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John 6:33

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The bread of God - The means of support which God furnishes. That which, in his view, is needful for man.

Is he … - Is the Messiah who has come from heaven.

And giveth life … - See the notes at John 1:4.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Constant exercise of faith in Christ, is the most important and difficult part of the obedience required from us, as sinners seeking salvation. When by his grace we are enabled to live a life of faith in the Son of God, holy tempers follow, and acceptable services may be done. God, even his Father, who gave their fathers that food from heaven to support their natural lives, now gave them the true Bread for the salvation of their souls. Coming to Jesus, and believing on him, signify the same. Christ shows that he is the true Bread; he is to the soul what bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life. He is the Bread of God. Bread which the Father gives, which he has made to be the food of our souls. Bread nourishes only by the powers of a living body; but Christ is himself living Bread, and nourishes by his own power. The doctrine of Christ crucified is now as strengthening and comforting to a believer as ever it was. He is the Bread which came down from heaven. It denotes the Divinity of Christ's person and his authority; also, the Divine origin of all the good which flows to us through him. May we with understanding and earnestness say, Lord, evermore give us this Bread.
Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 140

Christ's disciples were much impressed by His prayers and by His habit of communion with God. One day after a short absence from their Lord, they found Him absorbed in supplication. Seeming unconscious of their presence, He continued praying aloud. The hearts of the disciples were deeply moved. As He ceased praying, they exclaimed, “Lord, teach us to pray.” COL 140.1

In answer, Christ repeated the Lord's prayer, as He had given it in the sermon on the mount. Then in a parable He illustrated the lesson He desired to teach them. COL 140.2

“Which of you,” He said, “shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed: I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” COL 140.3

Here Christ represents the petitioner as asking that he may give again. He must obtain the bread, else he cannot supply the necessities of a weary, belated wayfarer. Though his neighbor is unwilling to be troubled, he will not desist his pleading; his friend must be relieved; and at last his importunity is rewarded, his wants are supplied. COL 140.4

In like manner the disciples were to seek blessings from God. In the feeding of the multitude and in the sermon on the bread from heaven, Christ had opened to them their work as His representatives. They were to give the bread of life to the people. He who had appointed their work, saw how often their faith would be tried. Often they would be thrown into unexpected positions, and would realize their human insufficiency. Souls that were hungering for the bread of life would come to them, and they would feel themselves to be destitute and helpless. They must receive spiritual food, or they would have nothing to impart. But they were not to turn one soul away unfed. Christ directs them to the source of supply. The man whose friend came to him for entertainment, even at the unseasonable hour of midnight, did not turn him away. He had nothing to set before him, but he went to one who had food and pressed his request until the neighbor supplied his need. And would not God, who had sent His servants to feed the hungry, supply their need for His own work? COL 140.5

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 383-93

When Christ forbade the people to declare Him king, He knew that a turning point in His history was reached. Multitudes who desired to exalt Him to the throne today would turn from Him tomorrow. The disappointment of their selfish ambition would turn their love to hatred, and their praise to curses. Yet knowing this, He took no measures to avert the crisis. From the first He had held out to His followers no hope of earthly rewards. To one who came desiring to become His disciple He had said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20. If men could have had the world with Christ, multitudes would have proffered Him their allegiance; but such service He could not accept. Of those now connected with Him there were many who had been attracted by the hope of a worldly kingdom. These must be undeceived. The deep spiritual teaching in the miracle of the loaves had not been comprehended. This was to be made plain. And this new revelation would bring with it a closer test. DA 383.1

The miracle of the loaves was reported far and near, and very early next morning the people flocked to Bethsaida to see Jesus. They came in great numbers, by land and sea. Those who had left Him the preceding night returned, expecting to find Him still there; for there had been no boat by which He could pass to the other side. But their search was fruitless, and many repaired to Capernaum, still seeking Him. DA 383.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 202.2

The Work of a Lifetime—Our sanctification is God's object in all His dealing with us. He has chosen us from eternity that we may be holy. Christ gave Himself for our redemption, that through our faith in His power to save from sin, we might be made complete in Him. In giving us His Word, He has given us bread from heaven. He declares that if we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we shall receive eternal life. 3SM 202.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 292.3

Let us believe the Word. He who thus eats the bread of heaven is nourished every day and will know what these words mean, “Needeth not that any man teach you.” We have lessons pure from the lips of Him who owns us, who has bought us with the price of His own blood. The precious Word of God is a solid foundation upon which to build. When men come to you with their suppositions, tell them that the Great Teacher has left you His Word, which is of incalculable value, that He has sent a Comforter in His own name, even the Holy Ghost. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).... TDG 292.3

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Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 92.1

Nothing to Be Studied That Clouds God's Word—Jesus Christ is our spiritual touchstone. He reveals the Father. Nothing should be given as food to the brain that will bring before the mind any mist or cloud in regard to the Word of God. No careless inattention should be shown in regard to the cultivation of the soil of the heart. The mind must be prepared to appreciate the work and words of Christ, for He came from heaven to waken a desire and to give the bread of life to all who hunger for spiritual knowledge.—Manuscript 15, 1898. 1MCP 92.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 106.3

April 24—Mary has just been reading to me two articles—one on the loaves and fishes, Christ walking on the water, and stating to His hearers He was the Bread of life, which caused some of His disciples to turn from Him. This takes fifty pages and comprises many subjects. I do think it the most precious matter I have ever written. Mary is just as enthusiastic over it. She thinks it is of the highest value. I am perfectly satisfied with it. 3SM 106.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 386

Still thinking that it was temporal food to which Jesus referred, some of His hearers exclaimed, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” Jesus then spoke plainly: “I am the bread of life.” DA 386.1

The figure which Christ used was a familiar one to the Jews. Moses, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had said, “Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.” And the prophet Jeremiah had written, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” Deuteronomy 8:3; Jeremiah 15:16. The rabbis themselves had a saying, that the eating of bread, in its spiritual significance, was the study of the law and the practice of good works; and it was often said that at the Messiah's coming all Israel would be fed. The teaching of the prophets made plain the deep spiritual lesson in the miracle of the loaves. This lesson Christ was seeking to open to His hearers in the synagogue. Had they understood the Scriptures, they would have understood His words when He said, “I am the bread of life.” Only the day before, the great multitude, when faint and weary, had been fed by the bread which He had given. As from that bread they had received physical strength and refreshment, so from Christ they might receive spiritual strength unto eternal life. “He that cometh to Me,” He said, “shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” But He added, “Ye also have seen Me, and believe not.” DA 386.2

They had seen Christ by the witness of the Holy Spirit, by the revelation of God to their souls. The living evidences of His power had been before them day after day, yet they asked for still another sign. Had this been given, they would have remained as unbelieving as before. If they were not convinced by what they had seen and heard, it was useless to show them more marvelous works. Unbelief will ever find excuse for doubt, and will reason away the most positive proof. DA 386.3

Again Christ appealed to those stubborn hearts. “Him that cometh to Me I will in nowise cast out.” All who received Him in faith, He said, should have eternal life. Not one could be lost. No need for Pharisees and Sadducees to dispute concerning the future life. No longer need men mourn in hopeless grief over their dead. “This is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” DA 386.4

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 137.3

What can the most learned in book lore know aright without a knowledge of the Word of God? Without the education found in the Bible, how shall we reach the next world, where we shall enter the presence of God and see His face? Nothing of this world's wisdom, the knowledge gained from books, presents a true and sure foundation upon which we can build for eternity. Nothing but the bread that comes down from heaven satisfies spiritual hunger. “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” ... The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:33, 63).... As we eat the words of Christ we are eating the bread of life, which gives spiritual vitality. HP 137.3

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 107.1

For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. John 6:33, NIV. LHU 107.1

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 106.2

Many are starved and strengthless because, instead of eating of the Bread which came down from heaven, they fill their minds with things of minor importance. But if the sinner will partake of the Bread of Life, he will, regenerated and restored, become a living soul. The Bread sent down from heaven will infuse new life into his weakened energies. The Holy Spirit will take of the things of God and show them to him, and if he will receive them his character will be cleansed from all selfishness, and refined and purified for heaven. TMK 106.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 344.5

The Lord God is bound by an eternal pledge to supply power and grace to every one who is sanctified through obedience to the truth. Jesus Christ, to whom is given all power in heaven and on earth, unites in sympathy with His instrumentalities—the earnest souls who day by day partake of the living bread “which cometh down from heaven” (John 6:33). The church on earth, united with the church in heaven, can accomplish all things.4 TMK 344.5

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 112.2

The question is asked, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? What shall we do to gain heaven? This important question is answered to all who desire to know, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29).... “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” (Verse 33). “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (Verse 35). TDG 112.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 231.5

The truth of God has not been magnified in His believing people, because they have not brought it into their personal experience. They conform to the world, and depend upon it for their influence. They allow the world to convert them, and introduce the common fire to take the place of the sacred, that they may, in their line of work, meet the world's standard. There must not be these efforts made to ape the world's customs. This is common, not sacred fire. The living Bread must not only be admired, but eaten. That Bread which cometh down from heaven will give life to the soul.—Manuscript 96, August 10, 1898, “Christ, Our Portion.” TDG 231.5

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 129

The truth as it is in Jesus can be experienced, but never explained. Its height and breadth and depth pass our knowledge. We may task our imagination to the utmost, and then we shall see only dimly the outlines of a love that is unexplainable, that is as high as heaven, but that stooped to the earth to stamp the image of God on all mankind. COL 129.1

Yet it is possible for us to see all that we can bear of the divine compassion. This is unfolded to the humble, contrite soul. We shall understand God's compassion just in proportion as we appreciate His sacrifice for us. As we search the word of God in humility of heart, the grand theme of redemption will open to our research. It will increase in brightness as we behold it, and as we aspire to grasp it, its height and depth will ever increase. COL 129.2

Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ; we are to draw constantly from Him, partaking of Him, the living Bread that came down from heaven, drawing from a fountain ever fresh, ever giving forth its abundant treasures. If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to us a sweet joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. Often our hearts will burn within us as He draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. When this is in truth the experience of the Christian, there is seen in his life a simplicity, a humility, meekness, and lowliness of heart, that show to all with whom he associates that he has been with Jesus and learned of Him. COL 129.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 360

But now Christ longed for retirement, that He might be with His disciples; for He had much to say to them. In their work they had passed through the test of conflict, and had encountered opposition in various forms. Hitherto they had consulted Christ in everything; but for some time they had been alone, and at times they had been much troubled to know what to do. They had found much encouragement in their work; for Christ did not send them away without His Spirit, and by faith in Him they worked many miracles; but they needed now to feed on the Bread of Life. They needed to go to a place of retirement, where they could hold communion with Jesus and receive instruction for future work. DA 360.1

“And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile.” Christ is full of tenderness and compassion for all in His service. He would show His disciples that God does not require sacrifice, but mercy. They had been putting their whole souls into labor for the people, and this was exhausting their physical and mental strength. It was their duty to rest. DA 360.2

As the disciples had seen the success of their labors, they were in danger of taking credit to themselves, in danger of cherishing spiritual pride, and thus falling under Satan's temptations. A great work was before them, and first of all they must learn that their strength was not in self, but in God. Like Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, like David among the hills of Judea, or Elijah by the brook Cherith, the disciples needed to come apart from the scenes of their busy activity, to commune with Christ, with nature, and with their own hearts. DA 360.3

While the disciples had been absent on their missionary tour, Jesus had visited other towns and villages, preaching the gospel of the kingdom. It was about this time that He received tidings of the Baptist's death. This event brought vividly before Him the end to which His own steps were tending. The shadows were gathering thickly about His path. Priests and rabbis were watching to compass His death, spies hung upon His steps, and on every hand plots for His ruin were multiplying. News of the preaching of the apostles throughout Galilee reached Herod, calling his attention to Jesus and His work. “This is John the Baptist,” he said; “he is risen from the dead;” and he expressed a desire to see Jesus. Herod was in constant fear lest a revolution might be secretly carried forward, with the object of unseating him from the throne, and breaking the Roman yoke from the Jewish nation. Among the people the spirit of discontent and insurrection was rife. It was evident that Christ's public labors in Galilee could not be long continued. The scenes of His suffering were drawing near, and He longed to be apart for a season from the confusion of the multitude. DA 360.4

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 501

Song Service Not a Concert—The presentation before me was that if Elder _____ would heed the counsel of his brethren, and not rush on in the way he does in making a great effort to secure large congregations, he would have more influence for good, and his work would have a more telling effect. He should cut off from his meetings everything that has a semblance of theatrical display; for such outward appearances give no strength to the message that he bears. When the Lord can co-operate with him, his work will not need to be done in so expensive a manner. He will not need then to go to so much expense in advertising his meetings. He will not place so much dependence on the musical program. This part of his services is conducted more after the order of a concert in a theater, than a song service in a religious meeting.—Letter 49, 1902. Ev 501.1

Longing for the Word—The hearts of many in the world as well as many church members are hungering for the bread of life and thirsting for the waters of salvation. They are interested in the service of song, but they are not longing for that or even prayer. They want to know the Scriptures. What saith the Word of God to me? The Holy Spirit is working on mind and heart, drawing them to the bread of life. They see everything round them changing. Human feelings, human ideas of what constitutes religion, change. They come to hear the Word just as it reads.—Manuscript 11, 1899. Ev 501.2

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 455-6

There were those in the school who were carried through the terms of study because they had no means themselves. These should have made every effort to obtain all the advantages possible, and thus show their gratitude to God, and for the kindness of the friends who had helped them. FE 455.1

When young men and young women are in deed and in truth converted, a decided change will be seen by all who have any connection with them. Their frivolity will leave them; the continual desire for amusement and selfish pleasure, the longing for some kind of change, to be in parties and excursions, will no longer be seen. FE 455.2

Hear the words of the great Teacher: “For the bread of God is He that cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” There is no need to be dull and indolent, to live only for common, earthly excitement. Life is given to every believer, as well as comfort and sobriety. All may have joy, because of the satisfaction of having Christ as an abiding guest in the soul. FE 455.3

When Jesus said to the multitude, “The bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world,” some in the multitude said, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” The bread of heaven was in their midst, but they did not recognize Him as the bread of life. Jesus then stated plainly, “I am the bread of life he that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” FE 455.4

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 441

As a preparation for Christian work, many think it essential to acquire an extensive knowledge of historical and theological writings. They suppose that this knowledge will be an aid to them in teaching the gospel. But their laborious study of the opinions of men tends to the enfeebling of their ministry, rather than to its strengthening. As I see libraries filled with ponderous volumes of historical and theological lore, I think, Why spend money for that which is not bread? The sixth chapter of John tells us more than can be found in such works. Christ says: “I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” “I am the living Bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever.” “He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:35, 51, 47, 63. MH 441.1

There is a study of history that is not to be condemned. Sacred history was one of the studies in the schools of the prophets. In the record of His dealings with the nations were traced the footsteps of Jehovah. So today we are to consider the dealings of God with the nations of the earth. We are to see in history the fulfillment of prophecy, to study the workings of Providence in the great reformatory movements, and to understand the progress of events in the marshaling of the nations for the final conflict of the great controversy. MH 441.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 135

The period of great spiritual light, if that light is not sacredly cherished and acted upon, will be turned into a time of corresponding spiritual darkness. The impression made by the Spirit of God, if men do not cherish the sacred impression, and occupy holy ground, will fade from the mind. Those who would advance in spiritual knowledge must stand by the very fount of God, and drink again and again from the wells of salvation so graciously opened unto them. They must never leave the source of refreshment; but with hearts swelling with gratitude and love at the display of the goodness and compassion of God, they must be continually partakers of the living water. 1SM 135.1

Oh, how much this means to every soul—“I am the light of the world”; “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger [for anything more satisfying]; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 8:12; 6:35). To come to this condition means that you have found the Source of light and love, and have learned when and how you may be replenished, and may make use of the promises of God by continually applying them to your souls. 1SM 135.2

“But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not” (John 6:36). This has been literally fulfilled in the cases of many; for the Lord gave them a deeper insight into truth, into His character of mercy and compassion and love; and yet after being thus enlightened, they have turned from Him in unbelief. They saw the deep movings of the Spirit of God; but when the insidious temptations of Satan came in, as they always will come after a season of revival, they did not resist unto blood, striving against sin; and those who might have stood on vantage ground, had they made a right use of the precious enlightenment that they had, were overcome by the enemy. They should have reflected the light that God gave to them upon the souls of others; they should have worked and acted in harmony with the sacred revealings of the Holy Spirit; and in not doing so, they suffered loss. 1SM 135.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 300

If through faith man becomes one with Christ, he can win life everlasting. God loves those who are redeemed through Christ, even as He loves His Son. What a thought! Can God love the sinner as He loves His own Son?—Yes; Christ has said it, and He means just what He says. He will honor all our drafts if we will grasp His promise by living faith, and put our trust in Him. Look to Him, and live. All who obey God are embraced in the prayer which Christ offered to His Father, “I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26). Wonderful truth, too difficult for humanity to comprehend! 1SM 300.1

Christ declares: “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47). “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever” (John 6:53-58). “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). 1SM 300.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), 1135
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 989

After the entrance of sin, the heavenly Husbandman transplanted the tree of life to the Paradise above; but its branches hang over the wall to the lower world. Through the redemption purchased by the blood of Christ, we may still eat of its life-giving fruit. 7BC 989.1

Of Christ it is written, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” He is the fountain of life. Obedience to Him is the life-giving power that gladdens the soul. 7BC 989.2

Christ declares: “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” [John 6:57, 63; Revelation 2:7, last part, quoted] (The Signs of the Times, March 31, 1909, reprinted from Testimonies for the Church 8:288). 7BC 989.3

(Psalm 19:10; John 6:54-57.) Tree of Life Planted for Us—The sons of men have had a practical knowledge of evil, but Christ came to the world to show them that He had planted for them the tree of life, the leaves of which were for the healing of the nations (Manuscript 67, 1898). 7BC 989.4

The leaves of the tree of life are proffered you. They are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Take them, eat them, digest them, and your faintheartedness will pass away (Manuscript 71, 1898). 7BC 989.5

Christ ... was the tree of life to all who would pluck and eat (Manuscript 95, 1898). 7BC 989.6

Bible the Tree of Life to Us—Let all bear in mind that the tree of life bears twelve manner of fruits. This represents the spiritual work of our earthly missions. The Word of God is to us the tree of life. Every portion of the Scripture has its use. In every part of the Word is some lesson to be learned. Then learn how to study your Bibles. This book is not a heap of odds and ends. It is an educator. Your own thoughts must be called into exercise before you can be really benefited by Bible study. Spiritual sinew and muscle must be brought to bear upon the Word. The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance the words of Christ. He will enlighten the mind, and guide the research (Letter 3, 1898). 7BC 989.7

Christ the Tree of Life—Christ is the source of our life, the source of immortality. He is the tree of life, and to all who come to Him He gives spiritual life (The Review and Herald, January 26, 1897). 7BC 989.8

3, 4. A Definition of Heaven—Christ is the truth of all that we find in the Father. The definition of heaven is the presence of Christ (Manuscript 184, 1897). 7BC 989.9

4. See EGW on ch. 7:2, 3. 7BC 989.10

10-12 (chs. 4:3; 10:1; see EGW on ch. 10:7; 2 Peter 3:9). Christ's Intercession Soon to Cease—The One who has stood as our intercessor; who hears all penitential prayers and confessions; who is represented with a rainbow, the symbol of grace and love, encircling His head, is soon to cease His work in the heavenly sanctuary. Grace and mercy will then descend from the throne, and justice will take their place. He for whom His people have looked will assume His right—the office of Supreme Judge (The Review and Herald, January 1, 1889). 7BC 989.11

Probation Ends When Least Expected—When probation ends, it will come suddenly, unexpectedly—at a time when we are least expecting it. But we can have a clean record in heaven today, and know that God accepts us; and finally, if faithful, we shall be gathered into the kingdom of heaven (Manuscript 95, 1906). 7BC 989.12

No Second Probation—There is not a second probation for anyone. Now is probationary time, before the angel shall fold her golden wings, the angel of mercy, and shall step down from the throne, and mercy, mercy is gone forever (Manuscript 49, 1894). 7BC 989.13

(John 9:4.) Time of Probation's Close Not Revealed—God has not revealed to us the time when this message will close, or when probation will have an end. Those things that are revealed we shall accept for ourselves and for our children; but let us not seek to know that which has been kept secret in the councils of the Almighty.... 7BC 989.14

Letters have come to me asking me if I have any special light as to the time when probation will close; and I answer that I have only this message to bear, that it is now time to work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. Now, just now, it is time for us to be watching, working, and waiting. 7BC 989.15

The Word of the Lord reveals the fact that the end of all things is at hand, and its testimony is most decided that it is necessary for every soul to have the truth planted in the heart so that it will control the life and sanctify the character. The Spirit of the Lord is working to take the truth of the Inspired Word and stamp it upon the soul so that the professed followers of Christ will have a holy, sacred joy that they will be able to impart to others. The opportune time for us to work is now, just now, while the day lasts. But there is no command for anyone to search the Scriptures in order to ascertain, if possible, when probation will close. God has no such message for any mortal lips. He would have no mortal tongue declare that which He has hidden in His secret councils (The Review and Herald, October 9, 1894). 7BC 989.16

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Ellen G. White
Sons and Daughters of God, 70

The mind is the best possession we have; but it must be trained by study, by reflection, by learning in the school of Christ, the best and truest educator the world has ever known.8The Review and Herald, January 6, 1885. SD 70.2

“I am the Bread of life,” the Author, Nourisher, and Supporter of eternal, spiritual life.... To eat His flesh and to drink His blood means to receive Him as a heaven-sent teacher. Belief in Him is essential to spiritual life. Those who feast on the Word never hunger, never thirst, never desire any higher or more exalted good.9Ellen G. White Manuscript 81, 1906. SD 70.3

The truest, the most exalted, knowledge is found in the Word of God. In its simplicity there is eloquence. There are those who will grasp the words of the supposed great men of the world, and love to dwell upon their phraseology as something they need to esteem and value. You will hear men exalting human beings, extolling those who are called great by this world. In doing this, they lose sight of Christ in the Word. He is not to them all and in all,—the first, the last, the best, in everything. These need to sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him whom to know aright is life eternal.10The Youth's Instructor, December 8, 1898. SD 70.4

The Bible is our guide in the safe paths that lead to eternal life. God has inspired men to write that which will present the truth to us, which will attract, and which, if practised, will enable the receiver to obtain moral power to rank among the most highly educated minds. The minds of all who make the Word of God their study will enlarge. Far more than any other study, this is of a nature to increase the powers of comprehension, and endow every faculty with new vigor.... It brings us into close connection with all heaven, imparting wisdom, and knowledge, and understanding.... The gospel is adapted for spiritual food, to satisfy man's spiritual appetite. In every case it is just what man needs.11The Youth's Instructor, October 13, 1898. SD 70.5

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Ellen G. White
Steps to Christ, 68

In the matchless gift of His Son, God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life-giving atmosphere will live and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. SC 68.1

As the flower turns to the sun, that the bright beams may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should we turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that heaven's light may shine upon us, that our character may be developed into the likeness of Christ. SC 68.2

Jesus teaches the same thing when He says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.... Without Me ye can do nothing.” John 15:4, 5. You are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart from Him you have no life. You have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in Him, you may flourish. Drawing your life from Him, you will not wither nor be fruitless. You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. SC 68.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 190

Those in the office who profess to believe the truth should show the power of the truth in their lives and prove that they are working onward and upward from the basis of principle. They should be molding their lives and characters after the perfect Model. If all could look with a discerning eye into the tremendous realities of eternity, what a horror of condemnation would seize some in the office who now pass on with seeming indifference, although separated from eternal scenes by a very small space. Many warnings have been given, and urged home with intense feeling and earnest prayers, every one of which is faithfully registered in heaven, to balance the account of each in the day of final investigation. The unwearying love of Christ has followed those engaged in His work in the office. God has followed them with blessings and entreaties, yet hating the sins and unfaithfulness that cling to them as the leprosy. The deep and solemn truths to which those in the office have had the privilege of listening should take hold upon their sympathies and lead them to a high appreciation of the light that God has given them. If they will walk in the light, it will beautify and ennoble their lives with heaven's own adornment, purity and true goodness. 3T 190.1

A way is opened before everyone in the office to engage from the heart directly in the work of Christ and the salvation of souls. Christ left heaven and the bosom of His Father to come to a friendless, lost world to save those who would be saved. He exiled Himself from His Father and exchanged the pure companionship of angels for that of fallen humanity, all polluted with sin. With grief and amazement, Christ witnesses the coldness, the indifference and neglect, with which His professed followers in the office treat the light and the messages of warning and of love He has given them. Christ has provided the bread and water of life for all who hunger and thirst. 3T 190.2

The Lord requires all in the office to labor from high motives. In His own life, Christ has given them an example. All should labor with interest, devotion, and faith for the salvation of souls. If all in the office will labor with unselfish purposes, discerning the sacredness of the work, the blessing of God will rest upon them. If all had cheerfully and gladly taken up their several burdens, the wear and perplexity would not have come so heavily upon my husband. 3T 190.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 558

Jesus invites us to come to Him and He will lift the weights from our weary shoulders and place upon us His yoke, which is easy, and His burden, which is light. The path in which He invites us to walk would never have cost us a pang had we always walked in it. It is when we stray from the path of duty that the way becomes difficult and thorny. The sacrifices which we must make in following Christ are only so many steps to return to the path of light, of peace and happiness. Doubts and fears grow by indulgence, and the more they are indulged, the harder are they to overcome. It is safe to let go every earthly support and take the hand of Him who lifted up and saved the sinking disciple on the stormy sea. 4T 558.1

God calls upon you to mingle the trusting simplicity of the child with the strength and maturity of the man. He would have you develop the true gold of character, and through the merits of Christ you can do this. My soul is burdened for those who do not feel their need of constant connection with heaven in order to do the work devolving upon them as faithful sentinels for God. 4T 558.2

Religion is what is needed. We must eat of the bread of life and drink of the water of salvation. We must cherish love, not that which is falsely called charity, which would lead us to love sin and cherish sinners, but Bible charity and Bible wisdom, that is first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits. 4T 558.3

There must be, with all who have any influence in the sanitarium, a conforming to God's will, a humiliation of self, an opening of the heart to the precious influence of the Spirit of Christ. The gold tried in the fire represents love and faith. Many are nearly destitute of love. Self-sufficiency blinds their eyes to their great need. There is a positive necessity for a daily conversion to God, a new, deep, and daily experience in the religious life. 4T 558.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 345

Christ has given in His own life a lesson of hospitality. When surrounded by the hungry multitude beside the sea, He did not send them unrefreshed to their homes. He said to His disciples: “Give ye them to eat.” Matthew 14:16. And by an act of creative power He supplied food sufficient to satisfy their need. Yet how simple was the food provided! There were no luxuries. He who had all the resources of heaven at His command could have spread for the people a rich repast. But He supplied only that which would suffice for their need, that which was the daily food of the fisherfolk about the sea. 6T 345.1

If men were today simple in their habits, living in harmony with nature's laws, there would be an abundant supply for all the needs of the human family. There would be fewer imaginary wants and more opportunity to work in God's ways. 6T 345.2

Christ did not seek to attract men to Him by gratifying the desire for luxury. The simple fare He provided was an assurance not only of His power but of His love, of His tender care for them in the common needs of life. And while He fed them with the barley loaves, He gave them also to eat of the bread of life. Here is our example. Our fare may be plain and even scanty. Our lot may be shut in with poverty. Our resources may be no greater than were those of the disciples with the five loaves and the two fishes. Yet as we come in contact with those in need, Christ bids us: “Give ye them to eat.” We are to impart of that which we have; and as we give, Christ will see that our lack is supplied. 6T 345.3

In this connection read the story of the widow of Sarepta. To this woman in a heathen land God sent His servant in time of famine to ask for food. “And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:12-15. 6T 345.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 367

Then as you meet from Sabbath to Sabbath, sing praises to Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood” let the heart's adoration be given. Let the love of Christ be the burden of the speaker's utterance. Let it be expressed in simple language in every song of praise. Let the inspiration of the Spirit of God dictate your prayers. As the word of life is spoken, let your heartfelt response testify that you receive the message as from heaven. This is very old-fashioned, I know; but it will be a thank offering to God for the bread of life given to the hungry soul. This response to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit will be a strength to your own soul and an encouragement to others. It will give some evidence that there are in God's building living stones that emit light. 6T 367.1

While we review, not the dark chapters in our experience, but the manifestations of God's great mercy and unfailing love, we shall praise far more than complain. We shall talk of the loving faithfulness of God as the true, tender, compassionate shepherd of His flock, which He has declared that none shall pluck out of His hand. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining. Praise, like clear-flowing streams, will come from God's truly believing ones. “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” “Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” Psalm 23:6; 73:24, 25. 6T 367.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 451

Do not educate your children to think that your love for them must be expressed by indulgence of their pride, extravagance, and love of display. There is no time now to invent ways for using up money. Use your inventive faculties in seeking to economize. Instead of gratifying selfish inclination, spending money for those things that destroy the reasoning faculties, study how to deny self, that you may have something to invest in lifting the standard of truth in new fields. The intellect is a talent; use it in studying how best to employ your means for the salvation of souls. 6T 451.1

Teach your children that God has a claim upon all they possess, a claim that nothing can ever cancel; whatever they have is theirs only in trust as a test of their obedience. Inspire them with ambition to gain stars for their crown by winning many souls from sin to righteousness. 6T 451.2

Money is a needed treasure; let it not be lavished upon those who do not need it. Someone needs your willing gifts. Too often those who have means fail to consider how many in the world are hungry, starving for food. They may say: “I cannot feed them all.” But by practicing Christ's lessons on economy you can feed one. It may be that you can feed many who are hungering for temporal food. And you can feed their souls with the bread of life. “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” John 6:12. These words were spoken by Him who had all the resources of the universe at His command; while His miracle-working power supplied thousands with food, He did not disdain to teach a lesson in economy. 6T 451.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 250

Special instruction has been given me in regard to our ministers. It is not God's will that they should seek to be rich. They should not engage in worldly enterprises, for this disqualifies them for giving their best powers to spiritual things. But they are to receive wages enough to support themselves and their families. They are not to have so many burdens laid upon them that they cannot give proper attention to the church in their own family, for it is their special duty to train their children for the Lord. 7T 250.1

It is a great mistake to keep a minister constantly at work in business lines, going from place to place, and sitting up late at night in attendance at board meetings and committee meetings. This brings upon him weariness and discouragement. Ministers should have time to rest to obtain from God's word the rich nourishment of the bread of life. They should have time to drink refreshing drafts of consolation from the stream of living water. 7T 250.2

Let ministers and teachers remember that God holds them accountable to fill their office to the best of their ability, to bring into their work their very best powers. They are not to take up duties that conflict with the work that God has given them. 7T 250.3

When ministers and teachers, pressed under the burden of financial responsibility, enter the pulpit or the schoolroom with wearied brain and overtaxed nerves, what else can be expected than that common fire will be used instead of the sacred fire of God's kindling? The strained, tattered efforts disappoint the listeners and hurt the speaker. He has had no time to seek the Lord, no time to ask in faith for the unction of the Holy Spirit. 7T 250.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 288

The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality. But through man's disobedience death entered the world. Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which he had been forbidden to touch. His transgression opened the floodgates of woe upon our race. 8T 288.1

After the entrance of sin the heavenly Husbandman transplanted the tree of life to the Paradise above; but its branches hang over the wall to the lower world. Through the redemption purchased by the blood of Christ, we may still eat of its life-giving fruit. 8T 288.2

Of Christ it is written: “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4. He is the Fountain of life. Obedience to Him is the life-giving power that gladdens the soul. 8T 288.3

Christ declares: “I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.... It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” John 6:35, 57-63; Revelation 2:7. 8T 288.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 307

Many who are seeking a preparation for the Lord's work think it essential to accumulate large volumes of historical and theological writings. They suppose that the study of these works will be a great advantage to them in learning how to reach the people. This is an error. As I see shelves piled with these books, some of them rarely looked into, I think: Why spend money for that which is not bread? The sixth chapter of John tells us more than can be found in such works. Christ says: “I am the Bread of Life.” “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:35, 63. 8T 307.1

There is a study of history that is not to be condemned. Sacred history was one of the studies in the schools of the prophets. In the record of His dealings with the nations were traced the footsteps of Jehovah. So today we are to consider the dealings of God with the nations of the earth. We are to see in history the fulfillment of prophecy, to study the workings of Providence in the great reformatory movements, and to understand the progress of events in the marshalling of the nations for the final conflict of the great controversy. 8T 307.2

But too often the motive of those who study these many books is not so much to obtain food for mind or soul. It is an ambition to become acquainted with philosophers and theologians, a desire to present Christianity to the people in learned terms and propositions. 8T 307.3

“Learn of Me,” said the greatest Teacher the world ever knew. “Take My yoke upon you, learn My meekness and lowliness.” Your intellectual pride will not aid in the work of communicating with souls that are perishing for want of the bread of life. In your study of these books you are allowing them to take the place, in mind and heart, of the practical lessons you should be learning from the Great Teacher. With the results of this study the people are not fed. Very little of the study and research which is so wearying to the mind furnishes anything that will make one a successful laborer for souls. 8T 307.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 340

God gave to Moses special direction for the management of his work. He directed Moses to associate men with him as counselors, that his burdens might be lightened. Through Jethro the message was given: “Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to Godward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: and thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: and let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.” TM 340.1

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Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 18-9

Righteousness is holiness, likeness to God, and “God is love.” 1 John 4:16. It is conformity to the law of God, for “all Thy commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172), and “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). Righteousness is love, and love is the light and the life of God. The righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by receiving Him. MB 18.1

Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift or sacrifice, is righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers and thirsts to receive it. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat, ... without money and without price.” “Their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord,” and, “This is His name whereby He shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.” Isaiah 55:1; 54:17; Jeremiah 23:6. MB 18.2

No human agent can supply that which will satisfy the hunger and thirst of the soul. But Jesus says, “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.” “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” Revelation 3:20; John 6:35. MB 18.3

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Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 109.6

Christ declares that if we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we shall have eternal life. His word will be to us as the leaves of the tree of life if we will believe in Christ as our personal Saviour. If we eat the bread that came down from heaven, we shall have a live connection with God. We shall bring eternity into our reckoning. We shall live as in the presence of the whole heavenly host. The angels are watching and guarding us. LHU 109.6

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 181.1

On Sabbath afternoon, many hearts were touched, and many souls were fed on the bread that cometh down from heaven. After the discourse we enjoyed a precious social meeting. The Lord came very near, and convicted souls of their great need of His grace and love. We felt the necessity of presenting Christ as a Saviour who was not afar off, but nigh at hand. When the Spirit of God begins to work upon the hearts of men, the fruit is seen in confession of sin and restitution for wrongs. All through the meetings, as the people sought to draw nearer to God, they brought forth works meet for repentance by confessing one to another where they had wronged each other by word or act.... 3SM 181.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 957

It is our work to know our special failings and sins, which cause darkness and spiritual feebleness, and quenched our first love (The Review and Herald, June 7, 1887). 7BC 957.1

4, 5 (see EGW on ch. 3:14-18; 1 Kings 11:4). Spiritually Fallen, but Unaware of It—In view of the many virtues enumerated, how striking is the charge brought against the church at Ephesus: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” This church had been highly favored. It was planted by the apostle Paul. In the same city was the temple of Diana, which, in point of grandeur, was one of the marvels of the world. The Ephesian church met with great opposition, and some of the early Christians suffered persecution; and yet some of these very ones turned from the truths that had united them with Christ's followers, and adopted, in their stead, the specious errors devised by Satan. 7BC 957.2

This change is represented as a spiritual fall. “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works”—as outlined in the preceding verses. The believers did not sense their spiritual fall. They knew not that a change had taken place in their hearts, and that they would have to repent because of the noncontinuance of their first works. But God in His mercy called for repentance, for a return to their first love and to the works that are always the result of true, Christlike love (Manuscript 11, 1906). 7BC 957.3

Loss of Love a Moral Fall—The losing of the first love is specified as a moral fall. The loss of this love is represented as something that will affect the entire religious life. Of those who have lost this love, God says that unless they repent, He will come to them, and remove their candlestick out of its place (Manuscript 1, 1906). 7BC 957.4

6 (Jude 4). The Sin of the Nicolaitans—Is it [our sin] the sin of the Nicolaitans, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness (The Review and Herald, June 7, 1887)? 7BC 957.5

(Romans 3:31.) Doctrine of the Nicolaitans—The doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made the law of God of no effect; that by “believing” we are released from the necessity of being doers of the Word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned (The Signs of the Times, January 2, 1912, reprinted from The Signs of the Times, February 25, 1897). 7BC 957.6

7 (ch. 22:2). The Leaves of the Tree of Life—[Revelation 2:7 quoted.] Must we wait until we are translated before we eat of the leaves of the tree of life? He who receives into his heart the words of Christ knows what it means to eat the leaves of the tree of life. [John 6:33-63 quoted.] 7BC 957.7

When the believer, in the fellowship of the Spirit, can lay his hand upon truth itself, and appropriate it, he eats the bread that comes down from heaven. He enters into the life of Christ, and appreciates the great sacrifice made in behalf of the sinful race. 7BC 957.8

The knowledge that comes from God is the bread of life. It is the leaves of the tree of life which are for the healing of the nations. The current of spiritual life thrills the soul as the words of Christ are believed and practiced. Thus it is that we are made one with Christ. The experience that was weak and feeble becomes strong. It is eternal life to us if we hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. 7BC 957.9

All truth is to be received as the life of Jesus. Truth cleanses us from all impurity, and prepares the soul for Christ's presence. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory (Manuscript 103, 1902). 7BC 957.10

7, 11, 17, 29 (ch. 3:6, 13, 22). Ears Closed to Folly and Nonsense—“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” If you “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” and meditate upon the instruction given to them, your ears will be closed to the folly and nonsense which surround you. You will neither hear and repeat these things, nor will you ever hanker after them. When Christ satisfies the soul hunger, these trivialities are to you distasteful and disgusting. You have no desire to feast upon them, but choose instead the bread of heaven (Manuscript 92, 1901). 7BC 957.11

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