Bible Study – The Divinity of Christ—Confessions

January 22 – 28, 2023

Key Text

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 3, 127–142


“We must confess Christ openly and bravely, exhibiting in our characters His meekness, humility, and love, till men shall be charmed by the beauty of holiness.” Counsels on Health, 400



1.a. What did the angel Gabriel declare about Christ? Luke 1:35

 Note: “From all eternity Christ was united with the Father, and when He took upon Himself human nature, He was still one with God. He is the link that unites God with humanity. ‘Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same’ (Hebrews 2:14). Only through Him can we become children of God. To all who believe on Him, He gives power to become the sons of God. Thus the heart becomes the temple of the living God. It is because Christ took human nature that men and women become partakers of the divine nature. He brings life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 229

1.b. What else did the angel say to Mary? Matthew 1:21–23

Note: “Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour’s life on earth, we see ‘God with us.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 24



2.a. What public confession did Peter make? Matthew 16:16

 Note: “Jesus now put a second question, relating to the disciples themselves: ‘But whom say ye that I am?’ Peter answered, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’

“From the first, Peter had believed Jesus to be the Messiah. Many others who had been convicted by the preaching of John the Baptist, and had accepted Christ, began to doubt as to John’s mission when he was imprisoned and put to death; and they now doubted that Jesus was the Messiah, for whom they had looked so long. Many of the disciples who had ardently expected Jesus to take His place on David’s throne left Him when they perceived that He had no such intention. But Peter and his companions turned not from their allegiance. The vacillating course of those who praised yesterday and condemned today did not destroy the faith of the true follower of the Saviour. Peter declared, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ He waited not for kingly honors to crown his Lord, but accepted Him in His humiliation.” The Desire of Ages, 411, 412

2.b. Later, during the crisis in Galilee, what did Peter again declare? John 6:68, 69

Note: “Without attempting to hinder those who were leaving Him, Jesus turned to the twelve and said, ‘Will ye also go away?’

“Peter replied by asking, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go?’ ‘Thou hast the words of eternal life,’ he added. ‘And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.’

“ ‘To whom shall we go?’ The teachers of Israel were slaves to formalism. The Pharisees and Sadducees were in constant contention. To leave Jesus was to fall among sticklers for rites and ceremonies, and ambitious men who sought their own glory. The disciples had found more peace and joy since they had accepted Christ than in all their previous lives. How could they go back to those who had scorned and persecuted the Friend of sinners? They had long been looking for the Messiah; now He had come, and they could not turn from His presence to those who were hunting His life, and had persecuted them for becoming His followers.” The Desire of Ages, 393



3.a. What confession was made by the Ethiopian before his baptism? Acts 8:36, 37

 Note: “The man’s [the Ethiopian’s] heart thrilled with interest as the Scriptures were explained to him; and when the disciple had finished, he was ready to accept the light given. He did not make his high worldly position an excuse for refusing the gospel. ‘As they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.’ ” The Acts of the Apostles, 108

“Among the Jews there were those who were seeking for that which they had not. Dissatisfied with a formal religion, they longed for that which was spiritual and uplifting. Christ’s chosen disciples belonged to the latter class, Cornelius and the Ethiopian eunuch to the former. They had been longing and praying for light from heaven; and when Christ was revealed to them, they received Him with gladness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 116

“When the Ethiopian asked, ‘What doth hinder me to be baptized?’ Philip did not wait to see how he would hold on to the faith. He said, ‘If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.’ Acts 8:37, 38.” The Upward Look, 130

“Had Philip left the eunuch with his case hanging in the balance, he might never have accepted the Saviour. Evil angels were waiting for their opportunity, when they could press in their falsehoods and divert the Ethiopian from seeking after truth.” The Bible Echo, December 10, 1900

3.b. How did the Roman centurion confess his faith in Christ? Mark 15:39



4.a. What did God the Father declare about Jesus? Matthew 3:16, 17

Note: “Christ’s prayer on the banks of the Jordan includes everyone who will believe in Him. The promise that you are accepted in the Beloved comes to you. God said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ This means that through the dark shadow which Satan has thrown athwart your pathway Christ has cleaved the way for you to the throne of the infinite God. He has laid hold of almighty power, and you are accepted in the Beloved.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 4, 1901

“When Christ bowed on the banks of Jordan, after His baptism, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove, like burnished gold, and encircled Him with its glory; and the voice of God from the highest heaven was heard, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ The prayer of Christ in man’s behalf opened the gates of heaven, and the Father had responded, accepting the petition for the fallen race. Jesus prayed as our substitute and surety, and now the human family may find access to the Father through the merits of His well-beloved Son. This earth because of transgression had been struck off from the continent of heaven. Communication had ceased between man and his Maker; but the way has been opened, so that he may return to the Father’s house. Jesus is ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’ The gate of heaven has been left ajar, and the radiance from the throne of God shines into the hearts of those who love Him, even though they dwell in this sin-cursed earth.” The Review and Herald, February 28, 1888

4.b. When did the Father utter a similar declaration? John 12:28

 Note: “On another occasion Christ made the request: ‘Father, glorify Thy name.’ And in answer there came ‘a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ John 12:28.

“If this voice did not move the impenitent, if the power that Christ manifested in His mighty miracles did not cause the Jews to believe, we should not be greatly surprised to find that men and women today are in danger, through continual association with those who are incredulous, of manifesting the same unbelief that the Jews manifested, and of developing the same perverted understanding.” Testimonies, Vol. 8, 202, 203



5.a. How did Jesus give evidence of His divinity? John 10:24–29

 Note: “The blessed Bible gives us a knowledge of the great plan of salvation, and shows us how every individual may have eternal life. Who is the author of the book?—Jesus Christ. He is the True Witness, and He says to His own, ‘I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.’ The Bible is to show us the way to Christ, and in Christ eternal life is revealed.” The Review and Herald, September 11, 1894

5.b. What words of Christ angered the Jews? John 10:30–32. Why did they try to stone Him? John 10:33

Note: “Again the priests and rabbis cried out against Jesus as a blasphemer. His claim to be one with God had before stirred them to take His life, and a few months later they plainly declared, ‘For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.’ John 10:33. Because He was, and avowed Himself to be, the Son of God, they were bent on destroying Him. Now many of the people, siding with the priests and rabbis, took up stones to cast at Him. ‘But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 470



1    What is the meaning of “salvation” according to Matthew 1:21?

2    What does the confession of Peter mean when he said “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”?

3    What was the confession of the Roman centurion?

4    To whom do the words “This is my beloved Son” apply?

5    Why did the Jews try to stone Christ?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Jesus Christ—Fully God

January 15 – 21, 2023

Key Text

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 463–475


“That we might become acquainted with His divine character and life, Christ took our nature and dwelt among us. Divinity was revealed in humanity; the invisible glory in the visible human form.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 17



1.a. How did Christ identify Himself to Moses? Exodus 3:2–7, 11–14

 Note: “Leading his flocks one day near Horeb, ‘the mountain of God,’ Moses saw a bush in flames, branches, foliage, and trunk, all burning, yet seeming not to be consumed. He drew near to view the wonderful sight, when a voice from out of the flame called him by name. With trembling lips he answered, ‘Here am I.’ He was warned not to approach irreverently: ‘Put off thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. … I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 251, 252

1.b. When did Christ use the same title? John 8:56–58

Note: “With solemn dignity Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.’ Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, ‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.’ Micah 5:2, margin.” The Desire of Ages, 469, 470



2.a. How did Christ appear to Joshua in Jericho? Joshua 5:13, 14

Note: “To reduce Jericho was seen by Joshua to be the first step in the conquest of Canaan. But first of all he sought an assurance of divine guidance, and it was granted him. Withdrawing from the encampment to meditate and to pray that the God of Israel would go before His people, he beheld an armed warrior, of lofty stature and commanding presence, ‘with his sword drawn in his hand.’ To Joshua’s challenge, ‘Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?’ the answer was given, ‘As Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 487, 488

2.b. What command, similar to that given to Moses, was given also to Joshua? Joshua 5:15

 Note: “The same command given to Moses in Horeb, ‘Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy,’ revealed the true character of the mysterious stranger. It was Christ, the Exalted One, who stood before the leader of Israel. Awe-stricken, Joshua fell upon his face and worshiped, and heard the assurance, ‘I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor,’ and he received instruction for the capture of the city.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 488



3.a. What titles are applied to Christ by Isaiah? Isaiah 9:6

 Note: “We need more simplicity, more trust and confidence in our Saviour. He whose name is called ‘The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace;’ He of whom it is written, ‘The government shall be upon His shoulder,’ is the Wonderful Counselor. We are invited to ask wisdom of Him. He ‘giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.’ Isaiah 9:6; James 1:5.” The Desire of Ages, 363

3.b. How did Thomas address Christ after the resurrection? John 20:24–29

 Note: “Many who have a weak and wavering faith, reason that if they had the evidence which Thomas had from his companions they would not doubt as he did. They do not realize that they have not only that evidence, but additional testimony piled up about them on every side. Many who, like Thomas, wait for all cause of doubt to be removed, may never realize their desire as he did, but gradually become entrenched in their unbelief, until they cannot perceive the weight of evidence in favor of Jesus, and, like the skeptical Jews, what little light they have will go out in the darkness which closes around their minds. To reject the plain and conclusive evidences of divine truth hardens the heart, and blinds the understanding. The precious light, being neglected, fades utterly from the mind that is unwilling to receive it.

“Jesus, in His treatment of Thomas, gave His followers a lesson regarding the manner in which they should treat those who have doubts upon religious truth, and who make those doubts prominent. He did not overwhelm Thomas with words of reproach, nor did He enter into a controversy with him; but, with marked condescension and tenderness, He revealed Himself unto the doubting one. Thomas had taken a most unreasonable position, in dictating the only conditions of his faith; but Jesus, by His generous love and consideration, broke down all the barriers he had raised. Persistent controversy will seldom weaken unbelief, but rather put it upon self-defense, where it will find new support and excuse. Jesus, revealed in His love and mercy as the crucified Saviour, will wring from many once unwilling lips the acknowledgment of Thomas, ‘My Lord, and my God.’ ” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3, 221, 222



4.a. How did the prophet Isaiah foretell the incarnation? Isaiah 7:14

 Note: “ ‘His name shall be called Immanuel, … God with us.’ ‘The light of the knowledge of the glory of God’ is seen ‘in the face of Jesus Christ.’ From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was ‘the image of God,’ the image of His greatness and majesty, ‘the outshining of His glory.’ It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God’s love, to be ‘God with us.’ Therefore it was prophesied of Him, ‘His name shall be called Immanuel.’

“By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God—God’s thought made audible. In His prayer for His disciples He says, ‘I have declared unto them Thy name’—‘merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth’—‘that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.’ But not alone for His earthborn children was this revelation given. Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God’s wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which ‘angels desire to look,’ and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which ‘seeketh not her own’ has its source in the heart of God.” The Desire of Ages, 19, 20

4.b. How was this prophecy fulfilled? Matthew 1:21–23

 Note: “Again God dwelt on earth; human hearts became conscious of His presence; the world was encompassed with His love. Heaven came down to men. In Christ their hearts acknowledged Him who had opened to them the science of eternity—“ ‘Immanuel, … God with us.’ ” Education, 83

“The eternal Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and of His fullness have all we received. He is the author and finisher of our faith. ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.’ ” The Review and Herald, November 3, 1904



5.a. What title does John apply to Christ? John 1:1–3

 Note: “If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity. God over all, blessed forevermore.” The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906

5.b. What does Paul say about Christ in connection with the works of creation? Colossians 1:16, 17

 Note: “As a personal Saviour He came to the world. As a personal Saviour He ascended on high. As a personal Saviour He intercedes in the heavenly courts. Before the throne of God in our behalf ministers ‘One like the Son of man.’ Daniel 7:13.

“The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, declares of Christ that ‘all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.’ Colossians 1:16, 17, R.V., margin. The hand that sustains the worlds in space, the hand that holds in their orderly arrangement and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for us.” Education, 132



1    Explain the meaning of the title “I Am that I Am.”

2    What titles are applied to Christ in Isaiah 9:6?

3    How did Christ identify Himself to Joshua?

4    Explain the expression “God with us.”

5    “The Word was God.” What does this expression mean?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Jesus Christ Our Only Hope

January 8 – 14, 2023

Key Text

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 226–228


“Christ alone is exalted to be ‘a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.’ Acts 5:31. ‘Neither is there salvation in any other.’ Acts 4:12.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 264



1.a. What happened the same day Adam and Eve sinned? Genesis 3:21

Note: “To Adam, the offering of the first sacrifice was a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which only God could give. It was the first time he had ever witnessed death, and he knew that had he been obedient to God, there would have been no death of man or beast. As he slew the innocent victim, he trembled at the thought that his sin must shed the blood of the spotless Lamb of God. This scene gave him a deeper and more vivid sense of the greatness of his transgression, which nothing but the death of God’s dear Son could expiate. And he marveled at the infinite goodness that would give such a ransom to save the guilty. A star of hope illumined the dark and terrible future and relieved it of its utter desolation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 68

1.b. How does the prophet Isaiah explain this substitution? Isaiah 53:4, 5

Note: “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.” The Desire of Ages, 25



2.a. What is the condition of eternal life? Matthew 19:16, 17

 Note: “The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been—just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents—perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized.” Steps to Christ, 62

“The law requires righteousness—a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God’s holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can ‘be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.’ ” Romans 3:26. The Desire of Ages, 762

“Christ does not lessen the claims of the law. In unmistakable language He presents obedience to it as the condition of eternal life—the same condition that was required of Adam before his fall. The Lord expects no less of the soul now than He expected of man in Paradise, perfect obedience, unblemished righteousness. The requirement under the covenant of grace is just as broad as the requirement made in Eden—harmony with God’s law, which is holy, just, and good.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 391

“As the Bible presents two laws, one changeless and eternal, the other provisional and temporary, so there are two covenants. The covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden, when after the Fall there was given a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. To all men this covenant offered pardon and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God’s law. Thus the patriarchs received the hope of salvation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 370

2.b. Can human beings present perfect obedience by themselves? Isaiah 64:6

 Note: “It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God’s law. But he failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey the holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness.” Steps to Christ, 62



3.a. What assurance do we have through the merits of Christ? John 15:5; Philippians 4:13

 Note: “The world’s Redeemer, the only-begotten Son of God, by His perfect obedience to the law, by His life and character, redeemed that which was lost in the fall, and made it possible for man to obey that holy law of righteousness which Adam transgressed. Christ did not exchange His divinity for humanity, but combined humanity with divinity; and in humanity He lived the law in behalf of the human family. The sins of every one who will receive Christ were set to His account, and He has fully satisfied the justice of God.” Special Testimonies on Education, 21

“Because man fallen could not overcome Satan with his human strength, Christ came from the royal courts of heaven to help him with His human and divine strength combined. Christ knew that Adam in Eden, with his superior advantages, might have withstood the temptations of Satan, and conquered him. He also knew that it was not possible for man, out of Eden, separated from the light and love of God since the Fall, to resist the temptations of Satan in his own strength. In order to bring hope to man, and save him from complete ruin, He humbled Himself to take man’s nature, that, with His divine power combined with the human, He might reach man where he is. He obtains for the fallen sons and daughters of Adam that strength which it is impossible for them to gain for themselves, that in His name they might overcome the temptations of Satan.” The Review and Herald, August 18, 1874

3.b. What was prophesied by Daniel in regard to the righteousness of Christ? Daniel 9:24

 Note: “In the prophecy of Daniel it was recorded of Christ that He shall ‘make reconciliation for iniquity, and … bring in everlasting righteousness’ (Daniel 9:24). Every soul may say: ‘By His perfect obedience He has satisfied the claims of the law, and my only hope is found in looking to Him as my substitute and surety, who obeyed the law perfectly for me. By faith in His merits I am free from the condemnation of the law. He clothes me with His righteousness, which answers all the demands of the law. I am complete in Him who brings in everlasting righteousness.’ ” Selected Messages, Book 1, 396



4.a. Under what symbol did John the Baptist introduce Christ to the people? John 1:29

 Note: “John had been deeply moved as he saw Jesus bowed as a suppliant, pleading with tears for the approval of the Father. As the glory of God encircled Him, and the voice from heaven was heard, John recognized the token which God had promised. He knew that it was the world’s Redeemer whom he had baptized. The Holy Spirit rested upon him, and with outstretched hand pointing to Jesus, he cried, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 112

4.b. What does the apostle Peter say about Jesus Christ? 1 Peter 1:18, 19

Note: “ ‘In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.’ Men need to understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary. Yet Jesus Christ whom God gave for the ransom of the world purchased the church with His own blood. The Majesty of heaven was made to suffer at the hands of religious zealots, who claimed to be the most enlightened people upon the face of the earth.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 907

“As the sinner looks upon the Saviour dying on Calvary, and realizes that the Sufferer is divine, he asks why, this great sacrifice was made; and the cross points to the holy law of God, which has been transgressed. The death of Christ is an unanswerable argument [as] to the immutability and righteousness of the law. In prophesying of Christ, Isaiah says, ‘He will magnify the law, and make it honorable.’ The law has no power to pardon the evildoer. Its office is to point out his defects, that he may realize his need of One who is mighty to save, realize his need of One who will become his substitute, his surety, his righteousness. Jesus meets the need of the sinner; for He has taken upon Him the sins of the transgressor. ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.’ The Lord could have cut off the sinner, and utterly destroyed him; but the more costly plan was chosen. In His great love He provides hope for the hopeless, giving His only begotten Son to bear the sins of the world.” The Bible Echo, March 15, 1893



5.a. What unanswerable question did Christ put to His enemies? John 8:46

Note: “In His life on earth, Christ developed a perfect character, He rendered perfect obedience to His Father’s commandments. In coming to the world in human form, in becoming subject to the law, in revealing to men that He bore their sickness, their sorrow, their guilt, He did not become a sinner. Before the Pharisees He could say, ‘Which of you convinceth me of sin?’ Not one stain of sin was found upon Him. He stood before the world the spotless Lamb of God.” The Youth’s Instructor, December 29, 1898

5.b. How can we be saved? John 3:16–18

Note: “How, then, are we to be saved? ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,’ so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ, ‘I delight to do Thy will, O my God.’ Psalm 40:8.” The Desire of Ages, 175, 176



1    Explain Isaiah 53:4, 5.

2    How does the Bible clarify human righteousness?

3    How can we present perfect obedience to the law of God?

4    What does the death of Christ on Calvary prove?

5    What challenge did Christ direct to His enemies?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Humanity’s Fall

Christian Character (1)

January 1 – 7, 2023

Key Text

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62


“Transgression placed the whole world under the death sentence. But in heaven there was heard a voice saying, ‘I have found a ransom.’ ” The Signs of the Times, June 27, 1900



1.a. What is mentioned about Adam and Eve when they were created? Genesis 1:26, 27

 Note: “When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. ‘God created man in His own image’ (Genesis 1:27), and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image—the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator. All his faculties were capable of development; their capacity and vigor were continually to increase.” Education, 15

1.b. How does Ellen White explain the confusing text in Genesis 2:25 that says that Adam and Eve were naked before the Fall?

 Note: “The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. All the strength of their affections was given to their heavenly Father. A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair. This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310, 311

“The sinless pair wore no artificial garments; they were clothed with a covering of light and glory, such as the angels wear. So long as they lived in obedience to God, this robe of light continued to enshroud them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 45



2.a.  What special instructions did God give to Adam and Eve about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Genesis 2:16, 17

 Note: “Our first parents, though created innocent and holy, were not placed beyond the possibility of wrongdoing. God made them free moral agents, capable of appreciating the wisdom and benevolence of His character and the justice of His requirements, and with full liberty to yield or to withhold obedience. They were to enjoy communion with God and with holy angels; but before they could be rendered eternally secure, their loyalty must be tested. At the very beginning of man’s existence a check was placed upon the desire for self-indulgence, the fatal passion that lay at the foundation of Satan’s fall. The tree of knowledge, which stood near the tree of life in the midst of the garden, was to be a test of the obedience, faith, and love of our first parents. While permitted to eat freely of every other tree, they were forbidden to taste of this, on pain of death. They were also to be exposed to the temptations of Satan; but if they endured the trial, they would finally be placed beyond his power, to enjoy perpetual favor with God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 48, 49

2.b. Describe the sad experience of Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:1–6

 Note: “When Eve, disregarding the Lord’s admonition concerning the forbidden tree, ventured to approach it, she came in contact with her foe. Her interest and curiosity having been awakened, Satan proceeded to deny God’s word, and to insinuate distrust of His wisdom and goodness. To the woman’s statement concerning the tree of knowledge, ‘God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die,’ the tempter made answer, ‘Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ Genesis 3:3–5.” Education, 24

“We must set our hearts to know what is truth. All the lessons which God has caused to be placed on record in His word are for our warning and instruction. They are given to save us from deception. Their neglect will result in ruin to ourselves. Whatever contradicts God’s word, we may be sure proceeds from Satan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 55



3.a. After their disobedience, what did Adam and Eve try to do? Genesis 3:7

 Note: “But when sin entered, they [our first parents] severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering.

“This is what the transgressors of God’s law have done ever since the day of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They have sewed together fig leaves to cover the nakedness caused by transgression. They have worn the garments of their own devising, by works of their own they have tried to cover their sins, and make themselves acceptable with God.” Christ’s Objects Lessons, 311

3.b. What explanation did they present to the Lord? Genesis 3:8–13

 Note: “Adam could neither deny nor excuse his sin; but instead of manifesting penitence, he endeavored to cast the blame upon his wife, and thus upon God Himself: ‘The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’ He who, from love to Eve, had deliberately chosen to forfeit the approval of God, his home in Paradise, and an eternal life of joy, could now, after his fall, endeavor to make his companion, and even the Creator Himself, responsible for the transgression. So terrible is the power of sin.

“When the woman was asked, ‘What is this that thou hast done?’ she answered, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.’ ‘Why didst Thou create the serpent? Why didst Thou suffer him to enter Eden?’—these were the questions implied in her excuse for her sin. Thus, like Adam, she charged God with the responsibility of their fall. The spirit of self-justification originated in the father of lies; it was indulged by our first parents as soon as they yielded to the influence of Satan, and has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam. Instead of humbly confessing their sins, they try to shield themselves by casting the blame upon others, upon circumstances, or upon God—making even His blessings an occasion of murmuring against Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 57, 58 [Author’s emphasis.]

“He who is guilty of wrong is the first to suspect wrong. By condemning another he is trying to conceal or excuse the evil of his own heart. It was through sin that men gained the knowledge of evil; no sooner had the first pair sinned than they began to accuse each other; and this is what human nature will inevitably do when uncontrolled by the grace of Christ.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 126



4.a. What provision had been made to save the human race? John 3:16

Note: “The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth; for Christ is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’ (Revelation 13:8); yet it was a struggle, even with the King of the universe, to yield up His Son to die for the guilty race. But ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16. Oh, the mystery of redemption! the love of God for a world that did not love Him! Who can know the depths of that love which ‘passeth knowledge’? Through endless ages immortal minds, seeking to comprehend the mystery of that incomprehensible love, will wonder and adore.

“God was to be manifest in Christ, ‘reconciling the world unto Himself.’ 2 Corinthians 5:19. Man had become so degraded by sin that it was impossible for him, in himself, to come into harmony with Him whose nature is purity and goodness. But Christ, after having redeemed man from the condemnation of the law, could impart divine power to unite with human effort. Thus by repentance toward God and faith in Christ the fallen children of Adam might once more become ‘sons of God.’ 1 John 3:2.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 63, 64

4.b. What ray of hope was presented to Adam and Eve? Genesis 3:15

Note: “To Adam was given an assurance of the coming of the Redeemer. The sentence pronounced on Satan, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel’ (Genesis 3:15), was to our first parents a promise of the redemption to be wrought out through Christ.” The Acts of the Apostles, 222

“Ever since the fall of man, Christ had been the Revealer of truth to the world. By Him the incorruptible seed, ‘the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever,’ is communicated to men. 1 Peter 1:23. In that first promise spoken to our fallen race in Eden, Christ was sowing the gospel seed.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 38



5.a. What is written regarding the condition of the human race? Romans 3:10, 11, 23

Note: “Transgression placed the whole world under the death sentence. But in heaven there was heard a voice saying, ‘I have found a ransom.’ ” The Signs of the Times, June 27, 1900

“Christ mourned for the transgression of every human being. He bore even the guiltiness of Caiaphas, knowing the hypocrisy that dwelt in his soul, while for pretense he rent his robe. Christ did not rend His robe, but His soul was rent. His garment of human flesh was rent as He hung on the cross, the Sin-bearer of the race. By His suffering and death a new and living way was opened.” The Review and Herald, June 12, 1900

5.b. What promise is given to those who accept the provision made? Romans 6:23; John 5:24

 Note: “Only by the precious blood of the Son of God could the transgressor be redeemed. The plan of salvation was laid in sacrifice. The apostle Paul wrote, ‘Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.’ 2 Corinthians 8:9. Christ gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity. And as the crowning blessing of salvation, ‘the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Romans 6:23.” The Acts of the Apostles, 519



1    What kind of dress was worn by our first parents before the Fall?

2    How can we be secure against Satan’s deception?

3    What is self-justification or self-righteousness?

4    What is the only way we can be saved?

5    What is written about the condition of the unconverted person?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Granola Bites


Vanilla is a spice derived from orchids, primarly obtained from pods of the Mexican flat-leaved vanilla species. The vanilla orchid must be pollinated in order to produce the fruit from which the vanilla spice is obtained. Although one species of bee, the Eulema, found in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, northern Mexico, and occasionally in the U.S., is known as the orchid bee because it will pollinate the vanilla orchid, the majority of vanilla orchids are hand pollinated by a method discovered by a 12-year-old child in 1841. Growers tried to introduce the orchid bee in Europe, but the little buzzers weren’t interested in helping out.

There are three major species of vanilla; all are found in Mesoamerica. Because the cultivation of the plant is so labor-intensive, it is the second most expensive spice (after saffron) to produce. Nevertheless, it is widely used in baking, perfume production, and aromatherapy.

The fruit of the vanilla orchid is actually a seed capsule containing tiny, black seeds. The seed capsule ultimately ripens, opens at the end, and then dries out. The seeds can be seen as black specks in dishes prepared using whole natural vanilla. Both the pods and the seeds are used in cooking.

Source: Wikipedia

While researching for this article, I discovered that vanilla extract is 35 to 40 percent ethyl alcohol. Interestingly, almond extract is 90% alcohol. All extracts contain alcohol. Alcohol-free vanilla flavoring is available at certain stores or you can substitute an equal measure of maple syrup.

Recipe – Granola Bites


1 cup rolled oats

A pinch of salt

A pinch of ground cardamom

A splash of maple syrup

1/4 cup almond butter

1 Tbs. honey (a vegan substitute option is agave syrup)

1/4 cup dried berries, such as cherries, cranberries, or raisins


With a fork, stir together oats, salt, and cardamom in a medium bowl. Stir in maple syrup, almond butter, honey, and dried berries.

Once the mixture is mixed well, use your hands to roll into one-inch balls.

If the mixture is too dry to roll into balls, add a bit more honey or almond butter.

Joy to the World

A few years ago, a friend emailed me a story told about a mother who encouraged her young son to practice playing the piano, and specifically, to practice his scales. She told him to practice them not only forward, from middle C up the scale to C an octave higher, but to also practice them starting at the octave C and going back down to middle C. I’m not sure that I have everything exactly right about this story, but this part I know is right, she told him, as he played the descending scale, to put pauses at certain points in the scale. When the son did so, he recognized, not just a scale of notes, but the carol Joy to the World. As of right now, I’ve been playing the piano just shy of 60 years, and that was news to me. But let’s look at the real story behind this beautiful song.

The lyrics were written by Isaac Watts in 1719, though not with the intention of becoming a Christmas carol. It was written as a response to or reinterpretation of Psalm 98 and has more to do with Jesus’ second coming than His first.

“Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.

“The Lord has made known His salvation, His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of a psalm, with trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

“Let the sea roar, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it; let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples with equity.” Psalm 98

An accomplished and well-known composer and arranger, Lowell Mason arranged the tune used today in 1848. This tune is somewhat reminiscent of a couple of musical phrases found in Handel’s Messiah; although Handel scholars dismiss as mere coincidence the idea that Mason might have “borrowed” these phrases for his arrangement of Joy to the World.


A joyful and glorious hymn of praise to God for sending His Son, and a looking forward to His soon return, Joy to the World is a wonderful song to sing all throughout the year.

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come;

Let Earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare Him room,

And heaven and nature sing,

And heaven and nature sing,

And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.”

Introduction to the Mystery of Godliness Series

In the late summer of 2021, Pastor John Grosboll began a series of sermons entitled The Mystery of Godliness. These sermons are available on DVD and YouTube. However, the LandMarks staff is excited to bring them to you reduced to article format.

LandMarks magazine has for some time included a regular series article (e.g., the Sermon on the Mount series; the Facts about the Future series) and we will present The Mystery of Godliness as the regular series article beginning with the January, 2023, issue.

Using both Bible and Spirit of Prophecy support, these sermons discuss the dual nature of Christ—divine and human—but they delve more deeply into His human nature. The topic of Christ’s human nature has often been, and continues to be, very controversial. However, we hope that we all can remain open to the weight of evidence in inspired writings (The Desire of Ages, 458).

Considering the state of the world today, Pastor Grosboll felt that the Holy Spirit had impressed him that now was the time to present these messages. It was not His intention to convince or change anyone’s mind, but only to present what he has studied for more than 50 years, and to encourage those who hear his messages to study for themselves and allow the Holy Spirit to guide them.

God is preparing a people for eternity. If we seek to be a part of that people, then we must understand Jesus’ human nature to the fullest degree that the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy reveal so that we might more faithfully reflect His character in our own lives.

For all of my adult life, I have asked the questions: “Was Jesus really like me? How could He be of any help to me as an example of how to live, if He wasn’t just like me?” And I strongly defended my belief. After all, if He wasn’t like me, then He had some advantage living this life that I don’t have. Right?

But perhaps the real questions we should be asking are, “Can we trust in Christ to be our Saviour; were His death and life sufficient, in every way, to save me from my life of sin, by the power of the Holy Spirit? What kind of person did Christ have to be to be a spotless, unblemished sacrifice to save me from the guilt of my sins?”

Christ came to this earth in a body and nature created especially for Him (Hebrews 10:5), but the life He lived was especially designed for us (This Day With God, 32).

Both the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy tell us that we will never have, not now nor throughout eternity, a full understanding of the mystery of Christ’s nature. So, regardless of the exact specifications of Christ’s nature, we must believe that He is able to save us to the uttermost if we are willing to surrender ourselves to His grace and mercy, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

It is our greatest hope that these messages will enable you to first understand what it really means to be Christlike and, ultimately, an overcomer. And secondly, that in understanding the standard that you and I are to reach to be overcomers, we will be encouraged to forget the past and press toward the mark of our calling which is much higher than most Adventists have realized.

By Judy Rebarchek
Managing Editor

To Him Who Overcomes

It is recorded in several places in Scripture that one day there will be an almost complete reversal of the ranking of mankind so that those who are now last will become first, and those who are now first will become last. What is it that will determine a person’s ranking in society at that time?

Matthew 19 records that Jesus said that those who are first will be last, and the last will be first. He had stated this principle earlier in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) where He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

There are two groups of people involved in this rearrangement of society. Revelation 21:5–7 describes one group: “ ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’ And He said to me, ‘It is done!’ I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.’ ”

Verse 8 describes the other group: “ ‘But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.’ ”

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

Revelation 21:5–7 tells us that the one who is promised salvation and an inheritance is the one who overcomes. In the messages to the seven churches (Revelation 2 and 3), every church is given a promise, if they overcome.

Ephesus – “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7

Smyrna – “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” Verse 11

Pergamos – “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” Verse 17

Thyatira – “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father.” Verses 26, 27

Sardis – “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the book of life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Revelation 3:5

Philadelphia – “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” Verse 12

Laodicea – “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Verse 21

The church at Pergamos is known as the compromising church. There are many people today who worship in compromising churches, and to them the Lord is saying that if they overcome, they will be given hidden manna to eat.

What is this hidden manna? We find the story of the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness in Exodus 16. They had no water to drink and no food to eat, but the Lord promised them that He would provide water and send them food from heaven. And the Lord promised each morning for six days a small, round substance, like white coriander seed, like wafers made with honey, that the people were to gather for food. Not knowing what it was, they called it manna which means “What is it?”

What was this manna and what is the difference between it and the hidden manna spoken of in Revelation 2:17? Jesus answered that question for us in John 6:47–51. “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

Of course, the Jews got a little miffed when He said that, and they said, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” Jesus responded, “My flesh truly is food, My blood truly is drink. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” They were accusing Jesus of teaching cannibalism, but Jesus was using symbolic language. Verse 63 makes it very clear what He was talking about. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.” Jesus wasn’t talking about literally eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The Bible attributes many names to Jesus and one of those names, found in John 1, is “The Word of God.”

The manna sent to the children of Israel in the wilderness was physical food meant to sustain the body during their wandering. But the hidden manna is Jesus, the true Bread that will give you eternal life if you eat it, and you do this by consuming His word. The word of God is powerful. It is powerful to recreate in a person new life, new desires, a new spirit, a new mind. To consume the Bread of God means receiving Jesus into your life and then living by His word.

When Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted, the devil tempted Him to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4:3, 4). But Jesus’ response was, “… ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” ’ ”

To be in the kingdom of heaven, to have salvation, to live forever, you must eat the word of God, receiving it into your mind and heart, and then living according to that word. If you live according to the word, then you have received the hidden manna, and your life will be changed; you will be given a new name.

These days, there’s not much in a name. Most people name their children after someone famous or an ancestor or a character in a book or movie, because it sounds nice. But from the beginning of earth’s history, a person was given a name because it expressed something about the person. The Bible records some of these names. For instance, Jesu or Jesus means a Saviour or Deliverer. Elijah, that mighty Old Testament prophet, means Jehovah is my God. Daniel, who wrote so extensively about judgment, means God is my judge.

When you receive the word of God into your life, when your life is changed, then your new name will be in harmony with the character that you have developed; and as promised to the overcomer of the church of Ephesus, you will eat again of the tree of life.

Looking at the promise to the church of Thyatira, the Lord said that the overcomer would “rule over the nations with a rod of iron.” We see this in both the Old and New Testaments. Psalm 2:7–9 says, “ ‘I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son. Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron: You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”

Speaking of what would happen at the end of the world, Isaiah 11:4 says, “But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.”

In Revelation 19:13–16, John writes in symbolic language about the Second Coming of Christ, “He [Jesus] was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: king of kings and lord of lords.”

There is coming a time when everything in this world is going to be completely reversed. Today, there are people who believe in Christ—the overcomers—all over the world being persecuted, oppressed, and in great difficulty. However, when all things are overturned, they will be delivered, because their names are found written in His book, whereas those who may seem now to have all the power and money and fame, but who are not overcomers, will, when Christ comes, be destroyed.

Those imprisoned, persecuted and in all manner of trouble, but who love the Lord and obey His law, because of the promise given to the people in the church at Thyatira, will fulfill what Jesus said, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

One other thing was promised to the overcomer of the church of Thyatira: “And I will give him the morning star.” Revelation 2:28

This is one of the most wonderful promises in the Bible. Friends, who and what is the Morning Star? Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:19, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts.”

“ ‘I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.’ ” Revelation 22:16.

Jesus is the Morning Star. If you are an overcomer, you will have the Morning Star in your heart, the character of Christ will become your character.

What are we to overcome, and how do we do it? The Bible makes this very clear. First, John says in 1 John 5:4, that he that “is born of God overcomes the world.” Then he says, speaking of the world, “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. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15–17

The lust of the flesh (desire for unlawful sexual pleasure), the lust of the eyes (desire for possessions), the pride of life, and the desire for the praise and approbation of men, all are pleasing to the worldly man. However, these are the very things that must be overcome and eliminated from the life of the born-again child of God.

To be an overcomer, one must overcome the world, for everyone who is born of God overcomes the world. But how? “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7, 8

Paul expressed the same principle in Ephesians 4:27–29: “Nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

Both Paul and James say to resist the devil and make no room in our lives for him. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:11, 12, just how to do that. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

And Peter is just as direct, “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

We do not have to chase after the things of the world nor yield to the temptations put before us. The Holy Spirit can and will give us the power to overcome all of them. Paul dwells upon this repeatedly in his epistles. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Romans 8:1–9, first part

Friends, we must seek the new birth experience, to fill ourselves with the Holy Spirit, so that the devil can find no place in us for him to dwell anymore. The Holy Spirit is waiting to create in us a new heart and a new spirit so that we may overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil and that we may have eternal life.

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

Health – Trust in Divine Power

Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness [temperance], rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies.” My Life Today, 135

Over the last few issues, we have looked at the seven physical laws of health. To complete our study of all eight laws, let’s look at how these physical blessings are brought together by the spiritual principle of trusting in God.

By following these laws, we keep our bodies healthy and strong, our minds clear and open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

“God is working, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, to keep us alive, to build up and restore us. When any part of the body sustains injury, a healing process is at once begun; nature’s agencies are set at work to restore soundness. But the power working through these agencies is the power of God. All life-giving power is from Him. When one recovers from disease, it is God who restores him. …” Ibid.

“It is impossible for us in our own strength to maintain the conflict; and whatever diverts the mind from God, whatever leads to self-exaltation or to self-dependence, is surely preparing the way for our overthrow. The tenor of the Bible is to inculcate [instill] distrust of human power and to encourage trust in divine power. …

“As soon as Satan can separate the soul from God, the only Source of strength, he will seek to arouse the unholy desires of man’s carnal nature. The work of the enemy is not abrupt; it is not, at the outset, sudden and startling; it is a secret undermining of the strongholds of principle.” Conflict and Courage, 177

Satan is determined to separate us from God and he uses many things to achieve that separation. The busyness of our lives may keep us from getting a sufficient amount of exercise, or eating at a time that is best for the body. He places before us many foods, drinks, and activities that our sinful natures crave and when not denied, destroy the vitality of the body and benumb the mind. We consume all kinds of drink, many containing caffeine, sugar, and other harmful substances, rather than the water the body so desperately needs. Working many hours a day in an indoor setting can keep us from the pure air and sunshine that the body needs to thrive. The stresses and worries of life can prevent us from getting the kind and amount of sleep necessary for the body to rejuvenate each night, so that we are not sluggish both physically and mentally every day.

Following God’s eight laws of health so that our bodies will be strong and our minds clear and receptive is a choice. Just as we set aside time to spend with Jesus in Bible study and prayer each day, we must also set aside time and effort to live in the healthful way He has designed for the bodies He created.

Our trust must be wholly and completely in Jesus. He who does not fail is faithful to keep us according to His will. However, without a full surrender of heart and mind to Him, and complete trust in Him, we cannot hope to succeed in our struggle against Satan and self. And as a consequence, our lives will be filled with weakness and ill-health, both spiritually and physically.

Through prayer and study of His word, we must be in constant communion with God.

“For the health and vitality of the soul, the divine Physician has prescribed communion with Himself. We are to sit at His feet and learn of Him how to be meek and lowly in heart. Spiritual health is dependent on the food given to the mind and on the air which is breathed.

“The soul needs food, and in order to get this food, the word of God must be studied. … The breathing of pure air is essential for the cure of disease. And it is no less essential that the atmosphere we breathe in the spiritual life shall be pure. This is essential for a healthy growth in grace. Breathe the pure atmosphere which produces pure thoughts and noble words.” The Upward Look, 174

Without sufficient pure air, sunlight, rest and exercise, water for both the body and the soul, if we do not partake of a clean and adequate diet, avoiding harmful foods and substances such as drugs and alcohol, our minds and judgment cannot be clear to receive the Holy Spirit. We know that we can have complete trust in God because He created us, He made salvation available to all who would accept it, and He is willing and waiting to do for us what is necessary, what we cannot do for ourselves, so that we can be with Him for eternity. This is where we trust. We can clearly see in His holy book all that He has done and are amazed at His faithfulness in the face of our own untrustworthiness.

“Christ says, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing.’ Those who surrender body, mind, and spirit into the hands of God, to be controlled by Him, will see of His salvation.

“Christ says, ‘Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.’ Precious is the experience of finding rest. He who does not, day by day, learn lessons from Christ, cannot appreciate the suggestions of the Holy Spirit. But he who learns daily of Jesus, making use of every means of grace, grows in the knowledge of God. Under the influence of the Spirit, his heart is filled with the peace and comfort of hope. His faith and trust are strengthened. His development in Christlikeness is apparent to all with whom he comes in contact.” The Signs of the Times, March 26, 1902

God is steadfast, unwavering in His love and care for us. Shouldn’t we be as steadfast and unwavering in our surrender and commitment to Him?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5, 6

Question – There are things that I have to get out of my life, but how?


I know I’m not right with God. There are things that I have to get out of my life, but how?


Paul understood this situation completely.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. … O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:18, 19, 24

So what is the answer to his question? Who can deliver him, you, me?

“Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; in You I take shelter. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.” Psalm 143:9, 10

“Keep my soul, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You.” Psalm 25:20, 21

“God will accept nothing less than unreserved surrender. Half-hearted, sinful Christians can never enter heaven. There they would find no happiness, for they know nothing of the high, holy principles that govern the members of the royal family. The true Christian keeps the windows of the soul open heavenward. He lives in fellowship with Christ. His will is conformed to the will of Christ. His highest desire is to become more and more Christlike.” The Review and Herald, May 16, 1907

“We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people ‘to will and to do of His good pleasure.’ Philippians 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given.” The Desire of Ages, 672