Bible Study Guides – A Faith That Works

May 20 – 26

Key Text

“Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar” (James 2:21)?

Study Help: Faith and Works, 47–54, 111–116.


“There are many who fail to understand the relation of faith and works. They say, ‘Only believe in Christ, and you are safe. You have nothing to do with keeping the law.’ But genuine faith will be manifest in obedience.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 153, 154.



  •  How do we know Abraham believed in God’s word? Genesis 22:1–5; James 2:21–24.

Note: “Abraham believed God. How do we know that he believed? His works testified to the character of his faith, and his faith was accounted to him for righteousness.” Reflecting Christ, 79.

  • What is the relationship between faith and works? James 2:17, 18; Matthew 7:16–20. What kind of fruit does a Christian bear?

Note: “Good works can never purchase salvation, but they are an evidence of the faith that acts by love and purifies the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 314.

“Just as a good tree will bear good fruit, so will the tree that is actually planted in the Lord’s garden produce good fruit unto eternal life. Besetting sins are overcome; evil thoughts are not allowed in the mind; evil habits are purged from the soul temple. … An entire transformation has taken place.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1080.



  •  How did Abraham show his faith in God? As he acted out his faith, what did Abraham reveal about his faith? James 2:22; Genesis 22:12.

Note: “Faith works by love and purifies the soul. Faith buds and blossoms and bears a harvest of precious fruit. Where faith is, good works appear.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 398.

  • Where do good works come from? Compare Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:12 with Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:13, 14.

Note: “Genuine faith will be manifested in good works; for good works are the fruits of faith. As God works in the heart, and man surrenders his will to God, and cooperates with God, he works out in the life what God works in by the Holy Spirit, and there is harmony between the purpose of the heart and the practice of the life. Every sin must be renounced as the hateful thing that crucified the Lord of life and glory, and the believer must have a progressive experience by continually doing the works of Christ. It is by continual surrender of the will, by continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is retained.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 397.

“If we are faithful in doing our part, in co-operating with Him, God will work through us the good pleasure of His will. But God cannot work through us if we make no effort. If we gain eternal life, we must work, and work earnestly. … We must follow the example Christ has left us, submitting to Him in everything. Our will must be in harmony with His will.” The Review and Herald, June 11, 1901.

  • Before the Christian can bring forth the good works of God, what must first take place? Ephesians 2:1–5; Galatians 2:20; Jeremiah 29:13.

Note: “The only way we can secure the help of God is to put ourselves wholly in His hands, and trust Him to work for us. As we lay hold of Him by faith, He does the work. The believer can only trust. As God works, we can work, trusting in Him and doing His will.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1080.



  •  What is the difference between a living faith and a dead belief? James 2:19, 20; Mark 7:6, 7.

Note: “True faith, which relies wholly upon Christ, will be manifested by obedience to all the requirements of God. … In all ages there have been those who claimed a right to the favor of God even while they were disregarding some of His commands. But the Scriptures declare that by works is ‘faith made perfect’; and that, without the works of obedience, faith ‘is dead’ (James 2:22, 17).” The Faith I Live By, 91.

“Many are content with lip service, and but few have a sincere, earnest, affectionate longing after God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 534.

  • Can someone with a dead belief produce good works? Matthew 23:27, 28; 7:21–23.

Note: “The good man, from the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things. Why? Because Christ is an abiding presence in the soul. The sanctifying truth is a treasure-house of wisdom to all who practice the truth. As a living spring it is springing up unto everlasting life. The one who has not Christ abiding in his heart will indulge in cheap talk, exaggerated statements, that make mischief. The tongue that utters perverse things, common things, slang phrases, that tongue needs to be treated with the hot coals of juniper.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 577.

“No man can have the spirit and the mind of Christ without being rendered better by it in all the relations and duties of life. Murmuring, complaining, and fretful passion are not the fruit of good principles.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 347.

  • What will always be missing in the works of a dead believer? 1John 4:20, 21; John 8:37–41.

Note: “Obedience to the word produces fruit of the required quality—‘unfeigned love of the brethren’ (1 Peter 1:22). This love is heaven-born and leads to high motives and unselfish actions.” The Acts of the Apostles, 520.



  •  What happens when good works of obedience become the root of the Christian experience instead of the fruit of it? Matthew 23:5.

Note: “The Pharisees sought distinction by their scrupulous ceremonialism and the ostentation of their worship and their charities. They proved their zeal for religion by making it the theme of discussion. Disputes between opposing sects were loud and long, and it was not unusual to hear on the streets the voice of angry controversy from learned doctors of the law. “In marked contrast to all this was the life of Jesus. In that life no noisy disputation, no ostentatious worship, no act to gain applause, was ever witnessed. Christ was hid in God, and God was revealed in the character of His Son.” The Ministry of Healing, 32.

  • What should always be at the root of the Christian’s experience? Galatians 6:14.

Note: “The angels ascribe honor and glory to Christ, for even they are not secure except by looking to the sufferings of the Son of God. … Without the cross they would be no more secure against evil than were the angels before the fall of Satan. … All who wish for security in earth or heaven must look to the Lamb of God. …

“If men would contemplate the love of Christ, displayed in the cross, their faith would be strengthened to appropriate the merits of His shed blood, and they would be cleansed and saved from sin.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1132, 1133.

  • How will the true Christian regard his or her own works in light of Christ’s works? Philippians 3:4–9; Isaiah 6:5.

Note: “The more they [God’s followers] see of the character of Christ the more humble they become, and the lower their estimate of themselves. … Self is lost sight of in their consciousness of their own unworthiness and of God’s wonderful glory.” That I May Know Him, 122.



  •  Why does God want to fill the Christian’s life with good works borne from a changed heart? Matthew 5:14–16; 1Peter 2:9.

Note: “It is His [God’s] plan that all who are partakers of the great salvation shall be missionaries for Him. The piety of the Christian constitutes the standard by which worldlings judge the gospel. Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received, meekness, kindness, mercy, and love, habitually exhibited, are the lights that shine forth in the character before the world, revealing the contrast with the darkness that comes of the selfishness of the natural heart.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 134.

“When the grace of Christ is expressed in the words and works of the believers, light will shine forth to those who are in darkness; for while the lips are speaking to the praise of God, the hand will be stretched out in beneficence for the help of the perishing.” Sons and Daughters of God, 276.

  • Throughout history, what knowledge does Christ always have regarding His church? Revelation 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15. Why is Jesus so interested in the works of His followers? James 2:21, 22, 24; Revelation 22:12.

Note: “The eyes of the world are upon us, and we are observed by many of whom we have no knowledge. There are those who know something of the doctrines we claim to believe, and they are noting the effect of our faith upon our characters.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 386.

“The world today is in crying need of a revelation of Christ Jesus in the person of His saints.” In Heavenly Places, 313.



 1     Why does true faith always work?

2     How can we ensure that our works are always from God?

3     Why can an unconverted heart never produce unselfish love?

4     Explain the difference between the root and the fruit of our experience.

5     What is God and the world waiting to see in the Christian church?

 Copyright © 2017, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.


Bible Study Guides – Everlasting Grace

May 13 – 19

Key Text

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 363–373; Faith and Works, 15–28.


“Grace means favor to one who is undeserving, to one who is lost. The fact that we are sinners, instead of shutting us away from the mercy and love of God, makes the exercise of His love to us a positive necessity in order that we may be saved.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 347.



  •  In what way did God make the new covenant with Abraham—and what did God later do to confirm this covenant and why? Galatians 3:14–18; Hebrews 6:13–18.
  • What had Abraham done of himself to deserve these covenant blessings—and what does that teach us about God’s attitude toward sinners? Genesis 12:1–3; 1 Corinthians 1:26–31; Romans 3:10–12.

Note: “Grace is an attribute of God exercised toward undeserving human beings. We did not seek for it, but it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow His grace upon us, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. …

“It is His [God’s] glory to pardon the chief of sinners.” The Ministry of Healing, 161.

“The more unworthy the receiver, the more glorious the mercy of God.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, January 28, 1893.



  •  Why did God make another covenant through Moses 430 years later—and why can’t it disannul the new covenant of promise? Deuteronomy 4:12, 13; Exodus 19:5–7; Galatians 3:17; 1Peter 1:18–20.

Note: “In their bondage the people [of Israel] had to a great extent lost the knowledge of God and of the principles of the Abrahamic covenant. … God sought to reveal to them His power and His mercy, that they might be led to love and trust Him … that they might realize their utter helplessness, their need of divine aid; and then He wrought deliverance for them. …

“Living in the midst of idolatry and corruption, they had no true conception of the holiness of God, of the exceeding sinfulness of their own hearts, their utter inability, in themselves, to render obedience to God’s law, and their need of a Saviour. All this they must be taught.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 371.

“The ‘old’ covenant—was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the ‘second,’ or ‘new,’ covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant.” Ibid., 371, 372.

  • How did the people react to God’s requirement under the old covenant? Exodus 19:8. How might we fall into the same danger?

Note: “The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 371.

“Those who feel no need of the blood of Christ, who feel that without divine grace they can by their own works secure the approval of God, are making the same mistake as did Cain. If they do not accept the cleansing blood, they are under condemnation.” Ibid., 73.

“Self-righteousness is the danger of this age; it separates the soul from Christ. Those who trust to their own righteousness cannot understand how salvation comes through Christ. They call sin righteousness and righteousness sin. They have no appreciation of the evil of transgression, no understanding of the terror of the law; for they do not respect God’s moral standard.” Faith and Works, 96.



  •  What was the moral law’s purpose in the old covenant and what purpose does it still serve today? Romans 7:7, 9–13, 20; 3:19–20.

Note: “The law was given to convict them [men] of sin, and reveal their need of a Saviour.” The Desire of Ages, 308.

  • In the new covenant, how does God change our attitude towards His law and what transformation will be seen in our life? Hebrews 8:10; Psalm 40:8; Ezekiel 36:26, 27; Colossians 3:9, 10.

Note: “The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth ‘the fruits of the Spirit.’ Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 372.

“The change in human hearts, the transformation of human characters, is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Saviour, working to rescue souls.” The Desire of Ages, 407.

  • How does the new covenant experience perfectly fulfill the spirit and intent of the law—and what was said of Abraham in this regard? Matthew 5:20–22, 27, 28, 31–48; Romans 13:8–10; Genesis 26:5.

Note: “Obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love. The law of God is an expression of His very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. If our hearts are renewed in the likeness of God, if the divine love is implanted in the soul, will not the law of God be carried out in the life? When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new-covenant promise is fulfilled, ‘I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them’ (Hebrews 10:16). And if the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life?” Steps to Christ, 60.



  •  What free gift did God bestow on Abraham because he chose to believe? Romans 4:22; Galatians 3:6.

Note: “The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, is a precious thought. The enemy of God and man is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented; for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will be broken.” Gospel Workers, 161.

“The grace of Christ is freely to justify the sinner without merit or claim on his part. Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and he is no more to doubt God’s forgiving grace.” The Faith I Live By, 107.

  • What did Abraham do to be declared righteous—and how alone are believers in like manner saved? Romans 4:1–5; Ephesians 2:8, 9.

Note: “Our acceptance with God is sure only through His beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of His sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for our good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls. Salvation is God’s free gift to the believer, given to him for Christ’s sake alone.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1122.

  • Even though faith itself is a gift (see Romans 12:3, last part), what are we to do with it? John 3:16; Luke 7:1–9; Romans 10:17.

Note: “Faith that enables us to receive God’s gifts is itself a gift, of which some measure is imparted to every human being. It grows as exercised in appropriating the word of God. In order to strengthen faith, we must often bring it in contact with the word.” Education, 253, 254.

“Men and women will not be saved unless they themselves exercise faith, and build on the true foundation, unless they allow God to re-create them by His Holy Spirit.” The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1900.



  •  What unmerited favor, promised under the new covenant, has God shown in order to save humankind? Genesis 12:3; 1John 4:14; Ephesians 2:4–8; Romans 5:15–18.

Note: “Although by our disobedience we have merited God’s displeasure and condemnation, He has not forsaken us.” God’s Amazing Grace, 10.

“Those who enter heaven will not scale its walls by their own righteousness, nor will its gates be opened to them for costly offerings of gold or silver, but they will gain an entrance to the many mansions of the Father’s house through the merits of the cross of Christ.” Ibid., 179.

  • How does a sinner access such a free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ? John 1:12; Romans 5:17; Hebrews 11:8.

Note: “All who believe that Christ is the atoning sacrifice may come and receive pardon for their sins; for through the merit of Christ, communication has been opened between God and man. God can accept me as His child, and I can claim Him and rejoice in Him as my loving Father. We must center our hopes of heaven upon Christ alone, because He is our substitute and surety.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 363.

  • What two things did God destroy by his marvellous grace? Romans 8:2; 1John 3:5, 8; 2 Timothy 1:10.



 1     Explain the word “promise” in light of God’s inability to lie.

2     Why was the old covenant given—and why was it devoid of faith?

3     How does God write His law of love within our hearts and minds?

4     Why can’t we claim credit for our good works in salvation?

5     Why will we never be able to boast of our faith?

Bible Study Guides – The Everlasting Covenant

May 6 – 12

Key Text

“I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Genesis 17:7).

Study Help: The Faith I Live By, 76–78, 360–364.


“The covenant of grace is not a new truth, for it existed in the mind of God from all eternity. This is why it is called the everlasting covenant.” The Signs of the Times, August 24, 1891.



  •  What shows that the covenant made to Abraham is the same as the one ratified by Christ at Calvary? Genesis 22:16; Hebrews 6:13–18; 9:16.

Note: “The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the ‘second,’ or ‘new,’ covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. That the new covenant was valid in the days of Abraham is evident from the fact that it was then confirmed both by the promise and by the oath of God—the ‘two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie’ (Hebrews 6:18).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 371.

  • What was promised under this covenant and how did Abraham respond? Genesis 17:1–8; 15:6; 26:5; compare Galatians 3:8, 16; Romans 4:20–22.

Note: “To all men this covenant offered pardon and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God’s law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 370.

“The law of God was the basis of this covenant, which was simply an arrangement for bringing men again into harmony with the divine will, placing them where they could obey God’s law.” Ibid., 371.



  •  In what way did God express the covenant relationship He established with Abraham and his seed? Leviticus 26:12. Compare with Genesis 17:7, 8; Deuteronomy 14:2; 29:13.
  • What did God give to Abraham as a seal of the covenant relationship, and why? Genesis 17:11; Romans 4:11.

Note: “At this time the rite of circumcision was given to Abraham as ‘a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised’ (Romans 4:11). It was to be observed by the patriarch and his descendants as a token that they were devoted to the service of God and thus separated from idolaters, and that God accepted them as His peculiar treasure.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 138.

“It [circumcision] was a sign that those who received it were devoted to the service of God—a pledge that they would remain separate from idolatry and would obey the law of God.” Ibid., 363.

  • What essential experience must we have today in order to enter into the same “new” covenant relationship with God? Deuteronomy 10:16; Colossians 2:11; Hebrews 8:10; 2Corinthians 6:16, 17.

Note: “We are to believe that we are chosen of God, to be saved by the exercise of faith, through the grace of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit; and we are to praise and glorify God for such a marvelous manifestation of His unmerited favor. It is the love of God that draws the soul to Christ, to be graciously received, and presented to the Father. Through the work of the Spirit the divine relationship between God and the sinner is renewed. The Father says: ‘I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people. I will exercise forgiving love toward them and bestow upon them My joy. They shall be to Me a peculiar treasure; for this people whom I have formed for Myself shall show forth My praise’ (Hebrews 8:10; Exodus 19:5; Isaiah 43:21).” The Signs of the Times, January 2, 1893.

“The condition of being received into the Lord’s family is coming out from the world, separating from all its contaminating influences.” God’s Amazing Grace, 57.



  •  Why is Christ called a priest after Melchizedec and not after Aaron? Hebrews 5:5, 6; 7:11–16; Matthew 1:1, 2.

Note: “The high priest was designed in an especial manner to represent Christ, who was to become a high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. This order of priesthood was not to pass to another, or be superseded by another.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 930.

  • In what way does Melchisedec’s priesthood relate to Christ’s everlasting priesthood, and why is it a superior priesthood to Aaron’s? Compare Hebrews 7:1–3 with Hebrews 7:20–25; 6:18–20.

Note: “It was Christ that spoke through Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God. Melchizedek was not Christ, but he was the voice of God in the world, the representative of the Father.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 409.

“The name of that helpless little babe … was the hope of fallen humanity. The child for whom the redemption money had been paid was He who was to pay the ransom for the sins of the whole world. He was the true ‘high priest over the house of God,’ the head of ‘an unchangeable priesthood,’ the intercessor at ‘the right hand of the Majesty on high’ (Hebrews 10:21; 7:24; 1:3).” The Desire of Ages, 52, 55.

  • What parallel is there in the meal that God’s priest offered to Abraham? Compare Genesis 14:18–20 with 1Corinthians 10:16; 11:23–26.

Note: “The bread and the wine represent the body and the blood of Christ. As the bread was broken, and the wine poured out, so on the cross Christ’s body was broken, and His blood shed to save us.

“By eating the bread and drinking the wine, we show that we believe this. We show that we repent of our sins, and that we receive Christ as our Saviour.” The Story of Jesus, 98.



  •  What everlasting land, which the earthly land was but a shadow, did God promise Abraham? Genesis 17:8; Hebrews 11:8–10; Revelation 21:2.

Note: “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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 293.

“Let all that is beautiful in our earthly home remind us of the crystal river and green fields, the waving trees and the living fountains, the shining city and the white-robed singers, of our heavenly home—that world of beauty which no artist can picture, no mortal tongue describe.” The Faith I Live By, 279.

  • When and how will Abraham and his seed receive their eternal inheritance? Matthew 25:31, 34; John 14:1–3, Daniel 7:27.

Note: “The broken, uneven surface of the earth now looked like a level, extensive plain. God’s entire universe was clean, and the great controversy was forever ended. Wherever we looked, everything upon which the eye rested was beautiful and holy. And all the redeemed host, old and young, great and small, cast their glittering crowns at the feet of their Redeemer, and prostrated themselves in adoration before Him, and worshiped Him that liveth forever and ever. The beautiful new earth, with all its glory, was the eternal inheritance of the saints. The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was then given to the saints of the Most High, who were to possess it forever, even forever and ever.” Early Writings, 295.

“The full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. ‘The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,’ is to be given to ‘the people of the saints of the Most High’ (Daniel 7:27). They shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them ‘from the foundation of the world’ (Matthew 25:34). And Christ will take to Himself His great power and will reign.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 108.



  •  What is the greatest of all the promises given through the everlasting covenant? Galatians 3:29; 1John 5:11; Revelation 21:3, 4.

Note: “The day is coming when the battle will have been fought, the victory won. The will of God is to be done on earth as it is done in heaven. The nations of the saved will know no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving—the robe of Christ’s righteousness.” The Ministry of Healing, 506.

“There [in heaven], there is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, ‘I am sick.’ There, there is no burial train, no mourning, no death, no parting, no broken hearts; and Jesus is there, peace is there. … In His presence is fullness of joy, at His right hand there are pleasures forevermore!” My Life Today, 349.

  • On what hope must we never give up? Titus 2:11–13; Hebrews 10:35–37.

Note: “Be patient, Christian soldier. Yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come. The night of weary waiting, and watching, and mourning is nearly over. The reward will soon be given; the eternal day will dawn. There is no time to sleep now—no time to indulge in useless regrets. He who ventures to slumber now will miss precious opportunities of doing good. … Every soul saved will be an additional star in the crown of Jesus, our adorable Redeemer.” Christian Service, 275.



 1     How can we have confidence in God’s Word?

2     How can we have the same covenant relationship with God that Abraham had?

3     Explain how we can have confidence in Christ’s everlasting priesthood.

4     What is the blessed hope of Abraham’s children?

5     Why is eternal life with God the Christian’s blessed hope

Bible Study Guides – Abraham’s True Children

April 29 – May 5

Key Text

“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7).

Study Help: Our High Calling, 75–79; Prophets and Kings, 367–372.


“Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the word of God with a child’s simplicity, will be among the elect of God.” Our High Calling, 77.



  •  Whom does the Bible regard the true children of Abraham as true Israelites? Romans 9:6–8; Galatians 3:7–9.

 Note: “To Isaiah it was given to make very plain to Judah the truth that among the Israel of God were to be numbered many who were not descendants of Abraham after the flesh. This teaching was not in harmony with the theology of his age, yet he fearlessly proclaimed the messages given him of God and brought hope to many a longing heart reaching out after the spiritual blessings promised to the seed of Abraham.” Prophets and Kings, 367.

  • How can the Gentiles, who are not children by literal descent, now be regarded as Abraham’s true seed? Romans 9:30; 4:11, 12, 16, 17.

Note: “All who through Christ should become the children of faith were to be counted as Abraham’s seed; they were inheritors of the covenant promises; like Abraham, they were called to guard and to make known to the world the law of God and the gospel of His Son.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 476.



  •  Through faith in Christ as Abraham’s promised seed, into what family are we adopted? Romans 8:14–16; Galatians 4:4–7.

Note: “God wills that all men should be saved; for ample provision has been made, in giving His only begotten Son to pay man’s ransom. Those who perish will perish because they refuse to be adopted as children of God through Christ Jesus. The pride of man hinders him from accepting the provisions of salvation.” Our High Calling, 78.

  • How does the sacrifice of Jesus Christ make one a child of God, even a child of faith, and to whom does this apply? Galatians 3:27–29.

Note: “Men may perform great deeds in the eyes of the world; their achievements may be many and of a high order in the sight of men, but all the talent, all the skill, all the ability of the world will fail to transform the character and make a degraded child of sin a child of God, an heir of heaven. Men have no power to justify the soul, to sanctify the heart. … The highest gift of heaven, even the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, is alone able to redeem the lost. … The sacrifice of Christ on Calvary’s cross is a consideration that surpasses all the overwhelming power of sin; and when a sense of sin presses upon the heart of the sinner, and the burden seems intolerable, Jesus invites him to look to Him and live.” The Signs of the Times, May 2, 1892.

  • Explain why Abraham’s children are from every tribe and nation instead of just from Israel. Revelation 7:9, 10; Genesis 17:4–6; Acts 10:34, 35.

Note: “Christ recognized no distinction of nationality or rank or creed. The scribes and Pharisees desired to make a local and a national benefit of all the gifts of heaven and to exclude the rest of God’s family in the world. But Christ came to break down every wall of partition. He came to show that His gift of mercy and love is as unconfined as the air, the light, or the showers of rain that refresh the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 190.



  •  Why did most of Abraham’s literal descendants disqualify themselves from being true Israelites in the eyes of God? Romans 10:1–4.

 Note: “The Jews were, by their sins, separating themselves from God. They were unable to discern the deep spiritual significance of their symbolic service. In their self-righteousness they trusted to their own works, to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of relying upon the merits of Him to whom all these things pointed. Thus ‘going about to establish their own righteousness’ (Romans 10:3), they built themselves up in a self-sufficient formalism. Wanting the Spirit and grace of God, they tried to make up for the lack by a rigorous observance of religious ceremonies and rites. Not content with the ordinances which God Himself had appointed, they encumbered the divine commands with countless exactions of their own devising. The greater their distance from God, the more rigorous they were in the observance of these forms.” Prophets and Kings, 708, 709.

  • What is the only way we can be justified before God? Galatians 3:11,12; 2:16. What change will be evident in the life of those who have been justified by faith?

Note: “Justification is wholly of grace and not procured by any works that fallen man can do.” Faith and Works, 20.

“The proud heart strives to earn salvation; but both our title to heaven and our fitness for it are found in the righteousness of Christ. The Lord can do nothing toward the recovery of man until, convinced of his own weakness, and stripped of all self-sufficiency, he yields himself to the control of God. Then he can receive the gift that God is waiting to bestow.” The Desire of Ages, 300.

“He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.” Ibid., 172.



  •  Those who do not embrace the faith of Abraham in Christ as the promised seed, are regarded as servants, instead of sons or daughters. What will happen to them? Genesis 16:3–6; Galatians 4:30, 31.

Note: “Noah and his household were within the ark, ‘and the Lord shut him in’ (Genesis 7:16). … The massive door, which it was impossible for those within to close, was slowly swung to its place by unseen hands. Noah was shut in, and the rejecters of God’s mercy were shut out. The seal of Heaven was on that door; God had shut it, and God alone could open it. So when Christ shall cease His intercession for guilty men, before His coming in the clouds of heaven, the door of mercy will be shut. Then divine grace will no longer restrain the wicked, and Satan will have full control of those who have rejected mercy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 98.

  • To whom and to what are they really servants? John 8:31–35, 39–44.

Note: “ ‘To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey’ (Romans 6:16). If we indulge anger, lust, covetousness, hatred, selfishness, or any other sin, we become servants of sin. ‘No man can serve two masters’ (Matthew 6:24). If we serve sin, we cannot serve Christ.” The Review and Herald, November 15, 1887.

  • Why will the rejecters of Christ never be able to enter into the land of Canaan that was promised to Abraham and his seed? Hebrews 3:17–19; Acts 4:10–12; Galatians 3:9.

Note: “For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.” Evangelism, 696.



  •  What warning was given to the church at Galatia, and why? Galatians 3:1–6; 4:7–11.

Note: “The redemption that was wrought out for us by our Lord on the cross of Calvary was to bring us to obedience to the law of God, making it possible, through His righteousness imputed to us, to keep the law of God. …

“There is nothing so offensive to God as sin. Instead of making void the law of God by continuing in sin, every truly converted soul will be walking in the path of humble obedience to all of God’s commandments. They will search the Scriptures that they might know the truth. Who hath bewitched the impenitent, the transgressor, that sin is chosen rather than obedience? It is the power of Satan that came to Adam and Eve in Eden, the deceiving, bewitching power of the fallen angel.” The Upward Look, 209.

  • How do Abraham’s struggles with his own faith stand as a lesson to us? Genesis 15:3–6; 17:17, 18; Hebrews 4:1, 2. On the other hand, what does true faith give us? 1 John 5:4, 5.

 Note: “The Christian’s life should be one of faith, of victory, and joy in God. … God is able and willing to bestow upon His servants all the strength they need, and to give them the wisdom that their varied necessities demand. He will more than fulfill the highest expectations of those who put their trust in Him.” The Faith I Live By, 126.



 1     How important is faith to a Christian?

2     Why can a Christian call God his or her Father?

3     How can we avoid being cursed by God?

4     What is the difference between being Abraham’s servant and his son or daughter?

5     How can we be bewitched by the devil in corrupting our faith?

Recipe – Pineapple Coconut Sorbet

Pineapple Coconut Sorbet

2 cups frozen pineapple chunks

1 Tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, or to taste 

¼ cup coconut milk or cream, chilled 

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, or to taste


Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth or chunky.

Serve immediately in a bowl, or spoon on whole grain waffles or cooked cereal.

Serve as soft or place in the freezer to harden.

Food – Pineapple

Among Americans, the sweet taste and juiciness of pineapples has made them the most popular tropical fruit next to bananas.

Pineapple was derived from piña, a name supplied by the Spanish, who thought the fruit resembled a pinecone. It probably originated in South America and from there it was transplanted to the Caribbean islands where it was discovered by Columbus in 1493. By 1600, early Europeans had carried the pineapple as far as China and the Philippines, and in the eighteenth century it was introduced into the Hawaiian Islands, eventually becoming their principal fruit crop.

A pineapple is not one fruit but 100–200 fruitlets fused together around a central core. It can take nearly three years for a single pineapple to reach maturity. It is the only edible fruit of its kind, the Bromeliads.

Pineapple has been used for centuries for a variety of ailments. Modern research indicates that bromelain, an enzyme found in both the stem and fruit, aids in digestion and may have serious anti-inflammatory effects, reducing the symptoms of arthritis. In addition, pineapple contains substantial amounts of vitamin C. One cup of fresh pineapple chunks provides 25 mg, 40% of the daily adult requirement. It also offers useful amounts of other nutrients, including thiamine, a B vitamin involved in energy production, folate, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and manganese, important for antioxidant defense. Pineapple is also high in soluble fiber.

Like melons, pineapples have no built-in reserves of starch that convert to sugar—the starch is stored in the stem of the plant rather than in the fruit itself. Just before the fruit ripens completely, the starch converts to sugar and enters the fruit. Once the fruit has been harvested, it won’t get any sweeter, so most growers ripen pineapples on the plant to a point where they are almost fully ripe, with a high sugar content and plenty of juice, then quickly ship to market.

The sweet and tangy flavor make fresh pineapple a delicious dessert choice. Peel, quarter, and stick on a toothpick or skewer with pitted cherries, strawberry and banana slices, grapes. Combine in a salad with bananas, oranges, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, and strawberries. Use the juice to sweeten vegetables, particularly winter squashes or sweet potatoes. Enjoy in smoothies or ice creams. If fresh pineapple is not as sweet as hoped, salvage it by cutting it into thick slices and broil until hot.

When serving pineapple on its own, add mint, cardamom, fresh or ground ginger and a splash of fresh squeezed orange juice.

In European countries the pineapple was considered a rare and coveted treat. As it was an honor to be served pineapple, the fruit eventually became a universal symbol of hospitality.




Pineapple Coconut Sorbet

2 cups frozen pineapple chunks 1 Tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, or to taste  ¼ cup coconut milk or cream, chilled
 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, or to taste  

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth or chunky.

Serve immediately in a bowl, or spoon on whole grain waffles or cooked cereal.

Serve as soft or place in the freezer to harden.

Children’s Story – The Waterlogged Canoe

Jason lived on a farm near a lake. He loved the water and the green corn fields that grew right up to its very edge. He loved to hear the stories his dad told about the country where the farm was located. He learned that long before his grandfather and grandmother had settled on the farm, Indians had camped along the lake shore. Jason knew that was true because he had found many Indian relics on the farm. He had found sharp pointed arrowheads. He had found what was left of stone tomahawks. He had also found beads and broken pieces of Indian dishes.

Many people weren’t able to find Indian beads and pieces of pottery. But Jason had trained his eyes so that when he walked along a corn row his eyes would spot them right away. When he walked along the lake shore he could tell when the sun shone on a stone whether it was an arrow tip or just a flat piece of stone.

One day as Jason walked along the side of the lake he made a strange discovery. The lake was crystal clear. Jason could see the bottom without any trouble at all. He saw the reeds that grew among the stones. He saw minnows dart back and forth between the reeds. Suddenly he stopped. What was that? he asked himself. It couldn’t be, but it surely looked like a canoe. It was—a dugout canoe like those used by Indians long ago.

Jason ran to tell his dad. Dad called neighbor Browne to come along.

After a lot of tugging and prying the canoe was loosened so it could be pulled to shore. It wasn’t at all like the canoes we see today. It was really a log that had been scooped out to make a boat.

“Do you think it will float?” Jason wanted to know.

“I’m afraid not,” Dad answered. “You see it’s been soaked with water so long its wood is soft and spongy. I don’t think it would ever dry out enough so it could float. When something gets soaked like that we say it is waterlogged. But I believe the state museum would be interested in seeing it.”

That’s where the canoe finally landed. And Jason was glad because then many people could see how the Indians made their canoes.

And he’d almost forgotten he had ever found it until one day he heard his minister say that some Christians didn’t do much for the Lord because they were waterlogged with things of this world. Then Jason thought about the canoe. It sank because it was waterlogged. No doubt people would sink, too, if they were waterlogged with sin.

How can a person be waterlogged with things of the world? A canoe is meant to ride on top of the water. It is not meant to be filled with water. In the same way Christians are meant to live in the world but not to let the world fill them. What are the things you must be careful not to let become a part of your life?

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

We thank You, dear God, because You have taught us to walk in the world without being a part of it. Show us the dangers we face as we go through life. Help us to keep our hearts and minds pure and clean that we might serve You as we should. Help us to choose which things to watch, which friends to make, which books to read. Don’t let us become waterlogged by sin. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Happy Moments With God, Copyright 1962, Margaret Anderson, 166, 167.

Life Sketches Series – Worship God

Racial prejudice is nothing new. It has existed in the world for thousands of years. In fact, we read about racial prejudice clear back in the book of Genesis, thousands of years before the time of Christ. In the time of Christ, racial prejudice between different nations and races of people was as strong as ever. Two groups of people prejudiced against each other were the Jews and the Samaritans. Once when Jesus asked a Samaritan woman for a drink, “The woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (John 4:9).

During the conversation, the woman wanted Jesus to tell her where to worship, in Jerusalem according to the Jews, or the mountain where the Samaritans believed was the right place to be. Those kinds of prejudices have continued right up to the present day, not just among Jews and Samaritans, or Jews and Gentiles, but also between various Christian groups, so much so, that we find many instances of two nations, both calling themselves Christian nations, at war with one another.

Racial prejudice is a terrible thing which Jesus addressed more than once during His time here on earth. Jesus had just entered Capernaum, a city that had become a headquarters for His work, where many of His most mighty and powerful miracles had been worked. The Bible records that a centurion, a Roman soldier who was over a hundred other soldiers, “pleaded with Him, saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, “Go,” and he goes; and to another, “Come,” and he comes; and to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.’ When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel’ ” (Matthew 8:6–10)!

Jesus then made a statement that to the Jews around Him was absolutely astonishing. This text shows us that many of the people that we tend to be prejudiced against are going to be saved but the people that have prejudice will be lost. Notice what it says in Matthew 8:11, 12: “ ‘I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”

Here Jesus addressed, very directly, the problem of racial prejudice. However, the disciples were slow to learn the lesson. Jesus told them again just before He ascended that they were to take the gospel, not just to the Jews, but even to other nations that the Jews despised. Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem …,” to the Jews, “… and in all Judea …,” to the Jews, “… and Samaria …” to the Samaritans, “… and to the end of the earth… ,” the Gentiles (Acts 1:8).

But the disciples were Jews. This prejudice had been received as a part of their society and culture since birth. When you have learned something and believed it all of your life, it is difficult to change your beliefs. So, the disciples preached the gospel to the Jews, but they were slow to learn the lesson that they were also to preach it to the Gentiles, not just to some Gentiles, but to all the Gentiles to the end of the earth.

Jesus had no racial prejudice toward people of other nations. He had the same love and compassion for people of all races. Another Roman centurion is mentioned in Acts 10:1–4: “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day [3 p.m.] he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius!’ And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, ‘What is it, lord?’ So he said to him, ‘Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.’ ”

God knows about every detail of every life. Cornelius’ generous deeds did not go unnoticed by God. He does not miss anything. Every good deed you do to help your fellow men, God knows about. He saw that Cornelius was an honest man who feared the Lord and wanted to do what was right. He did not know the gospel and he did not know about Jesus or the sacrifice that had been paid on the cross of Calvary that could take away all of his sin and the sins of his family and make it possible for him to have eternal life. But he was a God-fearing man and the Lord decided that He would arrange for this man to receive more light.

If you are living up to all the light that you have, then you put yourself in a position so that God can reveal to you more spiritual truth. But why should God send more light to anyone who is not living up to the light that they already have? The important thing to consider is not how much spiritual light you have, but that you are living up to the light you do have. Cornelius was living up to all the light he had.

The Lord said to Cornelius, through the angel, “ ‘Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.’ And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout solder from among those who waited on him continually. So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa” (verses 5–8).

Part of the reason for the awful racial prejudice that exists in the world is our difference in habits and culture. This was one of the main reasons for the prejudice that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans and between the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews looked upon the Gentiles as unclean, and it is true that the Gentile world was steeped in every kind of sin. Sin is what makes a person spiritually unclean. The Gentiles were involved in idolatry. The Jews had received the law of God and had received information on how abhorrent idolatry is to Him.

Notice what it says in Deuteronomy 4:15–19: “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything the creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.”

The Lord had said, “Watch out that you do not get involved in idolatry.” The Jews abhorred idolatry. It was idolatry that caused them to incur Babylonian captivity before they had learned that lesson. The Greeks and the Gentiles were steeped in worshiping all manner of idols. Not only that, but God, the Creator of the human body, has a right to tell us how to take care of the human body and how to live. He gave instructions in the law written by His finger about how to live for our best benefit. He gave us perfect freedom within the boundaries of this law, but said that there are certain things that are not acceptable.

The 7th commandment says to not commit adultery and spelled out through Moses exactly what that meant (see Leviticus 18, 20; Deuteronomy 22). It does not mean just stealing someone else’s spouse.

The Jews understood, but the Greeks did not. The Greeks knew it was wrong to steal someone else’s wife, but were not concerned about having sexual relations with someone else who was not married—fornication. The Jews and the Greeks had these barriers because of their differences in habits and because of the sins with which the Gentile world was permeated.

Another issue was food. God gave to the children of Israel laws concerning what they should eat and what they should not eat (see Deuteronomy 14; Leviticus 11). The Lord had told the Jews which foods are permitted and which foods are unclean: “You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them, lest you be defiled by them. For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate [sanctify] yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Leviticus 11:43, 44).

The disciples were Jews and they were very strict in the observance of these food laws. They were also commanded, “It’s to be a law throughout your generations that you are to never eat blood or fat” (Leviticus 3:17, literal translation). The Gentiles ate anything, including the blood and fat. The Jews sacrificed their animals in a way that drained all of the blood to comply with their food laws. The disciples were familiar with all these laws and kept them. Peter had never disobeyed any, but now these men from Cornelius were on their way to Joppa and Peter does not know what is going to happen, but he is going to have a little surprise.

It says in Acts 10:9–16, “The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour [noon]. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.’ And a voice spoke to him again the second time, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.”

Then Peter woke up and he did not understand what he had seen in the vision. He wondered what his dream meant. It says, “Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.’ Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, ‘Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?’ And they said, ‘Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.’ Then he invited them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him” (verses 17–23).

So Peter goes to visit a Gentile, a Roman, a person against whom he has been very prejudiced all of his life. The Jews called the Gentiles unclean, but Peter was told that what God has cleansed, he was not to call unclean.

“The following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I myself am also a man’ ” (verses 24–26).

This was the apostle Peter, a leading apostle. He enters into a Gentile’s house. This man wanted so much to hear what this man would tell him that he falls down and worships him, but Peter won’t allow it. The Bible teaches that not only are we not to worship Peter, not only are we not to worship anyone who could call himself a successor of Peter, we are not to even worship an angel.

John wrote in Revelation 19:10, “I [John] fell at his [the angel’s] feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ ” Notice, it was an angel from heaven who gave John the message, and when the apostle falls down to worship him, the angel told him not to worship him, but to worship God only.

This happens two times. Revelation 22:8, 9 says, “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.’ ”

Peter would not allow anyone to fall down and worship him; an angel from heaven would not allow anyone to fall down and worship him. But we are living in a world today where the whole world is full of idolatry—people worship. Today, people may not worship physical idols of gold and silver, maybe they worship living idols. If you are worshiping another human being, or an angel from heaven, then you are worshiping a living idol, but it is still an idol. Nothing or any person is to be worshiped, only the God of heaven.

Did you know that the second longest commandment in the law of God deals with idolatry? There are some commandments that in the Hebrew language are only two words long, the 6th and the 7th. But there are two that are much longer than the rest. These two are the commandments that have been almost universally broken by mankind, both by Christians and non-Christians alike.

Revelation 22:14 says, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” God’s people have been commanded in all ages to be obedient, to be loyal, to be true to His law. God’s people in the last days will not be worshiping any idols. They will not be worshiping idols of gold or silver. They will not be worshiping philosophical idols. You can make an idol of philosophy, human intelligence, just as much as you can make an idol of wood or stone, or gold or silver. God’s people in the last days will not be worshiping living idols. There are some people who worship their spouses. Others worship religious leaders of various kinds. It all comes under idolatry. Peter would not allow a Roman centurion to worship him.

Revelation 22:14, 15 say, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”

Do you want to be saved? If so, you must forsake all idolatry and worship God alone. Surrender your life to the Lordship, the sovereignty of Jesus Christ and follow Him as your Lord and Saviour. It is worth everything to gain eternal life. To have eternal life, all idolatry must be forsaken. There will be no idolatry in the Kingdom of Heaven. What is your goal?

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

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

Health – Charcoal, Use it More

Recent studies about the use and effects of charcoal have yielded some amazing results.

Dr. Thomas Janossy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences reported about a Russian study in which they put the charcoal into the drinking water of a control group of rats. These study subjects drank black water their whole lives. The lifespan and the health differences were striking. The “charcoal rats” lived 40% longer and were far healthier than their control counterparts. That makes sense because charcoal adsorbs poisons in the body. Dr. Janossy said that it controls the pathogenic bacteria in the gut. Because charcoal helps heal the gut, its ability to absorb nutrients is enhanced. Because it helps in removing the waste material from the whole body, it lowers the toxic load. So, charcoal is one product that targets so many things and so many processes. (See, p. 60.)

Charcoal and Cerebral Malaria

“It is estimated there are 400–600 million cases of malaria each year in Africa and that between one half and one million African children die each year as a direct result of malaria. Up until recently the standard treatment had been the use of the powerful toxic alkaloid drug Quinine. Considering the list of lethal side effects and 31% failure rate, it is debatable which was worse, the disease or the cure. …

“Three observations led researchers to examine a potential role for activated charcoal (AC) in the treatment of severe malaria. First, a number of studies have demonstrated that AC is highly effective at adsorbing a range of cytokines … AC is able to remove these cytokines from the blood including the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) which is associated with malaria. Second, the lethal effect of TNF is associated with its delivery to the intestinal lumen via the bile duct. This raises the possibility that AC in the intestinal lumen might directly reduce cytokine availability. Third, oral AC has for many years been used in the clinic to suppress chronic kidney disease, by indirectly controlling inflammation.

“With these facts researchers designed a study to calculate 1) to what degree AC would prevent Cerebral Malaria and 2) because AC dramatically reduces the effect of Quinine, to determine to what degree AC might interfere with the effectiveness of the malaria treatment of choice, artemisinin.

“The result? Researchers concluded: ‘We found that oral AC provided significant protection against … Experimental Cerebral Malaria (ECM), increasing overall survival time (95%) compared to untreated mice … .’

“… By the way charcoal also works for cholera, typhoid, infections, dysentery, poisonous insects, wounds … .” Excerpts from [Emphasis supplied.]

Charcoal has often been put into the closet and forgotten about. If charcoal can adsorb the poisons and remove them from the system, why would you not want to take something that may improve overall health? The following is a little history you may not have heard before—interesting!

“A chemist in the year 1813 surprised everyone when he swallowed five grams of arsenic trioxide poison that was mixed with charcoal with no adverse effect. This mysterious property of charcoal was discovered around 1500 B.C. by the Egyptians and since then it has been part of industrial and medicinal purposes. An activated carbon is potent in absorbing [sic] any gas or fluid most effectively compared to other natural products.

“There is an old history behind the discovery of activated carbon. The first recorded use of this miraculous product was in 1500 B.C. when the Egyptians used them to absorb [sic] foul odor from the putrefying parts within the intestinal tract. …

“Later in 1700s, the charcoal emerged again and was used for absorbing [sic] excessive bile secretions in the body. By the mid 1800s, the charcoal was prominently used by the army and navy surgeons to relieve their soldiers from different types of open cancer and for soothing pain. Charcoal was admitted in the London Pharmacopoeia for the general use of army and naval military hospitals and civil hospitals.”

Excerpts from

Praise God for natural ways to aid the body in healing over abnormal, artificial ways which may harm the body. Truly we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

Note: “Activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. …

“It doesn’t absorb the toxins, however. Instead it works through the chemical process of adsorption. In the body, absorption is the reaction of elements, including nutrients, chemicals and toxins, soaked up and assimilated into the blood stream. Adsorption is the chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface.” [Emphasis supplied.]

Question & Answer – Explain what is meant by “kick against the pricks” in Acts 9:5

The reference here means to go against your conscience. God pricks the conscience, the impressions of which are often resisted. See the following examples:

“And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 9:5).

“ ‘And he [Saul] trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do’ (Acts 9:6). No doubt entered the mind of Saul that this was Jesus of Nazareth who spoke to him, and that He was indeed the long-looked-for Messiah, the Consolation and Redeemer of Israel. And now this Jesus, who had, while teaching upon earth, spoken in parables to His hearers, using familiar objects to illustrate His meaning, likened the work of Saul, in persecuting the followers of Christ, to kicking against the pricks. Those forcible words illustrated the fact that it would be impossible for any man to stay the onward progress of the truth of Christ. It would march on to triumph and victory, while every effort to stay it would result in injury to the opposer. The persecutor, in the end, would suffer a thousand-fold more than those whom he had persecuted. Sooner or later his own heart would condemn him; he would find that he had, indeed, been kicking against the pricks.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 23, 24.

“Their knowledge of the truth makes it hard for them to indulge in sinful pleasures, for they cannot altogether put out of the mind the claims of God upon them. There is a feeling of impatience at the restraint which is thus imposed. They try to get away from this admonitory voice; but they find themselves kicking against the pricks, piercing themselves through with many sorrows. Oh, that they would come to the Fountain of living waters before they shall have grieved away the Spirit of God for the last time!” Testimonies, vol. 4, 626.

“When you and your husband left the sanitarium, it was because you were not willing to humble yourselves before God. In leaving the sanitarium you acted very unwisely. What influence will this have on the patients and nurses who as yet know nothing of the matter? What interpretation will they place on your actions except that you thought yourself abused? But it is not true that you have been abused. God has been dealing with you, and you have been kicking against the pricks. It is not you who has been wronged, but the Lord Jesus. He has been dishonored by your course of action. Are you willing to meet your record in the judgment?” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 267, 268.

[All emphasis supplied.]