Bible Study Guides – God Is Calling You!

March 20, 2016 – March 26, 2016

Key Text

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.” Matthew 22:14; Revelation 22:17.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 824–828.


“The Lord has sent His people to different parts of the globe … that they may win souls from darkness to light. Their first work is to bear the message, Christ the crucified One is our Saviour.” The Review and Herald, August 15, 1899.


  • Does the commission that Christ gave to His disciples include all the believers—or just some who have received special offices in the church? Matthew 28:19, 20.

Note: “The Saviour’s commission to the disciples included all the believers. It includes all believers in Christ to the end of time. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained minister. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the gospel. All who receive the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men.” The Desire of Ages, 822.

  • Must the light of the world shine only upon a certain number of people or must it shine upon all human beings without distinction? John 1:9; 8:12; Matthew 24:14.

Note: “Christ tears away the wall of partition, the dividing prejudice of nationality, and teaches a love for all the human family. He lifts men from the narrow circle which their selfishness prescribes; He abolishes all territorial lines and artificial distinctions of society. He makes no difference between neighbors and strangers, friends and enemies.” The Desire of Ages, 823.


  • Why doesn’t God demand the same kind of service from all His servants? I Corinthians 12:4–7.

Note: “God asks us to give His service the first place in our lives, to allow no day to pass without doing something to advance His work in the earth. He does not expect from all the same kind of service. One may be called to ministry in a foreign land; another may be asked to give of his means for the support of gospel work. God accepts the offering of each. It is the consecration of the life and all its interests, that is necessary. Those who make this consecration will hear and obey the call of Heaven.” Prophets and Kings, 221.

  • When we are convinced that God is calling us to serve, what should we answer? Isaiah 6:8.

Note: “To everyone who becomes a partaker of His grace, the Lord appoints a work for others. Individually we are to stand in our lot, saying, ‘Here am I; send me.’ Whether a man be a minister of the Word or a physician, whether he be merchant or farmer, professional man or mechanic, the responsibility rests upon him. It is his work to reveal to others the gospel of their salvation. Every enterprise in which he engages should be a means to this end.” Prophets and Kings, 222.

  • What did Jesus say about some who hesitated when the call came to them? Matthew 19:23; Luke 9:59–62; 14:33. What should those who lack self-discipline in their preparation for evangelistic work understand?

Note: “There must be men who will begin a work in the right way, and hold to it and push it forward firmly. Everything must be done according to a well-matured plan, and with system. God has entrusted His sacred work to men, and He asks that they shall do it carefully. Regularity in all things is essential. Never be late to an appointment. In no department or office should time be lost in unnecessary conversations. The work of God requires things which it does not receive, because men do not learn from the God of wisdom.” Evangelism, 649.


  • What question does God put to hesitant or discouraged Christians? I Kings 19:9.

Note: “Much depends on the unceasing activity of those who are true and loyal, and for this reason Satan puts forth every possible effort to thwart the divine purpose to be wrought out through the obedient. He causes some to lose sight of their high and holy mission, and to become satisfied with the pleasures of this life. He leads them to settle down at ease, or, for the sake of greater worldly advantages, to remove from places where they might be a power for good. Others he causes to flee in discouragement from duty, because of opposition or persecution. But all such are regarded by Heaven with tenderest pity. To every child of God whose voice the enemy of souls had succeeded in silencing, the question is addressed, ‘What doest thou here?’ I commissioned you to go into all the world and preach the gospel, to prepare a people for the day of God. Why are you here? Who sent you?” Prophets and Kings, 171, 172.

  • When we realize what salvation means to us, how will we be able to view the vast needs of those around us? 2 Corinthians 5:14, 19, 20.

Note: “Those who realize, even in a limited degree, what redemption means to them and to their fellow men, will comprehend in some measure the vast needs of humanity. Their hearts will be moved to compassion as they see the moral and spiritual destitution of thousands who are under the shadow of a terrible doom, in comparison with which physical suffering fades into nothingness.

“Of families, as of individuals, the question is asked, ‘What doest thou here?’ In many churches there are families well instructed in the truths of God’s word, who might widen the sphere of their influence by moving to places in need of the ministry they are capable of giving. God calls for Christian families to go into the dark places of the earth and work wisely and perseveringly for those who are enshrouded in spiritual gloom. To answer this call requires self-sacrifice. While many are waiting to have every obstacle removed, souls are dying, without hope and without God.” Prophets and Kings, 172, 173.


  • Besides discouragement, what other danger lies at our door? Revelation 3:15.

Note: “The message to the Laodicean church reveals our condition as a people.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 961.

“The fervor of the love of God is wanting in their hearts, but it is this very fervor of love that makes God’s people the light of the world.” Ibid.

“Halfhearted Christians are worse than infidels; for their deceptive words and noncommittal position lead many astray. The infidel shows his colors. The lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worldling nor a good Christian. Satan uses him to do a work that no one else can do.” Ibid., 963.

  • How can we as individual believers find the way out of the Laodicean indifference? Acts 3:19, 20; Revelation 3:18, 19.

Note: “When the work of repentance is earnest and deep, the individual members of the church will buy the rich goods of heaven. [Revelation 3:18 quoted.]” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, 961.

“The true Witness presents encouragements to all who are seeking to walk in the path of humble obedience, through faith in His name. He declares, ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne’ (Revelation 3:21) …

“He Who is the divine Head of the church, the mightiest of conquerors, would point His followers to His life … that they might be encouraged to press on toward the mark for the prize and reward of the overcomer. Victory is assured through faith and obedience.” Ibid., 966.

  • What sentence will be pronounced on those who decide to remain indifferent? Revelation 3:16, 17; Matthew 24:48–51.


  • What will Christ say to the overcomers who have taken an active part in the work of saving souls? Matthew 25:34.
  • What reward is promised to the redeemed saints? John 14:1–3; I John 3:2.

Note: “Glorious will be the reward bestowed when the faithful workers gather about the throne of God and of the Lamb. When John in his mortal state beheld the glory of God, he fell as one dead; he was not able to endure the sight. But when the children of God shall have put on immortality, they will ‘see Him as He is’ (I John 3:2). They will stand before the throne, accepted in the Beloved. All their sins have been blotted out, all their transgressions borne away. Now they can look upon the undimmed glory of the throne of God.” God’s Amazing Grace, 355.

  • What surprises will the saints have in heaven? I Corinthians 2:9.

Note: “A Christian once said that when he reached heaven he expected to meet with three causes of wonder. He would wonder to find some that he did not expect to see there. He would wonder not to see some that he expected to meet, and, lastly, he would wonder most to find so unworthy a sinner as himself in the Paradise of God.” The Faith I Live By, 370.


1 Explain the far-reaching extent of the Great Commission.

2 When we truly realize what salvation means to us, how will we be able to view the vast needs of those around us?

3 What question does God put to hesitant or discouraged Christians?

4 How can we be overcomers in the period of Laodicea?

5 What factors compose the eternal joy awaiting successful soul winners?

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

Bible Study Guides – Go and Teach All Nations

March 13, 2016 – March 19, 2016

Key Text

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 818–823.


“Upon all the inhabitants of the earth, high and low, rich and poor, was the light of heaven to shine in clear, strong rays. The disciples were to be co-laborers with their Redeemer in the work of saving the world.” The Review and Herald, October 9, 1913.


  • During the Last Supper, what instruction did Jesus give the disciples about a future meeting with all the believers? Matthew 26:32; 28:16.
  • How many were present in that meeting? I Corinthians 15:6.

Note: “At the time appointed, about five hundred believers were collected in little knots on the mountainside, eager to learn all that could be learned from those who had seen Christ since His resurrection. From group to group the disciples passed, telling all they had seen and heard of Jesus, and reasoning from the Scriptures as He had done with them. Thomas recounted the story of his unbelief, and told how his doubts had been swept away. Suddenly Jesus stood among them. No one could tell whence or how He came. Many who were present had never before seen Him; but in His hands and feet they beheld the marks of the crucifixion; His countenance was as the face of God, and when they saw Him, they worshiped Him.” The Desire of Ages, 818, 819.


  • As the disciples were called to be co-laborers with Christ in the work of saving souls, what commission did He give them? Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16.
  • How was this commission opposed to the exclusivism of the Pharisees? Acts 13:46; 22:21, 22; Galatians 3:28.

Note: “The Jewish people had been made the depositaries of sacred truth; but Pharisaism had made them the most exclusive, the most bigoted, of all the human race. Everything about the priests and rulers—their dress, customs, ceremonies, traditions—made them unfit to be the light of the world. They looked upon themselves, the Jewish nation, as the world. But Christ commissioned His disciples to proclaim a faith and worship that would have in it nothing of caste or country, a faith that would be adapted to all peoples, all nations, all classes of men.” The Desire of Ages, 819, 820.

  • Why did the disciples have to begin the work at Jerusalem? Acts 1:8.

Note: “There were in Jerusalem many who had secretly believed on Jesus, and many who had been deceived by the priests and rulers. To these also the gospel was to be presented. They were to be called to repentance. The wonderful truth that through Christ alone could remission of sins be obtained was to be made plain. While all Jerusalem was stirred by the thrilling events of the past few weeks, the preaching of the gospel would make the deepest impression.

“But the work was not to stop here. It was to be extended to the earth’s remotest bounds. … All who will, may be reconciled to God, and receive everlasting life. To you, My disciples, I commit this message of mercy. It is to be given to Israel first, and then to all nations, tongues, and peoples. It is to be given to Jews and Gentiles. All who believe are to be gathered into one church.” The Desire of Ages, 820, 821.


  • How would the disciples be enabled to preach among other nations without taking time to learn their languages? I Corinthians 12:7, 10.

Note: “The disciples were to have the same power which Jesus had to heal ‘all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.’ By healing in His name the diseases of the body, they would testify to His power for the healing of the soul (Matthew 4:23; 9:6). And a new endowment was now promised. The disciples were to preach among other nations, and they would receive power to speak other tongues. The apostles and their associates were unlettered men, yet through the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, their speech, whether in their own or a foreign language, became pure, simple, and accurate, both in word and in accent.

“Thus Christ gave His disciples their commission. He made full provision for the prosecution of the work, and took upon Himself the responsibility for its success. So long as they obeyed His word, and worked in connection with Him, they could not fail. Go to all nations, He bade them. Go to the farthest part of the habitable globe, but know that My presence will be there. Labor in faith and confidence, for the time will never come when I will forsake you.” The Desire of Ages, 821, 822.

  • What miracles would be wrought by the representatives of the gospel through the gift of the Holy Spirit? Mark 16:17, 18; I Corinthians 12:11.

Note: “The gospel still possesses the same power, and why should we not today witness the same results?

“Christ feels the woes of every sufferer. When evil spirits rend a human frame, Christ feels the curse. When fever is burning up the life current, He feels the agony. And He is just as willing to heal the sick now as when He was personally on earth. Christ’s servants are His representatives, the channels for His working. He desires through them to exercise His healing power.” The Desire of Ages, 823, 824.


  • What obligation, and what prohibition, was put on the leaders of Israel since their government had been established in the name and by the authority of God? Deuteronomy 4:1, 2.

Note: “The government of Israel was administered in the name and by the authority of God. The work of Moses, of the seventy elders, of the rulers and judges, was simply to enforce the laws that God had given; they had no authority to legislate for the nation. This was, and continued to be, the condition of Israel’s existence as a nation. From age to age men inspired by God were sent to instruct the people and to direct in the enforcement of the laws.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 603.

  • How are we to understand our obligation to teach the people to “observe all things” as Christ commanded? Matthew 28:20.

Note: “In the commission to His disciples, Christ not only outlined their work, but gave them their message. Teach the people, He said, ‘to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:20). The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shut out. There is no place for tradition, for man’s theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority are included in the commission. None of these are Christ’s servants to teach.” The Desire of Ages, 826.

  • What is the duty of the church toward those who fall into sin? 2 Timothy 4:2.

Note: “Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. ‘They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God’ (Galatians 5:21). If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God’s word is pronounced upon them in heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 806.


  • What question should every prospective worker for Christ answer? John 21:15–17.
  • How only can we be instruments in the work of Christ? I John 4:7–12.

Note: “The power of love was in all Christ’s healing, and only by partaking of that love, through faith, can we be instruments for His work. If we neglect to link ourselves in divine connection with Christ, the current of life-giving energy cannot flow in rich streams from us to the people. …

“It is in doing Christ’s work that the church has the promise of His presence. Go teach all nations, He said; ‘and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world’ (Matthew 28:20). To take His yoke is one of the first conditions of receiving His power. The very life of the church depends upon her faithfulness in fulfilling the Lord’s commission. To neglect this work is surely to invite spiritual feebleness and decay. Where there is no active labor for others, love wanes, and faith grows dim.

“Christ intends that His ministers shall be educators of the church in gospel work. They are to teach the people how to seek and save the lost. But is this the work they are doing?” The Desire of Ages, 825.


1 What is Christ’s commission to each of His followers?

2 How are we warned against Pharisaical-style exclusiveness?

3 What specific gift enabled the disciples to take the message of salvation to other nations—and what must we understand about this?

4 Why does the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:20 exclude human teachings?

5 What is the first quality that should characterize every soul winner?


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

Bible Study Guides – Gospel Order

March 6, 2016 – March 12, 2016

Key Text

“Let all things be done decently and in order.” I Corinthians 14:40.

Study Help: Early Writings, 97–104.


“There is order in heaven, and it is to be imitated by those upon earth who are heirs of salvation.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 697, 698.


  • What does God say about the difference between our ways and His ways? Isaiah 55:8, 9.
  • In all our plans to conduct the work of God, what should we take into serious consideration? Ephesians 6:6.

Note: “As a people we should study God’s plans for conducting His work. Wherever He has given directions in regard to any point, we should carefully consider how to regard His expressed will.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 342.

  • Describe Paul’s attitude and that of the other apostles regarding gospel order. I Corinthians 4:1, 2.

Note: “Paul stood firm for the right. He realized that the church must never be brought under the control of human power. The traditions and maxims of men must not take the place of revealed truth. …

“While looking to God for direct guidance, he was ever ready to recognize the authority vested in the body of believers united in church fellowship. He felt the need of counsel, and when matters of importance arose, he was glad to lay these before the church and to unite with his brethren in seeking God for wisdom to make right decisions.” The Acts of the Apostles, 199, 200.


  • What counsel did Jethro give to his son-in-law, Moses, and why? Exodus 18:14–22.

Note: “God is a God of order. Everything connected with heaven is in perfect order; subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. Success can only attend order and harmonious action. God requires order and system in His work now no less than in the days of Israel. All who are working for Him are to labor intelligently, not in a careless, haphazard manner. He would have his work done with faith and exactness, that He may place the seal of His approval upon it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 376.

  • Specify the four main qualities to be sought in the men chosen to carry responsibilities in the camp of Israel. Exodus 18:21.

Note: “[Exodus 18:19–23 quoted.]

“This counsel is for us. …

“In His instruction to Moses the Lord very plainly set forth the character of those who were to fill important positions as counselors. They are to be ‘able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness’ (Exodus 18:21, first part). The Lord’s counsel has been strangely neglected.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 341.

  • Why was Balaam constrained to pronounce blessings upon Israel, while his mind was filled with curses? Numbers 23:8, 9. On what basis would Israel be blessed? Deuteronomy 4:1, 6–9.

Note: “As Balaam looked upon the encampment of Israel he beheld with astonishment the evidence of their prosperity. They had been represented to him as a rude, disorganized multitude, infesting the country in roving bands that were a pest and terror to the surrounding nations; but their appearance was the reverse of all this. He saw the vast extent and perfect arrangement of their camp, everything bearing the marks of thorough discipline and order. He was shown the favor with which God regarded Israel, and their distinctive character as His chosen people. They were not to stand upon a level with other nations, but to be exalted above them all.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 447.


  • For what purpose does God give gifts and grace to every one of His servants? Ephesians 4:7, 8, 11, 12.

Note: “In our several callings there is to be a mutual dependence on one another for assistance.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 491.

  • In order for the Lord’s work to succeed in our midst, what must characterize our spirit? I Corinthians 12:21, 25; Ephesians 4:16. To what error should they close the door?

Note: “Let us each wait on the Lord, and He will teach us how to labor. He will reveal to us the work that we are best adapted to perform. This will not lead men to start out in an independent spirit, to promulgate new theories. In this time when Satan is seeking to make void the law of God through the exaltation of false science, we need to guard most carefully against everything that would tend to lessen our faith and scatter our forces. As laborers together with God, we should be in harmony with the truth and with our brethren. There should be counsel and cooperation.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 490.

“The spirit of pulling away from our fellow laborers, the spirit of disorganization, is in the very air we breathe. By some, all efforts to establish order are regarded as dangerous—as a restriction of personal liberty, and hence to be feared as popery.” Ibid., 488.

  • How should the followers of Christ respect one another? I Peter 5:5, 6.

Note: “Among God’s people are some who have had long experience in His work, men who have not departed from the faith. Notwithstanding the great trials through which they have passed, they have remained faithful. These men should be regarded as tried and chosen counselors. They should be respected, and their judgment should be honored by those who are younger or who have had less experience, even though these younger men may be in official positions.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 497.


  • What standard are we to adopt in ordaining church officers? Titus 1:5–9.

Note: “Solemn are the responsibilities resting upon those who are called to act as leaders in the church of God on earth.” The Acts of the Apostles, 92.

“In the work of setting things in order in all the churches, and ordaining suitable men to act as officers, the apostles held to the high standards of leadership outlined in the Old Testament Scriptures.” Ibid., 95.

“The church should feel their responsibility and should look carefully and attentively at the lives, qualifications, and general course of those who profess to be teachers. If unmistakable evidence is not given that God has called them, and that the ‘woe’ is upon them if they heed not this call, it is the duty of the church to act and let it be known that these persons are not acknowledged as teachers by the church.” Early Writings, 100.

“Those who profess to be the ministers of Jesus should be men of experience and deep piety, and then at all times and in all places they can shed a holy influence.” Ibid., 103.

“Suffering, want, despondency, misery, unbelief, the ministers of God will meet every day. Their work is not a work of self-pleasing. Many, many souls are unsaved. Fasten yourselves by faith to the Lord, and tell sinners that the Saviour is calling for them.” The Review and Herald, July 26, 1898.

  • What did the apostle Peter say to the elders of the church regarding their responsibilities as undershepherds of Christ’s flock? I Peter 5:1–5.

Note: “Those who occupy the position of undershepherds are to exercise a watchful diligence over the Lord’s flock. This is not to be a dictatorial vigilance, but one that tends to encourage and strengthen and uplift. Ministry means more than sermonizing; it means earnest, personal labor.” The Acts of the Apostles, 526.

“In connection with his instruction to those in positions of trust in the church, the apostle outlined some general principles that were to be followed by all who were associated in church fellowship. The younger members of the flock were urged to follow the example of their elders in the practice of Christlike humility.” Ibid., 527, 528.


  • What work is God doing in behalf of His children in these last days? What stratagem is Satan using to hinder the Lord’s work? Romans 16:17, 18; Acts 20:27–30.

Note: “Now in these last days, while God is bringing His children into the unity of the faith, there is more real need of order than ever before; for, as God unites His children, Satan and his evil angels are very busy to prevent this unity and to destroy it. Therefore men are hurried into the field who lack wisdom and judgment, perhaps not ruling well their own house, and not having order or government over the few that God has given them charge of at home; yet they feel capable of having charge of the flock.” …

“Men whose lives are not holy and who are unqualified to teach the present truth enter the field without being acknowledged by the church or the brethren generally, and confusion and disunion are the result.” Early Writings, 97.

  • Which is easier—to go into places that have been spoiled by self-sent messengers or to enter new fields?

Note: “It is much more wearing to the spirits of God’s messengers to go into places where those have been who have exerted [a] wrong influence than to enter new fields.” Early Writings, 99.


1 What qualities should be evident in those who are selected for God’s work?

2 Why does God give gifts and grace to every one of His servants?

3 What attitude must we all manifest towards one another to ensure the success of the Lord’s work in our midst?

4 What standard did the apostles adopt in ordaining officers for the church?

5 What is the warning of Paul in Acts 20:27–30?

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

Bible Study Guides – Seeking the Saviour

February 28, 2016 – March 5, 2016

Key Text

“This day is salvation come to this house.” Luke 19:9.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 552–556.


“In this chief of the publicans [Zacchaeus] was awakened a longing for a better life.” Conflict and Courage, 301.


  • What did Zacchaeus do as he wanted to see Jesus? Luke 19:3, 4. What conviction got hold of him?

Note: “The wealthy customs officer was not altogether the hardened man of the world that he seemed. Beneath the appearance of worldliness and pride was a heart susceptible to divine influences. Zacchaeus had heard of Jesus. The report of One Who had borne Himself with kindness and courtesy toward the proscribed classes had spread far and wide. In this chief of the publicans was awakened a longing for a better life. Only a few miles from Jericho, John the Baptist had preached at the Jordan, and Zacchaeus had heard of the call to repentance. The instruction to the publicans, ‘Exact no more than that which is appointed you’ (Luke 3:13), though outwardly disregarded, had impressed his mind. He knew the Scriptures, and was convicted that his practice was wrong. Now, hearing the words reported to have come from the Great Teacher, he felt that he was a sinner in the sight of God. Yet what he had heard of Jesus kindled hope in his heart.” The Desire of Ages, 553.

  • What fact should we always bear in mind with all evangelistic endeavors? Luke 18:27.

Note: “Repentance, reformation of life, was possible, even to him [Zacchaeus].” The Desire of Ages, 553.


  • When Jesus arrived at the place where Zacchaeus was waiting in the sycomore tree, with what words did He call him? Luke 19:5.

Note: “Above the clamor of priests and rabbis and the shouts of welcome from the multitude, that unuttered desire of the chief publican spoke to the heart of Jesus. Suddenly, just beneath the fig tree, a group halts, the company before and behind come to a standstill, and One looks upward Whose glance seems to read the soul. Almost doubting his senses, the man in the tree hears the words, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house’ (Luke 19:5).” The Desire of Ages, 553, 554.

  • When Zacchaeus met Jesus and started leading the way toward his home, what did the rabbis scornfully say? Luke 19:6, 7.

Note: “The multitude give way, and Zacchaeus, walking as in a dream, leads the way toward his own home. But the rabbis look on with scowling faces, and murmur in discontent and scorn, ‘that He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner’ (Luke 19:7).

“Zacchaeus had been overwhelmed, amazed, and silenced at the love and condescension of Christ in stooping to him, so unworthy. Now love and loyalty to his new-found Master unseal his lips. He will make public his confession and his repentance.” The Desire of Ages, 554.

  • What confederacy existed among the publicans?

Note: “Among the publicans there was a confederacy, so that they could oppress the people, and sustain one another in their fraudulent practices. In their extortion they were but carrying out what had become an almost universal custom. Even the priests and rabbis who despised them were guilty of enriching themselves by dishonest practices under cover of their sacred calling. But no sooner did Zacchaeus yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit than he cast aside every practice contrary to integrity.” The Desire of Ages, 555.


  • Aware that many of his detractors were questioning his integrity, what did Zacchaeus say? Luke 19:8. With what Old Testament principle was this in harmony—and what should we learn from it? Exodus 22:1.

Note: “Those who have not humbled their souls before God in acknowledging their guilt, have not yet fulfilled the first condition of acceptance. If we have not experienced that repentance which is not to be repented of, and have not with true humiliation of soul and brokenness of spirit confessed our sins, abhorring our iniquity, we have never truly sought for the forgiveness of sin; and if we have never sought, we have never found the peace of God. The only reason why we do not have remission of sins that are past is that we are not willing to humble our hearts and comply with the conditions of the word of truth. Explicit instruction is given concerning this matter. Confession of sin, whether public or private, should be heartfelt and freely expressed. It is not to be urged from the sinner. It is not to be made in a flippant and careless way, or forced from those who have no realizing sense of the abhorrent character of sin.” Steps to Christ, 37, 38.

“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 Christian in his business life is to represent to the world the manner in which our Lord would conduct business enterprises. In every transaction he is to make it manifest that God is his teacher. ‘Holiness unto the Lord’ is to be written upon daybooks and ledgers, on deeds, receipts, and bills of exchange.” The Desire of Ages, 555, 556.

  • What does the psalmist say about those who pour out their innermost soul in a genuine confession? Psalm 34:18.
  • What did Christ say after hearing Zacchaeus’ confession? Luke 19:9.


  • How did Christ use Zacchaeus as an example of His mission to the world? Luke 19:9, 10.

Note: “Christ went to his [Zacchaeus’] home to give him lessons of truth, and to instruct his household in the things of the kingdom. They had been shut out from the synagogues by the contempt of rabbis and worshipers; but now, the most favored household in all Jericho, they gathered in their own home about the divine Teacher, and heard for themselves the words of life.” The Desire of Ages, 556.

  • Relate the parable that Christ added to complete the lesson He used to illustrate the good news of salvation. Luke 19:12–26.
  • What is required of us in seeking to save that which was lost? 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15, 20.

Note: “We are to exert a saving influence over those who are without God and without hope in the world. The pathway to the city of refuge is to be kept free from the rubbish of selfishness of sin. Those who profess to be following the Lamb of God are to take every stumbling-block out of the way. But too often those who claim to believe the truth lay stumbling-blocks in the way of others. They say that they know Christ, but in works they deny Him. By their trifling conduct they hurt those they might have helped.” The Signs of the Times, November 29, 1899.

“We are living in a time when the last message of mercy, the last invitation, is sounding to the children of men. The command, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges,’ is reaching its final fulfillment. To every soul Christ’s invitation will be given. The messengers are saying, ‘Come; for all things are now ready’ (Luke 14:23, 17). Heavenly angels are still working in co-operation with human agencies. The Holy Spirit is presenting every inducement to constrain you to come. Christ is watching for some sign that will betoken the removing of the bolts and the opening of the door of your heart for His entrance. Angels are waiting to bear the tidings to heaven that another lost sinner has been found.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 237.


  • If we, as coworkers with God, will but do our God-given part, what words of the Saviour will come to many homes? Luke 19:5.

Note: “If the servants of God will walk with Him in faith, He will give power to their message. They will be enabled so to present His love and the danger of rejecting the grace of God that men will be constrained to accept the gospel. Christ will perform wonderful miracles if men will but do their God-given part. In human hearts today as great a transformation may be wrought as has ever been wrought in generations past. John Bunyan was redeemed from profanity and reveling, John Newton from slave dealing, to proclaim an uplifted Saviour. A Bunyan and a Newton may be redeemed from among men today. Through human agents who co-operate with the divine, many a poor outcast will be reclaimed, and in his turn will seek to restore the image of God in man. There are those who have had very meager opportunities, who have walked in ways of error because they knew no better way, to whom beams of light will come. As the word of Christ came to Zacchaeus, ‘Today I must abide at thy house’ (Luke 19:5), so the word will come to them; and those who were supposed to be hardened sinners will be found to have hearts as tender as a child’s because Christ has deigned to notice them. Many will come from the grossest error and sin, and will take the place of others who have had opportunities and privileges but have not prized them. They will be accounted the chosen of God, elect, precious; and when Christ shall come into His kingdom, they will stand next His throne.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 236.


1 How can Christ’s attitude toward Zacchaeus bring us hope?

2 What did Zacchaeus say before anyone had time to accuse him?

3 Why was Christ able to proclaim an open victory in Zacchaeus’ home?

4 How are many to rejoice today just as did the household of Zacchaeus?

5 What cooperation is required of us in the work of seeking to save that which was lost?

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

Recipe – Braised Celery

Braised Celery
8 stalks of celery, scrubbed and ends trimmed (chop and reserve leaves) Pinch of salt or seasoning salt
1 Tbsp. oil ½ cup of vegetable stock
Cut celery into 1-inch slices on the diagonal. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, along with salt and cook until it starts to become tender. Add broth, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes longer, allowing the broth to caramelize a little. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately, garnished with reserved chopped leaves. You may also add chopped tofu.


Food – Celery – Stalks of Protection

This member of the parsley family contains compounds that may help lower blood pressure and perhaps help prevent cancer. Celery is also a good source of insoluble fiber as well as a number of essential nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, and calcium.

Chomp Down on Blood Pressure

Celery has been used for centuries in Asia as a folk remedy for high blood pressure. In the United States, it took one man with high blood pressure and persistence to persuade researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center to put this remedy to the scientific test.

The story began when a man named Mr. Le was diagnosed with mild high blood pressure. Rather than cutting back on salt as his doctor advised, he began eating a quarter-pound (about four stalks) of celery per day. Within a week his blood pressure had dropped from 158/96 to 118/82.

William J. Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., who was then assistant professor of medicine and pharmacological and physiological science at the University of Chicago, decided to put celery to the test. Researchers injected test animals with a small amount of 3-n-butyl phthalide, a chemical compound that is found in celery. Within a week, the animals’ blood pressures dropped an average of 12 to 14 percent.

“Phthalide was found to relax the muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure, allowing the vessels to dilate,” says Dr. Elliott. In addition, the chemical reduced the amount of “stress hormones,” called catecholamines, in the blood. This may be helpful because stress hormones typically raise blood pressure by causing the blood vessels to constrict.

If you have high blood pressure and would like to give celery a try, try this strategy recommended by Asian folk practitioners. Eat four to five stalks every day for a week, then stop for three weeks. Then start over and eat celery for another week.

But don’t overdo it and start eating celery by the pound, Dr. Elliott warns. Celery does contain sodium—one stalk contains 35 milligrams—and for some people this can cause blood pressure to go up rather than down. “Eating a ton of celery can be dangerous if you have salt-sensitive hypertension,” he warns.

Blocking Cancer Cells

Who’d have thought that crunching celery might help prevent cancer? Celery contains a number of compounds that researchers believe may help prevent cancer cells from spreading.

For starters, celery contains compounds called acetylenics. “Acetylenics have been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells,” says Robert Rosen, Ph.D., associate director of the Center for Advanced Food Technology at Cook College, Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

In addition, celery contains compounds called phenolic acids, which block the action of hormonelike substances called prostaglandins. Some prostaglandins are thought to encourage the growth of tumor cells, says Dr. Rosen.

The Doctors Book of Food Remedies, by Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention Health Books, Rodale, pages 129–131.

Braised Celery
8 stalks of celery, scrubbed and ends trimmed (chop and reserve leaves) Pinch of salt or seasoning salt
1 Tbsp. oil ½ cup of vegetable stock
Cut celery into 1-inch slices on the diagonal. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, along with salt and cook until it starts to become tender. Add broth, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes longer, allowing the broth to caramelize a little. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately, garnished with reserved chopped leaves. You may also add chopped tofu.


Children’s Story – The Davis Indians

Look on the map of South America and find the place where Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil meet. Can you find here the name of Mount Roraima? Those who now visit this place stand with bowed heads before a little mound of earth which marks the spot where lies the body of the first white man who carried the gospel to the Indians living there. This man’s name was O. E. Davis. Because he laid down his life in opening the gospel door to these natives, they have ever since been called “The Davis Indians,” but their real name is the “Carib Indians.”

It was in the year 1911 that this missionary started on his long, lonely journey from Georgetown, Guyana, to Mount Roraima. His only companions were two Indians, one to act as guide, the other as interpreter. But the privilege of hunting out other Indians who had never seen a missionary and who had never heard about Jesus filled his heart with hope and joy, for he believed that God would open the way to establish a mission among them.

The journey during the first few weeks was taken up a river in a little rowboat. When the river became too small for the boat, a canoe made of a log hollowed out carried the company seven miles farther. The rest of the three months’ journey had to be traveled on foot. For eleven days they pushed their way through forest and glen, over hill and valley, under the hot tropical sun and through drenching rains, sleeping at times in some wayside hut, and again out under the stars, wherever night overtook them. It was a truly heroic journey, for danger lurked at every turn. Only faith in God and a love for souls could lead even a brave heart over such a path.

At last, they reached the country where the Indians lived. Mr. Davis called the Indians from the surrounding towns and told them of Christ. During the few months that he was among them he started three missions, the last one at Mount Roraima. The Indians and their chief listened with wonder to the story of Jesus, the Son of the only true God, Who loved them and gave His life to save them. They learned of God’s law. They learned how important it is for every child of God to obey his Creator.

With great joy the chief and one hundred thirty of his people accepted Christ and promised to obey God. To those who made this covenant with God, Elder Davis gave Christian names. He named the chief Jeremiah. Gladly these Indians provided a building in which they could come and learn more about God. It was large enough to seat two or three hundred people. Faithfully did Elder Davis teach these people who were hungry for the bread of life.

Elder Davis had been with them but a few short months when he became very ill with blackwater fever. His Indian friends did all they could to help him, but his work was done, and one day out in that lonely place with no white friend near, he breathed his last in the hut of Chief Jeremiah. Loving Indian hands dug a grave and laid the body of this noble missionary gently down to rest. For a long time his friends did not know about his death. His wife was waiting and watching for his return. It was on her birthday that the American consul brought her the sad news.

A short time after this a white man found the grave and learned the story of the sacrifice that Elder Davis had made. While he was taking a picture of the spot, the Indians gathered about the grave of their loved missionary, singing one of the songs he had taught them—“Jesus knows all about our struggles.” Did Jesus really know all about their struggles? Oh, yes, Jesus knows and cares. They had lost their dearest earthly friend, but they had learned about their heavenly Friend.

Chief Jeremiah held meetings with his people and did his best to help them. But after a while, the good chief died. Then the Indians were like orphan children. Poor Indians! They longed to hear more about Jesus, but they had no one to teach them. They were like sheep without a shepherd, and after a time they gave up their religious meetings.

When the people in Georgetown heard of the death of Elder Davis, they wanted to send someone else to teach the Indians. But year after year passed, and there was no one to send. Anxiously the Indians watched and waited. But they waited and watched in vain. Fourteen summers came and went, and still no “Davis men.”

One bright day in autumn, nearly fifteen years after Elder Davis had first visited them, they heard several signal shots fired not far away. Looking in the direction of the sound, they saw two white men with several strange Indians coming toward them. The Indians met these strangers and kindly took them to a shed where they might rest.

“Who are these white men?” they questioned among themselves. “What if they are the ‘Davis men’!”

They determined to find out. One young man went to the shed where the strangers were resting.

“I want to be a good man,” he said in broken English, but very earnestly. Then he began to sing, “There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus.”

The strangers joined in the singing. Other Indians came. In a few moments the shed was filled with them. Men and women crowded in and surrounded the shed, and all joined in singing. With earnest, hopeful faces, they sang, “Jesus knows all about our struggles.”

The song was finished. There was a short pause. Then an Indian woman began to sing, “Shall we gather at the river?” All joined, “Yes, we’ll gather at the river.” After that, another song, “Jesus is coming again!”

When the strangers joined in singing the songs that Elder Davis had taught the Indians, they exclaimed, “The ‘Davis men’ have come! The ‘Davis men’ have come!”

Their joy knew no bounds. They stroked the faces of the men. They patted their cheeks. They took their faces between their hands. They put their arms around them. They did all they could to express their love and happiness.

They had no telegraphs, no telephones, no post offices, no railway trains, no automobiles, but these Indians knew how to make known such glad tidings to their people. Three runners were quickly sent to the different Indian towns to carry the news.

“The ‘Davis men’ have come! The ‘Davis men’ have come!” they shouted as they reached the towns.

Some of these towns were distant half a day’s journey, but groups of Indians were soon on their way to welcome the “Davis men.” With earnest faces they pleaded that these men come to their town and teach their people more about Jesus.

The visitors remained with the Indians only a few weeks, but every day they were busy teaching and helping them. At last, the time came when it was necessary for them to say good-bye. The Indians could hardly let them go. Some of them went with the visitors on the way. Three times the visitors said good-bye before the Indians turned back. Even then, an hour later, they, with the other Indians, twenty-four in all, caught up with the visitors, this time with their hammocks and food just to go a “piece way.” To show their love and goodwill they went a distance of eight days’ march.

Then sadly they said their last good-bye and with sorrowful hearts returned to their mountain home to pray that God would soon send other “Davis men” to live among them. And God heard the prayers of these humble, earnest Indians who are seeking after Him.

[Emphasis author’s.]

True Education Series, Book 5, 1933, 307–311.

Sermon on the Mount Series – The Riches of Glory

Many poor people today believe that they would be happy if they were financially secure. And many who are already financially secure believe they would have fewer worries if they had more money. The Jones wish they were the Ritz’s, and the Ritz’s wish they were the Vanderbilt’s. So, Jesus’ teaching is a great paradox to what we tend to think. What did Jesus mean when He said, “Happy are the poor”?

Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord revealed the following information to the human race several hundred years before the birth of Christ. Notice what it says in Isaiah 57:15: “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

The Lord says to the one who inhabits eternity that He will dwell with the humble, the one who has a humble spirit. In Isaiah 66:2, He says, “ ‘… all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,’ says the Lord. ‘But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.’ ”

There are many texts in the Bible in which the Lord says that He pays attention to the person who is humble and who has a contrite spirit. Here is one more. This is the song of Mary, the mother of Jesus, after she was informed by the angel Gabriel that she would become the mother of the Messiah. “My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant.” Notice that she was a poor person. “… For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” Luke 1:47, 48.

In verse 53 it says, “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.” So, God has promised to be with the humble and He has promised to help those that are poor, those that are of a contrite and poor spirit. But the rich are sent away because they don’t feel any need. The person who is proud is not acknowledged by the Lord.

In Revelation the 3rd chapter, there is found a description of the Christian church in the last days. Notice the problem that was prophesied to exist in Christendom, in the church, in the last days: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked … .” Revelation 3:15–17.

The problem with these people is that they are rich in material things, but spiritually they are “poor, miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked,” Jesus says. You can read in the Old Testament from the book of Job that after he obtained a vision of his spiritual poverty, and he stopped trying to justify himself, his misery and wretchedness came to an end. The Lord delivered him from the condition that the devil had brought upon him. His captivity was turned into victory and he experienced happiness again in his life.

We see the same thing in the life of the prophet Isaiah. When he recognized his spiritual poverty, he cried out, “Woe is me because I am undone!” Isaiah 6:5 literal translation. He sensed his spiritual imperfection which now appeared to him in a new and hideous light. This changed attitude made it possible for God to cleanse him from his sin and then to use him as a spokesman to others.

Something similar happened to the proud-spirited Simon Peter when he fell at Jesus’ feet. “When Simon Peter saw it, He fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’ For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.’ So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” Luke 5:8–11. Immediately when he acknowledged his condition, Jesus commissioned him to be a fisher of men.

The apostle Paul was once a proud and haughty Pharisee, but he changed so that he acknowledged himself to be “the chief of sinners.” 1 Timothy 1:15. When stopped in his tracks on the road to Damascus and acknowledged his sinful condition, he was elevated to become the chief of the apostles. So, recognition of our real spiritual condition and need is the first step in the beatitude ladder of spiritual progress that leads to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said, “Blessed (happy) are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

The person who is proud in his heart has not taken the first step yet toward the heavenly kingdom. Recognition of sin, the crying out for pardon and cleansing from guilt are the beginning of the pathway to Zion and to happiness. There can be no blessed happy state where there is unconfessed and unforgiven sin because the Lord says in Isaiah 48:22, “ ‘There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’ ”

So, a contrite, a humble, a penitent spirit is the first qualification for citizenship in the kingdom of God and for service in the cause of righteousness. Jesus, our Saviour, was this way Himself. He says in Matthew 11:29: “I am gentle [or meek], and lowly in heart.” The apostle Paul described the unparalleled humility of Jesus as an example that no human being could ever match. Jesus was the majesty of heaven, the king of the universe. Paul said, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it to be robbery [or a thing to be grasped] to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5–8.

Jesus said, “I am lowly in heart.” Instead of saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” He could have said instead, “Unhappy are the proud in spirit.” It would have been true. Of all people, the poor in spirit are the happiest, and the proud-spirited end up being the most miserable. The proud in spirit are exceedingly sensitive to every little slight or wrong, either real or imagined, often finding that the least little thing causes pain and discomfort. The proud in spirit are touchy and easily offended. They are miserable night and day because of hurt feelings, being too selfish to be happy. The only remedy for spiritual pride is to crucify the proud, selfish flesh. Those who are dead to sin do not become offended. The apostle Paul wrote about this in Romans. “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:2, 11. Dead people are not sensitive.

The Psalmist wrote, “Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165 KJV. Offense naturally thrives where sin abounds. It was a proud and sensitive angel who committed the first sin, and the more he sinned, the more sensitive he became. We live in a world where the whole world is suffering with proud flesh. Sinful flesh is always proud. It was impossible for Jesus to avoid offending His hearers because of their sensitive proud spirit. At the close of one of his sermons, almost everybody fled from Him. (See John 6.) The Pharisees were always offended at His teachings. In fact, even the disciples were often grieved. Truth always offends those who are in error and sinners resent their shortcomings being pointed out. But a person who is poor in spirit can be corrected. If you are willing to be corrected, then you are in a position where you can be blessed.

Jesus illustrated the contrast between the poor in spirit and the proud in spirit in a story He told about two worshipers who went up to the temple to pray. Luke 18:9–14 says, “He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.” And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’ ”

The Pharisee did not pray to God; Jesus made it very clear that he prayed to himself. He gave a boasting speech to himself that was not a prayer at all but a boast of his inbred and acquired righteousness. He made no request, but simply thanked God that he was everything that he should be and grateful that he was different from others, and especially different from this poor publican.

The publican, however, recognized his spiritual poverty. He cried out, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” He alone was justified and justification leads to happiness, because the Bible says that when we are justified by faith, then we have peace with God. Often when we read this story we don’t realize that the same spirit of Phariseeism that this Pharisee had is the common spirit in Christendom today.

The first beatitude of Matthew 5:3 is more relevant to the modern Christian world because of prevailing spiritual pride and self-sufficiency, which is more prevalent today than ever before. Phariseeism is very common in the Christian world. In fact, Jesus speaks of the condition of the Christian church in the last or remnant phase of its existence, describing it as a church with a Pharisaical attitude. In Revelation 3:15–17, Jesus says, “ ‘I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth [or more literally, vomit you out of My mouth]. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’— and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked … .’ ”

The spirit of Phariseeism is the natural spirit of human nature and it is just as prevalent now as in the days when Jesus was among men. The church in its present condition is proud in spirit. Its members do not recognize their spiritual condition; in fact, they even boast of their spiritual wealth. In their own estimation, they are rich and increased in goods. They have need of nothing. They believe they are ready to go to heaven, when in reality they are wretched, miserable, poor, and blind, and naked, spiritually, and the Lord says that He is about to vomit them out of His mouth. In other words, you are about to commit the unpardonable sin.

The message that describes the spiritual pride of the last-day church also provides a complete remedy. Notice what Jesus goes on to say to the church of the last days: “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiments [or white garments], that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Revelation 3:18. Jesus here speaks about spiritual gold and spiritual clothing, and spiritual eye salve. What do these symbols represent? The spiritual gold represents the amount of faith and love a person has. Gold enables people to get whatever they want. In the spiritual world, faith enables you to get whatever you need. In the physical world gold represents wealth. In the spiritual world, if you have love, you are wealthy. The Bible says that love is the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:14).

Jesus also says, “Buy from me white garments (Revelation 3:18).” In Revelation 19:8, the white garment is the righteousness of the saints that is imparted to them by Jesus Christ.

The modern church in its own attitude and condition shows that it is in desperate need of eye salve, the ability to discern the difference between good and evil. The solution to our situation is to see and behold the character of Jesus Christ. The more we see in Him, the less we will see to esteem in ourselves. Just as soon as the modern church changes its attitude toward its own condition and needs, Jesus will abundantly supply His people with the pure gold of faith and love. He will clothe the members with the robe of His spotless righteousness, and provide the anointing with the spiritual eye salve that will restore spiritual vision to tell the difference between good and evil.

There is a poverty that makes rich. There was another church described in Revelation that was a very poor church. Everybody thought that they were poor, but notice what Jesus says about them. Revelation 2:9 says, “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”

Spiritual wealth awaits those who feel poverty-stricken in spirit. Many of the poorest people in this world are rich spiritually. In the same way, many of the richest people in this world are moral paupers and spiritually bankrupt. True riches, the riches that the Lord wants to give you, are the heritage of those only who recognize their spiritual need. The Bible says, “Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” James 2:5.

You see, whom Christ pardons, He first makes penitent. If you have a sense of your deep soul poverty, if you know that you don’t have anything good in yourself, the apostle Paul says, “I know that in me, that is in my flesh, there dwells no good thing.” If you know that you have no goodness of your own, you may find righteousness and strength by looking to Jesus. Notice what He promised to the poor in spirit in Matthew 11:28–30: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Do you recognize your spiritual poverty, and would you like to exchange it for the riches of His grace? No matter what your past experience has been, however discouraging your present circumstances might be, if you will come to Jesus just the way you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, you will find that He will take you in. He said, “He that comes to Me, I will in no case cast out.” John 6:37 literal translation. While you are a great way off, He will come to you and impart to you His righteousness that will change everything in your life.

(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.

Health – Temperance-A Remedy for Disease

“Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” I Corinthians 9:25

Our problems and our sicknesses are often the result of our own intemperate habits. A man does not die; he kills himself. A healthy, happy person is one who is well balanced physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Temperance means self control or moderation in the enjoyment of those things which are good, and the avoidance of that which is harmful. …

Part I – Moderation in that which is Good

Sunshine is very healing to the body, but too much sunshine will result in sunburn; too much exercise will cause exhaustion; too much sleep causes one to become lazy; too much money causes one to become selfish; too much entertainment causes one to become irresponsible; too much reading can ruin one’s eyes; too much hurrying can cause a nervous breakdown, and too much food can cause obesity. We can plainly see that we all need some sunshine, some exercise and some food, but too much is harmful. If a little is good, that does not mean that a lot is better. This is especially true when it comes to food. We need moderation in all good things, and this article will cover just three of them, moderation in food, cleanliness, and entertainment.

Moderation in Food

Most obese people can improve their situation by simply reducing their intake of food and increasing physical activity. Overeating can be the root cause of any number of illnesses, from gastric indigestion, obesity, heart disease, and similar afflictions. The less active an individual is, the less food is required. Overeating not only puts undue stress on the digestive organs, but it weakens the entire body system making it more prone to disease. A person who can control his appetite is a self-disciplined individual.

Moderation in Cleanliness

Personal cleanliness—cleanliness of body and clothes—is actually another type of moderation. No one wants to be around someone who doesn’t regularly bathe or wash his or her clothes. Cleanliness of one’s home and belongings is also important. Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of visiting someone whose house was so dirty and cluttered that you could hardly get in the front door? Many diseases are the result of poor sanitation. Closely related to cleanliness is neatness and tidiness. Keeping things neat and in order is encouraging to our mental attitude.

Moderation in Entertainment

The major entertainment in America is the television set. The average child watches over 40 hours of T.V. a week. That adds up to almost 6 hours a day. This is not moderation at all and that is why we are having so many problems with our youth today, like violence, sexual permissiveness, disrespect, lying, stealing, and similar inappropriate behaviors. What can we expect when they watch this on T.V. over 40 hours every week?

Television is a very poor substitute for entertainment. What happened to the days when families did things together, like biking, camping, hiking, father and son building something together, mother teaching her daughter how to bake bread or make a dress? Today, most families simply watch T.V. together, where there is no communication between them; it is all one way. The T.V. communicates its negative system of beliefs to its audience. Why do we have a generation gap? Why do we have poor reading skills? Why do we have such negative outlooks on life? Why are we overweight and physically unfit? Why do we have such short attention spans? Why does actual life seem boring? The answer to all these and more is the television. We, as a nation, have not been selective in the programs we see nor in the amount of T.V. we watch. The Bible tells us that what we sow, we shall reap; and we here in American are now reaping the results of improper television viewing. May God help us to see our errors.

Part II – Avoiding that which is Harmful

The second part of the definition of temperance is “avoidance of that which is harmful.” There are literally thousands of things that are harmful, but we will be looking at just a few of these. We all know we should avoid such things as alcohol, tobacco and harmful drugs. Most people know that they are a poison to the body and that we should stay away from them. However, there are other things that are harmful to your body of which you may unaware – coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, baking powder and soda.

Harmful Effects of Coffee, Tea, Colas and Chocolate

These all contain methylxanthines which can cause physical and physiological damage. All of the methylxanthines have been associated with chromosome damage and deformities in the offspring of the user; and cancer is more common in those who use methylxanthines, especially chocolate, which may begin developing cysts and fibrous tumors especially in the breast, the so-called fibrocystic disease. Methylxanthines have the ability to alter the very protoplasm of cells, and to attach or concentrate in cells for an unknown period of time. The effects begin shortly after taking the drink containing them, and last for about four hours. Some of the symptoms can be imperfect balance, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, fatigue, finger tremor, headache, restlessness, irritability, depression and gastrointestinal disturbances. (See Psychopharmacology in the Practice of Medicine by Murray E. Janik. Reviewed in Journal of Family Practice 4 (6): 1180–1888, 1977.)

If one is accustomed to the regular use of coffee, tea, colas or chocolate, one may feel less alert, less contented, more sleepy and irritable when there is a delay in having these products. The shocking thing is that over 90% of the American population uses caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea and colas. Decaffeinated coffee and tea have more harmful substances than the caffeinated. …

Harmful Effects of Baking Powder and Soda

The use of soda and baking powder is harmful. Soda causes inflammation of the stomach by eating away the lining of the stomach. Soda also decreases the pancreatic juices, which are used for digestion; and all baking powders leave a residue of soda and bicarbonate of soda which destroys vitamins. The alum baking powder leaves a residue consisting of Glauber’s salts (sulfate of soda) and aluminum hydrate (which itself is poisonous to the body). The cream of tartar baking powders leave a residue of tartar of soda and potash – Rochelle salts. The phosphoric baking powders leave a residue of phosphate of lime and soda. (Hoffman, Jay Ph.D., The Missing Link, pg. 83, 1984.) Some health food stores carry a baking powder which they are told is healthy baking powder and is not harmful. This is not true; there has never come on the market a baking powder that does not leave a residue of soda.


Our bodies are not our own, to treat as we please, to cripple by habits that lead to decay. The wonderful mechanism of the human body does not receive half the care that is often given to a mere lifeless machine. Our bodies belong to God, He has arranged every fiber and nerve and sinew and muscle and will keep our bodies in perfect health, if we will cooperate with Him by being temperate and obeying His natural laws of health.

Excerpts from Natural Medicine, pages 99–105, Jerry Hoover, N.D. KNI Printers, Inc., Anaheim, California, 1993.

Question & Answer – What formed the beast and its image?

Apostasy. “When the early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of ‘heresy.’ In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends. …

“It was apostasy that led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy—the beast. Said Paul: ‘There’ shall ‘come a falling away, … and that man of sin be revealed’ (2 Thessalonians 2:3). So apostasy in the church will prepare the way for the image to the beast.

“The Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord there will exist a state of religious declension similar to that in the first centuries.” The Great Controversy, 443, 444.

“After the warning against the worship of the beast and his image the prophecy declares: ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’ (Revelation 14:12). Since those who keep God’s commandments are thus placed in contrast with those that worship the beast and his image and receive his mark, it follows that the keeping of God’s law, on the one hand, and its violation, on the other, will make the distinction between the worshipers of God and the worshipers of the beast.

“The special characteristic of the beast, and therefore of his image, is the breaking of God’s commandments. Says Daniel, of the little horn, the papacy: ‘He shall think to change times and the law’ (Daniel 7:25 R.V.). And Paul styled the same power the ‘man of sin’ (2 Thessalonians 2:3), who was to exalt himself above God. One prophecy is a complement of the other. Only by changing God’s law could the papacy exalt itself above God; whoever should understandingly keep the law as thus changed would be giving supreme honor to that power by which the change was made.” Ibid.