Bible Study Guides – Practical Sabbathkeeping

December 24, 2006 – December 30, 2006

Key Text

“And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.” Mark 3:4.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 6, 356–360; Education, 250–252; Medical Ministry, 214–216.


“The Saviour by His example has shown us that it is right to relieve suffering on the Sabbath.” Counsels on Health, 236.

“God has given us the whole of six days in which to do our work, and has reserved only one to Himself. This should be a day of blessing to us—a day when we should lay aside all our secular matters and center our thoughts upon God and heaven.

“All heaven is keeping the Sabbath, but not in a listless, do-nothing way. On this day every energy of the soul should be awake, for are we not to meet with God and with Christ our Saviour? We may behold Him by faith. He is longing to refresh and bless every soul.

“On Sabbath morning the family should be astir early. If they rise late, there is confusion and bustle in preparing for breakfast and Sabbath school. There is hurrying, jostling, and impatience. Thus unholy feelings come into the home. The Sabbath, thus desecrated, becomes a weariness, and its coming is dreaded rather than loved.

“The Sabbath is God’s time. He sanctified and hallowed the seventh day. He set it apart for man to keep as a day of worship.” The Faith I Live By, 35.

1 What types of “work” are permitted by God on the Sabbath day? Mark 3:4; Luke 6:9; 13:11–16.

note: “Often physicians and nurses are called upon during the Sabbath to minister to the sick, and sometimes it is impossible for them to take time for rest and for attending devotional services. The needs of suffering humanity are never to be neglected. The Saviour by His example has shown us that it is right to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. But unnecessary work, such as ordinary treatments and operations that can be postponed, should be deferred. Let the patients understand that physicians and helpers should have one day for rest. Let them understand that the workers fear God and desire to keep holy the day that He has set apart for His followers to observe as a sign between Him and them.” Counsels on Health, 236.

“There will always be duties which have to be performed on the Sabbath for the relief of suffering humanity. This is right, and in accordance with the law of Him who says, ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.’ [Matthew 9:13.] But there is danger of falling into carelessness on this point, and of doing that which it is not positively essential to do on the Sabbath.” Medical Ministry, 50.

2 The Sabbath is a day of rest, but does this mean we should sleep more on this day than on other days? Romans 13:11; Psalm 132:4, 5; Proverbs 20:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

note: “None should feel at liberty to spend sanctified time in an unprofitable manner. It is displeasing to God for Sabbathkeepers to sleep during much of the Sabbath. They dishonor their Creator in so doing, and, by their example, say that the six days are too precious for them to spend in resting. They must make money, although it be by robbing themselves of needed sleep, which they make up by sleeping away holy time. They then excuse themselves by saying: ‘The Sabbath was given for a day of rest. I will not deprive myself of rest to attend meeting, for I need rest.’ Such make a wrong use of the sanctified day. They should, upon that day especially, interest their families in its observance and assemble at the house of prayer with the few or with the many, as the case may be. They should devote their time and energies to spiritual exercises, that the divine influence resting upon the Sabbath may attend them through the week. Of all the days in the week, none are so favorable for devotional thoughts and feelings as the Sabbath.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 704.

3 List some of the “small” things that should be completed before the Sabbath.

note: “In many families [on Sabbath] boots and shoes are blacked and brushed, and stitches are taken, all because these little odds and ends were not done on Friday. They did not ‘remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ [Exodus 20:8.] . . .

“On Friday the clothing of the children is to be looked after. During the week they should be all laid out by their own hands under the direction of the mother, so that they can dress quietly, without any confusion or rushing about and hasty speeches.

“There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away.” Child Guidance, 528, 529.

“The violation of the fourth commandment is not confined to the preparation of food. Many carelessly put off blacking their boots, and shaving, until after the beginning of the Sabbath. This should not be. If any neglect to do such work on a working day, they should have respect enough for God’s holy time to let their beards remain unshaven, their boots rough and brown, until the Sabbath is past. This might help their memory, and make them more careful to do their own work on the six working days.” The Signs of the Times, May 25, 1882.

4 What should we consider when traveling on the Sabbath? Should we eliminate unnecessary travel? What travel is acceptable to God? Acts 1:12.

note: “If we desire the blessing promised to the obedient, we must observe the Sabbath more strictly. I fear that we often travel on this day when it might be avoided. In harmony with the light which the Lord has given in regard to the observance of the Sabbath, we should be more careful about traveling on the boats or cars on this day. In these matters we should set a right example before our children and youth. In order to reach the churches that need our help, and to give them the message that God desires them to hear, it may be necessary for us to travel on the Sabbath; but so far as possible we should secure our tickets and make all necessary arrangements on some other day. When starting on a journey we should make every possible effort to plan so as to avoid reaching our destination on the Sabbath.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 359, 360.

5 Since the Sabbath commandment extends to ourselves as well as to our families, what example should we exhibit to our children in regard to it? Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 6:6–9.

note: “I counsel you, my brethren and sisters: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ [Exodus 20:8.] If you desire your children to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment, you must teach them by both precept and example. The deep engraving of truth in the heart is never wholly effaced. It may be obscured, but can never be obliterated. The impressions made in early life will be seen in afteryears. Circumstances may occur to separate the children from their parents and their home, but as long as they live the instruction given in childhood and youth will be a blessing.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 359.

“We are not to teach our children that they must not be happy on the Sabbath, that it is wrong to walk out-of-doors. Oh, no. Christ led His disciples out by the lakeside on the Sabbath day and taught them. His sermons on the Sabbath were not always preached within enclosed walls.

“Teach the children to see Christ in nature. Take them out into the open air, under the noble trees, into the garden; and in all the wonderful works of creation teach them to see an expression of His love.” Child Guidance, 533, 534.

6 What kinds of activities should we provide for our children on the Sabbath day? Romans 1:20.

note: “The parents may take their children outdoors to view God in nature. They can be pointed to the blooming flowers and the opening buds, the lofty trees and beautiful spires of grass, and taught that God made all these in six days and rested on the seventh day and hallowed it. Thus the parents may bind up their lessons of instruction to their children, so that when these children look upon the things of nature, they will call to mind the great Creator of them all. Their thoughts will be carried up to nature’s God—back to the creation of our world, when the foundation of the Sabbath was laid, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Such are the lessons to be impressed on the minds of our children.” Child Guidance, 533.

7 What is God’s desire for us especially on the Sabbath? John 17:19–23.

note: “The Sabbath calls our thoughts to nature, and brings us into communion with the Creator. In the song of the bird, the sighing of the trees, and the music of the sea, we still may hear His voice who talked with Adam in Eden in the cool of the day. And as we behold His power in nature we find comfort, for the word that created all things is that which speaks life to the soul. He ‘who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.’ 11 Corinthians 4:6.” The Desire of Ages, 281, 282.

8 What work must be done in our hearts before we can really commune with Him? Matthew 5:23, 24.

note: “There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, ‘confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ James 5:16.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 356.

“The Saviour goes farther than this. He says, ‘If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.’ [Matthew 5:24.] Many are zealous in religious services, while between them and their brethren are unhappy differences which they might reconcile. God requires them to do all in their power to restore harmony. Until they do this, He cannot accept their services. The Christian’s duty in this matter is clearly pointed out.

“God pours His blessings upon all. ‘He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’ [Matthew 5:45.] He is ‘kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.’ Luke 6:35. He bids us to be like Him. ‘Bless them that curse you,’ said Jesus; ‘do good to them that hate you, . . . that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.’ [Matthew 5:44, 45.] These are the principles of the law, and they are the wellsprings of life.” The Desire of Ages, 310, 311.

9 As the end of the Sabbath approaches, what temptation presents itself? Amos 8:5; Matthew 15:8.

note: “I saw that through the past summer the prevailing spirit has been to grasp as much of this world as possible. The commandments of God have not been kept. With the mind we serve the law of God; but the minds of many have been serving the world. And while their minds were all occupied with things of earth and serving themselves, they could not serve the law of God. The Sabbath has not been kept. By some the work of six days has been carried into the seventh. One hour, and even more, has often been taken from the commencement and close of the Sabbath.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 150.

10 What should be our attitude even beyond the Sabbath hours? John 15:5.

note: “As the sun goes down, let the voice of prayer and the hymn of praise mark the close of the sacred hours and invite God’s presence through the cares of the week of labor.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 359.

“Let the members of every family bear in mind that they are closely allied to heaven. The Lord has a special interest in the families of His children here below. Angels offer the smoke of the fragrant incense for the praying saints. Then in every family let prayer ascend to heaven both in the morning and at the cool sunset hour, in our behalf presenting before God the Saviour’s merits. Morning and evening the heavenly universe take notice of every praying household.” Child Guidance, 519.

11 Will there be a time at all when those who love God will ever stop looking forward to His blessed day of rest? Isaiah 66:22.

note: “God teaches that we should assemble in His house to cultivate the attributes of perfect love. This will fit the dwellers of earth for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for all who love Him. There they will assemble in the sanctuary from Sabbath to Sabbath, from one new moon to another, to unite in loftiest strains of song, in praise and thanksgiving to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever.” The Faith I Live By, 37.

Personal Review

Creative Power—“ Since the Sabbath is the memorial of creative power, it is the day above all others when we should acquaint ourselves with God through His works. In the minds of the children the very thought of the Sabbath should be bound up with the beauty of natural things. Happy is the family who can go to the place of worship on the Sabbath as Jesus and His disciples went to the synagogue—across the fields, along the shores of the lake, or through the groves. Happy the father and mother who can teach their children God’s written word with illustrations from the open pages of the book of nature; who can gather under the green trees, in the fresh, pure air, to study the word and to sing the praise of the Father above.” Education, 251.

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

“Let not the precious hours of the Sabbath be wasted in bed. On Sabbath morning the family should be astir early. If they rise late, there is confusion and bustle in preparing for breakfast and Sabbath school. There is hurrying, jostling, and impatience. Thus unholy feelings come into the home. The Sabbath, thus desecrated, becomes a weariness, and its coming is dreaded rather than loved.” Child Guidance, 530.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Bible Study Guides – From Sunset to Sunset

December 17, 2006 – December 23, 2006

Key Text

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 295, 296; Testimonies, vol. 1, 531–533.


“God is no less particular now in regard to his Sabbath than when he made this requirement of the children of Israel.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 259.

“On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. . . . The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment.

“There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, ‘confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another.’ [James 5:16.]

“Before the setting of the sun let the members of the family assemble to read God’s Word, to sing and pray.

“We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time.” The Faith I Live By, 34.

1 What is the biblical reckoning of the beginning and end of a day? Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31.

2 The Bible gives a number of examples of how the faithful have observed the Sabbath from the Creation (Genesis 2:1–3), in the time of Israel (Leviticus 23:32), during the post-captivity Reformation (Nehemiah 13:19), and all the way to the time of Christ (John 19:31).

note: “At last Jesus was at rest. The long day of shame and torture was ended. As the last rays of the setting sun ushered in the Sabbath, the Son of God lay in quietude in Joseph’s tomb. His work completed, His hands folded in peace, He rested through the sacred hours of the Sabbath day.” The Desire of Ages, 769.

“The Sabbath was now drawing on, and it would be a violation of its sanctity for the bodies to hang upon the cross. So, using this as a pretext, the leading Jews requested Pilate that the death of the victims might be hastened, and their bodies be removed before the setting of the sun.” Ibid., 771.

“Gently and reverently they removed with their own hands the body of Jesus from the cross. Their tears of sympathy fell fast as they looked upon His bruised and lacerated form. Joseph owned a new tomb, hewn in a rock. This he was reserving for himself; but it was near Calvary, and he now prepared it for Jesus. The body, together with the spices brought by Nicodemus, was carefully wrapped in a linen sheet, and the Redeemer was borne to the tomb. There the three disciples straightened the mangled limbs, and folded the bruised hands upon the pulseless breast. The Galilean women came to see that all had been done that could be done for the lifeless form of their beloved Teacher. Then they saw the heavy stone rolled against the entrance of the tomb, and the Saviour was left at rest. The women were last at the cross, and last at the tomb of Christ. While the evening shades were gathering, Mary Magdalene and the other Marys lingered about the resting place of their Lord, shedding tears of sorrow over the fate of Him whom they loved. ‘And they returned, . . . and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.’ Luke 23:56.” Ibid., 774.

3 How important is it that we do not encroach on any of the Lord’s time on the Sabbath day? Luke 19:17; 16:10.

note: “God is no less particular now in regard to his Sabbath than when he made this requirement of the children of Israel. His eye is upon all his people, and over all the works of their hands. He will not pass by unnoticed those who crowd upon his Sabbath, and employ time for their own use which belongs to him. Some professed Sabbath-keepers will intrude upon the Sabbath in doing those things which should have been done previous to the Sabbath. Such may think they gain a little time; but instead of being advantaged by robbing God of holy time, which he has reserved to himself, they will lose.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 259.

“There has been too much slackness in regard to the observance of the Sabbath. There has not been promptness to fulfill the secular duties within the six working days which God has given to man and carefulness not to infringe upon one hour of the holy, sacred time which He has reserved to Himself. . . . Transgress in a small matter, and look upon it as no particular sin on our part, and the conscience becomes hardened, the sensibilities blunted, until we can go still further and perform quite an amount of labor and still flatter ourselves that we are Sabbathkeepers, when, according to Christ’s standard, we are breaking every one of God’s holy precepts. There is a fault with Sabbathkeepers in this respect; but God is very particular, and all who think that they are saving a little time, or advantaging themselves by infringing a little on the Lord’s time, will meet with loss sooner or later. He cannot bless them as it would be His pleasure to do, for His name is dishonored by them, His precepts lightly esteemed.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 531, 532.

4 How can we be sure that we will not infringe on the sacred time of the Sabbath?

note: “Before the Sabbath begins, the mind as well as the body should be withdrawn from worldly business. God has set His Sabbath at the end of the six working days, that men may stop and consider what they have gained during the week in preparation for the pure kingdom which admits no transgressor. We should each Sabbath reckon with our souls to see whether the week that has ended has brought spiritual gain or loss.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 356.

5 What time has God given us to be prepared to keep His Sabbath according to the commandment? Mark 15:42; Luke 23:52–56.

note: “While preparation for the Sabbath is to be made all through the week, Friday is to be the special preparation day.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 354.

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

6 What should we consider when planning for our temporal needs on the Sabbath? Exodus 16:23.

note: “The Lord is no less particular now in regard to his Sabbath, than when he gave the foregoing special directions to the children of Israel. He required them to bake that which they would bake, and seethe (that is, boil) that which they would seethe, on the sixth day, preparatory to the rest of the Sabbath. Those who neglect to prepare for the Sabbath on the sixth day, and who cook food upon the Sabbath, violate the fourth commandment, and are transgressors of God’s law. All who are really anxious to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment, will not cook any food upon the Sabbath. They will, in the fear of that God who gave his law from Sinai, deny themselves, and eat food prepared upon the sixth day, even if it is not so palatable. God forbade the children of Israel’s baking and boiling upon the Sabbath. That prohibition should be regarded by every Sabbath-keeper, as a solemn injunction from Jehovah to them. The Lord would guard his people from indulging in gluttony upon the Sabbath, which he has set apart for sacred meditation and worship.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 225, 226.

7 Since we desire to come into the presence of the Lord on the Sabbath, how should we present ourselves before Him? Exodus 19:9–11.

note: “On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness, and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked, and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule, you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun, let all secular work be laid aside, and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Child Guidance, 528.

8 How should our dress be when we come into the presence of the Lord on His holy Sabbath day? Leviticus 19:30; Hebrews 12:28, 29; Genesis 35:2.

note: “Many need instruction as to how they should appear in the assembly for worship on the Sabbath. They are not to enter the presence of God in the common clothing worn during the week. All should have a special Sabbath suit, to be worn when attending service in God’s house. While we should not conform to worldly fashions, we are not to be indifferent in regard to our outward appearance. We are to be neat and trim, though without adornment. The children of God should be pure within and without.” Child Guidance, 531.

“Especial care will be taken to dress in a manner that will show a sacred regard for the holy Sabbath, and the worship of God. The line of demarkation between such a class and the world will be too plain to be mistaken. The influence of believers would be ten-fold greater if men and women who embrace the truth, who have been formerly careless and slack in their habits, would be so elevated, and sanctified through the truth, as to observe habits of neatness, order, and good taste in their dress. Our God is a God of order, and he is not in any degree pleased with distraction, with filthiness, or with sin.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 476.

9 On the Sabbath, how should our homes be prepared to welcome the heavenly angels into them? 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40; Ezekiel 44:23.

note: “The ten commandments spoken by Jehovah from Sinai can not live in the hearts of persons of disorderly, filthy habits. If ancient Israel could not so much as listen to the proclamation of that holy law, unless they had obeyed the injunction of Jehovah, and cleansed their clothing, how can that sacred law be written upon the hearts of persons who are not cleanly in person, in clothing, or in their houses?—It is impossible. Their profession may be as high as heaven, yet it is not worth a straw. Their influence disgusts unbelievers. Better if they had ever remained outside the ranks of God’s loyal people. The house of God is dishonored by such professors.” Review and Herald, January 23, 1900.

“He who was so particular that the children of Israel should cherish habits of cleanliness, will not sanction any impurity in the homes of his people today. God looks with disfavor on uncleanness of any kind. How can we invite him into our homes unless all is neat and clean and pure?

“Believers should be taught that even though they may be poor, they need not be uncleanly or untidy in their persons or in their homes. Help must be given in this line to those who seem to have no sense of the meaning and importance of cleanliness. They are to be taught that those who are to represent the high and holy God must keep their souls pure and clean, and that this purity must extend to their dress, and to everything in the home, so that the ministering angels will have evidence that the truth has wrought a change in the life, purifying the soul and refining the tastes. Those who, after receiving the truth, make no change in word or deportment, in dress or surroundings, are living to themselves, not to Christ. They have not been created anew in Christ Jesus, unto purification and holiness.” Ibid., June 10, 1902.

10 What did Jesus teach about the small details? Luke 24:1–3; John 20:7.

Personal Review

Guarding the Edges—“We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time. Whenever it is possible, employers should give their workers the hours from Friday noon until the beginning of the Sabbath. Give them time for preparation, that they may welcome the Lord’s day with quietness of mind. By such a course you will suffer no loss even in temporal things.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 356.

The Preparation Day—“Let every family of Seventh-day Adventists honor God by a strict regard for his law. The children should be taught to respect the Sabbath. On the day of preparation, clothing should be put in proper repair, shoes polished, baths taken. Then around the family altar all should wait to welcome God’s holy day, as they would watch for the coming of a dear friend.” The Signs of the Times, May 25, 1882.

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

“All through the week we are to have the Sabbath in mind and be making preparation to keep it according to the commandment. . . .

“When the Sabbath is thus remembered, the temporal will not be allowed to encroach upon the spiritual. No duty pertaining to the six working days will be left for the Sabbath. During the week our energies will not be so exhausted in temporal labor that on the day when the Lord rested and was refreshed we shall be too weary to engage in His service.” The Faith I Live By, 34.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Bible Study Guides – True Sabbath Observance

December 10, 2006 – December 16, 2006

Key Text

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.” Luke 21:34.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 6, 360–368; vol. 2, 703, 704.


“All who love God should do what they can to make the Sabbath a delight, holy and honorable.” Child Guidance, 536.

“To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God [is] our refuge a nd strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. [There is] a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High. God [is] in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, [and that] right early. . . . Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts [is] with us; the God of Jacob [is] our refuge.” Psalm 46:1–5, 8–11.

1 From what physical things are we to rest on the Sabbath day? Exodus 20:9, 10; 31:15; Jeremiah 17:22.

note: “All ordinary labor for a livelihood or for worldly profit was forbidden upon the seventh day. According to the fourth commandment the Sabbath was dedicated to rest and religious worship. All secular employment was to be suspended; but works of mercy and benevolence were in accordance with the purpose of the Lord. They were not to be limited by time nor place. To relieve the afflicted, to comfort the sorrowing is a labor of love that does honor to God’s holy day.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 193, 194.

“Servile work for a livelihood, or common business transactions upon the Sabbath, constitute those who take part in them transgressors. All labor necessary to provide for the sustenance of the body is to be done in the six working days.” Review and Herald, September 6, 1898.

“God has given man six days in which to work for himself, but He has reserved one day in which He is to be specially honored. He is to be glorified, His authority respected. And yet man will rob God by stealing a little of the time which the Creator has reserved for Himself. God reserved the seventh day as a period of rest for man, for the good of man as well as for His own glory.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 532.

2 Why is it necessary to have this rest? Psalm 46:10; Luke 8:14; 21:34.

note: “God saw that a Sabbath was essential for man, even in Paradise. He needed to lay aside his own interests and pursuits for one day of the seven, that he might more fully contemplate the works of God and meditate upon His power and goodness. He needed a Sabbath to remind him more vividly of God and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 48.

3 Besides rest from our labor, what other precious privelege do we have on the Sabbath day? Psalms 92:1; 100:1–5.

note: “God teaches that we should assemble in His house to cultivate the attributes of perfect love. This will fit the dwellers of earth for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for all who love Him. There they will assemble in the sanctuary from Sabbath to Sabbath, from one new moon to another, to unite in loftiest strains of song, in praise and thanksgiving to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 368.

4 If we are devoted to God, where will we be found on the Sabbath? Hebrews 10:23–25; Matthew 11:28–30.

note: “None should permit themselves, through the week, to become so absorbed in their temporal interests, and so exhausted by their efforts for worldly gain, that on the Sabbath they have no strength or energy to give to the service of God. We are robbing the Lord, when we unfit ourselves to worship him upon his holy day. And we are robbing ourselves as well; for we need the warmth and glow of association, as well as the strength to be gained from the wisdom and experience of other Christians.” Review and Herald, June 13, 1882.

“Fathers and mothers should make it a rule that their children attend public worship on the Sabbath, and should enforce the rule by their own example. It is our duty to command our children and our household after us, as did Abraham. By example as well as precept we should impress upon them the importance of religious teaching. All who have taken the baptismal vow have solemnly consecrated themselves to the service of God; they are under covenant obligation to place themselves and their children where they may obtain all possible incentives and encouragement in the Christian life.” Child Guidance, 530, 531.

“Never entertain the thought that you can be Christians and yet withdraw within yourselves. Each one is a part of the great web of humanity, and the nature and quality of your experience will be largely determined by the experiences of those with whom you associate. Jesus says: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst.’ Matthew 18:20. Then let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhort one another; and so much the more, as we see the day approaching.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 190.

5 In resting from our labors on the Sabbath day, of what must we be careful? Isaiah 58:13; 11 Timothy 3:2–5.

note: All who love God should do what they can to make the Sabbath a delight, holy and honorable. They cannot do this by seeking their own pleasure in sinful, forbidden amusements. Yet they can do much to exalt the Sabbath in their families and make it the most interesting day of the week. We should devote time to interesting our children. A change will have a happy influence upon them. We can walk out with them in the open air; we can sit with them in the groves and in the bright sunshine, and give their restless minds something to feed upon by conversing with them upon the works of God, and can inspire them with love and reverence by calling their attention to the beautiful objects in nature.” Child Guidance, 536.

6 Does this mean we will find no joy in the Sabbath? 111 John 4; Philippians 2:13; Psalm 5:11.

note: “And the Lord says, ‘If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; . . . then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.’ Isaiah 58:13, 14. To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him. The Sabbath points them to the works of creation as an evidence of His mighty power in redemption. While it calls to mind the lost peace of Eden, it tells of peace restored through the Saviour. And every object in nature repeats His invitation, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11:28.” The Desire of Ages, 289.

7 Where do we find the most joy? Psalm 16:11; Proverbs 21:15; Matthew 25:21; John 15:10, 11.

8 Not only are we to cease from the actual labor on the Sabbath day, but from what else should we cease? James 3:5, 6.

note: “Those who discuss business matters or lay plans on the Sabbath are regarded by God as though engaged in the actual transaction of business. To keep the Sabbath holy, we should not even allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character. And the commandment includes all within our gates. The inmates of the house are to lay aside their worldly business during the sacred hours. All should unite to honor God by willing service upon His holy day.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307, 308.

“God requires not only that we refrain from physical labor upon the Sabbath, but that the mind be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. The Fourth Commandment is virtually transgressed by conversing upon worldly things or by engaging in light and trifling conversation. Talking upon anything or everything which may come into the mind is speaking our own words. Every deviation from right brings us into bondage and condemnation.” Child Guidance, 529, 530.

9 Why has God given this instruction? Matthew 15:18; Job 6:24, 25.

note: “Those who are not fully converted to the truth frequently let their minds run freely upon worldly business, and, although they may rest from physical toil upon the Sabbath, their tongues speak out what is in their minds; hence these words concerning cattle, crops, losses, and gains. All this is Sabbath breaking. If the mind is running upon worldly matters, the tongue will reveal it, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 703.

“When you are speaking of your hope in God, of Jesus and of his soon coming, and of the beauties of the New Earth, you are not speaking your own words. Of these things you may freely speak on the Sabbath. On six days you may talk of business matters, and lay plans that are necessary; but the Sabbath is holy time, and all worldly thoughts must, on that day, be dismissed from the mind. The blessing of God will then rest upon you, and you will have the sweet consolations of his Spirit, and you will also have confidence when you approach the throne of grace.” The Youth’s Instructor, February 1, 1853.

10 What is our responsibility concerning those who dwell in our homes on the Sabbath? Exodus 20:11; Genesis 18:19.

note: “Parents, above everything take care of your children upon the Sabbath. Do not suffer them to violate God’s holy day by playing in the house or out-of-doors. You may just as well break the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it, and when you suffer your children to wander about and suffer them to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbathbreakers.” Child Guidance, 533.

“Make your children feel that you love them, and desire to do them good. Encourage every effort to do right. Show them that you have confidence in them. Remember that your example will be the most impressive lesson which you can give. Your courtesy and self-control will have greater influence upon the characters of your children than mere words could have.” Review and Herald, June 13, 1882.

11 How far does our responsibility connected with the Sabbath commandment extend beyond our homes? Deuteronomy 5:14; Nehemiah 13:19–22; 11 Corinthians 6:14–18.

note: “Some who claim to be giving allegiance to the law of Jehovah have even gone so far in Sabbath desecration as to unite in partnership with those who have no respect for the Sabbath. The professed Sabbath-keeper may cease his own labors on the Sabbath, but his partner continues the work. How must angels look upon this partnership, as the Sabbath observer kneels reverently before God in the house of worship, while those with whom he is united in business continue their labor just the same as on any other day! How does Heaven look upon the noise and confusion, the sound of the mechanic’s ax and hammer, which ascends instead of thanksgiving, as if in defiance of his injunctions! Can the Lord regard as guiltless the man who thus unites with transgressors?” Review and Herald, November 13, 1888.

Personal Review

The Church Triumphant—“The children of God will be triumphant. They will come off conquerors and more than conquerors over all the opposing, persecuting elements. Fear not. By the power of Bible truth and love exemplified in the cross, and set home by the Holy Spirit, we shall have the victory. The whole battle before us hinges upon the observance of the true Sabbath of Jehovah.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 319.

The Path of Transgression—“Faith in God’s love and overruling providence lightens the burdens of anxiety and care. It fills the heart with joy and contentment in the highest or the lowliest lot. Religion tends directly to promote health, to lengthen life, and to heighten our enjoyment of all its blessings. It opens to the soul a never-failing fountain of happiness. Would that all who have not chosen Christ might realize that he has something vastly better to offer them thaSn they are seeking for themselves. Man is doing the greatest injury and injustice to his own soul when he thinks and acts contrary to the will of God. No real joy can be found in the path forbidden by him who knows what is best, and who plans for the good of his creatures. The path of transgression leads to misery and destruction; but wisdom’s ‘ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.’ [Proverbs 3:17.]” Christian Education, 68.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Bible Study Guides – Spiritual Power

December 3, 2006 – December 9, 2006

Key Text

“But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 60–64, Testimonies, vol. 6, 349–351.


“The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me [with thy] free spirit. [Then] will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: [and] my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give [it]: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:10–17.

1 What is the biblical definition of eternal life? John 17:3; Deuteronomy 8:11–18.

note: “To know God is eternal life. Are you teaching this to your children, or are you teaching them to meet the world’s standard? Are you getting ready for the home that God is preparing for you? . . . Teach your children of the Saviour’s life, death, and resurrection. Teach them to study the Bible. . . . Teach them to form characters that will live through the eternal ages. We must pray as we never have before that God will keep and bless our children.” Child Guidance, 494.

“It is our privilege to know God experimentally, and in true knowledge of God is life eternal. The only begotten Son of God was God’s gift to the world, in whose character was revealed the character of him who gave the law to men and angels. He came to proclaim the fact, ‘The Lord our God is one Lord,’ [Mark 12:29] and him only shalt thou serve. He came to make it manifest that, ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.’ [James 1:17.] That which proceeds from the mind of God is perfect, and needs not to be taken back, corrected, or altered in the least. We may ascribe all perfection to God. He holds in his hand the existence of every human being, and upholds all things by the word of his power.” Review and Herald, March 9, 1897.

2 What gift did the Father and the Son give to the human race that they may know them? Exodus 31:13; Ezekiel 20:20.

note: “God will more than fulfil the highest expectations of those who put their trust in him. He desires us to remember that when we are humble and contrite, we stand where he can and will manifest himself to us. He is well pleased when we urge past mercies and blessings as a reason why he should bestow on us higher and greater blessings. He is honored when we love him, and bear testimony to the genuineness of our love by keeping his commandments. He is honored when we set apart the seventh day as sacred and holy. To those who do this the Sabbath is a sign, ‘that they might know,’ God declares, ‘that I am the Lord that sanctify them.’ [Ezekiel 20:12.] Sanctification means habitual communion with God. There is nothing so great and powerful as God’s love for those who are his children.” Review and Herald, March 15, 1906.

3 Since the Sabbath is to be a sign of a perpetual covenant, to what is the covenant pointing us? Exodus 31:16, 17; Hebrews 8:10.

note: “Obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love. The law of God is an expression of His very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. If our hearts are renewed in the likeness of God, if the divine love is implanted in the soul, will not the law of God be carried out in the life? When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new-covenant promise is fulfilled, ‘I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.’ Hebrews 10:16. And if the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life? Obedience—the service and allegiance of love—is the true sign of discipleship. Thus the Scripture says, ‘This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.’ ‘He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ 1 John 5:3; 2:4. Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.” Steps to Christ, 60, 61.

“God has declared in His Word that the seventh day is a sign between Him and His chosen people,—a sign of their loyalty. ‘I am the Lord your God,’ He says; ‘walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.’ [Ezekiel 20:19, 20.] The day God set apart to be kept free from secular labor He designed should be respected in commemoration of His wisdom, power, and goodness in creating the world and man. The Sabbath was instituted before the Jews were distinguished as a people, and was given to all mankind to keep holy, ‘that ye may know,’ God declares, ‘that I am the Lord which do sanctify you.’ [Exodus 31:13.] If the Sabbath is accepted, the rest of the commands in the Decalogue will be obeyed; for no one can truly keep the Sabbath and disregard one precept of the law.” The Signs of the Times, March 31, 1898.

4 How does the Sabbath illustrate the “New Covenant”? Hebrews 4:10.

note: “God gave the Sabbath to his people to be a continual sign of his love and mercy and of their obedience. As he rested on this day and was refreshed, so he desired his people to rest and be refreshed. It was to be a constant reminder to them that they were included in his covenant of grace. Throughout your generations, he said, the Sabbath is to be my sign, my pledge, to you that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you, that I have chosen you and set you apart as my peculiar people. And as you keep the Sabbath holy, you will bear testimony to the nations of the earth that you are my chosen people.” Review and Herald, October 28, 1902.

“Let us remember that we are pilgrims and strangers on this earth, seeking a better country, even a heavenly. Let us work with such earnestness, such devotion, that sinners will be drawn to Christ. Those who have united with the Lord in the covenant of service are under bonds to unite with Him in the great, grand work of soul saving. Let church members, during the week, act their part faithfully, and on the Sabbath relate their experience. The meeting will then be as meat in due season, bringing to all present new life and fresh vigor. When God’s people see the great need of working as Christ worked for the conversion of sinners, the testimonies borne by them in the Sabbath service will be filled with power. With joy they will tell of the precious experience they have gained in working for others.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 19.

5 To enter into His rest we must cease then from our own works. What are our own works from which we must cease? Galatians 5:19–21.

6 What is the only way we may be released from these “works of the flesh”? John 3:3, 5; Ezekiel 36:25–27.

note: “If we have the love of Christ in our souls, it will be a natural consequence for us to have all the other graces,—joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; and ‘against such there is no law.’ [Galatians 5:23.] The law of God does not condemn and hold in bondage those who have these graces; because they are obeying the requirements of the law of God. They are law-keepers, and therefore they are not under the bondage of the law.” Review and Herald, January 4, 1887.

7 Why could Israel enter not into His rest? Hebrews 3:12, 19; 4:4–6; Romans 1:17; Galatians 2:20.

note: “Faith is essential in order to the keeping of the law of God; for ‘without faith it is impossible to please Him.’ And ‘whatsoever is not of faith is sin.’ Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:23.” The Great Controversy, 436.

“We must exercise faith toward Jesus Christ because he had become our sacrifice and surety. He has died that we might have ‘remission of sins that are past,’ [Romans 3:25] and obtain grace and help so that we may keep the commandments of the Lord our God. Faith in Jesus does not make void the law, but establishes it, and will work the fruits of obedience in our lives. Faith in Christ means that you are to do whatsoever he commands; it means that you are to follow in his footsteps. ‘He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.’ ‘He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ [1 John 2:6, 4.]” Review and Herald, January 31, 1888.

8 How did Israel come to the point of unbelief? How may we do the same? Hebrews 3:8–11, 15–18; Psalm 95:6–11.

note: “God speaks to us today, in the warnings, counsels, and reproofs given to ancient Israel. If we depart from him, our condemnation will be greater than theirs; for we have their experience as a warning, and all the instruction which God has given since their time. Many and varied are the idols which we cherish; idols that engross the mind and harden the heart, so that sacred things are not rightly valued. Oh that the lessons given to ancient Israel might so impress our hearts and affect our lives that we would fully turn from idols, to serve the living God.” The Signs of the Times, August 18, 1881.

“And you that have not sanctified your souls by obeying the truth, do you expect that Christ at his appearing will make you ready? There will then be no atoning blood to wash away the stains of sins. It is while it is called today that you may, if you will, hear his voice, and harden not your heart, as in the day of provocation. It is today that the Spirit of God invites. It is today that the sweet voice of mercy is falling upon your ears.” Review and Herald, August 17, 1869.

9 How does the Holy Spirit work to sanctify us through the Sabbath? Ezekiel 20:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7.

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

“Each sabbath institution bears the name of its author, an ineffaceable mark that shows the authority of each. It is our work to lead the people to understand this. We are to show them that it is of vital consequence whether they bear the mark of God’s kingdom or the mark of the kingdom of rebellion, for they acknowledge themselves subjects of the kingdom whose mark they bear.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350, 352.

10 We must be free from sin upon entering the Sabbath: Nehemiah 13:22; 1 Peter 2:9, 10.

note: “This was the commandment of the great and mighty God. There was to be nothing slack and untidy about those who appeared before Him when they came into His holy presence. And why was this? What was the object of all this carefulness? Was it merely to recommend the people to God? Was it merely to gain His approbation? The reason that was given me was this, that a right impression might be made upon the people. If those who ministered in sacred office should fail to manifest care, and reverence for God, in their apparel and their deportment, the people would lose their awe and their reverence for God and His sacred service.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 612.

11 As the shewbread was prepared every Sabbath, so we should partake of the bread of life every Sabbath. 1 Chronicles 9:32; John 6:48, 53, 54, 63; Hebrews 4:11, 12.

12 Not only are we to rest on the Sabbath but we are to assemble together for worship. Leviticus 23:3; Hebrews 10:24, 25.

Personal Review

Encouraging Others—“As you meet from Sabbath to Sabbath, sing praises to Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. ‘Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood’ [Revelation 1:5] let the heart’s adoration be given. Let the love of Christ be the burden of the speaker’s utterance. Let it be expressed in simple language in every song of praise. Let the inspiration of the Spirit of God dictate your prayers. As the word of life is spoken, let your heartfelt response testify that you receive the message as from heaven. This is very old-fashioned, I know; but it will be a thank offering to God for the bread of life given to the hungry soul. This response to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit will be a strength to your own soul and an encouragement to others. It will give some evidence that there are in God’s building living stones that emit light.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 367.

Children of God—“In freeing out souls from the bondage of sin, God has wrought for us a deliverance greater than that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea. Like the Hebrew host, we should praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice for His ‘wonderful works to the children of men.’ [Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31.] Those who dwell upon God’s great mercies, and are not unmindful of His lesser gifts, will put on the girdle of gladness and make melody in their hearts to the Lord. 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. What compassion, what matchless love, has God shown to us, lost sinners, in connecting us with Himself, to be to Him a peculiar treasure! What a sacrifice has been made by our Redeemer, that we may be called children of God!” Patriarchs and Prophets, 289.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Bible Study Guides – The Seal of God

November 26, 2006 – December 2, 2006

Key Text

“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I [am] the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:12.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 575–577; The Desire of Ages, 763, 764; The Great Controversy, 605–610.


“The seal of God’s law is found in the fourth commandment.” The Great Controversy, 452.

“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Revelation 7:13–17.

1 In ancient times, as today, what did an official decree have to contain to make it binding? 1 Kings 21:8; Nehemiah 9:38; Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:17.

2 How do we know that the Ten Commandments Law is binding? Isaiah 8:16.

3 Seals always contain the name, title, and territory of the lawgiver. Where do we find God’s seal in the Ten Commandment Law? Exodus 20:8–11.

note: “The Sabbath is not introduced as a new institution but as having been founded at creation. It is to be remembered and observed as the memorial of the Creator’s work. Pointing to God as the Maker of the heavens and the earth, it distinguishes the true God from all false gods. All who keep the seventh day signify by this act that they are worshipers of Jehovah. Thus the Sabbath is the sign of man’s allegiance to God as long as there are any upon the earth to serve Him. The fourth commandment is the only one of all the ten in which are found both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It is the only one that shows by whose authority the law is given. Thus it contains the seal of God, affixed to His law as evidence of its authenticity and binding force.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307.

“The Lord commands by the same prophet: ‘Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.’ Isaiah 8:16. The seal of God’s law is found in the fourth commandment. This only, of all the ten, brings to view both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It declares Him to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and thus shows His claim to reverence and worship above all others. Aside from this precept, there is nothing in the Decalogue to show by whose authority the law is given. When the Sabbath was changed by the papal power, the seal was taken from the law. The disciples of Jesus are called upon to restore it by exalting the Sabbath of the fourth commandment to its rightful position as the Creator’s memorial and the sign of His authority.” The Great Controversy, 452.

4 What does God’s seal declare about the Ten Commandment Law and especially the Sabbath? Ezekiel 20:12, 20; 11 Timothy 2:19.

note: “The Israelites placed over their doors a signature of blood, to show that they were God’s property. So the children of God in this age will bear the signature God has appointed. They will place themselves in harmony with God’s holy law. A mark is placed upon every one of God’s people just as verily as a mark was placed over the doors of the Hebrew dwellings, to preserve the people from the general ruin. God declares, ‘I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.’ [Ezekiel 20:12.] When men say that the law of God is abrogated by the testimony of the Fathers, they are teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. Their word is not founded upon the teaching of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ is not the chief cornerstone of their structure. John says, ‘He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ [1 John 2:4.] Those who permit themselves to be deceived will, with the deceiver, feel the wrath of the Lamb.” Review and Herald, February 6, 1900.

5 From where does true allegiance to God come? John 14:15, 23; 1 John 5:2, 3; Deuteronomy 5:29.

note: “We must have that genuine faith which works by love, and purifies the soul. God has given us a perfect standard of righteousness in his law. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.’ [Luke 10:27.] This comprehends the whole duty of man to his God and to his neighbor. We owe to God our life, and all that makes life desirable, and when we refuse to render obedience to him, we rob and defraud our own souls. No man can choose his own way without deep ingratitude to God; in so doing he renders to God enmity for love.” Review and Herald, March 5, 1889.

“The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness. To those who keep holy the Sabbath day it is the sign of sanctification. True sanctification is harmony with God, oneness with Him in character. It is received through obedience to those principles that are the transcript of His character.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350.

6 What is God waiting for before He will end this world and usher in the new heavens and the new earth? Revelation 7:1–3.

note: “We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecies are fulfilling. Strange and eventful history is being recorded in the books of heaven—events which it was declared should shortly precede the great day of God. Everything in the world is in an unsettled state. The nations are angry, and great preparations for war are being made. Nation is plotting against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. The great day of God is hasting greatly. But although the nations are mustering their forces for war and bloodshed, the command to the angels is still in force, that they hold the four winds until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 221, 222.

7 In this final work on earth, how many classes are developed? Matthew 25:32, 33; Revelation 14:1, 9.

note: “The warfare against God’s law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.” The Desire of Ages, 763.

“In the issue of the great contest, two distinct, opposite classes are developed. One class ‘worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark,’ and thus bring upon themselves the awful judgments threatened by the third angel. The other class, in marked contrast to the world, ‘keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.’ [Revelation 14:9, 12.] Though the powers of earth summon their forces to compel ‘all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,’ [Revelation 13:16] to receive the mark of the beast, yet the people of God do not receive it. The prophet of Patmos beholds ‘them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God,’ [Revelation 15:2] and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 282, 283.

8 Since we see these things coming, what should we be doing? 11 Peter 3:11, 12.

9 We have seen that the seal of God is the Sabbath. This is not a physical mark but is apparent by adhering to the sign of allegiance designated by the Father to His children. What then is the mark of the beast? Revelation 14:9–11.

note: “If the light of truth has been presented to you, revealing the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and showing that there is no foundation in the word of God for Sunday observance, and yet you still cling to the false Sabbath, refusing to keep holy the Sabbath which God calls ‘My holy day,’ [Isaiah 58:13] you receive the mark of the beast. When does this take place?—When you obey the decree that commands you to cease from labor on Sunday and worship God, while you know that there is not a word in the Bible showing Sunday to be other than a common working-day, you consent to receive the mark of the beast, and refuse the seal of God. If we receive this mark in our foreheads or in our hands, the judgments pronounced against the disobedient must fall upon us. But the seal of the living God is placed upon those who conscientiously keep the Sabbath of the Lord.” Review and Herald, July 13, 1897.

10 How do we know that the mark of the beast is connected with how we worship? Revelation 13:12, 15.

note: “After the warning against the worship of the beast and his image the prophecy declares: ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ [Revelation 14:12.] Since those who keep God’s commandments are thus placed in contrast with those that worship the beast and his image and receive his mark, it follows that the keeping of God’s law, on the one hand, and its violation, on the other, will make the distinction between the worshipers of God and the worshipers of the beast.” The Great Controversy, 445, 446.

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

11 What evidence do we have that the world will oppose those who are loyal to God? Matthew 24:9–12; 10:17–22.

note: “Jesus does not present to His followers the hope of attaining earthly glory and riches, of living a life free from trial. Instead He calls upon them to follow Him in the path of self-denial and reproach. He who came to redeem the world was opposed by the united forces of evil. In an unpitying confederacy, evil men and evil angels arrayed themselves against the Prince of Peace. His every word and act revealed divine compassion, and His unlikeness to the world provoked the bitterest hostility.

“So it will be with all who will live godly in Christ Jesus. Persecution and reproach await all who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ. The character of the persecution changes with the times, but the principle—the spirit that underlies it—is the same that has slain the chosen of the Lord ever since the days of Abel.” The Acts of the Apostles, 576.

12 How do we know that those who are true to God in keeping the Sabbath will be persecuted? Revelation 13:15–17; 11 Timothy 3:12.

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

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

Personal Review

A Warning—“Christ warned us in view of this very time that we should not be engrossed in the cares of the world, to the neglect of eternal interests; but how many of us allow the things of this life to interpose between our souls and the great gift of Heaven. How few are living for the glory of God and the good of humanity. How few are telling their children of the love of Christ, of the mansions of Heaven, of the necessity of faith and obedience. How few are warning their friends and neighbors of the fast-hastening Judgment. My heart is pained with the thought of the ingratitude of man to his Maker, and the indifference of souls to their dearly-purchased salvation. We are warned that if we do not watch and pray, the day of final reckoning will overtake us as a thief in the night, and our portion will be appointed with the hypocrites and unbelievers. ‘But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day.’ [1 Thessalonians 5:4, 5.] There is every provision made that we may have the light, and there will be no excuse in the day of God if we are overtaken in our sins. Sorrow and woe await those who do not heed the instructions of the word of life; but what joy is in store for those who have made preparation for the coming of their Lord! They will be changed from mortality to immortality. They will see the King in his beauty, and reflect his image. They will be caught up to be forever with the Lord.” The Signs of the Times, January 27, 1888.

Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.

Food for Life – Black Bean Chimichangas, Enchilada Sauce, & Beef-Style Gluten Steaks

Have you ever stepped totally out of your comfort zone and done something that you were asked to do, but did not feel qualified to do? Well, that is what happened to me this summer. When preparing for the Steps to Life Camp Meeting, the excellent cooks, Mindy Breckenridge and Jessica Gettle, of previous years could not come this year. I was asked to be the cook. Although I had helped in the kitchen the previous three years, I had never cooked for more than 25 people. So it was with much prayer and the promise of help from Mary Ann Roberts and Sammie Partridge that the adventure of cooking for upwards of 200 people was started. The Lord blessed in so many ways, and I saw once again that in our weakness, He is strong. The following recipes, adapted from Cooking Vegetarian for Normal People, by Mindy Breckenridge, were used at camp meeting.

Camp Meeting Recipes

Black Bean Chimichangas

2 cups black turtle beans

6 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups diced tomato puree

2–3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped bell pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons chili powder substitute

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon fructose

3 cups enchilada sauce

1 cup sliced olives

1 cup chopped green onions

1–1/2 cups sour cream substitute

10–12 flour tortillas

Place beans and water in a pot and cook until beans are tender. Add salt and tomato puree and simmer until thick. Slightly mash with potato masher. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet and sauté onion, peppers, and garlic until onions are tender. Stir in beans, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and fructose. Form burritos using warmed flour tortillas. Top with enchilada sauce, sour cream substitute, olives, onions, and your favorite cheese sauce.

Enchilada Sauce

2 cups water

1 cup tomato sauce

1 Tablespoon chicken-like seasoning

1–2 Tablespoons chili powder substitute

1 teaspoon cumin

2 Tablespoons dried onion bits

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Combine all ingredients except cornstarch. Bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch with a little water and whisk into boiling sauce. Continue cooking for about a minute.

Beef-Style Gluten Steaks

3 cups gluten flour (at least 85%)

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 cups water

2/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup Kitchen Bouquet

Mix dry ingredients together. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Kneed into a ball. Divide and shape into 2 logs and let rest while you prepare the broth.


13 cups water

1/2 cup soy sauce

1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 cup sliced carrot

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup sliced celery

3 Tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet

1 Tablespoon salt

Combine in an 8-quart pot. Bring to a boil; simmer for 20 minutes. Place gluten in boiling broth and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove from broth and slice as desired. Place in a gallon jar and cover with broth. Store in refrigerator up to a week or freeze without broth in usable portions.

Recipe Note:

  1. Gluten can be ground in a food processor using the “S” blade to make burger.
  2. To make Swiss steaks, layer steaks with onion and bell pepper and top with tomato puree. Bake until vegetables are tender.

Nature Nugget – New Champion in Avian Migration

The sooty shearwater is a pelagic seabird that spends its whole life at sea, only coming ashore once a year to breed. It belongs to a group of birds known as tubenoses, named for tubular nostrils on top of their bills used to drain excess salt from their bodies. Sooty shearwaters are dark grayish-brown and are around 16 inches in length with a 43-inch wingspan. They are one of the most abundant birds in the world with an estimated population of 20 million. They are expert gliders, riding the winds inches above the water’s surface in search of food. Their diet consists mainly of fish, squid, and krill which they pick off the surface of the water or occasionally dive under for. There are two populations in the world—an Atlantic population which breeds on islands off southern South America and winters in the north Atlantic, and a Pacific population which breeds in New Zealand and winters in three distinct areas of the north Pacific.

Recently, scientists fitted 33 sooty shearwaters with electronic tags to record data such as position, air temperature, and diving depth while feeding. The 6-gram (about 22-ounce) electronic tags were placed on the shearwaters after they were captured in their breeding burrows in New Zealand. A year later, 20 of the tags were recovered with 19 providing a full record of the distances traveled. The data from these tags showed that the sooty shearwaters travel the Pacific Ocean in a massive figure-of-eight pattern during their migration every year. Their migration paths covered the whole of the Pacific region and took about 200 days to complete. The shearwaters’ journeys took them from their breeding colonies in New Zealand to winter feeding grounds off Japan, Alaska, or California. Some even stopped off on the western coast of South America on the way. During this migration, the sooty shearwaters traveled a maximum distance of up to 40,000 miles and up to 565 miles per day, setting a new record for the longest animal migration known. This record was formerly held by the Arctic Tern, which travels 22,000 miles annually during its migration between the polar ice caps. The data from the tags also showed that the shearwaters dived to an average depth of 46 feet while feeding and could dive as deep as 225 feet.

Someday soon, if we are faithful, we will be long distance travelers also, but on a universal scale. “Many seem to have the idea that this world and the heavenly mansions constitute the universe of God. Not so. The redeemed throng will range from world to world, and much of their time will be employed in searching out the mysteries of redemption.”

“Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 990. “All the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God’s redeemed. Unfettered by mortality, they wing their tireless flights to worlds afar—worlds that thrilled with sorrow at the spectacle of human woe and rang with songs of gladness at the tidings of a ransomed soul. With unutterable delight the children of earth enter into the joy and the wisdom of unfallen beings. They share the treasures of knowledge and understanding gained through ages upon ages in contemplation of God’s handiwork. With undimmed vision they gaze upon the glory of creation—suns and stars and systems, all in their appointed order circling the throne of Deity. Upon all things, from least to greatest, the Creator’s name is written, and in all are the riches of His power displayed.” The Great Controversy, 677, 678.

Restoring the Temple – Proper Education, Part III

I have observed a great deficiency in so-called educated ladies. They may have graduated with honors, but are shamefully deficient in the practical duties of life. They are destitute of the qualifications necessary for the proper regulation and happiness of the family. They may talk of woman’s elevated sphere and of her rights, while they themselves sink far below the true sphere of woman. God designed that women should become intelligent in the most essential duties of life. . . . It is the right of every daughter of Eve in our land to be thoroughly educated in household duties, having a knowledge of all the branches of practical life in domestic labor. She may preside in her family as queen in her domain, her household being her kingdom. . . . It is woman’s right to be qualified to direct the expanding minds of her children. It is her right to have an understanding of her own and her children’s organisms, that she may know how to treat her children, and save them from the poisons of doctors’ drugs. She may adore her gracious Creator as she contemplates how beautifully and simply nature carries on her work when she is not interfered with. She may be an intelligent nurse and physician of her own dear children . . . . It is woman’s right to know how to regulate her own habits, and those of her children, in diet and dress, in exercise and in domestic duties, and employment in the open air in relation to life and health.

Of all the living organisms that God has created, none rank in the scale of value with him anywhere near to man. And if human beings would become intelligent in regard to their own bodies, and understand their relation to life and health, and regulate their habits of eating, of dressing, of working and resting, their lives would be prolonged in health and happiness. Many mothers do not take half the interest in the constitutional wants of their children that the intelligent farmer shows to the brutes around him. It is woman’s right to look after the interest of her husband, to have a care for his wardrobe, and to seek to make him happy. It is her right to improve her mind and manners, to be social, cheerful, and happy, shedding sunshine in her family, and making it a little heaven. And she may have an interest for more than “me and mine.” She should consider that society has claims upon her.

The false education of young ladies leads them to regard uselessness, frivolity, and helplessness, as desirable attainments. Many parents give their daughters the advantages of literary attainments, support them in amusement, and relieve them from the burdens of domestic care. They give them an abundance of time and nothing to occupy it. Flattery and the artificial, without an object or aim—nothing substantial to satisfy the mind and strengthen principle—leave empty nothingness.

I copy the following appropriate paragraph from “The American Woman’s Home,” by C. E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe:

“Our land is now full of motorpathic institutions, to which women are sent at a great expense to have hired operators stretch and exercise their inactive muscles. They lie for hours to have their feet twigged, their arms flexed, and all the different muscles of the body worked for them, because they are so flaccid and torpid that the powers of life do not go on. Would it not be quite as cheerful, and a less expensive process, if young girls from early life developed the muscles in sweeping, dusting, starching, ironing, and all the multiplied domestic processes which our grandmothers knew of? A woman who did all these, and diversified the intervals with spinning on the great and little wheel, did not need the gymnastics of Dio Lewis, or the Swedish movement cure, which really are a necessity now. Does it not seem poor economy to pay servants for letting our muscles grow feeble, and then to pay operators to exercise them for us? I will venture to say that our grandmothers went over, in a week, every movement that any gymnast has invented, and went over them with some productive purpose, too.”

There are many popularly-educated women who have no love for domestic labor because they have cherished thoughts that their education placed them above household employment. Young women should be educated for their important life-work with the advantages of the highest moral and physical strength, and should receive the purest cultivation.

God placed Adam and Eve in the garden to labor. They were both to unite their efforts in dressing and keeping the garden. If young women waste their time in uselessness, they are meeting with great loss. Their time should be employed in becoming rich in good works, and in this manner they are indeed cultivating the intellect for a purpose. The most essential education for youth is a knowledge of the branches of labor important for practical life.

“The American Woman’s Home” continues: “There has been a great deal of crude, disagreeable talk in these conventions, and too great tendency of the age to make the education of woman anti-domestic. It seems as if the world never could advance, except like ships under a headwind, tacking and going too far, now in this direction, and now in the opposite. Our common-school systems now reject sewing from the education of girls, which very properly used to occupy many hours daily in school a generation ago. The daughters of laborers and artisans are put through algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and the higher mathematics, to the entire neglect of that learning which belongs distinctively to women. A girl often cannot keep pace with her class if she gives any time to domestic matters; and accordingly she is excused from them all during the whole term of her education. As the result, the young women in some of our country towns are, in mental culture, much in advance of the males of the same household; but with this comes a physical delicacy, the result of an exclusive use of the brain and a neglect of the muscular system, with great inefficiency in practical, domestic duties. The race of strong, hardy, cheerful girls, that used to grow up in country places, and made the bright, neat, New England kitchens of olden times—the girls that could wash, iron, bake, . . . embroider, draw, paint, and read innumerable books—this race of women, pride of olden time, is daily lessening; and in their stead come the fragile, easily-fatigued, languid girls of a modern age, drilled in book learning, ignorant of common things. The great danger of all this, and of the evils that come from it, is, that society, by-and-by, will turn as blindly against female intellectual culture as it now advocates it, and having worked disproportionately one way, will work disproportionately in the opposite direction.”

The Health Reformer, June 1, 1873.

The Pen of Inspiration – A Lesson on Covetousness

As Jesus was departing from a certain place, a young man came to him with the inquiry, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God; but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him. If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.” [Matthew 19:16–22.]

Jesus quoted to the young man five of the last six commandments, also the second great commandment, on which the last six commandments depend. These he thought he had kept. Jesus did not mention the first four commandments, which define our duty to God. In answer to the inquiry, “What lack I yet?” Jesus said to him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.”

Idol Revealed

Here was his lack. He failed to love God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself. Jesus touched his possessions. Said he, “Sell that thou hast, and give to the poor.” This pointed out the young man’s idol. His love of riches was supreme; hence it was impossible for him to love God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind. And this supreme love for his riches shut his eyes to the wants of his fellow-men. He did not love his neighbor as himself; therefore he failed to keep the last six commandments. His heart was on his treasures, swallowed up in his earthy possessions. He loved the things of earth better than God, better than the heavenly treasure. Jesus tested him to see which he loved most, riches or eternal life. Did he eagerly lay hold of the eternal prize? Did he earnestly strive to remove the obstacle that was in the way of his having a treasure in heaven? Oh, no; “he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” [Matthew 19:23, 24.]

It is God’s plan that riches should be used properly, distributed to bless the needy, and to advance the work of God. If men love their riches better than they love their fellow-men, better than they love God or the truths of his word, if their hearts are on their riches, they cannot have eternal life. Some would rather yield the truth than sell and give to the poor. Here souls are proved; and, like the rich young man, many go away sorrowful because they cannot have their riches and a treasure in heaven too. They cannot have both, and they risk their chance of eternal life for a worldly possession.

All Things Possible

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” “With God all things are possible” [Matthew 19:26]; but he will not permit the rich men to selfishly hoard their riches, and yet enter into his kingdom. Truth, set home to the heart by the Spirit of God, will crowd out the love of riches. The love of Jesus and the love of money cannot dwell in the same heart. The love of God so far surpasses the love of money that the possessor breaks away from his riches and transfers his affections to God. Through love he is then led to minister to the wants of the needy and to assist the cause of God. It is his highest pleasure to make a right disposition of his Lord’s goods. He holds all that he has as not his own, and faithfully discharges his duty as God’s steward. Then he can keep both the great commandments of the law: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” [Matthew 22:37, 39.]

In this way it is possible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” [Matthew 19:29.] Here is the reward for those who sacrifice for God. They receive a hundredfold in this life, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Reward to Come

“But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” [Matthew 19:30.] Some who receive the truth do not live it. They cling to their possessions, and are not willing to use their means to advance the cause of God. They will not trust God’s promises. Their love of this world swallows up their faith. God calls for a portion of their substance, but they heed it not. They reason that they have labored hard to obtain what they have, and they cannot lend it to the Lord, for they may come to want. “O ye of little faith!” [Matthew 6:30.] That God who cared for Elijah in the time of famine, will not pass by one of his self-sacrificing children. He who has numbered the hairs of their head will care for them, and in days of famine they will be satisfied. While the wicked are perishing from hunger and thirst, their bread and water will be sure. Those who cling to their earthly treasure, and will not make a right disposition of that which is lent them of God, will lose the heavenly treasure, eternal life.

There was a time when there were but few who listened to and embraced the truth, and they had not much of this world’s goods. Then it was necessary for some to sell their houses and lands, and obtain cheaper, while their means were freely lent to the Lord to publish the truth, and otherwise aid in advancing the cause of God. These self-sacrificing ones endured privations; but if they endure unto the end, great will be their reward.

Sacrifice for God

God has been moving upon many hearts. The truth for which a few sacrificed so much has triumphed, and multitudes have laid hold of it. In the providence of God, those who have means have been brought into the truth, that as the work increases the wants of his cause may be met. God does not now call for the houses his people need to live in; but if those who have an abundance do not hear his voice, cut loose from the world, and sacrifice for God, he will pass them by, and will call for those who are willing to do anything for Jesus, even to sell their homes to meet the wants of the cause. God will have free-will offerings. Those who give must esteem it a privilege to do so.

Some give of their abundance, yet feel no lack. They do not practice self-denial for the cause of Christ. They give liberally and heartily, but they still have all that heart can wish. God regards it. The action and motive are strictly marked by him, and they will not lose their reward. But those who have less means must not excuse themselves because they cannot do as much as some others. Do what you can. Deny yourself of some article you can do without, and sacrifice for the cause of God. Like the poor widow, cast in your two mites. You will actually give more than all those who give of their abundance; and you will know how sweet it is to deny self, to give to the needy, to sacrifice for the truth, and to lay up treasure in heaven.

Learn Self-Denial

The young, especially young men, who profess the truth, have yet a lesson of self-denial to learn. If these made more sacrifice for the truth, they would esteem it more highly. It would affect their hearts, and purify their lives. Too often the young do not take the burden of the cause of God, or feel any responsibility in regard to it. Is it because God has excused them? Oh, no; they excuse themselves. They do not realize that they are not their own. Their strength, their time, is not their own. They are bought with a price; and unless they possess the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice, they can never gain the immortal inheritance.

Said the great Teacher, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” [Matthew 6:24; Joshua 24:15.]

Review and Herald, September 16, 1884.

Children’s Story – Ten Bucks and A Pony Ride

“Well, girls,” Dad said. “We are down to just a few cents.” Reaching deep into the pocket of his trousers, he withdrew a small fistful of coins, then opened his fist to reveal the collection of pennies, nickels, and dimes.

“Where do you think we can get some money?” Dad asked. The trio silently pondered their situation and this question, specifically, for a few moments. “I know!” he exclaimed eagerly, his face brightening. “Let’s ask the Lord to help us.” Right there, Dad knelt down with his two young daughters beside him. “Dear Father,” he prayed, “You know we have needs, and we don’t have any money. Please help us to find some. Thank You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

As they opened their eyes after the prayer, Dad seemed to have an idea. “I know, girls! Let’s go to Central Park. Maybe someone dropped ten dollars.” There had just been a carnival at the park, and many people had passed through. Perhaps someone had carelessly dropped a bit of money.

So, believing in the promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find,” Matthew 7:7, the three started walking towards the park. The day was overcast and breezy, so they walked briskly to keep warm. Arriving at the park, they slowly walked along the paths where the carnival had been, casting their eyes from side to side, scanning the grass for any coins or bills. Several greenish papers caught their eyes, but upon investigation, they were only pieces of trash.

Suddenly Dad shouted, “What’s this?” He jumped forward to snatch up a green paper, lest it should blow away, out of reach. Quickly he unfolded it and excitedly exclaimed, “It’s ten bucks! Thank You, Lord!”

Walking on a little further, Dad and his girls approached the last few booths that remained from the carnival. One of the girls spotted a pony ride, and the girls eagerly tugged Dad in its direction. “How much for a ride?” Dad asked.

“Ahhh,” the ponies’ owner smiled. “How ’bout a dollar?”

The newly acquired $10 was handed over, and $9 in change was returned. Dad then hoisted his two little girls onto the Shetlands’ sturdy backs. Off they went, round and round and round. They were thankful for the double blessing they had received—God’s answer to Dad’s prayer and the bonus of pony rides.