Bible Study – Jacob’s Experience

February 19 – 25, 2023

Key Text

“Then Jacob said, ‘Swear to me as of this day.’ So he [Esau] swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.” Genesis 25:33

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 177–182


“Jacob had learned from his mother of the divine intimation that the birthright should fall to him, and he was filled with an unspeakable desire for the privileges which it would confer. It was not the possession of his father’s wealth that he craved; the spiritual birthright was the object of his longing.” Conflict and Courage, 60



1.a. What was revealed to Rebekah about her two children? Genesis 25:21–23

Note: “Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac, present a striking contrast, both in character and in life. This unlikeness was foretold by the angel of God before their birth. When in answer to Rebekah’s troubled prayer he declared that two sons would be given her, he opened to her their future history, that each would become the head of a mighty nation, but that one would be greater than the other, and that the younger would have the preeminence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 17

1.b. What contrasting lifestyle did the two brothers follow? Genesis 25:27

Note: “Esau grew up loving self-gratification and centering all his interest in the present. Impatient of restraint, he delighted in the wild freedom of the chase, and early chose the life of a hunter. Yet he was the father’s favorite. … Jacob, thoughtful, diligent, and care-taking, ever thinking more of the future than the present, was content to dwell at home, occupied in the care of the flocks and the tillage of the soil.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 177



2.a. What duties and privileges did the firstborn son have?

Note: “Jacob had learned from his mother of the divine intimation that the birthright should fall to him, and he was filled with an unspeakable desire for the privileges which it would confer. It was not the possession of his father’s wealth that he craved; the spiritual birthright was the object of his longing. To commune with God as did righteous Abraham, to offer the sacrifice of atonement for his family, to be the progenitor of the chosen people and of the promised Messiah, and to inherit the immortal possessions embraced in the blessings of the covenant—here were the privileges and honors that kindled his most ardent desires. His mind was ever reaching forward to the future, and seeking to grasp its unseen blessings.

“With secret longing he listened to all that his father told concerning the spiritual birthright; he carefully treasured what he had learned from his mother. Day and night the subject occupied his thoughts, until it became the absorbing interest of his life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 178

2.b. What did Jacob do to obtain the promised birthright, and why? Genesis 25:29–34

Note: “But while he thus esteemed eternal above temporal blessings, Jacob had not an experimental knowledge of the God whom he revered. His heart had not been renewed by divine grace. He believed that the promise concerning himself could not be fulfilled so long as Esau retained the rights of the first-born, and he constantly studied to devise some way whereby he might secure the blessing which his brother held so lightly, but which was so precious to himself.

“When Esau, coming home one day faint and weary from the chase, asked for the food that Jacob was preparing, the latter, with whom one thought was ever uppermost, seized upon his advantage, and offered to satisfy his brother’s hunger at the price of the birthright. ‘Behold, I am at the point to die,’ cried the reckless, self-indulgent hunter, ‘and what profit shall this birthright do to me?’ And for a dish of red pottage he parted with his birthright, and confirmed the transaction by an oath. A short time at most would have secured him food in his father’s tents, but to satisfy the desire of the moment he carelessly bartered the glorious heritage that God Himself had promised to his fathers.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 178, 179



3.a. What is written about Esau? Genesis 25:34, last part

Note: “Esau had no love for devotion, no inclination to a religious life. The requirements that accompanied the spiritual birthright were an unwelcome and even hateful restraint to him. The law of God, which was the condition of the divine covenant with Abraham, was regarded by Esau as a yoke of bondage. Bent on self-indulgence, he desired nothing so much as liberty to do as he pleased. To him power and riches, feasting and reveling, were happiness. He gloried in the unrestrained freedom of his wild, roving life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 178

3.b. What lessons are applicable to us today about Esau’s experience? Hebrews 12:16, 17

Note: “There are very many who are like Esau. He represents a class who have a special, valuable blessing within their reach—the immortal inheritance, life that is as enduring as the life of God, the Creator of the universe, happiness immeasurable, and an eternal weight of glory—but who have so long indulged their appetites, passions, and inclinations, that their power to discern and appreciate the value of eternal things is weakened.

“Esau had a special, strong desire for a particular article of food, and he had so long gratified self that he did not feel the necessity of turning from the tempting, coveted dish. He thought upon it, making no special effort to restrain his appetite, until the power of appetite … controlled him, and he imagined that he would suffer great inconvenience, and even death, if he could not have that particular dish. The more he thought upon it, the more his desire strengthened, until his birthright, which was sacred, lost its value and its sacredness.

“Esau passed the crisis of his life without knowing it. What he regarded as a matter worthy of scarcely a thought was the act which revealed the prevailing traits of his character. It showed his choice, showed his true estimate of that which was sacred and which should have been sacredly cherished. He sold his birthright for a small indulgence to meet his present wants, and this determined the after course of his life.” Conflict and Courage, 61



4.a. What mistake did Rebekah and Jacob make? Genesis 27:1–29

Note: “No sooner had Esau departed on his errand than Rebekah set about the accomplishment of her purpose. She told Jacob what had taken place, urging the necessity of immediate action to prevent the bestowal of the blessing, finally and irrevocably, upon Esau. And she assured her son that if he would follow her directions, he might obtain it as God had promised. Jacob did not readily consent to the plan that she proposed. The thought of deceiving his father caused him great distress. He felt that such a sin would bring a curse rather than a blessing. But his scruples were overborne, and he proceeded to carry out his mother’s suggestions. It was not his intention to utter a direct falsehood, but once in the presence of his father he seemed to have gone too far to retreat, and he obtained by fraud the coveted blessing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 180

4.b. What results immediately followed their wrong action? Genesis 27:41–45

Note: “Jacob and Rebekah succeeded in their purpose, but they gained only trouble and sorrow by their deception. God had declared that Jacob should receive the birthright, and His word would have been fulfilled in His own time had they waited in faith for Him to work for them. But like many who now profess to be children of God, they were unwilling to leave the matter in His hands. Rebekah bitterly repented the wrong counsel she had given her son; it was the means of separating him from her, and she never saw his face again. From the hour when he received the birthright, Jacob was weighed down with self-condemnation. He had sinned against his father, his brother, his own soul, and against God. In one short hour he had made work for a lifelong repentance. This scene was vivid before him in afteryears, when the wicked course of his sons oppressed his soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 180


5 DECEPTION (continued)

5.a. What does God’s law say about deception? Exodus 20:16

Note: “False speaking in any matter, every attempt or purpose to deceive our neighbor, is here included. An intention to deceive is what constitutes falsehood. By a glance of the eye, a motion of the hand, an expression of the countenance, a falsehood may be told as effectually as by words. All intentional overstatement, every hint or insinuation calculated to convey an erroneous or exaggerated impression, even the statement of facts in such a manner as to mislead, is falsehood. This precept forbids every effort to injure our neighbor’s reputation by misrepresentation or evil surmising, by slander or tale bearing. Even the intentional suppression of truth, by which injury may result to others, is a violation of the ninth commandment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309

5.b. What characteristic is mentioned about the 144,000? Revelation 14:5

Note: “I address the people of God who today are holding fast their confidence, who will not depart from the faith once delivered unto the saints, who stand amid the moral darkness of these days of corruption. The word of the Lord to you is: ‘I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.’ Can we not here see the paternal love of God expressed to those who hold fast to the faith in righteousness? The closest relationship exists between God and His people. Not only are we objects of His sparing mercy, His pardoning love; we are more than this. The Lord rejoices over His people. He delights in them. He is their surety. He will beautify all who are serving Him with a whole heart with the spirit of holiness. He clothes them with righteousness.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 414, 415



1    Describe the contrasted characters of Jacob and Esau.

2    Why did Jacob use deception to get the promised blessing?

3    Which class of people is represented by Esau?

4    What were the consequences of the deception practiced by Rebekah and Jacob?

5    Mention an essential characteristic of the 144,000.

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

Bible Study – The Heavenly Trio

February 12 – 18, 2023

Key Text

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:2

Study Help: The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, Appendix A, 442


“There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will cooperate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, 63



1.a. How many persons of the Godhead were present at Jesus’ baptism? Matthew 3:16, 17

 Note: “When Christ bowed on the banks of Jordan, after His baptism, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove, like burnished gold, and encircled Him with its glory; and the voice of God from the highest heaven was heard, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ The prayer of Christ in man’s behalf opened the gates of heaven, and the Father had responded, accepting the petition for the fallen race. Jesus prayed as our substitute and surety, and now the human family may find access to the Father through the merits of His well-beloved Son.” The Review and Herald, February 28, 1888

1.b. What assurance is given to those who believe in Christ as their personal Saviour? John 20:17



2.a. How many persons are mentioned in Christ’s promise to send the Comforter? John 14:16

Note: “The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will cooperate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, 63

2.b. During His earthly ministry, Christ had been the disciples’ Comforter, but as He explained to them that He would soon be leaving them, because of their fear, He promised them “another Comforter,” the Holy Spirit. John 14:16, 17

Note: “The promise of the Comforter presented a rich truth to the disciples. It assured them that they should not lose their faith under the most trying circumstances. The Holy Spirit, sent in the name of Christ, was to be their Guide, teaching them all things, and bringing all things to their remembrance. This Comforter was to be the representative of Christ their Advocate, who is constantly pleading in behalf of the fallen race.

“He who knows the end from the beginning has provided for the attack of satanic agencies; and He will fulfill His word to the faithful in every age. That word is sure and steadfast; not one jot or tittle of it can fail. The Holy Spirit is constantly at work, teaching, reminding, testifying, coming to the soul as a divine comforter, and convincing of sin as an appointed judge and guide. If men will keep under the protection of God, He will be to them as an impregnable fortress. He will give evidence that His Word can never fail. He will prove a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn; as the Sun of Righteousness He will arise with healing in His beams.” The Signs of the Times, November 18, 1897



3.a. Who was mentioned by Christ in His commission to His disciples? Matthew 28:19 

Note: “The disciples were to carry their work forward in Christ’s name. Their every word and act was to fasten attention on His name, as possessing that vital power by which sinners may be saved. Their faith was to center in Him who is the source of mercy and power. In His name they were to present their petitions to the Father, and they would receive answer. They were to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Christ’s name was to be their watchword, their badge of distinction, their bond of union, the authority for their course of action, and the source of their success. Nothing was to be recognized in His kingdom that did not bear His name and superscription.” The Acts of the Apostles, 28

3.b. What assurance did Christ give to His followers? Matthew 28:20

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

“The Saviour’s commission to the disciples included all the believers. It includes all believers in Christ to the end of time. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained minister. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the gospel. All who receive the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellowmen. For this work the church was established, and all who take upon themselves its sacred vows are thereby pledged to be coworkers with Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 822



4.a. How does Peter salute the readers of his epistle? 1 Peter 1:2. What does Paul mention also? 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14

 Note: “ ‘God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation,’ the apostle Paul writes, ‘through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,’ 2 Thessalonians 2:13. In this text the two agencies in the work of salvation are revealed—the divine influence, and the strong, living faith of those who follow Christ. It is through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth that we become laborers together with God. Christ waits for the cooperation of His church. He does not design to add a new element of efficiency to His word; He has done His great work in giving His inspiration to the word. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the divine word, are ours. The object of all this provision of heaven is before us—the salvation of the souls for whom Christ died; and it depends upon us to lay hold on the promises God has given, and become laborers together with Him. Divine and human agencies must cooperate in the work.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 22

4.b. Who worked out the plan of redemption at the very beginning?

Note: “The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that He could have done more. With Christ He gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting in the plan for man’s uplifting. Here is love—the contemplation of which should fill the soul with inexpressible gratitude! Oh, what love, what matchless love! The contemplation of this love will cleanse the soul from all selfishness. It will lead the disciple to deny self, take up the cross, and follow the Redeemer.” Counsels on Health, 222, 223



5.a. What promise does the apostolic benediction include? 2 Corinthians 13:14

Note: “To His church, Christ has given ample facilities, that He may receive a large revenue of glory from His redeemed, purchased possession. The church, being endowed with the righteousness of Christ, is His depository, in which the wealth of His mercy, His love, His grace, is to appear in full and final display. The declaration in His intercessory prayer, that the Father’s love is as great toward us as toward Himself, the only-begotten Son, and that we shall be with Him where He is, forever one with Christ and the Father, is a marvel to the heavenly host, and it is their great joy. The gift of His Holy Spirit, rich, full, and abundant, is to be to His church as an encompassing wall of fire, which the powers of hell shall not prevail against.” Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 209

5.b. How can we avail ourselves of the help of the Holy Spirit? Luke 11:11–13

Note: “Christ illustrates the willingness of God to bless by the willingness of a father to grant the request of his child. He says, ‘If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?’ Luke 11:11–13.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 242



1    Which persons of the Godhead were present at Jesus’ baptism?

2    Why did Christ promise to send the Comforter to His disciples?

3    What does it mean to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

4    Which divine agencies are involved in the plan of redemption?

5    Who reveals Christ to the believers?

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

Bible Study – The Holy Spirit

February 5 – 11, 2023

Key Text

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1, 2

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 668–672


“So through the creation we are to become acquainted with the Creator. The book of nature is a great lesson book, which in connection with the Scriptures we are to use in teaching others of His character, and guiding lost sheep back to the fold of God. As the works of God are studied, the Holy Spirit flashes conviction into the mind.” The Watchman, November 3, 1908



1.a. What title does the apostle Peter apply to the Holy Spirit? Acts 5:3, 4

 Note: “God hates hypocrisy and falsehood. Ananias and Sapphira practiced fraud in their dealing with God; they lied to the Holy Spirit, and their sin was visited with swift and terrible judgment. When Ananias came with his offering, Peter said: ‘Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.’ ” The Acts of the Apostles, 72

“The Spirit, being God, knoweth the mind of God.” The Signs of the Times, October 3, 1892

1.b.  What is the Holy Spirit called in Isaiah 6:8–10? (Compare with Acts 28:25–27)



2. What divine attribute is applied to the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 9:14?

 Note: “The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy’s power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper.” The Desire of Ages, 490–493

“A portion of the joy which was set before Christ, was the joy of seeing His truth armed with the omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit, impressing His image upon the life and character of His followers. …

“What has the rich blessing of God done for those who were humble and contrite in heart to receive it? Has the blessing been cherished? Have the receivers been showing forth the praises of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light? There are some who are already questioning the work that was so good, and that should have been most highly appreciated. They are looking upon it as a certain species of fanaticism. It would be surprising if there were not some, who, not being well-balanced in mind, have spoken and acted indiscreetly; for whenever and wherever the Lord works in giving a genuine blessing, a counterfeit is also revealed, in order to make of none effect the true work of God. Therefore we need to be exceedingly careful, and walk humbly before God, that we may have spiritual eyesalve that we may distinguish the working of the Holy Spirit of God from the working of that spirit that would bring in wild license and fanaticism. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ Those who are really beholding Christ will be changed into His image, even by the Spirit of the Lord, and will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God will inspire men with love and purity; and refinement will be manifest in their characters.” The Review and Herald, February 6, 1894



3.a. What characteristic does Paul mention with reference to the Holy Ghost? 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11

 Note: “Never can humanity, of itself, attain to a knowledge of the divine. ‘It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?’ Job 11:8. Only the spirit of adoption can reveal to us the deep things of God, which ‘eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man.’ ‘God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.’ 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10.” The Desire of Ages, 412

3.b.        Mention another quality described in Psalm 139.

 Note: “Although our Lord ascended from earth to heaven, the Holy Spirit was appointed as His representative among men. ‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless’ [John 14:15–18].

“Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent. ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall (although unseen by you), [THIS PHRASE WAS ADDED BY ELLEN WHITE.] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you’ [John 14:26]. ‘Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will come not unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you’ [John 16:7].” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 14, 23, 24



4.a.Mention some evidences concerning the personality of the Holy Spirit:

  • The Holy Spirit speaks: Acts 28:25
  • He teaches: John 14:26
  • He strives with sinners: Genesis 6:3
  • He comforts: Acts 9:31
  • He helps in our infirmities: Romans 8:26
  • He is vexed: Isaiah 63:10
  • He is grieved: Ephesians 4:30
  • He can be resisted: Acts 7:51
  • He has a mind: Romans 8:27

 Note: “Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” The Desire of Ages, 671

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.” Sermons and Talks, Vol. 2, 137

“The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God.” Sons and Daughters of God, 28

“The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. ‘For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man, which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.’ ” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 20, 69

“The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.” Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, 37



5. Mention some of the actions of the Holy Spirit:

  • He creates: Job 33:4
  • He renews: Isaiah 32:15
  • He convicts: John 16:8–11
  • He regenerates: John 3:3, 5
  • He indwells: Romans 8:11
  • He anoints: 1John 2:20, 27
  • He baptizes: Acts 2:17, 18



1    Against whom did Ananias and Sapphira lie?

2    What attribute of the Holy Spirit is mentioned in Hebrews 9:14?

3    Why is the Holy Spirit called “another Comforter”?

4    Mention some of the functions of the Holy Spirit.

5    What does the Holy Spirit do in the heart of the believer?

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

Bible Study – “The Word Was Made Flesh”

Christian Character (1)

January 29 – February 4, 2023

Key Text

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1–4, 14

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 252–256


“The apostle [Paul] exalted Christ before his brethren as the One by whom God had created all things and by whom He had wrought out their redemption. He declared that the hand that sustains the worlds in space, and holds in their orderly arrangements and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for them.” The Acts of the Apostles, 471, 472



1.a. How does Paul summarize the incarnation? 1 Timothy 3:16

Note: “ ‘Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?’ Isaiah 63:1. With assurance comes the answer: ‘Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.’ 1 Timothy 3:16.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 262

1.b.  How can we get a glimpse of this mystery? Matthew 16:24; Galatians 6:14

 Note: “The cross of Christ is all covered with reproach and stigma, yet it is the hope of life and exaltation to man. No one can comprehend the mystery of godliness so long as he is ashamed to bear the cross of Christ.” The Review and Herald, April 15, 1875



2.a. What other description does Paul make of the incarnation? Philippians 2:5–8

Note: “Point after point Paul lingered over, in order that those who should read his epistle might fully comprehend the wonderful condescension of the Saviour in their behalf. Presenting Christ as He was when equal with God and with Him receiving the homage of the angels, the apostle traced His course until He had reached the lowest depths of humiliation. Paul was convinced that if they could be brought to comprehend the amazing sacrifice made by the Majesty of heaven, all selfishness would be banished from their lives. He showed how the Son of God had laid aside His glory, voluntarily subjecting Himself to the conditions of human nature, and then had humbled Himself as a servant, becoming obedient unto death, ‘even the death of the cross’ (Philippians 2:8), that He might lift fallen man from degradation to hope and joy and heaven.” The Acts of the Apostles, 333

2.b. Why did Christ submit Himself to such humiliation? John 3:16

Note: “When we study the divine character in the light of the cross we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God. We see a Father, infinite, dwelling in light unapproachable, yet receiving us to Himself through the merits of His Son. The cloud of vengeance that threatened only misery and despair, in the light reflected from the cross reveals the writing of God: Live, sinner, live! ye penitent, believing souls, live! I have paid a ransom.

“In the contemplation of Christ we linger on the shore of a love that is measureless. We endeavor to tell of this love, and language fails us. We consider His life on earth, His sacrifice for us, His work in heaven as our advocate, and the mansions He is preparing for those who love Him, and we can only exclaim, O the height and depth of the love of Christ! ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.’ 1 John 4:10; 3:1.” The Acts of the Apostles, 333, 334



3.a. How does God the Father address Christ? Hebrews 1:7–10

 Note: “The Angel of the covenant came in the name of God, as the invisible leader of Israel. The Son of God over His own house is higher than Moses, higher than the highest angel. He bears the name of Jehovah upon His miter, while on His breastplate is written the name of Israel. Christ took humanity that humanity might touch humanity. In the form of man He humbled Himself, and became a servant, but as the Son of God He was higher than the angels. By His life in humanity man may become a partaker of the divine nature. As the Majesty of heaven, He was exalted above the angels, and in His work of redemption He carries with Him all who have received Him and believed on His name.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 928

3.b. How clearly does John recognize the divinity of Christ? 1 John 5:20

 Note: “Everyone who is chosen of God should improve his intellectual powers. Jesus came to represent the character of the Father, and He sent His disciples into the world to represent the character of Christ. He has given us His word to point out the way of life, and He has not left us simply to carry that word, but has also promised to give it efficiency by the power of the Holy Spirit. Is there need, then, that any should walk in uncertainty, grieving that they do not know and experience the movings of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts? Are you hungering and thirsting for instruction in righteousness? Then you have the sure promise that you shall be filled. ‘And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.’

“The Lord would have us in possession of the spirit of heavenly wisdom. Are we all being impressed to pray to the Lord humbly and earnestly as our necessities require, importuning Him for the spirit of wisdom? Do we pray, saying, ‘Show me the secrets which I know not, teach Thou me’? Oh, for humble, earnest prayer to go forth from unfeigned lips praying for the counsel that is of God! He says, Counsel is Mine, and sound wisdom.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 199, 200



4.a. What was prophesied about Christ’s incarnation? Psalm 40:6–8 (compare with Hebrews 10:5–7)

 Note: “Christ alone was able to represent the Deity. He who had been in the presence of the Father from the beginning, He who was the express image of the invisible God, was alone sufficient to accomplish this work. No verbal description could reveal God to the world. Through a life of purity, a life of perfect trust and submission to the will of God, a life of humiliation such as even the highest seraph in heaven would have shrunk from, God Himself must be revealed to humanity. In order to do this, our Saviour clothed His divinity with humanity. He employed the human faculties, for only [by] adopting these could He be comprehended by humanity. Only humanity could reach humanity. He lived out the character of God through the human body which God had prepared for Him. He blessed the world by living out in human flesh the life of God, thus showing that He had the power to unite humanity to divinity.” The Review and Herald, June 25, 1895

“Christ in the courts of heaven had known that the time would come when the power of Satan must be met and conquered if the human race was ever to be saved from his dominion. And when that time came, the Son of God laid off His kingly crown and royal robe, and clothing His divinity with humanity, came to the earth to meet the prince of evil, and to conquer him. In order to become the advocate of man before the Father, the Saviour would live His life on earth as every human being must, accepting its adversities and sorrows and temptations.” Ibid., January 28, 1909

4.b. How did Christ manifest His divinity even in His human nature? Matthew 2:2, 11

Note: “ ‘When they [the wise men from the East] were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshiped Him.’ Beneath the lowly guise of Jesus, they recognized the presence of Divinity. They gave their hearts to Him as their Saviour, and then poured out their gifts—‘gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 63



5.a. What other evidence do we have about Christ’s divinity in His human nature? Matthew 12:25; Luke 6:8

 Note: “In the multitude that listened to Christ’s teaching there were many Pharisees. These noted contemptuously how few of His hearers acknowledged Him as the Messiah. And they questioned with themselves how this unpretending teacher could exalt Israel to universal dominion. Without riches, power, or honor, how was He to establish the new kingdom? Christ read their thoughts and answered them.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 76

5.b. How did Christ publicly reveal His divinity in Capernaum? Matthew 9:1–7

Note: “Jesus had declared that the sins of the paralytic were forgiven. The Pharisees caught at these words as blasphemy, and conceived that they could present this as a sin worthy of death. They said in their hearts, ‘He blasphemeth: who can forgive sins but One, even God?’ Mark 2:7, R.V.” The Desire of Ages, 269

“They saw that Christ possessed a power which they had ascribed to God alone; yet the gentle dignity of His manner was in marked contrast to their own haughty bearing. They were disconcerted and abashed, recognizing, but not confessing, the presence of a superior being. The stronger the evidence that Jesus had power on earth to forgive sins, the more firmly they entrenched themselves in unbelief.” Ibid., 270, 271



1    What is the “mystery of godliness”?

2    What is the basis of our salvation?

3    Why did Christ accept adoration?

4    To whom were the words “A body hast Thou prepared Me” applied?

5    Who alone can forgive sin?

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

Recipe – Lemon Broccoli Pasta Salad


The lemon is a species of small evergreen trees native to Asia, primarily northeast India, northern Myanmar and China, although production had spread to much of the world by the 14th century. We can thank Christopher Columbus for their introduction to the Americas in 1493. By the 19th century, lemons were increasingly planted in Florida and California. As of 2020, top producers were India, Mexico, China, Argentina, Brazil, and Turkey—collectively 65% of global production.

The yellow fruit is used primarily for its juice for both cooking and cleaning. Its sour taste is a result of the level of the citric acid it contains (5% to 6% with a pH of about 2.2).

The lemon is a rich source of vitamin C, 64% of the daily value, which is essential for health. It can:

  • lower the risk of stroke
  • reduce blood pressure
  • help prevent cancer
  • boost the immune system
  • increase iron absorption
  • help prevent certain diseases such as scurvy
  • support heart health
  • prevent kidney stones
  • help control weight
  • improve digestive health


Recipe – Lemon Broccoli Pasta Salad


1 lb. rotini pasta

1 ½ lbs. broccoli, trimmed and cut in bite-sized pieces

4 packed cups spinach

3 Tbs. vegan butter

Zest and juice of one large lemon

2-3 cloves garlic

1 cup vegan parmesan

Salt to taste


  1. Boil water, add in pasta, turn down heat just a bit, and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the broccoli, stir, and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the pasta is at your desired doneness.
  3. Drain all of the water and return the pasta/broccoli to the pot. Add in the spinach and lemon zest, stir, and cover the pot. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the spinach has begun to wilt.
  4. While you wait, heat the butter in a small skillet. Once just hot, add in the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Take off of heat.
  5. Stir into the pasta the garlic butter mixture, lemon juice to combine.
  6. Stir in the parmesan cheese until fully mixed in.
  7. Serve and garnish with a bit of extra vegan parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, lemon wedges, and salt if desired.

The Divine Nature of Christ

If you were to casually read through the New Testament, you might notice that it speaks over and over about certain mysteries. I have studied all of the texts that speak about these mysteries and have determined that there are seven mysteries found there.

I would like to study one of these mysteries with you, one I have studied for many years. This mystery has six parts and is one of the most fascinating studies in all of the Bible. In fact, we know that if we are saved in the kingdom of heaven, we will be studying this mystery throughout eternity.

All six parts of the mystery are listed in 1 Timothy 3:16, but we will just look at the first part of the verse. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.” I make no claim to fully understand this mystery, but we need to study and try to understand it as far as God has revealed.

I can remember that as a small child, we were told that the world had become so wicked that it could not last much longer and that Jesus would come before we could grow to adulthood. Most Adventist teachers and preachers believed that the world would end within five to ten years.

In the 1940s, the Adventist church had a clear, distinct vision in mind. The largest number of Adventists could be found in the United States and consequently, the Second Advent movement emerged more profoundly here than in any other country. The Adventist missionary program began sending missionaries from the United States to countries all around the world. The Adventist vision combined the preaching of the gospel and medical missionary work. Mrs. White had written that the three angels’ messages would be more effectively and quickly spread to every single person in the world in this way, and once this was accomplished, the Lord would come, and we could then go home with Him.

My father had this same vision, and along with my mother, had a deep desire to help finish the work. So when I was four years old, our family went as missionaries to Burma. My father became the business manager of the Rangoon Mission Hospital.

Back then it was an iron-clad rule that children were to be seen, but not heard. And while you can stop a child from talking, you cannot stop him or her from listening and thinking. So I would listen to these missionaries talk. They would say things like: When Jesus came to this world, He was just like us. He came in flesh just like ours, but He didn’t sin. He is the only Person in the world who has not sinned.

Even as a four-year-old, I knew that I was a sinner, and I knew that I needed a Saviour, but I wasn’t afraid because I had been taught all my life that Jesus Christ came to this world to save sinners, and that He was going to save me if I gave my life to Him, but I was perplexed. I thought, if Jesus Christ was just like me, a sinner, if He came in the flesh just like I have, well, if He was just like me, then He would need a Saviour, too.

Later, when I became a Seventh-day Adventist minister, prominent ministers of the church would say that Christ came in sinful flesh. Every time I heard this, I felt that it must be wrong, but I was just a young minister, recently graduated, and these were well-known Adventist ministers who were college educated, some with master’s and doctor’s degrees in theology and other academic areas. For 150 years, Adventists have written books about and have been preaching and teaching that Jesus came in the sinful flesh of man. I decided that if what sounded wrong to me was actually the truth, then I should be able to confirm it in the Spirit of Prophecy.

Back then we didn’t have the Spirit of Prophecy available electronically like we have today. If you wanted to know something, you read a book; and I had been reading books for many years. I had stacks of books written by Ellen White, including The Review and Herald articles, The Signs of the Times articles, the Testimonies, and the Conflict of the Ages books. I started searching all of these books, searching for even one statement made by Ellen White that would tell me that Christ came to this world in sinful flesh. For over 50 years I have been reading, and I have yet to find such a statement in the Spirit of Prophecy that confirmed it.

Regardless of what I personally believe, I have not preached on this subject at Steps to Life until now, and have avoided talking about it to all, except a few close friends, because it is such a controversial issue. But there are some things, if we want to be ready for Jesus to come, that we need to understand. We need to search for truth and light.

We will be studying the nature of Christ in this series of articles, beginning with the nature of His divinity. With all the Godhead controversies going on all over the world today, there are a lot of people who do not understand the nature of Christ’s divinity, and we need to see and understand what the Bible says on the subject.

The Express Image of His Person

“Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3

Reading this text in the Greek New Testament, we find the word charaktēr is translated express image, and is very similar to the English word character. It could also be translated as an exact replica; something that is exactly like the other. The word hupostasis is translated of His person. It also could be translated of His essence or of His essential nature. Jesus Christ is an exact personification of the essential nature of God the Father. He is not a junior God, He is not a secondary God. He is an exact personification or express image of the attributes of the Father. Paul uses these specific words nowhere else in the New Testament.

What are the attributes of our heavenly Father?

Let’s consider a few statements from the Spirit of Prophecy. “As speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible God. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, to make known in His life and character the attributes of the Father.” The Signs of the Times, November 15, 1899. What did Jesus come into this world to make known? The life and attributes of His Father, the first Person of the Godhead. Only One who is equal with the Father could fully make manifest what the Father is like. That is why Jesus came.

“God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, to make known in His life and character the attributes of the Father that men might bear the image of the invisible God. He [Christ] was the embodiment of the law of God, which is the transcript of His character.” Ibid.

A transcript is an exact copy of something. The law of God is a transcript of the character of God and Jesus Christ was the very embodiment, an exact copy, of the law of God. In the old covenant, the law was visible, written in stone. In the new covenant, the law of God is seen in the person of Jesus Christ. By studying Jesus’ life, we are able to better understand the law of God.

“The world saw God imaged in the purity and benevolence of Christ; but because of its depravity and darkness, it did not recognize Him as the Son of God. ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.’ He was ‘the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.’ In spite of overwhelming evidence, men manifested unbelief which only Satan could inspire.” Ibid.

“To human eyes, Christ was only a man, yet He was a perfect man. In His humanity He was the impersonation of the divine character.” In His humanity, not His divinity, “He was the impersonation of the divine character. God embodied His own attributes in His Son—His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His purity, His truthfulness, His spirituality, and His benevolence. In Him, though human, all perfection of character, all divine excellence, dwelt. And to the request of His disciple, ‘Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,’ He could reply, ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?’ ’’ The Youth’s Instructor, September 16, 1897

God is pure and holy, the law is a transcript of His character, and He embodied all of His own attributes in His Son. Do you understand that there are people who call themselves Christian ministers, but who hate the law of God? What is our attitude toward God’s law? It was prophesied of the Messiah, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is written in my heart.” Psalm 40:8. What does it mean to have the law written in your heart? You can see that clearly when you read the context. Paul says that under the new covenant, the law is not written on tables of stone—that was in the old covenant. Under the new covenant, as explained in 2 Corinthians 3, the law is to be written in the heart. If the law is written in our hearts, then we will want to obey it; in fact, we would rather die than break it.

Now we have laid the foundation for a more in-depth study of the nature of Christ. Sometimes there are questions that don’t appear to have answers and yet, those very answers are the most important for us to know. So let’s return to the scripture we began with, the first part of 1 Timothy 3:16.

“Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.” Paul says this is a great mystery, and if he says it is, then we should plan to be studying it for years and still not fully understand it.

1 John 4:1–3 tells us just how serious it is that God was manifest in the flesh. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” Friends, John is telling us that if we do not believe that Christ came in the flesh, then we have the spirit of antichrist.

Now let’s look at Romans 8:7, 8. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God … .” Verse 7, first part. Anywhere in the Bible where we find the word carnal, from the Greek word Sarks, it can be translated as flesh or fleshly. “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Verse 8

Let’s stop right here. The Bible says in 1 John 4:3 that Jesus came in the flesh, and if we do not believe that Jesus came in the flesh, we have the spirit of antichrist. But Romans 8 says that the carnal, or fleshly, mind is enmity against God. The fleshly mind is not subject to the law of God. Was Jesus, in the flesh, then not subject to the law of God? Did He have enmity against God? Paul says that the carnal mind does not keep the law of God, nor indeed can it. It is impossible for the person with a carnal or fleshly mind to keep God’s law.

Those who are in the flesh—carnal—cannot please God. But Jesus came in the flesh, so was He subject to the law and did He keep it?

Jesus said “I have kept My Father’s commandments” (John 15:10). Twice God said, concerning Jesus, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5.) If those with a carnal mind do not keep the law of God, in fact, cannot keep it, and consequently cannot please God, then how can Jesus, in the flesh, say He had kept the law; and how could God say that He was pleased with Jesus, in the flesh?

“The Bible is not given to us in grand superhuman language. Jesus, in order to reach man where he is, took humanity. The Bible must be given in the language of men. Everything that is human is imperfect. Different meanings are expressed by the same word; there is not one word for each distinct idea.” Selected Messages, Vol. 1, 20

Many Adventist preachers and teachers have preached and taught that Christ came in sinful flesh. But too many of these individuals are confused about Christ’s nature, having taken a certain word that is found many times in the Bible, believing that it means the same thing every time, when, in fact, it may not.

As I have studied the word flesh in its different Biblical contexts, I have found that the word has more than one, or even two meanings. It has close to six different meanings. In some contexts, for example in Hebrews 2, the word flesh in the Bible simply refers to the fact that we are not only spiritual beings, but that we have a body of flesh and blood, and in that sense, Christ came in the flesh because He had a body of flesh and blood.

But in other places in the Bible, such as in Romans 8, the word flesh refers to the fact that we, as sinners, have sinful propensities, a natural bent to sin which, unaided, we cannot resist, and are, therefore, unable to keep the law of God. We are promised the ability to overcome with divine help, if we ask for it, but without it, Romans doesn’t say we try and fail, it says it is impossible for us to do.

So, if it is impossible for man in sinful flesh to keep God’s law, and if Christ had come in the same sinful flesh as we possess, with a natural bent to sin that cannot be resisted without divine aid, then how could He have kept God’s law? How could He have pleased God?

Ellen White has written a great deal of counsel to Adventist ministers who were mixed up on this point. One such statement was given to Elder ___ Baker, an Adventist minister in 1895 (commonly referred to as the “Baker Letter”).

“Be careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon Him; He was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of [Adam’s] sin, his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness, as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, 18

For close to two hundred years, Adventist ministers have incorrectly presented the nature of Christ. Adam was “assailed with temptations in Eden” as a perfect man. He had not yet sinned, nor had his nature yet changed to the sinful, selfish nature possessed by man today. If Christ was beset with temptations as Adam was in Eden, then His nature would not have had the evil natural propensities inherent in man after Adam’s sin.

“Brother Baker, avoid every question in relation to the humanity of Christ which is liable to be misunderstood. Truth lies close to the track of presumption. In treating upon the humanity of Christ, you need to guard strenuously every assertion, lest your words be taken to mean more than they imply, and thus you lose or dim the clear perceptions of His humanity as combined with divinity. His birth was a miracle of God; for, said the angel, ‘Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing that I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ That holy thing that shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” Ibid., 18, 19

Then she says, “These words are not addressed to any human being, except to the Son of the infinite God. Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to, corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points as man is tempted, yet He is called holy. It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are and yet be without sin. The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery. That which is revealed, is for us and for our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves; for it cannot be.” Ibid., 19

The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery. Not even in heaven will we fully understand or be able to explain the incarnation of Christ.

I have been challenged by some, that if I suggest that Christ’s nature was different in any way from our nature, then I must not believe what the Bible says in Hebrews 4:15. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” After all, every human being is born with the inherent propensities of disobedience, and if Christ was not born with these inherent propensities toward sin, though without sin or sinning, then how could He possibly be tempted in all points like us?

Let’s look closely again at what Mrs. White wrote in the letter to Elder Baker. Jesus could be tempted in all points like us and yet be without sin, and this is a mystery that human beings cannot explain. “It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are and yet be without sin.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1128, 1129.

Remember that in the Bible, the word flesh has multiple meanings. Hundreds of millions of Christians are confused about the meaning of the word flesh in John 6, having been incorrectly taught and led astray. Many people, including some ministers, have tried to make the word flesh as found in John 6 to be literal, something that it is not.

John 6:53–58 says, “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink of His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.’ ” When Jesus said this, the Jews, taking His words to have a literal meaning, accused Him of teaching cannibalism.

It is a serious thing to twist the words of Scripture, to give them a totally different meaning that fits a particular way of thinking, but is not what is truly presented in the Scriptures. And this is too often done when people attempt to make the symbolic meaning of a scripture into a literal meaning. There are just over a billion people in the world who believe that a few words spoken over a wafer of bread can turn it into the literal body of Christ. And similar words spoken over a chalice of wine make it the actual blood of Christ. They believe that you literally can eat and drink God.

There is no excuse for this misunderstanding of Scripture because Jesus told them exactly what the flesh and blood represented. And then He said in verse 63, first part, “The flesh profits nothing.” It is not about literal flesh and blood, but what the flesh and blood represent. Then, what does it mean to eat His flesh and drink His blood?

Friend, what we consume at the breakfast or dinner table becomes a part of us. What we eat helps our bodies to function properly. As the body takes into itself the food we eat, so does our spiritual body when we consume the bread of His word (His flesh) and His life (His blood) into our hearts and minds. Our entire life is changed—thoughts, feelings, words, and actions—all are brought into perfect conformity with the law of God. “It is the Spirit who gives [quickens] life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” Verse 63. When you study the word of God and you assimilate it into your mind, it changes you.

Jesus Christ was the embodiment of the law of God. Eating His flesh and drinking His blood will change your life completely. Would you like to have that happen in your life? When it does, the recording angel will be able to mark in the book of life, on your page, that you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. He will be able to mark on your page that your life is in complete conformity with the law of God. This will mean that you are ready to be sealed.

Friend, when you try to explain a mystery that a prophet says human beings cannot explain, rest assured the probability is 100% that your explanation will be wrong. We are not sinful only because we sin. The act of sinning is the fruit of the sin that dwells within (Romans 7:17). We are sinful because we are born in sin just as Seth was (The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1, 60). As creatures who are sinful and fleshly-minded by nature, we are not able to please God (Romans 8:8). And we cannot change our sinful nature. “Our hearts are evil and we cannot change them.” Steps to Christ, 18. We might be able to modify our behavior somewhat, but outward correctness of behavior does not change the heart and cannot purify the springs of life.

Many well-meaning preachers have preached and taught that Jesus had sinful flesh like us. But if Christ had been born with our sinful flesh, He would have had a heart that was deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). That sounds blasphemous, but that would be the logical conclusion of their teaching. The fleshly mind is not subject to the law of God and cannot be, and therefore, those in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:7, 8). But Jesus kept His Father’s commandments (John 15:10) and was well pleasing to the Father (Matthew 3:17; 17:5).

Jesus came as a man, not to live my life, but to live the life that He has promised to give me the power to live. This is about faith and transformation. How can God take a sinner like me and change me so fully and completely that I no longer desire to sin, and consequently, am able then to please Him? Christ, His human nature, and the life He lived is the vision of what we can and will become if we surrender to the working of the Holy Spirit (The Desire of Ages, 310). He endured the cross because of this vision, described in Hebrews 12:2 as the “joy that was set before Him.” This is not a mystery. But how Christ was made to be like us without sinning, how He was able to be the Lamb without spot or blemish sacrificed to pay the price that sin demands, how He was able to please God, and all the while fully be the Son of Man, that is a door that God has not opened to us.

God can change our very nature. He can give us the power to live without sin. And as we live in this constant connection with Him, seeking always to keep His commandments and do His will, then we will be and live as Christ.

God is preparing a people for Christ’s soon return. Do you want to be one of them?

[Emphasis supplied.]

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 – Cold Mitten Friction

As we have entered the winter season, it seemed beneficial to share a massage therapy that can be helpful in the prevention and treatment of a number of conditions.

The cold mitten friction is applied to the surface of the body by rubbing a cold wet cloth in a circular motion. It is undoubtedly one of the most effective uses of water in the treatment of disease (hydrotherapy) known for stimulating the circulation of the skin.

Benefits of a cold mitten friction:

  • Produce general tonic for prevention or treatment of common cold and respiratory infections
  • Increase circulation of red blood cells
  • Aid body defenses in increased circulation of white blood cells
  • Increase blood flow to hands and feet
  • Assist heart
  • Prove useful in fighting depression
  • Increase elimination of bacterial toxins
  • Boost the immune system
  • Increase blood vessel tone
  • Enhance energy and endurance
  • Aid in drug addiction withdrawal
  • Step up all body functions

Cold mitten friction is a tonic with no adverse side effects.

Hydrotherapy Cold Mitten Friction

Articles needed:

  1. One or two small rough washcloths or cloth mitten/s (two wash cloths sewn together with opening for hand)
  2. Warm towel for drying; warm towels for covering
  3. Wash basin or sink


  1. Have room warm with no drafts
  2. If feet are cold, use a hot foot bath
  3. Fill washbasin or sink with cold water
  4. Bare one part of the body at a time
  5. Dip rough washcloth or cloth mitten in water and wring almost dry
  6. Rub briskly left forearm, arm, and hand. Dry arm and hand with a warm towel and cover
  7. Briskly rub right forearm, arm, and hand; dry and cover
  8. Rub chest; dry; cover
  9. Add abdomen or trunk; rub briskly; dry; cover
  10. Rub left thigh, leg and foot; dry; cover
  11. Add right thigh, leg and foot; dry; cover
  12. Rub back using an assistant; dry; cover
  • Keeping in mind an individual’s skin type, administer friction with rapid to-and-fro movements for no more than 1 to 1-1/2 minutes
  • Work up to icy water
  • Leave more water on the friction mit with each successive treatment
  • Avoid rubbing skin lesions or painful areas
  • Rest if becoming tired

“The act of rubbing the skin with a cold mechanical pressure gives a physiological response of vigorous and prompt reaction of the blood vessels sufficient to cause this treatment to be dubbed a vascular gymnastic. There is a profound stimulation to the skin. …

“There is scarcely any condition in which the cold mitten friction may not be employed, except that fractured limbs or malignant tumor should be omitted from the treatment.” Agatha M. Thrash, M. D., Preventive Medicine

Those with heart disease, apply cold compresses to the head, neck, and heart before beginning treatment.

“The external application of water is one of the easiest and most satisfactory ways of regulating the circulation of the blood.” The Ministry of Healing, 237

“The more active the circulation the more free from obstructions and impurities will be the blood. The blood nourishes the body. The health of the body depends upon the healthful circulation of the blood.” Healthful Living, 178

Question – Am I denying the Lord?


Am I denying the Lord? How do I know?


“There are many ways wherein we may acknowledge our Lord and many ways wherein we may deny Him. We may deny Him in our words, by speaking evil of others, by foolish talking, jesting and joking, by idle or unkind words, or by prevaricating [being vague], speaking contrary to truth. In our words we may confess that Christ is not in us. In our character we may deny Him by loving our ease, by shunning the duties and burdens of life which someone must bear if we do not, and by loving sinful pleasure. We may also deny Christ by pride of dress and conformity to the world, or by uncourteous behavior. We may deny Him by loving our own opinions and by seeking to maintain and justify self. We may also deny Him in allowing the mind to run in the channel of lovesick sentimentalism and to brood over our supposed hard lot and trials.

“No one can truly confess Christ before the world unless the mind and spirit of Christ live in him. It is impossible to communicate that which we have not. The conversation and the deportment should be a real and visible expression of grace and truth within. If the heart is sanctified, submissive, and humble, the fruits will be seen outwardly and will be a most effectual confession of Christ. …

“You commit sin and deny your Saviour by dwelling on gloomy things, by gathering trials to yourself, and by borrowing troubles. You bring the troubles of tomorrow into today, and embitter your own heart, and bring burdens and a cloud upon those around you, by manufacturing trials. … You suffer your imagination to run upon subjects that will bring you no relief or happiness.” Testimonies, Vol. 3, 332

“He who would confess Christ must have Christ abiding in him. He cannot communicate that which he has not received. The disciples might speak fluently on doctrines, they might repeat the words of Christ Himself; but unless they possessed Christlike meekness and love, they were not confessing Him. A spirit contrary to the spirit of Christ would deny Him, whatever the profession. Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, by foolish talking, by words that are untruthful or unkind. They may deny Him by shunning life’s burdens, by the pursuit of sinful pleasure. They may deny Him by conforming to the world, by uncourteous behavior, by the love of their own opinions, by justifying self, by cherishing doubt, borrowing trouble, and dwelling in darkness. In all these ways they declare that Christ is not in them.” The Desire of Ages, 357

Nature – The Bummer Lamb: Rejected & Adopted

“When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.”

Psalm 27:10

The most painful rejection, perhaps, is that of a child by an earthly parent. How sweet it is to know that your Creator, Heavenly Father, and Good Shepherd cares for and loves you deeply. This we may learn from sheep.

The physical reasons a ewe mother rejects its lamb may include the inability to provide nourishment, low to no milk supply or udder mastitis (engorged). A ewe can sense sickness or a defect in its lamb; some are visual and others become more distinguishable with time. The psychological reasons a ewe mother rejects its lamb may include her first time lambing, separation from its lamb for a significant period of time, confusion, fear, no interest in bonding, or a difficult birth. A ewe also may have passed away during or after lambing, leaving its lamb an orphan.

A shepherd or farmer, in many of these instances, will assess the ewe’s willingness to allow its lamb to come close and nurse. In displaying complete detachment (broken bond) and desired distance, a ewe will often run away, head butt or kick its lamb. If the lamb is unable to be paired with an adoptive ewe that is actively nursing its own lamb, a rejected lamb (a bummer) may be auctioned off as soon as possible. This often occurs when a shepherd or farmer has a large flock and is time constrained, as the lamb will need to be bottle-fed every 2-3 hours for the first two weeks and then every four hours for the following weeks until weaned.

Auctions, farmer’s markets, feed stores, and agriculture extension schools may allow the opportunity for a farm to purchase livestock or an adoptive family to obtain the orphan as a pet. Whether a rejected lamb is raised by its shepherd, a farmer or is adopted, it will need immediate attention and loving care. It will be assessed and if needed, its temperature raised. It will be placed in a draftless, confined area in the home, swaddled in warm towels, placed on heated bedding, and clothed in a sweater throughout the day. When bottle-feeding, young lambs receive colostrum, which provides hormones. Mature lambs are given a milk replacer.

It will be weaned between 6-8 weeks or when it reaches 25-30 pounds. Even so, supplemental grain may be needed, as it may lack successful foraging skills in comparison to a natural-raised lamb. When weaned, it is placed with the flock for interaction as soon as possible to learn common sheep mannerisms: roles of dominance/submissiveness, response to safety instincts, grazing, and similar survival skills. Those who adopt the lamb as a family pet may or may not have additional lambs, ewes, or rams to introduce the newling to mannerisms. Thus, it is imperative to consider that the lamb is not meant to be solitary for optimal holistic health.

Praise the Lord, the rejected and orphaned one is adopted into His fold. “He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:7. “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom … .” Isaiah 40:11

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:3–6

Be Still, My Soul

One of my very favorite songs is Be Still, My Soul set to the tune of Finlandia. The words to Be Still, My Soul were written by Katharina von Schlegel in 1752.

Not a lot is known about Katharina. She was born October 22, 1697. She was a Lutheran woman living in Germany a century after Martin Luther began the Reformation there. But movements begun with great passion often wane over time and this was true of the Lutheran church in Germany.

It is believed that Katharina was a “Stiftfräulein” in the Evangelical Lutheran Stift (similar to a convent) at Cöthen, but this cannot be confirmed.

While she wrote a number of hymns, Be Still, My Soul is the only one which has passed into English. She was inspired by God’s promise found in Psalm 46:10, first part, 11, “Be still, and know that I am God; The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

This hymn survived only because of the work of a British woman, Jane Borthwick, who translated Katharina’s words into English a century after it was written. Eventually, the words were paired with the tune The Finlandia Hymn by composer Jean Sibelius, which he composed from 1899-1900. Finlandia was written in protest of Russian oppression and to celebrate Finnish history. The piece is rousing and tempestuous until the final movement, where it calms and becomes The Finlandia Hymn.

During times of great suffering and distress, people look up to see the face of God. This remains true today just as it was in the 18th century.

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to your God to order and provide;

In ev’ry change He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly friend

Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; your God will undertake

To guide the future as He has the past;

Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know

His voice who ruled them while He lived below.


Be still, my soul; when dearest friends depart

And all is darkened in the vale of tears,

Then you will better know His love, His heart,

Who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears.

Be still, my soul; your Jesus can repay

From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hast’ning on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Sources:; Kathrina von Schlegel |