Bible Study Guides – A Second Elijah

January 22, 2017 – January 28, 2017

Key Text

“And he [John] shall go before Him [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 97–108.


“John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God’s law, they were not His people.” The Desire of Ages, 107.



  • What was the work of the messenger that God sent to prepare the way for the Lord’s first advent? Malachi 3:1–3.
  • What type of person was this messenger? Luke 1:13–17.
  • What was the condition of God’s people that they required such a messenger? Luke 5:37–39; Matthew 15:8, 9.

Note: “The skin bottles which were used as vessels to contain the new wine, … Jesus presented [as] the condition of the Jewish leaders. … They thought their own righteousness all-sufficient, and did not desire that a new element should be brought into their religion.” The Desire of Ages, 278, 279.

“The fig tree [which Jesus had cursed] withered away. This fruitless tree symbolized the condition of the Jewish nation at that time. Every opportunity and privilege were granted them.” The Signs of the Times, May 23, 1900.



  • How did Jesus refer to John the Baptist? Matthew 11:9, 10, 13–15.

Note: “It was believed also that before the Messiah’s advent, Elijah would personally appear. This expectation John met in his denial; but his words had a deeper meaning. Jesus afterward said, referring to John, ‘If ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, which is to come’ (Matthew 11:14, R.V.). John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, to do such a work as Elijah did. If the Jews had received him, it would have been accomplished for them. But they did not receive his message. To them he was not Elijah. He could not fulfill for them the mission he came to accomplish.” The Desire of Ages, 135.

  • Who went out to listen to John the Baptist? Matthew 3:5, 6; 21:32; Luke 11:1.
  • Why were they attracted to John rather than to the teachers of their day? Matthew 3:1–3.

Note: “With no elaborate arguments or fine-spun theories did John declare his message. Startling and stern, yet full of hope, his voice was heard from the wilderness, ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 3:2). With a new, strange power it moved the people. The whole nation was stirred. Multitudes flocked to the wilderness.” Gospel Workers, 54.

  • Was John the Baptist afraid of speaking the truth? Matthew 14:3, 4.

Note: “He looked upon the King in His beauty, and self was lost sight of. He beheld the majesty of holiness, and knew himself to be inefficient and unworthy. It was God’s message that he was to declare. It was in God’s power and His righteousness that he was to stand. He was ready to go forth as Heaven’s messenger, unawed by the human, because he had looked upon the Divine. He could stand fearless in the presence of earthly monarchs, because with trembling he had bowed before the King of kings.” Gospel Workers, 54.



  • In what ways did country living prepare John the Baptist for his mission? Isaiah 40:3–5; 30:15; Psalm 101:3.

Note: “In the natural order of things, the son of Zacharias would have been educated for the priesthood. But the training of the rabbinical schools would have unfitted him for his work. God did not send him to the teachers of theology to learn how to interpret the Scriptures. He called him to the desert, that he might learn of nature and nature’s God. …

“Here his surroundings were favorable to habits of simplicity and self-denial. Uninterrupted by the clamor of the world, he could here study the lessons of nature, of revelation, and of Providence. The words of the angel to Zacharias had been often repeated to John by his God-fearing parents. From childhood his mission had been kept before him, and he had accepted the holy trust. To him the solitude of the desert was a welcome escape from society in which suspicion, unbelief, and impurity had become well-nigh all-pervading. He distrusted his own power to withstand temptation, and shrank from constant contact with sin, lest he should lose the sense of its exceeding sinfulness.” The Desire of Ages, 101, 102.

  • In order to be ‘a workman approved of God’ what were John the Baptist’s primary sources for study, and what effect did these have on him? 2 Timothy 2:15; Psalm 19:1–3; Luke 1:80.

Note: “John was not indolent. … Everything that surrounded him in his mountain home was to him a book of instruction, containing lessons of deepest importance in regard to the character, the benevolence, and the love of God. …

“… Away from the busy world, whose cares and alluring pleasures would divert his mind and pervert his thoughts and imaginings, he was shut up with God and nature. Here he would not be influenced by evil surroundings, his understanding would not be blinded, nor his spirit become familiar with wickedness. In the calm retirement of the wilderness, John became strong in spirit. By his strictly temperate habits he secured to himself physical, mental, and moral health. His discernment was clear, his judgment correct.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 7, 1897.



  • What was John’s life focus? Acts 13:24. Like the apostle Paul, how did this focus affect the habits of his life in general? I Corinthians 9:27.

Note: “A great work was before John, and in order for him to have a sound physical constitution, and mental and moral power, to do this work, he must control appetite and passion. John was to lead out as a reformer, and by his abstemious life, and plain dress rebuke the intemperate habits, and the sinful extravagance of the people.” The Review and Herald, January 7, 1873.

“But the life of John was not spent in idleness, in ascetic gloom, or in selfish isolation. From time to time he went forth to mingle with men; and he was ever an interested observer of what was passing in the world. From his quiet retreat he watched the unfolding of events. With vision illuminated by the divine Spirit he studied the characters of men, that he might understand how to reach their hearts with the message of heaven. The burden of his mission was upon him. In solitude, by meditation and prayer, he sought to gird up his soul for the lifework before him.” The Desire of Ages, 102.

  • Describe the diet and dress of John the Baptist. Matthew 3:4; Luke 1:15. Why was this significant in John’s ministry?

Note: “Dedicated to God as a Nazarite from his birth, he [the son of Zacharias] made the vow his own in a life-long consecration.” The Desire of Ages, 102.

“John was to go forth as Jehovah’s messenger to bring to men the light of God. He must give a new direction to their thoughts. He must impress them with the holiness of God’s requirements, and their need of His perfect righteousness. Such a messenger must be holy. He must be a temple for the indwelling Spirit of God. In order to fulfill his mission, he must have a sound physical constitution, and mental and spiritual strength. Therefore it would be necessary for him to control the appetites and passions. He must be able so to control all his powers that he could stand among men as unmoved by surrounding circumstances as the rocks and mountains of the wilderness.” Ibid., 100.

“So far from being lonely, gloomy, or morose, he enjoyed his life of simplicity and retirement, and his temperate habits kept all his senses unperverted.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 7, 1897.



  • How do we know that the Elijah message did not culminate with John the Baptist, Christ’s forerunner? Malachi 4:5, 6. What is our message today? Acts 3:19; Isaiah 58:1.

Note: “John was called to do a special work; he was to prepare the way of the Lord, to make straight His paths. … [Isaiah 40:3–5 quoted.] This is the very message that must be given to our people; we are near the end of time, and the message is, Clear the King’s highway; gather out the stones; raise up a standard for the people. The people must be awakened. It is no time now to cry peace and safety.” The Review and Herald, February 18, 1890.

  • How can this message have an effect upon the church and the world today? Acts 22:15; Romans 10:13.

Note: “We are under personal obligation to society to … exert an influence in favor of God’s law. We should let our light so shine that all may see that the sacred gospel is having an influence upon our hearts and lives, that we walk in obedience to its commandments and violate none of its principles. We are in a great degree accountable to the world for the souls of those around us. … Let the world see that we … desire them to share our blessings and privileges through the sanctification of the truth.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 59.



1 Under what condition are we considered God’s people today?

2 How was John’s message delivered to the people, and what was the result?

3 What are some of the benefits of living away from the cities?

4 Why was John temperate in all of his habits of life?

5 How does God want us to share the same message today?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.


Bible Study Guides – Working for Reform

January 15, 2017 – January 21, 2017

Key Text

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Study Help: The Review and Herald, August 21, 1913.


“Never was the kingdom of Israel to be left without noble witnesses to the mighty power of God to save from sin. Even in the darkest hours some would remain true to their divine Ruler and in the midst of idolatry would live blameless in the sight of a holy God.” Prophets and Kings, 108.



  • Was there a faithful remnant in the time of Elijah, as the judgments of God were falling upon apostate Israel? I Kings 18:13; 19:18.
  • Does God always have a faithful remnant? Romans 11:5; Revelation 12:17.
  • How does God promise to care for His people as His judgments fall upon the earth? Psalm 27:5; Isaiah 33:15, 16.

Note: “That God who cared for Elijah will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who numbers the hairs of their head will care for them, and in time of famine they shall be satisfied. While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants. To him that ‘walketh righteously’ is the promise: [Isaiah 33:15, 16; 41:17 quoted].” The Great Controversy, 629.



  • What specific request did Elijah make to challenge the national apostasy? I Kings 18:19, 20.

Note: “Elijah demands a convocation at Carmel of all Israel and also of all the prophets of Baal. The awful solemnity in the looks of the prophet gives him the appearance of one standing in the presence of the Lord God of Israel. The condition of Israel in their apostasy demands a firm demeanor, stern speech, and commanding authority. God prepares the message to fit the time and occasion. … God will have a fitting message to meet His people in their varied conditions.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 279.

  • Who else made a firm stand for God in carrying forward a work of reform? Nehemiah 5:9.

Note: “The Lord will use in His work men who are as true as steel to principle, who will not be swayed by the sophistries of those who have lost their spiritual eyesight.

“Nehemiah was chosen by God because he was willing to co-operate with the Lord as a restorer. … When he saw wrong principles being acted upon, he did not stand by as an onlooker, and by his silence give consent. He did not leave the people to conclude that he was standing on the wrong side. He took a firm, unyielding stand for the right. He would not lend one jot of influence to the perversion of the principles that God has established.” The Review and Herald, May 2, 1899.

“When Nehemiah moved out as a reformer and deliverer in Israel, he was actuated by love to God and anxiety for the prosperity of His people. His heart was in the work he had undertaken; his hope, his energy, his enthusiasm, his determination of character, were contagious, and inspired others with the same courage and lofty purpose. Each man became a Nehemiah in his own sphere, and helped to make stronger the hand and heart of his neighbor; and soon feebleness was succeeded by strength and courage.” Ibid., March 18, 1884.

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



  • What was the purpose of the judgments sent upon Israel? Isaiah 1:16–18; Luke 11:32. What effect did they have on Ahab? I Kings 18:17.

Note: “The object of this affliction [neither dew nor rain] was to arouse Israel to a realization of their sin, to bring them to repentance, and turn them to God, that they might honor Jehovah as the only true and living God. After three years and a half of drought, the Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.’ ‘And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim’ (I Kings 18:1, 17, 18).” The Review and Herald, May 26, 1891.

“Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life; everything offensive to God must be put away. This will be the result of genuine sorrow for sin.” Steps to Christ, 39.

  • What is the difference between true repentance and a false repentance? 2 Corinthians 7:9–11.

Note: “Multitudes sorrow that they have sinned and even make an outward reformation because they fear that their wrongdoing will bring suffering upon themselves. But this is not repentance in the Bible sense. They lament the suffering rather than the sin. Such was the grief of Esau when he saw that the birthright was lost to him forever. Balaam, terrified by the angel standing in his pathway with drawn sword, acknowledged his guilt lest he should lose his life; but there was no genuine repentance for sin, no conversion of purpose, no abhorrence of evil. Judas Iscariot, after betraying his Lord, exclaimed, ‘I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood’ (Matthew 27:4).” Steps to Christ, 23, 24.

“In this chief of the publicans was awakened a longing for a better life. … Zacchaeus had heard of the call to repentance. … He knew the Scriptures, and was convicted that his practice was wrong. … He felt that he was a sinner in the sight of God. … Zacchaeus began at once to follow the conviction that had taken hold upon him, and to make restitution to those whom he had wronged.” The Desire of Ages, 553.



  • Upon what does our happiness and salvation depend? Psalm 106:3; Job 36:11; Jeremiah 7:23.

Note: “Our happiness and salvation depend upon eating the bread of life; that is, obeying the words and doing the works of Christ, advancing righteousness and restraining unrighteousness. Nothing can give such self-reliance, such courage, such an increase of talents and ability, as a true estimate of the requirements of God’s law. … Love for Jesus Christ leads us to obey God’s commandments, which are a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, securing for us the illuminating, purifying, blissful presence of both the Father and the Son. He who is obedient can commune with God even as did Enoch.” Sons and Daughters of God, 194.

  • What attitude is revealed by those who resist obedience to God? Acts 7:51–53; 2 Timothy 3:8. How will they regard God’s people in the last days? Matthew 24:9.

Note: “The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: ‘And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim’ (1 Kings 18:17, 18). As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.” The Great Controversy, 590.

“All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the word of God. By trusting in God’s promises, He received power to obey God’s commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage.” The Ministry of Healing, 181.



  • What are the “old paths” that require restoration? Jeremiah 6:16; Isaiah 58:12–14.

Note: “Jeremiah called [the] attention [of the nation] repeatedly to the counsels given in Deuteronomy. More than any other of the prophets, he emphasized the teachings of the Mosaic law and showed how these might bring the highest spiritual blessing to the nation and to every individual heart. ‘Ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein,’ he pleaded, ‘and ye shall find rest for your souls’ (Jeremiah 6:16).” Prophets and Kings, 411.

  • What is included in the work of restoration, and who is called to do this work? Isaiah 62:6; 58:1.

Note: “It is an alarming fact that indifference, sleepiness, and apathy have characterized men in responsible positions, and that there is a steady increase of pride and an alarming disregard of the warnings of the Spirit of God. The barriers which God’s word places about His people are being broken down. Men who are acquainted with the way in which God has led His people in the past, instead of inquiring for the old paths and defending our position as a peculiar people, have linked hands with the world. The most alarming feature in the case is that warning voices have not been heard in remonstrance, entreaties, and warnings. The eyes of God’s people seem to be blinded, while the church is fast drifting into the channel of worldliness.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 513.



1 How did God’s faithful remnant live, even though they were at times surrounded by idolatry? How does this apply to us today?

2 What did Nehemiah do to inspire others to work with him?

3 What kinds of changes are necessary in our lives if we are truly repentant?

4 Where does true happiness come from and why?

5 Instead of seeking the “old paths,” what have some done instead, and how has this affected the church?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – An Ancient Reformer

January 8, 2017 – January 14, 2017

Key Text

“Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (I Kings 17:1).

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 119–128.


“Far removed from any city of renown, and occupying no high station in life, Elijah the Tishbite … entered upon his mission confident in God’s purpose to prepare the way before him and to give him abundant success.” Prophets and Kings, 119.



  • Who was Elijah, and what type of man was he? I Kings 17:1; James 5:17.

Note: “Elijah … was born among the mountains of Gilead, east of the Jordan, and came from a nation that was overspread with the abominations of the Amorites. But he entered upon his work with the word of faith and power on his lips, and his whole life was devoted to the work of reform.” The Review and Herald, August 14, 1913.

  • What kind of person does God often pass by, and whom does He call instead? I Corinthians 1:26–28.

Note: “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. It was such men whom Jesus connected with Himself; and He gave them the advantages of three years’ training under His own care. No course of study in the schools of the rabbis or the halls of philosophy could have equaled this in value.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 511.



  • Why did Elijah enter into the king’s palace to give a public rebuke of Israel’s apostasy? John 16:8; 3:20; I Timothy 5:20.

Note: “To Elijah was entrusted the mission of delivering to Ahab Heaven’s message of judgment. He did not seek to be the Lord’s messenger; the word of the Lord came to him. And jealous for the honor of God’s cause, he did not hesitate to obey the divine summons, though to obey seemed to invite swift destruction at the hand of the wicked king. The prophet set out at once, and traveled night and day until he reached Samaria. On reaching the palace, he solicited no admission, nor waited to be formally announced. Clad in the coarse garments usually worn by the prophets of that time, he passed the guards, apparently unnoticed, and stood for a moment before the astonished king.

“Elijah made no apology for his abrupt appearance. A greater than the ruler of Israel had commissioned him to speak, and lifting his hand toward heaven, he solemnly affirmed by the living God that the judgments of the Most High were about to fall upon Israel. ‘There shall not be dew nor rain these years,’ he declared, ‘but according to my word’ (I Kings 17:1).” The Review and Herald, August 14, 1913.

  • For what purpose did Elijah later rebuke the King? I Kings 18:17, 18; Job 17:8.

Note: “It was disregard of the law of God on the part of Ahab and his people that had brought all their calamities upon them; and Elijah hesitated not to declare the whole truth to the guilty king. The world is full of flatterers and dissemblers, both in palaces and in the ordinary walks of life; but how few there are who have the courage that Elijah manifested—how few who will stand in defense of the broken law of God in opposition to the great men of earth.” The Signs of the Times, December 18, 1884.

“The Lord seeks to save, not to destroy. He delights in the rescue of sinners. ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked’ (Ezekiel 33:11). … He gives His chosen messengers a holy boldness, that those who hear may fear and be brought to repentance.” Prophets and Kings, 105.



  1. When he was on Mount Carmel, calling for reform, what was Elijah’s challenging question? I Kings 18:21.

Note: “Elijah, amid the general apostasy, did not seek to hide the fact that he served the God of heaven. Baal’s prophets numbered four hundred and fifty, his priests, four hundred, and his worshipers were thousands; yet Elijah did not try to make it appear that he was on the popular side. He grandly stood alone. … Where are the Elijahs of today? …

“Nothing is gained by cowardice or by fearing to let it be known that we are God’s commandment-keeping people. Hiding our light, as if ashamed of our faith, will result only in disaster. God will leave us to our own weakness. May the Lord forbid that we should refuse to let our light shine forth in any place to which He may call us. If we venture to go forth of ourselves, following our own ideas, our own plans, and leave Jesus behind, we need not expect to gain fortitude, courage, or spiritual strength. God has had moral heroes, and He has them now—those who are not ashamed of being His peculiar people. Their wills and plans are all subordinate to the law of God. The love of Jesus has led them not to count their lives dear unto themselves. … ‘Fidelity to God’ is their motto.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 526–528.

  • What did Elijah do as a first step in the work of reform? I Kings 18:30.

Note: “Like a dark cloud, deception and blindness had overspread Israel. Not all at once had this fatal apostasy closed about them, but gradually, as from time to time they had failed to heed the words of warning and reproof that the Lord sent them. Each departure from rightdoing, each refusal to repent, had deepened their guilt and driven them farther from Heaven. And now, in this crisis, they persisted in refusing to take their stand for God.

“The Lord abhors indifference and disloyalty in a time of crisis in His work. The whole universe is watching with inexpressible interest the closing scenes of the great controversy between good and evil. The people of God are nearing the borders of the eternal world; what can be of more importance to them than that they be loyal to the God of heaven?” Prophets and Kings, 147, 148.



  • Name some reformers from the past. Luke 1:17; Genesis 32:28; Exodus 9:16. How did they obtain the power needed to fulfill their mission? Psalms 27:14; 28:7.

Note: “If men will walk with God, He will hide them in the cleft of the Rock. Thus hidden, they can see God, even as Moses saw Him. By the power and light that He imparts they can comprehend more and accomplish more than their finite judgment had seemed possible.” The Acts of the Apostles, 363.

“Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His experience testifies to the power of importunate prayer. It is now that we are to learn this lesson of prevailing prayer, of unyielding faith. The greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual Christian are not those that are gained by talent or education, by wealth or the favor of men. They are those victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power.

“Those who are unwilling to forsake every sin and to seek earnestly for God’s blessing, will not obtain it. But all who will lay hold of God’s promises as did Jacob, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. ‘Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily’ (Luke 18:7, 8).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 203.

  • What promises can today’s reformers claim when they see their need of divine power? Psalm 68:35; 2 Samuel 22:32, 33.

Note: “Not alone for men in positions of large responsibility is the lesson of Elijah’s experience in learning anew how to trust God in the hour of trial. He who was Elijah’s strength is strong to uphold every struggling child of His, no matter how weak. Of every one He expects loyalty, and to every one He grants power according to the need. In his own strength man is strengthless; but in the might of God he may be strong to overcome evil and to help others to overcome. Satan can never gain advantage of him who makes God his defense. ‘Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength. … In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory’ (Isaiah 45:24, first part, 25).” The Review and Herald, October 30, 1913.



  • In vindicating God and His law, was Elijah alone? Why or why not? Psalms 34:7; 91:11; 103:20.

Note: “Facing King Ahab and the false prophets, and surrounded by the assembled hosts of Israel, Elijah stands, the only one who has appeared to vindicate the honor of Jehovah. … But Elijah is not alone. Above and around him are the protecting hosts of heaven—angels that excel in strength.” The Review and Herald, September 18, 1913.

  • When standing alone in defense of truth and righteousness, what should we remember? I Kings 19:18.

Note: “Not all in the world are lawless and sinful; not all have taken sides with the enemy. God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal, many who long to understand more fully in regard to Christ and the law, many who are hoping against hope that Jesus will come soon to end the reign of sin and death. And there are many who have been worshiping Baal ignorantly, but with whom the Spirit of God is still striving.” Prophets and Kings, 171.

“When you suffer reproach and persecution, you are in excellent company; for Jesus endured it all, and much more. If you are faithful sentinels for God, these things are a compliment to you. It is the heroic souls, who will be true if they stand alone, who will win the imperishable crown.” The Youth’s Instructor, May 28, 1884.



1 From where does God often call people and why?

2 Instead of rebuking sin, what do most people do instead?

3 What does it show if we hide our light, and what will be the result?

4 How do we obtain the blessing of having God’s power working in our life?

5 When we are the only ones standing for the truth, why are we not really alone?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.


Bible Study Guides – True Reformation

January 1, 2017 – January 7, 2017

Key Text

“As He [the Lord God] spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began” (Luke 1:70).

Study Help: The Signs of the Times, October 12, 1904.


“We must now begin the work of reformation by turning unto the Lord with full purpose of heart. Let the work begin, that the heart may be softened, and that Christ may mould and fashion you after His own divine image.” The Signs of the Times, February 22, 1892.



  • How can we distinguish between true and false reforms? Isaiah 8:20; Philippians 3:9.

Note: “The safety of society, and the progress of reform, depend upon a clear definition and recognition of fundamental truth. The principles of God’s law must be kept before the people as everlasting and inexorable as the character of God Himself. Law is defined as a rule of action. … The good of society and the safety of man require that the law be respected. All enlightened law is founded on the law of Jehovah, given on Mount Sinai.” The Health Reformer, August 1, 1878.

“Every true reform has its place in the work of the gospel and tends to the uplifting of the soul to a new and nobler life.” The Ministry of Healing, 171.

  • Upon whom should we place our trust? Psalm 118:8; Proverbs 3:5.

Note: “Whatever position in life we may occupy, whatever our business, we must be humble enough to feel our need of help; we must lean implicitly on the teachings of God’s word, acknowledge His providence in all things, and be faithful in pouring out our souls in prayer.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 427.



  • What is the precursor to reformation? Joel 2:12, 13; Psalm 51:10; 2 Corinthians 7:11.

Note: “There is sin, enormous sin, charged against many who profess to be Christians. The great Pleader says, My claims upon the human heart have been ignored. God calls for repentance, for reformation.” The Review and Herald, December 8, 1896.

“Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it.” Steps to Christ, 23.

“Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life; everything offensive to God must be put away. This will be the result of genuine sorrow for sin. The work that we have to do on our part is plainly set before us: ‘Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow’ (Isaiah 1:16, 17). ‘If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die’ (Ezekiel 33:15). Paul says, speaking of the work of repentance: ‘Ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter’ (2 Corinthians 7:11).” Ibid., 39.

  • What yearning cry at the time of Pentecost acknowledged a great personal need? Acts 2:37, 38.

Note: “How shall a man be just with God? How shall the sinner be made righteous? It is only through Christ that we can be brought into harmony with God, with holiness; but how are we to come to Christ? Many are asking the same question as did the multitude on the Day of Pentecost, when, convicted of sin, they cried out, ‘What shall we do?’ The first word of Peter’s answer was, ‘Repent’ (Acts 2:37, 38). At another time, shortly after, he said, ‘Repent, … and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out’ (Acts 3:19).” Steps to Christ, 23.



  • How are reformers in these last days described? Isaiah 58:12, 13.

Note: “[Isaiah 58:8, 9, 12–14, quoted.]

“Here are given the characteristics of those who shall be reformers, who will bear the banner of the third angel’s message, those who avow themselves God’s commandment-keeping people, and who honor God, and are earnestly engaged, in the sight of all the universe, in building up the old waste places. Who is it that calls them, The repairers of the breach, The restorers of paths to dwell in?—It is God. Their names are registered in heaven as reformers, restorers, as raising the foundations of many generations.” The Review and Herald, October 13, 1891.

  • What specific evidences of reform will be seen in the life? Matthew 3:8.

Note: “Nothing short of an amended life—fruits meet for repentance—will meet the requirements of God. Without such fruit, our profession of faith is of no value.” The Signs of the Times, July 7, 1887.

“No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 555, 556.

“John separated himself from friends and from the luxuries of life. The simplicity of his dress, a garment woven of camel’s hair, was a standing rebuke to the extravagance and display of the Jewish priests, and of the people generally. His diet, purely vegetable, of locusts and wild honey, was a rebuke to the indulgence of appetite and the gluttony that everywhere prevailed. … Those who are to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ are represented by faithful Elijah, as John came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ’s first advent. The great subject of reform is to be agitated. … Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message, to turn the people of God from their idolatry, their gluttony, and their extravagance in dress and other things. …

“Whoever violates moral obligations in the matter of eating and dressing prepares the way to violate the claims of God in regard to eternal interests.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 62, 63.



  • By what means will I recognize what needs reforming? Psalm 119:142; John 17:17; 14:6.

Note: “The Lord requires of all who profess His name a strict adherence to truth. This will be as salt which has not lost its savor, as a light amid the moral darkness and deception of the world.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 356.

“The principle we are to uphold at this time is the same that was maintained by the adherents of the gospel in the great Reformation. …

“The banner of truth and religious liberty which these Reformers held aloft has in this last conflict been committed to us. The responsibility for this great gift rests with those whom God has blessed with a knowledge of His word. We are to receive God’s word as supreme authority. We must accept its truths for ourselves. And we can appreciate these truths only as we search them out by personal study. … The acknowledgment of the truth in word and deed is our confession of faith. Only thus can others know that we believe the Bible.” Ibid., vol. 6, 402, 403.

  • What then is the relationship between liberty, sanctification, and God’s law? Psalm 119:44, 45; James 1:25; John 8:31, 32.

Note: “Entire conformity to the will of our Father which is in heaven is alone sanctification, and the will of God is expressed in His holy law. The keeping of all the commandments of God is sanctification. Proving yourselves obedient children to God’s word is sanctification. The word of God is to be our guide, not the opinions or ideas of men.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 204.

“Spurious sanctification leads directly away from the Bible. Religion is reduced to a fable. Feelings and impressions are made the criterion. While they profess to be sinless, and boast of their righteousness, the claimants of sanctification teach that men are at liberty to transgress the law of God, and that those who obey its precepts have fallen from grace. A presentation of its claims arouses their opposition, and excites anger and contempt. Thus their character is shown, for ‘the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Romans 8:7).” The Review and Herald, October 5, 1886.



  • How can I reform? Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:15.

Note: “Apart from divine power, no genuine reform can be effected. Human barriers against natural and cultivated tendencies are but as the sand-bank against the torrent. Not until the life of Christ becomes a vitalizing power in our lives can we resist the temptations that assail us from within and from without.” The Signs of the Times, December 1, 1914.

“Christianity proposes a reformation in the heart. What Christ works within, will be worked out under the dictation of a converted intellect. The plan of beginning outside and trying to work inward has always failed, and always will fail. God’s plan with you is to begin at the very seat of all difficulties, the heart, and then from out of the heart will issue the principles of righteousness; the reformation will be outward as well as inward.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 35.

  • How can I be an active reformer? Galatians 6:9, 10; I John 1:3.

Note: “ ‘Them that honor Me I will honor’ (I Samuel 2:30). As from such a home the father goes forth to his daily duties, it is with a spirit softened and subdued by converse with God. He is a Christian, not only in his profession, but in trade, in all his business relations. He does his work with fidelity, knowing that the eye of God is upon him.

“In the church his voice is not silent. He has words of gratitude and encouragement to utter; for he is a growing Christian, with a fresh experience every day. He is a helpful, active worker in the church, laboring for the glory of God and the salvation of his fellow men.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 424, 425.



1 What does true reform accomplish in the life of the believer?

2 How does repentance go hand in hand with reformation?

3 In what areas do all need to reform?

4 How can we be a light in the midst of moral darkness?

5 When will we have a genuine reform in our lives?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Food – Real Orange

Eat a real orange. Drink the real juice from an orange which you have juiced and include the pulp! Many of the processed orange juices are nothing but sugar, water and flavorings.

“Studies have shown that the vitamins and other compounds in oranges are surprisingly effective antioxidants. That is, they’re able to block free radicals, corrosive oxygen molecules in the body that can damage cells, before they do harm. …

“Vitamin C has long been recognized as a powerful antioxidant. Yet there appear to be other compounds in oranges that are even more powerful.

“ ‘We measured the total antioxidant capacity of oranges and found that vitamin C only accounted for maybe 15 to 20 percent of the total activity,’ says Ronald L. Prior, scientific program officer at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. ‘The other compounds in oranges turned out to be very strong antioxidants—anywhere from three to six times as potent as vitamin C.’ …” The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies, by Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention Health Books, 1998, pages 391, 392.

Orange juice, as other fruit juices, has a general stimulating effect on the peristaltic activity of the colon. Freshly squeezed orange juice is best taken one-half to one hour before breakfast. All fruits contain acids which are necessary for the proper elimination of various toxins, poisonous acids, and other impurities. The value of a fruit diet cannot be over-estimated, especially in sickness or whenever the body is filled with poisons. Germs cannot grow and live in fruit juices.

Enjoy a real, live orange today!

Orange Carob Balls
1 cup almond meal (not almond butter) zest of one orange
10 medjool dates juice of one orange (1/4–1/3 cup)
1/2 cup raw carob powder + a little more for coating
In a food processor, blend the almond meal, dates, carob powder and orange zest to form a flour-like mixture. Add the orange juice and continue to process until the mixture starts coming together like dough. Form into bite-size balls and roll in any remaining carob powder. Refrigerate for a few hours before eating.


Children’s Story – Saved from the Fire

Johnny held out his arms to his father. But before he even had a chance to tell his father goodbye, the soldiers hurried Mr. Wesley away to be locked up in Lincoln Castle.

“Mother,” Johnny cried, “why didn’t Father pick me up and tell me goodbye?”

“Your father owes so much money,” Mother said, “and we are too poor to pay. The soldiers have to put him in prison until he can pay his debts. It’s the law. He wanted to tell you goodbye, but the soldiers wouldn’t let him.”

At that time in England people were locked up in jail sometimes when they couldn’t pay their debts. And this is what happened to Mr. Wesley. After a while, Johnny’s father was released from jail for a while. But as soon as his creditors—the people he owed money to—heard that he was home, they came around demanding that he pay them. They took the cow and the horse. They shouted at Johnny’s father.

Mrs. Wesley gathered Johnny and his brothers and sisters around her and tried to comfort them. Before long, someone smelled smoke! Someone else shouted, “Fire! The house is on fire!” Johnny was so excited and so scared that he ran upstairs instead of running outside. There were so many children running in all directions that Mother and Father couldn’t keep track of them all. They tried to make sure everyone was safely out of the house, but in all the confusion, they didn’t realize that Johnny was missing.

Mother and Father and all the other children were standing in a safe spot underneath a tree in the yard, when all at once they discovered that Johnny wasn’t with them!

“I thought you had him,” exclaimed Mother to her husband.

“But he’s always with you. At least, you always know where he is,” Father replied.

Everyone began looking for Johnny. The fire was creeping up to the second-story window. Smoke was pouring from the front door.

“Father! Father!” came a child’s faint cry. Mr. Wesley stared into the blazing building. He saw a small hand waving from an upper window.

“Father!” came the voice again. Then Johnny’s father saw him. Johnny was standing at the window with the smoke and flames gathering around him! In an instant, Father climbed onto the shoulders of some men standing nearby. They stretched and lifted him as high as they could. Reaching up, Father was able to touch the window. He reached inside, and his strong hands lifted Johnny to safety. He handed the little boy down to his mother. She carried him to the shelter of the big tree where the rest of the family was waiting.

All his life, Johnny was certain that God had saved him from the fire for some important reason. He often wondered what that reason might be. As Johnny grew, his mother taught him about the Bible and Jesus. She taught all her children about God, and it took her a great deal of time to teach all the Wesley children, because there were nineteen of them!

You can imagine that with nineteen children in the family there wasn’t much money to go around. But Johnny went to school and decided to become a preacher. He wanted to tell other people about God and His love. Johnny’s mother wrote him a letter to encourage him. In the letter, she wrote, “Every morning and evening give your heart to Jesus, and He will save you. Jesus will guide you and give you strength.”

Johnny read that letter over and over. Soon he had it memorized. And he prayed every day that Jesus would help him. John Wesley grew up to be a great man of God and a powerful preacher. He learned many lessons from the Bible. He learned that no matter how hard he worked at being good, he could never earn heaven. Heaven is a gift from God that He gives to everyone who believes on Him and loves Him. John Wesley spent his whole life preaching and helping other people know God.

It wasn’t always easy for John to preach and teach about God. Sometimes people didn’t want to listen. Sometimes people became very angry because they thought John wasn’t teaching the Bible correctly. But every time things grew difficult for John, angels would help him.

One winter day, John Wesley was walking to church where he was going to preach. The path went down a steep hill that was covered with ice and snow. It was hard to walk on the path because it was so slippery. As John came down the path a group of angry people crowded against him. They tried to push him to the ground. But John kept walking and hurried on.

One man grabbed John’s collar and tried to make him fall. The collar came off in his hand! Then another man came holding a large club. He tried to hit John over the head with it. But just before it struck John’s head, it swerved as if pushed aside by an invisible hand. John was sure that an angel had kept the club from hitting him.

Still the angry mob pushed against him. One man raised his fist to hit John. But as he tried to hit him, his arm stopped in midair as if it were frozen. Then gently, he touched John’s hair, looking surprised. John knew that an angel had stopped the man’s hand.

Finally, John reached the church and began to preach. The mob followed him into the church and started shouting and making fun of him. But as John kept on speaking, they began to listen. Soon they were listening quietly to God’s words to their hearts.

Later, John described how God had protected him time and time again. “One man threw a piece of brick and hit my shoulder,” he said. “Another struck me with a stone right between the eyes. I’ve been hit on my way to church and on my way home after the church service. My face has often been bruised and bleeding. Yet I felt no pain because God helped me and I trust Him.”

All his life, John tried to help others. He didn’t have much money, but sometimes he would go hungry himself to give food to some poor family. John Wesley was always doing kind things for other people—and pointing them to God.

Storytime, Character-building Stories for Children, 90–93.

Sermon on the Mount Series – A Quiet Place

Some people believe that their prayers have merit. If this is so, then it could easily be concluded that the longer the prayer, the greater the merit. What is the truth? If a person prayed long enough, would the prayer have enough merit to partially expiate for sin or is it possible that even eloquent prayers could be just idle words?

Jesus said, “When You pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:5).

In this passage of Scripture, the Lord is not telling us that we should not pray in public. He Himself prayed in public many times as recorded in the Scripture. But what He is teaching is that a private prayer should not be made public. In our private devotions, our prayers are to reach the ears of no one except a prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to hear the burden of our private petitions.

Jesus said, when you pray, go into your room; enter your closet. Have a place for private prayer where you can be alone with God. Jesus Himself had private places for communion with God. That, by the way, is the way that Judas Iscariot knew where to lead the people when he betrayed Him. He knew that the garden of Gethsemane was a place Jesus often went to in the evening to pray.

Jesus said to pray to your Father who sees in secret. In the name of Jesus we may come into God’s presence with the same confidence that a small child comes to a parent. No man is needed as a mediator. Through Jesus we may open our hearts to God as One Who knows and loves us and hears us.

In the secret place of prayer, where no one but God sees or hears, we are free to pour out to Him the most secret and hidden desires of the heart, and the Father has promised that He will hear. Remember, He is a Father of infinite love and pity and He never fails to answer the cry of human need. He will speak to us when we take time to talk to Him. Here’s what the Bible says about His character in James 5:11, last part: “… the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” The Lord is indeed very compassionate and merciful. He is of tender mercy. He waits unwearied and loves to hear the confessions of the wayward and to accept their penitence. He watches longingly for some return of gratitude in the same way a mother watches for a smile of recognition from her beloved child. He wants us to understand how earnestly and tenderly His heart yearns over us. And He wants us to bring to Him our trials, our sorrows, our troubles, our wounds, our weakness, and our emptiness. He can supply all of our need. The Bible teaches that never has one been disappointed who came to Him.

Notice what it says in Psalm 34:5: “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.” The Lord answers the prayer of even the humblest of His children (verse 6).

When we come to the Lord in secret, telling Him our needs and pleading with Him for help, we will not plead in vain. Jesus said, “… your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6). If we make Jesus our daily companion and friend, we will become assimilated to His image. By looking to Jesus, we will have an increase in piety, purity, and fervor.

In Matthew 6:7, Jesus continued talking about prayer. He said, “… when you pray, do not use vain repetitions like the heathen do” (literal translation). Now the heathen, then and now, looked upon their prayers as having in themselves merit to atone for sin. Therefore, the longer the prayer, the greater the merit. If they could become holy by their own efforts, they would have something in themselves of which to rejoice, some ground for the boasting. This perspective of prayer is the result of the idea of self-expiation, the principle which lies at the foundation of false religion. The Pharisees had adopted this pagan idea of prayer. It is by no means extinct, even in our time, even among those who profess to be Christians.

When we repeat set, customary phrases, and the heart feels no need of God, we are just repeating, going over, a formal prayer of the same character as the vain repetitions of the heathen. Nobody wants to talk to a friend who’s just mumbling the same set words and phrases in his mind, and whose heart is not in the conversation. The Lord isn’t interested in hearing a prayer like that either.

Prayer is not an expiation for sin. It does not have virtue or merit in itself. All the eloquent words that we might command are not equivalent to even one holy desire. Even the most eloquent prayers can be worthless, idle words if they do not express the true sentiment of the heart. But if we pray from an earnest heart, if we simply express the real wants of our soul, the same way that we would ask an earthly friend for a favor and expect that it would be received, then we have prayed a prayer of faith, and that prayer will, for sure, be answered.

God is not in need of our ceremonial compliments, but even the unspoken cry of a heart that is broken and subdued with a sense of sin and utter weakness and helplessness will find its way to the Father of all mercy.

As Jesus continued talking about the Christian life in Matthew 6:24, He said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Notice what Jesus said. He didn’t say you should not serve God and mammon. He said, you cannot serve God and mammon. Mammon, by the way, is a Greek word that simply means real estate, money, property, wealth, material possessions. Jesus said you can’t serve God and material things. He said this cannot be done. In other words, no one can occupy a neutral position. There is no middle class who neither love God nor serve the enemy of righteousness, because the facts of the matter are, if I do not give myself completely to God, I am under the control of another power, listening in my mind to another voice, whose suggestions are of an entirely different character.

If I try to give God half and half service, that actually places me on the side of the enemy as a successful ally of the hosts of darkness. So, when men claim to be Christians, to be soldiers of Christ, but engage with the confederacy of Satan and help along his side, they prove themselves to be actually enemies of Christ instead of the professed friends of Christ which they say they are. What happens then is that they betray sacred trusts and form a link between Satan and the true Christians, aiding Satan in his constant efforts to steal away the hearts of Christ’s solders.

We are talking about the battle for the mind and heart. We are not talking about just outward words or behavior. When you think this through, remember that Jesus said that you cannot serve God and mammon.

The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the terrible life of some abandoned sinner or a degraded outcast. The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is the life which otherwise appears virtuous, honorable, and noble, but in which one sin is fostered or one vice indulged. When there is somebody who is struggling with some terrible temptation, the example of such a person is one of the most powerful enticements to sin. Thus a person who claims to be a Christian but indulges one sin, one vice, is used by Satan to be a stumbling block to others so that they not only stumble in this life, but may even forfeit eternal life.

In the apostle John’s first epistle, he wrote about this problem, saying things that should cause us to sit up and pay attention. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (I John 2:15, 16). You cannot love both.

Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 6:31–33, “… do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Do not be so caught up in worldliness that the sum and substance of your life is just trying to make a living, or getting material possessions. He says that is what the nations do; their whole life is absorbed in getting food, and drink, and clothing, and whatever material things they need. Is there a better way to live, a higher way to live, so that you do not need to be pressed down all the time, just trying to survive, and yet not knowing if you will be able to survive?

The people who were listening to Jesus speak these words were still anxiously awaiting Him to make an announcement of an earthly kingdom that He would set up. Jesus was opening to them in this discourse the treasures of heaven. But the question uppermost in their minds was, how will a connection with this man advance my prospects in this world? Interestingly, that is the same question many people are asking today. What church can I go to that will best advance my interests, my worldly interests, my professional or business interests?

Jesus shows them that in making the things of this world their supreme anxiety, they were like the heathen nations around them, living as if there were no God whose tender care was over all His creatures. Jesus said, the nations seek after these things, but your heavenly Father knows that you need all of these things (Luke 12:30).

In other words, Jesus is saying, I have come to open to you a kingdom of love, and righteousness, and peace. Open your hearts to receive this kingdom and make its service your highest interest. Even though it is a spiritual kingdom that I am bringing you, do not be afraid, do not fear that your needs in this life will be uncared for. If you give yourself to God’s service, the One who has all power in heaven and earth will provide for your needs. Jesus said, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these things – that’s the things necessary for this life, food and clothing – will be given to you.

Now in saying this, Jesus does not release us from the necessity of effort. He does not say that we do not have to do anything, that God will get it for you. In this same chapter, He talked about how God fulfills the needs of the birds. “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (verse 26). How does the heavenly Father feed the birds? Does He put the food in their mouths? Absolutely not. He provides the food, but they have to go and find it.

In the same way, God provides for the needs of all of His sons and daughters in this world, but that does not release us from the necessity of effort. When Adam and Eve sinned, God told Adam that from this time forward, he was going to eat bread in the sweat of his face. (See Genesis 3:19.) But Jesus teaches us that we are to make Him first, and last, and best in everything. In other words, as Christians, we are not to engage in any business, or follow any pursuit, or seek any pleasure that would hinder the outworking of His righteous character in our lives.

Whatever we do is to be done with seeking God and His righteousness first and uppermost in our mind. You see, friend, God’s everlasting arm encircles every soul who turns to Him for aid, however feeble that soul may be; whether that person is in poverty or wealth, in sickness or health. Whether they are educated or uneducated, simple or wise, all are provided for in the treasures and promises of His grace.

The Bible says that the precious things of this world are going to pass away, but the soul that lives for God will abide with Him. Notice what the apostle John said, commenting on this very same thing, several years later. In I John 2:17 he says, “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” So, if you are one of those who learns in this world to lean on God for guidance and wisdom, to seek Him for direction and commit your life to Him, He will not only be your comfort and hope in this world, even amid loss and affliction, but in the world to come you will be welcomed to an everlasting home where the tree of life will yield for you its fruit every month. The literal translation of Isaiah 54:10 says, “The mountains shall depart, the hills be removed, but My kindness will not depart from you, neither will My covenant of peace be removed from you, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” Because God cares for everyone who turns to Him for help and shields and protects them, we do not need to live a life that is full of worry.

Are you aware, friend, that one of the biggest health problems in the western nations today is depression brought on by continual anxiety and worry? When Jesus lived in this world, He dignified life in all its details by keeping before men the glory of God and by subordinating everything else to the will of His Father. If we follow His example, He gives us the assurance that all things needful for this life shall be added.

He does not promise, by the way, that you will have the luxuries of life in this world. You’ll have more luxuries in the future world than anyone has in this world. In this world, what is promised is what you need, not necessarily what you want. Since you have this promise, if you have committed your life to Him, you do not need to worry. Jesus gives us advice on that very point in the last verse in Matthew 6. He says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (verse 34).

If you have given yourself to God, to do His work, you do not need to worry or be anxious about what is going to happen tomorrow, because, the One, whose servant you are knows the end from the beginning. The Bible says that very clearly in the book of Isaiah, where God says that He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). So the events of tomorrow, which are hidden from our view, are open to His view; they are open to the eyes of Him who is omnipotent. If we take everything into our own hands, if we decide we want to manage our own life, if we want to depend on our own wisdom for success, then we are taking a burden that God has not given us and we are trying to bear it without His aid. We are taking upon ourselves the responsibility that belongs to God, and thus we are really putting ourselves in His place. Then we may well be anxious and fearful for our needs, but if we really believe that God loves us and means to do us good, we will be able to cease worrying about the future. We will begin to trust God as a small child trusts a loving parent. Then, our troubles and torments will disappear, for our will will be swallowed up in the will of God.

In promising us this kind of help, Jesus did not promise that He would bear the worry or anxiety or burdens of tomorrow. He said to the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you … .” Like the manna that He gave the children of Israel in the wilderness, His grace is bestowed each day for that day’s need. One day alone is ours and during this day we are to live for God.

Just this one day we have to put our hand in the hand of Christ and if we trust Him with everything in our life, our purposes, our plans, casting all our care upon Him, He says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, … thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV). “In returning and rest shall you be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15, literal translation).

Dear friend, if you seek the Lord daily and experience daily conversion, if you will of your own spiritual choice be free and joyous in God, in His service you will find all your murmurings stilled and all your difficulties removed.

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

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

Current events – Pope Gives Marching Orders

Pope Gives Marching Orders to Jesuits and New Superior

Pope Francis is giving marching orders to members of his Jesuit order and their new superior. He wants them to go to the “peripheries” to serve freely and obediently.

Francis slipped out of the Vatican Monday to address the assembly of Jesuits who on Oct. 14 elected their first-ever Latin American superior, the Rev. Arturo Sosa of Venezuela.

The Society of Jesus, as the Jesuits are formally known, is the largest religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church.

In his remarks, Francis urged the priests to “walk together, freely and obediently, going to the peripheries where the others don’t arrive.”

In addition to the usual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, Jesuits take a fourth vow of obedience to the pope regarding their mission.

“Throughout Christendom, Protestantism was menaced by formidable foes. The first triumphs of the Reformation past, Rome summoned new forces, hoping to accomplish its destruction. At this time the order of the Jesuits was created, the most cruel, unscrupulous, and powerful of all the champions of popery. Cut off from earthly ties and human interests, dead to the claims of natural affection, reason and conscience wholly silenced, they knew no rule, no tie, but that of their order, and no duty but to extend its power. The gospel of Christ had enabled its adherents to meet danger and endure suffering, undismayed by cold, hunger, toil, and poverty, to uphold the banner of truth in face of the rack, the dungeon, and the stake. To combat these forces, Jesuitism inspired its followers with a fanaticism that enabled them to endure like dangers, and to oppose to the power of truth all the weapons of deception. There was no crime too great for them to commit, no deception too base for them to practice, no disguise too difficult for them to assume. Vowed to perpetual poverty and humility, it was their studied aim to secure wealth and power, to be devoted to the overthrow of Protestantism, and the re-establishment of the papal supremacy.

“When appearing as members of their order, they wore a garb of sanctity, visiting prisons and hospitals, ministering to the sick and the poor, professing to have renounced the world, and bearing the sacred name of Jesus, who went about doing good. But under this blameless exterior the most criminal and deadly purposes were often concealed. It was a fundamental principle of the order that the end justifies the means. By this code, lying, theft, perjury, assassination, were not only pardonable but commendable, when they served the interests of the church. Under various disguises the Jesuits worked their way into offices of state, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations. They became servants to act as spies upon their masters. They established colleges for the sons of princes and nobles, and schools for the common people; and the children of Protestant parents were drawn into an observance of popish rites. All the outward pomp and display of the Romish worship was brought to bear to confuse the mind and dazzle and captivate the imagination, and thus the liberty for which the fathers had toiled and bled was betrayed by the sons. The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves over Europe, and wherever they went, there followed a revival of popery.” The Great Controversy, 234, 235. [Emphasis added.]

“With the flight of the Huguenots a general decline settled upon France. Flourishing manufacturing cities fell into decay; fertile districts returned to their native wildness; intellectual dullness and moral declension succeeded a period of unwonted progress. Paris became one vast almshouse, and it is estimated that, at the breaking out of the Revolution, two hundred thousand paupers claimed charity from the hands of the king. The Jesuits alone flourished in the decaying nation, and ruled with dreadful tyranny over churches and schools, the prisons and the galleys.” Ibid., 279.

Health – Ripe and Unripe Fruits & Grains

There are some wonderful insights in the book Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss on health issues and every so often I like to review them and share with others these gems. The chapter entitled “Fruits” includes some very interesting thoughts about ripe and unripe fruits and grains which many of us have either forgotten about or never heard.


“God planned in the beginning that fruit should form a large part of our diet, and if we would practice that now, it would mean very much to our health. While it is true that fruit, like other things, has deteriorated very much since creation, yet if we would take care of it and eat it in a proper way, it would prove an untold blessing today.

“In the beginning man was told to dress the trees. This was for a wise purpose. Every tree should be pruned and dressed so that the sun will shine on the fruit at least part of the day, if not all day. If there are too many limbs and leaves, and the fruit grows altogether in the shade, it has much less food value, flavor, and life-giving properties. The seed of fruit and vegetables grown in the shade for two or three years will not germinate. It has to a great extent lost its quality and life-giving properties. Therefore all fruit trees should be pruned so that sun and air have free access. Another thing that should be remembered is that fruit before it is ripe is in the starchy state; in this condition it has but little food value, and is hard to digest. But as fruit ripens, it turns into grape sugar, especially when ripened in the air and sun, and requires practically no digestion. Fruit which is grown in the shade or is picked before it is ripe is better cooked than raw. A great deal of the fruit that is shipped is picked before it is ripe. While it does ripen to some extent after it is picked, it is never the same as it is when ripened on the tree.

“If fruit is picked before it is full grown, it is practically worthless as far as real food value is concerned, excepting, perhaps, the banana, which is a very peculiar fruit. It can be picked green and will continue to ripen and develop its sugar. It should never be eaten until every particle of green disappears, and the outer skin begins to turn brown, and the pulp has become mellow. Most bananas are eaten altogether too green, and while still in the starchy state. When the banana is fully ripe, it develops twenty-five percent of grape sugar, which requires very little or no digestion. Any infant or invalid can eat them when mashed up. … Let me emphasize again, never eat a banana until it is thoroughly ripe. [Emphasis author’s.]

“In buying prunes, buy a large size, for the large prunes have practically no larger pit than the small ones. The smaller the prunes, the less meat you have, and the more pits. A large prune when soaked overnight in cold water can be eaten without any cooking, and is very delicious. You can do the same thing with figs, apricots, or peaches when you get a good grade. When you do cook them, a very little cooking is all that is needed. Remember that the fruit before it is ripe is in the starchy state and requires cooking and digestion, and after it is thoroughly ripened it requires no cooking and little digestion. The juice is ready for assimilation.

“Unripe grains are the opposite of unripe fruits. The grain before ripe is in the milky state, or grape sugar state and could be digested without any cooking. That is the way the grain was eaten in the beginning, and no doubt that is the way the disciples and Jesus ate it. But when it ripens, it turns into starch. We have no fluid to digest raw starch properly, and therefore grains should be thoroughly cooked.”

“All the elements of nutrition are contained in the fruits, vegetables and grains.” The Review and Herald, May 8, 1883.

“However, the juice of oranges, grapes, pineapples, and grapefruit may be taken when pure with no sugar added. These juices can with good results be taken as a drink between meals to quench the thirst.

“There are several reasons why we should not drink with the meals and eat so much soft food. First, we hear so much about alkaline foods and that they are all right to be eaten, but an indisputable fact is that the saliva is highly alkaline and much more so than any of these alkaline foods. And the fact is if we eat our food dry, getting it thoroughly saturated with saliva, it alkalinizes the system more than all the alkaline foods combined that we know. And second, when the food reaches the stomach there comes the digestive juice known as the gastric juice. In order for the gastric juice to properly do its work it needs the saliva and then as the food leaves the stomach there comes the pancreatic juice and the bile. They cannot do their proper work without the saliva and the gastric juice. If many of these little points were observed, you would see a marvelous improvement in your health. And then another point is: When you take so much fluid with your meals and also the soft foods, it dilutes these various digestive fluids so they are too weak and have not the proper power to digest the food as God had planned they should. There is perfect law and order in our system, and when we violate these, we have to suffer the consequences.

“Many years ago when we made tests on these things, we found that half a good-sized lemon would destroy typhoid germs in a glass of water and the healthy gastric juice in the stomach is four times as strong as the lemon juice. …” Back to Eden, Jethro Kloss, 154–157.

This wisdom applies also to our day for many are unaware of health hazards. Praise God for His wisdom and watch care of us.

Q & A – What ways do we deny Jesus before others in Matthew 10:33?

“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33.

To deny Jesus is a very serious thing to do. The following will show us some ways in which denial of Christ is reflected in our lives.

“Jesus continues: As you confess Me before men, so I will confess you before God and the holy angels. 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. And ‘whosoever shall deny Me before men,’ He says, ‘him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 357.