Health Nugget – Rest

“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.”

Benjamin Franklin

The Cambridge Dictionary defines rest as “to (cause someone or something) to stop doing a particular activity or stop being active for a period of time in order to relax and get back your strength.”

Rest, composed of sleep, relaxation, reflection, and recreation, is as important to our health and wholeness as air, water, nutrition, and exercise. Proper rest can improve our physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health.

Relaxation can give us more energy, better sleep, enhanced immunity, increased concentration, better problem-solving skills, greater efficiency, decreased stress, emotional stability, and less headaches and pain.

Rest helps us recover from the work we have done, whether it is our vocation, avocation or training. A day off per week is required to allow bone, muscle, tendons, ligaments, brain, and organs time to recover and repair themselves.

Relaxation gives the heart a rest by slowing the heart rate. This reduces blood pressure and slows the rate of breathing, which reduces the need for oxygen, increases blood flow to the muscles, and decreases muscle tension. Sleep can also maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Rest keeps us healthy by keeping our immune response functioning properly. Sleep produces molecules that help strengthen our ability to fight infection. These help our cells repair and mend our body when we have been exposed to infectious microorganisms and toxins.

Sleep and rest help our brain repair itself and develop new connections, which are useful when we are learning new skills or adaptations. Memory, focus, concentration, and cognitive function improve with proper sleep and rest. Sleep also reduces the occurrence of mood disorders.

Rest can improve hormone balance. It lowers stress by decreasing abnormal levels of cortisol (stress hormone), increasing alertness, productivity, and general health maintenance. Proper sleep regulates hormones that control appetite and can aid in achieving optimal weight. It also reduces the chances of diabetes.

Rest and relaxation promote restoration and rejuvenation. Proper rest and sleep are critical for overall health and energy. During the day, the chief work of the body is done, but during the night, the body is revived, the muscles are built up, the brain tissue is restored, and the nerves are recharged. For growth and health, a sufficient amount of leisure and rest is essential.

Sleep is essential to maintain a well-balanced mind and healthy body. It allows your body to renew itself and aids in healing. Rest strengthens the immune system and can add years to your life. For healing and cleansing to occur much rest and sleep is needed as these actions are done only while asleep.

If deprived of adequate sleep, great demands are made on your backup energy resources, rendering them unable to rebuild and recharge adequately. If you do this habitually, you can expect to have little resistance to disease and stress and an increase in irritability, while creativity, concentration, and efficiency suffer.

Sleep deprivation impairs judgment, causing values and priorities to change. Continued loss of sleep can result in exhaustion, depression, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Losing as little as three hours of sleep in a single night can cut the effectiveness of your immune system in half.

Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to numerous serious medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, inflammation and pain, and even early mortality.

There are a variety of things we can do throughout the day to lay the groundwork for better sleep at night.

  • Engage in active exercise daily to best counteract mental and emotional fatigue.
  • Find an outdoor activity you enjoy and can do every day—sunshine, exercise, and fresh air promote sleep. The sweetest rest follows labor. “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet.” Ecclesiastes 5:12
  • Avoid caffeine, even during the day. It commonly causes insomnia. Avoid sleep aids that suppress REM sleep. Avoid alcohol. Skip TV viewing.
  • Maintain a regular schedule for going to bed and getting up, even on weekends.
  • An empty stomach promotes better sleep. Make evening meals light and eaten well before bedtime.
  • Sleep in a totally dark room. Turn off devices at least two hours before retiring.
  • Don’t rehearse the day’s problems at bedtime. Count your blessings and fill your mind with gratitude and thanksgiving. Take a warm bath. Drink herbal tea.
  • Seek a relationship with God who can bear your anxieties and refresh your spirit. Read the Scriptures. Pray.
  • Science has shown that “one day of rest per week” enhances work performance on the other six. Enjoy a Sabbath rest!

Try magnesium glycinate at the evening meal for physical and mental relaxation. Magnesium relaxes the muscles. Tension in the neck or shoulders and/or muscle twitches as well as leg and foot cramps could indicate a need for magnesium, which is depleted by chronic stress. Studies show that up to 80 percent of the population are low or deficient in magnesium.

Excerpts from;;

“I know that from the testimonies given me from time to time, for brain workers, that sleep is worth far more before than after midnight. Two hours’ good sleep before twelve o’clock is worth more than four hours after twelve o’clock.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 7, 223

“Make it a habit not to sit up after nine o’clock. Every light should be extinguished. This turning night into day is a wretched, health-destroying habit.” Daughters of God, 177

“Give yourselves … give all that are under you the fullest amount of sleep they will take, by compelling them to go to bed at some regular hour, and to rise in the morning the moment they awake; and within a fortnight, nature, with almost the regularity of the rising sun, will unloose the bonds of sleep the moment enough repose has been secured for the wants of the system. This is the only safe and sufficient rule—and as to the question how much sleep one requires, each must be a rule to himself—great Nature will never fail to write it out to the observer under the regulations just given.—Dr. Spicer.” How to Live, 193

The Lord has encouraged us to work six days and rest the seventh. That is His plan for the proper balance between work and rest. “On the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:2, 3

The ultimate rest is found in Jesus. Leave your burdens with the Lord and accept His peace and forgiveness. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29, 30

Bible Study Guides – Work

July 25 – 31, 2021

Key Text

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15).

 Study Help: Messages to Young People, 177–180.


“The true glory and joy of life are found only by the working man and woman. Labor brings its own reward, and sweet is the rest that is purchased by the fatigue of a well-spent day.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 98.



1.a. At creation, what was graciously supplied to humanity? Genesis 2:15.

Note: “God appointed labor as a blessing to man, to occupy his mind, to strengthen his body, and to develop his faculties. In mental and physical activity Adam found one of the highest pleasures of his holy existence. And when, as a result of his disobedience, he was driven from his beautiful home, and forced to struggle with a stubborn soil to gain his daily bread, that very labor, although widely different from his pleasant occupation in the garden, was a safeguard against temptation and a source of happiness. Those who regard work as a curse, attended though it be with weariness and pain, are cherishing an error. The rich often look down with contempt upon the working classes, but this is wholly at variance with God’s purpose in creating man. What are the possessions of even the most wealthy in comparison with the heritage given to the lordly Adam? Yet Adam was not to be idle. Our Creator, who understands what is for man’s happiness, appointed Adam his work. The true joy of life is found only by the working men and women.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 50.

1.b. What portion of a wise person’s labor belongs to him or to her? Ecclesiastes 3:13.



2.a. What is an intrinsic part of the fourth commandment? Exodus 20:9.

Note: “The religion you profess makes it as much your duty to employ your time during the six working days as to attend church on the Sabbath. You are not diligent in business. You let hours, days, and even weeks pass without accomplishing anything. The very best sermon you could preach to the world would be to show a decided reformation in your life, and provide for your own family. Says the apostle: ‘If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel’ (1 Timothy 5:8).” Testimonies, vol. 5, 179.

“Laziness and indolence are not the fruit borne upon the Christian tree.” Child Guidance, 124.

2.b. How do faithful stewards do their work? Colossians 3:23.

Note: “The path of toil appointed to the dwellers on earth may be hard and wearisome; but it is honored by the footprints of the Redeemer, and he is safe who follows in this sacred way. By precept and example, Christ has dignified useful labor. From His earliest years He lived a life of toil. The greater part of His earthly life was spent in patient work in the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth. In the garb of a common laborer the Lord of life trod the streets of the little town in which He lived, going to and returning from His humble toil; and ministering angels attended Him as He walked side by side with peasants and laborers, unrecognized and unhonored.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 276.

“You are not to neglect the duty that lies directly in your pathway, but you are to improve the little opportunities that open around you. You must go on doing your very best in the smaller works of life, taking up heartily and faithfully the work God’s providence has assigned you. However small, you should do it with all the thoroughness with which you would do a larger work. Your fidelity will be approved in the records of heaven.” The Signs of the Times, June 16, 1890.



3.a. When should training begin concerning God’s statutes and judgments? Deuteronomy 6:7.

Note: “The education of the child for good or for evil begins in its earliest years. The children should be taught that they are a part of the family firm. They should be trained to act their part in the home. They are not to be continually waited upon; rather, they should lighten the burdens of father and mother. As the older children grow up, they should help to care for the younger members of the family. The mother should not wear herself out by doing work that the children might do and should do.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 206, 207.

3.b. When should parents teach their children the principles of work and the duties of life? Proverbs 22:6.

Note: “In the home school the children should be taught how to perform the practical duties of everyday life. While they are still young, the mother should give them some simple task to do each day. It will take longer for her to teach them how than it would to do it herself; but let her remember that she is to lay for their character building the foundation of helpfulness. Let her remember that the home is a school in which she is the head teacher. It is hers to teach her children how to perform the duties of the household quickly and skillfully. As early in life as possible they should be trained to share the burdens of the home. From childhood boys and girls should be taught to bear heavier and still heavier burdens, intelligently helping in the work of the family firm.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 122.

3.c. What is the inevitable outcome of idleness? Proverbs 19:15.

Note: “Where there is an abundance of idleness, Satan works with his temptations to spoil life and character.” The Youth’s Instructor, October 18, 1894.



4.a. What is the counsel for those who do not fulfill the command to work on the six common days of the week and rest on the seventh day as given in the fourth commandment? 2 Thessalonians 3:10; Proverbs 6:9–11.

Note: “God has given men six days wherein to labor, and He requires that their own work be done in the six working days.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 307.

“The word of God declares that if a man will not work, neither shall he eat. The Lord does not require the hard-working man to support others in idleness. With many there is a waste of time, a lack of effort, which brings to poverty and want. If these faults are not corrected by those who indulge them, all that might be done in their behalf would be like putting treasure into a bag with holes.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 247.

“Those who are endeavoring to reform should be provided with employment. None who are able to labor should be taught to expect food and clothing and shelter free of cost. For their own sake, as well as for the sake of others, some way should be devised whereby they may return an equivalent for what they receive. Encourage every effort toward self-support. This will strengthen self-respect and a noble independence. And occupation of mind and body in useful work is essential as a safeguard against temptation.” The Ministry of Healing, 177.

“Indolent, careless habits indulged in secular work will be brought into the religious life and will unfit one to do any efficient service for God. Many who through diligent labor might have been a blessing to the world, have been ruined through idleness. Lack of employment and of steadfast purpose opens the door to a thousand temptations. Evil companions and vicious habits deprave mind and soul, and the result is ruin for this life and for the life to come.

“Whatever the line of work in which we engage, the word of God teaches us to be ‘not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.’ ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,’ ‘knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ’ (Romans 12:11; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Colossians 3:24).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 345, 346.


5 “HIS REST” (Hebrews 4:1)

5.a. When did the Lord institute His rest day for humanity? Genesis 2:2; Hebrews 4:4, 5. How did the Lord confirm His original institution? Mark 2:27, 28.

 Note: “God Himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed this day, and set it apart as a day of rest for man.” Christian Education, 190.

5.b. How do you prepare for what the Lord calls “My Sabbaths” or “My rest” (Exodus 31:13; Hebrews 4:5)? Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54, 56.

Note: “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.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 355, 356.

“Those who neglect to prepare for the Sabbath on the sixth day, and who cook food upon the Sabbath, violate the fourth commandment, and are transgressors of God’s law.” Spiritual Gift, vol. 3, 253, 254.



1    What is the purpose of labor?

2    What is part of the fourth commandment?

3    When should we begin to appreciate labor?

4    What happens if we are not productive during the week?

5    Describe the nature of the Christian and his or her rest on God’s holy day.

Copyright 2011, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Rest, Your Body’s Need to Lie Down on the Job

The modern world strives to make laborsaving devices, to provide recreation and entertainment, and to increase speed and efficiency at home and work. So why are we not rested? Why are we weary and stressed? Back in the eras we consider primitive, people had no such resources. Folks worked very hard and when the light of day waned-they went to bed. Today the activities often start before the sky brightens and continues long after the last ray has disappeared.

Our minds and bodies operate on a fairly constant 24-hour rhythm called the circadian rhythm, with alternating periods of arousal and sleep. Much is known regarding sleep cycles and the factors, including natural body chemistry, that regulate sleep. We know that sleep is necessary, but still do not know exactly why. Yes, it allows the body time and quiet to repair itself, but there is much more to it than that. Humans and animals with more complex brains, like cats, sleep more than small animals with smaller cortexes.1 Dreams occur during REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep, and during REM a person goes into complete muscle relaxation which may lead to increased restoration of muscle tissues.2 Blood flow and temperature of the brain increase during the REM cycle of sleep.

Sleep deprivation causes memory loss, emotional instability, and affects one’s analytical abilities, perception, motivation and motor control. Lack of sleep also impairs our immune systems and our ability to learn as well as our creativity and productivity.3

Resting is also important. Your normal waking, thinking wave is the beta wave which looks short and spiky. During rest, when a person lies still, closes their eyes, and stills their mind, EEG (electroencephalogram) testing indicates that their brains go into an alpha wave pattern. Alpha waves are flowing and synchronous.4 Rest appears to invigorate the body and make the brain more able to function optimally.

What are some ways you can get better sleep? No late suppers, for one thing. Since our metabolisms slow at night, food tends to digest very slowly and one gets the sensation of food “just sitting there,” which is exactly what it is doing. The body must send blood to the stomach to facilitate digestion, pulling blood away from the brain which vitally needs it for sleep processing. The evening meal should be light and eaten several hours before bedtime.

Try to get eight hours of sleep each night and exercise regularly. Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol because although they can sometimes make you drowsy, they actually reduce or eliminate important REM sleep. Keep your bedroom dark and free from stimuli. Absolutely no television watching in bed. Practice breathing deeply and taper to smooth regular respirations. Eliminate caffeine from your diet and keep to a regular bedtime. Exposing yourself to sunlight will help keep your circadian rhythm on track.

Many of us are not getting enough sleep even though it is as necessary to health as is nutrition and water. Many disorders, both physical and mental, can be attributed to sleep deprivation. Even with all our technology and laborsaving devices, all we have accomplished is making more time available for even more activities. We must re-learn to give our bodies and minds the rest needed for healing.

  1. Everyday Science Explained, Curt Suplee, National Geographic Society, 1996, 264
  2. Simple Remedies for the Home, Clarence W. Dail, MD and Charles S. Thomas, PhD, MMI Press, Harrisville, New Hampshire, 1985, 80
  3. The Promise of Sleep, William C. Dement, MD, PhD, and Christopher Vaughn, Dell Publishing, New York, 1999
  4. Biology, Neil A. Campbell, PhD, The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Redwood City, California, 1990, 1003

Bible Study Guides – “Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”

January 6, 2001 – January 12, 2001

MEMORY VERSE: “Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.” Psalm 130:1, 2.

STUDY HELP: Early Writings, 46–48.


“God in His great love is seeking to develop in us the precious graces of His Spirit. He permits us to encounter obstacles, persecution, and hardships, not as a curse, but as the greatest blessing of our lives. Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience and advances us in the work of character building. The soul that through divine power resists temptation reveals to the world and to the heavenly universe the efficiency of the grace of Christ.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 117.

“As Thy Days, so shall Thy Strength Be”

  1. What precious counsel are we given by Christ? Matthew 6:34.

NOTE: “Be not therefore anxious for the morrow.” Matthew 6:34. R. V.

See The Desire of Ages, 313.

  1. What counsel does the psalmist give? Psalm 55:22.

NOTE: “You are to live for the present, for this day only. Tomorrow is not yours. Today you are to maintain the victory over self. Today you are to live a life of prayer. Today you are to fight the good fight of faith. Today you are to believe that God blesses you. And as you gain the victory over darkness and unbelief, you will meet the requirements of the Master, and will become a blessing to those around you.” Signs of the Times, October 20, 1887.

“I Will Be With Thee”

  1. What precious promises may we rely on in times of trouble? Isaiah 43:1, 2; Isaiah 41:13.

NOTE: See Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 121.

  1. What further confidence may we have in God? Romans 8:28.

NOTE: “All that has perplexed us in the providences of God will in the world to come be made plain. The things hard to be understood will then find explanation. The mysteries of grace will unfold before us. Where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken promises, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. We shall know that infinite love ordered the experiences that seemed most trying.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 286.

“Rest in the Lord”

  1. What purpose does God have in allowing trouble to come to His children? Hebrews 12:11.

NOTE: “He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. Whatever comes to him comes from the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Nothing can touch him except by the Lord’s permission. All our sufferings and sorrows, all our temptations and trials, all our sadness and griefs, all our persecutions and privations, in short, all things work together for our good. All experiences and circumstances are God’s workmen whereby good is brought to us.” The Ministry of Healing, 489.

  1. When others treat us badly, what should our response be? Matthew 5:44, 45; 1 Peter 3:9; Psalm 37:7, 8.

NOTE: See The Ministry of Healing, 490.

“The LORD Will Lighten My Darkness”

  1. To whom may we look when life seems dark? 2 Samuel 22:29.

NOTE: “It is not wise to look to ourselves and study our emotions. If we do this, the enemy will present difficulties and temptations that weaken faith and destroy courage. Closely to study our emotions and give way to our feelings is to entertain doubt and entangle ourselves in perplexity. We are to look away from self to Jesus. When temptations assail you, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light.” The Ministry of Healing, 249, 250.

  1. In times of sickness and pain, what promises will sustain us? Isaiah 46:3, 4; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 49:14–16.

NOTE: “Often your mind may be clouded because of pain. Then do not try to think. You know that Jesus loves you. He understands your weakness. You may do His will by simply resting in His arms.” The Ministry of Healing, 251.

“He Knoweth the Way that I Take”

  1. How did Job express his soul’s anguish at the height of his trouble? Job 23:1–3, 8, 9.

NOTE: “The children of God are not left alone and defenseless. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence.… If we surrender our lives to His service, we can never be placed in a position for which God has not made provision. Whatever may be our situation, we have a Guide to direct our way; whatever our perplexities, we have a sure Counselor; whatever our sorrow, bereavement, or loneliness, we have a sympathizing Friend. If in our ignorance we make missteps, Christ does not leave us. His voice, clear and distinct, is heard saying, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ John 14:6. ‘He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.’ Psalm 72:12.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 172, 173.

  1. How did Job express his trust in the Lord? Job 23:10.

NOTE: “Our God is an ever-present help in every time of need. He is perfectly acquainted with the most secret thoughts of our heart, with all the intents and purposes of our souls. When we are in perplexity, even before we open to Him our distress, He is making arrangements for our deliverance. Our sorrow is not unnoticed. He always knows much better than we do, just what is necessary for the good of His children, and He leads us as we would choose to be led if we could discern our own hearts and see our necessities and perils, as God sees them.” Our High Calling, 316.

“Out of the Depths”

  1. What prayer may be ours in times of spiritual darkness? Psalm 130:1–8.

NOTE: “O how privileged we are that we may come to Jesus just as we are and cast ourselves upon His love! We have no hope but in Jesus. He alone can reach us with His hand to lift us up out of the depths of discouragement and hopelessness and place our feet upon the Rock. Although the human soul may cling to Jesus with all the desperate sense of his great need, Jesus will cling to the souls bought by His own blood with a firmer grasp than the sinner clings to Him.” That I May Know Him, 80.

  1. What Bible pictures of God’s love and care may we look to in times of trouble? Isaiah 32:2; Isaiah 25:4, 5; 2 Samuel 22:2, 3.

NOTE: “Christ knows the strength of your temptations and the strength of your power to resist. His hand is always stretched out in pitying tenderness to every suffering child. To the tempted, discouraged one he says, Child for whom I suffered and died, can not you trust Me?… Words can not describe the peace and joy possessed by him who takes God at His word. Trials do not disturb him, slights do not vex him. Self is crucified. Day by day his duties may become more taxing, his temptations stronger, his trials more severe; but he does not falter; for he receives strength equal to his need.” The Youth’s Instructor, June 26, 1902.\

A Day of Sabbath Rest

Are you tired? Are you weary of the rat race and busyness of life? Do you wish you could take a break from it all? In the Bible we are told that God took a break from His work. When God created the world, He worked for six days, and then “He rested on the seventh day from all His work, which He had made.” Genesis 2:2. Even the God of heaven and earth stopped His work for a day of refreshment. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:17.

A Day of Rest – Instituted at Creation

God understands our need to rest. He knows our need for a break, and in the very beginning (creation), He instituted a day for us to rest and be refreshed just as He was. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8. When God says to “Remember the Sabbath day,” He is saying to remember the seventh day of creation, because in verse 11 He points us back to creation when the Sabbath was created, His example of rest. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11.

A Day of Refreshment

The Sabbath was made for man to be a refreshment. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:17.

God’s Gift to “All Mankind”

“And He [Jesus] said unto them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.’” Mark 2:27. The Sabbath was instituted after the creation of man. It is meant to be a blessing, a gift, for all mankind. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

A Rest from Labor

“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” Exodus 20:9–11. “The weekly cycle of seven literal days, six for labor and the seventh for rest, which has been preserved and brought down through Bible history, originated in the great facts of the first seven days.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol.1, 86.

A Day of Holy Thoughts

This day is also given to us as a rest from all our wearisome thoughts. “God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:3.

Sabbath is a Day of Holy Worship to God

“Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.” Leviticus 23:3.

“Remember” the Seventh-day Sabbath

The Sabbath was not instituted when God gave His law to the Jews. The Lord told the Jews to “remember” the Sabbath. The Sabbath was not a new commandment; it had already been given; it was instituted at creation for all mankind. The Jews were told to “remember” the Sabbath, because when they were in Egypt, they were slaves and had lost the importance of the Sabbath rest. The Lord tells mankind to “remember,” because He knew this was the one commandment the world would tend to forget.

Sabbath is an Everlasting Covenant

“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” Exodus 31:16.

God’s Law is for All Mankind

Jesus says to us, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. “Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.” Deuteronomy 5:15. God’s law was given to the Jews, because He was their Saviour from bondage/Egypt. God’s law is given to us, because He is our Creator and our Saviour from bondage/world of sin.

Saturday – the Seventh-day is the Sabbath

When Jesus died for our sins, He hung on the cross and died on the sixth day of the week — Friday. He “rested on the Sabbath,” the seventh day — Saturday. He was raised from the dead on the first day — Sunday. As Creator, Jesus rested on the Sabbath. As Saviour, Jesus rested on the Sabbath. “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. . . . And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath.” Mark 15:37, 42. “And when the Sabbath was past, . . very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.” Mark 16:1, 2. “And he took it [Jesus’ body] down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation [Friday], and the Sabbath [Saturday] drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. . . . He is not here, but is risen. . . .” Luke 23:53–56; 24:1, 6. “When Jesus . . . said, ‘It is finished:’ and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day. . . .” John 19:30, 31.

Choose Ye This Day — A Blessing or a Curse

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, . . . And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God. . . .” Deuteronomy 11:26-28. “On the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.” Exodus 35:2. “Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it . . . shall be cut off from among his people.” Exodus 31:14.

Sabbath keeping — A Special Blessing Given

“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. “Blessed is the man. . . that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it. . . .” Isaiah 56:2.

Restoring the Temple – Rest

Rest was the first command that God, in His eternal wisdom, gave to us. Do not be confused between rest and idleness. Many do not rest because of guilt that they are somehow being idle. If this describes you, I would suggest doing a study on rest and discovering how it differs from laziness. Ellen White states:

“Those who make great exertions to accomplish just so much work in a given time, and continue to labor when their judgment tells them they should rest, are never gainers. They are living on borrowed capital. They are expending the vital force which they will need at a future time. And when the energy they have so recklessly used is demanded, they fail for want of it. The physical strength is gone, the mental powers fail. They realize that they have met with a loss, but do not know what it is. Their time of need has come, but their physical resources are exhausted. Everyone who violates the laws of health must sometime be a sufferer to a greater or less degree. God has provided us with constitutional force, which will be needed at different periods of our life. If we recklessly exhaust this force by continual overtaxation, we shall sometime be losers. Our usefulness will be lessened, if not our life itself destroyed.” Counsels on Health, 99.

On the other hand, others would be more than happy to rest, but they complain of being too busy. Rest is one of the natural remedies that requires no effort, that is, apart from finding time for it.

The modern world strives to make laborsaving devices, to provide recreation and entertainment, and to increase speed and efficiency at home and work. So why are we not rested? Why are we weary and stressed? Back in the eras we consider primitive, people had no such resources. Folks worked very hard, and when the light of day waned, they went to bed. Today the activities often start before the sky brightens and continues long after the last ray has disappeared.

Our minds and bodies operate on a fairly constant 24-hour rhythm called the circadian rhythm, with alternating periods of arousal and sleep. Much is known regarding sleep cycles and the factors, including natural body chemistry, that regulate sleep. We know that sleep is necessary, but we still do not know exactly why. Yes, it allows the body time and quiet to repair itself, but there is much more to it than that. Humans and animals with more complex brains, like cats, sleep more than small animals with smaller cortexes.1 Dreams occur during REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep, and during REM a person goes into complete muscle relaxation which may lead to increased restoration of muscle tissues.2 Blood flow and temperature of the brain increase during the REM cycle of sleep.

Sleep deprivation causes memory loss, emotional instability, and affects one’s analytical abilities, perception, motivation and motor control. Lack of sleep also impairs our immune systems and our ability to learn, as well as our creativity and productivity.3

Resting is also important. Your normal waking, thinking wave is the beta wave that looks short and spiky. During rest, when a person lies still, closes their eyes, and stills their mind, EEG (electroencephalogram) testing indicates that their brains go into an alpha wave pattern. Alpha waves are flowing and synchronous.4 Rest appears to invigorate the body and make the brain more able to function optimally.

What are some ways you can get better sleep? No late suppers, for one thing. Since our metabolisms slow at night, food tends to digest very slowly, and one gets the sensation of food “just sitting there,” which is exactly what it is doing. The body must send blood to the stomach to facilitate digestion, pulling blood away from the brain which vitally needs it for sleep processing. The evening meal should be light and eaten several hours before bedtime.

Try to get eight hours of sleep each night and exercise regularly. Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol, because although they can sometimes make you drowsy, they actually reduce or eliminate important REM sleep. Keep your bedroom dark and free from stimuli—absolutely no television watching in bed! Practice breathing deeply and taper to smooth regular respirations. Eliminate caffeine from your diet and keep to a regular bedtime. Exposing yourself to sunlight will help keep your circadian rhythm on track.

Many of us are not getting enough sleep, even though it is as necessary to health as is nutrition and water. Many disorders, both physical and mental, can be attributed to sleep deprivation. Even with all our technology and laborsaving devices, all we have accomplished is making more time available for even more activities. We must relearn to give our bodies and minds the rest needed for healing.

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29.

  1. Everyday Science Explained, Curt Suplee, National Geographic Society, 1996, 264
  2. Simple Remedies for the Home, Clarence W. Dail, MD and Charles S. Thomas, PhD, MMI Press, Harrisville, New Hampshire, 1985, 80
  3. The Promise of Sleep, William C. Dement, MD, PhD, and Christopher Vaughn, Dell Publishing, New York, 1999
  4. Biology, Neil A. Campbell, PhD, The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Redwood City, California, 1990, 1003

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 4

February 9–February 15, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.” Hebrews 4:14.

SUGGESTED READING: Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 928, 929.

INTRODUCTION: “I have been shown that God has a work for you to do, and you can do it to His acceptance if you rely firmly upon the arm that is infinite. But you must not think that He would have you bear the whole burden of His work. The cause is the Lord’s; He will take care of His own. You could do much greater and more efficient work if you would cultivate calm trust in God, and not become anxious and worried, as though Jesus still lay in the sepulcher, and you had no Saviour. He has risen; He has ascended to the heavens, and is your advocate before the throne of God. You may prefer your requests to God, knowing that you have a faithful High Priest, who will be touched with the feeling of your infirmities; for He has been tempted in all points like as we are. Do not feel that God is unmindful of you, but always remember that He loves you, and is willing to give you rest and peace in Him.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 132.

1 Of the children of Israel, whom did God determine would enter into rest? Hebrews 4:6, first part; Numbers 14:29–32.

NOTE: “Moses was soon to die, and he was commanded to gather the children of Israel together before his death and relate to them all the journeyings of the Hebrew host since their departure from Egypt, and all the great transgressions of their fathers, which brought His judgments upon them, and compelled Him to say that they should not enter the Promised Land. Their fathers had died in the wilderness, according to the word of the Lord. Their children had grown up, and to them the promise was to be fulfilled of possessing the land of Canaan.” The Story of Redemption, 170.

2 Why had those who left Egypt been denied entrance to the Promised Land, and how does this apply to us today? Hebrews 4:6, last part.

NOTE: “The lesson of this record is for us. The Lord had prepared the way before His people. They were very near the promised land. A little while and they would have entered Canaan. They themselves delayed the entering. In the first place, it was they who requested that spies should be sent up to search the land. . . .

“The request that the spies be sent into Canaan showed a lack of faith . . . .

“Brethren and sisters, from the light given me, I know that if the people of God had preserved a living connection with Him, if they had obeyed His Word, they would today be in the heavenly Canaan.” The General Conference Bulletin, March 30, 1903.

“Many who, like ancient Israel, profess to keep God’s commandments have hearts of unbelief while outwardly observing the statutes of God. Although favored with great light and precious privileges, they will nevertheless lose the heavenly Canaan, even as the rebellious Israelites failed to enter the earthly Canaan that God had promised them as the reward of their obedience.

“As a people we lack faith.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 162.

3 What warning was given to David, long after the time of Moses? Hebrews 4:7.

NOTE: “There is a day that God hath appointed for the close of this world’s history. ‘This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ [Matthew 24:14.] . . . The day is at hand when the destiny of every soul will be fixed forever. This day of the Lord hastens on apace. The false watchmen are raising the cry, ‘All is well;’ but the day of God is rapidly approaching. Its footsteps are so muffled that it does not arouse the world from the deathlike slumber into which it has fallen. While the watchmen cry, ‘Peace and safety,’ ‘sudden destruction cometh upon them,’ ‘and they shall not escape;’ ‘for as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ [1 Thessalonians 5:3; Luke 21:35.] It overtakes the pleasure-lover and the sinful man as a thief in the night. When all is apparently secure, and men retire to contented rest, then the prowling, stealthy, midnight thief steals upon his prey. When it is too late to prevent the evil, it is discovered that some door or window was not secured. ‘Be ye also ready: for in an such hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ [Mathew 24:44.] People are now settling to rest, imagining themselves secure under the popular churches; but let all beware, lest there is a place left open for the enemy to gain an entrance. Great pains should be taken to keep this subject before the people. The solemn fact is to be kept not only before the people of the world, but before our own churches also, that the day of the Lord will come suddenly, unexpectedly. The fearful warning of the prophecy is addressed to every soul. Let no one feel that he is secure from the danger of being surprised. Let no one’s interpretation of prophecy rob you of the conviction of the knowledge of events which show that this great event is near at hand.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 335, 336.

4 What was the rest into which Joshua led the children of Israel? Joshua 21:43, 44; Deuteronomy 12:10.

NOTE: “The Hebrew reads, ‘rest from round about,’ that is, from the surrounding nations.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 284.

5 If this was not the true rest, when is the true rest to be given? Hebrews 4:8, 9.

NOTE: “More than fourteen centuries before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the children of Israel gathered in the fair vale of Shechem, and from the mountains on either side the voices of the priests were heard proclaiming the blessings and the curses—‘a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God: . . . and a curse, if ye will not obey.’ Deuteronomy 11:27, 28. And thus the mountain from which the words of benediction were spoken came to be known as the mount of blessing. But it was not upon Gerizim that the words were spoken which have come as a benediction to a sinning and sorrowing world. Israel fell short of the high ideal which had been set before her. Another than Joshua must guide His people to the true rest of faith.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 1.

6 What are the conditions for entering this future rest? Hebrews 4:10, 11.

NOTE: “Here are the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life. Your obedience to God’s commandments will prove your right to an inheritance with the saints in light. God has elected a certain excellence of character; and every one who, through the grace of Christ, shall reach the standard of His requirement, will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of glory. All who would reach this standard of character, will have to employ the means that God has provided to this end. If you would inherit the rest that remaineth for the children of God, you must become a co-laborer with God.” Christian Education, 118.

“If you are willing to learn meekness and lowliness of heart in Christ’s school, He will surely give you rest and peace. It is a terribly hard struggle to give up your own will and your own way. But this lesson learned, you will find rest and peace. . . .

“In being co-workers with Christ in the great work for which He gave His life, we shall find true rest.” Sons and Daughters of God, 76.

7 How is the Word of God described? Hebrews 4:12.

NOTE: “The Bible is the standard by which to test the claims of

all who profess sanctification. Jesus prayed that his disciples might be sanctified through the truth, and He says, ‘Thy word is truth;’ while the psalmist declares, ‘Thy law is the truth.’ [John 17:17; Psalm 119:142.] All whom God is leading will manifest a high regard for the Scriptures in which his voice is heard. The Bible will be to them ‘profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.’ ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ [2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Matthew 7:16.] We need no other evidence in order to judge of men’s sanctification; if they are fearful lest they shall not obey the whole will of God, if they are listening diligently to his voice, trusting in his wisdom, and making his word the man of their counsel, then, while they make no boasts of superior goodness, we may be sure that they are seeking to attain to perfection of Christian character. But if the claimants of holiness even intimate that they are no longer required to search the Scriptures, we need not hesitate to pronounce their sanctification spurious. They are leaning to their own understanding, instead of conforming to the will of God.” Review and Herald, October 5, 1886.

8 What is that Word of God that will discern every thought and intent of the heart? Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.

NOTE: “To those who love God it will be the highest delight to keep His commandments and to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. . . .” My Life Today, 163.

“Let those who feel inclined to make a high profession of holiness look into the mirror of God’s law. As they see its far-reaching claims, and understand its work as a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, they will not boast of sinlessness.” The Acts of the Apostles, 562.

9 Before whom are all things open? Hebrews 4:13.

NOTE: ” ‘A book of remembrance’ is written before God . . . . Malachi 3:16. . . . Every deed of righteousness is immortalized. There every temptation resisted, every evil overcome, every word of tender pity expressed, is faithfully chronicled. And every act of sacrifice, every suffering and sorrow endured for Christ’s sake, is recorded.” The Great Controversy, 481.

“God will bring to light every word and every action. He is in every place. . . . The hidden works of darkness will be brought to light. The thoughts, the intents and purposes of the heart, will stand revealed. All things are naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Counsels on Health, 412.

10 What position has Jesus taken in the courts of Heaven? Hebrews 4:14.

NOTE: “The Son of God . . . has fulfilled His pledge, and has passed into the heavens, to take upon Himself the government of the heavenly host. He fulfilled one phase of His priesthood by dying on the cross for the fallen race. He is now fulfilling another phase by pleading before the Father the case of the repenting, believing sinner, presenting to God the offerings of His people. Having taken human nature and in this nature having overcome the temptations of the enemy, and having divine perfection, to Him has been committed the judgment of the world. The case of each one will be brought in review before Him. He will pronounce judgment, rendering to every man according to his works (Manuscript 42, 1901).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 929.

11 What assurance is given to us because of His position? Hebrews 4:15. Compare Hebrews 2:17, 18.

NOTE: “In Christ were united the human and the divine. His mission was to reconcile God and man, to unite the finite with the infinite. This was the only way in which fallen men could be exalted through the merits of the blood of Christ to be partakers of the divine nature. Taking human nature fitted Christ to understand man’s trials and sorrows, and all the temptations wherewith he is beset. Angels who were unacquainted with sin could not sympathize with man in his peculiar trials. Christ condescended to take man’s nature and was tempted in all points like as we, that He might know how to succor all who should be tempted.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 201.

12 How may we come to the throne of grace, and what will we find there? Hebrews 4:16.

NOTE: “Heaven is open to our petitions, and we are invited to come ‘boldly unto the throne of grace . . .’ (Hebrews 4:16). We are to come in faith, believing that we shall obtain the very things we ask of Him.” In Heavenly Places, 80.

“With the trusting faith of a little child, we are to come to our heavenly Father, telling Him of all our needs. He is always ready to pardon and help. The supply of divine wisdom is inexhaustible, and the Lord encourages us to draw largely from it. The longing that we should have for spiritual blessings is described in the words, ‘As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.’ [Psalm 42:1.] We need a deeper soul-hunger for the rich gifts that heaven has to bestow.” Sons and Daughters of God, 121.

Six Days Shalt Thou Labor

In Exodus 20:8–11 we read: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

The Sabbath is the memorial of creation. It is the day in which God rested from all His work and saw that it was good. As we worship God on the day that He has designated, we acknowledge that He is the living God that made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters—it acknowledges that we accept God as the Creator.

As I studied the fourth commandment more closely, I noticed that God’s command was not only for us to rest from labor on His holy day, but also, as it states in verse nine, “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work.” Rarely do I hear much said on this part of the fourth commandment, yet, I believe it was no accident that God admonished us to be physically active.

In Genesis 2:2, 3, the Bible says, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” Three times the Bible uses the word work, denoting that the Lord was active on the first six days of the week.

God’s work included the creation of all living things, of which Adam was the crowning act. Adam was the first man and God placed him in a garden. “In this garden were trees of every variety, many of them laden with fragrant and delicious fruit. There were lovely vines, growing upright, yet presenting a most graceful appearance, with their branches drooping under their load of tempting fruit of the richest and most varied hues. It was the work of Adam and Eve to train the branches of the vine to form bowers, thus making for themselves a dwelling from living trees covered with foliage and fruit. There were fragrant flowers of every hue in rich profusion. In the midst of the garden stood the tree of life, surpassing in glory all other trees. Its fruit appeared like apples of gold and silver, and had the power to perpetuate life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 47. [All emphasis supplied.]

“. . . But God placed Adam in a garden. This was his dwelling. The blue heavens were its dome; the earth, with its delicate flowers and carpet of living green, was its floor; and the leafy branches of the goodly trees were its canopy. Its walls were hung with the most magnificent adornings—the handiwork of the great Master Artist.” Ibid., 49.

“To the dwellers in Eden was committed the care of the garden, ‘to dress it and to keep it.’ Their occupation was not wearisome, but pleasant and invigorating. God appointed labor as a blessing to man, to occupy his mind, to strengthen his body, and to develop his faculties. In mental and physical activity Adam found one of the highest pleasures of his holy existence.” Ibid., 50.

God appointed Adam his labor. He was the caretaker, or groundskeeper, of the most beautiful garden on earth. His brain, his heart and all his strength were brought into his labors. “When in counsel with the Father before the world was, it was designed that the Lord God should plant a garden for Adam and Eve in Eden and give them the task of caring for the fruit trees and cultivating and training the vegetation. Useful labor was to be their safeguard, and it was to be perpetuated through all generations to the close of earth’s history.” Child Guidance, 345. God appointed Adam labor or physical exercise as a safeguard. Exercise is one of the eight laws of health and one of God’s true physicians, which if consistently practiced, will help keep our bodies in a healthful condition and our minds alert.

Not only did Adam exercise in the garden of Eden, he also practiced all the eight natural remedies. He practiced good nutrition, because the Bible says in Genesis 1:29, “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” He also drank pure, fresh water, because the Bible says in Genesis 2:10, “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden . . .” He ate an abstemious diet of natural foods (raw foods), for the Bible says in Genesis 2:9, “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” He trusted in divine power, because the Bible says in Genesis 2:21, 22, “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh . . . And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Thus, God provided “an help meet for him.” Adam enjoyed daily sunshine, for the Bible says in Genesis 1:16, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” He enjoyed the fresh air also, because the Bible says in Genesis 1:8, “And God called the firmament Heaven [the atmospheric heavens]. And as God did, Adam also rested on the Sabbath day from all his labors. The Bible says in Genesis 2:2, 3: “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made . . . And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” “Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. Every person should have a knowledge of nature’s remedial agencies and how to apply them.” The Ministry of Healing, 127.

Our first parents experienced great vitality as they exercised in the open air and sunshine. They ate no animal food (dairy, cheese and butter), no eggs or junk food, but the natural, raw products provided by God in the garden. “Adam and Eve, in their untainted purity, delighted in the sights and sounds of Eden. God appointed them their work in the garden, ‘to dress it and to keep it.’ Each day’s labor brought them health and gladness, and the happy pair greeted with joy the visits of their Creator, as in the cool of the day He walked and talked with them. Daily God taught them His lessons.” The Ministry of Healing, 261.

Adam was created upright and glowed in health. He was as obedient to God in following the laws of His being as he was the ten commandments. We, too, should follow Adam’s example of loyalty to his Maker by obeying all the laws (physically and spiritually) that God has given us. Ellen White gave the following counsel many years ago, “To those who desire prayer for their restoration to health, it should be made plain that the violation of God’s law, either natural or spiritual, is sin, and that in order for them to receive His blessing, sin must be confessed and forsaken.” The Ministry of Healing, 228.

Adam and Eve fell by indulgence of appetite in eating what God had commanded them not to. Their sin had its effect and the result was a curse upon all life. The Bible says, “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return . . . Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” (Genesis 3:18, 19, 23). Adam’s physical labor, or exercise, must now increase—for in the “sweat of thy face” he must now till the ground.” God had planted the first garden in Eden, and now Adam must plant the second. Now he would have to plow, sow and raise the crops himself.

Yet there was still a blessing attached to this.

“Exercise in the open air should be prescribed as a life-giving necessity. And for such exercises there is nothing better than the cultivation of the soil. Let patients have flower beds to care for, or work to do in the orchard or vegetable garden. As they are encouraged to . . . spend time in the open air, cultivating flowers or doing some other light, pleasant work, their attention will be diverted from themselves and their sufferings.” The Ministry of Healing, 265.

Since man no longer had access to the tree of life to sustain him eternally, God added to his diet the herb of the field (vegetables) which are filled with chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and the more recently discovered phytochemicals—powerful cancer fighting chemicals, and increased his exercise. But there was still a blessing attached to the transition for Adam. The added vegetables and increased exercise would benefit his health, add years to his life, and ward off disease. Remember, exercise in the fresh air is God’s prescription.

Let us look at some facts about exercise. Did you know there are over 600 muscles in the body and without exercise they would lose their tone and elasticity, toxins would build up, and depression and illness would set in? Did you also know that the strongest muscle for its size is our heart and it needs exercise too? It beats 2.5 billion times in an average life time, driving five quarts of blood every minute to every cell in the body to cleanse and nourish it. Every part of our body depends on regular physical activity. By exercising, the body responds with better circulation and increased blood flow, sending more blood with nutrients and oxygen to our vital organs. Better circulation will lead to an overall improvement of your whole being: diabetics are helped by burning the extra glucose, overweight people will drop pounds, arthritics notice improvement, lung congestion is alleviated, endorphins (mood elevating hormones) are released to fight depression, stress is reduced, hypertension can be alleviated, and the entire system is strengthened and invigorated.

In fact, the U.S. has classified lack of exercise as a major health risk. “A large proportion of all the infirmities that afflict the human family, are the results of their own wrong habits, because of their willing ignorance, or of their disregard of the light which God has given in relation to the laws of their being. It is not possible for us to glorify God while living in violation of the laws of life. The heart cannot possibly maintain consecration to God while lustful appetite is indulged. A diseased body and disordered intellect, because of continual indulgence in hurtful lust, make sanctification of the body and spirit impossible.” Counsels on Diets and Foods, 44.

Exercise is also necessary for a healthy lymphatic system. Our bodies cleanse the cells in a watery fluid called lymph and unlike the heart, the lymph system has no pump. It depends on motion or exercise, a milking effect, to move the toxins along to the organs like the bowel for elimination. When the system gets overloaded with toxins, adverse reactions can occur within our bodies—such as swollen tonsils and appendices. However, you may not need to cut them out, but only to cleanse the body by changing the diet. Eat simple foods such as fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of pure water, and get outdoor exercise. Also, a high fiber (vegetarian) diet is vital to the bowel and its function of detoxification and elimination. A short fast is the quickest way to detoxify the body.

Continuing with the body, when you think of bones, do you tend to think of them as solid mass? Well they are not. They are living, breathing, porous structures that contain blood vessels which keep the blood flowing through the bone. The more we exercise, the stronger our muscles and bones become and the more calcium is utilized to prevent osteoporosis.

Life depends on the flow of blood in our bodies. One half of the people who die each year die from circulatory problems resulting from a high fat diet and lack of exercise. Exercise greatly increases the effectiveness with which the heart delivers oxygen and other vital nutrients to all the areas of the body. With this increase in efficiency, vital blood pathways are cleaned out and overall circulation is enhanced. This ensures optimum performance of all the organs and keeps them functioning properly—safeguards as God intended.

Cultivating the soil or brisk walking accelerates the heart’s action and increases circulation and oxygen to the whole body. The idea is to get aerobic (oxygen) exercise. Today you have many aerobic sports such as walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, stair steppers and treadmills. We used to believe that in order to get sufficient exercise we had to beat our bodies for an hour and a half or until we were dripping with sweat. Not true! Science has reported that 25 minutes of accelerating your heart rate is all that you need. The key is consistency.

Consistency was the advice that the Lord gave to us in the fourth commandment. He stated, “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work.” Our creator gave the right instructions thousands of years ago and science is confirming it in the twentieth century. If they keep looking hard enough perhaps they will find the other laws of health that were given to Adam in the garden of Eden. God certainly provides for His people!

Ellen White wrote decades ago, “When the weather will permit, all who can possibly do so ought to walk in the open air every day, summer and winter . . . A walk, even in winter, would be more beneficial to the health than all the medicine the doctors may prescribe . . . There is no exercise that will prove as beneficial to every part of the body as walking. Active walking in the open air will do more for women, to preserve them in health if they are well, than any other means. Walking is also one of the most efficient remedies for the recovery of health of the invalid. The hands and arms are exercised as well as the limbs.” Healthful Living, 130.

The fourth commandment not only emphasizes exercise, but commands us to cease from work and to rest on the seventh day—the day God blessed and sanctified. With His own finger He wrote, “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shall not do any work.” Exodus 20:10.

It is during periods of rest and sleep that the body repairs itself, re-generates itself, and prepares for renewed activity. It is every bit as essential for life as air, food and water. Its primary purpose is the regeneration of nerve energy and, by it, the vitality of the body is restored. Let us understand that rest is not synonymous with sleep. The Sabbath day is a day to cease from our work, a time to rest, but not a day to sleep away.

What is rest? It is a period of inactivity during which the body can restore expended energy. There are four kinds of rest.

  1. Physical rest: Sitting or lying down and relaxing.
  2. Sensory Rest: By quietness and refraining from using the eyes, which curtails a great drain of energy.
  3. Emotional rest: By withdrawing from the ups and downs caused by personal interaction.
  4. Mental rest: This is obtained by detaching the mind from all intellectual demands or activity. Like taking morning walks, sitting in a Jacuzzi, or reading scripture. We need both physical and mental rest.

As God’s peculiar people we are pilgrims passing through a strange land, because our home will be Eden restored. “Adam and Eve fell through intemperate appetite. Christ came and withstood the fiercest temptation of Satan, and, in behalf of the race, overcame appetite, showing that man may overcome. As Adam fell through appetite, and lost blissful Eden, the children of Adam may, through Christ, overcome appetite, and through temperance in all things regain Eden.” Counsels on Diets and Foods, 70.

In the book The Great Controversy, Ellen White beautifully portrays through the written word the scene on the great resurrection day. She writes: “The Son of God redeemed man’s failure and fall; and now, through the work of the atonement, Adam is reinstated in his first dominion.

“Transported with joy, he beholds the trees that were once his delight—the very trees whose fruit he himself had gathered in the days of his innocence and joy. He sees the vines that his own hands have trained, the very flowers that he once loved to care for. His mind grasps the reality of the scene; he comprehends that this is indeed Eden restored, more lovely now than when he was banished from it. The Saviour leads him to the tree of life and plucks the glorious fruit and bids him eat. He looks about him and beholds a multitude of his family redeemed, standing in the Paradise of God. Then he casts his glittering crown at the feet of Jesus and, falling upon His breast, embraces the Redeemer. He touches the golden harp, and the vaults of heaven echo the triumphant song: ‘Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again!’ The family of Adam take up the strain and cast their crowns at the Saviour’s feet as they bow before Him in adoration.” The Great Controversy, 647, 648.

“Upon the heads of the overcomers, Jesus with His own right hand places the crown of glory. For each there is a crown, bearing his own ‘new name’ (Revelation 2:17), and the inscription, ‘Holiness to the Lord. . . .’ There they behold the Paradise of God, the home of Adam in his innocency. Then that voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, is heard, saying: ‘Your conflict is ended.’ ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Now is fulfilled the Saviour’s prayer for His disciples: ‘I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ ‘Faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.’ (Jude 24), Christ presents to the Father the purchase of His blood, declaring: ‘Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given Me.’ ‘Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept.’ Oh, the wonders of redeeming love! The rapture of that hour when the infinite Father, looking upon the ransomed, shall behold His image, sin’s discord banished, its blight removed, and the human once more in harmony with the divine!’ ” Ibid., 646.

The Garden of Eden is the Paradise of God—it is where God’s throne will be forever. The Bible says, “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:1, 2. Here we have a picture of the new earth where the throne of God, the river of life, and the tree of life are each present. The Bible also states in Revelation 2:7 that, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” If the tree of life is by God’s throne, and the tree of life is in Paradise, then God’s throne must be in Paradise—the garden of Eden.

“The Garden of Eden remained upon the earth long after man had become an outcast from its pleasant paths. The fallen race were long permitted to gaze upon the home of innocence, their entrance barred only by the watching angels. At the cherubim-guarded gate of Paradise the divine glory was revealed. Hither came Adam and his sons to worship God. Here they renewed their vows of obedience to that law the transgression of which had banished them from Eden. When the tide of iniquity overspread the world, and the wickedness of men determined their destruction by a flood of waters, the hand that had planted Eden withdrew it from the earth. But in the final restitution, when there shall be a ‘new heaven and a new earth’ (Rev. 21:1), it is to be restored more gloriously adorned than at the beginning.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 62.

“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind . . . And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 65:17, 21–25. Did you notice the words: “plant,” “build,” “work,” and “labour”? In the new earth we will be exercising in the open air and working in our gardens and vineyards growing wonderful vegetarian food (organic raw food)! Figs, pomegranates, almonds, grapes and much, much more. What a feast I long for!

“For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:22, 23.

Have you ever noticed, according to Isaiah 66, that we will be worshipping God not only from one Sabbath to another (every week), but also from one new moon to another (every month)? In the earth made new we will be celebrating and enjoying the fruit of the tree of life, which “bear twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” But this time we will be eating it with Adam and Jesus and enjoying the Sabbath for eternity.

“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Exodus 20:11.

For more information: Modern Manna Ministries
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Heaven is a Good Place

Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon the earth where moth and rust corrupts or disfigures and where thieves dig through or break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust corrupts and where thieves do not dig through, neither steal. For where your treasure is, there also your heart will be.” Matthew 6:19–21.

“Satan is constantly at work to present worldly things in so attractive a light that the Christian may be bribed to make the world his first consideration. Should he induce the Christian to seek for worldly treasures, and make things of God of secondary importance, he could readily efface the image of God from the soul. There is continual danger that the things of this world will gain the supremacy and cause us to neglect the things of priceless value.” The Signs of the Times, April 4, 1895.

More time should be spent on the subject of heaven. The devil is presenting all kinds of things in this world in such an attractive light that we are in constant danger of making the things of this world first and more important than the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. The devil plans to rob us of our eternal inheritance.

“The great Teacher gives man a view of the future world. He brings it, with its attractive possessions, within the range of his vision. He presents the actual claims of God and heaven. If He can fasten the mind upon its future life and its blessedness, in comparison with the temporal concerns of this world, the striking contrast is deeply impressed upon the mind, absorbing the heart and soul in the whole being. He [Christ] thus removes the things of time and sense from the affections where they have had the supremacy and gives them their place as subordinate to the higher and eternal realities.” Our High Calling, 286.

Jesus presents the attractions of heaven to us to remove the temporal things of this world from our affections where they have had the supremacy. If we lose our vision of heaven, it will be impossible to get ready to go to a place that is out of mind. Constantly imagine the kind of a place it is and the things we will do there.

Firstly, let’s look at some things that will not be in heaven. Some time ago I knew a gentleman who had become a Seventh-day Adventist a short time before he died. His funeral was held in the Lutheran church which was packed with hundreds of people. Almost his whole family and friends were of the Lutheran faith. One of his friends suggested that I talk about heaven and in researching this subject, most of what I found in my Bible were things that would not be there.

No More Trouble

“There the wicked cease [from] troubling; and there the weary be at rest.” Job 3:17.

There will never be any trouble from any wicked person in heaven because they cease from troubling. Here in this world people are in trouble because of what they or others are saying or doing, something contrary to the law of God causing all kinds of trouble, stress, and strife in our world. In heaven, there will be no more trouble.

No More Tears

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death will not be anymore, neither sorrow, neither crying, neither pain will be anymore, because the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4. No more sin, no more death, no more sorrow. Just a few days before she died, Ellen White wrote, “All will be a happy, united family, clothed with garments of praise and thanksgiving. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming, ‘There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.’ ” The Adventist Home, 544.

No Violence

“Violence will no longer be heard in your land, wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.” Isaiah 60:18. It goes on to say how the days of mourning will be ended and the people will all be righteous. It is a wonderful passage of Scripture. There will not be any mourning or any violence, and there will not be any destruction.

No Deformities

There are many deformities in this world. Most of us have fillings in our teeth, wear glasses and have many other kinds of deformities. But in heaven there will only be perfection. Isaiah 35:5, 6, says, “The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. The lame man shall leap as a hart [a deer], and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.” The deformities so common in this world will be gone, and no one will ever say again, “I am sick.” “Not, he will say, the inhabitant, I am sick.” Isaiah 33:24. Sickness and deformity will be something of the past. We look forward to the time when those using canes and wheelchairs and crutches will be able to throw them away and be rid of all their deformities.

No Selfishness

The disciples at one time came to Jesus inquiring who would be the greatest in heaven. He answered them in Matthew 18:3, 4 saying, “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become as little children, you will in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

There will be no rough, unkind or selfish person in heaven; only those who have the meekness of a little child will be there. “In the family of God in heaven, there will not be found one who is selfish. The peace and harmony of the heavenly courts will not be marred by the presence of one who is rough or unkind. He who in this world exalts self in the work given him to do will never see the kingdom of God unless he is changed in his spirit, unless he becomes meek and lowly, revealing the simplicity of a little child.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 140.

If I recognize myself as rough, harsh, unkind, or selfish, I need to go to the Lord immediately and plead with Him to create in me a new heart and renew a right spirit within me. In heaven there will be no roughness or selfishness.

No Contentions

It is recorded in the Bible that on the night of Jesus’ betrayal there was strife and quarrelling amongst His disciples over which of them would be accounted the greatest. Jesus told them to be at peace with each other. You can read about it in Luke 22:23–27. Many times, whether being serious, or even in a joking manner, we fall into the devil’s temptation of shocking or jarring others, but there will be no contentions or war of words in heaven.

“Heaven is a home where sympathy is alive in every heart, expressed in every look. Love reigns there. There are no jarring elements, no discord or contentions or war of words.” Last Day Events, 296.

Does this mean people will be free to think in heaven? Yes, we will be free to have a different opinion; however, we are not going to have a war about it. Heaven is going to be a place full of individuals with different tastes. Here on earth Christians don’t all wear the same clothes or eat exactly alike because of our different tastes and cultures, and God made us to exercise the power of choice in these matters. There are many good things to choose from, making the world so diverse and interesting, but in heaven there will be no war of words over individual likes or dislikes.

No Tempter

This is really something to anticipate. There will be no tempter in heaven. “No tree of knowledge of good and evil will afford opportunity for temptation. No tempter is there, no possibility of wrong. Every character has withstood the testing of evil, and none are longer susceptible to its power.” Education, 301.

For a thousand years he (Satan) will experience the fruit of the curse which he has caused.

“Limited alone to the earth, he will not have the privilege of ranging to other planets, to tempt and annoy those who have not fallen. During this time Satan suffers extremely. … But he is then to be deprived of his power and left to reflect upon the part which he has acted since his fall, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future, when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for all the sins that he has caused to be committed.” The Story of Redemption, 416.

This is not only deliverance for the people on the earth, but also for the beings on other worlds who have never fallen. The devil has also tempted the intelligences in all the other worlds, and they will be delighted to not have him around to tempt them anymore.

“I heard shouts of triumph from the angels and from the redeemed saints which sounded like ten thousand musical instruments, because they were to be no more annoyed and tempted by Satan and because the inhabitants of other worlds were delivered from his presence and his temptations.” Early Writings, 290.

No Funerals, No Tears, No Pain

“Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. In the home of the redeemed there will be no tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 286. I knew of a young man who was in so much pain before he died that he begged his father, “Please get a gun and shoot me; I can’t stand the pain anymore.” Any physician, preacher or anyone having to visit people who are very sick has run into situations where they have witnessed unbearable pain. That experience is seared into the memory for the rest of your life. I have personally experienced many things that I wish I had not witnessed or heard. All this pain and suffering is just a part of the results of sin. We are so familiar with the fact that this earth causes pain from time to time that it is almost impossible to imagine heaven being a place devoid of both physical and emotional pain. No tears, and no funeral trains or badges of mourning because there is no death, no hospitals, and no funeral homes.

This tells us what will not be in heaven, but what is it that makes heaven, heaven?

Jesus is what makes heaven, heaven. When Jesus was here on this earth it was like heaven to be in His presence. Heaven is where Jesus is. The reason the disciples were so troubled when He said that He was going away was because after they got acquainted with Jesus, they found more happiness, more enjoyment in being in His presence, than they had ever had in all their previous lives.

If you want to be ready to go to heaven, you need to get acquainted with Jesus. He is the King of that place, the One whom everybody loves and worships. The wonderfulness of His character is something no human being or angel can really describe. You have to be there in heaven and experience eternal life to fully realize how wonderful He is. But there are several other things that have been promised when we get there.


Over the years I have met many people who have worked so hard for so long that they are just plain tired. Heaven is a place where people, who are physically and mentally tired, will have time to rest. Those who are weary from the struggles and trials of this world are going to be able to rest. They will no longer be under pressure to go somewhere or do something. That is very comforting to many people who have been struggling under all kinds of pressing circumstances for many years.

Fullness of Joy

David said, “You will teach me (or show me) the path of life: in your presence there [is] fullness of joy; at your right hand [there are] pleasures for ever more.” Psalm 16:11. In the Hebrew text it says, “There is fullness of joys,” plural. There is more than one kind of joy; there are many joys. And fullness of joy is found in His presence. This means that in heaven we will be the happiest of human beings.

Ellen White describes it this way. “If we can meet Jesus in peace and be saved, forever saved, we shall be the happiest of beings!” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 343. “The Lord has made every provision for our happiness in the future life.” Marantha, 369. Then we are told that we are not “to measure the conditions of the future life by the conditions of this life.” Ibid.

“Everything in heaven is noble and elevated. All seek the happiness of others. No one devotes himself to looking out and caring for self. It is the chief joy of all holy beings to witness the joy and happiness of those around them.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 239 “One rich tide of happiness will flow and deepen as eternity rolls on.” Ibid., vol. 9, 286.

It is impossible for us to imagine a place of permanent bliss. For the average person, the happiest moments of this life were when they first got married. The Lord uses illustrations to help us understand how happy we are going to be in heaven. In the book, Song of Solomon, the most sensual language is used to describe this bliss. Unfortunately for many, marriage does not stay blissful, but in heaven, that bliss just goes on and on. One rich tide of happiness will flow and deepen as eternity rolls on, and we will be the happiest of beings.

Permanent Dwelling

Just prior to Jesus’ ascension he told his troubled disciples that He was going to leave. He encouraged them by saying, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go also, I will prepare a place for you. Again I am coming and I will receive you to Myself, in order that where I myself am, also you might be.” John 14:1–3.

Heaven is a place where you will have a permanent dwelling. The word monai, translated mansions, means places or “places” or “permanent dwellings.” There will not be any trailer parks or mobile homes in heaven. All will have a permanent home that will last forever.

Everyone WIll Be Known

“For we see now through a glass in an indistinct image, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know as also I am known.” I Corinthians 13:12. This means that in heaven those who are saved will know the friends that they had here in this world.

“The resurrection of Jesus was a type of the final resurrection of all who sleep in Him. The countenance of the risen Savior, His manner, His speech, were all familiar to His disciples. As Jesus arose from the dead, so those who sleep in Him are to arise again. We shall know our friends, even as the disciples knew Jesus. They may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured in this mortal life and they rise in perfect health and symmetry; yet in the glorified body their identity will be perfectly preserved.” The Desire of Ages, 804.

“Our personal identity is preserved in the resurrection.” The Faith I Live By, 185. God in His own time will call forth the dead, giving again the breath of life. The same form will come forth, but it will be free from disease and every defect. It lives again, bearing the same individuality of features so that friend will recognize friend.

“The loves and sympathies that God has planted in the soul will find truest and sweetest exercise.” Ibid., 279.

“Every saint connected in family relationship here will know each other there.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 316. In heaven there will be a reunion of friends and loved ones who are now separated by death. There, the saved will be together forever and never separated for more than a week. It is possible that one of your friends, or your family members may decide to stay in the Holy City and you may be taking a trip somewhere in the universe, but never more than a week. Why? Because it says in Isaiah 66:22, 23, “Every Sabbath and every new moon, all flesh is going to come together and worship before Me.” There will be no more “goodbyes” for more than a week.

A Home, Roots

“For those saying these things make it manifest that they seek a fatherland. And if, on the one hand, they had wanted to return to the one they left, they would have had time to return. But now they seek a better one, that is an heavenly. Wherefore God, is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:14–16.

Notice, these people are seeking a fatherland, or a country, and God has prepared for them a city. In the Bible, the inheritance of the saved is called a fatherland or a country that also has a city. It has lakes, rivers, woods and mountains. Ellen White saw this in vision: “We entered a field full of all kinds of beasts—the lion, the lamb, the leopard, and the wolf, all together in perfect union. We passed through the midst of them, and they followed on peaceably after. Then we entered a wood, not like the dark woods we have here; no, no; but light, and all over glorious; the branches of the trees moved to and fro, and we all cried out, ‘We will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.’ We passed through the woods, for we were on our way to Mount Zion.” Early Writings, 18. Heaven is a beautiful place. It has everything the heart could possibly desire.


What will we do in heaven? Isaiah 65:21, 22 tells us that we are going to build houses. You are already going to have a house in the city, but you are also going to be able to build yourself a country house, inhabit it and plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. It will never be taken from you. You are not going to build and another inhabit or plant and another eat. It goes on to say, “My elect are going to enjoy the work of their hands for a long time.”

“There [in heaven] every power will be developed. Every capability increased. The grandest enterprises will be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations will be reached, the highest ambitions realized. And still there will appear new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to study to call forth the powers of mind and soul.” The Review and Herald, July 1, 1915. “All the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God’s redeemed. Unfettered by mortality, they wing their tireless flight to worlds afar.” The Great Controversy, 677.

In Abraham’s day, looking at the sky without telescopes, it was thought that there were a few thousand stars. Later, with the use of telescopes, we found that there were millions of stars, and today with more sophisticated telescopes we know that there are billions. Every time we build a bigger telescope, we find that there are more.

How many galaxies are there? We have no idea, but in heaven you will be able to go to those places and also do things that Adam and Eve enjoyed doing: build houses and plant vineyards. All the treasures of the universe will be open to your study.


Heaven is a place where we are going to enjoy music. No one will be singing the blues in heaven. A different kind of music will be heard there. “The ransomed of the Lord will return, they will come to Zion with songs.” Notice what kinds of songs. “And everlasting joy upon their heads. They will obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10.

Isaiah 51:3 also talks about joy and gladness, thanksgiving and the voice of melody. And there will be instruments: “The singers and the players on instruments: will be there.” Psalm 87:7.

When I get to heaven I want to have a music room with different kinds of instruments.

I learned when I was very young that there were all kinds of things I wanted to do that there would not be time to do in this world. I took trumpet lessons for a few years when I was young, but I actually wanted to be able to play a saxophone, the clarinet, the trombone, the piano, and the organ. It was impossible to learn all those instruments in this short lifetime.

In high school I thought it would be interesting to study science, history, biology, chemistry, and physics. Unfortunately, you cannot become a specialist in all those areas because we simply do not live long enough. I decided then that if I only had enough time to look at one of those subjects I had better study theology; I had better study, how to get to heaven so I will have enough time to study all the other interesting things throughout eternity.

Music is something I haven’t had much time to study, but someday I want to be a professional musician. Heaven will be a place where we will all be able to become musicians. “There will be music there, and song, such music and song as, save in the visions of God, no mortal ear has heard or mind conceived.” Maranatha, 361. For those of us who enjoy music, that is an exciting thing to look forward to.

Restoration of the First Dominion

In Micah 4:8, it says that we are going to be restored to the first dominion. When Adam was created, he was made the ruler, the king, or master of the whole world. All animals, birds, fish, and every living creature was under his direct control. “Man will be restored to his lost kingship, and the lower order of beings will again recognize his sway; the fierce will become gentle, and the timid trustful.” Marantha, 353. The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and fatling together. A little child shall lead them. Why? Once more man will have dominion over the animals and they will do whatever the little child says. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together. The lions shall eat straw like the ox. They won’t hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, says the Lord. (See Isaiah 11:6–9.)

Man will again have dominion over the entire earth. The first dominion will be restored and all other living creatures will obey his will.

Living in God’s Presence

“There shall be no more curse; the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it. His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face, and His name shall be upon their foreheads.” Revelation 22:3, 4. In heaven there will be face to face communication with the Father and the Son. If you are alive at His Second Coming and make up part of the 144,000, you will go with Jesus wherever He goes throughout the universe for eternity. It is hard to imagine this, but it’s fun to try.

Youth and Beauty

At the resurrection, “All come forth from their graves the same in stature as when they entered the tomb. … But all arise with the freshness and vigor of eternal youth.” Maranatha, 299. “The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave.” The Great Controversy, 644, 645.

Heaven is a place of youth and beauty. There are people now with defects or blemishes in their appearance that make it hard for them to socialize and live a normal life because of embarrassment. This is often more difficult for a woman than a man, but soon that will all be gone. Everyone in heaven will be beautiful with the healthful vigor of youth.

Sympathy and Love

Never again will it be heard, “Oh, nobody understands me!” Heaven is a place of sympathy and love. “Heaven is a home where sympathy is alive in every heart, expressed in every look. Love reigns there.” Manuscript Releases, vol.9, 105.

Heaven is a Place of Learning

Is there something here on earth that you would like to know and don’t get the opportunity to study? “Heaven is a school; its field of study, the universe; its teacher, the Infinite One.” The Faith I Live By, 360.

Maybe you want to study science or history. Maybe it is the plan of redemption, or how sin entered the universe and how the Lord has dealt with it for the last 6,000 years. What about understanding how the angels work in your own life? Do you want to understand what happened to you that seemed so awful that you said, “Lord, why did you even allow this to happen?” In heaven, “Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters.” The Adventist Home, 544. “All that has perplexed us in the providences of God will in the world to come be made plain.” Ibid., 542. This is something to really look forward to.


Hebrews 11:24–27 tells us that Moses chose to suffer with the people of God rather than enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin. He chose that course because he had respect unto the recompense or the amount of the reward—the inheritance. Jesus also referred to this inheritance in Matthew 19:29. He said that “whatever you have lost in this world, when I come again you are going to receive one hundred fold, plus you are going to receive eternal life.” Ellen White also writes about this: “Whatever crosses they have been called to bear, whatever losses they have sustained, whatever persecution they have suffered, even to the loss of their temporal life, the children of God are amply recompensed.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 180. The word amply means plentifully. If we could just grasp that one fact it would change our whole life. We would never be mourning when we lose something here, for He has promised that we will be paid back one hundred fold when the Lord comes.

All that is pure, all that is excellent and lovely is there. The possession of heaven is endless bliss, infinite glory, riches, and knowledge. The character of heaven is perfect love, and holiness, and peace. We know these things now only in part. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9.

Oh, friend, you have to be there. We need to review these things so that we are not caught up with what this world has to offer. Everything in this world is coming to an end and is going to be destroyed. In heaven your happiness and joy will continually increase for eternity.

To miss out on heaven would be an infinite loss. For one soul to miss out on heaven is worse than missing out on a whole world of material possessions. In all of our relations with our fellow men, in our home, with our families, with our friends, we need to keep in mind at all times that we are all choosing day by day our eternal destiny.

Our mission as Christians is to reflect to others the character of Christ so that they also will be attracted to Jesus and desire to be in the place where He is. If they see Him in us, they will want to be there.

(Literal translation is used in many Bible quotes.)

Pastor John Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:, or by telephone at: 316–788–5559.

Lifestyle – Rest

God has set an example for us in regard to rest. Rest has been built into our very own bodies, by the hand of God. Each organ of the body is designed to rest. We breathe in and then rest as we exhale and pause until the next breath. The heart pumps blood throughout the body, and then rests as it refills with blood. The stomach digests food, sends it into the small intestine and then rests while it waits for the next meal.

The principle of rest is found in the Bible in the weekly rest: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work, which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1–3.

The disciples were commanded to rest after working intently for some period of time. “And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Mark 6:31.

The human machinery can experience many problems if it is deprived of adequate amounts and proper rest and sleep to refresh both the body and mind. A lack of or improper rest/sleep can often cause headache, irritability, increased risk of accidents, memory loss, emotional instability, decreased motor skills, impaired immune system, and decreased ability to learn. This is not an inclusive list, but just some of the problems that can be experienced due to rest/sleep deprivation.

Knowing the problems that can occur due to lack of or improper rest, it is important to learn about the different types of rest necessary to promote health. There are four types of rest or rest vitamins.

Recreation—Note that recreation should be re-creation and not wreck-reation.

Meditation and Prayer—Partaking of this type of rest puts us at rest or peace with both God and our fellow man, resulting in freedom from the guilt, which robs the body of rest.

The Sabbath—The rest that we should engage in each week with our Creator. This rest cycle is influenced by the circadian rhythms. It has been found that many organs in the body have a weekly cycle. Many vital signs, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure are actually slower on a weekly basis with the lowest reading being on the Sabbath. These body rhythms support that the Sabbath, not just any day of the week, but the seventh day (see The Seven Day Circle by Eviatar Zerubavel, New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan, © 1985.) should be a day of worship and rest as commanded by the Creator and is a symbol of God’s finished work in both nature and man. It is a weekly invitation by God to recognize the work God is doing in each life and an opportunity to focus on our relationship with God, our family, and our fellow man. Praise the Lord for the Sabbath rest!

To be continued…