Bible Study – God’s Love

October 22 – 28, 2023

Key Text

“In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 9–15


“What had Christ not done to win the hearts of Israel and to inspire them with unwavering confidence in Himself? For ages He had visited His people with manifestations of the most condescending kindness and unexampled love.” Counsels on Health, 455



1.a. Mention one of the characteristics of God’s love. Jeremiah 31:3

Note: “God would not have us remain pressed down by dumb sorrow, with sore and breaking hearts. He would have us look up and behold His dear face of love. The blessed Saviour stands by many whose eyes are so blinded by tears that they do not discern Him. He longs to clasp our hands, to have us look to Him in simple faith, permitting Him to guide us. His heart is open to our griefs, our sorrows, and our trials. He has loved us with an everlasting love and with lovingkindness compassed us about. We may keep the heart stayed upon Him and meditate upon His loving-kindness all the day. He will lift the soul above the daily sorrow and perplexity, into a realm of peace.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 12

1.b. What is the simplest definition of God’s love? 1 John 4:8, 16

Note: “The love that the Lord has for His children passeth knowledge. No science can define or explain it. No human wisdom can fathom it. The more we feel the influence of this love, the more meek and humble shall we be.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1141



2.a. How does Christ Himself describe God’s love? John 3:16, 17

Note: “If those who today are teaching the word of God, would uplift the cross of Christ higher and still higher, their ministry would be far more successful. If sinners can be led to give one earnest look at the cross, if they can obtain a full view of the crucified Saviour, they will realize the depth of God’s compassion and the sinfulness of sin.

“Christ’s death proves God’s great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father’s love, Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and accepts us in the Beloved.

“Without the cross, man could have no union with the Father. On it depends our every hope. From it shines the light of the Saviour’s love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy, for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain. Through the cross we learn that the heavenly Father loves us with a love that is infinite.” The Acts of the Apostles, 209, 210

2.b.        What evidence does John show to prove God’s love? 1 John 4:10; 3:1

Note: “When we study the divine character in the light of the cross we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God. We see a Father, infinite, dwelling in light unapproachable, yet receiving us to Himself through the merits of His Son. The cloud of vengeance that threatened only misery and despair, in the light reflected from the cross reveals the writing of God: Live, sinner, live! ye penitent, believing souls, live! I have paid a ransom.

“In the contemplation of Christ we linger on the shore of a love that is measureless. We endeavor to tell of this love, and language fails us. We consider His life on earth, His sacrifice for us, His work in heaven as our advocate, and the mansions He is preparing for those who love Him, and we can only exclaim, O the height and depth of the love of Christ!”
The Acts of the Apostles, 333, 334



3.a. When Moses begged to see God’s glory, what was the first and most important thing God revealed to him? Exodus 33:18, 19. What did He explain further? Verses 20–23

Note: “Never before had fallen man been thus favored of God. As He laid upon Moses the great work of leading His people through to the promised land, He condescended to manifest to him His glory as He never had to any others upon the earth.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1, 256

“Reach up higher and still higher for clearer views of the character of Christ. When Moses prayed, ‘I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory,’ the Lord did not rebuke him, but He granted his prayer. God declared to His servant: ‘I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee.’ We keep apart from God, and this is why we do not see the revealings of His power.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 652, 653

3.b.  What else did God reveal about Himself to Moses? Exodus 34:6, 7

3.c. How can God’s glory be revealed even in us? Romans 8:18

Note: “Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but thus they learn the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they can look beyond the gloom to the glory.” The Acts of the Apostles, 576, 577

“Study not how to please self. Lose sight of self, and behold the multitudes perishing in their sins. Gather to your souls the courage that can come only from the Light of the world. Forgetting self, help the many who are within reach around you. Talk faith, and your faith will increase. Cease lamenting. Work in Christ’s lines. With loving endeavor strive to please Him. His excellence will help you to be Christlike. Ever stand ready to lift up the hands that hang down, and to strengthen the feeble knees. Shine as lights in the world, attracting others by the brightness of Christ’s glory revealed through your good works.” The Signs of the Times, June 3, 1903



4.a.        What appeals to our heart as we consider God’s abundant mercy? Psalm 136

Note: “When selfishness is striving for the victory over you, bear in mind One who left the glorious courts of heaven and laid aside the robes of royalty for your sakes, becoming poor that through His poverty you might be made rich. Will you, then, disregard this great love and boundless mercy by refusing to be inconvenienced and to deny yourselves for His dear sake? Will you cling to the treasures of this life and neglect to aid in carrying forward the great work of truth?” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 120

4.b.     How is this great mercy further explained? Micah 7:18, 19

Note: “Jesus might have remained at His Father’s right hand, wearing His kingly crown and royal robes. But He chose to exchange all the riches, honor, and glory of heaven for the poverty of humanity, and His station of high command for the horrors of Gethsemane and the humiliation and agony of Calvary. He became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, that by His baptism of suffering and blood He might purify and redeem a guilty world.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 121

4.c. Why is God’s grace offered so freely? Romans 3:24–26; Titus 2:11; 3:4–7

Note: “The Lord saw our fallen condition; He saw our need of grace, and because He loved our souls, He has given us grace and peace. Grace means favor to one who is undeserving, to one who is lost. The fact that we are sinners, instead of shutting us away from the mercy and love of God, makes the exercise of His love to us a positive necessity in order that we may be saved.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 347

“The Lord has enriched the world with a gift so large, so valuable, that there is nothing more held in reserve to give. Christ has linked His interest with that of humanity, and He asks that humanity become one with Him for the saving of humanity. He took the nature of man, suffered the inconvenience that humanity is subject to, endured our temptations, and became a partaker of the sorrows, griefs, and disappointments of men. He united divinity with humanity, in order that humanity might become a partaker of the divine nature.” The Home Missionary, December 1, 1894



5.a.        How does God consider the time of ignorance? Acts 17:30

Note: “The days of ignorance God winked at. But increased light is shining; the light and privileges of understanding Bible truth are abundant, if workers will only open the eyes of their understanding. The truth must be diffusive. Foreign and home missions call for thorough Christian characters to engage in missionary enterprises. The missions in our cities at home and abroad call for men who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ, who will work as Christ worked.” The Review and Herald, June 14, 1887

5.b.        On the other hand, what is our duty before God and humanity after we have received the light of the truth? 1 John 1:7; John 12:35, 36

Note: “There is need of constant watchfulness, and of earnest, loving devotion; but these will come naturally when the soul is kept by the power of God through faith. We can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to commend ourselves to divine favor. We must not trust at all to ourselves nor to our good works; but when as erring, sinful beings we come to Christ, we may find rest in His love. God will accept every one that comes to Him trusting wholly in the merits of a crucified Saviour. Love springs up in the heart. There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there is an abiding, peaceful trust. Every burden is light; for the yoke which Christ imposes is easy. Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure. The path that before seemed shrouded in darkness becomes bright with beams from the Sun of Righteousness. This is walking in the light as Christ is in the light.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 353, 354



1    How would we define God’s love?

2    What was the greatest manifestation of God’s love?

3    What is God’s glory?

4    What is the only way sinners can be saved?

5    How can I know if I am walking in the light?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Brotherly Kindness (continued)

October 15 – 21, 2023

Key Text

“By purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love.” 2 Corinthians 6:6

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 211, 212, 230–233; The Acts of the Apostles, 255–268


“He [Paul] clung to the cross of Christ as his only guaranty of success. The love of the Saviour was the undying motive that upheld him in his conflicts with self and in his struggle against evil, as in the service of Christ he pressed forward against the unfriendliness of the world and the opposition of his enemies.” Gospel Workers, 61



1.a. How was Joseph treated at the hands of his brothers? Genesis 37:18–28

Note: “In an agony of terror he appealed to one and another of his brothers, but in vain.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 211

1.b. What should we learn from the way Joseph dealt with his brothers in spite of their past cruelties? Genesis 45:3–8

Note: “The life of Joseph illustrates the life of Christ. It was envy that moved the brothers of Joseph to sell him as a slave; they hoped to prevent him from becoming greater than themselves. And when he was carried to Egypt, they flattered themselves that they were to be no more troubled with his dreams, that they had removed all possibility of their fulfillment. But their own course was overruled by God to bring about the very event that they designed to hinder. So the Jewish priests and elders were jealous of Christ, fearing that He would attract the attention of the people from them. They put Him to death, to prevent Him from becoming king, but they were thus bringing about this very result.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 239



2.a. After the king of Syria had made plans against Israel, how did God intervene on behalf of His people? 2 Kings 6:8–12

Note: “On one occasion, during a Syrian invasion, the king of Syria sought to destroy Elisha because of his activity in apprising the king of Israel of the plans of the enemy. The Syrian king had taken counsel with his servants, saying, ‘In such and such a place shall be my camp.’ This plan was revealed by the Lord to Elisha.” Prophets and Kings, 255, 256

2.b. What did the king decide to do with Elisha? 2 Kings 6:13, 14

2.c. How did God intervene to protect His messenger? 2 Kings 6:15–20

Note: “ ‘The Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.’ Between the servant of God and the hosts of armed foemen was an encircling band of heavenly angels. They had come down in mighty power, not to destroy, not to exact homage, but to encamp round about and minister to the Lord’s weak and helpless ones.” Prophets and Kings, 256, 257

2.d. How did Elisha behave toward his enemies? 2 Kings 6:21–23

2.e. In what sense is Elisha’s attitude an added inspiration to those seeking to present the Elijah message of today? Romans 12:21

 Note: “ ‘In every age, the call of the hour is answered by the coming of the man. The Lord is gracious. He understands the situation. His will today is that for the present time the lamblike kindness of Elisha shall exceed the severity of Elijah. …

“ ‘Elisha received a double portion of the spirit that had rested on Elijah. In him the power of Elijah’s spirit was united with the gentleness, mercy, and tender compassion of the spirit of Christ.’ ” Spalding and Magan Collection, 231



3.a. With what essential theme does Christ introduce His renowned call, “Be ye therefore perfect”? Matthew 5:43–48

Note: “The Saviour’s lesson, ‘Resist not him that is evil,’ was a hard saying for the revengeful Jews, and they murmured against it among themselves. But Jesus now made a still stronger declaration: “ ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.’

“Such was the spirit of the law which the rabbis had misinterpreted as a cold and rigid code of exactions. They regarded themselves as better than other men, and as entitled to the special favor of God by virtue of their birth as Israelites; but Jesus pointed to the spirit of forgiving love as that which would give evidence that they were actuated by any higher motives than even the publicans and sinners, whom they despised.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 73, 74

3.b. How did God deal with us when we were far from Him, and what should be our response? Romans 5:6–10; Titus 3:3–5

Note: “God’s love for the fallen race is a peculiar manifestation of love—a love born of mercy; for human beings are all undeserving. Mercy implies the imperfection of the object toward which it is shown. It was because of sin that mercy was brought into active exercise.

“Sin is not the object of God’s love, but of His hatred. But He loves and pities the sinner.” The Signs of the Times, May 21, 1902

“All legalism, all the sorrow and woe by which you may encompass yourself, will not give you one moment of relief. You cannot rightly estimate sin. You must accept God’s estimate, and it is heavy indeed. If you bore the guilt of your sin, it would crush you; but the sinless One has taken your place, and, though, undeserving, He has borne your guilt. By accepting the provision God has made, you may stand free before God in the merit and virtue of your Substitute. You will then have a proper estimate of sin, and the godly sorrow of true repentance will take the place of hopeless discouragement and grief, for you will turn from sin with grief and abhorrence.” Ibid., April 9, 1894



4.a. What does Paul reveal as our duty to all people? Romans 1:14, 15; 12:4–13

Note: “His [Christ’s] love received, will make us, in like manner, kind and tender, not merely toward those who please us, but to the most faulty and erring and sinful.

“The children of God are those who are partakers of His nature. It is not earthly rank, nor birth, nor nationality, nor religious privilege, which proves that we are members of the family of God; it is love, a love that embraces all humanity. Even sinners whose hearts are not utterly closed to God’s Spirit, will respond to kindness; while they may give hate for hate, they will also give love for love. But it is only the Spirit of God that gives love for hatred. To be kind to the unthankful and to the evil, to do good hoping for nothing again, is the insignia of the royalty of heaven, the sure token by which the children of the Highest reveal their high estate.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 75

4.b. How should we deal with those who consider us enemies? Romans 12:14–20

Note: “We may never know until the judgment the influence of a kind, considerate course of action to the inconsistent, the unreasonable, and unworthy. If, after a course of provocation and injustice on their part, you treat them as you would an innocent person, you even take pains to show them special acts of kindness, then you have acted the part of a Christian; and they become surprised and ashamed, and see their course of action and meanness more clearly than if you plainly stated their aggravated acts to rebuke them. …

“A few words spoken in a hasty manner, under provocation, and which seemed but a little thing—just what they deserved—often cut the cords of influence that should have bound the soul to your soul. The very idea of their being in darkness, under the temptation of Satan and blinded by his bewitching power, should make you feel deep sympathy for them, the same that you would feel for a diseased, sick patient who suffers, but on account of his disease is not aware of his danger.” Medical Ministry, 209, 210



5.a. In their dispute over the body of Moses, how did Christ deal with Satan? Jude 9

Note: “Christ Himself, when contending with Satan about the body of Moses, ‘durst not bring against him a railing accusation.’ Jude 9. Had He done this, He would have placed Himself on Satan’s ground, for accusation is the weapon of the evil one. He is called in Scripture, ‘the accuser of our brethren.’ Revelation 12:10. Jesus would employ none of Satan’s weapons. He met him with the words, ‘The Lord rebuke thee.’ Jude 9.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 57

5.b. When in the presence of Christ’s enemies, how should we behave? James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:6–9 

Note: “His [Christ’s] example is for us. When we are brought in conflict with the enemies of Christ, we should say nothing in a spirit of retaliation or that would bear even the appearance of a railing accusation. He who stands as a mouthpiece for God should not utter words which even the Majesty of heaven would not use when contending with Satan. We are to leave with God the work of judging and condemning.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 57, 58

“Never should you enter a discussion where so much is at stake, relying upon your aptness to handle strong arguments. If it cannot be well avoided, enter the conflict, but enter upon it with firm trust in God and in the spirit of humility, in the spirit of Jesus, who has bidden you learn of Him, who is meek and lowly in heart. And then in order to glorify God and exemplify the character of Christ, you should never take unlawful advantage of your opponent. Lay aside sarcasm and playing upon words. Remember that you are in a combat with Satan and his angels, as well as with the man.” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 626



1    How does Joseph’s life illustrate the life of Christ?

2    Summarize the experience of Elisha with the Syrian army.

3    How can we “heap coals of fire” on the heads of our enemies?

4    How should we behave when defending present truth?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Brotherly Kindness

October 8 – 14, 2023

Key Text

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:10

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 677, 678


“One of the strongest evidences of true conversion is love to God and man. Those who accept Jesus as their Redeemer have a deep, sincere love for others of like precious faith.” The Acts of the Apostles, 262



1.a. What is written about the early Christian church, and when was this love manifested? Acts 4:32–35

Note: “After the descent of the Holy Spirit, when the disciples went forth to proclaim a living Saviour, their one desire was the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. In their daily association with one another, they revealed the love that Christ had enjoined upon them. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts.

“Such a love the believers were ever to cherish. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment. So closely were they to be united with Christ that they would be enabled to fulfill all His requirements. Their lives were to magnify the power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness.” The Acts of the Apostles, 547, 548

1.b. How did Paul exhort the Thessalonian believers in this regard? 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 10

Note: “One of the strongest evidences of true conversion is love to God and man. Those who accept Jesus as their Redeemer have a deep, sincere love for others of like precious faith.” The Acts of the Apostles, 262



2.a. What essential theme is included in Paul’s message to the believing Jews? Hebrews 13:1–3; Matthew 25:40

Note: “Paul exhorts the Hebrews: ‘Let brotherly love continue.’ Do not flatter yourselves that there is a time when this exhortation will not be needed; when brotherly love may cease. He continues: ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ Please read Matthew 25:31 and onward. Read it, brethren, the next time you take the Bible at your morning or evening family devotions. The good works performed by those who are to be welcomed to the kingdom were done to Christ in the person of His suffering people. Those who had done these good works did not see that they had done anything for Christ. They had done no more than their duty to suffering humanity. Those on the left hand could not see that they had abused Christ in neglecting the wants of His people. But they had neglected to do for Jesus in the person of His saints, and for this neglect they were to go away into everlasting punishment. And one definite point of their neglect is thus stated: ‘I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in.’ ” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 679, 680

“It is the will of God that union and brotherly love should exist among His people. The prayer of Christ just before His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one as He is one with the Father, that the world might believe that God had sent Him. This most touching and wonderful prayer reaches down the ages, even to our day; for His words were, ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.’ John 17:20. While we are not to sacrifice one principle of truth, it should be our constant aim to reach this state of unity. This is the evidence of our discipleship. Said Jesus, ‘By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.’ John 13:35.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 520

2.b. What is the only way to successfully climb the Christian ladder? Hebrews 12:1–4

Note: “All these successive steps are not to be kept before the mind’s eye, and counted as you start; but fixing the eye upon Jesus, with an eye single to the glory of God, you will make advancement.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 5, 1893



3.a. What special promise is included in the prophecy given to the church of Philadelphia? Revelation 3:7–12

Note: “The one who stands nearest to Christ will be he who on earth has drunk most deeply of the spirit of His self-sacrificing love—love that ‘vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, … seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil’ (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5)—love that moves the disciple, as it moved our Lord, to give all, to live and labor and sacrifice, even unto death, for the saving of humanity.” The Desire of Ages, 549

3.b. How can we who live in the period of Laodicea partake of the wonderful promise given to the Philadelphia church? Revelation 3:21; 20:4

Note: “Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai.

“The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet.” Early Writings, 15



4.a. What position does brotherly kindness hold in the ladder of Christian perfection? 2 Peter 1:7 

Note: “We should have that love for others that Christ has had for us. A man is estimated at his true value by the Lord of heaven. If he is unkind in his earthly home, he is unfit for the heavenly home. If he will have his own way, no matter whom it grieves, he would not be content in heaven, unless he could rule there. The love of Christ must control our hearts.” The Review and Herald, February 21, 1888

4.b. What key point did Christ emphasize before His crucifixion, and why was this called “a new commandment”? John 13:34; 15:10, 12, 13, 17

Note: “ ‘These things I command you,’ He said repeatedly, ‘that ye love one another.’ … ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ To the disciples this commandment was new; for they had not loved one another as Christ had loved them. He saw that new ideas and impulses must control them; that new principles must be practiced by them; through His life and death they were to receive a new conception of love. The command to love one another had a new meaning in the light of His self-sacrifice.” The Desire of Ages, 677

“Such a love the believers were ever to cherish. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment.” The Acts of the Apostles, 547

4.c. How does John explain the “new commandment”? 1 John 2:7–11

Note: “It is not the opposition of the world that most endangers the church of Christ. It is the evil cherished in the hearts of believers that works their most grievous disaster and most surely retards the progress of God’s cause. There is no surer way of weakening spirituality than by cherishing envy, suspicion, faultfinding, and evil surmising. On the other hand, the strongest witness that God has sent His Son into the world is the existence of harmony and union among men of varied dispositions who form His church.” The Acts of the Apostles, 549



5.a. How can we fulfill God’s law in our life? Romans 13:8–10

Note: “Righteousness is love, and love is the light and the life of God. The righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by receiving Him.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 18

5.b. How can we receive this love in our heart? Romans 5:1–5; John 16:13

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

“No human agent can supply that which will satisfy the hunger and thirst of the soul. But Jesus says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.’ ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.’ Revelation 3:20; John 6:35

“As we need food to sustain our physical strength, so do we need Christ, the Bread from heaven, to sustain spiritual life and impart strength to work the works of God. As the body is continually receiving the nourishment that sustains life and vigor, so the soul must be constantly communing with Christ, submitting to Him and depending wholly upon Him.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 18, 19



1    What was the main characteristic of the early Christian church?

2    Explain the relationship between the Philadelphian church and the 144,000.

3    How can we climb the Christian ladder?

4    Why is “loving one another” called “a new commandment”?

5    What will God’s love enable us to do?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Patience

Christian Character (4)

October 1 – 7, 2023

Key Text

“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 723–739


“Patience pours the balm of peace and love into the experiences of the home life. … Patience will seek for unity in the church, in the family, and in the community. This grace must be woven into our lives.” The Review and Herald, February 21, 1888



  1. Why does temperance or self-control precede patience? 2Peter 1:6

Note: “Any habit or practice which will weaken the nerve and brain power or the physical strength disqualifies for the exercise of the next grace which comes in after temperance—patience.” Our High Calling, 69

“It is next to an impossibility for an intemperate person to be patient.

“Some of us have a nervous temperament, and are naturally as quick as a flash to think and to act; but let no one think that he cannot learn to become patient. Patience is a plant that will make rapid growth if carefully cultivated.” My Life Today, 97



2.a. What traits of character is the child of God to develop? 2 Peter 1:4–8

Note: “The first education children should receive from the mother in infancy, should be in regard to their physical health. They should be allowed only plain food, of that quality that would preserve to them the best condition of health, and that should be partaken of only at regular periods, not oftener than three times a day, and two meals would be better than three. If children are disciplined aright, they will soon learn that they can receive nothing by crying or fretting. A judicious mother will act in training her children, not merely in regard to her own present comfort, but for their future good.” A Solemn Appeal, 137

2.b.        What did Sister White confirm in her own experience with helping various children in her home? 1 Corinthians 10:31

Note: “For more than twelve years we have taken only two meals each day, of plain, unstimulating food. During that time, we have had almost constantly the care of children, varying in age from three to thirteen years. We worked gradually and carefully to change their habit of eating three times a day to two; we also worked cautiously to change their diet from stimulating food, as meat, rich gravies, pies, cakes, butter, spices, etc., to simple, wholesome fruits, vegetables, and grains. The consequence has been that our children have not been troubled with the various maladies to which children are more or less subject. They occasionally take cold by reason of carelessness, but this seldom makes them sick. …

“Children reared in this way are much more easily controlled than those who are indulged in eating everything their appetite craves, and at all times. They are usually cheerful, contented, and healthy. Even the most stubborn, passionate, and wayward, have become submissive, patient, and possessed of self-control by persistently following up this order of diet, united with a firm but kind management in regard to other matters.” The Health Reformer, May 1, 1877



3.a. What did God say about Job’s character? Job 1:1, 8

3.b. What should we learn from Job’s reaction to Satan’s first devastating attack against his children and properties? Job 1:13–22

Note: “Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer.” Counsels on Health, 460

3.c. Having destroyed Job’s children and their possessions, how did Satan further try to discourage the patriarch? Job 2:3–8

Note: “The Lord said unto Satan, ‘All that he hath is in thy power.’ ‘Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.’

“Thus permitted, Satan swept away all that Job possessed—flocks and herds, menservants and maidens, sons and daughters; and he ‘smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.’ Job 1:8–12; 2:5–7.” Education, 155

3.d.        What did Job’s wife suggest he should do, and what was his response? Job 2:9, 10

Note: “Job was deprived of his worldly possessions, and so afflicted in body that he was abhorred by his relatives and friends; yet he maintained his integrity.” The Acts of the Apostles, 575

3.e. How does Isaiah’s prophecy describe Christ’s attitude before His enemies? Isaiah 53:7. What should we learn from the way this prophecy was fulfilled? Mark 14:60–62



4.a. What was Christ’s response before Pilate’s and Herod’s courts? Matthew 27:11–14; Luke 23:6–9

 Note: “Standing behind Pilate, in view of all in the court, Christ heard the abuse; but to all the false charges against Him He answered not a word. His whole bearing gave evidence of conscious innocence. He stood unmoved by the fury of the waves that beat about Him. It was as if the heavy surges of wrath, rising higher and higher, like the waves of the boisterous ocean, broke about Him, but did not touch Him. He stood silent, but His silence was eloquence. It was as a light shining from the inner to the outer man.

“Pilate was astonished at His bearing.” The Desire of Ages, 726

4.b.        How did Christ react during His crucifixion? Luke 23:33–47

Note: “Arriving at the place of execution, the prisoners were bound to the instruments of torture. The two thieves wrestled in the hands of those who placed them on the cross; but Jesus made no resistance. The mother of Jesus, supported by John the beloved disciple, had followed the steps of her Son to Calvary. She had seen Him fainting under the burden of the cross, and had longed to place a supporting hand beneath His wounded head, and to bathe that brow which had once been pillowed upon her bosom. But she was not permitted this mournful privilege. …

“The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness—‘for they know not what they do.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 744



5.a. What is the only way we can develop patience? Romans 5:1–5

Note: “All who stand unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle must feel the special warfare of Satan against them. As they realize his attacks, they will flee to the Stronghold. They feel their need of special strength from God, and they labor in His strength; therefore the victories they gain do not exalt them, but lead them in faith to lean more securely upon the Mighty One. Deep and fervent gratitude to God is awakened in their hearts, and they are joyful in the tribulation which they experience while pressed by the enemy. These willing servants are gaining an experience and forming a character which will do honor to the cause of God.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 510

5.b.        How does patience promote our missionary efforts? 2 Corinthians 6:3–10

 Note: “Patience as well as courage has its victories. By meekness under trial, no less than by boldness in enterprise, souls may be won to Christ. The Christian who manifests patience and cheerfulness under bereavement and suffering, who meets even death itself with the peace and calmness of an unwavering faith, may accomplish for the gospel more than he could have effected by a long life of faithful labor.” The Acts of the Apostles, 465

5.c. What is one identification of God’s remnant people? Revelation 14:12



1    How do you define patience according to the Bible?

2    Why is temperance necessary in developing patience?

3    Summarize the experience of Job.

4    What is written about Christ’s patience?

5    Is patience the cause or result of justification before God?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Nut and Seed Bread

Nuts and Seeds

The Global Burden of Disease Study, the largest analysis of risk factors for death and disease in history, calculated that not eating enough nuts and seeds was the third-leading dietary risk factor for death and disability in the world, killing more people than processed meat consumption. Insufficient nut and seed intake is thought to lead to the deaths of millions of people every year, 15 times more than all those who die from overdoses of heroin, crack cocaine, and all other illicit drugs combined.

Major studies have shown that people who eat nuts appear to suffer fewer deaths from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease, as well as living longer. Indeed, our life span may be increased by an extra two years by eating nuts regularly—one handful (or about a quarter of a cup) five or more days a week.

PREDIMED, one of the largest interventional dietary trials ever performed, followed more than 7,000 men and women at high cardiovascular risk randomized into different diet groups. One group received a free half pound of nuts every week for four consecutive years. Compared with other groups, the added-nuts group appeared to cut their stroke risk in half. If this works as well in the general population, 89,000 strokes a year, or ten strokes every hour, would be prevented in the United States alone simply by adding walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts to the nation’s daily diet.


Recipe – Nut and Seed Bread


1 cup raw sunflower seeds

½ cup flax seeds, roughly ground

2 Tbs. chia seeds

½ cup hazelnuts, almonds, or any nut, roughly chopped

4 Tbs. psyllium seed husks or 3 Tbs. psyllium husk powder

1 ½ cups rolled oats, not quick or instant

1 to 1 ½ tsp. salt

2 Tbs. maple syrup

3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted

1 ½ cups water


In a bowl, combine well all dry ingredients. Whisk maple syrup, oil, and water together. Add to dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely saturated. Transfer to oiled or parchment paper-lined loaf pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula. Let sit on the counter for two to eight hours. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing. Keep refrigerated. Makes delicious toast.

The Greatest Battle Ever Fought

“Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.”

1 Timothy 3:16

That mystery is so great that even when you get to heaven you will not understand all about it. Mrs. White says that it will ever be a mystery and the subject of study throughout eternity, and yet we need to understand as much as we can about it in this world.

The apostle Paul speaks about the great mystery of godliness in Colossians 1:26, 27: “The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” What is the glory of Christ? In 1892, Ellen White wrote this sentence: “The glory of God is His character, and to us it is manifest in Christ.” The Present Truth, December 29, 1892. The riches of His glory are the riches of His character manifested in the life of Christ.

“It was through Satan’s misrepresentation of God’s character that man was led to doubt the reality of His love, and came to look upon God as his enemy. As Satan had done in heaven, so he did on earth—declared God’s government unjust, the restrictions of His law unnecessary, and bade man, as he had angels, to throw aside the yoke and let the dictates of their own nature be their only guide and law. He promised liberty; but as he himself is the servant of corruption, he brought the race into bondage, to sin, misery, and death. He represented God as claiming all and giving nothing, as requiring men’s service for His own glory, but denying Himself nothing for man’s good.” The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1893. Satan presented lies and deceptive reasoning to the mind of man to entice him to disobedience. He lied about God’s character, and he reasoned that God’s government was unjust and restricting. He uses the same deceit and lies still today.

What is the relationship between God’s character and His government? “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. The living God has given in His holy law a transcript of His character. The greatest Teacher the world has ever known is Jesus Christ; and what is the standard He has given for all who believe in Him? ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ Matthew 5:48. As God is perfect in His high sphere of action, so man may be perfect in his human sphere.

“The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 365

“The law of God [the transcript of His character] is the foundation of His government in heaven and in earth, and as long as the follower of Jesus imitates his Lord by exalting the divine precepts in word and life, Satan has no power to deceive or mislead his soul.” The Signs of the Times, March 30, 1888

Satan entices men by lying to them regarding God’s law, His character and love, and if he is successful in persuading the very elect to believe his lies, then they will be indifferent to their high calling in Christ Jesus and fail to be filled with all the fullness of God’s love.

What is our high calling really? Paul said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Our high calling is in Christ. “Let it never be forgotten that the teacher must be what he desires his pupils to become.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 58. Was Christ what He desired His pupils to become? Yes, He was. His divine nature combined with His human flesh were a perfect representation of what we are and what we, by striving to develop a character like His, can become.

“He was the embodiment of the law of God.” The Signs of the Times, November 15, 1899. The embodiment of the law of God is “the transcript of His character.” Ibid. It is God’s purpose that your life will become an embodiment of the law of God. That is our high calling.

But we have an enemy. Peter said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. Satan does not want you to become an embodiment of the law of God, and he uses enticements and deceptive promises to lure men and women into sin.

What is the purpose of temptation? Many people who are tempted ask, “If God is all powerful, wise, and loving, why does He allow this?” “Our heavenly Father sees the hearts of men, and He knows their characters better than they themselves know them. He sees that some have susceptibilities and powers, which, directed in the right channel, might be used to His glory to aid in the advancement of His work. He puts these persons on trial and in His wise providence brings them into different positions.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 84, 85

People think they are in charge of their own lives. But it is by way of temptation that we can know who is truly in control of our lives. God places His children “… under a variety of circumstances, testing them that they may reveal what is in their hearts and the weak points in their characters which have been concealed from their own knowledge.” Ibid., 85

Notice two points. God allows these temptations to reveal what is in a person’s heart, and to reveal the weak points in their character. We often do not know what is truly in our own hearts, nor what our weaknesses are. Temptations come and reveal to us what we did not know about ourselves.

“He [God] gives them opportunities to correct these weaknesses.” Ibid. As long as we have breath, God gives us opportunity to see and correct our weaknesses. Upon recognizing that there is something in my heart that is out of harmony with God’s law, I must surrender myself to the sovereignty of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Surrendering myself and asking that a miracle be performed to change my heart requires that I cooperate and do my part.

“He gives them opportunities to correct these weaknesses, to polish off the rough corners of their natures, and to fit themselves for His service … . He in mercy reveals their hidden defects, that they may look within and examine critically the complicated emotions and exercises of their own hearts, and detect that which is wrong; thus they may modify their dispositions and refine their manners. The Lord in His providence brings men where He can test their moral powers and reveal their motives of action, that they may improve what is right in themselves and put away that which is wrong.” Ibid.

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Matthew 12:34, last part, 35

“The heart must be diligently searched as with a lighted candle, that all defects may be seen in the light of the law of God, His standard of character.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 7, 179

“All defects of character originate in the heart.” The Review and Herald, September 1, 1885. Pride, vanity, evil temper, covetousness, they all proceed from the carnal heart of flesh, unrenewed by the grace of Christ. “Never should we lower the standard of righteousness in order to accommodate inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong-doing.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 330. We have both inherited and cultivated tendencies to sin, but we are not to lower God’s standard to accommodate what we are. “We need to understand that imperfection of character is sin.” Ibid.

God allows temptations in our lives that we might see the defects and imperfections in our characters, that we might repent of and confess these sins—not only to be forgiven, but also to be cleansed from all unrighteousness.

“The purification of the people of God cannot be accomplished without their suffering.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 85. It is impossible to be purified without going through this process. “God permits the fires of affliction to consume the dross, to separate the worthless from the valuable, that the pure metal may shine forth. He passes us from one fire to another.” Ibid. Has this been your experience—rejoicing as you walk out of one fire, only to walk into another one?

“God’s work of refining and purifying must go on until His servants are so humbled, so dead to self, that, when called into active service, their eye will be single to His glory. He will then accept their efforts; they will not move rashly, from impulse; they will not rush on and imperil the Lord’s cause, being slaves to temptations and passions and followers of their own carnal minds set on fire by Satan. Oh, how fearfully is the cause of God marred by man’s perverse will and unsubdued temper! How much suffering he brings upon himself by following his own headstrong passions! God brings men over the ground again and again.” Ibid., 86

When you are in trouble, God does not give up on you. He brings another test. It may be harder, the circumstances a bit different, but it is necessary that you successfully pass each test until your character has been purified and is ready for heaven. “God brings men over the ground again and again, increasing the pressure until perfect humility and a transformation of character bring them into harmony with Christ and the spirit of heaven, and they are victors over themselves.” Ibid.

Let’s review the purposes of temptation:

  1. to reveal the hidden things in my own heart that I did not see before;
  2. to reveal the weak points in my character;
  3. so that the dross of selfishness can be separated from the true gold and silver of Christian character;
  4. that I might be purified;
  5. that I might reflect the radiance of divine love and be filled with all the fullness of God.

When these purposes are accomplished, then we are ready for the marriage supper. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.” Revelation 19:7, 8

The second coming of Christ is drawing nearer every day. God’s church must be pure and perfect so that she can make a full and final display of God’s grace, mercy, and love. But can I make a full and final display of these things if they are not a part of my character? It is impossible.

God’s last day church, every member, must have a character that displays His grace, mercy, and love in order that she might be pure and perfect in these last days.

The Role of Desire in Temptation

“Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lusts and enticed. He is turned away from the course of virtue and real good by following his own inclinations.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 623. The dictionary definition of inclinations is “a propensity or a disposition more favorable to one thing than to another.” Inclination has to do with desire, love, affection, regard for, and disposition of mind. By following our own inclinations, we find ourselves, too often, in trouble.

James says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:13–15. “Feeling the terrible power of temptation, the drawing of desire that leads to indulgence, many a man cries in despair, ‘I cannot resist evil.’ ” The Ministry of Healing, 174. She calls it the terrible power of temptation, the drawing of desire. “Tell him that he can, that he must resist.” Ibid.

Friend, if you want to go to heaven, whatever the temptation is, no matter how terrible it is, you can and you must resist, calling upon the Lord to help you. Desire is not only the power of temptation, it is the terrible power of temptation.

There is a particular desire that dwells within the heart of every man, woman, and child, and it plays a vital role in temptation. “It is because selfishness exists in our hearts that temptation has power over us.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 118. Temptation has power over me because there is selfishness in my heart.

“Selfishness is the root of all evil.” Evangelism, 633

“Selfishness is sin.” The Signs of the Times, April 13, 1891

“Selfishness is the strongest and most general of human impulses, the struggle of the soul between sympathy and covetousness is an unequal contest; for while selfishness is the strongest passion, love and benevolence are too often the weakest, and as a rule the evil gains the victory.” The Review and Herald, December 7, 1886. Notice, Inspiration links selfishness with covetousness.

“The whole heart must be yielded to God, or the change can never be wrought in us by which we are to be restored to His likeness. By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: ‘Dead in trespasses and sins;’ ‘the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;’ ‘no soundness in it.’ We are held fast in the snare of Satan, ‘taken captive by him at his will.’ … God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him.

“The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness.” Steps to Christ, 43. The terrible power of temptation is the drawing of our natural desires which come from the law of selfishness, the governing principle of Satan’s kingdom. Each and every one of us inherited that selfishness from Adam.

“We have hereditary tendencies to wrong. This is a part of self that no one need carry about. It is a weakness of humanity to pet selfishness, because it is a natural trait of character. But unless all selfishness is put away, unless self is crucified, we can never be holy as God is holy.” The Faith I Live By, 140

“All selfishness is covetousness, and is, therefore, idolatry.” The Review and Herald, May 23, 1907

If there is selfishness in my heart, I am breaking the second commandment in my heart. I’m living with sin within. The Spirit of Prophecy calls these selfish, sinful desires, hereditary tendencies to wrong, defects in my character. Selfishness causes defects in my character, and imperfection of character is sin. All selfishness is condemned by the law of God, and not one of Adam’s posterity has escaped this inheritance. Every single one of us is, by nature, selfish and it is here that Satan has his greatest success.

“Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself, ‘The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.’ ” Ibid., November 8, 1887

Jesus said to the religious rulers of His day, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do.” All the evil desires that Satan puts in our heart are sin. “Every tree in Satan’s garden hangs laden with the fruits of vanity, pride, self-importance, evil desire, extravagance—all poisoned fruit, but very gratifying to the carnal heart.” Ibid., December 9, 1884

“In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ presented before His disciples the far-reaching principles of the law of God. He taught His hearers that the law was transgressed by the thoughts before the evil desire was carried out.” Ibid., June 12, 1888

“Until the requirements of the holy law were applied as the rule of life, fallen man could not understand his own guilt, nor realize his condemned, lost condition. Jesus made application of the law directly to the soul, and laid under its jurisdiction the will and desires and works of man.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 9, 235. Our desires are under the jurisdiction of the law of God. Any desire that is out of harmony with the law of God is sin.

The Bible describes sin this way: “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5. Figuratively, an imagination is a conception, a purpose that is formed in the mind. Lust is the desire for something that is forbidden. When evil desires or lusts are conceived in the mind, sin is being cherished. When sinful desires are cherished, temptation asserts its power. The word cherish according to the dictionary means “to treat in a manner to encourage growth.” To cherish means to indulge and encourage in the mind. Growth in the Christian life has as much to do with what goes on in the mind as it does with the actions that are a result of our thoughts and desires.

So if the natural desires of man are continually evil, is man destined to commit sin until Jesus comes? Many theologians, including some Adventist theologians, believe that we will.

“We should preserve the strictest chastity in thought, and word, and deportment. Let us remember that God sets our secret sins in the light of His countenance. There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men, but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence. Oh, that we each might become a savor of life unto life to those around us!” The Review and Herald, March 27, 1888

This quotation makes it clear that while even the best Christian can be tempted, he or she can also resist temptation. Man does not have to sin. Temptation is not sin and therefore, when refusing to yield to temptation, a person, by the power and grace of God, does not sin.

The gospel tells how Jesus wants to deliver me from this evil world, but before He can deliver me from the devil on the outside, He must first deliver me from the devil on the inside. Jesus said, “ ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.’ ” Matthew 23:27. What we need is to be cleaned up on the inside and then the outside will be clean.

“Christ desires nothing so much as to redeem His heritage from the dominion of Satan. But before we are delivered from Satan’s power without, we must be delivered from his power within.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 174, 175

If there is any kind of sin in your life, the devil has power to overcome you on the inside. “The Lord permits trials in order that we may be cleansed from earthliness, from selfishness, from harsh, unchristlike traits of character. He suffers the deep waters of affliction to go over our souls in order that we may know Him and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, in order that we may have deep heart longings to be cleansed from defilement, and may come forth from the trial purer, holier, happier. Often we enter the furnace of trial with our souls darkened with selfishness; but if patient under the crucial test, we shall come forth reflecting the divine character. When His purpose in the affliction is accomplished, ‘He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.’ ” Ibid., 175

To summarize the role of desire in temptation:
Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lusts and enticed.

  • Naturally-selfish desires are the defects in our characters that readily respond to Satan’s lying promises and deceitful arguments.
  • God does not tempt any man, but He permits us to be tempted so that we may know what is in our heart so that we might have a deep heart-longing to be cleansed from the defilement of sin.

“No one can be omnipotent, but all can cleanse themselves from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. God requires every soul to be pure and holy.” The Faith I Live By, 140. No exceptions.

“By looking constantly to Jesus with the eye of faith, we shall be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His hungering, thirsting people. They will find that Christ is a personal Saviour. As they feed upon His word, they find that it is spirit and life. The word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature. Love takes the place of hatred, and the heart receives the divine similitude. This is what it means to live ‘by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ This is eating the Bread that comes down from heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 391

“As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 943

When we yield our will fully to God, our hereditary tendencies to wrong, our sinful desires are cut away and they are replaced by holy desires. “Some seek to control their surroundings, thinking that if they are placed in favorable positions, the bad traits in their character will not be developed. But God orders our surroundings, and He will place us where we shall have test after test, to prove us and to reveal what is in our hearts. Again and again we shall be brought into strait places, that it may be known whether we are indeed crucified with Christ or full of self-love. How will this proving, testing process end with each of us?” The Review and Herald, June 3, 1884

“Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. If you come to this decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you cannot overcome.” Messages to Young People, 99

“Your only safety is to live like a watchman. Watch and pray always. Oh, what a preventive against yielding to temptation and falling into the snares of the world! …

“Watch, lest evil passions should overcome you, instead of your subduing them.

“Pray. Jesus would not have enjoined this upon you, unless there was actual necessity for it. It is well known to Him that of yourself you cannot overcome the many temptations of the enemy … . He has not left you alone to do this; but has provided a way that you can obtain help.” The Faith I Live By, 224

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Protein – What’s all the Hype?

There are seven broad, needful categories of food to be considered if we are to experience vibrant heath, and not just the absence of disease or injury. Those categories are carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. In this article, we will take a closer look at proteins.

Few nutrients are as important as protein. Not getting enough protein will affect the health and body composition. How critical they are to our survival can even be seen in its Greek root word Proteios, which means “primary importance.” Proteins are large, highly-complex molecules that are present in all living organisms. They play many critical roles in the body. They

  • are essential for the growth, maintenance, and repair of body cells and tissues;
  • are the building blocks of our organs, muscles, skin, hair, and nails;
  • help boost the immune system so that our bodies can resist and fight off infections;
  • play a key role in the balance of fluid in the body;
  • provide energy for the body to function;
  • are critical in chemical reactions in the body (enzymes, some critical in digestion; hormones, such as insulin, needed to regulate glucose, and hemoglobin which carries oxygen to every cell in the body are proteins); and
  • work within the body to transfer reactions from cell to cell.

Proteins are species specific, meaning that proteins differ from species to species. They are also organ specific. For example, proteins of the brain and proteins of the liver will be different even within the same body.

Chemical proteins are large molecules that are basically a chain of amino acids. These proteins differ from one another primarily in the ordering of the amino acids. This ordering determines the activity of the protein. They are basically made up of a hydrogen atom, a carboxyl group (1 carbon atom, 2 oxygen atoms and a hydrogen atom), and an amino group (a nitrogen atom and 2 hydrogen atoms).

There are approximately twenty different amino acids that naturally occur in proteins within our bodies, but there are at least 100 amino acids that occur in nature, mostly plants. Of these, 11 are non-essential in the human diet because our bodies make them, or retrieve them, from the breakdown of other protein. Nine of the 20 amino acids are essential to obtain from our diet, because these we do not manufacture or retrieve. There are also conditional amino acids that our body needs during times of stress and illness.

The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) is 0.36 grams of protein per pound (0.8 grams per kilogram) of body weight. This amounts to 54 grams (1.9 oz) per day for a 150-pound sedentary person or 65 grams (2.3 oz) per day for a 180-pound sedentary person. A highly-active person would need to consume 0.54 to 0.9 grams per pound of body weight, a significant increase over a less active person.

This recommended daily intake of protein is likely enough to prevent protein deficiency, but the amount a person needs varies from person to person, depending on the physical activity level, as well as age, sex, overall health, to name a few. Extra protein can also be needed during times of illness and physical repair (such as burns), children during growth spurts, and during pregnancy and lactation.

When dietary protein is in short supply, the body tends to take protein from skeletal muscles for more important body functions. This can result in muscle wasting over time and is specifically worse in the elderly from even moderate protein insufficiency.

So how do we get this critical nutrient into our bodies and have vibrant health? It is easy for the non-vegetarian to not only get enough protein, but to get too much protein from, for example, meat, milk, cheese, and eggs, plus the protein from vegetables and other non-animal sources.

The saying, “You can’t get too much of a good thing” isn’t true. For example, even though protein is a necessary nutrient to have daily, consuming too much of it can lead to brain fog, bloating, and weight gain.

Vegan vegetarians get their protein primarily from nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, grains, and vegetables. Nuts and seeds, including almonds, hazel nuts, mixed nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are good sources of protein. Pinto, black, kidney, or garbanzo beans, split peas, and lentils are good sources of lean protein. High in fiber, they may help lower your cholesterol if you eat them regularly. Tofu, edamame, tempeh, and other products made from soybeans are also good sources of protein. Vegetables, although not high in protein, do supply protein for vegetarians.  Some vegetables with higher amounts of protein are green peas, spinach, artichokes, corn, avocado, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, kale, and potatoes.

Of primary concern for the vegetarian is getting all nine essential amino acids because most plant-based products lack one or more of the essential amino acids. Quinoa, soybeans, edamame, tempeh, buckwheat, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and amaranth contain all nine essential amino acids.

Of all the soybeans produced in the United States, about 95% of these are genetically modified. To avoid these, buy organic soybean products and tofu, or those labeled non-GMO.

It is not necessary to eat a complete protein at every meal, nor even every day, but aim for variety in your diet. One real advantage of vegetarian protein choices is that many of them are high in fiber and make you feel full and may help in weight control and lowering cholesterol if eaten regularly. The higher the fiber content the better for your gut microorganisms, regularity, and may help reduce colon cancer.

This may be more than you wanted to know about protein, but it has clearly demonstrated why protein is critical to life. With adequate protein added to your nutrition plan, you are one step closer to experiencing vibrant health. Bon appétit!

Sources:;;;>+protein; Protein in diet; _countries_by_soybean_production

Question: What is the unpardonable sin?


What is the unpardonable sin?


What constitutes the sin against the Holy Ghost? It is willfully attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit.” Counsels for the Church, 81

“They [the Pharisees] attributed to satanic agencies the holy power of God, manifested in the works of Christ. Thus the Pharisees sinned against the Holy Ghost. Stubborn, sullen, ironhearted, they determined to close their eyes to all evidence, and thus they committed the unpardonable sin.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1092

“In rejecting Christ the Jewish people committed the unpardonable sin; and by refusing the invitation of mercy, we may commit the same error. We offer insult to the Prince of life, and put Him to shame before the synagogue of Satan and before the heavenly universe when we refuse to listen to His delegated messengers, and instead listen to the agents of Satan, who would draw the soul away from Christ. So long as one does this, he can find no hope or pardon, and he will finally lose all desire to be reconciled to God.” The Desire of Ages, 324, 325

“Wrongs remain unconfessed. … Sin is cherished and the result is hardness of heart.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, 331

“The unpardonable sin is the sin that refuses to be pardoned; it is the refusal to hear Him concerning a sin, and to turn from that sin; it is the sin of refusing His instruction; it is the sin of unbelief concerning His warnings; it is the stubbornness of the heart that will not turn from sin, which seals the fate of any people or any individual.” The Review and Herald, May 19, 1903

“Never had Nero heard the truth as he heard it upon that occasion. Never had the enormous guilt of his own life been revealed to him as it was revealed that day. The light of heaven had pierced the sin-polluted chambers of his soul. He quaked with terror at the thought of a tribunal before which he, the ruler of the world, should be arraigned, and where his deeds should meet a just reward. …

“For a moment, heaven had been opened before him by the words of Paul, and its peace and purity had appeared desirable. That moment the invitation of mercy was extended even to the guilty and hardened Nero. But only for a moment. The command was issued for Paul to be taken back to his dungeon; and as the door closed upon the messenger of God, so the door of repentance was forever closed against the emperor of Rome. Not another ray of light was ever to penetrate the dense darkness that enveloped him.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 315, 316

Changed into His Image

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

Sin-burdened, struggling souls, Jesus in His glorified humanity has ascended into the heavens to make intercession for us. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace.” We should be continually looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; for by beholding Him we shall be changed into His image, our character will be made like His. We should rejoice that all judgment is given to the Son, because in His humanity He has become acquainted with all the difficulties that beset humanity.

To be sanctified is to become a partaker of the divine nature, catching the spirit and mind of Jesus, ever learning in the school of Christ. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” It is impossible for any of us by our own power or our own efforts to work this change in ourselves. It is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, which Jesus said He would send into the world, that changes our character into the image of Christ; and when this is accomplished, we reflect, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord. That is, the character of the one who thus beholds Christ is so like His, that one looking at him sees Christ’s own character shining out as from a mirror. Imperceptibly to ourselves, we are changed day by day from our ways and will into the ways and will of Christ, into the loveliness of His character. Thus we grow up into Christ, and unconsciously reflect His image.

Professed Christians keep altogether too near the lowlands of earth. Their eyes are trained to see only commonplace things, and their minds dwell upon the things their eyes behold. Their religious experience is often shallow and unsatisfying, and their words are light and valueless. How can such reflect the image of Christ? How can they send forth the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness into all the dark places of the earth? To be a Christian is to be Christlike. …

[Enoch] was ever under the influence of Jesus. He reflected Christ’s character, exhibiting the same qualities in goodness, mercy, tender compassion, sympathy, forbearance, meekness, humility and love. His association with Christ day by day transformed him into the image of Him with whom he was so intimately connected. Reflecting Christ, 20

Testimony – God Keeps His Own

An evangelist named Peter was holding meetings in Quebec, Canada. He had noticed a young woman named Mary who had been coming to the meetings. There was something different about her, a far-away look in her eyes.

She was thrilled by the things she was learning in the meetings, and when Peter visited with her about them, she indicated her belief in what he had presented, but he could tell there was still something that bothered her. He soon found out it had to do with the state of the dead.

While living in Paris some years earlier, she had met a young man, John, through a friend. John was tall, blond, well-mannered, and muscular. He was respectful and understood her. Like a lot of young girls, she enjoyed the attention that he gave her. She needed someone to love her. He was everything that she ever wanted, and she had fallen in love with him. Their relationship had continued for many years. They were not living together, but she had invited him up to her apartment on many occasions. Yet, she remained pure.

The time came when she moved to Quebec, and John moved with her.

The devil usually uses a man or woman he can work through to create an infatuation between some young man or woman that God wants to use for His service. But as it happened, in this case, he wasn’t able to find that someone, so he had sent her a spirit boyfriend, one of his angels in the form of a human man. At first, she did not know, but she soon learned that John was not a real man, but by then her heart was fully entwined around him.

As Peter studied with Mary, the Spirit of the Lord began to work on her heart, and she wanted salvation. She made a decision and did something that, sadly, very few young people are willing to do. She broke off the relationship. Right then, she and Peter knelt down and prayed, and she committed herself wholly to the Lord.

John came to her that night. He first tried to sweet talk her, and when that did not work, he got upset with her, something he had never done before. In fact, he hit her in the mouth. Still, she decided to go forward and be baptized. He warned her, “Don’t be baptized.”

The day of her baptism came and as she and Peter stepped into the baptismal pool, she said, “He’s here. John is right here in the baptistery with us.” She knew his presence.

“John is here.” As Peter tried to immerse her in the water, a force would hold her up. With all his might, he tried again, and she was pushed back up. Three times he tried to baptize her. The third time, she was lifted right out of the baptistery and was thrown into the audience. Wet and dripping, and not baptized.

I wonder what we might have done. Would we have continued? Mary did. She walked right back into the baptistery and was baptized.

Later, Mary was asked to give her testimony at camp meeting that year, and she agreed to do it. As she was writing, making notes for the testimony, John came and tore it all up. He told her, “If you give that testimony, you will be dead in two weeks.”

Now, you and I have all heard stories like this, and we know when the devil says it, it happens, right? The devil has gotten the world believing that nothing can stop him. But don’t believe everything Satan says. Mary gave her testimony, and she didn’t die in two weeks.

The devil is only as strong as God allows him to be. There’s a protection that God puts around those who seek to do His will. I’m sure Satan would have liked to cause, and would have done anything to bring about, Mary’s death, but day by day, Mary now lives under the protection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Get in the right place and God will put His power on you, and combine His divine with our human efforts, and we can work out our salvation with fear and trembling. That is a power that Satan cannot resist or overthrow.” Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1, 59

“God has set bounds that Satan cannot pass. Our most holy faith is this barrier; and if we build ourselves up in the faith, we shall be safe in the keeping of the Mighty One.” Maranatha, 64

Taken from the sermon “How to Overcome the Devil ” by Marshall J. Grosboll