Bible Study Guides – Breathing and Health

March 3, 2013 – March 9, 2013

The Healthy Reformer

Key Text

“The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Job 33:4.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 522–535.


“The health of the entire system depends upon the healthy action of the respiratory organs.” Healthful Living, 30.

“Wake up, brethren and sisters, wake up. Sleep no longer. ‘Why stand ye here all the day idle?’ Jesus calls you, saying, ‘Go work today in my vineyard’ (Matthew 20:6, 7). Whoever has received the Holy Spirit, will make it manifest; for all his powers will be employed in the most active service. All who actually receive Christ by faith, work. They feel the burden of souls. God now calls upon every one who has a knowledge of the truth, who is a depositary of sacred truth, to arise and impart the light of heaven to others. Those who have been illuminated by the Holy Spirit, will show its office work upon life and character. They will be mediums through which the Holy Spirit will communicate light and knowledge to others. The wonderful truth revealed to us in these last days, is to be revealed to others. ‘The end of all things is at hand’ (1 Peter 4:7). The Lord has been speaking to you in America, and may the Lord forbid that at the time of great illumination, darkness should come upon you because you fail to walk in the light that has been given. Darkness corresponding to your light will surely come upon you, if you do not now arouse from your slumbers, and shake off your useless musings and selfish indulgences, and trade diligently with your Lord’s goods. Move out from your pleasant homes. Develop the talents God has given you, and tell to others what the Holy Spirit has communicated to you. God requires you to work in proportion to the light He has given.” The Review and Herald, December 5, 1893.


  • What is the “breath of life” that Adam received from God? Genesis 2:7.

Note: “In God we live and move and have our being. Each heart-beat, each breath, is the inspiration of Him who breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life—the inspiration of the ever-present God, the Great I AM.” The Review and Herald, November 8, 1898.

  • What is the “breath of the soul”? Luke 11:1.

Note: “Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted, and the health of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart into immediate contact with the Well-spring of life, and strengthens the sinew and muscle of the religious experience. Neglect the exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God. The spiritual faculties lose their vitality, the religious experience lacks health and vigor.” Gospel Workers, 254, 255.

  • What was the custom of the prophet Daniel regarding prayer? Daniel 6:10. What does it mean to pray unceasingly? I Thessalonians 5:17.

Note: “Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God.” Steps to Christ, 98.

“While engaged in our daily work, we should lift the soul to heaven in prayer. These silent petitions rise like incense before the throne of grace; and the enemy is baffled. The Christian whose heart is thus stayed upon God cannot be overcome. No evil arts can destroy his peace. All the promises of God’s word, all the power of divine grace, all the resources of Jehovah, are pledged to secure his deliverance. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. And God was with him, a present help in every time of need.” Gospel Workers, 254.


  • What admonition given to Israel shows us our need to learn proper physical as well as spiritual habits? Deuteronomy 31:12. Among other things, what do we need to teach our children?

Note: “Encourage them [the patients] to breathe the fresh air. Teach them to breathe deeply, and in breathing and speaking to exercise the abdominal muscles. This is an education that will be invaluable to them.” The Ministry of Healing, 264, 265.

“While it may be necessary to protect the little ones from sudden or too great changes of temperature, care should be taken that, sleeping or waking, day or night, they breathe a pure, invigorating atmosphere.” The Adventist Home, 263.

  • What happens to us when we do not get enough “breath” physically or spiritually? Psalm 146:4.

Note: “You have not had a liberal supply of air. Brother I has labored in his store, closely applying himself to his business and allowing himself but a limited amount of air and exercise. His circulation is depressed. He breathes only from the top of his lungs. It is seldom that he exercises the abdominal muscles in the act of breathing. Stomach, liver, lungs, and brain are suffering for the want of deep, full inspirations of air, which would electrify the blood and impart to it a bright, lively color, and which alone can keep it pure and give tone and vigor to every part of the living machinery.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 67, 68.

“Those who have not had a free circulation of air in their rooms through the night generally awake feeling exhausted and feverish, and know not the cause. It was air, vital air, that the whole system required, but which it could not obtain. … Then the clothing should be removed piece by piece from the bed, and exposed to the air. The windows should be opened, the blinds fastened back, and the air allowed to circulate freely for several hours, if not all day, through the sleeping apartments. In this manner the bed and clothing will become thoroughly aired, and the impurities will be removed from the room.” Counsels on Health, 58.


  • How can we enjoy fresh air and sleep well even in cold climates? What is our duty toward those who do not have enough clothing because of poverty? Exodus 22:27; Isaiah 58:7; James 2:15, 16.

Note: “Many have been taught from childhood that night air is positively injurious to health and therefore must be excluded from their rooms. To their own injury they close the windows and doors of their sleeping apartments to protect themselves from the night air which they say is so dangerous to health. In this they are deceived. In the cool of the evening it may be necessary to guard from chilliness by extra clothing, but they should give their lungs air.

“On an autumn evening we were once traveling in a crowded car, where the atmosphere was rendered very impure by the mingling of so many breaths. The exhalations from lungs and bodies caused a most sickening sensation to come over me. I raised my window and was enjoying the fresh air, when a lady, in earnest, imploring tones, cried out: ‘Do put down that window. You will take cold and be sick, for the night air is so unhealthy.’ I replied: ‘Madam, we have no other air, in this car or out of it, but night air. If you refuse to breathe night air, then you must stop breathing. God has provided for His creatures air to breathe for the day, and the same, made a little cooler, for the night. In the night it is not possible for you to breathe anything but night air.’ … Many are suffering from disease because they refuse to receive into their rooms at night the pure night air. The free, pure air of heaven is one of the richest blessings we can enjoy.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 527, 528.

  • What promise was given to Israel on condition of obedience to the Lord? Deuteronomy 7:11–15. How are we to cooperate with the Lord if we want to become sharers of the same promise?

Note: “Out of doors, surrounded by the beautiful things that God has made, breathing the fresh, health-giving air, the sick can best be told of the new life in Christ. Here God’s words can be taught.” Counsels on Health, 251.

“The heated air coming from a stove is injurious, and were it not for the air coming in at the crevices of the windows, would be poisonous and destroy life. Stove heat destroys the vitality of the air, and weakens the lungs. … Sick persons are debilitated by disease, and need all the invigorating air that they can bear to strengthen the vital organs to resist disease.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 152.


  • What kind of environment is the best place for recovery from disease?

Note: “If these [many of those living in the cities] could be taken to some farming district, surrounded with the green fields, the woods and hills and brooks, the clear skies and the fresh, pure air of the country, it would seem almost like heaven. …

“Through nature they would hear His voice speaking to their hearts of His peace and love, and mind and soul and body would respond to the healing, life-giving power.” The Ministry of Healing, 192.

  • What kind of environment is among the worst places for recovery?

Note: “The noise and excitement and confusion of the cities, … are most wearisome and exhausting to the sick. The air, laden with smoke and dust, with poisonous gases, and with germs of disease, is a peril to life.” The Ministry of Healing, 262.

“If a house is built where water settles around it, remaining for a time, and then drying away, a poisonous miasma arises, and fever and ague, sore throat, lung diseases, and fevers will be the result.” Counsels on Health, 58, 59.

  • As we compare Isaiah 24:5 with Revelation 16:17, what kind of pollution should we expect in these last days?
  • What instruction given to Lot is applicable also today in view of the air pollution in the cities? Genesis 19:17.

Note: “Serious times are before us, and there is great need for the families to get out of the cities into the country. … Let those who are suffering with poor health go out into country places.” Home and Church School Manual, 42.


  • What unusual event in Acts 20:9 is repeated by many during church services? Why is it very dangerous to be spiritually asleep? Matthew 25:5; I Thessalonians 5:6–8; I Peter 4:7.

Note: “Neglect of proper ventilation is responsible for much of the drowsiness and dullness that destroy the effect of many a sermon and make the teacher’s work toilsome and ineffective.” The Ministry of Healing, 274.

“I felt compelled twice, as I was speaking, to change the exercise, and have all arise and engage in singing; for a sleepy lethargy seemed to be upon the people, who were compelled to work hard during the week. The windows were thrown open as often as practicable.” The Review and Herald, September 27, 1887.

  • What can we do to avoid “spiritual sleepiness”? Romans 13:11.

Note: “Again and again the Lord has pointed out the work which the church in Battle Creek and those all through America are to do. They are to reach a much higher standard in spiritual advancement than they have yet reached. They are to awake out of sleep and go without the camp, working for souls that are ready to perish.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 70, 71.

“Let every church awake out of sleep; let the members unite themselves together in the love of Jesus, and in sympathy for perishing souls, all go forth to their neighbors, pointing them to the way of salvation. Our Leader has all power in heaven and in earth.” Lake Union Herald, December 30, 1908.

“Let every church arouse and put away their pride and vanity and worldliness. Let them humble their hearts before God by repentance that they have lifted so few burdens for Christ.” The Review and Herald, December 7, 1886.

“There is a work to be done in the churches. A different testimony must go forth. I am terribly alarmed. Throughout the churches there are selfishness and sin, dishonesty, unbelief, criticism and fault-finding. It is high time to awake out of sleep. You who have long lost the spirit of prayer, pray, pray earnestly. Pity thy suffering cause; pity the church, pity the individual believers, thou Father of mercies. Take from us everything that defiles, deny us what thou wilt; but take not from us Thy Holy Spirit.” East Michigan Banner, March 15, 1905.


1 Have I thanked my Creator for giving me breath to live this day?

2 Have I learned how to pray without ceasing, like I breathe?

3 Do I understand and practice how to breathe deeply by using my diaphragm?

4 Am I sleeping with fresh air in my room?

5 Am I breathing anything which is poisonous and, if so, what can I do to change the circumstances?

6 Am I alert during worship or am I a sleepy saint? How can I wake up?

The Soul Needs Prayer

“We should pray in the family circle, and above all we must not neglect secret prayer, for this is the life of the soul. It is impossible for the soul to flourish while prayer is neglected.” Steps to Christ, 98.

Tobacco on the Brain

“Tobacco using is a habit which frequently affects the nervous system in a more powerful manner than does the use of alcohol. …

“Tobacco … affects the brain and benumbs the sensibilities, so that the mind cannot clearly discern spiritual things, especially those truths which would have a tendency to correct this filthy indulgence.” Child Guidance, 403, 404.

Benefits of Outdoor Work

“Let men and women work in fields and orchard and garden. This will bring health and strength to nerve and muscle. Living indoors and cherishing invalidism is a very poor business. If those who are sick will give nerves and muscles and sinews proper exercise in the open air, their health will be renewed.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 230.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.