Bible Study Guides – THE PREPARATION, Part 11

October 23, 2005 – October 29, 2005

Key Text:

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7.

Study Help: “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1055.


“The life-work given to us is that of preparation for the life eternal, and if we accomplish this work as God has designed that we should, every temptation may work for our advance; for as we resist its allurement, we make progress in the divine life. In the heat of the conflict, while engaged in earnest spiritual warfare, unseen agencies are by our side, commissioned of heaven to aid us in our wrestlings, and in the crisis, strength and firmness and energy are imparted to us, and we have more than mortal power. But unless the human agent shall bring his will into harmony with the will of God, unless he shall forsake every idol, and overcome every wrong practice, he will never succeed in the warfare; but will be finally overcome. Those who would be conquerors must engage in conflict with unseen agencies; inward corruption must be overcome, and every thought must be brought into harmony with, and subjection to, Christ. The Holy Spirit is ever at work seeking to purify, refine, and discipline the souls of men in order that they may become fitted for the society of saints and angels, and as overcomers be able to sing the song of redemption, ascribing glory and honor to God and to the Lamb in the courts above.” Christian Education, 122, 123.

1 Why are revival and reformation so important, and what is the difference between them? Ephesians 2:1–5; 4:23. Compare John 5:21; 6:63; Romans 12:2.

note: “A revival and a reformation must take place, under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.” Review and Herald, February 25, 1902.

2 Among which class of believers is it most essential for revival to begin? Jeremiah 12:10; Acts 3:19.

note: “I tell you that there must be a thorough revival among us. There must be a converted ministry. There must be confessions, repentance, and conversions. Many who are preaching the Word need the transforming grace of Christ in their hearts. They should let nothing stand in the way of their making thorough work before it shall be forever too late.—Letter 51, 1886.” Last Day Events, 189.

3 What characteristic must God’s people demonstrate before the Holy Spirit can be poured out? Romans 6:11. Compare Romans 8:8–11.

note: “When the laborers have an abiding Christ in their own souls, when all selfishness is dead, when there is no rivalry, no strife for the supremacy, when oneness exists, when they sanctify themselves, so that love for one another is seen and felt, then the showers of the grace of the Holy Spirit will just as surely come upon them as that God’s promise will never fail in one jot or tittle. But when the work of others is discounted, that the workers may show their own superiority, they prove that their own work does not bear the signature it should. God cannot bless them.—Manuscript 24, 1896.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 175.

4 How is true conversion evidenced? Ephesians 4:32.

note: “Christianity is the revealing of the tenderest affection for one another. . . .

“Christ is to receive supreme love from the beings He has created. And He requires also that man shall cherish a sacred regard for his fellow beings. Every soul saved will be saved through love, which begins with God. True conversion is a change from selfishness to sanctified affection for God and for one another.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 114, 115.

5 What is our work today in preparation for the latter rain? 11 Chronicles 30:8; Romans 6:13.

note: “The third angel’s message is swelling into a loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and still entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will take place. . . . Today you are to have your vessel purified, that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord—fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Evangelism, 701, 702.

6 What should characterize our attitude toward the latter rain? Isaiah 55:6. Compare Hosea 10:12.

note: “We need not worry about the latter rain. All we have to do is to keep the vessel clean and right side up and prepared for the reception of the heavenly rain, and keep praying, ‘Let the latter rain come into my vessel. Let the light of the glorious angel which unites with the third angel shine upon me; give me a part in the work; let me sound the proclamation; let me be a colaborer with Jesus Christ.’ Thus seeking God, let me tell you, He is fitting you up all the time, giving you His grace.” The Upward Look, 283.

7 Are God’s conditions for the latter rain too high to attain? Matthew 5:48. Compare Ephesians 3:11–14.

note: “Our heavenly Father claims not at our hands that which we cannot perform. He desires His people to labor earnestly to carry out His purpose for them. They are to pray for power, expect power, and receive power, that they may grow up into the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.

“Not all members of the church are cultivating personal piety; therefore they do not understand their personal responsibility. They do not realize that it is their privilege and duty to reach the high standard of Christian perfection. . . . Are we looking forward to the latter rain, confidently hoping for a better day, when the church shall be endued with power from on high and thus fitted for work? The latter rain will never refresh and invigorate the indolent, who do not use the powers God has given them.” In Heavenly Places, 338.

8 What provision has God made that we might attain to the perfection necessary for the latter rain? 11 Corinthians 7:1. Compare 11 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:3.

note: “The human organism is the handiwork of God. The organs employed in all the different functions of the body were made by Him. The Lord gives us food and drink, that the wants of the body may be supplied. He has given the earth different properties adapted to the growth of food for His children. He gives the sunshine and the showers, the early and the latter rain. He forms the clouds and sends the dew. All are His gifts. . . .

“But all these blessings will not restore in us His moral image unless we cooperate with Him, making painstaking effort to know ourselves, to understand how to care for the delicate human machinery. Man must diligently help to keep himself in harmony with nature’s laws. He who cooperates with God in the work of keeping this wonderful machinery in order, who consecrates all his powers to God, seeking intelligently to obey the laws of nature, stands in his God-given manhood, and is recorded in the books of heaven as a man.” In Heavenly Places, 157.

“We need to understand that individually we are in copartnership with God. ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,’ He admonishes us, and adds, ‘For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure’ (Philippians 2:12, 13). Here is the cooperation of the divine with human agencies. . . .

“The former and the latter rains are needed. ‘We are labourers together with God’ (1 Corinthians 3:9). The Lord alone can give the precious former and latter rain. The clouds, the sunshine, the dews at night—these are heaven’s most precious provisions. But all these favors graciously bestowed of Heaven will prove of little worth to those who do not appropriate them by diligent, painstaking effort on their part.” This Day with God, 276.

9 What precious gift has God given His people to prepare them for the latter rain? Ephesians 4:11.

note: “We call upon you to take your stand on the Lord’s side, and act your part as a loyal subject of the kingdom. Acknowledge the gift that has been placed in the church for the guidance of God’s people in the closing days of earth’s history. From the beginning the church of God has had the gift of prophecy in her midst as a living voice to counsel, admonish, and instruct.

“We have now come to the last days of the work of the third angel’s message, when Satan will work with increasing power because he knows that his time is short. At the same time there will come to us through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, diversities of operations in the outpouring of the Spirit. This is the time of the latter rain.—Letter 230, 1908.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 83.

“In sending forth His ministers our Saviour gave gifts unto men, for through them He communicates to the world the words of eternal life. This is the means which God has ordained for the perfecting of the saints in knowledge and true holiness.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 237.

10 What insightful observation is made to help us evaluate the genuineness of our profession? Ephesians 4:31, 32.

note: “There is no virtue in your prayers to God when you get right up from your prayers and begin to speak sharp words and make yourself disagreeable in your family. When you get up from your prayers and begin to fret and to find fault with everything and with God Himself—for this has been done—your prayers don’t go any higher than your head. Shall we now have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul here where this reformation means so much? Well, that is what we want; because the latter rain is coming, and we want the vessel all cleansed from its work of impurity. We want the vessel to be a vessel unto honor, fit for the Master’s use. . . .

“There is not a quarreling man—no matter if your profession is as high as heaven—nor a quarreling woman; not one that loves to talk and berate and wound and injure the souls and reputation of God’s people, that will ever enter the portals of the city of God. Why? Because there would be a second rebellion in heaven. What we need now is to be students, to learn in the school of Christ to perfect a Christlike character.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 197, 198.

11 What is the true Christian’s highest desire? 11 Corinthians 3:18. Compare 11 Peter 1:4.

note: “God will accept nothing less than unreserved surrender. Half-hearted, sinful Christians can never enter heaven. There they would find no happiness; for they know nothing of the high, holy principles that govern the members of the royal family.

“The true Christian keeps the windows of the soul open heavenward. He lives in fellowship with Christ. His will is conformed to the will of Christ. His highest desire is to become more and more Christlike.” Review and Herald, May 16, 1907.

12 What are the credentials of those who receive the latter rain? John 13:34, 35.

note: “How broad, how full is this love. The new part of that commandment the disciples did not understand. They were to love one another as Christ had loved them. These were their credentials that Christ was formed within, the hope of glory. (Manuscript 82, 1898).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1141.

“As the members of Christ’s body approach the period of their final conflict they will grow up into him, and will possess symmetrical characters. As the message of the third angel swells to a loud cry, great power and glory will attend the closing work. It is the latter rain, which revives and strengthens the people of God to pass through the time of Jacob’s trouble referred to by the prophets. The glory of that light which attends the third angel will be reflected upon them. God will preserve his people through that time of peril.” The Signs of the Times, November 27, 1879.

Bible Study Guides – THE PREPARATION , Part 1

October 16, 2005 – October 22, 2005

Key Text:

“Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14.

Study Help: Last Day Events, 192, 193.


“I saw that none could share the ‘refreshing’ unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence.” Early Writings, 71.

1 What is the main reason for the weakness of God’s church? Isaiah 59:1, 2. Compare Revelation 3:15–20.

note: “Those who claim to be the children of God, and yet do not obey His commands, who are hearers but not doers of the Word, are regarded by the Lord as bankers regard fraudulent bank-notes. They are not genuine. They claim the name of Christian, but in reality they are heathen. . . . If they realized that they were sinners, He could plead in their behalf, and the Lord would arouse them by His Holy Spirit. But He can not present them to the Father; for they are worse than dead in trespasses and sins. . . . God can be no power to lukewarm Laodiceans.” The Signs of the Times, August 2, 1899.

2 What remedial action of God’s people causes the devil to tremble? 11 Chronicles 7:14.

note: “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation. . . . When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come. Satan can no more hinder a shower of blessing from descending upon God’s people than he can close the windows of heaven that rain cannot come upon the earth. . . . Every temptation, every opposing influence, whether open or secret, may be successfully resisted, ‘not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts’ (Zechariah 4:6).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 124.

3 What is God’s urgent call to His people today? Ezekiel 18:31.

note: “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 121.

4 By what prescribed means can we obtain the blessings God wants to bestow on us? Joel 2:12.

note: “Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 121.

5 With whom does the responsibility lie to remedy the defects in our characters? James 4:8.

note: “Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 214.

6 Who alone will receive the latter rain and be able to stand in the time of trouble? Psalm 24:3, 4.

note: “Now is the time to lay up treasure in heaven and to set our hearts in order, ready for the time of trouble. Those only who have clean hands and pure hearts will stand in that trying time. Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts.” Early Writings, 58.

7 What sad condition of God’s people, described by Peter, is seen in the church today? 11 Peter 2:20.

note: “In the vision given me in Rochester, New York, December 25, 1865, I was shown that a most solemn work is before us. Its importance and magnitude are not realized. As I marked the indifference which was everywhere apparent, I was alarmed for ministers and people. There seemed to be a paralysis upon the cause of present truth. The work of God seemed stayed. Ministers and people are unprepared for the time in which they live, and nearly all who profess to believe present truth are unprepared to understand the work of preparation for this time. In their present state of worldly ambition, with their lack of consecration to God, their devotion to self, they are wholly unfitted to receive the latter rain and, having done all, to stand against the wrath of Satan, who by his inventions would cause them to make shipwreck of faith, fastening upon them some pleasing self-deception. They think they are all right when they are all wrong.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 466.

8 Is it reasonable to expect all professed believers in the Three Angels’ Messages to be ready for the latter rain? Isaiah 1:9. Compare Revelation 12:17.

note: “Are we awake to the work that is going on in the heavenly sanctuary, or are we waiting for some compelling power to come upon the church before we shall arouse? Are we hoping to see the whole church revived? That time will never come.

“There are persons in the church who are not converted, and who will not unite in earnest, prevailing prayer. We must enter upon the work individually. We must pray more, and talk less. Iniquity abounds, and the people must be taught not to be satisfied with a form of godliness without the spirit and power.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 122.

9 Once the former rain has accomplished its purpose, how will God recognize the fact? Zechariah 10:1, last part.

note: “The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with His glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, whole-hearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure.” Review and Herald, July 21, 1896.

10 What portion of the professed church is to blame for the delay in the latter rain? Matthew 7:14. Compare Matthew 22:14.

note: “When we have entire, whole-hearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God.” Review and Herald, July 21, 1896.

“I was shown that if God’s people make no efforts on their part, but wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors; if they depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting. The refreshing or power of God comes only on those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them, namely, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 619.

11 Before the latter rain can descend, what must God’s people first experience? Zechariah 10:1. Compare Jeremiah 5:24; Mark 4:28.

note: “The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection. . . .

“The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506, 507.

12 What important function does the former rain accomplish? Ephesians 4:13.

note: “As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506.

13 Will the former rain ever cease to be necessary? John 14:16.

note: “At no point in our experience can we dispense with the assistance of that which enables us to make the first start. The blessings received under the former rain are needful to us to the end.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 507.

14 Describe the present duty of God’s people. 1 Peter 1:22; 11 Peter 1:5–8.

note: “The third angel’s message is swelling into a loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and still entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will take place. Today you are to give yourselves to God, that he may make of you vessels unto honor, and meet for his service. Today you are to give yourself to God, that you may be emptied of self, emptied of envy, jealousy, evil-surmising, strife, everything that shall be dishonoring to God. Today you are to have your vessel purified that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord—fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Review and Herald, March 22, 1892.

Bible Study Guides – THE PURPOSE

October 9, 2005 – October 15, 2005

Key Text:

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 423–431; The Desire of Ages, 669–672.


“To His church, Christ has given ample facilities, that He may receive a large revenue of glory from His redeemed, purchased possession. The church, being endowed with the righteousness of Christ, is His depository, in which the wealth of His mercy, His love, His grace, is to appear in full and final display. The declaration in His intercessory prayer, that the Father’s love is as great toward us as toward Himself, the only-begotten Son, and that we shall be with Him where He is, forever one with Christ and the Father, is a marvel to the heavenly host, and it is their great joy. The gift of His Holy Spirit, rich, full, and abundant, is to be to His church as an encompassing wall of fire, which the powers of hell shall not prevail against. In their untainted purity and spotless perfection, Christ looks upon His people as the reward of all His suffering, His humiliation, and His love, and the supplement of His glory—Christ, the great center from which radiates all glory.” God’s Amazing Grace, 222.

1 What was Satan’s real purpose in his rebellion against God? Isaiah 14:13, 14.

note: “At the cross of Calvary, love and selfishness stood face to face. Here was their crowning manifestation. Christ had lived only to comfort and bless, and in putting Him to death, Satan manifested the malignity of his hatred against God. He made it evident that the real purpose of his rebellion was to dethrone God, and to destroy Him through whom the love of God was shown.” Sons and Daughters of God, 244.

2 How does Satan justify his claim to the human race? How does this imply a challenge to God? Romans 3:23; 1 John 3:8. Compare Romans 6:16.

note: “Satan had claimed that it was impossible for man to obey God’s commandments; and in our own strength it is true that we cannot obey them. But Christ came in the form of humanity, and by His perfect obedience He proved that humanity and divinity combined can obey every one of God’s precepts.

“[John 1:12 quoted.] This power is not in the human agent. It is the power of God. When a soul receives Christ, he receives power to live the life of Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 314.

3 What was God’s response to Satan’s challenge? Ezekiel 36:26, 27; Isaiah 13:12. Compare Malachi 3:3; Revelation 7:1–4; 14:12.

note: “It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.

“Of the Spirit Jesus said, ‘He shall glorify Me.’ [John 16:14.] The Saviour came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of His love; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing His grace to the world. The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.” The Desire of Ages, 671.

4 What is the importance of the latter rain in the context of the great controversy? Joel 2:28–32. Compare Malachi 3:3.

note: “The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.

“The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506.

5 Without the Holy Spirit to perfect human character, can God still succeed in the great controversy? John 16:7. Compare John 14:17; Romans 8:9.

note: “The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He [Jesus] could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer.” The Desire of Ages, 671.

6 Why is it crucial for human beings to cooperate with the Holy Spirit? Romans 8:26, 27.

note: “When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. . . . If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place.” The Desire of Ages, 324.

7 What happens when a person yields himself/herself completely to the Holy Spirit? Romans 8:14–17; Philippians 4:13. Compare 11 Corinthians 10:5, last part; Jude 24; Revelation 14:5.

note: “It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord—fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Review and Herald, March 22, 1892.

“In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. . . . When we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.” The Desire of Ages, 466.

“As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 333.

8 What unseen process takes place when God’s people individually attain to the mark of Jesus’ perfect character? Ephesians 1:13. Compare Ezekiel 9:3, 4.

note: “Are we striving with all our power to attain to the stature of men and women in Christ? Are we seeking for His fullness, ever pressing toward the mark set before us—the perfection of His character? When the Lord’s people reach this mark, they will be sealed in their foreheads. Filled with the Spirit, they will be complete in Christ, and the recording angel will declare, ‘It is finished.’ ” God’s Amazing Grace, 216.

9 What will happen when God’s people are sealed? Acts 2:17, 18.

note: “Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads—it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved—just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1161.

10 What is Satan’s intention toward God’s people during the last conflict? Revelation 13:14–17.

note: “The whole world is to be stirred with enmity against Seventh-day Adventists, because they will not yield homage to the papacy, by honoring Sunday, the institution of this antichristian power. It is the purpose of Satan to cause them to be blotted from the earth, in order that his supremacy of the world may not be disputed.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 37.

11 How does God propose to overturn Satan’s purpose? Isaiah 26:20; 59:19–21.

note: “As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble,’ they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of His spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attend the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the latter rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 353.

“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.” The Great Controversy, 613.

“ ‘The commencement of that time of trouble,’ here mentioned, does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the ‘latter rain,’ or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out.” Early Writings, 85, 86.

12 What important experience precedes the outpouring of the latter rain? 1 Timothy 4:7, 8. Compare Hebrews 12:14.

note: “Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children.” The Great Controversy, 464.

13 What other gracious purpose does God have in mind for those who receive the latter rain? Revelation 14:4. Compare 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

note: “Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 187.

14 How does the latter rain figure in God’s plan to ultimately vanquish Satan? Revelation 18:1–6.

note: “Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.

“The darkest hour of the church’s struggle with the powers of evil is that which immediately precedes the day of her final deliverance. But none who trust in God need fear; for ‘when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall,’ God will be to His church ‘a refuge from the storm.’ Isaiah 25:4.” Prophets and Kings, 725.

“Solemn are the lessons of Israel’s failure during the years when ruler and people turned from the high purpose they had been called to fulfill. Wherein they were weak, even to the point of failure, the Israel of God today, the representatives of heaven that make up the true church of Christ, must be strong; for upon them devolves the task of finishing the work that has been committed to man, and of ushering in the day of final awards. Yet the same influences that prevailed against Israel in the time when Solomon reigned are to be met with still. The forces of the enemy of all righteousness are strongly entrenched; only by the power of God can the victory be gained.” Ibid., 74.

“During the loud cry, the church, aided by the providential interpositions of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every city and town. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation. So abundantly will the renewing Spirit of God have crowned with success the intensely active agencies, that the light of present truth will be seen flashing everywhere.” Review and Herald, October 13, 1904. [Emphasis supplied.]

Bible Study Guides – THE PROMISE

October 2, 2005 – October 8, 2005

Key Text:

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” Revelation 18:1.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 611, 612.


“The prophecies in the eighteenth of Revelation will soon be fulfilled. During the proclamation of the third angel’s message, ‘another angel’ is to ‘come down from heaven, having great power,’ and the earth is to be ‘lighted with his glory.’ [Revelation 18:1.] The Spirit of the Lord will so graciously bless consecrated human instrumentalities that men, women, and children will open their lips in praise and thanksgiving, filling the earth with the knowledge of God, and with his unsurpassed glory, as the waters cover the sea.

“Those who have held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end will be wide-awake during the time that the third angel’s message is proclaimed with great power. During the loud cry, the church, aided by the providential interpositions of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every city and town. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation. So abundantly will the renewing Spirit of God have crowned with success the intensely active agencies, that the light of present truth will be seen flashing everywhere.” Review and Herald, October 13, 1904.

1 Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, what great event did Peter foresee toward the end of the gospel era? Acts 3:19, 20.

note: “The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are ‘the times of refreshing’ to which the apostle Peter looked forward . . . [Acts 3:19, 20 quoted].

“Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.” The Great Controversy, 611, 612.

2 To what Old Testament prophecy was Peter referring? Joel 2:28–32.

note: “We are living in the last days, in a time when we may expect much from the Lord. These words should bring us to the throne of grace to claim great things of Him. Here the promise is given that on the men and women and on our sons and daughters the Holy Spirit is to come; and ‘whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ [Romans 10:13.] This brings to view a wonderful work to be done, for which we need the converting power of God in our hearts every day. It is our privilege to experience this. Heaven is full of blessings, and it is our privilege to claim the rich promises of God for our individual selves. We need to seek the Lord day and night that we may know just what steps to take and just what we ought to do.” My Life Today, 62.

3 To what natural phenomenon does the latter rain direct the mind? Zechariah 10:1.

note: “[Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:23 quoted.] In the East the former rain falls at the sowing time. It is necessary in order that the seed may germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers, the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506.

4 What is the significance of this analogy? Joel 2:23, 24.

note: “The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.

“The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506.

5 How necessary are rain showers to a harvest? Leviticus 26:4, 5; Deuteronomy 11:14; Isaiah 55:10.

note: “The plant grows by receiving that which God has provided to sustain its life. It sends down its roots into the earth. It drinks in the sunshine, the dew, and the rain. It receives the life-giving properties from the air. So the Christian is to grow by co-operating with the divine agencies. Feeling our helplessness, we are to improve all the opportunities granted us to gain a fuller experience. As the plant takes root in the soil, so we are to take deep root in Christ. As the plant receives the sunshine, the dew, and the rain, we are to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit. The work is to be done ‘not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Zechariah 4:6. If we keep our minds stayed upon Christ, He will come unto us ‘as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.’ Hosea 6:3. As the Sun of Righteousness, He will arise upon us ‘with healing in His wings.’ Malachi 4:2. We shall ‘grow as the lily.’ We shall ‘revive as the corn, and grow as the vine.’ Hosea 14:5, 7. By constantly relying upon Christ as our personal Saviour, we shall grow up into Him in all things who is our head.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 66, 67.

6 What was the reason for the drought in Israel, and its consequences? Leviticus 26:18–20. Compare 1 Kings 17:1–16.

note: “The Lord made a covenant with Israel that, if they would obey His commandments, He would give them rain in due season, the land should yield her increase, and the trees of the field should yield their fruit. He promised that their threshing should reach unto the vintage and the vintage unto the sowingtime, and that they should eat their bread to the full and dwell in their land safely. He would make their enemies to perish. He would not abhor them, but would walk with them and would be their God, and they should be His people. But if they disregarded His requirements, He would deal with them entirely contrary to all this. His curse should rest upon them in place of His blessing. He would break their pride of power and would make the heavens over them as iron and the earth as brass.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 661.

7 How does God express the promise of the Holy Spirit to His people? Isaiah 59:20, 21. Compare Matthew 7:9–11.

note: “The Lord has sought to show us how ready is God to hear and answer our request by the use of a most familiar and commonplace occurrence. . . . Christ made an appeal to us concerning the willingness of God to help, arguing from the natural love of the parent to his offspring. What father could turn from his son who asks bread? Should anyone dishonor God by imagining that He will not respond to the call of His children? Would we think a parent capable of trifling with his child, and tantalizing him by raising his expectation only to disappoint him? Will a father promise to give good and nourishing food to his child and then give him a stone? ‘If ye then, being human and evil, give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?’ [Matthew 7:11.] The Lord assures those that ask Him that He will give them the Holy Spirit.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 329.

8 What else is included in the covenant God makes with His people? Ezekiel 37:26, 27. Compare Revelation 21:3.

note: “Christ’s Word is the bread of life and the water of salvation. Trust in its fullness comes to us through constant communion with God. By it we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the life-blood of the heart, and the Holy Spirit gives nerve power. Begotten again unto a lively hope, imbued with the quickening power of a new nature, the soul is enabled to rise higher and still higher. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was ‘that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ [Ephesians 3:16–19.]” The Signs of the Times, October 3, 1900.

9 By what rite do we enter into a covenant relationship with God? Matthew 28:19.

note: “Those who submit to the solemn rite of baptism pledge themselves to devote their lives to God’s service; and the three great powers of heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, pledge themselves to cooperate with them, to work in and through them. As men and women thus enter into covenant relation with God, they take the name of Christian. Henceforth they are to live the life of Christ. They have been buried with Him, and they are to ‘seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.’ [Colossians 3:1.]” The Signs of the Times, March 11, 1903.

10 What are the two aspects of baptism, and what do they mean? John 3:5–8.

note: “The vows which we take upon ourselves in baptism embrace much. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we are buried in the likeness of Christ’s death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection, and we are to live a new life. Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ. Henceforth the believer is to bear in mind that he is dedicated to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. He is to make all worldly considerations secondary to this new relation. Publicly he has declared that he will no longer live in pride and self-indulgence. He is no longer to live a careless, indifferent life. He has made a covenant with God. He has died to the world. He is to live to the Lord, to use for Him all his entrusted capabilities, never losing the realization that he bears God’s signature, that he is a subject of Christ’s kingdom, a partaker of the divine nature. He is to surrender to God all that he is and all that he has, employing all his gifts to His name’s glory.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 98, 99.

11 What should be our attitude as we await the promise of the latter rain? 11 Peter 3:9–14.

note: “Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.

“It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (11 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.

“By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return. We are not only to look for but to hasten the coming of the day of God. 11 Peter 3:12, margin. Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.” The Desire of Ages, 633, 634.

12 How does God view the indifference of His professed people? Revelation 3:14–17.

note: “God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children.

“A revival and a reformation must take place, under the ministration of the Holy Spirit.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 128.


Bible Study Guides – THE PREVIEW

September 25, 2005 – October 1, 2005

Key Text:

“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Colossians 1:23.

Study Help: The Story of Redemption, 240–250.


“The Saviour’s promise to His disciples is a promise to His church to the end of time. God did not design that His wonderful plan to redeem men should achieve only insignificant results. All who will go to work, trusting not in what they themselves can do, but in what God can do for and through them, will certainly realize the fulfillment of His promise. ‘Greater works than these shall ye do,’ He declares; ‘because I go unto My Father.’ [John 14:12.]” The Desire of Ages, 667.

1 How will the culmination of the great work of the gospel compare to its beginning? Joel 2:23, 28–30.

note: “The angel who unites in the proclamation of the third angel’s message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory. A work of world-wide extent and unwonted power is here foretold. The advent movement of 1840–44 was a glorious manifestation of the power of God; the first angel’s message was carried to every missionary station in the world, and in some countries there was the greatest religious interest which has been witnessed in any land since the Reformation of the sixteenth century; but these are to be exceeded by the mighty movement under the last warning of the third angel. . . .

“The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening.” The Great Controversy, 611.

2 Compared to the first disciples, how many will be imbued with latter rain power at the end? Acts 2:17.

note: “Thousands of voices will be imbued with the power to speak forth the wonderful truths of God’s word. The stammering tongue will be unloosed, and the timid will be made strong to bear courageous testimony to the truth. May the Lord help his people to cleanse the soul temple from every defilement, and to maintain such a close connection with him that they may be partakers of the latter rain when it shall be poured out.” Review and Herald, July 20, 1886.

3 How much of the world heard the gospel under the power of the former rain? Colossians 1:23.

note: “The commission that Christ gave to the disciples, they fulfilled. As these messengers of the cross went forth to proclaim the gospel, there was such a revelation of the glory of God as had never before been witnessed by mortal man. By the co-operation of the divine Spirit, the apostles did a work that shook the world. To every nation was the gospel carried in a single generation.” The Acts of the Apostles, 593.

4 In addition to the true prophets of God, who will work miracles during the loud cry of the third angel? Revelation 13:13, 14.

note: “It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who will be alive on the earth when past woes and celestial glory will be blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By the means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan would counterfeit any miracle that might be worked. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12–18. They are to take their stand on the living Word—‘It is written.’ This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without hope and without God in the world.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 54, 55.

5 What is one way the great deceiver and his workers will be detected by the true people of God? Isaiah 8:20; Matthew 7:15, 16; 11 Thessalonians 2:7–12.

note: “Satan has come down in these last days, to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. His Satanic majesty works miracles in the sight of false prophets, in the sight of men, claiming that he is indeed Christ himself. Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep’s clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf cannot be discerned only as we go to God’s great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah.” Review and Herald, August 25, 1885.

6 What evidence for truth will never be superseded by miraculous manifestations? John 17:3, 17; 6:63.

note: “Satan will work in a most subtle manner to introduce human inventions clothed with angel garments. But the light from the Word is shining amid the moral darkness; and the Bible will never be superseded by miraculous manifestations. The truth must be studied, it must be searched for as hidden treasure. Wonderful illuminations will not be given aside from the Word, or to take the place of it.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 48.

7 What specific miracle enabled the gospel to go rapidly to all the world? Acts 2:3, 4.

note: “Every known tongue was represented by those assembled. This diversity of languages would have been a great hindrance to the proclamation of the gospel; God therefore in a miraculous manner supplied the deficiency of the apostles. The Holy Spirit did for them that which they could not have accomplished for themselves in a lifetime. They could now proclaim the truths of the gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the languages of those for whom they were laboring. This miraculous gift was a strong evidence to the world that their commission bore the signet of Heaven.

“ ‘Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? and how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?’ [Acts 2:6–8.]” The Acts of the Apostles, 39, 40.

“The disciples were to preach among other nations, and they would receive power to speak other tongues. The apostles and their associates were unlettered men, yet through the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, their speech, whether in their own or a foreign language, became pure, simple, and accurate, both in word and in accent.” The Desire of Ages, 821.

8 What other agency, in addition to the Holy Spirit, did God use to help spread the gospel after Pentecost, and is promised again when the conditions are met? Acts 10:1–6. Compare Hebrews 1:13, 14.

note: “When the truth in its simplicity is lived in every place, then God will work through His angels as He worked on the day of Pentecost, and hearts will be changed so decidedly that there will be a manifestation of the influence of genuine truth, as is represented in the descent of the Holy Spirit.” My Life Today, 58.

9 Of what other important, yet not-so-pleasant, experience (and promise) of Jesus did the first disciples partake, as will those at the end? John 15:18–21; Matthew 10:17–22. Compare 11 Timothy 3:12.

note: “God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. Not Enoch, who was translated to heaven, not Elijah, who ascended in a chariot of fire, was greater or more honored than John the Baptist, who perished alone in the dungeon. ‘Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.’ Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor.” The Desire of Ages, 224, 225.

“We are brought into sympathy with Christ through the fellowship of His sufferings. Every act of self-sacrifice for the good of others strengthens the spirit of beneficence in the giver’s heart, allying him more closely to the Redeemer of the world, who ‘was rich, yet for your sakes . . . became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.’ 11 Corinthians 8:9. And it is only as we thus fulfill the divine purpose in our creation that life can be a blessing to us.” Steps to Christ, 79, 80.

10 What ultimate price did some of the first disciples have to pay, as will some at the end? John 16:2. Compare Hebrews 11:36–38.

note: “As Christ’s earthly ministry drew to a close, and He realized that He must soon leave His disciples to carry on the work without His personal supervision, He sought to encourage them and to prepare them for the future. He did not deceive them with false hopes. As an open book He read what was to be. He knew He was about to be separated from them, to leave them as sheep among wolves. He knew that they would suffer persecution, that they would be cast out of the synagogues, and would be thrown into prison. He knew that for witnessing to Him as the Messiah, some of them would suffer death. And something of this He told them. In speaking of their future, He was plain and definite, that in their coming trial they might remember His words and be strengthened to believe in Him as the Redeemer.” The Acts of the Apostles, 21.

“Jesus endowed His disciples with power to work miracles, and told them that although they should be persecuted by wicked men, He would from time to time send His angels to deliver them; their lives could not be taken until their mission should be accomplished; then they might be required to seal with their blood the testimonies which they had borne.” Early Writings, 189, 190.

11 What unfortunate attitude, being manifested again in these end times, did some of the leaders of the Jewish church demonstrate toward the first disciples of Jesus? Acts 4:1–3, 15–17.

note: “The healing of the cripple and the preaching of the apostles had filled Jerusalem with excitement.

“In order to conceal their perplexity, the priests and rulers ordered the apostles to be taken away, that they might counsel among themselves. They all agreed that it would be useless to deny that the man had been healed. Gladly would they have covered up the miracle by falsehoods; but this was impossible, for it had been wrought in the full light of day, before a multitude of people, and had already come to the knowledge of thousands. They felt that the work of the disciples must be stopped or Jesus would gain many followers. Their own disgrace would follow, for they would be held guilty of the murder of the Son of God.

“But notwithstanding their desire to destroy the disciples, the priests dared not do more than threaten them with the severest punishment if they continued to speak or to work in the name of Jesus.” The Acts of the Apostles, 66.

12 Appearances notwithstanding, what assurance do we have that truth is really unstoppable? Romans 8:31–39. Compare 11 Corinthians 10:4; 1 John 5:4; Revelation 12:11.

note: “If the church will put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, withdrawing from all allegiance with the world, there is before her the dawn of a bright and glorious day. God’s promise to her will stand fast forever. He will make her an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Truth, passing by those who despise and reject it, will triumph. Although at times apparently retarded, its progress has never been checked. When the message of God meets with opposition, He gives it additional force, that it may exert greater influence. Endowed with divine energy, it will cut its way through the strongest barriers and triumph over every obstacle.” The Acts of the Apostles, 601.

Food for Life – Sunflower Seed Casserole

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” Life and Health, July 1, 1905.

“Nature’s abundant supply of fruits, nuts and grains is ample, and year by year the products of all lands are more generally distributed to all, by the increased facilities for transportation. As a result many articles of food which a few years ago were regarded as expensive luxuries are now within the reach of all as foods for everyday use.” The Ministry of Healing, 297.

“In grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, are to be found all the food elements that we need. If we will come to the Lord in simplicity of mind, He will teach us how to prepare wholesome food free from the taint of flesh-meat.” Testimony Studies on Diet and Foods, 82.

“How much suffering would be saved if the highly seasoned food and a great variety of food were changed for a simple diet of grains and nuts and fruits. Such a change could not fail to restore health to those who have made themselves sick by overeating.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 355.

Sunflower Seed Casserole

2/3 cup cashews

3/4 cup water

1 large onion

2 Tablespoons Brewer’s yeast

2 1/2 teaspoons chicken-like seasoning

3 Tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos

1 cup mushrooms, chopped (may use 1-7 oz. can pieces)

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups sunflower seeds

5 cups cooked brown rice

Blend cashews in water until smooth. Add seasonings and chunks of onion and pulse until fine. Add mushrooms to blender and pulse a few times to get desired consistency.

Grind sunflower seeds until fine and place in a large bowl. Add brown rice and blender mixture and mix well. Put in a large casserole and bake for 1-1/2 hours at 325 degrees. Keep covered for the first 45 minutes. Freezes well.

Blythe Hoppe and her husband, Maurice, live in Derby, Kansas, and volunteer many hours at Steps to Life.

Do you have a favorite vegan recipe you are willing to share with LandMarks’ readers? Send it to us with a photo of you, if available, and a two or three line bio. We will consider all submissions. Send to the address below or by e-mail at:

LandMarks Recipes

Steps to Life Ministry

P.O. Box 782828

Wichita, KS 67278

The Pen of Inspiration – Peace in Christ

Our Saviour represents his requirements as a yoke, and the Christian life as one of burden-bearing. Yet, contrasting these with the cruel power of Satan and the burdens imposed by sin, he declares, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:30.]

When we try to live the life of a Christian, to bear its responsibilities and perform its duties, without Christ as a helper, the yoke is galling, the burden intolerably heavy. But Jesus does not desire us to do this. He bids the weary and heavy-laden, “Come unto me, . . . and I will give you rest.” “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Verses 28, 29.] Here is revealed the secret of that rest which Christ promises to bestow. We must possess his meekness of spirit, and we shall find peace in him.

Many profess to come to Christ, while yet they cling to their own ways, which are as a painful yoke. Selfishness, love of the world, or other cherished sin, destroys their peace and joy. My fellow Christian, whatever may be your lot in life, remember that you are in the service of Christ. Whatever your burden or cross, lift it in the name of Jesus; bear it in his strength. He pronounces the yoke easy and the burden light, and I believe him. I have proved the truth of his words.

Those who are restless, impatient, dissatisfied, under the weight of care and responsibility, are seeking to carry their burden without the aid of Jesus. If he were by their side, the sunshine of his presence would scatter every cloud, the help of his strong arm would lighten every burden. The church is becoming weak for the want of consecrated members, who feel that they are not their own; that their time, their talents, their energies belong to Christ; that he has bought them with his blood, and is pleading for them in the Sanctuary above.

We cumber ourselves with needless cares and anxieties, and weigh ourselves down with heavy burdens, because we do not learn of Jesus. Many are so fearful of provoking unfriendly criticism or malicious gossip that they dare not act from principle. They dare not identify themselves with those who follow Christ fully. They desire to conform to worldly customs, and secure the approbation of worldlings. Christ gave himself for us “that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” [Titus 2:14.] Christ’s true followers are unlike the world in words, in works, and in deportment. Oh, why will not all his professed children follow him fully? Why will any bear burdens which he has not imposed?

We would be much happier and more useful, if our home life and social intercourse were governed by the meekness and simplicity of Christ. Instead of toiling for display, to excite the admiration or the envy of visitors, we should endeavor to make all around us happy by our cheerfulness, sympathy, and love. Let visitors see that we are striving to conform to the will of Christ. Let them see in us even though our lot is humble, a spirit of content and gratitude. The very atmosphere of a truly Christian home is that of peace and restfulness. Such an example will not be without effect. Right thoughts and new desires will be awakened in the heart of the most careless.

In our efforts for the comfort and happiness of guests, let us not overlook our obligations to God. The hour of prayer should not be neglected for any consideration. Do not talk and amuse yourselves till all are too weary to enjoy the season of devotion. To do this, is to present to God a lame offering. At an early hour of the evening, when we can pray unhurriedly and understandingly, we should present our supplications, and raise our voices in happy, grateful praise.

Let all who visit Christians see that the hour of prayer is the most precious, the most sacred, and the happiest hour of the day. These seasons of devotion exert a refining, elevating influence upon all who participate in them. They bring a peace and rest grateful to the spirit.

In every act of life Christians should seek to represent Christ,—seek to make his service appear attractive. Let none make religion repulsive by groans and sighs and a relation of their trials, their self-denials, and sacrifices. Do not give the lie to your profession of faith by impatience, fretfulness, and repining. Let the graces of the Spirit be manifested in kindness, meekness, forbearance, cheerfulness, and love. Let it be seen that the love of Christ is an abiding motive; that your religion is not a dress to be put off and on to suit circumstances, but a principle, calm, steady, unwavering. Alas that pride, unbelief, and selfishness, like a foul cancer, are eating out vital godliness from the heart of many a professed Christian! When judged according to their works, how many will learn, too late, that their religion was but a glittering cheat, unacknowledged by Jesus Christ.

Love to Jesus will be seen, will be felt. It cannot be hidden. It exerts a wondrous power. It makes the timid bold, the slothful diligent, the ignorant wise. It makes the stammering tongue eloquent, and rouses the dormant intellect into new life and vigor. It makes the desponding hopeful, the gloomy joyous. Love to Christ will lead its possessor to accept responsibilities for his sake, and to bear them in his strength. Love to Christ will not be dismayed by tribulation, nor turned aside from duty by reproaches. The soul that is not imbued with this love for Jesus is none of his.

Peace in Christ is of more value than all the treasures of earth. Let us seek the Lord with all our heart, let us learn of Christ to be meek and lowly, that we may find rest of soul. Let us arouse our dormant energies, and become active, earnest, fervent. The very example and deportment as well as the words of the Christian should be such as to awaken in the sinner a desire to come to the Fountain of life.

Let us open our hearts to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Let us work cheerfully, joyfully in the service of our Master. A slothful, languid professor will never secure an abundant entrance into the kingdom of God. From the cross to the crown there is earnest work to be done. There is wrestling with inbred sin; there is warfare against outward wrong.

The Christian life is a battle and a march. Let us go forward, for we are striving for an immortal crown. Let us give diligence to make our calling and election sure. We shall triumph at last, if we do not become weary in well-doing. Review and Herald, November 29, 1887.

Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English.

Ask the Pastor – The Potter’s Power


What is the lesson to be drawn from the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 9:21, which say: “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”


Contained in the writings of the apostle Paul are some things which Peter says are “hard to understand.” 11 Peter 3:16. This, no doubt, is one of them. Because these words are easily misunderstood, many people have become discouraged and have given up, because they believe that God creates some to be saved and others to be lost. But this is not true.

To understand this verse calls for some background study. We need to go back to the days of Jeremiah when the nation of Israel was in rebellion against God and the people were determined to do what they wanted rather than what God required. (See Jeremiah 18.)

Jeremiah was directed to go to the potter’s house and observe the potter at work. This parable, of course, was illustrative of how God worked with Israel.

And then, by one of those flashes of insight, which the world calls genius, but which we recognize as inspiration, he was taught to read the meaning of the parable. “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay [is] in the potter’s hand, so [are] ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” Jeremiah 18:5, 6.

The great God of heaven, Who, in history, had determined the times and seasons of mankind, had, for example, called Israel to be the pattern of a righteous people, the witness of truth to the nations, a kingdom of priests, the first-fruits of humanity. But that purpose had been frustrated. Israel had refused that calling, had chosen to be as the nations around it, in its worship, its sensuality, and its greed of gain. It had, therefore, to be brought under another discipline, fitted for another work: “He made it again another vessel.” Jeremiah 18:4. The pressure of the Potter’s hand was to be harder, and the vessel was to be fashioned for less noble uses. Shame and suffering and exile—their land left desolate, and they themselves weeping by the waters of Babylon—these were the conditions to which they were now called to submit.

The age in which Paul lived was like that of Jeremiah. Once again the Potter was trying to fashion the clay into high and noble uses. Israel might have taken its place as the first fruits or the “honorable vessels” of the church of Christ, as the prophets and teachers of mankind. “To the Jew first,” was the rule invariably followed. But blindness, hardness, and unbelief marred the shape of the vessels made to honor. Now the gospel moved to the Gentiles—another vessel, which at first had been unto dishonor but now was used to do what Israel (the honored vessel) would not do. What Paul is teaching here is not predestination, but reward to whomsoever will respond to the gospel message.

Pastor Mike Baugher is a retired minister of the gospel. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to:, or mail it to: LandMarks, Steps to Life, P. O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.

Nature Nugget – Electric Fishes

In marshes and stagnant areas of the Amazon Basin of South America lives a fish called the Electric Eel. Though not a true eel, but closely resembling one, its internal organs are found in a small area just behind the head with the remaining seven-eighths of its body being tail. Reaching lengths of six to nine feet, Electric Eels are obligate air-breathers, requiring a breath of air every few minutes.

The most unique thing about the Electric Eel is that it has the capability of emitting an electric discharge of up to 650 volts and a current of up to 1 ampere. It has been known to kill humans and to knock down a horse crossing a stream from 20 feet away. The main functions of these high intensity electric discharges are for stunning or killing its prey and for defense from predators. It also produces low intensity discharges in the 5 to 10 volt range for sensory perception (electro-location), allowing it to navigate and find its prey in muddy water and to communicate with others of its kind. The Electric Eel’s body is similar to a battery with the tail end having a positive charge and the head region a negative charge.

Another electric fish is the Electric Catfish, which is found among rocks and roots in dark, freshwater rivers and lakes of Western and Central Africa and the Nile River. Electric Catfishes are nocturnal and feed on smaller fishes, worms, crustaceans, and insects. Attaining a maximum size of around three feet in length, they can live for up to 15 years. Like the Electric Eel, they can produce an electric shock, but at only about half the volts (about 300–350 volts), which is also used for stunning prey and for defense. The Arabs and Egyptians used Electric Catfishes for medicinal purposes.

Another electric fish, the Torpedo Ray, found in the Mediterranean Sea, was also used for medicinal purposes. Discharging up to 220 volts and 120 amperes of current, the Torpedo Rays were used by Roman physicians as shock therapy to treat gout, mental illness, and headaches. The Greeks used the Electric Ray, a smaller, less potent relative of the Torpedo Ray, to treat headaches. They did this by wrapping the ray around the head of the patient.

The electric organs of electric fishes are composed of multiple stacks of coin-shaped cells, derived from neuromuscular tissue, called electroplaques. Nervous stimulation of each cell produces a small electrical flow from one face of the coin-shaped cell to the other. Simultaneous stimulation of many electro-plaques arranged in a column and all oriented with their innervated side up will produce a strong net current. These electroplaque columns are like batteries aligned in series; the more in a line, the greater the voltage produced. Also, the more stacks aligned in parallel, the greater the amperage.

All these fishes are capable of producing power in the form of electricity for defense against their enemies; likewise the Christian is capable of having power against his enemy, Satan, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. “Reach up and grasp His hand, that the touch may electrify you and charge you with the sweet properties of His own matchless character. You may open your hearts to His love, and let His power transform you and His grace be your strength.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 63.

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

Children’s Corner – Tweety, God’s Special Bird

Mom, mom!” I heard my daughter Paula shout one spring day. She came into the house holding a very tiny baby bird. The bird was mostly pink stomach and mouth and not much else. Not even a feather! The two of us went outside to search for a nest from which the baby could have fallen, but it was to no avail. Paula found the baby bird on the wooden walkway between the house and a storage building. The ground was bare except for some pine needles. There was absolutely no place from which the baby bird could have come!

I knew that for the baby, whom we had now named Tweety, to live, he had to have small grit to digest his food. We quickly found some old parakeet grit and put a few pieces of dry dog food to soak in hot water. We were thrilled when Tweety seemed to thrive on his diet of dog food—soaked and sprinkled with grit—pieces of greens, and insects, which Paula hunted for him.

Feeding a baby bird is no small task, as they awake every dawn, screaming for something to eat. Paula was very dedicated and stayed with her task of being Tweety’s caregiver. Tweety soon began growing feathers. When all of his feathers came in, he no longer needed a cover at night. As soon as he could see, Paula became “mom” to him. He loved her. He knew her voice instantly, and would call out to her when he heard her.

Tweety became quite a fun part of our family. He loved attention, especially to have his head scratched by anyone’s finger. He would fly to us, land on our shoulders, and hop down our arms to one of our fingers where he would ruffle up his feathers and bend his head down, begging to have his head scratched.

When he was full-grown, Paula began taking him outside to fly. He loved to be out in the wilderness on top of the mountain where we lived. Paula could leave Tweety outside all day, then go out in the evening, hold out her hand, and call him. He would fly to her and land on her hand, ready to go to his cage inside the house.

When we went to camp meetings, Tweety loved to ride on Paula’s shoulder, while she rode her bike throughout the camping area. When we went to workers’ meetings at the church camp, there was Tweety, in all his glory, entertaining everyone. He loved to go to the outdoor children’s meetings with Paula and would hop all about, visiting all the young people. We were concerned that he would get hurt by landing on someone’s head or shoulder who did not know him, and they would hit him, but I guess the word got around about “that bird Tweety.” Everyone loved Tweety.

Interestingly, no one could ever tell us what kind of bird he was. We pulled out our bird books, but poor Tweety never matched up with any of the birds in it. Tweety gave our family, especially Paula, a lot of joy.

“And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. . . . Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29, 31. If God cared so much for Tweety that He brought him to our family to save his life, surely He will take care of you.