The Crucifixion of Christ

It Is Finished

In silence the people watch for the end of this fearful scene. Again the sun shines forth, but the cross is enveloped in darkness. Suddenly the gloom is lifted from the cross, and in clear trumpet tones, that seem to resound throughout creation, Jesus cries, “It is finished.” “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” Luke 23:46. A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like unto the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast and died. SR 226.2
At the moment in which Christ died, there were priests ministering in the temple before the veil which separated the holy from the most holy place. Suddenly they felt the earth tremble beneath them, and the veil of the temple, a strong rich drapery that had been renewed yearly, was rent in twain from top to bottom by the same bloodless hand that wrote the words of doom upon the walls of Belshazzar’s palace. SR 226.3
Jesus did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do; and He exclaimed with His parting breath, “It is finished!” Angels rejoiced as the words were uttered, for the great plan of redemption was being triumphantly carried out. There was joy in heaven that the sons of Adam could now, through a life of obedience, be exalted finally to the presence of God. Satan was defeated, and knew that his kingdom was lost. SR 226.4

Our Thinking Is Affected by Our Eating.

Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. Jeremiah 33:6, NKJV. BLJ 316.1
The principles of healthful living mean a great deal to us individually and as a people. When the message of health reform first came to me, I was weak and feeble, subject to frequent fainting spells. I was pleading with God for help, and He opened before me the great subject of health reform. He instructed me that those who are keeping His commandments must be brought into sacred relation to Himself, and that by temperance in eating and drinking they must keep mind and body in the most favorable condition for service…. BLJ 316.2
We do not mark out any precise line to be followed in diet; but we do say that in countries where there are fruits, grains, and nuts in abundance, flesh meat is not the right food for God’s people. I have been instructed that flesh meat has a tendency to animalize the nature, to rob men and women of that love and sympathy which they should feel for everyone, and to give the lower passions control over the higher powers of the being. If meat eating was ever healthful, it is not safe now. Cancers, tumors, and pulmonary diseases are largely caused by meat eating. BLJ 316.3
We are not to make the use of flesh meat a test of fellowship, but we should consider the influence that professed believers who use flesh meats have over others. As God’s messengers, shall we not say to the people, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”? BLJ 316.4
Shall we not bear a decided testimony against the indulgence of perverted appetite? Will any who are ministers of the gospel, proclaiming the most solemn truth ever given to mortals, set an example in returning to the fleshpots of Egypt? Will those who are supported by the tithe from God’s storehouse permit themselves by self-indulgence to poison the life-giving current flowing through their veins? Will they disregard the light and warnings that God has given them? BLJ 316.5
The health of the body is to be regarded as essential to growth in grace and the acquirement of an even temper. If the stomach is not properly cared for, the formation of an upright moral character will be hindered. The brain and nerves are in sympathy with the stomach. Erroneous eating and drinking result in erroneous thinking and acting.—The Review and Herald, March 3, 1910. BLJ 316.6

The law of God, still abides.

Scripture teaches that men ought to, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13. Christ’s testimony, is that, “I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” – John 15:10. Christ did not just keep the law for his own good but for, “an example, that ye should follow his steps:” – 1Peter 2:21. In the plan of human redemption, the life of Christ is essential. His life  is a testimony, that humanity and divinity can overcome sin; but we need to follow his example, especially obedience to his law.

Scripture also teaches that, “until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” And that, “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” – Romans 5:12,1John 3:4, Romans 5:13. The testimony of the scriptures stated, is that at the creation, man was place under God’s law and it was the violation of his law that brought sin and death into this world. It also testifies that, so long as God’s creation continues, so long will his law continue. The law wrought love, the main principle of heaven. Love worketh no ill, but Christ was wounded and crucified for the violation of this principle. Christ dying on the cross is the most strongest argument, that his law can never be annulled or abrogated. If the law could have been changed, Christ could have been spared from his cruel death; but nevertheless, “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” – 1Peter 3:18.

Christ did not only die for our sins, and to do away with the pending death sentence against us; but for the new covenant promises which scripture has made mention of,”But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”- Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:10-11. The new covenant promise is that, God will write his law upon our mind and heart, this too, is another evidence that his law is ever abiding and that man is under solemn obligation to keep every precept of the law. In writing the law upon our heart and mind, God is ensuring that every man will know his will from the least to the greatest. God’s will is that everyone should have true knowledge of sin. That sin is a violation of his law, and that its wages is death.- Romans 6:23. By obtaining this knowledge, conversion will begin, men will turn to Christ, who alone can save man from death and restore their relationship with God. But if man disregard his law, how then shall he know he is a sinner, and that he needs Christ to make him righteous and holy? So the law remains and cannot be changed. In closing I leave you with the words of the saviour, “Till heaven and earth pass,” said Jesus, “one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The sun shining in the heavens, the solid earth upon which you dwell, are God’s witnesses that His law is changeless and eternal. Though they may pass away, the divine precepts shall endure. “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17. The system of types that pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God was to be abolished at His death; but the precepts of the Decalogue are as immutable as the throne of God. – DA 308.3.

The Mark of the beast and the Seal of God

The Mark of beast? Many have heard the term, but who truly understand it? There are many theories about the mark, and the image  but, are they biblical? In this study we will get a biblical perspective on this issue.

The Mark of the beast is first mentioned in Revelation thirteen. The warning of receiving this mark, is given in the third angel’s message, in Revelation fourteen. Before we go any further, we need to unveil the  identity of the beast, so we can better understand what his mark and image is.

One of the identifying characteristics, that defines the beast identity, is found in these words, “and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” revelation 13:2. The beast received his power and authority from the Dragon.  The Dragon primarily represents Satan, revelation 12:9. The dragon also represents Pagan Rome, who Satan was working through, to kill Christ as soon as he was born, Revelation 12:4-5; Matthew 2:13-16.  In history, the event that marked, the giving of the dragon seat and authority  to the beast, is when emperor Justinian declared the pope to be head of  the church, in 533 AD. This was the beginning of the establishment of the papacy. It wasn’t until 538 AD, that the papacy was fully established.  As we go on to read verse three of the same chapter, it reads, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”- Revelation 13:3; He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. – Revelation 13:10. In the preceding text, (13:2) we have seen the rise and the establishment of the papacy. Now we shall see their fall. The papacy received their deadly wound in 1798, by the French army. When Napoleon General, took Pope Pius VI, captive in France, where he later died. This is the event that fulfilled the prophecy mentioned in revelation 13:10. The wound was to be healed, as prophecy foretold in revelation 13:3. The deadly wound which the papacy had received by the French army, began to heal in 1929; at the signing of the lattern treaty, February 11,1929. What that did for the papacy, was to give them back autonomy or the power to govern themselves. They had lost that power as a result of the deadly wound they received.

What is the image of the beast,and how is it to be formed? When I think of image, my mind goes back to Genesis, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” – Genesis 1:26 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” – Genesis 1:27. Man was to bear God’s image, both in outward resemblance and in character. – PP 45.2

Christ alone is “the express image” (Hebrews 1:3) of the Father; but man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God. His mind was capable of comprehending divine things. His affections were pure; his appetites and passions were under the control of reason. He was holy and happy in bearing the image of God and in perfect obedience to His will. – PP 45.2

Here we have it, man was made in God’s image, being made in God’s image, man possess his attribute and characteristics. The same can be said of the image of the beast. It is the lamb like beast who shall make an image to the first beast, the papacy. But what nation is represented by the lamb like beast? We find our answer in revelation 13, and it reads, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” – Revelation 13:11. The rising of the this beast is different from the first beast or any other beast mentioned in the bible. The first beast rises out of the sea, the sea or body of water represents:nations, tongues, kindreds, and people-Revelation 17:15. This rising is the same exact rising mentioned, in Daniel chapter 7. When the great winds of strife strove on the sea, four great beast came out. This is the representation of conquest in which kingdoms are setup.  To come out of the earth, is the opposite of rising out of the sea. The lamb like beast did not have to overthrow any kingdoms, but rose or grew peacefully, in an area unoccupied. Also this beast or kingdom is liken to a lamb, which is a representation of Christ, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” – John 1:29 “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” – John 1:36

This kingdom or nation, is also liken to lamb or Christ, because this nation and kingdom, exercise some of his attributes. The attribute or characteristics that this kingdom assimilate, is the ability to make men free. The bible bares record to Jesus doing just that, John 8:32-36, Luke 4:18. So the kingdom or nation, represented by the lamb like beast, is the United states of America. This christian nation grew silently into power after 1798, securing the freedom of it’s citizens, freedom such as religious freedom. But of the lamb like beast it is said, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon”. – Revelation 13:11 “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” – Revelation 13:12 “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,” – Revelation 13:13 “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” – Revelation 13:14

Prophecy has shown, that the United states, will take a drastic change from its former policies. It will adopt the principles of the Papacy, even religious intolerance and persecution. This can only happen when, “the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” – GC 445.1

As the sign of the authority of the Catholic Church, papist writers cite “the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; … because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin.”—Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, page 58. What then is the change of the Sabbath, but the sign, or mark, of the authority of the Roman Church—“the mark of the beast”? – GC 448.1

When Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome, and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome. He is worshiping the beast and his image. As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome,—“the mark of the beast.” And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive “the mark of the beast.”—The Great Controversy, 449 (1888). – Ev 233.4

There is no time left to argue over this issue, for the time is at hand. Whether you believe this or not it will come. There will be a national Sunday law in honor to the Pope, for the holy scriptures teaches this. The real question is when the holy spirit convicts of this great truth, will you in defiance receive the mark of the beast?

The Crucifixion of Christ

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A Lesson in Filial Love

The eyes of Jesus wandered over the multitude that had collected together to witness His death, and He saw at the foot of the cross John supporting Mary, the mother of Christ. She had returned to the terrible scene, not being able to longer remain away from her Son. The last lesson of Jesus was one of filial love. He looked upon the grief-stricken face of His mother, and then upon John; said He, addressing the former: “Woman, behold thy son!” Then, to the disciple: “Behold thy mother!” John 19:27. John well understood the words of Jesus, and the sacred trust which was committed to him. He immediately removed the mother of Christ from the fearful scene of Calvary. From that hour he cared for her as would a dutiful son, taking her to his own home. The perfect example of Christ’s filial love shines forth with undimmed luster from the mist of ages. While enduring the keenest torture, He was not forgetful of His mother, but made all provision necessary for her future. SR 224.1
The mission of Christ’s earthly life was now nearly accomplished. His tongue was parched, and he said, “I thirst.” They saturated a sponge with vinegar and gall, and offered it Him to drink; and when He had tasted it, he refused it. And now the Lord of life and glory was dying, a ransom for the race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God. SR 224.2
As man’s substitute and surety, the iniquity of men was laid upon Christ; He was counted a transgressor that He might redeem them from the curse of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam of every age was pressing upon His heart; and the wrath of God and the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. Every pang endured by the Son of God upon the cross, the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands and feet, the convulsions of agony which racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face from Him, speak to man, saying, It is for love of thee that the Son of God consents to have these heinous crimes laid upon Him; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise and immortal life. He who stilled the angry waves by His word and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease flee from His touch, who raised the dead to life and opened the eyes of the blind, offers Himself upon the cross as the last sacrifice for man. He, the sin-bearer, endures judicial punishment for iniquity and becomes sin itself for man. SR 225.1
Satan, with his fierce temptations, wrung the heart of Jesus. Sin, so hateful to His sight, was heaped upon Him till He groaned beneath its weight. No wonder that His humanity trembled in that fearful hour. Angels witnessed with amazement the despairing agony of the Son of God, so much greater than His physical pain that the latter was hardly felt by Him. The hosts of heaven veiled their faces from the fearful sight. SR 225.2
Inanimate nature expressed a sympathy with its insulted and dying Author. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Its full, bright rays were illuminating the earth at midday, when suddenly it seemed to be blotted out. Complete darkness enveloped the cross and all the vicinity about, like a funeral pall. The darkness lasted three full hours. At the ninth hour the terrible darkness lifted from the people, but still wrapt the Saviour as in a mantle. The angry lightnings seemed to be hurled at Him as He hung upon the cross. Then “Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Mark 15:34. SR 226.1

The Crucifixion of Christ

Nailed to the Cross

Upon arriving at the place of execution, the condemned were bound to the instruments of torture.While the two thieves wrestled in the hands of those who stretched them upon the cross, Jesus made no resistance. The mother of Jesus looked on with agonizing suspense, hoping that He would work a miracle to save Himself. She saw His hands stretched upon the cross—those dear hands that had ever dispensed blessings, and had been reached forth so many times to heal the suffering.And now the hammer and nails were brought, and as the spikes were driven through the tender flesh and fastened to the cross, the heart-stricken disciples bore away from the cruel scene the fainting form of the mother of Christ. SR 221.2

Jesus made no murmur of complaint; His face remained pale and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. He was treading the winepress all alone; and of all the people there was none with Him.While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, and He was enduring the most acute agony, Jesus prayed for His enemies—“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world, taking in every sinner who should live, until the end of time. SR 222.1

After Jesus was nailed to the cross, it was lifted by several powerful men and thrust with great violence into the place prepared for it, causing the most excruciating agony to the Son of God. And now a terrible scene was enacted. Priests, rulers, and scribes forgot the dignity of their sacred offices, and joined with the rabble in mocking and jeering the dying Son of God, saying, “If Thou be the King of the Jews, save Thyself.” Luke 23:37.And some deridingly repeated among themselves, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” Mark 15:31.The dignitaries of the temple, the hardened soldiers, the vile thief upon the cross, and the base and cruel among the multitude—all united in their abuse of Christ. SR 222.2

The thieves who were crucified with Jesus suffered like physical torture with Him: but one was only hardened and rendered desperate and defiant by his pain. He took up the mocking of the priest, and railed upon Jesus, saying, “If Thou be Christ, save Thyself and us.” Luke 23:39. The other malefactor was not a hardened criminal. When he heard the sneering words of his companion in crime, he “rebuked him, saying, Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man hath done nothing amiss.” Luke 23:40, 41. Then, as his heart went out to Christ, heavenly illumination flooded his mind. In Jesus, bruised, mocked, and hanging upon the cross, he saw his Redeemer, his only hope, and appealed to him in humble faith: “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee today, [By placing the comma after the word today, instead of after the word thee, as in the common versions, the true meaning of the text is more apparent.] shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43. SR 222.3

With amazement the angels beheld the infinite love of Jesus, who, suffering the most excruciating agony of mind and body, thought only of others, and encouraged the penitent soul to believe. While pouring out his life in death, He exercised a love for man stronger than death. Many who witnessed those scenes on Calvary were afterward established by them in the faith of Christ. SR 223.1

The enemies of Jesus now awaited His death with impatient hope. That event they imagined would forever hush the rumors of His divine power and the wonders of His miracles.They flattered themselves that they should then no longer tremble because of His influence. The unfeeling soldiers who had stretched the body of Jesus on the cross, divided His clothing among themselves, contending over one garment, which was woven without seam. They finally decided the matter by casting lots for it. The pen of inspiration had accurately described this scene hundreds of years before it took place: “For dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet…. They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.” Psalm 22:16, 18. SR 223.2

The crucifixion of Christ part 1.

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What cause this to happen to our Lord?

Christ, the precious Son of God, was led forth and delivered to the people to be crucified. The disciples and believers from the region round about joined the throng that followed Jesus to Calvary. The mother of Jesus was also there, supported by John, the beloved disciple. Her heart was stricken with unutterable anguish; yet she, with the disciples, hoped that the painful scene would change, and Jesus would assert His power, and appear before His enemies as the Son of God. Then again her mother heart would sink as she remembered words in which He had briefly referred to the things which were that day being enacted. SR 220.1
Jesus had scarcely passed the gate of Pilate’s house when the cross which had been prepared for Barabbas was brought out and laid upon His bruised and bleeding shoulders. Crosses were also placed upon the companions of Barabbas, who were to suffer death at the same time with Jesus. The Saviour had borne His burden but a few rods when, from loss of blood and excessive weariness and pain, He fell fainting to the ground. SR 220.2
When Jesus revived, the cross was again placed upon His shoulders and He was forced forward. He staggered on for a few steps, bearing His heavy load, then fell as one lifeless to the ground. He was at first pronounced to be dead, but finally he again revived. The priests and rulers felt no compassion for their suffering victim; but they saw that it was impossible for Him to carry the instrument of torture farther. While they were considering what to do, Simon, a Cyrenian, coming from an opposite direction, met the crowd, was seized at the instigation of the priests, and compelled to carry the cross of Christ. The sons of Simon were disciples of Jesus, but he himself had never been connected with Him. SR 220.3
A great multitude followed the Saviour to Calvary, many mocking and deriding; but some were weeping and recounting His praise. Those whom He had healed of various infirmities, and those whom He had raised from the dead, declared His marvelous works with earnest voice, and demanded to know what Jesus had done that He should be treated as a malefactor. Only a few days before, they had attended Him with joyful hosannas, and the waving of palm branches, as He rode triumphantly to Jerusalem. But many who had then shouted His praise, because it was popular to do so, now swelled the cry of “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” SR 221.1

Follow the Example Set by the Four Hebrews

“Then let our countenances be examined before you, and the countenances of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” … And at the end of ten days their countenance appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Daniel 1:13-15, NKJV. BLJ 303.1
“As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” BLJ 303.2
This record contains much of importance on the subject of health reform. In the experience of the four Hebrew children a lesson is given regarding the need of abstaining from all spirituous liquors, and from indulgence of perverted appetite. The position taken by these Hebrew youth was vindicated, and at the end of ten days they were found fairer in flesh and better in knowledge than all the rest whom the king was proving. BLJ 303.3
In this our day, the Lord would be pleased to have those who are preparing for the future, immortal life follow the example of Daniel and his companions in seeking to maintain strength of body and clearness of mind. The more careful we learn to be in treating our bodies, the more readily shall we be able to escape the evils that are in the world through lust…. BLJ 303.4
Let us ask, What is the object of true higher education? Is it not that we may stand in right relation to God? The test of all education should be Is it fitting us to keep our minds fixed upon the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? … BLJ 303.5
We are to learn how to equalize the labor done by brain, bone, and muscle. If you put to task the faculties of the mind, loading them with heavy burdens, while you leave the muscles unexercised, this course will tell its story just as surely as the wise course of the Hebrew youth told its story. Parents should follow a consistent course in the education of their children. Our youth should be taught from their very childhood how to exercise the body and the mind proportionately.—The General Conference Bulletin, May 30, 1909. BLJ 303.6

Self-development Essential to Accomplish Most Good,

Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? Luke 9:24, 25, NRSV. BLJ 301.1
Only one lease of life is granted us; and the inquiry with everyone should be “How can I invest my powers so that they may yield the greatest profit? How can I do most for the glory of God and the benefit of my fellow beings?” For life is valuable only as it is used for the attainment of these ends. BLJ 301.2
Our first duty toward God and our fellow humans is that of self-development. Every faculty with which the Creator has endowed us should be cultivated to the highest degree of perfection, that we may be able to do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable. Hence that time is spent to good account which is used in the establishment and preservation of physical and mental health. We cannot afford to dwarf or cripple any function of body or mind. As surely as we do this, we must suffer the consequences. BLJ 301.3
Every person has the opportunity, to a great extent, of making himself or herself whatever he or she chooses to be. The blessings of this life, and also of the immortal state, are within their reach. They may build up a character of solid worth, gaining new strength at every step. They may advance daily in knowledge and wisdom, conscious of new delights as they progress, adding virtue to virtue, grace to grace…. Their intelligence, knowledge, and virtue will thus develop into greater strength and more perfect symmetry. BLJ 301.4
On the other hand, they may allow their powers to rust out for want of use, or to be perverted through evil habits, lack of self-control, or moral and religious stamina. Their course then tends downward; they are disobedient to the law of God and to the laws of health. Appetite conquers them; inclination carries them away. It is easier for them to allow the powers of evil, which are always active, to drag them backward, than to struggle against them and go forward. Dissipation, disease, and death follow. This is the history of many lives that might have been useful in the cause of God and humanity.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 41, 42. BLJ 301.5