Bible Study Guides – Knowing God’s Plan

December 30, 2012 – January 5, 2013

The Healthy Reformer

Key Text

“My son, attend to My words; incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20–22.

Study Help: God’s Amazing Grace, 202; The Faith I Live By, 296.


“All who will come to the Word of God for guidance, with humble, inquiring minds, determined to know the terms of salvation, will understand what saith the Scriptures. … The Lord will not speak to a mind that is unconcerned.” The Review and Herald, December 15, 1896.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23.

“The Saviour comes very near to those who consecrate themselves to God. If there was ever a time when we needed the working of the Spirit of God upon our hearts and lives it is now. Christ is speaking to each of us individually saying, ‘I am He that holdeth thy right hand. I am He that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forever more.’ There is a decided message to be borne to our people upon the question of health reform. Let us come into line that our prayers be not hindered. God cannot be glorified in the lives of ministers, who give up these principles of reform; but He will reveal Himself to every soul who will be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. We need now to arouse, and in all our schools follow closely the light that God has given on this question.” Backsliding in Health Reform, 4.


  • When seeking to know God’s will regarding any issue, what should we do? James 1:5, 6; John 5:39; Psalm 119:125.

Note: “Young men and young women will often be brought into positions where they are uncertain what to do. Their inclination leads them in one direction, and the Holy Spirit of God draws them in another direction. Satan presses his temptation upon them, and urges them to follow the inclinations of the natural heart. But those who desire to be true to Christ, will listen to the voice that says, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it’ [Isaiah 30:21]. They will decide to take the course of the righteous, although it is more difficult to pursue, more painful to follow, than the way of their own heart. … We need to receive divine wisdom in the daily concerns of life, in order that we may display sound judgment, and choose the safe path because it is the right one. He who acts upon his own judgment will follow the inclination of the natural heart; but he whose mind is opened to the word of God, will prayerfully consider every way of his feet, so that he may honor God and keep the way of the Lord. … He will realize that he belongs to God, soul, body, mind, and strength.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 19, 1895.

  • Through what other means does God speak to us besides His written word? Isaiah 30:21; Hebrews 3:7, 8; Revelation 3:20.

Note: “Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Spirit, God speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to Him. … Our minds may be drawn out toward Him; we may meditate upon His works, His mercies, His blessings; but this is not, in the fullest sense, communing with Him. In order to commune with God, we must have something to say to Him concerning our actual life.” Steps to Christ, 93.


  • What has God given specifically to instruct us in the right way? II Timothy 3:16.

Note: “The Bible teaches the whole will of God concerning us. [11 Timothy 3:16 quoted.] The teaching of this Word is exactly that needed in all circumstances in which we may be placed. It is a sufficient rule of faith and practice; for it is the voice of God speaking to the soul, giving the members of His family directions for keeping the heart with all diligence. If this word is studied—not merely read, but studied—it furnishes us with a storehouse of knowledge which enables us to improve every God-given endowment. It teaches us our obligation to use the faculties given us. Guided by its precepts, we may render obedience to God’s requirements.” The Review and Herald, December 15, 1896.

  • What agencies has God established in the church to impart instructions to His people? Ephesians 4:11–14 (cf II Corinthians 6:7; Revelation 19:10).

Note: “We must follow the directions given through the spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His Word. He has spoken to us through the testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 298.

  • How do we know that God has special light for each period of time in history? Proverbs 29:18; II Peter 1:12; Acts 2:17–20.

Note: “Those who today claim to have light, and who contradict the teaching of God’s ordained messengers who were working under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, those who get up new theories which remove the pillars of our faith, are not doing the will of God, but are bringing in fallacies of their own invention, which, if received, will cut the church away from the anchorage of truth, and set them drifting, drifting, to where they will receive any sophistries that may arise.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 247.


  • What is the basis of the theme of redemption? Matthew 1:21; Psalm 130:7, 8.

Note: “The Lord would have us value our souls according to the estimate—as far as we can comprehend it—that Christ has placed upon them. … Jesus died that He might redeem man from eternal ruin. Then we are to hold ourselves as property purchased. [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 quoted.] All our powers of mind and soul and body are the Lord’s. Our time belongs to Him. We are to place ourselves in the very best possible condition to do His service, keeping constantly in connection with Christ, and considering daily the costly sacrifice made for us that we should be made the righteousness of God in Him.” In Heavenly Places, 60.

  • What does redemption include? Romans 6:22, 23; Ephesians 2:5, 6.

Note: “Candidly and seriously we are to consider the question, Have we humbled ourselves before God, that the Holy Spirit may work through us with transforming power? As children of God, it is our privilege to be worked by His Spirit. When self is crucified, the Holy Spirit takes the brokenhearted ones, and makes them vessels unto honor. They are in His hands as clay in the hands of the potter. Jesus Christ will make such men and women superior in mental, physical, and moral power. The graces of the Spirit will give solidity to the character. They will exert an influence for good because Christ is abiding in the soul.” The Southern Review, December 5, 1899.

  • What transformation must take place in us if we want to be among the redeemed? I Thessalonians 5:23; II Peter 3:14.

Note: “ ‘Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price’ [1 Corinthians 6:19, 20]. Your physical and mental powers belong to God, and should be used in His service. There are souls to save; there is earnest work to be done for the Master; and half-hearted, indolent efforts will not be accepted.” The Signs of the Times, May 29, 1884.


  • How do we know that we are living in the last days? Matthew 24:3–14, 24–33. What is to take place in the heavenly sanctuary before the coming of Christ? Revelation 11:18, 19; I Peter 4:17.
  • What event in the history of Israel pointed to the Day of Judgment? Leviticus 16:30–34.
  • What instruction did God give His people for that day? Leviticus 23:28–32.
  • What specific instruction does God have for His people now? II Peter 3:11–14; Romans 13:11–14; James 4:7–10.

Note: “I [Ellen White] have been perplexed to know how we may help those who are doing their best to live and keep the commandments of God. God calls upon us to bind about our wants, to have a genuine experience in daily self-denial. Although we may not be compelled to restrict our appetites, we should show that we do not live to eat, but eat to live. God demands a complete consecration of ourselves, soul, body, and spirit, to His service. Time is precious; strength is precious; no member of the family should be overtaxed because of unnecessary labor, and thus be disqualified to serve God and to keep his or her soul in the love of God. The Lord demands that we shall live simply. Our diet is not to consist of expensive food, or of unnecessary dishes which require time and strength for preparation. It is profitable for us to consider the time in which we are living. We shall be called upon to engage in enterprises that will work for the salvation of the souls of men, women, and children. We must do this work in the spirit which Christ exercised in His mission, fulfilling the word, ‘Whosoever will come after me [follow in my footsteps], let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’ [Mark 8:34]. So shall he be my disciple.” The Home Missionary, December 1, 1894.


  • God gave Israel light and instruction. What did they do with them? Hebrews 3:10; Ezekiel 20:6–8, 13.
  • What was the root of their rejection? Hebrews 3:19.

Note: “Although the Lord gave Israel the greatest evidences of His favor, and upon condition of obedience, the rich promise that they should be to Him a peculiar people, a royal nation, yet because of their unbelief and disobedience He could not fulfill the promise. …

“Some profess Christianity year after year, and in some things appear to serve God, and yet they are far from Him. They give loose rein to appetite and passion, and follow their own unsanctified inclinations, loving pleasure and the applause of men more than God or His truth. But God reads the secrets of the heart. …

“The character is revealed by the works, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by the tendency of the habitual words and acts.” The Signs of the Times, March 27, 1884.

  • What is the difference between faith and presumption? James 1:21–25; 2:14.

Note: “Faith is in no sense allied to presumption. … For presumption is Satan’s counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God’s promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands. Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequences of their sin.” The Desire of Ages, 126.

  • If we have true faith in God, what will we do with His instructions? John 14:15; Deuteronomy 11:1; 26:17.


1 How does God guide us to know His will? Do I know how to be guided?

2 When studying the Word of God, what attitude do I have? Am I seeking the truth, that I may do it?

3 Once I understand God’s will, what response should I give?

4 What is included in the work of redemption for each person?

5 How does the fact that we are living in the time of the judgment affect the way we should live?

Who are the Sanctified?

“There are thousands, yes, millions, who are making a mistake in their religious life. They make religion a thing independent of their life, of their thoughts and words, and daily actions. Their religion is a delusion of the senses. Their ideas and principles presented as sanctification are deceitful workings. Some speak of hearing voices and of seeing sights of a supernatural character; but there is no sign in their daily course of action that the Spirit of God has wrought a change in the natural heart, for they are carnal, at enmity with God’s law, and neither love God nor obey His commandments.” The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1895.

© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.