Bible Study Guides – The Final Remnant

December 23, 2012 – December 29, 2012

Key Text

“The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” I Peter 4:7.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 711–718; The Great Controversy, 613–634.


“We need to pray as we never have prayed before for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for if there was ever a time when we needed this baptism, it is now.” The Upward Look, 346.


  • What is truly our most pressing need at the present hour? I Peter 4:7; Zechariah 10:1.

Note: “It is a part of God’s plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not thus ask.” The Great Controversy, 525.

“A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer. While the people are so destitute of God’s Holy Spirit, they cannot appreciate the preaching of the Word; but when the Spirit’s power touches their hearts, then the discourses given will not be without effect. Guided by the teachings of God’s Word, with the manifestation of His Spirit, in the exercise of sound discretion, those who attend our meetings will gain a precious experience, and returning home, will be prepared to exert a healthful influence.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 121.


  • As we near the end, why must we pray for ourselves and others to be fortified against the deadly deceptions of spiritualism? Revelation 13:11–14; 18:21–23.

Note: “There are few who have any just conception of the deceptive power of Spiritualism and the danger of coming under its influence. Many tamper with it merely to gratify their curiosity. They have no real faith in it and would be filled with horror at the thought of yielding themselves to the spirits’ control. But they venture upon the forbidden ground, and the mighty destroyer exercises his power upon them against their will. Let them once be induced to submit their minds to his direction, and he holds them captive. It is impossible, in their own strength, to break away from the bewitching, alluring spell. Nothing but the power of God, granted in answer to the earnest prayer of faith, can deliver these ensnared souls.” The Great Controversy, 558.

  • How are we to escape today’s intense dangers? II Corinthians 3:18; 11:3, 4.

Note: “We are in continual danger of getting above the simplicity of the gospel. There is an intense desire on the part of many to startle the world with something original, that shall lift the people into a state of spiritual ecstasy, and change the present order of experience. There is certainly great need of a change in the present order of experience; for the sacredness of present truth is not realized as it should be, but the change we need is a change of heart, and can only be obtained by seeking God individually for His blessing, by pleading with Him for His power, by fervently praying that His grace may come upon us, and that our characters may be transformed. This is the change we need today, and for the attainment of this experience we should exercise persevering energy and manifest heartfelt earnestness. We should ask with true sincerity, ‘What shall I do to be saved?’ We should know just what steps we are taking heavenward.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 187, 188.

  • How does God illustrate His help to us? Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11, 12.


  • How are we to prepare for the coming crisis? Revelation 7:1–3; 13:11, 13–17.

Note: “We are not ready for the issue to which the enforcement of the Sunday law will bring us. It is our duty, as we see the signs of approaching peril, to arouse to action. Let none sit in calm expectation of the evil, comforting themselves with the belief that this work must go on because prophecy has foretold it, and that the Lord will shelter His people. We are not doing the will of God if we sit in quietude, doing nothing to preserve liberty of conscience. Fervent, effectual prayer should be ascending to heaven that this calamity may be deferred until we can accomplish the work which has so long been neglected. Let there be most earnest prayer, and then let us work in harmony with our prayers. It may appear that Satan is triumphant and that truth is overborne with falsehood and error; the people over whom God has spread His shield, and the country which has been an asylum for the conscience-oppressed servants of God and defenders of His truth, may be placed in jeopardy. But God would have us recall His dealings with His people in the past to save them from their enemies. He has always chosen extremities, when there seemed no possible chance for deliverance from Satan’s workings, for the manifestation of His power. Man’s necessity is God’s opportunity. It may be that a respite may yet be granted for God’s people to awake and let their light shine. If the presence of ten righteous persons would have saved the wicked cities of the plain, is it not possible that God will yet, in answer to the prayers of His people, hold in check the workings of those who are making void His law? Shall we not humble our hearts greatly before God, flee to the mercy seat, and plead with Him to reveal His mighty power?” Testimonies, vol. 5, 713, 714.

“Especially should we, with unwavering faith, seek God for grace and power to be given to His people now. We do not believe that the time has fully come when He would have our liberties restricted. … [Revelation 7:1, 3 quoted.] This points out the work we have now to do. A vast responsibility is devolving upon men and women of prayer throughout the land to petition that God will sweep back the cloud of evil and give a few more years of grace in which to work for the Master. Let us cry to God that the angels may hold the four winds until missionaries shall be sent to all parts of the world and shall proclaim the warning against disobeying the law of Jehovah.” Ibid., 717, 718.


  • How will God’s people experience the time of trouble? Jeremiah 30:5–7.

Note: “The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God—how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God.” The Great Controversy, 621.

“Though God’s people will be surrounded by enemies who are bent upon their destruction, yet the anguish which they suffer is not a dread of persecution for the truth’s sake; they fear that every sin has not been repented of, and that through some fault in themselves they will fail to realize the fulfillment of the Saviour’s promise: I ‘will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world.’ Revelation 3:10. If they could have the assurance of pardon they would not shrink from torture or death; but should they prove unworthy, and lose their lives because of their own defects of character, then God’s holy name would be reproached.

“On every hand they hear the plottings of treason and see the active working of rebellion; and there is aroused within them an intense desire, an earnest yearning of soul, that this great apostasy may be terminated and the wickedness of the wicked may come to an end. But while they plead with God to stay the work of rebellion, it is with a keen sense of self-reproach that they themselves have no more power to resist and urge back the mighty tide of evil. They feel that had they always employed all their ability in the service of Christ, going forward from strength to strength, Satan’s forces would have less power to prevail against them.

“They afflict their souls before God, pointing to their past repentance of their many sins, and pleading the Saviour’s promise: [Isaiah 27:5 quoted]. Their faith does not fail because their prayers are not immediately answered.” Ibid., 619, 620.


  • When will prayer no longer be needed? I Corinthians 13:12. Until then, what should we always keep in mind? John 15:14–16; II Thessalonians 3:1–5.

Note: “Those who, through faith in the merits of the blood of Christ, have clean hands and a pure heart, will receive the white robe, the crown of righteousness, and the life that will run parallel with the life of God. There is no limit to the blessings that we may receive in answer to sincere, fervent prayer. The love of God to fallen man is measureless, and if our Father sees that we will not be lifted up with the blessings He has power to bestow upon us, but will receive them with humble and grateful hearts, He will abundantly grant unto us our requests. He says: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened’ [Matthew 7:7, 8].” The Signs of the Times, December 23, 1889.

“We are sometimes tempted to think that the promise, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,’ is not fulfilled unless the answer comes immediately when the request is made. It is our privilege to ask for special blessings, and to believe that they will be given us. But if the blessings asked for are not immediately granted, we are not to think that our prayers are not heard. We shall receive, even if the answer is delayed for a time. In carrying out the plan of redemption, Christ sees enough in humanity to discourage Him. But He does not become discouraged. In mercy and love He continues to offer us opportunities and privileges. So we are to rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 6, 1899.


1 What is necessary in order to receive the promised Holy Spirit in fullness?

2 Why do we need to pray about some dangers intensifying in these last days?

3 How can prayer make a difference with regard to the inevitable Sunday crisis?

4 What do the remnant’s prayers in the time of trouble reveal about priorities?

5 Is there a time when prayer is not necessary?

© 2003 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Early Church

December 16, 2012 – December 22, 2012

Key Text

“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Romans 12:12.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 8, 9–29; The Acts of the Apostles, 9–16.


“We are to find our strength just where the early disciples found their strength: ‘These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.’ Acts 1:14.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 140.


  • What was the last thing Jesus promised His disciples before ascending to heaven? Acts 1:6–9.
  • What, then, was the first thing the disciples did before starting their mission? Acts 1:10–14. Describe the results. Acts 2:1–4, 41.

Note: “In obedience to the word of their Master the disciples assembled in Jerusalem to wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Here they spent ten days, days of deep heart searching. They put away all differences and drew close together in Christian fellowship. … At the end of ten days the Lord fulfilled His promise by a wonderful outpouring of His Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 15.

“Would it not be well for you to seek the Lord as the disciples sought Him before the day of Pentecost? After Christ’s ascension, His disciples—men of varied talents and capabilities—assembled in an upper chamber to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this room ‘all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication’ [Acts 1:14]. They made thorough work of repentance by confessing their own sins. Upon them was laid no burden to confess one another’s sins. Settling all differences and alienations, they were of one accord, and prayed with unity of purpose for ten days.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 368.


  • What can we learn from the disciples’ action when the chief priests and rulers threatened Peter and John because of their powerful witness for Christ? Acts 4:24–33.

Note: “By the grace of Christ the apostles were made what they were. It was sincere devotion and humble, earnest prayer that brought them into close communion with Him. They sat together with Him in heavenly places. They realized the greatness of their debt to Him. By earnest, persevering prayer they obtained the endowment of the Holy Spirit, and then they went forth, weighted with the burden of saving souls, filled with zeal to extend the triumphs of the cross. And under their labors many souls were brought from darkness to light, and many churches were raised up.

“Shall we be less earnest than were the apostles? Shall we not by living faith claim the promises that moved them to the depths of their being to call upon the Lord Jesus for the fulfillment of His word: ‘Ask, and ye shall receive’? John 16:24. Is not the Spirit of God to come today in answer to earnest, persevering prayer, and fill men with power? Is not God saying today to His praying, trusting, believing workers, who are opening the Scriptures to those ignorant of the precious truth they contain: ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world’? Matthew 28:20. Why, then, is the church so weak and spiritless?

“As the disciples, filled with the power of the Spirit, went forth to proclaim the gospel, so God’s servants are to go forth today. Filled with an unselfish desire to give the message of mercy to those who are in the darkness of error and unbelief, we are to take up the Lord’s work. He gives us our part to do in co-operation with Him, and He will also move on the hearts of unbelievers to carry forward His work in the regions beyond. Already many are receiving the Holy Spirit, and no longer will the way be blocked by listless indifference.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 32, 33.

  • How did the early church cooperate with God’s plan to miraculously keep His messengers of truth on active duty? Acts 12:1–17.

Note: “Only the sense of God’s presence can banish the fear that, for the timid child, would make life a burden. … Let him read how to Peter, in prison and condemned to death, God’s angel appeared; how, past the armed guards, the massive doors and great iron gateway with their bolts and bars, the angel led God’s servant forth in safety.” Education, 255, 256.


  • With what kind of attitude did Paul and Silas pray when rudely cast into prison at Philippi, and how did this touch the heart of the jailer? Acts 16:16–34.

Note: “Paul and Silas suffered the loss of all things. They suffered scourging, and were in no gentle manner thrown upon the cold floor of a dungeon in a most painful position, their feet elevated and fastened in the stocks. Did repinings and complaints then reach the ear of the jailer? Oh, no! From the inner prison, voices broke the silence of midnight with songs of joy and praise to God. These disciples were cheered by a deep and earnest love for the cause of their Redeemer, for which they suffered.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 406.

  • How did Peter’s attitude promote God’s glory in Joppa? Acts 9:36–42.

Note: “Directing that the weeping friends be sent from the room, he [the apostle] kneeled down and prayed fervently to God to restore Dorcas to life and health.” The Acts of the Apostles, 132.

What did God impress Ellen White to state regarding our attitude in prayer?

Note: “Where have our brethren obtained the idea that they should stand upon their feet when praying to God? One who has been educated for about five years in Battle Creek was asked to lead in prayer before Sister White should speak to the people. But as I beheld him standing upright upon his feet while his lips were about to open in prayer to God, my soul was stirred within me to give him an open rebuke. Calling him by name, I said, ‘Get down upon your knees.’ This is the proper position always.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 311.

  1. Of what did the apostle Paul see fit to remind us, and why? Hebrews 12:28, 29.

Note: “Some think it a mark of humility to pray to God in a common manner, as if talking with a human being. They profane His name by needlessly and irreverently mingling with their prayers the words, ‘God Almighty’—awful, sacred words, which should never pass the lips except in subdued tones and with a feeling of awe.” Gospel Workers, 176.


  • How far-reaching were the answers to the prayers of Cornelius and Peter? Acts 10:1, 2, 9–16, 25–35.

Note: “From the case of Cornelius we may learn a lesson that we would do well to understand. The God of heaven sends His messengers to this earth to set in operation a train of circumstances which will bring Peter into connection with Cornelius, that Cornelius may learn the truth. Through angel ministration Peter is brought into cooperation with the inquiring souls who have all things in readiness to hear the truth and receive advanced light. …

“The conversion of Cornelius and his household was only the first fruits of a harvest to be gathered in from the world. From this household a widespread work of grace was carried on in a heathen city.” Evangelism, 558.

  • What did the apostles in Jerusalem do when they heard that God’s word had been received in Samaria? Acts 8:14–17.

Note: “We are no more secure from false teachers now than they were in the apostles’ days; and, if we do no more, we should take as special measures as they did to secure the peace, harmony, and union of the flock. We have their example, and should follow it. Brethren of experience and of sound minds should assemble, and following the Word of God and the sanction of the Holy Spirit, should, with fervent prayer, lay hands upon those who have given full proof that they have received their commission of God, and set them apart to devote themselves entirely to His work. This act would show the sanction of the church to their going forth as messengers to carry the most solemn message ever given to men.” Early Writings, 101.

  • What specific duty do we all have toward our ministers, evangelists, and Bible workers who labor in the Lord’s vineyard? Ephesians 6:18–20.

Note: “Those who do not go from place to place to labor, can take hold of the arm of God by living faith. They can pray that the God of heaven will help those who are carrying the truth to others.” The Review and Herald, June 29, 1886.


  • What sums up the prayer life of the early church, and how is this to encourage us? Romans 12:12.

Note: “When we read the lives of men who have been eminent for their piety we often regard their experiences and attainments as far beyond our reach. But this is not the case. Christ died for all; and we are assured in His word that He is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. The prophets and apostles did not perfect Christian character by a miracle. They used the means which God had placed within their reach; and all who will put forth the same effort will secure the same results.” The Sanctified Life, 84.

  • What does Peter imply as a hindrance to men’s prayers? I Peter 3:7. How else are we warned of prayers hindered? Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 58:1–5.

Note: “[Isaiah 58:1–3 quoted.]

“A people are here addressed who make high profession, who are in the habit of praying, and who delight in religious exercises; yet there is a lack. They realize that their prayers are not answered; their zealous, earnest efforts are not observed in heaven, and they earnestly inquire why the Lord makes them no returns. It is not because there is any neglect on the part of God. The difficulty is with the people. While professing godliness, they do not bear fruit to the glory of God; their works are not what they should be. They are living in neglect of positive duties. Unless these are performed, God cannot answer their prayers according to His glory. In the case of offering prayer for Sister F, there was confusion of sentiment. Some were fanatical and moved from impulse. They possessed a zeal, but not according to knowledge.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 147.


1 What should be the first thing we do before going to witness?

2 How did John and Peter become so powerful in Christ?

3 Are you thankful in all things?

4 How can we help our ministers in their work?

5 What elements in the prayers of the early believers are still lacking in our own?

© 2003 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Prayers of Christ

December 9, 2012 – December 15, 2012

Key Text

“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.” Hebrews 5:7.

Study Help: Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 102–122; The Desire of Ages, 419–425, 685–697; Testimonies, vol. 4, 528–530.


“As a man He [Jesus] supplicated the throne of God, till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that connected humanity with divinity. Receiving life from God, He imparted life to men.” Education, 80, 81.


  • What should we realize about Christ’s life on earth, and how can it encourage and strengthen us in our daily struggles? Hebrews 5:1–10; 4:14–16.

Note: “The Majesty of heaven, while engaged in His mission, was often in earnest prayer. He did not always visit Olivet, for His disciples had learned His favorite retreat, and often followed Him. He chose the stillness of night, when there would be no interruption. Jesus could heal the sick and raise the dead. He was Himself a source of blessing and strength. He commanded even the tempests, and they obeyed Him. He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin; yet He prayed, and that often with strong crying and tears. He prayed for His disciples and for Himself, thus identifying Himself with our needs, our weaknesses, and our failings, which are so common with humanity. He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our human, fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities, tempted in all points even as we are. Jesus endured agony which required help and support from His Father.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 508, 509.

“The groves and mountains were His [the Redeemer’s] places of retreat for prayer, and frequently whole nights were spent in communion with His Father.” Lift Him Up, 32.


  • What deep spiritual mystery were the disciples eager to understand more fully, and how did Jesus gratify their request? Matthew 6:5–13; Luke 11:1–4.

Note: “[Luke 11:1 quoted.] The prayer that Christ gave to His disciples in answer to this request is not made in high-flown language, but expresses in simple words the necessities of the soul. It is short and deals directly with the daily needs.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 278.

“Christ impressed upon His disciples the idea that their prayers should be short, expressing just what they wanted, and no more. He gives the length and substance of their prayers, expressing their desires for temporal and spiritual blessings, and their gratitude for the same. How comprehensive this sample prayer! It covers the actual need of all. One or two minutes is long enough for any ordinary prayer. There may be instances where prayer is in a special manner indited by the Spirit of God, where supplication is made in the Spirit. The yearning soul becomes agonized and groans after God. The spirit wrestles as did Jacob and will not be at rest without special manifestations of the power of God. This is as God would have it.” Ibid., vol. 2, 581.

  • With what illustration does God want us to view His tender regard for us, even in our sinful, erring condition? Matthew 7:7–11.

Note: “God regards us as His children. He has redeemed us out of the careless world and has chosen us to become members of the royal family, sons and daughters of the heavenly King. He invites us to trust in Him with a trust deeper and stronger than that of a child in his earthly father. Parents love their children, but the love of God is larger, broader, deeper, than human love can possibly be. It is immeasurable. Then if earthly parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more shall our Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?

“Christ’s lessons in regard to prayer should be carefully considered. There is a divine science in prayer, and His illustration brings to view principles that all need to understand. He shows what is the true spirit of prayer, He teaches the necessity of perseverance in presenting our requests to God, and assures us of His willingness to hear and answer prayer.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 142.


  • Why did Christ pray after feeding the five thousand? Matthew 14:21–23.

Note: “The Saviour knew that His days of personal ministry on earth were nearly ended, and that few would receive Him as their Redeemer. In travail and conflict of soul He prayed for His disciples. They were to be grievously tried. Their long-cherished hopes, based on a popular delusion, were to be disappointed in a most painful and humiliating manner. In the place of His exaltation to the throne of David they were to witness His crucifixion. This was to be indeed His true coronation. But they did not discern this, and in consequence strong temptations would come to them, which it would be difficult for them to recognize as temptations. Without the Holy Spirit to enlighten the mind and enlarge the comprehension the faith of the disciples would fail. It was painful to Jesus that their conceptions of His kingdom were, to so great a degree, limited to worldly aggrandizement and honor. For them the burden was heavy upon His heart, and He poured out His supplications with bitter agony and tears.” The Desire of Ages, 379.

  • For what did Jesus pray at the mount of transfiguration? Mark 9:1–9.

Note: “Stepping a little aside from them [the disciples], the Man of Sorrows pours out His supplications with strong crying and tears. He prays for strength to endure the test in behalf of humanity. He must Himself gain a fresh hold on Omnipotence, for only thus can He contemplate the future. And He pours out His heart longings for His disciples, that in the hour of the power of darkness their faith may not fail. … Now the burden of His prayer is that they may be given a manifestation of the glory He had with the Father before the world was, that His kingdom may be revealed to human eyes, and that His disciples may be strengthened to behold it. He pleads that they may witness a manifestation of His divinity that will comfort them in the hour of His supreme agony with the knowledge that He is of a surety the Son of God and that His shameful death is a part of the plan of redemption.

“His prayer is heard. While He is bowed in lowliness upon the stony ground, suddenly the heavens open, the golden gates of the city of God are thrown wide, and holy radiance descends upon the mount, enshrouding the Saviour’s form.” The Desire of Ages, 419–421.


  • For what does our Saviour continually plead in our behalf, and why must we cultivate a deep appreciation of it? Luke 22:31; John 17:1–26.

Note: “Think of Christ, the adored of angels, in the attitude of a suppliant. He was a mighty petitioner, seeking at the hands of the Father fresh supplies of grace, and coming forth invigorated and refreshed, to impart His lessons of assurance and hope. … His prayer rises to all heaven in our behalf. …

“The disciples often witnessed Christ kneeling in prayer, their hearts broken and humbled. As their Lord and Saviour arose from His knees, what did they read in His countenance and bearing? That He was braced for duty and prepared for trial. Prayer was a necessity of His humanity, and His petitions were often accompanied with strong crying and with agony of soul as He saw the necessities of His disciples, who, not understanding their own dangers, were often, under Satan’s temptations, led away from duty into wrongdoing.

“Christ’s life was pure and undefiled. He refused to yield to the temptations of the enemy. Had He yielded on one point, the human family would have been lost. Who can tell the agony that He endures as He sees Satan playing the game of life for the souls of those who claim to be His disciples, and sees them yielding point after point, allowing the soul’s defenses to be broken down? We can form no conception of the agony that He endures at this sight. One soul lost, one soul given up to Satan’s power, means more to Him than the whole world.” In Heavenly Places, 76.

“The hosts of God are interested in the humble, praying man, who dares not make a move without first coming in prayer into the presence of God to counsel with the Omnipotent. True missionary work can be done only in the spirit of the first Missionary who visited our world. He was often in prayer to His Father, and at times presented His petitions with strong crying and tears, pleading that the power of God might save those who knew not that they needed salvation. We must have the spirit that actuated Christ, that led Him to entreat and persuade the rebellious to come unto Him. Even when men turn away from us in hardness of heart, refusing the gift of eternal life, we are to imitate the example of Christ. He did not look with indifference upon those who slighted and rejected Him.” The Review and Herald, July 4, 1893.


  • What decisive prayers near the end of Jesus’ life should deeply influence our life, and why? Matthew 26:36–46; Luke 22:39–46; 23:33, 34.

Note: “How often was He [Christ] alone in fervent prayer, on the mountainside or in the retirement of the garden, pouring out His supplications with strong crying and tears. How perseveringly He urged His petitions in behalf of sinners! Even on the cross He forgot His own sufferings in His deep love for those whom He came to save. How cold our love, how feeble our interest, when compared with the love and interest manifested by our Saviour! Jesus gave Himself to redeem our race; and yet how ready are we to excuse ourselves from giving all that we have for Jesus. Our Saviour submitted to wearing labor, ignominy, and suffering. He was repulsed, mocked, derided, while engaged in the great work which He came to earth to do.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 385.

“With strong crying and tears He [Christ] sent His petitions to heaven, that His human nature might be strengthened, that He might be braced to meet the wily foe in all his deceptive workings, and fortified to fulfill His missions of uplifting humanity. To His workers He says, ‘I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done.’ John 13:15.” The Ministry of Healing, 500.

“The value of a soul, who can estimate? Would you know its worth, go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Christ through those hours of anguish, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Look upon the Saviour uplifted on the cross. Hear that despairing cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ Mark 15:34. Look upon the wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 196.


1 What example did Christ give us while on earth?

2 What fresh thoughts can we gain from re-examining the Lord’s Prayer?

3 What were the main themes of the prayers which our Saviour uttered?

4 What continual petition does Christ plead for us?

5 How can we cultivate greater earnestness at the foot of the cross?

© 2003 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – In Times of Sickness

December 2, 2012 – December 8, 2012

Key Text

“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:15.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 145–150; The Ministry of Healing, 225–233; Selected Messages, Book 2, 53–61.


“When you neglect to offer prayer for the sick, you deprive them of great blessings; for angels of God are waiting to minister to these souls in response to your petitions.” Medical Ministry, 195.


  • What should we learn from the main difference between the cases of Hezekiah and Asa when they were sick? II Kings 20:1–7; II Chronicles 16:12, 13.
  • Name one important element in full restoration to good health. James 5:14, 15; Matthew 9:2–8. What was Ellen White’s overall experience in helping the sick?

Note: “You can speak often to the sick of the Great Physician who can heal the diseases of the body as verily as He heals the sickness of the soul. Pray with the sick, and try to lead them to see in Christ their Healer. Tell them that if they will look to Him in faith, He will say to them, ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee’ [Matthew 9:2]. It means very much to the sick to learn this lesson.” Medical Ministry, 196, 197.

“Multitudes have heard me speak, and have read my writings, but no one has ever heard me claim to work miracles. I have at times been called upon to pray for the sick, and the word of the Lord has been verified. [James 5:14, 15 quoted.] Christ is the great miracle worker. To Him be all the glory.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 54.

  • What interesting example shows that even when Christ lived on earth, He did not always heal people instantly, in only one step? Mark 8:22–25.


  • Of what must we be aware when praying about disease? Matthew 7:15–23; 24:23–25; Proverbs 28:9.

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

“The apostles of nearly all forms of spiritism claim to have power to heal. They attribute this power to electricity, magnetism, the so-called ‘sympathetic remedies,’ or to latent forces within the mind of man. And there are not a few, even in this Christian age, who go to these healers, instead of trusting in the power of the living God and the skill of well-qualified physicians. The mother, watching by the sickbed of her child, exclaims, ‘I can do no more. Is there no physician who has power to restore my child?’ She is told of the wonderful cures performed by some clairvoyant or magnetic healer, and she trusts her dear one to his charge, placing it as verily in the hand of Satan as if he were standing by her side. In many instances the future life of the child is controlled by a satanic power which it seems impossible to break.” Prophets and Kings, 211.

“Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep’s clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf cannot be discerned only as we go to God’s great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah.” The Review and Herald, August 25, 1885.

“The way in which Christ worked was to preach the Word, and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way, for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles, because spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, will be wrought.

“For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing, combined with the teaching of the Word. Sanitariums are to be established, and with these institutions are to be connected workers who will carry forward genuine medical missionary work. Thus a guarding influence is thrown around those who come to the sanitariums for treatment.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 54.


  • What conditions are attached to God’s promises of healing? Isaiah 58:6–11.

Note: “In the case of Sister F, there needed to be a great work accomplished. Those who united in praying for her needed a work done for them. Had God answered their prayers, it would have proved their ruin. In such cases of affliction, where Satan has control of the mind, before engaging in prayer there should be the closest self examination to discover if there are not sins which need to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken. Deep humility of soul before God is necessary, and firm, humble reliance upon the merits of the blood of Christ alone. Fasting and prayer will accomplish nothing while the heart is estranged from God by a wrong course of action. [Isaiah 58:6, 7, 9–11 quoted.]” Testimonies, vol. 2, 145, 146.

  • What factors are essential in praying for the sick? James 5:16.

Note: “In the word of God we have instruction relative to special prayer for the recovery of the sick. But the offering of such prayer is a most solemn act, and should not be entered upon without careful consideration. In many cases of prayer for the healing of the sick, that which is called faith is nothing less than presumption.

“Many persons bring disease upon themselves by their self-indulgence. They have not lived in accordance with natural law or the principles of strict purity. Others have disregarded the laws of health in their habits of eating and drinking, dressing or working. Often some form of vice is the cause of feebleness of mind or body. Should these persons gain the blessing of health, many of them would continue to pursue the same course of heedless transgression of God’s natural and spiritual laws, reasoning that if God heals them in answer to prayer, they are at liberty to continue their unhealthful practices and to indulge perverted appetite without restraint. If God were to work a miracle in restoring these persons to health, He would be encouraging sin.

“It is labor lost to teach people to look to God as a healer of their infirmities, unless they are taught also to lay aside unhealthful practices. In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well. Their surroundings must be sanitary, their habits of life correct. They must live in harmony with the law of God, both natural and spiritual.” Gospel Workers, 215, 216.


  • What must be considered by all who are blessed with health? Luke 12:47, 48.

Note: “If, after so much light has been given, God’s people will cherish wrong habits, indulging self and refusing to reform, they will suffer the sure consequences of transgression. If they are determined to gratify perverted appetite at any cost, God will not miraculously save them from the consequences of their indulgence. They ‘shall lie down in sorrow.’ Isaiah 50:11.

“Those who choose to be presumptuous, saying, ‘The Lord has healed me, and I need not restrict my diet; I can eat and drink as I please,’ will erelong need, in body and soul, the restoring power of God. Because the Lord has graciously healed you, you must not think you can link yourselves up with the self-indulgent practices of the world. Do as Christ commanded after His work of healing—‘go, and sin no more.’ John 8:11. Appetite must not be your god.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 164.

  • What should we keep in mind even when death is imminent? Revelation 14:13.

Note: “We know that God hears us if we ask according to His will. But to press our petitions without a submissive spirit is not right; our prayers must take the form, not of command, but of intercession.

“There are cases where God works decidedly by His divine power in the restoration of health. But not all the sick are healed. Many are laid away to sleep in Jesus. … [Revelation 14:13 quoted]. From this we see that if persons are not raised to health, they should not, on this account be judged as wanting in faith.” The Ministry of Healing, 230.

“I was shown that in case of sickness, where the way is clear for the offering up of prayer for the sick, the case should be committed to the Lord in calm faith, not with a storm of excitement. He alone is acquainted with the past life of the individual and knows what his future will be. He who is acquainted with the hearts of all men knows whether the person, if raised up, would glorify His name or dishonor Him by backsliding and apostasy. All that we are required to do is to ask God to raise the sick up if in accordance with His will, believing that He hears the reasons which we present and the fervent prayers offered. If the Lord sees it will best honor Him, He will answer our prayers. But to urge recovery without submission to His will is not right.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 147, 148.


  • What key thoughts should be always remembered in our prayers for the sick? I John 2:1; Lamentations 3:33; Psalm 103:13, 14.

Note: “Present these thoughts to the persons who come asking for your prayers: We are human; we cannot read the heart or know the secrets of your life. These are known only to yourself and God. If you now repent of your sin, if any of you can see that in any instance you have walked contrary to the light given you of God and have neglected to give honor to the body, the temple of God, but by wrong habits have degraded the body which is Christ’s property, make confession of these things to God. Unless you are wrought upon by the Holy Spirit in special manner to confess your sins of private nature to man, do not breathe them to any soul.

“Christ is your Redeemer; He will take no advantage of your humiliating confessions. If you have sin of a private character, confess it to Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man. [I John 2:1 quoted.] If you have sinned by withholding from God His own in tithes and offerings, confess your guilt to God and to the church, and heed the injunction that He has given you: ‘Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse.’ Malachi 3:10. …

“Praying for the sick is a most solemn thing, and we should not enter into this work in any careless, hasty way. Examination should be made as to whether those who would be blessed with health have indulged in evilspeaking, alienation, and dissension. Have they sowed discord among the brethren and sisters of the church? If these things have been committed they should be confessed before God and the church. When wrongs have been confessed the subjects for prayer may be presented before God in earnestness and faith, as the Spirit of God may move upon you.” Counsels on Health, 373, 374.


1 Where should we direct the thoughts of the sick?

2 Are all healings from God?

3 What are the conditions for healing?

4 How can we maintain health?

5 Name some essential points in prayer for the sick.

© 2003 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Spiritual Light and Strength

November 25, 2012 – December 1, 2012

Power of Prayer

Key Text

“I will declare Thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.” Psalm 22:22.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 4, 523–537; Ibid., vol. 2, 577–582; Counsels on Diet and Foods, 185–191.


“Prayer gives strength to renew the conflict with the powers of darkness, to bear trials patiently, and to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 323.


  • What invitation does God extend to each of us? Jeremiah 29:11–13. How are we warned against accepting this offer in an artificial manner? Hosea 7:13–16.

Note: “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. The eye of faith will discern God very near, and the suppliant may obtain precious evidence of the divine love and care for him. But why is it that so many prayers are never answered? Says David: ‘I cried unto Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me’ [Psalm 66:17, 18]. By another prophet the Lord gives us the promise: ‘Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart’ [Jeremiah 29:13]. Again, he speaks of some who ‘have not cried unto Me with their heart’ [Hosea 7:14]. Such petitions are prayers of form, lip service only, which the Lord does not accept.

“The prayer which Nathanael offered while he was under the fig tree came from a sincere heart, and it was heard and answered by the Master. Christ said of him: ‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!’ [John 1:47.] The Lord reads the hearts of all and understands their motives and purposes. ‘The prayer of the upright is His delight’ [Proverbs 15:8]. He will not be slow to hear those who open their hearts to Him, not exalting self, but sincerely feeling their great weakness and unworthiness.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 533, 534.


  • How are we ourselves—as well as those with whom we labor—often like Nathanael? John 1:45–50.

Note: “He [Nathanael] was one of the number who heard John proclaim, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ [John 1:29]. He felt deeply convicted, and retired to a grove, concealed from every human eye, and there meditated upon the announcement of John. … He bowed before God and prayed that if the person whom John had declared to be the Redeemer of the world was indeed the promised deliverer, that it might be made known to him.” The Review and Herald, January 21, 1873.

“Philip knew that his friend was searching the prophecies, and while Nathanael was praying under a fig tree, Philip discovered his retreat. They had often prayed together in this secluded spot hidden by the foliage.

“The message, ‘We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write,’ seemed to Nathanael a direct answer to his prayer. But Philip had yet a trembling faith. He added doubtfully, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ Again prejudice arose in Nathanael’s heart. He exclaimed, ‘Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?’

“Philip entered into no controversy. He said, ‘Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!’ In surprise Nathanael exclaimed, ‘Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee’ [John 1:45–48].

“It was enough. The divine Spirit that had borne witness to Nathanael in his solitary prayer under the fig tree now spoke to him in the words of Jesus. Though in doubt, and yielding somewhat to prejudice, Nathanael had come to Christ with an honest desire for truth, and now his desire was met. His faith went beyond that of the one who had brought him to Jesus.” The Desire of Ages, 140.

  • What assurance is given to all those who cherish the prayerful spirit of Nathanael? Psalm 91:1.


  • What assurances are given to all who genuinely, wholeheartedly seek after truth and righteousness? John 7:17; Matthew 5:6.

Note: “Do not entertain the thought that because you have made mistakes, because your life has been darkened by errors, your heavenly Father does not love you and will not hear you when you pray. He says, ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out’ [John 6:37]. ‘The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy’ [James 5:11]. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows, and even by our utterance of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear; for He holds up worlds, He rules over the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. None have fallen so low, none are so vile, that they can not find deliverance in Christ. The demoniacs of Gadara, in the place of prayer could utter only the words of Satan; but yet the heart’s unspoken appeal was heard. No cry from a soul in need is unheeded.” The Signs of the Times, June 18, 1902.

  • Why is it sometimes helpful to fast as well as to pray? Mark 9:17–29.

Note: “For certain things, fasting and prayer are recommended and appropriate. In the hand of God they are a means of cleansing the heart and promoting a receptive frame of mind. We obtain answers to our prayers because we humble our souls before God.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 187, 188.

  • What do the prayers of the Ethiopian eunuch and Philip teach? Acts 8:26–39.

Note: “If the Lord desires us to bear a message to Nineveh, it will not be as pleasing to Him for us to go to Joppa or to Capernaum. He has reasons for sending us to the place toward which our feet have been directed. At that very place there may be someone in need of the help we can give. He who sent Philip to the Ethiopian councilor, Peter to the Roman centurion, and the little Israelitish maiden to the help of Naaman, the Syrian captain, sends men and women and youth today as His representatives to those in need of divine help and guidance.” The Ministry of Healing, 473.


  • What instructions are we given with regard to praying in public? Psalms 22:22–25; 35:18; 40:10.

Note: “Both in public and in private worship it is our privilege to bow on our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him.” Prophets and Kings, 48.

“Do not fall into the habit of praying so indistinctly and in such a low tone that your prayers need an interpreter. Pray simply, but clearly and distinctly. To let the voice sink so low that it cannot be heard is no evidence of humility.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 383.

“All should feel it a Christian duty to pray short. Tell the Lord just what you want, without going all over the world. In private prayer all have the privilege of praying as long as they desire and of being as explicit as they please. They can pray for all their relatives and friends. The closet is the place to tell all their private difficulties, and trials, and temptations. A common meeting to worship God is not the place to open the privacies of the heart.

“What is the object of assembling together? Is it to inform God, to instruct Him by telling Him all we know in prayer? We meet together to edify one another by an interchange of thoughts and feelings, to gather strength, and light, and courage by becoming acquainted with one another’s hopes and aspirations; and by our earnest, heartfelt prayers, offered up in faith, we receive refreshment and vigor from the Source of our strength. These meetings should be most precious seasons and should be made interesting to all who have any relish for religious things.

“There are some, I fear, who do not take their troubles to God in private prayer, but reserve them for the prayer meeting, and there do up their praying for several days. Such may be named conference and prayer meeting killers. They emit no light; they edify no one. Their cold, frozen prayers and long, backslidden testimonies cast a shadow. All are glad when they get through, and it is almost impossible to throw off the chill and darkness which their prayers and exhortations bring into the meeting. From the light which I have received, our meetings should be spiritual and social, and not too long. Reserve, pride, vanity, and fear of man should be left at home. Little differences and prejudices should not be taken with us to these meetings. As in a united family, simplicity, meekness, confidence, and love should exist in the hearts of brethren and sisters who meet to be refreshed and invigorated by bringing their lights together.” Ibid., vol. 2, 578, 579.


  • How did Jesus emphasize our need of earnest faith? Matthew 21:18–22.

Note: “There is no excuse for anyone growing weak, inefficient, and faithless. The promise is to us: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering’ [James 1:5]. Are there not some of us too much like the man who came to the minister, complaining that he had not been blessed, that he felt no joy; God did not answer his prayers although he had prayed again and again for a blessing. ‘Well,’ said the minister, ‘let us kneel right down here and tell the Lord just how the matter stands.’ After both had prayed, the minister asked him if he felt better. The man answered, ‘I feel no better than I did before I prayed. I did not expect to be blessed, and I am not blessed.’ He had made a mockery of prayer. He did not believe the Lord would answer him, and he received just what his faith had claimed. Is it any wonder that such prayers are not answered? ‘Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.’ Do you consider this, when you offer up your faithless petitions? Do you stop to consider how you are dishonoring God, and impoverishing your own soul? If you could but realize the wrong you are doing, you would cease to make mockery by meaningless devotions.

“Come to God in faith and humility. Plead with Him till the break of day, if necessary, till your soul is brought into such close relationship with Jesus, that you can lay your burden at His feet, and say, ‘I know whom I have believed’ [II Timothy 1:12]. The Lord is ‘able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think’ [Ephesians 3:20]. Our cold, faithless hearts may be quickened into sensibility and life, till we can pray in faith, preach in faith, and say, ‘The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God’ [Galatians 2:20]. Let us seek for the fullness of the salvation of Christ. Follow in the footsteps of the Son of God, for His promise is, ‘He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life’ [John 8:12].” The Signs of the Times, February 24, 1888.


1 Do you open your heart to God as a friend?

2 Why is the experience of Nathanael recorded for our instruction?

3 What is the promise to the earnest seeker?

4 How has fasting proven beneficial when it accompanies prayer?

5 How can our prayer meetings be more effective?

© 2003 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Haricots Verts and Radishes


1 lb. Haricots verts, trimmed

1/3 cup black sesame seeds

2 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or lemon juice)

½ tsp. shichimi togarashi* or ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

8 radishes, each cut into 6 wedges

Fill large pot or bowl with ice water, and set aside. Bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil in stockpot over high heat. Add haricots verts, and blanch 2 to 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain in colander, and plunge colander in ice bath 3 to 4 minutes, or until haricots verts are cool. Drain, and pat dry. Toast sesame seeds in small, dry skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Cool to room temperature, then finely grind in spice or coffee grinder, or with mortar and pestle. Transfer ground sesame seeds to bowl, and stir in Bragg Liquid Aminos, maple syrup, rice vinegar (or lemon juice, and shichimi togarashi. Toss together green beans and dressing in large bowl. Scatter radishes on top.

*Shichimi togarashi is a fragrant Japanese pepper blend that includes red pepper, dried orange peel, and seaweed, but can be easily swapped out for cayenne pepper.

Food – Haricots Verts

“This is what we need: simple food prepared in a simple, wholesome, and relishable manner.”
Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 408.

Haricots verts is indeed French for green beans—haricot meaning beans and vert meaning green. Although green beans are of nearly universal distribution, over 130 varieties of green beans are known. Green is a misnomer, as they are not solely the emerald green we know them as. Pod color can be green, golden, purple, red, or streaked. Shapes range from thin fillet types to wide romano types and more common types in between. They are found in two major groups—bush beans and pole beans. Bush beans are short plants, growing to approximately two feet in height, without requiring supports. Pole beans have a climbing habit and produce a twisting vine. Also called snap beans, string beans, French beans, wax beans and haricots verts, these thin, finger-like beans are always fresh, crunchy and versatile. French green beans are longer and thinner than most American varieties, but if your recipe specifies haricots verts and you are unable to find them, substitute with the thinnest young green beans you can find.

Green beans manage to be super low in calories—a whole cup only containing a little over 40—yet still loaded with nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese, a very good source of vitamin A (notably through their concentration of carotenoids including beta-carotene), dietary fiber, potassium, folate and iron. And, also a good source of magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, phosphorus, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin.

To get fresh beans ready, begin by washing them thoroughly in cold water and then topping and tailing them, a culinary term for snapping off the tip of both ends. Cook the beans quickly to avoid destroying their delicate flavor and crisp-tender quality. They can be boiled (check every minute for the perfect texture) and added to salads or braised, roasted, grilled on the barbecue, steamed, stir-fried or thrown into soups and stews.

Pen of Inspiration – Thanksgiving Exercises

Nearly the whole of Thanksgiving day, November 29, was spent in church. Our morning meeting was one of special interest. In a cheerful testimony everyone had a thank-offering to present to God. In the forenoon we had a Bible-reading on the subject of thanksgiving, and it was clearly shown from the Scriptures that it is our duty to glorify God by offering thanks and praise. This was a most precious season. All were instructed and reproved; for repining at the dealings of God has been almost continual, while gratitude and praise had been seldom expressed and little cherished in the heart. Many confessed that they had cherished doubt and distrust, and had reaped as they had sown; and as they expressed a resolution to reform in this particular, I reminded them that when pretexts for dissatisfaction are presented, we are to say, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Let everyone who has tasted of the love of God praise Him for His goodness to the children of men. In this let every soul be whole-hearted and sincere.

It is a great cause of gratitude that we understand the nature of this day better than we once did. It is not designed to minister to our selfish gratification in the enjoyment of every luxury because God has bestowed upon us the rich bounties of His providence; on the contrary, we are to recall His mercies, and to meditate upon His favors with thankful hearts. To devote this day to gluttony, and our time and strength to the preparation of rich and expensive dishes, thus tempting our families and friends to gorge themselves, instead of offering thanksgiving to God, is the basest idolatry of self; for it is perverting the very best gifts of Heaven to the indulgence of appetite. Many thus lay the foundation for disease and premature death, and furnish Satan an occasion for hellish exultation.

I could not let this opportunity to invite sinners to Jesus pass unimproved. I wanted all who had not previously done so to present themselves a thank-offering to Him who has made so costly an offering for them. Oh, matchless love! Oh, precious, precious offering in our behalf, that we might have eternal life! In response to the invitation, about thirty came forward, including some who had backslidden from God, and quite a number who were seeking Him for the first time. What a precious thank-offering to Jesus was this! He Himself says, “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” [Luke 15:7]. There was indeed cause for rejoicing when the news was borne to heaven that on Thanksgiving day, November 29 1883, at South Lancaster, Mass., souls were deserting the black banner of Satan, and taking their position beneath the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel. In imagination I could hear the response of praise, as angels told the glad news that these precious souls had entered into covenant with God to obey Him as dear children, and that their names were enrolled in the Lamb’s book of life. What a victory was this for Christ, and what a disappointment for Satan!

Our meeting closed about two o’clock, and we then took ample refreshments; but we had no time to devote to the preparation of extra dishes. We were having a feast of fat things; we were eating of the Bread of Heaven, and drinking rich draughts from the well of Bethlehem. Jesus graced the feast with His royal presence, and our hearts were joyful in Him. The testimonies borne by our brethren and sisters were full of courage and gratitude to God; and their verdict was, “Oh, what a Thanksgiving day this has been! It is the best Thanksgiving day I ever experienced!”

The Review and Herald, January 15, 1884.

Poor, But Rich!

A poor blind woman in Paris put twenty-seven francs into a plate at a missionary meeting.

“You cannot afford so much,” said one.

“Yes, sir, I can,” she answered.

On being pressed to explain, she said: “I am blind, and I said to my fellow straw-workers, ‘How much money do you spend in a year for oil in your lamps when it is too dark to work nights?’ they replied, ‘Twenty-seven francs.’ So I found that I save so much in the year because I am blind and do not need a lamp, and I give it to shed light to the dark heathen lands.”

What a happy, thankful heart was that! What a rich poor woman! She might have added the misery of a complaining, selfish spirit to the misfortune of her blindness, but instead, she made the darkness itself light by cherishing a loving and thankful spirit; she lessened her own woes by seeking to relieve those of others. Such grace to me be given!

The Youth’s Instructor, November 5, 1896.

Children’s Story – The Night the Count and the King Both Stayed Up

To plot against Frederick William III was a treacherous venture. Not too many succeed in assassinating a king. One count found this out the hard way and was imprisoned in the practically inescapable fortress of Glatz.

It was a rough, stormy November night, when the mountain winds howled round the fortress, the rain fell in torrents, and the foaming Neisse River below roared down into the valley. The count tried desperately to sleep, but to no avail. The heavy hand of his own sins pressed upon him. His past seemed to constantly portray itself before him in true-to-life representation. Step by step, his life’s shortcomings and failures walked before his eyes. He had accomplished nothing worthwhile and now he was doomed to a slow death in the prison to which he had been sentenced for life.

Many scenes of his life revealed one thing, and that was that he had missed out on the greatest opportunity of all. He had given up the precious privilege of knowing and serving God. For the first time in his entire life his heart was soft, and his eyes were wet with tears of genuine repentance.

He got up from his cot, and went to the little table on which the guards had placed a few personal items, a candle, and a Bible. Also, for the first time in his life, he endeavored to read the Bible.

Lighting the candle, he opened the Bible and began reading. The first words that he had ever looked at, in that great book, were those of Psalm fifty, verse fifteen. He read, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.”

This word of God reached to the depth of his heart and mind; He fell to his knees and cried to God for mercy. Soon the sorrow and despair vanished. In the middle of a prison he became a whole man.

Berlin was a long way from the fortress of Glatz, but not too far from God. And the things that took place that same night, that the count found peace with God, were amazing.

The castle candles were all lit as King Frederick William III was gravely ill. He was tormented by severe body pains, which the court physician could find no remedy for or bring any relief to the agonizing king. In his utter exhaustion, he begged out loud for God to grant him just one single hour of refreshing sleep.

Not too long after his urgent plea, the king fell fast asleep. When he awoke the next morning, his faithful and concerned wife was by his bed. He spoke softly to Queen Louise, “My wife, God answered my prayer and not only gave me sleep, but complete recovery.”

The king sat up in bed.

“I am so thankful. Who in my kingdom has wronged me most? I will forgive him!”

“The count imprisoned in Glatz tried to take your life,” she replied.

“You’re right! Let him be pardoned!” the king proclaimed.

Dawn had not come to Berlin when the messenger left for Glatz with the release of the count.

Two men did not sleep that night. Neither did God.

W.A. Spicer and Helen Spicer Menkel, The Hand That Still Intervenes, Concerned Publications, Inc., Clermont, Florida, 1982, 61–63.