Bible Study Guides – Weighed in the Balances

October 25, 2009 – October 31, 2009

Key Text

“Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord [is] a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” I Samuel 2:3.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 522–538; Testimonies, vol. 8, 247–251.


“God judges every man according to his work. Not only does He judge, but He sums up, day by day and hour by hour, our progress in welldoing.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 987.

1 When Belshazzar inherited the Babylonian throne at a young age, what traits were readily seen in his character? Daniel 5:1.

Note: “Belshazzar gloried in his power and lifted up his heart against the God of heaven. Many had been his opportunities to know the divine will and to understand his responsibility of rendering obedience thereto. He had known of his grandfather’s banishment, by the decree of God, from the society of men; and he was familiar with Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion and miraculous restoration. But Belshazzar allowed the love of pleasure and self-glorification to efface the lessons that he should never have forgotten. He wasted the opportunities graciously granted him, and neglected to use the means within his reach for becoming more fully acquainted with truth. That which Nebuchadnezzar had finally gained at the cost of untold suffering and humiliation, Belshazzar passed by with indifference.” Prophets and Kings, 522, 523.

2 How did Belshazzar blatantly display his irreverence for the sacred vessels of God? Daniel 5:2–4. Explain how still greater profanations occur today, even among professed believers.

Note: “It is a truth which should make every one of us weep, that those living in these last days, upon whom the ends of the world are come, are far more guilty than was Belshazzar. This is possible in many ways. When men have taken upon themselves the vows of consecration, to devote all their powers to the sacred service of God; when they occupy the position of expositors of Bible truth, and have received the solemn charge; when God and angels are summoned as witnesses to the solemn dedication of soul, body, and spirit to God’s service—then shall these men who minister in a most holy office desecrate their God-given powers to unholy purposes? Shall the sacred vessel, whom God is to use for a high and holy work, be dragged from its lofty, controlling sphere to administer to debasing lust? Is not this idol worship of the most degrading kind?—the lips uttering praises and adoring a sinful human being, pouring forth expressions of ravishing tenderness and adulation which belong alone to God—the powers given to God in solemn consecration administering to a harlot; for any woman who will allow the addresses of another man than her husband, who will listen to his advances, and whose ears will be pleased with the outpouring of lavish words of affection, of adoration, of endearment, is an adulteress and a harlot.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 434, 435.

3 What amazing sight stopped the party? Daniel 5:5.

Note: “In the midst of the revelry, Belshazzar saw the bloodless hand of an uninvited guest tracing upon the wall of the palace words that gleamed like fire,—words which, though unknown to that vast throng, were a portent of doom to the new conscience-stricken revelers. The boisterous mirth was hushed, and they shook with a nameless terror as their eyes fastened upon the wall. Where but a few moments before had been hilarity and blasphemous witticism, were pallid faces and cries of fear.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 20, 21.

“If they could not understand the writing, why were they so troubled? The writing on the wall gave evidence that there was a witness to their evil deeds, a guest not invited or welcome to their idolatrous feast, and his presence convicted of sin, and foretold doom and disaster. Before them passed, as in panoramic view, the deeds of their evil lives, and they seemed to be arraigned before the Judgment, of which they had been warned.” The Signs of the Times, July 20, 1891.

4 How did Belshazzar react? Daniel 5:6. Why should this impress us to reexamine our own lives? Ecclesiastes 11:9.

Note: “Belshazzar was the most terrified of them all. He it was who above all others had been responsible for the rebellion against God which that night had reached its height in the Babylonian realm. In the presence of the unseen Watcher, the representative of Him whose power had been challenged and whose name had been blasphemed, the king was paralyzed with fear. Conscience was awakened.” Prophets and Kings, 524, 527.

“The same Witness that recorded the profanity of Belshazzar is present with us wherever we go. … You may feel that you are at liberty to act out the impulses of the natural heart, that you may indulge in lightness and trifling, but for all these things you must give an account. As you sow, you will reap, and if you are taking the foundation from your house, robbing your brain of its nutriment, and your nerves of their power by dissipation and indulgence of appetite and passion, you will have an account to render to him who says, ‘I know thy works.’ [Revelation 3:15.]” The Review and Herald, March 29, 1892.

5 What was the frantic desire of Belshazzar? Daniel 5:7–9.

Note: “In vain the king tried to read the burning letters. But here was a secret he could not fathom, a power he could neither understand nor gainsay. In despair he turned to the wise men of his realm for help. His wild cry rang out in the assembly, calling upon the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers to read the writing. … But of no avail was his appeal to his trusted advisers, with offers of rich awards. Heavenly wisdom cannot be bought or sold. … They were no more able to read the mysterious characters than had been the wise men of a former generation to interpret the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar.” Prophets and Kings, 527.

6 How was Daniel’s name brought up during this crisis? Daniel 5:10–12. What was known about him? Daniel 5:13, 14.

Note: “There was in the palace a woman who was wiser than them all,—the queen of Belshazzar’s grandfather. In this emergency she addressed the king in language that sent a ray of light into the darkness.” The Youth’s Instructor, May 26, 1898.

7 Describe the prophet’s introduction to the king. What should the prophet’s warning make us realize? Daniel 5:15–28.

Note: “Before that terror-stricken throng, Daniel, unmoved by the promises of the king, stood in the quiet dignity of a servant of the Most High, not to speak words of flattery, but to interpret a message of doom.” Prophets and Kings, 529.

“When Daniel was brought in before Belshazzar, as the king and his nobles sat at their sacrilegious feast, he plainly told the king that the calamity to come upon Babylon was the result of a disregard of heaven-sent light. He disregarded the light given to Nebuchadnezzar, and thereby lost the benefits he might have received had he been obedient to the light. God gives His people lessons to instruct them and lead them to reform. If they do not receive and practice these lessons, their neglect will surely bring judgments upon them.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 98, 99.

8 How did God’s judgment affect the king and the entire nation? Daniel 5:29–31.

Note: “Belshazzar was without excuse, for abundant light had been given him to reform his life. …

“His great sin was that, notwithstanding God had given him light, he refused to walk in the paths of righteousness.” The Signs of the Times, July 20, 1891.

“God ascribes the fall of Babylon to her gluttony and drunkenness. Indulgence of appetite and passion was the foundation of all their sins.” Counsels on Health, 110.

9 What must we take into serious consideration if we do not want to be found wanting? I Samuel 2:3.

Note: “The fact that you conscientiously believe a lie will not save you from ruin, when the truth might have been yours.” The Signs of the Times, July 27, 1891.

“Those who are ‘do-nothings’ now will have the superscription upon them, ‘Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.’ [Daniel 5:27.] They knew their Master’s will, but did it not. They had the light of truth, they had every advantage, but chose their own selfish interests, and they will be left with those whom they did not try to save.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 237.

10 What may keep us out of the kingdom? Proverbs 16:2; Hebrews 4:13; James 4:17.

Note: “The church cannot measure herself by the world nor by the opinion of men nor by what she once was. Her faith and her position in the world as they now are must be compared with what they would have been if her course had been continually onward and upward. The church will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. If her moral character and spiritual state do not correspond with the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon her, she will be found wanting.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 83.

“Men are weighed in the balance and found wanting when they are living in the practice of any known sin. It is the privilege of every son of God to be a true Christian moment by moment; then he has all heaven enlisted on his side.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 440, 441.

Additional Reading

“‘If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ [Matthew 19:17.] Very many who profess to be Christ’s disciples will apparently pass along smoothly in this world, and will be regarded as upright, godly men, when they have a plague spot at the core, which taints their whole character and corrupts their religious experience. ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ [Matthew 22:39.] This forbids us to take advantage of our fellow men in order to advantage ourselves. We are forbidden to wrong our neighbor in anything. We should not view the matter from the worldling’s standpoint. To deal with our fellow men in every instance just as we should wish them to deal with us is a rule which we should apply to ourselves practically. God’s laws are to be obeyed to the letter. In all our intercourse and deal with our fellow men, whether believers or unbelievers, this rule is to be applied: ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’

“Here many who profess to be Christians will not bear the measurement of God; when weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, they will be found wanting. Dear brother, ‘come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.’ [II Corinthians 6:17, 18.] What a promise is this! But we are not to lose sight of the fact that it is based upon obedience to the command. God calls you to separate from the world. You are not to follow their practices, nor conform to them in your course of action in any respect. …

“God calls for separation from the world. Will you obey? Will you come out from among them, and remain separate and distinct from them? ‘For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?’ [II Corinthians 6:14.] You cannot mingle with worldlings, and partake of their spirit, and follow their example, and be at the same time a child of God. The Creator of the universe addresses you as an affectionate Father. If you separate from the world in your affections, and remain free from its contamination, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust, God will be your Father, He will adopt you into His family, and you will be His heir. In place of the world, He will give you, for a life of obedience, the kingdom under the whole heavens. He will give you an eternal weight of glory and a life that is as enduring as eternity.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 43, 44.

“God is weighing our characters, our conduct, and our motives in the balances of the sanctuary. It will be a fearful thing to be pronounced wanting in love and obedience by our Redeemer, who died upon the cross to draw our hearts unto Him.…To be weighed in the balance and found wanting in the day of final settlement and rewards will be a fearful thing, a terrible mistake which can never be corrected.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 370.

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

Bible Study Guides – The Exalted Abased

October 18, 2009 – October 24, 2009

Key Text

“Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 14:11.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 514–521; Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 59–73.


“The Lord would have His people learn of Jesus. God forbid that those for whom He has wrought shall become highminded and be left to their own way as was the king of Babylon.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 66.

1 Who wrote Daniel chapter 4—and why? Daniel 4:1–3. In what sense should we follow the good example of Nebuchadnezzar?

Note: “Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgments to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christ-like life, have an irresistible power that works for the salvation of souls.” The Desire of Ages, 347.

2 How great did Babylon become? Daniel 4:4, 22. What change began to take place in Nebuchadnezzar?

Note: “It is not surprising that the successful monarch, so ambitious and so proud-spirited, should be tempted to turn aside from the path of humility, which alone leads to true greatness. In the intervals between his wars of conquest he gave much thought to the strengthening and beautifying of his capital, until at length the city of Babylon became the chief glory of his kingdom, ‘the golden city,’ ‘the praise of the whole earth.’ [Isaiah 14:4; Jeremiah 51:41.] His passion as a builder, and his signal success in making Babylon one of the wonders of the world, ministered to his pride, until he was in grave danger of spoiling his record as a wise ruler whom God could continue to use as an instrument for the carrying out of the divine purpose.” Prophets and Kings, 515.

3 What reveals God’s love for Nebuchadnezzar and to a certain extent the king’s slowness to grasp that love? Daniel 4:5–7.

Note: “In mercy God gave the king another dream, to warn him of his peril and of the snare that had been laid for his ruin.” Prophets and Kings, 515.

“The dream given him [Nebuchadnezzar] was very explicit, but the magicians, the astrologers, the soothsayers, and the Chaldeans could not make known to the king his dream or tell the interpretation thereof. Those who do not love and fear God cannot understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. They cannot approach unto the throne of Him who dwelleth in light unapproachable; and the things of God are to them mysteries of mysteries.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 63.

4 When Daniel was finally called in to explain the dream, what did the king admit? Daniel 4:8, 9.

Note: “Daniel was esteemed by the king because of his unswerving integrity, for he was faithful in honoring God at all times and in all places. His wisdom was unexcelled, and neither he nor his fellows would make any compromise to secure positions in the court, or even to preserve life itself, when the honor of God was involved. In the early part of his acquaintance with Daniel, the king had found that he was the only one who could give him relief in his perplexity, and now at a later period, when another perplexing vision is given him, he remembers Daniel.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 63, 64.

5 What was the focus of the king’s dream? Daniel 4:10–12.

Note: “Study Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as recorded in the fourth chapter of Daniel. The king saw a lofty tree planted in the earth. Flocks and herds from the mountains and hills enjoyed its shelter, and the birds of the air built their nests in its branches. Thus were represented Nebuchadnezzar’s greatness and prosperity. Nations were gathered under his sovereignty. His kingdom was firmly established in the hearts of his loyal subjects.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 126.

“This representation shows the character of a government that fulfills God’s purpose—a government that protects and upbuilds the nation.

“God exalted Babylon that it might fulfill this purpose. Prosperity attended the nation until it reached a height of wealth and power that has never since been equaled.” Education, 175.

6 What should this dream cause us to remember? Daniel 4:13–17.

Note: “The world is not without a ruler. The program of coming events is in the hands of the Lord. The Majesty of heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of His church, in His own charge.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 753.

“Today there is a Watchman taking cognizance of the children of men, and in a special sense of those who are to represent God by receiving his sacred truth into the heart and revealing it to the world. That Watcher is guarding the interests of all.” The Review and Herald, September 8, 1896.

7 What was Daniel’s reaction upon hearing the dream? Daniel 4:18, 19. What was the interpretation of the dream and what warning does it contain for us all? Daniel 4:20–26.

Note: “The faithful Daniel stood before the king, not to flatter, not to misinterpret in order to secure favor.” The Review and Herald, September 8, 1896.

“The prophet realized that upon him God had laid the solemn duty of revealing to Nebuchadnezzar the judgment that was about to fall upon him because of his pride and arrogance. Daniel must interpret the dream in language the king could understand; and although its dreadful import had made him hesitate in dumb amazement, yet he must state the truth, whatever the consequences to himself.” Prophets and Kings, 517.

8 What should we learn from Daniel’s earnest appeal? Daniel 4:27.

Note: “Daniel exhorted the king … to break off his sins by righteousness, and his iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. But the light from heaven was not accepted, and did not exert a saving influence upon his character. Those who receive light will either change their course of action, or else the work of the Lord will become less and less palatable, and will finally be set aside.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 64.

“Whatever the position we are called to fill, our only safety is in walking humbly with God. The man who glories in his supposed capabilities, in his position of power, in his wisdom, in his property, or in anything else than Christ, will be taken in the net of the enemy. He who fails to walk humbly before God will find a spirit rising up within him, prompting the desire to rule others connected with him, and causing him to oppress others who are human and erring like himself. He appropriates to himself jurisdiction and control over other men,—an honor which belongs alone to God.” The Review and Herald, September 8, 1896.

9 What admonitions should we all heed from the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar? Daniel 4:28–32.

Note: “The scepter is no longer held in the hand of a proud and powerful monarch. The mighty ruler is a maniac. He now herds with the cattle to eat as they eat. He is a companion of the beasts of the field. The brow that once wore a coronet is disfigured by the absence of reason and intellect. The mandate has gone forth: ‘Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit.’ [Daniel 4] Verse 14.

“So the Lord magnifies Himself as the true and living God. Well might David exclaim: ‘I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.’ Psalm 37:35, 36. Let men become lifted up in pride, and the Lord will not sustain them and keep them from falling. Let a church become proud and boastful, not depending on God, not exalting His power, and that church will surely be left by the Lord, to be brought down to the ground. Let a people glory in wealth, intellect, knowledge, or in anything but Christ, and they will soon be brought to confusion.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 127.

10 In what ways can we be inspired by the end of the king’s history? Daniel 4:33–37. What principle comes to mind? Luke 14:11.

Note: “The lesson that the Lord would have all humanity learn from the history of the king of Babylon is that all those who walk in pride and self-exaltation, He is able to abase. The chastening that came upon the king of Babylon wrought reformation in the heart of the king and transformed him in character. Before his humiliation he was tyrannical in his dealings with others, but now the overbearing, fierce monarch is changed into a wise and compassionate ruler. Before his humiliation he defied and blasphemed the God of heaven, but now he acknowledges His power and seeks earnestly to promote the happiness of his subjects. At last the king had received his lesson. ‘Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will make known to you what he hath done for my soul’ [Psalm 66:16]. The Lord designed that the greatest kingdom in the world should know and show forth His praise.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 66, 67.

Additional Reading

“There is danger in the bestowal of rich gifts or of words of commendation upon human agencies. Those who are favored by the Lord need to be on guard constantly, lest pride spring up and obtain the supremacy. He who has an unusual following, he who has received many words of commendation from the messengers of the Lord, needs the special prayers of God’s faithful watchmen, that he may be shielded from the danger of cherishing thoughts of self-esteem and spiritual pride.

“Never is such a man to manifest self-importance, or attempt to act as a dictator or a ruler. Let him watch and pray, and keep his eye single to the glory of God. As his imagination takes hold upon things unseen, and he contemplates the joy of the hope that is set before him,—even the precious boon of life eternal,—the commendation of man will not fill his mind with thoughts of pride. And at times when the enemy makes special efforts to spoil him by flattery and worldly honor, his brethren should faithfully warn him of his dangers; for, if left to himself, he will be prone to make mistakes, and reveal human frailties.” Counsels on Stewardship, 147, 148.

“Looking upon the crucified Redeemer, we more fully comprehend the magnitude and meaning of the sacrifice made by the Majesty of heaven. The plan of salvation is glorified before us, and the thought of Calvary awakens living and sacred emotions in our hearts. Praise to God and the Lamb will be in our hearts and on our lips; for pride and self-worship cannot flourish in the soul that keeps fresh in memory the scenes of Calvary.

“He who beholds the Saviour’s matchless love will be elevated in thought, purified in heart, transformed in character. He will go forth to be a light to the world, to reflect in some degree this mysterious love. The more we contemplate the cross of Christ, the more fully shall we adopt the language of the apostle when he said, ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.’ Galatians 6:14.” The Desire of Ages, 661.

“No man can of himself understand his errors. ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?’ Jeremiah 17:9. The lips may express a poverty of soul that the heart does not acknowledge. While speaking to God of poverty of spirit, the heart may be swelling with the conceit of its own superior humility and exalted righteousness. In one way only can a true knowledge of self be obtained. We must behold Christ. It is ignorance of Him that makes men so uplifted in their own righteousness. When we contemplate His purity and excellence, we shall see our own weakness and poverty and defects as they really are. We shall see ourselves lost and hopeless, clad in garments of self-righteousness, like every other sinner. We shall see that if we are ever saved, it will not be through our own goodness, but through God’s infinite grace.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 159.

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

Bible Study Guides – Fiery Persecution

October 11, 2009 – October 17, 2009

Key Text

“If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king.” Daniel 3:17.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 503–513; The Sanctified Life, 34–41.


“To the loyal heart the commands of sinful, finite men will sink into insignificance beside the word of the eternal God. Truth will be obeyed though the result be imprisonment or exile or death.” Prophets and Kings, 512, 513.

1 Some time after the revelation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, what change occurred in the life of the king? Daniel 3:1–3.

Note: “For a time afterward, Nebuchadnezzar was influenced by the fear of God; but his heart was not yet cleansed from worldly ambition and a desire for self-exaltation. The prosperity attending his reign filled him with pride. In time he ceased to honor God, and resumed his idol worship with increased zeal and bigotry.” Prophets and Kings, 503, 504.

“The symbolic representation by which God had revealed to king and people His purpose for the nations of earth, was now to be made to serve for the glorification of human power. Daniel’s interpretation was to be rejected and forgotten; truth was to be misinterpreted and misapplied. The symbol designed of Heaven to unfold to the minds of men important events of the future, was to be used to hinder the spread of the knowledge that God desired the world to receive.” Ibid., 505.

2 What was the next step of the proud king? Daniel 3:4–6. How are we warned against this spirit today? Isaiah 10:1.

Note: “The vainglory and oppression seen in the course pursued by the heathen king, Nebuchadnezzar, is being and will continue to [be] manifested in our day. History will repeat itself. In this age the test will be on the point of Sabbath observance. The heavenly universe behold men trampling upon the law of Jehovah, making the memorial of God, the sign between him and his commandment-keeping people, a thing of naught, something to be despised, while a rival sabbath is exalted as was the great golden image in the plain of Dura. Men claiming to be Christians will call upon the world to observe this spurious sabbath that they have made. All who refuse will be placed under oppressive laws. This is the mystery of iniquity, the devising of satanic agencies, carried into effect by the man of sin.” The Youth’s Instructor, July 12, 1904.

“An idol sabbath has been set up, as the golden image was set up in the plains of Dura. And as Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, issued a decree that all who would not bow down and worship this image should be killed, so a proclamation will be made that all who will not reverence the Sunday institution will be punished with imprisonment and death.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 91.

3 What was the response to Nebuchadnezzar’s decree? Daniel 3:7.

Note: “On that eventful day the powers of darkness seemed to be gaining a signal triumph; the worship of the golden image bade fair to become connected permanently with the established forms of idolatry recognized as the state religion of the land.” Prophets and Kings, 506.

4 Who stood faithfully in opposition to idolatry? Daniel 3:8–12. Describe the similar plight of God’s faithful today.

Note: “To bow down when in prayer to God is the proper attitude to occupy. This act of worship was required of the three Hebrew captives in Babylon. … But such an act was homage to be rendered to God alone—the Sovereign of the world, the Ruler of the universe; and these three Hebrews refused to give such honor to any idol even though composed of pure gold. In doing so, they would, to all intents and purposes, be bowing to the king of Babylon.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 312.

“Important are the lessons to be learned from the experience of the Hebrew youth on the plain of Dura. In this our day, many of God’s servants, though innocent of wrongdoing, will be given over to suffer humiliation and abuse at the hands of those who, inspired by Satan, are filled with envy and religious bigotry. Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment; and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death.” Prophets and Kings, 512.

5 Describe Nebuchadnezzar’s sentiments toward the Hebrews. Daniel 3:13–15.

Note: “Firmly the Hebrews testified to their allegiance to the God of heaven, and their faith in His power to deliver. The act of bowing to the image was understood by all to be an act of worship. Such homage they could render to God alone.

“As the three Hebrews stood before the king, he was convinced that they possessed something the other wise men of his kingdom did not have. They had been faithful in the performance of every duty. He would give them another trial. If only they would signify their willingness to unite with the multitude in worshiping the image, all would be well with them.” Prophets and Kings, 507.

6 How did the three Hebrews express their trust in God? Daniel 3:16–18. What can we learn from them, as well as from the apostles Peter and John in a similar case? Acts 4:18–20.

Note: “We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God’s word must be recognized as above all human legislation. A ‘Thus saith the Lord’ is not to be set aside for a ‘Thus saith the church’ or a ‘Thus saith the state.’ The crown of Christ is to be lifted above the diadems of earthly potentates.

“We are not required to defy authorities. Our words, whether spoken or written, should be carefully considered, lest we place ourselves on record as uttering that which would make us appear antagonistic to law and order. We are not to say or do anything that would unnecessarily close up our way. We are to go forward in Christ’s name, advocating the truths committed to us.” The Acts of the Apostles, 69.

7 How did Nebuchadnezzar react to the steadfast fidelity of God’s servants? Daniel 3:19–21. How is the king’s fury paralleled today?

Note: “It is a fearful thing for any soul to place himself on Satan’s side of the question; for as soon as he does this a change passes over him, as it is said of the king of Babylon, that his visage changed toward the three faithful Hebrews. Past history will be repeated. Men will reject the Holy Spirit’s working, and open the door of the mind to satanic attributes that separate them from God. They will turn against the very messengers through whom God sends the messages of warning.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 122.

8 What sudden turn of events startled the king? Daniel 3:22–25.

Note: “How did that heathen king know what the Son of God was like? The Hebrew captives filling positions of trust in Babylon had in life and character represented before him the truth. When asked for a reason of their faith, they had given it without hesitation. Plainly and simply they had presented the principles of righteousness, thus teaching those around them of the God whom they worshiped. They had told of Christ, the Redeemer to come; and in the form of the fourth in the midst of the fire the king recognized the Son of God.” Prophets and Kings, 509.

9 How was God’s name vindicated at the fiery furnace? Daniel 3:26–30. Like the three Hebrew worthies, in what promise can we trust? Isaiah 43:2.

Note: “By the deliverance of His faithful servants, the Lord declared that He takes His stand with the oppressed, and rebukes all earthly powers that rebel against the authority of Heaven. …

“In a marvelous manner their [the three Hebrews’] faith in the living Word had been honored in the sight of all. The tidings of their wonderful deliverance were carried to many countries by the representatives of the different nations that had been invited by Nebuchadnezzar to the dedication. Through the faithfulness of His children, God was glorified in all the earth.” Prophets and Kings, 511, 512.

10 How should this history apply to us? 1 Peter 4:12–16. What assurance has been given us in view of the great ordeal soon to come? Jeremiah 30:7.

Note: “As in the days of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, so in the closing period of earth’s history the Lord will work mightily in behalf of those who stand steadfastly for the right. He who walked with the Hebrew worthies in the fiery furnace will be with His followers wherever they are. His abiding presence will comfort and sustain. In the midst of the time of trouble—trouble such as has not been since there was a nation—His chosen ones will stand unmoved. Satan with all the hosts of evil cannot destroy the weakest of God’s saints. Angels that excel in strength will protect them, and in their behalf Jehovah will reveal Himself as a ‘God of gods,’ able to save to the uttermost those who have put their trust in Him.” Prophets and Kings, 513.

Additional Reading

“Under the fiercest persecution these witnesses for Jesus kept their faith unsullied. Though deprived of every comfort, shut away from the light of the sun, making their home in the dark but friendly bosom of the earth, they uttered no complaint. With words of faith, patience, and hope they encouraged one another to endure privation and distress. The loss of every earthly blessing could not force them to renounce their belief in Christ. Trials and persecution were but steps bringing them nearer their rest and their reward.

“Like God’s servants of old, many were ‘tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.’ [Hebrews 11] Verse 35. These called to mind the words of their Master, that when persecuted for Christ’s sake, they were to be exceeding glad, for great would be their reward in heaven; for so the prophets had been persecuted before them. They rejoiced that they were accounted worthy to suffer for the truth, and songs of triumph ascended from the midst of crackling flames. Looking upward by faith, they saw Christ and angels leaning over the battlements of heaven, gazing upon them with the deepest interest and regarding their steadfastness with approval. A voice came down to them from the throne of God: ‘Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.’ Revelation 2:10. …

“Thousands were imprisoned and slain, but others sprang up to fill their places. And those who were martyred for their faith were secured to Christ and accounted of Him as conquerors. … The sufferings which they endured brought Christians nearer to one another and to their Redeemer. Their living example and dying testimony were a constant witness for the truth; and where least expected, the subjects of Satan were leaving his service and enlisting under the banner of Christ.” The Great Controversy, 41, 42.

“Satan is a diligent Bible student. He knows that his time is short, and he seeks at every point to counterwork the work of the Lord upon this earth. It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By 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 will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. 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 God and without hope.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 16.

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

Bible Study Guides – A Revealer of Secrets

October 4, 2009 – October 10, 2009

Key Text

“There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.” Daniel 2:28.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 491–502; Fundamentals of Christian Education, 410–415.


“In God’s name Daniel made known to the king the heaven-sent messages of instruction, warning, and rebuke, and he was not repulsed. Let God’s workers of today read the firm, bold testimony of Daniel and follow his example.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 151.

1 What did King Nebuchadnezzar receive? Daniel 2:1. For what purpose was it given?

Note: “[Daniel 2:36–40, 44 quoted.] This dream was given to the king of Babylon, the events of the future, reaching down to the end of time, were opened before him, that he might have light on this important subject. It was also given for the benefit of all future generations. The record was traced by the prophetic pen that the light might be shared by those kingdoms which should succeed the kingdom of Babylon.” The Signs of the Times, April 29, 1897.

2 In his perplexity, whom did the king seek for help? Daniel 2:2. How can we be doing the same thing today?

Note: “It is fondly supposed that heathen superstitions have disappeared before the civilization of the twentieth century. But the word of God and the stern testimony of facts declare that sorcery is practiced in this age as verily as in the days of the old-time magicians. The ancient system of magic is, in reality, the same as what is now known as modern spiritualism.” The Acts of the Apostles, 289.

3 What did the wise men reveal by their answer? Daniel 2:3–7. What is the source of true wisdom?

Note: “Nebuchadnezzar began to see that the men whom he trusted to reveal mysteries through their boasted wisdom, failed him in his great perplexity.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 410.

“The historic events related in the king’s dream were of consequence to him; but the dream was taken from him, that the wise men by their claimed understanding of mysteries, should not place upon it a false interpretation. The lessons taught in it were given by God for those who live in our day. The inability of the wise men to tell the dream, is a representation of the wise men of the present day, who have not discernment and learning and knowledge from the Most High, and therefore are unable to understand the prophecies.” Ibid., 412.

4 How did Nebuchadnezzar avoid being deceived? Daniel 2:8, 9. What command was given by the king? Daniel 2:10–13.

Note: “Nebuchadnezzar demanded not only the interpretation of the dream, but the relation of the dream itself. If the wise men would supply this, he would accept it as a proof of their claim as magicians and astrologers. The magicians were full of fear and trembling. They declared that the request of the king was something unreasonable, and the test beyond that which had ever been required of any man. The king became furious, and acted like all men who have great power and uncontrollable passions. He decided that every one of them should be put to death, and as Daniel and his fellows were numbered with the wise men, they also were to share this fate.” The Youth’s Instructor, November 22, 1894.

5 How did Daniel react in an hour of crisis? Daniel 2:14–18.

Note: “Daniel … pleaded for time to bring this matter before the supreme court of the universe, from whose decision there could be no appeal. When his request was granted, Daniel laid the whole matter before his companions, who were united with him in worshiping the true God. The matter was fully considered, and on their bended knees they pleaded that God would give them the power and wisdom that would alone avail them in their great necessity. …

“I would impress upon the youth that Daniel’s God is their God, and whatever difficulty may arise, let them do as did Daniel, ‘desire mercies of the God of heaven.’ [Daniel 2:18.]” Sons and Daughters of God, 216.

“Behold the Jewish captive, calm and self-possessed, in the presence of the monarch of the world’s most powerful empire. In his first words he disclaimed honor for himself and exalted God as the source of all wisdom.” Prophets and Kings, 494.

6 What was the first thing Daniel did when his prayer was answered? Daniel 2:19–23. What is God willing to do today?

Note: “As God made known His will to the Hebrew captives, to those who were most separate from the customs and practices of a world lying in wickedness, so will the Lord communicate light from heaven to all who will appreciate a ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ To them He will express His mind. Those who are least bound up with worldly ideas, are the most separate from display, and vanity, and pride, and love of promotion, who stand forth as His peculiar people, zealous of good works,—to these He will reveal the meaning of His word. The very first exhibition of God’s power to the Hebrew captives was in showing the defective wisdom of the great ones of the earth. The wisdom of men is foolishness with God. The magicians revealed their ignorance of the light before the Lord revealed His wisdom as supreme.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 101, 102.

7 Name some noble qualities that we should learn from Daniel. Daniel 2:24–30.

Note: “The Jewish captive stands before the monarch of the most powerful empire the sun has ever shone upon. The king is in great distress amid all his riches and glory, but the youthful exile is peaceful and happy in his God. Now, if ever, is the time for Daniel to exalt himself, to make prominent his own goodness and superior wisdom. But his first effort is to disclaim all honor for himself and to exalt God as the source of wisdom.” The Sanctified Life, 35, 36.

“When called to stand before King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel did not hesitate to acknowledge the source of his wisdom. Did that faithful recognition of God detract from Daniel’s influence in the king’s court? By no means; it was the secret of his power; it secured for him favor in the eyes of the ruler of Babylon. …

“Never does man show greater folly than when he seeks to secure acceptance and recognition in the world by sacrificing in any degree the allegiance and honor due to God.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 151.

“Daniel was imbued with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and he pleaded that the wise men of Babylon should not be destroyed. … The transforming grace of God was made manifest in His servant, and he pleaded most earnestly for the lives of the very men who afterwards in a secret, underhanded manner, made plans by which they thought to put an end to the life of Daniel. These men became jealous of Daniel because he found favor with kings and nobles, and was honored as the greatest man in Babylon.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 319, 320.

8 What is revealed by the sequence of worldly dominion as depicted in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream? Daniel 2:31–43.

Note: “The image revealed to Nebuchadnezzar, while representing the deterioration of the kingdoms of the earth in power and glory, also fitly represents the deterioration of religion and morality among the people of these kingdoms. As nations forget God, in like proportion they become weak morally.

“Babylon passed away because in her prosperity she forgot God, and ascribed the glory of her prosperity to human achievement.

“The Medo-Persian kingdom was visited by the wrath of heaven because in this kingdom God’s law was trampled under foot. The fear of the Lord found no place in the hearts of the people. The prevailing influences in Medo-Persia were wickedness, blasphemy, and corruption.

“The kingdoms that followed were even more base and corrupt. They deteriorated because they cast off their allegiance to God. As they forgot Him, they sank lower and still lower in the scale of moral value.

“We have come to a time when God’s sacred work is represented by the feet of the image in which the iron was mixed with the miry clay.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 11

9 How is the eternal kingdom of God represented? Daniel 2:44, 45. Who is the stone or rock? Isaiah 28:16; I Corinthians 3:11.

Note: “The kingdom of God’s grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 108.

10 How was the king’s satisfaction made apparent? Daniel 2:46–49.

Note: “Nebuchadnezzar felt that he could accept this interpretation as a divine revelation; for to Daniel had been revealed every detail of the dream. The solemn truths conveyed by the interpretation of this vision of the night made a deep impression on the sovereign’s mind.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1169.

Additional Reading

“He who has to deal with persons differing so widely in character, disposition, and temperament will have trials, perplexities, and collisions, even when he does his best. He may be disgusted with the ignorance, pride, and independence which he will meet; but this should not discourage him. He should stand where he will sway, rather than be swayed. Firm as a rock to principle, with an intelligent faith, he should stand uncorrupted by surrounding influences. The people of God should not be transformed by the various influences to which they must necessarily be exposed, but they must stand up for Jesus and by the aid of His Spirit exert a transforming power upon minds deformed by false habits and defiled by sin. …

“We must confess Christ openly and bravely, exhibiting in our characters His meekness, humility, and love, till men shall be charmed by the beauty of holiness. It is not the best way to preserve our religion as we bottle perfumes lest the fragrance should escape.

“The very conflicts and rebuffs we meet are to make us stronger and give stability to our faith. We are not to be swayed, like a reed in the wind, by every passing influence. Our souls, warmed and invigorated by the truths of the gospel, and refreshed by divine grace, are to open and expand, and shed their fragrance upon others. Clad in the whole armor of righteousness, we can meet any influence and our purity remain untarnished.

“All should consider that God’s claims upon them are paramount to all others. God has given to every person capabilities to improve, that he may reflect glory to the Giver. Everyday some progress should be made. If the workers leave the sanitarium as they entered it, without making decided improvement, gaining in knowledge and spiritual strength, they have met with loss. God designs that Christians shall grow continually, grow up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ. All who do not grow stronger, and become more firmly rooted and grounded in the truth, are continually retrograding.

“A special effort should be made to secure the services of conscientious, Christian workers. It is the purpose of God that a health institution should be organized and controlled exclusively by Seventh-day Adventists; and when unbelievers are brought in to occupy responsible positions, an influence is presiding there that will tell with great weight against the sanitarium. God did not intend that this institution should be carried on after the order of any other health institute in the land, but that it should be one of the most effectual instrumentalities in His hands of giving light to the world. It should stand forth with scientific ability, with moral and spiritual power, and as a faithful sentinel of reform in all its bearings; and all who act a part in it should be reformers, having respect to its rules, and heeding the light of health reform now shining upon us as a people.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 555, 556.

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

Bible Study Guides – Spiritual Vigor

September 27, 2009 – October 3, 2009

Key Text

“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8.

Study Help: The Sanctified Life, 18–24; Fundamentals of Christian Education, 95–99.


“As in the case of Daniel, in exact proportion as the spiritual character is developed, the intellectual capabilities are increased.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1168.

1 How was the prophecy of Jeremiah 25:8–11 fulfilled? II Kings 24:13–16; Daniel 1:1, 2. Why did this calamity come?

Note: “The children of Israel were taken captive to Babylon because they separated from God; they did not maintain his principles unadulterated with the sentiments of the nations around them. The people who should have been a light amid the surrounding darkness, disregarded the word of the Lord. They lived for themselves, and neglected to do the special work God had appointed them. And because of their failure to fulfill his purpose, he permitted them to be humbled by an idolatrous nation.” The Youth’s Instructor, May 14, 1903.

2 Describe some aspects of the discouraging scene. Psalm 137:1–4. How is this a warning for us? Proverbs 26:2.

Note: “The righteous with the unrighteous were taken away into a land where the name of Jehovah would not come to their ears; where songs of praise and thanksgiving to God would not be heard; where prophets with messages of warnings and reproof and counsel would be few and far between.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 18, 1898.

“If men refuse to receive the admonitions of the Lord, if they persist in walking contrary to his instruction, he cannot deliver them from the sure consequences of their own course.” Ibid., May 14, 1903.

3 What special command did the king give and for what purpose? Daniel 1:3–5. Discuss the value of early discipline. Proverbs 22:6.

Note: “When the Jews were dispersed from Jerusalem, there were among them young men and women who were firm as a rock to principle, men and women who had not pursued a course to make the Lord ashamed to call them His people. These were sad at heart for the backsliding which they could not prevent. These innocent ones must suffer with the guilty; but God would give them strength sufficient for their day.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1144.

“God commanded the Hebrews to teach their children His requirements, and to make them acquainted with all His dealings with their people. The home and the school were one. In the place of stranger lips, the loving hearts of the father and mother were to give instruction to their children. Thoughts of God were associated with all the events of daily life in the home dwelling. The mighty works of God in the deliverance of His people were recounted with eloquence and reverential awe.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 95.

4 Who were included among the faithful? Daniel 1:6, 7. Why were their names changed?

Note: “[Daniel] was surrounded with influences calculated to subvert those who would vacillate between principle and inclination; yet the Word of God presents him as a faultless character. Daniel dared not trust to his own moral power. Prayer was to him a necessity. He made God his strength, and the fear of God was continually before him.” The Sanctified Life, 20.

“Anciently the name of a child stood for his character, and the names given to these children were characteristic of what it was expected they would become. They were young in years, and this change in their names it was believed would make an impression on their minds. In a little while, it was hoped, their former religion would be forgotten, and they would become in character and purpose like the Chaldean youth about them.” The Youth’s Instructor, October 29, 1907.

5 What did Daniel decide and why? Daniel 1:8, first part; Leviticus 10:1, 2, 8–11.

Note: “As Daniel and his fellows were brought to the test, they placed themselves fully on the side of righteousness and truth. They did not move capriciously, but intelligently. They decided that as flesh-meat had not composed their diet in the past, it should not come into their diet in the future, and as wine had been prohibited to all who should engage in the service of God, they determined that they would not partake of it. The fate of the sons of Aaron had been presented before them, and they knew that the use of wine would confuse their senses, that the indulgence of appetite would becloud their powers of discernment. These particulars were placed on record in the history of the children of Israel as a warning to every youth to avoid all customs and practises [sic] and indulgences that would in any way dishonor God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1166, 1167.

“The approval of God was dearer to him [Daniel] than the favor of the most powerful earthly potentate—dearer than life itself.” Prophets and Kings, 483.

6 How should the example of Daniel and his companions be put into practice today? I Corinthians 10:31.

Note: “Amid the seductive influences of the luxurious courts of Babylon they [Daniel and his companions] stood firm. The youth of today are surrounded with allurements to self-indulgence. Especially in our large cities, every form of sensual gratification is made easy and inviting. Those who, like Daniel, refuse to defile themselves, will reap the reward of temperate habits.” Messages to Young People, 242.

“If, like Daniel, young men and young women will bring all their habits, appetites, and passions into conformity to the requirements of God, they will qualify themselves for higher work. They should put from their minds all that is cheap and frivolous. Nonsense and amusement-loving propensities should be discarded, as out of place in the life and experience of those who are living by faith in the Son of God.” Ibid., 41, 42.

7 What request did Daniel and his companions make that revealed their convictions? Daniel 1:8, last part, 9.

Note: “This request they [Daniel and his companions] did not prefer in a defiant spirit, but as if soliciting a great favor. The appearance of Daniel and his companions was like what every youth’s should be. They were courteous, kind, respectful, possessing the grace of meekness and modesty. And the good behavior of these youth obtained favor for them.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 18, 1898.

8 How did Daniel’s suggestion prevail over the concern of Melzar? Daniel 1:10–17. What can we learn from this experience?

Note: “The lesson here presented [of Daniel and his companions] is one which we would do well to ponder. Our danger is not from scarcity, but from abundance. We are constantly tempted to excess. Those who would preserve their powers unimpaired for the service of God must observe strict temperance in the use of His bounties, as well as total abstinence from every injurious or debasing indulgence.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 29.

“There are many who feel that they cannot get along without flesh food; but if these would place themselves on the Lord’s side, resolutely resolved to walk in the way of His guidance, they would receive strength and wisdom as did Daniel and his fellows. They would find that the Lord would give them sound judgment.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 157.

9 What should we learn from Nebuchadnezzar’s intensive examination of the four Hebrew youth? Daniel 1:18–21.

Note: “Only by faithfulness in the little things can the soul be trained to act with fidelity under larger responsibilities. God brought Daniel and his fellows into connection with the great men of Babylon, that these heathen men might become acquainted with the principles of true religion. In the midst of a nation of idolaters, Daniel was to represent the character of God. How did he become fitted for a position of so great trust and honor? It was his faithfulness in the little things that gave complexion to his whole life. …

“As God called Daniel to witness for Him in Babylon, so He calls us to be His witnesses in the world today. In the smallest as well as the largest affairs of life He desires us to reveal to men the principles of His kingdom.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 356, 357.

10 How does the Word of God encourage the practice of health reform by men in high positions? Ecclesiastes 10:17.

Note: “What if Daniel and his companions had made a compromise with those heathen officers and had yielded to the pressure of the occasion by eating and drinking as was customary with the Babylonians? That single instance of departure from principle would have weakened their sense of right and their abhorrence of wrong. Indulgence of appetite would have involved the sacrifice of physical vigor, clearness of intellect, and spiritual power. One wrong step would probably have led to others, until, their connection with Heaven being severed, they would have been swept away by temptation.” The Sanctified Life, 23.

Additional Reading

“The Christian is to be ‘rooted and grounded’ in the truth, that he may stand firm against the temptations of the enemy. He must have a continual renewal of strength, and he must hold firmly to Bible truth. Fables of every kind will be brought in to seduce the believer from his allegiance to God, but he is to look up, believe in God, and stand firmly rooted and grounded in the truth.

“Keep a firm hold upon the Lord Jesus, and never let go. Have firm convictions as to what you believe. Let the truths of God’s Word lead you to devote heart, mind, soul, and strength to the doing of his will. Lay hold resolutely upon a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ Let your only argument be, ‘It is written.’ Thus we are to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. That faith has not lost any of its sacred, holy character, however objectionable its opposers may think it to be.

“Those who follow their own mind and walk in their own way will form crooked characters. Vain doctrines and subtle sentiments will be introduced with plausible presentations, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Are church-members building upon the Rock? The storm is coming, the storm that will try every man’s faith, of what sort it is. Believers must now be firmly rooted in Christ, or else they will be led astray by some phase of error. Let your faith be substantiated by the Word of God. Grasp firmly the living testimony of truth. Have faith in Christ as a personal Saviour. He has been and ever will be our Rock of Ages. The testimony of the Spirit of God is true. Change not your faith for any phase of doctrine, however pleasing it may appear, that will seduce the soul.

“The fallacies of Satan are now being multiplied, and those who swerve from the path of truth will lose their bearings. Having nothing to which to anchor, they will drift from one delusion to another, blown about by the winds of strange doctrines. Satan has come down with great power. Many will be deceived by his miracles. …

“I entreat every one to be clear and firm regarding the certain truths that we have heard and received and advocated. The statements of God’s Word are plain. Plant your feet firmly on the platform of eternal truth. Reject every phase of error, even though it be covered with a semblance of reality.” The Review and Herald, August 31, 1905.

“By earnest, Christlike efforts, men will be convicted and converted, and God will speak pardon to them. Let no one turn away a soul who leaves the service of Satan and asks Jesus for pardon. ‘Of some have compassion, making a difference.’ [Jude 22.] When they give evidence that the Spirit of God is striving with them present to them every encouragement for entering the Lord’s service. Do not discourage them by indifference, by drawing away from them with an air of, ‘I am holier than thou.’ [Isaiah. 65:5.]” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 97.

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

Recipe – Vegetarian Minestrone Soup for a Crowd

2 onions, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

4 carrots, cut in rounds

1 small cabbage, shredded

1-2 potatoes, chopped

2 cups kidney beans (canned)

4 cups stewed tomatoes

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp oregano

4 tsp basil

3 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 Tbsp dried parsley

8 cups water

Saute the first 5 ingredients in ¼ cup oil (optional, may use water) in very large stock pot. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; add 1 cup noodles or cooked rice. Boil for 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, add pesto: Mince 6 garlic cloves very fine or use press. Add 2 Tbsp. dried basil, then ¼ cup oil; mix well rubbing garlic well against side of bowl to get juices in oil.

Food – The Heart

The heart is an amazing organ. For perfect circulation, a strong heart is needed to pump blood to every organ and cell of the body. To support heart vitality, an understanding of its physiology is necessary. “Since the mind and the soul find expression through the body, both mental and spiritual vigor are in great degree dependent upon physical strength and activity; whatever promotes physical health, promotes the development of a strong mind and a well-balanced character. Without health, no one can as distinctly understand or as completely fulfill his obligations to himself, to his fellow beings, or to his Creator. Therefore the health should be as faithfully guarded as the character. A knowledge of physiology and hygiene should be the basis of all educational effort.” Child Guidance, 360, 361.

To understand the heart we need to look at its structure. The heart is located below the ribs and in the middle left side of the chest and is approximately the size of each individual’s doubled up fist. The heart, a sophisticated pump, pumps about 100,000 times moving approximately 7,000 quarts of blood per day. Exercise can increase the output up to 6 times. The pumping phase is 1/3 and the resting phase is 2/3 of the heart cycle. The heart has 4 chambers comprising 2 sets of pumps, one pumping blood to the lungs and the other larger pump, sending blood to the body. The pump is assisted in its function by 4 valves that prevent blood from leaking backward during the pumping and resting phases. The pumping action is initiated by electrical pacemakers and pathways that carry the signal to all parts of the heart.

Arteries, capillaries, and veins compose a system of tubes that carry the pumped blood to the body. The arteries and veins have an outer tissue covering, a muscular layer, and an inner layer. The muscular layer is much thicker in the arteries which carry oxygen rich blood from the heart than in the veins which carry oxygen poor blood back to the heart. The capillaries, located between the arteries and veins are very small, thin tubes which allow the oxygen, nutrients, and waste products to exit and enter the tubes. This complex system of tubes is called the circulatory system. Although all arteries are important, the coronary arteries which carry blood to the heart are critical. If the heart muscle does not have a rich supply of blood, it is damaged, and its ability to function is hindered. There are about 100,000 miles of tubes in our circulatory system and it takes only 15-20 seconds for the blood to go through this entire system. “Perfect health depends upon perfect circulation.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 89.

According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, heart disease is the number one worldwide killer of adults. It is responsible for 40 percent of all deaths in the United States, more than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease is closely related to lifestyle decisions (diet, smoking, obesity, sedentary and stressful lifestyle) and other factors (family history, blood pressure, age, sex, and diabetes).

Prevention of heart disease is far better than needing treatment so choose a lifestyle to promote a healthy heart by forming healthy habits and teaching them to our families. Is it any wonder that the Lord says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23.

Children’s Story – Maggie and Her Lost Cat

Maggie had eight cats that she loved very much. She didn’t have many friends, so she thought of her cats as her friends. They were very special to her, and she would often spend time playing with them.

One day while she was outside feeding them she noticed one was missing. Buddy, one of her favorite cats, was gone! Maggie loved to hold him and play with him. She thought that he might be nearby, so she called for him, “Kitty, kitty, kitty,” but he didn’t come. She started to worry and after she had prayed for Jesus to help her find him, she started looking.

She searched everywhere she could think of, all over the yard, in small places and large places. She looked in a shed and in her playhouse too, but there was no sign of Buddy. Maggie had to go off to school, but she prayed the whole day for him to come home.

After school the search was on again but there was no sign of Buddy. Maggie’s parents went with her to enquire of the neighbors nearby, but no one had seen him. Maggie was so sad that he was gone, but it was getting too dark to keep searching. That night Maggie read a verse out of her Bible, and it said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matthew 7:7.

She was much happier now and had hope. She trusted that Jesus would help her. She had done all she could do and now would wait for Jesus to answer her prayer in His time. Seven days had passed and Maggie still prayed and hoped that Buddy would come home. She trusted Jesus and she called for Buddy every day.

It was getting darker outside on the eighth day and she knew she needed to go inside but decided to take one more look before retiring for the night. She looked in a nearby shed. No Buddy!

As she started walking back to the house she heard the faint meow. Her heart filled with joy and as she walked closer to the food bowl she saw that it was he. Buddy had come home! She was so happy, and hugged him so tight and immediately prayed and thanked Jesus for the wonderful miracle of bringing Buddy home!

Buddy had a hurt leg and tail, and he was very skinny, but now he was safe at home! As Maggie grew older, she often wondered where Buddy had gone and why Jesus wanted her to wait so long for him to come home. Maybe it was a lesson for her to learn to trust Jesus and to have faith in Him, and to learn patience.

Jesus is the good Shepherd. (John 10:14.) Jesus looks for His lost sheep to bring them home to Him. It says in the Bible, “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?” Luke 15:4.

Just as the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to look for the one sheep that is lost, Jesus looks for us if we are lost, or fallen into some trap that Satan has set. Jesus calls and searches for us until He finds us and brings us home again safely!

We need to trust Jesus and to be like Him. We need to be witnesses for Jesus and search for the sheep that are lost. These lost sheep are the people who may not know of Him and His love. Maggie was so happy when Buddy was safely back home in her care. How much more would Jesus be to have his lost children back home safely in His care again.

Danielle Gerber is 16 years old. She loves animals and currently has 2 birds, 4 cats, 8 dogs, and 1 horse. She lives in a small town in Nebraska and works with her parents raising Golden Retrievers, mostly taking care of the puppies. She loves to write for the Lord. Thank you Danielle for this lovely story.

Health – Are You Breathing?

One can live for many days without food and for several days without any liquid, but within a few minutes without air and you run out of life.

We do not stop to think very often about the first thing Adam did when the Lord breathed into his nostrils. Of course, he breathed! What a most wonderful thing. The first thing we do when we come bouncing into this world is to catch that first breath of air. God gives us the breath of life. Unfortunately, the majority of us take the gift of breathing for granted and forget that we belong to God and that our breath belongs to Him, the One who created us.

Sometimes we bind ourselves up so tight in our clothes that we cannot inhale. “When the waist is compressed, the circulation of the blood is impeded, and the internal organs, cramped and crowded out of place, cannot perform their work properly. It is impossible, under such circumstances, to take a full inspiration. Thus the pernicious habit of breathing only with the upper part of the lungs is formed, and feebleness and disease are often the result.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 88.

Some years ago suspenders came in “style” for a little while. I rushed down to get a couple of them to use with my skirts. I thought they really looked cool. One of the best things about them was that I could breathe easily and they were also fashionable. But then, as suddenly as they came in, they went right back out. Fashion took preeminence and most of us wanted to look smart instead of being able to breathe more comfortably. So we all went back to belts and our breathing again began to be suffocated. A few years ago Ellen White wrote the following:

“But the teacher should impress upon his pupils the importance of deep breathing. Show how the healthy action of the respiratory organs, assisting the circulation of the blood, invigorates the whole system, excites the appetite, promotes digestion, and induces sound, sweet sleep, thus not only refreshing the body, but soothing and tranquilizing the mind. And while the importance of deep breathing is shown, the practice should be insisted upon. Let exercises be given which will promote this, and see that the habit becomes established. ” Child Guidance 365.

Let’s perform a little experiment. Fasten a candle to the end of a wire and light it and then lower it to the bottom of a wide mouth quart jar. Place the cover on the top of the jar and wait to see the result. Soon the candle will burn dimly and in a short time the light will completely go out. This is similar to what happens to our breathing when our lungs are suffocated by tight clothing. Our bodies need lots of fresh air to function properly just the same as the candle needs fresh air to burn.

If you put a little animal into a jar and cover it, its life would go out just as the light of the candle. A child shut up in a close place would die from the same cause in a very little time. In fact, many children are dying every day for want of a sufficient supply of pure air.

Air contains oxygen, and it is the oxygen in the air which is necessary for the candle or wood to burn and produce heat. So it is the oxygen that burns in our bodies and keeps us warm. When wood is burned, heat is produced; but some parts of the fuel are not made into heat. While the fire burns, smoke escapes through the pipe or chimney and a part of the fuel remains in the stove in the form of ashes. Smoke and ashes are the waste parts of the fuel.

The burning which takes place in our bodies produces something similar to the smoke and ashes produced by the fire in a stove. The smoke is called carbonic acid gas, an invisible vapor, and escapes through the lungs. The ashes are various waste and poisonous matters which are formed in all parts of the body. These waste matters are carried out of the body though the skin, the kidneys, the liver, and other organs.

We cannot see the gas escape from our lungs, but we must breathe to get rid of the carbonic acid gas, which is brought to the lungs by the blood to be exchanged for oxygen. Breathing has two functions: to obtain oxygen, and to get rid of carbonic acid gas.

If you were to watch a frog breathe you will notice that the frog has a very curious way of breathing. He comes to the top of the water, puts his nose out a little, and then drinks the air. You can watch his throat and see him swallowing the air, one mouthful at a time just as you would drink water.

We do not drink air as the frog does, but like the frog, we have an air bag in our bodies. Our air bag has to be emptied and filled so often that we cannot live under water as long as a frog does. We call this air bag, lungs. We need so much air and have to change the air in our lungs so often that we would not have time to swallow it as a frog does.

So how do we use these lungs? When we are about to take a long breath, the muscles pull upon the sides of the chest in such a way as to draw them apart. At the same time the diaphragm draws itself downward. By these means, the cavity of the chest is made larger and air rushes in through the nose or mouth to fill the space. When the muscles stop pulling, the walls of the chest fall back again to their usual position, and the diaphragm rises. The cavity of the chest then becomes smaller and the air is forced out through the nose or mouth. This process is repeated every time we breathe.

We breathe once for every four heart beats and this is about eighteen to twenty times each minute. Every time we breathe we take into our lungs about two-thirds pint of air and breathe out the same. Our lungs can hold much more. After he has taken a full breath, a man can breathe out a gallon of air, or more than ten times the usual amount. After he has breathed out all he can there is still almost half a gallon of air in his lungs which he cannot breathe out. Our lungs hold almost one and a half gallons of air.

Why has God given us so much room in our lungs? Try running up and down the stairs three or four times and you will see why we need extra lung room. It is because when we exercise vigorously the heart works very much faster and beats harder, causing us to breathe much faster and fuller to enable the lungs to purify the blood as fast as the heart pumps it into them.

Besides carbonic acid gas, the air which we breathe out also contains other invisible poisons. These poisons make the air of a crowded or unventilated room smell very unpleasant to one who just comes in from the fresh air. This air is unfit to breathe.

“The effects produced by living in close, ill-ventilated rooms are these: The system becomes weak and unhealthy, the circulation is depressed, the blood moves sluggishly through the system because it is not purified and vitalized by the pure, invigorating air of heaven. The mind becomes depressed and gloomy, while the whole system is enervated; and fevers and other acute diseases are liable to be generated. … The system is peculiarly sensitive to the influence of cold. A slight exposure produces serious diseases.” Healthful Living, 61.

Did you know that the carbonic acid gas which is so poisonous to us is one of the most necessary foods for plants? Plants take in carbonic acid gas through their leaves, and send the oxygen back into the air ready for us to use again.

All of this shows how fearfully and wonderfully we are made. So we need to breathe deeply and breathe fresh air for air is also God’s medicine for us, just as much as food is. The lungs should be allowed the greatest freedom possible.

Loosen up and breathe! Open your windows and breathe! Stand up straight and breathe. Sit up straight and breathe. Walk and breathe. Breathe deep and let your body live. Superficial breathing does not give life. Stomach, liver, lungs, and brain are suffering for want of deep, full inspirations of air.

“The whole body is designed for action; and unless the physical powers are kept in health by active exercise, the mental powers cannot long be used to their highest capacity. The physical inaction which seems almost inevitable in the schoolroom—together with other unhealthful conditions—makes it a trying place for children, especially for those of feeble constitution. Often the ventilation is insufficient. Ill-formed seats encourage unnatural positions, thus cramping the action of the lungs and the heart. Here little children have to spend from three to five hours a day, breathing air that is laden with impurity and perhaps infected with the germs of disease. No wonder that in the schoolroom the foundation of lifelong illness is so often laid. The brain, the most delicate of all the physical organs, and that from which the nervous energy of the whole system is derived, suffers the greatest injury. By being forced into premature or excessive activity, and this under unhealthful conditions, it is enfeebled, and often the evil results are permanent.” Education, 207, 208.

Q&A – Have the Angels let go Four Winds of Strife and are they now blowing?

Winds denote strife, confusion, and destruction and we have certainly experienced much of that; however, Jesus Himself prophesied that these things would take place before He returns. He said, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these [are] the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7, 8.

Daniel saw these winds blowing on the great sea. He said, “I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” Daniel 7:2. The angels of heaven have been holding the winds of strife in check all through the centuries. They will continue to hold until Christ’s work in the Most Holy Place is completed and probation is closed.

Ellen White makes an interesting comment about the angels controlling these winds: “I asked my accompanying angel the meaning of what I heard, and what the four angels were about to do. He said to me that it was God that restrained the powers, and that He gave His angels charge over things on the earth; that the four angels had power from God to hold the four winds, and that they were about to let them go; but while their hands were loosening, and the four winds were about to blow, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not sealed, and He raised His hands to the Father, and pleaded with Him that He had spilled His blood for them. Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels, and bid them hold, until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads.” Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 102.

Here it states that the four winds, which the four angels are holding back, are not to be let loose until God’s people are sealed. In Revelation 7:3, we read, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”

In the Testimonies we read, “Men cannot discern the sentinel angels restraining the four winds that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed; but when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 408.

“When He leaves the sanctuary, darkness covers the inhabitants of the earth. In that fearful time the righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. … As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.” The Great Controversy, 614.

It might be well for us to stop and consider what the sealing is all about. God is going to have a group of people from this earth in these last days who are finished with sin and sealed for eternity, while the rest of the inhabitants of the world are involved in such a scene of strife as no pen can describe. These sealed ones will never sin again. They are sealed in the righteousness of Christ. They are ready for Jesus to come and take them to the Holy City.

If you have a Bible question you wish to have answered, please e-mail it to: