to talk of those things which will bring to us peace and light. As we have our conversation upon heaven and heavenly things, the angels of God are all around us; and when we are, in our thoughts and with our hearts, drawing near to God, then He is drawing nigh to us. His love is in our hearts, and then we speak it from our lips.

“It is not only our duty to train our minds upon heavenly things, but we are to talk of these things, for it is our duty to bind about our mind, to gird up the loins of our mind, and say, ‘I will not think of these things.’ Then it is our duty to guard our conversation.

“We would think, from the shadow that many walk in, that they had no Saviour. But I want to speak to those, and say ‘Christ is risen! He is not in Joseph’s new tomb, but He has arisen and has ascended up on high to make intercession for us!’ We have a risen Saviour interceding for us, and we must walk in harmony with God. He is seeking to ‘purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’ If we seek with all our hearts to be obedient children, conforming our will to the will of God, then the work can go forward in us without interruption. Let us not forget for one moment that we are living for the future immortal life, and let us put away from us everything like complaint and faultfinding. Let our words, our conversation, reveal to the world that we have a hope that is big with immortality.

“We want that His will shall be our will. We do not want that our will shall be such that it will control all that around us.…

“God wants us to go through the mill. Here this man’s sharp character must be burnished off, and here is one who has taken hold of the truth who has always been coarse in his conversation, and he must overcome that. This is the very thing the apostle means when he says, ‘You must overcome in order to have a home in heaven.’ Jesus must be in my whole work to transform my character. We must accept the truth as it is in Jesus, and then how kind will we be to one another, how courteous, for this was the work of my Master. We shall see the precious mold of Jesus upon the character, and when we learn the precious lessons He has for us to learn, we will be like Jesus. ‘Come unto Me,’ says He, ‘all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’

“Here you are with your variances and differences. Now, ‘Come to Me,’ says He, ‘and learn of Me.’…”

Sermons and Talks, Book 1, 40–43.

Blessed is the Man

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21.

The other evening as I was working at my computer, I became aware of something gently flickering in the darkness outside my window. When I turned the lights off, what I saw held me in wonder for quite some minutes. There is a laurel hedge at the bottom of our garden and each glossy leaf, as it was stirred in the breeze, was catching the light of the full moon. The effect was of hundreds of little silver lights flickering in the darkness. Suddenly I realized that this full moon was the Passover moon, and it was under this same moon that Christ knelt in Gethsemane. In His anguish, His face showed no beauty that we should desire Him, and His body knelt clutching the cold ground with no form or comeliness that would appeal to us. From His face there fell great drops of sweat consisting of blood.


For so much of His life Christ had thought of others, but on this night He prayed for Himself. “‘Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.’” Luke 22:42. At this point, His life was almost crushed from Him. He had asked for human company to support Him as He had supported them, but they slept. He bore this anguish alone. They had noted nothing more than that He had become “sorrowful and very heavy.” Matthew 26:37. “Not My will, but Thine, be done” was the cry of His heart. Three times He prayed this prayer, but each was preceded by the greatest struggle of His life; His own will in opposition to that of His father.

Above Him, did the olive leaves flicker with the same little silver lights in the moonlight? Was there beauty in nature even while our Saviour, on the ground beneath, fought the greatest of battles? “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame.…”

Do you even begin to understand this experience in your own life? It is not an experience that can be quietly and calmly undertaken, something to be ticked off as another victory over temptation—a clinical step on the Christian road. There may be times when we have overcome and we can look back on our lives with praise to God for victories won, but in each life there is the big problem, the one that keeps returning time and again. What about victory over this? The habits of a lifetime have wrapped their silken threads around us and to break free requires a different experience.

We Must Also Face Our Gethsemane

The Holy Spirit is working with each one of us and leading us to this point. This means we have to face our Gethsemane too. We have to face squarely our temptations, also.

What held Christ in submission to His Father’s will? He knew the purpose for His life; He knew the time on the clock of the Great Controversy—the prophecies that were to be fulfilled in Him, the salvation of the world that lay in those decisions. Is it any different for us? Do we know the time in which our struggles take place? Do we know the prophecies that are to be fulfilled in us? This last generation, us, today, who could be alive to see Jesus come, is the generation that the angels and the prophets have awaited through the years. The three great powers of heaven, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, have worked for this moment in time, a time when all the strands of all ages of prophecy and salvation history will be gathered together and an end can be made of sin.

The character of God has been maligned through many centuries. All heaven is looking to us. Will we do it? Or will the challenge have to pass to another generation to reveal the character of God before the universe and demonstrate the miracle of God’s power in the weakest of human lives? Does God ask the impossible? In this, potentially the greatest of earth’s history, where are we? Do we know what it means to call ourselves a follower of Christ? Are we overcomers with Christ?

What is Your Purpose?

Unless we see the greatness of our purpose and the time in which we live, all our thought patterns will not be strong enough or focused enough to see the temptation and the sin to which it leads, with all its consequences for God and for ourselves. We have the records of Bible characters to show us how they responded to God’s will. Daniel “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8. The three Hebrew young men “trusted in Him…and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” Daniel 3:28. Ezra, who knew what it was to have the good hand of his God upon him, had “prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it.” Ezra 7:10. These men knew what rested on their lives, in their time.

One of the laws of life is that we have to yield our wishes, our desires, our lusts, and our toys, now, for the greater good of a godly character and an eternal outcome. We cannot live in both spheres at the same time. This is what it means to be a hypocrite, and the world recognizes this state very quickly. Jesus says to us, in these grand and awful times, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24. This involves the initial struggle and yielding to God, to be followed by a life of cross bearing.

Victory Today—More Battles Tomorrow

The devil does not leave us after the first great victory. He returns again and again, and we have to choose and choose and choose again—on rainy days, on sick days, on bad, hormonal days, and on pressurized days.

When our lives are still bound around with those threads of habit, and yet another fine thread continues to attach us to the world, our consciences can be confused. We argue in our hearts and the whole situation is unclear. Justifications for our actions come very readily to our minds, and often we act on those without another thought. Through the Holy Spirit, whose task it is to convict of sin, the day comes for each of us when we long to be clean and have done with the wrongdoing. As we take our courage and go before the Lord to ask for freedom from these shackles of confusion, the power and pleading of the Holy Spirit fills our hearts.

The big choice to be made cannot now be mistaken. There are many smaller choices each day, but when the crucial one comes, we recognize it. The Holy Spirit has shown us clearly what it is that must be denied. What will be our response? It is so easy to say what we will do when we are not in the struggle, but we must prepare our hearts to say a clear and strong NO. During the temptation there is just a little gap, enough to allow us to gather our thoughts and find the perspective we need to be able to say NO. God will not allow us to be overcome and swept away without the ability to choose. Even during this time the devil will try to send confusion of thought. It is at this time that we need to talk to the Lord earnestly and ask, is this the situation you want me to overcome; is this the time you want me to say NO; is this plan of action the one that will keep me out of sin; please make it clear for me, and please give me the power that you have promised. This is not a crisis to cope with alone in human will power, but the occasion to talk to the Lord, second by second, and follow His guidance. His power will not say that NO for you, but it will make it possible for you to walk away without a backward thought, or to throw it away, when you have made the firm and purposeful decision to say NO.

Cutting the Threads that Bind

This process is a cutting of one of the threads that binds us. It hurts. There may be clenched fists, tight shoulders, quickened shallow breathing, sweat breaking out into clammy hands. All of us, deep inside, want it just one more time, and we know we should say NO. But to say NO, talking to God all the time, and claiming verses of Scripture—”make not provision for the lusts of the flesh,” “whatsoever He saith unto you do it.” “let a man deny himself,” “he that overcometh shall inherit all things,” “blessed is the man that endureth temptation.” (See Romans 13:14; John 2:5; Luke 9:23; Revelation 21:7; James 1:12.) We may have only split seconds to think like this, but it is a time of intense mental activity between heaven and earth, between the will of God and our desires, between the Holy Spirit and our decision. “Not My will, but Thine, be done.” At these times the three great powers of heaven, and ministering angels are on our side, but we must make the decision for ourselves. That is the dignity of humankind. We have a choice.

When the choice is made and our heart rests, after the activity, on the side of the Lord, what a peace is ours—and quietness, humility, and exhaustion, too. As we look back on the past few seconds, we know how easily we could have chosen the other way, the way that would have brought dishonor to God. But we have faced the “big one,” and we have overcome. Can you imagine the singing and the rejoicing in heaven? We forget that! Heaven and earth are very close at such times. We may experience tears, but heaven sings!

That gap, for thinking time, is very small, but this is one of the reasons that God shows us a healthier lifestyle, with more fresh fruit and vegetables, clear water to drink, exercise in the sunshine and fresh air. Good sleep is essential too. Can you respond quickly in times of drowsiness and lethargy? A clear mind, the health gifts of God’s creation and a will that we have given to God in advance and asked Him to strengthen, will divinely lengthen that split second gap and make our NO more firm. Every victory is one cord broken, and another habit pattern begun. We are one step nearer the Second Coming of Jesus and the vindication of His character, as the miracle of grace is seen by men and angels, and additional power is given to the Gospel words we speak.

When Jesus Comes—The Tempter’s Power is Broken

For now, the victory is won, but it is easy to relax too far. The devil will soon be back, and he will come again and again. This is the reason we must carry the cross of self-denial as long as we live in this world. But when Jesus comes, the power of the devil will be gone forever. The burden will be lifted from us, and we will not have to make those constant choices. It is then that we shall be able to sing of deliverance, the song of Moses and the Lamb. It will be a song that the angels cannot sing; it will be uniquely ours. Will you make that decision today? The decision that you will meet the “big one” when the next temptation comes, and that you will take up your cross and follow the Saviour until He comes?

“‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.’” James 1:12.

God’s Word is Forever

The law of God is immutable in its character, for ‘it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than for one tittle of the law to fail.’ The law of God is a revelation of the divine will, a transcript of the divine character, and must forever endure. Not one command has been annulled; not a jot or a tittle of the law has been changed. The Psalmist says, ‘Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.’ ‘All His commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever.’ In the very bosom of the Decalogue is the fourth commandment, as it was proclaimed:—

“‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.’”

“The claim so often put forth that Christ changed the Sabbath is disproved by His own words. In the Sermon on the Mount He said: ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.…’ Both by precept and example the Saviour taught the sacred obligations of the Sabbath commandment. Throughout His ministry upon earth no small share of His teaching was directed toward instructing men as to what was lawful to do upon the Sabbath day. . .

“Jesus said at the close of His earthly ministry, ‘I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.’ Neither the Saviour nor His followers ever broke the law of the Sabbath.…

Christ Wants us to Remember the Sabbath

“Christ not only honored the Sabbath throughout His life upon earth, but He provided that its sacred claims should be remembered and honored after His death and resurrection. When warning His disciples of the destruction of Jerusalem, which did not take place until forty years after His ascension, He said, ‘But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.…’ In accordance with His instruction, the followers of Christ were enabled to depart from the besieged city, and escape to the mountains, not taking their flight either in the winter, nor upon the Sabbath day. After the death of Christ, the disciples ‘rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.’ After the ascension of Christ, Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, preached to both Jews and Gentiles ‘on the Sabbath day.’

“Then how can we account for the observance of the first day of the week by the majority of professed Christians, when the Bible presents no authority for this change, either in the precepts or in the example of Christ or His followers? We can account for it in the fact that the world has followed the traditions of men instead of a ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ This has been the work that Satan has always sought to accomplish,—lead men away from the commandments of God to the veneration and obedience of the traditions of the world. Through human instrumentalities he [Satan] has cast contempt upon the Sabbath of Jehovah, and has stigmatized it as ‘the old Jewish Sabbath.’ Thousands have thoughtlessly echoed this reproach, as though it were something to which was attached great weight of argument; but they have lost sight of the fact that the Jewish people were especially chosen of God as the guardians of His truth, the keepers of His law, the depositary of His sacred oracles. They received the lively oracles to give unto us. The Old and New Testaments both came to us through the Jews. Every promise in the Bible, every ray of light which has shone upon us from the word of God, has come through the Jewish nation.

The Sabbath is Not a Jewish Day

“Christ…came as a descendant of Abraham. Shall we use the same argument concerning the Bible and Christ, and reject them as Jewish, as is done in rejecting the Sabbath of the Lord our God? But the Sabbath is not Jewish in its origin. It was instituted in Eden before there were such a people known as the Jews. The Sabbath was made for all mankind, and was instituted in Eden before the fall of man. The Creator called it ‘My holy day.’ Christ announced Himself as ‘the Lord of the Sabbath.’ Beginning with creation, it is as old as the human race, and having been made for man it will exist as long as man shall exist. Hallowed by the Creator’s rest and blessing, the Sabbath was kept by Adam in his innocence in holy Eden, by Adam fallen, yet repentant, when he was driven from his happy estate. It was kept by all the patriarchs.…

“From that day to this…Christ has given no hint that the seventh-day Sabbath has ever been or ever could be changed, and no apostolic example for the change from the seventh to the first day of the week can be cited. The custom of observing the first day of the week, instead of the seventh day of divine appointment, has no authority save that of tradition, popular custom, and the command of the Church of Rome. The Church of Rome has been the agent by which Satan has made this breach in the law of God, and turned the professed Christian world away from the precepts of Jehovah. Through his insinuation men made the claim that because Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week, therefore the first day of the week should be celebrated as the Christian sabbath, but the Scriptures give no authority for this manner of reasoning. The prince of evil well knew that could he set aside the true foundation for Sabbath observance, he could make the fourth commandment of no significance in the minds of men. Thus, under the pretense of honoring Christ, Satan succeeds in tearing down God’s great memorial, turning the minds of men away from their Creator.…

Boasting of Her Power

“The Roman Catholic Church does not deny the part she has acted in this change, but makes a boast of her power as shown in the change which she has brought about in the world. Papists acknowledge that the Bible gives no sanction to this change, and that Protestants have no Scriptural authority for Sunday worship.…In changing the fourth precept of God’s law, the papal power has thought itself able to exalt itself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. This was the very work that the prophecy foretold would be done by this power.…

“Daniel in holy vision saw that the antichrist ‘would think to change times and laws.’ The laws of God and the time of God were to be changed by this antichristian power.…In the prophecy it is plainly shown that this papal power would, with deliberate intention, change the law of God. In the Catholic catechisms…the change of the fourth commandment, the institution of the first day of the week as the Sabbath instead of the seventh day, is a change for which she holds herself responsible of intention to change, and makes a boast of her power, because the whole professed Christian world acknowledges her mandate in this particular. It is by thus trampling upon God’s commandments (sin is the transgression of the law) that the Roman Church has proved its right to the title given in prophecy to one who shall be the ‘mystery of lawlessness.’

The Vicegerent of Satan

“The Papacy, claiming to be the vicegerent of the Son of God, is in truth the vicegerent of another power. She points to the Sunday institution as the sign of her authority; but in the change of the law and time of God, she is only doing that which Satan tried to do in heaven,—prove the law of God faulty, and the Lawgiver fallible. In boasting of her power above the law of God, she is but echoing the sentiments of the great deceiver. God instituted the Sabbath as a sign of His authority and power, and the Papacy, acting for the prince of evil, points to Sunday as a sign of her power and jurisdiction. The day of the sun, Sunday, was a day devoted to the most vile of the heathen worship, for it was celebrated in connection with sun-worship. This Sunday-sabbath has been accepted by many who know it to be the foundling of heathenism, which has been cherished and nourished by the Church of Rome, and by the Church of Rome clothed in the garments of sanctity. But while many are now aware of its origin,…there are true Christians in every church who do not know the origin of the Sunday-Sabbath, and believe that they are keeping the day which God sanctified and blest. This is true of worshipers even in the Catholic Church; and while this ignorance and integrity remain, God accepts their sincerity; but when light shall fall upon their pathway, God requires them to come into harmony with His law, and to observe the Sabbath of His appointing.…‘And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.’

“Many thousand who have accepted the change made in the day of rest have done so ignorantly.…but the day of light has now dawned. The times of their ignorance God winked at, but now He commandeth men everywhere to repent. It is demonstrated that no change is necessary in the law of God.…Jesus came to magnify the law and to make it honorable, and His death on Calvary in the sinner’s behalf, proves the immutability of the law of heaven.…” Signs of the Times, November 12, 1894 and November 19, 1894.

[All emphasis supplied by the author.]