How am I Tempted?

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15

Is it possible to wrongly divide the word of truth? Paul’s specific wording to rightly divide tells us that God’s word can also be wrongly divided. As we study the subject of the mystery of godliness, we must be careful to rightly divide what we study. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that this subject will be the study of the saved throughout eternity. In its completeness, it is a subject that is meant to be a mystery to us, but there are things that we can study and understand, and God means for us to study and rightly divide what He has revealed in His word.

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

So Paul is saying that to understand the deep things of God, we must wholly and continually rely upon the Holy Spirit to make plain that which we cannot grasp with our human mind. This has led to great debate and controversy in the Adventist church regarding the human nature of Christ.

One of the most wonderful verses in all of Scripture is found in Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.” However, this verse is so difficult to understand that it will not be understood until we get to heaven; and we might not fully understand it even then.

In Luke 1, the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “ ‘And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son … He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ ” Verses 31–35 KJV

Mrs. White wrote to Elder Baker, an Adventist minister, about “that Holy Thing.” “These words [that Holy Thing] are not addressed to any human being, except to the Son of the Infinite God. Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called that Holy Thing. It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, 19

When God’s prophet quotes a verse from the Scriptures and, without reservation, says that it is a mystery that is left unexplained to man, there is no human explanation that can be trusted.

Mrs. White also wrote, “The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery.” Ibid. Even in heaven, the saved will be unable to fully explain the incarnation of Christ.

However, God has given us some things that can be understood regarding the human nature of Christ. “That which is revealed, is for us and for our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves: for it cannot be.” Ibid.

The best way to understand how Christ could be tempted like us is to understand how we are tempted. When I was a young preacher, I never preached about this, because I thought everyone understood how we are tempted. But I have since learned that there are many things in the spiritual world that we think everyone understands, but almost no one does. So, to be confident in our study of how Christ was tempted, let’s first study how we ourselves are tempted.

We have already studied that the nature of man before the fall was governed by the principles of righteousness; that the nature of man after the fall was, and continues to be, governed by the principles of selfishness. And what is sin? Sin is not just an action, but also a state of being—the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.” Proverbs 27:19

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

“All sin is selfishness.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1763

“The sowing of seeds of selfishness in the human heart was the first result of the entrance of sin into the world.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 7, 233

When I am tempted, but do not yield to the temptation, I have not committed a sin. However, if my temptation, for example, is to be angry with a fellow brother, and if I yield to that temptation and express my anger, the Bible says that I am guilty of breaking the sixth commandment (Matthew 5:21, 22). Why is it that if I hate my brother, even though I do him no physical harm, I still am guilty of breaking the ten commandments? Because human nature is now governed by the principle of selfishness. Selfish is what we are to the core and, without a miracle of transformation effected by the power of the Holy Spirit, selfishness directs everything we think, say, and do.

My brother Marshall and I both attended Seventh-day Adventist schools for over 20 years, including Loma Linda University where we both obtained master’s and doctor’s degrees, and also a year at Andrew’s Theological Seminary for Ministers. We both entered the ministry.

Over 40 years ago, Marshall was living on the East Coast while I was living on the West Coast. We had a difference of understanding regarding the incarnation of Christ. We would write back and forth, each trying to convince the other of our understanding. After a few years of this back-and-forth dialogue, we stopped the discussion, realizing that neither of us was going to be able to convince the other to change what we believed to be true. For the last ten years of my brother’s life, I do not recall that we ever discussed it again. We knew we agreed on the important things—that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient, that He did not sin, and that we must overcome sin as He did in order to be saved. On the rest, we just did not discuss it.

During the time of our discussions, I wrote a paper on the subject of sin. Marshall liked my explanation of sin so much, and believing that it needed to be published, he sent it to the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference (BRI). The BRI director at that time happened to be a personal friend of mine, whom I had known for many years. But when he received and reviewed my paper, the BRI would not print it. The BRI is supposed to be a collection of the best theological minds in the Adventist church, but they had a different opinion about sin.

So how is it that two men, having received the same education, both ministers in good standing with the Seventh-day Adventist church (at that time), both totally committed to studying, knowing, following, and preaching the truth, along with a collection of the best theological minds of the Adventist church be so opposite in their understanding of Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy on the subjects of sin and the incarnation of Christ?

In addition to the texts and quotations above, let me add what I feel is the best definition of sin that I have ever found in the Spirit of Prophecy.

“God will accept only those who are determined to aim high. He places every human agent under obligation to do his best. Moral perfection is required of all. Never should we lower the standard of righteousness in order to accommodate inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong-doing. We need to understand that imperfection of character is sin. …

“And those who would be workers together with God must strive for perfection of every organ of the body and quality of the mind.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 330

Notice that moral perfection is not optional. It is a requirement, an obligation to do our very best. This is a frightening thought. I am a terrible sinner and I cannot make myself better, let alone perfect. But there is a way that you and I can reach that required, perfected character.

“All righteous attributes of character dwell in God as a perfect, harmonious whole, and everyone who receives Christ as a personal Saviour is privileged to possess these attributes.” Ibid.

Unless Christ delivers me, I have no hope. He, the promised Saviour, is my only hope. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25. Another literal Greek translation of this verse is, “He is able to save perfectly those that come to God by Him.”

There is no need to be afraid or feel anxious about your imperfect character, for we have a Saviour who is able to save every soul, even those at the very bottom of the pit of sin. He has promised to pull us, each one, out of the darkness of sin and to perfectly save us. In your heart, you may feel that you are nothing, filthy, and that your mind is all wrong, but you can call upon Him, and trusting in Him alone, He will work out the plan of salvation in your life.

God’s law is holy, just, and good, and broad in its requirements. It reaches to the very thoughts and feelings of the soul (Manuscript Releases, Vol. 10, 287). Notice that God’s law reaches to my thoughts and feelings. Why? Because that is where the sin is. It is not just what I do, but what I am. I, my thoughts, feelings, and intentions, are not in harmony with God’s law. Just because I have not committed an act of sin does not make me any less of a sinner. If I am, in any way, out of harmony with the law of God, then I am sinning because I am living in a state of sin.

“They [the law of God, the ten commandments] lay men under obligation to God: they reach to the thoughts and feelings of the soul; and they will produce conviction of sin in everyone who is sensible of having transgressed them. If the law extended only to the external conduct, men would not feel guilty over their wrong thoughts, desires, and designs. But the law requires that the soul itself, the spiritual agent, be pure.” Ibid., 287, 288. We must accept Christ as our Saviour, surrendering to His transforming power, or we will remain impure, unholy, and sinful, because alone we are unable to be anything else.

The Spirit of Prophecy makes it very clear that the expression “that Holy Thing,” was referring to Jesus’ humanity not His divinity. Jesus was to be the physical walking, talking, breathing example to man of the character of God. “The Lord Jesus is the embodiment of the glory of the Godhead.” The Signs of the Times, December 12, 1895

Webster’s dictionary defines embodiment as “the act of embodying or a state of being embodied.” Embodied means to “cause to become a body or part of a body”; in other words, incarnate. When Mrs. White wrote that Jesus is the embodiment of the glory of the Godhead, she was speaking about His body.

“What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God. Divinity flashed through humanity in softening, subduing light. He was the embodiment of the law of God, which is the transcript of His character.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1131

“To human eyes, Christ was only a man, yet He was a perfect man. In His humanity He was the impersonation of the divine character. God embodied His own attributes in His Son—His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His purity, His truthfulness, His spirituality, and His benevolence. In Him, though human, all perfection of character, all divine excellence, dwelt. …

“He was manifesting God in humanity. Yet He was the humblest of all the prophets; and He exemplified in His life the truth that the more perfect the character of human beings, the more simple and humble they will be.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 16, 1897

Jesus came to this world as a human being, “not to reveal what a God could do, but what a man could do, through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency. Man is, through faith, to be a partaker in the divine nature, and to overcome every temptation wherewith he is beset. The Lord now demands that every son and daughter of Adam through faith in Jesus Christ, serve Him in [the] human nature which we now have.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 140

The devil was jubilant. He was sure that finally he would win the great controversy. And if he were to win, every son and daughter of Adam would perish. Christ would perish, too, because if the devil had won, Christ would have lost His divinity.  Divine wrath would have come upon Christ.

“Satan and his angels exulted as they discovered that the Son of God had taken upon Himself the nature of man, and had come to be man’s substitute, to engage in the conflict in our behalf. The human family had been overpowered by the deception of the enemy; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, and the enemy hoped that Christ also would become a victim to his seductive wiles. Satan gloried in the opportunity of besieging the Son of God with fierce temptations. Because He had taken upon Himself the nature of man, Satan deemed that his victory was certain, and with every malignant device in his power he strove to overcome Christ. The steadfast resistance of Christ to the temptations of the enemy brought the whole confederacy of evil to war against him. Evil men and evil angels united their forces against the Prince of Peace. The issues at stake were beyond the comprehension of men, and the temptations that assailed Christ were as much more intense and subtle than those which assail man as his character was purer and more exalted than is the character of man in his moral and physical defilement. In his conflict with the prince of darkness in this atom of a world, Christ had to meet the whole confederacy of evil, the united forces of the adversary of God and man; but at every point he met the tempter, and put him to flight. Christ was conqueror over the powers of darkness, and took the infinite risk of consenting to war with the enemy, that he might conquer him in our behalf.” The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1893

Christ was tempted far more than any of us will ever be tempted. If He had lost, we, too, would have been lost. Yet, He took an infinite risk, coming to this earth as a man to face the devil, and to save mankind. Imagine the difference of the level of temptation between Jesus and us. One demon comes and whispers a suggestive thought to us and have we not given in to the temptation many times? Jesus met Satan and “the whole confederacy of evil, the united forces of the adversary” and stood fast.

Very few Adventists understand what happened to mankind when Adam sinned. “When man sinned, all heaven was filled with sorrow; for through yielding to temptation, man became the enemy of God, a partaker of the satanic nature. The image of God in which He had been created was marred and distorted. The character of man was out of harmony with the character of God; for through sin man became carnal [fleshly].” Ibid. February 13, 1893. The entire human race became carnal.

Man’s carnal flesh must be crucified, and he must be born again. Paul speaks repeatedly that the old man, our carnal nature, must be crucified.

“That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22–24

Your carnal nature is to be crucified, but a crucified person can come down from the cross. That is what they said to Jesus. “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down [from the cross].” Matthew 4:6. Mrs. White says that Christ could have come down from the cross and gone back to His Father, but had He done so, you and I would be lost (The Desire of Ages, 145). Have you let your carnal man get down from the cross?

Because of Adam’s sin, the whole human race became carnal, therefore, we are all partakers of the satanic nature, and if we are to be in heaven, three things must occur. “Since the divine law is as changeless as the character of God, there could be no hope for man unless some way could be devised whereby his transgression might be pardoned, his nature renewed, and his spirit restored to reflect the image of God.” That I May Know Him, 18

God’s law requires a perfect character. “Even the thoughts must be brought into subjection to the will of God, and the feelings under the control of reason and religion. Our imagination was not given us to be allowed to run riot and have its own way, without any effort at restraint and discipline. If the thoughts are wrong, the feelings will be wrong; and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character. When we decide that as Christians we are not required to restrain our thoughts and feelings, we are brought under the influence of evil angels, and invite their presence and control.” The Review and Herald, April 21, 1885

God’s law requires that we present to Him a holy character. What constitutes a holy character? “The law requires us to present to God a holy character. It demands of men today just what it demanded of Adam and Eve in Eden—perfect obedience, perfect harmony with all its [the law of God] precepts in all relations of life, under all circumstances and conditions. No unholy thought can be tolerated, no unlovely action can be justified. As the law requires that which no man of himself can render, the human family are found guilty before the great moral standard.” The Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895

The thoughts and feelings in all relations of life, under all circumstances and all conditions must be holy, in harmonious agreement with all the precepts of God’s law; anything less is transgression of God’s law and therefore, sin.

 “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” James 1:14. So what is temptation?

“It [temptation] is the means by which those who claim to be the children of God are tested and tried.” The Signs of the Times, May 27, 1897

When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, the temptation involved three parts: [1] distrust in God’s love, [2] doubting His wisdom, [3] and transgressing His law (Patriarchs and Prophets, 57). “Satan exulted in his success. He had tempted the woman.” Ibid. Eve failed in all three, and if you or I fail on the first two parts, we will fail on the third—every time. We must be vigilant, because the devil is still using this same temptation on God’s people all over the world today.

Someone might say, “I know that God loves me and everything He does is wise and best. I would never distrust His love or doubt His wisdom.” But what if that same person had a loved one in the hospital dying of cancer, and they say, “This person is a Christian, how can this happen? If there was a God in heaven, this couldn’t happen.” Do you see? The devil is tempting them to doubt God’s love and wisdom. The devil whispers in the ears of those suffering some trial, “If there was a God who had infinite love, infinite wisdom, and infinite power, He wouldn’t let this happen.”

The time of trouble is coming, and if I do not trust in God’s love and wisdom now, then I will not keep His law, and I will be unable to make it through that terrible time.

If I am to survive the temptations that are coming, then I must be rooted and grounded in the truth so that I have perfect trust and confidence in God’s love for me. Whether I am sick and no one can say why, or everything seems to be going against me and nothing makes sense, still I must have faith in God’s love and wisdom now.

An army of soldiers came to the home of a Waldensian family. They killed the sons, cut off their heads, tied them around their father’s neck, and then marched the father to his death. Could you trust that there is a God in heaven who has infinite love and wisdom for you in a situation like that? Can you trust God’s love and know that He is wise and He is going to work all things out for your good in the end even when everything’s going wrong and you can’t understand it?

Friends, we must practice trusting in God now, every day, in all things—because trust in God will not just magically appear when things get tough. We must trust in Him or we will fail and be lost.

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:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

The Simplicity of the Gospel

When Jesus was on earth, He tried to help the people find salvation by using parables and stories that they could relate to their own lives. However, their minds had been dulled by the molding of the church leaders of their day which made it hard for them to comprehend the meaning of these lessons. Each lesson was a key to open their minds to the wonders of the Kingdom of Heaven. They had been inundated with “holy” traditions of the church and had lost sight of the true significance of the Law of God.

As Jesus went about doing miracles and wonders in the sight of the people, He slowly tried to point them back in the right direction that would lead to salvation. “I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture,” Jesus said to them (John 10:9 NIV). He was trying to help them understand that the burnt sacrifices, the weekly tithe, the good works, the attendance of church on the Sabbath, would not bring them salvation, but in Him was the fullness of the Godhead and only through Him could they be saved.

“We do not earn salvation by our obedience; for salvation is the free gift of God, to be received by faith. But obedience is the fruit of faith. ‘Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him’ (1 John 3:5, 6). Here is the true test. If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in us, our feelings, our thoughts, our purposes, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God as expressed in the precepts of His holy law. ‘Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous’ (1 John 3:7). Righteousness is defined by the standard of God’s holy law, as expressed in the ten precepts given on Sinai.” Steps to Christ, 61.

Jesus, of course, encouraged good works; He set down conditions that require our tithe, but He always and continually pointed back to Himself as the way, the truth and the life for a fulfilling and sanctified life. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ ” (John 14:6 NIV). Jesus is the embodiment of righteousness, so if we are to be righteous, it stands to reason we need Him embodied in us. How do we obtain this holy character? That is probably the most commonly asked question among Christians that genuinely want to be like Jesus.

The answer is simple, but in practice it takes a struggle. The gospel of Christ is simply this: confess your sins and make restitution where applicable, repent of your sins by turning from them and commit them no more, and then follow the Lord in all that He says. After all, He gave us the free gift of salvation through His glorious sacrifice, He paid the price for our lives, He did all He could do to make the way as easy as possible for us to have salvation. Our part is to give all of ourselves back to Him.

The struggle is quite real, and many become discouraged, but Jesus is right there next to us, waiting for us to reach out to Him for help. Many are tempted by sin and trials, and Paul said if we are not in a struggle, then we may be lacking. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). We all have fallen short of godliness and this is the reason we need our Saviour each day to guide us. We must help one another in this fight, for we wrestle with powers unseen. The prophet tells us to uplift one another when we see a brother or sister struggling with sin. The gospel may be simple but the fight for our soul is ongoing.

“There is many a brave soul sorely pressed by temptation, almost ready to faint in the conflict with self and with the powers of evil. Do not discourage such a one in his hard struggle. Cheer him with brave, hopeful words that shall urge him on his way. Thus the light of Christ may shine from you. ‘None of us liveth to himself’ (Romans 14:7). By our unconscious influence others may be encouraged and strengthened, or they may be discouraged, and repelled from Christ and the truth.” Steps to Christ, 120.

So, how do we have success in the Christian walk? It is through the love of God that all things are possible. The books of John are the books of love, for he talks about how to have that success in Christ. Love conquers all as it is applied to our lives. It can overcome temptation, strife, anger, family issues, faultfinding, evil surmising, and most of all pride and selfishness. These are all enemies of love. Love that flows from the heart is tender, self-sacrificing, humble, and kind, it gives off a scent of a sweet-smelling fragrance. The one who loves is the one who is close to Christ. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).

Love is the simplicity of the gospel because it encompasses all that Jesus taught. In love, we keep His commandments simply because He said to. There are no questions about it. We know that He loves us and all that He requires of us will only bring happiness and peace. By embracing the love of Jesus, we can become holy. He willingly sends the Holy Spirit to us as soon as we ask for it, for He will not withhold that for which we ask. If we will submit to His will, He marries His Spirit with our will to make it one.

“ ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son’ (John 3:16). He gave Him not only to live among men, to bear their sins, and die their sacrifice. He gave Him to the fallen race. Christ was to identify Himself with the interests and needs of humanity. He who was one with God has linked Himself with the children of men by ties that are never to be broken. Jesus is ‘not ashamed to call them brethren’ (Hebrews 2:11); He is our Sacrifice, our Advocate, our Brother, bearing our human form before the Father’s throne, and through eternal ages one with the race He has redeemed—the Son of man. And all this that man might be uplifted from the ruin and degradation of sin that he might reflect the love of God and share the joy of holiness.” Steps to Christ, 14.

As we follow the love of Jesus to its finality, the Lord will use it to sanctify us. This is not a work that we can perform; it must be achieved through the working of the Holy Spirit. Only He can create the changes needed in each life. No one person is the same as another; therefore, a special work must be done in each one. “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9). The way we can see this change being wrought in us is through love. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

“What is the work of the Holy Spirit? Jesus told His disciples: ‘When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth’ (John 16:13). And the psalmist says: ‘Thy law is the truth’ (Psalm 119:142). By the Word and the Spirit of God are opened to men the great principles of righteousness embodied in His law. And since the law of God is ‘holy, and just, and good’ (Romans 7:12), a transcript of the divine perfection, it follows that a character formed by obedience to that law will be holy. Christ is a perfect example of such a character. He says: ‘I have kept My Father’s commandments.’ ‘I do always those things that please Him’ (John 15:10; 8:29). The followers of Christ are to become like Him—by the grace of God to form characters in harmony with the principles of His holy law. This is Bible sanctification.” Maranatha, 231.

The law of truth is the law of love in Christ Jesus. In it He has set before us the path to holiness and happiness. Jesus said He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. They know Him because of the great love they have for Him. Not because they loved Him first, but because He first loved them and showed them true love. “We love Him because He first loved us” and if we love Him, He says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (1 John 4:19; John 14:15). His commandments are not burdensome because we love Him. If you love your wife or husband or mother or father, would you not try to please them, and do as they ask? How much more so for the One who gave all for us that we may not perish, but have everlasting life with Him.

Jesus illustrated this simple gospel of love in the parable of the good Samaritan. Here was a man beaten and robbed and left to die on the side of the road. The priest and Levite who saw the man beaten and bruised walked past on the other side of the road. They did not want to get involved. They had pressing business in town that would further their own self-interest much more than to help this poor man. These were the professed leaders of God’s church that showed disdain for those who were of a lower class than they. Yet a Samaritan man stopped to help this man. The Samaritan was of a class of people that the Jews considered to be lower than themselves and would have nothing to do with them. Yet the Samaritan saw the pain and suffering of this injured man who was near death and offered him the hand of love. He didn’t know if this man was rich or poor, Jew or Greek, a godly person or an atheist. All he knew was that he needed help. So, he lifted him up and took him to shelter and paid for his care that he might be made well again. The prophet of God remarks about this love shown by the one who was inspired by the love of God, for love only comes from the God of Heaven.

“All this is but a fulfillment of the principle of the law—the principle that is illustrated in the story of the good Samaritan, and made manifest in the life of Jesus. His character reveals the true significance of the law, and shows what is meant by loving our neighbor as ourselves. And when the children of God manifest mercy, kindness, and love toward all men, they also are witnessing to the character of the statutes of heaven. They are bearing testimony to the fact that ‘the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul’ (Psalm 19:7). And whoever fails to manifest this love is breaking the law which he professes to revere. For the spirit we manifest toward our brethren declares what is our spirit toward God. The love of God in the heart is the only spring of love toward our neighbor. ‘If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?’ Beloved, ‘if we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us’ (1 John 4:20, 12).” The Desire of Ages, 505.

Oh, what perfect love to love one another as Christ loved us. It is the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus. Love motivates us to confess our sins, and Jesus has promised to cleanse us. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Love is the inspiration that turns us to repentance. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10). Love is the catalyst that drives us to follow all that Jesus has said and to “Live by every word of God” (Luke 4:4). “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 John 4:8; 1 Corinthians 13:3). But through our love for God and one another, we can be confident that Jesus is living through us. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Looking forward, we can see that time is short and if we are to live in Christ, we must prepare for the future. We must pray more fervently, we must struggle harder, we must send up more supplications for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on us that we may fulfill the plan that God has for each of our lives. Most of all, we must ask the God of Heaven to fill us with His love that we may have a change of heart.

The beginning of a life in Christ demands love and not strife. It requires sacrifice and not slothfulness, and that love will produce the perfect character that will fit us for Heaven. Let us come boldly before the throne of God with hearts filled with love for perishing souls. Let us work tenderly, recognizing that we are no better than the worst person in this world. If we love God, we will love them, too, and try to reach those within our sphere of influence.

Remember, on the cross of Calvary Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). We were once one of those people mired in sin without hope until Someone who loved us lifted us up. Let us give the gift of love that was given to us back to others.

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

Michael C. Wells lives in Wichita, Kansas, and is director of Anointing Oil Ministries.

Food for Life – Westphal’s Pickles

Withstanding Temptation

A few potent thoughts for this month from the little book “Confrontation” beginning with page 10: “Adam and Eve came forth from the hand of their Creator in the perfection of every physical, mental, and spiritual endowment. God planted for them a garden, and surrounded them with everything that was lovely and attractive to the eye, which their physical necessities required. This holy pair looked upon a world of unsurpassed loveliness and glory. A benevolent Creator had given them evidences of His goodness and love in providing them with fruits, vegetables, and grains, and in causing to grow out of the ground every variety of tree for usefulness and beauty.” [Emphasis supplied.]

Has the cost of your salvation ever entered your mind? “Satan followed Him [Christ] from infancy to childhood and from childhood to manhood, inventing means and ways to allure Him from His allegiance to God, and overcome Him with his subtle temptations. The unsullied purity of the childhood, youth, and manhood of Christ, which Satan could not taint, annoyed him exceedingly. All his darts and arrows of temptation fell harmless before the Son of God. And when he found that all his temptations prevailed nothing in moving Christ from the steadfast integrity, or in marring the spotless purity of the youthful Galilean, he was perplexed and enraged. He looked upon this youth as an enemy that he must dread and fear.

“That there should be One who walked the earth with moral power to withstand all his temptations, who resisted all his attractive bribes to allure Him to sin, and over whom he could obtain no advantage to separate from God, chafed and enraged his satanic majesty.” Ibid., 28.

Have you ever considered how much He endured for your sake and for mine? Look at our sins, the ones that so easily beset us—the common, little ordinary sins that will keep us out of Heaven unless we overcome them completely— like impatience, a harsh tongue, and gossiping. Even the smallest will bar our way to the mansions He has gone to prepare for us.

“When Christ bore the test of temptation upon the point of appetite, He did not stand in beautiful Eden, as did Adam, with the light and love of God seen in everything His eye rested upon; but He was in a barren, desolate wilderness, surrounded with wild beasts. Everything around Him was repulsive. With these surroundings, He fasted forty days and forty nights.” Ibid., 37.

“For forty days He ate and drank nothing. This made His suffering greater than anything which man would ever be called to endure.” Signs of the Times, August 7, 1879.

In light of the shortness of time, does this not behoove us to watch more carefully everything we do and say, that we might give all the glory and honor to Him alone? Let us pray for one another that we will remain faithful until Jesus comes.

Recipe – Westphal’s Pickles

1 gallon distilled water

1 cup salt (ice cream or pickle salt)

Bring this to a boil until salt is well dissolved. Pack small fresh cucumbers tightly in a jar.


Add: 3–4 cloves of garlic

2–3 grape leaves

Fill jars with the boiling salt water and seal


Happy Cooking, Marjorie

Do You Want Freedom?

Do you feel trapped? Are you weighed down with unwanted habits? Do you want freedom from smoking, overeating, a hot temper, etc.? Have you tried again and again to stop, but do not know how? Do you find yourself doing what you do not want to do, and not being able to do what you want to do? Well you are not alone; Paul expresses the same feelings, in Romans 7:15–18. “That which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I…for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”

Is this how you feel? Do you want to do good but do not know how? Do you feel like you are in bondage, a slave to habits? Paul goes on to say, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Romans 7:19–23.

Paul is saying there is within us a law or power holding us in bondage to sin. This is terrible. Is there any hope? Can you ever be free from this bondage? In the next verse Paul says, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Christ is Our Deliverer

Paul goes on to say, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. . . . For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans. 7:25; 8:2. “If the Son therefore shall make you free [from serving sin], ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36.

To bring us freedom is the whole purpose of the life of Christ. When Jesus began His ministry, He announced His mission in the sanctuary, He read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Then Christ said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Luke 4:18, 21.

Christ’s work is a work of deliverance and liberty. “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6,7.

Life in Christ is Freedom

“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2.

Obedience to Truth (Christ) Makes us Free

“Jesus [said] to those Jews which believed on Him, ‘If ye continue in My word, then . . . ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31, 32. “God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:17, 18. “[How] shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Psalms 119:9.

Freedom from the Bondage of Sin

“Ye also are become dead to the law by the body [death] of Christ.…” Romans 7:4. “We are buried with Him by baptism into death…our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Romans 6:3–7.

Buried with Christ — Surrender Thy Will to God

“…if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” Romans 6:5. When Christ died, He prayed, saying, “‘O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.’” Matthew 26:42 “‘.…as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father.…’” John 5:30.

Surrender (Death to Self) — To Obey the Spirit

“…when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members.…But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit.” Romans 7:5.

Obedience to the Spirit — Freedom From Sin

“Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For…if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law [of sin].” Galatians 5:16, 18. “…sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law [of sin], but under grace.” Romans 6:14.

Through the Spirit Put to Death the Deeds of Sin

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24.

Jesus said “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself [die to self], and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’” Luke 9:23.

Freedom Applied to Daily Living

Know and Claim Bible Promises

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4. “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” Hebrews 4:1.

Remember, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise.…” 2 Peter 3:9. And “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Read the Bible Every Day

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” Luke 4:4. “‘Search the scriptures.’” John 5:39. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4.

Guard Your Thoughts, Your Eyes and Ears

Temptation is stimulated by what you see and hear. “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8. Keep your heart and mind stayed upon Christ. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16.

Give Yourself to God and Run From the Devil

When temptation comes, give yourself to God. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7.

Resist Temptation with the Word of God

In Matthew 4:3–10 we read of Jesus being tempted of the devil again and again. And every time Jesus resisted, with a ‘thus saith the Lord.’ In verse 4 we read, “He answered and said, ‘It is written . . .’” In verse 7, “Jesus said unto him, ‘It is written again.’” In verse 10, “Then saith Jesus unto him, ‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written…’”

Be Prepared, Watch for Temptation Before it Comes

“‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape…’” Luke 21:36. Be prepared, watch for the things that trigger your habits (temptation). If the desire for a cigarette comes right after a meal, be prepared with prayer and Bible verses, and disrupt the habit with a change of routine. “Be sober, be vigilant [watch]; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.

Total Abstinence

“Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” 1 Peter 2:11. Put away sinful indulgences (such as cigarettes) completely and immediately.

Do Not Put Yourself in a Situation to be Tempted

“Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14. If you are trying to stop smoking, throw away all cigarettes and do not purchase any. Do not “make provision” to be tempted.

Fellowship and Worship with God’s People

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…but exhorting one another.…” Hebrews 10:24, 25. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.…” Romans 15:1.

Continue to Grow — Add to Your Christian Experience

Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience;…if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.…give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:5–10.

Victory is Through Faith and Obedience

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him [faith], ‘If ye continue in My word [obedience], then…the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31, 32.

Obedience to Christ Wherever He Leads

“Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16. “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men.…” Revelation 14:4.

Faith in Christ to Keep Us From Sinning

“…and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. “…and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 2 John 5:4. “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 1:24, 25.

“…now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Romans 6:22.

How to Quit Smoking

by Dr. John J. Grosboll

How to Quit SmokingHave you ever tried to stop smoking? You may have had temporary success before, but now has your habit returned, leaving you frustrated? Are you reading this booklet in quiet desperation wondering whether it will be able to do for you what nobody else has been able to do?

Are you apprehensive that trying again and failing will simply weaken your will power and sense of self- worth even more, so that it seems dangerous for you even to keep reading?


There is such a method. The really good news is that this method can be followed not only by average men and women but even the weak. Those who have apparently been failures all of their lives can gain lasting success, permanent freedom from tobacco and a sense of dignity and value never before experienced.

The author has helped others who were heavy smokers for decades, to experience this success and has not found one person in more than twenty years who has followed all of the principles of the method now to be explained without permanent success.

This method is not based on anything mystical but rather on thoroughly researched scientific laws which govern the body and the mind. There are not only physical laws in the universe but also mental or spiritual laws, and if you know what these laws are and are willing to obey them, your success is absolutely certain.

Before we explain what you need to know and do, however, we need to investigate three important questions:

  1. Why did you start smoking?
  2. Why is it so hard to quit?
  3. Why do you want to quit?


You need to know something about why you began to smoke because if those motivations still exist, they will make it harder for you to quit. A common time to start smoking is twelve years of age. This is a time when a child is seeking adult status in the world. Because of the example of his older peers or adults whom he knows, smoking often has seemed to be a way to become more “grown- up.” People who were role models for you may have been a large part of this influence. Your subconscious mind accepted the constant input from advertising and the example of others that there was a real benefit to smoking. This is a lie. Smoking does not make you more mature, smarter or in any way better or more attractive. In fact, it does just the opposite.

Smoking causes constriction of blood vessels and at the same time lowers the oxygen delivering capacity of the blood. This reduces the delivery of oxygen to the brain as well as other vital organs of the body. Habitual smoking causes you to appear elderly faster and decreases your beauty and attractiveness. It does not improve you mentally or physically. Smoking weakens the body so that the smoker has less endurance, higher mortality and more sickness.

Diseases which are especially increased by smoking include the following: lung cancer and cancers of other parts of the respiratory system; cancer in the urinary bladder, the pancreas and the kidney; heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and other vascular diseases; emphysema, chronic bronchitis, peptic ulcers; various mouth disorders such as tooth loss, jawbone deterioration, inflamed gums, and pyorrhea and oral inflammations. Smokers are absent from work more often and have more headaches and coughs than non- smokers.


For women, smoking presents shocking hazards. Smoking mothers have more premature babies, more stillbirths and miscarriages, and more babies who die a short time after birth. Babies born to smoking mothers have more congenital abnormalities. A woman who smokes and takes oral contraceptives containing estrogen increases her chances of a heart attack several times.

In addition to all of this, smoking decreases your ability to experience pleasure— for example, it decreases taste sensitivity so that you have less capacity to enjoy food. Your ability to experience pleasure is based on your sensitivity, and this is lessened by all narcotics.


Nicotine causes addiction. After a person is addicted to nicotine by habitual smoking, to cease smoking produces physical symptoms. Symptoms which habitual smokers experience when they stop smoking include irritability, muscle pain, headache, nausea, inability to sleep and jittery nerves. These symptoms are not imaginary because when you quit smoking, measurable physiological changes occur, such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure and in the electrical waves of the brain. Withdrawal symptoms, however, are not the only reason that it is difficult to quit smoking.

A number of social and psychological habits are often intertwined with the smoking habit. Smoking has often become associated with every major event of the day. For example, a smoker often takes out a cigarette every time he has a cup of coffee. An important business decision or meeting is often associated with a smoke. A change of pace, such as getting in a car to drive to work or sitting down to relax, is often associated with a smoke. So, every major start or stop or pressure or change of pace during the day is often associated with smoking. But even these are not all of the reasons that it is hard to quit smoking.

Smoking is also a physical habit. The hand reaches for the pack and a cigarette is retrieved. It is placed in the mouth and a lighting device is ignited. The inhale to kindle the end is accompanied by the fondling of the cigarette by the lips and later the playing with it by the hand. Later, ashes are flicked out, and finally, it is stamped out. These activities become deeply ingrained habits which the habitual smoker has repeated many thousands of times. Since smoking is an all- pervasive habit which has chemical, physical and mental or spiritual components, any rational attempt to quit must have an attack plan which includes physical, chemical and spiritual components.


Since smoking is an all-pervasive habit having physical, chemical and spiritual components, the reasons why you want to quit are often the determining factors as to whether or not you will be permanently successful. You probably do not have the appropriate motivation right now to quit smoking permanently. If your motivation had been perfect, you would have been successful before and would not be reading this. Do not worry about that. One of the major purposes of this booklet is to help you acquire the proper motivation through a series of tested techniques. The result will be that you will acquire a power that most smokers desiring to quit have never experienced.


The first thing to know about how to quit smoking is that you need help, and the second thing to know is that all of the help in the universe will not give you victory without your determined, persistent effort.

We will study the first thing first— how you can get help to quit smoking.


It was not long before midnight on April 14, 1912. The ocean liner Californian was on its way to Boston from London. As Charles Groves, the ship’s third officer, sat on the top deck, he saw, several miles away, the lights of another ship speeding westward. As this ship was rapidly passing his own, he saw a splendid burst of lights, revealing a large passenger liner. Suddenly, however, it seemed that the big ship stopped and put out most of her lights. It did not occur to him that perhaps the lights were still on but only appeared to go out because the ship was no longer broadside but had swerved sharply to the left.

That night, when help was near, over fifteen hundred people lost their lives in one of the worst ship disasters of history because of no communication. Help was near, but there was no communication. So, when the Titanic went down, nobody was there to help.


There are millions of people today who have a problem with tobacco and are ready to sink. Many are sinking in an abyss of smoke while help is available. What if a man was drowning and when a life buoy was thrown to him he refused to take it because he did not know if the rope or the buoy or the rescuer were trustworthy. He has no confidence, no faith. That man will drown because he cannot save himself and he is unwilling to accept outside help.

The man who is drowning must choose to believe in the person who is out to save him. If he believes and if he acts on that belief by taking hold of the help that is made available, he will be delivered. He will be saved. The tragedy is that there are so many people whose bodies are drowning in an ocean of smoke who will not ask for or accept the help that is available.


Wonderful help is available. Through an ancient prophet, God says, Call unto Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know (Jeremiah 33: 3).

And through the apostle Paul, God declares that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or even think (Ephesians 3: 20). So, outside help is available. There is powerful help available, and many millions of people have found in this outside help the answer to the problem of self- control. Your nature may be so weakened through continual indulgence of wrong habits that it is impossible for you in your own strength to resist the craving for nicotine. You may be literally a slave to tobacco, but nonetheless, there is help available for you.


1. Ask.

Acknowledge that you have a problem for which you need divine help, and ask for divine help. Jesus said, Ask, and you will receive. Everyone who asks receives (Matthew 7: 7).

2. Make a commitment.

God does not force the will of any human being. He does not want blind submission or unreasoning control. God does not use force. In order for Him to deliver you from the slavery of tobacco, you must be willing to make a commitment— choose to yield your will to Him so that a change can be worked out in your life.

3. Surrender your will to Him.

A lot of people in our world are do- it- yourselves. There are some things that we apparently can do ourselves. However, if you have found that you cannot stop smoking by yourself, you need to surrender your will to God in order to receive the divine help that will set you free from the slavery of bad habits.

Although you will find it a struggle to do this, surrendering your will to Him is vital if you are to have permanent success. To surrender the will to God means to accept Him to be our Lord and Master in all things, to acknowledge ourselves to be His servants, ready always to yield obedience to His commands. You can do it if you choose to. The surrender of your will to God’s will, moment by moment, is the vital key to success.

4. Are you in earnest?

God has promised, you will seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29: 13). If that is your decision, there is no question that a divine miracle is going to take place in your life to give you victory over tobacco. You are on your way to fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16: 11).

5. Exercise your power of choice.

You may have decided that you are weak in moral power. You may consider yourself a victim of doubt. Your life may seem to be continually controlled by your past when you were constantly losing self- control and smoking. The resolutions that you made on New Year’s day may have fallen apart immediately. It may seem to you that it is impossible for you to control your thoughts, and by yourself, this is true. Your habit of smoking, your passionate craving for nicotine, your affection for this vice may be humanly uncontrollable. The knowledge of this causes you to have feelings of despair. There is a way out, however. What is that way out? The way out depends on your power of decision or choice.

You cannot change your heart or your affections for your past habits or your passionate cravings for nicotine. You cannot change your impulses, but you can make a decision. You can choose to yield your will to divine power. If you do this, divine power will work in you, and your nature will be brought under the control of a divine spirit. A change will occur in your affections and in your thoughts, giving you power to be free from tobacco.

The Scripture says, If anyone destroys the temple of God, him will God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are (I Corinthians 3: 17). If you have decided to make a decision to live a life that is pure— free from the defilement of tobacco— here is what to pray: “Father in heaven, I choose to surrender my will and all lam to You. I choose to seek You with all of my heart and live by every word that comes out of Your mouth. I choose to live a healthy life and not destroy myself with tobacco. Please help me, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.” Over and over throughout the day, you should breath this prayer to God— “Father, I choose to live a healthy life and not defile myself with tobacco. Please help me as You have promised, for I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

6. Why many fail to receive help.

It is fine to have desires to do the right thing, but if you stop there, nothing will happen. Millions of people are hoping and desiring to quit smoking, but they do not come to the point of yielding their will to a divine influence. They do not make a decision to yield their will to divine power.

If you exercise your will and make a decision, make a commitment to God about your smoking problem, you are going to experience divine strength in your life which will hold you steadfast. If you constantly yield your will to this divine power, you will be enabled to live a new life, a life of self- control, a life in which you will be in control of your thoughts, your affections, your cravings, your impulses and your past smoking habit. All of this is possible to you if you make a decision to yield your will to divine power.

God is interested above all things that you may prosper in all things and be in health (III John 2). If you acknowledge your condition and yield your will to Him, if you make a total commitment (full surrender) to this divine influence, God will fulfill His promise to you. He will supply the fact. He will make you whole in your spirit. It is so, if you believe it. Do not wait to feel that the miracle has happened, but believe it, because God has promised.


Now that you have come for divine help, do not draw back and take yourself away from the divine influence. Every day say, “I have yielded my will to Christ. I have surrendered my smoking problem to Him.” Then say to Him, “Please give to me Your Spirit, grace and power to live this new life. “It is as you continually give yourself to Him and believe in Him that a divine miracle takes place in your life. This is a miracle of self- control, of victory over your affection and craving for tobacco and nicotine.


This is a miracle which no human eye can see but which you can experience. It is so exciting, the apostle Paul expressed it as being made into a new creature. He said, Old things have passed away, ail things are become new (II Corinthians 5: 17). Every thought, every word, every action is purified and brought into subjection to the righteous will of Christ. (See II Corinthians 10: 4,5; Ephesians 4: 28- 32; Romans 1:16,17.)


A change is seen in our habits. We develop an emotional attachment for the One who has saved us from these bad habits which had fettered chains around us that we could not break. We begin to learn the meaning of the statement in the Bible where the apostle said that we love Him because He first loved us (I John 4: 19).

There are people who were smokers who never realized how personal and how individual God’s love was until they found out that God was interested in helping them solve their problem with tobacco.


There are two erroneous ideas against which we need to especially guard ourselves after asking for divine help. The first is the philosophy that we can trust in something that we can do in order to bring about the change in mind and spirit and the self- control that we need. Jesus said,

Without Me you can do nothing (John 15: 5). Place your complete trust in Him. Do not place any trust in what you can do. In every time of temptation, look to Him for power to overcome and have victory. If you trust yourself, you will fail, but Jesus never fails.


The opposite and no less erroneous idea is the common belief that if you just believe, then you do not need to do anything. The fact is that the divine miracle takes place only when there is a union of divine power with human effort. As long as you surrender your will to the divine influence, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. And the works of obedience to the physical laws of your body will take place in your life as you cooperate with God by making a persistent and vital effort to live according to your requests. The apostle said, You WORK OUT. . . with fear and trembling . . . God . . . WORKS IN you to will and to do. . .” (Philippians 2: 12, 13). The secret then is not that God does it— you gain the victory in the fight for self- control— but God supplies to you the power to gain the victory which, on your own, would be impossible.


The question arises, Will this miracle continue to happen? As long as you yield your will to Christ, as long as you are choosing to fully cooperate with Him, this divine miracle will continue to happen because your hope is not in yourself but in Him. So, you are not to look to yourself or depend upon yourself in order to have control over your craving to smoke or to manifest self- control in any other area of life. You are to look to where the help is.

One of the Bible writers expressed it like this. He said, speaking the Word of the Lord, Look unto Me and be saved all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none else (Isaiah 45: 22). If you look to Him (in your mind), you are going to be delivered from your problems of smoking, lack of self- control, obeying wrong impulses, and affection for wrong past habits.

There are all kinds of things in life to divert your attention from where the help is, but remember, you must not allow anything to prevent you from looking for and asking for divine help.

This divine help is in Jesus Christ. If you commit the keeping of your mind to Him and trust in Him, He is able to keep that which you have committed to Him (II Timothy 1: 12). So, look to Him every time you are faced with a temptation to smoke. Choose to follow Him in obedience, who said, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself (Luke 9: 23).

Self denial is the way to become an ex- smoker and the way to eventually gain life’s greatest happiness and pleasures. It is a divine principle that Jesus constantly taught by precept and example.


Here are three principles that you can use to keep this divine power flowing into your life, giving you control over the craving to smoke.


Fix the Bible promises to smokers in your memory. Some Bible promises for smokers are:

Call upon Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me (Psalm 50: 15).

Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know (Jeremiah 33: 3). The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed. A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You (Psalm 9: 9, 10). For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened…. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to them who ask Him (Matthew 7: 8, 11)! With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19: 26). For with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1: 37). I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4: 13). And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 19).

God stands back of every promise He has made. Memorize them; repeat them over and over to yourself. This is a weapon that Jesus Himself used to overcome temptation.


Do not fail to continue asking for help. Jesus said, Men ought always to pray and not to faint (Luke 18: 1); in other words, do not give up. Keep asking continually. As you go about your daily activities, let your heart and spirit be uplifted to God, asking Him for divine help to conquer every subtle and surprising temptation to smoke. There is no time or place where it is inappropriate to offer up a request for divine help to assist you in conquering a temptation to smoke.


Develop the habit of being joyful and thankful. Did you know that most people are about as happy as they choose to be, and the Bible acknowledges this fact. If you will make the decision to be joyful and thankful, you will be surprised at the divine power that will come into your life in the very act of expressing your joy. The apostle said, Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice (Philippians 4: 4). In other words, express your joy. h everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6, 7). There is the secret, friend. Be joyful and express your joy and thankfulness for God’s answer to your request and a divine miracle is going to take place in your life.

You have an imagination. In your imagination, every time you are assailed with a temptation to smoke, even if you are depressed or discouraged or ready to yield to despair, look to Jesus and request help. Ask and you will receive. When a perverted craving struggles for the mastery in your mind, look to Jesus Christ. His power is sufficient to subdue any bad habit. Choose to turn to Him. Lay hold of the hope that is set before you. He has strength for your weakness, and He is ready and willing right now to lead you step by step to perfect self- control, permanent freedom from the slavery of smoking. Never fear that He is far away because He is always near (Acts 17: 27), and He is interested in having communion (fellowship) with you (Revelation 3: 19- 22). He is ready right now to work in your behalf and to impart to you power to subdue every craving to smoke. He does not do this without your consent. You are free to choose what power you want to rule over you. Nobody has fallen so many times or is such a slave to tobacco that they may not find deliverance through divine power (Hebrews 7: 25).


God expects you to live in harmony with the physical laws which He has created within your body. The particular physical laws which you need to pay special attention to when you begin to resist the craving to smoke are listed below.

1. Eat mainly fresh fruit and some fruit juice the first day.

As soon as you quit smoking, your body starts trying to rid itself of nicotine and all of the other poisons from tobacco that have been accumulating. You can assist your body in this effort by adopting a cleansing type of diet. If you are engaged in hard, manual labor and need a more liberal diet, a suggested first day diet would be as follows:


1- 2 slices of whole wheat or whole grain toast 1 banana 1 orange or apple 1 bowl of cooked cereal or cold cereal with low sugar content, with milk or milk substitute and fruit sauce, if desired 1 glass of apricot nectar, grape juice or orange juice a few nuts, such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, filberts or brazil nuts— raw nuts are best, dry roasted next best, roasted in oil should be avoided, if possible.


1 baked potato with gravy or other topping 1 bowl of tossed, green, garden salad 1 serving of cooked greens— broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, collards or Swiss chard— if none of the above are available, green vegetables would be second best, such as: green beans, okra, cabbage or brussels sprouts 1- 2 slices of bread, whole wheat or whole grain 1 serving of high protein food— Any kind of legume— cooked, dried beans, peas, lentils or garbanzos— is excellent. Lima beans are fine. Peanut butter sandwiches can do in a pinch. a few nuts (Nuts also provide protein.) 1 glass of milk or milk- substitute, optional


Any kind of fresh fruit as desired any kind of fruit juice without added sugar— Use juices in moderation that are high in sugar content, such as grape juice and pineapple juice. crackers, optional

The above menu is only for those who engage in hard manual labor. Others are advised to eat mainly fresh fruit and fruit juice the first day. If you want to be successful right from the start, you are advised to not eat or drink any type of food or beverage not listed.

2. Drink a minimum of six glasses of water per day.

This is in addition to whatever fruit juice, milk or vegetable juice you drink during the day. If you do not like the taste of your water and do not have access to purified water, you may put a small amount of lemon juice in the water. This is also advisable if you have weak digestion or if your stomach rebels at the thought of plain water.

The way to get enough water is as follows: Drink at least one eight- ounce glass of water during the first thirty minutes upon arising in the morning. Do not drink anything for one to two hours after breakfast. During the late morning, drink a minimum of two eight- ounce glasses of water. Do not drink anything for one to two hours after lunch. During the later afternoon, drink at least two glasses of water. Either before supper or just before going to bed, drink one more glass of water.

You will have more energy as a result of drinking more water and your body will be assisted in ridding itself of the poisons that have accumulated from the use of tobacco.

3. Practice deep breathing at least three times per day.

First of all, stand up and be sure that nothing is tight or restricting around your waist. Loose fitting clothing is absolutely essential to proper breathing. Through either your nose or your mouth, inhale the largest amount of air possible. Your tummy should go out both in front and on the sides. After you inhale as much as you can force yourself to, then inhale just a little bit more until you are feeling some discomfort.

Hold the air for a moment and then breathe out rapidly through your mouth. While breathing out, bend over and place your palms flat against your ribs, or abdomen, and push in. If you cough at the end of this breathing out, you will get more air out of your lungs, which is what you want. Repeat this exercise two more times. Repeat the entire procedure at least three times per day.

Note: If you are a jogger, a bicyclist or a long distance swimmer, you may eliminate this activity on any day that you work out.

4. Get plenty of rest the first few days.

Your body will exert tremendous effort during the next few days to purify itself, so you will need adequate rest and sleep.

5. A tepid bath or shower is recommended every day.

A tepid bath is one that is not very hot and not cold, just lukewarm. A lukewarm soak before bedtime for the first few days helps some people go to sleep.

6. Avoid all alcoholic beverages.

The cerebrum or forebrain is the first part of the brain to be affected by alcohol, and even a small amount of alcohol results in a decrease in judgment and the ability to exercise the will. Alcohol will sabotage your efforts to be free from tobacco. You cannot expect God to help you quit smoking if you use alcoholic beverages because He has forbidden their use. (See Proverbs 23: 29- 35; 20: 1; I Corinthians 6: 9, 10.)

7. Avoid all compromise.

If you decide to taper off from cigarettes or other forms of tobacco, you will surely fail. You cannot be successful unless you quit totally and entirely.

8. What to do if you fall.

A righteous man may fall seven times and rise again (Proverbs 24: 16). If you fall, confess your fall to God (I John 1: 9; Proverbs 28: 13). He has promised to forgive you and help you to finally succeed. Read the first part of this booklet over again and go through all of the steps faithfully. Start over immediately to be free from tobacco, and do not allow anyone to discourage you.

In the Revolutionary War, America lost battle after battle but finally won the war. If you should stumble, get up immediately and start again. God will not forsake you and will give you a permanent victory over tobacco if you do not give up because of a temporary failure. Pray most earnestly. Say like Jacob, ‘I will not let You go unless You bless me’ (Genesis 32: 26). If you keep going through the steps listed in the beginning of the booklet and keep asking, you will be given power to have permanent victory. The reason that some people stumble while quitting smoking will be explained later.


1. How to deal with headache.

  1. First and most important of all, pray whenever you have a headache. Say, “Father in heaven, You have promised to keep me in perfect peace (Isaiah 26: 3) {f I trust in You. I have chosen to trust in You so I ask that You will give me peace of mind and spirit and impart to me that rest (Matthew 11: 28- 30) that You have promised, for I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
  2. Drink a glass of water. Extra water is helpful for headaches.
  3. Practice the deep- breathing exercises.
  4. If practical, you may go for a walk. Your arms and legs should be well protected if the weather is cool. An outdoor walk is the best.
  5. Try to practice a strict, regular schedule— a set time for eating meals, a set time for going to bed, etc. Regular habits will help you to get adequate sleep. Headaches are often caused by lack of sleep.
  6. Do not eat anything between meals. Do not have meals closer than five hours apart. Avoid overeating, and do not eat many varieties of food at the same meal. Avoid any practice which has caused you to have indigestion. Headaches can be precipitated by indigestion.
  7. Headaches can be caused by improper clothing, either too much clothing in a hot room or climate or improper distribution of clothing, day or night, so that the extremities (arms and legs) are inadequately clothed while the trunk of the body is warmly covered. Chilling of the neck and shoulders can cause a headache. Tight restrictive clothing either at the neck or at the waist or other part of the trunk of the body can cause a headache by imbalancing the circulation.
  8. A hot foot bath with a cold cloth on the forehead, or even an ice bag placed at the top of the back of the neck against the skull, is sometimes necessary. The foot-bath can be 103- 106 degrees Fahrenheit. The washcloth on the forehead should be kept cool by frequent rinsing in cold water. A tepid bath (94- 97 degrees Fahrenheit) for one- half to three- quarters of an hour sometimes relieves headache.

2. Before you get up in the morning

Always pray before you say or do anything in the morning. The first thing in the morning, you might be severely tempted to have a cigarette. Before you get out of bed, talk to God about the upcoming day.

You might say something like this, “Father in heaven, I choose to consecrate myself to You and to belong totally to You today. On this condition, You have promised to give to me the fullness of Your blessing, to abide in me by Your Spirit and to be my strength and constant Helper. I claim these wonderful promises and claim a pure life free from the defilement of tobacco, in Jesus’name, Amen.” (This prayer is based on Numbers 6: 24- 26; John 14: 1- 17; 15: 1- 14; Hebrews 13: 5, 6.)

3. Use your leisure time wisely.

After supper, do not sit down and relax in an easy chair for the first few days because this will be one of the more dangerous times of the day when you will be tempted to smoke. Engage in an active or absorbing hobby, go for a walk or find something that will keep you busy until bedtime. Doing nothing will sabotage your efforts. Doing nothing can have a devastating effect on your will, so keep busy, except for time for sleeping the first few days. It will be advantageous for you to get a thirty minute walk or thirty minutes of working in the garden, etc., every day. Aerobic exercise will help you to always have a positive mental attitude.

The rest of this booklet will give you more help. If you are having any trouble, you may go over and over the first part of this booklet. Many people must go over and over the principles before they become a part of their character. Until your character is changed, your life free from tobacco is not yet permanent.



The components of successful prayer are cited below. These concepts are from the Bible, but they are also found in a nineteenth century book called Steps to Christ.

Prayer is talking to God concerning our actual life— it is a conversation with Him. It is talking to Him in the same manner as we would talk with any friend.

Jesus taught His disciples to (1) present their daily needs before God and (2) cast all of their cares upon Him. He gave them the assurance that their petitions would be heard.

God’s heart of love yearns toward the children of men. He is ready to give them more than they can ask or think, but these divine gifts are only for those who ask and put their trust in Him.

Prayer should not consist altogether in asking and receiving. We are to praise God for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men (Psalm 107: 8).

To obtain answers to our prayers, the Bible presents the following prerequisites:

  1. We must feel our need, Isaiah 44: 3. 2. We must not cling to any known wrong, Psalm 66: 18. 3. We must choose to exercise trust in God, Hebrews 11: 6. 4. We must choose to exercise a spirit of love and forgiveness, Matthew 6: 12.
  2. We must persevere in prayer, Romans 12: 12; Colossians 4: 2; I Peter 4: 7. 6. We must take every opportunity to pray: in the family circle, in secret, with others and as we go about our work or daily activities. There is no time or place in which it is inappropriate to offer up a petition to God, Luke 18: 1.
  3. Christ’s example is that we are to blend prayer and works— we are to pray even in the midst of our work, but we are not to isolate ourselves away from others and retire from the world in order to pray. If we only pray and do not work, soon we will cease to pray or our prayers will become a formal routine.

So, take to God everything that perplexes your mind. Nothing that in any way concerns your peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no perplexity concerning your smoking problem that is too difficult for Him to understand. There is no calamity that can happen to you or anxiety that can harass you to which He is unobservant or in which He does not take an interest.

So ask. Ask when you are driving your car and you are being tempted to smoke.

Ask when you are on the job. Ask when you are talking with someone and you are tempted to smoke. Ask when someone offers you a cigarette and you do not know how to resist. You can always make a request for help in your mind, and God will hear. He says that He sees every thought that you think (Psalm 139: 2). Ask, Jesus said, and it will by given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it will opened unto you. Everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds and to the one who knocks it will be opened (Matthew 7: 7, 8). Are you knocking on God’s door? Are you seeking for His help? If you are, He has promised to hear your request and answer you. God stands behind every promise He has made.


Success is the result of divine power and human effort. Your utmost human effort is necessary. If you stop making a consistent effort, then God must stop providing miraculous power to help you because He never works out of harmony with your own will— that would restrict your freedom, which God will not do. Here are more things to do to have permanent success.

1. Avoid all coffee and caffeine.

Caffeine is a chemical stimulant that can initiate a craving for a cigarette. Very few people will be able to permanently quit smoking and still keep on drinking coffee. Caffeine is a drug and is potentially dangerous like any other drug. For many smokers, coffee seems to automatically signal for a cigarette afterward.

Caffeine and nicotine are chemically related drugs and the use of one can cause a craving for the other. The only sure way to quit smoking is to quit drinking coffee.

Caffeine is much more dangerous than usually described in the public press. As little as two cups of coffee per day can retard bone growth in the fetus and significantly decrease placental blood flow. The use of caffeine can result in calcium loss and gradual thinning of the bones. It can also result in a marked decrease in iron absorption, which could lead to anemia.

In addition to this, high dosages of caffeine can result in nervousness, irritability, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia and headaches. Do you need all of this extra trouble when you are quitting the use of tobacco?

Furthermore, since caffeine is a drug that can harm your body, can you with a clear conscience ask God to provide miraculous power so that you can be free from tobacco while you are needlessly using a drug that can seriously harm your body? Can you expect Him to restore your body if you are deliberately doing something that could destroy it?

2. Use natural, harmless stimulants.

One of the most powerful natural stimulants is a cold mitten friction. In the morning, fill the sink with cool or cold water. Dip a washcloth (or terry cloth mitt if you have one) into the water and wring it out dry. Then rub one arm at a time until the arm is pink.

The second morning you can fill the sink with colder water until eventually you may put ice cubes in the water, if you desire. The second or third morning you may want to rub your chest, as well as your arms, until it is pink. The morning after that you may rub your arms, your chest and your back until they are all pink. Then you may rub both of your arms and the entire trunk of your body. Finally, in about a week or ten days, you will be able to rub your arms, your chest, your upper and lower back, your abdomen and your legs until they are all pink.

After a cold mitten friction, you will be awake without having to use coffee, and you will feel better and have no harmful side effects. It will give you a lift without a later letdown. It will also increase your resistance to colds and other upper respiratory infections.

You will need to get up a few minutes earlier in the morning to do this, but it will be worth it for the rest of the day.

3. Your diet

After the first day, you may liberalize your diet, but if you make fresh fruit and vegetables the major part of your diet, you will have better health and you will probably feel better during the time your body is flushing the poisons from tobacco out of it. A good plan is to have a generous amount of fresh fruit for breakfast with a whole- grain cereal or other whole- grain food, milk or milk substitute, whole- grain toast, fruit sauce and a few nuts. Lunch would then include a generous amount of raw and cooked vegetables and should include one dark green or orange vegetable daily with whole- grain bread and a protein food. Potatoes are an excellent staple vegetable and when eaten with another cooked vegetable, a salad and a legume or casserole, provide satiety and enduring energy. The best protein foods were listed earlier. The third meal, if eaten, should be light, preferably fresh fruit only, but crackers and fruit juice with the fruit is all right if you are very hungry.


Behavior change takes place when there is a combination of supreme human effort and divine power working in a person’s life. Consistent human effort never occurs without motivation. Where and how does lasting, powerful motivation come into a persons life? How does this take place? Jesus said, If you can believe, all things are possible to the one who believes (Mark 9: 23).

Trust or belief in God comes the same way as you learn to trust or believe in anyone else. We learn to trust others as a result of our acquaintance or experience with them. We learn to trust God as a result of our acquaintance or experience with Him. How do we become acquainted with God? We become acquainted with Him in the same way that we become acquainted with anybody else. We talk to Him, and He talks to us.

We have already talked about asking Him for help continually and praising Him for answering our requests. Some changes take place instantly; some changes take place over a period of time. Just because you do not feel any different right this moment, this does not mean that a change is not really happening.

When we become acquainted with God, we learn to believe or trust in Him to give us control over our past smoking habit or any other unhealthful craving. The Scripture says, We love Him because He first loved us (I John 4: 19).


When Jesus was here, the disciples experienced His love by being with Him. John says, We heard Him, we saw Him with our eyes, we gazed upon Him, our hands handled Him (I John 1: 1). Concerning what they saw, he said, That which we have seen and heard we declare also to you so that you might have fellowship (verse 3).

If we experience Jesus’ love now, it must be by reading these reports (the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) of what those disciples saw, heard and handled. If we do this, the result will be a fellowship with the Father and the Son, a precious experience in receiving divine love. Love brings joy and control into our lives.

When a man and woman are first in love, they spend as much time as possible with each other, and that love grows and becomes a powerful force in their lives.

Divine love is the most powerful motivating force for smoking cessation there is. We must spend as much time as possible with the source of that love so that we will receive it. Otherwise we will not have this most powerful motivating force in our lives which will bring about permanent freedom from tobacco. We love because He first loved us (I John 4: 19). Schedule at least fifteen minutes per day to read from one of the Gospels. A good place to start is the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5- 7. You will find a great deal of help to give you complete freedom over smoking in this sermon that Jesus gave.


Love is the most powerful motivating force there is for smoking cessation. When we love God and realize that He will give us any help necessary for us to achieve victory over our bondage to tobacco, lasting changes will take place. The result will be permanent cessation of smoking.


  1. We become acquainted with God in the same way that we become acquainted with anyone else— by talking to Him and listening to Him talk to us (I John 1: 1- 3; Job 22: 2 1). We talk to Him when we pray. He talks to us through His Word, the Bible.
  2. As we become acquainted with God, we experience His love for us (Jeremiah 31: 3).
  3. If we become acquainted with God, the natural result is that we will love Him (I John 4: 19).
  4. Divine love is the most powerful motivating force there is to make and keep you free from the bondage of tobacco. It is a divine power that enables a person to develop self- control( l Corinthians 13: 7,8; John 14: 23).
  5. As our love relationship with God develops, we have more desire to become all that we can become with His divine power operating in our lives.
  6. His love to us and our responding love to Him empowers us to fulfill the desire to be free from tobacco.


Divine love is more powerful than any enslaving habit to tobacco you have. It is the only thing that will produce permanent results. Any other motivation will eventually wear off and your bad habits and bondage to depravity of one kind or another will return, but love never fails (I Corinthians 13: 8).

The first requirement for developing a love relationship with God is to spend time with Him— talk to Him. The second requirement is to listen to God talk to you.


God has big plans for you, bigger plans than you have for yourself. God created man to be in charge, to have dominion over the whole world, not to be a slave but to be a ruler. These plans can never be fulfilled unless you are in control of your own life. How does God plan to bring this about? He brings it about through His Word. Jesus said, I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me and I in Him, the same brings forth much fruit for without Me, you can do nothing (John 15: 5).

Because of the effect of heredity, of bad habits, of wrong lifestyle and of bad choices, we do not have the ability of ourselves to exercise self- control. We cannot control our minds or our bodies in our own strength. Jesus said, If a man does not remain in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered, and men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned (John 15: 6). This is an apt illustration of the life that is ruined by bad habits. Jesus continued to say, If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you shall ask what you wish and it shall be done to you (John 15: 7). So, knowing the promises in the Word is very important if we want to obtain answers to our requests.


The promises in God’s Word show us what to pray for and what to ask for. We know that if we ask for something that is promised in His Word, our request will be fulfilled (I John 5: 14).

Let us look now at a few of the Bible promises especially applicable to smokers. The apostle Paul says, Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6: 19). You are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body (I Corinthians 6: 20). It is God’s will for you to live in harmony with the physical laws of your body, in fact, the apostle says, If anyone destroys the temple of God, Him will God destroy, for the temple of God is holy which temple you are (I Corinthians 3: 17).

So, you know that it is not God’s will for you to destroy your body by unhealthful habits, such as smoking. God has promised to deliver you from every desire contrary to His will if you are willing. But I say, Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust [craving] of the flesh (Galatians 5: 16).

If you choose to follow the instruction of the Holy Spirit given in God’s Word this is a promise that you will have victory over every unhealthful craving and temptation. Through whom are given to us exceeding great and precious promises that through these you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped from the corruption which is in the world through lust. (II Peter 1: 4). It is by memorizing, quoting and claiming the promises in God’s Word in every time of temptation that victory is gained. Jesus Himself used this spiritual weapon. (See Matthew 4: 1- 11.)


Somebody might say, “Well, God doesn’t understand howl am tempted.” But God does understand how you are tempted; in fact, the apostle Paul says in Hebrews 4: 14, 15, We have a great High Priest who is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God. We do not have a high priest which cannot not be touched with the feeling of our maladies, but He was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin.

Jesus knows how you feel; He knows how you have been tempted. He knows how you are tempted because He was tempted in all points like as you are. Because He was tempted in all points like as you are, He knows how to deliver you from temptation. Look at the promise that follows in Hebrews 4: 16, Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need.

Does it seem impossible to obtain freedom from the bondage of tobacco? Does it seem impossible to keep from lighting up? The apostle said, Let us come boldly before the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4: 16). In other words, every time you have a temptation that seems irresistible, you need to ask for divine help, and the promise is that you are going to find mercy and grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4: 16).


Did you know that Jesus Himself has promised to set you free from every sinful or unhealthful habit? This is one of the most wonderful promises in all of the Bible. You can claim it every time you are assailed by temptation to smoke.

This promise is found in John 8: 32- 36: And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. They gave answer to Him, We are Abraham’s seed and we have never been enslaved ever. How do you say that you shall become free? Jesus answered them, Most assuredly I say to you, that every one who commits sin is the slave of sin and the slave does not remain in the house forever, but the Son remains forever. If, therefore, the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.

Sin is simply doing something that is unlawful (I John 3: 4). The sixth commandment says, You shall not kill. This includes more than pointing a gun at yourself or somebody else. It includes slow suicide. This would include smoking because habitual smokers have a higher death rate than they otherwise would.


Jesus has promised to set you free from all bondage. He has promised to deliver you from every kind of slavery. He has promised to deliver you, set you free, from every wrong habit, every unhealthful habit. This is a promise that you can claim every time you are tempted, every time it seems impossible not to yield to the temptation to smoke.


The will is the governing power in the nature of man. It is God’s design that your body be in absolute subjection to your will at all times. Only then are you truly free. (See 1 Corinthians 9: 24- 27.)

It is necessary for you to surrender your will to God in order to be delivered from the bondage which has kept you a slave in dire captivity to tobacco. (See Romans 7: 18- 8: 17.) As long as your will is surrendered to God, He will work through your conscience and reason to control it. God does not usurp your own mental powers, but as long as you are surrendered to Him, He works through them to elevate, refine, ennoble and bring you in every way to a condition where you might enjoy lasting pleasure and happiness with no hang- over, smoker’s cough or other sorrow connected with it.

But you have a part to act in order to keep your will from again becoming a slave to your body or the lower powers of the mind, such as the emotions. (Emotions should always be the servant of the will; the will or power of choice should never be under the control of any part of the body.)

There are certain physical and mental habits which can weaken the will and again bring it into slavery. If you deliberately weaken your will, God will not work a miracle to keep you free— by your actions you are declaring to the whole universe that you have not chosen to be free, and God’s power is not exercised contrary to your own choice. The practices which weaken the will are listed below. If you are brought into difficulty through no choice of your own like Daniel was when taken a captive to Babylon, God will protect you, but God’s power is not exercised to protect the presumptuous.

Physical and Mental Habits that Weaken the Will

1. Overeating

The will, as all other powers of the mind, is affected by the physical state of the body. If you overeat, the circulation is imbalanced and you lose your power to resist temptation. Overeating is often followed by a sensation of drowsiness, and in this half- awake state, the will is in no condition to bring perverted bodily cravings into absolute subjection as is necessary to acquire freedom from the slavery of tobacco.

If you are a habitual overeater, you can use the same principles found in the first part of this booklet to gain the victory over overeating. Especially remember to ask God for victory and selfcontrol. There are also a few physical techniques you can use to avoid overeating:

Practice regularity in eating. Eat only at regular times and not more than three times per day. Regular, balanced meals will help you to avoid the unhealthful habit of snacking.

Avoid extreme- type diets which can result in excess hunger. Any diet which is severely restricted in fat content can result in extreme hunger. While excess fat and fats that are solid at room temperature are dangerous to your health, there must be a balance. Get some fat at both breakfast and lunch. The best fat is in whole, unrefined foods. A recommended list of foods containing large amounts of fat follows. These foods should be used in moderation.

High fat foods include, most nuts and many seeds, such as sunflower and sesame seeds, avocados and olives. Refined foods containing fat, while not totally prohibited, should be restricted. This would include all oils and many dairy products. Milk substitutes have to be evaluated individually. Many have a high fat content.

Use whole foods and plant foods as much as possible. These foods have protective factors that help you to feel satisfied on less calories and thereby avoid overeating.

Eat slowly, laying your fork down between bites. Swallow each mouthful before taking another fork full of food. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly and allow adequate time for meals. This last point is very important. If you do not allow at least twenty to thirty minutes for your meal, you may feel hungry even if you have had plenty to eat.

Regular exercise has a powerful regulatory effect on the appetite. If you walk for thirty minutes a day, you will probably feel a need for less food than if you were totally sedentary.

2. Overwork and lack of rest

Any habit that results in undue fatigue will result in weakening the will. Staying up late at night, followed by an early rise which is still not early enough for a good breakfast, results in starting the day in a weak condition. Lack of planning and scheduling or trying to do two day’s work in one and the resulting lack of sleep, plus overwork, can sabotage your will power.

3. Alcoholic beverages or other mind altering drugs

The higher powers of the mind are more and more anesthetized as alcohol is used. Many people who had quit smoking have started again after drinking alcohol.

4. Tea, coffee and other caffeine sources

Caffeine is a stimulant to the nervous system. Continual use of caffeine has the same effect as overwork or lack of rest— the nervous system, as well as the rest of the body, because of unnatural stimulation, does not recuperate adequately and becomes debilitated until the will is overborne, and then the person has no ability to escape unnatural cravings. Divine power is ready to deliver you from this vicious circle, but you must do your part— decide to abstain from all harmful substances which weaken your will, and follow your decision with your utmost effort while calling upon God for divine power to help you. You must work out what God works in. (Philippians 2: 12, 13).

5. Overindulgence in sexual passions

Every blessing that God has given the human family can be abused and thereby become a curse. Sexual intimacy requires a large amount of biological vitality, and overindulgence can have a weakening effect. One of the worst effects is the habit that can be formed of placing the higher powers of the mind under the control of the sexual passions. The will should always control the passions and never be controlled by them.

If sexual passions control the whole being, man is then in a similar position to dumb animals. A person who is used to being a slave to emotions and feelings will find it impossible to become free from tobacco unless God works a miracle in His life. The first part of this booklet outlines how this miracle can happen.

6. Other unnatural stimulation

Many other habits and practices can unnaturally stimulate the body and the mind and result in a weakened condition of the will. These include using large amounts of certain condiments and spices. The general rule is that if a seasoning tastes hot when actually it is cold, it might be used as a medicine, but it is not safe to use as food. Condiments can immediately start a strong craving for a cigarette.

The mind can be unnaturally stimulated by watching crime, either in the news or acted out. The mind can be unnaturally stimulated by reading novels, various works of fiction and other exciting literature or by watching movies. Such stimulation unbalances the circulation, and any excess stimulation finally results in debilitation and weakening of the will. You can keep up with what is going on in the world and know everything you need to know without this constant stimulation and knowledge of the details of every outrage that is committed.

Rich and heavy foods can unnaturally stimulate the body. A high protein diet is a stimulating diet and not the best for health. While you are still experiencing cravings for tobacco, any unnecessary stimulation of the body can make this craving worse, so avoid meat as much as possible because meat not only is high in protein but contains purine and ammonia which have stimulating qualities. Especially avoid rare meat.

The general rule is that any substance, when taken in far greater amount than needed by the body, can result in stimulation or debilitation, either of which is not helpful to having strong will power. Some other common substances which can have stimulating qualities when taken in very large amounts are vitamin pills, food supplements, sugar, eggs, milk and other dairy products.

A word of caution is in order here. If you have been using large amounts of food supplements, it is wiser to decrease the amount taken slowly rather than all at once because your body probably has a tolerance now to large amounts of these vitamins or whatever supplement you have been taking. You can experience a severe letdown in energy and a feeling of malaise and fatigue if customary food supplements are suddenly discontinued. This extra shock to your body is totally unnecessary while you are acquiring permanent freedom from the slavery of tobacco, so do not discontinue supplements all at once.

7. Doing anything that you know is wrong

If you deliberately do anything that you know is wrong, you will suffer a violated conscience and an immediate weakness of will power to do what you know is right. You will immediately lose the divine power that God has been giving you to help you to obtain freedom from the slavery of tobacco.

If you experiment with any instrument which is used of evil spirits, such as spiritualistic mediums, psychics and fortune- tellers; secret associations and seances; healers who claim to employ electricity, magnetism, or “sympathetic remedies”; if you attempt to communicate with the dead (See Deuteronomy 18: 10- 12; Isaiah 8: 19, 20; I Chronicles 10: 13, 14; Ecclesiastes 9: 5, 6.); if you venture into scenes of dissipation or irreligious pleasure; if you seek the society of the sensual person, the skeptic or the blasphemer, either in person or through the medium of the press or theater, you will lose the miraculous power of God in your life.

Your only sure escape if you are in this situation is to follow the divinely appointed steps back to freedom:

First, you must acknowledge the wrong you have done to God and also to others if you have injured them and ask forgiveness of all injured parties. (See Proverbs 28: 13; I John 1: 9.) Then you must follow the steps presented in the first part of this booklet again about how to get started and how to get divine help to gain back your freedom and self- control.


In 1 John 2: 15- 17, the apostle says, Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him because everything that is in the world, the craving of the flesh, the craving of the eye, and the ostentatiousness of life, is not from the Father but is out of the world. The world passes away and the cravings of it, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

This is a plain acknowledgment that our body can crave things that are not good for us. It is also evident that we must not gratify these cravings if we desire life. The apostle says, Do not love these things. Do not love the world; there are only three things in the world, the craving of the flesh, the craving of the eyes and the ostentatious- ness of life.


Now the question that comes to you and me is, If I love the world, if I have been giving in to the craving of my flesh, if I have been giving in to the craving of my eyes, if I have been smoking until that craving has become almost overwhelming, what do I do about it? How do I get over it?

The secret is right in this passage (1 John 2: 15- 17) I am not to love the world, but I am to have a transfer of my affections so that I can do the will of God. You see, if my whole life revolves around the craving of my flesh and the craving of my eyes, it will never be possible for me to obtain perfect self- control over my cravings or urge to smoke. In order for me to gain the victory over bad physical habits, what must happen? I must have a transfer of my affections from these things to somebody above.


This happens in the following manner. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4: 19). Did you know that God is never tempted to smoke? God is love and His love is always directed outward toward the benefit of the intelligence’s He has created. Our wrong habits and cravings are the result of a perversion of His love. Instead of our love being directed outward toward the happiness and benefit of others, our love is directed inward to the happiness and benefit of ourselves— to gratification of our flesh by smoking or wrong eating, etc. Wrong habits are cultivated through this basic root principle of self- love.

We can never quit our wrong habits unless we learn the essence of the divine character— that principle which seeks not its own but another’s good. How does this happen? The process of overcoming wrong habits is, in its most simple explanation, a process of learning to love the way God loves.


The problem is, how do we learn to love when we are so used to loving that craving of our flesh, that craving of our eyes, our oppressive desire to smoke and other gratifications of these desires of our flesh and our eyes? How does this process of learning to love the way God loves happen in us?

Before we will have any love to give to anybody else, we must first experience His love to us. When Jesus was here, His disciples experienced His love by spending time with Him. John says, We heard Him, we saw Him with our eyes, we gazed upon Him, our hands handled Him (I John 1: 1). Concerning what they saw, he said, That which we have seen and heard, we announce also to you that you might have fellowship with us (1 John 1: 3).


If we are to have fellowship with Jesus now, it will have to be by reading the reports about what these disciples saw, heard and handled. If we do this the result will be a fellowship, a close interpersonal relationship with the Father and the Son, a precious experience of receiving divine love. This experience will give power to our decisions to be free from tobacco and to overcome our bad habits. We will have a transfer of our affections from the satisfaction of the cravings of this world to the satisfaction of fellowship with the Father and the Son. Then, the apostle says, our joy is going to be full (1 John 1: 4).


When a man and woman are first in love, they spend as much time as possible with each other, and that love grows and becomes a powerful force in their lives. Divine love is the most powerful force there is to overcome the craving to smoke. It is the most powerful force there is, but we need to spend as much time as possible with the source of that love so that we will receive it. We will never be filled with that love with just a few minutes a day thinking about Him while we spend the rest of the day thinking about the cravings of our flesh or booking at secular pictures and advertising with craving in our eyes.

We must experience His love the same way that the first disciples experienced it. We must hear His voice speaking to us. We must see Him in our imagination. We must gaze upon Him. As we work in this world, our hands must touch Him. We must have the same intimate spiritual fellowship with the Father and the Son that they had. People who love each other always find time to be together.


The result, friends, of that relationship in your life will be that you will receive divine power to overcome the craving to smoke. Spend time with Jesus by studying His life every day, and the result will be that a new love will take possession of your mind. Your affections will be imperceptibly changed from love of the world with its craving of the flesh and craving of the eyes to the love of the Father, an intimate love relationship with the One who has all power and who will give you His power to overcome. He will give you power to carry out your own best decisions.


Jesus talked about the human essential in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord is going to enter into the kingdom of heaven, hut the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7: 21). It is not what we say, it is not what we profess, it is what we do that counts. And why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and you do not do what I say (Luke 6: 46)?


We become successful in becoming free from tobacco when:

  1. we ask for help,
  2. depend upon God to give us divine help and then, in obedience to our request and trust in Him,
  3. we take action— we act on our trust or our belief in Him.

It is always true that we will act out all of the trust or faith in God that we have, and it is when we show by our actions that we believe that God is going to help us, that a miracle begins to take place in our lives.


There was a time in ancient history when the children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, the spiritual forefathers of the faithful of later ages, marched out of Egypt and went across a terrible wilderness to inherit the promised land. The time came when they were encamped on the borders of the promised land.

Right now, if you have been following the instructions in this booklet, you are encamped on the borders of your promised land— the new you, the new self-controlled you, the you who has control over your lifestyle and is free at last from all enslaving habits.

But when the children of Israel were encamped on the borders of the promised land, it was not enough for them to have a knowledge of Canaan. It was not enough for them to sing songs about Canaan. This would not bring them into possession of all those wonderful vineyards and olive groves in that wonderful country. They could make it theirs in truth only by occupation. They had to go across the Jordan and actually occupy the land. They had to do something. They had to comply with the conditions. They had to exercise faith in God and take His promises to themselves while they obeyed His instruction. They had to have an active experience.


Becoming free from tobacco consists in doing something, doing something active about the problem. Whether or not we will be successful depends not just on whether or not we ask for help, whether or not we believe or whether or not we make a profession of believing. Whether or not we are successful will be made manifest by whether or not we actually do or act in harmony with our requests. We must do and not say only, because it is only through action that new habits are built.


These new habits develop into a new character. Actions become habits and habits become character— you. You started reading this booklet with many wrong habits in your possession as a part of your character. You have been making decisions based on the information presented about changing your character.

We cannot do this unless God supplies the power. That is why this must be a spiritual experience, an experience of asking Him for help and getting to know Him. Although God will supply the power, it is up to you and me to use the power. We cannot just sit in our tents and pray and study. We must get up and take action— walk into the promised land.

Taking proper action will result in the development of good habits which will result in the development of a different character, a new character, a new, pure, tobacco- free you. You have had a misshapen character because of smoking. Our goal is to help you to reshape your character using divine power that is most certainly available to you. It is impossible for anyone to do this perfectly by themselves. That is why we have talked about the necessity of receiving divine help.


Remember, God will supply the power, the help. It is up to you and me to take hold of that power and do something with it. No matter how much power God supplies to you, He leaves it up to you to take that power and work out what He works in. Every day you are building the new you. Your character depends on the actions that you take. Your actions result in habits, and the habits result in character.


There is a true foundation to build your character upon— a living Stone— and if you build upon that true foundation, God’s life will be imparted to you as you build upon Him (1 Peter 2: 4- 9). If the building that you are building is on another foundation, someday it is going to fall. Some people build their character (their attempt to become free from the slavery of tobacco and other bad habits) upon a foundation of human ideas, upon human philosophy and opinions, or upon protocols of some man’s invention.

The person who does this is building a structure of character upon shifting sand. Someday, sometime the fierce tempests of temptation will sweep away this sandy foundation and leave that person’s house of character a wreck, and they will say, “I stopped smoking once. I was free from tobacco once, and I thought I could handle it myself But when the stress of _________ happened, I started again.”

If you are resting your hope of having perfect self- control upon yourself, you are building on shifting sand. It is not too late, friend, to escape ruin. Before the temptations of perverted carnal desires break over you, flee to the sure foundation, the tried and living Stone.

Listen, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, and the one who believes will not be in a hurry, . . . Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is none else…. Do not be afraid for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you by the right hand of My righteousness (Isaiah 28: 16; 45: 22; 41: 10).

The help is available. The question is, What are you doing with it? What character will you build with it? Your actions develop your habits, and your habits develop your character, the new, pure, tobacco- free you. Whoever hears these words of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon the rock (Matthew 7: 24).


There is recorded in the Scripture a time when the apostle Paul spoke the good news to a Roman governor. The Scripture says there were three things that Paul talked to this Roman governor about. He talked to him about right— about doing that which is right. He talked to him about self- control. He also talked to him about having to give an account in the future for this life that we live here.


As Paul did this, the Scripture says that this Roman governor, by the name of Felix, trembled and he gave this answer, Go your way for this time. When I have a convenient season, I will call for you (Acts 24: 25).

This is a classic reply, a classic response. Go your way right now; when I have a convenient season, I will call for you. I am going to do something about it. Have you ever heard someone say that? Today lam going to smoke just a little bit. Tonight I have to go to a party, but tomorrow I am going to develop self- control; tomorrow I will become free of the slavery of tobacco. Today, during the holidays, I need to enjoy myself, but lam going to do something about my smoking later. I am going to change my lifestyle sometime in the future. Tomorrow I am going to do it. Today I have other things to do.


The news is, friend, that today is the day for you to make the changes that you want to make in your life. It will never be easier tomorrow than it is today. It is easier today than it ever will be again, on the basis of what you have just read. The actions that you commit today develop habits, and these habits develop character. Your character is what you really are. If you keep on indulging yourself, if you keep on smoking, more and stronger, wrong habits will be formed. The result will be a deterioration of character, a depraved character. So, tomorrow it will be harder for you to make the changes you want to make than it is today. Although nothing is impossible with divine grace, it will be more difficult. So, today is the day for you to make the changes that you want to make in life.


We read in the Bible about a woman that was brought to Jesus from the very act of adultery. And they came to Jesus and they said, Moses said that such should be stoned, but what do you say? And this they said that they might have something to accuse Him (John 8: 5, 6) either to the people or to the Romans. Jesus arranged affairs in this incident so that all of the people who brought the woman to Him left, being accused by their own conscience of their own sins, and the woman was left alone with Jesus. When that happened, it says that, Jesus lifted Himself up and saw none but the woman, and said to her, Woman, where are those your accusers? Has no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord. Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more (John 8: 10, 11).

When Jesus talked to that woman, He said, in effect, today is the day for you to make a change in your life. Jesus never told anybody that tomorrow will be all right; you can go ahead and indulge yourself today. You can go ahead and practice your unhealthful habits today and change tomorrow. Jesus never told anyone that. Jesus told people, today is the day to make a change in your life. Today is the day that God is willing to work a divine miracle in your life. Today is the day. He said to that woman, Go and sin no more (John 8: 11).

Do you realize what that almost certainly meant? That meant that the woman had to go and get a different kind of job. That meant that she was out of a job because she was involved in prostitution to make a living. But when Jesus talked to her, He did not say, “Let’s work on this and see if you can make some arrangements to get another kind of job.” He did not say anything like that; He said, “Today is the day, tight now. Don’t live like that any longer. Today is the day; right now is the time to change. Right now is the time to have new life. Friend, that was the beginning of new life for that woman, that day.

Now, which kind of person are you? Are you like that Roman ruler who said, “Go for right now; I want to enjoy my wrong indulgences a little more, so I want to wait for a more convenient time. There are so many wrong habits in my life, and it will be inconvenient for me socially and professionally to change right now. I am going to wait for a more convenient time.” The more convenient time does not come.

Or are you going to be like that woman that Jesus met? Right then, right that day, a change was made in her life. She started to live a new life that very day. Jesus said, Go and sin no more. Today is the day to make a change. That was the beginning of new life for that woman. If you are willing to make a change today, God is willing to help you to make that change today. But God will never work a miracle in the life of a person who says, “I want to continue in my wrong habits for today. I want a more convenient time, and then I will make a change. I want to taper off from my bad habits.” If you decide to taper off from bad habits, you have decided to do some evil still, and if God were to help you, He would be blessing you in evil- doing. So, you cannot have any help from God until you decide to quit completely all evil or unhealthful habits. The person who is waiting for a more convenient time or who is trying to taper off never experiences a miracle. They may believe, they may know, but they are waiting for tomorrow to quit completely, and life passes by. At the end, their character is a wreck in the annals of time and eternity.


Today is the best day, the best opportunity you will ever have, to make a change. Let us review what we have studied:

  1. Ask for divine help, knowing that God never tells a lie and that He stands back of every promise He has made.
  2. Become acquainted with God. Talk to Him every time you are faced with a temptation to smoke.
  3. You become acquainted with God when you listen to Him talk to you about the big plans that He has for your life and by exposing yourself to His Word, especially to the promises He has made in His Word to everyone who wants complete freedom.
  4. You expose yourself to the most powerful force in the world by experiencing the love that Jesus has for you— you experience His life by reading about it in His Word.
  5. Then you start to act out the promise that God has made to you, depending upon Him to work a miracle in your life.
  6. When you do these things, the miracle begins today. Do not say, “I am going to wait for a more convenient time; I am going to wait for a better opportunity.” Do not say that, because then the miracle will never happen. We have no record that Felix ever had a change in his life— the Lord never worked a miracle in His life. He went on with all of his wrong habits, wrong actions and depraved character development.

Today can be the day that a change occurs in your life, if you make the choice today. Jesus said to the woman that was taken in adultery, Go and sin no more (John 8: 11). In other words, be done with all of those bad habits, today. If you want to live a new life, if you want to have perfect self- control, if you want victory over the craving to smoke or a life of idleness and inactivity, today can be the day when you have a new life. Jesus worked miracles for those who were willing to exercise trust during the present— today.


There is a story in the Bible about a man who walked on water with the Lord.. This story happened between three and six o’clock in the morning. The disciples of Jesus were on a boat, alone, in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. A fearful storm had arisen on the sea. During this storm, Jesus came to the disciples walking upon the sea— Jesus was walking on water.

At first when the disciples saw a person walking on the water, they were afraid, but then Jesus said to them, Be of good courage, it is L Do not he afraid (Matthew 14: 27). The Scripture says that Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. And He said, Come. And coming down out of the ship, Peter walked upon the water to come to Jesus, but looking on the wind boisterous, he was terrified and beginning to sink, he cried saying, Lord, save me. And Jesus stretched forth His hand and took him, and said to him, Oh, you of little faith. Why did you doubt? (Matthew 14: 28- 31).


We are now going to address the subjects, “Will you be free of tobacco permanently?” and “How to deal with temporary failure.” From the human point of view, walking on water is impossible. From the human point of view, being permanently free from tobacco is impossible for many.

But there is Somebody who can help you to walk on water. Peter’s experience of walking on water covers the steps that we have been studying about becoming permanently free from tobacco and developing new habits of behavior— forming a new character.


First of all, Peter asked the right person— he asked for divine help. We have already seen the importance of asking, continually asking for divine help. Right in the middle of business affairs, you can send up a silent request to God, and He will hear and answer your petition, although it is not verbalized.


Second, Peter was acquainted with the divine Person whom he asked for help and he trusted in this Person that He would help him. He had so much faith in this Person that when the Lord told him to come down out of the ship and walk on water, he believed. He did not say, “Oh, no, I’ll sink if I do that.” He believed in the Person because he was acquainted with Him. We have studied about becoming acquainted with this very same Person— we become acquainted with Him just like we become acquainted with anyone else, by talking to Him and listening to Him talk to us, which He does through His Word.

Third, because of this complete trust in the Person whom he had come to know and love, Peter got down out of the ship and attempted to do something that had always been impossible for him before— walk on water.

If we trust Him and He tells us that He wants us to develop perfect self- control, as He indeed does in I Corinthians 9: 24- 27, then we, too, will attempt to do something that has always been impossible for us to do before, such as becoming permanently free from tobacco.

Is it impossible to walk on water? Is it impossible to be totally and permanently free from tobacco? It may be just as impossible as walking on water, but when you ask for divine help, place your trust in the Person whom you are asking and begin to take action based on that trust, a miracle starts happening in your life, and you start to walk on water.


So, Peter acted on his faith. He got down out of the ship, and because he asked the right Person and he had faith and confidence in this Person, he acted on his faith. When he acted on his faith, a miracle began to happen in his life. This is a very important concept to understand— when did the miracle begin to happen in Peter’s life? It began to happen when he acted on his faith.

God does not begin to work a miracle in your life until you start to demonstrate your faith in Him by doing something active while you trust in Him to work a miracle in your life. Millions have experienced this miracle. How about you? God stands behind every promise that He has made.


Now, the questions come, What if sometime I should do something wrong? What if I should give in to my perverted craving for cigarettes sometime? What if I should engage in an unhealthful practice at some time? What then? Is everything last?

As soon as you begin to practice a known unhealthful habit that you know is not right, you lose the spiritual power that you have within and the same thing happens to you that happened to Peter; immediately you begin to sink. Peter looked at the problem— big waves, a big storm, great surges of waves under his feet.

The same thing can happen to you— you look around and you see a cloud of smoke around you, on television, on billboards, in magazines; the lust of the flesh, the cravings of the eye, the unhealthful habits, these perverted cravings that you have been developing for years surround you. Everything around you seems to be a temptation, and if you look at the problem instead of looking to the One who is the solution to the problem, you will begin to sink.

If you take your eyes off of the One who can and will always be a never- failing source of help for you and look at all the problems, immediately you will begin to sink. The problem seems overwhelming. Discouragement sinks in when you have a temporary failure and you say, “What happened? I had victory yesterday and the day before that, and now, today, it’s not happening. What am I going to do? I am facing failure. Is everything going to ruin?”

That is the situation that Peter was facing. He was walking on water. He had asked the right Person. He had put his trust in the right Person. He had acted on his faith. A miracle had been occurring in his life. But he took his eyes off of where the help was; and, friend, when you look away from where the help is, you are automatically looking at the problems. You start looking at your perverted cravings and that cloud of smoke obscures your thinking. Right away you begin to sink. What do you do then, when you are sinking and you are facing failure?

Friend, you must do what Peter did. You must say, “Lord, save me!” You must look where the help is. You remember the text in the Bible that says a righteous man falls seven times and rises again? Friend, it does not take very long to sink; you may have been walking on water for a longtime, but when you take your eyes off from where the help is, when you start deciding to do it yourself, down you go. When you lose your connection with your all- powerful divine helper, you go down in the water (or smoke) very rapidly. Very fast you can sink right back down to your old habits, your old, smoky lifestyle.

What do you do to keep this from happening? Remember to keep your eye on where the help is, keep asking for divine help and keep taking action on your confidence in that divine help. Keep studying the promises in His Word and claiming those promises. The result will be that you will keep on walking on water.

Here is a prayer that you can pray: “Father in Heaven, I thank You for Your promises and the divine miracles that they bring into my life. I come to You to make request. I ask that You will give to me right now, that miracle of grace that will give to me perfect freedom over tobacco. Help me to act on my trust in You and to come down out of the ship of complacency and inactivity and do what I know that I should do as Your child, by Your grace. Help me to experience this miracle that can keep happening in my life every day.

“If I make a mistake, Lord, and I begin to sink, save me when I call. Help me to turn me eyes toward You. I claim Your promise that You will help me keep on experiencing that miracle in my life which will impart to me that self- control over every craving of the flesh and of the eyes. May I experience Your love in my heart every day which will be a power over and against every wrong habit, for I come to You in the all- powerful name of Jesus, Amen. “


  1. Realize that you need help to be set free from tobacco (John 15: 5; Jeremiah 33: 3).
  2. Know that God desires to provide this help to you (Isaiah 41: 10).
  3. Acknowledge your need and your willingness to come to God and fully cooperate with Him in causing a complete change to happen in your life (Matthew 11: 28- 30). It is vital that you not live in a state of denial. Acknowledge to God, verbally, your condition and need. Ask Him to give to you a change of mind about tobacco. Tobacco is not to be your master (Matthew 23: 10). This can only happen if you have a change of mind (heart). Confess your guilt and ask for release from the guilt and power of tobacco (I John 1: 9; Proverbs 28: 13).
  4. Ask for divine help to be set free from tobacco (Matthew 7: 7, 8).
  5. Choose to believe that God will fulfill His Word to give you perfect freedom over tobacco (Mark 9: 22, 23).
  6. Express trust in God and His promise to help you gain perfect freedom from tobacco (Luke 11: 13).
  7. Act on your belief by making a commitment to live a life of self- control enabled by God’s power (John 1: 12). It is not enough to be sorry. You must actively turn away from your former lifestyle (I Corinthians 9: 24- 27).
  8. Spend time fixing the divine promises in your memory. These promises will bring power into your life when you are assailed by perverted cravings. This is the weapon that Jesus Himself used when He was tempted on appetite (Matthew 4: 4).
  9. Ask for help in every time of temptation (Luke 18: 1, 7, 8; James 4: 7- 9). (God is not wearied by your continued requests for deliverance.)
  10. Express your joy verbally; thank God for helping you to control your appetite (Philippians 4: 4- 7).

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