Bible Study Guides – What Is Gospel Ministry?

January 24, 2016 – January 30, 2016

Key Text

“Ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good.” Mark 14:7.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 637–641.


“The fallen, the erring, and the sinful, Christ’s love embraces; and every deed of kindness done to uplift a fallen soul, every act of mercy, is accepted as done to Him.” Lift Him Up, 82.


  • From the abundance with which God blesses the earth, what provision has He made for sustaining the poor? Psalms 65:9–11; 68:10; 107:9.
  • What duty does Christ enjoin on His followers when He says, “Blessed are the merciful”? Matthew 5:7.

Note: “There never was a time when there was greater need for the exercise of mercy than today. The poor are all around us, the distressed, the afflicted, the sorrowing, and those who are ready to perish.

“Those who have acquired riches have acquired them through the exercise of the talents that were given them of God, but these talents for the acquiring of property were given to them that they might relieve those who are in poverty. These gifts were bestowed upon men by Him who maketh His sun to shine and His rain to fall upon the just and the unjust, that by the fruitfulness of the earth men might have abundant supplies for all their need.” Welfare Ministry, 15.


  • Since, according to I John 5:19, the whole world is under the control of the power of darkness, what misery exists even in so-called Christian countries?

Note: “While God in His providence has laden the earth with His bounties and filled its storehouses with the comforts of life, want and misery are on every hand. A liberal Providence has placed in the hands of His human agents an abundance to supply the necessities of all, but the stewards of God are unfaithful. In the professed Christian world there is enough expended in extravagant display to supply the wants of all the hungry and to clothe the naked. Many who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ are spending His money for selfish pleasure, for the gratification of appetite, for strong drink and rich dainties, for extravagant houses and furniture and dress, while to suffering human beings they give scarcely a look of pity or a word of sympathy.

“What misery exists in the very heart of our so-called Christian countries! Think of the condition of the poor in our large cities. In these cities there are multitudes of human beings who do not receive as much care and consideration as are given to the brutes. There are thousands of wretched children, ragged and half starved, with vice and depravity written on their faces.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 274, 275.

  • What blessings does God want us to impart to the world besides the knowledge of the way of salvation? Isaiah 58:7; James 1:27.

Note: “Some think that if they give money to this work, it is all they are required to do; but this is an error. Donations of money cannot take the place of personal ministry. It is right to give our means, and many more should do this; but according to their strength and opportunities, personal service is required of all.

“The work of gathering in the needy, the oppressed, the suffering, the destitute, is the very work which every church that believes the truth for this time should long since have been doing.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 275, 276.

“Heavenly angels are waiting for human beings to cooperate with them in the practical carrying out of the principles of truth. It is through the agency of our sanitariums and kindred enterprises that much of this work is to be done.” Ibid., vol. 7, 58, 59.


  • What kind of self-sacrifice is a genuine representation of the character of Christ? Galatians 6:9, 10; Romans 12:20.

Note: “We are to show the tender sympathy of the Samaritan in supplying physical necessities, feeding the hungry, bringing the poor that are cast out to our homes, gathering from God every day grace and strength that will enable us to reach to the very depths of human misery and help those who cannot possibly help themselves.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 276.

“The lesson [in the story of the good Samaritan] is no less needed in the world today than when it fell from the lips of Jesus. Selfishness and cold formality have well-nigh extinguished the fire of love, and dispelled the graces that should make fragrant the character. Many who profess His name have lost sight of the fact that Christians are to represent Christ. Unless there is practical self-sacrifice for the good of others, in the family circle, in the neighborhood, in the church, and wherever we may be, then whatever our profession, we are not Christians.” The Desire of Ages, 504.

  • How can we best arouse the religious interest of our neighbors? 2 Thessalonians 3:13.

Note: “Every church member should feel it his special duty to labor for those living in his neighborhood. Study how you can best help those who take no interest in religious things. As you visit your friends and neighbors, show an interest in their spiritual as well as in their temporal welfare. Present Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour. Invite your neighbors to your home, and read with them from the precious Bible and from books that explain its truths. This, united with simple songs and fervent prayers, will touch their hearts. Let church members educate themselves to do this work. This is just as essential as to save the benighted souls in foreign countries. While some feel the burden of souls afar off, let the many who are at home feel the burden of precious souls around them and work just as diligently for their salvation.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 276.


  • When Christ shall come in His glory, how many classes of people will there be? What will He say to those on His “right hand”? Matthew 25:34–36.

Note: “Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God.

“How surprised and gladdened will be the lowly among the nations, and among the heathen, to hear from the lips of the Saviour, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me’ (Matthew 25:40)! How glad will be the heart of Infinite Love as His followers look up with surprise and joy at His words of approval! …

“He [Christ] identifies Himself with every child of humanity. That we might become members of the heavenly family, He became a member of the earthly family. He is the Son of man, and thus a brother to every son and daughter of Adam.” The Desire of Ages, 638.

  • Why should we be merciful to all kinds of sinners? Matthew 25:37–40.

Note: “His [Christ’s] followers are not to feel themselves detached from the perishing world around them. They are a part of the great web of humanity; and Heaven looks upon them as brothers to sinners as well as to saints. The fallen, the erring, and the sinful, Christ’s love embraces; and every deed of kindness done to uplift a fallen soul, every act of mercy, is accepted as done to Him.” The Desire of Ages, 638.


  • How does the apostle Paul admonish us to cooperate with the angels of heaven in their ministry for sinners? Hebrews 13:1, 2.

Note: “As you open your door to Christ’s needy and suffering ones, you are welcoming unseen angels. You invite the companionship of heavenly beings. They bring a sacred atmosphere of joy and peace. They come with praises upon their lips, and an answering strain is heard in heaven. Every deed of mercy makes music there. The Father from His throne numbers the unselfish workers among His most precious treasures.” The Desire of Ages, 639.

“Many feel that it would be a great privilege to visit the scenes of Christ’s life on earth, to walk where He trod, to look upon the lake beside which He loved to teach, and the hills and valleys on which His eyes so often rested. But we need not go to Nazareth, to Capernaum, or to Bethany, in order to walk in the steps of Jesus. We shall find His footprints beside the sickbed, in the hovels of poverty, in the crowded alleys of the great city, and in every place where there are human hearts in need of consolation. In doing as Jesus did when on earth, we shall walk in His steps.” Ibid., 640.

“In all who suffer for My name, said Jesus, you are to recognize Me. As you would minister to Me, so you are to minister to them. This is the evidence that you are My disciples.” Ibid., 638.


1 What duty is implied in the words, “Blessed are the merciful”?

2 Describe the far-reaching scope of true evangelism.

3 What kind of self-sacrifice is a genuine representation of the character of Christ?

4 How can we best arouse the religious interest of our neighbors?

5 When Christ shall come in His glory, what will He say to those on His right hand?

Copyright © 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – A United Work

January 17, 2016 – January 23, 2016

Key Text

“And [Christ appointed different responsibilities and offices] … for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith.” Ephesians 4:11–13.

Study Help: Early Writings, 100.


“ ‘The church must flee to God’s Word and become established upon gospel order, which has been overlooked and neglected.’ This is indispensably necessary in order to bring the church into the unity of the faith.” Early Writings, 100.


  • Does Christ call us to labor independently from all others or does He want us to work in unity with those who submit to God? On what condition would the early church go forth from victory to victory? John 17:21–23.

Note: “As they [the disciples of the early church] should continue to labor unitedly, heavenly messengers would go before them, opening the way; hearts would be prepared for the reception of truth. … Nothing could withstand her onward progress.” The Acts of the Apostles, 91.

  • If the disciples failed to labor unitedly as the body of Christ, what would they be able to do? John 15:4, 5.

Note: “The proclamation of the gospel was to be worldwide in its extent, and the messengers of the cross could not hope to fulfill their important mission unless they should remain united in the bonds of Christian unity.” The Acts of the Apostles, 90.


  • As the membership of the early church grew, what step was taken in harmony with gospel order? Acts 6:2, 3. Who selected the men to be ordained as deacons? What moral and spiritual qualities were considered as a main requirement?

Note: “[Acts 6:2–4 quoted.]

“The church accordingly selected seven men full of faith and the wisdom of the Spirit of God, to attend to the business pertaining to the cause.” The Story of Redemption, 259, 260.

“[Acts 6:1–7 quoted.]

“The Lord here gives us an example of the care that should be exercised when choosing men for His service.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1056.

  • How was God consulted by the congregation concerning these candidates for ordination? Acts 6:6. How should we follow the example of the early Christians in this regard? Acts 13:1–3.

Note: “Brethren of experience and of sound minds should assemble, and following the word of God and the sanction of the Holy Spirit, should, with fervent prayer, lay hands upon those who have given full proof that they have received their commission of God, and set them apart to devote themselves entirely to His work. This act would show the sanction of the church to their going forth as messengers to carry the most solemn message ever given to men.” Early Writings, 101.

  • How were they able to have a united influence upon the entire flock? I Corinthians 1:10; 2:16.

Note: “The order that was maintained in the early Christian church made it possible for them to move forward solidly as a well-disciplined army clad with the armor of God. The companies of believers, though scattered over a large territory, were all members of one body; all moved in concert and in harmony with one another.” The Acts of the Apostles, 95, 96.


  • What qualifications should prospective soul winners develop under the direction of the Holy Spirit? Matthew 9:38; I Timothy 3:2–7. Why is self-education necessary?

Note: “The work committed to the disciples would require great efficiency; for the tide of evil ran deep and strong against them.” The Acts of the Apostles, 31.

“Those in the service of God must show animation and determination in the work of winning souls.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 418.

“Those who make no decided effort, but simply wait for the Holy Spirit to compel them to action, will perish in darkness.” Christian Service, 228.

  • Genuineness, integrity: 2 Corinthians 6:3; I Peter 3:16.

Note: “Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ. The fact that his own life exemplified the truth he proclaimed, gave convincing power to his preaching. Here lies the power of the truth. The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity. Argument, even when unanswerable, may provoke only opposition; but a godly example has a power that it is impossible wholly to resist.” Gospel Workers, 59.

  • Decorum, courtesy, politeness (Christian dignity): Colossians 4:6. Humility: John 3:30.

Note: “The man of God, the minister of Christ, is required to be thoroughly furnished unto all good works. A pompous minister, all dignity, is not needed for this good work. But decorum is necessary in the desk. A minister of the gospel should not be regardless of his attitude.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 648.

“The minister of Christ should possess sobriety, meekness, love, long-suffering, forbearance, pity, and courtesy. He should be circumspect, elevated in thought and conversation, and of blameless deportment. This is gospel dignity.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 568, 569.


  • Tact: 2 Timothy 2:22–26. Honesty, faithfulness: Acts 6:3; I Corinthians 4:2.

Note: “If a man has tact, industry, and enthusiasm, he will make a success in temporal business, and the same qualities, consecrated to the work of God, will prove even doubly efficient; for divine power will be combined with human effort.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 276.

“When responsibilities are to be entrusted to an individual, the question is not asked whether he is eloquent or wealthy, but whether he is honest, faithful, and industrious; for whatever may be his accomplishments, without these qualifications he is utterly unfit for any position of trust.” Ibid., vol. 4, 413.

  • Sober-mindedness (having cautious, moderate ideas, and calm judgment): Titus 1:8; I Peter 1:13; 5:8. Cleanliness, tidiness, orderliness: I Corinthians 14:40.

Note: “Ministers should love order and should discipline themselves, and then they can successfully discipline the church of God and teach them to work harmoniously like a well-drilled company of soldiers. …

“Angels … turn away in grief, for they are not authorized to bless confusion, distraction, and disorganization.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 649.

  • Mental culture, cultured speech, correct language: 2 Timothy 2:15.

Note: “Men have labored with a measure of success who have had little training in school or college; but these might have attained a greater measure of success, and might have been more efficient laborers, if at the very start they had acquired mental discipline.” Gospel Workers, 92.

“Unless we can clothe our ideas in appropriate language, of what avail is our education?” Testimonies, vol. 6, 380.

“The right culture and use of the power of speech has to do with every line of Christian work. … We should accustom ourselves to speak in pleasant tones, to use pure and correct language, and words that are kind and courteous.” Christian Service, 223.


  • What lesson should we learn from farm work before we can expect the Lord to bless our evangelistic efforts? I Corinthians 3:6–9.

Note: “The Lord desires that the cities shall be worked by the united efforts of laborers of different capabilities. All are to look to Jesus for direction, not depending on man for wisdom, lest they be led astray. As laborers together with God they should seek to be in harmony with one another. There should be frequent councils and earnest, wholehearted cooperation. Yet all are to look to Jesus for wisdom, not depending upon men alone for direction.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 109.

  • In the first place, on what does the progress of our evangelistic work depend? Psalm 127:1.

Note: “It is not the power that emanates from men that makes the work successful, it is the power of the heavenly intelligences working with the human agent that brings the work to perfection. A Paul may plant, and an Apollos may water, but it is God that giveth the increase. Man cannot do God’s part of the work. As a human agent he may cooperate with the divine intelligences, and in simplicity and meekness do his best, realizing that God is the great Master Workman. Although the workmen may be buried, the work will not cease, but it will go on to completion.” The Review and Herald, November 14, 1893.


1 Explain the practical benefits of working unitedly in evangelistic efforts.

2 Name some steps the church must take prior to performing ordinations.

3 What qualities are essential in soul winning?

4 How can we cultivate the essential qualifications for Christian service?

5 What agriculture illustration helps us to understand evangelism?

Copyright © 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The First Missionary Tour

January 10, 2016 – January 16, 2016

Key Text

“He [Jesus] called His twelve disciples … and … sent them to preach the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:1, 2.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 349–358.


“These disciples were to be heralds of the truth, to prepare the way for the coming of the Master. The burden of their message was a repetition of that of John the Baptist and of Christ Himself, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand’ (Mark 1:15).” The Review and Herald, March 23, 1897.


  • With what message did Christ send His twelve disciples after a period of training? Matthew 10:7.
  • What power did Christ give to them, and what was His admonition afterwards in view of their success? Mark 6:7; Luke 10:20. What benefits are there in sending out evangelists two by two?

Note: “Calling the twelve about Him, Jesus bade them go out two and two through the towns and villages. None were sent forth alone, but brother was associated with brother, friend with friend. Thus they could help and encourage each other, counseling and praying together, each one’s strength supplementing the other’s weakness. In the same manner He afterward sent forth the seventy. It was the Saviour’s purpose that the messengers of the gospel should be associated in this way. In our own time evangelistic work would be far more successful if this example were more closely followed.” The Desire of Ages, 350.


  • During His ministry, how did Christ divide His time? Matthew 4:23, 24.

Note: “During His ministry Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching. His miracles testified to the truth of His words, that He came not to destroy but to save.” The Desire of Ages, 350.

  • What promise will be fulfilled toward those who, in the Spirit of Christ, help the needy and preach His message? Isaiah 58:8.

Note: “The followers of Christ are to labor as He did. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the suffering and afflicted. We are to minister to the despairing and inspire hope in the hopeless. And to us also the promise will be fulfilled, ‘Thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward’ (Isaiah 58:8). The love of Christ, manifested in unselfish ministry, will be more effective in reforming the evildoer than will the sword or the court of justice. These are necessary to strike terror to the lawbreaker, but the loving missionary can do more than this.” The Desire of Ages, 350, 351.

  • Christian missionaries will not be involved today in pseudo-miraculous healings; but what can they do?

Note: “The missionary cannot only relieve physical maladies, but he can lead the sinner to the Great Physician, Who can cleanse the soul from the leprosy of sin. Through His servants, God designs that the sick, the unfortunate, those possessed of evil spirits, shall hear His voice. Through His human agencies He desires to be a Comforter such as the world knows not.” The Desire of Ages, 351.

“Not only should those who believe the truth practice health reform but they should also teach it diligently to others; for it will be an agency through which the truth can be presented to the attention of unbelievers. They will reason that if we have such sound ideas in regard to health and temperance, there must be something in our religious belief that is worth investigation.” Evangelism, 514.


  • What instruction did Christ give to His disciples in effective house-to-house work? Matthew 10:11–14; Luke 10:5.

Note: “In every place they [the disciples] were to accept the hospitality of those who were worthy, those who would welcome them heartily as if entertaining Christ Himself. They were to enter the dwelling with the beautiful salutation, ‘Peace be to this house’ (Luke 10:5). That home would be blessed by their prayers, their songs of praise, and the opening of the Scriptures in the family circle.” The Desire of Ages, 351, 352.

  • In their first missionary tour, to whom were the disciples to go first? Matthew 10:5, 6. Why?

Note: “If they [the disciples] had now preached the gospel to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, they would have lost their influence with the Jews. By exciting the prejudice of the Pharisees they would have involved themselves in controversy which would have discouraged them at the outset of their labors. Even the apostles were slow to understand that the gospel was to be carried to all nations. Until they themselves could grasp this truth they were not prepared to labor for the Gentiles. If the Jews would receive the gospel, God purposed to make them His messengers to the Gentiles.” The Desire of Ages, 351.

  • When the 70 disciples were to enter people’s homes, how did Jesus counsel them to show gratitude and respect for the hospitality of the householders? Luke 10:7–9. Why?

Note: “[Luke 10:1–3, 8, 9 quoted.] …

“They [the seventy disciples] were not to lose sight of this message, nor to enter into controversy over matters that were unessential, or that would close the door to the important truths Jesus had bid them teach.” This Day With God, 113.


  • What is the meaning of Christ’s warning in Matthew 10:16?

Note: “The servants of Christ are not to act out the dictates of the natural heart. They need to have close communion with God, lest, under provocation, self rise up, and they pour forth a torrent of words that are unbefitting, that are not as dew or the still showers that refresh the withering plants. This is what Satan wants them to do; for these are his methods. … But God’s servants are to be representatives of Him. He desires them to deal only in the currency of heaven, the truth that bears His own image and superscription. The power by which they are to overcome evil is the power of Christ. The glory of Christ is their strength. They are to fix their eyes upon His loveliness. Then they can present the gospel with divine tact and gentleness. And the spirit that is kept gentle under provocation will speak more effectively in favor of the truth than will any argument, however forcible.

“Those who are brought in controversy with the enemies of truth have to meet, not only men, but Satan and his agents. Let them remember the Saviour’s words, ‘Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves’ (Luke 10:3). Let them rest in the love of God, and the spirit will be kept calm, even under personal abuse. The Lord will clothe them with a divine panoply. His Holy Spirit will influence the mind and heart, so that their voices shall not catch the notes of the baying of the wolves.” The Desire of Ages, 353.

“Those who are under the influence of the Spirit of God will not be fanatical, but calm and steadfast, free from extravagance in thought, word, or deed. Amid the confusion of delusive doctrines, the Spirit of God will be a guide and a shield to those who have not resisted the evidences of truth, silencing every other voice but that which comes from Him Who is the truth.” Gospel Workers, 289.

  • What did Christ mean when, continuing His instructions to His disciples, He said, “Beware of men”? Matthew 10:17.

Note: “They [the disciples] were not to put implicit confidence in those who knew not God, and open to them their counsels; for this would give Satan’s agents an advantage.” The Desire of Ages, 354.


  • Continuing His instruction, how did Christ stress the importance of confessing Him correctly before people? Matthew 10:32, 33.

Note: “You are to be My witnesses upon earth, channels through which My grace can flow for the healing of the world. So I will be your representative in heaven. The Father beholds not your faulty character, but He sees you as clothed in My perfection. I am the medium through which Heaven’s blessings shall come to you. And everyone who confesses Me by sharing My sacrifice for the lost shall be confessed as a sharer in the glory and joy of the redeemed.

“He who would confess Christ must have Christ abiding in him. He cannot communicate that which he has not received. The disciples might speak fluently on doctrines, they might repeat the words of Christ Himself; but unless they possessed Christlike meekness and love, they were not confessing Him. A spirit contrary to the spirit of Christ would deny Him, whatever the profession. Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, by foolish talking, by words that are untruthful or unkind. They may deny Him by shunning life’s burdens, by the pursuit of sinful pleasure. They may deny Him by conforming to the world, by uncourteous behavior, by the love of their own opinions, by justifying self, by cherishing doubt, borrowing trouble, and dwelling in darkness. In all these ways they declare that Christ is not in them.” The Desire of Ages, 357.

  • What assurance may all who confess Christ faithfully claim? Revelation 3:5.


1 Explain the mission entrusted to the 70 disciples.

2 What can Christians do for the sick today?

3 Name some key elements in effective house-to-house evangelism.

4 How are we to understand the phrase “sheep in the midst of wolves”?

5 What are some ways by which we represent Christ correctly or incorrectly?

Copyright © 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Jesus Called Twelve

January 3, 2016 – January 9, 2016

Key Text

“He [Jesus] ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach.” Mark 3:14.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 290–297.


“Jesus had called His disciples that He might send them forth as His witnesses, to declare to the world what they had seen and heard of Him. Their office was the most important to which human beings had ever been called, and was second only to that of Christ Himself. They were to be workers together with God for the saving of the world.” The Review and Herald, January 11, 1912.


  • What kinds of people did Christ train to proclaim the message of salvation to the world? What were their names? Matthew 10:2–4.

Note: “Our Saviour … connected with Himself men who were faulty in character, and granted them the benefits of His teachings and example, that they might have an opportunity to see their errors and correct them.” The Great Controversy, 43.

  • What statement of Christ shows that He knew the character of those men? John 6:70.

Note: “The Saviour knew the character of the men whom He had chosen; all their weaknesses and errors were open before Him.” The Desire of Ages, 291.

“Among the twelve apostles was a traitor. Judas was accepted, not because of his defects of character, but notwithstanding them.” The Great Controversy, 43, 44.


  • How and why did Christ accept Judas? Matthew 8:19, 20.

Note: “While Jesus was preparing the disciples for their ordination, one who had not been summoned urged his presence among them. It was Judas Iscariot, a man who professed to be a follower of Christ. He now came forward, soliciting a place in this inner circle of disciples. With great earnestness and apparent sincerity he declared, ‘Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.’ Jesus neither repulsed nor welcomed him, but uttered only the mournful words: ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head’ (Matthew 8:19, 20). …

“The disciples were anxious that Judas should become one of their number. He was of commanding appearance, a man of keen discernment and executive ability, and they commended him to Jesus as one who would greatly assist Him in His work. They were surprised that Jesus received him so coolly.” The Desire of Ages, 293, 294.

  • What choice was open before Judas, as it is for all of us? Deuteronomy 30:19.

Note: “If he [Judas] would open his heart to Christ, divine grace would banish the demon of selfishness, and even Judas might become a subject of the kingdom of God. …

“Judas had the same opportunities as had the other disciples. He listened to the same precious lessons. But the practice of the truth, which Christ required, was at variance with the desires and purposes of Judas.” The Desire of Ages, 294, 295.

  • In what way alone could Judas have chosen life, and what would have such a choice involved on his part? John 1:12, 13; I Peter 1:22, 23.

Note: “He [Judas] was connected with the disciples, that, through the instruction and example of Christ, he might learn what constitutes Christian character, and thus be led to see his errors, to repent, and, by the aid of divine grace, to purify his soul ‘in obeying the truth’ (I Peter 1:22).” The Great Controversy, 44.


  • How does the apostle Paul describe the simplicity of the men and women called to work for God? I Corinthians 1:26–28.

Note: “God takes men as they are, with the human elements in their character, and trains them for His service, if they will be disciplined and learn of Him. They are not chosen because they are perfect, but notwithstanding their imperfections, that through the knowledge and practice of the truth, through the grace of Christ, they may become transformed into His image.” The Desire of Ages, 294.

“In the common walks of life there is many a toiler patiently treading the round of his daily tasks, unconscious of latent powers that, roused to action, would place him among the world’s great leaders. The touch of a skillful hand is needed to arouse and develop those dormant faculties.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 511.

  • What did the call to service for Christ mean for those first disciples? Luke 14:27, 33; Ephesians 4:20–24.

Note: “All the disciples had serious faults when Jesus called them to His service. Even John, who came into closest association with the meek and lowly One, was not himself naturally meek and yielding. He and his brother were called ‘the sons of thunder’ (Mark 3:17). …

“[But] by beholding Christ, they became transformed in character.” The Desire of Ages, 295, 296.

  • Of whom did the disciples need to learn in order to fulfill their calling? Upon what principle was their education based? Matthew 11:29; John 17:26.

Note: “A life devoted to God should not be a life of ignorance. Many speak against education because Jesus chose uneducated fishermen to preach the gospel. They assert that He showed preference for the uneducated. But there were many learned and honorable men who believed the teaching of Christ. Had these fearlessly obeyed the convictions of their consciences, they would have followed Him.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 511.


  • What does the apostle Paul mean when he says that he was always praying for the believers in Thessalonica “that our God would count you worthy of this calling”? 2 Thessalonians 1:11.
  • How are the “partakers of the heavenly calling” (Hebrews 3:1) instructed to make their calling sure? 2 Peter 1:2–11.

Note: “You are not to think that you must wait until you have perfected one grace before cultivating another. No; they are to grow up together, fed continually from the fountain of charity; every day that you live, you can be perfecting the blessed attributes fully revealed in the character of Christ; and when you do this, you will bring light, love, peace, and joy into your homes.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 943.

  • What instruction is especially given to those who feel that they have been called to be evangelists? 2 Timothy 2:15.

Note: “If the worker has consecrated himself fully to God and is diligent in prayer for strength and heavenly wisdom, the grace of Christ will be his teacher, and he will overcome his defects and become more and more intelligent in the things of God. But let none take license from this to be indolent, to squander time and opportunities, and neglect the training that is essential in order to become efficient. The Lord is not pleased with those who, having had opportunities to obtain knowledge, neglect to improve the privileges placed within their reach. …

“Above all other people on earth the man whose mind is enlightened by the word of God will feel that he must give himself to greater diligence in the perusal of the Bible and to a diligent study of the sciences; for his hope and his calling are greater than any other. The more closely man is connected with the Source of all knowledge and wisdom, the more he can be helped intellectually as well as spiritually.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 510.


  • In this time of the end, what Scriptures should we bear in mind with regard to the finishing of God’s work on earth? Matthew 24:14; 9:37, 38; 2 Corinthians 4:7.

Note: “He Who called the fishermen of Galilee is still calling men to His service. And He is just as willing to manifest His power through us as through the first disciples. However imperfect and sinful we may be, the Lord holds out to us the offer of partnership with Himself, of apprenticeship to Christ. He invites us to come under the divine instruction, that, uniting with Christ, we may work the works of God. …

“[2 Corinthians 4:7, RV quoted.] This is why the preaching of the gospel was committed to erring men rather than to the angels. It is manifest that the power which works through the weakness of humanity is the power of God. … Having been in peril themselves, they are acquainted with the dangers and difficulties of the way, and for this reason are called to reach out for others in like peril. There are souls perplexed with doubt, burdened with infirmities, weak in faith, and unable to grasp the Unseen; but a friend whom they can see, coming to them in Christ’s stead, can be a connecting link to fasten their trembling faith upon Christ.

“We are to be laborers together with the heavenly angels in presenting Jesus to the world. With almost impatient eagerness the angels wait for our co-operation; for man must be the channel to communicate with man. And when we give ourselves to Christ in wholehearted devotion, angels rejoice that they may speak through our voices to reveal God’s love.” The Desire of Ages, 297.


1 Although Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him, why and how did He accept Judas?

2 How can we avoid the tragic mistakes of Judas?

3 Explain some key aims and requirements in colaboring with Christ.

4 What is the real secret of successful evangelism?

5 How are we instructed to make our calling sure?

Copyright © 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – “We Have Found the Messias”

December 27, 2015 – January 2, 2016

Key Text

“Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 132–143.


“John was sent in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way of Jesus. Those who rejected the testimony of John were not benefited by the teachings of Jesus.” Early Writings, 259.


  • Considering the interview of John the Baptist with the Jerusalem authorities, what lessons can we learn from the way the Baptist identified himself and his work? John 1:19–28.

Note: “When the Baptist [John] began his ministry, many thought that he might be the prophet Moses risen from the dead.” The Desire of Ages, 135.

  • What did John declare the day after the interview with the priests and Levites? John 1:29–34.

Note: “With awe and wonder the people looked upon the One just declared to be the Son of God. They had been deeply moved by the words of John. He had spoken to them in the name of God. They had listened to him day after day as he reproved their sins, and daily the conviction that he was sent of Heaven had strengthened. But who was this One greater than John the Baptist? In His dress and bearing there was nothing that betokened rank. He was apparently a simple personage, clad like themselves in the humble garments of the poor.” The Desire of Ages, 137.


  • What did John the Baptist say the following day? Who is specifically mentioned as hearing him? John 1:35, 36.
  • What essential attitude of an evangelist did these two disciples of John the Baptist have? John 1:37–39.

Note: “If John and Andrew had possessed the unbelieving spirit of the priests and rulers, they would not have been found as learners at the feet of Jesus. They would have come to Him as critics, to judge His words. Many thus close the door to the most precious opportunities. But not so did these first disciples. They had responded to the Holy Spirit’s call in the preaching of John the Baptist. Now they recognized the voice of the heavenly Teacher. To them the words of Jesus were full of freshness and truth and beauty. A divine illumination was shed upon the teaching of the Old Testament Scriptures. The many-sided themes of truth stood out in new light.

“It is contrition and faith and love that enable the soul to receive wisdom from heaven. Faith working by love is the key of knowledge, and everyone that loveth ‘knoweth God’ (I John 4:7).” The Desire of Ages, 139.

  • Who were these first two disciples? John 1:40. [Note: When writing the gospel of John, the author never identified himself by his name.] Explain Andrew’s desire, after spending time with Jesus, to share the good news. John 1:41.

Note: “The disciple John was a man of earnest and deep affection, ardent, yet contemplative. He had begun to discern the glory of Christ—not the worldly pomp and power for which he had been taught to hope, but ‘the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14). He was absorbed in contemplation of the wondrous theme.

“Andrew sought to impart the joy that filled his heart. Going in search of his brother Simon, he cried, ‘We have found the Messias’ (John 1:41).” The Desire of Ages, 139.


  • What did Jesus say to Simon Peter as soon as He saw him? John 1:42.

Note: “Simon waited for no second bidding. He also had heard the preaching of John the Baptist, and he hastened to the Saviour. The eye of Christ rested upon him, reading his character and his life history. His impulsive nature, his loving, sympathetic heart, his ambition and self-confidence, the history of his fall, his repentance, his labors, and his martyr death—the Saviour read it all, and He said, ‘Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone’ (John 1:42).” The Desire of Ages, 139.

  • How did a new disciple show his desire to share the good news the next day? John 1:43–45.
  • How did Nathanael express doubt in his heart about the good news, and how did Philip try to remove that doubt? John 1:46. What may we learn from the method these first Christian evangelists used in their work?

Note: “While they trust to the guidance of human authority, none will come to a saving knowledge of the truth. Like Nathanael, we need to study God’s word for ourselves, and pray for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. He who saw Nathanael under the fig tree will see us in the secret place of prayer. Angels from the world of light are near to those who in humility seek for divine guidance.

“With the calling of John and Andrew and Simon, of Philip and Nathanael, began the foundation of the Christian church. John directed two of his disciples to Christ. Then one of these, Andrew, found his brother, and called him to the Saviour. Philip was then called, and he went in search of Nathanael. These examples should teach us the importance of personal effort, of making direct appeals to our kindred, friends, and neighbors. There are those who for a lifetime have professed to be acquainted with Christ, yet who have never made a personal effort to bring even one soul to the Saviour.” The Desire of Ages, 141.


  • Despite Nathanael’s disbelief, what did Jesus say about him? John 1:47. What remark of Jesus caught Nathanael by surprise, and what was his response? John 1:48, 49.
  • As Jesus was looking forward with joy to the precious blessings that His work would bring to humanity, what did He say to Nathanael? John 1:51. Explain this verse.

Note: “If you believe on Me … your faith shall be quickened. You shall see that the heavens are opened, and are never to be closed. I have opened them to you. The angels of God are ascending, bearing the prayers of the needy and distressed to the Father above, and descending, bringing blessing and hope, courage, help, and life, to the children of men. …

“And it is through Christ, by the ministration of His heavenly messengers, that every blessing comes from God to us. In taking upon Himself humanity, our Saviour unites His interests with those of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam, while through His divinity He grasps the throne of God. And thus Christ is the medium of communication of men with God, and of God with men.” The Desire of Ages, 142, 143.

  • How can we come to God through Christ? John 14:6.

Note: “Desires for goodness and holiness are right as far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians. They do not come to the point of yielding the will to God. They do not now choose to be Christians.

“Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in your life. By yielding up your will to Christ, you ally yourself with the power that is above all principalities and powers. You will have strength from above to hold you steadfast, and thus through constant surrender to God you will be enabled to live the new life, even the life of faith.” Steps to Christ, 47, 48. [Emphasis author’s.]


  • What highly effective method of evangelism should each of us use? I John 3:10, 11.

Note: “Now that Jesus has ascended to heaven, His disciples are His representatives among men, and one of the most effective ways of winning souls to Him is in exemplifying His character in our daily life. Our influence upon others depends not so much upon what we say as upon what we are. Men may combat and defy our logic, they may resist our appeals; but a life of disinterested love is an argument they cannot gainsay. A consistent life, characterized by the meekness of Christ, is a power in the world.

“The teaching of Christ was the expression of an inwrought conviction and experience, and those who learn of Him become teachers after the divine order. The word of God, spoken by one who is himself sanctified through it, has a life-giving power that makes it attractive to the hearers, and convicts them that it is a living reality. When one has received the truth in the love of it, he will make this manifest in the persuasion of his manner and the tones of his voice. He makes known that which he himself has heard, seen, and handled of the word of life, that others may have fellowship with him through the knowledge of Christ. His testimony, from lips touched with a live coal from off the altar, is truth to the receptive heart, and works sanctification upon the character.” The Desire of Ages, 141, 142.


1 What did John the Baptist say about Jesus Christ as soon as he recognized Him?

2 What was Andrew’s first evangelistic experience—and what should we learn from it?

3 How did Philip manifest a concern similar to Andrew’s?

4 Explain how we are to come to God.

5 Summarize the most powerful means of evangelism.

Copyright © 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Raspberry-Vanilla “Ice Cream” Sandwiches

Raspberry–Vanilla “Ice Cream” Sandwiches
2 cups cashews 2 pinches salt
2 cups water 2 ½ Tbsp. melted coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup 1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 ½ Tbsp. vanilla extract 2 cups raspberries, lightly mashed
Seeds of one vanilla bean
Brownie Crust
2 cups almonds 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Medjool dates 2/3 cup walnuts
1 ½ cups raisins 2 pinches salt
½ cup carob powder 1 ½ tsp. water
Prepare the “ice cream”: In a high speed blender, blend the cashews, water, maple syrup, vanilla extract and scraped insides of the vanilla bean until completely smooth. Add the salt and coconut oil and blend to incorporate. Chill the liquid in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours. Process the chilled, thick cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Prepare the brownies: Grind the almonds into flour in a food processor. Add the dates and raisins. Process until they are completely broken down. Add the remaining ingredients and process to combine. Press half of the dough into an 8–inch–square pan. Set aside remaining dough and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the sandwiches: Once the “ice cream” is done churning (the consistency will be like soft-serve ice cream), mix in the cardamom. Then, gently mix in the raspberries, taking care not to overmix or the berries’ color will bleed. Spread the “ice cream” evenly over the brownie, working quickly to prevent melting. Immediately transfer to the freezer until frozen, at least 6 hours. Once frozen, firmly press the other half of the brownie dough on top. Cut into 1 ½ x 2 ½-inch bars. Store in freezer until ready to enjoy. Makes 15 servings.


Food – Rah Rah – Raw Desserts!

Your foray into the tasty genre of raw desserts may begin as a fluke, as one lady learned as she was preparing to host a dinner. The morning of this event, her oven and stove malfunctioned.

While she was able to prepare dinner on the grill, dessert posed a problem. Instead of making a peach-blueberry crumble, she decided to marinate peaches in fresh orange juice and serve them with a sprinkle of sweetened nuts and a dollop of cashew crème, made by blending cashews with maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt in her Vita-mix blending machine.

From this experience she learned that raw desserts, often defined as food prepared with whole-food ingredients in their natural state (nothing is heated above 118°F, to preserve nutritional value), can be just as delicious and elegant as traditional desserts—and they can be a lot better health-wise.

“When it comes to ingredients in the raw desserts repertoire, nuts take center stage. Typically ground in a food processor to create crusts for cookies, cakes and bars, they are also blended to form a base for ice creams, puddings and creams, giving them that smooth, buttery consistency often found in dairy-based desserts.

“Other mainstay ingredients are coconut oil, coconut butter (a creamy paste made from dried, ground coconut meat) and nut butters. For sweetness, unrefined favorites include fresh fruit purées, raisins, Medjool dates, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, stevia and maple syrup. The boiled sap of maple trees, while technically not “raw,” is often used because it is minimally processed; contains manganese, zinc and other minerals; and has a distinct, irreplaceable flavor.

“Any style of dessert, whether raw or cooked, wouldn’t be complete without chocolate. Whole-food forms of chocolate include cacao nibs, cacao butter and cacao powder.” Carob chips or carob powder may be used in raw recipes as a chocolate substitute.

“The technique of making raw desserts is fairly easy. Ingredients quickly come together in a food processor or high–speed blender, and are then set aside in the fridge or freezer.” Since nothing is baked, it is the great flavor of the natural ingredients that makes these healthful treats taste delicious. The Costco Connection, August 2015, E-Commerce & Publishing, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Seattle, Washington.

Raspberry–Vanilla “Ice Cream” Sandwiches
2 cups cashews 2 pinches salt
2 cups water 2 ½ Tbsp. melted coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup 1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 ½ Tbsp. vanilla extract 2 cups raspberries, lightly mashed
Seeds of one vanilla bean
Brownie Crust
2 cups almonds 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Medjool dates 2/3 cup walnuts
1 ½ cups raisins 2 pinches salt
½ cup carob powder 1 ½ tsp. water
Prepare the “ice cream”: In a high speed blender, blend the cashews, water, maple syrup, vanilla extract and scraped insides of the vanilla bean until completely smooth. Add the salt and coconut oil and blend to incorporate. Chill the liquid in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours. Process the chilled, thick cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Prepare the brownies: Grind the almonds into flour in a food processor. Add the dates and raisins. Process until they are completely broken down. Add the remaining ingredients and process to combine. Press half of the dough into an 8–inch–square pan. Set aside remaining dough and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the sandwiches: Once the “ice cream” is done churning (the consistency will be like soft-serve ice cream), mix in the cardamom. Then, gently mix in the raspberries, taking care not to overmix or the berries’ color will bleed. Spread the “ice cream” evenly over the brownie, working quickly to prevent melting. Immediately transfer to the freezer until frozen, at least 6 hours. Once frozen, firmly press the other half of the brownie dough on top. Cut into 1 ½ x 2 ½-inch bars. Store in freezer until ready to enjoy. Makes 15 servings.


Children’s Story – Send Food to John

On top of Washington Mountain, overlooking a deep valley stood a simple hut. This hut was the home of John Barry, a poor charcoal burner. During the past summer, John had felt sick and was not able to work as much as usual.

In December, several heavy snowfalls came. The road up the mountain from the village below was completely drifted shut. Before the road could be cleared, another storm raged, and John and his wife were stranded with only one day’s supply of food left.

In the village of Sheffield, ten miles away, lived Deacon Brown. Mr. Brown was a well-to-do farmer, known for his Christian life and practice. The deacon and his wife, Margaret had gone to bed, and, in spite of the storm, both were sleeping soundly. Toward morning, the deacon suddenly awoke. He had a strong impression he needed to bring food to someone named John. He awoke his wife and told her.

“Nonsense!” replied Mrs. Brown. “Go back to sleep. You must have been dreaming.” The deacon laid down again, and in a few minutes he was asleep. When he awoke, the impression was as strong as ever.

“Well!” said Mrs. Brown, “You must be ill. I wonder if you have a fever. Lie down and try to sleep.”

“Listen, Margaret,” he said, “Do you know anyone named John who might need food?”

“No one that I can think of,” replied Mrs. Brown, “unless it could be John Barry, the old charcoal burner on the mountain.”

“That’s it!” exclaimed the deacon. “Now I remember. When I was at the store in town the other day, Mr. Clark said, ‘I wonder if old John Barry is alive, for it is six weeks since I saw him. He has not come in for his winter stock of groceries yet.’ It must be that old John is sick and needs food.”

Quickly, the deacon and his wife got dressed. Mr. Brown woke his helper, Willie, and the men ate a hurried breakfast while Mrs. Brown packed a good supply of food in the two largest baskets she could find.

After breakfast, Mr. Brown and Willie hitched up the horses to the double sleigh. With a month’s supply of food, they began their journey just as the first streaks of light appeared on the horizon. It would be a dangerous trip. The wind was still blowing and the snow kept falling and drifting. Yet the team of horses continued on their trip of mercy. While the people on the sleigh, wrapped up in blankets and extra buffalo robes, urged the horses through the drifts in the face of the storm, that ten-mile ride, which normally took less than an hour, was not completed until nearly five hours had passed.

At last they drew up in front of the hut where the poor, trusting Christian man and his wife had been praying for help to Him Who is the hearer of prayers. As the deacon reached the door, he heard the voice of prayer. He knocked at the door; it was opened, and we can scarcely imagine the joy of the old couple! The generous supply of food was carried in, and thanksgivings were raised to God by John Barry and his wife in their mountain hut.

How God Sent a Dog to Save a Family and other Devotional Stories, 59–61, by Joel R. Beeke and Diana Kleyn, Reformation Heritage Books.

Health – Natural vs. Organic, Is There a Difference?

Two words, natural and organic, are very confusing and many health conscious persons may be fooled by failing to understand the difference between the two. The following excerpts are very informative.

Natural vs. Organic Cereals

Federal law requires that organic food products be produced promoting ecological sustainability, without the toxic inputs and genetically engineered ingredients common in the conventional food system. Increasingly, organic products are forced to compete with products that claim to be “natural.”

There are no restrictions for foods labeled “natural.” … Unlike the organic label, no government agency, certification group or other independent entity fully defines the term “natural” on processed food packages or ensures that the claim has merit. … Our analysis reveals that “natural” products—using conventional ingredients—often are priced higher than equivalent organic products. This suggests that some companies are taking advantage of consumer confusion.

Company Definitions of “Natural”

[One company] fails to mention that “all natural” does not mean the absence of toxic pesticides and other synthetic inputs in the farms and processing plants that produce the “high-quality ingredients.” … definition of “natural” also does not mean the absence of genetically engineered ingredients.

Corporate “natural” definitions vary widely. Generally, “natural” means the absence of artificial ingredients, commonly referencing preservatives, but does not signify that the ingredients are grown and processed in ways that avoid such “unnatural” inputs as synthetic pesticides and genetically engineered organisms. Various companies’ definitions of “natural” highlight its inferiority to the organic label.

“Some manufacturers continue to use artificial and synthetic ingredients in their granola, and instead of putting the word “natural” on the box, recently have changed the packaging to give the impression of being “natural.” …

[…] granola’s ingredients are anything but wholesome and natural: whole oats, brown sugar, whole grain wheat, corn syrup, rice, almonds, modified corn starch, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and/or soybean oil, high-fructose corn syrup, cinnamon, salt, nonfat dry milk, natural and artificial flavors, poly-glycerol esters of mono- and di-glycerides, malt flavor, niacinamide, zinc oxide, guar gum, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), BHT (preservative), vitamin B12 and vitamin D.”

Rapid Growth of “Natural” Foods Industry

The organic market has been growing rapidly for years, reflecting increased consumer awareness of the importance of pure and sustainably produced food. The strategy of multinational corporations to profit from this consumer interest with their “natural” marketing appears to be successful, according to a report by the research firm SPINS.

… companies shifted toward cheaper “natural” options during the recession, allowing them to market their products to the same concerned consumer target audience, while using cheaper conventional ingredients that they could source at conventional prices.

The word natural may not have the same meaning to you and me as it would to a corporation. We need to be on our guard at all times; so do a little research before you buy and also read carefully the ingredients on packages.

God has provided us with one body to watch over and to care for so that the Holy Spirit may work in and through us to reach others. Satan would love to destroy this temple and looks for opportunities to do so when we are least observant.

Question & Answer – Is Repentance required before we come to Jesus?

Many people are under the mistaken idea that we need to repent first before we can come to Jesus. The following quotations reveal to us that repentance is a gift. Without this gift the heart has no desire to and, in fact, cannot repent.

“The sinner is represented as a lost sheep, and a lost sheep never returns to the fold unless he is sought after and brought back to the fold by the shepherd. No man of himself can repent, and make himself worthy of the blessing of justification. The Lord Jesus is constantly seeking to impress the sinner’s mind and attract him to behold Himself, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. We cannot take a step toward spiritual life save as Jesus draws and strengthens the soul, and leads us to experience that repentance which needeth not to be repented of.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 390.

“You cannot have a thought without Christ. You cannot have an inclination to come to Him unless He sets in motion influences and impresses His Spirit upon the human mind. And if there is a man on the face of the earth who has any inclination toward God, it is because of the many influences that are set to work to bear upon his mind and heart. Those influences call for the allegiance to God and an appreciation of the great work that God has done for him.

“Then don’t let us ever say that we can repent of ourselves, and then Christ will pardon. No, indeed. It is the favor of God that pardons. It is the favor of God that leads us by His power to repentance. Therefore, it is all of Jesus Christ, everything of Him, and you want to just give back glory to God. Why don’t you respond more when you meet together in your meetings? Why don’t you have the quickening influence of the Spirit of God when the love of Jesus and His salvation are presented to you? It is because you do not see that Christ is first and last and best, and the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the very Author and Finisher of our faith. You don’t realize this, and therefore you remain in your sins. Why is this? It is because Satan is here wrestling and battling for the souls of men. He casts his hellish shadow right athwart our pathway, and all that you can see is the enemy and his power.

“Look away from his power to the One that is mighty to save to the utmost. Why doesn’t your faith plow through the shadow to where Christ is? He has led captivity captive and given gifts unto men. He will teach you that Satan claims every soul that does not join with Him as his property.” Faith and Works, 73.