Bible Study Guides – Balaam

May 24, 2015 – May 30, 2015

Key Text

“He [Balaam] was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” 11 Peter 2:16.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 438–452.


“One wrong step makes the next easier, and they [men and women] become more and more presumptuous. They will do and dare most terrible things when once they have given themselves to the control of avarice and a desire for power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 440.


  • When the Israelites were preparing to cross the Jordan for the invasion of Canaan, who, besides the inhabitants of Jericho, were distressed by their presence? Numbers 22:1–4.

Note: “The Moabites … determined, as Pharaoh had done, to enlist the power of sorcery to counteract the work of God. They would bring a curse upon Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 438.

  • Who did the leaders of the Moabites and Midianites try to enlist in their efforts to neutralize the expected attack, and what did they ask him to do? Numbers 22:5–7.

Note: “Balaam, an inhabitant of Mesopotamia, was reported to possess supernatural powers, and his fame had reached to the land of Moab. … Messengers … were sent to secure his divinations and enchantments against Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 438.


  • When the messengers of Moab and Midian came to Balaam with the invitation of King Balak, what impression did Balaam try to give them? Numbers 22:8. In doing so, did Balaam purposely ignore the difference between right and wrong?

Note: “Balaam was once a good man and a prophet of God; but he had apostatized, and had given himself up to covetousness; yet he still professed to be a servant of the Most High. He was not ignorant of God’s work in behalf of Israel; and when the messengers announced their errand, he well knew that it was his duty to refuse the rewards of Balak and to dismiss the ambassadors. But he ventured to dally with temptation, and urged the messengers to tarry with him that night, declaring that he could give no decided answer till he had asked counsel of the Lord.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 439.

  • Although Balaam was a prophet in apostasy, what warning did God send him through an angel, and why did Balaam distort it when speaking with Balak’s messengers? Numbers 22:12, 13.

Note: “In the night season the angel of God came to Balaam with the message, ‘Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed’ (Numbers 22:12).

“In the morning Balaam reluctantly dismissed the messengers, but he did not tell them what the Lord had said. …

“Balaam ‘loved the wages of unrighteousness’ (11 Peter 2:15). The sin of covetousness, which God declares to be idolatry, had made him a timeserver, and through this one fault Satan gained entire control of him. It was this that caused his ruin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 439, 440.

  • What are some of the scriptural principles whereby those who claim to be prophets and those who say they work miracles are to be tested? Isaiah 8:20; Matthew 7:20–23; John 8:31, 32.
  • What danger should God’s shepherds be able to detect especially in the time of the end? Matthew 24:23, 24. What is one of the differences between a true shepherd and a hireling? John 10:12, 13.


  • Since the information received by Balak was very much distorted, first by Balaam to the messengers, and then by the messengers to Balak (Numbers 22:14), what was Balak’s conclusion, and what did he do? Numbers 22:15–17.

Note: “When the messengers reported to Balak the prophet’s refusal to accompany them, they did not intimate that God had forbidden him. Supposing that Balaam’s delay was merely to secure a richer reward, the king sent princes more in number and more honorable than the first, with promises of higher honors, and with authority to concede to any terms that Balaam might demand.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 440.

  • When the messengers came to the apostate prophet the second time, how did Balaam respond? Numbers 22:18, 19.

Note: “A second time Balaam was tested. In response to the solicitations of the ambassadors he professed great conscientiousness and integrity, assuring them that no amount of gold and silver could induce him to go contrary to the will of God. But he longed to comply with the king’s request; and although the will of God had already been definitely made known to him, he urged the messengers to tarry, that he might further inquire of God; as though the Infinite One were a man, to be persuaded.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 440.

  • After failing the second test, on what condition was Balaam allowed to go with them? Numbers 22:20. Did they call him?

Note: “Balaam had received permission to go with the messengers from Moab if they came in the morning to call him.” Ibid., 441.


  • How did the Lord show His anger against Balaam for ignoring His instructions? Numbers 22:21–27.

Note: “They [Moab’s messengers] set out on their homeward journey without further consultation with him [Balaam]. Every excuse for complying with the request of Balak had now been removed. But Balaam was determined to secure the reward; and, taking the beast upon which he was accustomed to ride, he set out on the journey. He feared that even now the divine permission might be withdrawn, and he pressed eagerly forward, impatient lest he should by some means fail to gain the coveted reward.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 441.

“There are thousands at the present day who are pursuing a similar course. They would have no difficulty in understanding their duty if it were in harmony with their inclinations. It is plainly set before them in the Bible or is clearly indicated by circumstances and reason. But because these evidences are contrary to their desires and inclinations they frequently set them aside and presume to go to God to learn their duty. With great apparent conscientiousness they pray long and earnestly for light. But God will not be trifled with. He often permits such persons to follow their own desires and to suffer the result.” Ibid., 440, 441.

  • What happened when the eyes of Balaam were opened? Numbers 22:31. What did the angel of the Lord say to Balaam, and what was Balaam’s reaction? Numbers 22:32–34. What restriction did the prophet regret? Numbers 22:35–38.
  • As the apostatized prophet was prevented from pronouncing a curse upon Israel, what was he forced to pronounce? Numbers 23:20–24.
  • How did God use even an apostatized prophet to preach the gospel to the king and the rulers of Moab? Numbers 24:4–9, 14–17. Do sinners have a legitimate excuse before God if the gospel is preached to them by the wrong person? Philippians 1:15–18.


  • Why is a minister much more responsible for his words and actions than a lay member? Malachi 2:7–9; I Timothy 4:16; I Corinthians 11:1.

Note: “According to the light which they [the Moabites] had received their guilt was not so great in the sight of Heaven as was that of Balaam. As he professed to be God’s prophet, however, all he should say would be supposed to be uttered by divine authority.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 441.

“When a crisis comes in the life of any soul, and you attempt to give counsel or admonition, your words will have only the weight of influence for good that your own example and spirit have gained for you. … You cannot exert an influence that will transform others until your own heart has been humbled and refined and made tender by the grace of Christ.” Evangelism, 458, 459.

  • Under what circumstances, and why does the Lord often allow His servants to go their own way and suffer the consequences? Psalm 81:11, 12; Ezekiel 14:4; Galatians 6:7.

Note: “When man exalts himself above the influence of the Spirit, he reaps a harvest of iniquity. Over such a man the Spirit has less and less influence to restrain him from sowing seeds of disobedience.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1112.


1 When a professed servant of God turns to the powers of darkness, how does he often try to conceal his true character?

2 How did God provoke Balaam to reveal what was in his heart?

3 How may we be in danger of distorting the truth of God?

4 How did God use the now apostate Balaam to shed light upon the rulers of Moab?

5 Why does God often let us go our own way and suffer the consequences?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Lessons in Evangelism From the Border of Canaan

May 17, 2015 – May 23, 2015

Key Text

“To day if ye will hear His voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.” Hebrews 3:7, 8.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 387–394.


“When men yield their hearts to unbelief, they place themselves under the control of Satan, and none can tell to what lengths he will lead them.” The Review and Herald, October 29, 1903.


  • What report manifested a lack of faith by the children of Israel, and why? Deuteronomy 1:21; Numbers 13:1, 2, 17–20, 27–32.

Note: “The people did not wait to reflect; they did not reason that He who had brought them thus far would certainly give them the land; they did not call to mind how wonderfully God had delivered them from their oppressors, cutting a path through the sea and destroying the pursuing hosts of Pharaoh. They left God out of the question, and acted as though they must depend solely on the power of arms.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 388.

  • How did the Israelites show, by their unbelief, that they were unprepared to take the land? Deuteronomy 1:26; Numbers 14:1–4. How does unbelief interfere with evangelism today? Hebrews 3:16–19.

Note: “The false report of the unfaithful spies was accepted, and through it the whole congregation were deluded. … There were only two advocating the right, while ten were on the side of rebellion.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 390.


  • How did God test Moses’ love for Israel yet again? Numbers 14:11, 12, 19, 20. How will a true soul winner plead for sinners? Joel 2:17.
  • What was the reaction of the people when Moses communicated to them the decision of the Lord? Numbers 14:33–35, 39, 40.

Note: “The Lord had never commanded them to ‘go up and fight’ (Deuteronomy 1:41). It was not His purpose that they should gain the land by warfare, but by strict obedience to His commands.

“Though their hearts were unchanged, the people had been brought to confess the sinfulness and folly of their rebellion at the report of the spies. They now saw the value of the blessing which they had so rashly cast away. They confessed that it was their own unbelief which had shut them out from Canaan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 392.

  • What happened when the Israelites tried to undertake the conquest of Canaan, and why? Numbers 14:41–45. How may we be tempted to repeat their mistake? John 15:5.

Note: “They [the Israelites] had distrusted the power of God to work with their efforts in gaining possession of Canaan; yet now they presumed upon their own strength to accomplish the work independent of divine aid. ‘We have sinned against the Lord,’ they cried; ‘we will go up and fight, according to all that the Lord our God commanded us’ (Deuteronomy 1:41). So terribly blinded had they become by transgression. The Lord had never commanded them to ‘go up and fight.’ It was not His purpose that they should gain the land by warfare, but by strict obedience to His commands.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 392.


  • Forty years later, in preparing for the conquest of Jericho, what did Joshua do, and why? Joshua 2:1, first part.

Note: “A few miles beyond the [Jordan] river, just opposite the place where the Israelites were encamped, was the large and strongly fortified city of Jericho. This city was virtually the key to the whole country, and it would present a formidable obstacle to the success of Israel. Joshua therefore sent two young men as spies to visit this city and ascertain something as to its population, its resources, and the strength of its fortifications.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 482.

“As on the occasion of the taking of Jericho, not one of the armies of Israel could boast of exercising their finite strength to overthrow the walls of the city, but the Captain of the Lord’s host planned that battle in the greatest simplicity, that the Lord alone should receive the glory and man should not be exalted.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2. 995.

  • To what danger were the two spies exposed, and who sheltered them? Joshua 2:1, second part, 2.

Note: “The inhabitants of the city [of Jericho], terrified and suspicious, were constantly on the alert, and the messengers were in great danger.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 482, 483.

  • According to Rahab’s report, how did she and the people in general react when news about the power of God reached Jericho? Joshua 2:9–11.
  • What report did the spies bring, and with what result? Joshua 2:22–24.

Note: “Orders were now issued to make ready for an advance. The people were to prepare a three days’ supply of food, and the army was to be put in readiness for battle. All heartily acquiesced in the plans of their leader and assured him of their confidence and support.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 483.


  • What was God’s main purpose in directing the two spies to Rahab’s house? Joshua 2:12–16; Hebrews 11:31.

Note: “It was God’s purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel men should be drawn unto Him. To all the world the gospel invitation was to be given. Through the teaching of the sacrificial service Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live. All who, like Rahab the Canaanite, and Ruth the Moabitess, turned from idolatry to the worship of the true God, were to unite themselves with His chosen people.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 290.

  • How did the Spirit of God direct Peter to a Gentile home where precious souls were waiting to be “added unto the Lord” (Acts 11:24)? Acts 10:11–15, 19–28.

Note: “Come close to the people; get into the families when you can; do not wait for the people to hunt up the shepherd. Bear with you the confidence and assurance of faith which evidences that you are not trusting in idle tales but in a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ …

“There are numbers of families who will never be reached by the truth of God’s Word unless the stewards of the manifold grace of Christ enter their homes, and by earnest ministry, sanctified by the endorsement of the Holy Spirit, break down the barriers and enter the hearts of the people. As the people see that these workers are messengers of mercy, the ministers of grace, they are ready to listen to the words spoken by them. But the hearts of those who do this work must throb in unison with the heart of Christ. They must be wholly consecrated to the service of God, ready to do His bidding, to go wheresoever His providence leads them, and speak the words He gives them.” Evangelism, 158, 159.

  • What fact is revealed by a comparison between the days of Noah, the days of Lot in Sodom, and the last days of Jericho? Luke 13:23, 24; II Peter 2:5–9; Joshua 6:17.


  • What did Christ mean in Matthew 21:28–31 when He rebuked the chief priests and elders of the people?

Note: “The Saviour never passed by one soul, however sunken in sin, who was willing to receive the precious truths of heaven. To publicans and harlots His words were the beginning of a new life.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 129.

  • How are we to follow His example in missionary lines? Mark 16:15.

Note: “We are to show to the world and to all the heavenly intelligences that we appreciate the wonderful love of God for fallen humanity and that we are expecting larger and yet larger blessings from His infinite fullness. Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience. …

“These exercises drive back the power of Satan. They expel the spirit of murmuring and complaint, and the tempter loses ground. They cultivate those attributes of character which will fit the dwellers on earth for the heavenly mansions.

“Such a testimony will have an influence upon others. No more effective means can be employed for winning souls to Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 299, 300.


1 How did the Israelites react when they heard the report of the twelve spies?

2 How did Moses show that his love was still with the people?

3 Forty years later, why were only two spies sent?

4 Why were the two spies directed to the specific home of Rahab?

5 How is history often repeated today while our missionaries are looking for lost people who need salvation?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – God Teaches Israel to Stop Murmuring

May 10, 2015 – May 16, 2015

Key Text

“And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.” Deuteronomy 8:2.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 428–432.


“As the children of Israel cherished the spirit of murmuring and rebellion, they were disposed to find fault with even the blessing which God had graciously bestowed upon them.” The Signs of the Times, October 28, 1880.


  • Toward the end of their pilgrimage through the desert, how did the people of Israel still complain against God and against Moses? Numbers 21:5.
  • How did Moses try to convince them that their complaints were unjustified? Deuteronomy 8:3, 4, 14–16.

Note: “Every day of their travels they [the Israelites] had been kept by a miracle of divine mercy. In all the way of God’s leading they had found water to refresh the thirsty, bread from heaven to satisfy their hunger, and peace and safety under the shadowy cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Angels had ministered to them as they climbed the rocky heights or threaded the rugged paths of the wilderness. Notwithstanding the hardships they had endured, there was not a feeble one in all their ranks. Their feet had not swollen in their long journeys, neither had their clothes grown old.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 429.


  • What answer did the Lord give to the complaints of the people? Numbers 21:6.

Note: “Because they [Israelites] they had been shielded by divine power they had not realized the countless dangers by which they were continually surrounded. In their ingratitude and unbelief they had anticipated death, and now the Lord permitted death to come upon them. The poisonous serpents that infested the wilderness were called fiery serpents, on account of the terrible effects produced by their sting, it causing violent inflammation and speedy death. As the protecting hand of God was removed from Israel, great numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 429.

  • What did the people do when they understood that, since they had been complaining without any good reason, God gave them something to complain about? Numbers 21:7. How is this a lesson for us?

Note: “Now there was terror and confusion throughout the encampment. In almost every tent were the dying or the dead. None were secure. … All were busy in ministering to the sufferers, or with agonizing care endeavoring to protect those who were not yet stricken. No murmuring now escaped their lips. When compared with the present suffering, their former difficulties and trials seemed unworthy of a thought.

“The people now humbled themselves before God. They came to Moses with their confessions and entreaties. ‘We have sinned,’ they said, ‘for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee’ (Numbers 21:7). Only a little before, they had accused him of being their worst enemy, the cause of all their distress and afflictions. But even when the words were upon their lips, they knew that the charge was false; and as soon as real trouble came they fled to him as the only one who could intercede with God for them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 429, 430.

“When we see our sinfulness we should not despond and fear that we have no Saviour, or that He has no thoughts of mercy toward us. At this very time He is inviting us to come to Him in our helplessness and be saved.” Ibid., 431.


  • What was Moses commanded to do to solve the problem with the serpents, and with what result? Numbers 21:8, 9.

Note: “Some would not believe that merely gazing upon the metallic image would heal them; these perished in their unbelief. Yet there were many who had faith in the provision which God had made. Fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters were anxiously engaged in helping their suffering, dying friends to fix their languid eyes upon the serpent. If these, though faint and dying, could only once look, they were perfectly restored.

“The people well knew that there was no power in the serpent of brass to cause such a change in those who looked upon it. The healing virtue was from God alone. In His wisdom He chose this way of displaying His power. By this simple means the people were made to realize that this affliction had been brought upon them by their sins. They were also assured that while obeying God they had no reason to fear, for He would preserve them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 430.

  • What counsel should our ministers offer to habitual complainers today? Philippians 2:14; Isaiah 45:22; I Peter 5:6, 7.

Note: “The lifting up of the brazen serpent was to teach Israel an important lesson. They could not save themselves from the fatal effect of the poison in their wounds. God alone was able to heal them. Yet they were required to show their faith in the provision which He had made. They must look in order to live. It was their faith that was acceptable with God, and by looking upon the serpent their faith was shown. They knew that there was no virtue in the serpent itself, but it was a symbol of Christ; and the necessity of faith in His merits was thus presented to their minds. …

“While the sinner cannot save himself, he still has something to do to secure salvation. ‘Him that cometh to Me,’ says Christ, ‘I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37). But we must come to Him; and when we repent of our sins, we must believe that He accepts and pardons us. Faith is the gift of God, but the power to exercise it is ours. Faith is the hand by which the soul takes hold upon the divine offers of grace and mercy.” [Emphasis author’s.] Patriarchs and Prophets, 430, 431.


  • What lesson in connection with the brazen serpent became very clear in the teaching of Jesus when He was among His disciples? John 3:14–17.

Note: “All who have ever lived upon the earth have felt the deadly sting of ‘that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan’ (Revelation 12:9). The fatal effects of sin can be removed only by the provision that God has made. The Israelites saved their lives by looking upon the uplifted serpent. That look implied faith. They lived because they believed God’s word, and trusted in the means provided for their recovery. So the sinner may look to Christ, and live. He receives pardon through faith in the atoning sacrifice. Unlike the inert and lifeless symbol, Christ has power and virtue in Himself to heal the repenting sinner.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 431.

  • Through whom, alone, can the blessings of the covenant of grace become ours? John 6:37; Acts 4:12.

Note: “Nothing but the righteousness of Christ can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace. There are many who have long desired and tried to obtain these blessings, but have not received them, because they have cherished the idea that they could do something to make themselves worthy of them. They have not looked away from self, believing that Jesus is an all-sufficient Saviour. We must not think that our own merits will save us; Christ is our only hope of salvation. …

“When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire. Let none look to self, as though they had power to save themselves. Jesus died for us because we were helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness. When we see our sinfulness we should not despond and fear that we have no Saviour, or that He has no thoughts of mercy toward us. At this very time He is inviting us to come to Him in our helplessness and be saved.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 431.


  • Why and how were many Israelites hesitant to receive the help God had sent when they were attacked by the serpents? Hebrews 3:9, 17–19.

Note: “Many of the Israelites … continued to lament their wounds, their pains, their sure death, until their strength was gone, and their eyes were glazed, when they might have had instant healing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 432.

  • How are we warned not to follow the example of the Israelites? Hebrews 3:7, 8, 12–14.

Note: “Many are unwilling to accept of Christ until the whole mystery of the plan of salvation shall be made plain to them. They refuse the look of faith, although they see that thousands have looked, and have felt the efficacy of looking, to the cross of Christ. Many wander in the mazes of philosophy, in search of reasons and evidence which they will never find, while they reject the evidence which God has been pleased to give. They refuse to walk in the light of the Sun of Righteousness, until the reason of its shining shall be explained. All who persist in this course will fail to come to a knowledge of the truth. God will never remove every occasion for doubt. He gives sufficient evidence on which to base faith, and if this is not accepted, the mind is left in darkness. If those who were bitten by the serpents had stopped to doubt and question before they would consent to look, they would have perished. It is our duty, first, to look; and the look of faith will give us life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 432.


1 When the Israelites still complained as they approached the border of Canaan, what lesson did the Lord teach them?

2 What counsel should be given to habitual murmurers?

3 How can repenting sinners be healed?

4 What happened to those who hesitated to receive God’s help for their snake bites?

5 How are many of us following today the example of the Israelites?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Preparing to Be Light Bearers (II)

May 3, 2015 – May 9, 2015

Key Text

“Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.” Psalm 81:13, 14.

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 187–190.


“Those upon whom rests the burden of this work [of reform] will not hold their peace when wrong is done, neither will they cover evil with a cloak of false charity.” Prophets and Kings, 675.


  • In the plan of God to establish Israel in Canaan as the light of the world, how would they have been helped if they had welcomed His purpose to lead them back to Adam’s original diet? Psalms 78:23–25; 81:13, 14.

Note: “In order to modify the disposition, and bring the higher powers of the mind into active exercise, He [the Lord] removed from them the flesh of dead animals. He gave them angel’s food, manna from heaven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1113.

  • Since meat eating was permitted temporarily after the Flood in Genesis 9:3; 18:7; 27:9, why were the children of Israel punished for demanding meat? Numbers 11:33; Psalms 78:27–32; 106:14, 15.

Note: “When one clearly sees a duty, let him not presume to go to God with the prayer that he may be excused from performing it. He should rather, with a humble, submissive spirit, ask for divine strength and wisdom to meet its claims.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 441.


  • How did the Lord, in some respects, exercise patience and tolerance in the leading of His people when they were not prepared to take a higher standard? Psalm 81:11, 12; Ezekiel 14:4, 5.
  • Because of the “hardness of their hearts,” what did God finally permit the Israelites to eat? What restrictions did God put on that permission for health reasons? Leviticus 11:1–4, 9, 10; 3:17; 22:8.

Note: “Upon their settlement in Canaan, the Israelites were permitted the use of animal food, but under careful restrictions which tended to lessen the evil results.” The Ministry of Healing, 311, 312.

  • What kinds of statutes and judgments did God allow Moses to give them when they were not prepared to take a higher standard? Ezekiel 20:23–25. What advice should church leaders and evangelists always bear in mind? John 14:17; 16:13.

Note: “We must go no faster than we can take those with us whose consciences and intellects are convinced of the truths we advocate. We must meet the people where they are. Some of us have been many years in arriving at our present position in health reform. It is slow work to obtain a reform in diet. We have powerful appetites to meet; for the world is given to gluttony. If we should allow the people as much time as we have required to come up to the present advanced state in reform, we would be very patient with them, and allow them to advance step by step, as we have done, until their feet are firmly established upon the health reform platform. But we should be very cautious not to advance too fast, lest we be obliged to retrace our steps. In reforms we would better come one step short of the mark than to go one step beyond it. And if there is error at all, let it be on the side next to the people.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 20, 21.


  • Before the entrance of Israel into Canaan, which other important original institutions, besides the original diet, were to be restored among them, so that they would be qualified to be the light of the world?

1) God’s rest—the Sabbath. Genesis 2:2, 3; Exodus 16:29, 30; Hebrews 4:1–3, 9–11. Why were they not able to enter into God’s rest in a complete sense (both literally and spiritually)? Hebrews 3:18, 19.

2) The marriage institution. Though Moses desired a restoration of marriage, why were his efforts unsuccessful? Matthew 19:4, 7, 8. Ezekiel 20:25. What later efforts were made in this regard? Malachi 2:14–16.

  • Considering the hardness of heart of ancient Israel, how are we sometimes tempted to repeat their example?

Note: “The history of the wilderness life of Israel was chronicled for the benefit of the Israel of God to the close of time. The record of God’s dealings with the wanderers of the desert in all their marchings to and fro, in their exposure to hunger, thirst, and weariness, and in the striking manifestations of His power for their relief, is fraught with warning and instruction for His people in all ages. The varied experience of the Hebrews was a school of preparation for their promised home in Canaan. God would have His people in these days review with a humble heart and teachable spirit the trials through which ancient Israel passed, that they may be instructed in their preparation for the heavenly Canaan.

“Many look back to the Israelites, and marvel at their unbelief and murmuring, feeling that they themselves would not have been so ungrateful; but when their faith is tested, even by little trials, they manifest no more faith or patience than did ancient Israel. When brought into strait places, they murmur at the process by which God has chosen to purify them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 293.


  • In the time of the end, before our entrance into heavenly Canaan, are God’s original institutions to be completely restored? Matthew 17:11; Acts 3:20, 21. What are they?

1) God’s rest, the Sabbath. Isaiah 56:1, 6–8; 58:12–14.

2) The marriage institution. I Corinthians 7:1, 2, 10, 11, 24, 29, 39.

3) The meatless diet originally assigned to Adam and Eve. I Corinthians 10:5, 6, 11; Isaiah 22:12–14.

Note: “In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired. God’s remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue. Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to co-operate with Him in building up the waste places. They are to be repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in (Isaiah 58:12).” Prophets and Kings, 678.

  • Understanding that, in God’s plan, “every divine institution is to be restored,” how are those who give the last gospel message to the world described? Isaiah 58:12; 61:4.

Note: “The prophet [Isaiah] here describes a people who, in a time of general departure from truth and righteousness, are seeking to restore the principles that are the foundation of the kingdom of God. They are repairers of a breach that has been made in God’s law.” Prophets and Kings, 677, 678.

“In marked contrast with this multitude stands a little company who will not swerve from their allegiance to God. ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ (Revelation 14:12). These are they of whom Isaiah speaks: ‘They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach. The restorer of paths to dwell in’ (Isaiah 58:12).” The Signs of the Times, February 8, 1910.


  • Who was the Angel that came down on Mount Sinai with the oracles of God to be given to us? Acts 7:37–39; 3:22, 23; I Corinthians 10:1–4.
  • How do we know that Christ did not come into this world to introduce a new religion, but rather to restore that which had been lost through the works of Satan? Luke 19:10; I John 3:8; Matthew 5:17.

Note: “The great plan of redemption results in fully bringing back the world into God’s favor. All that was lost by sin is restored.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 342.

  • What is to be our experience and responsibility as laborers together with Christ? Compare John 16:13 with Amos 4:12.

Note: “We have a greater and more solemn truth than was ever before committed to mortals, and we are responsible for the way we treat that truth. Every one of us should be intent on saving souls. We should show the power of the truth upon our own hearts and characters, while doing all we can to win others to love it.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 307.


1 When we see a clear duty before us, how should we respond?

2 What does God sometimes use, when leading His people, when they are not prepared to take a higher stand?

3 Name the three original institutions that God wanted to restore before leading His people to Canaan?

4 What is to be restored before our entrance to the heavenly Canaan?

5 Did Christ come to this world to introduce a new religion or restore what had been lost?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Preparing to Be Light Bearers (I)

April 26, 2015 – May 2, 2015

Key Text

“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:5, 6.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 377–382.


“He [the Lord] brought the Israelites out of Egypt and undertook their training, that they might be a people for His own possession. Through them He desired to bless and teach the world. He provided them with the food best adapted for this purpose, not flesh, but manna, ‘the bread of heaven’ (Psalm 105:40).” The Ministry of Healing, 311.


  • What action of the Israelites demonstrated that they were unprepared for God to use them as light bearers? Exodus 16:2, 3.

Note: “It was necessary for them [the children of Israel] to encounter difficulties and to endure privations. God was bringing them from a state of degradation and fitting them to occupy an honorable place among the nations and to receive important and sacred trusts. Had they possessed faith in Him, in view of all that He had wrought for them, they would cheerfully have borne inconvenience, privation, and even real suffering; but they were unwilling to trust the Lord any further than they could witness the continual evidences of His power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 292, 293.

  • In answer to the murmurings of the multitude, what instruction did the Lord give to them, through Moses, in order to reeducate their perverted appetite? Exodus 16:4, 12–15, 31, 35.


  • To be the light of the world, what do we need to keep in mind at all times? I Corinthians 10:31. What was the original diet of Adam and Eve in Eden? Genesis 1:29.

Note: “Again and again I have been shown that God is bringing His people back to His original design, that is, not to subsist on the flesh of dead animals. He would have us teach people a better way. … If meat is discarded, if the taste is not educated in that direction, if a liking for fruits and grains is encouraged, it will soon be as God in the beginning designed it should be. No meat will be used by His people.” Child Guidance, 383.

  • What should Israel have always remembered as the nation chosen by God to bear light to the world? Deuteronomy 6:24; 7:6.

Note: “God brought the Israelites from Egypt, that He might establish them in the land of Canaan, a pure, holy, and happy people. In the accomplishment of this object He subjected them to a course of discipline, both for their own good and for the good of their posterity. Had they been willing to deny appetite, in obedience to His wise restrictions, feebleness and disease would have been unknown among them. … But their unwillingness to submit to the restrictions and the requirements of God, prevented them, to a great extent, from reaching the high standard which He desired them to attain, and from receiving the blessings which He was ready to bestow upon them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 378.

  • Why did Satan harden the hearts of the Israelites and cause them “to lust after forbidden things” (I Corinthians 10:6)? Psalm 78:18.

Note: “Satan tempted them to regard this restriction as unjust and cruel. He caused them to lust after forbidden things, because he saw that the unrestrained indulgence of appetite would tend to produce sensuality, and by this means the people could be more easily brought under his control. The author of disease and misery will assail men where he can have the greatest success. Through temptations addressed to the appetite he has, to a large extent, led men into sin from the time when he induced Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 378.


  • Soon after their departure from Mount Sinai, what did the children of Israel do, and how did God respond? Numbers 11:1.
  • Why did God, this time, regard their murmurings as a sin of rebellion? Psalm 78:17, 18; Hebrews 10:26.

Note: “Murmuring and tumults had been frequent during the journey from the Red Sea to Sinai, but in pity for their ignorance and blindness God had not then visited the sin with judgments. But since that time He had revealed Himself to them at Horeb. They had received great light, as they had been witnesses to the majesty, the power, and the mercy of God; and their unbelief and discontent incurred the greater guilt. Furthermore, they had covenanted to accept Jehovah as their king and to obey His authority. Their murmuring was now rebellion, and as such it must receive prompt and signal punishment, if Israel was to be preserved from anarchy and ruin. ‘The fire of Jehovah burned among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp’ (Numbers 11:1). The most guilty of the complainers were slain by lightning from the cloud.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 379.

  • How did the survivors continue in their rebellion? Numbers 11:4–6.

Note: “But the evil was soon worse than before. Instead of leading the survivors to humiliation and repentance, this fearful judgment seemed only to increase their murmurings. In all directions the people were gathered at the door of their tents, weeping and lamenting. … Thus they manifested their discontent with the food provided for them by their Creator. Yet they had constant evidence that it was adapted to their wants; for notwithstanding the hardships they endured, there was not a feeble one in all their tribes.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 379.

“Every soul will be tried and tested. Let all be careful how they treat the warnings, reproofs, and entreaties of the Spirit of God. Those who reject light because it does not harmonize with their inclinations, will be left in darkness, to choose the things they love—the things that separate them from the favor of God.” The Review and Herald, October 16, 1883.


  • In his distress over this dangerous situation, what appeal did Moses make to the Lord? Numbers 11:11–15. What provision for Moses did God now make? Numbers 11:16.

Note: “The Lord permitted Moses to choose for himself the most faithful and efficient men to share the responsibility with him. Their influence would assist in holding in check the violence of the people, and quelling insurrection; yet serious evils would eventually result from their promotion. They would never have been chosen had Moses manifested faith corresponding to the evidences he had witnessed of God’s power and goodness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 380.

  • What was Moses instructed to say to the people in answer to their complaints? Numbers 11:18–20.
  • How did the Lord rebuke the lack of faith and the discontentment of Moses? Numbers 11:21–23.
  • Though God now provided flesh food for the people in their lust, how were they punished for their rebellion? Numbers 11:31–33; Psalm 106:13–15.

Note: “God gave the people that which was not for their highest good, because they persisted in desiring it; they would not be satisfied with those things that would prove a benefit to them. Their rebellious desires were gratified, but they were left to suffer the result. They feasted without restraint, and their excesses were speedily punished. ‘The Lord smote the people with a very great plague’ (Numbers 11:33). Large numbers were cut down by burning fevers, while the most guilty among them were smitten as soon as they tasted the food for which they had lusted.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 382.


  • How does God treat those who have never seen the light, never known His will, or never understood His plan? Acts 17:30.

Note: “ ‘If light comes, and that light is set aside or rejected, then comes condemnation and the frown of God; but before the light comes, there is no sin, for there is no light for them to reject.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 1, 116.

  • However, those who refuse to obey God after His will has been revealed to them, how will they be treated? Luke 12:47, 48; James 4:17; I Samuel 15:23.

Note: “While they [many] refuse to believe and obey some requirement of the Lord, they persevere in offering up to God their formal services of religion. There is no response of the Spirit of God to such service. No matter how zealous men may be in their observance of religious ceremonies, the Lord cannot accept them if they persist in willful violation of one of His commands.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 634.


1 What was the response of Israel to God’s health reeducation plan?

2 Why did God regard this murmuring as rebellion?

3 How did God give them the food they desired?

4 How does God treat those who honestly ignore the truth?

5 How does God treat those who intentionally disobey His revealed will?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Artichoke – Broccoli Salad

fresh broccoli,

chopped 1 jar or can of artichoke hearts, sliced

red onion, chopped

cherry tomatoes, chopped

black olives, sliced

green onions, chopped

Mix the amount of each for the size of salad you need. Then add bottled Italian-style salad dressing or mix your own using fresh squeezed lemon juice and olive oil with a little salt and basil. Stir all together and let it marinate in your refrigerator for several hours or overnight.


Food – Artichoke Health

The unique and lovely artichoke, even though it may look like a lobster, is very good for you and for your liver. This plant is a wonderful source of silymarin which is the active ingredient in the herb milk thistle. Silymarin has long been known to help protect and nourish the liver. There are at least four ways that silymarin benefits the liver:

  • it repairs damaged tissue,
  • it lowers bad enzymes,
  • it boosts good enzymes and
  • it protects the liver from further damage.

Artichokes have plenty of silymarin! And your liver will appreciate it.

While the heart of the artichoke is the favorite of many people the leaves also contain many of the artichoke’s powerful health benefits.

You can steam or simmer the entire baby artichoke (egg size), stem and all, which can then be eaten. However, eating just the meat of the leaves and the heart will provide health benefits.

An ABC News report states that in a recent study, USDA researchers found that artichokes have more disease-fighting antioxidants than any other vegetable they tested. And the egg-size baby version allows you to eat the entire artichoke—heart and leaves—as you would a piece of broccoli. Plus, artichokes are low in calories and high in belly-filling fiber.

Health Diaries state that studies done with artichoke leaf extract have found that they induce apoptosis (cell death) and reduce cell proliferation in many different forms of cancer, including prostate cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer. An Italian study found that a diet rich in the flavanoids present in artichokes reduces the risk of breast cancer. Artichokes also help the digestive system. They are a natural diuretic. They aid digestion, improve gallbladder function and, as mentioned above, are of great benefit to the liver. One large artichoke contains a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fiber. A medium artichoke has more fiber than a cup of prunes.

Even though artichokes may look hard to handle, just follow a few easy steps and you will be able to enjoy them in no time. Pick artichokes that have a deep, green color and leaves that are close together. If you squeeze the artichoke and it squeaks, that is a sign it is ripe and ready for cooking.

Preparing Artichokes

  • Rinse the artichoke thoroughly before cooking
  • Remove the tough, lower petals
  • Slice off the stem and the top of the artichoke
  • Stand artichoke in a large saucepan, cover halfway with water and simmer, covered, for 30–40 minutes
  • Check for doneness by pulling on a center petal – if it removes easily the artichoke is done

That’s it! If it is not a baby and you can’t eat the entire plant, then take each leaf by the non-fleshy side, and pull the other side through your teeth to remove the tender flesh. Discard the rest of the petal. When you get to the heart, remove the hair and eat the tender part underneath. It is especially delicious when dipped in your favorite dressing.

Children’s Story – “Willie’s Drowned!”

Children Story – “Willie’s Drowned!”

These spring nights are chilly. I hope our guests bring blankets with them.” Clarissa was speaking to Jenny as they set up cots in the bedrooms and the living room of the White home. There was to be an important meeting, and The Review had printed notices that the friends in Battle Creek, Michigan, would entertain all who came. The Whites were expecting a houseful of guests.

The publishing office had been moved from Rochester, and the Whites now lived at Battle Creek. The Adventists in Michigan had invited Elder White to bring the publishing work to their state, and they had promised to build a printing office. So the publishing business had moved to Battle Creek.

James and Ellen White lived in a small house with their three little boys and their two faithful helpers, Clarissa Bonfoey and Jenny Fraser.

On this particular afternoon everyone was bustling around getting ready to entertain the guests who were expected the next day. The women were cleaning house, Henry and Edson were raking the yard, and baby Willie, now twenty-two months old, was playing about, getting in everybody’s way and enjoying the excitement as much as his older brothers.

The rough board kitchen floor had been scrubbed, and a tub of dirty suds was left sitting in the middle of the room. As Jenny passed by on her way to gather chips for starting the cookstove fire, she noticed the baby standing beside the tub.

“What are you doing, Willie?” she asked.

“Sticky boaty! Sticky boaty!” chirruped the little fellow, pushing a small wooden pail around in the water with a stick.

Coming back up the steps a few minutes later, Jenny thought of the baby. Where was he? She hurried into the kitchen, where she heard a gurgling sound.

A tiny foot was sticking out of the water! She snatched it, pulled the baby out, and ran screaming to find his mother.

“Willie’s drowned! He’s drowned! He’s drowned!” she shrieked.

Mrs. White came running from the front room and met her in the doorway. “Jenny, was the water hot or cold?”

“He’s drowned! He’s drowned! He’s dead! He’s dead!” the girl kept screaming.

Mrs. White seized Jenny by the shoulders and, shaking her vigorously, asked, “Jenny Fraser, tell me, was the water hot or cold?”

“Cold,” gasped the terrified Jenny.

“Then give the child to me. You send for the doctor and call James.”

“Run for the doctor! Run for the doctor!” the girl shouted to a young man standing nearby. He began to run. Jenny followed, slapping him on the back and shoulders and shouting, “Run! Run! Run!”

By this time Mrs. White was in the front yard with Willie. Using a pair of scissors she had snatched up as she ran, she cut away his clothes. As she rolled him over and over on the grass, quantities of dirty water poured from his nose and mouth. She continued rolling the little body. James White arrived and stood silently praying and watching as the minutes ticked by. Ellen lifted Willie and looked for signs of life. There were none. She laid him down and rolled him again. More water trickled from his mouth.

Neighbors gathered and stood with sad, pitying faces, watching the mother’s efforts. Fifteen minutes passed, and still Willie’s condition was apparently hopeless.

“How dreadful to see her handling that dead child!” said one woman. “Somebody take that dead baby away from her.”

“You let her have her baby!” retorted James White with unusual emphasis. “She knows what she’s about.”

Twenty agonizing minutes passed, during which Mrs. White saw no signs of life. She lifted the limp form and held his cheek against hers. She kissed the cold lips. What did she see? The flicker of an eyelid, a slight pucker of the lips?

“I believe he’s trying to return my kiss!” she cried. “There must be life! There is life! There is life!”

She carried the limp form into the house. “Jenny, quick! Bring some cloths and heat them.” Ellen wrapped the hot cloths around Willie’s cold body, changing them frequently. She held him up again, close to her face. “He’s breathing! He’s breathing! My baby’s alive!” And she hugged him to her. “Thank God! Thank God!” she said over and over. Tears of joy ran down her cheeks.

Preparations for the visitors continued the rest of the day without my grandmother’s help. Not once did she let Willie out of her arms, for although he was now breathing naturally, she knew he was not entirely out of danger.

If Grandma White were here today I know what I’d do. I’d put my arms around her neck and whisper in her ear, “Dear Grandma, I’m so glad you didn’t get discouraged working over that little drowned baby.” You see, when he grew up he had a baby girl of his own, and I was that baby girl. And I think the children and grandchildren of my six brothers and sisters would say, “We’re glad too!”

Stories of My Grandmother, page 100, by Ella Robinson, 2000, Review and Herald Publishing Association.

Lord’s Prayer Series – Crosses Into Crowns

What is the single most decisive factor in determining your eternal destiny? Some people believe that it is belonging to a church or religious organization where you have a membership. Others believe that it is the theology or philosophy that you adhere to or espouse. The question could be asked, Could you go to the right church and still end up being lost?

As human beings we often excuse ourselves from perfect obedience to God’s will because we live in such an evil age and are surrounded by sin. But notice what the apostle Paul wrote to the early Christians in Philippi, the city in which he himself had been met with abuse. He writes, “That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:15.

He recognized that theirs was a Godless generation but still admonished the believers to be blameless and without fault and to shine. The Lord’s Prayer asks that, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

One must consider how God’s will is performed in heaven. His will is obeyed with perfection, with constancy, in fullness, with joy and thankfulness. All the unfallen worlds are loyal and obedient. This planet is the only world in the whole universe that is in rebellion against God’s law.

The purpose of the gospel is to conquer the one fallen world. To ensure its success God sent His Son who offered His life to pay the price of our sin and bring the world back into harmony with heaven. When the gospel has completed its mission and God’s eternal purpose has been fully carried out, Jesus prayer for “God’s will on earth” will be answered. At that time the entire world will be in complete submission to His will. There will be no more war or violence, no more sickness and no more pain or death because sin will be no more. The earth will no longer be in isolation, quarantined because of the disease of sin but in harmony with the heavenly universe that is governed by God’s moral law.

When we look up at the heavens at night and see the heavenly bodies they appear to be still because of the great distance from earth, but when astronomers study them taking accurate measurements they see that they are moving at very great speeds. This planet circles the sun making one revolution every year. After each revolution the earth loses 1/10,000th of a second of time. The precision with which the heavenly bodies follow their prescribed course through space is mind blowing.

The strict obedience of the heavenly bodies to the laws that govern them is no greater than that obedience of the celestial beings that inhabit those other worlds. This same perfect standard of obedience is what we ask for ourselves when we pray that His will be done on earth.

Angels of heaven perfectly obey the Father’s will considering it their greatest pleasure. The service they perform is not performed as drudgery or as legality but in love for their Creator.

Love for God makes their allegiance and obedience a joy. Jesus desired that same relationship for His disciples. He taught them to pray that their obedience might be of the same high order. Unless obedience is prompted by love it is not recognized or accepted by God. Paul said that it is the love of Christ that constrains us to do His will and keeps us from doing evil.

On the night Jesus was betrayed He said to His disciples, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. If you do not love Him it will be impossible to keep them. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. … If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” Verses 21, 23, 24. To keep God’s commandments is a response of loving Him. There are many who profess to love Him, but without the response of obedience their love is not real. The motive that underlies each action determines the value of obedience.

God holds in high esteem the service of love and when this is lacking, no matter how much form of godliness we may have or how many rituals or ceremonies we perform, they are all worthless. John said, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” I John 5:2, 3.

Loyalty to God should be a delight. It is never a burden or a sacrifice to help or to serve a person that we love. That is why the apostle Paul said, “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:10. So many misunderstand that verse thinking that if they love there is no need to keep the law but love fulfills the law when those who love God obey Him.

We keep the first four commandments as an expression of our love to God. We do not serve other Gods, worship idols, or swear, or break His Holy day. The last six demonstrate how I conduct myself with my fellow man if I love him. If I love my parents I will not dishonor them and if I love my neighbor I will not lie to him, steal from him, run off with his wife or kill him. The love that I have for God and my neighbor is seen in my response to them as reflected in the law. That is why love is the “fulfilling of the law.”

God has promised to write His law in our hearts. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Hebrews 8:10. This is the new covenant.

Some people think that because they are not Jews they are not part of Israel but if you are not a part of spiritual Israel you will never be in the kingdom of heaven. Paul says, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26–29.

According to the apostle Paul, all Christians are of Abrahams’s seed and are part of spiritual Israel. Paul told the Corinthian church that the law was not to be written just on tables of stone but in the fleshly tables of the heart. That is what made Jesus different than other people. The principles of God’s law of love within His heart motivated all of His actions.

In Psalm 40:7, 8 is a divine prophecy concerning the Messiah. It says, “Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of Me. I delight to do Your will, O My God, and Your law is within My heart.’ ”

Jesus did not do God’s will because He had to. He said, “I delight to do Your will.” Why? “Because Your law is written in My heart.” That is the essence of righteousness by faith. The prophet Isaiah said, “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law.” Isaiah 51:7.

These people know righteousness because the law is written in their heart. This is the new covenant promise that brings salvation from sin and they find that obeying Him is no longer drudgery but a joy. God’s commandments are no longer seen as a list of don’ts written on cold stone but a set of guidelines that when followed are a joy, protection from a life of misery and sin and become something in which to delight.

Conversion is all about receiving a new spirit; the things you once loved you now hate and the things you once hated you now love.

The experience enjoyed in heaven where God’s will is done with rejoicing and pleasure is the experience that is available through the new covenant. “Thy will be done” is like the gospel itself. It has a negative meaning to those who refuse to accept it and is positive to those who have a desire for something better than this present world has to offer.

Many people recognize that it would be a most wonderful thing if God’s will was done right now. So why is it so difficult? By nature, man is self-willed and stubborn. The Bible describes us as being obstinate, stiff-necked, with a brow like brass and a neck like an iron sinew (Isaiah 48:4). It seems as if it is almost impossible to change us from our mindset and turn us from our course. Whether it is right or wrong we obstinately and stubbornly carry out our own will and want to do as we please.

After receiving some manufactured goods that needed to be assembled, a man once told me that directions had come with the package but he said, “I did it my way.”

That is the experience of the majority of people. Regardless of the consequences we want to stubbornly carry out our own will and do as we please. The will of man is invariably opposed to God and his own salvation causing a Spiritual warfare to be fought. The greatest battle encountered is the warfare against self and the surrender of the will. It is the human will that is the most decisive factor that will either open or shut to us the gate to the kingdom of God, the kingdom of glory. It may be called the hinge on which the gate of destiny depends.

God created man as a free moral agent with the power of choice. It is the greatest gift given to man and the choices he makes will determine his eternal destiny. Multitudes, while hoping and desiring to be saved, never come to the place of surrendering their will to God and will be lost because of it. The Lord will never force the will of any man for love cannot be forced; it must be given freely.

Some Christians hope that God will somehow work out His will for them without any cooperation on their part but that is a futile hope. The doctrine of predestination or foreordination is often an excuse for human indifference and indolence. Our will must come into harmony with God’s will and our lives must come into conformity with His character and in this work we have an important part to act. In Revelation 22:17, it says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires [or whoever wills, or whoever wants to], let him take the water of life freely.”

That is an essential part of the gospel invitation, “… whosoever will.” The benefits of the gospel, the issue of the conflict with sin, whether you will be saved or lost depends completely on the action of your will. God will never violate your choice. By refusing to surrender to God, you will be outside salvation, outside the city of God and outside the domain of His will. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” John 7:17.

Have you surrendered your will to God? Can you say with sincerity, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 literal translation. The devil would trick you into believing that God is a demanding tyrant but that is a lie. His will is that none would perish but that all would come to His saving grace.

The way to the kingdom of heaven is to surrender your will to His will and He will turn your crosses into crowns and the curses in your life into blessings. He wants to lead you out of darkness and bring you into light so that He can take you from death to an everlasting life of joy and happiness. The choice is yours!

Bible texts are from NKJV unless otherwise noted.

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

Health – What About Wild Rice?

Here are some interesting facts about wild rice from the site Vegetarians in Paradise.

Contrary to what many people believe, wild rice is not rice at all but a grass. …

The Algonquin, Ojibwa, Dakota, Winnebago, Sioux, Fox, and Chippewa tribes used wild rice as an important staple in their diets. … The grain was so valuable to subsistence that tribes sometimes waged wars over wild rice territories. The Chippewa even carried small pouches of wild rice with them whenever they traveled. …

The Chinese favor these plants not for their cereal grains, but for their broad leaves and young shoots that they incorporate into their cuisine. The leaves are used to wrap dumplings, while the shoots are cooked and eaten like asparagus.

Traditional Harvesting

In times past, the annual harvesting of wild rice began a month before actually reaping the rice with great ceremony among the many tribes that would gather at their chosen harvesting lakes. The flavor and color of wild rice varied considerably from region to region among the lakes because of varying soil conditions, water organisms, and the changing environment. Since the Indian tribes knew the area well, it could be said they were staking out their favorite spots.

In late August and September of each year, during the period known as “rice moon,” their celebrations resembled a lively country fair. When the time “was right,” the ricing chief would declare the proper day for harvesting. Then pairs of Indian women slowly roamed the grassy lakes in their birch bark canoes. One would take her place at the front of the boat and paddle with a long pole; the other used two long cedar or juniper sticks to bend the tall grass-heads and gently shake the seeds of the pale-green stalks into the bottom of the boat. A canoe-full of wild rice was considered a good harvest day.

Some of the grains would fall back into the water and become the seeds for next year’s crop. Since the seed kernels do not all ripen at the same time, the women made numerous trips at intervals of four to six days to harvest the seeds that continue to mature. Minus the pre-harvesting ceremony, this three-centuries-old gathering method is still used today, which explains why this wild-crafted grain tends to be a pricey luxury. Some have even referred to truly wild rice as the “caviar of grains.” Today, the men of the tribe share the harvesting task. …

In former times to loosen the hulls of the wild rice, the young children would dance on the grains that were placed in a shallow pit lined with deerskin. The rice would then be strained through blankets to separate the chaff from the kernels. Today, the wild rice is put into bags and hand-pounded with clubs to loosen the hulls. The women then winnow the grains by lifting their filled birch-bark trays and tossing the seeds into the air, allowing the winds to carry off the hulls.

Today, the wild rice is winnowed on the reservations in large 30-gallon drums with paddles inside that loosen the hulls as the drums are turned. …

Nutritional Benefits

Wild rice towers over other grains when it comes to amounts of protein, minerals, B vitamins, folic acid, and carbohydrates. While the protein content of 1/2 cup of cooked wild rice measures 3.3 grams, that same quantity of long grain brown rice contains only 2 grams. The bonus is that the wild rice, though high in carbohydrates at 17.5 grams, has only 83 calories for 1/2 cup cooked.

Using the same 1/2 cup measurement of cooked grains, the folic acid content soars over brown rice with 21.3 mcg for wild rice and 3.9 mcg for brown rice. According to the University of California Berkeley Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, 1/2 cup dry wild rice provides 95 mcg or 48% of the RDA (200 mcg) of folacin for men and 53% for women.

The niacin content of wild rice is also a stand-out figure, with 1.06 mg for 1/2 cup cooked. Potassium packs an 83 mg punch, and zinc, which is usually available in trace amounts, registers 1.1 mg.

While 1/2 cup cooked wild rice offers 1.5 grams of fiber, it contains 26 mg of magnesium, a healthy balance of B vitamins and only .3 grams of unsaturated fat. Small amounts of calcium and iron are also part of the wild rice picture. …


Wild rice should be rinsed before cooking to remove any unwanted particles, such as hulls or storage debris. Put the grains into a saucepan with warm water to cover, and stir the rice around to allow any particles to float to the top. Skim off the particles and drain the water. It’s best to repeat the rinsing one more time before cooking.

As a general rule established proportions for cultivated wild rice use 1 cup of dry wild rice to 3 cups of water, with salt to taste. We suggest 1 teaspoon of salt. Combine these in a 2 or 3-quart saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to medium low, and steam for 45 minutes to 1 hour. When fully cooked, the grains open to reveal their purplish-grey inner portion, giving each grain a striking two-tone appearance. This quantity will yield about 3 to 4 cups of cooked grains, depending on variety.

Wild-crafted wild rice proportions use 1 cup of grain to 2 cups of water with a cooking time of 45 minutes. …

Try some wild rice. Make it into a salad with chopped, diced, and shredded fresh vegetables including cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, scallions, bell peppers, carrots, and cabbage. Add a few chopped raw nuts of your choice, and season with a hint of fresh minced sage, oregano and lemon juice. You can also grind it into flour and use approximately 25% of the flour in batters for muffins, pancakes, and breads. You’ll enjoy the extraordinary richness of flavor.