Present Truth Articles Online
Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Timothy 1:2) As you are reading this newsletter, my secretary, Esther McDaniel (who is also my mother-in-law), is in Africa attending a camp meeting and visiting an orphanage she has been helping to establish. At the camp meeting, she will be seeing Brothers Howard Williams and David Clayton of Restoration Ministries in Jamaica. They went to Africa, to hold meetings in the countries of South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ghana. Please pray for the success of their trip, and the safety of each of them.
In this Issue
by Lynnford Beachy
by Alonzo T. Jones
by George McDaniel
The Wonderful Gift of the Holy Spirit
by Lynnford Beachy
Everyone likes to receive good gifts. Even though Jesus said, it is more blessed to give than to receive, there is something special about receiving a gift. (Acts 20:35) Consider something for a moment. Suppose you had many places to go, and you did not have any transportation or way to get around, except to walk. Now suppose that I give you a nice, new car so you can get around easier. I park the car in your front yard, and slide the keys under your door with a note explaining that this new car is a gift for you. If you ignored the note, did not realize the car was yours, and continued walking wherever you went, would you get any benefit out of the gift? Of course not! The only way a gift can be beneficial is if the gift is recognized, accepted, and put to use.
God delights in giving good gifts to His children. James wrote, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17) God has given us many good gifts but, sadly, they are not always recognized, accepted, or utilized.
The best gift that God ever gave is the gift of His only begotten Son, whom He gave to die for our sins, that we might live forever. (See John 3:16) Yet, that gift would be of little effect for us if He had not given us another gift.
In His final discourse to His disciples, the night before His death, Jesus told His disciples about another gift that would be given to help them after His departure.
Jesus said, If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (John 14:15, 16) The purpose of the gift of the Comforter is that He may abide with the disciples forever. This was excellent news to the disciples, for they were sad to hear of Christs soon departure. Jesus continued His discourse, stating that He would send the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17)
Jesus said that the world could not receive the Spirit of truth, because it did not see him nor know him. Just like the gift of the new car that I mentioned earlier, the world cannot receive the good gift of the Comforter, because it does not recognize this gift. It does not see that this gift is available to them, nor does it know the Person who is the Comforter.
Immediately following this explanation Jesus said something startling. He told His disciples, but ye know him. How could the disciples know the promised Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, (v. 26) [Every time in the Bible where you find the term, Holy Ghost, it should have been translated Holy Spirit. Sometimes the translators of the Bible chose to translate pneuma agion into Holy Ghost, and other times they translated the same phrase as Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is the most accurate translation, and I will use it throughout this article.] if Jesus had not yet prayed for the gift, and it evidently had not yet been given? John stated, the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:39)
Jesus explained, ye know him; [because] he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17) Who was dwelling with the disciples? Jesus Christ, of course! Jesus explained that soon this Person who was dwelling with them would be in them. It certainly would be better for the Comforter to dwell in the disciples rather than dwelling outside of them. That is exactly what Jesus said a short time later. In the same discourse, Jesus said, I tell you the truth; It is expedient [profitable] for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (John 16:7)
Jesus said that His disciples would be better off if He left them, went to His Father, and sent the Comforter to dwell in them. He also pointed out that the coming of the Comforter depended upon His departure, and glorification. As long as Christ was living on the earth as a man, it was not possible for this promised Comforter to come to live in the disciples.
As we continue reading in John 14 we find that Jesus did not end His conversation in verse 17. In the next verse He said, I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:18) This sheds a great deal of light on the subject. It explains why the Comforter could not come until after Christ went away and was glorified, for Christ said that He, Himself, would come back to His disciples to comfort them.
Lets continue reading Christs discourse to see if He reinforced this point. He said, Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (John 14:19, 20) A few moments earlier Jesus had said to His disciples that the Comforter shall be in you. Now, Jesus says that when the Comforter comes, Ye shall know that I am in you. Jesus assured His disciples that He would not send someone else to comfort them, but that He would come Himself to be their Comforter. Isnt that beautiful! The disciples had become close friends of Christ; so close that John felt comfortable leaning on His bosom. It was a comfort to them when Christ was near. Now Jesus tells them some wonderful news. He tells them that after He goes to His Father, He would come back to them as the Comforter, and they would know that it was He who was dwelling in themthey would recognize that the same Person who was dwelling with them was now in them, by His Spirit.
Next, Jesus said something that caused one of His disciples to inquire of Him how this could take place. Jesus said, 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. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, 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. (John 14:21-23)
To remove any possibility of being misunderstood, Jesus made it abundantly clear that after He left the world, He would come back to make His abode in the hearts of His disciples. Not only would He return, but His Father would come with Him, so that both of them would live in the hearts of His children, not physically, but by Gods Spirit. In this way, the disciples could have intimate communion and fellowship with both the Father and His Son. John emphasized this when he wrote, That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)
John expressed this lovely truth of both God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, living in us in several other verses. He wrote, Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9) In 1 John 2:22, 23 he wrote, Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. It is truly a blessing to have personal fellowship with both the Father and His Son, and I am very thankful that God has made this available to us.
The Promised Comforter
As Jesus was about to ascend to heaven, He commanded His disciples that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. (Acts 1:4) Jesus pointed His disciples forward to the day when the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon them with great power. He continued, Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
The disciples waited in the upper room at Jerusalem for the Spirit to be poured out, as promised. Then it came, and they preached the gospel of Jesus Christ with power to the many Jews who were assembled at Jerusalem. Concerning the outpouring of the Spirit, Peter said, This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (Acts 2:32, 33)
The gift that was poured out at Pentecost is still available to us today, and we can have it if we recognize and accept it. Yet, the gift of the Holy Spirit was not always available in the same way. In fact, the Bible tells us that God has provided something better for us, than He did for all those who lived before Christ came to this earth. We read about this in Hebrews chapter 11. After giving an account of the mighty faith of the patriarchs and prophets, the chapter ends by saying, And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39, 40) That is wonderful! God has provided something better for us, than He provided for all those mighty men and women of faith in Hebrews. They all died without receiving the promise of the Comforter that Jesus spoke about in John 14 and in Acts 1.
Please do not get me wrong, the Holy Spirit was working upon the hearts of people long before the day of Pentecost, helping them to overcome sin. The Patriarch David wrote, Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (Psalms 51:11) This shows that the Holy Spirit was at work before Christ came to earth. Not only that, but to be more specific, the Bible says that the Spirit of Christ worked in Old Testament times. Peter wrote about the prophets, Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (1 Peter 1:10, 11) The Spirit of Christ was living in the prophets, long before the day of Pentecost, but, according to Scripture, there was something special about the coming of the Comforter at Pentecost; something different and better than had ever been poured out before. Let us read about this better gift.
In Hebrews 2:18 we find the key that explains what was better about the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It says: For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [help] them that are tempted. Here is the answer! This is something better that is available to us, today, that could not have been available to the prophets of old. Even though the Spirit of Christ lived in the prophets, Christ had not yet been tempted, and therefore He could not help them in the same way that He can help us now. The word succour in this verse was translated from the Greek word bohqew, which means, to aid, to relieve, to help, and, as Thayers Greek Lexicon puts it, it also means, to run to the cry of those in danger. I like that definition! The verse is telling us that because Christ has suffered being tempted, He is able to come to us swiftly to help us, when we cry unto Him for help with our temptations. The Bible says, Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. (Psalms 50:15) When we are being tempted, we are in serious trouble, and if we call upon the Lord for help, He will come to our aid immediately, and give us the victory we so desperately need. Christ is able to do this for us in a way that He could not do it for the prophets of old, because today, He has already experienced what it is like to be tempted. This is why Jesus called the Comforter, another Comforter. The Greek word alloV, which was translated another in this verse was used in the Greek version of the Old Testament, in 1 Samuel 10:6. Here, it says of Saul, And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. (1 Samuel 10:6) Saul became another man, because of the experience he went through. Jesus became another Comforter because now He has experienced what it is like to be tempted.
Think about something for a minute. Suppose your teenage son died in a plane crash, and the next week, your spouse died in a car accident. Now suppose that I come up to you and say, I know exactly what you are going through, even though I had never been through that experience. Would I be able to comfort you with these words? Certainly not! If I have never been through what you are going through, it is very hard for me to understand what you are going through, or how to help you through it.
The Bible says that Jesus Christ, was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus Christ experienced what we are going through when we are tempted and, because of this, He is able to help us when we are tempted in a greater way than He could before He came to earth. Praise the Lord that our Comforter knows what we are going through in our struggles with temptation. We are given a precious promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. The way of escape that God has ordained for us is to call upon the Lord for help. Whenever we are tempted, if we call upon Him, He will help us. And God has promised that He has made this way of escape for every temptation. That old saying, the Devil made me do it, is absolutely false. The Devil cannot make you do anything. He can use strong enticements, but he can never force you to sin. There is always a way of escape, and our Comforter is eager to help us gain the victory.
Jesus said that when the Comforter is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. (John 16:8) This is exactly what the Bible says Jesus would do when He comes back to us as our Comforter. The Bible says, Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6) And in the book of Acts we read, Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. (Acts 3:26) After God raised His Son from the dead, He sent His Spirit into our hearts, to bless us in turning us away from our sins. Jesus Christ is the best Person qualified to do this job, because He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) Praise the Lord that we have a Comforter who knows what we are going through in our struggles with temptation, and can help us through it better than anyone else.
This is the gift that God is eager to give to all those who ask. (Luke 11:13) This is the gift that the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him. (John 14:17) The world does not recognize that this gift exists; they do not know who their Comforter is, and therefore, they cannot receive Him. Friends, God does not want you to be like the rest of the world, He wants you to know who your Comforter is, so you can receive the full benefits of this blessed gift. Jesus said, I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:18) Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Comforter. In fact, John told us exactly that in 1 John 2:1. Notice what he wrote here: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate [paraklhtoV: Comforter] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. The other four times paraklhtoV was used in the Bible it was translated, Comforter.
What is a Spirit
We have learned that God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts to comfort us, but what is a spirit? Some people think that a spirit is a ghost, some bodyless phantom that floats around. Is this what God sends to the world to comfort us? Certainly not! According to The American Heritage Dictionary, ghost means: The spirit of a dead person, especially one believed to appear in bodily likeness to living persons or to haunt former habitats. The Holy Spirit is not a ghost as described above. Let us read the Bible and see what it has to say about a spirit.
In the book of Job it says, There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. (Job 32:8) Daniel explained, I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body. (Daniel 7:15) A spirit is the part of a person that can be grieved. In Marks gospel we read, And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? (Mark 2:8) A spirit is the part of a person that can perceive or understand things. The king of Babylon had a dream, and he told his wise men, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. (Daniel 2:3) A spirit is the part of a person that can be troubled. These few Bible texts confirm the definition of spirit found in The American Heritage Dictionary, which says, The part of a human being associated with the mind, will, and feelings.
Man has a spirit, but does God have a Spirit? Notice how Paul compared the spirit of man with the Spirit of God: For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11) Here the spirit of man is likened to the Spirit of God. Just as man has a spirit, so God has a Spirit, and His Spirit, just as mans spirit, is the part of Him associated with the mind, will, and feelings. The Holy Spirit is the holy Spirit of God. (Ephesians 4:30) Just as the spirit of man, Gods Spirit can be grieved or vexed. Gods Spirit belongs to God, just as my spirit belongs to me.
Suppose I told you, I know that we have met before, but have you ever met my spirit? I would like to introduce you to my spirit, he is sitting over there on that chair. What would you think? You would immediately recognize that I have a twisted concept of what my spirit is. It is not some other person, separate and distinct from me. My spirit is really me, it is who I am. If I say, My mother is very pleasant to be around, she has an excellent spirit, you would not suppose that I am talking about two persons. I would only be talking about one person, my mother, who has a pleasant personality and character.
I would like you to notice something about how the term Holy Spirit is used in the Bible. Luke records a conversation that Jesus had with His disciples. Jesus said, When they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luke 12:11, 12) Matthew records this same conversation, but notice the different words he uses to describe the Holy Spirit: When they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. (Matthew 10:19, 20)
Here we see that the Holy Spirit is called, the Spirit of your Father. This is very appropriate, because later Jesus said, But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. (John 15:26) Here Jesus explained that the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), proceeds from the Father. In other words, the Father is the source of the Holy Spirit, because it is His Spirit. Please do not get confused here. We saw earlier that Jesus Christ is our Comforter. Notice, in the verse we just read, Jesus said that He would send the Comforter, which comes from the Father. This is just what Peter said on the day of Pentecost, when he explained that Jesus, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (Acts 2:33) The Comforter comes from the Father, through the Son, to us. Paul explained it this way, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Titus 3:5, 6)
So we see that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father, which He sends to us through Jesus Christ, and when we receive the Spirit, we are receiving both the Spirit of the Father, and the Spirit of His Son. Two Persons come to live in us, and we have fellowship with both the Father and His Son.
Two Divine Persons
Some people get confused regarding the Holy Spirit, as if it was a third individual, separate and distinct from God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. I would like you to notice some facts from the Bible.
There are 27 books in the New Testament. Fifteen of them begin with a greeting similar to this: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:3) Out of all of these greetings, not one of them mentions the Holy Spirit as a separate individual. [Revelation 1:4 mentions the seven Spirits which are before [the Fathers] throne, but this does not refer to a separate individual called, the Spirit. If so it would refer to seven individuals. In Revelation 3:1 Jesus is said to have the seven Spirit of God, showing that the seven Spirits belong to God. Seven is a perfect number, indicating completeness. The seven Spirits of God represent the complete manifestation of Gods Spirit, rather than a separate individual from God, the Father.]
When Jesus authority and truthfulness were challenged by the Jews, Jesus mentioned two individuals that bear witness of Him: Himself, and His Father. He said, If I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. (John 8:16-18) If Jesus knew of a third divine being who could bear witness in His behalf, He would have mentioned him here, but He didnt.
When Jesus spoke of the Jews who hated Him, He said, He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. (John 15:23, 24) Jesus spoke repeatedly about Him and His Father, with no mention of another individual.
When Paul charged Timothy to observe the things that he had been taught, he called heaven to witness this solemn charge. He wrote, I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. (1 Timothy 5:21) If Paul knew of a third divine individual, he would have mentioned him here, but he did not. Instead, Paul would have injured this third person by not mentioning him, and to add insult to injury, he even mentioned the angels instead of him. Obviously Paul did not believe that a third divine person existed.
When John speaks of fellowship with divine persons, he only mentions two: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3) John also wrote, Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9)
Think about something for a moment. There are many places in the Bible where the Son speaks to the Father. There are also many places where the Father speaks to His Son. But, there is never any record that the Father spoke to a third person called, the Holy Spirit. Neither is there any record of the Son speaking to the Holy Spirit. Nor is there any record of the Holy Spirit speaking to either the Father or the Son.
Also, please consider something. We know that God loves us very much, because He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins. We know that Jesus Christ loves us very much, because He came down to earth to die for us. But, if the Holy Spirit is a third individual, we have no way of knowing that he loves us, because he neither gave his son, nor gave himself. In fact, he gave nothing for us, so his love is unrecognizable. Nor is there any verses in the Bible that speak of the love that the Holy Spirit has for us. When Jesus spoke of Gods love, He always directed people to the love of the Father. Jesus told His disciples, For the Father himself loveth you. (John 16:27) Yet, Jesus never explained that the Holy Spirit loves us, as if the Holy Spirit was a third distinct individual from the Father and the Son.
The gift of Gods Spirit is one of the most precious gifts God has ever given to us. To receive the benefits of this gift as God intended, we must recognize it for what it is. The gift of Gods Spirit is the impartation of His life in us, the means by which He and His Son can personally live in our hearts. The great blessing of the Pentecost experience is the reception of Gods Spirit coming to us with the added benefit of the Spirit of Gods victorious Son coming into our hearts to help us in our struggle against sin and temptation. Satan would like you to think that Jesus Christ is not in us, but that He sent someone else to take His place. Friends, that is an invention of Satan, specifically designed to take away your hope of glory. Paul wrote, To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
Dont let anyone take away this hope, this precious gift of Christ in you. If a gift is not recognized, it will not be utilized. Take full advantage of the ministry of Christ in your behalf; let Him come into your heart, and do a work that only He can do. Ask Christ into your heart, and He will come in, and bring His Father with Him. Jesus says to you now, Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20) Let Him come in, and you will be glad you did. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I asked Him into my heart. Even though I was a very wicked sinner, involved in many wicked things, when I opened the door of my heart to Him, He gladly came in.
Friends, no matter how wicked you may be, Jesus has promised that He will accept you if you come to Him. He said, Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37) Come to Him now, accept Him as your Saviour, and accept the gift of His Spirit into your life to help you in your struggle with temptations. You will never, never be sorry you made this decision.
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Part 20)
by George McDaniel
(This is the twentieth in a series of health articles that are designed to help you gain a deeper appreciation for Gods amazing handiwork of the human body and a better understanding of how it works and how it can be better maintained by simple methods. George McDaniel is my father-in-law, and has been a registered nurse for many years, which, along with much research, has taught him many useful health principles. I pray that you are being blessed by these articles. Editor)
Rest - Part 1
Our entire being, physical, mental and spiritual, requires periodic rest. There are many kinds of rest. There is the rest that occurs in sleep that we all require for about one-third of every day. There is a kind of rest we get from recreational activities when we take time off from our work. There is also the Sabbath rest that comes at the end of every week. Related to this is the rest we obtain by accepting Christs invitation where He says, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:28, 29)
The first type of rest we will consider is sleep. Probably most people believe that the main purpose of sleep is to rest the muscles and brain. This is only part of what happens during sleep. During some of the stages of sleep the brain is very active. Many muscles do not need rest. For example, the heart and diaphragm work continually. In this article I will present some things I have learned, not only about sleep, but also about how the brain makes itself alert and reactive to the external environment; and why and how it periodically turns its attention inward and becomes unaware of surroundings in the phenomenon we call sleep. There is much that is not yet known about the how and why of sleep, but scientists who study sleep are learning more and more about it.
Also included is some information about how certain chemicals can stimulate the brain into being more alert and energized. Knowing how these things work helps us to understand how the brain turns itself on every morning.
Sleep touches nearly every aspect of our physiology and psychology, of our interaction with the world and with others. Hundreds of biological processes go on during sleep, making it impossible to separate sleep from the processes of living. For our health and happiness, we need to learn as much as we can about what kind of sleep we need for physical and psychological health.
Sleep releases the natural vitality we have in us, but it doesnt directly create it. The thing that makes us feel bad when we dont get enough sleep is sleep debt. Sleep debt is the accumulated amount of lost sleep. What sleep does to make us feel better is to erase sleep debt. Anything that gets rid of sleep debt, or covers it up, can lift our mood. This is true whether sleep debt is paid off through sleep or covered up with coffee or amphetamines.
There is also another factor besides sleep that affects our mood on a daily basis: the alerting effect of the biological clock. Everyones biological clock is set differently. Some people wake up early and are alert and ready to go. They are then ready for sleep early in the evening. Others dont become alert until later in the day and stay up late into the night. These two classes are sometimes referred to as larks and owls. Young people tend to be owls; as they age they turn into larks. It may be possible to reset the biological clock. If a person consistently forces themselves to rise early, soon they will be alert early in the morning, and ready to sleep early in the evening.
The biochemistry of wakefulness and sleep is closely tied to the state of the emotional part of the brain. The waking brain naturally excites and primes itself for interaction with the external world, while the sleep-deprived brain suppresses that natural buoyancy by shutting down the brains neuro-chemical activity.
Sleep researchers dont know exactly how sleep and sleep debt help the brain create good and bad feelings, but they are learning how the brain puts itself in an up mood and how addictive drugs create a high by stimulating the brains pleasure centers.
A brain circuit called the reticular activating system plays a major role in arousal. It is highly likely that the biological clock operates on this system to wake the brain and keep it awake. This system is a small collection of nerves that originates deep in the brain stem. A relatively few cells in the brain stem reach out and touch nearly every cell in the brain. These cells carry neurotransmitters that relay activating signals from the reticular activating system. These neurotransmitters are norepinephrine, dopamine and acetylcholine. Norepi- nephrine is one of the key neurotransmitters for arousal. Dopamine is known to be involved in body movements and pleasure. Acetylcholine also acts as a prime arousal chemical and is known to be important in carrying signals concerning muscle movements. Another neurotransmitter, serotonin, also has a strong effect on mood.
The energized feeling one gets when he obtains enough sleep and wakes up in the morning energized, feels so good that many people try to obtain the same feeling while not complying with the necessary steps to ensure it naturally. Almost every generation throughout history has had stimulants to resist the sleep drive and elevate the mood. Commercial empires have been built through trade in caffeinated foods such as coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks. Much of Latin America, India, Indonesia and East Africa were colonized to grow coffee or tea. In the twentieth century, cocaine and amphetamines had their period of legitimacy before their dark side became known.
These chemical stimulants work by modifying the way the nerve cells in the brain send messages to each other. Nerve cells communicate with other nerve cells across a gap called a synapse. They do not touch each other, so cannot directly pass an electrical impulse on. Chemicals called neurotransmitters are released from the end of one nerve into the synapse and are taken into receptors at the end of the other nerve. After the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine are released into the synapse, and then stimulate the receptors on the adjacent nerve, they are usually quickly recycled back into the cell from which they came, to be reused when needed.
Cocaine blocks the re-uptake of these neurotransmitters, causing them to stay in the synapse longer and continuing to stimulate other nerve cells during this time. Cocaine makes normal brain signals stronger and longer lasting.
Amphetamine is similar in structure to norepineph- rine and dopamine. It is taken into the nerve ending and then ejects norepinephrine and dopamine into the synapse where they excite adjacent nerve cells. The result of taking cocaine and amphetamine is a general feeling of high energy and euphoria.
Dopamine is the main neurotransmitter involved in the brains pleasure centers. When dopamine is released in these parts of the brain, we feel wonderful and want to recreate the events that led to this reward. It seems that all addictive drugs and behaviors are addictive because they cause dopamine release either directly or indirectly.
The brain stimulant of choice in the civilized world is caffeine. Its psychological effects are less intense than cocaine or amphetamine. Every day billions of people around the world use coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages.
Caffeine stimulates the brain and body because its chemical structure is similar to adenosine, one of the bodys substances that act as a nerve brake. Because the caffeine molecule is shaped like adenosine, it actually blocks adenosines access to its receptor so that this brain brake is not allowed to engage. Caffeine is shaped like adenosine, blocks the adenosine receptor, but doesnt have the inhibiting effect on nerve impulses that adenosine has, so that the brain is overstimulated.
The energy obtained from caffeine is not without its cost. Overuse can make one jittery. If consumed late in the day it can keep one from sleeping. It can cause rapid or irregular heartbeat in some people. Caffeine users become habituated, so that it takes increasing doses to obtain the same effects and can cause headaches, irritability and discomfort if they stop using it. Habituation occurs because the body wants to maintain nerve activity at a normal level. It adapts to the presence of caffeine. I am not sure just how it does it. It may increase the amount of adenosine present or make more adenosine receptors. In order to get the stimulant effect from the caffeine, the dosage has to be increased. If the stimulant is removed, there will be an excessive adenosine effect, resulting in the symptoms mentioned. This happens during sleep. The caffeine level gets low so the habitual user has to have a cup or two to get going in the morning. If someone is serious about quitting the habit, he needs to realize he will have a few miserable days before his body adapts to the new conditions. Keep in mind that it will adapt.
Nicotine is another common stimulating drug. It stimulates brain activity by mimicking acetylcholine, which is another key activating neurotransmitter. This effect of nicotine has been known for a long time. Recently it has been discovered that nicotine also causes release of dopamine in the reward centers of the brain. This is probably the biggest reason that tobacco is addictive. Tobacco also causes a number of health problems, as is well known.
The illegal stimulants, such as amphetamine, are dangerous; in part because they deplete neurotransmitters in the brain. After the drugs wear off, the brain crashes.
All of the drugs mentioned just postpone the inevitable demands of the sleep drive. One may be able to stay up later and drive farther but eventually he will have to sleep extra to pay off the sleep debt that builds up during that time.
More about sleep next time.
Something for the Young at Heart
This month we are continuing a series of crossword Bible studies that are based on the These Last Days Bible Lessons. In order to maintain the flow of the study, this crossword puzzle is not split into Across and Down sectionsAcross or Down is indicated at the end of each line.
Preview of the Coming Age
Those who have done good will come up in the resurrection of ____. John 5:28, 29—5 Across
Those who have done evil will come up in the resurrection of ____. John 5:28, 29—19 Down
The two resurrections are separated by a ____ years. Revelation 20:4-6—32 Across
Those who have part in the first resurrection are ____ and holy. Revelation 20:6—11 Across
The rest of the dead are not raised until the thousand years are ____. Revelation 20:5—18 Across
The resurrection of the righteous occurs at the ____ of the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17—29 Across
The resurrected and living righteous will then be caught up together to meet the Lord in the ____. 1 Thessalonians 4:17—22 Across
Note: Jesus is coming to take the righteous to the place He has prepared for them in heaven. (See last months lesson entitled, How Will the World End?)
The wicked will be ____ by the brightness of Christs coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:8—4 Down
Those who are not saved when Jesus comes will be ____. Revelation 19:21—24 Down
Note: Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. (Isaiah 24:1, 3, 20)
Jeremiah saw a vision of the earth right after Christs coming and said, the earth was without ____ and void. Jeremiah 4:23—13 Across
Jeremiah beheld, and said, there was no ____. Jeremiah 4:25—28 Across
Note: And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. (Jeremiah 25:33)
All our great cities will be ____ down. Jeremiah 4:26—27 Down
When the righteous arrive in heaven they will ____ with Christ a thousand years. Revelation 20:6—30 Across
At this time, ____ will be given to the righteous. Revelation 20:4—9 Across
During this time, the ____ will judge the world and wicked angels. 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3—31 Across
Satan will be ____ a thousand years. Revelation 20:1, 2—11 Down
While Satan is bound he will not be able to ____ the nations. Revelation 20:3—12 Down
Satan will be unable to deceive people because God will ____ man and beast from this earth. Zephaniah 1:2, 3—7 Across
Satan will be in the ____ pit during the thousand years. Revelation 20:3—2 Down
Note: The Greek word used here is abussos, a word used in the Greek version of Genesis 1:2 to describe the condition of the earth before the creation of man.
God said He will create a ____ earth. Isaiah 65:17—16 Across
John saw the new earth, and said the first earth was ____ away. Revelation 21:1—8 Down
After this John saw the new ____ coming down from God out of heaven. Revelation 21:2—17 Down
Satan will go out to ____ those who come up in the second resurrection. Revelation 20:7, 8—14 Across
The wicked will be resurrected so that they can be ____. Revelation 20:13—6 Down
Note: The judicial phase of the judgment of the wicked will have been done during the thousand years.
Eventually, every tongue will ____ that Jesus Christ is Lord. Philippians 2:10, 11—26 Down
The confession of the wicked is too late; for they will be cast into the ____ of fire. Revelation 20:15—20 Down
Note: And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Revelation 20:9)
The Bible calls this experience the ____ death. Revelation 20:14—33 Across
Note: The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10)
We look forward to a new ____. 2 Peter 3:13—15 Down
The ____ will inherit the earth made new. Psalm 37:11—25 Across
They will inherit the earth after the wicked are ____ off. Psalm 37:34—21 Across
There will be ___ ___ death in the new earth. Revelation 21:4, 5 (2 words)—10 Down
Note: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Revelation 21:3) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (Revelation 22:4)
In the new earth the redeemed build ____. Isaiah 65:21, 22—23 Across
In the new earth, nobody will ____ nor destroy. Isaiah 65:25—3 Down
God promised that affliction or sin will not rise up a ____ time. Nahum 1:9—1 Down
Lessons on Faith (Part 11)
by Alonzo T. Jones
(This month we are printing two articles on faith. Editor)
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Therefore the word of God is the only means of faith.
Therefore, where there is no word of God there cannot be any faith.
And where the word of God is, faith is entire dependence upon that word for the accomplishment of what that word says.
From all this, which is the truth, it is perfectly plain that in order for anyone to ask in faith, he must first of all be sure that he has the word of God for what he asks.
Having the word of God for what he asks, he, like David, can find it in his heart to pray with perfect confidence, which is only in perfect faith.
He who thus prays knows that he is asking according to the will of God, for he knows that he has the plain word of God for it.
Therefore he knows that God hears him, and knowing that God hears him, he knows that he has the thing for which he has asked, because the sole basis of his hope for it is the word which has spoken it, and which is the sole basis of his asking.
The Lord tells us thus to pray, and thus he has made provision for the steady, strong, and continuous growth of faith.
Many people pray but do not know whether it is the will of the Lord that they should have what they pray for and so do not know whether they can certainly claim it; and not knowing whether they can claim it, they are all at sea as to whether their prayers are answered or not.
The Lord does not want anybody to move uncertainly. Therefore, He has given His word, which thoroughly furnishes every one unto all good works and by which are given all things that pertain unto life and godliness.
And anyone who seeks in the word of God the things which God has there provided for all and upon that specific word prays for that thing, thus asking according to the plainly expressed will of God, knows that his prayer is heard and that he has the thing for which he prayed.
So doing, the prayers will be always certain, the life will be filled with the direct gifts of God, and the faith will be sure and strong and will be ever increasing in strength.
Many pray the prayer of the disciples, Lord, increase our faith. This is well. Yet along with this, it must never be forgotten that faith comes only by the word of God. Therefore, as certainly as your faith shall be increased, it can be only by there being in you an increase of the word of God. And the only way that there can be in you an increase of the word of God is by your harkening to that word, praying to the Lord for the thing which that word says, depending wholly upon that word for that thing and thanking him that you have received it. Then and thus that word is received by you and lives in you.
Thus while we can pray, Lord, increase our faith, at the same time we must remember that we are to build up ourselves on our most holy faith. (See Jude 20.)
This is how to exercise faith. Faith can be exercised only on the word of God, for where there is no word of God, there cannot be any faith.
And understanding how to exercise faith, this is the science of the gospel.
More Lessons on Faith
The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)
Who are the just?They are only those who are of faith, because men are justified only by faith.
For though we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), yet we are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:24)
For to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:4, 5)
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1) Those who are of faith and those alone are the just in the earth.
Now faith is entire dependence on the word of God, that that word shall accomplish what that word says. It shall accomplish that which I please. (Isaiah 55:11)
To be justified by faith, then, is to be justified by entire dependence upon the word of God. The just are those who are of the word of God. This is how men become just.
Men must not only become just by faithby dependence upon the word of Godbut being just, we must live by faith. The just man lives in precisely the same way and by precisely the same thing that he becomes just.
We become just by faith; faith is entire dependence on the word of God. We, being just, must live by precisely the same thing by which we become just; that is, by entire dependence upon the word of God.
And this is exactly what Jesus said: Man shall live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4) When Jesus said that, it is perfectly plain that He simply said, in other words, Man shall live by faith.
There is no other way truly to live than by faith, which is simply living by the word of God. Without faith, without the word of God, men only die.
Indeed, without the word of God everything only dies, for in the beginning everything came by the word of God. The word of God is the origin and life of everything, for, He spake, and it was. (Psalm 33:9)
All things animate and inanimatesun, moon, and stars, animals and menall are entirely dependent upon the word of God for existence. Only in the case of men God has bestowed upon them the wondrous gift of choice as to whether they will do so or not. This gift opens the door of faith. And when a man does choose to live by the word of God, which is the only means of life, faithentire dependence upon the word of Godis the means by which he lays hold on the means of life.
Thus the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17), and thus whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23), which is simply to say, The just must live by the word of God, and whatsoever is not of the word of God is sin.
We cannot have a healthy Christian experience, we cannot obey the gospel unto salvation until the science of faith is better understood and until more faith is exercised.
Hast thou faith? (Romans 14:22) Have the faith of God. Here are they that keep the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)
(These two articles were first printed in the February 28 and March 7, 1899 issues of The Review and Herald. They are also found on pages 36-39 of the book Lessons on Faith by A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner. I added some verse references that were left out in the original. Editor)
Missouri: We are thankful to announce that Brothers Lynnford Beachy and Allen Stump will be holding Bible study meetings in Cedar Hill, Missouri, (about 25 miles southwest of St. Louis) on Friday evening, October 31, and all day Sabbath, November 1. The meetings will be held at a church located on 8420 Brackman Lane. For more information you may call Virgil and Mary Tow at 314-772-0849.
Florida: We will also be having meetings in Pensacola, Florida, on December 5-7 at Emerald Coast Ministries, 30 South 3rd Street. You may call Jack Van Ord for further details at 850-458-5549. Editor
2004 West Virginia Camp Meeting
We wish to announce the date for the 2004 West Virginia camp meeting. The camp meeting will be held at Smyrna in West Virginia from Tuesday evening, June 15 to Sabbath evening, June 19. We realize that no one date or time is best for all. However, we do hope and pray that with the early announcement many, who wish to attend, can make the plans needed to be here. Editor
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