The Everlasting Gospel and the Great Commission

September 18 – 24, 2022

Key Text

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 4756


“May the Lord open the closed eyes of His people and quicken their dulled senses, that they may realize that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe.” Testimonies, Vol. 7, 11, 12



1.a. What hope was given to our first parents after their fall? Genesis 3:15

Note: “This sentence, uttered in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. While it foretold war between man and Satan, it declared that the power of the great adversary would finally be broken.” The Faith I Live By, 75

1.b. By what means did patriarchs and prophets express their faith in the good news of salvation? Genesis 8:20; 22:7, 8, 13

Note: “The worship of God through sacrificial offerings was established, and those who feared God acknowledged their sins before Him, and looked forward with gratitude and holy trust to the coming of the Day Star, which should guide the fallen sons of Adam to heaven, through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus the gospel was preached in every sacrifice; and the works of the believers continually revealed their faith in a coming Saviour.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 231



2.a. When John began his ministry, what was the theme of his message? Matthew 3:1, 2; Luke 3:3–6

Note: “The doctrine that John preached was, first, repentance for past sins; then, ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ They must show repentance toward God; then they would be prepared to show faith in the One who was about to declare Himself unto them.” The Review and Herald, November 28, 1907

2.b. How did John deal with different types of people, and what were the results of his preaching? Luke 3:7–14

Note: “To the self-righteous Pharisees, the priestly Sadducees, King Herod and his court, princes and soldiers, publicans and peasants, John had spoken with equal plainness.” The Desire of Ages, 218

“To those who were untaught in the oracles of God, it was enough for John to say, ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ But when the Baptist saw the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he was stirred to give them a decided message. These men held themselves as a power among the people. Though they held different theories regarding some Bible subjects they were united in their desire to hear the words of the wilderness prophet. Some who came from curiosity, arrested by his words, became interested in the message he was giving, and were moved to be baptized. … Christ was about to appear as the revealer of the character of God. His very presence would make known to men their sin.” The Review and Herald, November 28, 1907

“Many of the scribes and Pharisees came confessing their sins, and asking for baptism. They had exalted themselves as better than other men, and had led the people to entertain a high opinion of their piety; now the guilty secrets of their lives were unveiled. But John was impressed by the Holy Spirit that many of these men had no real conviction of sin. They were timeservers. As friends of the prophet, they hoped to find favor with the coming Prince. And by receiving baptism at the hands of this popular young teacher, they thought to strengthen their influence with the people.

“John met them with the scathing inquiry, ‘O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance … .’ The Desire of Ages, 105



3.a. As Jesus began His earthly ministry, what was the topic He urged upon the people? Mark 1:14, 15

Note: “[T]he gospel message, as given by the Saviour Himself, was based on the prophecies. The ‘time’ which He declared to be fulfilled was the period made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. ‘Seventy weeks,’ said the angel, ‘are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.’ Daniel 9:24. A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. … According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A.D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed. ‘The time is fulfilled.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 233

3.b. What was the commission then given to the followers of Jesus, which is binding to this very day? Mark 16:15, 16; Matthew 28:18–20; Acts 1:8

Note: “The power of Christ, the crucified Saviour, to give eternal life, should be presented to the people. We should show them that the Old Testament is as verily the gospel in types and shadows as the New Testament is in its unfolding power.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 392

“The Saviour directed His disciples to begin their work in Jerusalem, and then pass on through Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Only a small proportion of the people accepted the doctrine; but the messengers bore the message rapidly from place to place.” Maranatha, 38

“God has organized His instrumentalities for drawing all men unto Him. As the worker seeks to give to others the light God has given him, the Lord imparts increased light; and doing his best, with an eye single to the glory of God, he realizes the value of souls. As he visits from house to house, opening the Scriptures to those whose understanding is darkened, angels of God will be close beside him to impress the heart of the one who is athirst for the water of life.” The Review and Herald, October 6, 1896



4.a. What will be the effect of the gospel on those who by faith accept the provision made for salvation? Luke 5:32; 24:47; 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10

Note: “Sinners, however wicked, abominable, and corrupt, by faith in Him [Jesus] will be purified, made clean, through the doing of His word. The truth will be a savor of life unto life to those who believe, but the same truth will be to the unbeliever a savor of death unto death. Those who reject Christ and refuse to believe the truth, will be filled with bitterness against those who accept Jesus as a personal Saviour. But those who receive Christ are melted and subdued by the manifestation of His love in His humiliation, suffering, and death in their behalf.” The Review and Herald, July 24, 1894

“There is no salvation without repentance. No impenitent sinner can believe with his heart unto righteousness. Repentance is described by Paul as a godly sorrow for sin, that ‘worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of.’ 2 Corinthians 7:10. This repentance has in it nothing of the nature of merit, but it prepares the heart for the acceptance of Christ as the only Saviour, the only hope of the lost sinner.” Faith and Works, 99

4.b. How does Scripture explain the type of belief that we need in order to be saved? James 2:14–20; 1 John 2:4, 5; 3:24

Note: “There are those who profess holiness, who declare that they are wholly the Lord’s, who claim a right to the promises of God, while refusing to render obedience to His commandments. These transgressors of the law claim everything that is promised to the children of God; but this is presumption on their part, for John tells us that true love for God will be revealed in obedience to all His commandments.” The Acts of the Apostles, 562, 563

“The faith in Christ that saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. ‘Believe, believe,’ is their cry; ‘only believe in Christ, and you will be saved. It is all you have to do.’ While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God. Faith is manifested by works.” Faith and Works, 52



5.a. What is the Bible definition of the gospel, the good news of salvation? Romans 1:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:1–4; 2 Timothy 1:8

Note: How does genuine acceptance of the gospel affect people?

“Hanging upon the cross Christ was the gospel. Now we have a message, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ Will not our church members keep their eyes fixed on a crucified and risen Saviour, in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered? This is our message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hope for every believer. If we can awaken an interest in men’s minds that will cause them to fix their eyes on Christ, we may step aside, and ask them only to continue to fix their eyes upon the Lamb of God. They thus receive their lesson. Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. He whose eyes are fixed on Jesus will leave all. He will die to selfishness. He will believe in all the word of God, which is so gloriously and wonderfully exalted in Christ.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 21, 37

“As Christ’s witnesses we are to bear testimony to its power. We are to bring the afflicted ones to the Saviour. His transforming grace and miracle-working power will win many souls to the truth. His healing power, united with the gospel message, will bring success in emergencies. The Holy Spirit will work upon hearts, and we shall see the salvation of God. In a special sense the healing of the sick is our work.” Evangelism, 544

5.b. From where is the power of the gospel derived, and who will be imbued with that power? Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Joel 2:28–30



1    How has the gospel provided salvation to souls throughout history?

2    Why was John the Baptist’s message so powerful?

3    What comes to us when we seek to fulfill the gospel commission?

4    Explain a key component of genuine belief in Christ.

5    What should be our attitude in order to experience the Holy Spirit’s power in its fullness?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – The Lord’s Supper

September 11 – 17, 2022

Key Text

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” 1 Corinthians 10:16

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 652661, 151, 152


“As we receive the bread and wine symbolizing Christ’s broken body and spilled blood, we in imagination join in the scene of Communion in the upper chamber.” The Desire of Ages, 661



1.a. What important rite was instituted at the time of Israel’s liberation from Egypt? Exodus 12:2–6

Note: “The observance of the Passover began with the birth of the Hebrew nation. On the last night of their bondage in Egypt, when there appeared no token of deliverance, God commanded them to prepare for an immediate release. He had warned Pharaoh of the final judgment on the Egyptians, and He directed the Hebrews to gather their families within their own dwellings. Having sprinkled the doorposts with the blood of the slain lamb, they were to eat the lamb, roasted, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.” The Desire of Ages, 76, 77

1.b. How do we know that the Passover feast was not a party of joy? Exodus 12:7–11. Who had no right to partake of the Passover? Exodus 12:43–49

Note: “Many of the Egyptians had been led to acknowledge the God of the Hebrews as the only true God, and these now begged to be permitted to find shelter in the homes of Israel when the destroying angel should pass through the land. They were gladly welcomed, and they pledged themselves henceforth to serve the God of Jacob and to go forth from Egypt with His people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 279



2.a. What ceremony was instituted by Jesus when He partook of the Passover ordinance for the last time? Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26

Note: “When the Saviour yielded up His life on Calvary, the significance of the Passover ceased, and the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was instituted as a memorial of the same event of which the Passover had been a type.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 539

“The Passover was ordained as a commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. God had directed that, year by year, as the children should ask the meaning of this ordinance, the history should be repeated. Thus the wonderful deliverance was to be kept fresh in the minds of all. The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was given to commemorate the great deliverance wrought out as the result of the death of Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 652, 653

2.b. Before one takes part in the Communion service, what responsibility rests upon him or her? 1 Corinthians 11:27–30; 2 Corinthians 13:5

Note: “There is a necessity for close self-examination, and to closely investigate in the light of God’s word, Am I sound, or am I rotten, at heart? Am I renewed in Christ, or am I still carnal at heart, with an outside, new dress put on? Rein yourself up to the tribunal of God, and see as in the light of God if there is any secret sin, any iniquity, any idol you have not sacrificed. Pray, yes, pray as you have never prayed before, that you may not be deluded by Satan’s devices; that you may not be given up to a heedless, careless, and vain spirit, and attend religious duties to quiet your own conscience.” Messages to Young People, 83, 84

“The holy Watcher from heaven is present at this [foot-washing] season to make it one of soul searching, of conviction of sin, and of the blessed assurance of sins forgiven. … Blessings forgotten, mercies abused, kindnesses slighted, are called to mind. Roots of bitterness that have crowded out the precious plant of love are made manifest. Defects of character, neglect of duties, ingratitude to God, coldness toward our brethren, are called to remembrance. Sin is seen in the light in which God views it.” The Desire of Ages, 650, 651



3.a. What is the meaning of Christ’s command, “This do in remembrance of Me”? Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25

Note: “On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which for fifteen long centuries the Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover with His disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate His own death as ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ That same night He was taken by wicked hands to be crucified and slain.” The Great Controversy, 399

“In instituting the sacramental service to take the place of the Passover, Christ left for His church a memorial of His great sacrifice for man. ‘This do,’ He said, ‘in remembrance of Me.’ This was the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. The one was to close forever; the other, which He had just established, was to take its place, and to continue through all time as the memorial of His death.” Evangelism, 273, 274

3.b. Until when is the Lord’s Supper to be celebrated? 1 Corinthians 11:26

Note: “Christ designed that this supper should be often commemorated in order to bring to our remembrance His sacrifice in giving His life for the remission of the sins of all who will believe on Him and receive Him.” God’s Amazing Grace, 152

“[T]he Lord’s Supper was not to be observed only occasionally or yearly, but more frequently than the annual Passover. This solemn ordinance commemorates a far greater event than the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. That deliverance was typical of the great atonement which Christ made by the sacrifice of His own life for the final deliverance of His people.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1, 203

“Then I was pointed back to the time that Jesus took His disciples away alone, into an upper room, and first washed their feet, and then gave them to eat of the broken bread, to represent His broken body, and juice of the vine to represent His spilled blood. … [A]ll should move understandingly, and follow the example of Jesus in these things, and when attending to these ordinances, should be as separate from unbelievers as possible.” The Present Truth, November 1, 1850



4.a. In His discussion with the Jewish leaders, what truth did Jesus make plain? John 6:32–35

Note: “We cannot, as individuals, maintain our bodily life unless we eat and drink for ourselves of temporal food. In order to maintain spiritual life and health, we must feed on Jesus Christ by studying His word, and doing the things He has commanded in that word. This will constitute a close union with Christ. The branch that bears fruit must be in the vine, a part of it, receiving nourishment from the parent stalk. This is living by faith upon the Son of God.” The Review and Herald, June 7, 1898

“To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice.” The Desire of Ages, 660

4.b. What is the meaning of the words: “My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed”? John 6:53–58

Note: “To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ is to receive Him as a personal Saviour, believing that He forgives our sins, and that we are complete in Him. It is by beholding His love, by dwelling upon it, by drinking it in, that we are to become partakers of His nature. What food is to the body, Christ must be to the soul. Food cannot benefit us unless we eat it, unless it becomes a part of our being. So Christ is of no value to us if we do not know Him as a personal Saviour. A theoretical knowledge will do us no good. We must feed upon Him, receive Him into the heart, so that His life becomes our life. His love, His grace, must be assimilated.” The Desire of Ages, 389

“ ‘He that eateth My flesh,’ He says, ‘and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.’ John 6:54, 56, 57. To the holy Communion this scripture in a special sense applies. As faith contemplates our Lord’s great sacrifice, the soul assimilates the spiritual life of Christ. That soul will receive spiritual strength from every Communion.” Ibid., 660, 661



5.a. What glorious event should encourage us to remain faithful in our Christian experience? Revelation 19:6–9

Note: “Jesus, the compassionate Saviour, has sent to our world the general invitation, ‘Come; for all things are now ready.’ Will you imitate the Jews, who refused the invitation? To us the invitation is given, and the Lord would have you fear and tremble at His word, that He may kindle in your heart hope and faith and holy trust. He commands you to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and promises that all necessary things shall be added unto you. He unfolds before you the glories of paradise, and the question is, Will you accept His invitation?” The Review and Herald, November 5, 1895

5.b. What gracious invitation is extended to every human being, and through whom? Isaiah 55:1–3; Revelation 22:17

Note: “God has called this people [of the gospel ministry] to give to the world the message of Christ’s soon coming. We are to give to men the last call to the gospel feast, the last invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Thousands of places that have not heard the call are yet to hear it.” Gospel Workers, 64

“The loving and compassionate Jesus declares that there is a greater sin than that for which Sodom was overthrown. It is the sin of those who, after hearing the gospel invitation to come to the marriage supper of the Lamb, turn away, and refuse to respond to the heavenly invitation. The invitation to the gospel feast is often rejected with apologies.” The Review and Herald, November 5, 1895



1    How does the Lord’s Supper relate to the ancient Passover service?

2    Why is self-examination so important before Communion?

3    Why should church members separate from unbelievers on these occasions?

4    What daily experience denotes “eating” and “drinking” of Christ?

5    What event should we encourage both ourselves and others to seek?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Foot Washing

September 4 – 10, 2022

Key Text

“Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant; and whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:2628

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 642651


“Christ gave His followers the ordinance of washing feet for them to practice, which would teach them lessons of humility. He connected this ordinance with the supper.” The Signs of the Times, March 25, 1880



1.a. What is recorded about Jesus’ love for His disciples just before His sufferings and death? John 13:1; 15:12, 13

Note: “Jesus, the divine Teacher, assured His disciples of His love toward them. He assumed human nature for no other purpose than to display to men the mercy, the love, and the goodness of God in providing for the salvation and happiness of His creatures.” Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, 39, 40

1.b. Unlike Jesus, what spirit controlled the disciples as they came together for the Communion service? Luke 22:24

Note: “Even the disciples, though outwardly they had left all for Jesus’ sake, had not in heart ceased to seek great things for themselves. It was this spirit that prompted the strife as to who should be greatest.” The Desire of Ages, 409

“The disciples clung to their favorite idea that Christ would assert His power, and take His position on the throne of David. And in heart each still longed for the highest place in the kingdom. They had placed their own estimate upon themselves and upon one another, and, instead of regarding their brethren as more worthy, they had placed themselves first.” Ibid., 643, 644



2.a. What act of Jesus surprised all the disciples? John 13:3–5

Note: “At a feast it was customary for a servant to wash the feet of the guests, and on this occasion preparation had been made for the service. The pitcher, the basin, and the towel were there, in readiness for the feet washing; but no servant was present, and it was the disciples’ part to perform it. But each of the disciples, yielding to wounded pride, determined not to act the part of a servant. All manifested a stoical unconcern, seeming unconscious that there was anything for them to do. By their silence they refused to humble themselves.” The Desire of Ages, 644

“He [the Saviour], the One they [the disciples] loved, rose, and laid aside His garments, and, taking a towel, girded Himself, pouring water into the basin. It was then that the disciples were astonished and ashamed.” The Review and Herald, July 5, 1898

“This [Jesus’] action opened the eyes of the disciples. Bitter shame and humiliation filled their hearts. They understood the unspoken rebuke, and saw themselves in altogether a new light.” The Desire of Ages, 644

2.b. Relate the objection of Peter, his attitude, and Jesus’ answer to his arguments. John 13:6–9

Note: “Peter shrank from bringing his soiled feet in touch with the hands of his Lord and Master; yet how often we bring our sinful, polluted souls in contact with the heart of Christ, who hates nothing but sin. O, how we grieve the pure, holy Spirit of Christ with our defiling sins! We are not prepared for the appreciation of the holy communion with Christ and with one another unless we are cleansed by His efficacy.” The Review and Herald, July 5, 1898

2.c. What is the meaning of Jesus’ words: “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet”? John 13:10

Note: “Peter and his brethren had been washed in the great fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. Christ acknowledged them as His. But temptation had led them into evil, and they still needed His cleansing grace. When Jesus girded Himself with a towel to wash the dust from their feet, He desired by that very act to wash the alienation, jealousy, and pride from their hearts. This was of far more consequence than the washing of their dusty feet.” The Desire of Ages, 646



3.a. How did Christ’s washing the disciples’ feet illustrate a timeless principle which all believers need to be aware? Proverbs 10:12. What reveals the positive results of Christ’s action?

Note: “Dissension always creates hatred, but Christ washed it away in the act of washing His disciples’ feet. A change of feeling did come; the union of heart and love for one another did exist. They became meek, teachable, and loving, and would have conceded to anyone the highest place. They were prepared to partake of the last supper with fragrant feelings of love, deep and full, for their Master and for one another.” The Review and Herald, July 5, 1898

“The act of Christ in washing the feet of His disciples was a sacred one; His motive in so doing was to bring about, through their remembrance of what Christ had done for them, a state of feeling where no exaltation of one above another should find place. This ordinance was to bring brother to an understanding of the feelings of his brother.” Ibid., June 14, 1898

3.b. What does the Lord wish to do to us as we humbly serve one another by washing the feet? Psalm 51:2, 7; Hebrews 10:22

Note: “It is not humiliating to the Master to allow Him to work for our purification. The truest humility is to receive with thankful heart any provision made in our behalf, and with earnestness do service for Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 646

“You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God. Now go to Him, and ask that He will wash away your sins and give you a new heart. Then believe that He does this because He has promised. This is the lesson which Jesus taught while He was on earth, that the gift which God promises us, we must believe we do receive, and it is ours.” Steps to Christ, 49, 50 [Author’s emphasis]

“Christ gave His disciples to understand that the washing of their feet did not cleanse away their sin, but that the cleansing of their heart was tested in this humble service. If the heart was cleansed, this act was all that was essential to reveal the fact. He had washed the feet of Judas; but He said, ‘Ye are not all clean.’ Judas brought a traitor’s heart to this scene, and Christ revealed to all that He knew him to be the betrayer of his Lord, and that the washing of his feet was not an ordinance to cleanse the soul from its moral defilement.” The Faith I Live By, 299



4.a. What blessings are promised to those who walk humbly before God? 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 57:15; Matthew 23:12; James 4:6, 10

Note: “All human ambition, all boasting, is to be laid in the dust. Self, sinful self, is to be abased, not exalted.” Testimonies, Vol. 8, 234

“The more exalted opinion we have of ourselves, the less need shall we feel of Jesus. True goodness never exalts self; but the self-righteous are always reaching out for the honor and praise of men. They have set up a false standard, and have too high an opinion of themselves. All who fall upon the rock, and are broken, Christ shall build up in true purity and holiness.” The Review and Herald, August 7, 1888

“Those who meekly and humbly pursue their course of duty, not to be praised, petted, and honored of men, but to glorify God, will receive as their reward glory, honor, and eternal life.” Ibid., July 22, 1890

“Christ gave His followers the ordinance of washing feet for them to practice, which would teach them lessons of humility. He connected this ordinance with the supper. He designed that this should be a season of self-examination, that His people might have an opportunity to become acquainted with the true feelings of their own hearts toward God and one another. If pride existed in their hearts, how soon would it be discovered to the honestly-erring ones, as they should engage in this humble duty. If selfishness or hatred existed, it would be more readily discovered as they engaged in this humble work. This ordinance was designed to result in mutual confessions, and to increase feelings of forbearance, forgiveness of each other’s errors, and true love, preparatory to engaging in the solemn ordinance of commemorating the sufferings and death of Christ.” The Signs of the Times, March 25, 1880

4.b. What is the significance of the ceremony of washing one another’s feet, and what did Jesus command us to do on this occasion? John 13:12–17

Note: “There is in man a disposition to esteem himself more highly than his brother, to work for self, to seek the highest place; and often this results in evil surmisings and bitterness of spirit. The ordinance preceding the Lord’s Supper is to clear away these misunderstandings, to bring man out of his selfishness, down from his stilts of self-exaltation, to the humility of heart that will lead him to serve his brother.” The Desire of Ages, 650



5.a. After Jesus finished washing the disciples’ feet, including the feet of Judas, what did He predict? John 13:21–26

Note: “The constraining power of [the] love [of Jesus] was felt by Judas. When the Saviour’s hands were bathing those soiled feet, and wiping them with the towel, the heart of Judas thrilled through and through with the impulse then and there to confess his sin. But he would not humble himself. He hardened his heart against repentance; and the old impulses, for the moment put aside, again controlled him.” The Desire of Ages, 645

5.b. What should we learn from the sad experience of Judas, and how should we approach the sacred ceremony of foot washing? Acts 1:15–20

Note: “The practice of the truths that Christ taught was at variance with his [Judas’] desires and purposes, and he could not bring himself to yield his ideas in order to receive wisdom from heaven. Instead of walking in the light, he chose to walk in darkness. Evil desires, covetousness, revengeful passions, dark and sullen thoughts, were cherished until Satan gained full control of him.” The Acts of the Apostles, 558

“The performance of the ordinance of humility calls for self-examination. The noble principles of the soul are strengthened on every such occasion. Christ lives in us, and this draws heart to heart. We are led to love as brethren, to be kind, tender, courteous in daily service, having hearts that can feel another’s woe.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1139



1    How was Christ’s attitude in the upper room widely different from that of His disciples?

2    Why was Jesus’ act of washing the disciples’ feet such a shock to them?

3    How did Christ’s action change the disciples’ hearts?

4    Why is humility so essential in the Christian life?

5    What blessings do we reap as a result of washing one another’s feet?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Baptism

This We Believe (2)

August 28 – September 3, 2022

Key Text

“Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15, 16

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 97108, 167177


“Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 91



1.a. Who performed the first baptism recorded in the New Testament, and what was the theme of his preaching? Matthew 3:1–6

Note: “John proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, and called the people to repentance. As a symbol of cleansing from sin, he baptized them in the waters of the Jordan. Thus by a significant object lesson he declared that those who claimed to be the chosen people of God were defiled by sin, and that without purification of heart and life they could have no part in the Messiah’s kingdom.” The Desire of Ages, 104

1.b. When many Pharisees and Sadducees flocked to the wilderness to be baptized, what message did John give them? Matthew 3:7–10

Note: “John himself had not directed his hearers to forsake their former duties. He bade them give evidence of their repentance by faithfulness to God in the place where He had called them.” The Desire of Ages, 150



2.a. Among the many who came to the wilderness to see John the Baptist, Jesus came also. Why did He do this? Matthew 3:13–15

Note: “Jesus was our example in all things that pertain to life and godliness. He was baptized in Jordan, just as those who come to Him must be baptized.” Our High Calling, 157

“Jesus did not receive baptism as a confession of guilt on His own account. He identified Himself with sinners, taking the steps that we are to take, and doing the work that we must do. His life of suffering and patient endurance after His baptism was also an example to us.” The Desire of Ages, 111

2.b. When Jesus came out of the water, what happened? Matthew 3:16, 17

Note: “A new and important era was opening before Him [Jesus], and He felt the solemnity and responsibilities of the new duties He was to perform, and heavier burdens which He was henceforth to bear. His baptism was the first act of His public ministry; and He here identifies Himself with sinners as their representative, in taking upon Him their sins, and numbering Himself with transgressors. In His prayer, Christ, with His human arm, encircles fallen humanity, while with His divine arm He is reaching for the throne of the Infinite. …

“Never had angels listened to such a prayer. They were solicitous to bear to the praying Redeemer messages of assurance and love. But no; the Father Himself will minister to His Son. Direct from the throne proceeded the light of the glory of God. The heavens were opened, and beams of light and glory proceeded therefrom and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dove-like form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ. …

“The thunders rolled and the lightnings flashed from the opening heavens, and a voice came therefrom in terrible majesty, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ The words of confirmation were given for the benefit of the witnesses at His baptism, and to assure God’s dear Son that His Father accepted humanity through Him, their substitute and surety, and that God would connect man to Himself, and open heaven to the prayers of men through the intercession of His Son.” The Youth’s Instructor, March 1, 1874



3.a. In the conversation of Jesus with Nicodemus, what truth was presented which is valid for every human being? John 3:5–7

Note: “The figure of the new birth, which Jesus had used, was not wholly unfamiliar to Nicodemus. Converts from heathenism to the faith of Israel were often compared to children just born. Therefore he must have perceived that the words of Christ were not to be taken in a literal sense. But by virtue of his birth as an Israelite he regarded himself as sure of a place in the kingdom of God. He felt that he needed no change.” The Desire of Ages, 171

“Nicodemus knew that Christ here referred to water baptism and the renewing of the heart by the Spirit of God.” Ibid., 172

“While Jesus was speaking, some gleams of truth penetrated the ruler’s mind. The softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit impressed his heart.” Ibid., 173

“The power of the Holy Spirit transforms the entire man. This change constitutes the new birth.” The Signs of the Times, November 15, 1883

3.b. What is the significance of being “born of water” and “born of the Spirit”? Romans 6:3–7; John 1:12, 13

Note: “Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 91

“True repentance of sin, faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, and baptism into His death, to be raised out of the water to live a new life, are the first steps in the new birth which Christ told Nicodemus he must experience in order to be saved.” Lift Him Up, 79

“We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three great, infinite powers are unitedly pledged to work in our behalf if we will cooperate with them. We are buried with Christ in baptism as an emblem of His death. We are raised from the water as an emblem of His resurrection. We are to live as newborn souls, that we may be raised at the last great day.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 4, 1901



4.a. Before we are baptized, what does the Lord require from us, and into what relationship do we then enter? 2 Corinthians 6:14–18

Note: “Come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord, and I will receive you, and ye shall be sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. What a promise is this! It is a pledge to you that you shall become members of the royal family, heirs of the heavenly kingdom.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 592

“Do you have to cut loose from friends and relatives in deciding to obey the elevated truths of God’s word? Take courage, God has made provision for you, His arms are open to receive you. Come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and He will receive you. He promises to be a Father unto you. Oh, what a relationship is this! higher and holier than any earthly tie. If you make the sacrifice, if you have to forsake father, mother, sisters, brothers, wife, and children for Christ’s sake, you will not be friendless. God adopts you into His family; you become members of the royal household, sons and daughters of the King who rules in the heaven of heavens. Can you desire a more exalted position than is here promised? Is not this enough?” Ibid., Vol. 1, 510

4.b. When one is born again, how does God consider that person, and what happens in his or her life? 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:22, 23; 2:1, 2

Note: “[P]ride is cleansed from the soul. Selfishness is uprooted. The quick, passionate temper no longer masters the man; for Jesus Christ has brought the thoughts into captivity to Himself. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let no arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.” The Signs of the Times, September 26, 1892

“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.” Maranatha, 237



5.a. In what name should converted souls be baptized, and what promise is given them? Matthew 28:19, 20. What privilege and responsibility rests upon them? Colossians 3:1–3

Note: “As Christians submit to the solemn rite of baptism, He [God] registers the vow that they make to be true to Him. … They pledge themselves to renounce the world and to observe the laws of the kingdom of God. Henceforth they are to walk in newness of life. No longer are they to follow the traditions of men. No longer are they to follow dishonest methods. They are to obey the statutes of the kingdom of heaven. They are to seek God’s honor. If they will be true to their vow, they will be furnished with grace and power that will enable them to fulfill all righteousness.” Evangelism, 307, 308

“The rite of baptism is administered in the name of the Father, and of Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These three great powers of heaven pledge themselves to be the efficiency of all who submit to this ordinance, and who faithfully keep the vow they then make.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 6, 27

“You are born unto God, you stand under the sanction and the power of the three holiest beings in heaven, who are able to keep you from falling. You are to reveal that you are dead to sin; your life is hid with Christ in God.” Ibid., Vol. 7, 267

5.b. When we are adopted as sons and daughters of God, what right and privilege belong to us? Romans 8:16, 17; Galatians 3:26–29; 4:6, 7



1    What hope did John the Baptist offer to those who came to him?

2    Why was Jesus baptized?

3    What significance does Christ’s interview with Nicodemus have for us?

4    What is baptism to indicate in the life of a soul?

5    In what sense is the entire Godhead involved in the baptism of repentant sinners?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Braised Celery


Because some people fail to appreciate the unique flavor of celery, its health benefits are often overlooked.

Celery is rich in antioxidants, which protect cells, blood vessels, and organs from oxidative damage. Celery reduces inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many illnesses, including arthritis and osteoporosis. Celery and celery seeds have approximately 25 anti-inflammatory compounds.

The high water content of celery—almost 95 percent—plus generous amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber support a healthy digestive tract and assists in keeping you regular. One cup of celery sticks contains five grams of dietary fiber.

Celery contains vitamins A, C, and K, plus minerals like potassium and folate. It is also low in sodium and low on the glycemic index, meaning it has a slow, steady effect on your blood sugar. With minerals like magnesium, iron, and sodium, celery can have a neutralizing effect on acidic foods—not to mention the fact that these minerals are necessary for essential bodily functions.

Recipe – Braised Celery


2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. flour

2 cups broth

1 head of celery stalk, cut into 2” pieces

Seasonings of your choice, such as onion powder and garlic powder


  • Sauté the onion in about two tablespoons of olive oil. When done, add a couple of tablespoons of flour. When the flour has browned a bit, add the two cups of your favorite broth and seasonings.
  • Meanwhile, slice up enough celery to fill a casserole dish. You can use either an 8 x 8 or 9 x 13 inches. Since you’ll want to just cover the celery, you may need to adjust the amount of broth depending on the size dish you use.
  • Pour the broth over the celery. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake at 350˚ for about 45 minutes.
  • Feel free to experiment with seasonings, adding vegan cheese on top before baking, or sprinkling with French-fried onions when done.

The Unanswerable Question Answered

Have you ever experienced something so unexplainable that you have wanted to ask, “Why?” Many people today do not believe that there is a God because if there were a God, how could He allow such terrible and unexplainable things to happen? A time is coming when we will all have the opportunity to ask, “Why?” and we will find an answer.

In the not-so-distant future, every human being will stand before God and give an account of himself or herself. God has a record of everything that has ever been said and done in this world. He even has a record of the thoughts of all of mankind. All of these things will one day, very soon, be revealed.

Jesus said, “[T]here is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” Matthew 10:26. Everything that is unknown or hidden today will, in that last day, be revealed.

The Bible tells us that God’s judgment will take place in three phases. This should be familiar to us because in the earthly court system, judgment is also dispensed in three phases:

Investigative – When a person is initially brought before a judge and a jury for a trial. All the evidence that has been gathered against the accused is presented in this first phase. The evidence will either be sufficient to find a person guilty or it will fail to convince the jury and the person will be acquitted, found innocent. If acquitted, then judgment is over. But if a person is convicted, then there are two more judgment phases to face.

Sentencing – A sentence, based upon the severity of the crime, is determined and set.

Executive – The execution of the sentence a person has been given is the final phase. It might be probation, a fine and/or community service, time in prison, or if it is a capital case, a death sentence.

God’s judgment is the same. Our focus in this article will be on the executive phase of God’s judgment. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades [the grave] delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11–15

Here we see that this judgment is based on evidence, the things written in the records which God has been keeping since sin entered the world, and by which mankind will be judged “according to their works.” Somehow, Christians have gotten the idea that because they call themselves Christians, they won’t be judged according to what they do or don’t do. This is a terrible error because both the Old and New Testaments are clear that God will judge His people according to their works. Therefore, it is very important that we understand that our names must be found in the book of life and our works must be according to God’s law if we hope to meet God in the judgment and be found innocent of sin.

Looking again at Revelation 20, we see that this is how God will judge the people of the world, too, and that even though they may die in this life, they will be raised up again to face judgment. This judgment will be the second death. All who through sin became the enemies of God will die this second death judgment, when Satan and sin will be completely destroyed (Malachi 4:1). “Root and branch will be destroyed by the fires of the last days. Satan, the great general of apostasy, is the root, and all his workers, who teach his lies in regard to the law of God, are the branches.” Manuscript 58, 1897

“It will be seen that Satan’s rebellion against God has resulted in ruin to himself, and to all that chose to become his subjects. He has represented that great good would result from transgression; but it will be seen that ‘the wages of sin is death.’ Romans 6:23. … An end will be made of sin, with all the woe and ruin that have resulted from it.” The Faith I Live By, 357

This is the execution of the judgment.

Malachi says that God will once and for all destroy sin and Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:26 that Christ will then destroy our final enemy—death. At the judgment, the book of life will be opened and anyone whose name is not found there will be cast into the lake of fire and experience the second death.

Jesus’ second coming brings about this final judgment. The second coming, mentioned hundreds of times in the New Testament, is its keynote. It is also spoken of many times in the Old Testament. The end of all things occurs at Jesus’ second coming. Revelation 19:11–16 describes the second coming of Jesus in symbolic language, “I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Notice that Jesus is coming back prepared to wage war. As we draw nearer to the end of time, the world will become increasingly wicked. We read this in Matthew 24, in both 1 and 2 Timothy, in 2 Peter chapters 2 and 3, and in Revelation. The Bible repeatedly warns that because of this wickedness, the Lord returns to wage one final battle with sin. “Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it.” Isaiah 13:9

The Old and New Testaments also state that sinners will be destroyed when the Lord returns once again to this earth. And why does this battle end this way? “[T]o give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9

Revelation describes this destruction. “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, ‘Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.’ And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:17–21

Isaiah also describes the end of all things contrary to righteousness. “The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like that of many people! A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of the nations gathered together! The Lord of hosts musters the army for battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven—the Lord and His weapons of indignation, to destroy the whole land. Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.” Isaiah 13:4–6

The Lord will return to destroy sin and sinners from off the earth. All those who worshiped the beast and his image and received his mark will be killed when the Lord returns. It doesn’t matter if someone is a king or a pauper, if sin is found in their life, if their name is not written in the book of life, they will die. None will be left.

We can see clearly what will happen to the wicked at Jesus’ return. But more importantly, let’s see what will happen to those who have dedicated their lives to doing the will of God; those who have received the Holy Spirit and been transformed into the likeness of Christ—Christians in the truest sense of the word.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ” 1 Corinthians 15:51–54

Paul quotes this prophecy found in Isaiah 25:6–9: “In this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast. He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.’ ”

Being mortal means that we are subject to death. Immortal means we will no longer be subject to death.

The righteous children of God who have died will all be raised to immortality. Those who are living will be made immortal and caught up with those who are raised from the dead to meet the Lord together in the air. Jesus told His disciples just before His arrest and crucifixion, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1–3

When Jesus comes, the wicked who are alive on the earth, will all be killed by the brightness of His coming. But God’s children, whether they be dead or alive, will be given immortality and be taken up together into the clouds to meet Him.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

“But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.” Revelation 20:4–6, first part

The wicked will be dead, to be raised again to face final judgement after the millennium. Only Satan will remain alive.

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” Revelation 20:1–3

Revelation tells us that the devil will be bound to this earth in solitary confinement for 1,000 years. There will be no one to deceive; no one to suffer from his cruelty. And during this 1,000-year period, the saints will review the books, the record that God has been keeping throughout the history of the world. The trial is commenced, the evidence is given. The saints will see that the evidence is overwhelmingly compelling and they must agree with God’s verdict of guilty.

The New Testament is very clear that judgment will be committed to Christ’s saints. “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” 1 Corinthians 6:1–3

The saints will judge fallen angels and sinners alike, and will then fully understand why sinners must be destroyed.

It is during this time of judgement that the many unanswered questions that we have asked, will be answered. It isn’t that God cannot or refuses to answer our questions. God has a purpose for all the things that occur in this world and in our individual lives. We do not now see as God sees and therefore, we are unable to understand why things happen as they do. “Why did this happen? Why did God allow that?” They may be unanswered now, but there is no question regarding our lives on this earth that will be unanswerable. We just simply must wait for God’s time to receive the answer. And here, during the millennium, as we look over the books, we will see why things happened the way they did and be satisfied that God, in His love and mercy, did everything just right.

At the close of the millennium, Satan will be set free, the wicked will be raised from the dead, and all will be sentenced. The penalty for their sins: eternal death. No burning forever and ever … just death.

Satan, sin, and sinners—all gone. Having been sentenced for their sins, God executes judgment and all that is sinful is destroyed forever. “God is jealous, and the Lord avenges; the Lord avenges and is furious. The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies; the Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. …

“Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. … He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.” Nahum 1:2, 3, 6, and 9, last part

We will soon find out that God always does what is right and best for His children.

“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’

“And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’ ” Revelation 5:11–13

Jesus said He would be back to take us home with Him. For eternity, we will hear again and again the story of our redemption. Questions will be asked and answered. We will sing praises to God and Jesus, His Son.

Are we waiting and longing for His return? Soon God’s children will be changed, the mortal will be given immortality and they will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. From then on, they will forever be with Him. Will you be ready to meet Him on that day?

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 Benefits of Drinking Water

Throughout my nursing career, I have both heard this saying and said it to those entrusted to my care, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Although this advice was given by Benjamin Franklin to the fire-threatened Philadelphians in 1736, it can certainly be applied as a health principle. Preventive measures are invaluable.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

The body is composed of 50–70% water, depending on a person’s weight. Vital to survival, every cell, tissue, and organ in the body needs it for optimal functioning. Water aids in maintaining the balance of body fluids, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells and muscles, lubricates and cushions joints, and regulates heartbeat, blood pressure, and temperature. It also controls calories, lowers tooth decay risks, increases perspiration, improves kidney and bowel function, and improves skin and tissue health. Consuming water may boost exercise performance, help with weight loss, and reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.

The general guideline for how much water to drink daily was eight glasses—eight ounces each or 64 ounces—but the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently updated it to about 15.5 cups (124 ounces) for men and about 11.5 cups (92 ounces) for women. Daily water needs are best assessed on an individual basis, and it is preferable to seek the counsel of a physician due to factors such as location, climate and altitude, activity level, metabolism, weight, and overall health. Pregnancy and breastfeeding must also be considered.

Whether young or old, drinking water can unfortunately be a low priority. “Older people don’t sense thirst as much as they did when they were younger. And that could be a problem if they’re on a medication that may cause fluid loss, such as a diuretic,” says Dr. Julian Seifter, a kidney specialist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“Even if you’re not thirsty, don’t assume you’re drinking enough water. Instead, take a peek at your urine. If it’s a pale yellow color, you’re right on track. If your urine is darker or has a strong odor, then you could probably use more fluids.” says Dr. Sukol of Cleveland Clinic. Mild to moderate dehydration may include: constipation, dizziness, low blood pressure, dry mouth, fatigue, and muscle cramps. As the severity of symptoms progress, it can become a medical emergency requiring immediate attention. Severe dehydration may include abdominal pain, confusion, and lethargy, in addition to the mild and moderate symptoms above.

Here are some tips to help encourage you to frequently drink more water:

  1. Keep water available in your vehicle, at home, and at work, and while exercising.
  2. Inspiration instructs that we should not drink water with our meals. But drinking pure water a little before or after a meal will help quench the thirst (Counsels on Diet and Foods, 420).
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables like watermelon, grapefruit, tomatoes, and spinach, which have high water content.

To avoid dehydration and other risks:

  1. Avoid sugary beverages that can lead to weight gain and inflammation. These can contribute to the onset of diabetes and other diseases.
  2. Avoid caffeinated beverages that can cause feelings of nervousness and contribute to sleep deprivation.
  3. Do not drink alcohol. It can lead to an alteration of brain function, as well as kidney and liver disease. The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy are clear that we should not consume alcoholic beverages of any kind.
  4. Avoid sports drinks as they can cause fluctuation in the body’s electrolytes.
  5. Avoid energy drinks which cause an increase in heart rate. These drinks, because of their caffeine content, can cause anxiety, sleeplessness, an increase in blood pressure, and heart problems. If consumed in large quantities, they can result in death.

As with the possibility of becoming dehydrated, over-hydration is also possible. Although extremely rare, the condition of hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is quite serious, even life-threatening. This occurs when drinking too much water over a short period of time; the kidneys cannot sufficiently expel the excess water. Athletes tend to be among the most notable to experience over-hydration when attempting to prevent excessive water loss during prolonged or intense exercise.

“We are nearing the judgment. Already the plagues of God are beginning to be poured out. Upon some parts of the world God is permitting the plagues to fall. If we would escape these plagues, we must be pure, virtuous, holy, ever remembering that we are God’s property. Because He has redeemed us, He wants us to cleanse the soul-temple from every trace of pollution. He wants His people to be healthy Christians, physically and spiritually.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 5, 18

Sources: Nourish by WebMD – Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, Mayo Clinic – Staff, Harvard Health – Staff, and Cleveland Clinic – Staff; sources that contain water

Sha-Wanda Dillon, known to us as Sunny, is part of the staff at Steps to Life. In Sunny’s younger years, she was an aviation electrical technician in the United States Navy. After her naval service was completed, she went back to school and became a registered nurse. She may be contacted by email at:

Question – What is faith?


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

“Faith is not feeling …

“Faith claims God’s promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. … It is not faith that claims the favor of heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted. Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures.

“To abide in faith is to put aside feeling and selfish desires, to walk humbly with the Lord, to appropriate His promises, and apply them to all occasions, believing that God will work out His own plans and purposes in your heart and life.” The Faith I Live By, 122

“ ‘Ask, and it shall be given you’ ” (Matthew 7:7) is the promise. Our part is to rest on the Word with unwavering faith, believing that God will do according to His promise. Let faith cut its way through the shadow of the enemy. When a questioning doubt arises, go to Christ and let the soul be encouraged by communion with Him. The redemption He has purchased for us is complete. The offering He made was plenteous and without stint. Heaven has a never-failing supply of help for all who are needy.” Our High Calling, 117

“God’s people are weak because they have not made Him their trust. They have not made Him their dependence, …

“How infinitely inferior we are to the perfect Pattern that we are called upon to copy! Yet in His strength we can reach the ideal set before us. We can do ‘all things’ in His power.” The Signs of the Times, October 24, 1900

“By living faith, I grasp the hand of Jesus, and I am all light in the Lord. … Faith will keep the mind above the low level of earth, and direct the soul to heaven in contemplation of the spiritual and eternal. … Will you have faith in God, who ‘so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life?’ ” Ibid., March 18, 1889

In his book Satisfied, Mark Finley defines faith as “… believing God—trusting Him. It is a settled confidence in Him. It moves at His command. It obeys at His word. It walks in His strength and lives in His power.”

“What is faith? It is simply taking God at His word; it is believing that God will do just as He has promised.” The Signs of the Times, September 9, 1889

The Most Singular Orchestra on Earth

The musician drew his thigh over the teeth of a saw and began to bow a six-beat phrase. Another instrumentalist came in on a belly drum, amplifying a low tattoo into a siren-like wail. A third snapped his head against a wooden board, and a fourth, lying on his back with his feet in the air, made music by arching his spine. Most of this group can be heard around the summer world in every field and hedge, for the musicians are a grasshopper, a cicada, a death-watch beetle, and a click beetle, the conspicuous soloists of this orchestra. You can listen to a fuller ensemble on any summer night on the stage they prefer—hot grass, dry earth, and, for good measure, an August moon quivering in a sea of heat.

Familiar to almost everyone are the crickets with their fat bodies, long antennae, big heads—and their endearing habit of singing from the hearth and doorstep. Crickets sing with a distinctive “creeeak, creeeak,” produced by rubbing a scraper on the left wing against a file on the right. Cricket songs have meaning. Some are love calls, others are danger signals, and others are simply “I am here” ditties.

Grasshoppers, known in the Bible as locusts, use their thighbones as bows. A grasshopper, standing on his “hands,” lifts his big back legs until the femurs rub against a line of small stiff pegs on the wing. This produces that dead-battery sound in the summer meadow. The grasshopper also has a flight song. As he takes off, he snaps his two big top wings against the smaller inside ones and produces that familiar crackle of grasshopper jumps.

The katydid is a handsome, brilliant-green creature, with long, graceful antennae. He makes music by lifting his wings and running the edge of one over some 70 sawlike points on the other. In the base of their wings, they possess a miniaturized amplifier, less than one eighth of an inch in size, composed of chitin, the substance from which the strong outside skeleton of the insect is made. Thinner than paper, yet stronger than a comparable thickness of steel, this tiny disk-shaped device can amplify an almost inaudible scratch into a crackling “zeep” that will carry a mile.

The loudest members of the insect orchestra are the “drummers” that literally beat one object against another. The cicadas are the classical drummers. Those with the two-year cycle are about an inch and a quarter long, chunky, often with beautiful crystal wings. The sounds they make are courtship calls, a buzz saw high in the treetops that begins softly and rises to a frantic, earsplitting climax.

Of all the drummers, the death-watch beetle is the most astonishing, for this musician hits his head on wood to beat a tune. He does this on woodwork and old furniture. These clicking concerts can go on for years.

Then there are the “incidental musicians.” These are the flies, bees, and mosquitoes. One study of a housefly revealed that it whines the note F in the middle octave by vibrating its wings 21,120 times a minute.

Bees and wasps also use their wings to create sounds. They hum when peacefully gathering food, “pipe” when calling to mates, and “roar” when attacked.

Humming, crackling, drumming, roaring—in the soft August sun—the band plays on.

Excerpts from Our Amazing World of Nature, Its Marvels and Mysteries, Jean George, 36–38.

“We will sing to stringed instruments all the days of our life, at the house of the Lord.” Isaiah 38:20 RV

Who knows. Maybe God’s little orchestra will join with the saints in singing praises to our Creator.

Songs we Love – Great is Thy Faithfulness

Thomas Obadiah Chisholm was born July 29, 1866, in a log cabin in Franklin, Kentucky. With only an elementary education, he became a schoolteacher at the age of 16 in the same country schoolhouse he had attended.

At the age of 27, he found Christ during revival meetings held by evangelist Henry Clay Morrison and began writing sacred poems, many of which became popular hymns still sung today.

Thomas’ health was unstable and he lived his life in bouts of illness.

He worked five years as the editor of the local paper in Franklin, as the business manager and office editor of the Pentecostal Herald in Louisville, Kentucky, and as a life insurance agent in Winona Lake and later in Vineland, New Jersey.

Thomas was ordained as a Methodist minister, and in 1903, entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, but a year later was forced to resign due to poor health.

Through all the ups and downs of his life, he discovered that God was faithful, with new blessings every morning. Lamentations 3:22, 23 became very precious to him:

“His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

There is no dramatic story behind the writing of this beautiful hymn, just a recognition of God’s faithfulness to man when we put our trust and our lives wholly in Him.

While serving the Lord in Vineland, New Jersey, Thomas sent several poems to his friend, musician William Runyan. William was so moved by this one poem that he prayed that the Lord would give him special guidance in the composition of the music. The hymn was published in 1923.

Thomas Chisholm wrote 1,200 sacred poems in all. He retired in 1953 and spent his remaining years at the Methodist Home for the Aged in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, where he died on February 29, 1960, at the age of 94.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

 Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

 Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

 Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Sources:; Wikipedia