Bible Study Guides – God’s Love

October 19, 2008 – October 25, 2008

Key Text

“In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 9–15.


“What had Christ not done to win the hearts of Israel and to inspire them with unwavering confidence in Himself? For ages He had visited His people with manifestations of the most condescending kindness and unexampled love.” Counsels on Health, 455.

1 Mention one of the characteristics of God’s love. Jeremiah 31:3.

Note: “God would not have us remain pressed down by dumb sorrow, with sore and breaking hearts. He would have us look up and behold His dear face of love. The blessed Saviour stands by many whose eyes are so blinded by tears that they do not discern Him. He longs to clasp our hands, to have us look to Him in simple faith, permitting Him to guide us. His heart is open to our griefs, our sorrows, and our trials. He has loved us with an everlasting love and with loving-kindness compassed us about. We may keep the heart stayed upon Him and meditate upon His loving-kindness all the day. He will lift the soul above the daily sorrow and perplexity, into a realm of peace.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 12.

2 What is the simplest definition of God’s love? I John 4:8, 16.

Note: “The love that the Lord has for His children passeth knowledge. No science can define or explain it. No human wisdom can fathom it. The more we feel the influence of this love, the more meek and humble shall we be.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1141.

3 How does Christ Himself describe God’s love? John 3:16, 17.

Note: “If those who today are teaching the word of God, would uplift the cross of Christ higher and still higher, their ministry would be far more successful. If sinners can be led to give one earnest look at the cross, if they can obtain a full view of the crucified Saviour, they will realize the depth of God’s compassion and the sinfulness of sin.

“Christ’s death proves God’s great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father’s love, Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and accepts us in the Beloved.

“Without the cross, man could have no union with the Father. On it depends our every hope. From it shines the light of the Saviour’s love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy, for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain.

“Through the cross we learn that the heavenly Father loves us with a love that is infinite.” The Acts of the Apostles, 209, 210.

4 What evidence does John show to prove God’s love? I John 4:10; 3:1.

Note: “When we study the divine character in the light of the cross we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God. We see a Father, infinite, dwelling in light unapproachable, yet receiving us to Himself through the merits of His Son. The cloud of vengeance that threatened only misery and despair, in the light reflected from the cross reveals the writing of God: Live, sinner, live! ye penitent, believing souls, live! I have paid a ransom.

“In the contemplation of Christ we linger on the shore of a love that is measureless. We endeavor to tell of this love, and language fails us. We consider His life on earth, His sacrifice for us, His work in heaven as our advocate, and the mansions He is preparing for those who love Him, and we can only exclaim, O the height and depth of the love of Christ!” The Acts of the Apostles, 333, 334.

5 When Moses begged to see God’s glory, what was the first and most important thing God revealed to him? Exodus 33:18, 19. What did He explain further? Exodus 33:20–23.

Note: “Never before had fallen man been thus favored of God. As he laid upon Moses the great work of leading his people through to the promised land, he condescended to manifest to him his glory as he never had to any others upon the earth.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 256.

“Reach up higher and still higher for clearer views of the character of Christ. When Moses prayed, ‘I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory,’ the Lord did not rebuke him, but He granted his prayer. God declared to His servant: ‘I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee.’ [Exodus 33:18, 19.] We keep apart from God, and this is why we do not see the revealings of His power.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 652, 653.

6 What else did God reveal about Himself to Moses? Exodus 34:6, 7.

7 How can God’s glory be revealed even in us? Romans 8:18.

Note: “Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but thus they learn the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they can look beyond the gloom to the glory.” The Acts of the Apostles, 576, 577.

“Study not how to please self. Lose sight of self, and behold the multitudes perishing in their sins. Gather to your souls the courage that can come only from the Light of the world. Forgetting self, help the many who are within reach around you. Talk faith, and your faith will increase. Cease lamenting. Work in Christ’s lines. With loving endeavor strive to please Him. His excellence will help you to be Christlike. Ever stand ready to lift up the hands that hang down, and to strengthen the feeble knees. Shine as lights in the world, attracting others by the brightness of Christ’s glory revealed through your good works.” The Signs of the Times, June 3, 1903.

8 What appeals to our heart as we consider God’s abundant mercy? Psalm 136.

Note: “When selfishness is striving for the victory over you, bear in mind One who left the glorious courts of heaven and laid aside the robes of royalty for your sakes, becoming poor that through His poverty you might be made rich. Will you, then, disregard this great love and boundless mercy by refusing to be inconvenienced and to deny yourselves for His dear sake? Will you cling to the treasures of this life and neglect to aid in carrying forward the great work of truth?” Testimonies, vol. 4, 120.

9 How is this great mercy further explained? Micah 7:18, 19.

Note: “Jesus might have remained at His Father’s right hand, wearing His kingly crown and royal robes. But He chose to exchange all the riches, honor, and glory of heaven for the poverty of humanity, and His station of high command for the horrors of Gethsemane and the humiliation and agony of Calvary. He became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, that by His baptism of suffering and blood He might purify and redeem a guilty world.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 121.

10 Why is God’s grace offered so freely? Romans 3:24–26; Titus 2:11; 3:4–7.

Note: “The Lord saw our fallen condition; He saw our need of grace, and because He loved our souls, He has given us grace and peace. Grace means favor to one who is undeserving, to one who is lost. The fact that we are sinners, instead of shutting us away from the mercy and love of God, makes the exercise of His love to us a positive necessity in order that we may be saved.” The Signs of the Times, June 5, 1893.

“The Lord has enriched the world with a gift so large, so valuable, that there is nothing more held in reserve to give. Christ has linked his interest with that of humanity, and he asks that humanity become one with him for the saving of humanity. He took the nature of man, suffered the inconvenience that humanity is subject to, endured our temptations, and became a partaker of the sorrows, griefs, and disappointments of men. He united divinity with humanity, in order that humanity might become a partaker of the divine nature.” The Home Missionary, December 1, 1894.

11 How does God consider the time of ignorance? Acts 17:30.

Note: “The days of ignorance God winked at. But increased light is shining; the light and privileges of understanding Bible truth are abundant, if workers will only open the eyes of their understanding. The truth must be diffusive. Foreign and home missions call for thorough Christian characters to engage in missionary enterprises. The missions in our cities at home and abroad call for men who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ, who will work as Christ worked.” The Review and Herald, June 14, 1887.

12 On the other hand, what is our duty before God and humanity after we have received the light of the truth? I John 1:7; John 12:35, 36.

Note: “There is need of constant watchfulness, and of earnest, loving devotion; but these will come naturally when the soul is kept by the power of God through faith. We can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to commend ourselves to divine favor. We must not trust at all to ourselves nor to our good works; but when as erring, sinful beings we come to Christ, we may find rest in His love. God will accept every one that comes to Him trusting wholly in the merits of a crucified Saviour. Love springs up in the heart. There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there is an abiding, peaceful trust. Every burden is light; for the yoke which Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure. The path that before seemed shrouded in darkness becomes bright with beams from the Sun of Righteousness. This is walking in the light as Christ is in the light.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 353, 354.

Additional Reading

“If the frivolous and pleasure-seeking will allow their minds to dwell upon the real and true, the heart cannot but be filled with reverence, and they will adore the God of nature. The contemplation and study of God’s character as revealed in His created works will open a field of thought that will draw the mind away from low, debasing, enervating amusements. The knowledge of God’s works and ways we can only begin to obtain in this world; the study will be continued throughout eternity. God has provided for man subjects of thought which will bring into activity every faculty of the mind. We may read the character of the Creator in the heavens above and the earth beneath, filling the heart with gratitude and thanksgiving. Every nerve and sense will respond to the expressions of God’s love in His marvelous works.” Child Guidance, 50.

“The plan of salvation had its place in the counsels of the Infinite from all eternity. The gospel is the revelation of God’s love to men, and means everything that is essential to the happiness and well-being of humanity. The work of God in the earth is of immeasurable importance, and it is Satan’s special object to crowd it out of sight and mind, that he may make his specious devices effectual in the destruction of those for whom Christ died. It is his purpose to cause the discoveries of men to be exalted above the wisdom of God. When the mind is engrossed with the conceptions and theories of men to the exclusion of the wisdom of God, it is stamped with idolatry. Science, falsely so-called, has been exalted above God, nature above its Maker, and how can God look upon such wisdom?” Christian Education, 83, 84.

“Truth in Christ and through Christ is measureless. The student of Scripture looks, as it were, into a fountain that deepens and broadens as he gazes into its depths. Not in this life shall we comprehend the mystery of God’s love in giving His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. The work of our Redeemer on this earth is and ever will be a subject that will put to the stretch our highest imagination. Man may tax every mental power in the endeavor to fathom this mystery, but his mind will become faint and weary. The most diligent searcher will see before him a boundless, shoreless sea.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 128, 129.

“God calls upon men to see Him in the wonders of the heavens. ‘Lift up your eyes on high,’ He says, ‘and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might.’ Isaiah 40:26. God would have us study the works of infinity, and from this study learn to love and reverence and obey Him. The heavens and the earth with their treasures are to teach the lessons of God’s love and care and power.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 456, 457.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Brotherly Kindness (continued)

October 12, 2008 – October 18, 2008

Key Text

“By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned.” II Corinthians 6:6.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 211, 212, 230–233; The Acts of the Apostles, 255–268.


“He [Paul] clung to the cross of Christ as his only guarantee of success. The love of the Saviour was the undying motive that upheld him in his conflicts with self and in his struggle against evil, as in the service of Christ he pressed forward against the unfriendliness of the world and the opposition of his enemies.” Gospel Workers, 61.

1 How was Joseph treated at the hands of his brothers? Genesis 37:18–28.

Note: “In an agony of terror he [Joseph] appealed to one and another of his brothers, but in vain.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 211.

2 What should we learn from the way Joseph dealt with his brothers in spite of their past cruelties? Genesis 45:3–8.

Note: “The life of Joseph illustrates the life of Christ. It was envy that moved the brothers of Joseph to sell him as a slave; they hoped to prevent him from becoming greater than themselves. And when he was carried to Egypt, they flattered themselves that they were to be no more troubled with his dreams, that they had removed all possibility of their fulfillment. But their own course was overruled by God to bring about the very event that they designed to hinder. So the Jewish priests and elders were jealous of Christ, fearing that He would attract the attention of the people from them. They put Him to death, to prevent Him from becoming king, but they were thus bringing about this very result.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 239.

3 After the king of Syria had made plans against Israel, how did God intervene in behalf of His people? II Kings 6:8–12.

Note: “On one occasion, during a Syrian invasion, the king of Syria sought to destroy Elisha because of his activity in apprising the king of Israel of the plans of the enemy. The Syrian king had taken counsel with his servants, saying, ‘In such and such a place shall be my camp.’ [II Kings 6:8.] This plan was revealed by the Lord to Elisha.” Prophets and Kings, 255, 256.

4 What did the king decide to do with Elisha? II Kings 6:13, 14.

5 How did God intervene to protect His messenger? II Kings 6:15–20.

Note: “ ‘The Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.’ [II Kings 6:17.] Between the servant of God and the hosts of armed foemen was an encircling band of heavenly angels. They had come down in mighty power, not to destroy, not to exact homage, but to encamp round about and minister to the Lord’s weak and helpless ones.” Prophets and Kings, 256, 257.

6 How did Elisha behave toward his enemies? II Kings 6:21–23.

7 In what sense is this attitude of Elisha to be an added inspiration to those seeking to present the Elijah message of today? Romans 12:21.

Note: “ ‘In every age, the call of the hour is answered by the coming of the man. The Lord is gracious. He understands the situation. His will today is that for the present time the lamb-like kindness of Elisha shall exceed the severity of Elijah. …

“ ‘Elisha received a double portion of the spirit that had rested on Elijah. In him the power of Elijah’s spirit was united with the gentleness, mercy, and tender compassion of the spirit of Christ.’ ” Spalding and Magan Collection, 231.

8 With what essential theme does Christ introduce His renowned call, “Be ye therefore perfect”? Matthew 5:43–48.

Note: “The Saviour’s lesson, ‘Resist not him that is evil,’ was a hard saying for the revengeful Jews, and they murmured against it among themselves. But Jesus now made a still stronger declaration:

“ ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.’ [Matthew 5:43–45.]

“Such was the spirit of the law which the rabbis had misinterpreted as a cold and rigid code of exactions. They regarded themselves as better than other men, and as entitled to the special favor of God by virtue of their birth as Israelites; but Jesus pointed to the spirit of forgiving love as that which would give evidence that they were actuated by any higher motives than even the publicans and sinners, whom they despised.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 73, 74.

9 How does God deal with us when we are far from Him, and what should be our response? Romans 5:6–10; Titus 3:3–5.

Note: “God’s love for the fallen race is a peculiar manifestation of love,—a love born of mercy; for human beings are all undeserving. Mercy implies the imperfection of the object toward which it is shown. It was because of sin that mercy was brought into active exercise.

“Sin is not the object of God’s love, but of His hatred. But He loves and pities the sinner.” The Signs of the Times, May 21, 1902.

“All legalism, all the sorrow and woe by which you may encompass yourself, will not give you one moment of relief. You cannot rightly estimate sin. You must accept God’s estimate, and it is heavy indeed. If you bore the guilt of your sin, it would crush you; but the sinless One has taken your place, and, though, undeserving, he has borne your guilt. By accepting the provision God has made, you may stand free before God in the merit and virtue of your Substitute. You will then have a proper estimate of sin, and the godly sorrow of true repentance will take the place of hopeless discouragement and grief, for you will turn from sin with grief and abhorrence.” Ibid., April 9, 1894.

10 What does Paul reveal as our duty to all people? Romans 1:14, 15; 12:4–13.

Note: “His [Christ’s] love received, will make us, in like manner, kind and tender, not merely toward those who please us, but to the most faulty and erring and sinful.

“The children of God are those who are partakers of His nature. It is not earthly rank, nor birth, nor nationality, nor religious privilege, which proves that we are members of the family of God; it is love, a love that embraces all humanity. Even sinners whose hearts are not utterly closed to God’s Spirit, will respond to kindness; while they may give hate for hate, they will also give love for love. But it is only the Spirit of God that gives love for hatred. To be kind to the unthankful and to the evil, to do good hoping for nothing again, is the insignia of the royalty of heaven, the sure token by which the children of the Highest reveal their high estate.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 75.

11 How should we deal with those who consider us enemies? Romans 12:14–20.

Note: “We may never know until the judgment the influence of a kind, considerate course of action to the inconsistent, the unreasonable, and unworthy. If, after a course of provocation and injustice on their part, you treat them as you would an innocent person, you even take pains to show them special acts of kindness, then you have acted the part of a Christian; and they become surprised and ashamed, and see their course of action and meanness more clearly than if you plainly stated their aggravated acts to rebuke them . …

“A few words spoken in a hasty manner, under provocation, and which seemed but a little thing—just what they deserved—often cut the cords of influence that should have bound the soul to your soul. The very idea of their being in darkness, under the temptation of Satan and blinded by his bewitching power, should make you feel deep sympathy for them, the same that you would feel for a diseased, sick patient who suffers, but on account of his disease is not aware of his danger.” Medical Ministry, 209, 210.

12 How did Christ deal with Satan when disputing over the body of Moses? Jude 9.

Note: “Christ Himself, when contending with Satan about the body of Moses, ‘durst not bring against him a railing accusation.’ Jude 9. Had He done this, He would have placed Himself on Satan’s ground, for accusation is the weapon of the evil one. He is called in Scripture, ‘the accuser of our brethren.’ Revelation 12:10. Jesus would employ none of Satan’s weapons. He met him with the words, ‘The Lord rebuke thee.’ Jude 9.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 57.

13 When in the presence of Christ’s enemies, how should we behave? James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:6–9.

Note: “His [Christ’s] example is for us. When we are brought in conflict with the enemies of Christ, we should say nothing in a spirit of retaliation or that would bear even the appearance of a railing accusation. He who stands as a mouthpiece for God should not utter words which even the Majesty of heaven would not use when contending with Satan. We are to leave with God the work of judging and condemning.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 57, 58.

“Never should you enter a discussion where so much is at stake, relying upon your aptness to handle strong arguments. If it cannot be well avoided, enter the conflict, but enter upon it with firm trust in God and in the spirit of humility, in the spirit of Jesus, who has bidden you learn of Him, who is meek and lowly in heart. And then in order to glorify God and exemplify the character of Christ, you should never take unlawful advantage of your opponent. Lay aside sarcasm and playing upon words. Remember that you are in a combat with Satan and his angels, as well as with the man.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 626.

Additional Reading

“The religion of Jesus Christ is a system of the true heavenly politeness and leads to a practical exhibition of habitual tenderness of feeling, kindness of deportment. He who possesses godliness will also add this grace, taking a step higher on the ladder. The higher he mounts the ladder, the more of the grace of God is revealed in his life, his sentiments, his principles. He is learning, ever learning the terms of his acceptance with God, and the only way to obtain an inheritance in the heavens is to become like Christ in character. The whole scheme of mercy is to soften down what is harsh in temper, and refine whatever is rugged in the deportment. The internal change reveals itself in the external actions. The graces of the Spirit of God work with hidden power in the transformation of character. The religion of Christ never will reveal a sour, coarse, and uncourteous action. Courtesy is a Bible virtue. The virtue of this grace of brotherly kindness characterized the life of Christ. Never was such courtesy exhibited upon the earth as Christ revealed, and we cannot overestimate its value.” Our High Calling, 72.

“Here is portrayed the value of eternal riches, in contrast with the treasures of earth. If the purpose and aim of your life is to lay up treasure in heaven, you will be lifted above the base, sordid, demoralizing influence of an inordinate desire to obtain wealth in this life. Laying up treasure in heaven will give nobility to the character; it will strengthen benevolence, encourage mercy; cultivate sympathy, brotherly kindness, and charity. It will unite the soul of man with Christ, by links that can never be broken. You may lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven by being rich in good works—rich in imperishable and spiritual things.” Our High Calling, 195.

“The love of Christ must control our hearts, and the peace of God will abide in our homes. Seek God with a broken and contrite spirit, and you will be melted with compassion toward your brethren. You will be prepared to add to brotherly kindness, charity, or love. Without charity we will become ‘as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.’ [1 Corinthians 13:1.] Our highest professions are hollow and insincere; but ‘love is the fulfilling of the law’ [Romans 13:10.] We shall be found wanting, if we do not add charity that suffereth long and is kind, that vaunteth not itself, that seeketh not her own.” Peter’s Counsel to Parents, 20.

“Godliness leads to brotherly kindness; and those who do not cherish the one, will surely lack the other. He who has blunted his moral perceptions by sinful leniency toward those whom God condemns, will erelong commit a greater sin by severity and harshness toward those whom God approves. Viewed through the perverted medium of an unconsecrated spirit, the very integrity and faithfulness of the true-hearted Christian will appear censurable.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 322.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Brotherly Kindness

October 5, 2008 – October 11, 2008

Key Text

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” Romans 12:10.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 677, 678.


“One of the strongest evidences of true conversion is love to God and man. Those who accept Jesus as their Redeemer have a deep, sincere love for others of like precious faith.” The Acts of the Apostles, 262.

1 What is written about the early Christian church? Acts 4:32–35. When was this love manifested?

Note: “After the descent of the Holy Spirit, when the disciples went forth to proclaim a living Saviour, their one desire was the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. In their daily association with one another, they revealed the love that Christ had enjoined upon them. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts.

“Such a love the believers were ever to cherish. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment. So closely were they to be united with Christ that they would be enabled to fulfill all His requirements. Their lives were to magnify the power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness.” The Acts of the Apostles, 547, 548.

2 How did Paul exhort the Thessalonian believers in this regard? I Thessalonians 4:9, 10.

Note: “One of the strongest evidences of true conversion is love to God and man. Those who accept Jesus as their Redeemer have a deep, sincere love for others of like precious faith.” The Acts of the Apostles, 262.

3 What essential theme is included in Paul’s message to the believing Jews? Hebrews 13:1–3; Matthew 25:40.

Note: “Paul exhorts the Hebrews: ‘Let brotherly love continue.’ Do not flatter yourselves that there is a time when this exhortation will not be needed; when brotherly love may cease. He continues: ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ [Hebrews 13:1, 2.] Please read Matthew 25:31 and onward. Read it, brethren, the next time you take the Bible at your morning or evening family devotions. The good works performed by those who are to be welcomed to the kingdom were done to Christ in the person of His suffering people. Those who had done these good works did not see that they had done anything for Christ. They had done no more than their duty to suffering humanity. Those on the left hand could not see that they had abused Christ in neglecting the wants of His people. But they had neglected to do for Jesus in the person of His saints, and for this neglect they were to go away into everlasting punishment. And one definite point of their neglect is thus stated: ‘I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in.’ [Matthew 25:43, first part.]” Testimonies, vol. 1, 679, 680.

“It is the will of God that union and brotherly love should exist among His people. The prayer of Christ just before His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one as He is one with the Father, that the world might believe that God had sent Him. This most touching and wonderful prayer reaches down the ages, even to our day; for His words were, ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.’ John 17:20. While we are not to sacrifice one principle of truth, it should be our constant aim to reach this state of unity. This is the evidence of our discipleship. Said Jesus, ‘By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.’ John 13:35.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 520.

4 How only can we climb the Christian ladder successfully? Hebrews 12:1–4.

Note: “All [the] successive steps [in Peter’s ladder] are not to be kept before the mind’s eye, and counted as you start; but fixing the eye upon Jesus, with an eye single to the glory of God, you will make advancement.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 5, 1893.

5 What special promise is included in the prophecy given to the church of Philadelphia? Revelation 3:7–12.

Note: “The one who stands nearest to Christ will be he who on earth has drunk most deeply of the spirit of His self-sacrificing love,—love that ‘vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, … seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil’ (I Corinthians 13:4, 5),—love that moves the disciple, as it moved our Lord, to give all, to live and labor and sacrifice, even unto death, for the saving of humanity.” The Desire of Ages, 549.

6 How can we who live in the period of Laodicea partake of the wonderful promise given to the Philadelphia church? Revelation 3:21; 20:4.

Note: “Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai.

“The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet.” Early Writings, 15.

7 What position does brotherly kindness hold in the ladder of Christian perfection? II Peter 1:7.

Note: “We should have that love for others that Christ has had for us. A man is estimated at his true value by the Lord of heaven. If he is unkind in his earthly home, he is unfit for the heavenly home. If he will have his own way, no matter whom it grieves, he would not be content in heaven, unless he could rule there. The love of Christ must control our hearts.” The Review and Herald, February 21, 1888.

8 What key point did Christ emphasize before His crucifixion, and why was this called “a new commandment”? John 13:34; 15:10, 12, 13, 17.

Note: “ ‘These things I command you,’ He [Christ] said repeatedly, ‘that ye love one another.’ [John 15:17.] His very first injunction when alone with them [His disciples] in the upper chamber was, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ [John 13:34.] To the disciples this commandment was new; for they had not loved one another as Christ had loved them. He saw that new ideas and impulses must control them; that new principles must be practiced by them; through His life and death they were to receive a new conception of love. The command to love one another had a new meaning in the light of His self-sacrifice.” The Desire of Ages, 677.

“Such a love the believers were ever to cherish. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment.” The Acts of the Apostles, 547.

9 How does John explain the “new commandment”? I John 2:7–11.

Note: “It is not the opposition of the world that most endangers the church of Christ. It is the evil cherished in the hearts of believers that works their most grievous disaster and most surely retards the progress of God’s cause. There is no surer way of weakening spirituality than by cherishing envy, suspicion, faultfinding, and evil surmising. On the other hand, the strongest witness that God has sent His Son into the world is the existence of harmony and union among men of varied dispositions who form His church.” The Acts of the Apostles, 549.

10 How can we fulfill God’s law in our life? Romans 13:8–10.

Note: “Righteousness is love, and love is the light and the life of God. The righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by receiving Him.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 18.

11 How can we receive this love in our heart? Romans 5:1–5; John 16:13.

Note: “Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift or sacrifice, is righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers and thirsts to receive it. ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat, … without money and without price.’ ‘Their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord,’ and, ‘This is His name whereby He shall be called, the lord our righteousness.’ Isaiah 55:1; 54:17; Jeremiah 23:6.

“No human agent can supply that which will satisfy the hunger and thirst of the soul. But Jesus says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.’ ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.’ Revelation 3:20; John 6:35.

“As we need food to sustain our physical strength, so do we need Christ, the Bread from heaven, to sustain spiritual life and impart strength to work the works of God. As the body is continually receiving the nourishment that sustains life and vigor, so the soul must be constantly communing with Christ, submitting to Him and depending wholly upon Him.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 18, 19.

Additional Reading

“Christ has shown His great love for us by giving His life that we should not perish in our sins, that He might clothe us with His salvation. If this divine love is cherished in our hearts, it cements and strengthens our union with those of like faith. ‘He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him’ (1 John 4:16). The strengthening of our love for our brethren and sisters strengthens our love for Christ. This principle of love for God and for those for whom Christ died, needs to be quickened by the Holy Spirit and cemented with brotherly kindness, tenderness; it needs to be strengthened by acts which testify that God is love. This union, which joins heart with heart, is not the result of sentimentalism, but the working of a healthful principle. Faith works by love, and purifies the soul from all selfishness. Thus the soul is perfected in love. And having found grace and mercy through Christ’s precious blood, how can we fail to be tender and merciful?” In Heavenly Places, 110.

“Enoch walked with God. He honored God in every affair of life. In his home and in his business he inquired, ‘Will this be acceptable to the Lord?’ And by remembering God and following His counsel, he was transformed in character, and became a godly man, whose ways pleased the Lord. We are exhorted to add to godliness, brotherly kindness. O how much we need to take this step, to add this quality to our characters! … We should have that love for others that Christ has had for us. A man is estimated at his true value by the Lord of heaven. If he is unkind in his earthly home, he is unfit for the heavenly home. If he will have his own way, no matter whom it grieves, he would not be content in heaven, unless he could rule there. The love of Christ must control our hearts. … Seek God with a broken and contrite spirit, and you will be melted with compassion toward your brethren. You will be prepared to add to brotherly kindness, charity, or love.” My Life Today, 98.

“The Word of God enjoins upon every one of His children: ‘Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.’ I Peter 3:8. Now unless godliness was added to patience man would not show that brotherly kindness. In His mission to our world, Christ has shown man the graces of the Spirit of God which, when accepted, fashion and mold the entire man, externally as well as internally, by abasing his pride and leading him not to esteem himself highly but to esteem his brother as precious in the sight of God because Christ paid an infinite price for his soul. When man is valued as God’s property then we will be kind, amiable, and condescending toward him.” Our High Calling, 72 .

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Patience

September 28, 2008 – October 4, 2008

Key Text

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 723–739.


“Patience pours the balm of peace and love into the experiences of the home life. … Patience will seek for unity in the church, in the family, and in the community. This grace must be woven into our lives.” The Review and Herald, February 21, 1888.

1 Why does temperance precede patience? II Peter 1:6.

Note: “Any habit or practice which will weaken the nerve and brain power or the physical strength disqualifies for the exercise of the next grace which comes in after temperance—patience.” Our High Calling, 69.

“It is next to an impossibility for an intemperate person to be patient.

“Some of us have a nervous temperament, and are naturally as quick as a flash to think and to act; but let no one think that he cannot learn to become patient. Patience is a plant that will make rapid growth if carefully cultivated.” My Life Today, 97.

“When we lie down to rest, the stomach should have its work all done, that it, as well as the other organs of the body, may enjoy rest. For persons of sedentary habits, late suppers are particularly harmful. With them the disturbance created is often the beginning of disease that ends in death.

“In many cases the faintness that leads to a desire for food is felt because the digestive organs have been too severely taxed during the day. After disposing of one meal, the digestive organs need rest. At least five or six hours should intervene between the meals, and most persons who give the plan a trial will find that two meals a day are better than three.” The Ministry of Healing, 304.

2 How can temperance help children develop sweet tempers? Proverbs 22:6.

Note: “The first education children should receive from the mother in infancy, should be in regard to their physical health. They should be allowed only plain food, of that quality that would preserve to them the best condition of health, and that should be partaken of only at regular periods, not oftener than three times a day, and two meals would be better than three. If children are disciplined aright, they will soon learn that they can receive nothing by crying or fretting. A judicious mother will act in training her children, not merely in regard to her own present comfort, but for their future good.” A Solemn Appeal, 137.

3 What did Sister White confirm in her own experience with helping various children in her home? I Corinthians 10:31.

Note: “For more than twelve years we have taken only two meals each day, of plain, unstimulating food. During that time, we have had almost constantly the care of children, varying in age from three to thirteen years. We worked gradually and carefully to change their habit of eating three times a day to two; we also worked cautiously to change their diet from stimulating food, as meat, rich gravies, pies, cakes, butter, spices, etc., to simple, wholesome fruits, vegetables, and grains. The consequence has been that our children have not been troubled with the various maladies to which children are more or less subject. They occasionally take cold by reason of carelessness, but this seldom makes them sick.” The Health Reformer, May 1, 1877.

“Children reared in this way are much more easily controlled than those who are indulged in eating everything their appetite craves, and at all times. They are usually cheerful, contented, and healthy. Even the most stubborn, passionate, and wayward, have become submissive, patient, and possessed of self-control by persistently following up this order of diet, united with a firm but kind management in regard to other matters.” The Health Reformer, May 1, 1877.

4 What did God say about Job’s character? Job 1:1, 8.

5 What should we learn from Job’s reaction to Satan’s first devastating attack against his children and properties? Job 1:13–22.

Note: “Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer.” Counsels on Health, 460.

6 Having destroyed Job’s children and their possessions, how did Satan further try to discourage the patriarch? Job 2:3–8.

Note: “And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.” Job 1:12. “And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he [is] in thine hand; but save his life.” Job 2:6.

“Thus permitted, Satan swept away all that Job possessed—flocks and herds, menservants and maidens, sons and daughters; and he ‘smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown’ Job 1:8-12; 2:5-7.” Education, 155.

7 What did Job’s wife suggest he should do and what was his response? Job 2:9, 10.

Note: “Job was deprived of his worldly possessions, and so afflicted in body that he was abhorred by his relatives and friends; yet he maintained his integrity.” The Acts of the Apostles, 575.

8 How does Isaiah’s prophecy describe Christ’s attitude before His enemies? Isaiah 53:7. What should we learn from the way this prophecy was fulfilled? Mark 14:60–62.

9 What was Christ’s procedure before Pilate’s and Herod’s courts? Matthew 27:11–14; Luke 23:6–9.

Note: “Standing behind Pilate, in view of all in the court, Christ heard the abuse; but to all the false charges against Him He answered not a word. His whole bearing gave evidence of conscious innocence. He stood unmoved by the fury of the waves that beat about Him. It was as if the heavy surges of wrath, rising higher and higher, like the waves of the boisterous ocean, broke about Him, but did not touch Him. He stood silent, but His silence was eloquence. It was as a light shining from the inner to the outer man.

“Pilate was astonished at His bearing.” The Desire of Ages, 726.

10 How did Christ react during His crucifixion? Luke 23:33–47.

Note: “Arriving at the place of execution, the prisoners were bound to the instruments of torture. The two thieves wrestled in the hands of those who placed them on the cross; but Jesus made no resistance. The mother of Jesus, supported by John the beloved disciple, had followed the steps of her Son to Calvary. She had seen Him fainting under the burden of the cross, and had longed to place a supporting hand beneath His wounded head, and to bathe that brow which had once been pillowed upon her bosom. But she was not permitted this mournful privilege. …

“The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ [Luke 23:34.] His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness,—‘for they know not what they do.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 744.

11 What is the only way we can develop patience? Romans 5:1–5.

Note: “All who stand unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle must feel the special warfare of Satan against them. As they realize his attacks, they will flee to the Stronghold. They feel their need of special strength from God, and they labor in His strength; therefore the victories they gain do not exalt them, but lead them in faith to lean more securely upon the Mighty One. Deep and fervent gratitude to God is awakened in their hearts, and they are joyful in the tribulation which they experience while pressed by the enemy. These willing servants are gaining an experience and forming a character which will do honor to the cause of God.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 510.

12 How does patience promote our missionary efforts? II Corinthians 6:3–10.

Note: “Patience as well as courage has its victories. By meekness under trial, no less than by boldness in enterprise, souls may be won to Christ. The Christian who manifests patience and cheerfulness under bereavement and suffering, who meets even death itself with the peace and calmness of an unwavering faith, may accomplish for the gospel more than he could have effected by a long life of faithful labor.” The Acts of the Apostles, 465.

13 What is one identification of God’s remnant people? Revelation 14:12.

Additional Reading

“The Saviour’s manner of dealing with Peter had a lesson for him and his brethren. Although Peter had denied his Lord, the love which Jesus bore him had never faltered. And as the apostle should take up the work of ministering the word to others, he was to meet the transgressor with patience, sympathy, and forgiving love. Remembering his own weakness and failure, he was to deal with the sheep and lambs committed to his care as tenderly as Christ had dealt with him.” The Acts of the Apostles, 516.

“In the life of the disciple John true sanctification is exemplified. During the years of his close association with Christ, he was often warned and cautioned by the Saviour; and these reproofs he accepted. As the character of the Divine One was manifested to him, John saw his own deficiencies, and was humbled by the revelation. Day by day, in contrast with his own violent spirit, he beheld the tenderness and forbearance of Jesus, and heard His lessons of humility and patience. Day by day his heart was drawn out to Christ, until he lost sight of self in love for his Master. The power and tenderness, the majesty and meekness, the strength and patience, that he saw in the daily life of the Son of God, filled his soul with admiration. He yielded his resentful, ambitious temper to the molding power of Christ, and divine love wrought in him a transformation of character.” The Acts of the Apostles, 557.

“All should cultivate patience by practicing patience. By being kind and forbearing, true love may be kept warm in the heart, and qualities will be developed that Heaven will approve.” The Adventist Home, 106.

“Do not, I beg of you, correct your children in anger. That is the time of all times when you should act with humility and patience and prayer. Then is the time to kneel down with the children and ask the Lord for pardon. Seek to win them to Christ by the manifestation of kindness and love, and you will see that a higher power than that of earth is co-operating with your efforts.” Child Guidance, 245, 246.

“And he brings forth fruit with patience. [Luke 8:15.] None who receive God’s word are exempt from difficulty and trial; but when affliction comes, the true Christian does not become restless, distrustful, or despondent. Though we cannot see the definite outcome of affairs, or discern the purpose of God’s providences, we are not to cast away our confidence. Remembering the tender mercies of the Lord, we should cast our care upon Him, and with patience wait for His salvation.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 60, 61.

“I pray the Lord that you may understand this subject in its length and breadth and depth, and that you may feel your responsibility to represent the character of Christ by patience, by courage, and by steadfast integrity. ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:7, R. V.—Testimonies, vol. 6, 320.” Colporteur Ministry, 80.

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Garlic Penne Noodles

3 cups uncooked penne pasta

½ large bulb garlic

1 medium onion

1 12.3 oz. Mori-nu extra firm tofu

Cashew milk

Salt to taste

Cook noodles according to directions on box. Chop ¾ of onion and sauté. Add to drained cooked noodles. Blend remaining onion, garlic, salt and tofu together. Add cashew milk to create thin to medium sauce. Garlic, onion, and salt should be strong in the sauce. Pour sauce over the noodles and allow to set overnight to best absorb flavor. Add cashew milk if needed to moisten noodles, and bake at 350 degrees until thoroughly heated.

Food – Biblical Nutrition

The Bible tells us in I Corinthians 6:19, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” When we use something that does not belong to us, we tend to be extra careful with what is lent to us. One way we can take care of the bodies in our care is to nurture them properly.

God addresses how we can best do this in the Bible. He gave Adam and Eve a diet to follow to maintain the perfect health with which they were created. Man was given fruit and every “herb bearing seed.” [Genesis 1:29.] After man sinned, God added the “herb of the field” to our diet. (See Genesis 3:18.) Our diet was changed once more following the flood when flesh was added to the diet. Not all flesh was permitted though. God gave very strict guidelines to adhere to. Clean meats only were acceptable and without the blood or fat. (See Genesis 9:3,4; Leviticus 3:17; 11:47.)

During the Jews captivity in Egypt, the diet was polluted by the Egyptians. “The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy state, that they might enjoy the food originally provided for man—the fruits of the earth, which God gave to Adam, and Eve in Eden.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 118. (See also Exodus 16:1–4, 35.) During their deliverance from the land, God once again changed the diet of His people and provided manna.

Many people believe that Peter’s vision was yet another modification in God’s prescribed diet, giving man permission to eat all flesh, but this is not the case. In reading Acts:10:9–17, 28, it is seen that the vision did not pertain to diet at all.

We will have yet another change in our diet in heaven. It is clear that all living species will be returned once again to a vegetarian diet. Isaiah 11:6–9 and 21–25 says, “The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.”

“The education of the Israelites included all their habits of life. Everything that concerns their well-being was the subject of divine solicitude and came within the province of divine law. Even in providing their food, God sought their highest good. The manna with which He fed them in the wilderness was of a nature to promote physical, mental, and moral strength.” Child Guidance, 378. I Corinthians 10:11 speaks in regard to the purpose God had for His dealing with the Israelites in the wilderness.

God has entrusted to us the bodies he created. It is surely a wonderful thing that He would provide us also with a manual to care for His creation.

Children’s Story – Relay for Life

The Alaskan winter had shown itself to be unusually harsh the year of 1925. The temperatures hung at 50 degrees below zero on this particular day, January 27, as a high-pressure storm front was moving in from the Arctic. A diphtheria epidemic had stricken a small town in the midst of the storm, and many patients had already died.

“Mama?” A little girl’s feeble voice whispered.

“I am here, Ranahta.” Mama walked back to the hospital bed from the window where she had been standing. She had spent the morning peering through the driving snow for any sign of the dogsled team. She took Ranahta’s hand in hers and found her sound asleep again. Mama dabbed a cool cloth on the girl’s feverish forehead. The dogs had been sent out just this morning on a relay for the diphtheria serum. Already 28 children had died of the disease in this very room. “Please, Lord,” Mama begged, “please do not let Ranahta be the 29th.”

The little hospital room in Nome, Alaska, was chilled from the blustering winds outside, which were let in through the cracks under the doors. Mama looked longingly at the vials of diphtheria serum lined up in a cabinet on the wall across from Ranahta’s bed. The doctor had said they were expired and would only weaken a patient further if the antitoxin was administered. Mama walked back to the window again to watch for the dogs even though they were not expected back for at least another five days.

Six hundred sixty-seven miles away the relay for the serum had begun in Nenana, another Alaskan town also being ravaged by the storm. The snow whipped around the brave musher and his dogs. The blizzard had moved in from the Arctic, increasing in its intensity as it went, and the temperature was still dropping. The sled team had left early in the morning with the box of serum. “Kinda strange how Balto sniffed at the box so long. Almost like he was smelling out a new kind of animal,” Gun thought to himself. Suddenly, he felt a sharp sting on his cheek as a tether broke loose and whipped through the air. The precious serum it was holding was catapulted out of the sled into the growing snow drifts.

“Balto! Balto! Stop!” Gun yelled through the blizzard. The musher knew Balto could not hear him. He couldn’t even hear himself above the gales of wind. Gun anchored the brake to slow the dogs to a halt and stepped off the sled, feeling through the blizzard for his team. The snow was so thick he could not even see the dogs that were tied closest to his sled! Gun found the gang lead and followed it to the first set of dogs, checking each one down the line carefully for frostbite or other injuries. After taking extra measures to protect the dogs from the elements he was comforted that his dogs were all okay, but what about the serum? Many more men, women, and children would die without the antitoxin, and the diphtheria epidemic would spread. A search may prove deadly to him and the team; if he let go of the dog’s line it may mean that they all would most likely die in the blizzard. Then Gun got an idea. “Dogs have an excellent sense of smell,” he thought to himself. “And Balto was quite curious about the box before we left. Perhaps he can smell it out.” “Balto.” He bent down and spoke above the wind in the dog’s ear. “Balto, find the box.” Gun knew it was a long shot but with prayer and faith, and Balto’s keen senses, there was hope. Balto’s ears pricked up and, to Gun’s surprise, he lowered his head to the snow.

After 20 minutes of searching, Gun became quite anxious. If the team was not kept moving, the possibility of their freezing to death was very high. The temperature was dropping further now as the storm raged on. But still Balto, with the team in tow, was sniffing through the white-out. By now, Gun had tied himself to the dogs, since his hands were turning black with frostbite and he could not grasp the line or even move his fingers.

Suddenly Balto stopped. Gun bent down and felt in the snow around Balto. His hand hit something hard at his dog’s front paws! Praise God! It was the box! The serum vials were still intact. Not one had broken! Lifting the box, Gun carefully felt his way back to the sled and tied the serum tightly. And giving thanks to God, they continued the trek back to Nome.

“Nome to Nenana, come in, Nenana.” Static rasped over the little radio in the hospital office. “Come in, Nenana.” Still only static. Dr. Welch clicked the radio off and slumped back in his chair. It had been three days since they had any contact with the other town, and four since Nenana had heard from the relay team. The doctor looked out the window where the snow was still whipping by the unrelenting gales. The thermometer he had hung outside his window had long since been blown off the hinges, but one need only step outside to know that survival in the storm would be unlikely. Rubbing his worry-wrinkled forehead, he sent a silent prayer for the safety of the sledders and the deliverance of the precious medication.

“Dr. Welch! Dr. Welch!” Mama yelled bursting through the door of the doctor’s office.

Startled, the plump old man jumped out of his seat, giving the woman a quizzical look. “Ma’am?”

“Oh, doctor, come quickly!” Mama ran back out of the room down the hall.

“Oh dear,” the old man thought to himself. “The child must have taken a bad turn.” He exited his office and turned down the hall to see a large crowd hovering around the hospital entrance. One man yelled for hot water to be brought. Dr Welch grabbed a bucket and fetched the water. The man grabbed the bucket and ran outside with it. Puzzled, Dr Welch looked on.

Gun and his faithful team of dogs had just pulled in front of the hospital. The musher was frozen to his sled and delirious with fever. The man from the crowd dumped the hot water over Gun’s hands and pried them loose from the sled. Several more men ran out and carried Gun to a warm bed in the hospital where a couple of the women ministered to the sick man. Two other men attended to the dog team. The serum was brought inside to thaw while Dr. Welch examined Gun to make sure he would be okay. The dogs greedily ate the fresh fish and water set out for them by their master’s bed.

Mama knelt by the bed of her sleeping child and gave thanks to God for Gun, who safely delivered the medicine for her daughter and the other children. “And thank you, God, for the bravery and strength of the dogs that trekked through the blinding snow. Thank you for guiding them home.”

Alicia Freedman works for Steps to Life as a part of the LandMarks team. E-mails can be sent to her at:

Nature – Rattlesnakes

Occurring only in the New World, thirty-two species of rattlesnakes are found from Canada to Argentina, with the greatest variety of species being found in the southwestern U.S. Rattlesnakes belong to the class of venomous snakes known as pit vipers which are named for the heat sensing pits they have on their face between their eyes and nostrils. Rattlesnakes range in size from the large Eastern Diamondback, which reaches 8 feet and weights of up to 10 lbs., to the tiny Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake, which only reaches 12 inches and weighs only 3 to 4 ounces. Unlike most snakes, rattlesnakes do not lay eggs but retain the eggs in their bodies until they hatch, then giving live birth.

The heat-sensing pits of a rattlesnake are very sensitive, allowing them to detect prey that is as little as a tenth of a degree warmer than their surroundings. Rattlesnakes kill their prey by injecting venom with a quick strike and bite. They defend themselves in the same manner, though they tend to inject less venom when defending themselves than when killing prey. Approximately 1/3 of all rattlesnake defensive bites are “dry,” with no venom being injected. The venom of most rattlesnakes is a hemotoxin which destroys tissue, degenerates organs, and disrupts blood clotting. Most tropical rattlesnakes and the Mojave rattlesnake of the southwestern U.S. have neurotoxic venom which affects the nervous system, interfering with the function of the heart and paralyzing the lungs. When delivering a bite, rattlesnakes can strike up to 2/3 their body length.

Rattlesnakes are most famous for their rattles, which are located at the tips of their tails. The rattle is used as a warning device when threatened with being stepped on or predated. When threatened, the snake vibrates its tail, producing a buzzing sound. The rattle is hollow and composed of interlocking rings of keratin which are actually modified scales. Each time a snake sheds it skin, a new segment is added to the rattle. The snakes can shed their skins several times a year, depending on food supply and growth rate. Older rattlesnakes tend to have longer, louder rattles unless some of them have broken off. There is one species of rattlesnake, the Santa Catalina Island Rattlesnake, which does not have a rattle.

Just as the rattlesnake’s rattle warns of danger, so the Lord, through His word, warns His church of impending dangers. “Jesus is guarding his hearers from deceptions that would endanger their souls; and he warns them to beware of false teachers, who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. He would have every one for whom his precious blood is a ransom, constantly on his guard, comparing every man’s pretentious claims with the great standard of righteousness. The question is, ‘What saith the Scriptures?’ Human lips may utter perverse things, lying doctrines that have no foundation in God’s word, and souls may be sincere in accepting these erroneous doctrines; but will their sincerity save them from the sure and disastrous result? The Bible is the standard of truth and holiness. If they were carefully and prayerfully living by this word, they would not be deceived.” Signs of the Times, October 29, 1885. “God’s Word warns us that we have manifold enemies, not open and avowed, but enemies who come with smooth words and fair speeches, and who would deceive if possible the very elect. Thus Satan comes. And again, when it suits his purpose, he goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Man’s will, unless kept in subjection to the will of God, is as often on the enemy’s side as on the Lord’s side. Therefore watch unto prayer; watch and pray always.” Review and Herald, July 7, 1910.

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

Health – Deadly Meats

Adventism is a faith known for health reform. A particular way which this is exhibited is in the vegetarian diet that is practiced. This is not an arbitrary decision; rather a conscious and informed practice based on results of scientific research, daily evidence, and a desire to best maintain the most amazing and efficient machines God created, our bodies.

“Beef; it’s what’s for dinner!” Every American has heard this line. And most Americans salivate at the thought. Yet, at the same time we see headlines like, “Meat Consumption Linked to Cancer,” “Mad Cow Killer,” and “Is your Steak at Stake?” proclaiming the dangers of meat-eating. Headlines such as these have been seen everywhere from the New York Times to Science Daily to the Health Journal, and first began appearing in the New York Times in the mid-1800s. In contrast, if you were to Google “vegetables and cancer” the results speak only of the preventative properties of vegetables toward cancer and other health issues, and of the healthfulness of vegetarianism. What is it about these two different classes of diet that makes one potentially deadly and the other a possible agent in reversing the effects of the former?

The make-up of our bodies is primarily protein; hair skin, blood, muscle, and organs are all protein. The protein in our bodies is made up of 20 different amino acids which are essential to the maintenance of our systems. Of these 20, we naturally produce only 9, the rest of which must be obtained through adequate nutrition. When we partake of one serving of animal protein, we are getting more than seven times the amount of protein we need; whereas, in plant protein the concentration in a serving is the recommended amount for the needs of the human body to be fulfilled. What does the body do with the excess protein? It is processed through the kidneys and returned to the body in stored energy that we know as “fat.” It is quite understandable, then, why America is the obese capital of the world!

Obesity carries with it serious health problems. The first and foremost issue is the likelihood of an obese person to develop diabetes. Someone with such a surplus of weight is three times more likely to develop this disease, which also raises the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), strokes, osteoarthritis, gallstones, and sleep apnea.

When we eat protein, our bodies break down the protein and convert it into a form that is constructive: amino acids. These amino acids then are specialized and sent to the different parts of the body where they are needed. Yet, when there is an excess of amino acids, the body is forced to excrete the extra through the kidneys. Each amino acid strain must be neutralized before the kidneys can do this. The neutralization is done by calcium. Once the calcium is processed through the kidneys, our bodies get rid of both the extra amino acids and the calcium through urination. The calcium for this process comes from the bloodstream forcing the body to then tap into the bone’s stores of calcium, thus depleting the bone density. This is especially dangerous for women. It has been found that women who partake regularly of meat have lost 35% of their bone density by the age of 65.

In addition to the issue of high protein concentration, the meat the average American consumes in a day contains over 75% of the daily caloric recommendation, most of which are calories from fat! Meat also consists of high levels of saturated fat and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as “bad cholesterol”. Saturated fat by itself contains cholesterol, but there is additional cholesterol in meat that is not a part of the strains of saturated fat. Our bodies naturally produce cholesterol in the very limited quantities that we need. Additional amounts, however, are responsible for the clogging and hardening of the arteries. This often leads to issues with heart disease, obesity, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, and more. A diet consisting of raw vegetation lacks the necessary properties to induce these physiological issues. Cholesterol is found only in animal products. The Journal for the American Medical Association (JAMA) has stated that a vegetarian diet can prevent 97% of coronary occlusions, or blocked arteries.

In the book The China Study, T. Colin Campbell compares the diet, health statistics (i.e. cholesterol level, blood pressure, mortality rate, etc.), and diseases of China and the United States. The results of this study were astounding! Blood cholesterol levels have been thought by traditional medicine to be dangerously low at 150mg/dl. This was being proclaimed in a country ranked as one of the highest in cancer and heart disease mortality rates. China, on the other hand has an average cholesterol level of 127 mg/dl (America’s average is 215!), and the mortality rate due to the “western diseases” dropped by nearly 70%. What made these findings far more provocative was another study conducted by W. Haenszel and M. Kurihara that tracked the Japanese immigrants to America. This study found that those immigrants who adopted the dietary patterns of the Americans also assumed the health risks of their new geographical area. The implication here is quite strong that these diseases are not caused primarily by genetics, which the western world likes to think, but rather a result of diet and lifestyle. Congress summarized a compilation of these studies and found that only 2–3% of these diseases, particularly cancer, are attributed to genes.

There are ample studies that have proven over and over again that meat consumption is linked with heart disease and cancer. Some of these “studies” have been unintentional. During World War I, Denmark’s supply of meat was cut off. In seeing that one pound of meat is equal to 15 pounds of grain, the government decided to open their grain stores to the people. Not only did the people survive just fine on this diet, they thrived! The death rate dropped 34% from all causes. These results have been repeated throughout history. Whenever there has been a shortage of meat supply, the health of those affected has increased and the disease rate has fallen dramatically. And to drive the point home a little harder, the rate of death and disease rose once again once the supply of meat was restored.

The controlled studies have come to the same conclusion. Caldwell B. Esselstyn M.D. conducted a study of 18 patients who had experienced 48 cardiac events collectively. He placed them on a vegetarian diet low in cholesterol and reviewed the results over a 12 year period. Among those who were placed on this diet, only one patient, who was non-cooperative with the diet, suffered another cardiac event. In those patients who followed the diet, Esselstyn found that the more closely a patient followed the prescribed program, the better off they were.

According to the JAMA, acidity levels in the body causes 97% of the health issues that we encounter, cancer being a leading disease. A meat based diet is a main cause for the high acidity level in the human body. One of the body’s highest priorities is to maintain a healthy pH balance in the blood. The pH range is very narrow; between 7.35 and 7.45. If the pH level in the body goes below 7.355, the body begins to lose its proper function. Cell production is slowed, energy production in the cells lessens, and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and minerals is hindered. The effects of this may be somewhat subtle at first and easy to blame on other causes; however, left unattended, the consequences could turn severe. Fatigue, depression, headaches, sleep depravation, lack of energy, lack of concentration, achiness, and increased illness are just some of the short-term effects. If the body’s pH remains acidic over a period of time, Crohn’s Disease, colitis, arthritis, kidney stones, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and a myriad of other diseases come into play.

Here is where we see the link between cancer and the consumption of flesh meat. Meat has a natural pH ranging from 4.0 to 5.0, although, to help tenderize the flesh, a lower pH is artificially induced, bringing the acidity level as low as 2.5. Dieticians recommend four parts alkali to one part acid in our diet. An appropriate acidic level for consumption is not below 6.0! When our bodies ingest this amount of acidity, the cell production is slowed down significantly and the new cells often are mutated. In addition to this, the reparation of cells is dangerously inhibited. Cancer occurs when there is an interruption in the cell’s natural process. If a newly developing cell splits before it has all the information required to function properly, these cells may not die when they are supposed to and duplicate when they should not. They also may not have received the information that dictates with what part of the body they belong, which allows them to travel to places where they are not needed and can be harmful. This is what forms tumors.

The fact of the matter is that cancerous cells are anaerobic, meaning that they survive without oxygen, and they are acidic, which means that they thrive in a low pH. This means that cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment! Different parts of our body, out of necessity, vary in their pH balance. Yet, every part is affected by what we put into our bodies. The nutrients that we ingest, along with the toxins and acids, are transported through our bloodstream. So the entire body is fed through our blood. Whatever is in the bloodstream is carried to every portion of the body and distributed, toxins and all. If the blood is acidic, the entire body will be also. By maintaining a diet that is primarily alkaline, we can take our health into our own hands.

Through diet and a healthy life style we can take a responsible stance with our health and prevent the top five leading causes of death in our country: heart disease, cancer, medical care, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory diseases (in order from greatest to least). God has blessed us through His provision of the means to maintain the health of our bodies, and the necessary remedies to heal them. While we are just now figuring this out, Ellen White wrote on this very matter: “While He [Christ] did not give countenance to drug medication, He sanctioned the use of simple and natural remedies.” Counsels on Health, 30. “By the use of poisonous drugs, many bring upon themselves lifelong illness, and many lives are lost that might be saved by the use of natural methods of healing. The poisons contained in many so-called remedies create habits and appetites that mean ruin to both soul and body. … The use of natural remedies requires an amount of care and effort that many are not willing to give. Nature’s process of healing and upbuilding is gradual, and to the impatient it seems slow. The surrender of hurtful indulgences requires sacrifice. But in the end it will be found that nature, untrammeled, does her work wisely and well. Those who persevere in obedience to her laws will reap the reward in health of body and health of mind.” The Ministry of Healing, 127, 128. “Our Saviour is the restorer of the moral image of God in man. He has supplied in the natural world remedies for the ills of man, that His followers may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. We can with safety discard the concoctions which man has used in the past. The Lord has provided antidotes for disease in simple plants, and these can be used by faith, with no denial of faith; for by using the blessings provided by God for our benefit we are cooperating with Him. We can use water and sunshine and the herbs which He has caused to grow for healing maladies brought on by indiscretion or accident.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 289.

Alicia Freedman works at Steps to Life as a part of the LandMarks team. She can be reached by e-mail at:

Question and Answer – Perfect on Earth?


Are we really supposed to be perfect on earth or is that a prophecy for when we go to heaven?


The Bible says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48. “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27.

The Bible was given to us as a light of truth by which to shape our lives. It explains itself fully in every matter God wishes to reveal to His people. Revelation 14:12 expounds on the question of perfection by saying, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

It would be impossible for us to keep God’s commandments without the faith of Jesus. Jesus’ faith was based unwaveringly on faith in His Father. When He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was facing untold agony and suffering, bearing the weight of the sins of the world. In spite of His plea for relief were it possible, He ultimately said, “Thy will be done.” He had complete confidence in His Father that the Father’s will was perfect.

Revelation clearly points out that it is the overcomer who will be restored to the Tree of Life. (See Revelation 2:7.) “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Revelation 2:11. “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:5. There are many other promises addressed to those who overcome the world.

Overcoming the world is an unattainable task without the power of Christ and the aid of the Holy Spirit. God provides us with many promises to encourage us in our battle to conquer the odds. Luke 18:27 says, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” And Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And Jesus said in Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”

“Before the believer is held out the wonderful possibility of being like Christ, obedient to all the principles of the law. But of himself man is utterly unable to reach this condition. The holiness that God’s word declares he must have before he can be saved is the result of the working of divine grace as he bows in submission to the discipline and restraining influences of the Spirit of truth. Man’s obedience can be made perfect only by the incense of Christ’s righteousness, which fills with divine fragrance every act of obedience. The part of the Christian is to persevere in overcoming every fault. Constantly he is to pray to the Saviour to heal the disorders of his sin-sick soul. He has not the wisdom or the strength to overcome; these belong to the Lord, and He bestows them on those who in humiliation and contrition seek Him for help.

“The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is a continuous one. Day by day God labors for man’s sanctification, and man is to co-operate with Him, putting forth persevering efforts in the cultivation of right habits. He is to add grace to grace; and as he thus works on the plan of addition, God works for him on the plan of multiplication. Our Saviour is always ready to hear and answer the prayer of the contrite heart, and grace and peace are multiplied to His faithful ones. Gladly He grants them the blessings they need in their struggle against the evils that beset them. There are those who attempt to ascend the ladder of Christian progress; but as they advance they begin to put their trust in the power of man, and soon lose sight of Jesus, Author and Finisher of their faith.” The Acts of the Apostles, 532.