Bible Study Guides – Grace

October 20, 2001 – October 26, 2001

My Grace is Sufficient for Thee

Memory Verse: “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 11 Corinthians 12:9.

Study Help: The Faith I Live By, 94; God’s Amazing Grace, 10.

Thought to Remember: “Divine grace is the great element of saving power.”


“Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. There is no place for us to rest in a careless attitude. We must never forget the warnings of Christ, ‘Watch unto prayer,’ ‘Watch, . . . and pray always.’ A connection with the divine agency every moment is essential to our progress.” Testimonies to Ministers, 508.

“The Word of His Grace”

1 What was the burden of the preaching of Paul and Barnabas? Acts 14:3. Compare Acts 20:32.

note: “Let your mind dwell upon the goodness of God, upon the great love wherewith He has loved us, as evidenced in the work of redemption. If He did not love us and consider us of value, then this great sacrifice would not have been made. He is beneficent in mercy and in grace. Let your heart and mind be at rest like a tired child in the arms of its mother. His everlasting arms are beneath you. In all your afflictions Jesus is afflicted.…Hide in Him, and the wicked one will not harass or confuse your faith. Jesus has bequeathed His peace to you. ‘Strong is the strength which God supplies, through His eternal Son.’…The word of His grace is manna to the believing soul. The precious promises of the word are life, sweetness, and peace.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 513.

2 What blessings come to us through God’s love and grace? 11 Thessalonians 2:16–17; Acts 20:32.

note: “In giving us the privilege of studying His Word, the Lord has set before us a rich banquet. Many are the benefits derived from feasting on His Word, which is represented by Him as His flesh and blood, His spirit and life. By partaking of this Word our spiritual strength is increased; we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Habits of self-control are formed and strengthened. The infirmities of childhood— fretfulness, willfulness, selfishness, hasty words, passionate acts—disappear, and in their place are developed the graces of Christian manhood and womanhood.’”God’s Amazing Grace, 303.

“He who becomes a child of God should henceforth look upon himself as a link in the chain let down to save the world, one with Christ in His plan of mercy, going forth with Him to seek and save the lost. The world needs a practical demonstration of what the grace of God can do in restoring to human beings their lost kingship, giving them mastery of themselves. There is nothing that the world needs so much as a knowledge of the gospel’s saving power revealed in Christlike lives.” Ibid., 334.

“The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”

3 Who made it possible for divine grace to be made available to mankind? John 1:17; Ephesians 2:4–8. Compare John 1:14.

note: “Ample provisions have been made for all who sincerely, earnestly, and thoughtfully set about the work of perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Strength, grace, and glory have been provided through Christ, to be brought by ministering angels to the heirs of salvation. None are so low, so corrupt and vile, that they cannot find in Jesus, who died for them, strength, purity, and righteousness, if they will put away their sins, cease their course of iniquity, and turn with full purpose of heart to the living God. He is waiting to strip them of their garments, stained and polluted by sin, and to put upon them the white, bright robes of righteousness.” God’s Amazing Grace, 31.

4 What is the only alternative to God’s grace? Ephesians 2:1–3.

note: “In the law there is no power to save men from the penalty of disobedience. Wrongdoers must repent of their sins and humble themselves before God, whose just wrath they have incurred by breaking His law, and they must also exercise faith in the blood of Christ as their only means of pardon. The Son of God had died as their sacrifice and had ascended to heaven to stand before the Father as their advocate. By repentance and faith they might be freed from the condemnation of sin and through the grace of Christ be enabled henceforth to render obedience to the law of God.” Acts of the Apostles, 393.

5 Is there anything we can do to merit the grace of God? Romans 4:4.

note: “Grace is unmerited favor, and the believer is justified without any merit of his own, without any claim to offer to God. He is justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, who stands in the courts of heaven as the sinner’s substitute and surety. But while he is justified because of the merit of Christ, he is not free to work unrighteousness. Faith works by love and purifies the soul. Faith buds and blossoms and bears a harvest of precious fruit. Where faith is, good works appear. The sick are visited, the poor are cared for, the fatherless and the widows are not neglected, the naked are clothed, the destitute are fed.” God’s Amazing Grace, 182.

“Great Grace Was Upon Them All”

6 What was the effect of grace in the lives of the apostles? Acts 4:33. Contrast Mark 14:50; Mark 9:34, 35.

note: “The miracle-working power of Christ’s grace is revealed in the creation in man of a new heart, a higher life, a holier enthusiasm. God says: ‘A new heart also will I give you’ (Ezekiel 36:26). Is not this, the renewal of man, the greatest miracle that can be performed? What cannot the human agent do who by faith takes hold of the divine power?… To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort. …Those who walk in the path of obedience will encounter many hindrances. Strong, subtle influences may bind them to the world; but the Lord is able to render futile every agency that works for the defeat of His chosen ones; in His strength they may overcome every temptation, conquer every difficulty.” Ibid., 253.

7 What wonderful assurance did the Lord give to Paul? 11 Corinthians 12:9.

note: “You need constantly to cherish lowliness of mind and a spirit of dependence. He who feels his own weakness will look higher than himself, and will feel the need of constant strength from above. The grace of God will lead him to cherish a spirit of constant gratitude. He who is best acquainted with his own weakness will know that it is the matchless grace of God alone that triumphs over the rebellion of the heart.” Gospel Workers, 319.

“Grow in Grace”

8 What was Peter’s closing counsel to the church? 11 Peter 3:18.

note: “The only way to grow in grace is to be disinterestedly [that is, not for your own advantage] doing the very work which Christ has enjoined upon us—to engage, to the extent of our ability, in helping and blessing those who need the help we can give them. Strength comes by exercise; activity is the very condition of life. Those who endeavor to maintain Christian life by passively accepting the blessings that come through the means of grace, and doing nothing for Christ, are simply trying to live by eating without working. And in the spiritual as in the natural world, this always results in degeneration and decay. A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had.” Steps to Christ, 80.

9 How does Peter elsewhere describe this growth? 11 Peter 1:5–7.

note: “If you will go to work as Christ designs that His disciples shall, and win souls for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will plead with God, and your faith will be strengthened, and your soul will drink deeper drafts at the well of salvation. Encountering opposition and trials will drive you to the Bible and prayer. You will grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, and will develop a rich experience. The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christlike loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated. There is no room for sloth or selfishness. Those who thus exercise the Christian graces will grow and will become strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perceptions, a steady, growing faith, and an increased power in prayer. The Spirit of God, moving upon their spirit, calls forth the sacred harmonies of the soul in answer to the divine touch. Those who thus devote themselves to unselfish effort for the good of others are most surely working out their own salvation.” Steps to Christ, 80.

“Grace Did Much More Abound”

10 In view of the fact that God’s grace abounds much more than the power of sin, what counsel did Paul give? Romans 5:20–6:2.

note: “The law of God is the great moral standard by which character is to be judged. It is the expression of His will, and must be obeyed from the heart. Its holy principles must underlie our course of action in all our business relations. Those who belittle their profession of faith by conformity to the world, show that they despise the riches of the grace of Christ. They cry. ‘The grace of Christ! We are not saved by works, but by Christ;’ but they continue in sin— continue to transgress the law of God. They act as though they considered it their privilege to live in sin that grace may abound. But every indulgence in sin weakens the soul; it welcomes Satan to come in and control the mind, making the individual his effectual servant.” Signs of the Times, March 27, 1884.

11 What transformation will be seen in the lives of those who are willing to come under the power of God’s grace? Romans 6:14–18.

note: “Man cannot transform himself by the exercise of his will. He possesses no power by which this change can be effected. The leaven— something wholly from without, must be put into the meal before the desired change can be wrought in it. So the grace of God must be received by the sinner before he can be fitted for the kingdom of glory. All the culture and education which the world can give will fail of making a degraded child of sin a child of heaven. The renewing energy must come from God. The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit. All who would be saved, high or low, rich or poor, must submit to the working of this power.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 96.

“Many are deceiving themselves by thinking that the character will be transformed at the coming of Christ, but there will be no conversion of heart at His appearing. Our defects of character must here be repented of, and through the grace of Christ we must overcome them while probation shall last. This is the place for fitting up for the family above.” God’s Amazing Grace, 243.

(See also: Acts of the Apostles, 558, 559)

“The Throne of Grace”

12 What precious blessings are freely offered through Jesus to those who will come to His throne? Hebrews 4:16.

note: “The throne of grace is itself the highest attraction because occupied by One who permits us to call Him Father. But God did not deem the principle of salvation complete while invested only with His own love. By His appointment He has placed at His altar an Advocate clothed with our nature. As our Intercessor, His office work is to introduce us to God as His sons and daughters. Christ intercedes in behalf of those who have received Him. To them He gives power, by virtue of His own merits, to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. And the Father demonstrates His infinite love for Christ, who paid our ransom with His blood, by receiving and welcoming Christ’s friends as His friends.” God’s Amazing Grace, 68.

13 What work of preparation is necessary for those who wish to approach the throne of grace? Hebrews 10:19, 22.

note: “Grace is an attribute of God shown to undeserving human beings. We did not seek after it, but it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow this grace upon every one who hungers for it. To every one He presents terms of mercy, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our need is the qualification which gives us the assurance that we shall receive this gift.” Ibid., 10.

“There needs to be a reaching out after God, not…now and then, but a continual earnest, heartbreaking confessing and humbling of the soul before God. God’s people must come into the audience chamber of the Most High. …God understands that you need Him, and if you ask, you will receive help when tempted and tried. Your petitions, made known only to God who searcheth the heart, He will hear and answer.” The Upward Look, 333.

Bible Study Guides – Justification

October 13, 2001 – October 19, 2001

“How Then Can Man be Justified with God?”

Memory Verse: “‘And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.’” Luke 18:13.

Study Help: The Faith I Live By, 107.

Thought to Remember: “Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin.”


“Herein is the mystery of redemption, that the innocent, pure, and holy Son of the infinite God was permitted to bear the punishment of a thankless race of rebels against the divine government; that through the manifestation of His matchless love, these rebels might be inspired with faith in, and love for God, and might stand before Him repentant, forgiven, guiltless, as if they had never sinned.” Bible Echo, November 25, 1895.

“Sin Bringeth Forth Death”

1 Why do we all need justification? Romans 3:10–12.

note: “The perishing sinner may say: ‘I am a lost sinner; but Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. He says, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” I am a sinner, and He died upon Calvary’s cross to save me. I need not remain a moment longer unsaved. He died and rose again for my justification, and He will save me now. I accept the forgiveness He has promised.’ The great work that is wrought for the sinner who is spotted and stained by evil is the work of justification. By Him who speaketh truth he is declared righteous. The Lord imputes unto the believer the righteousness of Christ and pronounces him righteous before the universe. He transfers his sins to Jesus, the sinner’s representative, substitute, and surety. Upon Christ He lays the iniquity of every soul that believeth. ‘He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.’ 11 Corinthians 5:21.” The Faith I Live By, 112.

2 What prospect do we all face as sinners? Romans 14:10–12.

note: “Neglect this great salvation, kept before you for years, despise this glorious offer of justification through the blood of Christ and sanctification through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, and there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. I entreat you now to humble yourselves and cease your stubborn resistance of light and evidence. Say unto the Lord, Mine iniquities have separated between me and my God. O Lord, pardon my transgressions. Blot out my sins from the book of Thy remembrance. Praise His holy name, there is forgiveness with Him, and you can be converted, transformed.” Testimonies to Ministers,97.

“By the Works of the Law Shall No Flesh be Justified”

3 Can we be justified (pardoned) for our sins by trying to obey God’s law? Galatians 2:16.

note: “When God pardons the sinner, remits the punishment he deserves, and treats him as though he had not sinned, He receives him into divine favor, and justifies him through the merits of Christ’s righteousness. The sinner can be justified only through faith in the atonement made through God’s dear Son, who became a sacrifice for the sins of the guilty world. No one can be justified by any works of his own. He can be delivered from the guilt of sin, from the condemnation of the law, from the penalty of transgression, only by virtue of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. Faith is the only condition upon which justification can be obtained, and faith includes not only belief but trust.” A New Life, 20.

4 Can we hope to be justified if we are not willing to keep God’s law? Romans 2:13.

note: “Those who love God with all the heart will love all His commandments also. The sanctified heart is in harmony with the precepts of God’s law; for they are holy, just, and good. [Romans 7:12.] No one who truly loves and fears God will continue to transgress the law in any particular. When man transgresses he is under the condemnation of the law, and it becomes to him a yoke of bondage. Whatever his profession may be he is not justified, which means pardoned. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.’ Through obedience comes sanctification of body, soul, and spirit. This sanctification is a progressive work, and an advance from one stage of perfection to another.” My Life Today, 250.

“I Had Not Known Sin, But by the Law”

5 If we cannot be justified by keeping God’s law, what purpose does that law serve? Romans 3:20, last part; Romans 7:7.

note: “It is the sinner who regards the law as a grievous yoke; it is the transgressor that can see no beauty in its precepts. For the carnal mind ‘is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Romans 8:7). ‘By the law is the knowledge of sin’ (Romans 3:20); for ‘sin is the transgression of the law’ (1 John 3:4). It is through the law that men are convicted of sin; and they must feel themselves sinners, exposed to the wrath of God, before they will realize their need of a Saviour.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 219.

“The first step in reconciliation to God is the conviction of sin. ‘Sin is the transgression of the law.’ ‘By the law is the knowledge of sin.’ I John 3:4; Romans 3:20. In order to see his guilt, the sinner must test his character by God’s great standard of righteousness. It is a mirror which shows the perfection of a righteous character and enables him to discern the defects in his own. The law reveals to man his sins, but it provides no remedy. While it promises life to the obedient, it declares that death is the portion of the transgressor.” The Great Controversy, 467.

6 What is the result of living without God’s law? Romans 1:21–32. Compare Judges 17:4, 5.

note: “Those who are teaching this doctrine today have much to say in regard to faith and the righteousness of Christ; but they pervert the truth, and make it serve the cause of error. They declare that we have only to believe on Jesus Christ, and that faith is all-sufficient; that the righteousness of Christ is to be the sinner’s credentials; that this imputed righteousness fulfills the law for us, and that we are under no obligation to obey the law of God. This class claim that Christ came to save sinners, and that He has saved them. ‘I am saved,’ they will repeat over and over again. But are they saved while transgressing the law of Jehovah? No; for the garments of Christ’s righteousness are not a cloak for iniquity. Such teaching is a gross deception, and Christ becomes to these persons a stumbling-block as He did to the Jews, to the Jews because they would not receive Him as their personal Saviour; to these professed believers in Christ, because they separate Christ and the Law, and regard faith as a substitute for obedience. They separate the Father and the Son, the Saviour of the world. Virtually they teach, both by precept and example, that Christ, by His death, saves men in their transgressions.” Signs of the Times, February 25, 1897.

“The Blood of Jesus Christ Cleanseth Us From all Sin”

7 What is the only means by which we may be cleansed from our sins? 1 John 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18, 19.

See: Christ’s Object Lessons, 205.

8 By what means does Christ continually remind us of this truth? Matthew 26:27, 28. Compare 1 Corinthians 11:23–29; Hebrews 9:19–28.

note: “In partaking with His disciples of the bread and wine, Christ pledged Himself to them as their Redeemer. He committed to them the new covenant, by which all who receive Him become children of God, and joint heirs with Christ. By this covenant every blessing that heaven could bestow for this life and the life to come was theirs. This covenant deed was to be ratified with the blood of Christ. And the administration of the Sacrament was to keep before the disciples the infinite sacrifice made for each of them individually as a part of the great whole of fallen humanity.” Desire of Ages, 656.

“If We Confess Our Sins…”

9 What work is needed on our part for us to receive justification? 1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:5.

note: “I hope that none will obtain the idea that they are earning the favor of God by confession of sins or that there is special virtue in confessing to human beings.…The Lord would have us come to Him daily with all our troubles and confessions of sin, and He can give us rest.…Confess your secret sins alone before your God. Acknowledge your heart wanderings to Him who knows perfectly how to treat your case. If you have wronged your neighbor, acknowledge to him your sin and show fruit of the same by making restitution. Then claim the blessing. Come to God just as you are, and let Him heal all your infirmities. Press your case to the throne of grace; let the work be thorough. Be sincere in dealing with God and your own soul. If you come to Him with a heart truly contrite, He will give you the victory.…He will not misapprehend or misjudge you.” God’s Amazing Grace, 87.

“Many feel a sense of estrangement from God, a realization of their bondage to self and sin; they make efforts for reform; but they do not crucify self. They do not give themselves entirely into the hands of Christ, seeking for divine power to do His will. They are not willing to be molded after the divine similitude. In a general way they acknowledge their imperfections, but they do not give up their particular sins. With each wrong act the old selfish nature is gaining strength.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 48.

10 Where does the desire to repent originate? Romans 2:4. Compare Acts 5:31.

note: “Repentance, as well as forgiveness, is the gift of God through Christ. It is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are convicted of sin and feel our need of pardon. None but the contrite are forgiven; but it is the grace of God that makes the heart penitent. He is acquainted with all our weaknesses and infirmities, and He will help us.” Faith and Works, 38.

“Many are confused as to what constitutes the first steps in the work of salvation. Repentance is thought to be a work the sinner must do for himself in order that he may come to Christ. They think that the sinner must procure for himself a fitness in order to obtain the blessing of God’s grace. But while it is true that repentance must precede forgiveness, for it is only the broken and contrite heart that is acceptable to God, yet the sinner cannot bring himself to repentance, or prepare himself to come to Christ. Except the sinner repent, he cannot be forgiven; but the question to be decided is as to whether repentance is the work of the sinner or the gift of Christ. Must the sinner wait until he is filled with remorse for his sin before he can come to Christ? The very first step to Christ is taken through the drawing of the Spirit of God; as man responds to this drawing, he advances toward Christ in order that he may repent.” A New Life, 20.

“Peace With God”

11 What is the result of justification? Romans 5:1. Compare Isaiah 32:17.

note: “Whoever consents to renounce sin and open his heart to the love of Christ, becomes a partaker of this heavenly peace. There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife and fills the soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow men cannot be made miserable. Envy will not be in his heart; evil surmisings will find no room there; hatred cannot exist. The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence on all around. The spirit of peace will rest like dew upon hearts weary and troubled with worldly strife.” God’s Amazing Grace, 320.

12 How does Paul contrast this peace with the life of the sinner? Romans 8:3–8.

note: “When the Saviour imparts His peace to the soul, the heart will be in perfect harmony with the word of God; for the Spirit and the word agree. The Lord honors His word in all His dealings with men. It is His own will, His own voice, that is revealed to men, and He has no new will, no new truth, aside from His word to unfold to His children. If you have a wonderful experience that is not in harmony with the expressed directions of God’s word, you may well doubt it; for its origin is not from above. The peace of Christ comes through the knowledge of Jesus whom the Bible reveals. If happiness is drawn from outside sources, and not from the Divine Fount, it will be as changeable as varying circumstances can make it; but the peace of Christ is a constant and abiding peace. It does not depend on any circumstance in life, on the amount of worldly goods, or the number of earthly friends. Christ is the fountain of living waters, and happiness and peace drawn from Him will never fail, for He is a well-spring of life.” Signs of the Times, May 19, 1890.

Bible Study Guides – Righteousness

October 6, 2001 – October 12, 2001

 “Awake to Righteousness, and Sin Not”

Memory Verse: “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” Ephesians 5:9.

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 310–316.

Thought to Remember: “Righteousness is right doing.”


“There never was a time when it was so important that the followers of Christ should study the Bible as now. Deceptive influences are upon all sides, and it is essential that you counsel with Jesus, your best friend. The wayfaring man may find the way of life through faith and obedience, through abiding in the sunshine of Christ’s righteousness. But how shall we understand what is meant by these terms, if we do not understand the Bible? In the Word of God duty is made plain, and everything relating to the religious life is presented in a definite way. The whole plan of salvation is delineated, and the helps to the soul are pointed out. The way in which the believer may be complete in Christ is unfolded.” Youth’s Instructor, May 18, 1893.

“None Righteous, No, Not One”

1 Because of our sins, what is the state of the human heart? Romans 3:12. Read verses 9–18.

note: “The only definition we find in the Bible for sin is that ‘sin is the transgression of the law’ (1 John 3:4). The Word of God declares, ‘All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). ‘There is none that doeth good, no, not one’ (Romans 3:12). Many are deceived concerning the condition of their hearts. They do not realize that the natural heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. They wrap themselves about with their own righteousness, and are satisfied in reaching their own human standard of character; but how fatally they fail when they do not reach the divine standard, and of themselves they cannot meet the requirements of God. We may measure ourselves by ourselves, we may compare ourselves among ourselves, we may say we do as well as this one or that one, but the question to which the judgment will call for an answer is, Do we meet the claims of high heaven? Do we reach the divine standard? Are our hearts in harmony with the God of heaven? The human family have all transgressed the law of God, and as transgressors of the law, man is hopelessly ruined; for he is the enemy of God, without strength to do any good thing.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 321, 322.

2 How does the Lord regard our attempts to make ourselves righteous? Isaiah 64:6.

note: “In their professed service to God, the Jews were really working for self. Their righteousness was the fruit of their own efforts to keep the law according to their own ideas and for their own selfish benefit. Hence it could be no better than they were. In their endeavor to make themselves holy, they were trying to bring a clean thing out of an unclean. The law of God is as holy as He is holy, as perfect as He is perfect. It presents to men the righteousness of God. It is impossible for man, of himself, to keep this law; for the nature of man is depraved, deformed, and wholly unlike the character of God. The works of the selfish heart are ‘as an unclean thing;’ and ‘all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.’ Isaiah 64:6.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 54.

“Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness”

3 What is righteousness? Psalm 1; Psalm 119:172.

note: “Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.

“Righteousness is holiness, likeness to God, and ‘God is love.’ 1 John 4:16. It is conformity to the law of God, for ‘all Thy commandments are righteousness’ (Psalm 119:172), and ‘love is the fulfilling of the law’ (Romans 13:10). Righteousness is love, and love is the light and the life of God. The righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by receiving Him.” The Faith I Live By, 109.

4 What is the relationship between obedience and righteousness? Romans 6:16.

note: “You need the true spirit of obedience to the Word of God. You must make decided reforms in your own customs and practices, conforming your life to the saving principles of the law of God. When you do this, you will have the righteousness of Christ which pervades that law, because you love God and recognize His law as a transcript of His character.” Child Guidance, 69.

“True obedience is the outworking of a principle within. It springs from the love of righteousness, the love of the law of God. The essence of all righteousness is loyalty to our Redeemer. This will lead us to do right because it is right, because right doing is pleasing to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 97.

“What is Man, That He Should be Clean?”

5 Because all have disobeyed God’s law, what way has God devised for accounting sinners as righteous? Romans 5:19.

note: “Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light. He can say with rejoicing, ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life’ (Titus 3:5–7).” Faith and Works, 101.

6 Will God account us as righteous if we do not forsake our sins? Isaiah 55:7; Zechariah 3:3, 4.

note: “No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 555.

“Christ has paid the price of your redemption. There is only one thing that you can do, and that is to take the gift of God. You can come in all your need, and plead the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour; but you cannot come expecting that Christ will cover your wickedness, your daily indulgence in sin, with His robe of righteousness.” Bible Echo, May 15, 1892.

“Christ’s righteousness will not cover the unrighteousness of any one. ‘All unrighteousness is sin,’ and ‘sin is the transgression of the law,’ therefore, those who are breaking the law of God and teaching others to break it, will not be covered with the garments of Christ’s righteousness. He came not to save men in their sins; but from their sins. ‘And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in Him.’ These utterances are weighty, and should be duly considered.” Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 24, 1888.

“If we confess our sins…”

7 How may the unrighteousness that we have done be cleansed from our lives? 1 John 1:9; Jeremiah 3:13; Ezekiel 36:25.

note: “True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty. Many, many confessions should never be spoken in the hearing of mortals; for the result is that which the limited judgment of finite beings does not anticipate.…God will be better glorified if we confess the secret, inbred corruption of the heart to Jesus alone than if we open its recesses to finite, erring man, who cannot judge righteously unless his heart is constantly imbued with the Spirit of God.…Do not pour into human ears the story which God alone should hear. The confession that is the outpouring of the inmost soul finds its way to the God of infinite pity. Your sins may be as mountains before you; but if you humble your heart, and confess your sins, trusting in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, He will forgive, and will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.…Desire the fullness of the grace of Christ. Let your heart be filled with an intense longing for His righteousness.” The Faith I Live By, 128.

8 Is forgiveness all that God promises the repentant soul? Acts 2:38; Ezekiel 36:25–27; Acts 3:19.

note: “There are those who listen to the truth, and are convinced that they have been living in opposition to Christ. They are condemned, and they repent of their transgressions. Relying upon the merits of Christ, exercising true faith in Him, they receive pardon for sin. As they cease to do evil and learn to do well, they grow in grace and in the knowledge of God. They see that they must sacrifice in order to separate from the world; and after counting the cost, they look upon all as loss if they may but win Christ. They have enlisted in Christ’s army. The warfare is before them, and they enter it bravely and cheerfully, fighting against their natural inclinations and selfish desires, bringing the will into subjection to the will of Christ. Daily they seek the Lord for grace to obey Him, and they are strengthened and helped. This is true conversion. In humble, grateful dependence he who has been given a new heart relies upon the help of Christ. He reveals in his life the fruit of righteousness. He once loved himself. Worldly pleasure was his delight. Now his idol is dethroned, and God reigns supreme. The sins he once loved he now hates. Firmly and resolutely he follows in the path of holiness.” Youth’s Instructor, September 26, 1901.

“The Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ”

9 What will be seen in the life of the one who accepts the righteousness of Christ? Philippians 1:9–11.

note: “It was impossible for the sinner to keep the law of God, which was holy, just, and good; but this impossibility was removed by the impartation of the righteousness of Christ to the repenting, believing soul. The life and death of Christ in behalf of sinful man were for the purpose of restoring the sinner to God’s favor, through imparting to him the righteousness that would meet the claims of the law and find acceptance with the Father.” Faith and Works, 118.

“Christ actually bore the punishment of the sins of the world, that His righteousness might be imputed to sinners, and through repentance and faith they might become like Him in holiness of character. He says, ‘I bear the guilt of that man’s sins. Let Me take the punishment and the repenting sinner stand before Thee innocent.’ The moment the sinner believes in Christ, he stands in the sight of God uncondemned; for the righteousness of Christ is his: Christ’s perfect obedience is imputed to him. But he must co-operate with divine power, and put forth his human effort to subdue sin, and stand complete in Christ. The ransom paid by Christ is sufficient for the salvation of all men; but it will avail for only those who become new creatures in Christ Jesus, loyal subjects of God’s everlasting kingdom. His suffering will not shield from punishment the unrepenting, disloyal sinner. Christ’s work was to restore man to his original state, to heal him, through divine power, from the wounds and bruises made by sin. Man’s part is to lay hold by faith of the merits of Christ, and co-operate with the divine agencies in forming a righteous character; so that God may save the sinner, and yet be just and His righteous law vindicated.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 429, 430.

10 What fruit will be seen in the life of the one who has repented, receiving the Holy Spirit and the righteousness of Christ? Ephesians 5:9–11; James 3:17, 18.

note: “There is no human being in the world but bears fruit of some kind, either good or evil; and Christ has made it possible for every soul to bear most precious fruit. Obedience to the requirements of God, submission to the will of Christ, will yield in the life the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The inhabitants of this world are dear to God’s family.…He gave the richest gift that heaven could bestow, that men and women might return from their rebellion to His law, and accept into their hearts and lives the principles of heaven. If men would acknowledge the Gift, and accept His sacrifice, their transgressions would be pardoned, and the grace of God would be imparted to them to help them to yield in their lives the precious fruits of holiness. ‘Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit.’ We have a representation to make to the world of pure principles, holy ambitions, noble aspirations, that will distinguish us from all other people, making us a separate nation, a peculiar people.” God’s Amazing Grace, 249.

“The Fine Linen is the Righteousness of Saints”

11 How is righteousness received into the life? Romans 3:22; Philippians 3:9.

note: “By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness. Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.

12 What is the evidence that a person is righteous? 1 John 3:7.

note: “We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. So you may say, ‘The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20. So Jesus said to His disciples, ‘It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.’ Matthew 10:20. Then with Christ working in you, you will manifest the same spirit and do the same good works—works of righteousness, obedience. So we have nothing in ourselves of which to boast. We have no ground for self-exaltation. Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us.” Steps to Christ, 62, 63.

Bible Study Guides – Sin

September 29, 2001 – October 5, 2001

“Human minds vary. The minds of different education and thought receive different impressions of the same words, and it is difficult for one mind to give to one of a different temperament, education, and habits of thought, by language exactly the same idea as that which is clear and distinct in his own mind. Yet to honest men, right-minded men, he can be so simple and plain as to convey his meaning for all practical purposes. If the man he communicates with is not honest and will not want to see and understand the truth, he will turn his words and language in everything to suit his own purposes. He will misconstrue his words, play upon his imagination, wrest them from their true meaning, and then entrench himself in unbelief, claiming that the sentiments are all wrong.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 19.

“Ministers need to have a more clear, simple manner in presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. Their own minds need to comprehend the great plan of salvation more fully. Then they can carry the minds of the hearers away from earthly things to the spiritual and eternal. There are many who want to know what they must do to be saved. They want a plain and clear explanation of the steps requisite in conversion, and there should not a sermon be given unless a portion of that discourse is to especially make plain the way that sinners may come to Christ and be saved. They should point them to Christ, as did John, and with touching simplicity, their hearts aglow with the love of Christ, say, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ Strong and earnest appeals should be made to the sinner to repent and be converted.” Ibid., 157.

“Our publications have a most sacred work to do in making clear, simple, and plain the spiritual basis of our faith. Everywhere the people are taking sides; all are ranging themselves either under the banner of truth and righteousness or under the banner of the apostate powers that are contending for the supremacy. At this time God’s message to the world is to be given with such prominence and power that the people will be brought face to face, mind to mind, heart to heart, with truth. They must be brought to see its superiority over the multitudinous errors that are pushing their way into notice, to supplant, if possible, the word of God for this solemn time.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 150.

“The Transgression of the Law”

Memory Verse: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4.

Study Help: Confrontation, 75.

Thought to Remember: “Sin is the Transgression of the Law.”


“If ministers who preach the gospel would do their duty, and would also be ensamples to the flock of God, their voices would be lifted up like a trumpet to show the people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins. Ministers who exhort sinners to be converted should distinctly define what sin is and what conversion from sin is. Sin is the transgression of the law. The convicted sinner must exercise repentance toward God for the transgression of His law, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ibid, 75.

“Sin Bringeth Forth Death”

1 What is the only definition of sin found in the Bible? 1 John 3:4.

NOTE: “The apostle gives us the true definition of sin. ‘Sin is the transgression of the law.’ The largest class of Christ’s professed ambassadors are blind guides. They lead the people away from the path of safety by representing the requirements and prohibitions of the ancient law of Jehovah as arbitrary and severe. They give the sinner license to overstep the limits of God’s law. In this they are like the great adversary of souls, opening before them a life of freedom in violation of God’s commandments. With this lawless freedom the basis of moral responsibility is gone.” Confrontation, 75.

2 What has God given man to help him recognize what is sin? Romans 7:7; 3:20, last part.

note: “The first step in reconciliation to God is the conviction of sin… ‘By the law is the knowledge of sin’ (Romans 3:20). In order to see his guilt, the sinner must test his character by God’s great standard of righteousness. It is a mirror which shows the perfection of a righteous character and enables him to discern the defects of his own. The law reveals to man his sin… It declares that death is the portion of the transgressor.” God’s Amazing Grace, 20.

“To those who urged that ‘the preaching of the gospel answers all the ends of the law,’ Wesley replied: ‘This we utterly deny. It does not answer the very first end of the law, namely, the convincing men of sin, the awakening those who are still asleep on the brink of hell.’ The apostle Paul declares that ‘by the law is the knowledge of sin;’ “and not until man is convicted of sin, will he truly feel his need of the atoning blood of Christ.… “They that be whole,” as our Lord Himself observes, “need not a physician, but they that are sick.” It is absurd, therefore, to offer a physician to them that are whole, or that at least imagine themselves so to be. You are first to convince them that they are sick; otherwise they will not thank you for your labor. It is equally absurd to offer Christ to them whose heart is whole, having never yet been broken.’” The Great Controversy, 264.

“Thou Shalt Surely Die”

3 What law was given to Adam and Eve and what was the penalty for transgression? Genesis 2:16–17.

(See: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52, 53)

4 How did the tempter attempt to undermine God’s law? Genesis 3:1–5.

note: “Satan represented to the holy pair that they would be gainers by breaking the law of God. Do we not today hear similar reasoning? Many talk of the narrowness of those who obey God’s commandments, while they themselves claim to have broader ideas and to enjoy greater liberty. What is this but an echo of the voice from Eden, ‘In the day ye eat thereof’—transgress the divine requirement—‘ye shall be as gods’? Satan claimed to have received great good by eating of the forbidden fruit, but he did not let it appear that by transgression he had become an outcast from heaven. Though he had found sin to result in infinite loss, he concealed his own misery in order to draw others into the same position. So now the transgressor seeks to disguise his true character; he may claim to be holy; but his exalted profession only makes him the more dangerous as a deceiver. He is on the side of Satan, trampling upon the law of God, and leading others to do the same, to their eternal ruin.” Ibid., 55.

(See also: The Great Controversy, 533)

“All have sinned”

5 How many of the human race have transgressed God’s law? Romans 3:23. Compare Galatians 3:22; Romans 3:9, 10.

note: “The human family have all transgressed the law of God, and as transgressors of the law, man is hopelessly ruined; for he is the enemy of God, without strength to do any good thing. ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Romans 8:7). Looking into the moral mirror—God’s holy law—man sees himself a sinner, and is convicted of his state of evil, his hopeless doom under the just penalty of the law.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 321.

6 How does Paul describe the effect of sinning upon the human mind? Romans 8:7.

note: “Few believe that humanity has sunk so low as it has or that it is so thoroughly bad, so desperately opposed to God, as it is. ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Romans 8:7). When the mind is not under the direct influence of the Spirit of God, Satan can mold it as he chooses. All the rational powers which he controls he will carnalize. He is directly opposed to God in his tastes, views, preferences, likes and dislikes, choice of things and pursuits; there is no relish for what God loves or approves, but a delight in those things which He despises; therefore a course is maintained which is offensive to Him. This leads to controversy with those who are trying to walk in the way of the Lord. They [those who oppose truth] will call light darkness, and darkness light; good evil, and evil good. Satan has been working at the wheel, turning it until he has the control of all the human minds who have received the lies with which he deceived Eve and then used her as his agent to entice Adam into sin. Satan has kept up his specious working upon human minds from that day to this.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 22.

“As in Adam All Die”

7 What was the effect of Adam’s sin upon mankind? Romans 5:12.

note: “Exhibit A [for the doctrine of original sin] has been Romans 5:12 ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men…’ Let us observe that at this point we have a statement of fact with no explanation offered. The explanation comes in the next clause: ‘…for that all have sinned.’ ‘For that’ means because. The verse does not say because all have inherited guilt from Adam. It says because all have sinned. They therefore have guilt of their own and have no need to borrow any from Adam.” Dr. Ralph Larson: The Word Was Made Flesh, Cherrystone Press, Cherry Valley, CA, 1986, 336.

“Immortality, promised to man on condition of obedience, had been forfeited by transgression. Adam could not transmit to his posterity that which he did not possess; and there could have been no hope for the fallen race had not God, by the sacrifice of His Son, brought immortality within their reach.” The Great Controversy, 533.

“The wickedness that fills our world is the result of Adam’s refusal to take God’s word as supreme. He disobeyed, and fell under the temptation of the enemy. ‘Sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.’ God declared, ‘The soul that sinneth, it shall die.’ And, apart from the plan of redemption, human beings are doomed to death. ‘All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’” Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 15, 1906.

8 Did David teach the doctrine of original sin? Psalm 51:5. Compare Psalm 71:5, 6. Hebrews 13:4.

note: “There are two possible readings of this verse, the one based on facts, the other based on assumptions. The first says that this verse, written by David, refers to his mother and himself. The second assumes that it applies to all men. The first notes that David is speaking about his own conception. The second applies this verse to the conception of all men. The first notes that David speaks of his conception as taking place in sin. The second assumes that all conceptions are done in sin. The first notes that David speaks of the sin of his mother. The second assumes that all mothers sin in conception. The first notes that we are not told the precise nature of David’s mother’s sin. The second assumes that this is referring to original sin. The first notes that we know nothing of David’s mother, nor the circumstances of his conception. The second assumes that she was the lawful wife of Jesse and that the sin referred to was original sin. Whatever the nature of the sin referred to in this verse, it should be clear that David is speaking of his mother’s sin and not his own. But a careful reading of this psalm will show that David does not use his mother’s sin as an excuse for his own adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah.” Larson, 337-339.

9 Does this mean that God holds each of us guilty of Adam’s sin? Ezekiel 18:20.

note:“There are many who in their hearts murmur against God. They say, ‘We inherit the fallen nature of Adam, and are not responsible for our natural imperfections.’ They find fault with God’s requirements, and complain that He demands what they have no power to give. Satan made the same complaint in heaven, but such thoughts dishonor God.” Signs of the Times, August 29, 1892.

“Do you mean to cast reproach upon God? Well, you say, It was Adam’s sin. You say, I am not guilty of that, and I am not responsible for his guilt and fall. Here all these natural tendencies are in me, and I am not to blame if I act out these natural tendencies. Who is to blame? Is God? Why did God let Satan have this power over human nature? These are accusations against the God of heaven, and He will give you an opportunity, if you want it, of finally bringing your accusations against Him. Then He will bring His accusations against you when you are brought into His court of judgement.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 179.

“Let Not Sin Reign”

10 Is it inevitable that we will sin? 1 John 2:1, first part. Compare Romans 6:1, 2; 12–16.

note: “‘The prince of this world cometh,’ said Jesus, ‘and hath nothing in Me.’ John 14:30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.” The Desire of Ages, 123. {Emphasis Supplied].

11 What remedy is provided for those who do sin? 1 John 2:1, 2 last part.

note: “From these scriptures it is evident that it is not God’s will that you should be distrustful and torture your soul with the fear that God will not accept you because you are sinful and unworthy. ‘Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you’ (James 4:8). Present your case before Him, pleading the merits of the blood shed for you upon Calvary’s cross. Satan will accuse you of being a great sinner, and you must admit this, but you can say: ‘I know I am a sinner, and that is the reason I need a Saviour. Jesus came into the world to save sinners. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” 1 John 1:7. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’” (verse 9). I have no merit or goodness whereby I may claim salvation, but I present before God the all-atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is my only plea. The name of Jesus gives me access to the Father. His ear, His heart, is open to my faintest pleading, and He supplies my deepest necessities.’” Faith and Works, 105.

12 How are the children of God distinguishable from the children of the devil? 1 John 3:7–10.

note: “Christ’s righteousness will not cover the unrighteousness of anyone. ‘All unrighteousness is sin,’ and ‘sin is the transgression of the law,’ therefore, those who are breaking the law of God and teaching others to break it, will not be covered with the garments of Christ’s righteousness. He came not to save men in their sins; but from their sins.” Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 24, 1888.

“Every character must be brought to the test of this measurement; but it has been the determined purpose of Satan to tear down the standard of the law of God, and erect in its stead a lower standard, a finite measure by which men may measure themselves among themselves; and thus their ideas as to what constitutes righteousness have become lowered and confused. This is the reason that so large a number who profess to be followers of Christ, claim to be perfect and sanctified when they are sinners in the sight of God.” Signs of the Times, January 9, 1896.

Food for Life – Pure, Soft Water

“Many, while well, will not take the trouble to keep in a healthy condition. They neglect personal cleanliness, and are not careful to keep their clothing pure. Impurities are constantly and imperceptibly passing from their body, and through the pores, and if the surface of the skin is not kept in a healthy condition, the system is burdened with impure matter. If the clothing worn is not often washed, and frequently aired, it becomes filthy with impurities which are thrown off from the body by sensible and insensible perspiration. And if the garments worn are not frequently cleansed from these impurities, the pores of the skin absorb again the waste matter thrown off. The impurities of the body, if not allowed to escape, are taken back into the blood, and forced upon the internal organs. Nature, to relieve herself of poisonous impurities, makes an effort to free the system. This effort produces fevers, and what is termed disease. But even then, if those who are afflicted would assist nature in her efforts, by the use of pure, soft water, much suffering would be prevented. But many instead of doing this, and seeking to remove the poisonous matter from the system, take a more deadly poison into the system, to remove a poison already there.” Counsels on Health, 61-62.

“In health and in sickness, pure water is one of Heaven’s choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drunk freely, it helps supply the necessities of the system, and assists nature to resist disease.”

“I should bathe frequently, and drink freely of pure, soft water. “Water can be used in many ways to relieve suffering. Drafts of clear, hot water taken before eating (half quart, more or less), will never do any harm, but will rather be productive of good.”

“Thousands have died for want of pure water and pure air, who might have lived… These blessings they need in order to become well. If they would become enlightened, and let medicine alone, and accustom themselves to outdoor exercise, and to air in their houses, summer and winter, and use soft water for drinking and bathing purposes, they would be comparatively well and happy instead of dragging out a miserable existence.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 419.

As many of you know, the water today is very contaminated! In fact, there is almost NO pure water anywhere. If you notice, even water in the cities declared to be ‘Pure’, is contaminated with chlorine for ‘purity purposes.’

“Although chlorine works well as a disinfectant, its side effects are arousing considerable alarm. This additive is now known to interact with other elements to form carcinogenic compounds.” Water Fit to Drink, by Carol Keough.

Children’s Story – The Kitten

The pastor had a kitten. This darling little bundle of fur had climbed up a tree in the pastor’s back yard and then was afraid to come down, crying piteously as it clung to a limb.

“Here, kitty, kitty!” the pastor softly coaxed, as he stretched to reach the trembling little kitten. She would not budge. He tried bringing out a warm saucer of milk to tempt her out of her fear. Still the kitty could not come down.

Since the tree was not sturdy enough for the pastor to climb, he decided that if he tied one end of a rope to his car and one end to the tree, he could drive the car away just enough to bend the tree down to where he could reach the kitty. So that is what he did.

Checking his progress frequently, the pastor decided that just a few more inches would bend the tree low enough that he could reach up and rescue the kitty. But as he moved a little further forward, the rope broke. The tree went “boing!!” as it snapped back to its original upright position, and the kitten instantly sailed through the air and out of sight.

The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they had seen a little kitten. No, no one had. So he prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping.” That was all he could do. He went home and went on about his work.

A few days later he met one of his church members in the grocery store. As they chatted, he happened to glance into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. He knew this woman hated cats of any kind; everyone knew it! He just had to ask, “Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?”

“You won’t believe this,” she replied. “My little girl has been begging and begging me to buy her a kitten. Of course, I would not do it because I do not like cats. A few days ago, she began begging again, so I finally told her, ‘If God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.’ I watched my little girl go out in the yard, get down on her knees, and ask God for a cat. Pastor, I know you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my very own eyes! A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her! What could I do, but let her keep the cat?”

Never underestimate the prayer of faith!

Restoring the Temple – Rest

Rest was the first command that God, in His eternal wisdom, gave to us. Do not be confused between rest and idleness. Many do not rest because of guilt that they are somehow being idle. If this describes you, I would suggest doing a study on rest and discovering how it differs from laziness. Ellen White states:

“Those who make great exertions to accomplish just so much work in a given time, and continue to labor when their judgment tells them they should rest, are never gainers. They are living on borrowed capital. They are expending the vital force which they will need at a future time. And when the energy they have so recklessly used is demanded, they fail for want of it. The physical strength is gone, the mental powers fail. They realize that they have met with a loss, but do not know what it is. Their time of need has come, but their physical resources are exhausted. Everyone who violates the laws of health must sometime be a sufferer to a greater or less degree. God has provided us with constitutional force, which will be needed at different periods of our life. If we recklessly exhaust this force by continual overtaxation, we shall sometime be losers. Our usefulness will be lessened, if not our life itself destroyed.” Counsels on Health, 99.

On the other hand, others would be more than happy to rest, but they complain of being too busy. Rest is one of the natural remedies that requires no effort, that is, apart from finding time for it.

The modern world strives to make laborsaving devices, to provide recreation and entertainment, and to increase speed and efficiency at home and work. So why are we not rested? Why are we weary and stressed? Back in the eras we consider primitive, people had no such resources. Folks worked very hard, and when the light of day waned, they went to bed. Today the activities often start before the sky brightens and continues long after the last ray has disappeared.

Our minds and bodies operate on a fairly constant 24-hour rhythm called the circadian rhythm, with alternating periods of arousal and sleep. Much is known regarding sleep cycles and the factors, including natural body chemistry, that regulate sleep. We know that sleep is necessary, but we still do not know exactly why. Yes, it allows the body time and quiet to repair itself, but there is much more to it than that. Humans and animals with more complex brains, like cats, sleep more than small animals with smaller cortexes.1 Dreams occur during REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep, and during REM a person goes into complete muscle relaxation which may lead to increased restoration of muscle tissues.2 Blood flow and temperature of the brain increase during the REM cycle of sleep.

Sleep deprivation causes memory loss, emotional instability, and affects one’s analytical abilities, perception, motivation and motor control. Lack of sleep also impairs our immune systems and our ability to learn, as well as our creativity and productivity.3

Resting is also important. Your normal waking, thinking wave is the beta wave that looks short and spiky. During rest, when a person lies still, closes their eyes, and stills their mind, EEG (electroencephalogram) testing indicates that their brains go into an alpha wave pattern. Alpha waves are flowing and synchronous.4 Rest appears to invigorate the body and make the brain more able to function optimally.

What are some ways you can get better sleep? No late suppers, for one thing. Since our metabolisms slow at night, food tends to digest very slowly, and one gets the sensation of food “just sitting there,” which is exactly what it is doing. The body must send blood to the stomach to facilitate digestion, pulling blood away from the brain which vitally needs it for sleep processing. The evening meal should be light and eaten several hours before bedtime.

Try to get eight hours of sleep each night and exercise regularly. Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol, because although they can sometimes make you drowsy, they actually reduce or eliminate important REM sleep. Keep your bedroom dark and free from stimuli—absolutely no television watching in bed! Practice breathing deeply and taper to smooth regular respirations. Eliminate caffeine from your diet and keep to a regular bedtime. Exposing yourself to sunlight will help keep your circadian rhythm on track.

Many of us are not getting enough sleep, even though it is as necessary to health as is nutrition and water. Many disorders, both physical and mental, can be attributed to sleep deprivation. Even with all our technology and laborsaving devices, all we have accomplished is making more time available for even more activities. We must relearn to give our bodies and minds the rest needed for healing.

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29.

  1. Everyday Science Explained, Curt Suplee, National Geographic Society, 1996, 264
  2. Simple Remedies for the Home, Clarence W. Dail, MD and Charles S. Thomas, PhD, MMI Press, Harrisville, New Hampshire, 1985, 80
  3. The Promise of Sleep, William C. Dement, MD, PhD, and Christopher Vaughn, Dell Publishing, New York, 1999
  4. Biology, Neil A. Campbell, PhD, The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Redwood City, California, 1990, 1003

Inspiration – What Manner of Love

“‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.’ 1 John 3:1.

“How can we understand God? How are we to know our Father? We are to call Him by the endearing name of Father. And how are we to know Him and the power of His love? It is through diligent search of the Scriptures. We cannot appreciate God unless we take into our souls the great plan of redemption. We want to know all about these grand problems of the soul, of the redemption of the fallen race. It is a wonderful thing that after man had violated the law of God and separated himself from God, was divorced, as it were, from God-that after all this there was a plan made whereby man should not perish, but that he should have everlasting life.

“After the transgression of Adam in Eden it was Christ whom God gave to us, not that we might be saved in our sins, but that we might be saved from our sins, that we should return to our loyalty to God and become obedient children. As we yield our minds, our souls, our bodies, and our all to the controlling Spirit of God, it is then that the Spirit of truth is with us and we can become intelligent in regard to this great plan of redemption.

“It is true that God gave His only-begotten Son to die for us, to suffer the penalty of the [broken] law of God. We are to consider this and dwell upon it. And when our minds are constantly dwelling upon the matchless love of God to the fallen race, we begin to know God, to become acquainted with Him, to have a knowledge of God, and of how Jesus Christ, when He came to our world, laid aside His royal robes and His kingly crown and clothed His divinity with humanity. For our sakes He became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich. The Father sent His Son here, and right here on this little atom of a world were enacted the grandest scenes that were ever known to humanity.

“All the universe of heaven was looking on with intense interest. Why? The great battle was to be fought between the power of darkness and the Prince of light. Satan’s work was to magnify his power constantly. Where was his power? He claimed to be the prince of the world and he exercised his power over the inhabitants of the world. Satan’s power was exercised in such a masterly manner that they would not acknowledge God. Satan wanted that the children of men should get such an idea of his wonderful work that they would talk of his masterly power. In doing this he was all the time placing God in a false light. He was presenting Him as a God of injustice, and not a God of mercy. He was constantly stirring up their minds so that they would have an incorrect view of God.

“How was God to be rightly represented to the world? How was it to be known that He was a God of love, full of mercy, kindness, and pity? How was the world to know this? God sent His Son, and He was to represent to the world the character of God.

“Satan has come right in and placed himself between God and man. It is his work to divert the human mind, and he throws his dark shadow right athwart our pathways, so that we cannot discern between God and the moral darkness and corruption and the mass of iniquity that is in our world. Then what are we going to do about the matter? Shall we let that darkness remain?-No. There is a power here for us that will bring in the light of heaven to our dark world. Christ has been in heaven and He will bring the light of heaven, drive back the darkness, and let the sunlight of His glory in. Then we shall see, amid the corruption and pollution and defilement, the light of heaven.

“We must not give up at the defilement that is in the human race and ever keep that before the mind’s eye. We must not look at that. What then are we to do? What is our work?-To behold ‘what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.’ Do not let the blighting influences that are flooding the world be the picture that is before the mind, but hold up the purity and love of God. Do not hang in memory’s hall pictures of all the corruption and iniquity that you can bundle together. No, do not do it. It discourages the mind. A discouraged man is good for nothing. Just get the mind off these dark pictures by talking of God’s love, and you may hang memory’s halls with the brightest pictures that you can imagine.

“We want to keep the perfect Pattern before us. God was so good as to send a representation of Himself in His Son Jesus Christ, and we want to get the mind and heart to unfold and reach upward. Just as soon as Adam and Eve fell, their countenances fell at the sight of their miserableness. We may see our wretchedness, and we should pray that God will reveal our own hearts to us; but we should pray also that He will reveal Himself to us as a sin-pardoning Redeemer. Let yours be the prayer, Reveal Thyself to me, that in Thy matchless grace I may lay hold on the golden link, Christ, which has been let down from heaven to earth, that I may grasp it and be drawn upward.

“Brethren, you have all seen on the bosom of the lake the beautiful white lily. How anxious we have been, how we have wished and worked, that we might get that blossom. No matter how much scum and debris and filth there is around it, yet that does not destroy our desire for the lily. We wonder how the lily can be so beautiful and white where there is so much filth. Well, there is a stem that strikes down to the golden sands beneath and gathers nothing but the purest substance that feeds the lily until it develops into the pure and spotless flower as we see it.

“Should not this teach us a lesson? It ought to. It shows that although there is iniquity all around us we should not approach it. Do not talk of the iniquity and wickedness that are in the world, but elevate your minds and talk of your Saviour. When you see iniquity all around you it makes you all the more glad that He is your Saviour, and we are His children. Then, shall we look at the iniquity around us and dwell upon the dark side? You cannot cure it; then talk of something that is higher, better, and more noble. Talk of those things that will leave a good impression on the mind, and will lift every soul up out of this iniquity into the light beyond.

“Now, we may go into a cellar and stay there and look around into its dark corners, and we can talk of the darkness and say, ‘Oh, it is so dark here,’ and keep talking about it. But will it make it any lighter? Oh no! What are you going to do? Come out of it; come out of the dark into the upper chamber where the light of God’s countenance shines brightly.

“You know our bodies are made up of the food assimilated. Now, it is the same with our minds. If we have a mind to dwell on the disagreeable things of life, it will not give us any hope, but we want to dwell on the cheery scenes of heaven. Says Paul, ‘Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ [II Corinthians 4:17.]

“We want to have our minds on the encouraging things. We want to have our minds on the new country to which we are to be introduced. Our citizenship is not of this world, but it is above, and we want to consider what characters we should possess in order to become inhabitants of that better world and associates of the saints of God in heaven. . . .”

The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 1, 74-77.

Where Does God Deposit Truth – Part II

God’s Noblemen

“In the past, the servants of God wrestled with principalities and powers, and with the rulers of the darkness of this world, and with spiritual wickedness in high places, the same as we, who bear aloft the banner of truth, do today. These men were God’s noblemen, His living agencies, through whom He wrought in a wonderful manner. They were depositaries of divine truth to the extent that the Lord saw fit to reveal the truth that the world could bear to hear. They proclaimed the truth at a time when false, corrupt religion was magnifying itself in the world.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 345, 346.

“If the Bible was studied and obeyed; if we had the spirit of Christ, we should make determined efforts to be laborers together with God. We should better appreciate the worth of the soul; for every soul converted to God means a vessel dedicated to a holy use, a depositary of truth, a bearer of light to others. God expects more of the schools than has yet been brought forth. Christ has said, ‘Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life; which the Son of man shall give unto you; for Him hath God the Father sealed.’ [See John 6:27.] Christian Education, 82.

“‘Wake up, brethren and sisters, wake up. Sleep no longer. ‘Why stand ye here all the day idle?’ Jesus calls you, saying, ‘Go work today in My vineyard.’ Whoever has received the Holy Spirit, will make it manifest; for all his powers will be employed in the most active service. All, who actually receive Christ by faith, work. They feel the burden of souls. God now calls upon every one who has a knowledge of the truth, who is a depositary of sacred truth, to arise and impart the light of heaven to others. Those who have been illuminated by the Holy Spirit, will show its office work upon life and character. They will be mediums through which the Holy Spirit will communicate light and knowledge to others. The wonderful truth revealed to us in these last days, is to be revealed to others. ‘The end of all things is at hand.’ The Lord has been speaking to you in America, and may the Lord forbid that at the time of great illumination, darkness should come upon you because you fail to walk in the light that has been given. Darkness corresponding to your light will surely come upon you, if you do not now arouse from your slumbers, and shake off your useless musings and selfish indulgences, and trade diligently with your Lord’s goods. Move out from your pleasant homes. Develop the talents God has given you, and tell to others what the Holy Spirit has communicated to you. God requires you to work in proportion to the light He has given.” (Concluded next week.) — The Review and Herald, December 5, 1893.

“Ministers of Christ whom God has made the depositaries of His law, you have an unpopular truth. You must bear this truth to the world. Warnings must be given men to prepare for the great day of God. You must reach those whose hearts are callused by sin and love of the world. Continual and fervent prayer, and earnestness in well-doing, will bring you into communion with God; your mind and heart will imbibe a sense of eternal things, and the heavenly unction, which springs from connection with God, will be poured upon you. It will render your testimony powerful to convict and convert. Your light will not be uncertain, but your path will be luminous with heavenly brightness. God is all-powerful, and Heaven is full of light. You have only to use the means God has placed in your power to obtain the divine blessing.” Ibid., August 8, 1878.

A Sacred Responsibility

These statements are clear enough, and there are more like them. As individuals we have a sacred responsibility as depositaries of God—; indeed, vessels to be filled with all the fullness of Him who fills all in all, human safety deposit boxes entrusted with the most important message ever given to mortals.

Now look at some statements dealing with the church as a body of individuals being the depositary of God.

“Jesus came to the world, lived a holy life, and died, to leave to the church His legacy in the valuable treasures He entrusted to them. He made His disciples the depositaries of most precious doctrines, to be placed in the hands of His church unmixed with the errors and traditions of men. He revealed Himself to them as the light of the world, the Sun of Righteousness. And He promised them the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father was to send in His name.” Signs of the Times, November 16, 1891.

“Christ has said, ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ Then let us individually send forth clear, steady rays of light to the world. Our light is never to grow dim, never to burn low. The Lord is at the door; who will prove to be the wise, and who the foolish virgins? Who will be revealed at last as those who have the lamps, but no oil of grace in their vessels with their lamps? The church has been made the depositary of truth. Light has been imparted to her members, and they are to have works corresponding to their privileges and opportunities. They cannot correctly represent the truth in a single instance, unless they are sanctified through the truth. To sanctify is to set apart for a special service. Those who are controlled by worldly ambition will never shine as lights. ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’” The Review and Herald, February 27, 1894.

“Let all understand the words that I now write. Those who are laborers together with God are but His instruments, and they in themselves possess no essential grace or holiness. It is only when they are cooperating with heavenly intelligences that they are successful. They are but earthen vessels, the depositaries in which God places the treasure of His truth. Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but it is God alone that gives the increase.

“God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. But Satan is a vigilant, unsleeping foe, ever at work upon human minds, seeking a soil in which he can sow his tares. If he finds any whom he can press into his service, he will suggest ideas and false theories, and make them zealous in advocating error. The truth not only converts, but works the purification of its receiver. Jesus has warned us to beware of false teachers. From the beginning of our work, men have arisen from time to time, advocating theories that were new and startling. But if those who claim to believe the truth would go to those who have had experience; would go to the word of God in a teachable, humble spirit, and examine their theories in the light of truth and with the aid of the brethren who have been diligent Bible students, and at the same time make supplication unto God, asking, Is this the way of the Lord, or is it a false path in which Satan would lead me? They would receive light, and would escape out of the net of the fowler.

“Let all our brethren and sisters beware of anyone who would set a time for the Lord to fulfill His word in regard to His coming, or in regard to any other promise He has made of special significance. ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.’ False teachers may appear to be very zealous for the work of God, and may expend means to bring their theories before the world and the church; but as they mingle error with truth, their message is one of deception, and will lead souls into false paths. They are to be met and opposed, not because they are bad men, but because they are teachers of falsehood and are endeavoring to put upon falsehood the stamp of truth.” Testimonies to Ministers, 53–55.

“But we see that the God of heaven sometimes commissions men to teach that which is regarded as contrary to the established doctrines. Because those who were once the depositaries of truth became unfaithful to their sacred trust, the Lord chose others who would receive the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and would advocate truths that were not in accordance with the ideas of the religious leaders. And then these leaders, in the blindness of their minds, give full sway to what is supposed to be righteous indignation against the ones who have set aside cherished fables. They act like men who have lost their reason. They do not consider the possibility that they themselves have not rightly understood the word. They will not open their eyes to discern the fact that they have misinterpreted and misapplied the Scriptures, and have built up false theories, calling them fundamental doctrines of the faith.” Ibid., 69.

“Can we then be surprised to hear of ministers falling under temptation and sin, disgracing the cause they were professedly advocating? Can we wonder that there are apostasies when men who urge conversion upon others are not themselves converted; when they commend to others the love of Christ which does not glow in their own souls; preaching repentance which they themselves have not practiced, and faith which they have no experimental knowledge of; telling of a Saviour whom they have never known except by rumor? They are self-deceived men, not far from destruction. Pitiful indeed is their situation. All may seem peaceful to them, because the palsy of death is upon them. We are fully aware that dishonest men, immoral men, who preach the Word, are not always reproved and warned. They are not unmasked. They learn to hold the truth in unrighteousness, and can tamper with it without a trembling of heart and rebuke of conscience. Oh, that with pen and voice we might lead the people who claim to be the depositaries of sacred and eternal truth to feel the necessity of enthroning the Word of God in their heart, and bringing every thought, word, and action into subjection to Jesus Christ. It is a fearful thing to be in daily connection with the truth of God, telling others of eternal truth, and yet be unsanctified through that truth.

It is not safe to place men in the position God should occupy, for men cannot be trusted. If they do not constantly live as in the presence of God, if they do not walk humbly before God and their brethren, they will diverge almost imperceptibly, and by slight degrees, from the straight line of God’s work. Trusting to their own wisdom, they will deceive themselves and their fellow men. Their ideas become so confused that they offer strange fire before the Lord.

The Word of God is to be the man of our counsel. With pen and voice I proclaim to all who bear credentials, to all licentiates, to all colporteurs, and all canvassers, that the Bible, and the Bible only, studied on your knees, laid up in your heart, and practiced in your life, attended by the Holy Spirit’s power, can be your safeguard. It alone can make you righteous and holy, and keep you thus. Every human influence is weak and varying unless the truth of God’s Word is brought home to the soul, and placed upon the throne. Not till this is done will the heart be sanctified, purified, and made holy, a fountain out of which are the issues of life.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 89, 90.

No One is Free from Failing in Responsibility

Needless to say, such warnings are not being heeded by the majority of professed believers in this hour of earth’s history, and it will get worse, as we have been warned. The point to be made here is that individuals making up a group have as much or more responsibility as depositaries as an entire group of people claiming depositary status. No individual is free from failing in responsibilities as a depositary of sacred things. Common sense would conclude no group of individuals is free either. Let us look at some statements dealing with the church as a working body.

“The people whom God has made the depositaries of His law are generally from the poorer classes, and they have not had the advantages of wealth and culture. As they wish to make a good impression, and win souls to the light of truth, they must become intelligent and refined. They should stop at no low standard; for they will be hated and criticized by all who choose darkness rather than light. .” The Review and Herald, May 6, 1884.

We have a message of warning to the church. God says to you, ‘Be zealous and repent’ ‘I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.’ Precious time has been squandered in which you might have won souls to Christ,—souls that through your love of ease are now lost. Every member of the church should awake to duty now. May God help you to take on the burden. Let the church-members pray and fast and believe. Let the hearts of parents be turned to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents, ‘Lest I come,’ saith the Lord, ‘and smite the earth with a curse.’ Your souls are in peril. Shall the Sun of Righteousness set, and leave you enshrouded in the darkness of eternal night?

Great light and privileges were given to the Jewish nation, but their sin was in neglecting to improve these blessings. Great privileges are granted to those whom God has made the depositaries of His law. These privileges are not evidences of our piety, and do not commend us to God; but they lay us under most solemn obligation to respond in holiness of life to the benefits received. Privileges abused will ever result in corresponding darkness and judgment from God.

But God never forsakes a people until they first forsake Him. ‘Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause My anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever.’” Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 286, 287.

The Lord Jesus has made His church the depositary of sacred truth. He has left with her the work of carrying out His purposes* and His plans to save the souls for whom He has manifested such interest, such unmeasured love. Like the sun in relation to our world, He rises amid the moral darkness—the Sun of Righteousness. He said of Himself, ‘I am the light of the world.’ He said to His followers, ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ Jesus came to the world in the garb of humanity, to instruct the world and guide them in the way of light, to eternal happiness. The followers of Christ are His representatives in the world. By reflecting the image of Jesus Christ, by the beauty and holiness of their characters, by their continual self-denial and their separation from all idols, large or small, they reveal that they have learned in the school of Christ. They are continually catching the spirit of love and forbearance, meekness and gentleness, and they stand as representatives of Christ, a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.” Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 778.

[* “In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them.” The Great Controversy, 593.]

Separated from the World!

“God has called His church in this day, as He called ancient Israel, to stand as a light in the earth. By the mighty cleaver of truth, the messages of the first, second, and third angels, He has separated them from the churches and from the world to bring them into a sacred nearness to Himself. He has made them the depositaries of His law and has committed to them the great truths of prophecy for this time. Like the holy oracles committed to ancient Israel, these are a sacred trust to be communicated to the world. The Three Angels of Revelation 14 represent the people who accept the light of God’s messages and go forth as His agents to sound the warning throughout the length and breadth of the earth. Christ declares to His followers: ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ To every soul that accepts Jesus the cross of Calvary speaks: ‘Behold the worth of the soul: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”’ Nothing is to be permitted to hinder this work. It is the all-important work for time; it is to be far-reaching as eternity. The love that Jesus manifested for the souls of men in the sacrifice which He made for their redemption, will actuate all His followers.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 455. (See Also 619.)

We profess to have more truth than other denominations; yet if this does not lead to greater consecration, to purer, holier lives, of what benefit is it to us? It would be better for us never to have seen the light of truth than to profess to accept it and not be sanctified through it.” Ibid., vol. 5., 619, 620.

Words of Warning

“I have been instructed to trace words of warning for our brethren and sisters who are in danger of losing sight of the special work for this time. The Lord has made us depositaries of sacred truth. We are to arise and shine. In every land we are to herald the Second Coming of Christ, in the language of the revelator proclaiming: ‘Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.’ Revelation 1:7.” Ibid., vol. 8, 116.

“It is a solemn and terrible truth that many who have been zealous in proclaiming the Third Angel’s Message are now becoming listless and indifferent! The line of demarcation between worldlings and many professed Christians is almost indistinguishable. Many who once were earnest Adventists are conforming to the worldto its practices, its customs, and its selfishness. Instead of leading the world to render obedience to God’s law, the church is uniting more and more closely with the world in transgression. Daily the church is becoming converted to the world. How many professing Christians are slaves of mammon! Their indulgence of appetite, their extravagant expenditure of money for selfish gratification, greatly dishonors God.” Ibid.. vol. 8, 118.

“The world must not be introduced into the church and married to the church. Through union with the world the church will become corrupt, — ‘A cage of every unclean and hateful bird.’ The customs of the world must not have a place; for they will open doors through which the prince of darkness will find access, and the line of demarcation will become indistinguishable between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.” The Review and Herald, February 26, 1895.

“There are many who, if they understood the spirit and the result of religious legislation, would not do anything to forward in the least the movement for Sunday observance. The world is overborne with falsehood and iniquity, and those whom God has made the depositaries of His law and of the pure religion of Jesus, must be determined to let their light shine. If they do nothing to disabuse the minds of the people, and through ignorance of the truth our legislators should abjure the principles of Protestantism and give countenance and support to the Roman fallacy, enforcing allegiance to the spurious sabbath, God will hold His people, who have had great light, responsible for their lack of diligence and faithfulness. But if the subject of religious legislation is judiciously and intelligently laid before the people, and they see that through Sunday enforcement, the Roman apostasy would be re-enacted by the Christian world, and that the tyranny of past ages would be repeated, then whatever comes, we shall have done our duty. The Review and Herald, March 9, 1911.

Plain Speaking

“In these last days God has brought to His people a knowledge of His law. A flood of light has been poured upon the New Testament, revealing the truths of the Old. God has brought out from the world and from the church a people whom He has made the depositaries of His law. They are to teach that that law must be obeyed if men would enter into life. To those who keep His commandments He will be a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, to lighten and lead the way in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in.” Signs of the Times, July 19, 1899.

That last quote is very interesting, is it not? It is as plain as can be how God passes the torch to those who remain faithful to duty as individuals or religious bodies. It gets even plainer.

The Seventh-day Adventist church, or any of its actual congregations, interestingly enough, is only mentioned by name a few times in all the references available on this subject. Some are now included here. Pay close attention to the messages Mrs. White sent them.

“God is leading out a people. He has a chosen people, a church on the earth, whom He has made the depositaries of His law. He has committed to them sacred trust and eternal truth to be given to the world. He would reprove and correct them. The message to the Laodiceans is applicable to Seventh-day Adventists who have had great light and have not walked in the light. It is those who have made great profession, but have not kept in step with their Leader, that will be spewed out of His mouth unless they repent. The message to pronounce the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Babylon, and call the people of God out of her, does not come from any heavenly messenger, or any human agent inspired by the Spirit of God.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 66.

Well, here is one that is at the heart of great controversy among God’s professed people in our day. What would principle declare about the historical and present meaning of this passage, and others like it, in light of what you have already read and will now read? You decide, because God will, indeed, judge each one of us in how we relate to and judge heavenly principles.

“But the heart of the work, the great center, has been enfeebled by the mismanagement of men who have not kept pace with their Leader. Satan has diverted their money and their capabilities into wrong channels. Their precious time has been passing into eternity. The earnest work that is now being done, the aggressive warfare that is being carried on, might long ago have been just as vigorously carried forward in obedience to the light of God. The whole body is sick because of mismanagement and miscalculation. The people to whom God has entrusted eternal interests, the depositaries of truth pregnant with eternal results, the keepers of light that is to illuminate the whole world, have lost their bearings. Has God made a mistake? Are those at the heart of the work chosen vessels that can receive the golden oil, which the heavenly messengers, represented as two olive trees, empty into the golden tubes to replenish the lamps? Are those in Battle Creek, the men and women that God has appointed to do the most solemn work ever given to mortals, in partnership with Jesus Christ in His great firm? Are those whom He has bidden to communicate the light from the burning lamps to others, that the regions of darkness may have opportunity to hear the saving message, doing their duty? … “ Testimonies to Ministers, 397.

God Does Not Make Mistakes!

Does God make mistakes? No, of course not. His choosing of Israel was not a mistake. His choosing of the early church over the Jewish church was not a mistake. His choosing of the faithful few as the early church majority went into apostasy was not a mistake. His choosing of the Protestant Reformers was not a mistake. His choosing of the Adventists prior to 1844 was not a mistake. His choosing of another faithful remnant to carry on after 1844 was not a mistake. Now, given that God does not make mistakes, will the real depository please stand up?

Read this next statement carefully:

“The church at Battle Creek has had great light. As a people they have been peculiarly favored of God. They have not been left in ignorance in regard to the will of God concerning them. They might be far in advance of what they now are, if they had walked in the light. They are not that separate, peculiar, and holy people that their faith demands, and that God recognizes and acknowledges as children of the light. They are not as obedient and devotional as their exalted position and sacred obligation as children walking in the light require them to be. The most solemn message of mercy ever given to the world has been entrusted to them. The Lord has made that church the depositaries of His commandments in a sense that no other church is. God did not show them His special favor in trusting to them His sacred truth that they alone might be benefited by the light given, but that the light reflected upon them from heaven should shine forth to others and be reflected again to God by those who receive the truth glorifying Him. Many in Battle Creek will have a fearful account to give in the day of God for this sinful neglect of duty.

“Many of those who profess to believe the truth in Battle Creek contradict their faith by their works. They are as unbelieving, and as far from fulfilling the requirements of God and from coming up to their profession of faith, as was the Jewish church at the time of Christ’s first advent. Should Christ make His appearance among them, reproving and rebuking selfishness, pride, and love of the friendship of the world, as He did at His first advent, but few would recognize Him as the Lord of glory. The picture He would present before them of their neglect of duty they would not receive, but would tell Him to His face: ‘You are entirely mistaken; we have done this good and great thing, and performed this and that wonderful work, and we are entitled to be highly exalted for our good works.’

The Jews did not go into darkness all at once. It was a gradual work, until they could not discern the gift of God in sending His Son. The church at Battle Creek has had superior advantages, and they will be judged by the light and privileges they have had. Their deficiencies, their unbelief, their hardness of heart, and their neglect to cherish and follow the light are not less than those of the favored Jews, who refused the blessings they might have accepted, and crucified the Son of God. The Jews are now an astonishment and reproach to the world.Testimonies, vol. 3, 199, 200.

“Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to walk in the light that God has given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts. But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were polluted with merchandise and robbery. Selfishness and love of mammon, envy and strife, were cherished. Everyone sought for gain from his quarter. Christ turned from them, saying: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,’ how can I give thee up? ‘How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’ Matthew 23:37.

Christ Weeps Over our Failed Churches

So Christ sorrows and weeps over our churches, over our institutions of learning, that have failed to meet the demand of God. He comes to investigate in Battle Creek, which has been moving in the same track as Jerusalem. The publishing house has been turned into desecrated shrines, into a place of unholy merchandise and traffic. It has become a place where injustice and fraud have been carried on, where selfishness, malice, envy, and passion have borne sway. Yet the men who have been led into this working upon wrong principles are seemingly unconscious of their wrong course of action. When warnings and entreaties come to them, they say: ‘Doth she not speak in parables?’ Words of warning and reproof have been treated as idle tales.

When Christ looked down from the crest of Olivet, He saw this state of things existing in every church. The warnings come down to all that are following in the tread of the people of Jerusalem, who had such great light. This people is before us as a warning. By rejecting God’s warnings in this our day, men are repeating the sin of Jerusalem. The Lord sees what the human agent does not see and will not see—the outcome of all the human devising in Battle Creek. He has done all that a God could do. He has flashed light before the eyes of the people, that their sins might not reach the boundary where repentance cannot be felt. But by a long process of departure from just and righteous principles, men have placed themselves where light and truth, justice and mercy, are not discerned. This course has become part of their very nature.

I call upon all who have united in a course of action that is wrong in principle, to make a decided reformation and forever after walk humbly with God .…

These are no idle tales, but truth. Again I ask: On which side are you standing? ‘If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow Him.’ I Kings 18:21.” Ibid., vol. 8, 67, 68.

Frankly, dear reader, I am not into idle tales, and we should have no doubt in our minds that the Seventh-day Adventist denomination walks no safer ground than presented to any other group in religious history. Nay, she is held more accountable because of all the examples given her.

Who Are the Disfellowshipped and Disenfranchised?

If the Seventh-day Adventist denomination and its recognized, authorized membership is the depositary of God, who are those thousands now disfellowshipped and disenfranchised from her borders? If the Seventh-day Adventist denomination is God’s depositary, let it be proven from “true theology and common sense,” not sentimentality, false reasoning, or human wisdom and philosophy. It is Rome who says, “We are the true church. We are holy, no matter what was done in the past, or is done now, because the church is Christ’s and He is holy.” God forbid such Romanism should exist within that movement which was called into being as the final spearhead movement of the Protestant Reformation! But it does; God help us!

The church is the pillar and ground of truth. It cannot be the pillar and ground of error. It cannot be the pillar and ground of a mixture of truth and error, once light has shined on its pathway. The mixture of truth and error is the track of Satan and deception and the makeup of the prophetic family of Babylon. The Depositary and the Second Angel’s Message are now on the table for discussion as never before. If principles mean anything, if warnings mean anything, if circumstances mean anything, if conditions mean anything, they had better mean something now, because our present and future depend on it.

There is God; there is Baal. There is the true Mother and the remnant; there is the false Mother and her daughters. There is Protestantism; there is Romanism. There is light, there is darkness. There is Christ; there is Satan.

Pray tell, on whose side are you?

“He that has ears to hear . . . . “

[All emphasis supplied]

The End

Preparation Day Reminiscences

It is amazing how much children take in from the life-style around them and store in their minds as part of their patchwork of life. Things about preparation for Sabbath are very strong in my memories.

My mother and father had been to college, and many of the things that they did there remained through their married life. We often had people to lunch, and so the cloths for the table were checked and the serviettes pressed again to make sure the last creases were smoothed out. They had been starched, and how easily that starch went into yellow patches.

Preparing the House

Everything that could be done, ready for Sabbath, was done and left under clean tea towels. The vegetables were prepared and the gravy almost ready; it just needed to be heated. We often had tins of vegetables that only had to be opened, or a winter meal was a thick stew with chunky bread. Later it seemed to be a lentil soup that became a standard Seventh-day Adventist recipe in many homes of the day. The whole house was hoovered from top to bottom and dusted. Almost last of all was the bathroom and toilet, with smells of Harpic and Vim, shiny black and white floor tiles and bright chrome taps and towel rail. Everyone had their baths and hair washed and then the bathroom was cleaned. This was my job. My mother felt I was safe in there and would get on with the job. I had (and still do!) a problem that everything with print on it has to be read. That does not get the job done for a youngster. Bathrooms, fortunately, do not have much in them to read!

Preparing the Clothing

The next task was to put out all the clothes for the morning, examine the stockings for any snags, check to make sure the white gloves were spotless, and press Dad’s trousers. I had the shoes to polish, and I had that down to a fine art. You could have seen your face in the black toecaps of Dad’s shoes. Handkerchiefs would be laid out on the table, a crisp white cotton one boiled in Omo, and dipped in the ‘blue’, for Dad. Mum had one from Switzerland that she had been given, with pretty white embroidery and lace, always with a hint of lavender from the ‘scenty drawer’ where the best things were put. Along side these were our offerings in Sabbath purses with our tithe envelopes, Mum’s best watch, Dad’s special silver propelling pencil, and our lesson books, Bibles, and hymn books. Mum had a miniature leather, tan-colored suitcase as a Sabbath bag, and this was put ready too. Inside was usually hidden a Mitcham mint to curb a rumbling stomach in second service!

Sometimes I was sent on an errand to another member’s house, and there it seemed to be just the same. The smell of Lavendo polish met you at the door; fresh flowers were on the table, and there was always a smell of new made bread. I just knew it was preparation day there too. The next day, Sabbath, the same sister came quietly into church and knelt and prayed in her place as she entered the house of God. She had on her neat costume, little round hat and her fox fur with the satin lining round her shoulders. She was ready to come before God, and I knew that her home was like that too.

Secular Activities Out of Sight

Back at our house, papers and the Radio Times were hidden under the cushion of the easy chair by the fire; all toys and knitting were put away out of sight, and last thing of all, fresh towels were put in the bathroom. In the kitchen, crisp tea towels were hung on the hook, and a new roller towel with orange and green stripes was put in place, along with a snowy white boiled dishcloth on the sink. We had all worked to make the Sabbath a special day.

We often used to put up the speaker if he had traveled some distance, and so we frequently had company for Friday evening, which I enjoyed. Pastors did not travel on the Sabbath if this was avoidable. Sometimes we had returning missionaries home on furlough to stay with us, and it was a delight to look at the curios that they had brought back from distant countries. There were pictures made of blue butterfly wings, beads from India, a canoe from Brazil made of raw rubber, a hummingbird’s nest and other delights. Of course I had sneak previews before the Missions Appeal the next day.

Preparing the Heart

As it began to draw towards sunset, preparations were all finished, casual slippers were taken off and smart shoes put on, fresh clothes were donned and hair brushed. If Sabbath came in around the time of a meal, aprons were always taken off and laid to one side. My father offered prayer for us as a family, thanking God for the blessings and watchcare of another week and praying that the messages of the hour would be food for the people of God as we worked to hasten the coming of Jesus. He always prayed that nothing in our lives would dishonor the Sabbath in any way and remembered the groups meeting around the world during the sacred hours. We had a harmonium at home which my mother used to play well. Mum and Dad sang duets, tenor and soprano or alto, or we learned a new hymn. Visitors joined in choosing favorites, each singing parts. “Our God Shall Come” always seemed a special one. At the end of worship, different pretty Sabbath aprons were donned and tea served. Friday night tea was always salad, just like it had been at college.

Train Up a Child

Children absorb these details, and they remember the standards and the explanations that are told to them. The secret is consistency week by week. This gives security and purpose to the plan of life that God has given us. This preparation shows the importance and joy of the Sabbath, and the weekly anticipation adds to the reverence of the Sabbath day itself.

At home the ‘scenty drawer’ is still there on the left-hand side of the dressing table. When the clocks changed for the summer, it seemed to put out all the routines for us all. My mother phoned and said she had had a difficult Friday, and as a result, the wash hand basin, usually the last job now before Sabbath, had not been cleaned, and she did not feel right. Suddenly the time gap of 50 years had been bridged, the preparation was still vital, and my mother’s words prompted me to still higher standards about the Sabbath and the importance of our day with God.

Is Your Home Ready for the Holy Appointment?

[Editor’s Note: How is your Sabbath preparation? Have we become lax in the way we approach God’s holy hours? Perhaps this will give us a little nudge to make sure that we are “ready” in all aspects of our life when the Sabbath hours approach every week.]