Children’s Story – Keeper of the Light

Mary’s father was the keeper of a lighthouse on the coast of England. The light of these lamps shines at night to guide ships on their way and to keep them from dangerous rocks and shoals. The lighthouse seems to say: “Take care, sailors, for rocks and sands are here. Keep a good lookout and mind how you sail, or you will be lost.”

One afternoon Mary was in the lighthouse alone. Mary’s father had trimmed the lamps, and they were ready for lighting when evening came. As he needed to buy some food, he crossed the causeway which led to the land. This causeway was a path over the rocks and sands, which could be used only two or three hours in the day; at other times, the waters rose and covered it. The father intended to hasten home before the tide flowed over this path. Night was coming on, and a storm was rising on the sea. Waves dashed against the rocks, and the wind moaned around the tower.

Mary’s mother was dead, and although she was alone, her father had told the girl not to be afraid, for he would soon return. Now there were some rough-looking men behind a rock, who were watching Mary’s father. They watched him go to the land.

Who were they? They were “wreckers” who lurked about the coast. If a vessel was driven on the rocks by a storm, they rushed down—not to help the sailors, but to rob them, and to plunder the ship.

The wicked men knew that a little girl was left alone in the lighthouse. They planned to keep her father on the shore all night. Ships filled with rich goods were expected to pass the point before the morning and these men knew if the light did not shine, the vessels would run upon the rocks and be wrecked. How cruel and wicked they were to seek the death of the ships’ crews!

Mary’s father had filled his basket, and prepared to return to the lighthouse. As he drew near the road leading to the causeway, the wreckers rushed from their hiding place and threw him on the ground. They quickly bound his hands and feet with ropes and carried him into a shed, where he had to lie until morning. It was in vain that he shouted for them to set him free; they only mocked his distress. They then left him in the charge of two men, while they ran back to the shore.

“Oh, Mary, what will you do?” cried the father as he lay in the shed. “There will be no one to light the lamps. Ships may be wrecked, and sailors may be lost.”

Mary looked from a narrow window toward the shore, thinking it was time for her father to return. When the clock in the little room struck six, she knew that the water would soon be over the causeway.

An hour passed. The clock struck seven, and Mary still looked toward the beach; but her father was not to be seen. By the time it was eight, the tide was nearly over the causeway; only bits of rock here and there were above the water. “O father, hurry,” cried Mary, as though her father could hear her. “Have you forgotten your little girl?” But the only answer was the noise of the waters as they rose higher and higher, and the roar of the wind as it gave notice of the coming storm. Surely there would be no lights that night.

Mary thought of what her mother used to say: “We should pray in every time of need.” Quickly she knelt and prayed for help: “O Lord, show me what to do, and bless my father, and bring him home safe.”

The water was now over the causeway. The sun had set more than an hour ago, and, as the moon rose, black storm clouds covered it from sight.

The wreckers walked along the shore, looking for some ship to strike on the coast. They hoped that the sailors, not seeing the lights, would think they were far at sea.

At this moment Mary decided she would try to light the lamps. But what could a little girl do? The lamps were far above her reach. She got matches and carried a small stepladder to the spot. After much labor she found that the lamps were still above her head. Then she got a small table and put the stepladder on it. But when she climbed to the top the lights were still beyond her reach. “If I had a stick,” she said, “I would tie a match to it, and then I could set a light to the wicks.” But no stick was to be found.

The storm was raging with almost hurricane force. The sailors at sea looked along the coast for the light. Where could it be? Had they sailed in the wrong direction? They were lost and knew not which way to steer.

All this time Mary’s father was praying that God would take care of His child in the dark and lonely lighthouse.

Mary, frightened and lonely, was about to sit down again, when she thought of an old book in the room below. It was a special book that belonged to her mother. She questioned, “If Mother were here, would she not allow me to take it?”

In a moment the large book was brought and placed under the steps, and up she climbed once more. Yes, she was high enough! She touched one wick, then another, and another, until the rays of the lamps shone brightly far above the dark waters.

The father saw the light as he lay in the shed, and thanked God for sending help in the hour of danger. The sailors saw the light, and steered their ships away from the rocks. The wreckers, too, saw the light, and were angry to see that their evil plot had failed.

All that stormy night the lamps cast their rays over the foaming sea; and when the morning came, the father escaped from the shed. Soon he reached the lighthouse and found out how his little girl had stood faithful to duty in the dark hours of storm.

Scrapbook Stories from Ellen G. White Scrapbooks, ©1949, 29–32.

He Knows

He knows all about us, each one of us—all our wants, desires, successes, failures, joy, pain, ups and downs. He hears every prayer, knows every thought. He knows all about us and He loves us! Sometimes I wonder how God can love us, but He does. The patience of our Lord is truly amazing.

About Jeremiah He said, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

So why do we try and hide anything from Him or even hold onto our past? So often, we give our sins to Jesus, and then we take them back out of His hands again by debriefings, hashing and rehashing, so that our joy is taken away. We cannot fix what is past and gone.

There is not one of us that has lived a pure life; all of us have sinned and are in need of our loving Saviour. We forget that He is all knowing and all powerful. You may say, Oh, you have no idea all the wicked things I have said and done. God knows, and He has a remedy that can help you and me.

Claim this promise: “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed” (Joel 2:25, 26).

Jesus cares enough to save us dear friend. Who are we? Nobody! Nobody, without the power of God.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father” (Matthew 10:29).

A farthing was British money – it comes from the word for fourth part. Therefore, before the decimal system was established, a farthing was worth 1/4 of a penny.

Sparrows were not worth much—they had such little value, but if Jesus notices when even a little sparrow falls, how much more will He notice and care for you?

This next verse never ceases to amaze me: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (verse 30). Have you ever wondered why? It is because of His watchcare over you. There is not a hair that falls off our head that Jesus does not know about. In other words, He is continually watching us with loving interest, and He knows EVERYTHING about us. Scary or comforting – which is it my friend?

Jesus loves us SOOO much!

I heard a sad story of a couple who stood by the grave of their small boy. As the coffin was lowered into the ground, they said repeatedly, “We loved you so much.” My heart aches as I think of those parents who had lost their son and John 3:16 took on a new meaning for me: “For God SO(OOOO) loved the world, that HE GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus gave up everything to save us. He made the ultimate sacrifice. Let us not shun this free gift that is so priceless.

Yes, we can make it. Surrender the past, let go of it and let God work in us.

“Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command thee this day” (Deuteronomy 8:11).

“Only the love that flows from the heart of Christ can heal. Only He in whom that love flows, even as sap in the tree or the blood in the body, can restore the wounded soul.” Education, 114.

“The language of the soul should be that of joy and gratitude. If we have dark chapters in our experience, let us not keep their memory fresh by repetition. Forgetting the things that are behind, let us press forward to the things that are before. Cultivate only those thoughts and feelings which produce gratitude and praise. If you have been wronged, forget it, and think only of the great mercy, the loving-kindness, the inexpressible love of Jesus. Learn to praise rather than to censure. If you meet with insult and abuse, do not become discouraged, for Jesus met the same. Go forward, doing your work with fidelity. Store the mind with the precious promises of God’s word, and hold sweet communion with Him by frequently repeating them. Cease fretting, cease murmuring, cease finding fault, and make melody to God in your hearts. Think of everything you have to be thankful for, and then learn to praise God.” The Signs of the Times, September 27, 1883.

When the Lord knows all about us and still loves us so much that He wants us with Him for eternity, that is worth living for and worth giving our all to Him. The only time we should look back is to see the distance and direction the Lord has taken us in and to praise His name.

I want to share with you, one of my favorite poems:

“I see not a step before me as I tread on another year,

But the past is in God’s keeping, the future His mercy shall clear,

And what looks dark in the distance may brighten as I draw near,

Oh restful, blissful ignorance, ’tis blessed not to know,

It stills me in those mighty arms, which will not let me go,

And hushes my sad soul to rest in the bosom that loves me so.

So I go on not knowing, I would not if I might,

I would rather walk in the dark with God, than go alone in the light.

I would rather walk with Him by faith, than walk alone by sight.

My heart shrinks back from the trials which the future may disclose,

Yet I never have a sorrow but what the dear Lord chose.

So I send the coming teardrops back with the whispered word, ‘He knows.’ ”

Mary Gardiner Brainard

Yes friend, it is all right, and all is well, because, “He knows.”

Revella Knight is a registered nurse and writes from her home in Arkansas.

The Trip That Changed My Life

In 1971, I was three years out of college and working as head of the operations department for a major department store in Dallas, Texas. A coworker with whom I had become a good friend who worked in the sporting goods department had acquired a large camping tent. We eventually formulated a plan to use it on a camping trip to the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone national parks that summer.

That was my first ever camping trip and re-ignited within me a love of the natural world that was first kindled when I briefly lived in rural east Texas, shortly after my grandfather’s passing in November, 1955. My grandparents lived on a 40-acre farm in Cass County. After my grandfather passed away, my grandmother didn’t want to leave the farm, but the family didn’t want her to live there by herself. I was chosen to finish the school year down on the farm to keep her company and provide whatever help an eleven-year old could supply (which wasn’t much).

What’s a city boy to do when he suddenly finds himself in the country? I reveled in it! On weekends, my grandmother would pack a sack lunch for me and I would head off through the piney woods and spend the day absorbing nature—and loving it.

That same love lay dormant for over fifteen years until that July camping trip to the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone. That trip began the process that the Lord was using to change my life. He “knows our frame,” and He knew exactly what it would take to pull me out of the world and set me on the straight and narrow path.

The summer following the trip to the Rockies and Yellowstone, I wanted to experience the beauties of another national park—but which one? Being a fifth-generation Texan (and misguidedly proud of it), I thought to myself that there must be a national park in Texas I could visit. Back in 1972, there was no web to surf to answer that question, but somehow I discovered that there was indeed a national park stuck way out in west Texas, in the bend of the Rio Grande, southeast of El Paso. It is aptly named Big Bend National Park.

So in August 1972, I borrowed the tent from my friend that we had used the summer before and packed up my camping gear in the trunk of my Pontiac Grand Prix—not your typical camping vehicle. But I was living the high life in Dallas, occupying a luxury apartment, driving a fancy car, doing all the preppy things a successful corporate executive was supposed to do. By then I was in charge of the receiving department, supervising about 30 employees, with two assistants.

This vacation, however, was indeed the trip that changed my life. I was smitten with the incredibly wide openness of Big Bend, the vistas that stretched for miles in every direction, without a single golden arch to be seen. The nearest town was 108 miles away. The nearest Walmart or McDonald’s was a bit farther. The nearest airport was 225 miles away. It’s about as remote a location as one can find in the United States.

I spent a week camping in The Basin campground, which is nestled in a huge igneous bowl about a mile in diameter in the heart of the Chisos Mountains. The campground occupied the site that was used by a 1930’s Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Late summer is the rainy season there, and every afternoon there were fascinating thunderstorms that dumped buckets of rain in short order, giving life to the intermittent waterfalls that cascaded off the mountain ridges that surrounded the campground.

That week, I explored remote trails, soaking in the beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert and the astounding Chisos Mountains—the only mountain range that is wholly contained within the boundaries of a national park, whose highest peak tops out at 7,825 feet.

When I got back to Dallas, I bought every book I could find that had anything to do with Big Bend and read them voraciously. I couldn’t get enough. The memories of that trip haunted me day and night, to the extent that I made plans to leave Dallas and move to Big Bend. The only hitch: to live in a national park, you have to work there, and in the early 1970s the park service was under orders to diversify. Consequently, they were not hiring white Anglo-Saxon males under 40—the only unprotected class under anti-discrimination regulations.

Then I discovered that there was a concessioner in the park that was always eager to hire minimum wage workers. I applied, but never received a job offer, only a letter asking me why I wanted to quit my present job.

I’m sure it seemed a bit odd to them for someone who lived in a big metropolitan area and held a responsible, well-paying position to want to go to work in a very remote location for minimum wage. I responded with what to me was a plausible explanation, but never received a response.

Unable to get my mind off Big Bend, I eventually traded my Grand Prix for a Volkswagen, sold everything I had that wouldn’t fit in it, quit my job, and headed for the park.

When I got there, with great anxiety, I went to the office of the concessioner and introduced myself, asking for the manager by name, which I knew from the last letter I had received from him a few months earlier. He came out immediately, saying that he knew who I was and why I was there. Whew—anxiety relieved a bit!

After a brief interview with him and his assistant, I was offered a job as a desk clerk for the lodge. Because I had a college degree, they agreed to pay me fifteen cents above minimum wage. The job came with free housing and three meals a day for one dollar per meal. What a deal!

So I moved into the men’s dorm with seven or eight other workers, only one of whom spoke English. It was quite a difference from the luxury apartment I had lived in in Dallas, but it was in Big Bend!

I stayed there for a total of thirteen years. I met my wife there. We had three children there. We all still consider Big Bend our special place, although none of us lives there anymore.

As I look back on this wonderful experience, I don’t think I’m stretching it too much to view my years in Big Bend as perhaps similar to Moses’ four decades of tending sheep. The Lord knew that I had too much worldliness in me to walk the narrow way successfully. He lovingly ordered the providences in my life so that I could begin my exit from Babylon.

Because the school at Big Bend only went through the sixth grade, the family had to move as our children grew, first landing in San Diego. Talk about culture shock—moving from a remote residence with about a hundred neighbors to a metropolis of almost six million! We could tolerate that change for only about a year and a half and when I was offered a job in Tucson, Arizona, we gladly accepted and relocated there. And it was in Tucson that the Lord helped me to take the next step in my exit from Babylon.

I was the chief financial officer for a multi-million-dollar non-profit corporation that operated book stores in National Park Service visitor centers. At that time, we had 66 outlets in 11 western states. I got paid to visit some of the most beautiful sites west of the 100th meridian. To this day, I continue to be awed at the gracious manner in which the Lord worked to lead me to His loving and patient side.

After I served several years in that position, the need arose in the organization for a controller, who would report to me. It turned out that one of the individuals who applied, a recent college graduate, asked in my initial contact with him if the job would require that he work on Saturday. I was puzzled by his question, but told him that I had worked there for eight years and had never had to work on Saturday. He responded that if that were the case, he would agree to an on-site interview.

During that interview, he again stressed that he would not want to be considered for the job if it would ever require him to work on Saturday, explaining that he was a Seventh-day Adventist.

I had initially heard of SDAs in 1975 when I spent the summer working in a seafood processing factory in Alaska. One day I saw the plant manager talking to three young men who had entered the plant. I couldn’t hear the conversation, but I saw the manager shake his head and the three fellows leave. Later the manager told me that they were Seventh-day Adventists and wouldn’t work on Saturday; so he wouldn’t hire them.

The next time I heard of Seventh-day Adventists was following the siege at Waco in 1993. When we saw the story on the news, my wife wondered what her aunt thought about the incident, as she was a Seventh-day Adventist and the Davidians were considered by some to be an off-shoot of the SDA church.

On a later business trip to Washington, D.C., I stayed with my wife’s aunt, who lived in Silver Spring, Maryland, and with her attended the huge SDA church there on Sabbath. There was nothing particularly memorable about the service, other than that it was on Saturday. So I didn’t make any inquiries about her faith.

Well, we ended up hiring the young college graduate as the controller, admonishing him beforehand that he had to keep his religion to himself and not evangelize in the workplace—a stipulation to which he agreed.

One of the National Park Service outlets we operated was a trading post on the Navajo reservation. At the time it was our largest source of revenue. Since the controller was responsible for the financial accounting for that operation, it was important for him to become familiar with it right away. Because of its remote location, the only way to get there was to drive. So a day or two after he was hired, we began the six-hour trip.

As soon as we got out of town, I asked him about this “seventh day Sabbath thing.” He reminded me that he had agreed not to discuss his religion and didn’t want to violate his agreement. I assured him that since I was the one who brought up the subject, he wouldn’t get in trouble. He cautiously began to explain that the Bible was very clear that the seventh day was the Sabbath and that there was nothing in Scripture to justify worshiping on the first day.

Being a faithful SDA, he had his Bible tucked in his suitcase, brought it out and used it to skillfully address every question I raised — questions that every SDA is asked sooner or later. The two things he said that impressed me the most were that Seventh-day Adventists believe the whole Bible is true, and they believe that God has had His hand over the Scriptures to prevent any material changes from happening to them.

When we reached our destination, I got the Gideon Bible from my motel room and joined him in his. We conversed and read Scripture until 11:00 that night. And at 11:00 that night, I became a Seventh-day Adventist.

I returned to Tucson with the joy of my new-found faith beaming from my countenance. Unfortunately, that joy was not shared by my wife. When my son, who was baptized the following year at the same camp meeting I was, later expressed a desire to become a Bible worker, my wife filed for divorce, declaring that she couldn’t handle two Christians in the same household, admitting that she was a convicted atheist and always had been, a fact that she had concealed from me until I accepted Christ as my Saviour.

As I look back over the journey that brought me to where I am today, I can only praise a loving God who knew exactly what was needed to draw me closer to Him and set me on the path of truth and righteousness, although that path has had a few bumps. I have no doubt that He is equally interested in the salvation of everyone. My prayer is that all will respond to the pleadings and leadings of the Holy Spirit and come out of Babylon.


My ex-wife has since passed away. Two of my children who were baptized into the church have since left the church and returned to the world.

John R. Pearson is the office manager and a board member of Steps to Life. He may be contacted by email at:

Watch the Signs

The “abomination of desolation” is first described in the book of Daniel (Daniel 11:31). A few days before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke to His disciples about this entity saying, “whoever reads, let him understand” (Matthew 24:15).

The meaning of the Hebrew word abomination in the book of Daniel is translated abomination or a detestable thing. Throughout the Old Testament the word is quite common and is almost always used in regard to detestable idols or something to do with idolatry.

In the New Testament the words eramus or eromosis are used for desolation or devastation.

Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come [notice the context]. ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.’ ” (Matthew 24:14–18). (See also Mark 13:14–16).

The expression “abomination of desolation” is not used in the gospel of Luke, but it talks about the same thing. It says, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her (don’t return). For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20–22).

This was the clear instruction given by Jesus just a few days before He was crucified. When they saw the abomination stand where it should not, they were to flee out of Jerusalem. If they were in the country, they were not to return to the city.

What exactly is the abomination of desolation?

There have been many different explanations, but here we will stick with inspired statements that tell us what we need to know.

“Jesus declared to the listening disciples the judgments that were to fall upon apostate Israel, and especially the retributive vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Unmistakable signs would precede the awful climax. The dreaded hour would come suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned His followers: ‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth let him understand), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains’ (Matthew 24:15, 16). When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, judgment was to follow so quickly that those who would escape must make no delay. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down through his house into the street; but he must speed his way from roof to roof until he reach the city wall, and be saved ‘so as by fire’ (1 Corinthians 3:15). Those who were working in the fields or vineyards must not take time to return for the outer garment laid aside while they should be toiling in the heat of the day. They must not hesitate a moment, lest they be involved in the general destruction.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 26, 27.

The signal to flee, according to this passage, was when the idolatrous standards of the Romans were set up outside the city walls. It was so important that they escape that there was no time for delay, not even to go to their house to get a coat.

Unmistakable signs were given by Jesus. “All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. The Jews experienced the truth of His words of warning, ‘With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again’ (Matthew 7:2).

“Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 31.

What were some of these signs and wonders?

“A comet, resembling a flaming sword, for a year hung over the city. An unnatural light was seen hovering over the temple. Upon the clouds were pictured chariots mustering for battle. Mysterious voices in the temple court uttered the warning words, ‘Let us depart hence.’ The eastern gate of the inner court, which was of brass, and so heavy that it was with difficulty shut by a score of men, and having bolts fastened deep into the firm pavement, was seen at midnight to be opened of its own accord.

“For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city.” Ibid.

How many Christians perished in the destruction of Jerusalem?

“Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Christ had given His disciples warning, and all who believed His words watched for the promised sign. After the Romans had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly withdrew their forces, at a time when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. In the providence of God the promised signal was thus given to the waiting Christians, and without a moment’s delay they fled [in the fall of A.D. 66] to a place of safety—the refuge city Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan.” Ibid., 32.

The greatest sign was when the abomination of desolation stood, but before that there were many other signs that told it was time to get ready to go. When the abomination of desolation appeared, it was the last call for Christ’s followers who had listened to His warning to find safety in flight, and thus save their lives, so that not one Christian perished.

The first siege of Jerusalem, under the Roman army, happened under General Cestius. He surrounded Jerusalem with the Roman armies but, when it seemed favorable to attack, he unexpectedly withdrew his forces. When Cestius began to retreat, he planted the abomination of desolation, the banner of Rome, on the holy ground. When the Roman standards were planted there, right outside the city of Jerusalem, it was the sign for the followers of Christ to flee. All the predictions that Christ gave concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter.

Ellen White wrote in Christ’s Object Lessons, 296, that when Jerusalem was destroyed, the whole area where the temple had been was plowed like a field.

In the spring of A.D. 70, when there were over a million Jews inside the city of Jerusalem for the Passover, the Roman army, with Titus at its head, returned and surrounded the city again. This second and final siege lasted from the time of the Passover in March/April until the city fell about August 30 of that same year.

Ellen White describes it this way: “Terrible were the calamities which fell upon Jerusalem in the siege of the city by Titus. The last desperate assault was made at the time of the passover, when millions of Jews had assembled within its walls to celebrate the national festival. Their stores of provision, which if carefully preserved would have been sufficient to supply the inhabitants for years, had previously been destroyed through the jealousy and revenge of the contending factions, and now all the horrors of starvation were experienced.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 32.

Horrible things happened. “The Roman leaders endeavored to strike terror to the Jews, and thus cause them to surrender. Those prisoners who resisted when taken, were scourged, tortured, and crucified before the wall of the city. Hundreds were daily put to death in this manner, and the dreadful work continued until, along the valley of Jehoshaphat and at Calvary, crosses were erected in so great numbers that there was scarcely room to move among them.” Ibid., 33.

The destruction of Jerusalem is a type of what is going to happen at the end of the world. “The Saviour’s prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible scene was but a faint shadow.” Ibid., 37.

This is a scary thought! History records that over a million Jews were slaughtered during the destruction of Jerusalem. We have no idea just how many were led away captive and taken to Rome. Some of them were killed by gladiators for their entertainment in the coliseum. Others were made slaves and sent all over the world. What happened then was to have another fulfillment.

Ellen White says that that terrible scene was “a faint shadow” of a future event. The word faint means small, almost insignificant.

She says, “The second advent of the Son of God is foretold by lips which make no mistake: ‘Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). …

“Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. He has declared that He will come the second time, to gather His faithful ones to himself, and to take vengeance on them that reject his mercy. As He [Jesus] warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin that they might make their escape, so He has warned His people of the day of final destruction, and given them signs of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Those who behold the promised signs are to ‘know that it is near, even at the door’ (verse 33, last part).” Ibid., 38.

What is the abomination of desolation today?

Remember, this is a two-fold prophecy. We know what the abomination of desolation was to the Christians in Jerusalem, but what does it represent today? Christians must identify the banner or flag of Rome, today. It is Sunday worship. The abomination of desolation today is Sunday worship, the symbol, sign, and mark of Rome’s self-assumed authority.

Look back again at Matthew 24:14–18. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ [remember, Jerusalem was called the holy city] (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.’ ”

Notice, the gospel goes to all the world and then the abomination of desolation is planted.

Let’s look at the first fulfillment. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul said that the gospel had been preached throughout the world. He said, “If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister” (Colossians 1:23). This letter was written before A.D. 66.

“After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, at a time when every conceivable power of evil is set in operation, when minds are confused by the many voices crying, ‘Lo, here is Christ,’ ‘Lo, He is there,’ ‘This is truth,’ ‘I have a message from God,’ ‘He has sent me with great light,’ and there is a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith—then a more decided effort is made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 406.

One of the signs that precedes the setting up of the abomination of desolation is a removing of the landmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist faith—a removing of the landmarks.

There is a good reason that the magazine we publish here at Steps to Life is called LandMarks of Historic Adventism. There are many baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist church who do not know the historic fundamentals of Adventism. That is why we hold that name—because a removing of the landmarks and the pillars of the Adventist church has been going on for a long time.

Let’s review the history of ancient Jerusalem and pay particular attention to the events surrounding the planting of the abomination of desolation. In The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 4, page 31, it says, “Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom.”

She says, “A comet, resembling a flaming sword, for a year hung over the city.” Ibid. Because the Chinese began documenting signs in heaven over 200 years before Christ, we have accurate records of the history of Halley’s comet from that time clear up to the present day. And we know then, that Halley’s Comet was seen by those in Jerusalem around February, of A.D. 66. Cestius began his siege a few months later. Halley’s comet was one of the major signs warning of impending destruction in Jerusalem.

“At the time of the siege, the Jews were assembled at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of the Tabernacles, and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape unmolested. Without delay they fled to a place of safety.” The Great Controversy, 31. This was in the fall and Halley’s Comet was in the spring.

The siege was not resumed by Titus until Passover time, A.D. 70, which was a little over three years later. Why is it that Jesus said in both Matthew and Luke that when that happens, flee? Don’t even come back down into your house. Don’t even come back from the field. Flee, right then. I don’t know if I know the complete answer to that question yet. I have been thinking about this and studying it for a long time. But, part of the answer had to do with the internal corruption that occurred in Jerusalem during that time.

The people were instructed by false teachers that no matter what happened, you should stay in the city to be protected, but that was an error. What the people were taught was exactly opposite of what Jesus had predicted. So if you believed what Jesus said, you fled and got out. If you listened to what the church said, you stayed in and perished.

“In their blind and blasphemous presumption the instigators of this hellish work publicly declared that they had no fear that Jerusalem would be destroyed, for it was God’s own city. To establish their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim, even when Roman legions were besieging the temple, that the people were to wait for deliverance from God.” Ibid., 29.

The leaders instructed not to flee. Stay right there, and God will save you. Everybody who listened to their lie got slaughtered. It says, “To the last, multitudes held fast to the belief that the Most High would interpose for the defeat of their adversaries.” Ibid.

The greatest danger of coming back to the city of Jerusalem was the risk of being deceived by the false teachers saying that safety and security was in staying there and waiting for deliverance that would never come. Sadly, the majority of the people obeyed man instead of God. They showed that they loved man and their church more than God whom they professed to follow and obey.

Who represents Jerusalem today?

Now we come to a critical question. As the abomination of desolation is a two-fold prophecy, meaning that it is going to have another occurrence in the last days, then who represents Jerusalem today? Who is God’s chosen church, as was Jerusalem, that has been given the oracles of God?

Referring to the Seventh-day Adventist church, Ellen White said, “Jerusalem is a representation of what the church will be if it refuses to walk in the light that God has given. Jerusalem was favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 67.

Has the Seventh-day Adventist Church been favored of God as the depositary of sacred trusts? Who is it that has all the publishing rights to the prophetic works of Ellen White? The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the depositary of sacred trusts.

“But her people perverted the truth, and despised all entreaties and warnings. They would not respect His counsels. The temple courts were polluted with merchandise and robbery.” Ibid.

“There was danger that Battle Creek would become as Jerusalem of old—a powerful center. If we do not heed these warnings, the evils that ruined Jerusalem will come upon us.” Ibid., 133.

“The same danger exists today among the people who profess to be the depositaries of God’s law. They are too apt to flatter themselves that the regard in which they hold the commandments will preserve them from the power of divine justice. They refuse to be reproved for evil, and charge God’s servants with being too zealous in putting sin out of the camp. A sin-hating God calls upon those who profess to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. Neglect to repent and obey His word will bring as serious consequences upon God’s people today as did the same sin upon ancient Israel. There is a limit beyond which He will no longer delay His judgments. The desolation of Jerusalem stands as a solemn warning before the eyes of modern Israel, that the corrections given through His chosen instruments cannot be disregarded with impunity.” Ibid., vol. 4, 166, 167.

If we don’t listen to the warnings God has given to us, the ruin that came upon Israel will come upon us. Ellen White said in a letter in The Early Elmshaven Years, 45, 46: “For a week before I fully consented to go to Battle Creek [church headquarters], I did not sleep past one o’clock. Some nights I was up at eleven o’clock, and many nights at twelve. I have not moved from impulse, but from the conviction that at this time that I must begin at Jerusalem.”

This is a very interesting statement. Jerusalem represents the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Will the abomination of desolation, that is, the banner of Rome, Sunday worship, be planted in the headquarters of the professed Seventh-day Adventist Church?

In Ezekiel 8, the prophet in vision is told about abominations in the temple in Jerusalem. Then in chapter 9, it tells about the destruction that is going to occur because of these abominations and about the people of God who are sighing and crying for these abominations that are occurring within the church.

Years ago, while I was attending Walla Walla college and studying these prophesies, my teacher tried to explain to me that this was all about something that was going on in Ezekiel’s time. But that is not the case.

In Selected Messages, vol. 3, 338, it says, “Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us.” They spoke more for our time.

“All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days.” Ibid., 339.

“The last books of the Old Testament show us workers taken from the laborers in the field. Others were men of high ability and extensive learning, but the Lord gave them visions and messages. These men of the Old Testament spoke of things transpiring in their day, and Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel not only spoke of things that concerned them as present truth, but their sights reached down to the future, and to what should occur in these last days.” Ibid., 419, 420.

Daniel, Isaiah, and Ezekiel are specifically mentioned that they had “their sights” clearly down on our time. When we read from Ezekiel, we are not just reading about something that happened several hundred years before Christ. We are reading about something that’s going to happen in the last days.

Ellen White said that the prophecy in Ezekiel 9 will be fulfilled to the very letter. (See The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1303.)

When Ezekiel mentions Jerusalem, he is talking about the Seventh-day Adventist church. When He talks about the temple, He is talking about the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist church. These abominations in Ezekiel 8 will be seen occurring within the Seventh-day Adventist church and we need to be aware of these things.

Ezekiel 8 verse 16 states: “So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.”

This is what the faithful were sighing and crying about in chapter 9. Did you notice how many people there were? “About twenty-five men.”

In the 1901 General Conference Bulletin, on page 378, it says, “The general conference constitution.” Under article 1 it says, “This organization shall be known as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.” [April 22, 1901-Extra # 17]

Under article 2, “Object. The object of this Conference shall be to unify and to extend to all parts of the world, the work of promulgating the everlasting gospel.”

Article 4, on the executive committee, section 1, on page 379, says: “The Executive Committee of this Conference shall be twenty-five in number.” Interesting!

This article is not intended to point a finger at anybody. God’s people interpret prophecy that has been fulfilled in the past and we try to understand prophecy that will be fulfilled in the future. However, if you look at history you will find that we have a very poor track record at recognizing when a prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of us.

Remember, Jesus came to His people and said, “This day” this prophecy is “fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). And what happened? They tried to kill him.

We have a very poor track record.

My dear friends, prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of our eyes, and the question is, Will we not recognize it until it is too late?

We had better pay attention and recognize the signs. They are like the handwriting on the wall and we would not want to miss them.

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

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

Editorial – If You Are Loyal and True

When King Nebuchadnezzar had the three Hebrews cast into the fiery furnace (see Daniel 3), “his triumph suddenly came to an end. He saw something that he thought must be an illusion. … With a voice trembling with excitement, he cried, ‘Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’ (Daniel 3:25). [Emphasis author’s.] …

“History will be repeated. False religion will be exalted. The first day of the week, a common working day, possessing no sanctity whatever, will be set up as was the image at Babylon. …

“Trial and persecution will come to all who, in obedience to the word of God, refuse to worship this false sabbath. Force is the last resort of every false religion. At first it tries attraction, as the king of Babylon tried the power of music and outward show. If these attractions, invented by men inspired by Satan, failed to make men worship the image, the hungry flames of the furnace were ready to consume them. So it will be now. The Papacy has exercised her power to compel men to obey her, and she will continue to do so. …

“ ‘If ye love Me,’ said Christ, ‘keep My commandments.’ ‘He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him’ (John 14:15, 21). And has not Christ manifested Himself to His faithful children? Did He not walk in the furnace with the captives who refused to yield to the golden image one tittle of the reverence which belonged to God? Did He not manifest Himself to John, banished to the Isle of Patmos for his faithfulness? …

“Truth is to be obeyed at any cost, even tho gaping prisons, chain-gangs, and banishment stare us in the face. If you are loyal and true, that God who walked with the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, who protected Daniel in the lions’ den, who manifested Himself to John on the lonely island, will go with you wherever you go. His abiding presence will comfort and sustain you; and you will realize the fulfilment of the promise, ‘If a man love Me, he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him’ (verse 23).” The Signs of the Times, May 6, 1897.

Fear and Trembling

Troubled times have come upon the Earth.

Far more than we do, we need to understand the issues at stake in the conflict in which we are engaged. We need to understand more fully the value of the truths that God has given for this time and the danger of allowing our minds to be diverted from them by the great deceiver.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 312.

During the COVID 19 pandemic of the past few months, different voices from even the most unlikely individuals have been heard predicting that a spiritual awakening would come out of this experience. It is quite common for humanity to cry out to God in times of trial. However, too often when the trial is over, those who cried to God in their despair easily forget the experience and soon return to life as usual.

As believers and students of the word of God, we know that prophecy is fulfilling. We believe and proclaim the messages of the three angels of Revelation 14 and that we need to prepare ourselves for that blessed hope of the glorious appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ. We must not forget what Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day [the day of His return] many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ did we not prophecy in your name, cast out demons in your name, and do mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me… .”

Do you not agree that those would be the most startling and tragic words spoken to anyone thinking that they were going to be taken to heaven with Jesus? The apostle Paul admonished in his epistles that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, that we must continue to cultivate and press to complete the goal, not trusting to self or shrinking back from whatever might discredit our profession of faith. “

You have to talk faith, you have to live faith, you have to act faith, that you may have an increase of faith; and thus exercising that living faith you will grow to strong men and women in Christ Jesus. SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1121 Jesus said “Abide in Me.” We must strive to keep our lamps filled with the oil of the Spirit. Are we indeed acting like the wise virgins that have awakened at the message (sounds) that the Bridegroom is coming? How well are you “working out” your salvation, friend? The Lord expects every believer to exercise the gift of faith.

The worldwide scale of this pandemic most certainly captured the attention of many with thoughts of whether some prophetic occurrence was taking place and asking questions like “Are we on the verge of more troubled times?” Others are just happy thinking it will soon be a thing of the past.

“You have to talk faith, you have to live faith, you have to act faith, that you may have an increase of faith; and thus exercising that living faith you will grow to strong men and women in Christ Jesus (MS 1, 1889).” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1121.

There are too many who are striving to obey all of God’s commandments who have little peace and joy. Why should this lack even exist in the Christian’s experience? This lack is the result of a failure to exercise true faith, to maintain regular communion with the Father, and of not fortifying the mind with God’s word and not meditating on the words of life. Although the enemy works tirelessly to discourage us, we must keep our eyes on Him who is true and faithful, remembering that grace and peace are multiplied through knowing the lovely Jesus, as it is our privilege to know Him. Too many habitually dial their earthly acquaintances or a “prayer partner” and pour into human ears their woes. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

“It is the real, vital essence of Christianity to grasp the unseen by faith, reaching out constantly to lay hold of the spiritual efficiency found in Christ.” Christ Triumphant, 53.

“When in trouble, when assailed by fierce temptations, [Christians] have the privilege of prayer. What an exalted privilege! Finite beings, of dust and ashes, admitted through the mediation of Christ, into the audience-chamber of the Most High. In such exercises the soul is brought into a sacred nearness with God, and is renewed in knowledge, and true holiness, and fortified against the assaults of the enemy.” An Appeal to Mothers, 24.

The Lord is coming. Through the agitations in the physical world, in the strivings of men and nations, we hear the footsteps of an approaching God. He comes to punish the world for its iniquity. That is why the Lord said “Watch and pray.” We are to prepare the way for Him by acting our part in preparing a people for that great day.

“A storm is coming, relentless in its fury. Are we prepared to meet it?” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315.

As the apostle Paul exhorted Timothy “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:12).

The choices we make today in this life to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live righteously in this present world, are what will determine if we receive either eternal life or eternal death. How many who know the truth for this time are working in harmony with the principles of the gospel?

“If today we would take time to go to Jesus and tell Him our needs, we should not be disappointed.” The Desire of Ages, 363.

“Day by day, God instructs His children. … It is the issue of the daily test that determines their victory or defeat in life’s great crisis.

“Those who fail to realize their constant dependence upon God will be overcome by temptation.” Ibid., 382.

In His Steps In His Steps July – August 2020 Article

by John Grosboll Director of Steps to Life

Co-authored by Hilde Nunez Contributing Editor

Bible Study Guides – The Church and Its Youth

August 23 – 29, 2020

Key Text

“It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth” (Lamentations 3:27).

Study Help: Messages to Young People, 173–175.


“The Lord calls for young men and women to enter His service. The youth are receptive, fresh, ardent, hopeful. When once they have tasted the spirit of self-sacrifice, they will not be satisfied unless they are learning constantly of the great Teacher.” Our High Calling, 306.



  • Whom did Jesus commend as examples of humble faith? Matthew 18:1–6.
  • What did Jesus ask of one of His most ardent disciples? John 21:15–17.

Note: “The first work that Christ entrusted to Peter on restoring him to the ministry was to feed the lambs. This was a work in which Peter had little experience. It would require great care and tenderness, much patience and perseverance. It called him to minister to those who were young in the faith, to teach the ignorant, to open the Scriptures to them, and to educate them for usefulness in Christ’s service.” The Desire of Ages, 812.

“Although Peter had denied his Lord, the love which Jesus bore him never faltered. Just such love should the undershepherd feel for the sheep and lambs committed to his care. Remembering his own weakness and failure, Peter was to deal with his flock as tenderly as Christ had dealt with him.” Ibid., 815.

  • What searching question will parents, educators, and church leaders of today face? Jeremiah 13:20.



  • What is the highest missionary work that can be done? Mark 10:13, 14, 16.

Note: “Very much has been lost to the cause of truth by a lack of attention to the spiritual needs of the young. Ministers of the gospel should form a happy acquaintance with the youth of their congregations. …

“Why should not labor for the youth in our borders be regarded as missionary work of the highest kind? It requires the most delicate tact, the most watchful consideration, the most earnest prayer for heavenly wisdom. The youth are the objects of Satan’s special attacks; but kindness, courtesy, and the sympathy which flows from a heart filled with love to Jesus, will gain their confidence, and save them from many a snare of the enemy.” Gospel Workers, 207.

“The work that lies next to our church members is to become interested in our youth; for they need kindness, patience, tenderness, line upon line, precept upon precept. Oh, where are the fathers and mothers in Israel? There ought to be a large number who would be stewards of the grace of Christ, who would feel not merely a casual but a special interest in the young. There ought to be those whose hearts are touched by the pitiable situation in which our youth are placed, and who realize that Satan is working by every conceivable device to draw them into his net.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 41, 42.

“Nothing is of greater importance than the education of our children and young people. The church should arouse and manifest a deep interest in this work; for now as never before, Satan and his host are determined to enlist the youth under the black banner that leads to ruin and death.” Ibid., 165.

  • How did Jesus show the value of children? Matthew 18:2–4.

Note: “Calling a little child to Him, Jesus set him in the midst of them; then tenderly folding the little one in His arms He said, ‘Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 18:3). The simplicity, the self-forgetfulness, and the confiding love of a little child are the attributes that Heaven values. These are the characteristics of real greatness.” The Desire of Ages, 437.



  • What should children be taught? Psalm 34:11. How should this be done?

Note: “Special talent should be given to the education of the little ones. Many can put the crib high and give food to the sheep, but it is a more difficult matter to put the crib low and feed the lambs.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 205.

“Let me say here that those who have never had children of their own are not usually the best qualified to manage wisely the varied minds of children and youth. They are apt to make one law, from which there can be no appeal. Teachers must remember that they themselves were once children. They should adapt their teaching to the minds of the children, placing themselves in sympathy with them.” Ibid., vol. 5, 653, 654.

  • What spiritual experience should teachers have, and how should they then instruct the children? Deuteronomy 11:18–21.

Note: “When Jesus admonished His disciples not to despise the little ones, He addressed all disciples in all ages. His own love and care for children is a precious example for His followers. If teachers in the Sabbath school felt the love which they should feel for these lambs of the flock, many more would be won to the fold of Christ. At every suitable opportunity, let the story of Jesus’ love be repeated to the children. In every sermon let a little corner be left for their benefit. The servant of Christ may have lasting friends in these little ones, and his words may be to them as apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 76.

“The management and instruction of children is the noblest missionary work that any man or woman can undertake. By the proper use of objects the lessons should be made very plain, that their minds may be led from nature up to nature’s God. We must have in our schools those who possess the tact and skill to carry forward this line of work, thus sowing seeds of truth.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 205.

  • What will be the results of faithfulness in educating? Proverbs 22:6; Joel 1:3.



  • What was the work of Christ? How is this also the work of the church? Isaiah 40:11.

Note: “The youth need more than a casual notice, more than an occasional word of encouragement. They need painstaking, prayerful, careful labor. He only whose heart is filled with love and sympathy will be able to reach those youth who are apparently careless and indifferent. Not all can be helped in the same way. God deals with each according to his temperament and character, and we must cooperate with Him. Often those whom we pass by with indifference, because we judge them from outward appearance, have in them the best material for workers, and will repay all the efforts bestowed on them. There must be more study given to the problem of how to deal with the youth, more earnest prayer for the wisdom that is needing in dealing with minds.” Gospel Workers, 208.

  • What should guide education for the youth? Proverbs 9:10.

Note: “It is high time for Sabbath-keepers to separate their children from worldly associations and place them under the very best teachers, who will make the Bible the foundation of all study.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 109.

“Employ a Christian teacher, who, as a consecrated missionary, shall educate the children in such a way as to lead them to become missionaries.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 174.

“Many families who, for the purpose of educating their children, move to places where our large schools are established, would do better service for the Master by remaining where they are. They should encourage the church of which they are members to establish a church school where the children within their borders could receive an all-round, practical Christian education. It would be vastly better for their children, for themselves, and for the cause of God if they would remain in the smaller churches, where their help is needed, instead of going to the larger churches, where, because they are not needed, there is a constant temptation to fall into spiritual inactivity.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 198.

“The Lord would use the church school as an aid to the parents in educating and preparing their children for this time before us. Then let the church take hold of the school work in earnest and make it what the Lord desires it to be.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 167.



  • What goal must our church schools have for each of our youth? Isaiah 54:13; 3 John 3, 4.

 Note: “Our church schools are ordained by God to prepare the children for this great work. Here children are to be instructed in the special truths for this time and in practical missionary work. … By them God’s message will be made known and His saving health to all nations. Then let the church carry a burden for the lambs of the flock. Let the children be educated and trained to do service for God, for they are the Lord’s heritage.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 203.

  • Why should we involve them in service early? Ecclesiastes 12:1; Lamentations 3:27.

Note: “We need young men and women, who, having high intellectual culture, are fitted to do the best work for the Lord. We have done something toward reaching this standard, but still we are far behind that which the Lord has designed. As a church, as individuals, if we would stand clear in the judgment we must make more liberal efforts for the training of our young people, that they may be better fitted for the various branches of the great work committed to our hands. …

“Some would be content with the thorough education of a few of the most promising of our youth; but they all need an education that they may be fitted for usefulness in this life, qualified for places of responsibility in both private and public life.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 206, 207.



1    What does it mean to feed the lambs of the flock?

2    Why is the most important missionary work often overlooked?

3    How can we improve in the care of our children and youth?

4    What role does the church school have in the church’s work of education?

5    What opportunities can I help provide for training youth in my local church?

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

Bible Study Guides – Guidance for Home Educators

August 16 – 22, 2020

Key Text

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4).

Study Help: Child Guidance, 17–25, 119–136.


“What the parents are, that, to a great extent, the children will be. The physical conditions of the parents, their dispositions and appetites, their mental and moral tendencies, are, to a greater or less degree, reproduced in their children.” The Ministry of Healing, 371.



  • What responsibility rests on parents as the first educators of children? Deuteronomy 6:6–9.

Note: “As a preparation for teaching His precepts, God commands that they be hidden in the hearts of the parents. ‘These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart,’ He says; ‘and thou shalt teach them diligently’ (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7). In order to interest our children in the Bible, we ourselves must be interested in it. To awaken in them a love for its study, we must love it.” Education, 187.

  • Who was instrumental in establishing the faith of Timothy? 2 Timothy 1:5. What vital role do mothers play in every facet of education?

Note: “Especially does responsibility rest upon the mother. She, by whose lifeblood the child is nourished and its physical frame built up, imparts to it also mental and spiritual influences that tend to the shaping of mind and character.” The Ministry of Healing, 372.



  • With the examples of Abraham and Lot before us, what considerations should take precedence in the choice of a home? Genesis 13:11, 12.

Note: “In choosing a home, God would have us consider, first of all, the moral and religious influences that will surround us and our families. …

“Instead of dwelling where only the works of men can be seen, where the sights and sounds frequently suggest thoughts of evil, where turmoil and confusion bring weariness and disquietude, go where you can look upon the works of God. Find rest of spirit in the beauty and quietude and peace of nature. …

“The home of our first parents was to be a pattern for other homes as their children should go forth to occupy the earth. … The blue heavens were its dome; the earth, with its delicate flowers and carpet of living green, was its floor; and the leafy branches of the goodly trees were its canopy. Its walls were hung with the most magnificent adornings—the handiwork of the great Master Artist. In the surroundings of the holy pair was a lesson for all time—that true happiness is found, not in the indulgence of pride and luxury, but in communion with God through His created works.” The Adventist Home, 131, 132.

  • What choice of location did John the Baptist make in view of his mission? Matthew 3:1.

Note: “John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, received his early training from his parents. The greater portion of his life was spent in the wilderness. … It was John’s choice to forego the enjoyments and luxuries of city life for the stern discipline of the wilderness. Here his surroundings were favorable to habits of simplicity and self-denial.” The Adventist Home, 133.

“There is not one family in a hundred who will be improved physically, mentally, or spiritually, by residing in the city.” Country Living, 13.

“Parents can secure small homes in the country, with land for cultivation where they can have orchards and where they can raise vegetables and small fruits. … God will help His people to find such homes outside of the cities.” Medical Ministry, 310.



  • Whom has God ordained to be the child’s first teachers? Proverbs 1:8.

Note: “Parents should be the only teachers of their children until they have reached eight or ten years of age. As fast as their minds can comprehend it, the parents should open before them God’s great book of nature. The mother should have less love for the artificial in her house and in the preparation of her dress for display, and should find time to cultivate, in herself and in her children, a love for the beautiful buds and opening flowers. By calling the attention of her children to their different colors and variety of forms, she can make them acquainted with God, who made all the beautiful things which attract and delight them. She can lead their minds up to their Creator and awaken in their young hearts a love for their heavenly Father, who has manifested so great love for them. Parents can associate God with all His created works. The only schoolroom for children from eight to ten years of age should be in the open air amid the opening flowers and nature’s beautiful scenery. And their only textbook should be the treasures of nature. These lessons, imprinted upon the minds of young children amid the pleasant, attractive scenes of nature, will not be soon forgotten.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 137.

“In His wisdom the Lord has decreed that the family shall be the greatest of all educational agencies. It is in the home that the education of the child is to begin. Here is his first school.” The Adventist Home, 182.

  • What counsel should encourage parents to educate their own children as long as possible? Psalm 34:13, 14.

Note: “Some fathers and mothers are so indifferent, so careless, that they think it makes no difference whether their children attend a church school or a public school. ‘We are in the world,’ they say, ‘and we cannot get out of it.’ But, parents, we can get a good way out of the world, if we choose to do so. We can avoid seeing many of the evils that are multiplying so fast in these last days. We can avoid hearing about much of the wickedness and crime that exist.” The Adventist Home, 406.

“Neither the church school nor the college affords the opportunities for establishing a child’s character building upon the right foundation that are afforded in the home.” Child Guidance, 170.



  • How are parents to educate their children in order to best prepare them to be responsible adults? Proverbs 22:6.

Note: “Children as well as parents have important duties in the home. They should be taught that they are a part of the home firm. They are fed and clothed and loved and cared for; and they should respond to these many mercies by bearing their share of the home burdens and bringing all the happiness possible into the family of which they are members.

“Let every mother teach her children that they are members of the family firm and must bear their share of the responsibilities of this firm. Every member of the family should bear these responsibilities as faithfully as church members bear the responsibilities of church relationships.

“Let the children know that they are helping father and mother by doing little errands. Give them some work to do for you, and tell them that afterward they can have a time to play.

“Children have active minds, and they need to be employed in lifting the burdens of practical life. … They should never be left to pick up their own employment. Parents should control this matter themselves.” The Adventist Home, 282.

“Allow them to help you in every way they can, and show them that you appreciate their help. Let them feel that they are a part of the family firm. Teach them to use their minds as much as possible, so to plan their work that they may do it quickly and thoroughly.” Child Guidance, 126.

  • What character trait is essential for usefulness? Proverbs 22:29.

Note: “One of the surest safeguards of the young is useful occupation. Children who are trained to industrious habits, so that all their hours are usefully and pleasantly employed … are in little danger of forming vicious habits or associations. …

“Habits of industry and thoroughness will be an untold blessing to the youth in the larger school of life, upon which they must enter as they grow older.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 122, 123.



  • How does the Bible describe the sacred work of heads of families? Psalm 128; Isaiah 8:18.

Note: “Parents, you carry responsibilities that no one can bear for you. As long as you live, you are accountable to God to keep His way. … Parents who make the word of God their guide, and who realize how much their children depend upon them for the characters they form, will set an example that it will be safe for their children to follow.” The Adventist Home, 187.

“After the minister has done all he can do for the church by faithful, affectionate admonition, patient discipline, and fervent prayer to reclaim and save the soul, yet is not successful, the fathers and mothers often blame him because their children are not converted, when it may be because of their own neglect. The burden rests with the parents; and will they take up the work that God has entrusted to them, and with fidelity perform it?” Testimonies, vol. 5, 495.

“Do not depend upon the teachers of the Sabbath school to do your work of training your children in the way they should go. The Sabbath school is a great blessing; it may help you in your work, but it can never take your place. God has given to all fathers and mothers the responsibility of bringing their children to Jesus, teaching them how to pray and believe in the word of God.” The Adventist Home, 189.



1    Why are parents considered the primary educators of children?

2    How is the environment of the home related to the work of education?

3    What are the potential results of young children spending every day away from home?

4    How is the home education central to usefulness for the rest of your life?

5    Why are some parents tempted to blame the church for their own failures?

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

Bible Study Guides – To Be a Teacher

August 9 – 15, 2020

Key Text

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Study Help: Education, 275–282.


“Teachers are to watch over their students as the shepherd watches over the flock entrusted to his charge. They should care for souls as they that must give an account.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 65.



  • To what should the teacher direct the students? 1 Corinthians 11:1.

 Note: “Teachers are to do more for students than to impart a knowledge of books. Their position as guide and instructor of youth is most responsible; for to them is given the work of moulding mind and character. Those who undertake this work should possess well-balanced, symmetrical characters. They should be refined in manner, neat in dress, careful in all their habits; and they should have that true Christian courtesy that wins confidence and respect. The teacher should be himself what he wishes his students to become.” The Signs of the Times, March 14, 1900.

  • What spiritual experience is needed? Deuteronomy 10:12.

Note: “Every educator should daily receive instructions from the Great Teacher, and should labor constantly under His guidance. It is impossible for him rightly to understand or to perform his work, unless he shall be much with God in prayer. Only by divine aid, combined with earnest, self-denying effort, can he hope to fill his position wisely and well.” The Review and Herald, September 22, 1885.



  • What should be the attitude of a teacher toward the Word? For what purpose? 1 Peter 2:2.
  •  What should the leaders in God’s church seek from God? Psalm 145:15. What should they do with this?

 Note: “Because they [those who are watching for the Lord] know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to co-operate with the divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls. These are the faithful and wise servants who give to the Lord’s household ‘their portion of meat in due season’ (Luke 12:42). They are declaring the truth that is now specially applicable.” The Desire of Ages, 634.

“Our standing before God depends, not upon the amount of light we have received, but upon the use we make of what we have. Thus even the heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it are in a more favorable condition than are those who have had great light, and profess to serve God, but who disregard the light, and by their daily life contradict their profession.” Ibid., 239.

  • What was the example of the Bereans in searching the Scriptures? Acts 17:11.

Note: “Oh, that those who minister in holy things would awake, and, like the noble Bereans, search the Scriptures daily! Brethren in the ministry, I entreat of you to study the Scriptures with humble prayer for an understanding heart, that you may teach the way of life more perfectly. Your counsel, prayers, and example must be a savor of life unto life, or you are unqualified to point out the way of life to others.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 343.

“Men, women, and youth, God requires you to possess moral courage, steadiness of purpose, fortitude and perseverance, minds that cannot take the assertions of another, but which will investigate for themselves before receiving or rejecting, that will study and weigh evidence, and take it to the Lord in prayer.” Ibid., 130.



  • What should we ask God to grant us in preparation for sharing truth with others? Colossians 1:9, James 1:5.

Note: “Set aside a portion of each day for a study of the Scriptures and communion with God. Thus you will obtain spiritual strength, and will grow in favor with God. He alone can give you noble aspirations; He alone can fashion the character after the divine similitude. Draw near to Him in earnest prayer, and He will fill your hearts with high and holy purposes, and with deep, earnest longings for purity and clearness of thought.” Gospel Workers, 100.

“Ministers who would labor effectively for the salvation of souls must be Bible students and men of prayer. It is a sin to be neglectful of the study of the Word while attempting to teach it to others. Those who feel the worth of souls realize that too much is at stake for them to dare to be careless in regard to their advancement in divine knowledge, and they flee to the stronghold of truth, whence they may obtain wisdom, knowledge, and strength to work the works of God. They will not rest without an unction from on high.” Ibid., 99.

  • What danger do those face who do not make appropriate preparation and who are spiritually unstable? 2 Peter 3:16.

 Note: “Some who enter the ministry do not feel the burden of the work. They have false ideas of the qualifications of a minister. They think that it requires little close study of the sciences or of the word of God in order to gain a fitness for the ministry. Some who are teaching present truth are so deficient in Bible knowledge that it is difficult for them to quote a text of Scripture correctly from memory. By blundering along in the awkward manner that they do, they sin against God. They wrest the Scriptures, and make the Bible say things that are not written therein.

“Some think that an education or a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures is of little consequence if only a man has the Spirit. But God never sends His Spirit to sanction ignorance. He may and does pity and bless those who are so situated that it is impossible for them to obtain an education; and sometimes He condescends to make His strength perfect in their weakness. But it is the duty of such to study His word.” Gospel Workers, 105, 106.



  • By what symbols does Jeremiah tell us that we need to be prepared for competitive and opposing forces in our work for the Lord? Jeremiah 12:5.

Note: “Those who do not love to study, are ever in great danger of becoming dwarfs in spiritual and mental growth. They consider that they have a moderate understanding of Scripture subjects, and they cease to investigate, cease to plow deep that they may obtain all the treasures of knowledge possible. Instead of cultivating studious habits, they yield to inclination, and are content to skim the surface, without going with energy to the bottom of the question under consideration. Those who have this superficial manner of study would not be prepared to meet an opponent in discussion should one oppose them. They penetrate only deep enough into a subject to meet the present emergency, and to conceal the real ignorance of their lazy minds.” The Review and Herald, April 6, 1886.

“The Holy Spirit’s work is to guide into all truth. When you depend on the word of the living God with heart and mind and soul, the channel of communication will be unobstructed. Deep, earnest study of the word under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will give you fresh manna, and the same Spirit will make its use effectual. … Those who make persevering efforts in this direction, putting the mind to the task of comprehending God’s word, are prepared to be laborers together with God.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 163, 164.

  • What spiritual lesson can we learn from David’s refusal to use Saul’s armor to meet Goliath? 1 Samuel 17:39.

 Note: “Young men should search the Scriptures for themselves. They are not to feel that it is sufficient for those older in experience to find out the truth; that the younger ones can accept it from them as authority. …

“No man should be relied upon to think for us. No matter who he is, or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a criterion for us. We are to counsel together, and to be subject one to another; but at the same time we are to exercise the ability God has given us, in order to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment. We must individually develop a character that will stand the test in the day of God.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 109, 110.



  • What inspiring example was left by Ezra the scribe? Ezra 7:10.

Note: “In order to make full proof of their ministry, those who open the word of God to others should search the Scriptures diligently. They should not be content to use other men’s thoughts, but should dig for truth as for hid treasures. While it is perfectly right to gather ideas from other minds, they should not be satisfied to take those ideas and repeat them in a poll-parrot manner. Make these ideas your own, brethren; frame the arguments yourselves, from your own study and research. Do not borrow the productions of other men’s brains and pens, and recite them as a lesson; but make the most of the talents, the brain power, that God has given you.” The Review and Herald, April 6, 1886.

“By rising early and economizing their moments, ministers can find time for a close investigation of the Scriptures. They must have perseverance, and not be thwarted in their object, but persistently employ their time in a study of the word, bringing to their aid the truths which other minds, through wearing labor, have brought out for them, and with diligent, persevering effort, prepared to their hand. There are ministers who have been laboring for years, teaching the truth to others, while they themselves are not familiar with the strong points of our position. I beg of such to have done with their idleness. It is a continual curse to them. God requires them to make every moment fruitful of some good to themselves or to others. ‘Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord’ (Romans 2:11). ‘He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster’ (Proverbs 18:9).” Testimonies, vol. 2, 500.



1    What should a teacher be in order to best fill his position? How does he achieve this?

2    How did the Bereans find “meat in due season”? How can we?

3    What habits must be cultivated by those who teach others?

4    Why must we study deeply for ourselves in order to be able to teach?

5    How can we improve the quality of our teaching in every department?

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

Bible Study Guides – The Foundation of True Education

August 2 – 8, 2020

Key Text

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

Study Help: Education, 123–127.


“The Word of God presents the most potent means of education, as well as the most valuable source of knowledge, within the reach of man.” The Review and Herald, September 25, 1883.



  • How does God communicate with humanity? Amos 3:7; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.

 Note: “As an educating power the Bible is without a rival. In the word of God the mind finds subject for the deepest thought, the loftiest aspiration. … It lights up the far-distant past, where human research seeks vainly to penetrate. … In the reverent contemplation of the truths presented in His word the mind of the student is brought into communion with the infinite mind.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 596.

  • What are some qualities of Scripture? 2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 12:6, 7.

 Note: “God did not leave His Word to be preserved in the memories of men and handed down from generation to generation by oral transmission and traditional unfolding. Had He done this, the Word would gradually have been added to by men. … Let us thank God for His written word.” The Upward Look, 52.

“The Bible is the most instructive history that men possess. It came fresh from the fountain of eternal truth, and a divine hand has preserved its purity through all the ages.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 596.



  • To what is the Bible likened? Psalm 119:105.

Note: “God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority—not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ in its support.” The Great Controversy, 595.

  • How is the Word explained? Isaiah 28:10; Luke 24:27; Matthew 4:4.

Note: “No one with a spirit to appreciate its teaching can read a single passage from the Bible without gaining from it some helpful thought. But the most valuable teaching of the Bible is not to be gained by occasional or disconnected study. Its great system of truth is not so presented as to be discerned by the hasty or careless reader. Many of its treasures lie far beneath the surface, and can be obtained only by diligent research and continuous effort. The truths that go to make up the great whole must be searched out and gathered up, ‘here a little, and there a little’ (Isaiah 28:10).” Education, 123.

“Endeavoring to lay aside all preconceived opinions, and dispensing with commentaries, he [William Miller] compared scripture with scripture by the aid of the marginal references and the concordance. He pursued his study in a regular and methodical manner; beginning with Genesis, and reading verse by verse, he proceeded no faster than the meaning of the several passages so unfolded as to leave him free from all embarrassment. When he found anything obscure, it was his custom to compare it with every other text which seemed to have any reference to the matter under consideration. Every word was permitted to have its proper bearing upon the subject of the text, and if his view of it harmonized with every collateral passage, it ceased to be a difficulty. Thus whenever he met with a passage hard to be understood he found an explanation in some other portion of the Scriptures.” The Great Controversy, 320.



  • What should we do constantly with the Bible? John 5:39.

Note: “In searching the Scriptures you are not to endeavor to interpret their utterances so as to agree with your preconceived ideas, but come as a learner to understand the foundation principles of the faith of Christ.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 25.

  • As workers for God, how are we to prepare ourselves to deeply understand His word? 1 Peter 3:15.

 Note: “Not alone in searching out truth and bringing it together does the mental value of Bible study consist. It consists also in the effort required to grasp the themes presented. The mind occupied with commonplace matters only, becomes dwarfed and enfeebled. If never tasked to comprehend grand and far-reaching truths, it after a time loses the power of growth. As a safeguard against this degeneracy, and a stimulus to development, nothing else can equal the study of God’s word. As a means of intellectual training, the Bible is more effective than any other book, or all other books combined.” Education, 124.

“The close application of those Hebrew students [Daniel and his companions] under the training of God was richly rewarded. While they made diligent effort to secure knowledge, the Lord gave them heavenly wisdom. The knowledge they gained was of great service to them when brought into strait places. The Lord God of heaven will not supply the deficiencies that result from mental and spiritual indolence. When the human agents shall exercise their faculties to acquire knowledge, to become deep-thinking men; when they, as the greatest witnesses for God and the truth, shall have won in the field of investigation of vital doctrines concerning the salvation of the soul, that glory may be given to the God of heaven as supreme, then even judges and kings will be brought to acknowledge, in the courts of justice, in parliaments and councils, that the God who made the heavens and the earth is the only true and living God, the author of Christianity, the author of all truth, who instituted the seventh-day Sabbath when the foundations of the world were laid, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted together for joy.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 374, 375.



  • How does God continue to reveal new light to His people? Proverbs 4:18.

Note: “Let no one come to the conclusion that there is no more truth to be revealed. … Many gems are yet scattered that are to be gathered together to become the property of the remnant people of God.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 34.

  • What are we to do with the light we have? 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

 Note: “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 196.

“Many know so little about their Bibles that they are unsettled in the faith. They remove the old landmarks, and fallacies and winds of doctrine blow them hither and thither.” Evangelism, 362.

“No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 17.

“When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No aftersuppositions, contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained. … One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 31, 32.

  • What preparation do we need for the gospel work? Hebrews 5:11–14.

Note: “We must, through fervent prayer and deep and earnest research, become established and settled, rooted and grounded in the faith, and know, each for himself, that we have the truth. If we are thus established, we shall not depart from the faith when tested and tried, as some have done.” The Review and Herald, September 4, 1888.



  • What kind of educational environment do we want to encourage in the Sabbath school? 2 Timothy 2:15.

 Note: “Our Sabbath schools are nothing less than Bible societies, and in the sacred work of teaching the truths of God’s word, they can accomplish far more than they have hitherto accomplished.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 9.

“If you are called to be a teacher in any branch of the work of God, you are called also to be a learner in the school of Christ. If you take upon you the sacred responsibility of teaching others, you take upon you the duty of going to the bottom of every subject you seek to teach. If you present a subject from the word of God to your pupils in the Sabbath school, you should make the reasons for your faith so plain that your scholars shall be convinced of its truth. You should diligently search and compare the evidences of the word of God on messages that He sends to the church, that you may know what is truth, and be able to direct those who look to you into the way of righteousness.” Ibid., 31.

“Those who have entered upon the work of teaching, or who have been called to any position of responsibility, should not be satisfied to take the product of the researches of other minds, but they should investigate truth for themselves. If they do not form the habit of investigating themes of truth for themselves, they will become superficial in their life and acquirements. … You should examine the truths you have been led to believe, until you know that they are without a flaw.” Ibid., 33.



1    Why was it so important that the Word of God be written down?

2    How are we to study to arrive at an understanding of Bible truth?

3    What mental and spiritual benefits are to be derived from deep Bible study?

4    How does God continue to teach His people?

5    How can we improve our church educational environment?

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