Bible Study Guides – I Will Come Again

December 21, 2008 – December 27, 2008

Key Text

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 299–316.


“Those who have loved Him and waited for Him, He will crown with glory and honor and immortality. The righteous dead will come forth from their graves, and those who are alive will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air.” The Acts of the Apostles, 34.

1 What prophetic hope was expressed by both Job and Enoch? Job 19:25–27; Jude 14, 15.

2 How does the psalmist describe the Lord’s return, and what should it make us pause to consider? Psalms 50:1–6; 96:11, 13.

Note: “The coming of Christ to usher in the reign of righteousness has inspired the most sublime and impassioned utterances of the sacred writers. The poets and prophets of the Bible have dwelt upon it in words glowing with celestial fire.” The Great Controversy, 300.

“Do we believe with all the heart that Christ is soon coming and that we are now having the last message of mercy that is ever to be given to a guilty world? Is our example what it should be? Do we, by our lives and holy conversation, show to those around us that we are looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who shall change these vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body? I fear that we do not believe and realize these things as we should. Those who believe the important truths that we profess, should act out their faith. There is too much seeking after amusements and things to take the attention in this world; the mind is left to run too much upon dress, and the tongue is engaged too often in light and trifling conversation, which gives the lie to our profession, for our conversation is not in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour.” Early Writings, 111.

3 In Old Testament times, what was the hope of the true believers in connection with the second coming of Jesus? Isaiah 26:19; 25:8, 9.

4 What did Paul write about the same hope? I Corinthians 15:51–55; I Thessalonians 4:13–18.

Note: “When the Thessalonian Christians were filled with grief as they buried their loved ones, who had hoped to live to witness the coming of the Lord, Paul, their teacher, pointed them to the resurrection, to take place at the Saviour’s advent.” The Great Controversy, 302.

5 What did Paul call the hope of Christ’s return, and what appeal is included with it? Titus 2:11–14.

Note: “The coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers. The Saviour’s parting promise upon Olivet, that He would come again, lighted up the future for His disciples, filling their hearts with joy and hope that sorrow could not quench nor trials dim. Amid suffering and persecution, the ‘appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ was the ‘blessed hope.’ [Titus 2:13.]” The Great Controversy, 302.

“We are pilgrims and strangers who are waiting, hoping, and praying for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If we believe this and bring it into our practical life, what vigorous action would this faith and hope inspire; what fervent love one for another; what careful holy living for the glory of God; and in our respect for the recompense of the reward, what distinct lines of demarcation would be evidenced between us and the world.” Evangelism, 220.

“The church of God is required to fulfill her night watch, however perilous, whether long or short. Sorrow is no excuse for her to be less watchful. Tribulation should not lead to carelessness, but to double vigilance. Christ has directed the church by His own example to the Source of their strength in times of need, distress, and peril. The attitude of watching is to designate the church as God’s people indeed. By this sign the waiting ones are distinguished from the world and show that they are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 205.

6 With what words does Habakkuk describe the second coming of Christ? Habakkuk 3:3–13. What does he say about the marks of Christ’s crucifixion in connection with His coming? Habakkuk 3:4 (margin).

Note: “Our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought. Says the prophet, beholding Christ in His glory: ‘He had bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His power.’ Habakkuk 3:4, margin. That pierced side whence flowed the crimson stream that reconciled man to God—there is the Saviour’s glory, there ‘the hiding of His power.’ ‘Mighty to save,’ [Isaiah 63:1.] through the sacrifice of redemption, He was therefore strong to execute justice upon them that despised God’s mercy. And the tokens of His humiliation are His highest honor; through the eternal ages the wounds of Calvary will show forth His praise and declare His power.” The Great Controversy, 674.

“What a joy it will be to recognize in Him our Teacher and Redeemer, bearing still the marks of the crucifixion, from which shine beams of glory, giving additional value to the crowns which the redeemed receive from His hands, the very hands outstretched in blessing over His disciples as He ascended. The very voice which said, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,’ [Matthew 28:20.] bids His ransomed ones welcome to His presence.” Counsels on Stewardship, 349.

7 How important will these “beams of glory” be throughout eternity? Zechariah 13:6.

Note: “The cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity. In Christ glorified they will behold Christ crucified. Never will it be forgotten that He whose power created and upheld the unnumbered worlds through the vast realms of space, the Beloved of God, the Majesty of heaven, He whom cherub and shining seraph delighted to adore—humbled Himself to uplift fallen man; that He bore the guilt and shame of sin, and the hiding of His Father’s face, till the woes of a lost world broke His heart and crushed out His life on Calvary’s cross.” The Great Controversy, 651.

8 With what message did the angels comfort the disciples at Christ’s ascension, and how is this confirmed in other Scriptures? Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

9 What further descriptions do we have of Christ’s return? Matthew 24:27; Mark 13:26; Revelation 1:7.

Note: “Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared, about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire; a rainbow was over the cloud, while around it were ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sat the Son of man. His hair was white and curly and lay on His shoulders; and upon His head were many crowns. His feet had the appearance of fire; in His right hand was a sharp sickle; in His left, a silver trumpet. His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched His children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out, ‘Who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless?’ Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence, when Jesus spoke: ‘Those who have clean hands and pure hearts shall be able to stand; [Psalm 24:4.] My grace is sufficient for you.’ [I Corinthians 12:9.] At this our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart. And the angels struck a note higher and sang again, while the cloud drew still nearer the earth.

“Then Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried, ‘Awake! awake! awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise.’ Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, ‘Alleluia!’ as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.

“We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns, and with His own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square.” Early Writings, 15, 16.

10 Whom did John see holding the seal of the living God, and for what purpose? Revelation 7:2–4.

11 Who will—and who will not—be ready for Christ’s appearing? Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21.

Note: “We are not to rest in the idea that because we are church-members we are saved, while we give no evidence that we are conformed to the image of Christ, while we cling to our old habits, and weave our fabric with the threads of worldly ideas and customs.” Maranatha, 54.

“We need a thorough reformation in all our churches. The converting power of God must come into the church. Seek the Lord most earnestly, put away your sins, and tarry in Jerusalem till ye be endowed with power from on high.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 443.

“If you harbor pride, self-esteem, a love for the supremacy, vainglory, unholy ambition, murmuring, discontent, bitterness, evil speaking, lying, deception, slandering, you have not Christ abiding in your heart, and the evidence shows that you have the mind and character of Satan, not of Jesus Christ, who was meek and lowly of heart. You must have a Christian character that will stand. …

“There must be thorough conversions among those who claim to believe the truth, or they will fall in the day of trial. God’s people must reach a high standard. They must be a holy nation, a peculiar people, a chosen generation—zealous of good works.” Ibid., 441.

Additional Reading

“In consideration of the shortness of time we as a people should watch and pray, and in no case allow ourselves to be diverted from the solemn work of preparation for the great event before us.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 306.

“Jesus is coming, but not as at His first advent, a babe in Bethlehem; not as He rode into Jerusalem, when the disciples praised God with a loud voice and cried, ‘Hosanna’; but in the glory of the Father and with all the retinue of holy angels to escort Him on His way to earth. All heaven will be emptied of the angels, while the waiting saints will be looking for Him and gazing into heaven, as were the men of Galilee when He ascended from the Mount of Olivet. Then only those who are holy, those who have followed fully the meek Pattern, will with rapturous joy exclaim as they behold Him, ‘Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.’ [Isaiah 25:9.] And they will be changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump’ [I Corinthians 15:52.]—that trump which wakes the sleeping saints, and calls them forth from their dusty beds, clothed with glorious immortality, and shouting, ‘Victory! Victory over death and the grave!’ [I Corinthians 15:54.] The changed saints are then caught up together with the angels to meet the Lord in the air, never more to be separated from the object of their love.

“With such a prospect as this before us, such a glorious hope, such a redemption that Christ has purchased for us by His own blood, shall we hold our peace? Shall we not praise God even with a loud voice, as did the disciples when Jesus rode into Jerusalem? Is not our prospect far more glorious than was theirs? Who dare then forbid us glorifying God, even with a loud voice, when we have such a hope, big with immortality, and full of glory? We have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and long for more. My whole being cries out after the living God, and I shall not be satisfied until I am filled with all His fullness.” Early Writings, 110.

‘When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.’ Matthew 25:31.

“No human language can portray the scenes of the second coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven. … He will come clad in the robe of light, which He has worn from the days of eternity. Angels will accompany Him. Ten thousand times ten thousand will escort Him on His way. The sound of the trumpet will be heard, calling the sleeping dead from the grave. The voice of Christ will penetrate the tomb, and pierce the ears of the dead, ‘and all that are in the graves … shall come forth.” [John 5:28, 29.] Sons and Daughters of God, 357.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Greatest Gift (continued)

December 14, 2008 – December 20, 2008

Key Text

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deuteronomy 6:5.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 303–314.


“The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God.” (Ephesians 3:10.) The Acts of the Apostles, 9.

1 What is the only way to control our temper? James 4:7, 8.

Note: “In the daily life you will meet with sudden surprises, disappointments, and temptations. What saith the word? ‘Resist the devil,’ by firm reliance upon God, ‘and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.’ [James 4:7, 8.] ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me’ [Isaiah 27:5.] Look unto Jesus at all times and in all places, offering a silent prayer from a sincere heart that you may know how to do His will. Then when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. When you are almost ready to yield, to lose patience and self-control, to be hard and denunciatory, to find fault and accuse—this is the time for you to send to heaven the prayer, ‘Help me, O God, to resist temptation, to put all bitterness and wrath and evilspeaking out of my heart. Give me Thy meekness, Thy lowliness, Thy long-suffering, and Thy love. Leave me not to dishonor my Redeemer, to misinterpret the words and motives of my wife, my children, and my brethren and sisters in the faith. Help me that I may be kind, pitiful, tenderhearted, forgiving. Help me to be a real house-band in my home and to represent the character of Christ to others.’ ” The Adventist Home, 214, 215.

2 How can we subdue our sinful inclinations? John 15:5; Philippians 4:13.

3 Where do evil thoughts originate? Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:19, 20.

Note: “As a man thinketh, so is he. From within, out of the heart, proceed evil thoughts inspired by Satan. He begins to quibble at technicalities and manners. The spirit of Satan links him up with the enemy to bear a word of criticism on less important themes. The truth becomes of less and still less value to him. He becomes an accuser of his brethren, etc., and changes leaders. The outside world has a greater weight with him than has the flood of light that God has poured in upon the world in messages that he has given, and which he once rejoiced in.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 408, 409.

4 What things should be kept in mind if we will ever see God? Matthew 5:8; Psalms 15:1–5; 24:3, 4.

Note: “Charity ‘doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.’ [I Corinthians 13:5.] Christ-like love places the most favorable construction on the motives and acts of others. It does not needlessly expose their faults; it does not listen eagerly to unfavorable reports, but seeks rather to bring to mind the good qualities of others.” The Acts of the Apostles, 319.

“Into the city of God there will enter nothing that defiles. All who are to be dwellers there will here have become pure in heart. In one who is learning of Jesus, there will be manifest a growing distaste for careless manners, unseemly language, and coarse thought. When Christ abides in the heart, there will be purity and refinement of thought and manner.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 24, 25.

5 How can we attain to purity in heart? Psalm 119:9–11.

Note: “But the words of Jesus, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart,’ [Matthew 5:8.] have a deeper meaning—not merely pure in the sense in which the world understands purity, free from that which is sensual, pure from lust, but true in the hidden purposes and motives of the soul, free from pride and self-seeking, humble, unselfish, childlike.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 25.

6 According to Isaiah, who will see the King in His beauty? Isaiah 33:14–17.

Note: “The darkest hour of the church’s struggle with the powers of evil is that which immediately precedes the day of her final deliverance. But none who trust in God need fear; for ‘when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall,’ God will be to His church ‘a refuge from the storm.’ Isaiah 25:4.

“In that day only the righteous are promised deliverance.” Prophets and Kings, 725.

7 What example must parents set so that their children may not be lost? Psalm 101:1–3.

Note: “From their infancy the youth need to have a firm barrier built up between them and the world, that its corrupting influence may not affect them. Parents must exercise unceasing watchfulness, that their children be not lost to God. The vows of David, recorded in the 101st psalm, should be the vows of all upon whom rest the responsibilities of guarding the influences of the home. …

“The youth should not be left to learn good and evil indiscriminately, the parents thinking that at some future time the good will predominate and the evil lose its influence. The evil will increase faster than the good. It is possible that the evil which children learn may be eradicated after many years, but who would trust to this? Whatever else they neglect, parents should never leave their children free to wander in the paths of sin.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 119.

8 Instead of fig leaves, what kind of dress should we seek to obtain? Genesis 3:7, 21; Isaiah 61:10.

Note: “Mothers, as well as youth and children, need to pray, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.’ [Psalm 51:10.] This purity of heart and loveliness of spirit are more precious than gold, both for time and for eternity. Only the pure in heart shall see God.” Child Guidance, 418.

9 What is promised to Christ’s faithful followers? Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 26:20, 21.

Note: “When tempted to sin, let us remember that Jesus is pleading for us in the heavenly sanctuary. When we put away our sins and come to him in faith, he takes our names on his lips and presents them to his Father, saying, ‘I have graven them upon the palms of my hands; [Isaiah 49:10.] I know them by name.’ And the command goes forth to the angels to protect them. Then in the day of fierce trial he will say, ‘Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.’ [Isaiah 26:20.] What are the chambers in which they are to hide?—They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Everyone must stand the test for himself.” The Review and Herald, November 19, 1908.

10 What promise belongs to the overcomers in the Laodicean period? Revelation 3:21. In what sense is this also an appeal to us?

Note: “The one who stands nearest to Christ will be he who has drunk most deeply of His spirit of self-sacrificing love,—love that ‘vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, … seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil’ [I Corinthians 13:4, 5],—love that moves the disciple, as it moved our Lord, to give all, to live and labor and sacrifice even unto death, for the saving of humanity.” The Acts of the Apostles, 543.

“Are you ready to make the surrender now? You are to put away your sin right now when you see it, but do not make leeway [that] you are going to overcome by degrees; you are going to try little by little to give up sin. Now, while it is called today, heed the invitation and harden not your hearts.

“Oh my soul, why not leave the cursed thing today? Sin crucified my Lord. Why not turn from it with loathing? Why not love the things that Christ loved, and hate the things that Christ hated? He has made provision ample enough for you that you can through Him be more—yea, more—than overcomers. Then what do you want? Do you want a second crucifixion of Christ? You cannot have that. You must look to Calvary. You must take the blood by faith and apply it. You must wash in it. You must be cleansed by the already shed blood of Jesus Christ. It can cleanse you to the utmost.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 188.

11 What will be avoided by those who possess true love? I Corinthians 13:6.

Note: “ ‘Rejoiceth not in iniquity.’ [I Corinthians 13:6.] Mark it. The apostle meant where there is a cultivation of genuine love for precious souls, it will be exhibited for those most in need of that patience which suffereth long and is kind, and will not be ready to magnify a small indiscretion or direct wrong into large unpardonable offenses, and will not make capital of others’ misdoings.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 279.

12 What spirit should control those who sit in church administrative meetings? I Corinthians 13:5–7.

Note: “Our every thought, word, and action should be subject to the will of Christ. Levity is not appropriate in meetings where the solemn work and word of God are under consideration. The prayer has been offered that Christ shall preside in the assembly and impart his wisdom, his grace, and righteousness. Is it consistent to take a course that will be grievous to his Spirit and contrary to his work? Let us bear in mind that Jesus is in our midst. Then an elevating, controlling influence from the Spirit of God, will pervade the assembly. There will be manifested that wisdom which is from above, that is first pure, then peaceable, full of mercy and good fruits, which cannot err. In all the plans and decisions there will be that charity that ‘seeketh not her own;’ which is ‘not easily provoked,’ that ‘thinketh no evil,’ that ‘rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;’ that ‘beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ [I Corinthians 13:5–7.] Self must be hid in Jesus, then the judgment will not be one-sided and warped, so that there can be no dispassionate and righteous decisions.” Gospel Workers (1892), 231.

Additional Reading

“‘here is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.’ I John 4:18.

“This is an important statement; for there are many who desire to love and serve God, and yet when affliction comes upon them, they do not discern the love of God in it, but the hand of the enemy. They mourn and murmur and complain; but this is not the fruit of love to God in the soul. If we have perfect love, we shall know that God is not seeking to injure us, but that in the midst of trials, and griefs, and pains, He is seeking to make us perfect, and to test the quality of our faith. When we cease to worry about the future, and begin to believe that God loves us, and means to do us good, we shall trust Him as a child trusts a loving parent. Then our troubles and torments will disappear, and our will will be swallowed up in the will of God.

“Through an abiding Christ you will become Christlike in character. The Lord desires you to stand by His side, as a kind, patient, humble son of God. The Lord designs that the laborers in His service shall represent His love.” Sons and Daughters of God, 193.

“The theme of redemption is one that the angels desire to look into; it will be the science and the song of the redeemed throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. Is it not worthy of careful thought and study now? The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for the most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. We should meditate upon the mission of Him who came to save His people from their sins. As we thus contemplate heavenly themes, our faith and love will grow stronger, and our prayers will be more and more acceptable to God, because they will be more and more mixed with faith and love. They will be intelligent and fervent. There will be more constant confidence in Jesus, and a daily, living experience in His power to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.

“As we meditate upon the perfections of the Saviour, we shall desire to be wholly transformed and renewed in the image of His purity. There will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to become like Him whom we adore. The more our thoughts are upon Christ, the more we shall speak of Him to others and represent Him to the world.” Steps to Christ, 88, 89.

“Paul seeks to impress upon our minds the fact that the foundation of all acceptable service to God, as well as the very crown of the Christian graces, is love; and that only in the soul where love reigns will the peace of God abide.” The Sanctified Life, 87.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Greatest Gift

December 7, 2008 – December 13, 2008

Key Text

“But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” I Corinthians 12:31.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 309–312; Testimonies, vol. 2, 411–418.


“True love for God carries with it true, reverential trust. And he who loves God will love his brother also.” Sons and Daughters of God, 193.

1 What is the value of various gifts without love? I Corinthians 13:1–3.

2 What is the first characteristic of true love? I Corinthians 13:4.

Note: “The Christian who manifests patience and cheerfulness under bereavement and suffering, who meets even death itself with the peace and calmness of an unwavering faith, may accomplish for the gospel more than he could have effected by a long life of faithful labor.” The Acts of the Apostles, 465.

3 What will kindness do when associated with true love? Ephesians 4:32.

Note: “Love should be revealed in action. It should flow out in all home intercourse, showing itself in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy. From a worldly point of view, money is power; but from a Christian standpoint, love is power. Wealth is often an influence to corrupt and destroy; force is strong to do hurt; but pure love has special efficacy. It prevents discord and misery, and brings the truest happiness. It gives intellectual and spiritual strength, and truth and goodness are its properties.” The Bible Echo, December 15, 1893.

4 What are the fruits of envy? Job 5:2; Proverbs 14:30; 27:4.

Note: “Envy, malice, evil thinking, evilspeaking, covetousness—these are weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully the race for immortality. Every habit or practice that leads into sin and brings dishonor upon Christ must be put away, whatever the sacrifice. The blessing of heaven cannot attend any man in violating the eternal principles of right. One sin cherished is sufficient to work degradation of character and to mislead others.” The Acts of the Apostles, 312.

5 What condition will the remnant people of God reach before they can receive the latter rain? Isaiah 11:13.

Note: “The cross of Christ is the pledge of our fellowship and union. The time must come when the watchmen shall see eye to eye; when the trumpet shall give a certain sound; when ‘Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim’ [Isaiah 11:13.] any more.” The Review and Herald, January 3, 1899.

“Oh, that all might repent and do their first works. When the churches do this they will love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves. Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. Divisions will then be healed, the harsh sounds of strife will no more be heard in the borders of Israel. Through the grace freely given them of God, all will seek to answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples shall be one, even as He and the Father are one. Peace, love, mercy, and benevolence will be the abiding principles of the soul. The love of Christ will be the theme of every tongue, and it will no more be said by the True Witness, ‘I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love’ (Revelation 2:4). The people of God will be abiding in Christ, and the love of Jesus will be revealed, and one Spirit will animate all hearts, regenerating and renewing in the image of Christ, fashioning all hearts alike. As living branches of the True Vine, all will be united to Christ the living Head. Christ will abide in every heart, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, and presenting to the world the unity of the followers of Jesus, thus bearing testimony that the heavenly credentials are supplied to the remnant church. In the oneness of Christ’s church it will be proved that God sent His only begotten Son into the world.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 51, 52.

6 How does God consider human pride and arrogance? Proverbs 8:13; 11:2; 16:18. In what sense did Cain show a proud heart?

Note: “Cain was willing to offer the fruit of his ground, but refused to connect with his offering the blood of beasts. His heart refused to show his repentance for sin, and his faith in a Saviour, by offering the blood of beasts. He refused to acknowledge his need of a Redeemer. This, to his proud heart, was dependence and humiliation.” Confrontation, 22, 23.

7 What was King David’s attitude toward a proud heart? Psalm 101:3–5.

Note: “The vows of David, recorded in the 101st psalm, should be the vows of all upon whom rest the responsibilities of guarding the influences of the home.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 119.

8 What quality must we be especially careful to cultivate in these last days? Matthew 11:29; I Peter 5:6.

Note: “Humility is a characteristic of those who have true wisdom, and no matter what may be their attainments, they will not be self-confident and boastful.” The Sabbath School Worker, March 1, 1892.

“Truly great men are invariably modest. Humility is a grace which sits naturally upon them as a garment. Those who have stored their minds with useful knowledge, and who possess genuine attainments and refinement, are the ones who will be most willing to admit the weakness of their own understanding. They are not self-confident nor boastful; but in view of the higher attainments to which they might rise in intellectual greatness, they seem to themselves to have but just begun the ascent. It is the superficial thinker, the one who has but a beginning or smattering of knowledge, who deems himself wise and who takes on disgusting airs of importance.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 338, 339.

“It is the superficial thinker who deems himself wise. Men of solid worth, of high attainments, are the most ready to admit the weakness of their own understanding. God wants everyone who claims to be His disciple to be a learner, to be more inclined to learn than to teach.” Ibid., 361.

9 What is the effect of grievous words? On the other hand, what will kind words do? Proverbs 15:1; 16:24; 25:15.

Note: “Love, lifted out of the realm of passion and impulse, becomes spiritualized, and is revealed in words and acts. A Christian must have a sanctified tenderness and love in which there is no impatience or fretfulness; the rude, harsh manners must be softened by the grace of Christ.” The Adventist Home, 51.

“Courtesy, even in little things, should be manifested by the parents toward each other. Universal kindness should be the law of the house. No rude language should be indulged; no bitter words should be spoken.

“All may possess a cheerful countenance, a gentle voice, a courteous manner; and these are elements of power. Children are attracted by a cheerful, sunny demeanor. Show them kindness and courtesy, and they will manifest the same spirit toward you and toward one another.” Ibid., 421.

10 What should we learn from the way kind words settled a great difficulty in the time of Joshua? Joshua 22:10–31; I Corinthians 13:5.

Note: “Had the men of Gad and Reuben retorted in the same spirit, war would have been the result. While it is important on the one hand that laxness in dealing with sin be avoided, it is equally important on the other to shun harsh judgment and groundless suspicion.

“While very sensitive to the least blame in regard to their own course, many are too severe in dealing with those whom they suppose to be in error. No one was ever reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach; but many are thus driven further from the right path and led to harden their hearts against conviction. A spirit of kindness, a courteous, forbearing deportment may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins.

“The wisdom displayed by the Reubenites and their companions is worthy of imitation. While honestly seeking to promote the cause of true religion, they were misjudged and severely censured; yet they manifested no resentment. They listened with courtesy and patience to the charges of their brethren before attempting to make their defense, and then fully explained their motives and showed their innocence. Thus the difficulty which had threatened such serious consequences was amicably settled.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519, 520.

11 What is included in the eighth commandment? Exodus 20:15.

Note: “Both public and private sins are included in this prohibition. The eighth commandment condemns manstealing and slave dealing, and forbids wars of conquest. It condemns theft and robbery. It demands strict integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids overreaching in trade, and requires the payment of just debts or wages. It declares that every attempt to advantage oneself by the ignorance, weakness, or misfortune of another is registered as fraud in the books of heaven.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309.

12 What will characterize the life of true Christians, and why? Matthew 5:37; Hebrews 13:5.

Note: “Everything that Christians do should be as transparent as the sunlight. Truth is of God; deception, in every one of its myriad forms, is of Satan; and whoever in any way departs from the straight line of truth is betraying himself into the power of the wicked one. Yet it is not a light or an easy thing to speak the exact truth. We cannot speak the truth unless we know the truth; and how often preconceived opinions, mental bias, imperfect knowledge, errors of judgment, prevent a right understanding of matters with which we have to do! We cannot speak the truth unless our minds are continually guided by Him who is truth.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 68.

Additional Reading

“Love cannot live without action, and every act increases, strengthens, and extends it. Love will gain the victory when argument and authority are powerless. Love works not for profit nor reward; yet God has ordained that great gain shall be the certain result of every labor of love. It is diffusive in its nature and quiet in its operation, yet strong and mighty in its purpose to overcome great evils. It is melting and transforming in its influence, and will take hold of the lives of the sinful and affect their hearts when every other means has proved unsuccessful. Wherever the power of intellect, of authority, or of force is employed, and love is not manifestly present, the affections and will of those whom we seek to reach assume a defensive, repelling position, and their strength of resistance is increased. Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He came into the world to bring resistance and authority into subjection to Himself. Wisdom and strength He could command, but the means He employed with which to overcome evil were the wisdom and strength of love. Suffer nothing to divide your interest from your present work until God shall see fit to give you another piece of work in the same field. Seek not for happiness, for it is never to be found by seeking for it. Go about your duty. Let faithfulness mark all your doings, and be clothed with humility.

“ ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.’ [Matthew 7:12.] Blessed results would appear as the fruit of such a course. ‘With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.’ [Matthew 7:2.] Here are strong motives which should constrain us to love one another with a pure heart, fervently. Christ is our example. He went about doing good. He lived to bless others. Love beautified and ennobled all His actions. We are not commanded to do to ourselves what we wish others to do unto us; we are to do unto others what we wish them to do to us under like circumstances. The measure we mete is always measured to us again. Pure love is simple in its operations, and is distinct from any other principle of action. The love of influence and the desire for the esteem of others may produce a well-ordered life and frequently a blameless conversation. Self-respect may lead us to avoid the appearance of evil. A selfish heart may perform generous actions, acknowledge the present truth, and express humility and affection in an outward manner, yet the motives may be deceptive and impure; the actions that flow from such a heart may be destitute of the savor of life and the fruits of true holiness, being destitute of the principles of pure love. Love should be cherished and cultivated, for its influence is divine.” [Emphasis in original.] Testimonies, vol. 2, 135–136.

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

Bible Study Guides – God’s Love in the Church—Hospitality (continued)

November 30, 2008 – December 6, 2008

Key Text

“Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Romans 12:13.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 524–536; Christ’s Object Lessons, 376–389.


“Our work in this world is to live for others’ good, to bless others, to be hospitable; and frequently it may be only at some inconvenience that we can entertain those who really need our care and the benefit of our society and our homes.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 645.

1 When weary of His labors, where did Jesus often find rest? Luke 10:38–42.

Note: “At the home of Lazarus, Jesus had often found rest. The Saviour had no home of His own; He was dependent on the hospitality of His friends and disciples, and often, when weary, thirsting for human fellowship, He had been glad to escape to this peaceful household, away from the suspicion and jealousy of the angry Pharisees. Here He found a sincere welcome, and pure, holy friendship. Here He could speak with simplicity and perfect freedom, knowing that His words would be understood and treasured.” The Desire of Ages, 524.

2 How was Lazarus benefited by the greatest miracle of Jesus? John 11:1–5; 38–44.

Note: “It was for Lazarus that the greatest of Christ’s miracles was performed. The Saviour blessed all who sought His help; He loves all the human family, but to some He is bound by peculiarly tender associations. His heart was knit by a strong bond of affection to the family at Bethany, and for one of them His most wonderful work was wrought.” The Desire of Ages, 524.

3 Once Lydia had received the truth, how did she put her home to the service of the Lord? Acts 16:14, 15.

Note: “God opened the ears of Lydia, so that she attended to the message spoken by Paul. To declare the whole counsel of God and all that was essential for Lydia to receive—this was the part Paul was to act in her conversion; and then the God of all grace exercised His power, leading the soul in the right way.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1062.

4 After having suffered cruel persecution, where did Paul and Silas find relief? Acts 16:40.

Note: “Acting upon the instruction given by Christ, the apostles would not urge their presence where it was not desired. ‘They went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.’ [Acts 16:40.]” The Acts of the Apostles, 218.

5 Lydia warmly welcomed the apostles. Whom else should we welcome as God’s heritage in need of refuge? I Timothy 4:12 first part; Jude 21–23.

Note: “Our homes should be a place of refuge for the tempted youth. Many there are who stand at the parting of the ways. Every influence, every impression, is determining the choice that shapes their destiny both here and hereafter. Evil invites them. Its resorts are made bright and attractive. They have a welcome for every comer. All about us are youth who have no home, and many whose homes have no helpful, uplifting power, and the youth drift into evil. They are going down to ruin within the very shadow of our own doors.

“These youth need a hand stretched out to them in sympathy. Kind words simply spoken, little attentions simply bestowed, will sweep away the clouds of temptation which gather over the soul. The true expression of heaven-born sympathy has power to open the door of hearts that need the fragrance of Christ-like words, and the simple, delicate touch of the spirit of Christ’s love. If we would show an interest in the youth, invite them to our homes, and surround them with cheering, helpful influences, there are many who would gladly turn their steps into the upward path.” The Ministry of Healing, 354, 355.

6 Being persecuted by his own countrymen, where did Paul find hospitality? Acts 28:1, 2, 7.

Note: “The shipwrecked crew were kindly received by the barbarous people of Melita. … Paul was among those who were active in ministering to the comfort of others.” The Acts of the Apostles, 445.

7 How were all the company at Melita blessed by Paul’s stay? Acts 28:8–10.

Note: “During the three months that the ship’s company remained at Melita, Paul and his fellow laborers improved many opportunities to preach the gospel. In a remarkable manner the Lord wrought through them. For Paul’s sake the entire shipwrecked company were treated with great kindness; all their wants were supplied, and upon leaving Melita they were liberally provided with everything needful for their voyage.” The Acts of the Apostles, 446.

8 How useful is hospitality for spreading the gospel? Luke 14:12–14.

Note: “Our social entertainments should not be governed by the dictates of worldly custom, but by the Spirit of Christ and the teaching of His word. … How much such a welcome might do to cheer and encourage the missionary nurse or the teacher, the care-burdened, hard-working mother, or the feeble and aged, so often without a home, and struggling with poverty and many discouragements. …

“These are guests whom it will lay on you no great burden to receive. You will not need to provide for them elaborate or expensive entertainment. You will need to make no effort at display. The warmth of a genial welcome, a place at your fireside, a seat at your home table, the privilege of sharing the blessing of the hour of prayer, would to many of these be like a glimpse of heaven.

“Our sympathies are to overflow the boundaries of self and the enclosure of family walls. There are precious opportunities for those who will make their homes a blessing to others. Social influence is a wonderful power. We can use it if we will as a means of helping those about us.” The Ministry of Healing, 352–354.

9 How did Christ answer a lawyer’s question about how to inherit eternal life? Luke 10:25–28.

Note: “The lawyer was not satisfied with the position and works of the Pharisees. He had been studying the scriptures with a desire to learn their real meaning. He had a vital interest in the matter, and he asked in sincerity, ‘What shall I do?’ [Luke 10:25.] In his answer as to the requirements of the law, he passed by all the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic precepts. For these he claimed no value, but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. The Saviour’s commendation of this answer placed Him on vantage ground with the rabbis. They could not condemn Him for sanctioning that which had been advanced by an expositor of the law.

“ ‘This do, and thou shalt live,’ [Luke 10:28.] Christ said. In His teaching He ever presented the law as a divine unity, showing that it is impossible to keep one precept and break another; for the same principle runs through all. Man’s destiny will be determined by his obedience to the whole law.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 377, 378.

10 What was the next question the lawyer presented to Jesus, and what answer did he receive? Luke 10:29–37.

Note: “The lawyer knew that he had kept neither the first four nor the last six commandments. He was convicted under Christ’s searching words, but instead of confessing his sin he tried to excuse it. Rather than acknowledge the truth, he endeavored to show how difficult of fulfillment the commandment is. Thus he hoped both to parry conviction and to vindicate himself in the eyes of the people. The Saviour’s words had shown that his question was needless, since he was able to answer it himself. Yet he put another question, saying, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ [Luke 10:29.]

“Again Christ refused to be drawn into controversy. He answered the question by relating an incident, the memory of which was fresh in the minds of His hearers. …

“The priest and the Levite both professed piety, but the Samaritan showed that he was truly converted. It was no more agreeable for him to do the work than for the priest and the Levite, but in spirit and works he proved himself to be in harmony with God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 378–380.

11 In what sense does the story of the good Samaritan illustrate the work of Christ on earth? Acts 10:38.

Note: “In the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus gave a picture of Himself and His mission. Man had been deceived, bruised, robbed, and ruined by Satan, and left to perish; but the Saviour had compassion on our helpless condition. He left His glory, to come to our rescue. He found us ready to die, and He undertook our case. He healed our wounds. He covered us with His robe of righteousness. He opened to us a refuge of safety, and made complete provision for us at His own charges.” The Desire of Ages, 503, 504.

12 How will the true followers of Christ act toward those who need help? Galatians 6:1, 2.

Note: “Sin is the greatest of all evils, and it is ours to pity and help the sinner. There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They look upon their mistakes and errors, until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. If we are Christians, we shall not pass by on the other side, keeping as far as possible from the very ones who most need our help. When we see human beings in distress, whether through affliction or through sin, we shall never say, This does not concern me.

‘Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.’ Galatians 6:1. By faith and prayer press back the power of the enemy. Speak words of faith and courage that will be as a healing balsam to the bruised and wounded one. Many, many, have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life, when one word of kindly cheer would have strengthened them to overcome. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God.” The Desire of Ages, 504, 505.

Additional Reading

“The widow of Zarephath shared her morsel with Elijah, and in return her life and that of her son were preserved. And to all who, in time of trial and want, give sympathy and assistance to others more needy, God has promised great blessing. He has not changed. His power is no less now than in the days of Elijah. No less sure now than when spoken by our Saviour is the promise, ‘He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward.’ Matthew 10:41.

“ ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ Hebrews 13:2. These words have lost none of their force through the lapse of time. Our heavenly Father still continues to place in the pathway of His children opportunities that are blessings in disguise; and those who improve these opportunities find great joy. ‘If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.’ Isaiah 58:10, 11.

“To His faithful servants today Christ says, ‘He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.’ No act of kindness shown in His name will fail to be recognized and rewarded. And in the same tender recognition Christ includes even the feeblest and lowliest of the family of God. ‘Whosoever shall give to drink,’ He says, ‘unto one of these little ones’—those who are as children in their faith and their knowledge of Christ—‘a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.’ Matthew 10:40, 42.” Prophets and Kings, 131, 132.

“Pure religion and undefiled before the Father is this: ‘To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ [James 1:27.] Good deeds are the fruit that Christ requires us to bear: kind words, deeds of benevolence, of tender regard for the poor, the needy, the afflicted. When hearts sympathize with hearts burdened with discouragement and grief, when the hand dispenses to the needy, when the naked are clothed, the stranger made welcome to a seat in your parlor and a place in your heart, angels are coming very near, and an answering strain is responded to in heaven. Every act of justice, mercy, and benevolence makes melody in heaven. The Father from His throne beholds those who do these acts of mercy, and numbers them with His most precious treasures. ‘And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels.’ [Malachi 3:17.] Every merciful act to the needy, the suffering, is regarded as though done to Jesus. When you succor the poor, sympathize with the afflicted and oppressed, and befriend the orphan, you bring yourselves into a closer relationship to Jesus.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 25.

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

Recipe – Granola Crumb Crust

3 cups ground Granola

2 tsp. Cinnamon Substitute

2 Tbsp. Oil

4 Tbsp. Water

2 Tbsp. Honey

Blend 2 cups of Granola on high until fine. Repeat until there are 3 cups ground. Put granola in a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Add honey if unsweetened granola is used. Shape into a 9-inch pie dish or the bottom of a 9 x 13” glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Food – Gatekeepers to the Stomach

It is impossible to operate a machine to the height of its ability if it is not understood. The most important machine to understand is the human body, since it helps us to carry out every daily task no matter how minute or extravagant. Many mysteries about this incredible creation have unfolded recently which allows us to better care for its needs. The stomach plays a huge role in the body, and its processes are better understood now which helps us to work with our bodies to allow maximum performance.

The stomach has two “gatekeepers” or sphincters which help it to regulate what comes and goes. The upper sphincter is located next to the heart and is innovatively dubbed the cardiac sphincter. The lower gatekeeper, the pyloric sphincter, is located by the small intestine. These two regulators are made of circular fibers which create a doughnut-like opening to and from the stomach.

The cardiac sphincter is responsible for keeping food, liquids, and digestive juices in the stomach once it has been swallowed. It has two helpers: gravity and the diaphragm. Since gravity is a reinforcement, we can help make the job a little easier by remaining upright after eating. If we don’t, the food just ingested puts a tremendous amount of pressure on both the sphincter and the diaphragm. Just like anything else that is put under too much pressure on a regular basis, the sphincter and diaphragm will both weaken. If the sphincter is damaged, the stomach is no longer able to keep its gastric contents to itself, and the esophagus reacts to the abuse by developing what is known as esophageal gastric reflux disease. This is a condition where the stomachs contents move back up into the esophagus, over time causing the lining of the esophagus to deteriorate due to the acidic nature of the regurgitated food. The drug companies love this as they make millions of dollars in sales each year in helping people with heart burn and an ulcerated esophagus due to weakened cardiac sphincters and diaphragmatic hernias.

The pyloric sphincter controls food exiting the stomach. About three times a minute, it allows less than one teaspoon of liquid and small food particles out of the stomach. This is signaled by sensors in the stomach and the duodenum (the first small part of the small intestine following the stomach) which detect the size of the food mass, the temperature, the chemical makeup and the size of particles within the chime (the semi-liquid mass of food in the stomach). If the chime is too hot or cold, the mass must be cooled or warmed. Hence, it is important to not drink hot or cold liquids with meals. The mass must also have a chemical composition that will digest our food. This means that the digestive juices need to be strong enough to bring about digestion. If they are weakened sufficiently with liquids, the liquids must be passed out of the stomach before digestion can occur, or excess gastric juices must be secreted. This is another reason we should not drink liquids with our meals. The size of particles in the food mass must also be small enough to allow final digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Therefore, it is important to chew your food well or empting of the stomach will be delayed.

So lay off the pillow after dinner; don’t confuse your tummy by throwing in a drink with dinner, and chew, chew, chew! Remember: do unto your stomach as you would have your stomach do unto you!

Children’s Story – Addled Thomas

Stupid! Good-for-nothing! Clumsy oaf! If you would simply hold still and pay attention!” The enraged schoolmarm still had him by the ear. Her beet red face was just inches from his nose. He could smell the sauerkraut on her breath from lunch time. If she were any redder she would spew out the top and pop all the hairpins out of her top-heavy hairdo. Young Edison could just see it! “If those pins do commence aflyin’ I hope Paul Morton over there gets stuck right in the bum!” he thought. “It would serve him right for stealing my homemade marmalade!” Thomas’ mind was obviously not on his scolding, and this was the last straw for the poor teacher, and though her hairpins didn’t pop, Thomas’ ear did. The cross woman’s open palm met the side of his head with great force, and Thomas sank down into his seat, both ears ringing. “All this over a spilled inkwell?” he thought to himself. “Then again, Tuesday it was just a broken slate, and that wasn’t even my fault. Silly fly was buzzin’ around … Such a nuisance. Ms. Bronstein would never have noticed if it was my head the fly had landed on and Matilda had swatted it with her slate!” Perhaps it was the fiery red hair, maybe the snooty disposition; who knew; but one thing was for certain, Matilda Brown could break every one of the Ten Commandments without so much as a “Now, now, Dear” from Ms. Bronstein.

Young Thomas Edison was used to these episodes. It seemed that whenever he dared to move, he would draw enough attention to himself to induce the teacher’s wrath. Perhaps the schoolmarm just thought him plain old dumb; maybe, as Thom thought, she was too dull to be able to answer his questions; who knew. Regardless the reason, Thomas Edison had become her personal steam vent. Thomas hadn’t spoken a word until he was three years old, and Mom and Dad had assumed him to be a mute. And once he finally did start talking, it was never in sentences, only question after question packed into a body of perpetual motion. And if he were alive today … Boy, oh, boy! Children like little Thom are labeled with ADHD, ADD, retardation, and a whole bunch of other preconceived names. Although Ms. Bronstein eventually labeled him “addled and incorrigible,” Thom’s constant curiosity plagued him, demanding answers.

The sun had fallen behind the buildings of New York hours ago, and the city had bid adieu to yet another day. A dog’s bark turned suddenly to a yowl of pain as it was severely chastised by a startled stray feline. The noise echoed off the brick walls that lined the streets of downtown. A steady drizzle, or was it a heavy mist, clung to the air with a damp chill. Nothing on Main Street moved. But the neighbors in Menlo Park could see the flicker of an oil lamp still burning in the basement of the Edison home. The “wizard of Menlo Park” was at it yet again. Bent over his work table, Edison’s fingers moved nimbly over his work as he mumbled incoherently under his breath. The bugs beating their heads against the window where the lamp stood went unnoticed. The seconds ticked away the minutes.

Pop, Phwooosh! The noise awoke Mrs. Edison, who had fallen asleep in a comfy chair nearby. A puff of smoke was swirling around an unidentifiable object on the floor. She raised her head and then an eyebrow in her husband’s direction.

“Never you mind, my Dear,” said Edison with a sheepish grin. “I have only just found …”

“I know, I know,” she interrupted.

“… another way that doesn’t work.” They both finished together.

The missus laid her head back again and closed her eyes, opening one again on the sly to see if Thom would clean up his mess, and found him bent over the task. Satisfied, she closed her eyes with a slight smile tugging at the corners of her mouth and was soon back asleep. Thom took the dust bin over to the scrap heap which was bulging with “successful ways that didn’t work.” Nothing was ever a failure to this man. Trudging back over to the workbench, Thom picked up a pencil and thumbed through pages of tally marks, and, coming to the last page, which was almost full itself, he marked down yet another tally. Taking his hanky from the back pocket of his dusty, burned, and holey pants, he wiped the perspiration away and began again on “light experiment #846.”

Today, thanks to Thomas Edison and his relentless perseverance, we have fabulous motivational proverbs like, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration,” and “There are no failures; only new ways that don’t work,” and “Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Oh, yeah! and we have the electric light bulb! He is responsible for the night-before-the-exam cramming sessions youngsters have at 10:30 at night running up the household electric bill! Thomas Edison holds over 1,095 United States patents, and is known as the father of inventors. He is said to have invented the business of inventing, among a myriad of other things. Starting as an “addled” boy who wouldn’t talk and, according to his teachers, could not learn, he ended as one of the largest innovative contributors to our society. People will say all sorts of things, but never let anyone say, “You can’t”!

Alicia Freedman works at Steps to Life as a part of the LandMarks team. She can be reached by e-mail at:

Health – Charcoal


What images come to your mind with this one simple word? Burned toast? Roasting vegetables over the Bar-B-Q? Smoldering remains of a building or forest? Artistic drawings? Hmmm, how about pencil lead or diamonds, both of which are derived from carbon, another word for charcoal? How can our wonderful Creator use one simple lowly carbonaceous material to make things as diverse as pencil lead and diamonds? Yet beyond these things we find a material whose properties science has not been able to explain. One realm in which charcoal is highly beneficial to us is that of health and well-being.

Aside from the many ways charcoal exists naturally, there are a number of benefits that can be derived from the use of charcoal in its activated form. What is activated charcoal? Activated charcoal is charcoal whose adsorptive, (not absorptive) properties are greatly enhanced by doing a controlled burn of wood, bone or other natural substances which is then further treated by steam or air at elevated temperatures. Adsorption is “attaching onto” rather than “taking into” as in the case of absorption. In fact, “following activation of charcoal with pressurized steam or strong acid, the surface area of one cubic centimeter is 1000 square meters!”1 Activated charcoal can attract and hold 80 quarts of ammonia gas per one quart of pulverized charcoal!2

Activated charcoal can safely be used internally as well as externally. Because of its remarkable adsorptive properties it is often used internally as a treatment for counteracting drug overdose, ingestion of toxic substances, and mushroom poisoning.3 It is also a treatment of choice for digestive ailments such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, as well as adsorption of cancer-producing agents such as methylcholanthrine and benzpyrene.4 Intestinal gas and other intestinal disorders can also be relieved by the ingestion of activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is an effective agent against many different bacteria and viruses, including the E. coli bacteria heard of more and more frequently.5 For those who suffer from peanut allergies, activated charcoal binds within seconds to the allergens, preventing the proteins from causing allergic reactions. It was even able to neutralize peanut protein in combination with other foods such as chocolate and ice cream.6

Do you or someone you know suffer from bad breath? Well, welcome the lowly charcoal, and freshen up! Swish charcoal water around the mouth and bad breath vanishes.4 How about yellowing teeth? Well, simply brush gently with a soft toothbrush and your favorite charcoal powder, followed by flossing or brushing again with a little toothpaste to remove charcoal particles and … say “cheese!”

The indications for the external use of charcoal are equally numerous. Charcoal poultices are recommended for extracting poisons from bee stings, yellow jackets, venomous bites of all sorts, including snakes, fire ants, chiggers, spider bites (including the brown recluse, for which there is no other known antidote), and mosquitoes, among others. It is effective in the disinfecting and deodorizing of wounds, reducing the pain and swelling of cellulitis, treating poison ivy, and drawing out infection. Often pain can be relieved in a very short time for things such as sore throat, earache, sprains, arthritis, pleurisy, allergy headaches and much more. Even abdominal pain should be given the treatment of an external charcoal poultice.

The following charts present general guidelines for some of the most common ailments and their treatments.

Internal Use

1 tsp.

1–2 tablets

1–2 capsules

1–2 Tbsp. stirred in water

Drink this plus 2 more glasses of water

4–10 Tbsp. stirred in water

Drink this plus 2 more glasses of water


3–5 tablets

2–5 capsules

3–4 Tbsp. powder administered same

as above

6-15 Tbsp. powder

administered same as above

Unknown 1–5 Tbsp. powder administered same

as above

5-15 Tbsp. powder

administered same as above

Charcoal; Agatha Thrash, MD, and Calvin Thrash, MD; page 41

External Use










Charcoal Band-aid Charcoal paste

applied to sting

30 minute

charcoal bath

Charcoal soak

followed by …

1. Wash bite area

2. ½ hour cool

charcoal soak

3. Compress to entire area









4. Drink 2 Tbsp.

Charcoal every 2

hours for 6 hours

then 1 tsp. every 4

hours for 24 hours



Until irritation


Change when dry

Change every 10 minutes for 1 hour then leave one on for at least 8 hours or until swelling and pain are gone Change every

10 minutes for 1

hour then leave

one on for at least

8 hours

Change every

30 minutes for 8

hours then every 2

hours for 8 hours

then every 2–4

hours until heal-

ing is complete

Change compress

every 10–15 minutes

until swelling and pain are gone, add

ice packs if pain and

swelling persist

Charcoal; Agatha Thrash, MD, and Calvin Thrash, MD; page 41

To make a charcoal compress:

Adequate amount of activated charcoal and enough water to make a paste. (Begin with a minimal amount of water)

Spread on one half of paper towel. Fold other half over to form pocket. (Sides may be taped to prevent spilling.)

Place over afflicted area and cover with plastic.

The plastic helps retain the moisture. If the problem is severe, change the poultice often. You may mix ground flax seed or corn starch to help retain the moisture. For small bites, a little charcoal paste placed on a band-aid adhered over the bite works well.4

With any given drug available it is well-known that secondary effects are an issue, often necessitating a second drug to control the side effects of the first, and so on. So it is reasonable to ask about the side effects of activated charcoal. Studies show that charcoal is harmless ingested, or when it comes in contact with the skin.7 Inhaling charcoal also seems to show no negative side effects, even over the long term.8 As with any drug, it is better, however, to ascertain the cause of the ailment and eliminate that rather than depend on a drug. In addition, “activated charcoal is rated in Category I (Safe and Effective) by the FDA for acute toxic poisoning. It is recognized as a universal antidote. (Science News 119:3, 1981). It is listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia, and the Poison Control Center recommends activated charcoal for use in poisoning.”9

Charcoal comes in several different forms, and can even be made at home. The most common forms of medicinal charcoal are capsules, tablets, and powder. The finer the powder, the more surface area there is for the process of adsorption. In the case of poisoning, capsules and tablets should not be administered. Charcoal should be administered in its powdered form mixed with water.

If you wish to make your own charcoal, the best is made out of doors. Begin with untreated wood, preferably with the bark stripped off, and place in a hole in the ground. After the fire is burning bright, cover it with a piece of tin and pile dirt on top of the tin. This burns out the soft parts of the wood, leaving good charcoal behind. Take the remaining chunks and grind them into fine powder, remembering that the finer the powder, the more adsorptive it will be. The last part of the pulverizing process may even be done in the blender.

Is it advisable to simply “burn the toast” to get your charcoal? No. Charred food such as burned bread or other scorched foods are not charcoal, and in fact can be cancer producing.4 In addition, charcoal briquettes and other treated forms of charcoal are dangerous and should not be used internally or externally.

There are minimal cautions or concerns with the usage of charcoal. However, there are a few that bear mentioning. If you are taking any other medicines, take the charcoal at least two hours before or after taking other medicines, as the charcoal will in most cases adsorb the medication. Also, charcoal should be avoided if you have intestinal bleeding or blockage, or have had recent surgery.10 It is important to note that charcoal is not effective in treating corrosive products or petroleum products, nor is it useful in treating the following poisons: lithium, cyanide, iron, ethanol, or methanol. There is evidence that charcoal placed directly on a fresh open wound may cause a tattooing effect. In that case, simply place the charcoal paste in a poultice and apply.

One might well ask, with all these benefits, why is charcoal not more widely used? It seems there are several reasons. Though it had been used for centuries, when modern medicine hit the scene with its miracle drugs, charcoal was forgotten. Secondly, it is rather messy, and to many, is not as palatable as could be desired. The use of older, simpler remedies also comes with an art in their using—an art that takes time and energy. Charcoal use is no exception. However, given its safety and efficacy, it is wise to become familiar with this gift.

There are many other medical uses for charcoal, in addition to a multitude of non-medical ones. Suffice it to say that God has given us a remarkable resource for our health and well-being that is readily available, inexpensive, relatively easy to use and highly effective. Like many other things, the simplest ways are often the best.

  1. Charcoal; Agatha Thrash, MD, and Calvin Thrash, MD; page 7
  3. Family Pratice News, Feb 1, 2001; Joanne M. Berger
  4. Charcoal; Agatha Thrash, MD, and Calvin Thrash, MD; page 41
  5. Food & Drink Weekly, Oct 9, 2000
  6. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; July 2003
  7. Home Remedies; Agatha Thrash, MD; Calvin Thrash, MD; page 143
  8. Activated Charcoal, Cooney, David O., New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. page 63, 1980
  9.; Dr. Walter Vieth
  10. Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine; Mai Tran

Brenda Douay works as a part of the LandMarks team. She can be reached by e-mail at:

Question – What does it mean to worship in “spirit and truth?”


What does it mean to worship in spirit and Truth?


The word “worship” has several connotations. For instance, sometimes remarks are made like this: “He just worships that car,” or “He worships on Saturday,” or “He worships on Sunday.” It is sometimes thought of as a religious practice according to some creed. Or worship may be spoken of as a reverent devotion to God. Or there are people who worship a person, like the pope of Rome. As for worshiping an object like a car, it would just mean that you spend a lot of time thinking about it and giving it extra good care; it would have first place above other things in your life. Jesus said, when talking to the woman at the well, that we must “Worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (See John 4:24.)

Taken in its loosest form, the word “worship” means to have a great deal of esteem or respect for God or a particular person, place or thing. Your esteem or respect leads you to certain actions and reactions, which could rightfully be called worship.

Worshiping in truth would be doing the right thing and showing the right respect to God. Worshiping God as is described in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, you may have all the outward appearances, such as going to church, kneeling for prayer, singing along with the congregation, and sitting quietly during church service. All these things are good and right in their place, and it is often considered true worship or worshiping in truth. However, worship in this manner could just be habit, form, or a ritual that gives you satisfaction because you feel like you are doing the right thing or because of social acceptance, not necessarily because your heart is there.

If you worship in spirit, your motives would be from a different source. Your heart and soul would be in what you were doing. Your intentions, your emotions and your actions would all be in harmony. You would be spending time with the Lord in private as well as in public. You would be attending all the worship services you could. You would be worshiping God because you love Him. You would also be worshiping Him to thank Him for all the blessings that He has bestowed upon you and for the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross of Calvary.

Worshiping God in spirit and in truth is to worship Him with all your heart and soul. Yes, there will be a certain amount of habit and form, but that will be the result of continual love and respect. You have a relationship with the Creator that no one else has; it is yours and you love it, and God loves it.

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Pen of Inspiration – Co-operation

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

“Partakers of the divine nature.” Is this possible? Of ourselves we can do no good thing. How, then, can we be partakers of the divine nature?—By coming to Christ just as we are, needy, helpless, dependent. He died to make it possible for us to be partakers of the divine nature. He took upon himself humanity, that he might uplift humanity. With the golden chain of his matchless love he has bound us to the throne of God. We are to have power to overcome as he overcame. To all he gives the invitation: “Come unto me … and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

In order to be partakers of the divine nature, we must co-operate with God. Man is no passive being, to be saved in indolence. Let no one think that men and women are going to be taken to heaven without engaging in the struggle here below. We have a battle to fight, a victory to gain. God says to us, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” How?—“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Man works, and God works. Man is called upon to strain every muscle, and to exercise every faculty, in the struggle for immortality; but it is God who supplies the efficiency.

God has made amazing sacrifices for human beings. He has expended mighty energy to reclaim man from transgression and sin to loyalty and obedience; but he does nothing without the co-operation of humanity. Paul says: “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, … I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The Christian life is a battle and a march. In this warfare there is no release; the effort must be continuous and persevering. It is by unceasing endeavor that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan. Christian integrity must be sought with resistless energy, and maintained with a resolute fixedness of purpose.

“Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” This figure represents human character, which is to be wrought upon point by point. Each day God works on his building, stroke upon stroke, to perfect the structure, that it may become a holy temple for him. Man is to co-operate with God, striving in his strength to make himself what God designs him to be, building his life with pure, noble deeds.

No one is borne upward without stern, persevering effort in his own behalf. All must engage in the warfare for themselves. Individually we are responsible for the issue of the struggle; though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in the land, they could deliver neither son nor daughter by their righteousness.

There is a science of Christianity to be mastered,—a science as much deeper, broader, higher, than any human science as the heavens are higher than the earth. The mind is to be disciplined, educated, trained; for we are to do service for God in ways that are not in harmony with inborn inclination. Often the training and education of a lifetime must be discarded, that one may become a learner in the school of Christ. Our hearts must be educated to become steadfast in God. We are to form habits of thought that will enable us to resist temptation. We must learn to look upward. The principles of the Word of God,—principles that are as high as heaven, and that compass eternity,—we are to understand in their bearing on our daily life. Every act, every word, every thought, is to be in accord with these principles.

The precious graces of the Holy Spirit are not developed in a moment. Courage, fortitude, meekness, faith, unwavering trust in God’s power to save, are acquired by the experience of years. By a life of holy endeavor and firm adherence to the right, the children of God are to seal their destiny.

Wrongs cannot be righted, nor can reformation of character be made, by a few feeble, intermittent efforts. Sanctification is the work, not of a day, or of a year, but of a lifetime. The struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. Without continual effort and constant activity, there can be no advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor’s crown.

The Review and Herald, April 28, 1910.