Bible Study Guides – Lessons from the Life of David – A Soul Brought to Peace

March 24, 2019 – March 30, 2019

Key Text

“Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to everyone that is to come” (Psalm 71:18).

Study Help:  Patriarchs and Prophets, 743–755; Conflict and Courage, 186.


“Glorious are the promises made to David and his house, promises that look forward to the eternal ages, and find their complete fulfillment in Christ.’’ Patriarchs and Prophets, 754.



  • As David prepared for battle, what was his main concern? 2 Samuel 18:1–5. How did Absalom meet his death? 2 Samuel 18:9, 10, 14, 15.

Note: “As the king looked upon the opposing forces, the thought uppermost in his mind was not of the crown and the kingdom, nor of his own life, that depended upon the wage of battle. The father’s heart was filled with love and pity for his rebellious son.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 743.

  • Relate how Joab had to arrest the reactions which followed this event. 2 Samuel 18:32, 33; 19:1–8.

Note: “Joab was filled with indignation. God had given them reason for triumph and gladness; the greatest rebellion that had ever been known in Israel had been crushed; and yet this great victory was turned to mourning for him [Absalom] whose crime had cost the blood of thousands of brave men. … [2 Samuel 19:5–7 quoted.]

“Harsh and even cruel as was the reproof to the heart-stricken king, David did not resent it. Seeing that his general was right, he went down to the gate, and with words of courage and commendation greeted his brave soldiers as they marched past him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 745.



  • Although the full restoration of David’s kingdom was neither immediate nor easy, what was he able to declare? 2 Samuel 22:1–3, 7, 18–22, 51.

Note: “After the death of Absalom, God turned the hearts of Israel, as the heart of one man, to David.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 91.

  • What was the next error which David committed? 1 Chronicles 21:1–4.

Note: “It was pride and ambition that prompted this action of the king. The numbering of the people would show the contrast between the weakness of the kingdom when David ascended the throne and its strength and prosperity under his rule. This would tend still further to foster the already too great self-confidence of both king and people. [1 Chronicles 21:1 quoted.] The prosperity of Israel under David had been due to the blessing of God rather than to the ability of her king or the strength of her armies. But the increasing of the military resources of the kingdom would give the impression to surrounding nations that Israel’s trust was in her armies, and not in the power of Jehovah.

“Though the people of Israel were proud of their national greatness, they did not look with favor upon David’s plan for so greatly extending the military service. The proposed enrollment caused much dissatisfaction; consequently it was thought necessary to employ the military officers in place of the priests and magistrates, who had formerly taken the census. The object of the undertaking was directly contrary to the principles of a theocracy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 747.



  • What did David humbly realize even before the census had been completed? 2 Samuel 24:10. What choices did God offer and what did David choose? 2 Samuel 24:11–14.
  •  Why did so many people have to suffer, and what was the effect of David’s intercession? 2 Samuel 24:15–17, 21, 25.

Note: “The taking of the census had caused disaffection among the people; yet they had themselves cherished the same sins that prompted David’s action. As the Lord through Absalom’s sin visited judgment upon David, so through David’s error He punished the sins of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 748.

“Swift destruction followed. Seventy thousand were destroyed by pestilence. David and the elders of Israel were in the deepest humiliation, mourning before the Lord. As the angel of the Lord was on his way to destroy Jerusalem, God bids him to stay his work of death. A pitiful God loves His people still, notwithstanding their rebellion. The angel clad in warlike garments, with a drawn sword in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem, is revealed to David, and to those who were with him. David is terribly afraid, yet he cries out in his distress, and his compassion for Israel. He begs of God to save the sheep. In anguish he confesses, ‘I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. Let thine hand be against me, and against my father’s house, and not upon the people’ (2 Samuel 24:17). God speaks to David by his prophet, and bids him make atonement for his sin. David’s heart was in the work, and his repentance was accepted.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 92, 93.



  • How had David prayed to have special grace in his old age? Psalm 71:9, 18–20. Describe the final trial of David’s life, and the action which followed. 1 Kings 1:5, 6, 15–20, 32–35, 39.

Note: “Both by natural endowments and religious character Solomon was better qualified than his elder brother to become ruler of Israel; yet although the choice of God had been clearly indicated, Adonijah did not fail to find sympathizers. …

“David at once abdicated in favor of Solomon, who was immediately anointed and proclaimed king. The conspiracy was crushed. Its chief actors had incurred the penalty of death. … Joab and Adonijah were spared for the time, but after the death of David they suffered the penalty of their crime. The execution of the sentence upon the son of David completed the fourfold judgment [2 Samuel 12:5, 6] that testified to God’s abhorrence of the father’s sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 749, 750.

  • Describe David’s deepest concerns at the end of his life, and what he realized more fully. 2 Samuel 23:1–4; 1 Kings 2:1–3; 1 Chronicles 28:9.

Note: “Great had been David’s fall, but deep was his repentance, ardent was his love, and strong his faith. He had been forgiven much, and therefore he loved much.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 754.

“The closing years of David’s life were marked with faithful devotion to God. … He manifested an earnestness and devotion in making extensive preparations for the building [temple], and spared neither labor nor expense, but made large donations from his own treasury, thereby setting a noble example before his people, which they did not hesitate with a willing heart to follow.

“David feels the greatest solicitude for Solomon. … He has learned by experience that the Lord will in no case sanction wrong doing, whether it be found in the loftiest prince, or the humblest subject, but would visit the leader of his people with as much severer punishment as his position is more responsible than the humble subject’s. The sins committed by the leaders of Israel would have an influence to lessen the heinousness of crime on the minds and consciences of the people, and would be brought to the notice of other nations, who fear not God, but who trample upon his authority, and they would be led to blaspheme the God of Israel.

“David solemnly charges his son to adhere strictly to the law of God, and to keep all his statutes.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 94, 95.

“David, in arranging his business, sets a good example to all who are advanced in years, to settle their matters while they are capable of doing so, that when they shall be drawing near to death, and their mental faculties are dimmed, they shall have nothing of a worldly nature to divert their minds from God.” Ibid., 96.



  • How are we to understand the promises recorded in 2 Samuel 7:16 and Psalm 110:1–5? Explain the significance of these promises. Luke 1:30–33; Matthew 22:41–45; Acts 2:29–36.
  •  What message penned by David is of particular importance to believers in these last days of earth’s history? Psalm 119:17, 18, 33–40, 126, 127.

Note: “It is possible for men to go so far in wickedness, under continual remonstrance, that God sees that He must arise and vindicate His honor. Thus it is at the present period of this earth’s history. Crime of every degree is becoming more and more strikingly manifest. The earth is filled with violence of men against their fellow-men.

“What position will the church take? Will those who in the past have had respect for the law of God, be drawn into the current of evil? Will the almost universal transgression and contempt of the law of God, darken the spiritual atmosphere of the souls of all alike? Will the disrespect of the law of God sweep away the protecting barriers? Because wickedness and lawlessness prevail, is the law of God to be less highly esteemed? Because it is made void by the great majority of those living on the earth, shall the few loyal ones become like all the disloyal, and act as the wicked act? Shall they not rather offer up the prayer of David, ‘It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law’ (Psalm 119:126)?” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1153.

“[Psalm 119:17, 18, 33–40 quoted.] Such prayers as this the Lord’s servants should be continually offering to Him. This prayer reveals a consecration to God of heart and mind; it is the consecration that God is asking us to make.” lbid., 1152.



1     What can we learn from the conversation between David and Joab following the death of Absalom?

2    Why was David’s census displeasing to God?

3    Enumerate the fourfold judgment on David’s sons.

4    What rules did the Holy Spirit, through David, set up for church leaders?

5    What did the Holy Spirit, through David, prophesy about the Messiah that was to come, and appeal to us in the last days?


© 1996, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Lessons from the Life of David – Heartbreaking Consequences

March 17, 2019 – March 23, 2019

Key Text

“Rejoice not against me, 0 mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7:8).

 Study Help:  Patriarchs and Prophets, 737, 738; Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 89–91.


“David’s history enables us to see also the great ends which God has in view in His dealings with sin; it enables us to trace, even through darkest judgments, the working out of His purposes of mercy and beneficence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 738.



  • How had David’s sin reduced his credibility before his children? Proverbs 6:32, 33.

Note: “There was a great change in David himself. He was broken in spirit by the consciousness of his sin and its far-reaching results. He felt humbled in the eyes of his subjects. His influence was weakened. Hitherto his prosperity had been attributed to his conscientious obedience to the commandments of the Lord. But now his subjects, having a knowledge of his sin, would be led to sin more freely. His authority in his own household, his claim to respect and obedience from his sons, was weakened. A sense of his guilt kept him silent when he should have condemned sin; it made his arm feeble to execute justice in his house. His evil example exerted its influence upon his sons, and God would not interpose to prevent the result. He would permit things to take their natural course, and thus David was severely chastised.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 723.

  • What is written about Amnon, David’s first-born son? 2 Samuel 13:1, 2, 10–16. Why did David neglect to carry out his convictions regarding Amnon’s violent act? 2 Samuel 13:21; Romans 2:1.

Note: “The shameful crime of Amnon, the first-born, was permitted by David to pass unpunished and unrebuked. The law pronounced death upon the adulterer, and the unnatural crime of Amnon made him doubly guilty. But David, self-condemned for his own sin, failed to bring the offender to justice.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 727.



  • How was Amnon brought to justice? 2 Samuel 13:28, 29, 32. What warning should parents and church leaders heed from observing the character and outcome of Amnon?

Note: “Like other sons of David, Amnon had been left to selfish indulgence. He had sought to gratify every thought of his heart, regardless of the requirements of God. Notwithstanding his great sin, God had borne long with him. For two years he had been granted opportunity for repentance; but he continued in sin, and with his guilt upon him, he was cut down by death, to await the awful tribunal of the judgment. …

“When parents or rulers neglect the duty of punishing iniquity, God Himself will take the case in hand. His restraining power will be in a measure removed from the agencies of evil, so that a train of circumstances will arise which will punish sin with sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 727, 728.

  • How can we avoid the same mistakes David committed in mishandling the case of Absalom? 2 Samuel 13:38, 39; 14:21–24, 28.

Note: “The evil results of David’s unjust indulgence toward Amnon were not ended, for it was here that Absalom’s alienation from his father began. After he fled to Geshur, David, feeling that the crime of his son demanded some punishment, refused him permission to return. And this had a tendency to increase rather than to lessen the inextricable evils in which the king had come to be involved.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 728.

‘’[After being permitted to return to Jerusalem] Absalom lived two years in his own house, but banished from the court. His sister dwelt with him, and her presence kept alive the memory of the irreparable wrong she had suffered. … It was not wise for the king to leave a man of Absalom’s character—ambitious, impulsive, and passionate—to brood for two years over supposed grievances. And David’s action in permitting him to return to Jerusalem, and yet refusing to admit him to his presence, enlisted in his behalf the sympathies of the people.” lbid., 729.



  • What factors made Absalom attractive to the people, and how did he craftily use these to his advantage when the unsuspecting king had accepted him back into his court? 2 Samuel 14:25, 26; 15:1–6.

Note: “With the memory ever before him of his own transgression of the law of God, David seemed morally paralyzed. … The influence of David’s listlessness and irresolution extended to his subordinates; negligence and delay characterized the administration of justice. Absalom artfully turned every cause of dissatisfaction to his own advantage.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 729.

“Fomented by the artful insinuations of the prince, discontent with the government was fast spreading. The praise of Absalom was on the lips of all. … The king, blinded by affection for his son, suspected nothing. The princely state which Absalom had assumed, was regarded by David as intended to do honor to his court—as an expression of joy at the reconciliation.” Ibid., 730.

  • Relate the hypocritical plot of Absalom. 2 Samuel 15:7–12.

Note: “Absalom’s crowning act of hypocrisy was designed not only to blind the king but to establish the confidence of the people, and thus to lead them on to rebellion against the king whom God had chosen.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 730.



  • Relate the startling news brought to David, and the strategic steps he took. 2 Samuel 15:13–17. What was his aim in taking this action?

Note: “In his great peril David shook off the depression that had so long rested upon him, and with the spirit of his earlier years he prepared to meet this terrible emergency. Absalom was mustering his forces at Hebron, only twenty miles away. The rebels would soon be at the gates of Jerusalem.

“From his palace David looked out upon his capital—’beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth … the city of the great King’ (Psalm 48:2). He shuddered at the thought of exposing it to carnage and devastation. Should he call to his help the subjects still loyal to his throne, and make a stand to hold his capital? Should he permit Jerusalem to be deluged with blood? His decision was taken. The horrors of war should not fall upon the chosen city. He would leave Jerusalem, and then test the fidelity of his people, giving them an opportunity to rally to his support. In this great crisis it was his duty to God and to his people to maintain the authority with which Heaven had invested him. The issue of the conflict he would trust with God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 731.

  • In this tragic hour, how was David comforted by the faith of men such as lttai the Gittite? 2 Samuel 15:18–23.

Note: “David, with characteristic unselfishness, could not consent that these strangers who had sought his protection should be involved in his calamity. He expressed surprise that they should be ready to make this sacrifice for him. [2 Samuel 15:19–21 quoted.)

“These men had been converted from paganism to the worship of Jehovah, and nobly they now proved their fidelity to their God and their king. David, with grateful heart, accepted their devotion to his apparently sinking cause.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 731, 732.



  • Though David eagerly yearned to keep God’s sacred ark with him, what noble decision did he make? 2 Samuel 15:24–29.

Note: “As the appointed ruler of God’s heritage he was under solemn responsibility. Not personal interests, but the glory of God and the good of his people, were to be uppermost in the mind of Israel’s king. … Without divine authority neither priest nor king had a right to remove therefrom the symbol of His presence. And David knew that his heart and life must be in harmony with the divine precepts, else the ark would be the means of disaster rather than of success. His great sin was ever before him. He recognized in this conspiracy the just judgment of God. The sword that was not to depart from his house had been unsheathed. He knew not what the result of the struggle might be. It was not for him to remove from the capital of the nation the sacred statutes which embodied the will of their divine Sovereign, which were the constitution of the realm and the foundation of its prosperity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 732.

  • Describe the hope expressed by David in this dark hour. Samuel 15:30; 16:5–12; Psalm 3:1–3. What should we realize from this history? Psalm 89:18–20, 30–33.

Note: “David utters no complaint. The most eloquent psalm he ever sang [Psalm 3] was when he was climbing Mount Olivet.” Conflict and Courage, 181.

“The Lord did not forsake David. This chapter in his experience, when, under cruelest wrong and insult, he shows himself to be humble, unselfish, generous, and submissive, is one of the noblest in his whole experience. Never was the ruler of Israel more truly great in the sight of heaven than at this hour of his deepest outward humiliation. …

“In the experience through which He caused David to pass, the Lord shows that He cannot tolerate or excuse sin. … He caused David to pass under the rod, but He did not destroy him; the furnace is to purify, but not to consume.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 738.



1     Why did David seem to be in a paralytic stupor?

2    How can we avoid repeating the mistakes found in David’s family life?

3    What factors can trigger an Absalom in the church?

4    Relate some evidences of David’s nobility during this period.

5    Why could David trust in God even at this time?

Bible Study Guides – Lessons from the Life of David – The Exalted Humbled

March 10, 2019 – March 16, 2019

Key Text

“Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (Psalm 32:2).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 717–726; Steps to Christ, 23, 25, 35, 36.


‘’Those who, by pointing to the example of David, try to lessen the guilt of their own sins, should learn from the Bible that the way of transgression is hard.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 724.



  • Trace the course which led David to go astray. 2 Samuel 11:1–4. How are we warned against this sin? Hebrews 13:4.

Note: “It was the spirit of self-confidence and self-exaltation that prepared the way for David’s fall. Flattery and the subtle allurements of power and luxury were not without effect upon him. Intercourse with surrounding nations also exerted an influence for evil. According to the customs prevailing among Eastern rulers, crimes not to be tolerated in subjects were uncondemned in the king; the monarch was not under obligation to exercise the same self-restraint as the subject. All this tended to lessen David’s sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. And instead of relying in humility upon the power of Jehovah, he began to trust to his own wisdom and might. …

“David was surrounded by the fruits of victory and the honors of his wise and able rule. It was now, while he was at ease and unguarded, that the tempter seized the opportunity to occupy his mind. The fact that God had taken David into so close connection with Himself and had manifested so great favor toward him, should have been to him the strongest of incentives to preserve his character unblemished. But when in ease and self-security he let go his hold upon God, David yielded to Satan and brought upon his soul the stain of guilt. He, the Heaven-appointed leader of the nation, chosen by God to execute His law, himself trampled upon its precepts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 717, 718.

  • How did Jesus explain what makes a person vulnerable to sin? John 15:5, last part. What admonitions are given to help us in this regard? 1 John 2:15, 16.

Note: “Whatever diverts the mind from God, whatever leads to self-exaltation or to self-dependence, is surely preparing the way for our overthrow. …

“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. It begins in apparently small things—the neglect to be true to God and to rely upon Him wholly, the disposition to follow the customs and practices of the world.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 717, 718.



  • What further complicated David’s situation? 2 Samuel 11:5. Explain why God could not prosper David’s attempt to cover his sin. 2 Samuel 11:10–13.

 Note: “Every effort which David made to conceal his guilt proved unavailing. He had betrayed himself into the power of Satan; danger surrounded him, dishonor more bitter than death was before him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 718, 719.

  • How did David feel when he was induced to add sin to sin? 2 Samuel 11:14–17, 26, 27; Psalm 32:3, 4. What should we remember when tempted by the enemy? Proverbs 14:12; James 2:10–12.

Note: “He [David] had excused his own sinful course to himself, until his ways seemed passable in his own eyes. One wrong step had prepared the way for another.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 86.

“There appeared but one way of escape, and in his desperation he was hurried on to add murder to adultery. He who had compassed the destruction of Saul was seeking to lead David also to ruin. Though the temptations were different, they were alike in leading to transgression of God’s law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 719.



  • What message of rebuke did God send to David through Nathan the prophet? 2 Samuel 12:1–9.

 Note: “It was when David was pure, and walking in the counsel of God, that God called him a man after his own heart. When David departed from God, and stained his virtuous character by his crimes, he was no longer a man after God’s own heart.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 87.

“God in His mercy did not leave David to be lured to utter ruin by the deceitful rewards of sin.

“For the sake of Israel also there was a necessity for God to interpose. As time passed on, David’s sin toward Bathsheba became known, and suspicion was excited that he had planned the death of Uriah. The Lord was dishonored. He had favored and exalted David, and David’s sin misrepresented the character of God and cast reproach upon His name. It tended to lower the standard of godliness in Israel, to lessen in many minds the abhorrence of sin; while those who did not love and fear God were by it emboldened in transgression.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 720.

  • Relate the response of David and the immediate mercy of God. 2 Samuel 12:13. Nevertheless, what were to be some of the inevitable consequences of David’s sin? 2 Samuel 12:10–12, 14.

Note: “David awakens as from a dream. He feels the sense of his sin. He does not seek to excuse his course, or palliate his sin, as did Saul; but with remorse and sincere grief, he bows his head before the prophet of God, and acknowledges his guilt.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 86.

“The sentence of death was transferred from David to the child of his sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 722.

“David’s transgression had changed his relation to God. The Lord could not in any wise sanction iniquity. He could not exercise His power to protect David from the results of his sin as he had protected him from the enmity of Saul.” Ibid., 723.

“God shows his displeasure at David’s having a plurality of wives by visiting him with judgments, and permitting evils to rise up against him from his own house.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 87.



  • Describe the depth of David’s heartfelt repentance. Psalm 51:1–4, 7, 10–14. Through sacred song, what public appeal does he make even to the last generation?

Note: “This experience was most painful to David, but it was most beneficial. … The conviction of his guilt was the saving of his soul. He saw himself in another light, as the Lord saw him.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1023.

“He [David) did not flatter himself that sin was a matter with which he had nothing to do, and that should not concern him. As he saw the depths of deceit in his heart, he was deeply disgusted with himself, and prayed that God would keep him back by His power from presumptuous sins, and cleanse him from secret faults.” Ibid., vol. 3, 1147.

“Instead of endeavoring to conceal his guilt he desired that others might be instructed by the sad history of his fall.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 725.

  • What evidence did David have that his repentance was not in vain? Psalms 51:16, 17; 32:1, 2, 5–7.

Note: “David did not in despair give over the struggle. In the promises of God to repentant sinners he saw the evidence of his pardon and acceptance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 725.



  • What should all realize about sin? Ezekiel 33:12, 13, 18; 1 John 3:4.

Note: “Sin is sin, whether committed by one sitting on a throne, or by one in the humbler walks of life. The day is coming when all who have committed sin will make confession, even though it is too late for them to receive pardon. God waits long for the sinner to repent. He manifests a wonderful forbearance. But He must at last call the transgressor of His law to account. …

“It is not safe for us to close our eyes and harden our consciences, that we shall not see or realize our sins. We need to cherish the instruction we have had in regard to the hateful character of sin in order that we may repent of and confess our sins.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1147.

  •  How can David’s repentance encourage us? Isaiah 55:7; 1 John 1:9.

Note: “Many have murmured at what they called God’s injustice in sparing David, whose guilt was so great, after having rejected Saul for what appear to them to be far less flagrant sins. But David humbled himself and confessed his sin, while Saul despised reproof and hardened his heart in impenitence.

“This passage in David’s history is full of significance to the repenting sinner. It is one of the most forcible illustrations given us of the struggles and temptations of humanity, and of genuine repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Through all the ages it has proved a source of encouragement to souls that, having fallen into sin, were struggling under the burden of their guilt. Thousands of the children of God, who have been betrayed into sin, when ready to give up to despair have remembered how David’s sincere repentance and confession were accepted by God, notwithstanding he suffered for his transgression; and they also have taken courage to repent and try again to walk in the way of God’s commandments.

“Whoever under the reproof of God will humble the soul with confession and repentance, as did David, may be sure that there is hope for him. Whoever will in faith accept God’s promises, will find pardon. The Lord will never cast away one truly repentant soul. He has given this promise: ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me’ (Isaiah 27:5). ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon’ (Isaiah 55:7).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 726.



1     What made David and could make us wide open to temptation?

2    How does God seek to help us avoid adding sin to sin?

3    Why are the sins of leaders especially grievous?

4    Name some point of particular significance from Psalm 32 or 51.

5    How can we – like David – be believers after God’s own heart?

Bible Study Guides – Lessons from the Life of David – Secrets of Success

March 3, 2019 – March 9, 2019

Key Text

“Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land” (Psalm 85:9).

Study Help: My Life Today, 53; Patriarchs and Prophets, 713–716.


“It was regard for the law of God that gave Israel strength during the reign of David.” Prophets and Kings, 466.



  • Give an example which reveals the fidelity and justice of David. 2 Samuel 8:15; 9:1–6.

Note: “David, in his covenant with Jonathan, had promised that when he should have rest from his enemies he would show kindness to the house of Saul. In his prosperity, mindful of this covenant, the king made inquiry, ‘Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake’ (2 Samuel 9:1)? He was told of a son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, who had been lame from childhood. At the time of Saul’s defeat by the Philistines at Jezreel, the nurse of this child, attempting to flee with him, had let him fall, thus making him a lifelong cripple. David now summoned the young man to court and received him with great kindness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 713.

  • What missionary lesson can we learn from the way David succeeded in touching the heart of this skeptical grandson of Saul? 2 Samuel 9:7–13.

Note: “The private possessions of Saul were restored to him [Mephibosheth] for the support of his household; but the son of Jonathan was himself to be the constant guest of the king, sitting daily at the royal table. Through reports from the enemies of David, Mephibosheth had been led to cherish a strong prejudice against him as a usurper; but the monarch’s generous and courteous reception of him and his continued kindness won the heart of the young man; he became strongly attached to David, and, like his father Jonathan, he felt that his interest was one with that of the king whom God had chosen.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 713.

“In tender, pitying love, lay hold of the discouraged and helpless ones. Give them your courage, your hope, your strength. By kindness compel them to come. …

“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’s Object Lessons, 235, 236.



  • How did Hanun, king of the Ammonites, totally misinterpret David’s gesture of genuine kindness? 2 Samuel 10:1–4.

Note: “They [the Ammonites] could have no conception of the generous spirit that had inspired David’s message. When Satan controls the minds of men he will excite envy and suspicion which will misconstrue the very best intentions. Listening to his counselors, Hanun regarded David’s messengers as spies, and loaded them with scorn and insult.

“The Ammonites had been permitted to carry out the evil purposes of their hearts without restraint, that their real character might be revealed to David. It was not God’s will that Israel should enter into a league with this treacherous heathen people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 714.

  • What was Hanun’s immediate action when he considered the potential consequences of the insult he had rendered to Israel? 1 Chronicles 19:6–8.

Note: “The Ammonites, knowing that the insult offered to Israel would surely be avenged, made preparation for war. [1 Chronicles 19:6, 7 quoted.]

“It was indeed a formidable alliance. The inhabitants of the region lying between the river Euphrates and the Mediterranean Sea had leagued with the Ammonites. The north and east of Canaan was encircled with armed foes, banded together to crush the kingdom of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 715.



  • What did Joab declare to encourage his people? 1 Chronicles 19:13. How did David inspire them also?

Note: “David, realizing how much dependent upon the result of this contest, took the field in person, and by the blessing of God inflicted upon the allies a defeat so disastrous that the Syrians, from Lebanon to the Euphrates, not only gave up the war, but became tributary to Israel. Against the Ammonites David pushed the war with vigor, until their strongholds fell and the whole region came under the dominion of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 715.

  • Although today the weapons of our warfare are not to be carnal, how can we gain strength by considering the outcome of this particular battle in David’s reign? 2 Corinthians 10:3–6; 1 John 5:4, 5.

Note: “The dangers which had threatened the nation with utter destruction proved, through the providence of God, to be the very means by which it rose to unprecedented greatness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 715.

“The kingdom of Israel had now reached in extent the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham, and afterward repeated to Moses: ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates’ (Genesis 15:18). Israel had become a mighty nation, respected and feared by surrounding peoples. In his own realm David’s power had become very great. He commanded, as few sovereigns in any age have been able to command, the affections and allegiance of his people. He had honored God, and God was now honoring him.” Ibid., 716.



  • What did David realize in considering his remarkable deliverances? Psalms 18:20–22, 35, 46–50; 33:16, 17; 44:4–7.
  • What opportunities were afforded Israel during this period, and why? Psalm 85:9–13; Proverbs 14:34.

Note: “In the reign of David and Solomon, Israel became strong among the nations and had many opportunities to wield a mighty influence in behalf of truth and the right. The name of Jehovah was exalted and held in honor, and the purpose for which the Israelites had been established in the Land of Promise bade fair of meeting with fulfillment. Barriers were broken down, and seekers after truth from the lands of the heathen were not turned away unsatisfied. Conversions took place, and the church of God on earth was enlarged and prospered.” Prophets and Kings, 25.



  • How had a seemingly small sin crept into David’s experience, thus paving the way for worse temptations? Song of Solomon 2:15.

Note: “He [David] often conquered, and triumphed. He increased in wealth and greatness. But his prosperity had an influence to lead him from God. His temptations were many and strong. He finally fell into the common practice of other kings around him, of having a plurality of wives, and his life was imbittered by the evil results of polygamy. His first wrong was in taking more than one wife, thus departing from God’s wise arrangement. This departure from right, prepared the way for greater errors. The kingly idolatrous nations considered it an addition to their honor and dignity to have many wives, and David regarded it an honor to his throne to possess several wives. But he was made to see the wretched evil of such a course by the unhappy discord, rivalry and jealousy among his numerous wives and children.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 86.

  • What unseen foe was stalking David, just as with each one of us? Ephesians 6:12. What is our only defense? Ephesians 6:13; James 4:7, 8; 1 Peter 5:8, 9; 4:7.

Note: “In the midst of prosperity lurked danger. In the time of his greatest outward triumph David was in the greatest peril.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 716.

“In every soul two powers are struggling earnestly for the victory. Unbelief marshals its forces, led by Satan, to cut us off from the Source of our strength. Faith marshals its forces, led by Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Hour by hour, in the sight of the heavenly universe, the conflict goes forward. This is a hand-to-hand fight, and the great question is, Which shall obtain the mastery? This question each must decide for himself. In this warfare all must take a part, fighting on one side or the other. From the conflict there is no release. … We are urged to prepare for this conflict.’’ Sons and Daughters of God, 328.

“The work of every soul is to resist the enemy in the power and might of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the promise is that the devil shall flee from us. But let all realize that they are in peril, and there is no assurance of safety except as they comply with the conditions of the text. The Lord says, ‘Draw nigh to God’ (James 4:8). How?—By secret, earnest examination of your own heart; by childlike, heart-felt, humble dependence upon God, making known your weakness to Jesus; and by confessing your sins. Thus you may draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” Ibid., 346.



1     What can we learn from David’s kindness toward Mephibosheth?

2    Why do the heathen often misinterpret a kind act?

3    Explain the reason for Israel’s victory over the formidable alliance which rose up against them.

4    What should we learn from the prosperity of Israel under David?

5    Explain how to have consistent victory in the great controversy.

Bible Study Guides – Lessons from the Life of David – Becoming Wiser by Experience

February 24, 2019 – March 2, 2019

Key Text

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 473, 474; Patriarchs and Prophets, 706–713.


“He [David] learned that only by God’s power could he come to the throne; only in His wisdom could he rule wisely.” Education, 152.



  • How had David learned to exercise the utmost care and reverence when transporting the ark the second time? 2 Samuel 6:12, 13. What charge is given to those who hold positions of responsibility in the Lord’s work today? Isaiah 52:11.

Note: “He [David] resolved to make another attempt to remove the ark, and he now gave earnest heed to carry out in every particular the directions of the Lord. Again the chief men of the nation were summoned, and a vast assemblage gathered about the dwelling place of the Gittite. With reverent care the ark was now placed upon the shoulders of men of divine appointment, the multitude fell into line, and with trembling hearts the vast procession again set forth. After advancing six paces the trumpet sounded a halt. By David’s direction sacrifices of ‘oxen and fatlings’ (2 Samuel 6:13) were to be offered.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 706.

“Men and women may be well versed in Bible knowledge, as well acquainted with the Scripture as were the Israelites with the ark, and yet if their hearts are not right before God, success will not attend their efforts. God will not be with them. They do not have a high sense of the obligations of the law of heaven, nor do they realize the sacred character of the truth they are teaching. The charge is, ‘Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord’ (Isaiah 52:11).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 998.

  • How was David dressed on this particular occasion, and why? 2 Samuel 6:14, last part.

Note: “The king had laid aside his royal robes and had attired himself in a plain linen ephod, such as was worn by the priests. He did not by this act signify that he assumed priestly functions, for the ephod was sometimes worn by others besides the priests. But in this holy service he would take his place as, before God, on an equality with his subjects. Upon that day Jehovah was to be adored. He was to be the sole object of reverence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 706, 707.



  • What should we understand by David’s dancing”? 2 Samuel 6:14, first part.

Note: “David’s dancing in reverent joy before God has been cited by pleasure lovers in justification of the fashionable modern dance, but there is no ground for such an argument. In our day dancing is associated with folly and midnight reveling. Health and morals are sacrificed to pleasure. By the frequenters of the ballroom God is not an object of thought and reverence; prayer or the song of praise would be felt to be out of place in their assemblies. This test should be decisive. Amusements that have a tendency to weaken the love for sacred things and lessen our joy in the service of God are not to be sought by Christians. The music and dancing in joyful praise to God at the removal of the ark had not the faintest resemblance to the dissipation of modern dancing. The one tended to the remembrance of God and exalted His holy name. The other is a device of Satan to cause men to forget God and to dishonor Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 707.

  • Describe the chorus, procession, and ceremony that accompanied the entrance of the sacred ark into the gates of Jerusalem. Psalm 24:7–10; 2 Samuel 6:17–19.

 Note: “When the gates were opened wide, the procession entered, and with reverent awe the ark was deposited in the tent that had been prepared for its reception. …

“The Spirit of divine inspiration had rested upon the king, and now as the last beams of the setting sun bathed the tabernacle in a hallowed light, his heart was uplifted in gratitude to God that the blessed symbol of His presence was now so near the throne of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 708.



  • How did Michal, David’s wife, show evidence of having inherited and cultivated the same bitter spirit as her father? 2 Samuel 6:16, 20. Relate how her attitude was displeasing to Heaven as well as to her husband. 2 Samuel 6:21–23.

 Note: “The dignity and pride of king Saul’s daughter was shocked that king David should lay aside his garments of royalty, and lay by his royal scepter, and be clothed with the simple linen garments worn by the priest. She thought that he was greatly dishonoring himself before the people of Israel. But God honored David in the sight of all Israel by letting his Spirit abide upon him.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 112, 113.

“In the bitterness of her passion she could not await David’s return to the palace, but went out to meet him, and to his kindly greeting poured forth a torrent of bitter words. Keen and cutting was the irony of her speech: [2 Samuel 6:20 quoted].

“David felt that it was the service of God which Michal had despised and dishonored. … To David’s rebuke was added that of the Lord: because of her pride and arrogance, Michal ‘had no child unto the day of her death’ (2 Samuel 6:23).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 708–711.

  • Explain how the deep joy tasted by David, so contrary to the nature of the proud, carnal heart, will be experienced in even greater measure by God’s final remnant when He utters His covenant of peace. Psalm 96:1–6, 9–13; Revelation 14:12, 13; Daniel 12:2.

Note: “David humbled himself, but God exalted him. He sung in an inspired manner, playing upon the harp, producing the most enchanting music. He felt in a small degree that holy joy that all the saints will experience at the voice of God when their captivity is turned, and God makes a covenant of peace with all who have kept His commandments.’’ Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 113.

“[Daniel 12:2 quoted.] All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law.” The Great Controversy, 637.

“I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time to put them to death. … God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating, without their seeing death, the faithful, waiting ones who had so long expected Him.” Early Writings, 282, 283.



  • When the throne of David was established and he had rest from all his enemies, what was his greatest aspiration? 2 Samuel 7:1–3.
  • What should we learn from the Lord’s message to David in this regard? 2 Samuel 7:4, 5, 12, 13.

Note: “Our plans are not always God’s plans. He may see that it is best for us and for His cause to refuse our very best intentions, as He did in the case of David. But of one thing we may be assured, He will bless and use in the advancement of His cause those who sincerely devote themselves and all they have to His glory. If He sees it best not to grant their desires He will counterbalance the refusal by giving them tokens of His love and entrusting to them another service.

”In His loving care and interest for us, often He who understands us better than we understand ourselves refuses to permit us selfishly to seek the gratification of our own ambition.” The Ministry of Healing, 473.



  • Why was David himself not permitted to build the house of God? 1 Chronicles 22:7–10.
  •  What should we learn from David’s attitude in response to the Lord’s declaration? 2 Samuel 7:18–22. Name another servant of God who also manifested this same type of graceful humility. John 3:26–30.

Note: “David knew that it would be an honor to his name and would bring glory to his government to perform the work that he had purposed in his heart to do, but he was ready to submit his will to the will of God. The grateful resignation thus manifested is rarely seen, even among Christians. How often do those who have passed the strength of manhood cling to the hope of accomplishing some great work upon which their hearts are set, but which they are unfitted to perform! God’s providence may speak to them, as did His prophet to David, declaring that the work which they so much desire is not committed to them. It is theirs to prepare the way for another to accomplish it. But instead of gratefully submitting to the divine direction, many fall back as if slighted and rejected, feeling that if they cannot do the one thing which they desire to do, they will do nothing. Many cling with desperate energy to responsibilities which they are incapable of bearing, and vainly endeavor to accomplish a work for which they are insufficient, while that which they might do, lies neglected. And because of this lack of co-operation on their part the greater work is hindered or frustrated.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 712, 713.



1   What constitutes the bearing of God’s ark with reverence today?

2   Contrast David’s religious dancing with today’s celebration movement.

3   How is the bitterness of Michal a warning to each of us?

4   What should Christians realize, even in establishing worthy aims?

5   What can we as Adventists learn from God’s verdict about David’s goal?

Recipe – Corn Potato Leek Chowder


1 medium onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

4-5 cups Yukon potatoes, diced

1 tsp. paprika

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups vegetable broth, divided

2 cups almond milk, unsweetened

3 cups corn, frozen or fresh

2 tsp. nutritional yeast, or to taste

1 tsp. salt, or to taste

1 cup cashews, soaked in water two hours

1-2 medium leeks, sliced


In medium stockpot sauté onion and celery in small amount of water or oil for seven minutes. Add potatoes and paprika; sauté seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook one minute. Add one cup broth, almond milk, corn, nutritional yeast and salt. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and blend cashews and one cup broth until creamy; add to potatoes. For a creamier texture, blend half of potato/corn mixture; add back into pot. Stir in leeks; heat 2 minutes. Warm and satisfying!

Food – Leeks

Leeks are closely related to onions—as the similarity in flavor shows—and are distant cousins of asparagus. All three are members of the lily family.

Although leeks probably originated in warm regions of Asia or the Mediterranean, they are now intensely cultivated in temperate to cool climates, particularly in Northern Europe where they are a favorite. In Wales, where leeks are a national symbol, men parade in the streets with leek-bedecked hats on special holidays.

Leeks are surprisingly nutritious, providing an appreciable amount of minerals and fiber together with plenty of vitamin C. A half cup of chopped, boiled leeks contains only 15 calories but 25mg of vitamin C, as well as 16mg of calcium and a small amount of niacin.

Vegetables in the allium group (leeks, onions, shallots, scallions, chives, garlic) may have a protective effect against cancer, particularly gastric cancer, diabetes and heart disease, and like onions, leeks may help to lower cholesterol. Much of its therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin. As allicin digests in the body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that neutralizes dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound.

Leeks are most commonly used to add flavor, particularly to soups and stews. They are delicious in salads, vegetable dishes and quiches. But leeks have a milder, sweeter flavor than onions and a crunchy texture when cooked, which is why they are also delicious served on their own.

Excerpts from Foods that Harm Foods That Heal, The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., ©1997, 212, 213.

Life Sketches – A New Life in Christ

Factions have developed among nations and churches claiming to be Christian since the first century, even while the apostles were alive. There are obvious reasons why.

The residents of the city of Alexandria in Egypt in the days of the apostles were noted as some of the most highly educated in the world; in fact, many people among the Jews and from Palestine went to Alexandria to obtain a finished education. The book of Acts records an experience of one such man who had received a high level Greek education. He had heard about the preaching of John the Baptist and had accepted Jesus as His Saviour, although he did not understand the gospel perfectly. In Acts 18, verses 24 to 26 it says, “Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”

There was much that Apollos would learn. He did not know all about the death, the resurrection, the ascension and the intercession of Christ in the sanctuary in heaven for His people, and the promise of Jesus that those who accepted Him would be baptized by the Holy Spirit. However, he boldly taught what he did know.

Aquila and Priscilla were tentmakers who, when they heard him preach, had opportunity to explain to him the deeper meaning of the gospel. This man, with grateful surprise and joy when he learned more about Jesus, whom the Christians worshiped, began to teach even more boldly in the synagogue, becoming one of the most able defenders of the Christian faith.

We see here an example where a scholarly man who was a brilliant orator learned the way of the Lord more perfectly from a Christian man and woman of humble employment, that of tent-making. Once he accepted and understood the gospel more perfectly, he desired to go to the city of Corinth and teach there. “When he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 18:27, 28).

Many of the Jews who had been expelled from Rome had moved to Corinth. They were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah whom they expected would come soon and elevate the Jewish people above all nations and languages. When Apollos arrived at Corinth, he showed them conclusively that their expectations of another Messiah to come were in vain. He taught them that the Messiah had already come and that He had suffered a shameful and violent death at the hand of their Jewish teachers.

Apollos became very successful in proclaiming the gospel in Corinth so much so that some of the church members began exalting his labors above that of Paul. Apollos was working in harmony with Paul for the advancement of the cause of Christianity, but a rival factious spirit developed in the church that threatened to greatly hinder the cause of truth.

Paul said, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me, concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas’ [Peter], … or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:10–13).

Because Apollos was a brilliant orator and scholar, some of the people preferred his preaching so much that they said, “We are under the spiritual leadership of Apollos.” Others said, “No, we’re under the spiritual leadership of Paul.” Others chose to be under the spiritual leadership of Peter, who was intimately acquainted with Jesus Christ.

There were some who thought they had the perfect solution. They claimed to be under the spiritual direction of Christ. So, factions were developing in the church at Corinth and Satan took the opportunity to take advantage of their imaginary differences. In addition to this problem, other factions were developing because of Judaizing teachers who had come into the Corinthian church. These Judaizing teachers taught that the believers who observed the ordinances of the Mosaic law and were circumcised had a closer relationship to God than those who were uncircumcised. They took advantage of the fact that the apostles allowed diversity within the Christian church and allowed the Jews to keep up with some of their customs that they had received in the old covenant.

Paul had to meet these Judaizing teachers in every church that he founded or visited. Notice what he taught: “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters” (1 Corinthians 7:19).

The Judaizing party looked upon Paul as an apostate and attempted to destroy his influence. They visited every church that Paul had organized and created divisions. They believed the ends would justify the means so they circulated false charges against the apostle.

Paul came to be distrusted and even despised by some Christians in the churches that he had raised up. These divisions in regard to the ceremonial law and the relative merits of different ministers teaching the doctrine of Christ caused him much anxiety and trouble and explains the root underlying the problem that causes factions today among nations, churches, and families.

Notice how Paul addressed this issue in 1 Corinthians 3:1–4: “And I brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal [fleshly, unconverted], as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?”

In other words, you are still living in the flesh; you are still unconverted. Paul counsels a lot about this subject through his epistles.

Notice what he wrote to the Romans: “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” (Romans 8:5–7).

Many claim they cannot keep the law of God and that is true, for the carnal mind cannot keep the law of God, is not subject to the law of God, and cannot be. But when you receive the Holy Spirit, Jesus causes you to put to death the deeds of the carnal nature, those deeds of the flesh, and to live a new life in Him.

Paul explained it to the churches in Galatia in this way: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:16–21).

We see here the problem that is underneath the contention, strife, and all the trouble in the world today. People are not converted. It can happen in the family; it can happen in the church; or it can happen in society, in a school, in an institution, an organization, or even in a whole nation. These factions, variances, and all strife prove that there are people who still hold onto their carnal nature. They are unconverted. Jesus told Nicodemus that unless you are born of water and of the Spirit, there is no chance that you can enter the kingdom of heaven. (See John 3:5.) The only people who will be fit to enter heaven are those who have been born of the Holy Spirit. All who are born again of the Holy Spirit will live their lives in harmony with God’s law (see Romans 8:4) and be fit and ready to be taken to heaven when Jesus returns.

Paul says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (that is, the carnal nature) with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:22–24).

When Paul came to Corinth, a wicked and idolatrous city, he was dealing with people who had no experimental knowledge of the way of salvation; so he was obliged to present the truth in its most simple form, because their carnal minds could not discern the sacred revealings of God. They were strangers to the manifestation of divine power.

Paul said, “I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. … Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us though His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. … But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:1, 2, 9, 10, 14).

Paul said that the rulers of this world didn’t know Jesus when He was on earth “for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (verse 8). But they didn’t know Him, for they had no understanding of spiritual things.

As a wise instructor, Paul began to set before the church in Corinth the true object of life, impressing their minds with the lessons of the divine Teacher so that they could come up from their worldliness and sin to a life of purity and eventually immortal life. He did not venture to directly rebuke those who were licentious and immediately show them how heinous their sins were in the sight of a holy God or they would have been crushed. He especially dwelt on practical godliness, the character of holiness necessary for all who will receive eternal life.

There are some Christians today who believe that holiness is just something for certain holy people called saints and that the rest of us have to be saved some other way. This is contrary to the New Testament that teaches that everyone who is saved must be a holy person. Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Hebrews.  He said, “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, literal translation).

If you want to be in the kingdom of heaven, you must cooperate with the Holy Spirit to become sanctifiedmade holy. We are living in a world where the philosopher turns aside from the light of salvation because it puts his proud theories to shame. The worldly person refuses to receive the gospel because it would separate him from his earthly idols and draw him to a holier life, which he finds unattractive in his carnal state. But when Paul went to Corinth, there were people, even among the most sinful, who did accept the truth of the cross of Christ—the truth that Jesus, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and the majesty of heaven, had died to bring salvation to sinners.

Paul says, “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3). He explained that the wise and elevated people of this world often do not accept the preaching of the cross when he said, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:18–28).

Do you understand that spiritual things are spiritually discerned? Do you understand that if you are going to have eternal life, you must receive the Holy Spirit and be transformed in character? Jesus told Nicodemus that unless He was born again, born of the Spirit, he would not enter the kingdom of God. It is time to do some serious soul searching. The level on which you live will determine your eternal destiny.

Jesus is waiting and wants to give you a new heart, a new Spirit, a new mind with new desires. He called it the new birth experience. How is it with you, friend? Have you been born again?


(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 in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – Serving Portions for Optimum Health

With a growing [pun intended] population in the Western world, it may be well to consider what and how much people are eating that is causing an epidemic in obesity.

With such a variety of foods needed for optimal health, we need to know what constitutes a healthy serving. Many have come to the conclusion that whatever we put on our plates is a serving. But, if analyzed, our plates are often already overloaded before heading for second and third helpings. Self-control is often lacking and a large class of children are brought up to think that eating at any time and as much as they want is their prerogative. This is the cause of many modern health issues.

In my younger years I remember sitting at meal times with a serving of food on my plate and the plate was still visible beneath the food! After eating what was on my plate I was full and satisfied. Many of the processed, packaged foods freely available and used today are not all healthy or satisfying. The result? People eat more and more. Curiosity led me to research what constitutes serving portions for optimal health.

The following information is a guide to understanding what is considered a healthy daily serving allowance.

“The information in the table is presented as a general guide to serving sizes for moderately active adults. Additional servings may be needed for highly active individuals, and fewer servings may be needed for less active individuals. Our committee reviewed My Vegetarian Plate (General Conference Nutrition Council), Harvard School of Public Health Healthy Plate, and USDA MyPlate, to come up with these suggestions.”

May God give each one the courage and strength that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV).


Foods What counts as a serving? Daily Servings
Fruits ½ cup fresh, canned, or frozen fruit

¼ cup dried fruit

Vegetables ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw vegetables 4–6
Whole Grains 1 slice whole-grain bread

1 cup whole-grain cereal, ½ cup cooked brown rice, pasta, or other whole grains

Beans, Peas, Lentils, Soy ½ cup cooked beans, peas or lentils

½ cup tofu

1 cup soy milk

Nuts, Peanuts, Seeds, Peanut/Nut Butters ¼ cup nuts or seeds

2 tablespoons peanut or nut butter

Herbs, Spices, Plant Oils Fresh or dried herbs and spices

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, or other plant oil

Herbs/Spices: Use liberally


Plant Oils: Up to 5


Question and Answer: Do I need to be baptized if I have received the Holy Spirit?

In Acts 10:44–48 the Bible describes the experience of the early church when the Gentiles heard the message of the Gospel: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then Peter answered, ‘Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days” (NKJV).

“Peter preached Jesus to that company of attentive hearers; His life, ministry, miracles, betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, and His work in heaven, as man’s Representative and Advocate, to plead in the sinner’s behalf. As the apostle spoke, his heart glowed with the Spirit of God’s truth which he was presenting to the people. His hearers were charmed by the doctrine they heard, for their hearts had been prepared to receive the truth. The apostle was interrupted by the descent of the Holy Ghost, as was manifested on the day of Pentecost. ‘And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.’

“The descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Gentiles was not an equivalent for baptism. The requisite steps in conversion, in all cases, are faith, repentance, and baptism. Thus the true Christian church are united in one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Diverse temperaments are modified by sanctifying grace, and the same distinguishing principles regulate the lives of all. Peter yielded to the entreaties of the believing Gentiles, and remained with them for a time, preaching Jesus to all the Gentiles thereabout.” The Story of Redemption, 289, 290.