Bible Study Guides – Victory by the Word of Our Testimony

November 23, 2013 – November 29, 2013

Key Text

“And they [the brethren] overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 115–123.


“We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.


  • How can we continually show that Christ is living in us? Psalms 105:1–5; 107:1, 2, 15.

Note: “Brethren and sisters, the Lord is our God. If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, we have a hope in God that it is impossible for us to keep to ourselves. We will praise Him. We do not praise Him as much as we should. Whoso offers praise glorifies God. Now instead of speaking doleful words, and telling of our trials and afflictions, let us thank God that we can speak at all, and resolve that we will endeavor to glorify His name.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 148.

  • How can difficulties be turned into positive experiences? Ecclesiastes 7:14; II Corinthians 4:8, 9; Romans 8:28.

Note: “When someone asks how you are feeling, do not try to think of something mournful to tell in order to gain sympathy. Do not talk of your lack of faith and your sorrows and sufferings. The tempter delights to hear such words. When talking on gloomy subjects, you are glorifying him. We are not to dwell on the great power of Satan to overcome us. Often we give ourselves into his hands by talking of his power. … Have we not reason to be thankful every moment, thankful even when there are apparent difficulties in our pathway?” The Ministry of Healing, 253, 254.


  • What is the best cure for sadness and grief? Psalm 42:11; Ephesians 5:20; James 5:13, first part.

Note: “The Lord Jesus wants us to bear a pleasant countenance, and to speak kind, sympathetic words. Even if we are sick, or if we feel out of sorts, we need not tell others. If we will talk of the goodness of the Lord, this will act as a cure for sadness and grief.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 132, 133.

  • What happens to our faith when using proper speech and conversation? Romans 10:17.

Note: “Even under temptation, our language may be that of faith and hope and courage.” The Review and Herald, May 13, 1884.

  • What topic should we avoid, as much as possible, in our conversation? Luke 24:17, 25; I Peter 4:12.

Note: “All have trials; griefs hard to bear, temptations hard to resist. Do not tell your troubles to your fellow mortals, but carry everything to God in prayer. Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt or discouragement. You can do much to brighten the life of others and strengthen their efforts, by words of hope and holy cheer.” Steps to Christ, 119, 120.

“The more you dwell upon discouragement, talking to others about your trials, and enlarging upon them, to enlist the sympathy which you crave, the more discouragements and trials you will have. Why mourn over that which we cannot avoid? God is inviting us to close the windows of the soul earthward and open them heavenward that He may flood our hearts with the glory which is shining across the threshold of heaven.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 579.


  • Though darkness, failure, and sin exist in this world, why should we not talk about these things? How can we help others in this regard? Isaiah 35:3, 4.

Note: “It is Satan’s work to talk of that which concerns himself, and he is delighted to have human beings talk of his power, of his working through the children of men. Through indulgence in such conversation the mind becomes gloomy and sour and disagreeable. We may become channels of communication for Satan, through which flow words that bring no sunshine to any heart. But let us decide that this shall not be. Let us decide not to be channels through which Satan shall communicate gloomy, disagreeable thoughts. Let our words be not a savor of death unto death, but of life unto life.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 62, 63.

“It is not praiseworthy to talk of our weakness and discouragement. Let each one say, ‘I am grieved that I yield to temptation, that my prayers are so feeble, my faith so weak.’ ” In Heavenly Places, 122.

“Every time we talk darkness, it pleases the enemy, for he does not want the joy of Christ to dwell in our hearts by faith. Christ is to us a never-failing fountain of refreshing joy. God does not regard it any virtue in us to keep looking at and talking of our mistakes and sins.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 161.

  • Describe Paul’s attitude in the face of trial and privation. Romans 8:18, 31, 38, 39; II Corinthians 12:9, 10; II Timothy 4:6–8.

Note: “Though Paul was at last confined in a Roman prison—shut away from the light and air of heaven, cut off from his active labors in the gospel, and momentarily expecting to be condemned to death—yet he did not yield to doubt or despondency. From that gloomy dungeon came his dying testimony, full of sublime faith and courage that has inspired the hearts of saints and martyrs in all succeeding ages.” My Life Today, 326.


  • Why do we need to speak of the precious chapters of our experience? Romans 5:3, 4; Revelation 12:11.

Note: “Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience. After a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, our joy in the Lord and our efficiency in His service would be greatly increased by recounting His goodness and His wonderful works in behalf of His children.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 299, 300.

  • What records are kept in heaven of those who share their experiences with others? Malachi 3:16, 17.

Note: “You cannot reach hearts with a mere form of words, a parrot-like repetition of set phrases. What you say must be the expression of a personal experience: If you cheer hearts with words of courage and hope, it will be because the grace and love of God are to you a living reality.” The Review and Herald, April 12, 1892.

  • What made the presentations of the apostle Paul so convincing? Philippians 3:7–10.

Note: “Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed, gave convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of the truth. The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity. Argument, even when unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power that it is impossible wholly to resist.

“The apostle’s heart burned with love for sinners, and he put all his energies into the work of soul-winning. There never lived a more self-denying, persevering worker. … He lost no opportunity of speaking of the Saviour or of helping those in trouble.” Gospel Workers, 59.


  • Which law of nature can be used to positive advantage in our daily communication? Romans 10:8–10.

Note: “It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings are encouraged and strengthened as we give them utterance. While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words. If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have—the great mercy and love of God—we should have more faith and greater joy.” The Ministry of Healing, 251–253.

  • What illustration can we use to bring hope and encouragement to others? Genesis 28:12.

Note: “He who comes to Jesus is setting his feet upon a ladder that reaches from earth to heaven. …

“Tell the people in clear, hopeful language how they may escape the heritage of shame which is our deserved portion. But for Christ’s sake do not present before them ideas that will discourage them, that will make the way to heaven seem very difficult. Keep all these overstrained ideas to yourself.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 181, 182.


1 Why should we be praising and thanking God always, even when surrounded by trials and difficulties?

2 Why is it better to keep our discouragements and trials to ourselves, rather than expecting others to commiserate with us?

3 How can we, like Paul, take pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, and persecutions?

4 Why is it important to share with others the precious chapters in our experience?

5 What are the rewards of testifying for Christ?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Life-Giving Words

November 16, 2013 – November 22, 2013

Key Text

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Proverbs 25:11.

Study Help: The Voice in Speech and Song, 140–147; Ibid., 367–377.


“The word of God, spoken by one who is himself sanctified through it, has a life-giving power that makes it attractive to the hearers, and convicts them that it is a living reality.” The Desire of Ages, 142.


  • What character qualities are parents to exhibit in the family circle if they would raise God-fearing children? Colossians 3:21; II Timothy 2:25, first part; I Corinthians 15:58, first part.
  • What disposition should parents cultivate in the home? Romans 12:10; Ephesians 4:32.
  • How can fathers and mothers promote kindness in their children? Proverbs 31:26; Ephesians 6:4.

Note: “Jesus was the pattern for children, and He was also the father’s example. He spoke as one having authority, and His word was with power; yet in all His intercourse with rude and violent men He did not use one unkind or discourteous expression. The grace of Christ in the heart will impart a heaven-born dignity and sense of propriety. It will soften whatever is harsh, and subdue all that is coarse and unkind. It will lead fathers and mothers to treat their children as intelligent beings, as they themselves would like to be treated.” The Desire of Ages, 515.


  • Which aspects of the life of old-time Reformers assured the success of their ministry? II Timothy 1:7, 8.

Note: “He [Wycliffe] was an able and earnest teacher and an eloquent preacher, and his daily life was a demonstration of the truths he preached. His knowledge of the Scriptures, the force of his reasoning, the purity of his life, and his unbending courage and integrity won for him general esteem and confidence. Many of the people had become dissatisfied with their former faith as they saw the iniquity that prevailed in the Roman Church, and they hailed with unconcealed joy the truths brought to view by Wycliffe; but the papal leaders were filled with rage when they perceived that this Reformer was gaining an influence greater than their own.” The Great Controversy, 81.

“[While before the Diet of Worms] Luther, understanding his danger, had spoken to all with Christian dignity and calmness. His words had been free from pride, passion, and misrepresentation. He had lost sight of himself, and of the great men surrounding him, and felt only that he was in the presence of One infinitely superior to popes, prelates, kings, and emperors. Christ had spoken through Luther’s testimony with a power and grandeur that for the time inspired both friends and foes with awe and wonder.” Ibid., 161, 162.

  • In what sense did John Wesley follow the example of Christ in his work for the Master? Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 7:21.

Note: “While preaching the gospel of the grace of God, Wesley, like his Master, sought to ‘magnify the law, and make it honorable’ (Isaiah 42:21). Faithfully did he accomplish the work given him of God, and glorious were the results which he was permitted to behold. … His life presents a lesson of priceless worth to every Christian. Would that the faith and humility, the untiring zeal, self-sacrifice, and devotion of this servant of Christ might be reflected in the churches of today!” The Great Controversy, 264.


  • Outline the step-by-step method used by Paul to reach the Jews. Acts 17:1–4; 28:23.

Note: “Paul did not approach the Jews in such a way as to arouse their prejudices. He did not at first tell them that they must believe in Jesus of Nazareth; but dwelt upon the prophecies that spoke of Christ, His mission and His work.” Gospel Workers, 118.

  • How did Paul adapt his approach to suit the mind of the Gentiles? Acts 17:22–28.

Note: “Paul’s words contain a treasure of knowledge for the church. He was in a position where he might easily have said that which would have irritated his proud listeners and brought himself into difficulty. Had his oration been a direct attack upon their gods and the great men of the city, he would have been in danger of meeting the fate of Socrates. But with a tact born of divine love, he carefully drew their minds away from heathen deities, by revealing to them the true God, who was to them unknown.” The Acts of the Apostles, 241.

  • Explain why and how Paul improved the thrust of his approach before all men and women. I Corinthians 2:1–5, 13.

Note: “He [Paul] avoided elaborate arguments and discussion of theories, and in simplicity pointed men and women to Christ as the Saviour of sinners.” The Ministry of Healing, 214.

  • What lesson can we learn from him about working with higher classes? I Timothy 6:17–19.

Note: “The way of worldly policy is not God’s way of reaching the higher classes. That which will reach them effectually is a consistent, unselfish presentation of the gospel of Christ.” The Ministry of Healing, 214.


  • What direct health benefits are promised to those who habitually speak kind, sympathizing words to their fellowmen? Proverbs 12:18; 16:24; 17:22.

Note: “When human sympathy is blended with love and benevolence, and sanctified by the Spirit of Jesus, it is an element which can be productive of great good. Those who cultivate benevolence are not only doing a good work for others, and blessing those who receive the good action, but they are benefiting themselves by opening their hearts to the benign influence of true benevolence. Every ray of light shed upon others will be reflected upon our own hearts. Every kind and sympathizing word spoken to the sorrowful, every act to relieve the oppressed, and every gift to supply the necessities of our fellow beings, given or done with an eye to God’s glory, will result in blessings to the giver. Those who are thus working are obeying a law of heaven and will receive the approval of God. The pleasure of doing good to others imparts a glow to the feelings which flashes through the nerves, quickens the circulation of the blood, and induces mental and physical health.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 56.

  • How can we exercise good stewardship over our vocal organs, both in a spiritual and a physical sense? I Peter 4:10, 11.

Note: “Careful attention and training should be given to the vocal organs. They are strengthened by right use, but become enfeebled if used improperly. Their excessive use, as in preaching long sermons, will, if often repeated, not only injure the organs of speech, but will bring an undue strain upon the whole nervous system. The delicate harp of a thousand strings becomes worn, gets out of repair, and produces discord instead of melody.

“It is important for every speaker so to train the vocal organs as to keep them in a healthful condition, that he may speak forth the words of life to the people. Everyone should become intelligent as to the most effective manner of using his God-given ability, and should practice what he learns.” Evangelism, 667.


  • Identify and discuss the right and wrong way of bringing reproof, as presented in God’s word. Proverbs 25:11, 12; Galatians 6:1.

Note: “In giving reproof or counsel, many indulge in sharp, severe speech, words not adapted to heal the wounded soul. By these ill-advised expressions the spirit is chafed, and often the erring ones are stirred to rebellion. All who would advocate the principles of truth need to receive the heavenly oil of love. Under all circumstances reproof should be spoken in love. Then our words will reform but not exasperate.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 337.

  • What will be the result if we are blunt and aggressive in giving reproof? Show by an example what is meant by a rough rebuke. Psalm 52:4; James 3:6; Jeremiah 18:18, last part.

Note: “Some pride themselves on being outspoken, blunt, and rough, and they call this frankness; but it is not rightly named, it is selfishness of the deepest dye. These persons may have virtues; they may be liberal, and have kind impulses; but their discourteous manners render them almost insupportable. They criticize, they wound, they say disagreeable things. Will the character they are cultivating recommend them to Jesus? Will it fit them for the society of heaven? We do well to examine ourselves to see what manner of spirit we are cherishing. Let us learn to speak gently, quietly, even under circumstances the most trying.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 141.


1 In what way should we correct the shortcomings of our children?

2 Name some exemplary speaking qualities of the old-time reformers.

3 What can we learn from Paul’s adaptable teaching methods?

4 What will kind, sympathetic words do for our own health?

5 Explain how words of reproof can reform instead of exasperate.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Weeding Out Improprieties

November 9, 2013 – November 15, 2013

Key Text

“If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 314–318; The Voice in Speech and Song, 126, 128–130.


“Consider the life of Moses. Meekness in the midst of murmuring, reproach, and provocation constituted the brightest trait in his character.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 368.


  • What is wrong with flattery? Proverbs 26:28, last part; Job 32:21, 22. What can we do to stop this apparently innocent practice?

Note: “Do not receive flattery, even in your religious life. Flattery is an art by which Satan lieth in wait to deceive and to puff up the human agent with high thoughts of himself. ‘Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ’ (Colossians 2:8). Flattery has been the food upon which many of our youth have been nourished; and those who have praised and flattered have supposed that they were doing right; but they have been doing wrong. Praise, flattery, and indulgence have done more toward leading precious souls into false paths, than any other art that Satan has devised.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 304.

  • What is the best cure for flattery? Proverbs 28:23.

Note: “Praise no man; flatter no man; and permit no man to praise or flatter you. Satan will do enough of this work. Lose sight of the instrument, and think of Jesus. Praise the Lord. Give glory to God. Make melody to God in your hearts. Talk of the truth. Talk of the Christian’s hope, the Christian’s heaven.” Evangelism, 630.


  • How does God’s word view frivolity and joking? Ephesians 4:17; 5:3, 4.

Note: “All frivolity, all cheapness of conversation, all jesting and joking, weakens the soul, and weans the heart from prayer. Like Paul, the true followers of Christ will ever bear about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus; they cannot keep in mind the sufferings of Christ for them, and yet be light and trifling.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 126.

  • What is the only cure for a frivolous spirit? Hebrews 12:2, 3.

Note: “The very thoughts are to be brought into subjection to the will of Christ. Then the affections will be refined and ennobled; those who carry the burden of the work will not be impure in thought or word or act, neither will they be light and trifling.” Gospel Workers (1892), 233.

  • How are the youth, especially, to guard against the danger of indulging a frivolous spirit? I Timothy 4:12–16.

Note: “It is the duty of the youth to encourage sobriety. Lightness, jesting, and joking will result in barrenness of soul and the loss of the favor of God. Many of you think you do not exert a bad influence upon others, and thus feel in a measure satisfied; but do you exert an influence for good? Do you seek in your conversation and acts to lead others to the Saviour, or, if they profess Christ, to lead them to a closer walk with Him?” Testimonies, vol. 2, 236, 237.

  • What type of accounting system is kept of frivolous speech? Matthew 12:36.


  • Who can be compared to a crazed archer scattering firebrands in all directions? Proverbs 26:18, 19.

Note: “God’s word condemns also the use of those meaningless phrases and expletives that border on profanity. It condemns the deceptive compliments, the evasions of truth, the exaggerations, the misrepresentations in trade, that are current in society and in the business world.” Education, 236.

“You love to visit and talk, and you say many things unbecoming a Christian. Your statements are exaggerated and frequently come far from the truth. Your words and acts will judge you in the last day. By them you will be justified or by them condemned. Your education has not been of an ennobling character, therefore there is the greatest necessity of your now training and educating yourself to purity of thought and action. Train your thoughts so that it will be easy for them to dwell upon pure and holy things. Cultivate a love for spirituality and true godliness.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 315.

  • What advice is given to those who enjoy foolish, cheap talk? I Peter 1:13–19.

Note: “Few realize that they drive away the Spirit of God with their selfish thoughts and feelings, their foolish, trifling talk. … Purity in speech, and true Christian courtesy should be constantly practiced.” Sons and Daughters of God, 316.

“The atmosphere of unbelief is heavy and oppressive. The giddy laugh, the jesting, the joking, sickens the soul that is feeding on Christ. Cheap, foolish talk is painful to Him. With a humble heart read carefully I Peter 1:13–18. Those who enjoy talking should see that their words are select and well chosen. Be careful how you speak. Be careful how you represent the religion you have accepted.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 457.


  • Why are harsh words never to be heard from the mouth of a Christian? James 3:17.

Note: “The talent of speech was given to be used for the benefit of all. Let your praiseworthy example, your peaceable words and unselfish deeds, be a savor of life unto life. Pleasant, cheery words cost no more than unpleasant, moody words. Do you dislike to have harsh words spoken to you? Remember that when you speak such words, others feel the sharp sting.” The Review and Herald, December 31, 1901.

“The talent of speech was given to be used for the benefit of all. Pleasant, cheery words cost no more than unpleasant, moody words. Sharp words wound and bruise the soul. In this life everyone has difficulties with which to wrestle. Everyone meets with grievances and disappointments. Shall we not bring sunshine instead of gloom into the lives of those with whom we come in contact? Shall we not speak words that will help and bless? They will be just as much a blessing to us as to those to whom they are spoken.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 64.

  • What is the best rebuke that can be given to those that are provoking you? Ecclesiastes 3:7, third part.

Note: “If provoking words are spoken to you, do not utter a word. The best rebuke you can give the one who has uttered the provoking words is to keep silent until you can speak in a calm, pleasant voice.” The Review and Herald, July 6, 1905.

“If the love of God is in our hearts, we shall not think evil, we shall not be easily disturbed, we shall not give loose reign to passion; but we shall show that we are yoked up with Christ, and that the restraining power of His Spirit leads us to speak words that He can approve. The yoke of Christ is the restraint of His Holy Spirit; and when we become heated by passion, let us say, No; I have Christ by my side, and I will not make Him ashamed of me by speaking hot, fiery words.” Ibid., January 25, 1898.

“The sharp word must be left unspoken. The passionate words must be quenched in the love of Jesus Christ; for if this dross is not cleansed from the soul, there is no hope of eternal life. The selfish temper, and tirade of passionate words is placed in the same dark list with swearing.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 144.


  • What will growth in Christian character do to our speech habits? James 3:2.
  • What advice was the apostle Peter inspired to supply in this regard? I Peter 2:1–3.

Note: “Before his fall, Peter was always speaking unadvisedly, from the impulse of the moment. He was always ready to correct others, and to express his mind, before he had a clear comprehension of himself or of what he had to say. But the converted Peter was very different. He retained his former fervor, but the grace of Christ regulated his zeal. He was no longer impetuous, self-confident, and self-exalted, but calm, self-possessed, and teachable. He could then feed the lambs as well as the sheep of Christ’s flock.” The Desire of Ages, 812–815.

  • Trace the progress of how Moses, the once impatient and impetuous man, became the earth’s meekest man in speech and life. Exodus 2:11–15; Numbers 12:3.

Note: “Moses was naturally of an impetuous spirit. In Egypt a successful military leader and a favorite with the king and the nation, he had been accustomed to receiving praise and flattery. He had attracted the people to himself. He hoped to accomplish by his own powers the work of delivering Israel. Far different were the lessons he had to learn as God’s representative. As he led his flocks through the wilds of the mountains and into the green pastures of the valleys, he learned faith and meekness, patience, humility, and self-forgetfulness.” The Ministry of Healing, 474.


1 What can we do to stop someone from using flattery?

2 How can we help young people to cease frivolity and joking?

3 How are we in danger of driving away God’s Spirit?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Misusing the Talent of Speech

November 3, 2013 – November 9, 2013

Key Text

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31.

Study Help: “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1162, 1163; Testimonies, vol. 2, 185–187.


“Slanderous speeches, which is in truth cannibalism, will not be spoken by those who are feeding on that which is the Bread of Life, the Word of the living God.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 145.


  • What is the root of evil speaking? Matthew 15:18–20; Proverbs 24:9, first part.
  • How do evil words hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in our heart? Ephesians 4:30, 31.

Note: “Closely connected with Christ’s warning in regard to the sin against the Holy Spirit is a warning against idle and evil words.” The Desire of Ages, 323.

  • What is the twofold curse of criticism? Romans 2:1. Who gets hurt the most, and why? Proverbs 18:8.

Note: “Evilspeaking is a twofold curse, falling more heavily upon the speaker than upon the hearer. He who scatters the seeds of dissension and strife reaps in his own soul the deadly fruits. How miserable is the talebearer, the surmiser of evil! He is a stranger to true happiness.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 176.


  • What type of effect does anger have on its victim? Job 5:2.

Note: “When one once gives place to an angry spirit, he is just as much intoxicated as the man who has put the glass to his lips. Learn the eloquence of silence.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 582.

“The sin of evilspeaking begins with the cherishing of evil thoughts. Guile includes impurity in all its forms. An impure thought tolerated, an unholy desire cherished, and the soul is contaminated, its integrity compromised. ‘Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death’ (James 1:15). If we would not commit sin, we must shun its very beginnings. Every emotion and desire must be held in subjection to reason and conscience. Every unholy thought must be instantly repelled. To your closet, followers of Christ. Pray in faith and with all the heart. Satan is watching to ensnare your feet. You must have help from above if you would escape his devices.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 177.

  • What advice does God’s word give to those struggling with anger? Ephesians 4:26; James 1:19, 20.

Note: “Severe tests will come to you. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that by vehemence you will wound yourself. If under all circumstances you will sit in heavenly places in Christ, your words will not be charged with bullets that wound hearts and that may destroy life.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 578.

  • What noble character quality will be evident in those who are slow to anger? Proverbs 14:29; 16:32.

Note: “Speech is a precious talent. You can speak fretfully, or you can speak pleasantly. Remember that it will not hurt your influence to speak pleasantly, but that it will sweeten your influence.” The Review and Herald, July 6, 1905.


  • What prayer should we repeat when we are among gossipers? Psalm 39:1.

Note: “Christians should be careful in regard to their words. They should never carry unfavorable reports from one of their friends to another, especially if they are aware that there is a lack of union between them. …

“What harm has not the church of Christ suffered from these things! The inconsistent, unguarded course of her members has made her weak as water. Confidence has been betrayed by members of the same church, and yet the guilty did not design to do mischief. Lack of wisdom in the selection of subjects of conversation has done much harm. The conversation should be upon spiritual and divine things; but it has been otherwise.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 186.

“The spirit of gossip and talebearing is one of Satan’s special agencies to sow discord and strife, to separate friends, and to undermine the faith of many in the truthfulness of our positions.” Ibid., vol. 4, 195.

  • What is the best cure for gossipers and news carriers? I Thessalonians 4:11.

Note: “If a word is dropped that is detrimental to the character of a friend or brother, never encourage this evil-speaking; for it is the work of the enemy. Remind the speaker that God’s word forbids this kind of conversation.” The Review and Herald, February 25, 1904.

  • What promise is given to those who overcome the habit of gossiping? Isaiah 58:9.

Note: “When in the company of those who indulge in foolish talk, it is our duty to change the subject of conversation if possible. By the help of the grace of God we should quietly drop words or introduce a subject that will turn the conversation into a profitable channel.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 337.


  • How does God regard those who talk too much? Ecclesiastes 5:3; Proverbs 10:19.

Note: “The talent of speech is a gift of God, and when we hear so much useless, meaningless chit-chat, we may be assured that those who thus use this precious gift are not Christians. They are not abiding in Christ, nor is Christ abiding in them. Every tree is known by its fruits. ‘A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things’ (Matthew 12:35). What a flood of evil and rubbish flows forth because of the talent of speech. And how many are denying Christ by their speech! Instead of making a good confession of Christ by their manner of conversation they say, ‘I know not the Man.’ It is easy enough to have a form of godliness; but to make a whole-sided confession of our faith in Christ, means that our words, and dress, and spirit shall testify to the fact.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 65, 66.

“There is altogether too much jingling of words. They sound upon the ear, but are spoken in so hurried a manner that the hearers cannot get the sense of one word before another is spoken, and another, and the meaning is lost. Every word should be spoken plainly, so that it may have its full significance.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 16, 1897.

  • How did Peter misuse the talent of speech? Mark 14:66–72. What warning should we heed from his experience?

Note: “Many who do not shrink from active warfare for their Lord are driven by ridicule to deny their faith. By associating with those whom they should avoid, they place themselves in the way of temptation. They invite the enemy to tempt them, and are led to say and do that of which under other circumstances they would never have been guilty. The disciple of Christ who in our day disguises his faith through dread of suffering or reproach denies his Lord as really as did Peter in the judgment hall.” The Desire of Ages, 712.


  • How does God evaluate a man or woman who is hasty and impatient in speech? Proverbs 29:20; 25:28. In what category is hasty speech placed?

Note: “In one moment, by the hasty, passionate, careless tongue, may be wrought evil that a whole lifetime’s repentance cannot undo. Oh, the hearts that are broken, the friends estranged, the lives wrecked, by the harsh, hasty words of those who might have brought help and healing!” Education, 236, 237.

  • How can we have victory at the moment we are tempted to become heated with passion? Matthew 11:29; James 4:7. Why should we not worry about vindicating our rights?

Note: “We must give others an example of not stopping at every trifling offense in order to vindicate our rights. We may expect that false reports will circulate about us; but if we follow a straight course, if we remain indifferent to these things, others will also be indifferent. Let us leave to God the care of our reputation. And thus, like sons and daughters of God, we shall show that we have self-control. We shall show that we are led by the Spirit of God, and that we are slow to anger.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1160, 1161.

“Jesus did not contend for His rights.” The Desire of Ages, 89.


1 What ammunition does the word of God provide to protect us from getting angry?

2 What can we do to protect our church from the poison of gossip?

3 How might the Lord be trying to reveal that some of us belong to the category of those who talk too much?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Christ, the Greatest Teacher

October 27, 2013 – November 2, 2013

“In Their Mouth Was Found No Guile”

Key Text

“The common people heard Him [Jesus] gladly.” Mark 12:37.

Study Help: Fundamentals of Christian Education, 236–241; The Desire of Ages, 167–177, 255.


“Jesus was the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. He presented truth in clear, forcible statements, and the illustrations He used were of the purest and highest order.” The Review and Herald, August 6, 1895.


  • Discuss the teaching method that Christ used in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:1–12.

Note: “The Sermon on the Mount is an example of how we are to teach. What pains Christ has taken to make mysteries no longer mysteries, but plain, simple truths! There is in His instruction nothing vague, nothing hard to understand.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 269.

  • Why did parables play an important part in Christ’s teaching? Matthew 13:10–13.

Note: “Jesus desired to awaken inquiry. He sought to arouse the careless, and impress truth upon the heart. Parable teaching was popular, and commanded the respect and attention, not only of the Jews, but of the people of other nations. No more effective method of instruction could He have employed. …

“Christ had truths to present which the people were unprepared to accept or even to understand. For this reason also He taught them in parables. By connecting His teaching with the scenes of life, experience, or nature, He secured their attention and impressed their hearts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 20, 21.


  • What was the tenor of Christ’s teachings? John 1:17, last part; 8:32; 14:6.

Note: “He [the Saviour] said nothing to gratify curiosity, or to satisfy man’s ambition by opening doors to worldly greatness. …

“Christ did not deal in abstract theories, but in that which is essential to the development of character, that which will enlarge man’s capacity for knowing God, and increase his efficiency to do good. He spoke to men of those truths that relate to the conduct of life, and that take hold upon eternity.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 23.

  • What is the great central truth of the Bible, and what priorities should we establish in preparing our discourses? John 1:29; 12:32.

Note: “The very first and most important thing is to melt and subdue the soul by presenting our Lord Jesus Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour. Never should a sermon be preached, or Bible instruction in any line be given, without pointing the hearers to the ‘Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Every true doctrine makes Christ the center, every precept receives force from His words.

“Keep before the people the cross of Calvary.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 53, 54.

“Will not our ministers wrestle in earnest prayer that they may have a holy unction, that they may not bring unimportant, unessential things into their labor at this important time? Let them not bring into their ministerial labors that which can be heard in any of the denominational churches. Let them ever keep before their hearers an uplifted Saviour, in order to prevent their converts from attaching themselves to the man, to bear his mold and copy his ways in their manner of conversation and conduct. The Lord has a variety of workers, who must impress the people in various lines. One man’s ways are not to be considered perfect and to be adopted exclusively in any congregation. Christ is our Example.” The Voice in Speech and Song, 311, 312.


  • What type of illustrations did Christ use, and why? Matthew 6:26–30; 13:3–9. What should we do if we want to follow His example faithfully?

Note: “The ministers of the gospel of Christ, who are to watch for souls as they that must give account, will diligently study the Scriptures, and will often be found upon their knees asking for heavenly wisdom, in order that they may know how to ‘strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die’ (Revelation 3:2). Jesus says, ‘Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls’ (Matthew 11:29). Jesus was the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. He presented truth in clear, forcible statements, and the illustrations He used were of the purest and highest order. He never mingled cheap symbols and figures with His divine instruction, or sought to pander to curiosity or to gratify the class that will listen simply to be amused. He did not bring sacred truth down the level of the common, and the comical illustrations that some ministers of the gospel use were never uttered by His divine lips. Christ did not employ illustrations that would create amusement and excite laughter.” The Review and Herald, August 6, 1895.

  • Why did Christ choose to preach outdoors most of the time? Why should we do more studying and teaching in nature? Psalm 19:1; Job 12:7–10.

Note: “He [the Redeemer of the world] generally chose the open air for His discourses. No walls could enclose the multitude which followed Him; but He had special reasons for resorting to the groves and the seaside to give His lessons of instruction. He could there have a commanding view of the landscape and make use of objects and scenes with which those in humble life were familiar, to illustrate the important truths He made known to them.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 579, 580.

“The book of nature is a great lesson book, which in connection with the Scriptures we are to use in teaching others of His character, and guiding lost sheep back to the fold of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 24.


  • Compare the voice and teaching methods of Christ with those of the Pharisees. Matthew 22:15–22; John 7:37, 38.

Note: “Christ addressed the vast crowds that thronged about him; and all, learned and unlearned, were able to comprehend His lessons.” The Review and Herald, May 18, 1897.

“Multitudes who were not interested in the harangues of the rabbis were attracted by His teaching. They could understand His words, and their hearts were warmed and comforted. He spoke of God, not as an avenging judge, but as a tender father, and He revealed the image of God as mirrored in Himself.” The Desire of Ages, 205.

“The Saviour’s voice was as music to the ears of those who had been accustomed to the monotonous, spiritless preaching of the scribes and Pharisees. He spoke slowly and impressively, emphasizing those words to which He wished His hearers to give special heed. Old and young, ignorant and learned, could catch the full meaning of His words.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 240.

“They [those who were sent to arrest Jesus] heard Him in love and tenderness speak encouragingly to the weak and afflicted. They also heard Him, in a voice of authority, rebuke the power of Satan and bid his captives go free. They listened to the words of wisdom that fell from His lips, and they were captivated; they could not lay hands on Him.” Early Writings, 160.

  • While Christ preached to the multitudes, how sensitive was He to the needs of individuals in the crowd? Psalm 139:1–3; Matthew 9:36.

Note: “Jesus watched with deep earnestness the changing countenances of His hearers. The faces that expressed interest and pleasure gave Him great satisfaction.” The Desire of Ages, 255.

“The crowd that so often thronged His steps was not to Christ an indiscriminate mass of human beings. He spoke directly to every mind and appealed to every heart. He watched the faces of His hearers, marked the lighting up of the countenance, the quick, responsive glance, which told that truth had reached the soul; and there vibrated in His heart the answering chord of sympathetic joy.” Education, 231.


  • With what results did Christ present the truth to the varied educational and economic levels of society? Mark 12:37, last part. How can we follow His example? Romans 12:6–8, first part.

Note: “The greatest Teacher the world ever knew was admired for His simplicity; for He presented divine truth in such a way that even children could comprehend His words, and at the same time He drew the attention of the best educated and deepest thinkers of the world. By the use of familiar illustrations He made truth plain to the minds of the common people.” The Youth’s Instructor, May 4, 1893.

“Christ always used the most simple language, yet His words were received by deep, unprejudiced thinkers; for they were words that tested their wisdom. Spiritual things should always be presented in simple language, even though learned men are being addressed; for such are generally ignorant regarding spiritual things. The simplest language is the most eloquent. Educated and uneducated need to be addressed in the plainest, simplest manner, so that the truth may be comprehended, and find lodgment in the heart.” The Review and Herald, May 18, 1897.

  • Outline the method Christ used to reach the heart of a proud, yet honest religious leader. John 3:1–17.


1 List specific points that can be learned from Christ’s teaching methods as exemplified in the Sermon on the Mount.

2 Why is it important to make Christ the center of every discourse?

3 How can you study nature in connection with the Scriptures on a regular basis?

4 While witnessing, teaching, or preaching, how can you be sure that you are imitating Christ and not the Pharisees?

5 As you teach a group, how can you be sure that you are speaking directly to every mind and heart?

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Whole Grain Belgian Waffle

2 cups old fashioned oats, ground

2 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar*

2/3 cup millet, ground

¼ tsp. sea salt

2/3 cup golden flaxseed,

ground ¼ cup coconut oil*

2/3 cup raw sunflower seeds,

ground 1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups warm water plus 6 cups at room temperature

*Suggested only; use what you prefer.

In a large bowl, combine warm water, vanilla, salt, coconut palm sugar and coconut oil and stir. Add in oats, millet, flaxseed, sunflower seeds and 4 cups water. Mix until well blended. If the batter is thick, add more water (up to 2 cups) to thin it out. Batter consistency should not be too thick or too thin. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pour 1 ¼ cups batter into a preheated waffle maker brushed with coconut oil and cook for 4 or 5 minutes. Waffle is done when very little steam comes out of the waffle maker. Waffles may be frozen. To reheat frozen waffles, steam for 3 minutes or toast in toaster or warm in 400 degree oven for 5 minutes.

Food – Cooking with Grains

Cooking with grains is one way we can connect to the traditions of our ancestors. Pioneers relied on grains to get them through cold, lean winters. Wheat, rice and oats are three of the more common grains, but did you know there is a whole world of ancient grains waiting to be discovered? Amaranth, quinoa and millet are just a few to name. Whole grains are full of nutritional value, and they are a great way to get your recommended daily dose of fiber. Grains can be incorporated in almost every meal. Use them in baking, cereals, breads, crackers and even smoothies. Try a new one each week, and discover which one you like the best. You’ll be amazed what they can do for your health and the ways they can expand your cooking repertoire.

Suggestions for a hearty breakfast with grains:

  • Steamed brown rice with chopped dates, raisins, or sliced bananas and milk alternative
  • Fruited oatmeal: raisins and grated raw apple; dates and sliced bananas; figs and sliced peaches; with milk alternative
  • Wheat meal and rolled oats, half of each, cooked together; or other combination of grains. Serve cereals with milk alternative
  • Add one tablespoon soy flour or rice polish to each cup of cereal as it cooks. Add one tablespoon wheat germ for each serving of cooked cereal just before serving
  • Waffles, either whole-wheat or reinforced with soy flour, wheat germ, etc.
  • Corn or rice fritters
  • Corn bread or whole-wheat muffins
  • Warm toast with food yeast spread
  • Granola

Health – Practical Suggestions

In 1863, through His chosen messenger, God gave health reform principles to the early Adventist church. Some of those principles seemed quite radical, but were, in time, proven scientifically to be accurate.

More than one hundred and fifty years later, based on endless scientific studies on what he saw work best in his patients, James L. Marcum, M.D. in his book, The Ultimate Prescription, M.D., Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2010), Carol Stream, Illinois, sets out a number of simple principles that if followed result in good health.

Practical Suggestions

  1. Eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and seeds. This would include soy, rice, beans, and whole-grain pastas. Fad diets can be harmful.
  2. Drink more water, and avoid soft drinks. Stay away from anything that contains corn syrup.
  3. Avoid foods with a high fat content. These are basically fried foods, meats, French fries, cheese, eggs, margarine and butter, ice cream, doughnuts, cookies, gravy, potato chips, and so on. These are high in trans-saturated fats (trans fats), which cause all sorts of stress and chemical problems in the body.
  4. Sparingly use monounsaturated fats like olive oil and canola oil. You might learn how to leave them out completely. The body doesn’t process such fats. It stores them. I don’t have to tell you where.
  5. Reduce salt intake by diminishing your use of table salt and processed foods. Remember, too much salt can increase blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and kidney stones. In fact, half the people on dialysis are there because of high blood pressure. Try Bragg Liquid Aminos instead of salt to enhance taste without loading your body down with sodium.
  6. Avoid eating only for pleasure. Eat when you are hungry; stop when you are full. Eat small portions slowly. By the way, foods high in fiber (plant-based foods) send a clear “I’m full” signal to the brain, which switches off the hunger sensation at just the right moment. Non-fiber foods (animal products and highly processed foods) do not. Something to think about!
  7. Eat most of your calories in the morning. Not hungry when you get up? Simply eat a smaller supper and nothing after seven in the evening. The chemical reactions that result from skipping breakfast make it very hard for you to make good food choices later in the day.
  8. Become a vegetarian. Even most animals are vegetarians. When you eat meat, you’re getting your calories secondhand. In addition, the diseases the animals might have, the steroids used to promote growth, and chemicals added to the animals’ foods are passed on to you. Animal products are also absolutely loaded with fat. “But I’ll just eat fish or only organic animal products,” many patients say. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, meat is meat, and we weren’t designed to process it in any form.
  9. Avoid processed foods and the chemical additives found in them. Here’s a simple rule: look for packaged foods with the fewest ingredients. Again, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you probably can’t digest it.
  10. Eliminate caffeine and alcohol from your diet. These are two powerful toxins that do much more harm than good.
  11. Be careful with supplements and herbs. Take the time to learn about them from a reliable source. Some herbs interfere with cardiac medications. It’s always best to get your nutritional needs from whole foods—foods as they were grown.
  12. Eat plenty of antioxidants. These amazing micronutrients have the incredible ability to fight the development and spread of cancer cells. Where do we find these antioxidants? In plant-based foods like fruits and legumes.
  13. Find foods with omega-3, -6, -9 fatty acids—the healthy fats. Again, choose plant-based foods—like flaxseed for omega-3. Grind flaxseed before adding it to your diet.

I hope you’re not overwhelmed after reading the list. Instead, I hope you’re encouraged. There is hope for you and your family. There is a plan you can follow to bypass the bypass, to reduce the risk of contracting cancer, to shield yourself from the diseases that are filling doctors’ offices and hospital beds.

Choose a couple of items from the list and try to follow those suggestions for a month. I guarantee you will feel better. Once those become habits, pick another suggestion from the list and work on it as well. After all, you only have one body and one life to live. You are in charge of your choices. When it comes to lifestyle diseases, you decide how sick—or how healthy—you want to be.

Question & Answer – I can understand forsaking all but how can I hate my family as stated in Luke 14:26

“If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26

The word hate in this text is explained in the following:

“Hate referred to in Luke 14:26, means a less degree of love. We are to have supreme love to God, and our friends are to be loved secondarily. Our love for husband, wife, brother, sisters, father, or mother, must be inferior to our love to God.” The Review and Herald, September 16, 1862.

Some will put God’s word aside so that peace may be kept in the family or among friends. This shows God that we love our family or friends more than Him. See the following comment:

“Our love for these dear relatives must not be blind and selfish, and cause us to forget God. When these ties of relationship lead us to prefer their favor by disregarding the truth, we love them more than we love Jesus, and are not worthy of Him.” Ibid.

If we love others more than we love God, choosing their ways over God’s ways, then we have no shelter. We are told:

“In that fearful time when we need an arm to protect and shield us, stronger than any human arm, stronger than the arm of father, brother, or husband, and shall call upon Him that is mighty to save, He will not hear us.
“He will bid us to

  • lean upon those whom we preferred before Him,
  • whom we loved above Him,
  • whom we would not forsake for Him.

“He will say, Let them deliver you, let them save you. I gave you proof of My love. I left the glory of My Father, and all My majesty and splendor, and came into a world cursed with sin and pollution. For your sakes I became poor, that you through My poverty might be made rich. I bore insult and mockery, and died a shameful death upon the cross, to save you from hopeless misery and death.

  • Yet this did not excite your love enough to obey me,
  • and lead you to prefer My favor above the favor of earthly friends, who have given you
  • but feeble proofs of their love. I know you not; depart from Me.” Ibid.

Luke 14:33 says, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.”

To hate father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters, and his own life means to love God first and to put Him first.

Inspiration – Consecration

The people of God will be tested and proved. A close and searching work must go on among Sabbathkeepers. Like ancient Israel, how soon we forget God and His wondrous works, and rebel against Him. Some look to the world and desire to follow its fashions and participate in its pleasure, just as the children of Israel looked back to Egypt and lusted for the good things which they had enjoyed there, and which God chose to withhold from them to prove them and thereby test their fidelity to Him. He wished to see if His people valued His service, and the freedom He had so miraculously given them, more highly than the indulgences they enjoyed in Egypt while in servitude to a tyrannical, idolatrous people.

All true followers of Jesus will have sacrifices to make. God will prove them and test the genuineness of their faith. I have been shown that the true followers of Jesus will discard picnics (in 1800s picnics consisted of extravagant feasting and frivolity), donations, shows, and other gatherings for pleasure. They can find no Jesus there, and no influence which will make them heavenly minded and increase their growth in grace. The word of God obeyed leads us to come out from all these things and be separate. The things of the world are sought for, and considered worthy to be admired and enjoyed, by all those who are not devoted lovers of the cross and spiritual worshipers of a crucified Jesus.

There is chaff among us, and this is why we are so weak. Some are constantly leaning to the world. Their views and feelings harmonize much better with the spirit of the world than with that of Christ’s self-denying followers. It is perfectly natural for them to prefer the company of those whose spirit will best agree with their own. And such have quite too much influence among God’s people. They take part with them, and have a name among them, and are a text for unbelievers and the weak and unconsecrated ones in the church. These persons of two minds will ever have objections to the plain, pointed testimony which reproves individual wrongs. In this refining time these persons will either be wholly converted, and sanctified by obeying the truth, or they will be left with the world, where they belong, to receive their reward with them.

“By their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7:20).” All the followers of Christ bear fruit to His glory. Their lives testify that a good work has been wrought in them by the Spirit of God, and their fruit is unto holiness. Their lives are elevated and pure. Those who bear no fruit have no experience in the things of God. They are not in the Vine. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:4, 5).

If we would be spiritual worshipers of Jesus Christ, we must sacrifice every idol and fully obey the first four commandments. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37, 38). The first four commandments allow no separation of the affections from God. Nor is anything allowed to divide, or share, our supreme delight in Him. Whatever divides the affections, and takes away from the soul supreme love to God, assumes the form of an idol. Our carnal hearts would cling to our idols and seek to carry them along; but we cannot advance until we put them away, for they separate us from God. The great Head of the church has chosen His people out of the world and requires them to be separate. He designs that the spirit of His commandments shall draw them to Himself and separate them from the elements of the world. To love God and keep His commandments is far from loving the world’s pleasures and friendship. There is no concord between Christ and Belial. The people of God may safely trust in Him alone and without fear press on in the way of obedience.

Testimonies, vol. 1, 287–289.