Bible Study Guides – The Ministry of Angels

October 25, 2003 – October 31, 2003

Memory Verse

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7.

Suggested Reading: Early Writings, 39, 40, 149–153.


“Heaven is brought near to earth by that mystic ladder, the base of which is firmly planted on the earth, while the topmost round reaches the throne of the Infinite. Angels are constantly ascending and descending this ladder of shining brightness, bearing the prayers of the needy and distressed to the Father above, and bringing blessing and hope, courage and help, to the children of men. These angels of light create a heavenly atmosphere about the soul, lifting us toward the unseen and the eternal. We cannot behold their forms with our natural sight; only by spiritual vision can we discern heavenly things. The spiritual ear alone can hear the harmony of heavenly voices.” The Acts of the Apostles, 153.

1 Whom did John see surrounding God’s throne in heaven? What is said of the number of the angels? Revelation 5:11, 12. Compare Hebrews 12:22.

note: “The angels of God, thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, are commissioned to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They guard us against evil and press back the powers of darkness that are seeking our destruction. Have we not reason to be thankful every moment, thankful even when there are apparent difficulties in our pathway?” Testimonies, vol. 6, 63.

2 By whom were the angels brought into existence? Colossians 1:16.

note: “Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906.

“The angels had been created full of goodness and love. They loved one another impartially and their God supremely, and they were prompted by this love to do His pleasure. The law of God was not a grievous yoke to them, but it was their delight to do His commandments, to hearken unto the voice of His Word.” The Signs of the Times, April 28, 1890.

“The divine Son of God was the only sacrifice of sufficient value to fully satisfy the claims of God’s perfect law. The angels were sinless, but of less value than the law of God. They were amenable to law. They were messengers to do the will of Christ, and before him to bow. They were created beings, and probationers.” Review and Herald, December 17, 1872.

3 What ministry has been appointed to the angels? Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 103:20, 21.

note: “We need to understand better than we do the mission of the angels. It would be well to remember that every true child of God has the co-operation of heavenly beings. Invisible armies of light and power attend the meek and lowly ones who believe and claim the promises of God. Cherubim and seraphim, and angels that excel in strength, stand at God’s right hand, ‘all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.’ Hebrews 1:14.” The Acts of the Apostles, 154.

“Angels are watching over and guarding us; we often grieve these angels by indulging in trifling conversation, jesting, and joking, and also by sinking down into a careless, stupid state. Although we may now and then make an effort for the victory and obtain it, yet if we do not keep it, but sink down into the same careless, indifferent state, unable to endure temptations and resist the enemy, we do not endure the trial of our faith that is more precious than gold. We are not suffering for Christ’s sake, and glorying in tribulation.” Early Writings, 111.

4 In what form have angels appeared to men? Genesis 18:2; 19:1–3, 16; Acts 1:10.

note: “Not until the providences of God are seen in the light of eternity shall we understand what we owe to the care and interposition of His angels. Celestial beings have taken an active part in the affairs of men. They have appeared in garments that shone as the lightning; they have come as men, in the garb of wayfarers. They have accepted the hospitalities of human homes; they have acted as guides to benighted travelers. . . .” God’s Amazing Grace, 364.

5 Describe some evidences of the power of angels given to us in the Bible. 11 Kings 19:35; Luke 1:18–20; Matthew 28:2.

note: “The power and malice of Satan and his host might justly alarm us, were it not that we may find shelter and deliverance in the superior power of our Redeemer. . . . Those who follow Christ are ever safe under His watchcare. Angels that excel in strength are sent from heaven to protect them. The wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed about His people.” The Faith I Live By, 328.

6 How have angels helped the people of God in times of distress? Daniel 6:22; 3:28.

note: “Angels are sent on missions of mercy to the children of God. To Abraham, with promises of blessing; to the gates of Sodom, to rescue righteous Lot from its fiery doom; to Elijah, as he was about to perish from weariness and hunger in the desert; to Elisha, with chariots and horses of fire surrounding the little town where he was shut in by his foes; to Daniel, while seeking divine wisdom in the court of a heathen king, or abandoned to become the lions’ prey; to Peter, doomed to death in Herod’s dungeon; to the prisoners at Philippi; to Paul and his companions in the night of tempest on the sea; to open the mind of Cornelius to receive the gospel; to dispatch Peter with the message of salvation to the Gentile stranger—thus holy angels have, in all ages, ministered to God’s people.” The Great Controversy, 512.

7 How have angels delivered God’s servants in trouble? Acts 5:17–20; 12:5–10.

note: [Speaking of Acts 5:17–20] “The God of heaven the mighty Ruler of the universe, took this matter into his own hands; for men were warring against his work. He showed them plainly that there is a ruler above man, whose authority must be respected. The Lord sent his angel by night to open the prison doors; and he brought forth these men whom God had commissioned to do his work.” Review and Herald, January 1, 1889.

8 What interest is shown by the angels when sinners turn to the Lord? Luke 15:10.

note: “If the angels of God rejoice over the erring who see and confess their wrongs and return to the fellowship of their brethren, how much more should the followers of Christ, who are themselves erring, and who every day need the forgiveness of God and of their brethren, feel joy over the return of a brother or a sister who has been deceived by the sophistry of Satan and has taken a wrong course and suffered because of it.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 100.

9 How did Christ speak of the ministry of angels? Matthew 18:10. How is the rapidity of their movements described? Daniel 9:20–23.

note: “Angels of glory, that do always behold the face of the Father in heaven, joy in ministering to His little ones. Trembling souls, who have many objectionable traits of character, are their special charge. Angels are ever present where they are most needed, with those who have the hardest battle with self to fight, and whose surroundings are the most discouraging. And in this ministry Christ’s true followers will co-operate.” The Desire of Ages, 440.

“As Daniel’s prayer is going forth, the angel Gabriel comes sweeping down from the heavenly courts, to tell him that his petitions are heard and answered. This mighty angel has been commissioned to give him skill and understanding,—to open before him the mysteries of future ages. Thus, while earnestly seeking to know and understand the truth, Daniel was brought into communion with Heaven’s delegated messenger.” Review and Herald, February 8, 1881.

10 What comforting promise is given for those who trust and fear the Lord? Psalms 34:7; 91:9–11.

note: “God commissions His angels to save His chosen ones from calamity, to guard them from ‘the pestilence that walketh in darkness’ and ‘the destruction that wasteth at noonday.’ Psalm 91:6. Again and again have angels talked with men as a man speaketh with a friend, and led them to places of security. Again and again have the encouraging words of angels renewed the drooping spirits of the faithful and, carrying their minds above the things of earth, caused them to behold by faith the white robes, the crowns, the palm branches of victory, which overcomers will receive when they surround the great white throne.” The Acts of the Apostles, 153.

11 When Jesus appears the second time, who will accompany Him? Matthew 25:31.

note: “When Christ came to this earth the first time, He came in lowliness and obscurity, and His life here was one of suffering and poverty. . . . At His second coming all will be changed. Not as a prisoner surrounded by a rabble will men see Him, but as heaven’s King. Christ will come in His own glory, in the glory of His Father, and in the glory of the holy angels. Ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels, the beautiful, triumphant sons of God, possessing surpassing loveliness and glory, will escort Him on His way. In the place of a crown of thorns, He will wear a crown of glory—a crown within a crown. In the place of that old purple robe, He will be clothed in a garment of whitest white, ‘so as no fuller on earth can white’ (Mark 9:3) it. And on His vesture and on His thigh a name will be written, ‘King of kings, and Lord of lords.’ [Revelation 19:16.]” God’s Amazing Grace, 358.

12 What part will the angels act when the Lord calls from their graves His sleeping saints? Matthew 24:31.

note: “The living righteous are changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ [1 Corinthians 15:52.] At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels ‘gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ [Matthew 24:31.] Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God.” The Great Controversy, 645.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

Bible Study Guides – The Resurrection

October 18, 2003 – October 24, 2003

Memory Verse

“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40.

Suggested Reading: Early Writings, 285–288; 292–294.


“All the dead would remain in their graves forever were it not that Christ died and rose again. For if He be not risen, then there can be no resurrection of the dead. But the blessed truth that there shall be a resurrection, because Jesus actually died and rose again (Revelation 1:18), brings life within reach of every lost son and daughter of Adam, and makes the plan of eternal life through Him forever sure.” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912, 6, 7.

1 What question was asked long ago concerning the dead? What answer is given? Job 14:14, 15; Isaiah 26:19.

note: “Christ is life itself. He who passed through death to destroy him that had the power of death is the Source of all vitality. There is balm in Gilead, and a Physician there. Christ endured an agonizing death under the most humiliating circumstances that we might have life. He gave up His precious life that He might vanquish death. But He rose from the tomb, and the myriads of angels who came to behold Him take up the life He had laid down heard His words of triumphant joy as He stood above Joseph’s rent sepulcher proclaiming: ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ [John 11:25.]” Testimonies, vol. 6, 230.

2 How much depends upon the resurrection? 1 Corinthians 15:16–18.

note: “If for four thousand years the righteous had gone directly to heaven at death, how could Paul have said that if there is no resurrection, ‘they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished’? No resurrection would be necessary. . . .

“It is an undeniable fact that the hope of immortal blessedness at death has led to a widespread neglect of the Bible doctrine of the resurrection. This tendency was remarked by Dr. Adam Clarke, who said: ‘The doctrine of the resurrection appears to have been thought of much more consequence among the primitive Christians than it is now! How is this? The apostles were continually insisting on it, and exciting the followers of God to diligence, obedience, and cheerfulness through it. And their successors in the present day seldom mention it! So apostles preached, and so primitive Christians believed; so we preach, and so our hearers believe. There is not a doctrine in the gospel on which more stress is laid; and there is not a doctrine in the present system of preaching which is treated with more neglect!’—Commentary, remarks on 1 Corinthians 15, para-graph 3.” The Great Controversy, 546, 547.

3 What did Jesus declare to be the will of God? John 6:39, 40.

note: “Jesus has promised that he will in no wise cast out those who come to him. We are to come with the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. What has the Father given the Son? He has given him every one who has genuine faith in Christ; for this faith will enable its possessor to endure unto the end, and he will be raised up at the last day.” Review and Herald, April 14, 1891.

4 What two distinct classes are known in this life? Ecclesiastes 3:17.

note: “Two classes . . . were to exist till the second coming of Christ—the righteous and the wicked, the rebellious and the loyal.

“God will remember the righteous, who fear him. On account of his dear Son he will respect and honor them, and give them everlasting life. But the wicked, who trample upon his authority, he will cut off and destroy from the earth, and they will be as though they had not been.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 57, 58.

5 How are these classes spoken of in connection with the resurrection? Acts 24:14, 15.

note: “Through the provisions of the plan of salvation, all are to be brought forth from their graves. ‘There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;’ ‘for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:22. But a distinction is made between the two classes that are brought forth. ‘All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.’ John 5:28, 29. They who have been ‘accounted worthy’ of the resurrection of life are ‘blessed and holy.’ ‘On such the second death hath no power.’ Revelation 20:6. But those who have not, through repentance and faith, secured pardon, must receive the penalty of transgression—‘the wages of sin.’ They suffer punishment varying in duration and intensity, ‘according to their works,’ but finally ending in the second death.” The Great Controversy, 544.

6 In connection with what event are the righteous dead awakened from their sleep? 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

note: “The reception of Paul’s epistle [to the Thessalonians] was to them a great event. Written communications passing between friends were of very rare occurrence in those times. There was great joy in the church as the epistle was opened and read. What consolation was afforded them by those words which revealed the true state of the dead. Paul therein showed them that those who should be alive when Christ should come would not go to meet their Lord in advance of those who should be asleep in Jesus. For the voice of the archangel and the trump of God should reach the sleeping ones, and the dead in Christ should rise first, before the touch of immortality should be given to the living.” Sketches From the Life of Paul, 112, 113.

7 After whose likeness are these resurrected ones fashioned? Philippians 3:20, 21.

note: “Christ came to restore that which had been lost. He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body. The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave.” The Great Controversy, 645.

8 How long a time intervenes between the first and second resurrections? Revelation 20:5, 6.

note: “At the close of the thousand years the second resurrection will take place. Then the wicked will be raised from the dead, and appear before God.” The Faith I Live By, 184.

9 What occurs at the end of this thousand year period? John 5:29, last part; Revelation 20:7–9.

note: “In fearful majesty he [Jesus] calls forth the wicked dead. They are wakened from their long sleep. What a dreadful waking! They behold the Son of God in his stern majesty and resplendent glory.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 84.

“Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy. He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans. The wicked are Satan’s captives. In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader. They are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. Yet, true to his early cunning, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan. He claims to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him. He represents himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that his power has brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny. The presence of Christ having been removed, Satan works wonders to support his claims. He makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy. He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.” Maranatha, 337.

10 What is the recompense of those whose names are not found written in the book of life? Revelation 20:15; 21:8.

note: “Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 11 Peter 3:10. The earth’s surface seems one molten mass—a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men—‘the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.’ Isaiah 34:8.

“The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. . . . Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. All are punished ‘according to their deeds.’ [Romans 2:6.]” The Great Controversy, 672, 673.

11 From what will the overcomer be delivered? Revelation 2:11.

note: “While the earth was wrapped in the fire of destruction, the righteous abode safely in the Holy City. Upon those that had part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power. While God is to the wicked a consuming fire, He is to His people both a sun and a shield. Revelation 20:6; Psalm 84:11.” The Great Controversy, 673.

12 What is the last enemy to be destroyed? 1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 20:14.

note: “ ‘The thoughts of the coming of the Lord,’ said Baxter, ‘are most sweet and joyful to me.’—Richard Baxter, Works, vol. 17, p. 555. ‘It is the work of faith and the character of His saints to love His appearing and to look for that blessed hope.’ ‘If death be the last enemy to be destroyed at the resurrection, we may learn how earnestly believers should long and pray for the second coming of Christ, when this full and final conquest shall be made.’—Ibid., vol. 17, p. 500. ‘This is the day that all believers should long, and hope, and wait for, as being the accomplishment of all the work of their redemption, and all the desires and endeavors of their souls.’ ‘Hasten, O Lord, this blessed day!’—Ibid., vol. 17, pp. 182, 183.” The Great Controversy, 303, 304.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

Bible Study Guides – The Judgment

October 11, 2003 – October 17, 2003

Memory Verse

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14.

Suggested Reading: Christ’s Object Lessons, 312–319


“God’s law reaches the feelings and motives, as well as the outward acts. It reveals the secrets of the heart, flashing light upon things before buried in darkness. God knows every thought, every purpose, every plan, every motive. The books of heaven record the sins that would have been committed had there been opportunity. God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. By His law He measures the character of every man. As the artist transfers to the canvas the features of the face, so the features of each individual character are transferred to the books of heaven. God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph He compares with His law. He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin.” The Signs of the Times, July 31, 1901.

1 What impressive scene was shown to Daniel in vision? Daniel 7:9, 10.

note: “Christ would have all understand the events of His second appearing. The judgment scene will take place in the presence of all the worlds; for in this judgment the government of God will be vindicated, and His law will stand forth as ‘holy, and just, and good.’ Then every case will be decided, and sentence will be passed upon all.” Review and Herald, September 20, 1898.

2 What did Paul say as to an appointed time of the judgment? Acts 17:31. Compare Romans 2:16; 14:10.

note: “Before any can enter the mansions of the blessed, their cases must be investigated, and their characters and their deeds must pass in review before God. All are to be judged according to the things written in the books and to be rewarded as their works have been. This judgment does not take place at death. Mark the words of Paul: [Acts 17:31 quoted]. Here the apostle plainly stated that a specified time, then future, had been fixed upon for the judgment of the world.” The Great Controversy, 548.

“[Daniel 7:13 quoted.] . . . The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of days in heaven to receive dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not His second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844. Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies, and there appears in the presence of God . . . to perform the work of investigative judgment, and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.” The Faith I Live By, 209.

3 What worldwide message announces the judgment? Revelation 14:6, 7.

note: “It will be noticed that when the time comes for this message to go to the world proclaiming the judgment, the announcement is, ‘The hour of His judgment is come.’ This investigative judgment is the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, which was typified by the day of atonement in the yearly round of the earthly sanctuary. This ‘hour’ of God’s judgment, by a very sure line of prophecy, is shown to have begun in 1844. At this time Christ passed from the holy apartment of the heavenly sanctuary into the most holy, and ‘the judgment was set, and the books were opened.’ See Daniel 9:24–27. [See also Daniel 7:10.] Thus the time for the judgment to begin is made clear.” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912, 8.

4 When the judgment begins, what are opened? From what are the dead judged? Revelation 20:12. Compare Jeremiah 17:10.

note: “There is an unerring register kept of all sins committed. All man’s impiety, all his disobedience to Heaven’s commands, are written in the books of heaven with unerring accuracy.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1171.

5 What is written in the “book of life”? Revelation 3:5; 21:27.

note: “They [God’s people] will be constant to principle. They will do their work, not to secure a great name or great wages, not for the purpose of weaving self into all their works, and of appearing to be somebody in the world, but to be right in everything in the sight of God. They will not be half as anxious to do a big work as to do whatever they have to do with fidelity and with an eye single to the glory of God. Such men are great in the sight of God. Such names are registered in the Lamb’s book of life as the faithful servants of the most high God.” Counsels on Health, 285.

6 What is written in “the books”? Ecclesiastes 12:14; 11:9. Compare 11 Corinthians 5:10.

note: “[The law of God] is so brief that we can easily commit every precept to memory, and yet so far-reaching as to express the whole will of God, and to take cognizance, not only of the outward actions, but of the thoughts and intents, the desires and emotions, of the heart. Human laws cannot do this. They can deal with the outward actions only. A man may be a transgressor, and yet conceal his misdeeds from human eyes; he may be a criminal—a thief, a murderer, or an adulterer—but so long as he is not discovered, the law cannot condemn him as guilty. The law of God takes note of the jealousy, envy, hatred, malignity, revenge, lust, and ambition that surge through the soul, but have not found expression in outward action, because the opportunity, not the will, has been wanting. And these sinful emotions will be brought into the account in the day when ‘God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil’ (Ecclesiastes 12:14).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 217.

7 When the investigative judgment is finished, and the subjects of Christ’s kingdom are determined, what announcement is made? Revelation 22:11.

note: “When the third angel’s message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received ‘the latter rain,’ ‘the refreshing from the presence of the Lord,’ and they are prepared for the trying hour before them. Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received ‘the seal of the living God.’ Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, ‘It is done.’ . . . Every case has been decided for life or death. Christ has made the atonement for His people and blotted out their sins. The number of His subjects is made up.” The Great Controversy, 613, 614.

8 What takes place when Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above? Revelation 22:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.

note: “When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. . . .

“The righteous and the wicked will still be living upon the earth in their mortal state—men will be planting and building, eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced in the sanctuary above. . . . Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man’s destiny, the final withdrawal of mercy’s offer to guilty men.” The Great Controversy, 490, 491.

9 How long will the saints reign with Christ in heaven, and what will they be doing during that time? Revelation 20:4; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3.

note: “After the saints are changed to immortality and caught up together with Jesus, after they receive their harps, their robes, and their crowns, and enter the city, Jesus and the saints sit in judgment. The books are opened—the book of life and the book of death. The book of life contains the good deeds of the saints; and the book of death contains the evil deeds of the wicked. These books are compared with the statute book, the Bible, and according to that men are judged. The saints, in unison with Jesus, pass their judgment upon the wicked dead. . . . This, I saw, was the work of the saints with Jesus through the one thousand years in the Holy City before it descends to the earth.” Early Writings, 52, 53.

10 Who executes the decisions reached during the thousand years? John 5:26, 27.

note: “Christ has been made our judge. The Father is not the judge. The angels are not. He who took humanity upon Himself, and in this world lived a perfect life, is to judge us. He only can be our judge. . . . ” My Life Today, 335.

11 What acknowledgement will finally be made by all whose lives have passed in review before God? Philippians 2:9–11; Revelation 15:3.

note: “Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy has now been made plain. The results of rebellion, the fruits of setting aside the divine statutes, have been laid open to the view of all created intelligences. The working out of Satan’s rule in contrast with the government of God has been presented to the whole universe. Satan’s own works have condemned him. God’s wisdom, His justice, and His goodness stand fully vindicated. It is seen that all His dealings in the great controversy have been conducted with respect to the eternal good of His people and the good of all the worlds that He has created. . . . With all the facts of the great controversy in view, the whole universe, both loyal and rebellious, with one accord declare: ‘Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints’ (Revelation 15:3).” God’s Amazing Grace, 373.

12 By what is every life tested in the investigative judgment? Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Romans 2:12, 16.

note: “He who becomes a partaker of the divine nature will be in harmony with God’s great standard of righteousness, His holy law. This is the rule by which God measures the actions of men. This will be the test of character in the judgment.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 314.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

Bible Study Guides – Man’s Condition in Death

October 4, 2003 – October 10, 2003

Memory Verse

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

Suggested Reading: Christ’s Object Lessons, 260–267.


“Nowhere in the Sacred Scriptures is found the statement that the righteous go to their reward or the wicked to their punishment at death. The patriarchs and prophets have left no such assurance. Christ and His apostles have given no hint of it.” The Faith I Live By, 181.

1 What passed upon all men as a result of sin? Romans 5:12.

note: “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.” Early Writings, 149.

2 What is death called? John 11:11–13; Matthew 9:24.

note: “Christ represents death as a sleep to His believing children. Their life is hid with Christ in God, and until the last trump shall sound those who die will sleep in Him.” The Faith I Live By, 175.

“To the believer, death is but a small matter. Christ speaks of it as if it were of little moment. . . . To the Christian, death is but a sleep, a moment of silence and darkness.” The Desire of Ages, 787.

3 During the time of sleep, where does man wait? Job 17:13.

note: “The Bible clearly teaches that the dead do not go immediately to heaven. They are represented as sleeping until the resurrection. . . . They that go down to the grave are in silence. They know no more of anything that is done under the sun. Blessed rest for the weary righteous! . . . As they are called forth from their deep slumber, they begin to think just where they ceased. The last sensation was the pang of death, the last thought that they were falling beneath the power of the grave.” The Faith I Live By, 181.

“The Life-giver will call the dead from their prison-house, and as they come up from the grave, they will receive the finishing touch of immortality. They will rise from their dusty beds and exclaim, ‘O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory!’ [1 Corinthians 15:55.] And they will be caught up with those who are translated to heaven without seeing death, to meet their Lord in the air. Then the crown of immortal glory will be placed upon each brow.” Review and Herald, July 29, 1890.

4 How long must the dead wait in the grave? Job 14:12. Compare John 5:28, 29; 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

note: “The Life-giver will call up His purchased possession in the first resurrection, and until that triumphant hour, when the last trump shall sound and the vast army shall come forth to eternal victory, every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name. By the power of the Saviour that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead.” Sons and Daughters of God, 359.

5 During this time, what is said of the dead’s knowledge concerning the affairs of earth? Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6; Job 14:20, 21.

note: “The Bible declares that the dead know not anything, that their thoughts have perished; they have no part in anything that is done under the sun; they know nothing of the joys or sorrows of those who were dearest to them on earth.” The Great Controversy, 556.

“The saints must get a thorough understanding of present truth, which they will be obliged to maintain from the Scriptures. They must understand the state of the dead; for the spirits of devils will yet appear to them, professing to be beloved friends and relatives, who will declare to them that the Sabbath has been changed, also other unscriptural doctrines. They will do all in their power to excite sympathy and will work miracles before them to confirm what they declare. The people of God must be prepared to withstand these spirits with the Bible truth that the dead know not anything, and that they who appear to them are the spirits of devils. Our minds must not be taken up with things around us, but must be occupied with the present truth and a preparation to give a reason of our hope with meekness and fear. We must seek wisdom from on high that we may stand in this day of error and delusion.” Early Writings, 87, 88.

6 What testimony is borne concerning the death of Christ? 1 Corinthians 15:3; Isaiah 53:5, 8; John 19:28–30.

note: “And what is it to believe? It is to fully accept that Jesus Christ died as our sacrifice; that He became the curse for us, took our sins upon Himself, and imputed unto us His own righteousness. Therefore we claim this righteousness of Christ, we believe it, and it is our righteousness. He is our Saviour. He saves us because He said He would.” Faith and Works, 70.

7 What significance is attached to the death of Christ? Isaiah 53:12. Compare Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25.

note: “By His spotless life, His obedience, His death on the cross of Calvary, Christ interceded for the lost race. And now, not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a Conqueror claiming His victory. His offering is complete, and as our Intercessor He executes His self-appointed work, holding before God the censer containing His own spotless merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness, these ascend to God as a sweet savor. The offering is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression.

“Christ has pledged Himself to be our substitute and surety, and He neglects no one. He who could not see human beings exposed to eternal ruin without pouring out His soul unto death in their behalf, will look with pity and compassion upon every soul who realizes that he cannot save himself.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 156, 157.

8 What blessed hope for us was involved in Jesus’ coming forth from the tomb? 1 Corinthians 15:20–23.

note: “Death entered the world because of transgression. But Christ gave His life that man should have another trial. He did not die on the cross to abolish the law of God, but to secure for man a second probation. He did not die to make sin an immortal attribute; He died to secure the right to destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. He suffered the full penalty of a broken law for the whole world. This He did, not that men might continue in transgression, but that they might return to their loyalty and keep God’s commandments and His law as the apple of their eye.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 134.

9 What hope lightens the darkness of the grave? 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14.

note: “To the believer, Christ is the resurrection and the life. In our Saviour the life that was lost through sin is restored; for He has life in Himself to quicken whom He will. He is invested with the right to give immortality. The life that He laid down in humanity, He takes up again, and gives to humanity.” The Faith I Live By, 183.

10 To what time do followers of the Lord look forward to meet their loved ones who have fallen in death? John 11:23, 24.

note: “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life. ‘He that believeth in me,’ said Jesus, ‘though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ [John 11:25, 26.] Christ here looks forward to the time of His second coming. Then the righteous dead shall be raised incorruptible, and the living righteous shall be translated to heaven without seeing death.” The Desire of Ages, 530.

11 How did Isaiah speak of this time? Isaiah 26:19.

note: “The Life-giver will call up His purchased possession in the first resurrection, and until that triumphant hour, when the last trump shall sound and the vast army shall come forth to eternal victory, every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name. By the power of the Saviour that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1143.

12 Whose voice alone can awaken the dead? John 5:26–29; 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18.

note: “It was not long after the passing of the time in 1844, that my first vision was given me. . . .

“Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried, ‘Awake! awake! awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise.’ Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted ‘Alleluia!’ as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 64, 66.

“Satan cannot hold the dead in his grasp when the Son of God bids them live. He cannot hold in spiritual death one soul who in faith receives Christ’s word of power. God is saying to all who are dead in sin, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.’ Ephesians 5:14. That word is eternal life. As the word of God which bade the first man live, still gives us life; as Christ’s word, ‘Young man, I say unto thee, Arise,’ gave life to the youth of Nain, so that word, ‘Arise from the dead,’ is life to the soul that receives it. [Luke 7:14.] God ‘hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.’ Colossians 1:13. It is all offered us in His word. If we receive the word, we have the deliverance.” The Desire of Ages, 320.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.

Bible Study Guides – The Nature of Man

September 27, 2003 – October 3, 2003

Memory Verse

“So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27.

Suggested Reading: Patriarchs and Prophets, 44–47; Early Writings, 147–149.


“As children of the first Adam, we partake of the dying nature of Adam. But through the imparted life of Christ, man has been given opportunity to win back again the lost gift of life, and to stand in his original position before God, a partaker of the divine nature.” The Signs of the Times, June 17, 1897.

1 What inspired instruction has been given concerning the origin of man? In whose image was man formed? Genesis 2:7; 1:26, 27.

note: “In the creation of man was manifest the agency of a personal God. When God had made man in His image, the human form was perfect in all its arrangements, but it was without life. Then a personal, self-existing God breathed into that form the breath of life, and man became a living, breathing, intelligent being. All parts of the human organism were put in action. The heart, the arteries, the veins, the tongue, the hands, the feet, the senses, the perceptions of the mind—all began their work, and all were placed under law. Man became a living soul. Through Jesus Christ a personal God created man and endowed him with intelligence and power.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 264.

2 Where was man placed? Genesis 2:15.

note: “Although everything God had made was in the perfection of beauty, and there seemed nothing wanting upon the earth which God had created to make Adam and Eve happy, yet he manifested his great love to them by planting a garden especially for them. A portion of their time was to be occupied in the happy employment of dressing the garden, and a portion in receiving the visits of angels, listening to their instruction, and in happy meditation. Their labor was not wearisome, but pleasant and invigorating. This beautiful garden was to be their home, their special residence.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 34.

3 What command was given Adam and Eve? How were they warned against disobedience? Genesis 2:16, 17.

note: “The Lord placed our first parents in the Garden of Eden. He surrounded them with everything that could minister to their happiness, and He bade them acknowledge Him as the possessor of all things. In the garden He caused to grow every tree that was pleasant to the eye or good for food; but among them He made one reserve. Of all else, Adam and Eve might freely eat; but of this one tree God said, ‘Thou shalt not eat of it.’ Here was the test of their gratitude and loyalty to God.” Counsels on Stewardship, 65.

4 What was the result of disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit? Genesis 3:17–19.

note: “God cursed the ground because of their sin in eating of the tree of knowledge, and declared, ‘In sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.’ [Genesis 3:17.] He had apportioned them the good, but withheld the evil. Now He declares that they shall eat of it, that is, they should be acquainted with evil all the days of their life.

“The race from that time forward was to be afflicted by Satan’s temptations. A life of perpetual toil and anxiety was appointed unto Adam, instead of the happy, cheerful labor he had hitherto enjoyed. They should be subject to disappointment, grief, and pain, and finally come to dissolution. They were made of the dust of the earth, and unto dust should they return.” The Story of Redemption, 40.

5 Who brought life and immortality within the reach of man? What did Christ abolish in order to accomplish this? 11 Timothy 1:10.

note: “Christ proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ [John 11:25.] He, the world’s Redeemer, . . . has brought life and immortality to light. The gates of eternal life are thrown open to all who believe on Jesus Christ. All believers who pass through a natural death, have, through eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God, eternal life in them, which is the life of Jesus Christ. In dying, Jesus has made it impossible for those who believe on Him to die eternally. . . .” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926.

6 To whom only is ascribed inherent immortality? 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:14–16. Compare Job 4:17.

note: “No earthly ruler could show himself so jealous of his honor, so interested in his subjects, so kind and tender to those who put their trust in him, as does the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the Ruler high above all rule. He has strictly prohibited all sin, and has strictly enjoined practical obedience.” Review and Herald, June 19, 1900.

7 How is eternal life obtained? Romans 6:23; 5:19.

note: “The ransom has been paid, and it is possible for all to come to God, and through a life of obedience to attain unto everlasting life. . . . The Creator of all worlds proposes to love those who believe in His only-begotten Son as their personal Saviour, even as He loves His Son. Even here and now His gracious favor is bestowed upon us to this marvelous extent. He has given to men the gift of the Light and Majesty of heaven, and with Him He has bestowed all the treasures of heaven. Much as He has promised us for the life to come, He also bestows princely gifts upon us in this life, and as subjects of His grace, He would have us enjoy everything that will ennoble, expand, and elevate our characters. It is His design to fit us for the heavenly courts above.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 234.

8 How is this gift received? 1 John 5:11, 12; John 3:36.

note: “Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave,—not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours. Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal.” The Desire of Ages, 388.

9 When will immortality be bestowed upon the believer; how quickly will the change from mortality to immortality be made? 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52.

note: “Christ is coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory. He will come to honor those who have loved Him, and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them nor His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when ‘the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’ 1 Corinthians 15:52. A little longer, and we shall see the King in His beauty.” The Desire of Ages, 632.

10 What will then have been brought to pass, and what shout of victory will be heard? 1 Corinthians 15:53–55.

note: “All come forth from their graves the same in stature as when they entered the tomb. Adam, who stands among the risen throng, is of lofty height and majestic form, in stature but little below the Son of God. He presents a marked contrast to the people of later generations; in this one respect is shown the great degeneracy of the race. But all arise with the freshness and vigor of eternal youth. In the beginning, man was created in the likeness of God, not only in character, but in form and feature. Sin defaced and almost obliterated the divine image; but Christ came to restore that which had been lost. He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body. The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will ‘grow up’ (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory. The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ’s faithful ones will appear in ‘the beauty of the Lord our God,’ in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord. [Psalm 90:17.]” The Great Controversy, 644, 645.

11 How only can eternal life be obtained by sinful man? John 10:27–29; Acts 4:12. Compare Acts 10:43.

note: “The blessed Bible gives us a knowledge of the great plan of salvation, and shows us how every individual may have eternal life. Who is the author of the book?—Jesus Christ. He is the True Witness, and He says to His own, ‘I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.’ [John 10:28.] The Bible is to show us the way to Christ, and in Christ eternal life is revealed.” Review and Herald, September 11, 1894.

12 What blessing is promised to those who accept Christ as their Saviour? John 4:13, 14; 6:53, 54.

note: “Would you become assimilated to the divine image? . . . Would you drink of the water which Christ shall give you, which shall be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life? Would you bear fruit to the glory of God? Would you refresh others? Then with heart hungering for the bread of life, the Word of God, search the Scriptures, and live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Your soul’s sanctification and righteousness will result from faith in the Word of God, which leads to obedience of its commands. Let the Word of God be to you as the voice of God instructing you, and saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ Isaiah 30:21. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ John 17:17.” The Faith I Live By, 21.

These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.


I’m so homesick now for heaven.

This place is not my home.

My heart’s no longer in this world,

No matter where I roam.

I’m sick and tired of this old realm

Its riches have lost their glitter.

The things that once attracted me,

For me are only bitter.

For I have seen a better place,

No longer wracked with pain.

Where those we love who’re sleeping now,

We will see again.

Love and beauty reigneth there,

For it’s indeed a glorious land.

There our Savior will greet each one

With His precious hand.

Hang on, my fellow warrior.

The battle’s almost won.

Our Captain says the victory’s sure.

Soon He’ll say, “It’s done.”

Then we’ll hear the mighty trumpet blow

Until the clouds will burst.

We’ll see Him sitting on His throne,

For whom our souls did thirst.

Oh, sing a song of happiness,

O boundless jubilation.

For tears give way to ecstasy

In glorious transformation.

-Vern Shafer

Food for Life – Cashew Lentil Loaf and Country Style Gravy

“And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he [was] faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red [pottage]; for I [am] faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I [am] at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised [his] birthright.” Genesis 25:29–34.

Cashew Lentil Loaf

1 cup lentils

3 cups water

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Tablespoons egg replacer, mixed with 2 Tablespoons water

2/3 cup carrots, chopped

1/3 cup celery, chopped

2 Tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup raw cashews, chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Cook lentils in water until soft. Cool and set aside. Sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add carrots and celery, and simmer covered 10–15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Allow to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon into an oiled loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes or until firm. Serve with Country Style Gravy.

Country Style Gravy

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

2 Tablespoons chicken-style seasoning

2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

4 cups additional water

Blend first 7 ingredients together until smooth; add more water if needed. Pour into a double-boiler pan with 3 cups of the additional water. Lightly boil until thickened (approximately 10–15 minutes). The last cup of water may be added if gravy is too thick.

A member of the LandMarks editorial staff, Anna Schultz enjoys cooking and trying new recipes in her home near Sedalia, Colorado. She may be contacted by e-mail at:

Ask the Pastor – Grace and Works


If we are saved by grace, which I am told is a gift from God, and not by our good works, what does it mean in Philippians 2:12 when it says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”?


This is a question that has been asked by many people. At first it seems that these two concepts are contradictive, but they actually harmonize very well.

Ephesians 2:8, 9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” [Emphasis supplied.] Yet the same author, the apostle Paul, writes to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12.

This quotation from Philippians is only part of the text of the verse. Important context and instruction is given just before the part of “working out your own salvation.” Notice what the first part of that text says: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out . . . .” Paul here sets the stage by telling the believers in Philippi that they are obedient Christians doing what is right all the time, not just when someone is watching them. They are being obedient even when he is gone from them.

Paul acknowledges them as doing a good work in the realm of salvation. They have been obedient, but they need to continue on in what they are doing. Anyone who thinks that the Christian life is doing your own thing and not being accountable to anyone is only fooling themselves. We are to be accountable to other Christians who make up the Lord’s body, the church. But more than that, we are to be accountable to the Lord himself. (See 1 Corinthians 4:2–5.)

So what Paul is doing here is urging them to work, not for the sake of approving themselves to their earthly teacher, but to think of their unseen Lord and to realize His presence all the more in Paul’s absence.

When he says, “work out your own salvation,” he is saying, “Complete it;” God has begun the work; carry it out to the end. The Greek word katergazomai translated as “work out” in Philippians 2:12, is, in Ephesians 6:13, translated as “having done all.” Christ’s work of atonement is finished; work from the cross; carry out the great work of sanctification by the help of the Holy Spirit.

The words “your own” are also important here. Please do not pass this by. Each man is to attend to his own work. No friend, no pastor, not even a parent can work it for him. He is the one who must respond to the Holy Spirit by obedience. No one else can do another’s work of bringing to completion the plan of salvation in the life. When the Bible says “with fear and trembling,” it means “with fear and trembling.” Salvation is not a light matter. It is very serious. Those who move through the sanctification process do so soberly and cautiously.

Verse 13 of Philippians 2 tells the conclusion of the whole matter. “For it is God which worketh in you.” If any good is going to come from bringing the work of God to a conclusion, it is because God has His hand in the matter. It is God who works in you.

This then brings us full circle. We are saved by grace, because grace is the unmerited favor of God working in us to bring us through the complete sanctification process. We are commanded by the apostle to move along in the process without any complaining or murmuring until the process is complete.

Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life Ministry. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to:, or mail it to: LandMarks, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.

Nature Nugget – Fishing Techniques

Fish are in the middle of the food chain. Many types of predators, using various types of techniques, prey upon them.

The Bulldog Bat of Central and South America hunts both freshwater and saltwater fish at night by using echolocation to detect ripples on the surface of calm waters. When a ripple is detected, the bat swoops down and skims the surface, trailing its feet about an inch below the surface sweeping for the fish. Its feet have long, sharp claws for grasping the fish and flattened toes, which cut down on water resistance.

Found nearly worldwide, the Osprey uses its sharp eyesight to spot fish. When a fish is spotted, it hovers above it then plunges from as high as 100 feet with wings swept back and talons thrust forward. Its head enters the water first, and it frequently completely submerges. The Osprey grabs the fish with its talons, which have rough pads on their bottom to help them grasp the slippery prey. Ospreys also have an opposable front toe that they can rotate backwards to give them a more balanced hold on the fish. After capture, the Osprey adjusts the fish in its grip so that the head is pointed forward to make it more aerodynamic.

A relative of the Osprey, the Bald Eagle, also uses sharp eyesight to spot fish, which are its main diet. When a Bald Eagle spots a fish, it skims the surface of the water with its talons to catch it, rather than plunging like the Osprey. Unlike the Osprey, which can catch fish several feet below the surface, the Bald Eagle can only catch fish that are near the surface. Its rear talon is over an inch long and is used to puncture and kill its prey. Bald Eagles will also steal fish from Ospreys by diving on them and chasing them until they drop the fish, which the eagle will then catch before it hits the ground.

Found in large rivers, lakes, and oxbows of southern North America, the Alligator Snapping Turtle is the largest freshwater turtle, reaching up to 300 pounds. To catch a fish dinner, the turtle wiggles the pink worm-like lure located at the end of its tongue to attract a fish. It sits still on the bottom; its algae-covered shell camouflaging it, with its mouth wide open. When a fish comes close to take the lure, the turtle’s jaws snap shut on it like a trap.

The Six-spotted Fisher Spider of North America uses water tension to sit on the surface of the water while fishing. It plunges one leg below the surface to use as a lure to attract small fish. When a fish comes close enough, it plunges under the surface, and after catching it, bites it, injecting a poison that dissolves the body. The spider then sucks out the fish’s body juices—a type of “animal slurpy.”

Christ calls upon us to be fishers (soul winners) of men; He says, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19. Although the God-given talents and gifts of each individual are varied and useful in soul-winning, there is one main technique or method which God wishes us to learn to be effective “fishers of men.” “If you are in communion with Christ, you will place His estimate upon every human being. You will feel for others the same deep love that Christ has felt for you. Then you will be able to win, not drive, to attract, not repulse, those for whom He died.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 197.

David Arbour writes from his home in DeQueen, Arkansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:

Children’s Story – Tales of a Tennessee Chain Gang, Part III

Judge Parks left his question unanswered, but it was clear where he stood. He said in closing, “I have serious doubts as to the justice of the law, but the remedy is not to be found in disobeying it, but in having it repealed.”

He fined the defendants $2.50 each, suspended the sentences, but asked them to pay the court costs. The Sabbathkeepers refused to pay the costs, choosing rather to go to jail. They explained their reasons by saying that the State had taken them from their homes and work for no just cause, and they simply submitted to the powers that be, but they refused to become parties in any degree to the iniquitous proceeding by the payment of a fine. They were given prison sentences of 20 to 76 days.

Bill Burchard left behind a note in his daughter’s autograph album: “Dear Hattie, This is the 6th day of March in the year 1895 a.d., in the Cove in Rhea County, Tennessee, in the so-called free America. I go to Dayton today expecting to go to jail for the crime (?) of believing the Bible. I was found guilty by the court. . . . Yet these things and worse happened in all ages to God’s people—why not to us? Verse 12 of 11 Timothy 3 says: ‘all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ I want you to be a good girl and live for God and His truth. That is the only thing we can live for in this world, that is worth living for. Read and meditate on Hebrews 11:32–40 [a brief history of persecutions suffered by Old Testament heroes], and you can see what awaits us only a little way in the future.”

Jailhouse life was not severe, but there were hardships involved in the incarceration. Several of the men were nearly penniless, and their families were left without support. Then, too, with three key staff members gone, Graysville Academy had to send its 100 students home two months early, some of them without the diplomas they had expected.

Sheriff Darwin was kind enough to put the men up in the two-story house attached to the jail rather than in the cells. The quarters, the Sabbathkeepers reported, were not “offensively dirty.” They were allowed to have visitors and were given access to the well in the front yard, thus escaping the mucky water from the jail-yard pump.

The residents of Dayton petitioned the court to release the prisoners, but in spite of the uproar in the nation’s press, the court denied the petition by a narrow margin. Judge Parks recommended to Governor Peter Turney that the prisoners be pardoned, and finally the last two still serving sentences were granted clemency, even though they gave no evidence of repentance.

Scarcely had they returned home when 20 more indictments went out for Graysville Sabbathkeepers. . . . The court convened in July. Some of the cases were continued, a few dismissed, but eight Sabbathkeepers—including Burchard and Colcord again were convicted. This time, however, their enemies had succeeded in reinstating the county chain gang—a practice that had not been followed for years.

To be concluded . . .