Parenting is a beautiful, life-changing experience. But sometimes, it can get scary and confusing. That’s why Child Guidance by Ellen G. White is one of the best parenting books for new parents.
Do you ever feel alone and helpless, and wonder if you’ll ever be a better parent? You’re not alone.
I became a mother barely 10 months ago. And every day of this motherhood journey has been a revealer of abilities and uncertainties.
On some days, I feel like a super woman. But on other days, I feel inadequate. And singled out for misery. Like a dummy who everyone else in class laughs at.
Now, you’ll wonder if there was ever a way to do parenting right. Trust me, I share your thoughts.
However, who said we couldn’t learn a thing or two (or three) from some of the best parenting books out there?
As a Christian parent, it matters a whole lot to me to train my son in the way of the Lord. But does this means I’ll always know what to do?
Not always. But I can trust God. And one of such ways is to leverage child guidance resources within my reach.
One of which is Ellen White’s Child Guidance. Let’s go through this summary together.
Child Guidance by Ellen G. White Summary
I started reading this book about two months ago.
And I still haven’t completed it. (Lazy, you say.)
I’m on page 73 of 569 pages. Wow! A long journey still lies ahead.
So you’re probably saying, “why write a summary when you’re not even one-fifth of the way?”
Here’s the thing:
In the first three sections of Child Guidance, Ellen White has taught me so much about parenting.
And I’ve found it impossible to read further without pausing to practice these lessons with my son.
For example, she shares the importance of educating your child right from the moment he or she can reason.
Which means once they’re getting out of the “baby-baby” phase into the infant phase.
Say 6 months and on.
But how do you teach a child of this age?
Ellen White recommends using nature as the child’s classroom. Plants. Animals. Trees. And so on.
So I decided to start taking my son for daily walks. Morning and evening. To educate him about other creatures in the world.
Good for us, our neighborhood has a lot of trees and plants. And animals too – dogs, fowls, birds, goats, lizards, snails, squirrels, cats, rats, and (what am I missing). Mostly these.
As we walk on the streets, I’ll show him the animals and plants. And tell him that God made them. And made him too. We’d use songs and rhymes. To make it stick.
Now tell me how he won’t get it.
Lessons in Child Guidance for Parents
• Train Your Child Early
In Child Guidance, Ellen White emphasizes the need for parents to start educating their kids from an early age.
Don’t wait till they’re toddlers or older than 3. And don’t delay with helping them imbibe virtues such as patience and self-control.
When your child knows that he can’t throw tantrums because he’s hungry, he’ll learn to wait patiently while you prepare his food.
Quoting Ellen G White on Child Guidance page 17, “Teach your children to be kind and patient. Teach them to be thoughtful of others.”
When your child knows that the world doesn’t revolve around them alone, they develop a sense of sharing and caring for others.
• Use the Bible and Nature as Your Textbooks
When you decide to train your kids early, you might worry about how to go about it.
What child guidance resources do you use?
Do you need a “baby textbook” or something of that sort?
As Ellen White puts it on page 43, “Teach your children that the commandments of God must become the rule of their life.”
On that same page, she encourages parents “to teach their children lessons from the Bible, making them so simple that they can readily be understood.”
By emphasizing the importance of the Bible, Ellen White shows how broad the Bible is for life. It’s a great book for everything.
She even adds that Jesus learned from the Scriptures and nature.
Talking about nature, she says on page 48, “The little children should come especially close to nature.”
“Instead of putting fashion’s shackles upon them, let them be free like the lambs, to play in the sweet, fresh sunlight.”
After I read this, I began to take my son out more often. Even if it’s just within our home.
Once I saw a snail, and I bent to the ground and explained to him how slow a creature it is.
We watched the snail move for about 10 minutes or so. And I explained to him how the same God who made and loves him is the same God who made the snail.
Well…did he understand? I don’t know. But I know it’ll make better sense someday.
And best of all – even Christ loved nature and taught lessons using the natural world.
You remember Matthew 5 where he talked about the lilies of the field and how we shouldn’t worry about food, water or clothing.
So teach your kids with nature and the Bible.
• Depend on God, not Yourself
It’s so easy to think that we have to do it all by ourselves.
Even when my husband helps with my son’s laundries or cleans up his toys before bedtime, I still sometimes feel overwhelmed.
And ask myself if I’m doing everything right.
But here’s the truth: If we lean on ourselves, we’ll never truly be sufficient. Never good enough.
But we’re not alone. On Child Guidance page 64, Ellen White says, “God alone is their sufficiency, and if they leave Him out of the question, seeking not His aid and counsel, hopeless indeed is their task.”
“But by prayer, by study of the Bible, and by earnest zeal on their part, they may succeed nobly in this important duty, and be repaid a hundredfold for all their time and care….”
No doubt, in God, we have all the wisdom we need to be great parents.
As parents, it falls on us to seek his help for them. We can’t parent with our own wisdom.
Professional Deficiency in Parenting
Ellen G. White goes further to talk about mothers who don’t know how grave the responsibility of motherhood and parenting is.
She states on page 63, “They may be qualified to conduct business or to shine in society; they may have made creditable attainments in literature and science; but of the training of a child they have little knowledge….”
And she adds the remedy below:
“Before taking upon themselves the possibilities of fatherhood and motherhood, men and women should become acquainted with the laws of physical development—with physiology and hygiene, with the bearing of prenatal influences, with the laws of heredity, sanitation, dress, exercise, and the treatment of disease; they should also understand the laws of mental development and moral training….”
This may sound overwhelming. But I think her goal is to help us parents see what really lies ahead of us.
For me, it’s a major call to duty. And I was a bit threatened when I read this line on page 64:
“To assume the responsibilities of parenthood without such preparation is a sin.”
I wish she were alive today to explain this to me.
But I quite agree with her.
Because any parent who is clueless about what it is to shape another human being is committing a crime.
What do you think?
In all, in Child Guidance Chapter 8, Ellen White focuses on preparation for parenting. Steps to take. Things to do. How to learn.
I’m just on Chapter 9, so let’s stop here for now.
The Bottom Line
Being a mother or father is one of the sweetest blessings in life. And it could be daunting and frightening at times. No doubt.
But with the lessons in this amazing Christian parenting book, Ellen G. White shows you that you can do it.
I’ve just read 73 pages of Child Guidance, but I’ve learned so much.
Which I’m living out with my son. And I’m sure I’ll learn more to share with him and his sibling after him.
Finally, I leave you with the greatest lesson of all:
“By prayer you may gain an experience that will make your ministry for your children a perfect success.”
So go on your knees in your corner. Pour out your heart to God. Listen carefully to the whispers.
And trust that He’s holding your hand as you train your kids. You are never alone. And the host of heaven is parenting with you!
Would you love to read a copy of Child Guidance by Ellen G White?
Besides the fact that I love poetry (you’ll find many of them on my other site, https://arrowbird.wordpress.com), I love the way love is described in this book.
In fact, my best part of Song of Solomon is the verse in chapter 6 verse 3: “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.” And I found this verse very instrumental when planning my wedding in 2018.
So I agree. The book of Revelation isn’t the first book anyone might want to turn to.
I won’t deny the fact that, sometimes, I also get lazy in my walk as a Christian. At other times, I feel tempted to just damn all odds and get down into the dirt and do the dirty stuff.
But then, I remember Christ’s instructions to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” in Matthew 28:19-20.
And then, I say to myself, “I’ve got an assignment to accomplish.”
But without the true understanding of the Scriptures, especially the Book of Revelation (and Daniel), I might never get the real picture.
And it’s the same with every Christian out there.
Christianity wouldn’t make so much sense if we didn’t know what our stories really look like.
So, I invite you to join me as I attempt this Book of Revelation summary. You can equally consider this post as a “Book of Revelation for dummies.”
Because I’ve tried to clarify the figurative terms and symbols for easier understanding.
Why You Need the Right Attitude for Discovering the Truth
When trying to understand the Book of Revelation, you might come across all forms of explanations and resources.
As a matter of fact, when you search for the Book of Revelation online, you’ll get many search results. But only the right perspective will guide you to the true meaning you seek.
The truth is: a lot of people are trying to decode the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John, the Apostle.
Go on YouTube. You’d find videos on the Revelation movie trailer and the Book of Revelation explained in 5 minutes or so.
We can’t hide from the fact that some of these discussions have some truth in them. Yet, we also should remember that nothing is as uplifting as discovering something for yourself.
Do you remember Thomas in the Bible? He was one of the followers of Christ, and one of those who saw Christ after the resurrection.
Because of his need to confirm that Christ truly resurrected, Jesus showed him the holes that the nails had made in his hands.
Well, inasmuch as that’s an exact example of how it’s better to believe without necessarily seeing, I’d like to borrow the Thomas idea.
When it comes to the Bible, the Book of Revelation specifically, you need to see for yourself. You need to study to discover why this book of the Bible is known as “the apocalyptic book of Revelation.”
The Book of Figurative Language
Is the Book of Revelation literal or figurative?
The first thing to know when studying the Book of Revelation is that this book of the Bible isn’t literal. It’s mostly a figurative book.
And as a graduate of English, I can tell you that the symbols of this book, if taken on the surface level, will put you in so much trouble.
Not literal trouble now. But just a major mental torture that will leave you feeling confused, disappointed, and angry with yourself. For even trying to start to understand Revelation.
Let me try to illustrate this.
I remember “Ambush,” a poem by Professor Gbemisola Adeoti. He’s one of the amazing lecturers in the Faculty of Art, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. The four-stanza poem decried the political space in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
The poem was filled with words and phrases such as “the land,” “fishers,” “blue peters,” “dusk,” “giant whale,” “sabre-toothed tiger,” “giant hawk,” and more.
I recall teaching some students in Ado-Ekiti between 2016 and 2017. And I told them that taking such metaphors at surface level won’t help them get the true meaning of the poem.
Those words referred mostly to oppressive leaders and their seemingly powerless and helpless citizens.
So that’s it about the poem. You’ll find out more about Professor Gbemisola Adeoti in this post on Medium by my friend, Rahaman Abiola.
Let’s get back to the Book of Revelation.
From the first to the last chapter (22) of this book, you’ll find symbols, numbers with extra meanings, and ideas that refer to things that don’t match what you necessarily know.
When you come across this, keep an open mind.
The Book of Revelation: The Basics
Below, I provide a brief list of the meanings of symbols we find in the Book of Revelation. And I must say here that I’m grateful for my life as a Seventh-day Adventist.
I’m not trying to sell this church to you.
However, I admit that my number one reason for sticking to this faith (since childhood) is the fact that members are taught to search the Scriptures for themselves.
The Bible is yours for the digging and studying.
Nobody shoves any doctrine down your throat. It’s true that some people have found the truth too challenging to accept, and they’ve left the church.
But for me, it’s not about just being an SDA. It’s about being a true Christian that searches the Scriptures with my own eyes, hands, and mind.
And since I’ve found this truth in this faith, I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.
As a result of the great knowledge I have gathered from the studies, I have chosen to share what I know.
I won’t lie that I know it all already or that I don’t still have some questions.
All I know for now is that I know some things. And I’m ready to share them. Who knows, I might just be helping someone. Or I might get more insight myself.
That said, here’s the list of figures or symbols I earlier mentioned (adapted from a list used for Revelation Seminars).
List of Symbols and figurative Terms/Phrases
Angel – God’s messenger
Babylon – Confusion or false religious systems
Beast – Kingdom/political power
Bottomless pit – Chaotic and empty earth
Crown – Kings/Victory
Day – Actual year
Dragon – Satan
Book eating – Comprehending a message
Forehead – Mind
Harlot – False religious systems
Image – Look alike
Lamb – Jesus
Lord’s Day – The Sabbath
Mark – Seal of Approval/Disapproval
Seal – Mark of Approval/Disapproval
Serpent – Satan/Devil
Mountains – Political and/or religious powers
Red – Sin, Destruction
Seven Candlesticks – Seven churches
Seven Lamps – Jesus Christ
Sickle – Harvest at the end of the world
Testimony of Jesus – Gift of Prophecy
Pure woman – True church
Impure woman – Apostate church
Waters – Great number of people
Wine – Jesus blood of atonement/false teachings
A View of the Chapters of the Book of Revelation
The Revelation of Jesus Christ becomes easier to comprehend when you pay attention to the following:
This book was inspired just like other books of the Bible
You can only understand prophecies in the Bible by tracing history
Tracing the history of Christianity is a must if you would understand the future (popularly known as the end time)
Christ is the center of the Book of Revelation. Study it through His eyes
Don’t force the meanings or struggle hard to understand everything because there’s still some mystery to Revelation which our human mind cannot fully grasp now
An open mind, willing to learn, and eager to discover and accept the truth irrespective of its weight, is the only one that can truly appreciate what the Book of Revelation represents.
The Book of Revelation Chapter by Chapter Breakdown
With this background, I give you the book of Revelation in chronological order.
I’d also like to say that you can only fully grasp the symbols above by using this chapter summary:
· Chapter 1
God the Father tells Jesus to tell angels to tell John to tell the 7 churches in the Roman province of Asia which had the 7 Spirits (which is the Holy Spirit in all 7 churches) about their performance.
Jesus Christ spends most of this chapter giving John a good background of Himself as Savior, Redeemer, and Heavenly High Priest.
· Chapter 2
Jesus gives the message about Ephesus (which represents the Christians/church in AD 31-100, John’s time), Smyrna (the church in the post-colonial era of Christian persecution, before/around AD 303-313), Pergamos/Pergamum (around AD 313-538), and Thyatira (tradition-dominated Christianity, AD 538-1565).
· Chapter 3
In this chapter, Jesus continues talking about the churches.
He continues with Sardis (the Protestant church (nominal Christians) in the post-Reformation period, around 1565-1740), Philadelphia (period of the great Protestantism revival in Great Britain and America around 1740-1844), and Laodicea (the church post-1844 till present where Christians are filled with complacency and spiritual laziness).
The Next Stage of the Revelation
· Chapter 4
Then John goes into the spirit. He is shown heaven where 24 elders sit on 24 seats, 7 lamps which represent 7 spirits, and 4 beasts with 6 wings each worship God along with the elders on the 24 seats.
(A little diversion – Are you familiar with the common Christian worship song “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, honor, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for they pleasure, they are and were created.”? You’ll find this song in verse 11.)
· Chapter 5
In thischapter, there’s a scroll with 7 seals, and nobody on earth or in heaven (not even the angels) is worthy to open it.
Guess who alone can? Jesus!
And that’s because it was His blood who saved all humanity. All the thousands and thousands of angels, the 4 beasts, and the 24 elders worship Him.
· Chapter 6
Christ (the Lamb) begins to open the seven seals.
There are 4 horses with different colors – white, red, black, and pale (Death actually).
There is a destruction of the earth following the opening of the sixth seal. But we have a break before the seventh seal is opened.
· Chapter 7
God seals his people with his mark (which comes by accepting the death of Christ and the salvation he offers).
And their figurative number is 144,000, a representative number from all God’s people that stay faithful to the end and survive the tribulation.
· Chapter 8
Seven angels are given one trumpet each.
The first four angels sound their trumpets in this chapter and many strange things happen on earth.
· Chapter 9
In this chapter, the fifth and sixth angels sound their trumpets and several events occur.
The Arrival of Persecution
· Chapter 10
John is asked to take the little book which the seventh angel holds. He is told to chew and swallow it (and it is sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach).
When the angel says “there should be time no longer” in verse 6, he refers to AD 457 BC through AD 1844 (the 2,300 prophetic days which Daniel talked about in Daniel chapter 8:14)
· Chapter 11
We learn about the persecution of Christians for 1,260 years or 42 months (a time (which is actually a year which is the same as 360 days), times (360*2 = 720), and half a time (360/2 = 180)) which was from AD 538-1798.
· Chapter 12
John sees the war in heaven (not a military war, but a war of words) that involved the pregnant woman (the growing church), the red dragon (Satan, the Devil, symbol of pagan Rome), Michael, the fallen angels, and the persecution that lasted from AD 538-1798.
When the dragon couldn’t harm the woman, he attacked the remnant of her seed (the remaining Christians who stay faithful after 1798).
Activities of the Sea Beast, Earth Beast and the Dragon
· Chapter 13
John sees the sea beast with 7 heads, 10 horns, 10 crowns, and which got its power from the dragon (Satan).
The beast blasphemes for 42 months until it gets injured (42 months * 360 days which is 1,260 years – AD 538 (when the pope became the official church-state authority in the Western World) to AD 1798 when the French Revolution took the oppressive power from the Church and paralyzed it for a while.
Then John sees a second beast, an earth beast that looks innocent like a Christian but sounds like the dragon (Satan).
Both beasts work with the dragon to ensure that people on earth receive the mark of the beast (666, but is actually the falsehood which people believe and live by) or be killed.
· Chapter 14
Again, John sees the 144,000 wearing white robes and bearing the name of God the Father on their foreheads (their belief in the true God).
Next, he sees the three angels who give the distinct messages which Seventh-day Adventists emphasize with great strength and vigor.
First angel says (in summary) – Give God the worship due to Him because He created you, saved you, and will judge you.
The second angel says (in summary) – Babylon (the great city, Rome that deceived the world) is fallen because she made all countries believe her lies.
The third angel says (in summary) – If you accept the mark of the beast (believe the lies of the Roman Catholic Church system), you will receive God’s eternal punishment to burn till you no longer exist. And Christ and the angels would watch but not save you.
The Height of Chapter 14
When the angels complete their messages, John sees Christ come from the clouds.
And angels are told to harvest the earth (take the faithful Christians home and gather the condemned sinners into a winepress (which is the hell where they receive God’s wrath of heat and burning)).
The End of Time Torture that Affects Both the Saved and Lost
· Chapter 15
John sees 7 angels with 7 last plagues that will come on the earth around the time of the end.
The end is just after probation (a currently on-going period where your name is either written in the Book of life or not) and Jesus Christ is out of the temple (no longer interceding).
· Chapter 16
John hears a great voice that tells that angels to start pouring out their vials/plagues (disasters actually, just like the 10 disasters (water to blood, hails from heaven, death of firstborns, etc.) that happened in Egypt when the then Pharaoh was stubborn about allowing Moses to take the Israelites with him).
Angel 1 drops the plague of noisome and grievous sore on only those who are in the camp of the beast (people who accepted the falsehood and lies of the Roman Catholic Church system).
Angel 2 drops the plague of blood-like sea where the sea turns to the blood of a dead man.
Angel 3 drops the plague of blood-filled rivers and fountains of waters.
Angel 4 drops the plague ofscorching sun (which brings unbearable heat, adding to the torture of no water to drink); yet, the people affected remain stubborn, insulting God, and would not glorify Him because they no longer can.
Angel 5 drops the plague of darkness on the seat of the beast (the Vatican where the Pope resides). And the people there curse God because of their pain and sores.
Angel 6 drops the plague of dryness upon the River Euphrates in order to prepare the road for the kings of the East (the actual King of the East is Jesus Christ, who is going to come suddenly).
The Armageddon Battle
Just before Angel 7 pours out his vial, the place (which isn’t a real mountain but a period of time) called Armageddon is the scene of the last battle.
During this period, there’ll be an actual distinction between who is God’s and who is against him.
Angel 7 drops the plague of voices, thunders, lightnings, a great earthquake, and great hail from heaven which will destroy everything on earth.
The Judgment that Falls on Babylon
· Chapter 17
One of the seven angels who had poured the plagues (the disasters on earth) approaches John and shows him how Babylon will be destroyed. The angel describes Babylon as a “great whore” sitting on many waters (controlling the world population).
He further takes John into the wilderness where he sees the woman wearing purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls and holding a golden cup (Babylon or false church system that is the “Mother of the Lateran”, has fallen daughters (Protestant churches), persecuted and martyred saints, and has religious and political power) sitting on a beast with many names of blasphemy, and 7 heads and 10 horns.
The beast has a description (was, is, yet is) that looks like that of Christ (only the Devil does the counterfeit thing). 7 heads = 7 mountains the woman sits on (reminding us of the City of Seven Hills which Rome claims). 7 kings/kingdoms – Egypt (was), Assyria (was), Babylon (was), Media-Persia (was), Greece (was), Pagan Rome (is), and Papal Rome (yet to come as at the time John was shown the visions).
The angel talks about an eighth kingdom. But this eighth kingdom (the United States of America) is indirectly powered by the beast/ the seventh kingdom (the Roman Catholic Church system). Little wonder the angel says the seventh kingdom (Papal Rome) is the same as the eighth kingdom (the US).
Further, he adds that the 10 horns (kingdoms which succeed the divided nations of Europe) will initially fight with Babylon to attack God’s people. But when Christ defeats them, they will rise up against Babylon (Papal Rome) and fight back because she (the harlot, same as Babylon) deceived them into accepting lies and falsehood and can no longer protect them from the plagues.
The Real Face-off for the False Church System and its Crew
· Chapter 18
In this chapter, John gets a breakdown of the judgment that falls on Babylon, even though the voice from heaven appeals to some people (who may still have the opportunity to repent) to come out of Babylon (drop falsehood and accept the truth).
Babylon (the false church system) gets punished in one day (probably a year). Additionally, the entire chapter focuses on the lamentation of the destruction of Babylon.
Closing Celebration & the Final Showdown
· Chapter 19
John experiences the worship and adoration of Christ who has saved his people from the claws of the Devil. It is the marriage supper of the Lamb and the true church.
He again sees how Jesus defeats the false church and casts all of them and their followers into “the lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
· Chapter 20
Satan is tied to the earth (his prison, the bottomless pit which is hell, in actual fact) for 1,000 years while the saints are in heaven with Christ and the hosts of heaven.
With him on earth are the wicked dead who didn’t repent or lost the opportunity to make it to heaven. They are still dead. After the millennium (1,000 years of recovery for the saved and learning things you’ve always wanted to know about God), Christ is ready to bring the second earth and second heaven.
When Satan sees this, he gathers his followers one last time to defeat Christ and his angels. But he loses obviously. 1 Book (Book of Life) is opened and many books (records of works) are opened
However, the dead whose names are obviously not in the Book of Life are thrown into the lake of fire, with death, hell, and Satan to burn until they no longer exist.
New Beginnings after the Old Earth & Heaven
· Chapter 21
In this chapter, John watches the new (second) heaven and new earth. Jerusalem, the new city, comes out of heaven, and it has no guile of any form. All old things are past.
One of the angels who had poured the last plagues took him to the top of a “great and high mountain” so that he could get a good view of Jerusalem, the new earth.
The length, breadth, and height are equal. 12 gates have one distinct pearl (3 each on the North, West, South, East) (with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel), 12 angels at the gates, and wall with 12 foundations of 144 cubits (with the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb) and which was the measure of a man (as measured by the angel).
The city is pure gold (as transparent glass) and the foundations of the city’s wall are garnished with the following precious stones – jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolyte, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, and amethyst (following the order of first to twelfth).
The city has no sun, no moon, no candles, no closing of gates, no nights, and no temple. Christ and God the Father are maximum light. Besides, no evil can get into this new city.
The Conclusion of the Book of Revelation
· Chapter 22
The angel shows John the “pure river of life” and the “tree of life” which is in the middle of the street where the river flows (from the throne of God and that of Christ, the Lamb).
The tree produces 12 different types of fruits every month and the leaves of the tree are for “the healing of the nations.” The nations in this New Jerusalem will reign forever and ever (it’s not our business to find out how long since the Bible doesn’t say).
Then the angel reminds John that the things he had shown him were true about Christ, and Christ is coming “quickly.” John bows down to worship the angel but the angel tells him that they are “fellow servants” (those who obey and worship God).
Finally, the angel urges John not to close this Book of Revelation with a seal (leave it open, unlike the Book of Daniel) since “the time is at hand.”
To wrap it up, Jesus reminds John that He’s the one who has sent his angel to reveal all these things to him. Lastly, John closes the Book of Revelation by saying that nobody should add to or remove from this prophecy (else he will receive the plagues described in Revelation or lose his place in the holy city).
John, the Apostle: the Author Who Could Have Died
John, the Apostle was given one key message throughout the Book of Revelation in the Bible – the second coming of Christ is undeniable and closer. You cannot ignore this fact.
But what did John have to go through before receiving this Revelation?
From being thrown into a vat of boiling oil (and surviving miraculously) to being exiled on the Isle of Patmos in Greece, John didn’t have it easy.
He could have died the first time he was persecuted. But God spared his life. Perhaps, he had no idea that he was going to be shown the Revelation in this last book of the Bible (Book 66 in the whole Bible, and Book 27 in the New Testament).
John, the Apostle was the same disciple John (the brother of James, the son of Zebedee) who had been mending nets with his father and brother around the Sea of Galilee.
He was Jesus’s buddy, companion, and witness to other nations (after Christ resurrected and returned to his place in heaven).
Now, the Island/Isle of Patmos was the common place where the Romans dumped people who offended the authority. What do you think was John’s offense?
He was faithful to the truth that he preached in Asia. And when he wouldn’t keep quiet, he was dumped on a small piece of land, surrounded by water, and deadly creatures, of course.
Yet, on the Lord’s Day (the Sabbath), Christ came to John (on God’s instruction) and shared the entire content of the Book of Revelation with him.
Having to know this much before he died must have assured him that his “troubles” for Christ’s sake weren’t in vain.
I want to assume that he was a lonely, dying man who was bored and feeling dejected having been isolated.
What solace this revelation must have been.
It’s Okay if You Still Have Questions About the Book of Revelation
I know you’re most likely aware that writing is therapy. So writing all those details with amazement and some level of fear must have made John’s writing soothing.
By now, you might be tired of reading. Perhaps, I have even bored you with so many details. And you might still be puzzled. It’s okay.
Do you know how often I told (and asked) myself in the course of this writing “this is a lot,” “you need to rest,” “will they believe you?” “will this post get to as many people that need to see it?” “did you keep it as accurate as possible?” and so on.
Here’s one thing:
I spent about 3 months learning these lessons. And I’ve tried to put them into 5,000 words. How possible is that?
My goal has been to help you understand why you or other people think the Book of Revelation is “cryptic.”
In fact, some of the most popular questions you’ll find about the Revelation written by John include (but are not limited to) the following:
Who is John in the Book of Revelation?
What are the seven Seals in the Bible?
What are the four beasts in Revelation?
What is the Book of Revelation about?
Who wrote the Book of Revelation?
All these questions become less difficult when you begin to take steps to understand what Revelation is about.
Don’t just see this prophetic book as a book of history or a book about the future.
Consider the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ as a goal board to remind you of the things you should be doing now. As you await the unfolding of events and the coming of Christ.
My Final Thoughts
I must admit that I had no clear idea of what I was getting into when I decided to write this post about the Book of Revelation.
But I am happy I did. Because this is something I’ve been hoping I would do as a Christian, a writer, and a human being above all.
I owe it to you to share my time and knowledge.
Funny part, it’s not even my knowledge. I’ve only been privileged to learn under the right conditions and many of Ellen G. White books has helped me.
Now that you know the nitty-gritties of the Book of Revelation, what are you going to do with it?
Will you invite the Holy Spirit to be your study coach?
Are you willing to pick up your Bible and commence a study?
Will you seek out other people who have a better understanding of the Book of Revelation and the Book of Daniel?
Do you intend to share what you now know with others?
Will you possibly seek out the Book of Revelation novel/graphic novel for further clarity?
Are you convinced that being a Christian isn’t just a religious name?
Is a voice in your head telling you to come out of Babylon and refuse the mark of the beast before the time of the testing comes?
Will you allow the confusion and doubt you feel to bring you back to God?
I could go on and on with the questions. But there’s only so much I can say.
Overall, I hope sincerely that you will redefine your faith after reading this post about the Book of Revelation and ask for God’s help.
Ask Christ to show you where you can improve and how you can tell this account to the people in your own world.
For you, I have written this post. I don’t know all. I don’t want to stop learning. But I am committed to growing so I can help you grow.
Have you enjoyed this post? Please leave your comments if I missed anything.
Like the post so I know that it resonates. Share it with your friends and loved ones. So that the chain of truth doesn’t break.
And don’t forget to subscribe to receive my newest blog posts.
So, if you’re thinking, “what is Steps to Christ about,” read those posts. You’ll love them.
Now, when I ended my summary of Steps to Christ chapter 10, I realized the beauty of the Christian journey.
As a growing Christian, I look at my life daily. And say, “Adenike, are you sure you’re on track?”
Chapter of this book by EGW made it clear that you may never feel like you’re doing a lot. But keep going.
Just keep sharing your faith in those little ways. And you’ll receive the highest honor in due season.
As you read this final summary of Steps to Christ, remember that you aren’t alone. Just as you have steps to score an A in a course, these are the steps to Christianity.
Prayer, trust in God, and praises on your lips will keep you on course. Even when the doubts come.
Summary of Steps to Christ Chapter 11 – The Privilege of Prayer
· What is Prayer?
If you’ve been praying all your life, the answer to this question may come easily to you.
“Prayer is talking to God.”
But on Steps to Christ page 96, Ellen G. White defines prayer as, “the opening of the heart to God as to a friend.”
So think about how you talk to your friend. Maybe your best friend. There’s no formality or pretension.
You bare your heart without holding back. That’s what it means to pray to God.
But more than this, you don’t pray because you need God to come down and get involved in your situation. Rather, prayer lifts us to God as E. G. White says.
When we pray, we go beyond hearing from God through nature, His Spirit, or His Word.
We allow ourselves to pattern our lives after Christ. Still on Steps to Christ page 96, Ellen White talks about the prayer life of Christ.
“Jesus taught his disciples how to pray”, showing them how to “present their daily needs before God and to cast all their care upon Him.”
Even Christ himself prayed a lot when he was on earth. Ellen G. White says, “His humanity made prayer a necessity and a privilege.”
Which makes it important that we also pray. If Christ could pray to overcome temptations, why aren’t you praying?
As an individual, I’ve always copied David’s prayer style. “And David inquired of the Lord…”
Are you familiar with that line in the Bible?
I make it my routine to always ask God before I do anything. Many times, He responds.
And getting his thoughts on my actions give me a lot of peace. Although sometimes, I have questions. Yet, I trust Him still.
· How do you Pray?
Now that you know how important it is to pray, how do you pray?
For a little more assurance, Ellen G. White says on Steps to Christ page 97, “our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little!”
She adds that angels love “communion with God.” But how come those of us who have the privilege of prayer pray so little?
Another thing is that those who don’t pray are open to temptations and falling. Ellen G. White clarifies this by saying, “the darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray.”
When you don’t pray, you expose yourself to more trials that could bring you down. In fact, you could get off the path God designed for you.
This is why you should take note of the conditions in the following subheading. Find out the conditions you need to meet before God can answer your prayers.
Meeting these terms will give you more confidence when you pray.
· On What Conditions will God Hear Your Prayers?
In Steps to Christ The Privilege of Prayer, Ellen G. White highlights and discusses some prayer conditions. They include:
· Feel Your Need for God’s Help
Recently, my 6-month old has just begun to raise his arms to be carried.
As a Yoruba woman, we have a common adage: omo to ba sipa ni iya ren gbe. It means: it’s the child who raises his arm to be carried that his mother will carry.
Let’s look at prayer from this angle. If you don’t feel a need for God’s help, why would you even pray to Him? You only have to feel like you need God to come to your rescue.
And everything else is history.
Ellen White says, “The heart must be open to the Spirit’s influence, or God’s blessings cannot be received.” Remember ASK – ASK – SEEK – KNOCK.
In essence, feel your need for God. And He’ll come through for you.
· Confess Your Sins
Think about this scenario.
Your closest friend lied to you about something you both were working on. And then, they ignore their error and ask you to loan them $1,000.
How eager would you be to help them?
You’d want them to tell the truth. And apologize for deceiving you. Before you can give them the loan.
The same applies to God.
Ellen G. White captures this succinctly.
“If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted.”
When you’ve sincerely asked God to pardon all your errors, you’ll have the confidence to ask Him for anything.
The third condition you need to meet before your prayers can be answered is faith.
Without mincing words, Ellen White quotes Mark 11:24.
“What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that you receive them, and ye shall have them.”
When you pray, simply trust that the Lord has heard.
It takes a lot of faith to await the answers to your prayers. But it’s what we must do.
And this doesn’t mean that you’ll get everything at the exact time you want it.
For example, I had planned and prayed to get married in December 2017.
Well, it took exactly another year for that prayer to get answered. I got married in December 2018. And we have our charming son.
What’s my point?
Trust God still, even when your answers don’t come immediately. Nonetheless, there are times when we seek things that God doesn’t want for us. Ellen G. White on Steps to Christ page 99 describes us as “shortsighted.” Especially when we ask for things that will ruin us. Since God knows better, He won’t give you things that’ll hurt you.
Trust God’s judgment. Keep your heart pure. Forgive others. And persevere in prayer. Ellen White calls this, “a condition of receiving.”
Finally, remember to trust God’s Word. Don’t go about presuming that your prayer will always be answered in the same form you want it.
Pray with family. Friends. Other believers. And more importantly, pray alone. In your closet. God doesn’t need a special space to grant your requests.
Summary of Steps to Christ Chapter 12 – What to Do with Doubt
· What does Doubt Look Like?
As far as I know, doubt is “maybe” and “maybe not.”
It’s that thing that makes your feet go from standing firmly to wobbling and staggering.
Every Christian experiences them at some point.
Especially when you’re new to the faith. Little wonder Ellen G. White begins Steps to Christ chapter 12 with, “Many, especially those who are young in the Christian life, are at times troubled with the suggestions of skepticisms.”
What do you do when those thoughts come into your head?
Did Christ really come?
Is He truly going to return the second time?
What if this whole Christianity thing is just a book of fiction?
Here’s the deal:
God doesn’t expect you to swallow all of these without thinking. To help you believe, God gives “sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith.”
Again, EG White adds, “our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration.”
Why then do we doubt if we have almost all the answers?
· Why do We Doubt?
Some of the main reasons Ellen G. White gives for our doubts include:
Wanting to know everything
Not being able to comprehend the mystery of His providence
The limitation of the human reasoning
The love of sin
Well, these reasons may seem straight and concise.
But the reality remains that our finite minds cannot “fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One.”
That’s the way it’s meant to be. There are just some things we may never understand. Like how the baby grows in the mother’s womb.
Science has tried to explain this and many other mysteries. But they still haven’t given all the answers.
From Bible history, we know the world is still younger than 7,000 years old. Yet, there seems to be so much beauty. And so much ruin.
Which makes me wonder sometimes:
How will everything become beautiful again?
Or do you ever wonder about how Mary got pregnant with baby Jesus? If Joseph hadn’t ‘known her,’ how did conception occur?
But of course, the answers aren’t up to us.
Don’t bother your mind with those things that seem difficult to understand.
Ellen G. White encourages us thus, “But we have no reason to doubt God’s word because we cannot understand the mystery of His providence.”
Take what the Scripture has given you. And leave the rest.
· How Can You Deal with Doubt?
Sometimes, when you deal with doubt, you may need to find answers.
And some of the answers you need are available in the Bible.
Hence, the first most important step to dealing with doubt is to search the scriptures.
Ellen White says, “God desires man to exercise his reasoning powers; and the study of the Bible will strengthen and elevate the mind as no other study can.”
If you seek to understand, God will make things clearer for you. Daniel is an example of an eager human who got answers for wanting to know more.
But it’s vital that you also leave your ego behind when you study. Don’t let reason rule your understanding.
Seek to learn with a spirit of humility and obedience. And shirk the desire to argue your way around God’s word. Let the word speak clearly and correctly.
Finally, experience God for yourself. EG White makes this clear when she says, “Instead of depending on the word of another, we are to taste for ourselves.”
Furthermore, she says on Steps to Christ page 114, “We may have the witness in ourselves that the Bible is true, that Christ is the Son of God. We know that we are not following cunningly devised fables.”
Overall, the loudest message here is:
To deal with doubt, dig for yourself. Find out for yourself what the word really says.
Don’t take anybody’s word for it. And learn to come to God with an open, humble, and willing heart.
You’ll understand it all when the time is right.
Summary of Steps to Christ Chapter 13 – Rejoicing in the Lord
Let’s look briefly at the Steps to Christ chapter 13 summary.
· Is Your Christian Life a Love Letter Worth Reading?
In this concluding chapter of Steps to Christ, Ellen G. White talks about the Christian attitude.
What should your attitude be after confession, forgiveness, and consecration? How should you behave as you grow in Christ and enjoy the privilege of prayer? What aura should you carry as you learn how to deal with doubt and share your faith?
In simple words, Ellen White calls Christians “representatives of Christ.”
To further make this point, she adds, “In every one of His children, Jesus sends a letter to the world.”
In you, Christ sends a letter to your family, neighbor, and colleagues at work. More than that, he wants your community or country to read you and know Him.
The big question, however, is: are you a love letter worth reading?
Letters may not be so common these days. We’re in the world of email marketing. And communicating with posts and tweets.
So imagine your life was an email. What would the open rate be for people who come in contact with you?
Would they click you into the ‘trash can’? Or hit the ‘favorite icon’ to keep you as important?
What’s the message here?
“Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven.”
“If we do represent Christ, we shall make His service appear attractive, as it really is.”
But how many people think of Christianity as ‘attractive’?
With so many Christians looking sad and dull-faced, it’s almost impossible to claim that sharing our faith is naturally attractive.
Back in the university, I saw all kinds of Christians. From the rock-excited Christians to the ever-sorrowful looking ones.
And I never understood the sorrowful demeanor.
But Ellen G. White attributes “despondency” to Satan. Who loves to see us distrust God and take His word with a pinch of salt.
· Lessons from Ellen G. White’s Dream about the Garden
What are the lessons from this dream?
Don’t focus on the bad things in your life.
Thank God for your victories.
Keep doubt far from you.
Share your victories not your pains with others.
Fill your lips with praise.
Let your thoughts be filled with Christ’s love for you.
“We should not allow the perplexities and worries of everyday life to fret the mind and cloud the brow.”
Concluding the Summary of Steps to Christ
We’ve finally come to the end of Ellen G. White’s Steps to Christ summary.
I’m super excited to have shared these lessons with you. No doubt, these steps to Christian growth are invaluable.
Not everything is as easy as it appears. But remember that you can do all things because Christ gives you strength.
I’ll leave you with these final words from Steps to Christ page 123.
Thanks for reviewing Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White with me. My next review is Child Guidance – an Ellen G. White book on parenting your kids with heaven in view.
Do you need an education copywriter to provide reviews of books you love? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. And we’ll create a powerful book review together.
Start with “I am” or “You are”, as the case may be.
Use emotional words or positive adjectives like happy, strong, healthy, lively, powerful, intelligent, loved, gifted, responsible, and more.
Keep the positive quotes short.
Add adverbs to clarify the scope of the positive word. Take for example intelligence. You can write, “I am absolutely intelligent.” This creates the impression of fullness.
Use exclamation marks for emphasis. For example, Duolingo uses “Awesome!” and “Nice!”
Write the positive affirmations with colorful and stylish fonts to make them stand out.
Transform negative self-talk into positive affirmations. For example, instead of “I’m so bad at this,” say, “I will learn until I become good at this.”
Customize the affirmations to fit your needs. What this means is that if your learning needs are weight loss-related, you should use positive affirmations to lose weight. Are you looking to learn English? Work with positive affirmations for learning English.
But is really nothing you can do to extend a hand of love? Of faith? Of hope?
Sometime last month, I asked the Lord to bless my family with a family in the neighborhood who we could reach out to.
My husband and I had been following the COCID-19 news. And we’d read reports of people contributing millions and billions to nations around the world.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that I could also give something to someone around my home.
And in a few hours, my prayer was answered.
We got in touch with a family who barely had food in their home. And had no way of buying any supplies.
Without leaving our home, we contacted one of the stores in the area. And made our order.
For me, that was our little way of reaching out to someone during the pandemic.
That was sharing my faith. Without traveling a thousand miles. And God blessed us for it. That same day!
Let’s look at what Ellen G. White says about ‘the Work and the Life’ in Steps to Christ.
Don’t Hide Your Light
“When the love of Christ is enshrined in the heart, like sweet fragrance it cannot be hidden.”
In chapter 9 of Steps to Christ, E.G. White uses the imagery of flowers and a spring to explain how the Christian life influences others. When you accept Christ, you’ll desire to uplift others.
You’ll be sympathetic to others. More than that, you’ll express empathy and love toward everyone God created.
No racial discrimination. No partiality.
Ellen White further describes the life of Christ as one of sacrifice and reaching out to others. “Self and self-interest had no part in His labor.”
You just can’t afford to live for yourself alone.
“No sooner does one come to Christ than there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart.”
When you’ve experienced the love and goodness of Christ, you’ll be eager to tell someone about it.
More than that, you’ll want to show them how they can experience the same light.
For instance, I train people who want to take the IELTS test. And in 2019, I had the most referrals.
How did this happen?
Two of the doctors I taught had taken the test four to five times before they met me.
But by God’s grace, I trained them successfully. They took the test. And they had their desired IELTS band score. Read their IELTS reviews here.
And that was the beginning of everything.
They kept on recommending me to other doctors. My cup got full and running over.
What’s my point?
In Ellen G. White’s words, “And the effort to bless others will react in blessings upon ourselves.”
When we bring hope to others, we’ll receive “the highest honor.”
Being a Christian is Being Selfless
Your name is your identity. And whether or not you like your name, you’re known for it. That’s what matters.
As a Christian, your identity is “selfless.” In Steps to Christ Ellen White calls this “unselfish ministry.”
Choosing to partner with God to broadcast salvation and hope is a big business. It takes going off the regular path. And standing apart from the crowd.
Back in his day, Jesus pulled a great crowd. Those who needed him.
But among those who saw him as a threat, he was a rival. An intruder. An outlaw.
But that didn’t make him any lower than who he was.
The same applies to you.
E.G. White says on page 82 of Steps to Christ, “If you will go to work as Christ designs that His disciples shall, and win souls for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in the divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness.”
And this means doing the work with all your heart. Selflessly.
Otherwise, you’ll lose your identity.
Imagine if you were just a Christian by name. Just a church-goer. No witnessing. No sharing your faith.
Just praying for your needs and those of your immediate family.
Would you grow?
In chapter 9 of Steps to Christ, Ellen White compares the Christian life to exercise. “Strength comes by exercise; activity is the very condition of life.”
As a copywriter, I get to write on several niches, but mainly education.
Passive Christians just eat for themselves. And gain so “much weight.”
Ellen G. White calls this, “degeneration and decay.”
Should You Travel a Thousand Miles to Share Your Faith?
In addition to the earlier point, Ellen White believes the Christian life depends on activity.
A more interesting description is what you’ll find on page 83:
“A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers not only fails to grow up in Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had.”
Now, you’re probably wondering:
‘What am I supposed to do? Travel to countries like Italy, the US, and Spain where the coronavirus cases are high?’
No. You don’t have to leave your home or neighborhood.
Ellen White suggests, “We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ.”
She again adds, “We can do this in the home circle, in the church, among those with whom we associate, and with whom we do business.”
This is exactly why I’m taking advantage of my copywriting brand – to reach out to you.
She also quotes 1 Corinthians 7:24 to emphasize the point about spreading the word to those you associate with.
“The businessman may conduct his business in a way that will glorify his Master because of his fidelity. If he is a true follower of Christ he will carry his religion into everything that is done and reveal to men the spirit of Christ.”
“The mechanic may be a diligent and faithful representative of Him who toiled in the lowly walks of life among the hills of Galilee.”
Share Your Faith in Your Field
Irrespective of your profession or career, seize the day. Take the opportunity to share your faith. Don’t wait for a special moment.
“You are not to wait for great occasions or to expect extraordinary abilities before you go to work for God.”
“You need not have a thought of what the world will think of you.”
I know that feeling. Where you feel ‘what are they going to say? Won’t they avoid me?’
Let me share my truth with you.
I often believe people will cringe when I share my faith.
But what I’ve always found is: I gain more attention when I share my faith than when I share anything else.
I still marvel at how this happens.
But I know it must be God. Because he works in mysterious ways.
In closing chapter 9 of Steps to Christ, Ellen G. White says, “the humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others.”
You may not feel like you “are doing any special good.”
And you may never know “the blessed results” “until the day of final reward.”
Also, you may not “feel or know that” you are “doing anything great.”
Don’t even stress your head about whether that person will give their life to Christ eventually.
You only have to “go forward quietly”. And your “life will not be in vain.”
Chapter 10: A Knowledge of God
How did you come to know God?
Through nature? His Word? Someone’s testimony? A life-changing experience?
Or something else?
Ellen White tells us in Chapter 10 of Steps to Christ that the above are some of the ways God reveals himself to us.
“Nature speaks to our sense without ceasing.”
“The trees, the birds, the flowers of the valleys, the hills…were all linked with the words of truth, that His lessons might thus be often recalled to mind, even amid the busy cares of man’s life of toil.”
Yes, the world is at a crossroads now. But it’s not the end just yet. It isn’t.
So trust your life into God’s hands. Let the anxieties “be left in the hands of God.”
Ellen G. White says He “is not perplexed by the multiplicity of cares, or overwhelmed by their weight.”
The Present World and the World to Come
As you look around you and learn from nature, how do you think about the new heavens and new earth?
I’ve always tried to imagine the streets of gold and the walls of the New Jerusalem.
But I never get the best of my imagination. And it’s okay if you have the same experience.
On page 89 of Steps to Christ, Ellen White quotes 1 Corinthians 2:9 where Paul says, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
So it’s fine if you can’t picture the world to come. Hardly can we even imagine our earth well enough.
Ellen G. White goes a little further to compare poets, naturalists, and Christians.
While the first two can say specific things about seas, hills, and tress, only the Christian “enjoys the beauty of the earth with the highest appreciation, because he recognizes his Father’s handiwork and perceives His love in flower and shrub and tree.”
What’s the point?
Our imagination is limited. So nature can’t give us the full knowledge of God that we need.
What can we turn to?
You can Know God through the Holy Spirit
Another way through which we learn of God is the Holy Spirit.
E. G. White says in Steps to Christ we get to know more about God through “the influence of His Spirit upon the heart.”
This couldn’t be truer.
I’ve had times when I needed guidance to make certain decisions. And I heard certain ‘whispers’ telling me what to do.
It became really frequent. And I knew I was being guided because the results were paying off so well. As God would plan, I believed.
You may hear those whispers too. But you’ve probably not paid much attention to them.
Ellen White encourages us saying, “we may find lessons if our hearts are open to discern them.”
Which means that your hearts need to be open and eager. To know God through His Holy Spirit.
But the best of God comes through His Word. And that’s what I’ll be looking at in the next lines.
And the same thing applies to the knowledge of God.
Ellen White in chapter 10 of Steps to Christ says God’s word reveals “His character,” “His dealings with men, and the great work of redemption.”
More than this, we get to read the story of other Christians before us.
For instance, we learn about the story of Joseph, Paul, Saul, David, Solomon, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Ruth, Rahab, and Hadassah (Esther) among others.
When we read their stories of faith and change, we learn that they weren’t any different from us.
We struggle with addictions, poor health choices, and peer pressure in our day. Also, we deal with discouragement, pessimism, and temptations.
E. G. White says, “We see how they struggled through discouragements like our own, how they fell under temptation as we have done, and yet took heart again and conquered through the grace of God; and, beholding, we are encouraged in our striving after righteousness.”
Apart from these stories, we get to know more about Christ.
Jesus said of the Bible, “They are they which testify of Me.”
The entire Bible – Old and New testaments – are about Christ, she admits.
“If you would become acquainted with the Saviour, study the Holy Scriptures.”
She further uses Christ’s description of the Word – “the living water” and “the living bread.”
Think about the role that water and bread (food) play in our lives.
Without food and water, it’s impossible to stay alive. Maybe for a few days. But not forever.
In essence, “our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink; and as in the natural economy, so in the spiritual economy: it is what we meditate upon that will give tone and strength to our spiritual nature.”
Scholars and Novices Can Know God
Having established the value of God’s Word, let’s talk about those who can learn from it.
There’s the misconception that only the educated can understand God’s Word.
How true is this?
Ellen White in Steps to Christ page 92 says, “The Bible was not written for the scholar alone; on the contrary, it was designed for the common people.”
So whether you have a Ph.D. or a mere diploma, God’s Word is for you.
Studying it will bring you closer to God and His truths.
Moreover, you don’t need to feel like you need to know so much before you can grasp God’s Word.
And you don’t need to depend on anyone to tell you. The Word is open for you.
In this regard, E. G. White states “We should not take the testimony of any man as to what the Scriptures teach, but should study the Words of God for ourselves.”
Why take someone’s words when you can find out the truth for yourself?
“If we allow others to do our thinking, we shall have crippled energies and contracted abilities.”
Besides, “The mind will enlarge if it is employed in tracing out the relation of the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture and spiritual things with spiritual.”
How Studying God’s Word Boosts Your Intellect
When I was a little girl, one of my uncles would say, “If you spend 1 hour reading God’s word, you’ll have a better understanding of your school textbooks even if you spend just 15 minutes with them.”
I always found that difficult to believe.
Because I couldn’t see the connection between my agriculture assignment and the stories of the Bible.
However, over time, I came to see it differently.
Studying the Bible improves the intellect.
Your reasoning is sharpened.
And your mind can think in a broader light.
Ellen White supports this with this statement, “No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible.”
And she advises that you shouldn’t do a “hasty reading.”
Take your time. “Keep your Bible with you.”
Take advantage of any opportunity to learn a new verse and memorize it.
When you study, give “earnest attention” and be “prayerful.”
This doesn’t mean you still won’t struggle to understand some aspects of the Scriptures.
“Some portions of Scripture are indeed too plain to be misunderstood, but there are others whose meaning does not lie on the surface to be seen at a glance.”
Ellen G. White uses the illustration of a miner. A miner digs and digs the earth to find precious metals. If you’d get the hidden truths of God’s Word, dig deeper.
Such truths “are concealed from the view of the careless seeker.”
“Never should the Bible be studied without prayer.”
“Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance.”
“The Spirit of truth is the only effectual teacher of divine truth.”
Don’t study alone. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you.
The Take Home
When I started typing this review, I had no idea it’ll be this long.
I had hoped to review the final five chapters.
But I soon realized that there was so much I needed to share with you.
So I decided to break it here. And take the final three chapters of Steps to Christin another post.
How do you feel about learning your roles as a Christian?
In Ellen G. White’s words, “Put away all doubts; dismiss your fears.” (page 74)
On the same page, she adds, “If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will bring you off more than conqueror through Him that has loved you.”
In all, chapters 9 and 10 of Steps to Christ are a call to duty.
Are you ready to love as Christ loved?
As the world struggles to recover from COVID-19, figure out a way you can play your part. As a Christian.
And rest in God. He’ll keep you!
Don’t forget to share this post. And look out for the final review of Steps to Christ.
Are you looking for a reason to take the IELTS mock test?
Many people believe they can take the IELTS without much preparation. Some even say, “isn’t it just English?”
Imagine that you could pass the IELTS once. Without a second or third attempt.
Here’s the deal: taking sample tests before the main English test comes with several advantages. From discovering your strengths and weaknesses to boosting your eventual band score, a mock test is valuable.
This post will enlighten you on 6 key benefits of taking the IELTS Mock Test.
With a sample test, you’ll find out how well you understand each question type. And when this happens, you’ll know how to fix your flaws.
Let’s take an example. When you complete the IELTS Mock Test, you’ll receive your results in two days.
And the results include a question by question analysis. You’ll see the questions you got right, and those you missed.
As you go through the Mock test reports, and leverage the advice given, you’ll experience an improvement over time.
For instance, one of my previous learners took three mock tests before her actual IELTS test. While she got a band score of 6.5 in the Reading test, the second one increased to 7.0. And she had band 7.5 in the third mock test.
Her main IELTS test turned out impressive.
· Prepare for the Computer-based Test
Not many people know how the computer-based test works.
With the IELTS mock test, you can get familiar with this test option.
For instance, you’ll learn how to answer matching heading questions in the Reading component using the drag and drop option.
More than this, you’ll learn how to type fast and answer listening questions quickly.
Note, however, that the Speaking test in both the paper-based and computer-based tests are live tests. You’ll talk to an actual examiner.
But in the IELTS mock test conducted by takeIELTS.net, you get to answer recorded questions.
So you need a quiet space, good internet connection, and a functional headphone with microphone support.
· Determine your Strengths and Weaknesses
IELTS mock tests are like reflections. When you look at yourself in the mirror, you see your reflection.
These tests are like demos. They show you your strengths in all four skills. You’ll find out that you find the short answer questions in the Listening and Reading components come easy for you. Unlike multiple choice questions.
Equally, you’ll learn that matching headings’ questions prove somewhat difficult. And you’ll discover other problems you may have – time management, reading fast, or typing with speed.
Taking the IELTS mock test will keep you motivated.
One test (in the full 2 hours 45 minutes) will keep you on your toes. And help you stay interested in the test.
When the coronavirus pandemic is passed, you may have too many things to attend to. Thus, you won’t have so much time for IELTS preparation.
So taking a mock test now will keep you on top of your game. Plus, you can take several tests until you have turned your weaknesses into strengths.
· Practice with an Examiner’s Guidance
Finally, with the aid of an examiner, you can boost your IELTS test score. And that’s why you need an IELTS mock test.
Let’s use takeIELTS.net as an example.
All mock tests are assessed by certified IELTS examiners. Watch this video to find out how the online mock test works.
What this means is that your result is marked by people who know what the standards are. That’s why, with your result, you receive an examiner’s feedback on every component.
The feedback tells you what you did right. But more than that, it tells what your limitations are.
And you get suggestions for fixing those problems.
One of my past learners took advantage of the examiner’s feedback in her first IELTS mock test. She leveraged them in the second and third tests. And she saw positive results.
Which made it possible for her to pass her main IELTS test once.
Overall, taking the IELTS Mock test has several upsides.
But you have to be willing to put in the time to get these benefits. While the world is on a temporary standstill due to COVID-19, consider taking an IELTS Mock test.
With takeIELTS.net, you can choose a mock test package that suits your budget and preference.
You’ll get your results in only two days. And you’ll improve your band score with the feedback from certified examiners.
Are you convinced and ready to take a mock test? With the coupon code ABabalola, you will get your test at a discounted price. And I’ll get a commission that helps me to keep providing my IELTS services.
Visit takeIELTS.net to learn more about the online IELTS mock tests.
Apart from monitoring coronavirus news too closely, excessively engaging on social media can go the wrong way.
We find that a lot of people now spend most of their time on the Internet. And this results in the spread of fake news. Or negative reports. At other times, you find exaggerated information.
Receiving and ‘swallowing’ such reports hook, line, and sinker can make you anxious.
No questions, you should connect with your loved ones. You should also check on friends and colleagues.
But it’s even more important that you mind what you watch, read or listen to. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, be mindful of the conversations you have. And the discussions you engage in.
We’re in sensitive times right now. And inasmuch as some people are cautious, we have others who only care about unleashing harmful jokes or gist.
For the sake of your baby, please stay clear of hurtful remarks or insensitive discussions. Save yourself the headache of having to deal with baseless and unhealthy talks.
· Reduced or no Visits to the Clinic for Prenatal Checks
Pregnant women in most parts of the world have been encouraged to stay home.
What this means is that every pregnant woman during the lockdown would be sitting at home. And imagining what her baby looks like.
It’s a lot to go through. Seriously. I remember when I was 6 months into my pregnancy last year. I couldn’t wait to do the next ultrasound scan. I was always eager to see what my baby looked like.
Well, I’m sorry you have to deal with something different. But the beauty of reduces prenatal checks is that you can keep yourself and your baby safe.
Staying home and well is preferable to going out and contracting the virus unknowingly.
It’s for your safety. And your baby.
But if there’s a need to visit the clinic, speak with your consultant or doctor.
For instance, I know of one pregnant woman who’s currently attending virtual antenatal clinics. Her doctor calls to know how she’s doing. If nothing is out of place, they tell her to remain home and keep doing all she knows to do.
However, another pregnant woman in my neighborhood goes to the hospital occasionally.
Not being able to talk to a doctor can be troubling to an extent. You may have questions that you need answer to. And if these answers aren’t forthcoming, you may become anxious.
Nonetheless, remember to stay positive about skipping antenatal clinics. If you’re home, safe and sound, you can trust that your baby also is.
· No Access to Good Food including Fruits and Vegetables
Another thing that could cause anxiety during the lockdown is food limitation.
So, it’s possible that you bought some food supplies before the lockdown. It’s been over 5 weeks now in this part of the world. In other parts, the social isolation is over 2 months.
Now, you may have run out of supplies. Including fruits and vegetables. Because of how important it is to take fruits and vegetables regularly, you may be bothered. Which is totally okay.
Eating a good range of fruits such as bananas, apples, watermelon, and avocado is great for your baby’s health. Also, combining cucumber, spinach, carrot, and other green veggies in a nice salad mix can boost your metabolism. And keep you looking fresh.
But you don’t have to feel so limited. If you have families who have trees in your neighborhood, you could approach them. And request a combination of fruits. Or vegetables.
For example, I ran out of fruits. And needed oranges so badly. I visited a neighbor who has several fruit trees planted in her compound. And made my request.
She was gracious enough to send fourteen medium-sized oranges to me. Through her son.
As soon as I received them, I washed them very carefully. And extracted some of the orange juice for my baby. He loves the juice.
So, what’s my point? Seek people in your neighborhood who can supply you fruits and vegetables. And if you run out of food, find a good time to get some. Or reach out to a local supply for home delivery.
What really matters is that you’re feeding well. For yourself, and your little one.
· Not Getting Enough Emotional and Physical Support at Home
Pregnant women need a lot of emotional support during the lockdown. And many may not be getting the kind of help and guidance that they seek.
Take for example a woman whose husband worked in another city before the lockdown. If he couldn’t come home due to traveling restrictions, it would mean that she’s all alone. By herself.
Such a reality can be painful. Because pregnant women need support. Encouragement. Love in a super big jar.
Now, if you don’t have your husband at home, try to communicate with him several times in the day. Or if you don’t feel like he’s emotionally supportive as you’d like, reach out to friends or other family members. Talk to someone that takes your fears away.
It’s vital that you can share your anxieties and thoughts with someone who’s ready to listen.
We live in devastating times. And we all need to stay strong. For one another. So, reach out to someone who strengthens you in a way.
And if what you really need is an extra hand – to cook, do the laundries, or reorganize your home – just take it slow. Don’t do anything that’ll hurt your back. Or put any pressure on yourself in the wrong way.
· Absence of the Zeal to take Your Prenatal Vitamins
Pregnancy vitamins can be a nightmare. And that’s because you have to take them daily.
As I approached my thirteenth week of pregnancy, I came face to face with my fear of medication.
I was supposed to swallow those prego pills for every single day till delivery. And after. I had Pregmum, calcium, and vitamin C. Seriously. It was super tiring.
Many times, my husband would plead, force, and threaten to get me to use them. Once, he was ready to buy me my favorite drink. Just to make me take the prenatal vitamins.
Here’s the thing:
You may not like those pills. But you need them. Your baby needs them to mature well. Without the daily dose of calcium and iron, for example, your child’s formation will be negatively impacted.
That’s not what you want.
So, even if you don’t feel motivated to swallow your meds, please try. Try.
You could fix a particular time of the day to take them. Just do your best. It’s going to be good enough in the long run.
· Questions and Doubts about the Health of Your Unborn
This final point is closely tied to the point about skipping antenatal visits.
Due to the frequent sitting down and reduced activity, your joints may not be as agile. Hence, you should try to increase your water intake.
Consider a water therapy. To boost your immune system. And get rid of any strange guys.
But more than that, taking up to 4 liters of water daily will strengthen you. And help to prevent urinary tract infection. Or other forms of diseases associated with poor elimination of body waste.
· Entertain Your Mind with Journaling
Journaling is a beautiful way to overcome anxiety during the lockdown. What makes it beautiful?
Writing in a journal is like writing a story. And nothing can be more fun than recording your pregnancy journey in a little book.
Reading it after your bay has come will bring you so much joy.
Just two months ago, I picked up my pregnancy journal. And I laughed at many of the things I wrote it in.
I started journaling a couple of days after I learned I was prego. For me, it was important to record the pregnancy experience. Not just because it was my first baby. But mainly because I wanted to be able to go back to the book. And relive those beautiful days.
Feel free to write whatever you want. Your fears. Hopes. Baby name suggestions. Anxieties. COVID-19 details for pregnant women and how it scared you. How your husband took care of you. Or upset you.
You could also write your questions. Doubts. Wishes. Dreams. Baby shopping plans. Baby room decoration ideas.
Anything. Just feel free to bare your thoughts on paper. It will entertain your mind. And keep you busy with something more relaxing than news about coronavirus.
She had used them and shared them with other pregnant women she knew.
I visited the website. And I wrote out all the verses into a small paper. Which I then folded neatly into my Bible.
Every day, before devotion with my hubby, I would read the exact bible passages. With my hands on my belly, I’d claim the promises for myself and my baby.
One of my best pregnancy Bible promises was Isaiah 66:9.
Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth?
Saith the LORD:
Shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb?
Saith thy God.
It was enough assurance that I was going to meet my baby. At the right time.
No questions, I had had fears about losing my little one. I had read news of pregnant women who lost their babies. At the beginning. Middle. Or close to delivery.
So, I was scared.
But these Bible readings calmed my nerves. And raised my faith.
I even went ahead to record an audio version of these bible promises for pregnant women. Which I even shared with a friend who was also pregnant at the time.
She had her baby girl four months after my son came.
Plus, you don’t have to be a Christian to love these promises. And find them valuable. The hope they speak knows no race, religion, or language.
· Boost Your Confidence with Expert Pregnancy Advice from BabyCenter
Finally, BabyCenter was my go-to pregnancy school.
And I never went wrong with them. The website and app taught me everything I needed to know about pregnancy. Even my husband and brother admitted that I was more informed than the average pregnant woman in our part of the world.
Now, this isn’t to say I was better. It’s only to emphasize the importance of this website.
Let me show you how it worked for me.
How BabyCenter Worked for Me
BabyCenter gave me November 22 as my EDD – it was correct. My ultrasound scan said November 20 or 24.
BabyCenter explained each stage of my pregnancy. Week by week. Month by month. Everything was apt.
When no one could explain why my baby was hiccupping in the womb – BabyCenter did. They had a good and clear explanation. And they calmed my fears.
The contraction timer on BabyCenter worked for me on the day my baby was born. From around 1 pm, I tracked my contractions with the timer. At around 4:30 pm, it was time to go to the hospital. Nothing was amiss. We weren’t too early. Or too late.
In the week following my son’s birth, BabyCenter explained the postnatal experience. The lochia. How to avoid or manage postnatal depression. What to do. How to dress my little one. When it was okay to resume lovemaking with my husband. And the baby poop gallery was a comfort. A big one.
Even after 5 months, I still consult my BabyCenter app for guidance. And the app still works with the precise age of my son. Around 4 months, my son had sleep regression. I was initially bothered. But when I found the answers on BabyCenter, I was reassured.
I recommended BabyCenter to my friend who gave birth four months after me. And it worked for her so well. She still uses the app.
What’s my point? BabyCenter isn’t your doctor or midwife. But it’s a great website to overcome anxiety during the lockdown.
And the app is so interactive and engaging. You’ll learn a lot more than you ever knew about pregnancy. In a simple manner too.
Final Thoughts on Pregnancy and Anxiety during COVID-19
In all, being anxious during the lockdown isn’t something we can explain away. It’s the reality for many pregnant women.
But the truth is you can overcome it. You can learn the triggers for your anxious moments. And you can take the suggestions I’ve shared.