Bible Study Guides – Word Made Flesh

October 20–October 26, 2002

Memory Verse

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.

Suggested Reading: The Desire of Ages, 19–26; “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 903–905.


“The Lord Jesus condescended to clothe his divinity with humanity, and to stand as a representative of God upon earth, an example of what God would have humanity become through the grace of Christ.” Review and Herald, November 12, 1895.

“Jesus was the Commander of heaven, one equal with God, and yet he condescended to lay aside his kingly crown, his royal robe, and clothed his divinity with humanity. The incarnation of Christ in human flesh is a mystery. He could have come to earth as one with a remarkable appearance, unlike the sons of men. His countenance could have shone with glory, and his form could have been of remarkable grace. He could have presented such an appearance as to charm the beholder; but this was not according to the plan devised in the courts of God. He was to bear the characteristics of the human family, and the Jewish race. In all respects the Son of God was to wear the same features as did other human beings. He was not to have such beauty of person as would make him singular among men. He was to manifest no wonderful charms by which to attract attention to himself. He came as a representative of the human family before heaven and earth. He was to stand as man’s substitute and surety. He was to live the life of humanity in such a way as to contradict the assertion that Satan had made that humanity was his everlasting possession, and that God himself could not take man out of his adversary’s hands.” Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896.

1 How is the eternal existence of Christ revealed in the Bible? Micah 5:2; John 8:58; 17:5; Psalm 145:13.

note: “In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.” Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900.

“Heavenly angels had seen the glory which the Son of God shared with the Father before the world was, and they had looked forward with intense interest to His appearing on earth as an event fraught with the greatest joy to all people.” The Great Controversy, 313.

2 What other important work, besides the creation, did Christ accomplish? Isaiah 43:1; John 1:29.

note: “Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us. Every drop of blood shed by the Jewish sacrifices pointed to the Lamb of God. All the typical offerings were fulfilled in him. Type met antitype when he died on the cross. He came to make it possible, by the sacrifice of himself, to put away sin. He paid the ransom for our redemption. We are bought with a price; and Christ calls upon us to let him take our sins, and impute to us his righteousness.” Review and Herald, July 19, 1898.

3 What understanding should we have about the divinity of Christ, even after His incarnation? Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22, 23; Philippians 2:5–11.

note: “Although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions human and divine were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own.” Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899.

4 It is important for us to remember what fact about Christ’s humanity? 1 Peter 2:22; John 14:30, 31.

note: “Amid impurity, Christ maintained His purity. Satan could not stain or corrupt it. His character revealed a perfect hatred for sin. It was His holiness that stirred against Him all the passion of a profligate world; for by His perfect life He threw upon the world a perpetual reproach, and made manifest the contrast between transgression and the pure, spotless righteousness of One that knew no sin. This heavenly purity annoyed the apostate foe as nothing else could do, and he followed Christ day by day, using in his work the people that claimed to have a superior purity and knowledge of God, putting into their hearts a spirit of hatred against Christ, and tempting His disciples to betray and forsake Him.” Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899.

5 For what purpose was divinity united with humanity? John 1:14; 14:7–10.

note: “The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” The Desire of Ages, 664.

“In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery, that the human mind can not comprehend. The more we reflect upon it, the more amazing does it appear. How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem’s manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, he in whom was the fulness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in humanity, we look upon God, and see in him the brightness of his glory, the express image of his person.” Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896.

6 By accepting Christ as our Redeemer, into what new relationship do we enter? John 1:12, 13.

note: “The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices, they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ.” Review and Herald, April 12, 1892.

“God makes no compromise with sin. A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. The religion of God is a firm fabric, composed of innumerable threads, and woven together with tact and skill. Only the wisdom which comes from God can make this fabric complete.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1101.

7 What words of Christ should be echoed in our experience? John 8:29.

note: “Human nature is ever struggling for expression, ready for contest; but he who learns of Christ is emptied of self, of pride, of love of supremacy, and there is silence in the soul. Self is yielded to the disposal of the Holy Spirit. Then we are not anxious to have the highest place. We have no ambition to crowd and elbow ourselves into notice; but we feel that our highest place is at the feet of our Saviour. We look to Jesus, waiting for His hand to lead, listening for His voice to guide. . . .

“When we receive Christ as an abiding guest in the soul, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The Saviour’s life on earth, though lived in the midst of conflict, was a life of peace.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 15.

8 How is God manifested in us when we establish the new relationship? John 14:15–18, 21, 23; 1 John 4:12.

note: “We are not to serve God as if we were not human, but we are to serve him as those who have been redeemed by the Son of God and through the righteousness of Christ we shall stand before God pardoned, and as though we had never sinned. We shall never gain strength in considering what we might do if we were angels; but as obedient children we are to turn in faith to Jesus Christ, and show our love to God through obedience to his commands.” Signs of the Times, April 10, 1893.

“As Jesus was in human nature, so God means His followers to be. In His strength we are to live the life of purity and nobility which the Saviour lived.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 289.

9 What promise is ours as we accept Christ? Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 2:16–18; 5:2.

note: “Christ in the weakness of humanity was to meet the temptations of one possessing the powers of the higher nature that God had bestowed on the angelic family. But Christ’s humanity was united with divinity, and in this strength he would bear all the temptations that Satan could bring against him, and yet keep his soul untainted by sin. And this power to overcome he would give to every son and daughter of Adam who would accept by faith the righteous attributes of his character.” Review and Herald, January 28, 1909.

“Christ came to give to the world an example of what perfect humanity might be when united with divinity.” Selected Messages, wBook 1, 260.

10 What action is necessary on our part for us to know Christ better? John 5:39.

note: “No man, woman, or youth can attain to Christian perfection and neglect the study of the word of God. By carefully and closely searching His word we shall obey the injunction of Christ, [ John 5:39 quoted]. This search enables the student to observe closely the divine Model, for they testify of Christ. The Pattern must be inspected often and closely in order to imitate it. As one becomes acquainted with the history of the Redeemer, he discovers in himself defects of character; his unlikeness to Christ is so great that he sees he cannot be a follower without a very great change in his life. Still he studies, with a desire to be like his great Exemplar; he catches the looks, the spirit, of his beloved Master; by beholding he becomes changed.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 17.

“In the Word the Saviour is revealed in all His beauty and loveliness. Every soul will find comfort and consolation in the Bible, which is full of promises concerning what God will do for the one who comes into right relation to Him. Especially will the sick be comforted by hearing the Word; for in giving the Scriptures God has given to mankind a leaf from the tree of life, which is for the healing of the nations. How can anyone who reads the Scriptures or who has heard them read, lose his interest in heavenly things, and find pleasure in amusements and enchantments of the world (MS 105, 1901)?” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1134, 1135.

11 As a result of our communion with Christ, what transformation should we experience? Romans 12:2.

note: “Man, fallen man, may be transformed by the renewing of the mind. . . . “A real work is wrought by the Holy Spirit upon the human character, and its fruits are seen; just as a good tree will bear good fruit, so will the tree that is actually planted in the Lord’s garden produce good fruit unto eternal life. Besetting sins are overcome;  evil thoughts are not allowed in the mind; evil habits are purged from the soul temple. The tendencies, which have been biased in a wrong direction, are turned in a right direction. Wrong dispositions and feelings are rooted out. Holy tempers and sanctified emotions are now the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. An entire transformation has taken place. This is the work to be wrought.—Elder E. P. Daniels and the Fresno Church, pp. 8, 9.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 50.

12 If we really want Christ to be our Redeemer, what must we do? Revelation 3:20.

note: “The Lord knocks at the door of your heart, desiring to enter, that he may impart spiritual riches to your soul. He would anoint the blind eyes, that they may discover the holy character of God in his law, and understand the love of Christ, which is indeed gold tried in the fire.” Review and Herald, February 25, 1890.

“Jesus stands knocking,—knocking at the door of your hearts,—and yet, for all this, some say continually, ‘I cannot find him.’ Why not? He says, ‘I stand here knocking. Why do you not open the door, and say, Come in, dear Lord?’ . . . Open the door now, and empty the soul-temple of the buyers and sellers, and invite the Lord to come in. Say to him, ‘I will love thee with all my soul. I will work the works of righteousness. I will obey the law of God.’ Then you will feel the peaceful presence of Jesus.” Review and Herald, August 28, 1888.

Bible Study Guides – Regaining Paradise

October 13, 2002 – October 19, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.

SUGGESTED READING: Patriarchs and Prophets, 71–79; “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Commentary, vol. 7, 931.

INTRODUCTION: “Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost and that world which God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness, and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die. I [Ellen White] saw the lovely Jesus and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon His countenance. Soon I saw Him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, He is in close converse with His Father. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with His Father. Three times He was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time He came out from the Father, His person could be seen. His countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and doubt, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express.

“He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father, and had offered to give His life a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon; that through the merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favor of God and be brought into the beautiful garden and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.” The Story of Redemption, 42.

“The Father has given the world into the hands of Christ, that through His mediatorial work He may redeem man and vindicate the authority and holiness of the law of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 366.

1 What promise of God is repeated throughout the Bible? Genesis 12:3; 22:18; 28:14; Galatians 3:8, 16.

NOTE: “Not alone at the Saviour’s advent, but through all the ages after the Fall and the promise of redemption, ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.’ 2 Corinthians 5:19. Christ was the foundation and center of the sacrificial system in both the patriarchal and the Jewish age. Since the sin of our first parents there has been no direct communication between God and man. The Father has given the world into the hands of Christ, that through His mediatorial work He may redeem man and vindicate the authority and holiness of the law of God. All the communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ. It was the Son of God that gave to our first parents the promise of redemption. It was He who revealed Himself to the patriarchs. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses understood the gospel. They looked for salvation through man’s Substitute and Surety. These holy men of old held communion with the Saviour who was to come to our world in human flesh . . . .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 366.

“Plain and specific prophecies had been given regarding the appearance of the Promised One. To Adam was given an assurance of the coming of the Redeemer. The sentence pronounced on Satan, [Genesis 3:15 quoted], was to our first parents a promise of the redemption to be wrought out through Christ.

“To Abraham was given the promise that of his line the Saviour of the world should come . . . .

“Moses, near the close of his work as a leader and teacher of Israel, plainly prophesied of the Messiah to come. . . .

“The Messiah was to be of the royal line, for in the prophecy uttered by Jacob the Lord said, ‘The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.’ Genesis 49:10.

“Isaiah prophesied: ‘There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.’ . . . Isaiah 11:1 . . . .

“Jeremiah also bore witness of the coming Redeemer as a Prince of the house of David . . . .

“The work that the Saviour was to do on the earth had been fully outlined . . . .” The Acts of the Apostles, 221–224.

2 How was this promise fulfilled? Luke 4:18, 21.

NOTE: “His [Christ’s] birth was without worldly grandeur. He was born in a stable and cradled in a manger; yet His birth was honored far above that of any of the sons of men. Angels from heaven informed the shepherds of the advent of Jesus, and light and glory from God accompanied their testimony. The heavenly host touched their harps and glorified God. They triumphantly heralded the advent of the Son of God to a fallen world to accomplish the work of redemption, and by His death to bring peace, happiness, and everlasting life to man. God honored the advent of His Son. Angels worshiped Him.” The Story of Redemption, 196.

“The Son of God came from heaven to make manifest the Father. . . .

“[Luke 4:18 quoted.] This was His work. He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by Satan.” Steps to Christ, 11.

3 Through the gospel, how was Abel blessed, accepted, and justified? Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 11:4.

NOTE: “Abel grasped the great principles of redemption. He saw himself a sinner, and he saw sin and its penalty, death, standing between his soul and communion with God. He brought the slain victim, the sacrificed life, thus acknowledging the claims of the law that had been transgressed. Through the shed blood he looked to the future sacrifice, Christ dying on the cross of Calvary; and trusting in the atonement that was there to be made, he had the witness that he was righteous, and his offering accepted.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 72.

4 How did Cain forfeit the blessings and acceptance of the gospel? Genesis 4:3, 5.

NOTE: “Cain came before God with murmuring and infidelity in his heart in regard to the promised sacrifice and the necessity of the sacrificial offerings. His gift expressed no penitence for sin. He felt, as many now feel, that it would be an acknowledgment of weakness to follow the exact plan marked out by God, of trusting his salvation wholly to the atonement of the promised Saviour. He chose the course of self-dependence. He would come in his own merits. He would not bring the lamb, and mingle its blood with his offering, but would present his fruits, the products of his labor. He presented his offering as a favor done to God, through which he expected to secure the divine approval. Cain obeyed in building an altar, obeyed in bringing a sacrifice; but he rendered only a partial obedience. The essential part, the recognition of the need of a Redeemer, was left out.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 72.

5 How are the two classes of worshipers (Cain and Abel) reflected in the life of Paul? Philippians 3:4–9.

NOTE: “Cain and Abel represent two classes of men that have existed from generation to generation, and will continue to exist to the close of time. One availed himself of the promised sacrifice for sin; the other ventured to depend upon his own merits. His was the sacrifice of a sinner without the virtue of divine mediation, which is alone able to bring him into favor with God. It is only through the merits of Jesus that our transgressions of the law can be pardoned. Those who feel that they can be moral without divine help, who feel no need of the blood of Christ, are betrayed into grievous sins. If they do not gladly, gratefully, accept the cleansing blood, they are under condemnation. There is no other provision made whereby they can be released from sin’s terrible thralldom. There must be repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the only way to secure excellence of character, the only path to divine favor.” Signs of the Times, September 11, 1884.

6 What lesson should we learn from Cain’s offering? Jude 11; Genesis 4:13, 14.

NOTE: “The class of worshipers who follow the example of Cain includes by far the greater portion of the world; for nearly every false religion has been based on the same principle—that man can depend upon his own efforts for salvation. It is claimed by some that the human race is in need, not of redemption, but of development—that it can refine, elevate, and regenerate itself. As Cain thought to secure the divine favor by an offering that lacked the blood of a sacrifice, so do these expect to exalt humanity to the divine standard, independent of the atonement. The history of Cain shows what must be the results. It shows what man will become apart from Christ. Humanity has no power to regenerate itself. It does not tend upward, toward the divine, but downward, toward the satanic. Christ is our only hope.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 73.

7 What lesson is there for us in the fig-leaf garments of Adam and Eve? Genesis 3:7.

NOTE: “The garment of innocence, a covering from God, which surrounded them, departed; and they supplied the place of this heavenly garment by sewing together fig-leaves for aprons.

“This is the covering that the transgressors of the law of God have used since the days of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They have sewed together fig-leaves to cover their nakedness, caused by transgression. The fig-leaves represent the arguments used to cover disobedience. When the Lord calls the attention of men and women to the truth, the making of fig-leaves into aprons will be begun, to hide the nakedness of the soul. But the nakedness of the sinner is not covered. All the arguments pieced together by all who have interested themselves in this flimsy work will come to naught.” Review and Herald, November 15, 1898.

“Naked and ashamed, they [Adam and Eve] tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering.

“This is what the transgressors of God’s law have done ever since the day of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They have sewed together fig leaves to cover the nakedness caused by transgression. They have worn the garments of their own devising, by works of their own they have tried to cover their sins, and make themselves acceptable with God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 311.

8 How are we in danger of failing—as did the Israelites—to truly understand the gospel? Exodus 24:7; Joshua 24:19–21; Hebrews 4:2.

NOTE: “The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 371, 372.

“The unbelief and murmurings of the children of Israel illustrate the people of God now upon the earth. Many look back to them, and marvel at their unbelief and continual murmurings, after the Lord had done so much for them, in giving them repeated evidences of his love and care for them. They think that they should not have proved thus ungrateful. But some who thus think, murmur and repine at things of less consequence. They do not know themselves. God frequently proves them, and tries their faith in small things, and they do not endure the trial any better than did ancient Israel.

“Many have their present wants supplied, yet they will not trust the Lord for the future. They manifest unbelief, and sink into despondency and gloom at anticipated want. Some are in continual trouble lest they shall come to want, and their children suffer. When difficulties arise, or when they are brought into strait places—when their faith and love to God is tested, they shrink from the trial, and murmur at the process by which God has chosen to purify them. Their love does not prove pure and perfect, to bear all things. The faith of the people of the God of Heaven should be strong, active, and enduring—the substance of things hoped for. Then the language of such will be, Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name; for he hath dealt bountifully with me. Self-denial is considered by some to be real suffering. Depraved appetites are indulged. And a restraint upon the unhealthy appetite would lead even many professed Christians to now start back, as though actual starvation would be the consequence of a plain diet. And, like the children of Israel, they would prefer slavery, diseased bodies, and even death, rather than to be deprived of the flesh-pots. Bread and water is all that is promised to the remnant in the time of trouble.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 251, 252.

9 What did God offer to establish with Israel and with each of us? Jeremiah 31:31–34, Hebrews 8:8–11.

NOTE: “The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth ‘the fruits of the Spirit.’” Patriarchs and Prophets, 372.

10 Only one gospel has saved men since Eden; how does it apply to us? John 14:6; Acts 4:12.

NOTE: “It is the glory of the gospel that it is founded on the principles of restoring in the fallen race the divine image. The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out his plan, it was decided that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, should give himself an offering for sin. And in giving Christ, God gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting for the work of man’s uplifting. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that he could have done more.” Review and Herald, May 2, 1912.

“The love of Christ reaches to the very depths of earthly misery and woe, or it would not meet the case of the veriest sinner. It also reaches to the throne of the Eternal, or man could not be lifted from his degraded condition, and our necessities would not be met, our desires would not be satisfied. Christ has led the way from earth to heaven. He forms the connecting link between the two worlds. He brings the love and condescension of God to man, and brings man up through His merits to meet the reconciliation of God. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. It is hard work to follow on, step by step, painfully and slowly, onward and upward, in the path of purity and holiness. But Christ has made ample provision to impart new vigor and divine strength at every advance step in the divine life.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 193.

11 How are we to benefit from the gospel? 1 Timothy 1:15; Ephesians 1:4–11.

NOTE: “The Father sets his love upon his elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of his own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as his obedient children. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith he hath loved them. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child who will receive and obey the word of God with a child’s simplicity, will be among the elect of God.” Signs of the Times, January 2, 1893.

Bible Study Guides – The Supreme Plan

October 6, 2002 – October 12, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” Job 33:23, 24.

SUGGESTED READING: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62; The Story of Redemption, 42–51.

INTRODUCTION: “The Father and the Son engaged in the mighty, wondrous work they had contemplated—of creating the world. The earth came forth from the hand of the Creator exceedingly beautiful. There were mountains and hills and plains; and interspersed among them were rivers and bodies of water. The earth was not one extensive plain, but the monotony of the scenery was broken by hills and mountains, not high and ragged as they now are, but regular and beautiful in shape. The bare, high rocks were never seen upon them, but lay beneath the surface, answering as bones to the earth. The waters were regularly dispersed. The hills, mountains, and very beautiful plains were adorned with plants and flowers and tall, majestic trees of every description, which were many times larger and much more beautiful than trees now are. The air was pure and healthful, and the earth seemed like a noble palace. Angels beheld and rejoiced at the wonderful and beautiful works of God.” The Story of Redemption, 20.

1 How does God the Father address His Son? Hebrews 1:8–10.

NOTE: “Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity. God over all, blessed forevermore.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1126.

2 What distinctive characteristics describe the Son of God? Colossians 2:9.

NOTE: “In Him [Christ] is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God is expressed in His character. Every page of the Holy Scriptures shines with His light. The righteousness of Christ, as a pure, white pearl, has no defect, no stain. No work of man can improve the great and precious gift of God. It is without a flaw. In Christ are ‘hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ Colossians 2:3. He is ‘made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.’ 1 Corinthians 1:30. All that can satisfy the needs and longings of the human soul, for this world and for the world to come, is found in Christ. Our Redeemer is the pearl so precious that in comparison all things else may be accounted loss.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 115.

“In the work of creation, Christ was with God. He was one with God, equal with him, the brightness of his glory, the express image of his person, the representative of the Father.” Signs of the Times, February 13, 1893.

3 How does Jesus summarize His relationship with God the Father? John 10:30.

NOTE: “He [Jesus] said, . . . I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose. In all His works of creation and providence, I co-operate with God.” The Desire of Ages, 208.

4 During creation, what was considered the crowning act? Genesis 1:26; Psalm 100:3.

NOTE: “Before the fall of Satan, the Father consulted his Son in regard to the formation of man. They purposed to make this world, and create beasts and living things upon it, and to make man in the image of God, to reign as a ruling monarch over every living thing which God should create.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 36.

“Man was the crowning act of the creation of God, made in the image of God, and designed to be a counterpart of God. . . . Man is very dear to God, because he was formed in His own image.” My Life Today, 126.

5 In view of the recent rebellion in heaven, what did the Father and Son decide to do? Genesis 2:16, 17.

NOTE:: “The Father consulted His Son in regard to at once carrying out their purpose to make man to inhabit the earth. He would place man upon probation to test his loyalty before he could be rendered eternally secure. If he endured the test wherewith God saw fit to prove him, he should eventually be equal with the angels. He was to have the favor of God, and he was to converse with angels, and they with him. He did not see fit to place them beyond the power of disobedience.” The Story of Redemption, 19.

6 What plan was made to redeem man, should he submit to the wiles of Satan? Job 33:24, 26–30.

NOTE:: “The great plan of redemption was laid before the foundation of the world. And Christ, our Substitute and Surety, did not stand alone in the wondrous undertaking of the ransom of man. In the plan to save a lost world, the counsel was between them both; the covenant of peace was between the Father and the Son. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, would become a servant. The only-begotten Son, in whom the Father delighted, was given for the ransom of a fallen race.” Signs of the Times, December 23, 1897.

7 What makes man different from all other creatures? Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3–9.

NOTE: “Created to be ‘the image and glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 11:7), Adam and Eve had received endowments not unworthy of their high destiny. Graceful and symmetrical in form, regular and beautiful in feature, their countenances glowing with the tint of health and the light of joy and hope, they bore in outward resemblance the likeness of their Maker. Nor was this likeness manifest in the physical nature only. Every faculty of mind and soul reflected the Creator’s glory. Endowed with high mental and spiritual gifts, Adam and Eve were made but ‘little lower than the angels’ (Hebrews 2:7), that they might not only discern the wonders of the visible universe, but comprehend moral responsibilities and obligations.” Education, 20.

8 Describe Adam’s paradisiacal existence in Eden. Genesis 1:31; 2:8, 15.

NOTE: “Adam was surrounded with everything his heart could wish. Every want was supplied. There was no sin, and no signs of decay in glorious Eden. Angels of God conversed freely and lovingly with the holy pair. The happy songsters caroled forth their free, joyous songs of praise to their Creator. The peaceful beasts in happy innocence played about Adam and Eve, obedient to their word. Adam was in the perfection of manhood, the noblest of the Creator’s work.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 268.

9 How and why was Adam’s fidelity tested? Genesis 2:9, 16, 17.

NOTE: “God created man in his own image, after his likeness, free from sin, and with organs well developed. The earth was to be populated with intelligent beings who were only a little lower than the angels. But God would first prove the holy pair, and test their obedience; for he would not have a world filled with beings who would disregard his laws.” Signs of the Times, January 23, 1879.

“Satan was the first rebel in the universe, and ever since his expulsion from heaven he has been seeking to make every member of the human family an apostate from God, even as he is himself. He laid his plans to ruin man, and through the unlawful indulgence of appetite, led him to transgress the commandments of God. He tempted Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit, and so accomplished their fall, and their expulsion from Eden.” Temperance, 273.

10 Knowing the way Adam failed the test, of what should we be aware? Genesis 3:1–13.

NOTE: “God also requires each of us to subdue self, not giving the rein to self-indulgence or appetite, and to form characters that will stand the test of the judgment and go with us into the future life.” Australasian Union Conference Record, January 5, 1914.

“Adam did the worst thing he could do under the circumstances. In doing that which God had expressly forbidden he set his will against the will of God, thus waging war with his requirements. The pen of inspiration has with accuracy traced the history of our first parents’ sin and fall, that all generations may be warned not to follow Adam’s example, in the slightest disregard of God’s requirements. Had the test been in regard to larger matters, men might have excused the sin of disobedience in what they call smaller things. But God made the test with Adam upon things that are least, to show man that the slightest disobedience to his requirements is sin in every sense of the word. God, the Governor of the universe, has made all things subject to law; things apparently insignificant, and things of the greatest magnitude, are all governed by laws adapted to their natures. Nothing that God has made has been forgotten or left to blind chance. To man, as being endowed with reasoning powers and conscience, God’s moral law is given to control his actions. Man is not compelled to obey. He may defy God’s law, as did Adam, and take the fearful consequences; or by living in harmony with that law he may reap the rewards of obedience.” Signs of the Times, January 23, 1879.

11 Why was Jesus willing to give His life for fallen man? John 15:13.

NOTE: “God and Christ knew from the beginning, of the apostasy of Satan and of the fall of Adam through the deceptive power of the apostate. The plan of salvation was designed to redeem the fallen race, to give them another trial. Christ was appointed to the office of Mediator from the creation of God, set up from everlasting to be our substitute and surety.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906.

“He came from the royal courts of heaven to this world to show how great an interest He had in man, and the infinite price paid for the redemption of man shows that man is of so great value that Christ could sacrifice His riches and honor in the royal courts to lift him from the degradation of sin.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 529.

“Immeasurable love was expressed when One equal with the Father came to pay the price for the souls of men, and bring to them eternal life. Shall those who profess the name of Christ see no attraction in the world’s Redeemer, be indifferent to the possession of truth and righteousness, and turn from the heavenly treasure to the earthly?” Counsels on Stewardship, 226.

12 In what way do angels participate in the plan of redemption? Hebrews 1:14.

NOTE: “The angels prostrated themselves at the feet of their Commander and offered to become a sacrifice for man. But an angel’s life could not pay the debt; only He who created man had power to redeem him. Yet the angels were to have a part to act in the plan of redemption. Christ was to be made ‘a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.’ Hebrews 2:9. As He should take human nature upon Him, His strength would not be equal to theirs, and they were to minister to Him, to strengthen and soothe Him under His sufferings. They were also to be ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who should be heirs of salvation. Hebrews 1:14. They would guard the subjects of grace from the power of evil angels and from the darkness constantly thrown around them by Satan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 64, 65.

13 In the words addressed to the serpent in Eden, what hope did God give to fallen man? Genesis 3:14, 15.

NOTE: “To fallen man was revealed the plan of infinite sacrifice through which salvation was to be provided. Nothing but the death of God’s dear Son could expiate man’s sin, and Adam marveled at the goodness of God in providing such a ransom for the sinner.” Signs of the Times, February 20, 1893.

Bible Study Guides – Heaven’s Government

September 28, 2002 – October 5, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6.

SUGGESTED READING: Patriarchs and Prophets, 33–43; The Story of Redemption, 13–19.

INTRODUCTION: “The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father then made known that it was ordained by Himself that Christ, His Son, should be equal with Himself; so that wherever was the presence of His Son, it was as His own presence. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son He had invested with authority to command the heavenly host. Especially was His Son to work in union with Himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon the earth. His Son would carry out His will and His purposes but would do nothing of Himself alone. The Father’s will would be fulfilled in Him.” The Story of Redemption, 13, 14.

“The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.

1 How and by Whom were all things in the universe created? Psalm 33:6, 9; John 1:1–3.

NOTE: “The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. . . .

“The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. [Colossians 1:16 quoted.] Angels are God’s ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the ‘express image of His person,’ ‘the brightness of His glory,’ ‘upholding all things by the word of His power,’ holds supremacy over them all. Hebrews 1:3.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.

2 In the Bible, what are we told about the throne of God? Jeremiah 17:12.

NOTE: “The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng—‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’ (Revelation 5:11), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.

3 How enduring is the throne of God? Hebrews 1:8, first part.

NOTE: “If Christ made all things, he existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906.

4 What are some characteristics of the government of heaven? 1 John 4:16; Psalm 89:14.

NOTE: “The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.

“God’s love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love.” The Desire of Ages, 762.

5 What is the relationship between the created beings of heaven and their Creator? Psalm 103:20, 21.

NOTE: “It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

6 How was Lucifer, the highest created being, described prior to his fall? Ezekiel 28:14, 15.

NOTE: “Lucifer in heaven, before his rebellion, was a high and exalted angel, next in honor to God’s dear Son. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad, showing a powerful intellect. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and majestic. A special light beamed in his countenance and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels . . . .” The Story of Redemption, 13.

“Lucifer had been the covering cherub. He had stood in the light of God’s presence. He had been the highest of all created beings, and had been foremost in revealing God’s purposes to the universe.” The Desire of Ages, 758.

7 What was Lucifer’s secret ambition? Isaiah 14:13, 14.

NOTE: “Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. . . . Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

“Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man, and because he was not, he was filled with envy, jealousy, and hatred. He desired to receive the highest honors in heaven next to God.” Early Writings, 145.

8 What was the real cause of Lucifer’s dissatisfaction? Proverbs 13:10. Compare Psalm 10:4.

NOTE: “Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he [Lucifer] ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

9 How was God’s character revealed in His dealings with Lucifer? Isaiah 1:18–20. What was Lucifer’s attitude?

NOTE: “The Son of God presented before him [Lucifer] the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator, and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law. God Himself had established the order of heaven; and in departing from it, Lucifer would dishonor his Maker and bring ruin upon himself. But the warning, given in infinite love and mercy, only aroused a spirit of resistance. Lucifer allowed his jealousy of Christ to prevail, and became the more determined.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 36.

10 What techniques did Lucifer use to persuade many angels to join him in his rebellion? Psalm 55:21.

NOTE: “Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the Father, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. He worked with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealed his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God. He began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that though laws might be necessary for the inhabitants of the worlds, angels, being more exalted, needed no such restraint, for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide. They were not beings that could bring dishonor to God; all their thoughts were holy; it was no more possible for them than for God Himself to err. The exaltation of the Son of God as equal with the Father was represented as an injustice to Lucifer, who, it was claimed, was also entitled to reverence and honor.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 37.

“While claiming for himself perfect loyalty to God, he urged that changes in the order and laws of heaven were necessary for the stability of the divine government. Thus while working to excite opposition to the law of God and to instill his own discontent into the minds of the angels under him, he was ostensibly seeking to remove dissatisfaction and to reconcile disaffected angels to the order of heaven. While secretly fomenting discord and rebellion, he with consummate craft caused it to appear as his sole purpose to promote loyalty and to preserve harmony and peace.” Ibid., 38.

11 Describe the end result of Lucifer’s (Satan’s) rebellion in heaven. Revelation 12:7–9.

NOTE: “He [Satan] nearly reached the decision to return, but pride forbade him. It was too great a sacrifice for one who had been so highly honored to confess that he had been in error, that his imaginings were false, and to yield to the authority which he had been working to prove unjust.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 39.

“Some of the angels sympathized with Satan in his rebellion, and others strongly contended for the honor and wisdom of God in giving authority to His Son. There was contention among the angels. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to reform the government of God. They wished to look into His unsearchable wisdom, and ascertain His purpose in exalting Jesus and endowing Him with such unlimited power and command. They rebelled against the authority of the Son. All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before the Father to have each case decided. It was there determined that Satan should be expelled from heaven, with all the angels who had joined him in the rebellion. Then there was war in heaven. Angels were engaged in the battle; Satan wished to conquer the Son of God and those who were submissive to His will. But the good and true angels prevailed, and Satan, with his followers, was driven from heaven.” Early Writings, 145, 146.

12 How is Satan’s fall summarized? Isaiah 14:12–15.

NOTE: “He [Satan] began his work of rebellion with the angels under his command, seeking to diffuse among them the spirit of discontent. And he worked in so deceptive a way that many of the angels were won to his allegiance before his purposes were fully known. Even the loyal angels could not fully discern his character, nor see to what his work was leading. When Satan had succeeded in winning many angels to his side, he took his cause to God, representing that it was the desire of the angels that he occupy the position that Christ held.

“The evil continued to work until the spirit of disaffection ripened into active revolt. Then there was war in heaven, and Satan, with all who sympathized with him, was cast out.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 222.

13 Why did God not immediately destroy Satan? Ezekiel 28:17, 19.

NOTE: “God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathizers as easily as one can cast a pebble to the earth; but He did not do this. Rebellion was not to be overcome by force. Compelling power is found only under Satan’s government. The Lord’s principles are not of this order. His authority rests upon goodness, mercy, and love; and the presentation of these principles is the means to be used. God’s government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power.” The Desire of Ages, 759.


Food for Life – Walnut Burger Mix & Taco filling

Submitted by Anna Schultz

Recipe – Walnut Burger Mix

4 1/2 cups water

1 cup walnuts

2 cups bulgur* wheat

1/2 cup dried onion flakes

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Blend 2 cups of the water and the walnuts in blender until thoroughly blended and no nut pieces remain. Then add to the remaining water, along with bulgur and seasonings, in a pan and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Empty out onto nonstick cookie sheets in thin layers and bake at 200 degrees for 4 hours, stirring once each hour, or bake overnight at 150 degrees without stirring. Store in airtight container and freeze. Makes about 8 cups of walnut burger.

*A nutritious staple in the Middle East, bulgur wheat consists of wheat kernels that have been steamed, dried and crushed. It is often confused with but is not exactly the same as cracked wheat. Bulgur (also called birghil, bulgar, burghal, burghul, and bulghur) has a tender, chewy texture and comes in coarse, medium and fine grinds.

Recipe – Walnut Burger Taco Filling

4 green onions, chopped

2 small green peppers, chopped 

3 garlic cloves, chopped 

8 cherry tomatoes, halved (or small, ripe tomatoes diced) 

2 cups walnut burger mix

1 8-oz can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauté onions, peppers and garlic in 2 Tablespoons of oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer together for 15 minutes or until tender. More liquid may be needed to rehydrate the burger mix. May add other seasonings as desired. Serve taco filling on heated taco shells. Makes about 8–10 tacos.

“Nature has been abused, her efforts crippled by wrong habits and indulgence in sinful luxuries, until taste and appetite are alike perverted. It is unnatural to have a craving for flesh-meats. It was not thus in the beginning. The appetite for meat has been made and educated by man. Our Creator has furnished us, in vegetables, grain, and fruits, all the elements of nutrition necessary to health and strength. Flesh-meats composed no part of the food of Adam and Eve before their fall. If fruits, vegetables and grains are not sufficient to meet the wants of man, then the Creator made a mistake in providing for Adam.” Signs of the Times, January 6, 1876.

Nature Nugget – Carnivorous Plants

In boggy, acid soils, decay takes place quite slowly. Consequently, little nitrogen is available to the roots of plants growing there. Certain plants thrive by capturing insects and other small creatures and digesting them to acquire the nitrogen and other elements that they need. A very well-known example is the Venus’ Flytrap that is native to the coastal areas of the Carolinas.

The inside of the double-lobed, hinged leaves of the Venus’ Flytrap is red to attract insects. Near the central vein of each leaf are trigger hairs that signal the leaf to close when touched. The leaf can close on an unsuspecting insect in less than a second! Bristles along the leaf edges interlock, trapping the unlucky victim. The leaf remains closed with its meal for about a week while antibacterial substances prevent putrification, and enzymes dissolve all but the external skeleton of the insect. When this process is finished, the leaf reopens in readiness for another meal.

Another native group of plants closely related to the Venus’ Flytrap is the Sundews. Sundews are small, with reddish leaves arranged in a basal roseate. The leaves are equipped with glandular hairs that exude glittering drops of clear, sweet, sticky fluid. Insects, attracted by an appetizing odor plus the sweetness of the droplets, quickly become stuck among the hairs. Neighboring hairs are triggered to bend like tentacles toward the struggling insect, further binding it and eventually suffocating it. The leaves roll up and secrete protein-digesting enzymes, which cause the release of nitrogen and other vital elements that are then absorbed by the leaves.

Another bog-loving, carnivorous plant is the Pitcher Plant. These are mostly found in the southeastern United States and have hoods over the open mouth of their upright hollow leaves. Pitcher Plants hold small pools of water in their modified hollow leaves or “pitchers.” Insects are attracted to the pitchers, often by the odor of decay within, and are forced into the water by a lining of stiff, downward-pointing hairs. Once they are in the water a narcotic kills them, and bacteria begin to decompose them, and enzymes convert their protein into usable nitrogen. The larvae of certain flies and mosquitoes have adapted to live unharmed in the water of the Pitcher Plants, feeding on the insects trapped there. Bladderworts and Butterworts comprise another group of carnivorous plants. Bladderworts are found throughout North America and are mostly aquatic. The plume-like leaves are modified with small bladder-like traps that catch various forms of microscopic aquatic animal life. Each little bladder has a trap door triggered by sensitive hairs. When tiny water animals touch the hairs, the door opens and the creatures are sucked in to be digested. Butterworts of the southeastern coastal plain are herbs of moist soil with a roseate of greasy leaves. Small insects alighting on a Butterwort leaf are trapped by its sticky yellowish surface. After several insects have been trapped, the leaf edges roll inward, engulfing the insects and secreting enzymes that extract nitrogen and other vital elements from the accumulated victims. Then the leaf reopens.

Like these insect-trapping plants, Satan sets traps and snares to catch unwary souls and plunge them into a life of sin. “For among my people are found wicked [men]: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.” Jeremiah 5:26. “Satan is a cunning worker, and he will bring in subtle fallacies to darken and confuse the mind and root out the doctrines of salvation. Those who do not accept the Word of God just as it reads, will be snared in his trap.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 52. But we have the following hope: “If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32. Praise God!

Children’s Story – To Be Caught Was to Die

This story is about Amanda, a young Waldensian girl living in one of the Piedmont valleys of northern Italy. Toward the end of the Middle Ages, as it had been for centuries, it was a death penalty to own or to read a Bible.

For hundreds of years, through ages of persecution, the Waldenses secretly had Bibles hidden. They read and memorized them, and secretly distributed them to those who could read throughout all of Europe. Many of the Waldenses were caught and martyred. At times, crusades [papal armies] were sent out to destroy all the Waldenses, but God always preserved a remnant. It was the seeds from their witness and from the Bibles they distributed that eventually helped to bring about a reformation and religious freedom throughout Europe.

As Amanda grew, her mother carefully instilled within her the treasures of the Bible that she herself had learned at her mother’s knee. When very young, she had already memorized large portions of Scripture. She was also drilled in the importance of secrecy and of the danger of owning such a Book. To be caught was to die, but to read it and obey it was to have eternal life.

One day, suddenly and unexpectedly, it happened. Father was gone, and Mother was kneading the bread dough, getting ready to put it into pans for the oven. Mother, as usual when no one was around, had her Bible open upon the table. This was a time when she often memorized. It was at that instant that Amanda heard hoof beats coming around the trail to their valley home at the foot of the mountains. They were almost upon them before she heard the sound. She just had time to peek out to see two soldiers jumping off their horses in front of the door!

“Mother!” she gasped, “Mother, they are soldiers!” That is all she needed to say. She knew they were caught, for the soldiers did not wait to knock; they simply kicked the door open and walked in, looking for the Book. To be caught was to die, and Amanda knew they were caught! The Bible was right there, and there had been no time to hide it!

“Where is the Book!” they demanded. “You have been reported as having a Bible. Turn it over to us now.” Amanda was shocked. Surely they could see the Bible lying open right there upon the table. She looked at her mother, but the Bible was not there! Where was it? All she saw was Mother calmly putting the last pan of bread into the oven as though this was an every day occurrence, and she could not be bothered until her bread was safely baking.

Then turning around, Mother simply said, “I do not know who could have reported such a thing. You will not find a Bible in this house. You can search if you like.”

“Why, Mother!” Amanda thought to herself, for she had been taught never to lie. Now, of course, if the soldiers could not find the Bible, her mother had not lied, but how could she be so sure they would not? How could her mother be so calm, Amanda wondered. How could Mother have hidden it so quickly? and where? She had not moved from where she had been standing while kneading the bread. It was a mystery too great for her to ponder.

To be continued…

Restoring the Temple – Bones

“A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22.

Let’s start our tour of the body’s organ systems with the skeletal system. Maybe you did not think of your bones as organs, yet they are. When thinking of bones, perhaps you imagine a bleached and dried bone your dog chews, or perhaps a skeleton dangling from a hook at school. While these objects may depict a bone in size and shape, they do not accurately depict a living bone.

Yes, bone is very much alive and dynamic, teeming with active cells, a cement-like matrix holding them together, and the blood vessels that circulate blood through them. Just like any other cell, bone cells need blood to supply them with nutrients and to whisk away waste products. If bones were not alive, they would not heal when they broke. If you have ever fractured a bone, you know how they can hurt. That is because nerves cover their surface (called the periosteum) and make them sensitive to pain.

Our bones change throughout our lives as bone formation and bone destruction occur simultaneously. In our childhood and youth, bone formation occurs more rapidly than bone destruction. After about age 35, bone destruction occurs more rapidly than bone formation. In the elderly, and in some disease processes of the skeleton, bone destruction increases, making bones thin and brittle. Vertebrae may collapse, and height decreases, which is why we may become shorter over time.

Unlike dead bones, living bones are slightly flexible. Many of them are hollow, which makes them lighter and stronger, much like the steelwork in a skyscraper. We are born with over 300 soft bones, but as we get older, many of them fuse together and harden, leaving the adult with 206 bones. The largest bone is the femur in the thigh; the smallest are the auditory ossicles in the ear—you may know them as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup.

Males and females have the same number of bones (including the same number of ribs—24). Otherwise, there are a few minor differences between the male and female skeletons. The bones of the male are generally larger and heavier than the bones of the female. Also, the female pelvic cavity is wider to accommodate childbirth.

What do bones do? One obvious function of bones is to work with muscles to provide movement. You may also realize that bones provide a protective function. Some of our most vital organs are surrounded by bone, such as the brain, the spinal cord, the heart, and the lungs.

One lesser-known function of the skeletal system is that it makes blood. As previously noted, certain bones are hollow. Inside hollow bones are yellow marrow and red marrow. Long bones contain yellow marrow in their hollow central cavities and red marrow in their joint ends. Red marrow can also be found in the cavities of the flat bones, the short bones, and the ribs. Red marrow is where white blood cells and red blood cells grow. The yellow marrow is a storehouse for lipids and minerals, which can quickly be made available for the needs of other parts of the body.

Ligaments connect bones to each other. Articulations, or joints, are where bones meet. Some joints are stationary, such as most of the joints in the skull. It is the use of our muscles, pulling on part of the bones, that causes the movement of a joint.

Calcium phosphate accounts for approximately two-thirds of bone weight. Calcium phosphate crystals are very hard but quite brittle. They can take heavy compression forces, but can shatter when subjected to twisting, bending, or sudden impact.

About one-third of the weight of bone is made up of collagen fibers, which are stronger than steel and flexible, easily tolerating bending and flexing. Collagen’s weak point is that it doesn’t stand up to compression. Collagen fibers make up a framework in which the calcium crystals are locked, forming a protein-crystal complex that blends the strong properties of both substances. Thus bone is as strong as steel-reinforced concrete, but far superior because it is self-repairing. Isn’t God’s design marvelous?

Of what are bones made? Bone cells and other kinds of cells account for two percent of the mass. There are four kinds of bone cells: osteoprogenitor cells, osteocytes, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts. Osteocytes, the most populous type, cannot divide. They help recycle calcium and help in the repair of damaged bone. Osteoprogenitor cells are a type of stem cell that basically grows up to be osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are responsible for producing new bone matrix; so they build up bone. Osteoclasts, huge cells with up to 50 nuclei, remove bone matrix; so they tear down bone. You are probably wondering why we would have cells that tear down bone. As previously stated, bone is a storage complex for minerals. When another part of the body needs a mineral—such as calcium, which also regulates the heart rate and is a part of the blood clotting process—osteoclasts break down the bone matrix to release the mineral, and it is transported via the circulatory system to the area in need. This breakdown happens continually, day by day. If this process were not balanced, our bones would soon fall apart. Here is where the osteoblasts come in, building the bone matrix back up—continually, day by day.

The systems of the body do not work completely independent of one another, but are exquisitely inter-linked (see Table on page 37). Ellen White advised: “The muscles are dependent on the brain and nerves for the power of action. The mind wills to move the limbs. To keep this machinery in working order, it is essential that brain, bone, and muscle be brought into action. The exercise of the muscles quickens the circulation of the blood. How important then that parents understand the philosophy of the healthful action of brain, bone, muscles, and nerves and how needful that they educate their children in this line.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 222.

There are several hormones that play a part in the regulation of bone growth. Calcitriol, made in the kidneys, promotes calcium absorption in the digestive tract. Growth hormone, made in the pituitary gland, and thyroxine, made in the thyroid gland, stimulate osteoblast activity. Estrogen, testosterone, and the parathyroid hormone, made in the ovaries, testes, and parathyroid glands, respectively, stimulate osteoclast activity. Calcitonin, made in the thyroid gland, inhibits osteoclast activity.

Diseases of the bone can be caused by impaired function of the glands. For instance, gigantism results from an overproduction of growth hormone before puberty. This is the disease that the late Robert Pershing Wadlow had, becoming the tallest living person until his death in 1940. His weight was 490 pounds; his height was 8 feet 11 inches (he was 6 feet 5 inches tall when he was ten years old). The opposite problem, pituitary dwarfism, is caused by inadequate amounts of growth hormone. Fortunately these diseases are now more easily treatable than they once were.

We have the opportunity to see giants again in the resurrection; their height not caused by disease. How tall will we grow in heaven? I’d like to find out, wouldn’t you?

“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” Proverbs 3:7, 8.

From the Pen of Inspiration – Examine Yourselves

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” [2 Corinthians 13:5.] Closely criticize the temper, the disposition, the thoughts, words, inclinations, purposes, and deeds. How can we ask intelligently for the things we need unless we prove by the Scriptures the condition of our spiritual health?

Many in their religious life are making crooked paths for their feet. Their prayers are offered in a loose, haphazard manner. He who is placed in a position of responsibility should remember that of himself he is not able to do that which is required of him. Every day he should remember that he is a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men.

No one is to wait to be borne to fields of labor and provided with costly facilities for doing good. He who serves must cheerfully take up his work, however humble it is, and wherever he may be placed. Christ, our example in all things, was poor, that through His poverty He might make many rich.

Serving in Meekness

He whose heart is filled with the grace of God and love for his perishing fellow men will find opportunity, wherever he may be placed, to speak a word in season to those who are weary. Christians are to work for their Master in meekness and lowliness, holding fast to their integrity amid the noise and bustle of life.

God calls upon men to serve Him in every transaction of life. Business is a snare when the law of God is not made the law of the daily life. He who has anything to do with the Master’s work is to maintain unswerving integrity. In all business transactions, as verily as when on bended knees he seeks help from on high, God’s will is to be his will. He is to keep the Lord ever before him, constantly studying the subjects about which the Holy Word speaks. Thus, though living amid that which would debase a man of lax principles, the man of piety and stern integrity preserves his Christianity.

The world is no more favorable today for the development of Christian character than in Noah’s day. Then wickedness was so widespread that God said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. . . . Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” [Genesis 6:7–9.] Yes, amid the corruption of that degenerate age, Noah was a pleasure to his Creator.

We are living in the last days of this earth’s history, in an age of sin and corruption, and like Noah we are to so live that we shall be a pleasure to God, showing forth the praises of Him “who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” [1 Peter 2:9.] In the prayer which Christ offered to His Father just before His crucifixion, He said, “I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” [John 17:15.]

The Highest Service

When men and women have formed characters which God can endorse, when their self-denial and self-sacrifice have been fully made, when they are ready for the final test, ready to be introduced into God’s family, what service will stand highest in the estimation of Him who gave Himself a willing offering to save a guilty race? What enterprise will be most dear to the heart of infinite love? What work will bring the greatest satisfaction and joy to the Father and the Son?—The salvation of perishing souls. Christ died to bring to men the saving power of the gospel. Those who co-operate with Him in carrying forward His great enterprise of mercy, laboring with all the strength God has given them to save those nigh and afar off, will share in the joy of the Redeemer when the redeemed host stand around the throne of God.

God has entrusted means and capabilities to His servants for the doing of a work far higher than that which today He looks upon. . . .

“There is a fearful misconception of the claims of duty. The frosty atmosphere in which believers are content to live retards the self-sacrificing movements which should be made to warn the world and save souls. . . .”

Our Responsibilities

The Laodicean message is applicable to the church at this time. Do you believe this message? Have you hearts that feel? Or are you constantly saying, We are rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing? Is it in vain that the declaration of eternal truth has been given to this nation to be carried to all the nations of the world? God has chosen a people and made them the repositories of truth weighty with eternal results. To them has been given the light that must illuminate the world. Has God made a mistake? Are we indeed His chosen instrumentalities? Are we the men and women who are to bear to the world the messages of Revelation fourteen, to proclaim the message of salvation to those who are standing on the brink of ruin? Do we act as if we were? . . .

A Great Awakening

“He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” [1 John 2:4.] A great awakening must come to the church. If we only knew, if we only understood, how quickly the spirit of the message would go from church to church. How willingly would the possessions of believers be given to support the work of God. God calls upon us to pray and watch unto prayer. Cleanse your homes of the picture-idols which have consumed the money that ought to have flowed into the Lord’s treasury. The light must go forth as a lamp that burneth. Those who bear the message to the world should seek the Lord earnestly, that His Holy Spirit may be abundantly showered upon them. You have no time to lose. Pray for the power of God, that you may work with success for those nigh and afar off.

Warnings to Be Given

We must have genuine faith. As yet we scarcely grasp the reality of the truth. We only half believe the Word of God. A man will act out all the faith he has. Notwithstanding that the signs of the times are fulfilling all over the world, faith in the Lord’s coming has been growing feeble. Clear, distinct, certain, the warnings are to be given. At the peril of our souls we are to learn the prescribed conditions under which we are to work out our own salvation, remembering that it is God which worketh in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

It will not do for us to float along with the current, guided by tradition and presumptuous fallacies. We are called laborers together with God. Then let us arise and shine. There is no time to spend in controversy. Those who have a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus must now become one in heart and purpose. All differences must be swept away. The members of the church must work unitedly under the great Head of the church.

Arise, Shine

Let those who have a knowledge of the truth arise and shine. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet.” [Isaiah 58:1.] No longer mutilate the truth. Let the soul cry out for the living God. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils. [Isaiah 2:22.] The Comforter will come to you, if you will open the door to Him. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in every time of need.” —Manuscript 51, 1901.

Notebook Leaflets from the Elmshaven Library, vol. 1, 33–35.

The Consecrated Way – Part VII (Charity)

Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” 2 Peter 1:5–7. The margin of many Bibles, tells us that the word meaning love is translated as charity.

We have been climbing Peter’s ladder, and we find ourselves now at the top rung. Some of the rungs along the way can be kind of slippery, we have found. They are evasive; we just cannot quite get a hold on them. But through perseverance to which God has called us, we can climb the ladder.

There are seven rungs in Peter’s ladder. With the ladder resting on the foundation of faith, we lift our foot up to the first rung of virtue,
and we begin to climb. This is not a casual climb. Jesus calls it the narrow way, which means that it is uphill; it is a difficult climb.

Although Peter’s ladder is a narrow ladder, not a broad ladder, it has a sure destination. When we reach the final rung in the ladder, we, with God’s help, have completed the climb to perfection.


Charity, the word that is translated here, is from the word agape. In the seventies and sixties, we heard a lot about agape almost to excess. It was almost to the point that people, when they heard the word agape, would shy away from it; they did not want to hear any more about agape. Even though we may feel burned out, it is something that we need to hear. It is essential for us. The word agape used in the New Testament reveals the different attitudes of God—the attitude toward His Son, His attitude toward the human race generally, and His attitude toward those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ particularly.

The word is also used to convey His will to His children concerning their attitude toward one another. Charity or love is an abstract, and the only way that we can define such a term is in the way it is performed or acted out. It is an emotion, and an emotion cannot be defined except as expression is given to it. Once it is expressed, then we can identify it.

Defined in Actions

1 Corinthians 13 tries to define agape. It gives a lot of illustrations concerning it, because it is only as it is acted out that we really understand this word charity or love. God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son. But this act of love is not the result of complacency or affection. It is not drawn out by any favoritism. It is an exercise of the divine will in a deliberate choice.

I do not believe for a moment that God enjoyed giving His Son to die. It was a deliberate choice, because there was a need. Love rises above the emotional feeling of making a decision based upon whether we like something or not. It is a matter of getting above that, seeing the need, and then making the choice to supply that need.

That is where God is. God rose above what He would have preferred, because He saw a need. When Jesus was here on this earth, He gave to us a perfect example of this kind of love. We still stand in awe wondering how it can be fulfilled in us. “Love your enemies,” Jesus instructed. (See Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35.) “No, Lord, I am not going to love my enemies. I hate them; I cannot stand them.” That is why they are enemies. Jesus loved His enemies.

Do good to those who despitefully use you. (See Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28.) What was it that prompted Jesus to do good to those who despitefully used Him? Agape love. A deliberate choice, a choice that raised Him above every level of every other human being that ever walked the face of the earth. Jesus was never beholden to who He was humanly. He was beholden to what was right and true. If He had been beholden to who He was, He was a Jew. And Jews had a culture that did not like other people, especially the Gentiles. They hated them. Jesus rose above that and made deliberate choices contrary to every cultural line that ever existed. He displayed love to them in how He treated them and what He did for them.

He demonstrated the reality of i Corinthians 13. We wonder how such platitudes can ever be fulfilled in our lives. Can they? Absolutely, they can! “Love is patient, love is kind, [and] is not jealous; love does not brag [and] is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong [suffered], does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails . . . .”

1 Corinthians 13:4–8 NASB.

View From the Top

God’s law is love. (See Romans 13:8, 10.) God’s law will never fail and crumble, but the law of God will stand forever. Why? Because it is based on agape love. As we have been climbing the ladder of Christian character development, we find love is at the top. From the vantage point of the top rung, we are able to see from a heavenly viewpoint, if you please.

Did you ever place a ladder on the side of a building and start climbing it to try to see what is beyond? All you can see, as you are climbing, is the wall that you are climbing against. Your view is hindered; you are not able to see. But when you reach the top, then you are able to look around with a view and a vision that you cannot see as you are climbing.

This is what God wants for us. He wants us to climb the ladder. He wants us to always look up as we are climbing, not down. It is said that if you look down while you are climbing, you will get scared. Always look up! Once you reach the heavenly perspective of God’s love and you begin to see everything in that light, your life will be changed forever.

It is from this viewpoint that things concerning Christianity really begin to come into focus, because now we are able to see, not from our viewpoint, but from God’s viewpoint. We have been hindered all along the climb, because we have tried to see things from our viewpoint but never from God’s viewpoint. That is why we have the difficulties and the problems and the strifes and the troubles that we do, because we have never looked from God’s viewpoint.

Powerful Force

Love is the greatest and most powerful force in all the world. When all else fails, love will win, for God is love. (See 1 John 4:8, 16.) I want to share with you a quotation from The Acts of the Apostles that brings into focus where God would have us to be as a church: “The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men.” Ibid., 9.

Now how is that going to work? Is it going to work because we have the best mechanics, the best organization, the best logistical set-up so that programs and plans can be executed to get out the word? All those things are necessary, of course, but they are subservient to something else.

Mrs. White continues: “It [the church] was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory.” Ibid. Who are the members of the church? That is us! We may not have our names on a book, but if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we are a member of His church.

Is the picture coming into focus at all yet? I hope so. “The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God. Ephesians 3:10.” Ibid.

God has a plan for every one of us. He wants each one of us to display to “‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God.” He wants you to climb that ladder to the top rung, to step up on that rung, and to look and see what is out there. Then reveal the great, grand, glorious plan of God that has been interrupted by this reign of sin. God wants us to have a part in that.

Stand in Amazement

A father took his son up to the top of a high hill one day, trying to teach his son to appreciate the great, grand creation that God had created. He told his little son to look to the east, to the west, to the north and to the south as far as his eyes could see. Then he said to him, “Son, as far as you can see, that is as far as the love of God.”

The little boy, after gazing off into the distance in each direction, replied to his father, “Daddy, if God’s love is to the east and to the west and to the north and to the south as far as we can see, then we must be standing right in the middle of it!”

How true it is. There is no better place than to be right in the middle of God’s love. For that to happen, we have to know, to appreciate, and to want His love to be a part of our lives. Man hates; God loves. Man wounds, but God heals. Man destroys, but God builds up. His love is different; it is a love that we really do not deserve. That is why John tells us in 1 John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love . . . .”

This word, behold, means to stand in amazement, in awe. There was no one who could stand more in amazement of the love of God than John, as he was known as a son of thunder, one who was a rabble-rouser. When that revelation of love came to John, he dropped everything and followed Jesus. He followed so completely that the night of the last supper he laid his head on Jesus’ breast. He was called The Beloved.

John knew what that love was all about. He took his responsibility very seriously and tried to convey that love when things began to unravel and fray within the church of God because they were living too worldly. Some had climbed the ladder a few rungs and decided that it required too much effort, or they were fearful of heights, so they came back down. They began to scrap around with one another, to entertain all kinds of false theologies.

John also wrote John 3:16: “God so loved the world . . . .” God did not consider Himself. God did not consider what it would cost Him. “God so loved.” As human beings we consider each issue as to whether or not it is going to cost us something.

We ask what the cost will be to us if we get involved—time, energy, emotion? If it is a drain, then we may not be interested. Let me tell you something. It was a drain on heaven for Jesus to come and to take human form. But God did not let that stop Him, because the principle of His love was so far above ours. He saw a need. He made a choice. In order to experience the fullness of God, we must experience in our own hearts His great love—the love that is as broad as the earth; the love that completely encircles the world; the love that reaches the lowest sinner.

The devil loves to remind us of our past. He loves to bring it up and to haunt us with it to the point of despair, so that we feel there is no hope for us, that God’s love is not enough to save us for the kingdom of heaven. We may think we have gone too far; we have done too much; we have been too bad, or that God’s love, centered in righteousness, cannot include us.

All God wants is for us to experience His wonderful love in our hearts. It has such a transforming power that it can change us, and it can bury our past. That is God’s desires for a people who will give the final display to the principalities and powers.

Think no Evil

“If we keep uppermost in our minds the unkind and unjust acts of others we shall find it impossible to love them as Christ has loved us; but if our thoughts dwell upon the wondrous love and pity of Christ for us, the same spirit will flow out to others. We should love and respect one another, notwithstanding the faults and imperfections that we cannot help seeing.” Steps to Christ, 121.

Do you have imperfections? I do. But by God’s grace, I am climbing the ladder. I would hope that in my own experience, as I am climbing Peter’s ladder, that I do not look at you and see only your imperfections. What God commands me to see in you is perfection through Christ.

There have been multitudes of people who have stopped climbing, after they have started up the ladder with Christ, because someone was there to point out their faults to them. Do you think that they were not aware of their faults? Oh, let me tell you, a lot of folks wear their faults on their sleeve, and they are very sensitive to their own character imperfections. They do not need to be reminded. What they need to be is encouraged.

That is what God’s love does for us. It encourages us so that we can help others to rise above those principalities and powers that are trying to draw them down. If we are reading 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, this is going to happen in our experience. It says in verse 5 that love thinks no evil.

Christ-like love places the most favorable construction on the motives and acts of others. That is what God’s love does for us. That will be our experience when we reach the top rung of the ladder. God’s love places us in the most favorable position possible before the entire universe.

Our sins God could hold up before the universe like laundry on a line, but the blood of Jesus washes our sins away, and the universe does not see them. What they see is what Jesus has done for us. They see His righteousness, His perfection. And so the love of God when it is truly operating in our hearts, is going to place everything in its most favorable position.

Love does not expose a person’s faults needlessly. Love does not listen eagerly to an unfavorable report, but rather tries to bring to mind the good qualities of others. And this is the attitude in the heart and mind of the Christian, which will usher him into and through the gates into the kingdom of heaven.

Perfection of Love

Who is greater than God? Nobody, no thing, nothing. This is because God is the ultimate in perfection of love. As we climb the ladder, claiming the divine promises, we become partakers of the divine nature. And the divine nature is a nature that always extends the hand of forgiveness. It erases all evil thoughts that we might have against our fellowmen.

God’s love will silence every gun that roars in war. It will cause us to pray, “Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” Love has the ability to stop quarrels in the church and in the home. By God’s grace, those in contention are shown what God’s plan is and are told about His love, so their hatred may be turned to love.

It is not something that is human. It is human to hate. It is godly to love. Our sins killed Jesus. And from a human standpoint, humanly speaking, we would hate the one who destroyed our offspring. But not so with God. “God so loved . . . that he gave,” that we might be redeemed.

Gift of Love

In the days of Cromwell (1599–1658 a.d.), a soldier was condemned to be executed. The time for his execution was set to take place when the evening curfew bell was rung. The soldier was engaged to be married to a beautiful, young lady. She went to Cromwell to plead for the life of the one that she loved more than anything else. But her words were in vain. So she went to the judge who had sentenced him, only to find the same, cold response.

The preparations were made for the execution to be carried out when the evening bell tolled. Everyone waited expectantly to hear the clang. The bell ringer, who was old and deaf, that evening made his way to the bell tower and grabbed the rope in his hand to toll the bell. As he pulled on the rope, there was no sound, but being deaf, he did not know. So he continued pulling the rope as he did each evening.

You see, the young lady had climbed the belfry stairs before the old man arrived, caught the clapper of the big bell in her hands, and held on, at the risk of her own life, as he pulled the rope. And so the bell did not ring.

When the young lady came down from the tower, wounded and bleeding, Cromwell was standing there demanding to know why the bell had not rung. She stepped forward and told her story again. She showed him her hands, bruised and torn; her sweet young face haggard with the pain and anguish. Cromwell was overwhelmed with a sense of pity, and his eyes moistened. He said to her, “Go, your lover lives. Curfew shall not ring tonight.”

Dear friends, when we were condemned to die, Christ’s great love compelled Him to intervene on our behalf. The Bible says “He [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: . . . and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5. All heaven now expects each one of us, when we behold this wonderful love, to respond to it with all our heart. God’s love, as it is revealed in His Son, will be found in the lives of His followers. They will do as He has done. They will follow His example, because He has made it all possible. Do not ever say that you cannot do it. Christ’s death on Calvary assures you that you can.

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know [them], and be established in the present truth.” 2 Peter 1:4–12.