Bible Study Guides – From a Dungeon to a Palace

May 22, 2016 – May 28, 2016

Key Text

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (James 4:10).

Study Help: The Signs of the Times, January 15, 1880.


“From the dungeon Joseph was exalted to be ruler over all the land of Egypt. … The same fidelity to God was manifest when he stood in the palace of the Pharaohs as when in a prisoner’s cell. …

“Faithful attention to duty in every station, from the lowliest to the most exalted, had been training every power for its highest service.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 222.


  • After letting Joseph wait for two years from the time the butler was released, what dream did God give to Pharaoh? Genesis 41:1–7.

Note: “The king of Egypt had in one night two dreams, apparently pointing to the same event and seeming to foreshadow some great calamity. He could not determine their significance, yet they continued to trouble his mind. The magicians and wise men of his realm could give no interpretation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 219.

  • How was God trying to reveal Himself to Pharaoh, as He later did to Nebuchadnezzar? Genesis 41:8; Daniel 2:1–11, 29.

Note: “He [Pharaoh] called for the magicians of Egypt, and the wise men. The king thought that they would soon help him to understand these dreams, for they had a reputation of solving difficulties. The king related his dream to them, but was greatly disappointed to find that with all their magic and boasted wisdom, they could not explain them.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 149.


  • How did Pharaoh’s predicament remind the butler of Joseph again? Genesis 41:9–13.

Note: “The king’s perplexity and distress increased, and terror spread throughout his palace. The general agitation recalled to the chief butler’s mind the circumstances of his own dream; with it came the memory of Joseph, and a pang of remorse for his forgetfulness and ingratitude. He at once informed the king how his own dream and that of the chief baker had been interpreted by a Hebrew captive, and how the predictions had been fulfilled.

“It was humiliating to Pharaoh to turn away from the magicians and wise men of his kingdom to consult an alien and a slave, but he was ready to accept the lowliest service if his troubled mind might find relief. Joseph was immediately sent for; he put off his prison attire, and shaved himself, for his hair had grown long during the period of his disgrace and confinement. He was then conducted to the presence of the king.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 219, 220.

  • What should we learn from Joseph’s practice of sharing his knowledge of God with others? Genesis 41:14–16; I Peter 3:15.

Note: “Joseph’s answer to the king shows his strong faith and humble trust in God. He modestly disclaims all honor of possessing in himself superior wisdom to interpret. He tells the king that his knowledge is not greater than those whom he has consulted. ‘It is not in me’ (Genesis 41:16). God alone can explain these mysteries.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 150.

“Joseph brought God with him into Egypt, and the fact was made apparent by his cheerful demeanor amid his sorrow. …

“Joseph’s religion kept his temper sweet and his sympathy with humanity warm and strong, notwithstanding all his trials. There are those who if they feel they are not rightly used, become sour, ungenerous, crabbed and uncourteous in their words and deportment. They sink down discouraged, hateful and hating others. But Joseph was a Christian.” Sons and Daughters of God, 320.

  • What prophecy was God revealing to Pharaoh through Joseph’s interpretation, and why? Genesis 41:25–32; 2 Peter 1:19.


  • What advice did Joseph give Pharaoh after interpreting the dream, and what can we learn from Joseph’s experience? Genesis 41:33–37; James 4:10.

Note: “The king believed all that Joseph said. He believed that God was with him, and was impressed with the fact that he was the most suitable man to be placed in authority at the head of affairs. He did not despise him because he was a Hebrew slave. He saw that he possessed an excellent spirit. ‘And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is’ (Genesis 41:38)?” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 151, 152.

“He who receives Christ by living faith has a living connection with God, and is a vessel unto honor. He carries with him the atmosphere of heaven, which is the grace of God, a treasure that the world cannot buy.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1097.

  • How did all the trials and difficulties transform Joseph, and how did Pharaoh acknowledge this? Genesis 41:38–45; Acts 4:13.

Note: “In all the realm Joseph was the only man gifted with wisdom to point out the danger that threatened the kingdom and the preparation necessary to meet it; and the king was convinced that he was the one best qualified to execute the plans which he had proposed. It was evident that a divine power was with him, and that there were none among the king’s officers of state so well qualified to conduct the affairs of the nation at this crisis. The fact that he was a Hebrew and a slave was of little moment when weighed against his evident wisdom and sound judgment. ‘Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?’ (Genesis 41:38) said the king to his counselors. …

“Joseph’s character bore the test alike of adversity and prosperity. The same fidelity to God was manifest when he stood in the palace of the Pharaohs as when in a prisoner’s cell. He was still a stranger in a heathen land, separated from his kindred, the worshipers of God; but he fully believed that the divine hand had directed his steps, and in constant reliance upon God he faithfully discharged the duties of his position. Through Joseph the attention of the king and great men of Egypt was directed to the true God; and though they adhered to their idolatry, they learned to respect the principles revealed in the life and character of the worshiper of Jehovah.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 221, 222.


  • How many years of trials did Joseph pass through before finding his true freedom again? Genesis 37:2; 41:46. Why did it take so long? Psalms 27:14; 34:8.

Note: “Like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay.” The Desire of Ages, 32.

“The Lord permits those He loves to be brought into trial, that they may learn the precious lessons of trust and faith. If trials are received aright, they will prove of the highest value to us in our religious experience. As they lead us to put our trust more firmly in God, we become better acquainted with His character.” The Signs of the Times, March 10, 1881.

“There is an evidence that is open to all—the most highly educated, and the most illiterate—the evidence of experience. God invites us to prove for ourselves the reality of His Word, the truth of His promises. He bids us ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ (Psalm 34:8). Instead of depending upon the word of another, we are to taste for ourselves. … And as we draw near to Jesus, and rejoice in the fullness of His love, our doubt and darkness will disappear in the light of His presence.” The Faith I Live By, 16.

  • What shows that Joseph truly believed the dream of Pharaoh to be a prophecy of the future? Genesis 41:46–49; James 2:17–22. How did God bless his faith? Genesis 41:53–57.

Note: “Although Joseph was exalted as a ruler over all the land, yet he did not forget God. He knew that he was a stranger in a strange land, separated from his father and his brethren, which often caused him sadness, but he firmly believed that God’s hand had overruled his course, to place him in an important position. And depending on God continually, he performed all the duties of his office, as ruler over the land of Egypt with faithfulness. ‘And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering, for it was without number’ (Genesis 41:47–49).

“Joseph traveled throughout all the land of Egypt, giving command to build immense store-houses, and using his clear head and excellent judgment to aid in the preparations to secure food, necessary for the long years of famine.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 152, 153.


  • How can we rise above any trials and difficulties which come our way? Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 11:1.

Note: “Take the word of Christ as your assurance. Has He not invited you to come unto Him? Never allow yourself to talk in a hopeless, discouraged way. If you do you will lose much. By looking at appearances and complaining when difficulties and pressure come, you give evidence of a sickly, enfeebled faith. Talk and act as if your faith was invincible. The Lord is rich in resources; He owns the world. Look heavenward in faith. Look to Him who has light and power and efficiency.

“There is in genuine faith a buoyancy, a steadfastness of principle, and a fixedness of purpose that neither time nor toil can weaken.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 146, 147.

  • Even though some things may look impossible through human eyes, what does Joseph’s experience teach us? Compare Genesis 39:20 and Genesis 41:41; Mark 10:27.

Note: “The Lord chose Joseph, through much affliction to him, to carry a heavy burden in an idolatrous nation. He was to work in the line God had chosen for him, that the knowledge of God might shine forth in the kingdom of Egypt. Joseph did not betray his sacred trust.” The Review and Herald, May 25, 1897.

“The obstacles that are piled by Satan across your path, though apparently as insurmountable as the eternal hills, shall disappear before the demand of faith. ‘Nothing shall be impossible unto you’ (Matthew 17:20).” The Desire of Ages, 431.

“Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.” Conflict and Courage, 336.


1 Why did God give a heathen Pharaoh a prophetic dream?

2 More than anything else, why does prophecy testify to God’s power and existence?

3 In what attitude should we be if we are to be used by God?

4 What experience does God want us all to have?

5 What should we remember the next time we find ourselves in a trial?

Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Development of Christian Character

May 15, 2016 – May 21, 2016

Key Text

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:2, 3).

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 557–567.


“There are few who realize the influence of the little things of life upon the development of character. Nothing with which we have to do is really small. The varied circumstances that we meet day by day are designed to test our faithfulness and to qualify us for greater trusts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 222, 223.


  • Why was Joseph permitted to enter yet another trial in his life? Genesis 39:20; Psalm 105:17, 18; I Peter 4:14–16.

Note: “The part which Joseph acted in connection with the scenes of the gloomy prison, was that which raised him finally to prosperity and honor. God designed that he should obtain an experience by temptations, adversity, and hardships, to prepare him to fill an exalted position.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1097.

  • What promises can we keep in mind when passing through a trial? Genesis 39:21; I Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:19.

Note: “God safely guarded that reputation [of Joseph] that was blackened by a wicked accuser, and afterward, in His own good time, caused it to shine.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 145.

“With every temptation we have the promise of God that there shall be a way of escape. Why, then, are so many overcome? It is because they do not put their trust in God.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 22.


  • How was Joseph’s faith unshaken by this severe yet unjust trial? Genesis 39:22, 23.

Note: “At the first Joseph was treated with great severity by his jailers. The psalmist says, ‘His feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron: until the time that his word came to pass; the word of the Lord tried him’ (Psalm 105:18, 19, RV). But Joseph’s real character shines out, even in the darkness of the dungeon. He held fast his faith and patience; his years of faithful service had been most cruelly repaid, yet this did not render him morose or distrustful. He had the peace that comes from conscious innocence, and he trusted his case with God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 218.

  • When tempted to question God because of the severity of an injustice, whom should we remember? Isaiah 53:7; I Peter 2:21–23.

Note: “Are you tempted? He [our elder Brother] will deliver. Are you weak? He will strengthen. Are you ignorant? He will enlighten. ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds’ (Psalm 147:3). Whatever your anxieties and trials, spread out your case before the Lord. Your spirit will be braced for endurance. The way will be opened for you to disentangle yourself from embarrassment and difficulty. The weaker and more helpless you know yourself to be, the stronger will you become in His strength.” The Signs of the Times, January 15, 1902.

  • What is evident that Potiphar didn’t fully believe his wife’s accusation? Genesis 39:20; Proverbs 6:34.

Note: “Had Potiphar fully believed the charges of his wife, Joseph would have lost his life. But his past conduct, his modesty and firm integrity, were convincing proof of his innocence; and yet, to save the reputation of his master’s house, Joseph was sacrificed, while the sinful wife was exalted in the estimation of her friends as if a model of virtue.” The Signs of the Times, January 8, 1880.


  • What did Joseph’s attitude in prison reveal? Philippians 2:4.

Note: “He [Joseph] was condemned as a criminal to a gloomy prison, yet he did not become morose and look upon the discouraging features of his case. He kept his patience and his hope and faith. He did not close his heart against suffering humanity, he did not turn his attention to himself, but entered into the troubles of his fellow-prisoners, giving them his kindly sympathy. He found work to do, even in the prison. He was indeed a servant of servants. God was fitting him, in the school of affliction, for greater usefulness. He was learning to govern himself. From a position of honor and trust he had been suddenly abased to one of apparent degradation; but integrity, innocence, and virtue can never be degraded. God’s will had been his ruling motive in prosperity, and he shows the same high regard for that will now that he is inclosed in prison walls. He carried his religion with him wherever he went, and in whatever situation he was placed.” The Signs of the Times, January 8, 1880.

  • While in prison, what types of qualities was God trying to inspire in Joseph? Genesis 40:1–4; 41:33, 38, 39; Proverbs 1:1–5; 14:35.

Note: “He [Joseph] did not brood upon his own wrongs, but forgot his sorrow in trying to lighten the sorrows of others. He found a work to do, even in the prison. God was preparing him in the school of affliction for greater usefulness, and he did not refuse the needful discipline. In the prison, witnessing the results of oppression and tyranny and the effects of crime, he learned lessons of justice, sympathy, and mercy, that prepared him to exercise power with wisdom and compassion.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 218.

“The formation of a noble character is the work of a lifetime and must be the result of diligent and persevering effort. God gives opportunities; success depends upon the use made of them.” Ibid., 223.

“We become overcomers by helping others to overcome. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept. … How many in our churches will seek to set such an example as will reflect to mankind the Light of the world?” The Review and Herald, February 25, 1909.


  • Through God’s providence, how was Joseph able to minister to Pharaoh’s butler and baker? Genesis 40:5–8, first part. In whom did Joseph place his confidence when offering the interpretation? Verse 8, last part; James 1:5.

Note: “ ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him’ (James 1:5). Such a promise is of more value than gold or silver. If with a humble heart you seek divine guidance in every trouble and perplexity, His word is pledged that a gracious answer will be given you. And His word can never fail.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 427.

  • What was the dream of the chief butler, and how did Joseph interpret it? Genesis 40:9–13.

Note: “Then the butler related to Joseph his dream, which he interpreted, that the butler would be restored to the king’s favor, and deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand as he had formerly done. The butler was satisfied with the interpretation, and his mind was at once relieved.

“Joseph told the chief butler that in three days he would be no more a prisoner. He felt very grateful to Joseph because of the interest he had manifested for him, and the kind treatment he had received at his hands, and, above all, for helping him when in great distress of mind, by interpreting his dream.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 147.

  • The baker was excited to find out about his dream, but what was its meaning? Genesis 40:16–19. How accurate were Joseph’s interpretations? Verses 20–22.

Note: “ ‘When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good’ (Genesis 40:16), he took courage and made known his dream. As soon as he related his dream, Joseph looked sad. He understood its terrible meaning. Joseph possessed a kind, sympathizing heart, yet his high sense of duty led him to give the truthful, yet sad, interpretation to the chief baker’s dream. He told him that the three baskets upon his head meant three days. And that, as in his dream, the birds ate the baked meats out of the upper basket, so they would eat his flesh hung upon a tree.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 147, 148.


  • After giving the interpretation of the butler’s dream, what did Joseph ask of him, and why? Genesis 40:14, 15. How did the butler repay the kindness of Joseph? Verse 23.

Note: “The butler was guilty of the sin of ingratitude. After he had obtained relief from his anxiety, by the cheering interpretation of Joseph, he thought that he should, if brought again into the king’s favor, certainly remember the captive Joseph, and speak in his favor to the king. He had seen the interpretation of the dream exactly fulfilled, yet in his prosperity he forgot Joseph in his affliction and confinement. Ingratitude is regarded by the Lord as among the most aggravating sins. And although abhorred by God and man, yet it is of daily occurrence.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 148.

  • What important lesson did God desire Joseph to learn while in prison? Jeremiah 17:5; Isaiah 49:14–16. Why? I Corinthians 1:31.

Note: “For two years longer Joseph remained a prisoner. The hope that had been kindled in his heart gradually died out, and to all other trials was added the bitter sting of ingratitude.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 219.

“Faith is trusting God—believing that He loves us and knows best what is for our good. Thus, instead of our own, it leads us to choose His way. In place of our ignorance, it accepts His wisdom; in place of our weakness, His strength; in place of our sinfulness, His righteousness. Our lives, ourselves, are already His; faith acknowledges His ownership and accepts its blessing. Truth, uprightness, purity, have been pointed out as secrets of life’s success. It is faith that puts us in possession of these principles.” Education, 253.


1 What means does God use to develop character?

2 Why can we look to Him when facing trials?

3 How should we act when going through trials and difficulties?

4 How do we truly receive wisdom?

5 What should we remember when disappointed by human neglect?

Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Purity in an Age of Decay

May 8, 2016 – May 14, 2016

Key Text

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (I Timothy 4:12).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 390–411.


“What a lesson for all youth we have in the history of Joseph. Here moral integrity was preserved under the strongest temptations.” Christ Triumphant, 97.


  • What is God calling young people like Joseph to be today? Genesis 39:9; I Timothy 4:12; Proverbs 31:10–12.

Note: “Do not see how close you can walk upon the brink of a precipice and be safe. Avoid the first approach to danger. The soul’s interests cannot be trifled with. Your capital is your character. Cherish it as you would a golden treasure. Moral purity, self-respect, a strong power of resistance, must be firmly and constantly cherished. There should not be one departure from reserve; one act of familiarity, one indiscretion, may jeopardize the soul in opening the door to temptation, and the power of resistance becomes weakened.” The Adventist Home, 404.

  • What damage is done when sexual sins are practiced? Proverbs 6:27–33.

Note: “Few temptations are more dangerous or more fatal to young men than the temptation to sensuality, and none if yielded to will prove so decidedly ruinous to soul and body for time and eternity.” Letters to Young Lovers, 69.

“David was a repentant man, and although he confessed and hated his sin, he could not forget it.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 89.


  • What is the only intimate physical relationship which God regards as moral and pure? Genesis 2:21–25; Hebrews 13:4.

Note: “When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this [marital] relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man’s social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature.” The Adventist Home, 26.

  • What happens when the marriage institution, as given by God, is no longer recognized by society as the standard of sexual morality? Isaiah 5:20; Romans 1:26–32; John 3:19, 20.

Note: “Everywhere are seen wrecks of humanity, broken-down family altars, broken-up families. There is a strange abandonment of principle, the standard of morality is lowered, and the earth is fast becoming a Sodom. The Sodomitish practices which brought the judgment of God upon the world, and caused it to be deluged with water, and which caused Sodom to be destroyed by fire, are fast increasing. We are nearing the end. God has borne long with the perversity of mankind, but their punishment is no less certain. Let those who profess to be the light of the world, depart from all iniquity.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 120, 121.

  • What happens when God’s church allows sexual immorality to exist within her borders? Ephesians 5:11, 12; Romans 2:21–24; Jude 5–7.

Note: “Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree; and ministers who are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. They are coveting their neighbors’ wives, and the seventh commandment is broken. We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil?” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 188.


  • With easy access to the Internet through personal computers and other portable electronic devices (smartphones, tablets), which sins of impurity are on the increase? Matthew 5:27, 28; I John 2:16.

Note: “Exciting love stories and impure pictures have a corrupting influence. … This is an age when corruption is teeming everywhere. The lust of the eye and corrupt passions are aroused by beholding and by reading. The heart is corrupted through the imagination. The mind takes pleasure in contemplating scenes which awaken the lower and baser passions. These vile images, seen through defiled imagination, corrupt the morals and prepare the deluded, infatuated beings to give loose rein to lustful passions.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 410.

  • What can be done to protect ourselves and our children against such strategies of the devil? Luke 11:34, 35; Psalm 101:3; Job 31:1.

Note: “If parents desire their children to be pure, they must surround them with pure associations such as God can approve.

“With what care parents should guard their children from careless, loose, demoralizing habits! Fathers and mothers, do you realize the importance of the responsibility resting on you? Do you allow your children to associate with other children without being present to know what kind of education they are receiving? Do not allow them to be alone with other children. Give them your special care. Every evening know where they are and what they are doing. Are they pure in all their habits? Have you instructed them in the principles of moral purity?” Child Guidance, 114.

  • With immorality abounding around us, where should our mind and affections be? Philippians 4:8; 2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 3:1, 2.

Note: “If in their tender years the minds of children are filled with pleasant images of truth, of purity and goodness, a taste will be formed for that which is pure and elevated, and their imagination will not become easily corrupted or defiled.” Child Guidance, 116.

“Recreation in the open air, the contemplation of the works of God in nature, will be of the highest benefit.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 653.

“Parents and guardians must themselves maintain purity of heart and life, if they desire their children to be pure.” Child Guidance, 27.


  • Why is it so important to stand up for purity now than it has been in any other time? 2 Timothy 3:13; I Corinthians 6:9–11.

Note: “Immorality abounds everywhere. Licentiousness is the special sin of this age. Never did vice lift its deformed head with such boldness as now. The people seem to be benumbed, and the lovers of virtue and true goodness are nearly discouraged by its boldness, strength, and prevalence. The iniquity which abounds is not merely confined to the unbeliever and the scoffer. Would that this were the case, but it is not. Many men and women who profess the religion of Christ are guilty. Even some who profess to be looking for His appearing are no more prepared for that event than Satan himself. They are not cleansing themselves from all pollution.” The Adventist Home, 328.

  • What kind of mind will highly principled, Christian men and women possess? What will this enable them to do? 2 Timothy 1:7; Ephesians 4:13, 14; James 1:6–8.

Note: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” Education, 57.

  • How can we have a mind governed by principle and truth rather than by policy and inclination? Philippians 2:5; Psalm 40:8; Matthew 4:4.

Note: “Those who have never learned their duty from God, and acquainted themselves with His purposes concerning them, are not reliable in times of severe conflict with the powers of darkness. They are swayed by external and present appearances. …

“In the renewed heart there will be a fixed principle to obey the will of God, because there is a love for what is just, and good, and holy. There will be no hesitating, conferring with the taste, or studying of convenience, or moving in a certain course because others do so. Everyone should live for himself.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 487, 488.


  • What happened when Joseph chose to stand firm for God? Genesis 39:12–20. Why shouldn’t we be surprised by this? 2 Timothy 3:12.

Note: “Joseph’s faithful integrity led to the loss of his reputation and his liberty. This is the severest test that the virtuous and God-fearing are subjected to, that vice seems to prosper while virtue is trampled in the dust. The seducer was living in prosperity as a model of virtuous propriety, while Joseph, true to principle, was under a degrading charge of crime the most revolting.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1097.

  • How firmly should we be prepared to stand in upholding the purity of the marriage institution? Matthew 14:3–10.

Note: “Marriage was from the creation constituted by God a divine ordinance. … Then let this, God’s institution of marriage, stand before you as firm as the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 159.

“Why need he [John the Baptist] have provoked the anger of Herodias by telling Herod that it was unlawful for him to live with his brother’s wife? The forerunner of Christ lost his life by his plain speaking. Why could he not have moved along without incurring the displeasure of those who were living in sin?

“So men who should be standing as faithful guardians of God’s law have argued, till policy has taken the place of faithfulness, and sin is allowed to go unreproved. When will the voice of faithful rebuke be heard once more in the church?” Prophets and Kings, 141.


1 Why is the violation of the seventh commandment so treacherous to the soul?

2 How is society today fast fulfilling the prophecies relating to Christ’s return?

3 How can technology become a deadly weapon in the hand of the user?

4 What is the greatest need in the world today?

5 Would you be willing to lay down your life in defending God’s institutions?

Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Joseph’s Greatest Test

May 1, 2016 – May 7, 2016

Key Text

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” (I Corinthians 6:18).

Study Help: Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 81–98.


“Through the integrity of Joseph the life of that whole people [the ancient Egyptian nation] was preserved.” The Acts of the Apostles, 13.


  • When things are running smoothly, of what should we always be aware? I Corinthians 10:12; Matthew 26:41.

Note: “We should now seek a deep and living experience in the things of God. We have not a moment to lose. Events of vital importance are taking place around us; we are on Satan’s enchanted ground. Sleep not, sentinels of God; the foe is lurking near, ready at any moment, should you become lax and drowsy, to spring upon you and make you his prey.” The Great Controversy, 601.

  • While God was blessing Joseph abundantly, what was the devil trying to do? Genesis 39:5–7; I Peter 5:8.

Note: “Our great adversary has agents that are constantly hunting for an opportunity to destroy souls, as a lion hunts his prey.” Colporteur Ministry, 52.

“Man is naturally inclined to follow Satan’s suggestions, and he cannot successfully resist … unless Christ, the mighty Conqueror, dwells in him, guiding his desires, and giving him strength. God alone can limit the power of Satan. He is going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it. He is not off his watch for a single moment, through fear of losing an opportunity to destroy souls.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 341.


  • What was the purpose of the devil in laying the trap of adultery before Joseph’s eyes? Genesis 39:7; Proverbs 5:1–5; 7:22, 23, 27.

Note: “Few temptations are more dangerous or more fatal to young men than the temptation to sensuality and none if yielded to will prove so decidedly ruinous to soul and body for time and eternity. The welfare of his entire future is suspended upon the decision of a moment.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1097.

“A little time spent in sowing your wild oats, dear young friends, will produce a crop that will embitter your whole life; an hour of thoughtlessness, once yielding to temptation, may turn the whole current of your life in the wrong direction. You can have but one youth; make that useful. When once you have passed over the ground, you can never return to rectify your mistakes.” The Adventist Home, 59.

  • Under which circumstances is a person most prone to fall into the sins of immorality? Genesis 39:11, 12, first part; Proverbs 7:13–21.

Note: “All who willfully depart from God’s commandments are placing themselves under the control of Satan. Many a man tampers with evil, thinking that he can break away at pleasure; but he is lured on and on, until he finds himself controlled by a will stronger than his own. He cannot escape its mysterious power. Secret sin or master passion may hold him a captive as helpless as was the demoniac of Capernaum.” The Faith I Live By, 312.

“One may conceal his sin from father, mother, wife, and friends, and yet all lies open before God, and is placed in His book of record.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 89.

  • Why are we to avoid being alone in compromising situations with the opposite sex? I Thessalonians 5:22.

Note: “All who love Jesus and keep the commandments will seek to avoid the very appearance of evil; not because they are constrained thus to do, but because they are copying a pure model, and feel averse to everything contrary to the law written in their hearts.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 81.


  • When Joseph was confronted with the seducing temptation of Potiphar’s wife, where were his thoughts centered? Genesis 39:7–9; Colossians 3:1–3.

Note: “Joseph’s answer reveals the power of religious principle. He would not betray the confidence of his master on earth, and, whatever the consequences, he would be true to his Master in heaven. Under the inspecting eye of God and holy angels many take liberties of which they would not be guilty in the presence of their fellow men, but Joseph’s first thought was of God. ‘How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God’ (Genesis 39:9)? he said.” Conflict and Courage, 75.

“When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the word. All its strength is yours. ‘Thy word,’ says the psalmist, ‘have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee’ (Psalm 119:11).” The Desire of Ages, 123.

  • What was it that made Joseph recoil from Potifer’s wife’s advances? Genesis 39:9; Hebrews 8:10; Psalm 119:10, 11. What happens when we hide God’s promises in our heart? 2 Peter 1:4.

Note: “The fear of God, united with the love of that which is noble, pure, and elevating, will guard you from a dishonest action. …

“What a lesson for all youth we have in the history of Joseph. Here moral integrity was preserved under the strongest temptations. How fierce and seductive was the assault upon his virtue! Coming from such a source and in such a form, it was the most likely to corrupt a youthful mind. Joseph was saved by his religious principles, which led him promptly and firmly to resist the device of Satan.” Christ Triumphant, 97.

“We shall be tempted in a variety of ways, but when we are tempted we need to remember that a provision has been made whereby we may overcome. … Those who truly believe in Christ are made partakers of the divine nature and have power that they can appropriate under every temptation. They will not fall under temptation and be left to defeat. In time of trial they will claim the promises and by these escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust.” Ibid., 197.

“Let the youth be taught to give close study to the word of God. Received into the soul, it will prove a mighty barricade against temptation.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 121.


  • What is the only way to meet any sexual temptations? Genesis 39:12; I Corinthians 6:18.

Note: “Joseph calmly casts his eyes to heaven for help, slips off his loose outer garment, leaving it in the hand of his tempter and while his eye is lighted with determined resolve in the place of unholy passion, he exclaims, ‘How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God’ (Geneses 39:9)? The victory is gained; he flees from the enchanter; he is saved.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1097.

“Do not stop for one moment to reason. Satan would rejoice to see you overthrown by temptation. Do not stop to argue the case with your weak conscience. Turn away from the first step of transgression.” Counsels on Health, 587.

  • In times when the devil is trying to destroy the purity and innocence of children and youth by promoting licentiousness, what can we learn from Joseph? 2 Timothy 2:22; I Timothy 4:12.

Note: “To shield their children from contaminating influences, parents should instruct them in the principles of purity. Those children who in the home form habits of obedience and self-control will have little difficulty in their school life and will escape many of the temptations that beset the youth. Parents should train their children to be true to God under all circumstances and in all places. They should surround them with influences that tend to strengthen character.” Child Guidance, 113.

  • What practical measures can we take to avoid falling into the way of temptation? Romans 13:14; Psalm 101:3.

Note: “Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind must not be left to dwell at random upon every subject that the enemy of souls may suggest. The heart must be faithfully sentineled, or evils without will awaken evils within, and the soul will wander in darkness.” The Adventist Home, 403.


  • Who was watching Joseph when he was faced with the greatest temptation of his life? Genesis 39:2; Proverbs 5:20, 21; I Corinthians 4:9.

Note: “Fiery trials were to test still more severely the faith and integrity of Joseph. The morals of the Egyptians were very low. His master’s wife was a licentious woman, and now a temptation to deviate from the path of right, to transgress the law of God, is presented before the youthful exile. His future welfare depends upon the decision of the moment. Will Satan triumph? Will principle now garrison Joseph’s heart? Will he now have the fear of God before him? Will he be loyal and true to the divine law? Angels were regarding this servant of God with intense interest.” The Signs of the Times, January 8, 1880.

  • Although human eyes may not see what we do and we may hide our private sins from human eyes, what reality should we ever keep before our mind? Hebrews 4:13; Ecclesiastes 12:14.

Note: “If we were to cherish an habitual impression that God sees and hears all that we do and say and keeps a faithful record of our words and actions, and that we must meet it all, we would fear to sin. Let the young ever remember that wherever they are, and whatever they do, they are in the presence of God. No part of our conduct escapes observation. We cannot hide our ways from the Most High. Human laws, though sometimes severe, are often transgressed without detection, and hence with impunity. But not so with the law of God. The deepest midnight is no cover for the guilty one. He may think himself alone, but to every deed there is an unseen witness. The very motives of his heart are open to divine inspection.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 217, 218.


1 Why should the Christian always be vigilant?

2 How can one sin change the direction of our life?

3 How can we best prepare to meet temptation?

4 What steps can we take to avoid falling into licentious sins?

5 When we are alone, away from human beings, and are tempted to sin, what should we ever remember?

Copyright © 2015 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Raw Carob Avocado Mousse Pudding

Raw Carob Avocado Mousse Pudding
2 large ripe avocados ½ cup coconut milk or milk of choice
10–12 medjool dates or 2 Tbsp. honey pinch sea salt
1/4 cup raw carob powder, or to taste
Cut, peel and de-stone avocado; pit dates. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour into small serving dishes. Enjoy right away or refrigerate.


Food – Avocado – The Healthy Butter

Avocados are in a class by themselves when it comes to nutrition and it’s easy to see why as they offer a powerhouse of benefits as well as lending a rich, creamy, buttery flavor and texture to numerous recipes in which they are used. They can be incorporated into everything from salads to soups to smoothies, raw puddings and even face creams and hair conditioning. What makes this pear-shaped berry such a priceless fruit?

Avocados offer a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. They contain high levels of potassium, which help support healthy blood pressure levels in reducing heart attack and stroke. One avocado offers more than twice the potassium of a banana.

They contain almost all of the amino acids and have a high amino acid score which indicates they are an excellent high-quality protein source. Proteins assist in building and preserving body muscle, tissue and bone, carrying vitamins and other nutrients from organs into the cells.

High in antioxidants, avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein is incredibly important for eye health. This nutrient is linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two disabling age-related eye diseases.

Avocados are very high in omega 3 fatty acids, the “good” kind of fat, a monounsaturated fat, which helps to significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels as well as reduce blood triglycerides.

Loaded with fiber, they have the highest fiber content of any fruit. Fiber adds bulk which helps to feel full longer, contributing to weight loss and reduced blood sugar spikes. It also aids in excreting waste and cholesterol from the body more quickly. One avocado contains 40 percent of the daily value of fiber needed for optimum health.

Avocados make a wonderful first solid food for baby due to their smooth, velvety texture and “good” fat and high nutrient content, beneficial for the brain and physical development. Use alone or mash with a banana, pear or peach to provide a perfect food.

Avocados nourish and moisturize the skin when mashed and combined with honey for a mask, adding moisture and glow. Massage mashed avocado and coconut oil into hair for moisture, luster and shine.

Most often reveled in guacamole dip, these culinary wonders offer many more possibilities. They are the final word in sandwiches and wraps as well as salads and dressings. Enjoy on toast, baked potatoes with fresh salsa, steamed vegetables, soups, in bean, grain, pasta and vegetable dishes, hummus and smoothies. They are delectable in raw puddings.

Raw Carob Avocado Mousse Pudding
2 large ripe avocados ½ cup coconut milk or milk of choice
10–12 medjool dates or 2 Tbsp. honey pinch sea salt
1/4 cup raw carob powder, or to taste
Cut, peel and de-stone avocado; pit dates. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour into small serving dishes. Enjoy right away or refrigerate.


Children Story – Make It Plain

On the sixteenth day after the battle of Gettysburg, I entered the room where a young wounded colonel was apparently near to death. As I entered, he was roused from his stupor and beckoned me to his bedside, and threw his feeble arms around my neck.

“O my father, how glad I am to see you. I was afraid you would not come till it was too late. I am too feeble to say much, though I have a great many things to say to you; you must do all the talking. Tell me all about dear mother and sister.”

I soon perceived by the appearance of those in the house, that there was no hope entertained of his recovery. But as I could no longer endure the agony of suspense, I at last inquired of the doctor, “Doctor, what do you think of my son’s case?”

“Entirely hopeless.”

“But is there nothing more that can be done to save him?”

“No, sir. Every thing that human skill and kindness can do has been done. Your son has been a brave and very successful officer; has been a great favorite in the army; has won the highest esteem of all who have known him, but now he must die. Immediately after the amputation the gangrene set in, and defies all efforts to arrest it.”

“Well, Doctor, how long do you think he can live?”

“Not more than four days. He may drop away at any hour. We are constantly fearing that an artery will give way, and then it is all over with the colonel. What you wish to do in reference to his death, you had better do at once.”

“Have you, or has any one, told him of his real condition?”

“No. We have left that painful duty for you to do, as we have been expecting your arrival for several days.”

As I entered the room with the dreadful message of death pressing on my heart, the eyes of my son fastened on me.

“Come, sit by my side, father. Have you been talking with the doctor about me?”


“What did he tell you? Does he think I shall recover?”

There was a painful hesitation for a moment.

“Don’t be afraid to tell me just what he said.”

“He told me you must die.”

“How long does he think I can live?”

“Not to exceed four days, and that you may drop away any hour—that an artery may slough at any moment which you cannot survive.”

With great agitation he exclaimed,

“Father, is that so? Then I must die! I cannot. I must not die! Oh! I am not prepared to die now. Do tell me how I can get ready? Make it so plain that I can get hold of it. Tell me, in a few words, if you can, so that I can see it plainly. I know you can, father, for I used to hear you explain it to others.”

’Twas no time now for tears, but for calmness and light, by which to lead the soul to Christ, and both were given.

“My son, I see you are afraid to die.”

“Yes, I am.”

“Well, I suppose you feel guilty.”

“Yes, that is it. I have been a wicked young man. You know how it is in the army.”

“You want to be forgiven, don’t you?”

“Oh, yes! That is what I want. Can I be, father?”


“Can I know it before I die?”


“Well now, father, make it so plain that I can get hold of it.”

At once, an incident which occurred during the school-days of my son came to my mind. I had not thought of it before for several years. Now it came back to me, fresh with its interest, and just what was wanted to guide the agitated heart of this young inquirer to Jesus.

“Do you remember while at school in ______ you came home one day, and I having occasion to rebuke you, you became very angry and abused me with harsh language?”

“Yes, father, I was thinking it all over a few days ago, as I thought of your coming to see me, and felt so bad about it, that I wanted to see you, and once more ask you to forgive me.”

“Do you remember, how, after the paroxysm of your anger had subsided, you came in, and threw your arms around my neck, and said, ‘My dear father, I am sorry I abused you so. It was not your loving son that did it. I was angry. Won’t you forgive me?’ ”

“Yes, I remember it very distinctly.”

“Do you remember what I said to you as you wept upon my neck?”

“Very well. You said, ‘I forgive you with all my heart,’ and kissed me. I shall never forget those words.”

“Did you believe me?”

“Certainly. I never doubted your word.”

“Did you then feel happy again?”

“Yes, perfectly; and since that time I have loved you more than ever before. I shall never forget how it relieved me when you looked upon me so kindly, and said, ‘I forgive you with all my heart.’ ”

“Well, now, this is just the way to come to Jesus. Tell Him you are sorry just as you told me, and ten thousand times quicker than a father’s love forgave you, will He forgive you. He says He will. Then you must take His word for it, just as you did mine.”

“Why, father, is this the way to become a Christian?”

“I don’t know of any other.”

“Why, father, I can get hold of this. I am so glad you have come to tell me how.”

He turned his head upon his pillow for rest. I sank into my chair and wept freely, for my heart could no longer suppress its emotions. I had done my work, and committed the case to Christ. He, too, I was soon assured, had done His. The broken heart had made its confession, had heard what it longed for, “I forgive you,” and believed it. It was but a few moments of silence, but the new creation had taken place, the broken heart had made its short, simple prayer, and believed, and the new heart had been given. A soul had passed out from nature’s darkness into marvelous light, and from the power of sin and Satan unto God.

I soon felt the nervous hand on my head, and heard the word, “father,” in such a tone of tenderness and joy, that I knew the change had come.

“Father, my dear father, I don’t want you to weep any more, you need not. I am perfectly happy now. Jesus has forgiven me. I know He has, for He says so, and I take His word for it, just as I did yours. Wipe your tears. I am not afraid to die now. If it is God’s will, I would like to live to serve my country, and take care of you and mother, but if I must die, I am not afraid to now, Jesus has forgiven me. Come, father, let us sing—

“ ‘When I can read my title clear,’ ” and we did sing.

“Now, father, I want you should pray, and I will follow you.”

We did pray, and Jesus heard us.

“Father, I am very happy. Why, I believe I shall get well. I feel much better.”

From that hour all his symptoms changed—pulse went down, and countenance brightened. The current of life had changed.

The doctor soon came in and found him cheerful and happy—looked at him—felt his pulse, which he had been watching with intense anxiety and said—

“Why, Colonel, you look better.”

“I am better, Doctor. I am going to get well. My father has told me how to become a Christian, and I am very happy. I believe I shall recover, for God has heard my prayer. Doctor, I want you should become a Christian too. My father can tell you how to get hold of it.”

In the evening three surgeons were in consultation, but saw no hope in the case, and one of them took his final leave of the colonel.

Next morning the two surgeons, who had been in constant attendance came in and began as usual to dress the wound.

On opening the bandage, they suddenly drew back, and throwing up their arms exclaimed—

“This is a miracle! The gangrene is arrested, and the colonel will live! God has heard your prayers!”

“Why, Doctor,” replied the colonel, “I told you yesterday, that I believed I should get well, for I asked Jesus that I might live to do some good. I knew He heard my prayer, and now you see He has. Bless the Lord with me, Doctor.”

Meanwhile, “Our son must die,” had gone over the wires, and made sadness at home. Next day, “Our son will live, and is happy in Christ,” followed, and joy came again to the loved ones.

After his recovery, the colonel returned to the people whose sons he had led with honor through fifteen hard fought battles. They, in return, gave him the best office in the gift of a loyal and grateful people. Among them he now lives in prosperity and honor, he is a member of the church of Christ, and the father of a happy family growing up around him, and consecrated to the service of his Redeemer.

I, too, was made a better man and better minister by that scene, where this dear son, struggling with his guilt and fear of death, was led to Jesus, and found the pardon of his sins. I there resolved never to forget that charge he made me, in his extremity: “Make it so plain that I can get hold of it.”

I have made this the motto of every sermon I have preached, and God has blessed the effort.

Sabbath Readings for The Home Circle, vol. 2, 180–188.

Health – Harmful Food Dyes

Artificial dyes are found in most processed foods and may be causing health issues because they are synthetic and dangerous. Food dyes add no benefits whatsoever to foods, other than adding eye appeal. You will find artificial dyes in colored drinks and candies, brown cereal, whole wheat pizza crust and white frosting, pickles, children’s vitamins and Motrin, nacho chips and flavored instant oatmeal, and the list goes on. Many packaged foods contain coloring. Read the ingredients!

“What was once reserved for colorful, celebratory cake frosting is now lurking on almost every shelf in the grocery store. In fact, consumption of food dyes has increased 5-fold since 1955 (up from 3 million to 15 million pounds per year) – 90% of which is from Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40. This is one of the many reasons why the argument that we grew up eating this stuff and turned out ‘just fine’ doesn’t hold up – processed food has changed (and continues to change) since we were kids. …”

“These are some of the food dyes that are currently on the market. If you see these ingredients added to a product, exercise caution before buying:

  • Blue #1 & #2: These ingredients are often added to pet food, baked goods, candy, and beverages. They have been linked to cancer and tumor formation in mice and hamsters. …
  • Red #3: Most commonly used to color baked goods, candy, fruit cocktail, and cherries. Researchers found that this food dye caused thyroid tumors in rats.
  • Red #40: This ingredient is usually contaminated with carcinogens such as benzidine, and researchers found that it increased tumor incidence and death rate in hamsters who were exposed to it.
  • Yellow #5: Another food dye that is usually contaminated with carcinogens such as benzidine. Researchers found that it mimics the function of estrogen in the body.
  • Yellow #6: Often added to candy, baked goods, gelatin, sausage, and beverages, this ingredient has been associated with tumor formation in the kidneys and adrenal gland. …”

“Back in 1985, the acting commissioner of the FDA said that Red 3, one of the lesser-used dyes, ‘has clearly been shown to induce cancer’ and was ‘of greatest public health concern.’ However, Secretary of Agriculture John R. Block pressed the Department of Health and Human Services not to ban the dye, and he apparently prevailed—notwithstanding the Delaney Amendment that forbids the use of in foods of cancer-causing color additives. Each year about 200,000 pounds of Red 3 are poured into such foods as Betty Crocker’s Fruit Roll-Ups and ConAgra’s Kid Cuisine frozen meals. Since 1985 more than five million pounds of the dye have been used.”

Interesting history:

“Food colorings have been used since ancient times. When color was needed, spices, flowers, and juices from fruits and vegetables were employed to do the job. Minerals and ores were also used but were found to be dangerous. If the concentration was off even a little bit, the result was a poisonous food that could not be eaten.

“Artificial food colorings began as additives that enhanced the way that food looked in shop windows. … If the color is bright then you think that the food is fresher somehow. It is a trick of the eye and the brain that has worked for manufacturers for ages.

“In early history, food colorings were derived from natural sources. This went for medications and/or cosmetics too. If you wanted red coloring for a cake, you added red beet root juice to the mixture. This not only provided a deep color but also a certain flavor. For other colors, different spices could be used with water to bring out the desired look. …

“After World War II, scientists discovered that they could manufacture coloring additives artificially and cheaper than using food sources. The colorings that went into food were created in labs or extracted from dyes. People didn’t notice the difference. …

“Many of these artificial colorings were derived from petroleum-based products. It extended shelf life and that was important at the time. According to the government, as long as the chemical used in the food wasn’t at a level that would kill half of the test animals in the group, it was deemed safe for human consumption. There were no tests that measured toxicity as it related to behavior in humans or animals.

“In the 1930s an act was put in place that called for regulation of color additives to foods, drugs and cosmetic products. When artificial colorings were added to the line-up, they also had to be regulated and included in this act (in 1960). …

“Artificial colorings added no additional nutritional value to the food. …

“… the use of coloring additives has increased. You don’t just see the coloring in candy or jelly beans. It can be found in soft drinks, popsicles, ice cream and even fish. …

“Dyes are added to some salmon to keep it looking bright in the package. It apparently works. If you saw a lighter-colored salmon and a brighter piece of fish, which would you buy? …”

A healthier alternative would be to limit processed foods and prepare your own meals with healthy ingredients which include fresh fruit and vegetables in which God’s natural coloring shines forth and nourishes your body.

Question & Answer – What is the New Heart Experience?

New Christians will look for a new heart experience. This means the things they once loved they now hate and the things they hated they now love. Their affections change toward heavenly or spiritual things and their characters are reshaped.

“When Jesus speaks of the new heart, He means the mind, the life, the whole being.

  • To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ.
  • To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives.
  • What is the sign of a new heart?—A changed life. There is a daily, hourly dying to selfishness and pride.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 26, 1901.

“One of the most earnest prayers recorded in the word of God is that of David when he pleaded, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God’ (Psalm 51:10). God’s response to such a prayer is, A new heart will I give you. This is a work that no finite man can do. Men and women are to begin at the beginning, seeking God most earnestly for a true Christian experience. They are to feel the creative power of the Holy Spirit. They are to receive the new heart, that is kept soft and tender by the grace of heaven. The selfish spirit is to be cleansed from the soul. They are to labor earnestly and with humility of heart, each one looking to Jesus for guidance and encouragement. …” Our High Calling, 159.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having

  • new motives,
  • new tastes,
  • new tendencies.

Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices, they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again.” The Review and Herald, April 12, 1892.

God says: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:26, 37).

Inspiration – The Transfiguration

The faith of the disciples was greatly strengthened at the transfiguration, when they were permitted to behold Christ’s glory and to hear the voice from heaven testifying to His divine character. God chose to give the followers of Jesus strong proof that He was the promised Messiah, that in their bitter sorrow and disappointment at His crucifixion, they would not entirely cast away their confidence. At the transfiguration the Lord sent Moses and Elijah to talk with Jesus concerning His sufferings and death. Instead of choosing angels to converse with His Son, God chose those who had themselves experienced the trials of earth.

Elijah had walked with God. His work had been painful and trying, for the Lord through him had reproved the sins of Israel. Elijah was a prophet of God; yet he was compelled to flee from place to place to save his life. His own nation hunted him like a wild beast that they might destroy him. But God translated Elijah. Angels bore him in glory and triumph to heaven.

Moses was greater than any who had lived before him. He had been highly honored of God, being privileged to talk with the Lord face to face, as a man speaks with a friend. He was permitted to see the bright light and excellent glory that enshrouded the Father. The Lord through Moses delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses was a mediator for his people, often standing between them and the wrath of God. When the anger of the Lord was greatly kindled against Israel for their unbelief, their murmurings, and their grievous sins, Moses’ love for them was tested. God proposed to destroy them and to make of him a mighty nation. Moses showed his love for Israel by his earnest pleading in their behalf. In his distress he prayed God to turn from His fierce anger and forgive Israel, or blot his name out of His book.

When Israel murmured against God and against Moses because they could get no water, they accused him of leading them out to kill them and their children. God heard their murmurings and bade Moses speak to the rock, that the people might have water. Moses smote the rock in wrath and took the glory to himself. The continual waywardness and murmuring of the children of Israel had caused him the keenest sorrow, and for a little time he forgot how much the Lord had borne with them, and that their murmuring was not against him, but against God. He thought only of himself, how deeply he was wronged, and how little gratitude they manifested in return for his deep love for them.

It was God’s plan to bring often His people into strait places, and then in their necessity to deliver them by His power, that they might realize His love and care for them, and thus be led to serve and honor Him. But Moses had failed to honor God and magnify His name before the people that they might glorify Him. In this he brought upon himself the Lord’s displeasure.

When Moses came down from the mount with the two tables of stone and saw Israel worshiping the golden calf, his anger was greatly kindled, and he threw down the tables of stone and broke them. I saw that Moses did not sin in this. He was wroth for God, jealous for His glory. But when he yielded to the natural feelings of his heart and took to himself the honor which was due to God, he sinned, and for that sin God would not suffer him to enter the land of Canaan.

Satan had been trying to find something wherewith to accuse Moses before the angels. He exulted at his success in leading him to displease God, and he told the angels that he could overcome the Saviour of the world when He should come to redeem man. For his transgression, Moses came under the power of Satan—the dominion of death. Had he remained steadfast, the Lord would have brought him to the Promised Land, and would then have translated him to heaven without his seeing death.

Moses passed through death, but Michael came down and gave him life before his body had seen corruption. Satan tried to hold the body, claiming it as his; but Michael resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. Satan railed bitterly against God, denouncing Him as unjust in permitting his prey to be taken from him; but Christ did not rebuke His adversary, though it was through his temptation that the servant of God had fallen. He meekly referred him to His Father, saying, “The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 1:9).

Jesus had told His disciples that there were some standing with Him who should not taste of death till they should see the kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1). At the transfiguration this promise was fulfilled. The countenance of Jesus was there changed and shone like the sun. His raiment was white and glistening. Moses was present to represent those who will be raised from the dead at the second appearing of Jesus. And Elijah, who was translated without seeing death, represented those who will be changed to immortality at Christ’s second coming and will be translated to heaven without seeing death. The disciples beheld with astonishment and fear the excellent majesty of Jesus and the cloud that overshadowed them, and heard the voice of God in terrible majesty, saying, “This is My beloved Son; hear Him” (Mark 9:7).

Early Writings, 162–164.