Bible Study Guides – Joshua’s Final Message

March 22 – 28, 2020

Key Text

“Choose you this day whom ye will serve … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Study Help:  Patriarchs and Prophets, 521–524; Testimonies, vol. 5, 361–368.


“You may yet become sanctified through the truth; or you may, if you choose, walk in the darkness of unbelief, lose heaven, and lose all. By walking in the light and working out the will of God, you may overcome your selfish nature.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 214.



a. What condition did Israel finally enjoy for some time? Of what did Joshua then remind the people? Joshua 23:1–4; 24:11–13.

b. With what assurances did Joshua exhort them? Joshua 23:5–10. What should we learn from the commitment required of them?

Note: “They [the people] were to form no allegiance with the idolatrous nations that God had appointed to utter destruction. They were forbidden to manifest the least respect for the gods of the heathen. … They were warned that familiarity with idolatry would remove their abhorrence of it, and would expose them to God’s displeasure.” The Signs of the Times, May 19, 1881.

“If we love the things of the world and have pleasure in unrighteousness or fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness we have put the stumbling block of our iniquity before our face and have set up idols in our heart. And unless by determined effort we put them away we shall never be acknowledged as the sons and daughters of God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 164.



a. What warning did Joshua give as a key factor to help God’s people reduce their chances of slipping into idolatry? Joshua 23:11–13.

b. How is this solemn warning repeated in the Christian era? 2 Corinthians 6:14–18; 1 Corinthians 7:39.

Note: “Ask yourself: ‘Will not an unbelieving husband lead my thoughts away from Jesus? He is a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God; will he not lead me to enjoy the things that he enjoys?’ The path to eternal life is steep and rugged. Take no additional weights to retard your progress. …

“As a child of God, a subject of Christ’s kingdom, the purchase of His blood, how can you connect yourself with one who does not acknowledge His claims, who is not controlled by His Spirit? … Though the companion of your choice were in all other respects worthy (which he is not), yet he has not accepted the truth for this time; he is an unbeliever, and you are forbidden of heaven to unite yourself with him. You cannot, without peril to your soul, disregard this divine injunction.

“I would warn you of your danger before it shall be too late. You listen to smooth, pleasant words and are led to believe that all will be well; but you do not read the motives that prompt these fair speeches. You cannot see the depths of wickedness hidden in the heart. You cannot look behind the scenes and discern the snares that Satan is laying for your soul. He would lead you to pursue such a course that he can obtain easy access to aim his shafts of temptation against you. Do not give him the least advantage. While God moves upon the minds of His servants, Satan works through the children of disobedience. There is no concord between Christ and Belial. The two cannot harmonize. To connect with an unbeliever is to place yourself on Satan’s ground. You grieve the Spirit of God and forfeit His protection. Can you afford to have such terrible odds against you in fighting the battle for everlasting life? …

“Remember, you have a heaven to gain, an open path to perdition to shun. God means what He says.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 363–365.



a. Why is inordinate affection a problem? Isaiah 5:18–21; Colossians 3:5, 6.

Note: “One of the greatest dangers that besets the people of God today, is that of association with the ungodly; especially in uniting themselves in marriage with unbelievers. With many, the love for the human eclipses the love for the divine. They take the first step in backsliding by venturing to disregard the Lord’s express command; and complete apostasy is too often the result. It has ever proved a dangerous thing for men to carry out their own will in opposition to the requirements of God. …

“As a rule, those who choose for their friends and companions, persons who reject Christ and trample upon God’s law, eventually become of the same mind and spirit.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1000.

“There is in the Christian world an astonishing, alarming indifference to the teaching of God’s word in regard to the marriage of Christians with unbelievers. … Men and women who are otherwise sensible and conscientious close their ears to counsel; they are deaf to the appeals and entreaties of friends and kindred and of the servants of God… , and the friend who is faithful enough to utter a remonstrance is treated as an enemy. All this is as Satan would have it. He weaves his spell about the soul, and it becomes bewitched, infatuated. Reason lets fall the reins of self-control upon the neck of lust, unsanctified passion bears sway, until, too late, the victim awakens to a life of misery and bondage.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 365, 366.

b. Explain the cause-and-effect reality Joshua presented. Joshua 23:14–16.

Note: “God’s plan for the salvation of men, is perfect in every particular. If we will faithfully perform our allotted part, all will be well with us. It is man’s apostasy that causes discord, and brings wretchedness and ruin. God never uses His power to oppress the creatures of His hand. He never requires more than man is able to perform; never punishes His disobedient children more than is necessary to bring them to repentance; or to deter others from following their example. Rebellion against God is inexcusable.” The Signs of the Times, May 19, 1881.



a. What appeal did Joshua make? Joshua 24:1, 14, 15. How can this inspire us?

Note: “The worship of idols was still to some extent secretly practiced, and Joshua endeavored now to bring them [the people] to a decision that should banish this sin from Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 523.

“If the favor of God was worth anything, it was worth everything. Thus Joshua had decided; and after weighing the whole matter, he had determined to serve Him with full purpose of heart. And more than this, he would endeavour to induce his family to pursue the same course. …

“The oft-repeated warnings against idolatry addressed to the Hebrew host, are no less applicable to us. Everything which leads the affections away from God is an idol, and betrays us into sin. If we serve God willingly and joyfully, preferring His service to the service of sin and Satan; if we choose Him, openly and boldly turning from all the attractions and vanities of the world, we shall enjoy His blessing in this life, and shall dwell forever in His presence in the future life.

“The Lord our God is a jealous God. He is just and holy. He will not be trifled with. He reads a deceptive heart. He abhors a double mind. He hates lukewarmness. We cannot serve God and mammon, for they are antagonistic.” The Signs of the Times, May 19, 1881.

b. What did God want the Israelites to realize about their frailty? Joshua 24:16–20. Are we any different?

Note: “Before there could be any permanent reformation the people must be led to feel their utter inability in themselves to render obedience to God. … While they trusted in their own strength and righteousness, it was impossible for them to secure the pardon of their sins; they could not meet the claims of God’s perfect law, and it was in vain that they pledged themselves to serve God. It was only by faith in Christ that they could secure pardon of sin and receive strength to obey God’s law. They must cease to rely upon their own efforts for salvation, they must trust wholly in the merits of the promised Saviour, if they would be accepted of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 524.



a. What remarkable pledge did Israel make before Joshua in the sight of God? What was done as a memorial of this pledge? Joshua 24:21–27.

b. How was the closing period of Joshua’s life filled with dedication to God? Joshua 24:29–31. How did the people react under reproof when their experience wavered? Judges 2:1–5.

Note: “No stain rested upon the holy character of Joshua. He was a wise leader. His life was wholly devoted to God. …

“Joshua was loved and respected by all Israel, and his death was much lamented by them.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 351, 352.

“[Judges 2:1, 2 quoted.] The people bowed before God in contrition and repentance. They offered sacrifice, and confessed to God and to one another. The sacrifices they offered would have been of no value if they had not shown true repentance. Their contrition was genuine. The grace of Christ wrought in their hearts as they confessed their sins and offered sacrifice, and God forgave them.

“The revival was genuine. It wrought a reformation among the people. They remained true to the covenant they had made. The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen the great works of the Lord.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1001.



1    On what condition do the people of God enjoy His special protection?

2    What happens when a person is enticed into marriage with an unbeliever?

3    Why is it so difficult to reason with a person infatuated with an unbeliever?

4    How liable is human nature to slip into idolatry? Why?

5    What makes the era of Joshua’s leadership outstanding in Israel’s history?

 © 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Cities of Refuge

March 15 – 21, 2020

Key Text

“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 515–517.


“The cities of refuge appointed for God’s ancient people were a symbol of the refuge provided in Christ.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 516.



a. What provision was made in behalf of those in Israel who unintentionally killed another person? Numbers 35:9–12; Joshua 20:1–3.

b. How many cities of refuge were assigned? Where? Numbers 35:13, 14.

c. Why and for whom were these cities necessary? Numbers 35:15.

 Note: “This merciful provision was rendered necessary by the ancient custom of private vengeance, by which the punishment of the murderer devolved on the nearest relative or the next heir of the deceased. In cases where guilt was clearly evident it was not necessary to wait for a trial by the magistrates. The avenger might pursue the criminal anywhere and put him to death wherever he should be found. The Lord did not see fit to abolish this custom at that time, but He made provision to ensure the safety of those who should take life unintentionally.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 515.



a. Explain the distribution of the cities of refuge and the procedure for making use of them. Joshua 20:4–6. What distinction was made between willful murder and involuntary manslaughter? Numbers 35:16–24.

Note: “The cities of refuge were so distributed as to be within a half day’s journey of every part of the land. The roads leading to them were always to be kept in good repair; all along the way signposts were to be erected bearing the word ‘Refuge’ in plain, bold characters, that the fleeing one might not be delayed for a moment. Any person—Hebrew, stranger, or sojourner—might avail himself of this provision. But while the guiltless were not to be rashly slain, neither were the guilty to escape punishment. The case of the fugitive was to be fairly tried by the proper authorities, and only when found innocent of intentional murder was he to be protected in the city of refuge.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 515.

b. What was the rule in case of trial for murder? Numbers 35:30. As far as the number of witnesses is concerned, what rule was repeated in the New Testament? Matthew 18:16; 1Timothy 5:19. Why is this so important?

Note: “Personal enmity, or the prospect of personal advantage, has ruined the reputation and usefulness of thousands of innocent men. … One man might be controlled by prejudice, selfishness, or malice. But it was not likely that two or more persons would be so perverted as to unite in bearing false witness; and even should they do so, a separate examination would lead to a discovery of the truth.

“This merciful provision contains a lesson for the people of God until the close of time. It was Christ who gave to Moses those explicit directions for the Hebrew host; and when personally with His disciples on earth, the great Leader repeated the same lesson as He taught them, how to treat the erring. One man’s testimony was not to acquit or to condemn. One man’s views and opinions were not to settle disputed questions. … God has made it the duty of His servants to be subject one to another. No one man’s judgment is to control in any important matter. Mutual consideration and respect imparts proper dignity to the ministry, and unites the servants of God in close bonds of love and harmony.” The Signs of the Times, January 20, 1881.



a. On what condition was the refugee protected from the avengers, and when was he free to go home? Numbers 35:25–32.

b. Who is our refuge from the death due for sin? Psalm 9:9; Romans 8:1.

Note: “The same merciful Saviour who appointed those temporal cities of refuge has by the shedding of His own blood provided for the transgressors of God’s law a sure retreat, into which they may flee for safety from the second death. No power can take out of His hands the souls that go to Him for pardon.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 516.

c. How does Christ urge us to take refuge in Him? 2Corinthians 6:1, 2; Hebrews 10:26, 27. How is this illustrated through the cities of refuge?

Note: “If the fugitive would escape with his life, there must be no delay; family and employment must be left behind, there was no time to say farewell to loved ones. His life is at stake, and every other interest must be sacrificed to the one purpose—to reach the city of refuge. Weariness is forgotten, difficulties are unheeded. He does not for one moment slacken his pace until he is safe within the walls of the city.” The Signs of the Times, January 20, 1881.

“We are living in the last time, and Satan is now working with masterly power in order that with subtle temptations he may overcome those who believe in Jesus. But we are to be ‘kept by the power of God’; therefore, in temptation give glory to God who is able and will keep the believing soul so that he shall not be overcome by the wily foe. …

“The crafty deceiver has been found to be an accuser, a liar, a tormentor and a murderer; but whatever he may have led others to say concerning you, the Lord can say to him as He said to Peter, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan’ (Matthew 16:23). He can say to him, ‘You shall not come in between this soul and Me. You shall not interpose yourself between Me and the soul for whom I died a ransom.’ ” The Upward Look, 42.



a. How does God consider the shedding of blood? Numbers 35:33, 34.

b. What ceremony occurred when someone was found slain? Deuteronomy 21:1–9. What does this tell us about God’s hatred of sin and His regard for human life?

Note: “After the most diligent search had failed to discover the murderer, the rulers were by this solemn ceremony to show their abhorrence of the crime. They were not to regard with carelessness and negligence the deeds of the guilty. In all their acts they were to show that sin has a contaminating influence—that it leaves a stain upon every land and every person who will not by all possible means seek to bring the wrong-doer to justice. God regards as His enemies those who will by any act of negligence shield the guilty. They are in His sight partakers in the evil deeds of the sinner. …

“Sin may be called by false names, and glossed over by plausible excuses and pretended good motives, but this does not lessen its guilt in the sight of God. Wherever it may be found, sin is offensive to God, and will surely meet its punishment.” The Signs of the Times, January 20, 1881.

c. What other things are considered murder in God’s eyes? 1John 3:15.

 Note: “All acts of injustice that tend to shorten life; the spirit of hatred and revenge, or the indulgence of any passion that leads to injurious acts toward others, or causes us even to wish them harm (for ‘whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer’); a selfish neglect of caring for the needy or suffering; all self-indulgence or unnecessary deprivation or excessive labor that tends to injure health—all these are, to a greater or less degree, violations of the sixth commandment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 308.

“The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with Satan, and it led him to put to death the Son of God. Whoever cherishes malice or unkindness is cherishing the same spirit, and its fruit will be unto death.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 56.



a. What provision has been made for our refuge today? John 10:14, 15.

Note: “The same merciful Saviour who appointed those temporal cities of refuge has by the shedding of His own blood provided for the transgressors of God’s law a sure retreat, into which they may flee for safety from the second death. No power can take out of His hands the souls that go to Him for pardon. …

“The sinner is exposed to eternal death, until he finds a hiding place in Christ; and as loitering and carelessness might rob the fugitive of his only chance for life, so delays and indifference may prove the ruin of the soul. Satan, the great adversary, is on the track of every transgressor of God’s holy law, and he who is not sensible of his danger, and does not earnestly seek shelter in the eternal refuge, will fall a prey to the destroyer.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 516, 517.

b. What role does the church have in this process? John 10:16.

Note: “The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world.” The Acts of the Apostles, 11.

“God’s Spirit convicts sinners of the truth, and He places them in the arms of the church. The ministers may do their part, but they can never perform the work that the church should do. God requires His church to nurse those who are young in faith and experience, to go to them, not for the purpose of gossiping with them, but to pray, to speak unto them words that are ‘like apples of gold in pictures of silver’ (Proverbs 25:11).” Testimonies, vol. 4, 69.



1    Who established the cities of refuge, and for what purpose?

2    Why is it so important to have two or more witnesses in any trial?

3    What should we learn from the haste needed in going to the city of refuge?

4    What do these cities teach us about God’s mercy and justice?

5    When is Christ a sure Refuge for me? How can I help others find this?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Dealing with Misunderstanding

March 8 – 14, 2020

Key Text

“He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly” (Proverbs 14:29).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 518–520.


“No one was ever reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.



a. The children of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh were all situated on the east side of Jordan. What problems were associated with having such a distant location from the sanctuary? Joshua 22:10.

Note: “They [these tribes] were now to dwell at a distance from the sanctuary of the Lord, and it was with an anxious heart that Joshua witnessed their departure, knowing how strong would be the temptations, in their isolated and wandering life, to fall into the customs of the heathen tribes that dwelt upon their borders.

“While the minds of Joshua and other leaders were still oppressed with anxious forebodings, strange tidings reached them. Beside the Jordan, near the place of Israel’s miraculous passage of the river, the two and a half tribes had erected a great altar, similar to the altar of burnt offering at Shiloh.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518.

b. How did the remaining tribes react? Why? Joshua 22:11, 12.

Note: “The law of God prohibited, on pain of death, the establishment of another worship than that at the sanctuary. If such was the object of this altar, it would, if permitted to remain, lead the people away from the true faith.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518.



a. When the two and a half tribes east of Jordan built an altar, what calm approach cooled down the initial reaction of the others? Joshua 22:13, 14.

Note: “The representatives of the people assembled at Shiloh, and in the heat of their excitement and indignation proposed to make war at once upon the offenders. Through the influence of the more cautious, however, it was decided to send first a delegation to obtain from the two and a half tribes an explanation of their conduct. Ten princes, one from each tribe, were chosen. At their head was Phinehas, who had distinguished himself by his zeal in the matter of Peor.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518.

b. Explain the appeal that was made to the eastern tribes. Joshua 22:15–18.

Note: “The two and a half tribes had been at fault in entering, without explanation, upon an act open to such grave suspicions. The ambassadors, taking it for granted that their brethren were guilty, met them with sharp rebuke. They accused them of rebelling against the Lord, and bade them remember how judgments had been visited upon Israel for joining themselves to Baalpeor.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518.

c. To what experience was Phinehas referring? Numbers 25:1–9. What should we learn from the spirit he manifested toward his brethren? Joshua 22:19.

Note: “In behalf of all Israel, Phinehas stated to the children of Gad and Reuben that if they were unwilling to abide in that land without an altar for sacrifice, they would be welcome to a share in the possessions and privileges of their brethren on the other side.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 518, 519.

“We need good, heart religion and divine wisdom to deal with human minds, that we shall not only reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine, but we shall take the erring in our arms of faith and bear them to the cross of Christ.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, 339.



a. How serious a comparison did the tribes on the western side of Jordan make regarding the altar built on the east side of Jordan? Joshua 22:20. What can we learn from their mistaken zeal for the right?

Note: “Care should be exercised by all Christians, to shun the two extremes, of laxness in dealing with sin on the one hand, and harsh judgment and groundless suspicion on the other. The Israelites who manifested so much zeal against the men of Gad and Reuben remembered how, in Achan’s case, God had rebuked the lack of vigilance to discover the sins existing among them. Then they resolved to act promptly and earnestly in the future; but in seeking to do this they went to the opposite extreme. Instead of meeting their brethren with censure, they should first have made courteous inquiry to learn all the facts in the case.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 999.

b. How did the children of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh explain their reason for the altar on the east side of Jordan? Joshua 22:21–29.

Note: “The accused explained that their altar was not intended for sacrifice, but simply as a witness that, although separated by the river, they were of the same faith as their brethren in Canaan. They had feared that in future years their children might be excluded from the tabernacle, as having no part in Israel. Then this altar, erected after the pattern of the altar of the Lord at Shiloh, would be a witness that its builders were also worshipers of the living God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.

c. How did the reasoning approach prove to be successful? Joshua 22:30, 31.

Note: “With great joy the ambassadors accepted this explanation, and immediately carried back the tidings to those who sent them. All thoughts of war were dismissed, and the people united in rejoicing, and praise to God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.



a. To reveal that their intentions were honorable in having an altar east of Jordan, what did the children of Gad and Reuben do? Joshua 22:34.

Note: “The children of Gad and Reuben now placed upon their altar an inscription pointing out the purpose for which it was erected; and they said, ‘It shall be a witness between us that Jehovah is God’ (Joshua 22:34). Thus they endeavored to prevent future misapprehension and to remove what might be a cause of temptation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.

b. What wise lessons are we to learn from this experience among the tribes? Proverbs 14:17, 29; James 1:19.

Note: “How often serious difficulties arise from a simple misunderstanding, even among those who are actuated by the worthiest motives; and without the exercise of courtesy and forbearance, what serious and even fatal results may follow. …

“While very sensitive to the least blame in regard to their own course, many are too severe in dealing with those whom they suppose to be in error.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519.

“The powers of darkness will assault every soul, but let us not join with the evil one in his work, and deal with severity to discourage and dishearten the weak and erring. Let us be pitiful, compassionate one to another, and let an influence go out from us to heal, to bind up, to establish, rather than to wound and to uproot. There is altogether too much haste … and often that which we think is justice, the Lord writes in His book as oppression. … Let us love one another, be kind and courteous.” The Review and Herald, October 24, 1893.

c. What other principles should we keep in mind when dealing with our brethren? 1Corinthians 13:4; Ephesians 4:32.

 Note: “In all your transactions with your fellow men never forget that you are dealing with God’s property. Be kind; be pitiful; be courteous. Respect God’s purchased possession. Treat one another with tenderness and courtesy.” My Life Today, 235.



a. What should we remember when we are falsely accused? What attitude should we have? 1Peter 2:19–24; 4:14–16.

 Note: “The wisdom displayed by the Reubenites and their companions is worthy of imitation. While honestly seeking to promote the cause of true religion, they were misjudged and severely censured; yet they manifested no resentment. They listened with courtesy and patience to the charges of their brethren before attempting to make their defense, and then fully explained their motives and showed their innocence. Thus the difficulty which had threatened such serious consequences was amicably settled.

“Even under false accusation those who are in the right can afford to be calm and considerate. God is acquainted with all that is misunderstood and misinterpreted by men, and we can safely leave our case in His hands. He will as surely vindicate the cause of those who put their trust in Him as He searched out the guilt of Achan. Those who are actuated by the spirit of Christ will possess that charity which suffers long and is kind.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 520.

“How much of evil would be averted, if all, when falsely accused, would avoid recrimination, and in its stead employ mild, conciliating words. And at the same time, those who in their zeal to oppose sin have indulged unjust suspicions, should ever seek to take the most favorable view of their brethren, and should rejoice when they are found guiltless.” The Signs of the Times, May 12, 1881.



1    To what perils are isolated members of the church especially exposed?

2    What examples do I recall when a calmer approach may have yielded better results in dealing with others?

3    Why does honest, open interaction in the spirit of Christ always pay off?

4    With what attitude should I approach those whom I think are in error?

5    If I feel that I am falsely accused, what knowledge will lead me to leave my case in God’s hands? How will this affect my frame of mind?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Early Life in Canaan

Lessons from the Book of Joshua

March 1 – 7, 2020

Key Text

“And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them” (Joshua 18:1).

Study Help:  Patriarchs and Prophets, 512–518.


“The land to which we are traveling is in every sense far more attractive than was the land of Canaan to the children of Israel. They were led by the hand of God. Christ Himself gave them a description of the country in which they were to find a home; for He wished to place before them every incentive to press on with hope and courage. … They had need of courage and constant faith.” The Review and Herald, November 29, 1881.



a. Before the land was distributed, what did Caleb testify of his experience from forty years prior? Joshua 14:6–9. How had he shown courage before?

b. What can we learn from God’s promise to Caleb? Numbers 14:22–24.

Note: “While the doubting ones talk of impossibilities, while they tremble at the thought of high walls and strong giants, let the faithful Calebs, who have ‘another spirit’ (Numbers 14:24), come to the front. The truth of God, which bringeth salvation, will go forth to the people if ministers and professed believers will not hedge up its way, as did the unfaithful spies. Our work is aggressive. Something must be done to warn the world; and let no voice be heard that will encourage selfish interests to the neglect of missionary fields. We must engage in the work with heart and soul and voice; both mental and physical powers must be aroused. All heaven is interested in our work, and angels of God are ashamed of our weak efforts.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 380, 381.



a. What refreshing request did 85-year-old Caleb make? Joshua 14:10–12. How is his amazing courage and trust in God inspiring to us?

Note: “Zeal and energy must be intensified; talents that are rusting from inaction must be pressed into service. The voice that would say, ‘Wait; do not allow yourself to have burdens imposed upon you,’ is the voice of the cowardly spies. We want Calebs now who will press to the front—chieftains in Israel who with courageous words will make a strong report in favor of immediate action. When the selfish, ease-loving, panic-stricken people, fearing tall giants and inaccessible walls, clamor for retreat, let the voice of the Calebs be heard, even though the cowardly ones stand with stones in their hands, ready to beat them down for their faithful testimony.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 383.

b. How was Caleb’s faithful claim blessed? Joshua 14:13–15.

Note: “Caleb’s faith now was just what it was when his testimony had contradicted the evil report of the spies. He had believed God’s promise that He would put His people in possession of Canaan, and in this he had followed the Lord fully. He had endured with his people the long wandering in the wilderness, thus sharing the disappointments and burdens of the guilty; yet he made no complaint of this, but exalted the mercy of God that had preserved him in the wilderness when his brethren were cut off. Amid all the hardships, perils, and plagues of the desert wanderings, and during the years of warfare since entering Canaan, the Lord had preserved him; and now at upwards of fourscore his vigor was unabated. He did not ask for himself a land already conquered, but the place which above all others the spies had thought it impossible to subdue. By the help of God he would wrest his stronghold from the very giants whose power had staggered the faith of Israel. It was no desire for honor or aggrandizement that prompted Caleb’s request. The brave old warrior was desirous of giving to the people an example that would honor God, and encourage the tribes fully to subdue the land which their fathers had deemed unconquerable.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 512, 513.



a. Explain how Caleb’s courageous faith was demonstrated in works, even in his old age. Joshua 15:13, 14

Note: “Caleb obtained the inheritance upon which his heart had been set for forty years, and, trusting in God to be with him, he ‘drove thence the three sons of Anak’ (Joshua 15:14). Having thus secured a possession for himself and his house, his zeal did not abate; he did not settle down to enjoy his inheritance, but pushed on to further conquests for the benefit of the nation and the glory of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 513.

b. Explain the difference in outcome between the experience of Joshua and Caleb versus that of the unbelieving spies. Numbers 14:30–32; 1Corinthians 10:5.

Note: “The cowards and rebels had perished in the wilderness, but the righteous spies ate of the grapes of Eschol. To each was given according to his faith. The unbelieving had seen their fears fulfilled. Notwithstanding God’s promise, they had declared that it was impossible to inherit Canaan, and they did not possess it. But those who trusted in God, looking not so much to the difficulties to be encountered as to the strength of their Almighty Helper, entered the goodly land.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 513.

c. What does God want us to realize about the power of faith? 1John 5:4.

 Note: “All things are possible to him that believeth; and whatsoever things we desire when we pray, if we believe that we receive them we shall have them. This faith will penetrate the darkest cloud and bring rays of light and hope to the drooping, desponding soul. It is the absence of this faith and trust which brings perplexity, distressing fears, and surmisings of evil. God will do great things for His people when they put their entire trust in Him.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 140.



a. Which tribes were located (a) on the east side of the Jordan; (b) on the west side of the Jordan? (To view the division of Canaan among the twelve tribes, see a Bible map.) Numbers 34:14, 15; Joshua 13:7, 8.

Note: “Two of the tribes of Israel, Gad and Reuben, with half the tribe of Manasseh, had received their inheritance before crossing the Jordan. To a pastoral people, the wide upland plains and rich forests of Gilead and Bashan, offering extensive grazing land for their flocks and herds, had attractions which were not to be found in Canaan itself, and the two and a half tribes, desiring to settle here, had pledged themselves to furnish their proportion of armed men to accompany their brethren across the Jordan and to share their battles till they also should enter upon their inheritance. The obligation had been faithfully discharged. When the ten tribes entered Canaan forty thousand of ‘the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh … prepared for war passed over before the Lord unto battle, to the plains of Jericho’ (Joshua 4:12, 13). For years they had fought bravely by the side of their brethren. Now the time had come for them to get unto the land of their possession. As they had united with their brethren in the conflicts, so they had shared the spoils; and they returned ‘with much riches … and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much raiment’ (Judges 22:8), all of which they were to share with those who had remained with the families and flocks.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 517, 518.

b. Where was the headquarters of the nation? Joshua 4:19; 10:6, first part.

 Note: “Here [at the first encampment in Canaan], Joshua ‘circumcised the children of Israel’ (Joshua 5:3); ‘and the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover’ (verse 10). … And the Lord declared to Joshua, ‘This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you’ (verse 9), and in allusion to this the place of their encampment was called Gilgal, ‘a rolling away,’ or ‘rolling off.’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 485, 486.



a. After the claim of Joseph’s children had been settled, to where was the tabernacle moved? Joshua 18:1, 10. Why? How long was it there?

Note: “Heretofore Gilgal had been the headquarters of the nation and the seat of the tabernacle. But now the tabernacle was to be removed to the place chosen for its permanent location. This was Shiloh, a little town in the lot of Ephraim. It was near the center of the land, and was easy of access to all the tribes. Here a portion of country had been thoroughly subdued, so that the worshipers would not be molested. [Joshua 18:1 quoted.] The tribes that were still encamped when the tabernacle was removed from Gilgal followed it, and pitched near Shiloh. Here these tribes remained until they dispersed to their possessions.

“The ark remained at Shiloh for three hundred years, until, because of the sins of Eli’s house, it fell into the hands of the Philistines, and Shiloh was ruined. The ark was never returned to the tabernacle here, the sanctuary service was finally transferred to the temple at Jerusalem.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 514.

b. What valuable practice was later instituted at Shiloh? Judges 21:19.

Note: “As a means of education an important place was filled by the feasts of Israel. In ordinary life the family was both a school and a church, the parents being the instructors in secular and in religious lines. But three times a year seasons were appointed for social intercourse and worship. First at Shiloh, and afterward at Jerusalem, these gatherings were held.” Education, 41, 42.



1    Why did God say Caleb had “another spirit” suited to the promised land?

2    How can I develop an attitude more like Caleb than like Joseph’s children?

3    What do I need to realize about faith that perhaps I have not seen before?

4    What kind of faith was exercised by those tribes east of the Jordan?

5    Name some of the blessings reaped by the location of Shiloh.

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Ratatouille Provencale


for the Skin and Hair

Eggplant, also known as Brinjal or Aubergine, belongs to the nightshade family. Botanically, eggplant is a fruit and not a vegetable, native to India.

Eggplant is known to be rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals and other healthy enzymes that are good for our health. Phytonutrients present in eggplant enhance the functioning of the brain, its high vitamin C content gives antibacterial support and its high fiber content maintains a low blood-sugar level for diabetes patients. Apart from these health benefits, the consumption and application of eggplant have a number of skin and hair benefits.

Eggplant juice works wonders as a natural skin toner and maintains and improves firmness of the skin and also helps to get rid of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, etc. Take fresh eggplant juice and add a little witch hazel to it. Store in the refrigerator and use as a toner for soft and smooth skin.

Eggplant also has a very important ingredient called Chlorogenic acid in it which can reduce the risk of skin cancer. It protects our DNA from mutation and has antibacterial and antiviral properties which protect the body.

Eggplant is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which help in maintaining the natural shine, luster and health of the hair. Eggplant has a number of healthy enzymes, which make hair follicles strong and thus promotes the natural growth of hair. Application of eggplant juice on one’s hair can do wonders for maintaining moisture content and softening the brittle locks. This can be simply achieved by using eggplant juice for rinsing the hair regularly and see your hair shine.

Excerpts from

Ratatouille Provencale


1 cup onions, sliced

3 cups eggplant, cubed

¼ cup olive oil, or water

4 cups zucchini, cubed

½ cup green or red pepper, coarsely chopped

1 ½ tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. water

¼ cup tomato puree

1 Tbsp. fresh basil

1 bay leaf

1 Tbsp. Herbs de Provence OR equal amounts of sage, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary and savory, mixed together

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups tomatoes, cut in chunks


Sauté onions in oil or water until tender. Add eggplant and cook 5 minutes. Add zucchini and pepper; cook 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except tomatoes. Cover and cook until zucchini and eggplant are tender. Add tomatoes and cook briefly until soft. Remove bay leaf. Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or whole grain noodles.

Children’s Story – Jim’s Big Decision

“Remember,” Mrs. Allen told all the boys and girls in the seventh grade, “one week from today we are going to have our final test in American history. The questions will cover everything we’ve been studying during the last three months, so you’ll have to study hard.”

All the seventh graders groaned out loud as they gathered up their books and papers and got ready to go home.

Jim climbed on the school bus and took a seat. He was thinking about the history test and how much studying he was going to have to do if he wanted to get a good grade. He was thinking so hard about the test he hardly noticed when Eric sat down beside him. “What’s the matter?” Eric asked looking at Jim. “Are you sick or something?”

“No. I’m thinking about that history test next week. We’re going to have to spend a lot of time studying.”

“Not me,” Eric said. “I’m going down to the skateboard park and practice every night this week. I don’t have to study for that old test.”

“Why not?” Jim wanted to know.

“Because I already know all the questions that will be on it,” Eric told him. “Several of the kids in class have them. You just have to be sure you know the answers to those questions, and you’ll do fine. You don’t have to spend all week studying.”

“How do you know the questions?” Jim asked.

Eric looked around carefully and lowered his voice. “George found a copy of the test in the wastebasket last week when he was helping the janitor take out the trash. I guess Mrs. Allen had forgotten to shred it before she threw it away. George managed to slip it out of the wastebasket and put it under his coat without the janitor seeing him. He’s selling copies for five dollars. He’ll sell you one if you want it. He’s keeping it a secret from most of the kids in the class since he doesn’t want word to get out. But he would sell you a copy, I’m sure. It’s good money for George, and several of us will get a good grade without having to study.”

Jim didn’t know what to think. He knew what George was doing was wrong. And he knew that to buy a copy of the test would be cheating. But he also knew that he was going to have to spend several hours every night studying to have any chance at all of doing well on the test. And he knew that the test counted a lot toward his final grade in the class. He was tempted to give George five dollars and not have to study.

For a while, a battle was going on in his mind. What should he do? The bus was almost at his stop. Eric was looking at him; he had to make a decision. Should he cheat or should he spend all week studying? The bus was slowing down, and the driver was turning on the flashing red lights. Eric waited for Jim’s answer.

“No, Eric,” Jim said as the bus stopped. “I don’t want a copy of the test. That wouldn’t be fair. I want to take the test honestly and do well because I’ve studied—not because I’ve cheated.”

Eric shrugged. “Suit yourself,” he said.

All that week, Jim studied hard, reviewing what he had learned in class over the last few months. He went over all his notes and tried his best to remember the important points that Mrs. Allen had stressed in class. It seemed like the longest week in his life.

Finally, the morning came. Test day! Jim wasn’t sure how well he would do on the test, but he knew he had studied hard and was as prepared as he would ever be. And he knew that no matter what happened, he had done the right thing. His conscience was clear.

As Jim walked into the classroom, Eric looked at him carefully. So did George. So did three or four other students. They all knew that Jim knew they had the questions already. “You should have bought the questions,” Eric whispered. “You didn’t have to spend all that time studying, you know!”

Jim didn’t say anything. He looked around. Mrs. Allen wasn’t in the room yet. The kids in the classroom were talking and putting their things away. It was time for class to begin, and still Mrs. Allen hadn’t arrived. “Where is Mrs. Allen?” everyone began asking. “Why isn’t she here? What’s wrong?”

Just then the door opened, and the school principal entered the room, followed by Mrs. Allen. The principal wasn’t smiling; neither was Mrs. Allen. Instead, they had serious expressions on their faces. The students quit talking and turned their attention to the front of the classroom. When everything was quiet, the principal said, “Yesterday, your teacher learned that some students had managed to get a copy of today’s history test. We aren’t sure yet just how this happened, but we’re investigating. Meanwhile, Mrs. Allen has stayed up all night preparing a new test with all new questions. It wasn’t easy for her to do so, but she’s ready now.”

The principal turned and walked out the door, and Mrs. Allen began passing out the test—a completely new test with all new questions.

Some of the students looked puzzled. A few of the students looked sick. But there was joy in Jim’s heart. He was happy that he had made the decision to be honest.

Jim picked up the test and began to read the questions. He had studied hard, and he knew he was going to do well.

Storytime, Character-building Stories for Children, ©2008, 74–77.

Young people, each one of us is taking a test—our final test. If we don’t pass this test there will be no second chance to take it again. Are we studying as if our eternal life depended on it? or are we listening to the devil who tells us we don’t need to study and prepare—we can cheat through this life and still win the prize of heaven?

“You are now in probationary [final test] time, and a second probation will not come to any of you. This is the only opportunity you will have of standing the test and proving of God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 245.

Question – What does the “narrow way” involve?

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14).

“Tests are placed all along the way from earth to heaven. It is because of this that the road to heaven is called the narrow way. Character must be tested, else there would be many spurious Christians who would keep up a fair semblance of religion until their inclinations, their desire to have their own way, their pride and ambition, were crossed. When by the Lord’s permission sharp trials come to them, their lack of genuine religion, of the meekness and lowliness of Christ, shows them to be in need of the work of the Holy Spirit. …

“He [Christ] invites all to wear His yoke and learn His meekness and lowliness. He knows that it is positively necessary for them to do this. But no human being can wear the yoke of submission and obedience who does not learn daily in the school of Christ. … No one, whatever his supposed abilities, can bear the test of trial unless he is a student in the school of Christ. …

“The true Christian keeps his eyes fixed on Him who searches the heart and tries the reins, who requires truth in the inward parts. His constant prayer is, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’ (Psalm 139:23, 24).” In Heavenly Places, 266.

“Why is it so hard to lead a self-denying, humble life? Because professed Christians are not dead to the world. It is easy living after we are dead. But many are longing for the leeks and onions of Egypt. They have a disposition to dress and act as much like the world as possible, and yet go to heaven. Such climb up some other way. They do not enter through the strait gate and narrow way. …” Messages to Young People, 127, 128.

“Before you are two ways—the broad road of self-indulgence and the narrow path of self-sacrifice. Into the broad road you can take selfishness, pride, love of the world; but those who walk in the narrow way must lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset. Which road have you chosen—the road which leads to everlasting death, or the road which leads to glory and immortality?” Our High Calling, 8.

Life Sketches – A Good Inheritance

It is customary today for people to make out and deliver to their heirs their last will and testament. Before his imprisonment, the apostle Paul delivered his last will and testament to the church. In it we find most interesting instruction for not only the early church but for the church in all ages to show the destiny of the different members.

One Saturday night while he was in Troas, Paul preached until midnight. The next day, it says in Acts 20:13–16, “Then we [Paul’s disciples] went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, there intending to take Paul on board; for so he had given orders, intending himself to go on foot [around 15 or 16 miles]. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. We sailed from there, and the next day came opposite Chios. The following day we arrived at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium. The next day we came to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.”

But then, because of a delay, it says in verse 17, “From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church” (about 30 miles away). Paul knew he was going to be delayed for some time so the elders of the church at Ephesus and their families came for what was to be their last meeting with him. We do not know if he intended it to be this way ahead of time, but the Holy Spirit came upon him and revealed to Paul while he was talking to them that this was going to be the last time they were going to see him. So, Paul left with them his final instructions, his last will and testament, for the Christian church.

“When they had come to him, he said to them: ‘You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; and how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house …’ ” (verses 18–20). Paul told them everything. He understood the concept taught in both the Old and New Testaments that all of us one day are going to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. If you are a minister it is a fearful thing to think about appearing before the judgment seat of Christ. What if you have not taught the people what they need to understand so that they can be saved? Paul said, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Jesus had something specific to say about the people who were Christian leaders and teaching others concerning that day of judgment. He said, “Be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over His household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that He will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:44–51).

If you study all the statements in the New Testament where Jesus said when He comes again there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, you will find something very interesting. Those who will weep and gnash their teeth are not the heathen, but the Christians who thought that they would be saved. They claim to be God’s people and expect to have eternal life. But Jesus said to them, “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out” (Luke 13:28).

What a disappointment for them to find out they are not saved but are in fact wicked servants who beat their fellow servants, eating and drinking with the drunkards. This is not necessarily referring to a physical beating for today there are more sophisticated ways to beat one another. Some use the courts. Others enslave people in debt or use other methods to take control of somebody else’s life. The book of Revelation predicts that the whole world in the last days is going to be spiritually drunk. (See Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17; Revelation 18.) The wicked servants are the people who partake with those who are spiritually drunk and not ready for the day of judgment. Paul told the church that he was not in the category of the false teachers who are afraid to tell the truth and tickle the ears of the church members telling them only what they want to hear.

Notice what Peter says about the false teachers: “They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. … When they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness [licentiousness], the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire’ ” (2 Peter 2:15, 18–22).

The carnal heart looks for a way to be saved in sin, but this is not possible, for sin and holiness cannot abide together. Jesus alone can save you from your sins. Paul said, “I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:20, 21).

To be saved you must repent of your sins. Sin is the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4 KJV).  We all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and need to repent. Repentance means to change your mind about sin. Those who are living in sin and have not been converted, sin because they want to; they choose to sin. But when you repent it means you are sorry for your sins (2 Corinthians 7), a godly sorrow for sin that does not need to be repented of, sorry for what you have done that is contrary to God’s law.

Paul said, “Testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). What happens when you have faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ?

Jesus gives to you the gift of the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8) and through the power of the Holy Spirit you live a new life that is in harmony with God’s law. Many claim that it is impossible to keep God’s law. Without the power of the Holy Spirit that is true. However when you receive the Holy Spirit it is the power necessary to keep God’s law. If you want to be saved, you must have repentance towards God whose law you have broken, and you must have faith toward Jesus Christ who will be your Lord and Saviour and Deliverer from the guilt of your sins. He gives you the power to start living a life that is in harmony with God’s law.

Paul knew what was going to happen in the very near future from the enlightenment he received from the Holy Spirit. He said, “And see, now I go bound in the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you [his last will and testament to the church] this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole council of God” (Acts 20:22–27). Paul did not preach just those things that would please men and win him friends and influence people. He preached all the counsel of God so that nobody could come to him in the day of judgment and say, “You didn’t tell me what I needed to know to be saved.”

Then he gave them a charge. He said, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He has purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure [his death] savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (verses 28, 29). Jesus talked about these wolves. Notice what He said: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles” (Matthew 7:15, 16)? So, Jesus warned to watch out for false prophets, false teachers. They will come to you in sheep’s clothing. In other words, they claim that they are Christians; they claim that they are disciples of Christ. They claim they are part of God’s people, part of His church. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside, Jesus said, they are ravenous wolves. You do not know what is in someone’s heart. So, Jesus said, “By their fruit you will know them” (verse 20). The kind of life that they live is a revelation of their character. Do they live a life that is in harmony with the law of God? How is it with your life, friend? What message are you giving to those in your sphere of influence? Is your life in harmony with the law of God, with the government of heaven? Or are you living as though you are a rebel, even though you may claim to be a Christian?

Peter predicted that this same thing would happen, and he devoted a whole chapter to it in 2 Peter 2.

Paul, addressing the same issue, said, “From among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:30). Paul is speaking to the leaders of the Christian church and he said that from among the leadership of the church—the elders, the bishops, the pastors, the overseers of the church—people are going to arise speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves.

And then he says, “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (verses 31, 32). That’s the eternal inheritance.

My dear friend, do you want to receive the eternal inheritance? Have you noticed that in the Bible the only people who receive the eternal inheritance are the sanctified? A sanctified person is a holy person. The word sanctify means to make holy. Paul, who understood from the time he met Jesus on the Damascus road, that the word of His grace is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Notice how the apostle related his conversion to King Agrippa in Acts 26:17, 18. He said that the Lord told him this: “ ‘I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ ”

Paul taught the lesson that the inheritance is only shared among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus. He said, “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). God chose you and you were chosen for sanctification; He chose you to make you a holy person.

The good news of the gospel is that a person who is wicked and sinful can have his or her guilt taken away and receive what the Bible calls “the new birth” experience and through the power of the Holy Spirit can receive a new spirit, a new heart, and a new mind, and can become a holy person. We are encouraged by Paul to “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). It is that plain!

Again Peter taught that, “As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:14–19).

Then, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” (verse 22). He goes on to say that is the experience of the new birth (verse 23).

O, friend, have you been born again? Have you received the grace of Christ into your heart? Have you received forgiveness of sins and a new birth of the Holy Spirit so that you have new motives, a new heart, a new spirit, and new desires? Is your life coming into harmony with the law of God so that the whole universe can see that you really are one of His children?

Never be deceived by the lie that you can be saved while you are living in sin. That is not the message from the Bible. The choice is yours. If you want to be saved, you must be purified and made holy, not in your own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit working in you.

God told Paul that He was sending him to the Gentiles so that they could receive not only forgiveness of sins, but so they could receive an inheritance among all the others who are sanctified. After the apostle Paul told them this, he said, “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship” (Acts 20:33–38).

What a last will and testament to the church!  Paul committed the church to God and said the word of God’s grace is able to build each one up and prepare them so that they can receive an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. It is the will and testament of heaven that all should be sanctified and made holy so they can take their places among holy beings but, sadly, not everyone makes that choice. Will you surrender your life to the Lordship and sovereignty of Jesus Christ?

(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.

Nature Nugget – Yellow-Eyed Penguin

Yellow-eyed penguins are easily identifiable among other species because of the yellow color of their eyes. They have a light yellow stripe around each eye that continues and joins in the back of their head. The rest of their dark plumage on the back, wings, and tail is not completely black as in other species, mixed white feathers in those areas give it the appearance of dark brown or dark gray.

Their front from the throat to the legs is fully white, and their legs are pink. Their beak has mixed parts of pink and orange and as their name implies the iris of their eyes are yellow. Newborn chicks look very different; they have light brown plumage and lack the yellow eyes and all the colorful details of the head that adults have.

Yellow-eyed penguins’ main colonies are on Campbell Island, Auckland Island, Stewart Island, South Island of New Zealand and the Otago Peninsula. Colorful plants, trees, and humidity are part of the natural landscape of the Yellow-eyed Penguin.

These penguins are sedentary, and they do not make migratory journeys. They are not as social as other species, so they do not group in crowded colonies; they prefer hiking on their own and dive into the sea individually. The yellow-eyed penguin forages predominantly over the continental shelf between one and sixteen miles offshore, diving to depths of 131 feet to 394 feet and feeding on small fish such as opal fish, red cod, blue cod and kingfish as well as shellfish.

Both partners and their offspring communicate acoustically. They do not show as much bonding as other penguins because of their individual character. They prefer to hide their chicks in natural cavities made by tree trunks or rocks to avoid any disturbance.

Diseases such as avian malaria and other disorders caused by bacteria and parasites, as well as the lack of food as a result of temperature changes in the ocean are their main threats.

Human activities like disturbance due to tourism, forgotten fishing nets, and accidental forest fires are also factors that threaten the Megadyptes antipodes.

Excerpts from:

“The bounties of God’s providence speak to every soul, confirming Christ’s testimony to the supreme goodness of His Father. The Lord would have His people realize that the blessings bestowed upon any object of creation are proportionate to the place that object occupies in the scale of creation. If even the wants of dumb animals are supplied, can we appreciate the blessings which God will bestow upon the beings formed in His image?” Sons and Daughters of God, 139.

Keys to the Storehouse – The Battle

How often the battle rages within our souls. Whom will we crucify in our lives—Jesus or Barabbas? The choice is ours. If we crucify Barabbas, the Lord Jesus is free to work a miracle in our hearts, but if we deny and crucify Jesus, we are left alone with no strength to battle the evil one. In the words of an old song written by F. E. Belden in 1908 from “Christ in Song,” pg. 1, came forth the real battle of our hearts: Christ or Barabbas? Whom will you crucify in your life?

Christ or Barabbas?

What shall I do with Jesus? He stands before me now,

Wearing the robe of purple, And thorns upon His brow.

This is the question now; What shall the answer be?

Shall I crucify King Jesus, And set Barabbas free?


Shall I release the robber, The carnal man of pride?

Sin or a sinless Saviour? O which shall be denied?

This is the question now; What shall the answer be?

Shall I crucify King Jesus, And set Barabbas free?


Solemn and awful question! How still the balance stands!

Mercy a moment lingers, It trembles in her hands.

This is the question now; What shall the answer be?

Shall I crucify King Jesus, And set Barabbas free?


Self on the seat of judgment, Dare you the world deny?

Louder and louder calling, “Away!” and “Crucify!”

This is the question now; What shall the answer be?

Shall I crucify King Jesus, And set Barabbas free?


Not to the sinner only, The question comes with pow’r,

Hear it, ye halting Christians, In every trial hour.

This is the question now; What shall the answer be?

I will crucify Barabbas and set King Jesus free.

Heavenly Father: The battle rages within my heart—who will reign, Jesus or Barabbas? Too many times I have crucified Jesus and allowed Barabbas to sit upon the throne of my heart. Every trial I go through comes down to the big choice “who receives my heart—Jesus or Barabbas?” Give me courage to shut the door to Barabbas and to open it to Jesus in each and every battle. Amen.