Bible Study Guides – Bread from Heaven

November 22 – 28, 2020

Key Text

“And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan” (Exodus 16:35).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 294–297.


“For forty years they [the Israelites] were daily reminded by this miraculous provision, of God’s unfailing care and tender love. In the words of the psalmist, God gave them ‘of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food’ (Psalm 78:24, 25)—that is, food provided for them by the angels.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 297.



1.a. Why did the Israelites again murmur when they came to the wilderness of Sin? Exodus 16:1–3.

Note: “They had not as yet suffered from hunger; their present wants were supplied, but they feared for the future. They could not understand how these vast multitudes were to subsist in their travels through the wilderness, and in imagination they saw their children famishing. The Lord permitted difficulties to surround them, and their supply of food to be cut short, that their hearts might turn to Him who had hitherto been their Deliverer. If in their want they would call upon Him, He would still grant them manifest tokens of His love and care. He had promised that if they would obey His commandments, no disease should come upon them, and it was sinful unbelief on their part to anticipate that they or their children might die of hunger. …

“They saw and felt only their present inconveniences and trials; and instead of saying, ‘God has done great things for us; whereas we were slaves, He is making of us a great nation,’ they talked of the hardness of the way, and wondered when their weary pilgrimage would end.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 292, 293.



2.a. What did the Lord provide, and how did He test the people in the supply of their daily provisions? Exodus 16:4, 5.

2.b. What was the response of Moses and Aaron to the unreasonable murmurings of the people? Exodus 16:6–10.

Note: “Moses assured the congregation that their wants were to be supplied: ‘The Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full’ (Exodus 16:8). And he added, ‘What are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.’ He further bade Aaron say to them, ‘Come near before the Lord: for He hath heard your murmurings’ (verse 9). While Aaron was speaking, ‘they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud’ (verse 10). A splendor such as they had never witnessed symbolized the divine Presence. Through manifestations addressed to their senses, they were to obtain a knowledge of God. They must be taught that the Most High, and not merely the man Moses, was their leader, that they might fear His name and obey His voice.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 294, 295.

2.c. What promises do we have regarding our provisions of food today? Philippians 4:19; Psalm 37:25. How can we be like the murmuring children of Israel in this regard?

Note: “Though their present needs are supplied, many are unwilling to trust God for the future, and they are in constant anxiety lest poverty shall come upon them, and their children shall be left to suffer. Some are always anticipating evil or magnifying the difficulties that really exist, so that their eyes are blinded to the many blessings which demand their gratitude. The obstacles they encounter, instead of leading them to seek help from God, the only Source of strength, separate them from Him, because they awaken unrest and repining.

“No place should be given to that distrust of God which leads us to make a preparation against future want the chief pursuit of life, as though our happiness consisted in these earthly things. It is not the will of God that His people should be weighed down with care.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 293, 294.



3.a. What kind of food did the Lord supply to the Israelites in the evening and in the morning on one occasion and later for one month? Exodus 16:11–15. Why was God so particular in the type of food He supplied for them?

Note: “If the Israelites had been given the diet to which they had been accustomed while in Egypt, they would have exhibited the unmanageable spirit that the world is exhibiting today. In the diet of men and women in this age there are included many things that the Lord would not have permitted the children of Israel to eat. The human family as it is today is an illustration of what the children of Israel would have been if God had allowed them to eat the food and follow the habits and customs of the Egyptians.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1102.

“In Egypt their taste had become perverted. God designed to restore their appetite to a pure, healthy state, in order that they might enjoy the simple fruits that were given to Adam and Eve in Eden. He was about to establish them in a second Eden, a goodly land, where they might enjoy the fruits and grains that He would provide for them. He purposed to remove the feverish diet upon which they had subsisted in Egypt; for He wished them to be in perfect health and soundness when they entered the goodly land to which He was leading them, so that the surrounding heathen nations might be constrained to glorify the God of Israel, the God who had done so wonderful a work for His people. Unless the people who acknowledged Him as the God of heaven were in perfect soundness of health, His name could not be glorified.” Ibid.

3.b.      Describe the manna and how it was to be prepared. Exodus 16:31; Numbers 11:7, 8.

Note: “In the morning there lay upon the surface of the ground ‘a small round thing, as small as the hoarfrost’ (Exodus 16:14). ‘It was like coriander seed, white’ (verse 31). The people called it ‘manna.’ Moses said, ‘This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat’ (verse 15, last part). The people gathered the manna, and found that there was an abundant supply for all. They ‘ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it’ (Numbers 11:8). ‘And the taste of it was like wafers made with honey’ (Exodus 16:31).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 295.



4.a. What directions did the people receive for gathering manna? Exodus 16:16–26. How did the manna illustrate the necessity of Sabbath observance before the giving of the law at Sinai?

Note: “Every week during their long sojourn in the wilderness the Israelites witnessed a threefold miracle, designed to impress their minds with the sacredness of the Sabbath: a double quantity of manna fell on the sixth day, none on the seventh, and the portion needed for the Sabbath was preserved sweet and pure, when if any were kept over at any other time it became unfit for use.

“In the circumstances connected with the giving of the manna, we have conclusive evidence that the Sabbath was not instituted, as many claim, when the law was given at Sinai. Before the Israelites came to Sinai they understood the Sabbath to be obligatory upon them. In being obliged to gather every Friday a double portion of manna in preparation for the Sabbath, when none would fall, the sacred nature of the day of rest was continually impressed upon them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 296.

4.b.      How long did the daily supply of manna last? Exodus 16:35. Why did God remove it?

Note: “ ‘On the fourteenth day of the month at even’ (Exodus 12:18), the Passover was celebrated on the plains of Jericho. ‘And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the Passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan’ (Joshua 5:11, 12). The long years of their desert wanderings were ended. The feet of Israel were at last treading the Promised Land.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 486.

4.c. Why was a pot of manna kept in the ark of the covenant? Exodus 16:32, 33; Hebrews 9:4.



5.a. What is the manna that we are to gather and eat today? Jeremiah 15:16; John 6:63, second part. How often do we need to do this?

Note: “His [God’s] words are the manna from heaven for the soul to feed upon and receive spiritual strength. The Bible is the great standard of right and wrong, clearly defining sin and holiness. Its living principles, running through our lives like threads of gold, are our only safeguard in trial and temptation.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 422.

“Each must come to Christ with his own soul hunger, each must have his own convictions, feel his own soul’s need, and learn of Christ for himself.

“Filled with the Bread of Life, we cannot hunger for earthly attractions, worldly excitements, and earthly grandeur. Our religious experience will be of the same order as the food upon which we feed.

“The food we eat at one meal does not satisfy us forever. We must daily partake of food. So we must daily eat the Word of God that the life of the soul may be renewed. In those who feed constantly upon the Word, Christ is formed, the hope of glory. A neglect to read and study the Bible brings spiritual starvation.” Our High Calling, 209.



  1. What kinds of things did the children of Israel complain about? How did this reveal a lack of faith?
  2. What am I forgetting when I focus on the difficulties and the evil around me?
  3. What happens when I eat the food and follow the customs of Egypt? Why should I be so concerned about being healthy?
  4. How did the supply of manna impress upon God’s people the sacredness of the Sabbath?
  5. As I fill myself with the Bread of Life, through the study of the Word, what will happen to me? Why is it so important for me to eat this Bread every day?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Health – Are World Pandemics Inevitable?

The year 2020 will be recorded in history books as the year of the global Coronavirus pandemic. It is not the first pandemic the world has experienced, but consequences of pandemics are more disastrous today because of easy global travel.

Are such pandemics inevitable? While we may never find the exact origin of the 2020 pandemic, most pandemics in recent decades, if not centuries, seem to have a common denominator – they are zoonotic infections, i.e., viruses transmitted from animals to humans. The origins are not from just any animals, they are from the kind that we shouldn’t handle in the first place, let alone kill them for food. These pandemics happen as a result of direct violation of dietary and hygienic principles laid out in Leviticus 11.

When reading the book of Leviticus, one is in awe of the knowledge people had thousands of years ago. Yet here we are in the 21st century and we violate the basic rules of health left and right.

People point to some Asian countries with wet markets, which are breeding grounds for diseases of all kinds. True, the torture and slaughter of animals we shouldn’t even touch are happening there on a large scale. May these horrific places be a warning for our own violations of biblical health principles.

The Bible is very specific on how to avoid animal-borne diseases:

Land Animals

The beginning of Leviticus 11 clearly states which animals God allowed to be consumed: “You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud” (Leviticus 11:3 NIV). The following verses clarify that both of these requirements are to be met, not just one. There are animals that have split hooves such as the pig, but it does not chew cud. And vice versa; there are animals that do chew cud, but do not have split hooves such as rabbit. Animals who do not meet these two requirements are declared unclean and unfit for human consumption. Their carcasses are not to be touched.

Water Animals

“Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales” (Leviticus 11:9 NIV). The same rules apply as in land animals: creatures that do not meet both requirements are not to be consumed and their carcasses not to be handled.


Consumption of all vulture birds is forbidden. Eagles, kites, gulls, ravens, owls, bats – all these are specifically named in the Bible as unclean (verses 13–19).


We are forbidden to consume all flying and crawling insects. Some may be surprised that consumption of some insects is permitted. The rule: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground, such as the grasshopper (verses 20–23).

Biblical Rules on Handling Animals

There may be situations when people have to remove or handle a carcass of a dead animal. Whether the animal meets the definition of clean or unclean, in such case the person is to wash himself and his clothes and should quarantine himself for the rest of the day. This hygienic rule is not taken from any modern brochure on hygiene. It was recorded thousands of years ago in Leviticus 11:24.
Should any live animal categorized as unclean touch any object that people use, such object is to be thoroughly washed and is not to be used until the next day. The book of Leviticus specifically mentions rats and snakes. The biblical counsel goes to such details as clay pots. These can’t be properly cleaned because of their porous nature. Such pots are to be destroyed if any unclean animal touches them. Any food that has come into contact with such a pot or animal is to be discarded (verses 29–35).

What more to add? These rules are so simple, yet most world inhabitants ignore them despite the fact that we have had this knowledge for millennia. We could have avoided the majority of diseases and pandemics if we stuck to these principles. Further chapters of Leviticus 12–15 provide simple principles on how to prevent contamination and infecting others if someone does get sick. These are very simple rules, yet we prefer to ignore them as well.

Most Christians eat creatures that the Bible explicitly forbids to consume. Just to name a few: pigs, shellfish, rabbits, lobsters, crabs, and all kinds of unclean fish (Leviticus 11;5–11). Nothing is off limit, depending on the particular culture of a country.

Christendom had to invent excuses why these principles are no longer binding. A common excuse is that these rules were only for the Jews. If these rules are for our health protection, does the Jewish population have a weaker immune system or perhaps some superior digestive system? It’s simple biology, not religion. All races of people are biologically prone to the same infections and diseases.

These unclean animals have a very important role in nature. They keep the environment clean, which prevents the spread of infections and viruses. While doing this dirty job, these animals carry all kinds of viruses for which they’re equipped. Subsequently these viruses don’t hurt them. By God’s design, these animals are not to come into direct contact with humans, let alone butchered and consumed! Once we violate this God-given principle, we can expect to be afflicted with diseases that our body is not designed to handle.

On land we often think of vultures as the cleaning crew. Think also about the seas. How does the ocean maintain its sparkling-clean water if large animals die and pollute it with digestive waste? Most oceans aren’t sparking clean anymore because we humans have dumped thousands of tons of garbage there. But the ocean is equipped with a self-cleaning mechanism to clean up its own carcasses and animal waste. There are creatures on the bottom of the ocean floor cleaning up everything that falls down. These cleaning crews can be animals as large as sharks or as tiny as shellfish. These animals are not to be consumed because they’re toxic. Shellfish are particularly very toxic. Even people who are used to consuming them often get sick. All restaurants in the United States have a mandatory warning on their menus: “Consuming raw seafood may increase the risk of food-borne illness.” These animals are clearly categorized as unclean in the Bible and unfit for human consumption. If we violate these Biblical dietary guidelines, disease will prevail.

Many people have in-home pets such as dogs or cats. These animals are categorized as unclean in the Bible. Despite thousands of years of domestication, they maintain their original nature and can carry dangerous pathogens. Therefore, we immunize and treat them for all kinds of infestations. We also don’t consume them in the western culture. Yet still, not everyone can keep a cat or dog at home. Some people develop health complications if in close proximity to them.

Especially in third world countries, large populations have parasites. How does it happen? They consume home-grown pigs who have been raised without drugs. The locals proudly say that their pork is better because it’s organic. Little do they know that such meat is far more dangerous for human consumption than pork from commercial farms. These naturally grown pigs are full of pathogens and parasites that easily transfer to humans via pork consumption. Entire villages are malnourished, not for lack of food, but because of the presence of parasites in their systems. Many people die once these parasites get into their brain. Entire populations in many sophisticated Latin-American cities are encouraged to de-parasite themselves on a regular basis. These are often wealthy, educated people, yet somehow consuming pork seems natural to them, even while being aware of the risks and being prescribed regular de-parasitation.

Despite being chemically treated, the domesticated pig still maintains its nature and easily consumes its own waste! No matter the chemical treatment, pork has to be cooked at high temperature to prevent health problems in humans. It is dangerous to consume pork, especially when undercooked. Yet most people think nothing of consuming pork chops, pork loin, bacon, or pork ribs.

It should be obvious that God gave these health laws to His people to keep them healthy, not just in their wilderness wanderings, but for all time. Note that these laws were given long before God’s people were called Jews. They were simply His chosen people.

Those who claim to be modern Israel today are “His people” in a special sense. As such, these health laws apply to them as well.

The question is, Are we observing them as God intended? If not, we must suffer the consequences.

The Sabbath – A Delight

“There is need of a Sabbath reform among us, who profess to observe God’s holy rest day.” Evangelism, 245.

Preparation for the Sabbath–What preparations in our homes should be done before the Sabbath?

“On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness, and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked, and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule, you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. . . . Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Child Guidance, 528.

“All preparation should be made, every stitch taken, on the six working days; all cooking for the Sabbath should be done on the preparation day. . . . The commandment is, `Bake that which ye will bake to-day, and seethe that ye will seethe, for to-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath.’ That day is not to be given to the cooking of food.” Lake Union Herald, April 14, 1909.

When should all ordinary work be completed?

“Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight.” The Faith I Live By, 34.

“We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 356.

What are employers responsible to do for their employees on the preparation day?

“Whenever it is possible, employers should give their workers the hours from Friday noon until the beginning of the Sabbath. Give them time for preparation, that they may welcome the Lord’s day with quietness of mind. By such a course you will suffer no loss even in temporal things.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 356.

What other type of preparation is needed before the Sabbath?

“There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, `confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another.’ ” The Faith I Live By, 34.

How should families spend the opening of the Sabbath hours?

“Before the setting of the sun let the members of the family assemble to read God’s word, to sing and pray. There is need of reform here, for many have been remiss. We need to confess to God and to one another. We should begin anew to make special arrangements that every member of the family may be prepared to honor the day which God has blessed and sanctified.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 356, 357.

Behavior Upon the Sabbath–What should our attitude and behavior be when we are in the house of God?

“Humility and reverence should characterize the deportment of all who come into the presence of God. In the name of Jesus we may come before Him with confidence, but we must not approach Him with the boldness of presumption, as though He were on a level with ourselves. There are those who address the great and all-powerful and holy God, who dwelleth in light unapproachable, as they would address an equal, or even an inferior. There are those who conduct themselves in His house as they would not presume to do in the audience chamber of an earthly ruler. These should remember that they are in His sight whom seraphim adore, before whom angels veil their faces. God is greatly to be reverenced; all who truly realize His presence will bow in humility before Him, and, like Jacob beholding the vision of God, they will cry out, `How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.'” Patriarchs and Prophets, 252.

“When the worshipers enter the place of meeting, they should do so with decorum, passing quietly to their seats. . . .Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service. Ardent, active piety should characterize the worshipers.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 492.

“When the word is spoken, you should remember, brethren, that you are listening to the voice of God through His delegated servant. Listen attentively. Sleep not for one instant, because by this slumber you may lose the very words that you need most-the very words which, if heeded, would save your feet from straying into wrong paths. Satan and his angels are busy creating a paralyzed condition of the senses so that cautions, warnings, and reproofs shall not be heard; or if heard, that they shall not take effect upon the heart and reform the life. Sometimes a little child may so attract the attention of the hearers that the precious seed does not fall into good ground and bring forth fruit.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 493.

Can God be dishonored by our children’s behavior in the house of God?

“The house of God is desecrated and the Sabbath violated by Sabbath believers’ children. They run about the house, play, talk, and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where the saints have met together to glorify God and to worship Him in the beauty of holiness. The place that should be holy, where a holy stillness should reign, and where there should be perfect order, neatness, and humility, is made to be a perfect Babylon and a place where confusion, disorder, and untidiness reign. This is enough to shut out God from our assemblies and cause His wrath to be kindled, that He will not be pleased to go out with the armies of Israel to battle against our enemies.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 257.

Does all of the Sabbath need to be spent in meetings?

“In order to keep the Sabbath holy, it is not necessary that we enclose ourselves in walls, shut away from the beautiful scenes of nature and from the free, invigorating air of heaven. We should in no case allow burdens and business transactions to divert our minds upon the Sabbath of the Lord, which He has sanctified. We should not allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character even. But the mind cannot be refreshed, enlivened, and elevated by being confined nearly all the Sabbath hours within walls, listening to long sermons and tedious, formal prayers. The Sabbath of the Lord is put to a wrong use if thus celebrated. The object for which it was instituted is not attained. The Sabbath was made for man, to be a blessing to him by calling his mind from secular labor to contemplate the goodness and glory of God. It is necessary that the people of God assemble to talk of Him, to interchange thoughts and ideas in regard to the truths contained in His word, and to devote a portion of time to appropriate prayer. But these seasons, even upon the Sabbath, should not be made tedious by their length and lack of interest.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 583.

“The Sabbath was made to be a blessing to man, by calling his mind from secular labor to contemplate the goodness and glory of God. It is necessary that the people of God assemble statedly for His worship, to interchange thoughts in regard to the truths of His word, and to devote a portion of time to prayer. But these seasons, even upon the Sabbath, should not be made tedious by their length and lack of interest. During a portion of the day, all should have an opportunity to be out-of-doors.” The Signs of the Times, May 20, 1886.

Upon whom should our thoughts and speech be focused on the Sabbath?

“When you are speaking of your hope in God, of Jesus and of His soon coming, and of the beauties of the New Earth, you are not speaking your own words. Of these things you may freely speak on the Sabbath. On six days you may talk of business matters, and lay plans that are necessary; but the Sabbath is holy time, and all worldly thoughts must, on that day, be dismissed from the mind. The blessing of God will then rest upon you, and you will have the sweet consolations of His Spirit, and you will also have confidence when you approach the throne of grace.” The Youth’s Instructor, February 1, 1853.

Where should our thoughts be on the Sabbath?

“Those who discuss business matters or lay plans on the Sabbath are regarded by God as though engaged in the actual transaction of business. To keep the Sabbath holy, we should not even allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character. And the commandment includes all within our gates. The inmates of the house are to lay aside their worldly business during the sacred hours. All should unite to honor God by willing service upon His holy day.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307, 308.

“The human agent cannot afford to lose these blessings by dishonoring God in their loose habits and practices. This is a day of meditation and of closely examining our own spiritual condition before God. `Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.’ On that day have no loose, cheap, common talk.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 295.

“God requires not only that we refrain from physical labor upon the Sabbath, but that the mind be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. By conversing upon worldly things, or by engaging in light and trifling conversation, we virtually transgress the fourth commandment. Talking upon anything or everything which may come into the mind, is speaking our own words. Every deviation from right brings us into bondage and condemnation.” Gospel Workers, 207, 208.

Are we to leave our worldly occupations on the Sabbath?

“The Sabbath is not intended to be a period of useless inactivity. The law forbids secular labor on the rest day of the Lord; the toil that gains a livelihood must cease; no labor for worldly pleasure or profit is lawful upon that day; but as God ceased His labor of creating, and rested upon the Sabbath and blessed it, so man is to leave the occupations of his daily life, and devote those sacred hours to healthful rest, to worship, and to holy deeds.” Desire of Ages, 207.

“God has given men six days wherein to labor, and He requires that their own work be done in the six working days. Acts of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath, the sick and suffering are at all times to be cared for; but unnecessary labor is to be strictly avoided.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307.

When is it necessary that some labor be done upon the Sabbath?

“There are cases in which Christ has given permission to labor even on the Sabbath in saving the life of men or of animals. But if we violate the letter of the fourth commandment for our own advantage from a pecuniary point of view we become Sabbathbreakers and are guilty of transgressing all the commandments, for if we offend in one point we are guilty of all.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 531.

“Your neglect to attend the public worship of God is a serious error. The privileges of divine service will be as beneficial to you as to others and are fully as essential. You may be unable to avail yourself of these privileges as often as do many others. You will frequently be called, upon the Sabbath, to visit the sick, and may be obliged to make it a day of exhausting labor. Such labor to relieve the suffering was pronounced by our Saviour a work of mercy and no violation of the Sabbath. But when you regularly devote your Sabbaths to writing or labor, making no special change, you harm your own soul, give to others an example that is not worthy of imitation, and do not honor God.” Counsels on Health, 368.

Is the Sabbath to be spent sleeping?

“None should feel at liberty to spend sanctified time in an unprofitable manner. It is displeasing to God for Sabbath-keepers to sleep during much of the Sabbath. They dishonor their Creator in so doing, and, by their example, say that the six days are too precious for them to spend in resting. They must make money, although it be by robbing themselves of needed sleep, which they make up by sleeping away holy time. They then excuse themselves by saying, `The Sabbath was given for a day of rest. I will not deprive myself of rest to attend meeting; for I need rest.’ Such make a wrong use of the sanctified day.” Gospel Workers, 208.

How should we be dressed when we come to worship God upon the Sabbath?

“All should be taught to be neat, clean, and orderly in their dress, but not to indulge in that external adorning which is wholly inappropriate for the sanctuary. There should be no display of the apparel; for this encourages irreverence. The attention of the people is often called to this or that fine article of dress, and thus thoughts are intruded that should have no place in the hearts of the worshipers. God is to be the subject of thought, the object of worship; and anything that attracts the mind from the solemn, sacred service is an offense to Him. The parading of bows and ribbons, ruffles and feathers, and gold and silver ornaments is a species of idolatry and is wholly inappropriate for the sacred service of God, where the eye of every worshiper should be single to His glory.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 499

“The ten commandments spoken by Jehovah from Sinai cannot live in the hearts of persons of disorderly, filthy habits. If ancient Israel could not so much as listen to the proclamation of that holy law, unless they had obeyed the injunction of Jehovah, and had cleansed their clothing, how can that sacred law be written upon the hearts of persons who are not cleanly in person, in clothing, or in their houses? It is impossible. Their profession may be as high as Heaven, yet it is not worth a straw. Their influence disgusts unbelievers. Better if they had ever remained outside the ranks of God’s loyal people. The house of God is dishonored by such professors. All who meet upon the Sabbath to worship God should, if possible, have a neat, well-fitting, comely suit to wear in the house of worship. It is a dishonor to the Sabbath, and to God and his house, for those who profess that the Sabbath is the holy of the Lord, and honorable, to wear the same clothing upon the Sabbath that they have worn through the week while laboring upon their farms, when they can obtain other. If there are worthy persons who, with their whole heart would honor the lord of the Sabbath, and the worship of God, and who cannot obtain a change of clothing, let those who are able, donate to such a Sabbath suit, that they may appear in the house of God with cleanly, fitting apparel. A greater uniformity in dress would be pleasing to God. Those who expend means on costly apparel and extra fixings, can by a little self-denial exemplify pure religion, by simplicity of clothing, and then use the means they have usually expended needlessly in aiding some poor brother or sister, whom God loves, to obtain neat and modest apparel.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 474, 475.

Should travel be avoided when possible?

“If we desire the blessing promised to the obedient, we must observe the Sabbath more strictly. I fear that we often travel on this day when it might be avoided. In harmony with the light which the Lord has given in regard to the observance of the Sabbath, we should be more careful about traveling on the boats or cars on this day. In these matters we should set a right example before our children and youth. In order to reach the churches that need our help, and to give them the message that God desires them to hear, it may be necessary for us to travel on the Sabbath; but so far as possible we should secure our tickets and make all necessary arrangements on some other day. When starting on a journey we should make every possible effort to plan so as to avoid reaching our destination on the Sabbath.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 359.

What should Sabbath meals be like?

“We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating befogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many have done more than they think to dishonor God.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 357.

“Cooking on the Sabbath should be avoided; but it is not therefore necessary to eat cold food. In cold weather the food prepared the day before should be heated. And let the meals, however simple, be palatable and attractive. Especially in families where there are children, it is well, on the Sabbath, to provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the family do not have every day.” The Ministry of Healing, 307, 308.

Children and the Sabbath–How should children be taught to think about the Sabbath?

“All who love God should do what they can to make the Sabbath a delight, holy and honorable. They cannot do this by seeking their own pleasure in sinful, forbidden amusements. They can do much to exalt the Sabbath in their families, and make it the most interesting day of the week. We should devote time to interest our children. We can walk out with them in the open air. A change will have a happy influence upon them. We can sit with them in the groves, and in the bright sunshine, and give their restless minds something to feed upon by conversing with them upon the works of God, and inspire them with love and reverence by calling their attention to the beautiful objects in nature. The Sabbath should be made so interesting to our families that its weekly return will be hailed with joy. In no better way can parents exalt and honor the Sabbath than to devise means to impart proper instruction to their families, and to interest them in spiritual things, giving them correct views of the character of God, and what he requires of us, in order to perfect Christian characters and to attain to eternal life. Parents, make the Sabbath a delight, that your children shall look forward to it, and have a welcome in their hearts for it.” Review and Herald, May 30, 1871.

How should parents keep the Sabbath with their children?

“The parents may take their children outdoors to view God in nature. They can be pointed to the blooming flowers and the opening buds, the lofty trees and beautiful spires of grass, and taught that God made all these in six days and rested on the seventh day and hallowed it. Thus the parents may bind up their lessons of instruction to their children, so that when these children look upon the things of nature, they will call to mind the great Creator of them all. Their thoughts will be carried up to nature’s God-back to the creation of our world, when the foundation of the Sabbath was laid, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Such are the lessons to be impressed on the minds of our children.” Child Guidance, 533.

“Parents should not allow their children to be out with others in play or amusement. I have found that on the Sabbath-day many are indifferent, and do not know where their children are or what they are doing. Parents can and should give attention to their children, reading to them the most attractive portions of Bible history, educating them to reverence the Sabbath-day, keeping it according to the commandment. This cannot be done if the parents feel no burden to interest their children. But they can make the Sabbath a delight if they will take the proper course. The children can be interested in good reading or in conversation about the salvation of their souls. But they will have to be educated and trained. The natural heart does not love to think of God, of heaven, or of heavenly things. There must be a continual pressing back of the current of worldliness and inclination to evil, and a letting in of heavenly light. It takes line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.” Review and Herald, April 14, 1885.

What activities are Sabbath-breaking?

“Parents, above everything take care of your children upon the Sabbath. Do not suffer them to violate God’s holy day by playing in the house or out-of-doors. You may just as well break the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it, and when you suffer your children to wander about and suffer them to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbathbreakers.” Review and Herald, September 19, 1854.

Blessings for Sabbath-keepers–What is the promise for those who keep the Sabbath holy?

“All heaven was represented to me as beholding and watching upon the Sabbath those who acknowledge the claims of the fourth commandment and are observing the Sabbath. Angels were marking their interest in, and high regard for, this divine institution. Those who sanctified the Lord God in their hearts by a strictly devotional frame of mind, and who sought to improve the sacred hours in keeping the Sabbath to the best of their ability, and to honor God by calling the Sabbath a delight-these the angels were specially blessing with light and health, and special strength was given them.” The Faith I Live By, 35.

“The Sabbath was God’s sign between Him and His people, and evidence of His kindness, mercy, and love, a token by which His people are distinguished from all false religionists of the world. And God has pledged Himself that He will bless them in their obedience, showing Himself that He is their God, and has taken them into covenant relation with Himself, and that He will fulfill His promise to all that are obedient.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 84.

“Those who will honor the Lord in keeping His Sabbath holy will be blessed of the Lord. There is not more than one in one hundred who do honor to God in keeping His Sabbath from polluting it. The Word of God is not practiced by thousands who profess to be Christians. The looseness of the habits and practices in observing the Sabbath has become a customary thing. God help us to see that great blessings are enfolded in the observance of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 25, 295.

Can God bless those who do not honor His Sabbath?

“God is merciful. His requirements are reasonable, in accordance with the goodness and benevolence of His character. He claims the Sabbath as His own, and will not let His blessing rest upon those who disregard His holy day; yet the Sabbath institution was designed as a blessing to mankind. Man was not made to fit the Sabbath; the Sabbath was made after his creation, to meet the necessities of his nature. The Sabbath should stand before the people in its moral power, answering its original design-to keep in remembrance the living God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. But the Sabbath has been treated with great disrespect. Men have dared to detract from its dignity; they have ventured to remove the sanctity placed upon it by the Creator Himself.” The Signs of the Times, May 13, 1886.

“He will not pass by unnoticed those who crowd upon His Sabbath, and employ time for their own use which belongs to Him. Some professed Sabbath-keepers will intrude upon the Sabbath in doing those things which should have been done previous to the Sabbath. Such may think they gain a little time; but instead of being advantaged by robbing God of holy time, which He has reserved to Himself, they will lose. The Lord will afflict them for their transgression of the fourth commandment; and that time they thought to gain by intruding upon the Sabbath, will prove a curse to them. God’s prospering hand withdrawn, will cause a decrease in all their possessions, instead of an increase. God will surely punish the transgressor.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 259.

The Character of Daniel

It is through the Bible that we learn about God and His work for us and through us. In 1 Corinthians 10:11, we read that the stories of the Bible were recorded as examples for us upon whom the ends of the world are come. One is the stories contained in the book of Daniel. God’s grace and salvation are seen throughout the entire book of Daniel. In the prophetic portion of the book, the history of the world is pictured in dreams and symbols, but equally significant for us are the lessons that we can learn from the development of Daniel’s character, himself. We are told that “The case of Daniel may be studied with profit by all who desire perfection of character.” Signs of the Times, November 5, 1896. With this counsel in mind, let us look at the character traits of Daniel.

In the first chapter of Daniel, seven character traits are described as well as four rewards which were granted to Daniel because of his faithfulness. Let’s see what we can learn by studying the character of Daniel in relationship to our preparation for the soon appearing of Christ.

Daniel 1:1–2 tells us of the captivity of the children of Israel by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. This was prophesied by God’s prophet in Isaiah 39:3–7. As we research this event in history we learn that over 18,000 people were carried away to Babylon. (See 2 Kings 24:14–16.) Of these 18,000, God was able to chose four as His special messengers to this lost nation of Babylon. Thus the first character trait, seen in Daniel 1:3–7, is that he was chosen. These four young men were chosen because there was something different about their lives and character than the rest of the Israelites. It will be the same with the people of God at the end of the earth. They are a special chosen people who have as their purpose the proclamation of the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14. Just as Daniel chose to follow God, regardless of the cost, so we must make that decision if we will be among the chosen of God.

The second and third character traits can be summarized by the words conviction and commitment. Daniel 1:8 says that “he purposed in his heart the he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.” As a child, Daniel had been raised to know God’s health laws and in this foreign land he had an opportunity to eat and drink as he wanted. So the offer of the King to eat of his meat and wine was a test of Daniel’s personal convictions in the areas of diet, health, and obedience to God’s claims in all areas of his life. Before he took any public stand in regard to his diet, he determined in his own heart that what he had been taught had been truth and he was convicted of his need to remain faithful to God in this area. His next step was to make a public statement of his conviction not to defile himself. What a commitment this was to truth. When Daniel requested that he might not defile himself with the kings diet, the prince of the eunuchs was fearful that the young men would look worse than those who had the privilege of eating the King’s food. He was concerned that allowing the Hebrews to eat and drink according to their custom would make them less fit than the rest of the young men and could thereby endanger his own life.

We might ask ourselves, “Was the matter of diet really important enough to risk their lives?” This is what Ellen White tells us about their decision in regard to diet. “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.” Fundamentals of Education, 81. This makes it extremely clear that our choices in dietary matters can weaken or strengthen our sense of wrong. There is a strong temptation to eat as we desire or to eat according to the customs around us. We do this because it is easier and does not hurt feelings, but the situation of Daniel had much more at stake than hurting feelings. It could have cost him and the prince of the eunuchs their lives. It is therefore clear that we should not conform our dietary decisions or any other of God’s commands to what is customary in the surroundings we find ourselves. Another statement from The Great Controversy makes a similar observation about putting ourselves on common ground with the world. From page 509 we read, “Conformity to worldly customs converts the church to the world, it never converts the world to Christ. Familiarity with sin will inevitably cause it to appear less repulsive. He who chooses to associate with the servants of Satan will soon cease to fear their master. When in the way of duty we are brought into trial, as was Daniel in the Kings court, we may be sure that God will protect us; but if we place ourselves under temptation we shall fall sooner or latter.”

Just as Christ struggled with appetite in the wilderness, so must we. If we are to gain perfection in character, we must overcome in this area of our life. Overcoming appetite is so crucial that Christ fasted for forty days in order to overcome. Through His strength we may be victors not only of appetite, but we may have the moral power to be victorious over every other temptation of Satan. Please note the following, found in Counsels on Diet and Foods, 59: “The controlling power of appetite will prove the ruin of thousands, when, if they had conquered on this point, they would have had moral power to gain the victory over every other temptation of Satan. But those who are slaves to appetite will fail in perfecting Christian character. The continual transgression of man for six thousand years had brought sickness, pain, and death as its fruits. And as we near the close of time, Satan’s temptation to indulge appetite will be more powerful and more difficult to overcome.” Just as Daniel overcame on the point of appetite, so must we, if we are going to stand in these final days as God’s lighthouse to the world.

So, what would become of Daniel’s request to the prince of the eunuchs? Why would the prince of the eunuchs even consider Daniel’s request if it might cost him his life? Part of the reason the prince considered Daniel’s request was because of his fourth character trait, courtesy. Daniel 1:9 tells us that, “God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.” Daniel had indeed gained the respect of the Babylonians, partly because of the courteous and respectful way in which he approached them. He had been taken from his home and was a captive in a strange land, but his courtesy was a daily witness to his captors. In Sanctified Life, 20, 21 we read: “Daniel possessed the grace of genuine meekness. He was true, firm, and noble. He sought to live in peace with all while he was unbending as the lofty cedar whenever principle was involved. In everything that did not come in collision with his allegiance to God, he was respectful and obedient to those who had authority over him, but he had so high a sense of the claims of God that the requirements of earthly rulers were held subordinate. The record of his noble, self denying life is an encouragement to our common humanity. From it we may gather strength to nobly resist temptation and firmly, and in the grace of meekness, stand for the right under the severest trial.”

Daniel’s ability to stand firm based on principle was a result of his fifth character trait, that of confidence in God’s Word. Daniel risked his very life because he had faith in God’s Word. The Bible is full of examples of men and women who have risked everything because of their belief in God’s Word. We may not have been in that position in the past, but each of us may face the same decision Daniel did, some time in the near future. Are we willing to risk all to follow God’s Word? The promise of protection is sure. (See 1 John 4:4, 1 Samuel 2:30, and 2 Peter 1:3–10.)

Because of Daniel’s courtesy and firm stand for principle the head eunuch decided to allow Daniel to have a ten day test of the diet he proposed. (See Daniel 1:10–16.) With confidence in God’s Word, Daniel, for not just the next ten days, but throughout his entire stay in Babylon, displayed his sixth and seventh character traits, courage and consistency. It takes true courage and strength of character, not just a momentary flash of glory, to stand for a lifetime, faithful to our God. Daniel 1:21 says that Daniel “continued.” This kind of courage and consistency, only God can give. Once we take a stand for God, we must, with His help, display consistency in our walk in the truth. Without this our witness will be weak if not even harmful. A quote from Prophets and Kings, 487, 488, brings this home to our heart. It says: “Strong, subtle influences may bind them to the world; but the Lord is able to render futile every agency that works for the defeat of His chosen ones; in His strength they may overcome every temptation, conquer every difficulty. There is need of men who like Daniel will do and dare for the cause of right. Pure hearts, strong hands, fearless courage are needed; for the warfare between vice and virtue calls for ceaseless vigilance.” We must, in our warfare against appetite and every other sin that the Devil brings our way, “stand like Daniel, that faithful statesmen, a man who no temptation could corrupt.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 332.

God never leaves the faithfulness of His children unrewarded. As a result of his obedience, in all areas to God, Daniel experienced rewards that were not shared by the other captives. First, Daniel experienced in his physical being a special impact. He was healthier than those who ate the King’s food. (See Daniel 1:15–16.) His countenance glowed with life and vitality and he had a degree of health that was not experienced by his fellow captives. We too can find health beyond that seen in the world when we follow God’s health laws.

Daniel also experienced an intelligence that was not common among the people around him. (See Daniel 1:17–20.) As we develop our spiritual character and are faithful to follow His requirements for health, God can also bless us with skill in learning. From the Review and Herald, March 22, 1898, this vital link between our spiritual nature and our mental capabilities is emphasized. “As in the case of Daniel, in exact proportion as the spiritual character is developed, the intellectual capabilities are increased.” Daniel 1:17 also states that Daniel had special insight into the meaning of the dreams of the King. He had an understanding and wisdom that only God could give. Finally Daniel was rewarded with a tremendous influence in the country of Babylon. The influence he had in society, and especially with the King, can be seen throughout the rest of the book of Daniel. If these rewards, physical health, intelligence, insight, and influence, were just seen in Daniel, one might say that it was just a coincidence. However, the Bible is full of examples of men and women who, by obeying God, have received similar rewards in their life. One must think of David, Joseph, Queen Esther, Moses, John the Baptist, and Paul. All of these pillars of Bible history were blessed as they obeyed God in their daily lives.

In conclusion, we must, in these closing hours of earth’s history, develop each of these seven character traits if we are going to stand for Jesus during these trying times. God wants us to be His very special chosen people to witness to this world. He wants us to be a people of deep conviction that is based on His word. He wants us to be committed to stand up for our convictions regardless of the circumstances or pressures brought upon us by the world. He wants us to be a courteous people that deal with each other gently and with meekness. He wants us, through study of the Bible and through life’s experiences, to develop firm and unshakable confidence in Him and His Word. Also, He wants us to have courage to privately and publicly stand for principle regardless of the circumstances or costs. Lastly, God wants us to be consistent in our character development and in our Christian walk before Him and the world. The development of these traits is crucial to the perfection of our character and our ability to witness to the power of God.

In Education, 57, we read: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost soul are true and honest, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” I want to develop this kind of character, one that is pleasing to God and is safe for Jesus to take to heaven, where sin will never again exist. We must have each of these seven traits of character. Just as God helped Daniel develop a lovely character, He will be our helper also. May we each strive, in the struggles of our captivity, in this world of “Babylon,” to be ready for the Lord’s soon return to claim His faithful children as His own. May this be not just a desire, but a reality in each of our lives. Let us pray for this experience for ourselves and all those we love in Christ Jesus.

Janet Headrick is a registered nurse, wife, mother and grandmother. She writes from Rago, Kansas.

Remember The Sabbath Day . . . Part II

There must be a reform among God’s people in the observance of Sabbath-keeping.

The Holy Spirit must be allowed to convict us individually of our duty to God, not to man, in keeping His Sabbath. We must raise the standard of God high, exalting the Sabbath to its rightful position.

Ellen White wrote: “The Sabbath is a golden clasp that unites God and His people. But the Sabbath command has been broken. God’s holy day has been desecrated. The Sabbath has been torn from its place by the man of sin, and a common working day has been exalted in its stead. A breach has been made in the law, and this breach is to be repaired. The true Sabbath is to be exalted to its rightful position as God’s rest day.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 351, 352.

“And [they that shall be] of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12.

We must, as a church, restore the waste places—restudy the things once taught us—making sure that we, and what we have been taught, are grounded in the faith once delivered to the saints.

Uplift the Standard

“The Sabbath question is to be the issue in the great final conflict in which all the world will act a part. Men have honored Satan’s principles above the principles that rule in the heavens. They have accepted the spurious sabbath, which Satan has exalted as the sign of his authority. But God has set His seal upon His royal requirement. Each sabbath institution bears the name of its author, an ineffaceable mark that shows the authority of each. It is our work to lead the people to understand this. We are to show them that it is of vital consequence whether they bear the mark of God’s kingdom or the mark of the kingdom of rebellion, for they acknowledge themselves subjects of the kingdom whose mark they bear. God has called us to uplift the standard of His downtrodden Sabbath. How important, then, that our example in Sabbath-keeping should be right.

“In establishing new churches, ministers should give careful instruction as to the proper observance of the Sabbath. We must be guarded, lest the lax practices that prevail among Sunday-keepers shall be followed by those who profess to observe God’s holy rest day. The line of demarcation is to be made clear and distinct between those who bear the mark of God’s kingdom and those who bear the sign of the kingdom of rebellion.

“Far more sacredness is attached to the Sabbath than is given it by many professed Sabbath-keepers. The Lord has been greatly dishonored by those who have not kept the Sabbath according to the commandment, either in the letter or in the spirit. He calls for a reform in the observance of the Sabbath.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 352, 353.

Reform Necessary

There must be a reform; we must begin it today! It is of vital importance that we, as God’s professed people, understand the true meaning of the Sabbath. Character perfection must be a steady movement toward reflecting Christ more fully and completely. If we stand still in faith, if we neglect the needful study—especially in this day and age—we will lose the light that has been given to us. But if we move forward, from victory on to victory, by faith, prayer, study and patience, the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. (See John 16:13.) But a word of warning, let us not make the Sabbath a burden, as did the Pharisees.

“If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken [it].” Isaiah 58:13, 14.

This is why it is important that we, as true and faithful Seventh-day Adventists, learn the necessity of Sabbath preparation—physically and spiritually.

Daily Preparation

“All through the week we are to have the Sabbath in mind and be making preparation to keep it according to the commandment. We are not merely to observe the Sabbath as a legal matter. We are to understand its spiritual bearing upon all the transactions of life. All who regard the Sabbath as a sign between them and God, showing that He is the God who sanctifies them, will represent the principles of His government. They will bring into daily practice the laws of His kingdom. Daily it will be their prayer that the sanctification of the Sabbath may rest upon them. Every day they will have the companionship of Christ and will exemplify the perfection of His character. Every day their light will shine forth to others in good works.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 353, 354. The Sabbath is not merely to be kept by the letter but by the spirit, willfully wanting to observe the Sabbath—a Sabbath that is not a burden.

“When the Sabbath is thus remembered, the temporal will not be allowed to encroach upon the spiritual. No duty pertaining to the six working days will be left for the Sabbath. During the week our energies will not be so exhausted in temporal labor that on the day when the Lord rested and was refreshed we shall be too weary to engage in His service.” Ibid., 354.

This is an important key point of which many of us have been guilty. How many times have we rushed throughout the week, working 10 to 15 hours a day, then when Sabbath comes we cannot stay awake for the Sabbath school and church service?

Preparation Begins at Home

“In all that pertains to the success of God’s work, the very first victories are to be won in the home life. Here the preparation for the Sabbath must begin. Throughout the week let parents remember that their home is to be a school in which their children shall be prepared for the courts above. Let their words be right words. No words which their children should not hear are to escape their lips. Let the spirit be kept free from irritation. Parents, during the week live as in the sight of a holy God, who has given you children to train for Him. Train for Him the little church in your home, that on the Sabbath all may be prepared to worship in the Lord’s sanctuary. Each morning and evening present your children to God as His blood-bought heritage. Teach them that it is their highest duty and privilege to love and serve God.

“Parents should be particular to make the worship of God an object lesson for their children. Passages of Scripture should be more often on their lips, especially those passages that prepare the heart for religious service. The precious words might well be often repeated: ‘My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.’ Psalm 62:5.” Ibid.

“Explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them help themselves and their parents in their preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment. Lead your children to consider the Sabbath a delight, the day of days, the holy of the Lord, honorable.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 293.

Daily morning and evening worship is very, very important for not only spending time with God, but for teaching our children the importance of reverence, not just in family worship but also in the Sabbath school and church services.

“While preparation for the Sabbath is to be made all through the week, Friday is to be the special preparation day.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 354.

Scriptural Example

Let us look at an example from the Bible as to how we must prepare for the Sabbath. “And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which [is] between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, [and] when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare [that] which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” Exodus 16:1–5. God instructed them to pick up and prepare their food daily, but on the sixth they were to pick up a double portion and prepare it also for the Sabbath.

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I [am] the Lord your God. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness [there lay] a small round thing, [as] small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw [it], they said one to another, It [is] manna: for they wist not what it [was]. And Moses said unto them, This [is] the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. This [is] the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, [according to] the number of your persons; take ye every man for [them] which [are] in his tents.” Verses 11–16.

“And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. And it came to pass, [that] on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one [man]: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This [is that] which the Lord hath said, To morrow [is] the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake [that] which ye will bake [to day], and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day [is] a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, [which is] the Sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, [that] there went out [some] of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.” Verses 19–27.

“[And] the people went about, and gathered [it], and ground [it] in mills, or beat [it] in a mortar, and baked [it] in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.” Numbers 11:8.

Preparation Includes . . .

“There was something to be done in preparing the heaven-sent bread for the children of Israel. The Lord told them that this work must be done on Friday, the preparation day. This was a test to them. God desired to see whether or not they would keep the Sabbath holy.

“This direction from the lips of Jehovah is for our instruction. The Bible is a perfect guide, and if its pages are prayerfully studied by hearts willing to understand, none need err upon this question.

“Many need instruction as to how they should appear in the assembly for worship on the Sabbath. They are not to enter the presence of God in the common clothing worn during the week. All should have a special Sabbath suit, to be worn when attending service in God’s house. While we should not conform to worldly fashions, we are not to be indifferent in regard to our outward appearance. We are to be neat and trim, though without adornment. The children of God should be pure within and without.

“On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be completed. See that all the clothing is in readiness and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun let all secular work be laid aside and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment.

“We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 356.

Do not miss the Blessing

“The Sabbath should be as sacredly observed on the campground as it is in our homes. We should not let the bustle and excitement around us detract from its sacred dignity. No cooking should be done on that day. The instruction which God gave to Israel should not be disregarded: ‘Bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe’: ‘Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord’ [Exodus 16:23]. God meant what He said when He gave these directions, and shall we, who are presenting to the people the claims of the divine law, break that law ourselves, merely to please the appetite? God forbid. There has sometimes been almost as much cooking done on the Sabbath as on other days; and the blessing of God has been shut out by our failure to honor Him in keeping the Sabbath according to the commandment.—Undated Manuscript 88.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, 293, 294.

“Speak not lightly of the restrictions placed upon Israel in Sinai regarding the cooking of manna. The Lord has placed barriers around His Sabbath, that it may not be regarded with the least carelessness or irreverence. When the Lord said, ‘Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath; bake that which ye will bake today, and seethe that which ye will seethe,’ He means that Friday shall be our preparation day, in which we are to do all our cooking.

“The Sabbath is not to be a day when tidbits shall be prepared or cooked. If it is really essential to have beans on the Sabbath, let them be cooked on Friday, and kept warm in the oven. They need not be eaten cold unless preferred. But let no remarks be made as though it is a very light thing whether we regard the special requirements of God in regard to the Sabbath or not. It is not left for any man or woman to venture to disregard any commandment of God—Manuscript 21, 1897.” Ibid., 294, 295.

The preparation of food on the Sabbath is breaking God’s precepts, and this is not to be lightly regarded by commandment-keepers.

“All needful preparation should be made beforehand. On Sabbath morning, if the weather is cool, let hot gruel, or something equally simple, be provided, and for dinner some kind of food may be warmed. Further than this, all cooking should be avoided as a violation of the Sabbath command.” The Gospel of Health, April 1, 1898.

Avoid Intemperance

Do we eat more on the Sabbath day than we normally do on the other days? Is this not wrong of us?

“We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating befogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an improper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many have done more than they think to dishonor God.

“While cooking upon the Sabbath should be avoided, it is not necessary to eat cold food. In cold weather let the food prepared the day before be heated. And let the meals, though simple, be palatable and attractive. Provide something that will be regarded as a treat, something the family do not have every day.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 357.

“I see no question in this matter as to what we shall have on the Sabbath day. The food which we have provided on the preparation day can be placed on the table warm, especially in cold weather. In traveling, persons eat cold lunches for days together, and realize no inconvenience or harm. We want palatable, healthful food every day of the week; but upon the Sabbath, let your cook have her day of rest, in the place of cooking for a family. Let every provision be made on Friday. But do not let the Sabbath be regarded as a day in which to get something especially gratifying to eat. Educate your children and every member of the family to enjoy plain, simple food, and to be ready to receive the blessing which the Lord of the Sabbath is waiting to bestow upon all who are in an attitude to receive it. He has this for every one who shows his love for God in keeping holy the Sabbath day, God’s great memorial of creation. Speak softly, walk softly. Let not a word of lightness or trifling come from your lips. This is God’s day. He has blessed the seventh day, as His Sabbath, to be sacredly observed.” Review and Herald, June 8, 1897.

Put Away Differences

Another special instruction has been given to us. All difference between brothers and sisters in the church of Christ, and even those not of our faith, should be put away. There should be a close examination of the heart of the past week, a confessing of sin before the Sabbath begins.

“There needs to be much more close investigation of the week past. Review it and see if, as a branch of the living Vine, you have drawn nourishment from the parent Vine to bear much fruit to the glory of God. If there has been feverish excitement, if hasty words have been spoken, if passion has been revealed, these have surely been the working on Satan’s side of the question. Clear the heart by confession. Sincerely make everything right before the Sabbath. Examine your own selves, whether ye be in the faith. We need to guard our own souls constantly, lest we make a great profession but, like the flourishing fig tree spreading its branches in pretentious foliage, reveal no precious fruit. Christ is hungering to see and receive fruit. Leaves of profession without fruit are to Christ just as worthless as those of the fig tree which He cursed. . . .” That I May Know Him, 147.

“There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, ‘confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ James 5:16.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 356.

“When difficulties arise among church-members, let them be cleared away before the Sabbath comes. This should be regarded as a Christian duty by every church-member. ‘Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, and be ye thankful.’ Are you troubled and perplexed? Sweep away the rubbish that has been accumulating before the door of the heart, and open the door, inviting Jesus to come in and abide as an honored Guest. Bring peace and comfort into your own hearts and the hearts of others.” Australasian Union Conference Record, April 15, 1903.

To be continued . . .

God’s Farmacy, Part I

Know ye that the LORD, he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3. As we study from the Great Owner’s Manual—the Bible—the greatest medical book that has ever been written, we find even the diseases that we suffer with today. There is nothing new; the Egyptians suffered from the same diseases. A book written by Moses 4,000 years ago shows the same diseases. (See Deuteronomy 28.) Here we live in such a modern, technological society, with more sophisticated apparatus, more education, but we still have not won the battle with cancer and other chronic diseases, because we are shooting in the wrong direction. The only way we can prevent sickness and preserve integrity of the body is through what God ordained 6,000 years ago in the Garden of Eden. Man thinks he is wiser than God, but God has given us instruction. He wants us to not only have theory or facts, but He wants us to have understanding—how to apply that which we know.

Eight Doctors

There are eight doctors at work for us. They are:

  1. Dr. Trust,
  2. Dr. Air,
  3. Dr. Exercise,
  4. Dr. Sunshine,
  5. Dr. Rest,
  6. Dr. Water,
  7. Dr. Temperance, and
  8. Dr. Nutrition.

As we go through this study, we will find these eight principles used exclusively. I use nothing outside of these eight principles. I do not care if it works; if it is not “to the law and to the testimony” (Isaiah 8:20), I do not use it. I do not use iridology; I do not use reflexology; I do not use acupuncture; I do not use the pendulum,and I do not use muscle testing, because they are not “to the law and to the testimony.” Those things are wrought in spiritualism. We can prove that God has given us a simple plan.

“There are many ways of practicing the healing art; but there is only one way that Heaven approves.” Counsels on Diets and Foods, 301. The writer who penned those words does not leave us in darkness. She, Ellen White, goes on to talk about the eight laws. If we are asking for and looking for the Latter Rain to fall on us, we must be in harmony with God’s principles. There is no way we are going to get the Latter Rain if we are not in harmony with the health principles. We find that these principles are simple.

The devil takes the gospel and the health message and he enshrouds them in mystery where only a few people have the so-called expertise and know-how to follow God’s simple principles. But this plan is accessible to all of us. I have no advantage to anyone reading this. We have access to the same power—the Holy Spirit. If God can take a person like me from the streets of Chicago and put His Word in me, He can do it for you.

Disease is an Effort

I want to give you one of the most profound definitions of disease that I have found in any book—whether you went to Loma Linda, Harvard, or Yale, the definition given in The Ministry of Healing is the most profound that I have read in my 54 years. When I picked this book up 27 years ago, I was not a Seventh-day Adventist, and I did not know who wrote it, but I knew it was inspired. It says, “Disease is an effort of nature to free the system from conditions that result from a violation of the laws of health.” The Ministry of Healing, 127.

“Disease is an effort of nature . . . .” When we look at the word effort, it comes to mind that the body is putting forth some work or energy, what we call vital force. Nature is expending energy to maintain what we call homeostasis or balance. God created the body to maintain balance. The temperature of the body, hot or cold; the pH of the body—God created the body to maintain harmony. But when we interfere with the delicate mechanisms of the body, we disrupt its function and sickness takes place.

But notice what it says. “Disease is an effort that means that the body is expending energy to get rid of the problem that we have brought upon it through the violation of law. When someone gets sick, it does not mean that God is punishing that person. We live in a sinful world that has come about as the result of my father and your father, Adam, disobeying God. If there were no sin, there would be no disease. Therefore, my warfare is not against cancer. The Bible does not say that the wages of sin is cancer. The wages of sin is eternal death. My purpose is to lead people back to the cross, back to the Great Physician, Who not only can heal them from cancer, but Who can heal their soul. If a person gets well from cancer and does not have a relationship with Jesus, I have not done the work of God. All I have done is to produce another soldier for the devil to use against God’s people. God is not in the business of producing healthy sinners.

Our Effort vs. Nature

“Disease is an effort of nature.” Some of you realize that a common cold or chronic cough is something that you want to get rid of, so you go to the pharmacist, and you purchase what is called a cough suppressant. As you take this cough suppressant, you are now suppressing nature’s effort to free itself of the condition that has been brought about as a result of the violation of the laws of health. You take the cough suppressant; you are no longer coughing, and you feel good because the cough is gone. Six months later you end up with bronchitis. Now you take another drug to rid yourself of bronchitis. Six months later you may end up with pneumonia, and you take another drug to suppress nature. A year later you may end up with lung cancer.

The more you interfere with nature, the more you are changing one form of a disease into another form, which is more severe. At a later date, nature is so weak it cannot rally to deal with the problem. Then you come to God and want Him to work a miracle, but you have been interfering with nature’s process all along. When you end up with a headache, you may take Tylenol. Your body is not deficient of Tylenol! You need to get to the cause of the problem.

When you sneeze, the body expends energy to get rid of a foreign organism. This involves the immune system. It goes through a histamine reaction—it is trying to get rid of the problem. That is good news! You start breaking out with a rash, and you think you are dying. That is good news! You have pain, and you think you cannot handle it, but that is good news! That is nature, working in your behalf, trying to save your life, and you are trying to interfere with nature. Nature is the voice of God, and when you interfere with nature, you are saying, God, be quiet. When all the mucus begins coming out in the morning, do you really want to take something to snuff that stuff back into your body?

God Wants to Cleanse You

Like Adam and Eve trying to cover themselves with fig leaves when they realized they were naked, you cannot hide your sin in your methods. You cannot mask sickness with your own methods. God wants to cleanse you, to purge you, and to get rid of all the sin in your body. He wants to get rid of the poison in your body, so God created the body in such a way to fight these diseases.

Fever is the way the body was created to deal with infection. Fever raises the body’s temperature—and you put it out with some aspirin. Instead of learning how to do water treatments or fasting to work with nature to free the system of the infection, you treat the symptom. Treating the symptom is like mopping the floor while the water continues to pour from an overflowing sink. What should you do when the floor is covered with water and it continues to pour out onto the floor—keep mopping? No, you need to turn off the water. High blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer are nothing but symptoms! Proverbs 26:2 says, “The curse causeless shall not come.” For every curse there is a cause; for every effect there is a cause; for every symptom there is a cause. The reason that you are not well is because the doctors are treating you for symptoms.

For ten years I did not get well because the doctor was treating my symptoms. He was treating arthritis. I went to the Word of God, and there I found that the cure was in the cause. Remove the cause, and you will get rid of the problem. That is what I did, and the Lord blessed. If He chooses not to heal you, He will give you grace to endure. If you are chronically ill, He may put you to sleep until the indignation passes, so you can rise in the first resurrection. God’s plan does not fail!

Four Steps

The Ministry of Healing mentions four things that should be done in case of sickness:

1 Ascertain the cause. (See The Ministry of Healing, 234, 235.) “The cause [which] I knew not I searched out.” Job 29:16. Where do you go? Romans 3:20 says that the knowledge of the law reveals sin. Without the law there can be no knowledge of sin. You find the cause of sickness by going to the law. To what law? The eight laws of health. If you have a headache, you may ask yourself why. Are you under a lot of stress? Are you drinking enough water? Maybe it was the 10:00 p.m. meal that you ate, or maybe you are not getting enough exercise. The law will reveal to you why you are sick.

2 Unhealthful conditions—the environment in which we live—need to be changed. (See The Ministry of Healing, 127.) The environment might not be conducive for a healthy lifestyle. Why? You might live in a home that has mildew and dampness, with no sunlight. Or perhaps you are sleeping with the animals—with the cats and dogs. Maybe they are running around all over your kitchen counter. Did you know that cats and dogs are susceptible to a number of different parasites that are communicable to humans? Except for service animals, such as those used for the blind, you do not need to be sleeping with animals. They should not be in your kitchen or even in your house.

Well, you might say, they are good for older folks. No, the Holy Spirit is good for older folks; you do not need animals in the house. I remember, on the way to a camp meeting several years ago, my wife and I stopped to use the restroom at the “golden arches.” They had a clean restroom and a little picnic area. My wife says I am a nosey person, but I say that I am observant, and there is a difference. (When you are nosey you get in other people’s business. Observant means you are learning for educational purposes.) As I walked out of McDonald’s, I observed a family with a wonderful dog, a German shepherd. It was eating ice cream. As I was observing, the mistress gave the dog the ice cream and it licked; then she took the cone back, and she licked from the same cone! Animals are wonderful creatures, and I love them, but you have to be hygienic with them.

If you are living in a home where there is second-hand smoke, you are in an unhealthy environment. Maybe you are working in a job where you are breathing chemical fumes. A friend who has been an auto mechanic for over 25 years had lungs filled with fumes; his hand was black with fungus. When he quit that job his hand started turning back to its normal color. Sometimes we work in hazardous situations that are not conducive to our health. Ask God to deliver you from such a situation. He will provide you with another job.

3 Wrong habits need to be corrected. (See The Ministry of Healing, 234.) That means simply that we need to change our lifestyle habits—our sleeping, eating, and exercise habits, etc.

4 Nature is to be assisted in its effort. (See The Ministry of Healing, 127.) Perhaps sometimes when you are sick and the stomach is aching, you keep feeding the stomach. The body may say, Wait a minute; give me a rest! Maybe you need to fast for 24 hours to assist nature; maybe you need to do a dry brush rub; a hot and cold shower; perhaps a sitz bath, or a foot bath. That is what it means to assist nature.

All of this comes from that wonderful book, The Ministry of Healing. It is a great medical book. So you need to find the cause, change unhealthful conditions, and follow the eight laws of health.

God Provides Everything

Under God’s plan you will find everything you need in the eight laws of health. Under the water law you will find that you are benefited by using it internally as well as by using hydrotherapy. Under the law of exercise you can find passive exercise, physical therapy, or massage. Under the law of nutrition you not only find good food, but you also find God’s Farmacy. Food is your medicine. God’s Farmacy is found in your back yard garden and in your grocery store. Genesis 1:11, 12 and Genesis 2:5–8, 15 tell us that God planted vegetation before He put man in the Garden. Everything Adam needed was in that Garden.

God gave man an original diet. Genesis 1:29 says that God gave man fruits, grains, and nuts in the beginning. Before sin, man did not eat green herbs; man did not eat green plants. He ate from the trees; he ate seeds; he ate grains; he ate fruit. There was no vegetation in his diet at all. This was God’s plan. In Genesis 3:18, after sin, God added the herbs of the field.

Genesis 1:11, 12 describes three types of vegetation—grass, herb-bearing seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit with the seed in itself—that God made. Of the three vegetations, in the beginning, God gave man two of them. (See Genesis 1:29.) God gave animals the vegetation from the grass. (See Genesis 1:30.) God said to Adam, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of it] all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.” Genesis 3:17, 18. Then He mentioned the sweat. Why did He do that? God is associating sweating with eating these plants, because sweating eliminates toxins out of the body. The body went through a metamorphosis. The Bible records the warning given that in the day that man would eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he would surely die. (See Genesis 2:9, 17.) In that day he began to die, but God had an antidote. Therefore God gave man permission to eat fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables.

The Bible says, “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.” Psalm 104:14. God provided the herbs for the service of man.

Grow Your Own Food

To have a healthy body, you have to have healthy food; if you are going to have healthy food, you need to have healthy soil. When we began to work with our soil years ago, we discovered that we have clay soil. The pH was something like 3.5; there were no worms in our soil. Now a few things will grow in clay, but there is no way you are going to grow healthy food where there are no worms. After a year or two of building up that soil, the food grown on it is so sweet it melts in your mouth. You can become accustomed to store-bought vegetables, but if you are in the country, you need to have a garden. If you are in the city, get some grow boxes. Even in the city you can grow some food.

Out of the Cities

Those who have the resources should get out of the cities! With all we hear about end time events, it is really interesting to me that so many of us are still in the cities. Those who can get out of the city, get more than one acre, because there are refugees coming. We have 75 acres of land. We would never use that much land. Why do we have it? Because those acres can be converted, in the future, for those individuals who cannot financially afford to get out of the city now. We got out of the city without any money—God provided. Purpose in your heart—resolve; do not say that you do not have money; God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Purpose in your heart; start getting out of debt; start getting your tools together; begin making preparation just as the Israelites had to make preparation before leaving Egypt. Resolve, and watch God honor your resolve!

To be continued . . .

Thomas Jackson is a Health Evangelist and Director of Missionary Education and Evangelistic Training (M.E.E.T.) Ministry in Huntingdon, Tennessee. He may be contacted by e-mail at or by telephone at 731-986-3518.

Ask the Pastor – Can We Now Eat Anything and Everything?


I have been told that chapter 10 of Acts teaches that we can now eat anything and everything without any condemnation of the Lord. Is this true? If it is not true, with what does Acts 10 deal?


You have asked a very good question. Acts 10 has been terribly misunderstood for many, many centuries. And it seems that if something has age on its side that people think this makes it truth. Age never makes error truth.
As you read the book of Acts, it becomes apparent that God is making an attempt to reach all peoples, nations, and tongues everywhere. We see this during Pentecost in Acts 2:5, 9–11. This sets the stage for the Book of Acts. God loves all people and wants everyone to be saved that chooses to be saved. He is no respecter of persons. Acts 10:34 gives us a clue that this chapter is not talking about what to eat but is talking about how God feels about people. “I perceive that God is no respecter of persons [shows no partiality].” If you read Acts 10 from verse 1 to verse 34, it tells the story of mission outreach to those who had previously been looked upon as “unclean.” Acts 10 deals with the prejudice mind set against those who are different than we are. Let us face the fact that the apostle Peter was a man of learned prejudice. He suffered from his upbringing just like many of us today. Prejudice is a learned character defect. God loved Peter and wanted to use him to reach the lost, but He had to re-educate Peter concerning his prejudice so Peter could teach the truth without any hindrances. Prejudice is a hindrance to the gospel. The story of Acts 10 unfolds about a Roman centurion named Cornelius who was different from Peter as far as his ethnic background was concerned. Cornelius calls for Peter to come and teach him and his household the truth. But Peter, having the prejudice that he had, needed to be corrected of these unholy attitudes before he would be ready to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. God gives to Peter a dream in which various animals are shown to him—clean and unclean. (Acts 10:12.) These animals represented all the various ethnic classes of humanity. (See Daniel 7.)

This dream was designed to teach Peter an important lesson in regard to the introduction of all nations to the gospel. The teaching here is not what to eat, but how to love humanity enough to call them brethren. This is reaffirmed in verses 34 and 35 when Peter states: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted by Him.”

The devil has so perverted this portion of Scripture that the work of spreading the gospel has just crawled forward rather than going like one running a race. What would it have been like if the truth of this passage had always been taught correctly rather than centering on one’s belly! What would the world be like not to have any prejudice in it? How much faster the Gospel would have done its work!

Prejudice in any form is hated by God. It has no place in God’s work. He was trying to teach this to Peter and consequently to those who followed in every age, but this message has been twisted and distorted. Prejudices still hamper the work, and we are still in this world, as a result. This chapter needs to be studied in depth so that the truth of the crowning text can be understood that “God hath shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Acts 10:28.

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

Food – Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is really a powerhouse of nutrition. It tastes delicious in your hot cereal. I also like it as a hot drink on cold winter days. It is a great addition, along with honey, to add to your granola mix before your bake it. Yes, I really enjoy blackstrap.

“Molasses is the by-product of sugar refining that contains all the nutrients from the raw sugar-cane plant. Since the roots of sugarcane grow very deep, they are able to receive a pretty broad range of minerals and trace elements usually lacking in the topsoil. During the refining of sugarcane, the plants are boiled to a syrup from which the crystals are extracted. Then they are boiled two more times, both of which produce molasses. Blackstrap molasses, however, comes from the third and final boiling and is essentially the ‘dregs’ of the barrel.

“Blackstrap molasses is very dark and has a robust, somewhat bitter-tart flavor. It’s used in a variety of baked goods, particularly meat and vegetable dishes, as a sweetener and coloring agent. It is also widely accepted as a ‘health food.’ It can be used in any number of recipes and is particularly suitable to gingersnaps, soy-based sauces, licorice, canned baked beans, and fermentation systems.

“One of the reasons I like it so much is precisely because it has a low amount of sugar and a high amount of nutrients. As the only product from the third and final boil, blackstrap molasses contains the lowest sugar content of the molasses, but many more of the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements found naturally in the sugarcane plant, making it more nutritious than most other sweeteners.

“Blackstrap molasses is a very good source of iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and an excellent source of manganese and copper. It also contains a small amount of the cancer-fighting mineral selenium.  Look for unsulfured blackstrap molasses from organic sugar. Of the varieties of molasses, blackstrap molasses is richest in nutrients, such as iron, B vitamins, calcium, and potassium.” Excerpts from The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, p. 314, 315, by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.


Blackstrap Raisin Almond Balls


1 ¼ cups raw almonds

2/3 cup raisins

1 tsp. cardamom and coriander, optional

pinch of salt

4 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses


Grind almonds and salt in food processor until finely ground. Add raisins, molasses and spices. Process until mixture is sticking together and uniform. Form into little snack sized balls and store in refrigerator or freezer. These little balls taste good with or without the extra seasonings—your choice. Enjoy!


Mighty Minerals, Vital Vitamins

Our bodies are built up from the food we eat. There is a constant breaking down of the tissues of the body; every movement of every organ involves waste, and this waste is repaired from our food. Each organ of the body requires its share of nutrition. The brain must be supplied with its portion; the bones, the muscles, and the nerves demand theirs. It is a wonderful process that transforms the food into blood and uses this blood to build up the varied parts of the body; but this process is going on continually, supplying with life and strength each nerve, muscle, and tissue.” Child Guidance, 378.

Our bodies were designed to operate without our conscious effort. We do not have to think through our body’s digestive process in order for it to happen, nor do we process out our blood’s circulation to get the life sustenance to our extremities. We do not usually pump our lungs manually to get air into them. We breathe without conscious effort. But in order to be able to do all these things, we need to provide our bodies with sufficient calories, vitamins, and minerals, which can best be done through a varied diet. Also, since the invention of dietary supplements, those who have a poor diet, or are compromised in their health condition, are able to use these aids to improve their overall health.

The substances that the body needs to develop and maintain properly are vitamins. There are 13 vitamins that are essential to our livelihood: A, C, D, E, K, and the B-family (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate). To break things down a little further, a vitamin is an organic compound that an organism cannot create in sufficient amounts on its own and must be obtained via another source, mainly through diet. As the word “compound” implies, each vitamin consists of several vitamers. These collective vitamers work together to produce the vitamin and the effect each vitamin has on the body. For example, cyanocolabim, hydroxocolabim, methylocolabim, and 5-deoxadenosylcolabim are all vitamin B12 vitamers. Each unique combination of vitamers are what allow the 13 different vitamins to play their different roles in the body’s upkeep. These roles are as diverse as regulating tissue growth and hormones and aiding in vision.

Today, we have an abundant supply of vitamins that come in the form of pills. But before these were available, food was the only way to obtain these necessary nutrients. Hippocrates, who is known as the Father of Modern Medicine said, “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine, thy food;” which is still the best health practice. His finding, among many others, was that feeding his patients liver which is packed with vitamin A, was a cure for night blindness. We now recognize vitamin A as necessary for night vision.

The Renaissance period spawned the growth of oceanic travel which led also to the rise in scurvy cases. Scurvy is a disease defined by the lack of collagen formation which prevents wounds from healing, bleeding from the gums, extreme fatigue, and severe joint and muscle pain. James Lind, a Scottish surgeon, found that citrus fruits prevented the onset of this terrible ailment. The ultimate finding was that scurvy was brought on by a vitamin C deficiency. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, scientists were able to identify necessary components of the diet through deprivation studies. However, it was not until 1912 that the word “vitamine” was pronounced as a vitally necessary component to the human body and its functionality. Later, in 1920, the word was changed to vitamin.

Since then, vitamins have been classified into two groups: fat soluble and water soluble. Four of the thirteen human vitamins are fat soluble: A, D, E, and K. The eight B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble. Water soluble vitamins are dissolvable in water and thus are eliminated through urination. Because of this, the water-soluble vitamins must be replenished on a daily basis.

Both groups of vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the aid of lipids, or fats. However, fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s fat for long periods of time and do not need to be replaced as frequently as the water-soluble vitamins. Replacing these vitamins too frequently leaves to a higher danger of toxicity (known as hypervitaminosis).

From the moment of conception, the human body develops through the use of vitamins and minerals. The nutrients play an integral role in the chemical reactions that are responsible for the creation of the body’s many intricate systems. When even one vitamin or mineral is lacking in an appropriate amount, the development can be seriously impaired. In order for the body to be properly maintained, these same nutrients must be available for use. They are necessary for everything from tissue repair to the support of chemical reactions that keep the body operational.

Minerals are the second of these two vital components. Unlike vitamins, which are carbon compounds, or derived from living matter, minerals are inorganic and make up about 4% of our body mass. There are two types of minerals: major or (macro) minerals, and trace minerals. Trace minerals are iron, zinc, copper, selenium, iodine, cobolt, fluorine, manganese, molybdenum, and chromium. The body requires less than 100 milligrams of trace minerals per day for optimum upkeep. The major, or macrominerals, are sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, sulfur (provided through adequate protein intake) and chlorine (amply provided through sodium). These minerals are needed by the body in quantities higher than 100 milligrams daily. Minerals serve three principle roles in the body. They provide structure in forming bones and teeth. Minerals maintain normal heart rhythm, muscle contractility, neural conductivity, and acid-based balance. Also in their realm is the regulation of cellular metabolism. Just like vitamins, minerals are obtained through our diet.

Vitamins and minerals interact with each other to produce the necessary effects in the body. For example, a combination of vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, fluoride, chloride, manganese, copper, and sulfur is necessary to keep bones healthy. And calcium, for instance, depends on the presence of certain vitamins such as vitamin D for its proper absorption. Because vitamins and minerals depend on the presence of one another to function optimally in the body , it is not enough to ensure that your body is just obtaining enough of one or the other; maintaining a proper balance of both is vital to optimum health.

“Health reformers, above all others, should be careful to shun extremes. The body must have sufficient nourishment. We cannot subsist upon air merely; neither can we retain health unless we have nourishing food.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 207.

“A diet lacking in the proper elements of nutrition brings reproach upon the cause of health reform. We are mortal and must supply ourselves with food that will give proper nourishment to the body.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 161.

1 Vitamins: Their role in the Human Body, by George F. M. Ball.

Restoring the Temple – Healthful Cookery

Cooking may be regarded as less desirable than some other lines of work, but in reality it is a science in value above all other sciences. Thus God regards the preparation of healthful food. He places a high estimate on those who do faithful service in preparing wholesome, palatable food. The one who understands the art of properly preparing food, and who uses this knowledge, is worthy of higher commendation than those engaged in any other line of work. This talent should be regarded as equal in value to ten talents; for its right use has much to do with keeping the human organism in health. Because so inseparably connected with life and health, it is the most valuable of all gifts.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 251.

“The cook fills an important place in the household. She is preparing food to be taken into the stomach, to form brain, bone, and muscle. The health of all members of the family depends largely upon her skill and intelligence. . . .

Every Woman’s Duty

“There are very many girls who have married and have families, who have but little practical knowledge of the duties devolving upon a wife and mother. They can read, and play upon an instrument of music; but they cannot cook. They cannot make good bread, which is very essential to the health of the family. . . . To cook well, to present healthful food upon the table in an inviting manner, requires intelligence and experience. The one who prepares the food that is to be placed in our stomachs, to be converted into blood to nourish the system, occupies a most important and elevated position. . . .

“Our sisters often do not know how to cook. To such I would say, I would go to the very best cook that could be found in the country, and remain there, if necessary, for weeks, until I had become mistress of the art,—an intelligent, skillful cook. I would pursue this course if I were forty years old. It is your duty to know how to cook, and it is your duty to teach your daughters to cook. . . .

“In order to learn how to cook, women should study, and then patiently reduce what they learn to practice. People are suffering because they will not take the trouble to do this. I say to such, It is time for you to rouse your dormant energies, and inform yourselves. Do not think the time wasted which is devoted to obtaining a thorough knowledge and experience in the preparation of healthful, palatable food. No matter how long an experience you have had in cooking, if you still have the responsibilities of a family, it is your duty to learn how to care for them properly.

Not Just for Women

“Many who adopt the health reform complain that it does not agree with them; but after sitting at their tables I come to the conclusion that it is not the health reform that is at fault, but the poorly prepared food. I appeal to men and women to whom God has given intelligence: Learn how to cook. I make no mistake when I say ‘men,’ for they, as well as women, need to understand the simple, healthful preparation of food. . . . If they have the knowledge, they can use it to good purpose.” Ibid., 252, 253.

Study Health Journals

“Those who do not know how to cook hygienically should learn to combine wholesome, nourishing articles of food in such a way as to make appetizing dishes. Let those who desire to gain knowledge in this line subscribe for our health journals. They will find information on this point in them. . . .

“Without continually exercising ingenuity, no one can excel in healthful cookery, but those whose hearts are open to impressions and suggestions from the Great Teacher will learn many things, and will be able also to teach others; for He will give them skill and understanding.

Develop Individual Talent

“It is the Lord’s design that in every place men and women shall be encouraged to develop their talents by preparing healthful foods from the natural products of their own section of the country. If they look to God, exercising their skill and ingenuity under the guidance of His Spirit, they will learn how to prepare natural products into healthful foods. Thus they will be able to teach the poor how to provide themselves with foods that will take the place of flesh meat. Those thus helped can in turn instruct others. Such a work will yet be done with consecrated zeal and energy. If it had been done before, there would today be many more people in the truth, and many more who could give instruction. Let us learn what our duty is, and then do it. We are not to be dependent and helpless, waiting for others to do the work that God has committed to us.

Cooking Schools

“There should be cooking schools, where instruction is given on the proper preparation of food. In all our schools there should be those who are fitted to educate the students, both young men and women, in the art of cooking. Women especially should learn how to cook.” Ibid., 253, 254.

Health Reform and Good Cooking

“One reason why many have become discouraged in practicing health reform is that they have not learned how to cook so that proper food, simply prepared, would supply the place of the diet to which they have been accustomed. They become disgusted with the poorly prepared dishes, and next we hear them say that they have tried the health reform, and cannot live in that way. Many attempt to follow out meager instructions in health reform, and make such sad work that it results in injury to digestion, and in discouragement to all concerned in the attempt. You profess to be health reformers, and for this very reason you should become good cooks. Those who can avail themselves of the advantages of properly conducted hygienic cooking schools, will find it a great benefit, both in their own practice and in teaching others.” Ibid., 255.

Cause of Disease

“For want of knowledge and skill in regard to cooking, many a wife and mother daily sets before her family ill-prepared food, which is steadily and surely impairing the digestive organs, and making a poor quality of blood; the result is, frequent attacks of inflammatory disease, and sometimes death. . . .

“We can have a variety of good, wholesome food, cooked in a healthful manner, so that it will be palatable to all. It is of vital importance to know how to cook. Poor cooking produces disease and bad tempers; the system becomes deranged, and heavenly things cannot be discerned. There is more religion in good cooking than you have any idea of. . . .

“Scanty, ill-cooked food depraves the blood by weakening the blood-making organs. It deranges the system, and brings on disease, with its accompaniment of irritable nerves and bad tempers. The victims of poor cookery are numbered by thousands and tens of thousands. Over many graves might be written: ‘Died because of poor cooking;’ ‘Died of an abused stomach.’

“It is a sacred duty for those who cook to learn how to prepare healthful food. Many souls are lost as the result of poor cookery. It takes thought and care to make good bread; but there is more religion in a loaf of good bread than many think.” Ibid., 256, 257.