Bible Study Guides – The Attempted Change

November 19, 2006 – November 25, 2006

Key Text

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” 11 Thessalonians 2:3.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 444–450.


“That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ.” The Great Controversy, 52.

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:4–10.

1 What is the relationship between the Sabbath and the Law of God? Exodus 20:1–17; Deuteronomy 11:13; Matthew 22:37–40.

note: “The first and second commandments spoken by Jehovah are precepts against idolatry, which if practiced would lead men to great lengths in sin and rebellion, and result in the offering of human sacrifices. God would guard against the least approach to such abominations. The first four commandments were given to show men their duty to God. The fourth is the connecting link between the great God and man. The Sabbath especially, was given for the benefit of man, and for the honor of God. These last six precepts show the duty of man to his fellow-man.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 266, 267.

“In the heart of the law is the commandment enjoining upon man the observance of the Sabbath of Jehovah, which the world and the church have trodden under their feet. For centuries men have walked in blindness concerning the true Sabbath, and the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now is the day of reformation, and he calls upon men everywhere to repent. When the light of God’s disregarded commandment shone upon the path of those who sincerely loved God, they delayed not to keep his statutes.” The Signs of the Times, February 3, 1888.

2 Can any part of the law be changed without affecting our relationship with God? Matthew 5:17–19; 15:9.

note: “Those who teach for doctrines the commandments of men make void the law of God thru [sic] their tradition. . . . Just as long as the heavens remain above us, and the earth is beneath our feet, there can be no semblance of excuse for any power in heaven or earth to change the law of God.” The Signs of the Times, March 20, 1901.

“If the law of God could have been changed, or altered in one of its statutes, it would have been so altered when sin originated in heaven, when the brightest son of the morning, who was good, noble, and lovely above all the beings that God had created, found fault with the precepts of that law in the counsels of angels. If ever a change was to have been made, it would have been accomplished when rebellion revealed itself in heaven, and so have prevented the great apostasy of the angels. The fact that no change was made in God’s administration, even when the most exalted of the angels drew away from allegiance to God’s law, is evidence enough to reasonable minds that the law, the foundation of God’s government, will not relax its claims to save the willful transgressor.” Ibid., April 28, 1890.

3 What Scripture predicts that man will attempt to change the Law of God? Daniel 7:23–25; 11 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.

note: “That the law which was spoken by God’s own voice is faulty, that some specification has been set aside, is the claim which Satan now puts forward. It is the last great deception that he will bring upon the world. He needs not to assail the whole law; if he can lead men to disregard one precept, his purpose is gained. For ‘whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.’ James 2:10. By consenting to break one precept, men are brought under Satan’s power. By substituting human law for God’s law, Satan will seek to control the world. This work is foretold in prophecy. Of the great apostate power which is the representative of Satan, it is declared, ‘He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand.’ Daniel 7:25.” The Desire of Ages, 763.

4 What evidences show that Satan’s specific attack on the law is in regard to worship? 11 Thessalonians 2:5–11; Isaiah 14:12–14; Matthew 4:8–10.

note: “The detector of error having been removed, Satan worked according to his will. Prophecy had declared that the papacy was to ‘think to change times and laws.’ Daniel 7:25. This work it was not slow to attempt. To afford converts from heathenism a substitute for the worship of idols, and thus to promote their nominal acceptance of Christianity, the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship. The decree of a general council finally established this system of idolatry. To complete the sacrilegious work, Rome presumed to expunge from the law of God the second commandment, forbidding image worship, and to divide the tenth commandment, in order to preserve the number.

“The spirit of concession to paganism opened the way for a still further disregard of Heaven’s authority. Satan, working through unconsecrated leaders of the church, tampered with the fourth commandment also, and essayed to set aside the ancient Sabbath, the day which God had blessed and sanctified (Genesis 2:2, 3), and in its stead to exalt the festival observed by the heathen as ‘the venerable day of the sun.’ ” The Great Controversy, 51, 52.

5 What has God given as a sign of allegiance to Him? Exodus 31:13–17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

note: “Gather from the Scriptures the proofs that God has sanctified the seventh day, and let these proofs be read before the congregation. Let those who have not heard the truth be shown that all who turn aside from a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ must suffer the result of their course. In all ages the Sabbath has been the test of loyalty to God. ‘It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever,’ the Lord declares. [Exodus 31:17.]” Gospel Workers, 148, 149.

6 To whom is Sunday, “the venerable day of the sun,” a sign of allegiance? Deuteronomy 17:2–5; 11 Kings 23:5; Ezekiel 8:16–18.

note: “The day of the sun, Sunday, was a day devoted to the most vile of the heathen worship, for it was celebrated in connection with sun-worship. This Sunday-sabbath has been accepted by many who know it to be the foundling of heathenism, which has been cherished and nourished by the Church of Rome, and by her clothed in the garments of sanctity. But while many are now aware of its origin, there are true Christians in every church who do not know the origin of the Sunday-sabbath, and believe that they are keeping the day which God sanctified and blest. This is true of worshipers even in the Catholic Church; and while this ignorance and integrity remain, God accepts of their sincerity; but when light shall fall upon their pathway, God requires them to come into harmony with his law, and to observe the Sabbath of his appointing.” The Signs of the Times, November 19, 1894.

7 When we come to a knowledge of God’s will, what should our attitude be? Acts 5:29; 1 Samuel 15:22.

note: “We are to receive this [God’s] word as supreme authority. We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men.” The Acts of the Apostles, 69.

8 How do we know that God is reasonable and does not require anything that is unreasonable? Isaiah 1:18, 19; Romans 12:2.

note: “God is merciful. His requirements are reasonable, in accordance with the goodness and benevolence of his character. The object of the Sabbath was that all mankind might be benefited. Man was not made to fit the Sabbath; for the Sabbath was made after the creation of man, to meet his necessities. God rested, after he had made the world in six days. He sanctified and blessed the day upon which he rested from all his work which he had created and made. He set apart that special day for man to rest from his labor, and reflect, as he should look upon the earth beneath, and the heavens above, that God made all these in six days, and rested upon the seventh; and that his heart might be filled with love and reverence to his Maker, as he should behold the tangible proofs of his infinite wisdom.” Review and Herald, May 30, 1871.

9 What does God call each believer to do? Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Joshua 24:14, 15.

note: “After presenting the goodness of God toward Israel, Joshua called upon the people, in the name of Jehovah, to choose whom they would serve. The worship of idols was still to some extent secretly practiced, and Joshua endeavored now to bring the people to a decision that they would banish this sin from Israel. ‘If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord,’ he said, ‘choose ye this day whom ye will serve.’ [Joshua 24:15.] Joshua desired to lead them to serve God, not by compulsion, but willingly. Love to God is the very foundation of religion. To engage in his service merely from the hope of reward or the fear of punishment, would avail nothing. Open apostasy would not be more offensive to God than hypocrisy and mere formal worship.” The Youth’s Instructor, June 20, 1901.

“The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him.” Steps to Christ, 47. [Emphasis in original.]

10 How does God view man’s substitutions in place of His directions in religious matters? Leviticus 10:1, 2; Numbers 3:4.

note: “The priests who burned incense before the Lord were required to use the fire of God’s kindling, which burned day and night, and was never extinguished. God gave explicit directions how every part of his service should be conducted, that all connected with his sacred worship might be in accordance with his holy character. And any deviation from the express directions of God in connection with his holy service was punishable with death. . . .

“Aaron’s sons took the common fire which God did not accept, and they offered insult to the infinite God by presenting this strange fire before him. God consumed them by fire for their positive disregard of his express directions.” Review and Herald, March 25, 1875.

11 What will be the result if we venture today to substitute man’s idea of proper worship in place of God’s explicit directions? Isaiah 50:11; 2:11, 12.

note: “Those who ignore the Lord’s Sabbath to keep holy the first day of the week, offer strange fire to God. It is a strange sabbath, which He has commanded them not. Will He accept it at their hands? Men have sought out many inventions. They have taken a common day, upon which God has placed no sanctity, and have clothed it with sacred prerogatives. They have declared it to be a holy day, but this does not give it a vestige of sanctity. They dishonor God by accepting human institutions and presenting to the world as the Christian Sabbath a day which has no ‘Thus saith the Lord’ for its authority. As did Nadab and Abihu, they offer the common in place of the sacred.” The Signs of the Times, March 31, 1898.

“The punishment visited upon the sons of Aaron for their sin in departing from God’s commandment, should be a warning to those who transgress the fourth commandment of Jehovah, which is very plain.” Ibid., July 8, 1880.

Personal Review

Sparks of Their Own Kindling—“This change was not at first attempted openly. In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts. But with great subtlety Satan worked through his agents to bring about his object. That the attention of the people might be called to the Sunday, it was made a festival in honor of the resurrection of Christ. Religious services were held upon it; yet it was regarded as a day of recreation, the Sabbath being still sacredly observed.” The Great Controversy, 52.

“In the near future it will be seen just who have been walking humbly with God, and who have been obeying His orders. Those who have been walking in the sparks of their own kindling will lie down in sorrow. It will be seen that they have made a terrible mistake. O let us awake! Light is now shining; let the windows of the mind and heart be opened to welcome the heaven-sent rays.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 259.

Papal Substitution—“ ‘To obey is better than sacrifice.’ [1 Samuel 15:22.] This lesson is of special importance at the present time, when the claims of God’s law are urged upon our attention. The light now shining from the sacred word reveals the fact that an alien power has tampered with the statutes of Jehovah. The papacy, ‘the man of sin,’ [11 Thessalonians 2:3] has attempted to change the times and laws of divine appointment. The Creator of the heavens and the earth commanded, ‘The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.’ [Exodus 20:10.] This command was enforced by the example of its Author, proclaimed with his own voice, and placed in the very bosom of the decalogue. But the papal power has removed this divine ordinance, and substituted a day which God has not sanctified, and upon which he did not rest, the festival so long adored by heathens as the ‘venerable day of the sun.’ ” The Signs of the Times, September 14, 1882.

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

Bible Study Guides – Sunday in the Scriptures

November 12, 2006 – November 18, 2006

Key Text

“Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” 1 Corinthians 16:2.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 283–289; 788–794.


“Each member of the different families in our churches who believes the truth may act a part in its advancement by cheerfully adopting systematic benevolence.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 411.

“Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with [my] whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and [in] the congregation. The works of the Lord [are] great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work [is] honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord [is] gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant. He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. The works of his hands [are] verity and judgment; all his commandments [are] sure.” Psalm 111:1–7.

1 What is the first reference to the first day of the week (Sunday) in the New Testament? Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1.

2 What were the followers of Jesus doing on that day that indicates that it was not a special day for worship? Luke 23:56; 24:1.

note: “The spices with which the body of Jesus was to be anointed had been prepared on the day preceding the Sabbath. Early in the morning of the first day of the week, the Marys, with certain other women, went to the sepulcher to proceed with the work of embalming the body of the Saviour. As they neared the garden, they were surprised to see the heavens beautifully lighted up, and the earth trembling beneath their feet. They hastened to the sepulcher, and were astonished to find that the stone was rolled away from the door, and that the Roman guard were not there. They noticed a light shining about the tomb, and, looking in, saw that it was empty.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 198.

3 When Mary saw Jesus, did He give any indication that the first day was to henceforth be regarded as a sacred day of worship? Mark 16:9; John 20:11–17.

note: “But now in His own familiar voice Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ Now she knew that it was not a stranger who was addressing her, and turning she saw before her the living Christ. In her joy she forgot that He had been crucified. Springing toward Him, as if to embrace His feet, she said, ‘Rabboni.’ But Christ raised His hand, saying, Detain Me not; ‘for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.’ [John 20:17.] And Mary went her way to the disciples with the joyful message.” The Desire of Ages, 790.

4 What were the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples? John 20:19–23.

note: “The Holy Spirit is the breath of life in the soul. The breathing of Christ upon his disciples was the breath of true spiritual life. The disciples were to interpret this as imbuing them with the attributes of their Saviour, that in purity, faith, and obedience, they might exalt the law, and make it honorable. God’s law is the expression of his character. By obedience to its requirements we meet God’s standard of character. Thus the disciples were to witness for Christ.” Review and Herald, June 13, 1899.

5 After Jesus breathed the Holy Ghost on His disciples, was there any indication of a change in their obligation to the law and the Sabbath?

note: “[John 20:20–23 quoted.] Thus the disciples received their commission. They were to teach and to preach in Christ’s name. The instruction given them had in it the vital, spiritual breath that is in Christ. He alone could give them the oil which they must have in order to work successfully. Christ’s likeness must appear in them. They could be successful only as they studied their Master’s character and followed his example.” Review and Herald, June 13, 1899.

6 Eight days later when He met with them for the second time, what message was given to them? John 20:26–31.

note: “Many who are given to doubt excuse themselves by saying that if they had the evidence which Thomas had from his companions, they would believe. They do not realize that they have not only that evidence, but much more. Many who, like Thomas, wait for all cause of doubt to be removed, will never realize their desire. They gradually become confirmed in unbelief. Those who educate themselves to look on the dark side, and murmur and complain, know not what they do. They are sowing the seeds of doubt, and they will have a harvest of doubt to reap. At a time when faith and confidence are most essential, many will thus find themselves powerless to hope and believe.” The Desire of Ages, 807, 808.

7 Where do we find the next reference to the first day of the week? 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2.

8 What did the apostle mean when he said “lay by him” (see marginal reading for 1 Corinthians 16:2)? Was this a meeting in the church?

note: “Each member of the different families in our churches who believes the truth may act a part in its advancement by cheerfully adopting systematic benevolence. ‘Let every one of you lay by him in store [by himself at home], . . . that there be no gatherings when I come.’ [1 Corinthians 16:2.] The burden of urging and pressing individuals to give of their means was not designed to be the work of God’s ministers. The responsibility should rest upon every individual who enjoys the belief of the truth. ‘Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.’ Every member of the family, from the oldest down to the youngest, may take part in this work of benevolence.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 411, 412.

9 Did the apostle put any religious significance on this day when he designates it as the “first day of the week” in 1 Corinthians 16:2? Ezekiel 46:1.

10 Should the Sabbath be a day when we count our income? Exodus 31:14, 15.

note: “When the Sabbath begins, we should place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words, lest we rob God by appropriating to our own use that time which is strictly the Lord’s. We should not do ourselves, nor suffer our children to do any manner of our own work for a livelihood, or anything which could have been done on the six working days. Friday is the day of preparation. . . .

“Those who are not fully converted to the truth, frequently let their minds run freely upon worldly business, and although they may rest from physical toil upon the Sabbath, their tongues speak out what is in their minds; hence these words concerning cattle, crops, losses, and gains. All this is Sabbath-breaking. If the mind is running upon worldly matters, the tongue will reveal it; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Gospel Workers (1892), 207, 208.

11 In Acts 20:7, we find the only recorded public meeting on the first day of the week. How often did they assemble to “break bread”? Acts 2:42, 46.

12 When did this meeting begin and how long did it last? Acts 20:7, 8, 11.

13 Since the creation record informs us that the day begins at sunset (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), we can see that this meeting was held on Saturday evening. Why did Paul hold a meeting on this evening?

note: “Upon the last evening of his tarry with them, the brethren ‘came together to break bread.’ [Acts 20:7.] The fact that their beloved teacher was about to depart, had called together a larger company than usual. They assembled in an upper room on the third story, the coolest and pleasantest place for such a gathering on that warm spring evening. The nights were then dark, but many lights were burning in the chamber. Paul’s mind was impressed with a sense of the perils that awaited him, and the uncertainty of again meeting with his brethren; he had matters of great interest and importance to present before them; and in the earnestness of his love and solicitude for them, he preached until midnight.” Sketches From the Life of Paul, 196, 197.

14 Where was Paul going? Did he believe that he would ever see the brethren again? Acts 20:16, 22, 25.

note: “Since his conversion, Paul’s visits to Jerusalem had always been attended with anxiety, and with a feeling of remorse as he gazed upon scenes that recalled his former life. There was the school of Gamaliel, where he had received his education, the synagogue in which he worshiped, the house where the high priest had given him his commission to Damascus, the spot where the blood of Stephen had witnessed for Christ. As the apostle gazed upon the place for martyrdom, the scene in all its vividness rose up before him. Was he going forward to a similar fate? Never had he trod the streets of Jerusalem with so sad a heart as now.” Sketches From the Life of Paul, 206.

15 On which day does the apostle John say he was in the spirit? Revelation 1:10.

16 Of which day did Jesus say He was the Lord? Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5.

17 Which day did He declare was “my holy day”? Isaiah 58:13.

note: “The Sabbath was made for all mankind, and was instituted in Eden before the fall of man. The Creator called it ‘my holy day.’ [Isaiah 58:13.] Christ announced himself as ‘the Lord of the Sabbath.’ [Mark 2:28.] Beginning with creation, it is as old as the human race, and having been made for man it will exist as long as man shall exist.” The Signs of the Times, November 12, 1894.

18 What is the only day according to Scripture that can be termed the “Lord’s day”?

note: “It was on the Sabbath that the Lord of glory appeared to the exiled apostle. The Sabbath was as sacredly observed by John on Patmos as when he was preaching to the people in the towns and cities of Judea. He claimed as his own the precious promises that had been given regarding that day. ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,’ John writes, ‘and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. . . . And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks One like unto the Son of man.’ Revelation 1:10–13.” The Acts of the Apostles, 581, 582.

Personal Review

“He Is Risen!”—“The women who had stood by the cross of Christ waited and watched for the hours of the Sabbath to pass. On the first day of the week, very early, they made their way to the tomb, taking with them precious spices to anoint the Saviour’s body. They did not think about His rising from the dead. The sun of their hope had set, and night had settled down on their hearts. As they walked, they recounted Christ’s works of mercy and His words of comfort. But they remembered not His words, ‘I will see you again.’ John 16:22. . . .

“He is risen, He is risen! The women repeat the words again and again. No need now for the anointing spices. The Saviour is living, and not dead. They remember now that when speaking of His death He said that He would rise again. What a day is this to the world! Quickly the women departed from the sepulcher ‘with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word.’ [Matthew 28:8.]” The Desire of Ages, 788, 789.

Obedience At Any Cost—“This subject opens before the earnest seeker after truth. It becomes more and more clear to him that God has not changed or altered the thing that has gone out of his lips. He sees the sanctity and blessing placed upon the seventh day, and the necessity for its observance. The more earnestly he investigates this subject, the more convinced he becomes of the truth of God’s word, as seen in the law of the ten commandments. His interest in truth is tested, his love for God proved, as he advances. If he submits his will to God’s will, all will be well. If he chooses obedience to God’s commandments at any cost, his peace and happiness will increase.” Review and Herald, July 13, 1897.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Sabbath in the New Testament

November 5, 2006 – November 11, 2006

Key Text

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Matthew 5:17.

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 170–174.


“Christ’s death on the cross is an unanswerable argument in favor of the changeless character of every precept of God’s holy law.” Review and Herald, December 20, 1898.

“And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy [it]? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” Luke 6:6–10.

1 What example did Jesus give us concerning the Sabbath? Luke 4:16; Mark 6:2; Luke 13:10; Matthew 12:6–8.

note: “Jesus said at the close of his earthly ministry, ‘I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.’ [John 15:10.] Neither the Saviour nor his followers ever broke the law of the Sabbath. Had the Jews been able to sustain their charge against Christ as a Sabbath breaker, as they tried to do, they would have had no need of bringing false witnesses in order that they might secure his condemnation and death. But because no fault could be found with him, in order to secure his death it was necessary that men should perjure their souls by testifying to a lie.” The Signs of the Times, November 12, 1894.

2 What evidence did Jesus give that the seventh day was to remain the Sabbath even after His death? Matthew 24:15–20; 28:1, 2.

note: “Christ emphasizes his words: ‘For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.’ [Matthew 5:18.] So long as the heavens and the earth remain, so long will the Sabbath of the fourth commandment hold its claim on the human family.” Review and Herald, December 20, 1898.

“There was only one entrance to the tomb, and neither human fraud nor force could tamper with the stone that guarded the entrance. Here Jesus rested during the Sabbath. A strong guard of angels kept watch over the tomb, and had a hand been raised to remove the body, the flashing forth of their glory would have laid him who ventured powerless on the earth. He who died for the sins of the world was to remain in the tomb for the allotted time. He was in that stony prison house as a prisoner of divine justice, and he was responsible to the Judge of the universe. He was bearing the sins of the world, and his Father only could release him.” The Youth’s Instructor, May 2, 1901.

3 Who is our pattern in all things? 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Peter 2:21.

note: “I am instructed to say to our people, Let us follow Christ. Do not forget that He is to be our pattern in all things. We may safely discard those ideas that are not found in His teaching. I appeal to our ministers to be sure that their feet are planted on the platform of eternal truth. Beware how you follow impulse, calling it the Holy Spirit. Some are in danger of doing this. The word of God urges us to be sound in the faith, able to give to every one who asks, a reason of the hope that is in us.” Gospel Workers, 306.

“In daily doing the works of Christ, it becomes a pleasure to do His will. Christ came to our world to live out the law of God, to be our pattern in all things. He placed Himself between the mercy seat, and the vast number of heartless worshippers who were full of ostentation, pride, and vanity, and by His lessons of truth, which were ‘eloquent with simplicity,’ He impressed the people with the necessity of spiritual worship. His lessons were impressive, beautiful and weighty with importance, and yet so simple that a child could understand them. The truth He presented was so deep that the wisest and most accomplished teacher could never exhaust it. Those who work as seeing the Invisible, will always preserve simplicity, charging the simplest words with the power of the grandest truths.” Sons and Daughters of God, 266.

4 Since He is our pattern, how should we live and worship? 1 John 2:4–6; 1:6, 7; John 14:15, 23.

note: “Christ has come to be our example, and we are to walk as he walked, and work as he worked, with unselfish purpose, ever keeping the Pattern before us. Weighted with the sense of responsibility, we are to represent Christ to the world. This is our work as Christians; for we are to let our light shine forth to the world in good works. Actions will tell, and therefore how important it is to study the life of Christ to see how he glorified the Father, that we may go and do likewise.” The Youth’s Instructor, December 15, 1892.

5 Since the New Testament was written after the death of Christ, how did the apostles regard the Law of God after the cross? 1 John 3:4; James 2:10; Romans 3:31.

note: “Many religious teachers assert that Christ by His death abolished the law, and men are henceforth free from its requirements. There are some who represent it as a grievous yoke, and in contrast to the bondage of the law they present the liberty to be enjoyed under the gospel.

“But not so did prophets and apostles regard the holy law of God. Said David: ‘I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts.’ Psalm 119:45. The apostle James, who wrote after the death of Christ, refers to the Decalogue as ‘the royal law’ and ‘the perfect law of liberty.’ James 2:8; 1:25. And the revelator, half a century after the crucifixion, pronounces a blessing upon them ‘that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.’ Revelation 22:14.” The Great Controversy, 466.

6 What examples do we have of the apostles concerning the Sabbath day? Acts 13:14; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4.

7 How do we know that the apostles also met with the Gentiles on the Sabbath day? Acts 13:42–44.

note: “They listened, on one Sabbath day, with intense interest to the teachings of Paul and Barnabas, who preached Jesus as the promised Messiah; and upon the next Sabbath day, because of the multitude of Gentiles who assembled also to hear them, they were excited to a frenzy of indignation, the words of the apostles were distorted in their minds, and they were unfitted to weigh the evidence presented by them. When they learned that the Messiah preached by the apostles was to be a light to the Gentiles, as well as the glory of his people Israel, they were beside themselves with rage, and used the most insulting language to the apostles.” Sketches From the Life of Paul, 49, 50.

8 How careful were the apostles not to offend the Jewish converts? Acts 15:5, 6.

note: “Here is a decisive refutation of the claims so often made, that Christ and his apostles violated the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Could the sin of Sabbath breaking have been fastened upon Christ or Stephen or others who died for their faith, men would not have been suborned to bear false witness against them to furnish some pretext for their condemnation. One such instance of transgression of the law would have placed the Christians in the power of their enemies. Their carefulness to show the utmost respect for customs and ceremonies of minor importance is an evidence that it would have been impossible for them to violate the Sabbath of the fourth commandment without suffering the severest penalty.” Sketches From the Life of Paul, 213.

9 What were the issues discussed at a very important meeting of the church? Acts 15:24–29.

note: “The Gentiles, and especially the Greeks, were extremely licentious, and there was danger that some, unconverted in heart, would make a profession of faith without renouncing their evil practices. The Jewish Christians could not tolerate the immorality that was not even regarded as criminal by the heathen. The Jews therefore held it as highly proper that circumcision and the observance of the ceremonial law should be enjoined on the Gentile converts as a test of their sincerity and devotion. This, they believed, would prevent the addition to the church of those who, adopting the faith without true conversion of heart, might afterward bring reproach upon the cause by immorality and excess.” The Acts of the Apostles, 192.

10 Some years after this meeting, how did the apostles reiterate the binding claims of the law, including the Sabbath? Romans 2:13; 6:14, 15; James 2:12.

11 What was the commission given to the church after Christ’s ascension to heaven? Matthew 28:19, 20. Which day of worship did Christ observe?

note: “In the commission to His disciples, Christ not only outlined their work, but gave them their message. Teach the people, He said, ‘to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ [Matthew 28:20.] The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shut out. There is no place for tradition, for man’s theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority are included in the commission. None of these are Christ’s servants to teach. ‘The law and the prophets,’ [Matthew 7:12] with the record of His own words and deeds, are the treasure committed to the disciples to be given to the world. Christ’s name is their watchword, their badge of distinction, their bond of union, the authority for their course of action, and the source of their success. Nothing that does not bear His superscription is to be recognized in His kingdom.” The Desire of Ages, 826.

12 What was the strength of the early church? Matthew 16:18.

note: “Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself,—His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail.

“How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom all the power of demons and evil men would be directed; yet the followers of Christ were not to fear. Built upon the Rock of their strength, they could not be overthrown.” The Desire of Ages, 413.

13 What were the early Christians to teach concerning the ten commandments of which the fourth commandment forms a part? Matthew 5:19, 20.

note: “In the first centuries the true Sabbath had been kept by all Christians. They were jealous for the honor of God, and, believing that His law is immutable, they zealously guarded the sacredness of its precepts.” The Great Controversy, 52.

Personal Review

Answering Accusations—“We would say to all who are thus anxious in regard to their duty, Upon no consideration are you excusable in violating the fourth commandment. It is no violation of the Sabbath to perform works of necessity, as ministering to the sick or aged, and relieving distress. Such works are in perfect harmony with the Sabbath law. Our great Exemplar was ever active upon the Sabbath, when the necessities of the sick and suffering came before him. The Pharisees, because of this, accused him of Sabbath-breaking, as do many ministers today who are in opposition to the law of God. But we say, Let God be true, and every man a liar who dares make this charge against the Saviour.

“Jesus answered the accusation of the Jews thus, ‘If ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.’ [Matthew 12:7.] He had already declared to them that he had kept his Father’s commandments. When he was accused of Sabbath-breaking in the matter of healing the withered hand, he turned upon his accusers with the question, ‘Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?’ [Mark 3:4.] In summing up his answer to the questioning of the Pharisees he said, ‘Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days.’ [Matthew 12:12.] Here Christ justified his work as in perfect harmony with the Sabbath law. Ministers who profess to be ambassadors of Christ, yet assert that he did not regard the Sabbath day, and thus endeavor to justify themselves in disregarding it, make the same accusation against Christ as did the Pharisees. They certainly select poor company in those caviling Jews who persecuted the Redeemer.” The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1878.

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

Bible Study Guides – A Perpetual Covenant

October 29, 2006 – November 4, 2006

Key Text

“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words.” Isaiah 58:13.

Study Help: The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 53–56; Prophets and Kings, 677, 678.


“Great blessings are promised to those who keep holy God’s Sabbath.” Review and Herald, July 13, 1897.

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I [am]. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And [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. And [they that shall be] of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken [it].” Isaiah 58:8–14.

1 What identifies the true followers of Jesus? Matthew 7:15–20; 11 Corinthians 6:14–18.

note: “Not all who name the name of Christ are one with Christ. Those who do not have the Spirit and the grace of Christ are none of his, no matter what may be their profession. By their fruits ye shall know them. The customs and practices that are after the order of the world do not carry out the principles of God’s law, and therefore do not breathe of his Spirit nor express his character. Christlikeness will be revealed only by those who are assimilated to the divine image. Only those who are being molded through the operation of the Holy Spirit are doers of the word of God, and express the mind and the will of God. There is counterfeit Christianity in the world as well as genuine Christianity. The true spirit of a man is manifested by the way in which he deals with his fellow-man. We may ask the question, Does he represent the character of Christ in spirit and action, or simply manifest the natural, selfish traits of character that belong to the people of this world? Profession weighs nothing with God. Before it is everlastingly too late for wrongs to be righted, let each one ask himself, ‘What am I?’ It depends upon ourselves as to whether we shall form such characters as will constitute us members of God’s royal family above.” Review and Herald, April 9, 1895.

2 How do we know that true Christianity is more than a profession? Matthew 7:21–23; James 1:22–25.

note: “A mere profession of discipleship is of no value. The faith in Christ which saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. ‘Believe, believe,’ they say, ‘and you need not keep the law.’ But a belief that does not lead to obedience is presumption. The apostle John says, ‘He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ 1 John 2:4. Let none cherish the idea that special providences or miraculous manifestations are to be the proof of the genuineness of their work or of the ideas they advocate. When persons will speak lightly of the word of God, and set their impressions, feelings, and exercises above the divine standard, we may know that they have no light in them.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 146.

3 While the keeping of the Ten Commandments is the fruit of our relationship with God, which of the Ten Commandments serves specifically as a sign of our allegiance to God? Exodus 31:16, 17; Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

4 How do we know that the seventh-day Sabbath was not given only to the Jews? When was it instituted? Genesis 2:3.

note: “Christ was the leader of the Hebrews as they marched from Egypt to Canaan. In union with the Father, Christ proclaimed the law amid the thunders of Sinai to the Jews, and when he appeared on earth as a man among men, he came as a descendant of Abraham. Shall we use the same argument concerning the Bible and Christ, and reject them as Jewish, as is done in rejecting the Sabbath of the Lord our God? The Sabbath institution is as closely identified with the Jews as is the Bible, and there is the same reason for the rejection of one as of the other. But the Sabbath is not Jewish in its origin. It was instituted in Eden before there were such a people known as the Jews. The Sabbath was made for all mankind, and was instituted in Eden before the fall of man. The Creator called it ‘my holy day.’ ” The Signs of the Times, November 12, 1894.

5 According to Exodus 31:16, how long was the Sabbath to endure?

note: “Christ announced himself as ‘the Lord of the Sabbath.’ Beginning with creation, it is as old as the human race, and having been made for man it will exist as long as man shall exist. Hallowed by the Creator’s rest and blessing, the Sabbath was kept by Adam in his innocence in holy Eden, by Adam fallen, yet repentant, when he was driven from his happy estate. It was kept by all the patriarchs from Abel to Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob. When the chosen people were in bondage in Egypt, many, in the midst of the prevailing idolatry, lost their knowledge of God’s law; but when the Lord delivered Israel, he proclaimed his law in awful grandeur to the assembled multitude, that they might know his will, and fear and obey him forever.” The Signs of the Times, November 12, 1894.

6 Will there ever be a time when the people of God will not keep the Sabbath? Isaiah 66:22, 23.

note: “The children of Israel were to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations ‘for a perpetual covenant.’ Exodus 31:16. The Sabbath has lost none of its meaning. It is still the sign between God and His people, and it will be so forever. Now and ever we are to stand as a distinct and peculiar people, free from all worldly policy, unembarrassed by confederation with those who have not wisdom to discern the claims of God, so plainly set forth in His law.

“We are to show that we are seeking to work in harmony with heaven in preparing the way of the Lord. We are to bear witness to all nations, kindreds, and tongues, that we are a people who love and fear God, a people who keep holy the seventh-day Sabbath, and we are to show plainly that we have full faith that the Lord is soon to come in the clouds of heaven.” Our High Calling, 345.

“To us as to Israel the Sabbath is given ‘for a perpetual covenant.’ [Exodus 31:16.] To those who reverence His holy day the Sabbath is a sign that God recognizes them as His chosen people. It is a pledge that He will fulfill to them His covenant. Every soul who accepts the sign of God’s government places himself under the divine, everlasting covenant. He fastens himself to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 350.

“The Sabbath was not for Israel merely, but for the world. It had been made known to man in Eden, and, like the other precepts of the Decalogue, it is of imperishable obligation. Of that law of which the fourth commandment forms a part, Christ declares, ‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.’ So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun. ‘From one Sabbath to another’ the inhabitants of the glorified new earth shall go up ‘to worship before Me, saith the Lord.’ Matthew 5:18; Isaiah 66:23.” The Desire of Ages, 283.

7 Why was the Old Testament written and given to us? Romans 15:4; John 5:39.

note: “The Old Testament . . . was not written merely for the ancients; it was for all ages and for all people.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 254.

8 What example of Israel concerning the Sabbath is given to us? Exodus 16:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 10:11.

note: “Through Moses the Lord said to the children of Israel: ‘Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.’ ‘And the people went about, and gathered it [the manna], and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it.’ Exodus 16:23; Numbers 11:8. There was something to be done in preparing the heaven-sent bread for the children of Israel. The Lord told them that this work must be done on Friday, the preparation day. This was a test to them. God desired to see whether or not they would keep the Sabbath holy.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 354, 355.

9 What was the reason some Israelites did not pass the test? Hebrews 4:1–6, 9–11.

note: “Unbelief greatly dishonors God. Our lack of faith is withholding from us precious blessings which are hanging over us, and which God would have us receive and appreciate. When we practise [sic] the Word, we shall be perfect in Him who is our righteousness. If the Word is believed by us, soberly, meekly, if it is received and appropriated, it will give us a precious experience, that will make us wise unto salvation. But, like the children of Israel, we are in danger of indulging a spirit of unbelief and murmuring.” The Signs of the Times, October 4, 1899.

10 What special work will God’s people be doing in the end time in reference to the Sabbath? Isaiah 58:12, 13.

note: “In words of unmistakable meaning the prophet points out the specific work of this remnant people who build the wall. ‘If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ Isaiah 58:13, 14.” Prophets and Kings, 678.

11 What promise is given to those who engage in this most important work? Isaiah 58:14; Revelation 22:14.

note: “Great blessings are promised to those who keep holy God’s Sabbath. [Isaiah 58:13, 14 quoted.]” Review and Herald, July 13, 1897.

“But you must not think that you have nothing to do, because Christ died for you. You must repent of all of your sins, and give your hearts to God, and then believe that the blood of Christ will cleanse you from all sin. Then if you keep all the commandments of God, the Sabbath with the rest, you may through the merits of Christ, be brought back to the tree of life. This will be when Jesus comes to raise the righteous dead, and change the living saints. Then you will have right to the tree of life, and eat of the leaves, and immortal fruit of the tree of life and live for ever in perfect happiness. Read Revelation 22:14.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 1, 1856.

“Let us consider that all these rich blessings are for those who keep the commandments of God. What more can we desire? What richer reward can we ask?” Review and Herald, January 22, 1895.

Personal Review

Constant Vigilance—“The time in which we are living calls for constant vigilance, and God’s ministers are to present the light on the Sabbath question. They should warn the inhabitants of the world that Christ is soon to come with power and great glory. The last message of warning to the world is to lead men to see the importance that God attaches to his law. So plainly is the truth to be presented that no transgressor, hearing it, shall be excusable in failing to discern the importance of obedience to God’s commands.” Gospel Workers, 148.

“To Adam and Eve in Eden the Lord gave the use of every tree in the garden save one. So the Lord has given to men six days in which they are to engage in common labor; but He has put His sanctity upon the seventh day, declaring it to be holy. That day is to be sacredly observed as a memorial of creation. ‘God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work.’ [Genesis 2:3.]” The Signs of the Times, March 31, 1898.

Worshipers of Jehovah—“God rested on the seventh day, not merely to furnish an example to the Jews. The Sabbath commandment is obligatory upon all men to the end of time. And not only this, its observance is to be carried into the future world, to be perpetuated throughout eternity.” Ibid., July 29, 1897.

“Pointing to God as the maker of the heavens and the earth, it distinguishes the true God from all false gods. All who keep the seventh day, signify by this act that they are worshippers of Jehovah. Thus the Sabbath is the sign of man’s allegiance to God as long as there are any upon the earth to serve Him.” Sons and Daughters of God, 59.

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

Recipe – Cooked Quinoa Cereal

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water substitute soy, cashew, or almond milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

sweetener of choice

1/2 cup apples, thinly sliced

1/3 cup raisins

Rinse quinoa and add to water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Add apples, raisins, and cinnamon substitute; simmer until water is absorbed. Serve with milk and sweeten to taste.

Food for Life – Healthful Lifestyle

As Seventh-day Adventists, we have been given special counsel from the Lord that a healthful lifestyle would improve and lengthen our lives.

“If we neglect to heed the simple laws by which we may preserve health, and fail to cultivate right habits, the Lord will not work a miracle to heal our disorders, while we continue to transgress his laws. Men are sleeping in their graves that the Lord would have had live. They destroyed themselves through lack of knowledge. On many points they were instructed, and yet failed to carry out the instruction given them; but let us become enlightened Christians, walking in the light, and overcoming every defect that we may reap reward in this life, and gain the life eternal hereafter.” Christian Education, 133.

“Is it not time for us to understand that nature will not long suffer abuse without protesting? Our heavenly Father does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. He is not the author of sickness and death. He is the source of life; He would have men live, and He desires them to be obedient to the laws of life and health, that they may live.” Counsels on Health, 563.

Nearly 7,000 people were studied by Drs. Nedra Belloc and Lester Breslow in regard to lifestyle and longevity. Their conclusive scientific study documents what we have been told for over 100 years. (Neil Ned-ley, M.D., Proof Positive, Nedley Publishing, Ardmore, Oklahoma, 1998, 3.) It was found that seven factors impact increased longevity. These factors are: (1) sleep seven to eight hours, (2) no eating between meals, (3) eat breakfast regularly, (4) maintain proper weight, (5) regular exercise, (6) no use of alcohol, and (7) no smoking.

In this study, it was found that there was a direct relationship between the number of health habits practiced and longevity of life. Note the study results in the box below.

I hope that you are presently practicing or will begin to practice the eight laws of health, improving your health and longevity.

The predominant ingredient in the following recipe is quinoa. Compared to other grains and vegetables, it is high in protein, calcium, and iron. It is also a relatively good source of phosphorous, calcium, iron, vitamin E, and several of the B vitamins. So, start your day with this delicious cooked cereal, which was a recipe used at the 2006 Steps to Life Camp Meeting.

Question – Scriptural Contradiction?


John 1:18 says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].” But Exodus 33:11 says, “The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” Are these texts contradictory?


God did speak to Moses on more than one occasion. Read, for example, Numbers 12:6–8 and Exodus 24:9–11; compare John 9:29. In these passages, we see that God communicated directly with Moses, who was the leader of God’s people, and also with Aaron, his two sons, and the 70 elders of Israel. We also know that Moses was in direct communication with God when he received the Ten Commandments. It is also recorded that God spoke to Abraham. (See Exodus 6:3.)

We may begin to understand how all this is possible from Jesus’ response when Phillip said to Him, “Show us the Father.” John 14:8. Jesus’ answer is recorded in verses 9 and 10. From these verses, we may understand that Jesus represents the Father, and Jesus is God. So when it says that God spoke to Moses or to Abraham, we may understand that it was Jesus, for no man has seen God at any time.

Ellen White has explained this seeming contradiction very well: “Since the sin of our first parents, there has been no direct communication between God and man. The Father has given the world into the hands of Christ, that through His mediatorial work He may redeem man and vindicate the authority and holiness of the law of God. All the communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ. It was the Son of God that gave to our first parents the promise of redemption. It was He who revealed Himself to the patriarchs. . . . It was He who gave the law to Israel. Amid the awful glory of Sinai, Christ declared in the hearing of all the people the ten precepts of His Father’s law. It was He who gave to Moses the law engraved upon the tables of stone.” God’s Amazing Grace, 43.

“I have often seen the lovely Jesus, that he is a person. I asked him if his Father was a person, and had a form like himself. Said Jesus, ‘I am in the express image of my Father’s Person.’ ” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 74.

“Those who realize the greatness and majesty of God, will take His name on their lips with holy awe. He dwelleth in light unapproachable; no man can see Him and live.” Early Writings, 122.

At the present time, angels behold the Father’s face, but we cannot. However, the time is coming when, as a result of the plan of salvation, all the redeemed of the Lord, because they have been restored to perfect holiness, will be able to see and openly communicate with both the Father and the Son.

“There is the New Jerusalem, the metropolis of the glorified new earth. . . .

“The people of God are privileged to hold open communion with the Father and the Son. ‘Now we see through a glass, darkly.’ 1 Corinthians 13:12. We behold the image of God reflected, as in a mirror, in the works of nature and in His dealings with men; but then we shall see Him face to face, without a dimming veil between. We shall stand in His presence, and behold the glory of His countenance.” The Faith I Live By, 363.

If you have a Bible question you would like answered, e-mail it to:, or mail it to: LandMarks, Steps to Life, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.

Nature Nugget – Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents

Due to plate shifting, fissures open up in the earth’s surface, allowing water to be sucked down toward the center of the earth, where it comes in contact with hot molten magma. This super heats the water to as high as 760 degrees Fahrenheit and forces it back up into the environment through the ocean floor. These hot springs are called hydrothermal vents, and many are located at very deep depths where it is pitch black and the seawater is frigid cold.

Not only is the water from these vents boiling hot, it is also a toxic mix of heavy metals and poisonous gases of which, foremost among them, is hydrogen sulfide. Besides these toxic chemicals and boiling temperatures, most vent water is extremely acid, with pH values as low as 2.8, which is more acid than vinegar.

In spite of these harsh conditions and the enormous pressure from the great depth, life thrives here. Amazing communities of life consisting of fish, crabs, shrimps, clams, tubeworms, and snails, to name a few, exist here. Many of these creatures are blind and lack pigment, and some are giants. More than 300 species of vent life have been identified by biologists, of which over 95 percent were new to science.

All other life ever identified on land or in the sea derives its energy either directly or indirectly from the sun. Since sunlight cannot penetrate this depth, there is no plant life and, hence, no photosynthesis, which is the basis of all other known life on the planet. Heat vent species rely not on photons from the sun, but on thermal and chemical energy derived from the heat and chemicals coming from the earth’s interior.

Tiny microbes (bacteria) oxidize the hydrogen sulfide that diffuses out of the vents, through a process called chemosynthesis, providing nutrients for animals higher up the food chain. Some creatures, like gastropod snails, feed directly on the bacteria which form mats on the sea floor around the vents. Other creatures, such as fish, dine on animals that eat or make use of the bacteria. Still others, such as tubeworms, host the microbes in their tissues in exchange for organic compounds that they produce from the vent chemicals and seawater.

While vent microbes thrive on hydrogen sulfide, it is lethal to other vent creatures that have to keep their distance from the source. The boiling water is also lethal to all the vent creatures except for the microbes which flourish in it. The other creatures live in the lower temperature zones produced by the boiling vent water mixing with the frigid deep-sea water. The only element from above that these heat vent creatures require is oxygen, which is abundant in seawater and was originally produced by plants, so ultimately this ecosystem relies on sunlight also.

Just as these deep-sea vent creatures, located far from the sunlight, still depend on the sun for life-giving oxygen, so the human race, which has been separated from God by their sins, is still dependant on Him for their every breath and, ultimately, on Him for eternal life. “Nature and revelation alike testify of God’s love. Our Father in heaven is the source of life, of wisdom, and of joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature. Think of their marvelous adaptation to the needs and happiness, not only of man, but of all living creatures. The sunshine and the rain, that gladden and refresh the earth, the hills and seas and plains, all speak to us of the Creator’s love. It is God who supplies the daily needs of all His creatures.” Steps to Christ, 5.

The Pen of Inspiration – The Spirit of Law-Breakers

Men who will not admit the claims of God’s law, which are so very plain, will generally take a lawless course; for they have so long taken sides with the great rebel in warring against the law of God, which is the foundation of his government in heaven and on earth, that they are trained in this labor. In their warfare, they will not open their eyes or consciences to light. They close their eyes lest they shall become enlightened. Their case is as hopeless as was that of the Jews, who would not see the light which Christ brought to them. The wonderful evidences of his Messiahship, by the miracles he performed in healing the sick and raising the dead, and doing the works which no other man had done or could do, instead of melting or subduing their hearts and overcoming their wicked prejudices, inspired them with Satanic hatred and fury, such as Satan possessed when he was thrust out of heaven. The greater light and evidence they had, the greater was their hatred. They were determined to extinguish the light by putting Christ to death.

The haters of God’s law, which is the foundation of his government in heaven and earth, are on the same ground as were the unbelieving Jews. Their defiant power will follow those who keep the commandments of God, and great light will be rejected by them. Their consciences have been violated so long, and their hearts have grown so hard by their choosing darkness rather than light, that they feel that it is a virtue in them to bear false witness or stoop to almost any course of equivocation or deception, as did the Jews in their rejection of Christ, to gain their object. They reason that the end justifies the means. They virtually crucify the law of the Father as the Jews crucified the Son.

Seize Every Opportunity

Our work should be to embrace every opportunity to present the truth in its purity and simplicity where there is any desire or interest to hear the reasons of our faith. Those who have dwelt mostly upon the prophecies and the theoretical points of our faith, should without delay become Bible students upon practical subjects. They should take a deeper draught at the fountain of divine truth. They should carefully study the life of Christ and his lessons of practical godliness, given for the benefit of all, and the rule of right living for all who should believe on his name. They should be imbued with the spirit of their great Example, and have a high sense of the sacred life of a follower of Christ.

Christ met the case of every class in his subjects and manner of teaching. He ate and lodged with the rich and poor, and made himself familiar with the interests and occupations of men, that he might gain access to their hearts. The learned and most intellectual were gratified and charmed with his discourses, which were yet so plain and simple as to be comprehended by the humblest minds. Christ availed himself of every opportunity to give instructions to the people upon the heavenly doctrines and precepts which should be incorporated into their lives, and which would distinguish them from all other religionists, because of their holy, elevated character. These lessons of divine instruction are not brought to bear upon men’s consciences as they should be. Ministers believing present truth are furnished with discourses by these sermons of Christ which will be appropriate on almost any occasion. Here is a field of study for the Bible student, which he cannot be interested in without having the spirit of the heavenly Teacher in his own heart. Here are subjects which Christ presented to all classes. Thousands of people of every stamp of character, of every grade of society, were attracted and charmed with the matter brought before them. . . .

The truth of God is plain and conclusive. It is harmonious, and in contrast with error shines with clearness and beauty. Its consistency commends it to the judgment of every heart that is not filled with prejudice. . . .

Power of One

The eternal welfare of sinners regulated the conduct of Jesus Christ. He went about doing good. Benevolence was the life of his soul. He not only did good to all who came to him soliciting his mercy, but he perseveringly sought them out. He was never elated with applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. When he met with the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, he was of good courage. Christ preached the most important discourse inspiration has given us, to only one listener. As he sat by the well to rest, for he was weary, a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and he saw an opportunity to reach her mind, and through her to reach the minds of the Samaritans, who were enveloped in great darkness and error. Although weary, he presented the truths of his spiritual kingdom, which charmed the heathen woman, and filled her with admiration for Christ. She went forth publishing the news, “Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ?” [John 4:29.] This woman’s testimony converted many to a belief in Christ. Through her report many came to hear for themselves, and believed because of his own word.

However small may be the number of interested listeners, if their hearts are reached and their understanding convinced, they can carry the report, as did the Samaritan woman, which will raise the interest of hundreds to investigate for themselves. While laboring in places to create an interest, there will be many discouragements; but if at first there seems to be but little interest, it is no evidence that you have mistaken your duty and place of labor. If the interest steadily increases, and the people move understandingly, not from impulse but from principle, the interest is much more healthy and durable than where a great excitement is created suddenly, and the feelings are all stirred up by listening to a debate and sharp contest on both sides of the question, for and against the truth. Fierce opposition is thus aroused, and rapid decisions are made and positions taken. There is a feverish state of things. Calm consideration and judgment are wanting. Let this excitement subside, or let it be managed indiscreetly, and reaction takes place and the interest can never be raised again. Feeling and sympathy were stirred, but the conscience was not convicted, the heart was not broken and humbled before God.

No Debate

In the presentation of unpopular truth, which involves a heavy cross, laborers should be careful that every word is as God would have it. Their words should never be cutting. They should present the truth in humility, with the deepest love for souls and an earnest desire for their salvation, and let the truth cut. They should not seek to provoke debate, not defy ministers of other denominations. They should not stand in a position like that of Goliath when he defied the armies of Israel. Israel did not defy Goliath, but he made his proud boasts against God and his people. The defying and boasting and railing must come from the opposers of truth, who act the Goliath; but none of this spirit should be seen in those whom God has sent forth to proclaim the last message of warning to a doomed world. . . .

Called to Meet a Defier

If you, like David, are brought into a position where God’s cause really calls you to meet a defier of Israel, go forth in the strength of God, relying wholly upon him, and he will carry you through, and cause his truth to triumph gloriously. Christ has given us an example. “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the Devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” [Jude 9.]

Review and Herald, March 23, 1886.

Restoring the Temple – Proper Education, Part II

God prepared for Adam and Eve a beautiful garden. He provided for them everything their wants required. He planted for them trees of every variety, bearing fruit. With a liberal hand he surrounded them with his bounties—the trees, for usefulness and beauty, and the lovely flowers, which sprung up spontaneously, and flourished in rich profusion around them, were to know nothing of decay. Adam and Eve were rich indeed. They possessed beautiful Eden. Adam was monarch in this beautiful domain. None can question the fact that Adam was rich. But God knew that Adam could not be happy unless he had employment. Therefore he gave him something to do. He was to dress the garden.

The Creator of man never designed that he should be idle. The Lord formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. It was the law of nature, therefore the law of God, that brain, nerve, and muscle, should be in active motion. Young gentlemen and ladies that refuse to labor because they are not compelled to, and because it is not fashionable, are not guided and controlled by enlightened reason. Those who shun manual labor, cannot have physical stamina. In order for the young to enjoy perfect health and perfect happiness, every organ and function must be in perfect operation as God designed they should be. If all the organs act their natural part, life, health, and happiness, will be the result. Too little exercise, and staying in-doors too much, will bring on feebleness and disease of some one or more of the organs. It is sinful to impair or weaken one of the powers God has given us. The great Creator designed that we should have perfect bodies, that we might preserve them in health, and render to him the offering of a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

Exercise in useful labor will be carrying out the original plan of God, when he bade Adam and Eve to dress the garden. Life is precious, and should be preserved intelligently by regarding the laws of our being.

Idleness = Unhappiness

Fashionable idlers, who have plenty of leisure, fail to attain happiness. They have been educated to regard honest labor as only fit for the poor, while it would degrade the wealthy. They rob the brain and nervous system, by fashionable indolence, of a supply of animal energy that keeps the machinery of the body in healthful activity.

In order for the brain to have clearness and strength of thought, retentive memory, and mental power, the muscles of the body should have exercise a portion of each day in order to preserve and improve health.

Adam was in glorious Eden. He was perfectly developed, and then set to work by his Maker that in exercise all his muscles should preserve their elasticity. Many young men and ladies are too proud, or too lazy, to engage in useful labor in the house or in the garden.

Role of Women

The world is full of women with but little vitality, and less common sense. Society is in great need of healthful, sensible young women, who are not afraid to work and soil their hands. God gave them hands to employ in useful labor. God did not give us the wonderful human machinery of the body to become paralyzed by inaction. The living machinery God designed should be in daily activity, and in this activity or motion of the machinery, is its preserving power. Manual labor quickens the circulation of the blood. The more active the circulation the more free will be the blood from obstructions and impurities. The blood nourishes the body. The health of the body depends upon the healthful circulation of the blood. If work is performed without the heart being in it, it is simply drudgery, and the benefit which should result from the exercise is not gained.

Toiling mothers, who have given their children the advantages of education, and have brought them up without disciplining them to self-denial and physical labor, and have given them liberty to follow their own pleasure, will not receive much happiness and comfort from these children. In my travels I have seen that those women who entered upon the married life wholly unprepared for domestic duties, were not happy. They did not receive the training and the education in their youth that fitted them for the responsible position they had by most solemn covenant agreed to fill. The parents had made a great mistake. When children, they were excused from exertion in order “to enrich the mind.” They could play an instrument of music, but were not educated to take responsibility. They enjoyed burying their minds in novels, but had no love to keep their houses in order. They were as incompetent for the responsible position of mothers as a girl of fifteen years. Economy of means they knew nothing of, and yet these are the mothers that are bringing up children to take their place upon the stage of action, to act their part in the drama of life. The characters of youth should not be spoiled by over-fond mothers. Parents should consider that as they neglect to thoroughly educate their daughters in domestic labor and economy, they are giving characters to them which will make their f ture married lives miserable. There will be disappointed husbands, and neglected children, because of inefficient wives and mothers.

What Constitutes Wealth?

Men and women of this age who have a large amount of earthly treasure may be estimated as wealthy. But their riches, in comparison with the paradise of wealth given the lordly Adam, are very insignificant. Yet the so-called wealthy sometimes regard it degrading for them and their children to engage in useful physical labor. Their views are not in harmony with God’s original plans. They educate their children by precept and example that physical labor is beneath their exalted station, and, in order to be gentlemen and ladies, their hands must be unemployed, so far as useful labor is concerned. They are early sent to a boarding school or a seminary to obtain book knowledge, or they pass away their time in ornamenting their persons, or in gratifying their inclination for amusements. For this education, high and noble duties are neglected.

We have no right, my Christian sisters, to waste our time, and give example to others who are less able than we to waste their time and energies, upon needless ornaments, upon dress or furniture, or to indulge in superfluities in food. We have religious duties to perform, and if we neglect these duties, and give our time to needless things, we will dwarf the intellect, and separate the affections from God. The Author of our existence has claims upon our time and our money. He has poor and suffering ones all around us that money may relieve, and cheering, encouraging words bless. Christ identifies himself with the wants of suffering humanity. As you neglected to visit the widow and orphans tried in the furnace of affliction, suffering want and privation, you did not realize that Christ would mark the circumstances against you in the book of records, as though you had neglected him.

The impression that in order to be gentlemen and ladies the hands must be unskilled in useful employment, and delicate idleness be cultivated, is not in accordance with the Lord’s plans in the creation of man. These false notions open a wide door for temptation.


Many professed Christian parents show by their course of action that the main object of their lives is to secure their own enjoyment. They follow inclination and look for happiness in amusements. Happiness is not secured by depending on various gratifications within our reach. All who imitate the life of Christ, and conform their character to his, and engage in active, useful labor in self-denying benevolence, will have happiness. “For even Christ pleased not himself.” He said, “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” [John 6:38, 39.]

Inaction and delicate idleness is weakening the life-forces of young women. There are those who spend hours of precious time in bed, which is not blessing them with increase of strength, or relieving others from burdens, but is bringing upon them debility and confirming them in wrong habits. These hours idled away needlessly in bed can never be regained. The sin of time thus lost is marked in the book of records.

There is enough to do in this busy world of ours. There are enough in God’s great family who need sympathy and aid. If our own work does not demand our time, there are sick to be visited, the poor to be helped and encouraged. But while hours are being idled away, there is a pressure frequently of labor close at home. Rooms may need to be put in order, garments may need repairing, and there may be a variety of little duties that some one must attend to. There may be a necessity for careful oversight of provisions, that nothing may be wasted.

The Health Reformer, May 1, 1873; June 1, 1873.

To be concluded . . .