A People Preparing

In Luke 1:17, the angel said to Zacharias concerning his son, John the Baptist, “He will go before Him [the Messiah] in the spirit and power of Elijah … to prepare a people who are prepared for the Lord.” Jesus told His disciples that “Elijah has come already, and they did not know him” (Matthew 17:12), meaning John the Baptist was the Elijah prophet for the first advent.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful [or terrible or awesome] day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5, 6). Here again it is predicted that before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, God is going to send to us Elijah the prophet.

Again in the New Testament is predicted that before the coming of Christ in the last days, God’s people are going to have the gift of prophecy. Paul wrote, “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful” (1 Corinthians 1:4–9, first part). Notice that the people waiting for Jesus to come will fall short in no gift; the testimony of Christ will be confirmed in them.

It is predicted again in Revelation the 12th chapter that God’s last day people are going to have the gift of prophecy. “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring [the remnant of her seed], who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (verse 17). The testimony of Jesus according to Revelation 19:10 is the spirit of prophecy. The dragon according to Revelation 12:9 represents the devil. A woman, all through Bible prophecy, in both the Old and New Testaments, represents a church. A pure woman represents a pure church and a harlot woman represents an apostate church.

Whole books of the Bible have been written with this symbolism; for example, the entire book Song of Solomon is a compacted, symbolic prophecy about Christ and the church. The first part of the book of Hosea is a prophecy concerning Christ and His church that has gone astray and committed harlotry. Ezekiel 23 is devoted to the church, where Israel and Judah are likened to two women who apostatized from the Lord.

The same symbolism is used in the New Testament. Paul said to the Corinthian church, “I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste [pure] virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). In Ephesians he again uses the marriage relationship as a symbol of the relationship between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:25–27). Revelation talks about the bride of the Lamb who has made herself ready for the marriage dressed in fine linen, clean and bright (Revelation 19:7, 8).

In the book of Revelation two women are represented, the harlot woman (Revelation 17) and the pure woman (Revelation 12). It says, “The dragon was enraged with the woman” (Revelation 12:17). Translating these symbols this would read: “The devil was enraged with the church, and he went to make war with the remnant [the last church], who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus [the spirit of prophecy].” According to Bible prophecy, God’s last day people will be a commandment keeping people. In the Hebrew language the fourth commandment with the Sabbath at its heart is the longest commandment of all, with 55 words. James says, “Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10). The commandments are not ten laws, but one law.

James makes it clear what law he refers to by quoting the sixth and seventh commandments (James 2:11), and God refers to the ten commandments as one law all by itself (Exodus 24:12). Concerning this ten commandment law, in Deuteronomy 4:13, Moses told the children of Israel: “He [God] declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tables of stone.” The commandments are called God’s covenant. In Psalm 89:34, God says, “My covenant I will not break [profane], nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.”

When Jesus was on earth, He made the strongest statement possible about the ten commandments. He said, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle (just part of a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the smallest stroke in a Hebrew letter) of the law to fail” (Luke 16:17). This was spoken by the One who created the heavens and the earth and upholds them all by the power of His word. (See Hebrews 1:2, 3.) This means the One who has all power and authority would destroy the entire universe before He would allow a part of a letter of His law to fail. How audacious for any created being to think that the law is not important after Jesus makes a statement that strong. It is inconceivable that anyone could try to insult the Lord not only to change part of a letter but to change the longest commandment in the heart of the whole law.

In the book of Joel, it says, “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And I will show wonders [signs] in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke [timeroth]” (Joel 2:28–30). The Hebrew word timeroth is smoke that comes up in a column and spreads out like a palm tree, a description befitting an atom bomb explosion. Twenty-five hundred years ago before atom bombs were invented, the Lord knew what would happen in the last days.

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord” (verse 31). Before Jesus returns, certain things are going to happen, a dark day, blood and fire and columns of smoke like palm trees. But during that time the Lord said He would pour out His Spirit in prophecy. He said your sons and daughters are going to prophesy.

“It shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls” (verse 32). When these things happen there will be deliverance and salvation in Mount Zion. Notice what it says in Isaiah 51:16, last part: “Say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’ ” Zion is God’s people.

There will be deliverance in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call (Joel 2:28–32). The remnant are the people who keep the commandments of God and have the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). When you determine who these people are, join them, for they have the truth that will open the doors of heaven to you.

“Elijah the prophet” appeared in the person of John the Baptist to prepare a people for the first coming of the Lord. The purpose of the Elijah prophet the second time is to prepare a people for His second coming.

Now is the time to take advantage of the writings of this “Elijah” prophet, the special messenger for the remnant church whose writings will help us be ready for the second coming of Christ.

No one eats a pickup load of food in one day, but over a year, the food you eat would fill that pickup. The same principle applies for spiritual knowledge. By reading just a few pages of spiritual food each morning and night you can easily read 1500 pages in a year. At that rate, in a few years you will have done quite a bit of reading. The more you read, the more you will enjoy the spiritual feast and keep coming back for more and still more.

Every wonderful gift the Lord gives to His people the devil perverts into something many people think is awful. People are often afraid to read the Spirit of Prophecy thinking God just wants to take things away from them, like not being able to eat what they want to eat, or do something they want to do, or wear the kinds of clothes they want to wear, or enjoy their entertainment. But He wants to replace the things that harm with habits that will benefit. Wouldn’t it be best to know now the changes that can be made so we will be fit for a holy atmosphere in heaven when Jesus returns?

Ellen White tells us that if we were to study our Bibles well enough, there would be no need of her writings. Interestingly, the man Elijah did not write any books like Isaiah or Jeremiah or Ezekiel. Elijah told Ahab his purpose: “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord” (1 Kings 18:18). Elijah’s purpose was to call people back to worship God and keep His commandments. This was also the purpose of John the Baptist and is the purpose of the writings of Ellen White. Those who despise these writings designed to draw the reader to the word of God actually despise the Bible also because the purpose of each is the same—to prepare a people to meet their Lord.

Jesus told a parable of ten virgins (Matthew 25:1–13). The Elijah message, to get ready to meet the Lord, must be given before the virgins go out to meet the bridegroom because it was at midnight that the bridegroom came and only the faithful ones who had made the preparation of extra oil went into the banquet hall to the marriage feast.

When the ministry of John the Baptist began, the 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy were just about completed. This was to signal the Jews that the Messiah was about to come. The Elijah prophet was not sent to the Romans or the Greeks or the Egyptians; the Elijah prophet was sent to God’s professed people. In the same way, when the Elijah prophet came again, it came to those people who were looking for Christ to come the second time. The Elijah prophet arose among the people who were expecting the Bridegroom to come in the year 1844. God rose up his last day prophet, Ellen G. White.

People want to know if Ellen White passes the Bible test of a prophet because Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets” (Matthew 7:15). Notice, He did not say to beware of all prophets, but of false prophets. The test to see if a person has the true gift of prophecy is found in Isaiah 8:19, 20. It says, “And when they say to you, ‘Seek those who are mediums [familiar spirits], and wizards, who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

Care must always be taken that the Scripture is not taken out of context. The Scripture here is not talking simply about preachers or teachers, but the test of a prophet. There are many preachers and teachers today who have still not come to the light of the true Sabbath of the fourth commandment who are preaching truth as they know it. Many of the Protestant reformers in the 16th century were also unaware of the true Sabbath, for they had not yet come to that knowledge. Also, none of those early Protestant reformers, Martin Luther, John Calvin, William Tyndale, to name a few, claimed to be prophets. The Lord used these faithful preachers to bring great blessings to the people of their time who were seeking for truth.

Isaiah’s test of a prophet is to see by which spirit that person is influenced. A false prophet is one who does not teach according to all the law and the testimony. A human teacher can make mistakes. That does not mean there is no light in what he says. We are given Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy to check out what we hear, and only believe what we find in inspired writings. “Truth, whether in nature or in revelation, is harmonious with itself in all its manifestations.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 258.

A true prophet under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is guided and directed by angels in heaven. Their message never contradicts what has already been established as the word of God. It will be in harmony with the law and the testimony.

Ellen White’s writings do not contradict the Bible. In fact, Ellen White says her work includes much more than that of a prophet. (See Selected Messages, Book 1, 32.) There have been three times that I have known of since the history of the world that God has sent to His people somebody who was more than a prophet. The first time was Moses. The second time was John the Baptist. Jesus said that he is more than a prophet (Matthew 11:9; Luke 7:26). The third time is Ellen White.

The book of Numbers reveals another test. The Lord, speaking to Miriam and Aaron, “Then He said, ‘Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face’ ” (Numbers 12:6–8, first part).

There are only a few cases in the Bible where we have record of the Lord speaking to a prophet in a vision and a dream. The most detailed description in all the Bible of this is Daniel’s vision (Daniel 10:1–17). Daniel said, “How can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me” (verse 17). Daniel asks, How is it possible for me to even be talking to you when there is no breath in me? Here is described the condition of a true prophet while in vision.

The word of any person claiming to be a prophet cannot be accepted unless they have had public visions and dreams that can be documented because of this Bible test. It must be seen that the prophet in a vision be not breathing.

Some experienced divers have trained themselves to hold their breath for a little over 3 minutes. To hold their breath much longer than that would cause you to eventually pass out and could cause brain damage.

Ellen White in vision did not breathe for periods of over 4 hours and many times in public she had visions that lasted up to 30 minutes. In the book, Prophet Of the End, Rene Noorbergen, documents some of these occurrences.

The work of a prophet must bear good fruit. In Matthew chapter 7 verses 15–20, Jesus says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous [plundering] wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad [rotten] tree bears bad [evil] fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

We are going through the shaking period in earth’s history and the history of the church. We are told that every wind of doctrine would be blowing. Ellen White has told us that the path of truth will lie so close beside the path of error that only by the Holy Spirit will you be able to tell the difference. When you look in her writings you see a balance which is absolutely astonishing, a balance to keep you from going off on tangents.

The writings of the Spirit of Prophecy produce good fruits in the church. When the members take heed of the counsel therein the church comes into harmony and into unity; it comes into line. The members all follow their great Leader and have the same goals. All kinds of problems in the church are solved.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 John 4:1–3).

This is an interesting test. Every single spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus is come in the flesh is not of God. John goes on to say that this is the way you will know it is the antichrist. The antichrist teaches that Jesus did not come in the flesh. In fact, it teaches that Jesus’ mother Mary was born from an immaculate conception whereby she did not inherit any original sin, therefore Jesus did not inherit any original sin; He was immaculate.

This is a principle teaching of the antichrist and is taught in almost all the Protestant churches. It has even found its way into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. But a true prophet will confess that Jesus came in the flesh. Now in the flesh is a technical term that refers to coming in a fallen nature, coming in the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8). God sent His own son in the likeness of sinful flesh. Do not say that He came in sinful flesh, which neither Scripture nor Ellen White believe. The Scripture says, He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, but it also says that in Him is no sin (1 John 3:5). A true prophet will teach this. Ellen White does teach this.

I found a book in which one of our pioneers documented over 100 predictions Ellen White made that had already come to pass in his lifetime. Jeremiah said, “When the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent” (Jeremiah 28:9). Ellen White made many predictions some of which are coming to pass today.

The purpose of the Spirit of Prophecy is to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. Our work is to get the three angels’ messages to the world. When they accept it and they have the Spirit of Prophecy, they can become part of God’s last day people.

Ellen White predicted that as we draw close to the end of time, the devil’s temptations on appetite would become more severe and more difficult to overcome. That could not be more apparent today.

In 1973, when I started going to the School of Health at Loma Linda University, we were taught in a basic nutrition class that in the United States at that time, we were having an epidemic of obesity. Our instructor said there was a higher percentage of grossly overweight people in the U.S. than in any other country in the world. In fact, it was so bad that there was slightly over 40 percent of Americans significantly overweight. Today it is far worse, with between 60 to 70 percent overweight. Health practitioners are concerned, knowing that the consequence of this obesity will be the skyrocketing incidents of diabetes, cancer, and all kinds of degenerative disease that could absolutely overload the functioning of the health care delivery system.

We are living in solemn times. We don’t know yet what is going to happen during the time of trouble, but we have been told that unless you are under the Lord’s care, it is going to be more awful than one can imagine. Everything that we think we have in place is going to break down. We’re living in the time just before that time and our only protection is that which comes from the Lord. If we had time to do the research, I believe that we would find thousands of predictions that Ellen White made that have been fulfilled but there are certainly hundreds.

Since World War II, the idea of the fast food industry has developed. Today, with fast food outlets open 24/7, you can eat anything you want any time of the day or night, unlike sixty years ago when restaurants were only open during mealtimes. Now, at 9:30 at night or even later, you often see cars lined up, waiting to get their late evening snack. That snack is not apples or oranges or grapes, but burgers and French fries, the very things that are making our country sick.

We are living in the sickest generation, and it has seriously affected our church. We ought to be preparing for heaven, changing our tastes to a heavenly diet, but many are suffering with preventable diseases the same as those in the world. We are a sick generation.  Ellen White said that if Jesus does not come, the human race would become extinct. Seventh-day Adventists have had the health message for over 150 years, but so few are prepared to put these principles into practice. God’s remnant people are the last people that God will have in this world. Concerning the second advent movement, He says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

At the end of time there will only be two groups of people: the remnant and those in spiritual Babylon. They will either be part of the second advent movement, or they will be in Babylon. The Lord has given us precious truth and it is this knowledge that is designed to get you out of this world. When you tell others about it, it can get them out of this world – alive. Study the overwhelming evidence, for it is precious truth for this last generation, not for us to hold onto jealously, but to share with others.

The world is going to end soon and when everything comes to pass and Jesus returns, I want to be one of the remnant. Do you? “In Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls” (Joel 2:32).

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at: historic@stepstolife.org, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.


By Gordon Anderson

MEMORY VERSE: “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14.

STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 2, 522–538.

INTRODUCTION: “In order to be fitted for translation, the people of God must know themselves. They must understand in regard to their own physical frames that they may be able with the psalmist to exclaim: ‘I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ They should ever have the appetite in subjection to the moral and intellectual organs. The body should be servant to the mind, and not the mind to the body.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 486, 487.


  1. How is the creation of man described? Genesis 2:7.

NOTE: “In the creation of man was manifest the agency of a personal God. When God had made man in His image, the human form was perfect in all its arrangements, but it was without life. Then a personal, self-existing God breathed into that form the breath of life, and man became a living, breathing, intelligent being. All parts of the human organism were put in action. The heart, the arteries, the veins, the tongue, the hands, the feet, the senses, the perceptions of the mind, all began their work, and all were placed under law. Man became a living soul. Through Jesus Christ a personal God created man and endowed him with intelligence and power.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 264.

  1. Who is the source of man’s life? Acts 17:24–25, John 1:1–4.

NOTE: “From Jesus is our life derived. In Him is life that is original, unborrowed, underived life. In Him is the fountain of life. In us there is a streamlet from the fountain of life. Our life is something that we receive, something that the Giver takes back again to Himself. If our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall, when Christ shall appear, also appear with Him in glory. And while in this world, we shall give to God, in sanctified service, all the capabilities He has given us.” Review and Herald, August 6, 1914.


  1. How does Job describe the creation of man? Job 10:9.

NOTE: “Our heavenly Father requires no more nor less than He has given us ability to do. He lays upon His servants no burdens that they are not able to bear. ‘He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.’ Psalm 103:14. All that He claims from us we through divine grace can render.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 362.

  1. What important lesson does Isaiah draw from the fact that the Lord made us of clay? Isaiah 64:8.

NOTE: “The great Master Worker desires to mold and fashion us. And as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so are we to be in His hands. We are not to try to do the work of the potter. Our part is to yield ourselves to the molding of the Master Worker.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 186.

“As we come to feel our utter reliance upon Christ for salvation, are we to fold our hands, and say, ‘I have nothing to do; I am saved; Jesus has done it all’? No, we are to put forth every energy that we may become partakers of the divine nature. We are to be continually watching, waiting, praying, and working. But do all that we may, we cannot pay a ransom for our souls, We can do nothing to originate faith, for faith is the gift of God; neither can we perfect it, for Christ is the finisher of our faith. It is all of Christ. All the longing after a better life is from Christ, and is an evidence that He is drawing you to Himself, and that you are responding to His drawing power. You are to be as clay in the hands of the potter; and if you submit yourself to Christ, He will fashion you into a vessel unto honor, fit for the Master’s use. The only thing that stands in the way of the soul who is not fashioned after the divine Pattern is that he does not become poor in spirit; for he who is poor in spirit will look to a higher Source than himself that he may obtain the grace that will make him rich unto God. While he will feel that he cannot originate anything, he will say, ‘The Lord is my helper.’ ” Bible Echo, May 15, 1892.

“Death by sin”

  1. What were the results of man’s sin? Genesis 3:17–19.

NOTE: “God declared that as a penalty for his sin, man should return to the ground whence he was taken: ‘Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’ The words of Satan, ‘Your eyes shall be opened’ proved to be true in this sense only: After Adam and Eve had disobeyed God, their eyes were opened to discern their folly; they did know evil, and they tasted the bitter fruit of transgression. In the midst of Eden grew the tree of life, whose fruit had the power of perpetuating life. Had Adam remained obedient to God, he would have continued to enjoy free access to this tree and would have lived forever. But when he sinned he was cut off from partaking of the tree of life, and he became subject to death. The divine sentence, ‘Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,’ points to the utter extinction of life. Immortality, promised to man on condition of obedience, had been forfeited by transgression. Adam could not transmit to his posterity that which he did not possess; and there could have been no hope for the fallen race had not God, by the sacrifice of His Son, brought immortality within their reach. While ‘death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,’ Christ ‘hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ Romans 5:12; 2 Timothy 1:10. And only through Christ can immortality be obtained. Said Jesus: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life.’ John 3:36. Every man may come into possession of this priceless blessing if he will comply with the conditions. All ‘who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality,’ will receive ‘eternal life.’ Romans 2:7.” Great Controversy, 532–533.

  1. How has sin also affected man’s health? Deuteronomy 28:58–62.

NOTE: “Satan came into our world, and led men into temptation. With sin came sickness and suffering, for we reap that which we sow. Satan afterward caused man to charge upon God the suffering which is but the sure result of the transgression of physical law. God is thus falsely accused, and His character misrepresented. He is charged with doing that which Satan himself has done. God would have His people expose this falsehood of the enemy. To them He has given the light of the gospel of health, and as His representatives they are to give the light to others. As they work to relieve suffering humanity, they are to point out the origin of all suffering, and direct the mind to Jesus, the great Healer of both soul and body. His heart of sympathy goes out to all earth’s sufferers, and with every one who works for their relief, He co-operates. As with His blessing health returns, the character of God will be vindicated, and the lie thrown back upon Satan, its originator.” Christian Educator, October 1, 1898.


  1. How does the Bible reveal the link between the physical and the spiritual in the care of the body? 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17.

NOTE: “The body is the medium through which mind and soul are developed for the upbuilding of character. Hence it is that the adversary of souls directs his temptations to the enfeebling and degrading of the physical powers. His success here means the surrender to evil of the whole being. The tendencies of our physical nature, unless under the dominion of a higher power, will surely work ruin and death. The body is to be brought into subjection. The higher powers of the being are to rule. The passions are to be controlled by the will, which is itself to be under the control of God. The kingly power of reason, sanctified by divine grace, is to bear sway in our lives.” Signs of the Times, December 1, 1914.

  1. What should be the attitude of the Christian to the laws of health? 1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 14:17, 18, 21.

NOTE: “Talk of God and His wonderful works. Study into the manifestations of His love and wisdom in all the works of nature. Study that marvelous organism, the human system, and the laws by which it is governed. Those who perceive the evidences of God’s love, who understand something of the wisdom and beneficence of His laws, and the blessings that result from obedience, will come to regard their duties and obligations from an altogether different point of view. Instead of looking upon an observance of the laws of health as a matter of sacrifice or self-denial, they will regard it, as it really is, as an inestimable blessing. A great amount of good can be done by enlightening all to whom we have access, as to the best means, not only of curing the sick, but of preventing disease and suffering. The physician who endeavors to enlighten his patients as to the nature and causes of their maladies, and to teach them how to avoid disease, may have uphill work; but if he is a conscientious reformer, he will talk plainly of the ruinous effects of self-indulgence in eating, drinking, and dressing, of the overtaxation of the vital forces that has brought his patients where they are. He will not increase the evil by administering drugs till exhausted nature gives up the struggle, but will teach the patients how to form correct habits, and to aid nature in her work of restoration by a wise use of her own simple remedies.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 121.


  1. What precious promises does the Lord make to His faithful people? Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 5:33, 7:15.

NOTE: “Christ gave to Israel definite instruction in regard to their habits of life, and He assured them, ‘The Lord will take away from thee all sickness.’ Deuteronomy 7:15. When they fulfilled the conditions, the promise was verified to them. ‘There was not one feeble person among their tribes.’ Psalm 105:37. These lessons are for us. There are conditions to be observed by all who would preserve health. All should learn what these conditions are. The Lord is not pleased with ignorance in regard to His laws, either natural or spiritual. We are to be workers together with God for the restoration of health to the body as well as to the soul. And we should teach others how to preserve and to recover health. For the sick we should use the remedies which God has provided in nature, and we should point them to Him who alone can restore. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to Christ in the arms of our faith. . . . We should lay hold on His promise, and pray for the manifestation of His power. The very essence of the gospel is restoration, and the Saviour would have us bid the sick, the hopeless, and the afflicted take hold upon His strength.” Desire of Ages, 824.

  1. What should restrain or temper any unwise approach to others? Colossians 4:6.

NOTE: “Many try to correct the lives of others by attacking what they regard as wrong habits. They go to those whom they think in error, and point out defects, but do not put forth earnest, tactful effort in directing the mind to true principles. Such a course often fails of securing the desired results. In trying to correct others, we too often arouse their combativeness, and thus do more harm than good. Do not watch others in order to point out their faults or errors. Teach by example. Let your self-denial and your victory over appetite be an illustration of obedience to right principles. Let your life bear witness to the sanctifying, ennobling influence of truth.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 336.

  1. What promise of help is given in the restoration of body and spirit? Psalm 103:2–3.

NOTE: “Every faculty that we possess has been provided for us in Christ; for when God gave His Son to our world, He included all heaven in His gift. And God would have men value their powers as a sacred gift from Him. A spark of God’s own life has been breathed into the human body, making man a living soul, the possessor of moral endowments, and a will to direct his own course of action. He has the privilege of becoming a partaker of the divine nature. This will give him power to conquer evil, and love and choose that which is good. He has a conscience, which, under the control of God, will approve the right and condemn the wrong. And he may, if he will, have fellowship with God. He may walk and talk with God as did Enoch. This holy companionship is denied to none who will believe on Christ as their personal Saviour.” Signs of the Times, August 26, 1897.

  1. What precious assurance do we have that God understands our situation? Psalm 103:13–14.

NOTE: “It is not always safe to ask for unconditional healing. Let your prayer include this thought: ‘Lord, thou knowest every secret of the soul. Thou art acquainted with these persons; for Jesus, their Advocate, gave His life for them. He loves them better than we possibly can. If, therefore it is for Thy glory, and the good of these afflicted ones to raise them up to health, we ask in the name of Jesus, that health may be given them at this time.’ In a petition of this kind no lack of faith is manifested. There are cases that are clear, and the Lord works with His divine power decidedly, in their restoration. The will of God is evidenced too plainly to be misunderstood. The Lord ‘doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.’ ‘Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him; for He knoweth our frame: He remembereth that we are dust.’ He knows our heart, for He reads every secret of the soul. He knows whether or not those for whom petitions are offered would be able to endure the trial and test that would come upon them if they lived. He knows the end from the beginning. Many will be laid away to sleep in Jesus before the fiery ordeal of the time of trouble shall come upon our world. This is another reason why we should say after our earnest petition: ‘Nevertheless not my will, but Thine, O Lord, be done.’ Such a petition will never be registered in heaven as a faithless prayer.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, February 26, 1897.

Remember The Sabbath Day . . . Part V

Parental Responsibility

Parents should explain the Sabbath sermon to their children that they may understand the way of salvation.

“Ministers are engaged in a sacred, solemn work, but upon those who hear rests just as sacred a responsibility. They are to hear with a determination to follow the instruction that all must practice who gain eternal life. Each hearer should strive to understand each presentation of Bible truth as God’s message to him, to be received by faith and put into practice in the daily life. Parents should explain to their children the words spoken from the pulpit, that they also may understand and have that knowledge which if put into practice brings abundant grace and peace.” Child Guidance, 531.

The Sabbath is not only a day for going to Sabbath school and church, but a day that the parents should spend time with their children, not allowing them to find their own amusement on this special day.

Prevalent Disregard

“Very many of the parents who profess to believe the solemn message for this time have not trained their children for God. They have not restrained themselves and have been irritated with anyone who attempted to restrain them. They have not by living faith daily bound their children upon the altar of the Lord. Many of these youth have been allowed to transgress the Fourth Commandment, by seeking their own pleasure upon God’s holy day. They have felt no compunctions of conscience in going about the streets on the Sabbath for their own amusement. Many go where they please, and do what they please; and their parents are so fearful of displeasing them that, imitating the management of Eli, they lay no commands upon them.

“These youth finally lose all respect for the Sabbath and have no relish for religious meetings or for sacred and eternal things.” Ibid., 527.

“On the Sabbath day many [parents] are indifferent and do not know where their children are or what they are doing.

“Parents, above everything take care of your children upon the Sabbath. Do not suffer them to violate God’s holy day by playing in the house or out-of-doors. You may just as well break the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it, and when you suffer your children to wander about and suffer them to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbathbreakers.” Ibid., 533.

What to do With the Children

Do we understand that we, as parents, become Sabbath breakers when we knowingly allow our children to do as they please, without guidance, on the Sabbath day?

“The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship occupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family may be made the most sacred and precious season of all the Sabbath hours. Much of this time parents should spend with their children.” Ibid., 532.

“In many families the younger children are left to themselves to find entertainment as best they can. Left alone, the children soon become restless and begin to play or engage in some kind of mischief. Thus the Sabbath has to them no sacred significance.

“In pleasant weather let parents walk with their children in the fields and groves. Amid the beautiful things of nature tell them the reason for the institution of the Sabbath. Describe to them God’s great work of creation. Tell them that when the earth came from His hand, it was holy and beautiful. Every flower, every shrub, every tree, answered the purpose of its Creator. Everything upon which the eye rested was lovely and filled the mind with thoughts of the love of God. Every sound was music in harmony with the voice of God. Show that it was sin which marred God’s perfect work; that thorns and thistles, sorrow and pain and death, are all the result of disobedience to God. Bid them see how the earth, though marred with the curse of sin, still reveals God’s goodness. The green fields, the lofty trees, the glad sunshine, the clouds, the dew, the solemn stillness of the night, the glory of the starry heavens, and the moon in its beauty all bear witness of the Creator. Not a drop of rain falls, not a ray of light is shed on our unthankful world, but it testifies to the forbearance and love of God.

“Tell them of the way of salvation; how ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16. Let the sweet story of Bethlehem be repeated. Present before the children Jesus, as a child obedient to His parents, as a youth faithful and industrious, helping to support the family. Thus you can teach them that the Saviour knows the trials, perplexities, and temptations, the hopes and joys, of the young, and that He can give them sympathy and help. From time to time read with them the interesting stories in Bible history. Question as to what they have learned in the Sabbath school, and study with them the next Sabbath’s lesson.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 358, 359.

Parents should plan suitable reading and conversation for their children on the Sabbath.

“The Sabbath—oh!—make it the sweetest, the most blessed day of the week. . . .

“Parents can and should give attention to their children, reading to them the most attractive portions of Bible history, educating them to reverence the Sabbath day, keeping it according to the commandment. This cannot be done if the parents feel no burden to interest their children. But they can make the Sabbath a delight if they will take the proper course. The children can be interested in good reading or in conversation about the salvation of their souls. But they will have to be educated and trained. The natural heart does not love to think of God, of heaven, or of heavenly things. There must be a continual pressing back of the current of worldliness and inclination to evil and a letting in of heavenly light.” Child Guidance, 532, 533.

Also, the Sabbath is a day that the family should, if possible, spend a portion of it outdoors educating their children about the God who created nature.

“During a portion of the day all should have an opportunity to be out of doors. . . . Let their young minds be associated with God in the beautiful scenery of nature, let their attention be called to the tokens of His love to man in His created works. . . . As they view the beautiful things which He has created for the happiness of man, they will be led to regard Him as a tender, loving Father. . . . As the character of God puts on the aspect of love, benevolence, beauty, and attraction, they are drawn to love Him.

“The Sabbath is the golden clasp that unites God and His people.

“It means eternal salvation to keep the Sabbath holy unto the Lord.” My Life Today, 287.

Avoid Unnecessary Travel

We have also been given instruction about traveling on the Sabbath. As far as possible, we should avoid travel that is not necessary.

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

“When compelled to travel on the Sabbath we should try to avoid the company of those who would draw our attention to worldly things. We should keep our minds stayed upon God and commune with Him. Whenever there is opportunity we should speak to others in regard to the truth. We should always be ready to relieve suffering and to help those in need. In such cases God desires that the knowledge and wisdom He has given us should be put to use. But we should not talk about matters of business or engage in any common, worldly conversation. At all times and in all places God requires us to prove our loyalty to Him by honoring the Sabbath.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 359, 360.

Ellen White wrote of her travel: “We expected to leave for Tasmania on Thursday evening, but learned that the steamer was not going out until Friday afternoon, and would bring us into Launceston after the Sabbath had begun. I could not consent to go on this steamer when we should thus have to trespass on the Sabbath, if there was any way possible by which we could avoid it. We learned that a boat left Melbourne Tuesday afternoon, and we decided that it would be much better to go on this early boat than to travel on the Sabbath.” Special Testimonies to Ministers and Workers, No. 3, 42.

As Mrs. White explains, there are times that it is necessary for us to travel on the Sabbath.

“[En route from Colorado to Battle Creek] Sabbath, November 8, 1873. Traveled on Sabbath, Regretfully. [See Testimonies, vol. 6, 360.]—We rested well on the car during the night. We were unwilling to report ourselves on the cars this morning, but circumstances connected with the cause and work of God demand our presence at the General Conference. We could not delay. If we were doing our own business we should feel it a breach of the fourth commandment to travel on the Sabbath. We engaged in no common conversation. We endeavored to keep our minds in a devotional frame and we enjoyed some of the presence of God while we deeply regretted the necessity of traveling upon the Sabbath.—Manuscript 13, 1873.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 265.

Care for the Sick

Is caring for the sick breaking the fourth commandment? Is it not a work of mercy?

“And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up [herself]. And when Jesus saw her, he called [her to Him], and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid [his] hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, [Thou] hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or [his] ass from the stall, and lead [him] away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.” Luke 13:10–17.

The Pen of Inspiration puts it this way: “God has directed that the sick and suffering be cared for; the labor required to make them comfortable is a work of mercy, and no violation of the Sabbath; but all unnecessary work should be avoided.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 296.

“And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And he took [him], and healed him, and let him go; And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things.” Luke 14:1–6.

The Physician as a Sabbath Observer

“Christ was a Seventh-day Adventist, to all intents and purposes. It was He who called Moses into the mount and gave him instruction for His people. . . . In awful grandeur Christ made known the law of Jehovah, giving, among other charges, this charge: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ My brother, you have not placed upon the Sabbath the sanctity that is required by God. Irreverence has come in, and an example has been set that the Lord does not approve. He is not honored and glorified.

There will always be duties which have to be performed on the Sabbath for the relief of suffering humanity. This is right, and in accordance with the law of Him who says, ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.’ [Matthew 12:7.] But there is danger of falling into carelessness on this point, and of doing that which it is not positively essential to do on the Sabbath.

“Unnecessary traveling is done on the Sabbath, with many other things which might be left undone. Take heed, saith the Lord, to all thy ways, lest I remove My Holy Spirit because of the lax regard given to My precepts. ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ [Exodus 20:8.] Bear in mind the charge to remember. Do not carelessly forget, ‘Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work.’ [Verse 9.] In this time all the duties necessary to prepare for the Sabbath are to be done.—Letter 51, 1901.” Medical Ministry, 49, 50.

Never Neglect the Suffering

“Often physicians and nurses are called upon during the Sabbath to minister to the sick, and sometimes it is impossible for them to take time for rest and for attending devotional services. The needs of suffering humanity are never to be neglected. The Saviour by His example has shown us that it is right to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. But unnecessary work, such as ordinary treatments and operations that can be postponed, should be deferred. Let the patients understand that physicians and helpers should have one day for rest. Let them understand that the workers fear God and desire to keep holy the day that He has set apart for His followers to observe as a sign between Him and them.

“The educators and those being educated in our medical institutions should remember that to keep the Sabbath aright means much to them and to the patrons. In keeping the Sabbath, which God declares shall be kept holy, they give the sign of their order, showing plainly that they are on the Lord’s side.” Counsels on Health, 236.

“The necessities of life must be attended to, the sick must be cared for, the wants of the needy must be supplied. He will not be held guiltless who neglects to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. God’s holy rest day was made for man, and acts of mercy are in perfect harmony with its intent. God does not desire His creatures to suffer an hour’s pain that may be relieved upon the Sabbath or any other day.

“The demands upon God are even greater upon the Sabbath than upon other days. His people then leave their usual employment, and spend the time in meditation and worship. They ask more favors of Him on the Sabbath than upon other days. They demand His special attention. They crave His choicest blessings. God does not wait for the Sabbath to pass before He grants these requests. Heaven’s work never ceases, and men should never rest from doing good. The Sabbath is not intended to be a period of useless inactivity. The law forbids secular labor on the rest day of the Lord; the toil that gains a livelihood must cease; no labor for worldly pleasure or profit is lawful upon that day; but as God ceased His labor of creating, and rested upon the Sabbath and blessed it, so man is to leave the occupations of his daily life, and devote those sacred hours to healthful rest, to worship, and to holy deeds. The work of Christ in healing the sick was in perfect accord with the law. It honored the Sabbath.” The Desire of Ages, 207.

As the Sun Sets

Special instruction has been given us as to how the close of the Sabbath should be honored.

“As the sun goes down, let the voice of prayer and the hymn of praise mark the close of the sacred hours, and invite God’s presence through the cares of the week of labor.

“Thus parents can make the Sabbath, as it should be, the most joyful day of the week. They can lead their children to regard it as a delight, the day of days, the holy of the Lord, honorable.” Child Guidance, 536, 537.

“I counsel you, my brethren and sisters: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ [Exodus 20:8.] If you desire your children to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment, you must teach them by both precept and example. The deep engraving of truth in the heart is never wholly effaced. It may be obscured, but can never be obliterated. The impressions made in early life will be seen in after years. Circumstances may occur to separate the children from their parents and their home, but as long as they live the instruction given in childhood and youth will be a blessing.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 359.

[All emphasis supplied.]

To be concluded . . .

Benjamin S. Brown writes from Madisonville, Tennessee, where he has been instrumental in opening a home church and a health food store.

Restoring the Temple – Your Mind Can Make you Sick

Science is beginning to confirm what certain wise men have said at different points in history. King Solomon said, “A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22. Your mind and mental state can have a profound affect on your physical body, your spiritual experience, and your over-all quality of life. The mind, the body, and the spirit are all inextricably interconnected. When one is affected, the other two suffer. We can live a healthy lifestyle and perform our spiritual duties, but if the mind is not healthy, the other two cannot make up for the lack, and we are not truly wholistically healthy or healed.

Physical Problems

Worry, anger, jealousy, hate, ill will, grudges, vindictiveness, irritation, resentment, guilt, depression, anxiety, lack of joy and happiness, and all other negative emotions and thoughts have a negative effect upon the body and open the door for sickness and disease. There are now quite a number of cases where a disease or sickness or altered health can be traced back to a mental cause. Here are a few: Decline of physical energy and vitality due to guilt following a series of sins or resulting from a string of lies; chronic aches and pains due to a long-held and suppressed grudge; skin rash after a quarrel with someone; colds due to mental stress over such things as exams, trips, and arguments; heart rhythms changing in response to positive or negative thoughts; high blood pressure from bouts of anger, fear, and stress, or imagined problems.

As a girl was about to be forced into an unwanted marriage, she experienced repeated attacks of rheumatoid arthritis. One physician was convinced that one of his patients died of “grudgitis” because of the hatred he held for so many years. Another doctor put it this way: “It is not a question of whether an illness is physical or emotional, but how much of each.” Dr. Flanders Dunbar, Mind and Body, Random House, New York, 1947.

Many health problems (often including cancer, chronic fatigue, depression, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, insomnia, irritable bowel disease, certain digestive disturbances) do not entirely clear up unless the mental aspect is also addressed. You may not have any of these diseases, yet be assured that your negative thoughts and emotions have their toll. There are physiological reasons why the body reacts so dramatically to our thoughts and emotions. Every part of our being, including our cells, sympathize or respond to the positive and negative states of our minds.

Emotional Problems

Negative emotions left unattended breed greater mental or emotional problems. This often results in sickness and sometimes death. Even though people experience negative results from their negative emotions, they often fail to trace their problems from cause to effect. The repetition of the same problem over and over again should lead them to seek answers that would totally eliminate the tensions, irritations, and anxieties, but, instead, they go right back to taking temporary solutions in the form of drugs or various medications.

It is very important that those who deal with individuals suffering from emotional problems approach such with a spirit of open-mindedness, sympathy, and understanding. Some people can handle more stress than others, and some can be so emotionally fragile that just a little pressure can cause immeasurable harm. Much care must therefore be taken to minister appropriately and tenderly to the abused and emotionally disturbed, especially since emotional problems can be so traumatic and long term that they can shut down all the vital forces of the body and the mind. The interconnection and sympathy between mind, body, and spirit is so strong that in the treatment of emotional problems a wise person will pay attention to every part of his or her being with the understanding that this is essential for total or complete healing.

Spiritual Problems

A disturbed mental state causes harm that can be manifested in various spiritual problems. This could include a decline in spirituality, loss of interest in spiritual things, pulling away from fellow believers, ceasing to attend worship or spiritual gatherings, and anger toward God or fellow believers. This is unfortunate because the true solution for mental unrest, and support for mental strength and health, must include the spiritual.

When a person is spiritually awake and uplifted, he or she usually exhibits a cheerfulness, faith, and boldness that gives consistency and momentum to all his or her pursuits in life. When spirituality is affected, reactions of discouragement, despondency, hopelessness, doubt, inconsistency, and laziness are exhibited, as well as guilt and fear, which have already been scientifically implicated with many mental and physical handicaps. If spiritual problems are not addressed, not only is our happiness in this world at stake, but also our future in heaven and the earth made new is in jeopardy.


Learn to become aware of the cause of the effect. A knowledge of this will help to get rid of many long-standing problems. Remember that all aspects of man—the mental, physical, and spiritual—are interconnected and therefore sympathize with each other. As one area is affected positively or negatively, its effects will overlap into all the other areas and have a similar effect on them as well. Thus, always try to work on every part of your being in order to get total healing when one part is affected.

More importantly, our thoughts affect both our emotions and our actions. Therefore, if we can change negative thoughts, we can also change our negative emotions and actions. Negative thoughts can paralyze or freeze up one’s entire being and inhibit progress in all pursuits or goals in life. Yes, my friend, the solution begins from within: transform the mind and you will transform the person. Hence we are told: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2.

For more information on having peace of mind and/or living a healthy lifestyle, please contact us at:

The Gilead Institute of America
6000 Live Oak Parkway, Suite 114
Norcross, Georgia 30093
Phone: (770) 270-1087
Website: www.gileadinstitute.org

Diane Herbert is a naturopath and lifestyle consultant. She received training from the NAD Lifestyle Consultant program, Thomas Edison State College, Clayton College of Natural Healing, and Bastyr University. Diane teaches health classes at the Gilead Institute located in Norcross, Georgia, gives health presentations, and contributes to the Institute’s literature and health flyer series. She may be contacted by e-mail at: gilead.net@usa.net.

Children’s Story — A Faith That Never Dies

Having been raised in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, I had the privilege of enjoying nature at its best. I remember well the Sabbath picnics, hikes and nature walks our family enjoyed. Jesus seemed so near to me when I was sitting by a cool, clear, laughing stream. Since I was introduced to music at an early age, I could hear an orchestra all around me in those majestic mountains—the whispering of the pines, the songs of birds and the occasional waterfall. God was real to me as I would sit by a crystal clear lake and look up into a beautiful blue sky with floating white clouds. I was born into a family with four older brothers, three of which had already moved away from home; and the fourth left in a short time. My mom and dad were special people, and I loved them very much. Dad spent his days working on cars. He was known by everyone for his honesty and kindness to others. Mother was always helping those in need. She would take a freshly baked loaf of bread to a shut-in, visit the sick, or buy groceries and do banking for an invalid. Both of them were diligent workers in God’s church and had a strong faith in His Word.

One night when I was five years old, I awoke with a terrible ache in my legs. After turning and tossing for quite some time, I called out to my mother for help. She came to my aid and rubbed my legs until I fell asleep. The next morning the pain returned, and my parents decided I needed to see the doctor. After many tests, it was determined that I had Rheumatic Fever.

One of my brothers had suffered with this disease two times during his youth, which resulted in a badly damaged heart and an early death after two open heart surgeries. The doctor decided that I was to have complete bed rest, without even a pillow for my head. Each morning, my father would carry me like a board to the sofa in the living room, and again at night to my bed. I was not allowed visits from my friends. If you are five years old, or can remember when you were, you can imagine what it would be like to lay flat on your back for hours, days, weeks, and, yes, even months! Mother would read me stories and sing to me. I looked at books and put puzzles together. To this day, I can close my eyes and tell you where each picture, mirror or clock hung on the walls of that room.

The greatest fear I had was the visit of the doctor when he came to draw blood, which was at least once a week and sometimes more often. As I began to improve, I was allowed to lie on the swing which hung from the roof of the porch. When I would see the doctor approaching, I would scream for mother to come to my rescue.

Mother loved flowers and the yard was filled with the fragrance of Lily of the Valley and Lilac trees which lined both sides of our property. Since we had no television I had to invent my own entertainment. On the side of the house, mother had some Hollyhocks and I would ask her to pick a few of the buds and a few of the flowers. I could put these together and imagine they were beautiful young ladies in flowing gowns—what fun that was!

The best part of the day was when my father would return home from his work, sit down and sing Norwegian songs to me and tell me stories of his childhood growing up amongst the Chippewa Indians on Lipsi Lake in Wisconsin. Sometimes they had nothing to eat and he would have to walk across the frozen lake at night in search of food while listening to the coyotes howl.

Many days, week and months went past until finally the last blood test revealed that all was well. My parents took their requests of healing to their best friend, Jesus, and then decided to take me to a Chiropractor and see what he could do for me. After working with me for some time, my legs were fully restored and I could run and play with the other children.

That was not the only time I saw my parents live out their faith in God. They endured many trials in their lifetime, but they loved the Lord with all their hearts and instilled in me the same desire to direct my every care to Him who loves us unconditionally.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. I have had my faith tested many times, but I can say with assurance that God will never let us down. He will always be there for us and give us the strength we need to endure.


Pen of Inspiration – Prayer for the Sick

The Scripture says that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1); and if ever there is a time when they feel their need of prayer, it is when strength fails and life itself seems slipping from their grasp. Often those who are in health forget the wonderful mercies continued to them day by day, year after year, and they render no tribute of praise to God for His benefits. But when sickness comes, God is remembered. When human strength fails, men feel their need of divine help. And never does our merciful God turn from the soul that in sincerity seeks Him for help. He is our refuge in sickness as in health. “Like as a father pitieth his children, So the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13, 14.

“Because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, men are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of food; And they draw near unto the gates of death.” Psalm 107:17, 18, A.R.V. “Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, And He saveth them out of their distresses. He sendeth His word, and healeth them, And delivereth them from their destructions.” Verses 19, 20, R.V.

God is just as willing to restore the sick to health now as when the Holy Spirit spoke these words through the psalmist. And Christ is the same compassionate physician now that He was during His earthly ministry. In Him there is healing balm for every disease, restoring power for every infirmity. His disciples in this time are to pray for the sick as verily as the disciples of old prayed. And recoveries will follow; for “the prayer of faith shall save the sick.” We have the Holy Spirit’s power, the calm assurance of faith, that can claim God’s promises. The Lord’s promise, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:18), is just as trustworthy now as in the days of the apostles. It presents the privilege of God’s children, and our faith should lay hold of all that it embraces. Christ’s servants are the channel of His working, and through them He desires to exercise His healing power. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to God in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer.

The Saviour would have us encourage the sick, the hopeless, the afflicted, to take hold upon His strength. Through faith and prayer the sickroom may be transformed into a Bethel. In word and deed, physicians and nurses may say, so plainly that it cannot be misunderstood, “God is in this place” to save, and not to destroy. Christ desires to manifest His presence in the sickroom, filling the hearts of physicians and nurses with the sweetness of His love. If the life of the attendants upon the sick is such that Christ can go with them to the bedside of the patient, there will come to him the conviction that the compassionate Saviour is present, and this conviction will itself do much for the healing of both the soul and the body.

And God hears prayer. Christ has said, “If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” Again He says, “If any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” John 14:14; 12:26. If we live according to His word, every precious promise He has given will be fulfilled to us. We are undeserving of His mercy, but as we give ourselves to Him, He receives us. He will work for and through those who follow Him.

But only as we live in obedience to His word can we claim the fulfillment of His promises. The psalmist says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Psalm 66:18. If we render to Him only a partial, halfhearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us.

In the word of God we have instruction relative to special prayer for the recovery of the sick. But the offering of such prayer is a most solemn act, and should not be entered upon without careful consideration. In many cases of prayer for the healing of the sick, that which is called faith is nothing less than presumption.

Many persons bring disease upon themselves by their self-indulgence. They have not lived in accordance with natural law or the principles of strict purity. Others have disregarded the laws of health in their habits of eating and drinking, dressing, or working. Often some form of vice is the cause of feebleness of mind or body. Should these persons gain the blessing of health, many of them would continue to pursue the same course of heedless transgression of God’s natural and spiritual laws, reasoning that if God heals them in answer to prayer, they are at liberty to continue their unhealthful practices and to indulge perverted appetite without restraint. If God were to work a miracle in restoring these persons to health, He would be encouraging sin.

It is labor lost to teach people to look to God as a healer of their infirmities, unless they are taught also to lay aside unhealthful practices. In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well. Their surroundings must be sanitary, their habits of life correct. They must live in harmony with the law of God, both natural and spiritual.

The Ministry of Healing, 225–227.

Bible Study Guides – In Times of Sickness

December 2, 2012 – December 8, 2012

Key Text

“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:15.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 145–150; The Ministry of Healing, 225–233; Selected Messages, Book 2, 53–61.


“When you neglect to offer prayer for the sick, you deprive them of great blessings; for angels of God are waiting to minister to these souls in response to your petitions.” Medical Ministry, 195.


  • What should we learn from the main difference between the cases of Hezekiah and Asa when they were sick? II Kings 20:1–7; II Chronicles 16:12, 13.
  • Name one important element in full restoration to good health. James 5:14, 15; Matthew 9:2–8. What was Ellen White’s overall experience in helping the sick?

Note: “You can speak often to the sick of the Great Physician who can heal the diseases of the body as verily as He heals the sickness of the soul. Pray with the sick, and try to lead them to see in Christ their Healer. Tell them that if they will look to Him in faith, He will say to them, ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee’ [Matthew 9:2]. It means very much to the sick to learn this lesson.” Medical Ministry, 196, 197.

“Multitudes have heard me speak, and have read my writings, but no one has ever heard me claim to work miracles. I have at times been called upon to pray for the sick, and the word of the Lord has been verified. [James 5:14, 15 quoted.] Christ is the great miracle worker. To Him be all the glory.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 54.

  • What interesting example shows that even when Christ lived on earth, He did not always heal people instantly, in only one step? Mark 8:22–25.


  • Of what must we be aware when praying about disease? Matthew 7:15–23; 24:23–25; Proverbs 28:9.

Note: “Men under the influence of evil spirits will work miracles. They will make people sick by casting their spell upon them, and will then remove the spell, leading others to say that those who were sick have been miraculously healed. This Satan has done again and again.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 53.

“The apostles of nearly all forms of spiritism claim to have power to heal. They attribute this power to electricity, magnetism, the so-called ‘sympathetic remedies,’ or to latent forces within the mind of man. And there are not a few, even in this Christian age, who go to these healers, instead of trusting in the power of the living God and the skill of well-qualified physicians. The mother, watching by the sickbed of her child, exclaims, ‘I can do no more. Is there no physician who has power to restore my child?’ She is told of the wonderful cures performed by some clairvoyant or magnetic healer, and she trusts her dear one to his charge, placing it as verily in the hand of Satan as if he were standing by her side. In many instances the future life of the child is controlled by a satanic power which it seems impossible to break.” Prophets and Kings, 211.

“Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep’s clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf cannot be discerned only as we go to God’s great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah.” The Review and Herald, August 25, 1885.

“The way in which Christ worked was to preach the Word, and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way, for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles, because spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, will be wrought.

“For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing, combined with the teaching of the Word. Sanitariums are to be established, and with these institutions are to be connected workers who will carry forward genuine medical missionary work. Thus a guarding influence is thrown around those who come to the sanitariums for treatment.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 54.


  • What conditions are attached to God’s promises of healing? Isaiah 58:6–11.

Note: “In the case of Sister F, there needed to be a great work accomplished. Those who united in praying for her needed a work done for them. Had God answered their prayers, it would have proved their ruin. In such cases of affliction, where Satan has control of the mind, before engaging in prayer there should be the closest self examination to discover if there are not sins which need to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken. Deep humility of soul before God is necessary, and firm, humble reliance upon the merits of the blood of Christ alone. Fasting and prayer will accomplish nothing while the heart is estranged from God by a wrong course of action. [Isaiah 58:6, 7, 9–11 quoted.]” Testimonies, vol. 2, 145, 146.

  • What factors are essential in praying for the sick? James 5:16.

Note: “In the word of God we have instruction relative to special prayer for the recovery of the sick. But the offering of such prayer is a most solemn act, and should not be entered upon without careful consideration. In many cases of prayer for the healing of the sick, that which is called faith is nothing less than presumption.

“Many persons bring disease upon themselves by their self-indulgence. They have not lived in accordance with natural law or the principles of strict purity. Others have disregarded the laws of health in their habits of eating and drinking, dressing or working. Often some form of vice is the cause of feebleness of mind or body. Should these persons gain the blessing of health, many of them would continue to pursue the same course of heedless transgression of God’s natural and spiritual laws, reasoning that if God heals them in answer to prayer, they are at liberty to continue their unhealthful practices and to indulge perverted appetite without restraint. If God were to work a miracle in restoring these persons to health, He would be encouraging sin.

“It is labor lost to teach people to look to God as a healer of their infirmities, unless they are taught also to lay aside unhealthful practices. In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well. Their surroundings must be sanitary, their habits of life correct. They must live in harmony with the law of God, both natural and spiritual.” Gospel Workers, 215, 216.


  • What must be considered by all who are blessed with health? Luke 12:47, 48.

Note: “If, after so much light has been given, God’s people will cherish wrong habits, indulging self and refusing to reform, they will suffer the sure consequences of transgression. If they are determined to gratify perverted appetite at any cost, God will not miraculously save them from the consequences of their indulgence. They ‘shall lie down in sorrow.’ Isaiah 50:11.

“Those who choose to be presumptuous, saying, ‘The Lord has healed me, and I need not restrict my diet; I can eat and drink as I please,’ will erelong need, in body and soul, the restoring power of God. Because the Lord has graciously healed you, you must not think you can link yourselves up with the self-indulgent practices of the world. Do as Christ commanded after His work of healing—‘go, and sin no more.’ John 8:11. Appetite must not be your god.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 164.

  • What should we keep in mind even when death is imminent? Revelation 14:13.

Note: “We know that God hears us if we ask according to His will. But to press our petitions without a submissive spirit is not right; our prayers must take the form, not of command, but of intercession.

“There are cases where God works decidedly by His divine power in the restoration of health. But not all the sick are healed. Many are laid away to sleep in Jesus. … [Revelation 14:13 quoted]. From this we see that if persons are not raised to health, they should not, on this account be judged as wanting in faith.” The Ministry of Healing, 230.

“I was shown that in case of sickness, where the way is clear for the offering up of prayer for the sick, the case should be committed to the Lord in calm faith, not with a storm of excitement. He alone is acquainted with the past life of the individual and knows what his future will be. He who is acquainted with the hearts of all men knows whether the person, if raised up, would glorify His name or dishonor Him by backsliding and apostasy. All that we are required to do is to ask God to raise the sick up if in accordance with His will, believing that He hears the reasons which we present and the fervent prayers offered. If the Lord sees it will best honor Him, He will answer our prayers. But to urge recovery without submission to His will is not right.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 147, 148.


  • What key thoughts should be always remembered in our prayers for the sick? I John 2:1; Lamentations 3:33; Psalm 103:13, 14.

Note: “Present these thoughts to the persons who come asking for your prayers: We are human; we cannot read the heart or know the secrets of your life. These are known only to yourself and God. If you now repent of your sin, if any of you can see that in any instance you have walked contrary to the light given you of God and have neglected to give honor to the body, the temple of God, but by wrong habits have degraded the body which is Christ’s property, make confession of these things to God. Unless you are wrought upon by the Holy Spirit in special manner to confess your sins of private nature to man, do not breathe them to any soul.

“Christ is your Redeemer; He will take no advantage of your humiliating confessions. If you have sin of a private character, confess it to Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man. [I John 2:1 quoted.] If you have sinned by withholding from God His own in tithes and offerings, confess your guilt to God and to the church, and heed the injunction that He has given you: ‘Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse.’ Malachi 3:10. …

“Praying for the sick is a most solemn thing, and we should not enter into this work in any careless, hasty way. Examination should be made as to whether those who would be blessed with health have indulged in evilspeaking, alienation, and dissension. Have they sowed discord among the brethren and sisters of the church? If these things have been committed they should be confessed before God and the church. When wrongs have been confessed the subjects for prayer may be presented before God in earnestness and faith, as the Spirit of God may move upon you.” Counsels on Health, 373, 374.


1 Where should we direct the thoughts of the sick?

2 Are all healings from God?

3 What are the conditions for healing?

4 How can we maintain health?

5 Name some essential points in prayer for the sick.

© 2003 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.