Bible Study Guides – The One-Soul Audience—“A Woman of Samaria”

February 21, 2016 – February 27, 2016

Key Text

“The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” John 4:9.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 183–195.


“Only by love is love awakened.” Reflecting Christ, 23.


  • What happened when Jesus sat down to rest during one of His trips? Where were the disciples? John 4:3–7, first part.
  • Had Jesus offered to help her draw water, would His offer have been accepted? What did He do to eliminate her prejudice? John 4:7, second part. Very much surprised, what did she say? John 4:9.

Note: “The hatred between Jews and Samaritans prevented the woman from offering a kindness to Jesus; but the Saviour was seeking to find the key to this heart, and with the tact born of divine love, He asked, not offered, a favor. The offer of a kindness might have been rejected; but trust awakens trust.” The Desire of Ages, 184.

“Where bitterness of feeling exists because of difference in religion, much good may be done by personal service. Loving ministry will break down prejudice, and win souls to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 386.


  • How did Christ seek to arouse the woman’s curiosity and divert her attention to something more important? John 4:10.

Note: “The woman had not comprehended the words of Christ, but she felt their solemn import.” The Desire of Ages, 184.

  • Supposing that Jesus was speaking of Jacob’s well, what did she say? John 4:11, 12.

Note: “She [the Samaritan woman] saw before her only a thirsty traveler, wayworn and dusty. In her mind she compared Him with the honored patriarch Jacob.” The Desire of Ages, 184.

  • Since she was not yet prepared to accept the answer to her own question, how did Jesus try to raise her curiosity still further? John 4:13, 14.

Note: “Jesus did not convey the idea that merely one draft of the water of life would suffice the receiver. He who tastes of the love of Christ will continually long for more; but he seeks for nothing else. The riches, honors, and pleasures of the world do not attract him. The constant cry of his heart is, More of Thee. And He who reveals to the soul its necessity is waiting to satisfy its hunger and thirst. Every human resource and dependence will fail. The cisterns will be emptied, the pools become dry; but our Redeemer is an inexhaustible fountain. We may drink, and drink again, and ever find a fresh supply. He in whom Christ dwells has within himself the fountain of blessing—‘a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 4:14). From this Source he may draw strength and grace sufficient for all his needs.

“As Jesus spoke of the living water, the woman looked upon Him with wondering attention. He had aroused her interest, and awakened a desire for the gift of which He spoke.” The Desire of Ages, 187.


  • What did the Samaritan woman say when she realized Jesus was offering her something better than mere water? John 4:15.
  • What was she required to admit? How tactful was Jesus in bringing out the facts of her life that she tried to keep secret? John 4:16–18.

Note: “Before this soul could receive the gift He longed to bestow, she must be brought to recognize her sin and her Saviour. He ‘saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.’ She answered, ‘I have no husband.’ Thus she hoped to prevent all questioning in that direction. But the Saviour continued, ‘Thou hast well said, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly’ (John 4:16–18).

“The listener trembled. A mysterious hand was turning the pages of her life history, bringing to view that which she had hoped to keep forever hidden. Who was He that could read the secrets of her life? There came to her thoughts of eternity, of the future Judgment, when all that is now hidden shall be revealed. In its light, conscience was awakened.” The Desire of Ages, 187, 188.

  • How did the woman still try to evade all reference to her past and present life? John 4:19. How did she seek to turn the direction of the conversation? John 4:20.

Note: “Patiently Jesus permitted her to lead the conversation whither she would. Meanwhile He watched for the opportunity of again bringing the truth home to her heart. ‘Our fathers worshipped in this mountain,’ she said, ‘and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship’ (John 4:20). Just in sight was Mount Gerizim. Its temple was demolished, and only the altar remained. The place of worship had been a subject of contention between the Jews and the Samaritans.” The Desire of Ages, 188.


  • Showing that He had no prejudice against the Samaritans, what did Jesus say? John 4:21–24.

Note: “Jesus had shown that He was free from Jewish prejudice against the Samaritans. Now He sought to break down the prejudice of this Samaritan against the Jews. While referring to the fact that the faith of the Samaritans was corrupted with idolatry, He declared that the great truths of redemption had been committed to the Jews, and that from among them the Messiah was to appear. In the Sacred Writings they had a clear presentation of the character of God and the principles of His government. Jesus classed Himself with the Jews as those to whom God had given a knowledge of Himself.

“He desired to lift the thoughts of His hearer above matters of form and ceremony, and questions of controversy.” The Desire of Ages, 188, 189.

  • How did this woman tactfully try to find out if Jesus was indeed the Messiah? John 4:25, 26.

Note: “Not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple are men brought into communion with heaven. Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. …

“While the very purity of His presence condemned her sin, He had spoken no word of denunciation, but had told her of His grace, that could renew the soul. She began to have some conviction of His character. The question arose in her mind, Might not this be the long-looked-for Messiah?” The Desire of Ages, 189, 190.

“The Saviour is still carrying forward the same work as when He proffered the water of life to the woman of Samaria. Those who call themselves His followers may despise and shun the outcast ones; but no circumstance of birth or nationality, no condition of life, can turn away His love from the children of men.” Ibid., 194.


  • What happened when the Samaritan woman, filled with great joy, acted as a fully-persuaded missionary? John 4:28–30.

Note: “In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit every sincere prayer is indited, and such prayer is acceptable to God. Wherever a soul reaches out after God, there the Spirit’s working is manifest, and God will reveal Himself to that soul. For such worshipers He is seeking. He waits to receive them, and to make them His sons and daughters.” The Desire of Ages, 189.

“The woman had been filled with joy as she listened to Christ’s words. The wonderful revelation was almost overpowering. Leaving her waterpot, she returned to the city, to carry the message to others. Jesus knew why she had gone. Leaving her waterpot spoke unmistakably as to the effect of His words. It was the earnest desire of her soul to obtain the living water; and she forgot her errand to the well, she forgot the Saviour’s thirst, which she had purposed to supply. With heart overflowing with gladness, she hastened on her way, to impart to others the precious light she had received.” Ibid., 191.


1 How did Jesus try to overcome the prejudice that existed between Jews and Samaritans?

2 What did Christ explain to the Samaritan woman about the living water?

3 Why is tact so important when sharing the gospel?

4 What do we all need to realize about the two-sided nature of prejudice?

5 What did the woman do as soon as she was fully persuaded?

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

Bible Study Guides – The One-Soul Audience—Nicodemus

February 14, 2016 – February 20, 2016

Key Text

“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 167–177.


“Consider the incident that Christ presents before Nicodemus in referring to the uplifted serpent.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1449.


  • After Nicodemus heard Jesus, he decided to talk with Him. Who was Nicodemus—and why did he come at night? John 3:1, 2, first part.

Note: “Since hearing Jesus, Nicodemus had anxiously studied the prophecies relating to the Messiah. … he beheld the wonderful manifestation of divine power; he saw the Saviour receiving the poor and healing the sick; he saw their looks of joy, and heard their words of praise; and he could not doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the Sent of God.

“He greatly desired an interview with Jesus, but shrank from seeking Him openly. It would be too humiliating for a ruler of the Jews to acknowledge himself in sympathy with a teacher as yet so little known. And should his visit come to the knowledge of the Sanhedrin, it would draw upon him their scorn and denunciation. He resolved upon a secret interview, excusing this on the ground that if he were to go openly, others might follow his example. Learning by special inquiry the Saviour’s place of retirement in the Mount of Olives, he waited until the city was hushed in slumber, and then sought Him.” The Desire of Ages, 168.

“Nicodemus had witnessed the miracle of Christ, and he came to the Master by night, for he had not the moral courage to approach him openly, since this would excite the criticisms of the priests and Pharisees.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1311.


  • As soon as Nicodemus found Jesus in His place of retirement, what did he say to Him? John 3:2, second part.

Note: “Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission.

“Nicodemus had heard the preaching of John the Baptist concerning repentance and baptism, and pointing the people to One Who should baptize with the Holy Spirit. He himself had felt that there was a lack of spirituality among the Jews, that, to a great degree, they were controlled by bigotry and worldly ambition. He had hoped for a better state of things at the Messiah’s coming. Yet the heart-searching message of the Baptist had failed to work in him conviction of sin. He was a strict Pharisee, and prided himself on his good works. He was widely esteemed for his benevolence and his liberality in sustaining the temple service, and he felt secure of the favor of God.” The Desire of Ages, 171.

  • Since the Lord realized that Nicodemus didn’t need a theological discussion but a regeneration, with what answer did Jesus startle him? John 3:3.

Note: “The figure of the new birth, which Jesus had used, was not wholly unfamiliar to Nicodemus. Converts from heathenism to the faith of Israel were often compared to children just born. Therefore he must have perceived that the words of Christ were not to be taken in a literal sense. But by virtue of his birth as an Israelite he regarded himself as sure of a place in the kingdom of God. He felt that he needed no change. Hence his surprise at the Saviour’s words.” The Desire of Ages, 171.


  • With what ironical question did Nicodemus try to dismiss Christ’s words? John 3:4.
  • Ignoring Nicodemus’ useless argument, how did Jesus emphasize His point? John 3:5–7.

Note: “By nature the heart is evil, and ‘who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one’ (Job 14:4). No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ ‘Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies’ (Romans 8:7; Matthew 15:19). The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.” The Desire of Ages, 172.

  • How did Jesus illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit? John 3:8.

Note: “The wind is heard among the branches of the trees, rustling the leaves and flowers; yet it is invisible, and no man knows whence it comes or whither it goes. So with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher.” The Desire of Ages, 172.


  • Nicodemus was impressed by the words of Jesus, which he did not fully understand. What did he then ask? John 3:9. What did Jesus answer? Verses 10–13.

Note: “The Jews whom Jesus had driven from the temple claimed to be children of Abraham, but they fled from the Saviour’s presence because they could not endure the glory of God which was manifested in Him. Thus they gave evidence that they were not fitted by the grace of God to participate in the sacred services of the temple. They were zealous to maintain an appearance of holiness, but they neglected holiness of heart. While they were sticklers for the letter of the law, they were constantly violating its spirit. Their great need was that very change which Christ had been explaining to Nicodemus—a new moral birth, a cleansing from sin, and a renewing of knowledge and holiness.” The Desire of Ages, 173, 174.

  • What scriptures did Nicodemus now begin to understand? Psalm 51:10; Isaiah 64:6; Ezekiel 36:26, 27.

Note: “[Isaiah 64:6; Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:26, 27 quoted.]

“Nicodemus had read these scriptures with a clouded mind; but he now began to comprehend their meaning. He saw that the most rigid obedience to the mere letter of the law as applied to the outward life could entitle no man to enter the kingdom of heaven. In the estimation of men, his life had been just and honorable; but in the presence of Christ he felt that his heart was unclean, and his life unholy.

“Nicodemus was being drawn to Christ. As the Saviour explained to him concerning the new birth, he longed to have this change wrought in himself.” The Desire of Ages, 174.

  • By what symbol did Christ make plain His mission to Nicodemus? John 3:14–16.


  • As Nicodemus wanted to know by what means the new birth could be accomplished, what did Jesus say? John 3:17–21.

Note: “The symbol of the uplifted serpent made plain to him [Nicodemus] the Saviour’s mission. When the people of Israel were dying from the sting of the fiery serpents, God directed Moses to make a serpent of brass, and place it on high in the midst of the congregation. Then the word was sounded throughout the encampment that all who would look upon the serpent should live. The people well knew that in itself the serpent had no power to help them. It was a symbol of Christ. As the image made in the likeness of the destroying serpents was lifted up for their healing, so One made ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ was to be their Redeemer (Romans 8:3). Many of the Israelites regarded the sacrificial service as having in itself virtue to set them free from sin. God desired to teach them that it had no more value than that serpent of brass. It was to lead their minds to the Saviour. Whether for the healing of their wounds or the pardon of their sins, they could do nothing for themselves but show their faith in the Gift of God. They were to look and live. …

“The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 174, 176.

  • How are we saved? Titus 3:4–6.


1 What is needed by many people who have a desire to discuss religion?

2 How did Jesus focus on Nicodemus’ need rather than on his words?

3 Why did Christ use the wind to illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit?

4 What symbol did Christ use to explain His mission to Nicodemus?

5 How did Jesus explain to Nicodemus the mystery of a new birth?

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

Bible Study Guides – Personal Service

February 7, 2016 – February 13, 2016

Key Text

“And who is my neighbour?” Luke 10:29.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 497–505.


“He [Christ] showed that our neighbor does not mean merely one of the church or faith to which we belong. It has no reference to race, color, or class distinction. Our neighbor is every person who needs our help.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 376.


  • What happened to a man as he was passing through a place infested with robbers? Luke 10:30.

Note: “In journeying from Jerusalem to Jericho, the traveler had to pass through a portion of the wilderness of Judea. The road led down a wild, rocky ravine, which was infested by robbers, and was often the scene of violence.” The Desire of Ages, 499.

  • What did the priest do as he came that way? Luke 10:31.
  • What did the Levite do? Luke 10:32.

Note: “Both these men [the priest and the Levite] were in sacred office, and professed to expound the Scriptures. They were of the class specially chosen to be representatives of God to the people. They were to ‘have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way’ (Hebrews 5:2), that they might lead men to understand God’s great love toward humanity.” The Desire of Ages, 499, 500.


  • When the Samaritan saw the sufferer, what did he do? Luke 10:33, 34.

Note: “A certain Samaritan, in his journey, came where the sufferer was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. He did not question whether the stranger was a Jew or a Gentile. If a Jew, the Samaritan well knew that, were their condition reversed, the man would spit in his face, and pass him by with contempt. But he did not hesitate on account of this. He did not consider that he himself might be in danger of violence by tarrying in the place. It was enough that there was before him a human being in need and suffering. He took off his own garment with which to cover him. The oil and wine provided for his own journey he used to heal and refresh the wounded man. He lifted him on his own beast, and moved slowly along with even pace, so that the stranger might not be jarred, and made to suffer increased pain.” The Desire of Ages, 503.

  • What else did the Samaritan do? Luke 10:34, second part, 35.

Note: “He [the Samaritan] brought him [the wounded traveler] to an inn, and cared for him through the night, watching him tenderly. In the morning, as the sick man had improved, the Samaritan ventured to go on his way. But before doing this, he placed him in the care of the innkeeper, paid the charges, and left a deposit for his benefit; and not satisfied even with this, he made provision for any further need.” The Desire of Ages, 503.

  • Finally, what question did Jesus put to the lawyer? And how was the lawyer led to answer his own question? Luke 10:36, 37.

Note: “The Samaritan had fulfilled the command, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,’ (Matthew 19:19), thus showing that he was more righteous than those by whom he was denounced. … This Samaritan represents Christ. … When we were bruised and dying, He had pity upon us. He did not pass us by on the other side, and leave us, helpless and hopeless, to perish. … He beheld our sore need, He undertook our case, and identified His interests with those of humanity. He died to save His enemies. He prayed for His murderers.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 381, 382.


  • What command has become a basic principle of Christianity? Luke 10:37, second part.

Note: “Divine truth exerts little influence upon the world, when it should exert much influence through our practice. The mere profession of religion abounds, but it has little weight. We may claim to be followers of Christ, we may claim to believe every truth in the word of God; but this will do our neighbor no good unless our belief is carried into our daily life. Our profession may be as high as heaven, but it will save neither ourselves nor our fellow men unless we are Christians. A right example will do more to benefit the world than all our profession.

“By no selfish practices can the cause of Christ be served. His cause is the cause of the oppressed and the poor. In the hearts of His professed followers there is need of the tender sympathy of Christ—a deeper love for those whom He has so valued as to give His own life for their salvation. These souls are precious, infinitely more precious than any other offering we can bring to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 383, 384.

  • What reconciliation among races, nationalities, and social classes has been achieved by the cross of Christ? Ephesians 2:13–16.

Note: “It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We cannot come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with humanity; for in Him Who sits upon the throne of the universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. …

“No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God. He is the Maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition. …

“Whatever the difference in religious belief, a call from suffering humanity must be heard and answered. Where bitterness of feeling exists because of difference in religion, much good may be done by personal service. Loving ministry will break down prejudice, and win souls to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 384–386.


  • In the work of Christ, how do we find reasons for rejoicing and reasons for weeping? Romans 12:15.

Note: “We should anticipate the sorrows, the difficulties, the troubles of others. We should enter into the joys and cares of both high and low, rich and poor. ‘Freely ye have received,’ Christ says, ‘freely give’ (Matthew 10:8). All around us are poor, tried souls that need sympathizing words and helpful deeds. There are widows who need sympathy and assistance. There are orphans whom Christ has bidden His followers receive as a trust from God. Too often these are passed by with neglect. They may be ragged, uncouth, and seemingly in every way unattractive; yet they are God’s property. They have been bought with a price, and they are as precious in His sight as we are. They are members of God’s great household, and Christians as His stewards are responsible for them. ‘Their souls,’ He says, ‘will I require at thine hand.’ ” Christ’s Object Lessons, 386, 387.

  • When words are not enough, how can we reach many people? James 2:15, 16.

Note: “Sin is the greatest of all evils, and it is ours to pity and help the sinner. … There are many who hide their soul hunger. These would be greatly helped by a tender word or a kind remembrance. … Multitudes are so sunken in sin that they have lost the sense of eternal realities, lost the similitude of God, and they hardly know whether they have souls to be saved or not. They have neither faith in God nor confidence in man. Many of these can be reached only through acts of disinterested kindness. … As they see the evidence of your unselfish love, it will be easier for them to believe in the love of Christ.

“There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They look upon their mistakes and errors until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. When one has to swim against the stream, there is all the force of the current driving him back. Let a helping hand then be held out to him as was the Elder Brother’s hand to the sinking Peter. Speak to him hopeful words, words that will establish confidence and awaken love.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 387.


  • How can we help sin-sick people to make peace with God? Isaiah 27:5.

Note: “Thy brother, sick in spirit, needs thee, as thou thyself hast needed a brother’s love. He needs the experience of one who has been as weak as he, one who can sympathize with him and help him. The knowledge of our own weakness should help us to help another in his bitter need. …

“It is fellowship with Christ, personal contact with a living Saviour, that enables the mind and heart and soul to triumph over the lower nature. Tell the wanderer of an almighty Hand that will hold him up, of an infinite humanity in Christ that pities him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 387, 388.

  • How much does our personal service in behalf of human sufferers affect our preparation for the kingdom of God? Daniel 12:3; Zechariah 3:7.

Note: “Upon your faithfulness in this work not only the well-being of others but your own eternal destiny depends. Christ is seeking to uplift all who will be lifted to companionship with Himself, that we may be one with Him as He is one with the Father. … He seeks to develop in us the attributes of His character—compassion, tenderness, and love. By accepting this work of ministry we place ourselves in His school, to be fitted for the courts of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 388, 389.


1 What actions of the Samaritan demonstrated a Christian spirit?

2 What did the lawyer who came to Christ finally realize?

3 How is Christianity unique among religions in this world?

4 Describe the most powerful sermon that can be preached to unbelievers.

5 Name the key elements that draw people to Christ.

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

Bible Study Guides – Workers Together With Christ

January 31, 2016 – February 6, 2016

Key Text

“Let him that heareth say, Come.” Revelation 22:17.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 820–828.


“When Christ went away, He gave to every man his work. This rests upon every one of us.” The Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.


  • What should be the first interest of every Christian? Of what does evangelistic ministry consist? Revelation 22:17.

Note: “Whatever one’s calling in life, his first interest should be to win souls for Christ. He may not be able to speak to congregations, but he can work for individuals. … Nigh and afar off are souls weighed down by a sense of guilt. It is not hardship, toil, or poverty that degrades humanity. It is guilt, wrongdoing. This brings unrest and dissatisfaction. Christ would have His servants minister to sin-sick souls.

“The disciples were to begin their work where they were. The hardest and most unpromising field was not to be passed by. So every one of Christ’s workers is to begin where he is. In our own families may be souls hungry for sympathy, starving for the bread of life. There may be children to be trained for Christ. There are heathen at our very doors. Let us do faithfully the work that is nearest. Then let our efforts be extended as far as God’s hand may lead the way.” The Desire of Ages, 822.

  • In what sense should every Christian feel constrained by the love of Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15, 19.


  • Why and how are we to be workers together with Christ? 2 Corinthians 6:1.

Note: “We are to be workers together with God for the restoration of health to the body as well as to the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 824.

  • How may we be more efficient coworkers in the plan of salvation? Colossians 1:9, 10.

Note: “Mechanics, lawyers, merchants, men of all trades and professions, are educated for the line of business they hope to enter. It is their policy to make themselves as efficient as possible. Go to the milliner or the dressmaker, and she will tell you how long she toiled before she had a thorough knowledge of her business. The architect will tell you how long it took him to understand how to plan a tasteful, commodious building. And so it is in all the callings that men follow.

“Should the servants of Christ show less diligence in preparing for a work infinitely more important? Should they be ignorant of the ways and means to be employed in winning souls? …

“It is a lamentable fact that the advancement of the cause is hindered by the dearth of educated laborers. Many are wanting in moral and intellectual qualifications.” Gospel Workers, 92, 93.

  • How can we “go on unto perfection” in the school of Christ? Philippians 3:12–14; Hebrews 6:1.

Note: “The cause of God calls for all-round men, who can devise, plan, build up, and organize. And those who appreciate the probabilities and possibilities of the work for this time, will seek by earnest study to obtain all the knowledge they can from the Word, to use in ministering to needy, sin-sick souls.

“A minister should never think that he has learned enough, and may now relax his efforts.” Gospel Workers, 94.


  • What question did Jesus ask certain men who invested money in flocks and herds? Luke 15:4.

Note: “In the parable [of the lost sheep] the shepherd goes out to search for one sheep—the very least that can be numbered. So if there had been but one lost soul, Christ would have died for that one.

“The sheep that has strayed from the fold is the most helpless of all creatures. It must be sought for by the shepherd, for it cannot find its way back. So with the soul that has wandered away from God; he is as helpless as the lost sheep, and unless divine love had come to his rescue he could never find his way to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 187.

  • How does a true co-laborer of Christ act and feel when one of his sheep is missing? Luke 15:5, 6.

Note: “The shepherd who discovers that one of his sheep is missing does not look carelessly upon the flock that is safely housed, and say, ‘I have ninety and nine, and it will cost me too much trouble to go in search of the straying one. Let him come back, and I will open the door of the sheepfold, and let him in.’ No; no sooner does the sheep go astray than the shepherd is filled with grief and anxiety. He counts and recounts the flock. When he is sure that one sheep is lost, he slumbers not. He leaves the ninety and nine within the fold, and goes in search of the straying sheep. The darker and more tempestuous the night and the more perilous the way, the greater is the shepherd’s anxiety and the more earnest his search. He makes every effort to find that one lost sheep.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 187, 188.

  • What is the meaning of I John 3:1; 4:19?

Note: “We do not repent in order that God may love us, but He reveals to us His love in order that we may repent.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 189.


  • What does the lost coin mentioned in the parable represent? Luke 15:8, 9.

Note: “The lost coin represents those who … have no sense of their condition. … Their souls are in peril, but they are unconscious and unconcerned. … even those who are indifferent to the claims of God are the objects of His pitying love. They are to be sought for that they may be brought back to God. …

“This parable has a lesson to families. In the household there is often great carelessness concerning the souls of its members. Among their number may be one who is estranged from God; but how little anxiety is felt lest in the family relationship there be lost one of God’s entrusted gifts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 193, 194.

  • In the parable, what two tasks were required of the housewife in order to find the lost coin? Luke 15:8, second part.

Note: “The woman in the parable searches diligently for her lost coin. … she will not cease her efforts until that piece is found. So in the family if one member is lost to God every means should be used for his recovery. … let there be diligent, careful self-examination. … See if there is not some mistake, some error in management, by which that soul is confirmed in impenitence.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 194.

  • How does the Lord deal with modern prodigal sons and daughters? Luke 15:11–32. What lesson should we learn from the attitude of the elder brother?

Note: “When you see yourselves as sinners saved only by the love of your heavenly Father, you will have tender pity for others who are suffering in sin. … When the ice of selfishness is melted from your hearts, you will be in sympathy with God, and will share His joy in the saving of the lost. …

“He [your brother] is bound to you by the closest ties; for God recognizes him as a son. Deny your relationship to him, and you show that you are but a hireling in the household, not a child in the family of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 210, 211.


  • Define the main work of a gospel minister. 2 Corinthians 12:10; 2 Timothy 3:10, 11; 4:5.

Note: “The work of the gospel minister is ‘to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God’ (Ephesians 3:9). If one entering upon this work chooses the least self-sacrificing part, contenting himself with preaching, and leaving the work of personal ministry for someone else, his labors will not be acceptable to God. Souls for whom Christ died are perishing for want of well-directed, personal labor; and he has mistaken his calling who, entering upon the ministry, is unwilling to do the personal work that the care of the flock demands.

“The spirit of the true shepherd is one of self-forgetfulness. … By the preaching of the word and by personal ministry in the homes of the people, he learns their needs, their sorrows, their trials; and, co-operating with the great Burden Bearer, he shares their afflictions, comforts their distresses, relieves their soul hunger, and wins their hearts to God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 527.

  • What other qualities are essential in ministry? James 3:1, 2, 13–18.

Note: “There is tactful work for the undershepherd to do as he is called to meet alienation, bitterness, envy, and jealousy in the church, and he will need to labor in the spirit of Christ to set things in order.” The Acts of the Apostles, 526.


1 What does it mean to be constrained by the love of Christ?

2 What type of education does the gospel minister need and why?

3 How does a true co-laborer of Christ act and feel when a sheep is missing from the flock?

4 Which qualities are often forgotten as requirements in the gospel ministry?

5 How essential are tact and wisdom in the gospel ministry?

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

Recipe – Borscht

Recipe – Borscht

4 beets, whole 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
4 russet potatoes, diced 1 tsp. raw agave or sweetener of choice
1 onion, chopped ¼ head red; ¼ head white cabbage, shredded
1 green pepper, diced 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
2 carrots, grated Salt, to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced Fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. olive oil Healthy homemade sour cream
Boil beets until crisp tender. Remove from water; peel and set aside. Cook potatoes in beet water for about 10 minutes. Sauté onion, bell pepper, carrots, and garlic in olive oil until tender; add tomato paste; cook 2 minutes. Combine mixture into beet water. Add grated beets, cabbage, sweetener, salt and lemon juice. Gently simmer 40–50 minutes for flavors to enhance. Garnish with parsley and sour cream.


Food – The Unbeatable Beet

Beet or beetroot has a bulbous, dark red root that may be eaten as a vegetable in a variety of ways. Beetroots are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent addition to your diet. Although commonly a beautiful reddish-purple hue, beets also come in varieties that feature white, yellow, orange, striped and even rainbow colored roots.

Beets pack a number of health benefits:

  • “Beets contain zero trans fat and zero saturated fat. They are also low calorie.
  • Beets are high in carbohydrates, which means they are a great instant energy source. They can be regarded as body fuel.
  • Beets contain folic acid, which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially important for pregnant woman or anyone undergoing physical healing.
  • Studies have shown that betacyanin, the pigment that gives beets their red color, helps inhibit the formation of cancer-causing compounds and is protective against colon and stomach cancer. Beets have been used to help get rid of tumors and to aid in supporting people with blood diseases and leukemia.
  • Medical studies have also shown that including beets in a diet helps protect the body against heart disease.
  • Beets have been shown to help cleanse the blood, cleanse the colon and strengthen the gallbladder and liver.
  • Some people have used beets to treat and cure boils, abscesses and even acne.
  • Beets are one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, highly beneficial for eye health.
  • Beets also contain betaine, which enhances serotonin production in the brain.
  • Beets are an excellent source of fiber and magnesium, which helps make and maintain RNA and DNA cells and prevent anemia.
  • Beets contain sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorous. They are considered a fiber food and contain vitamins A and C as well as niacin.
  • Beets also contain potassium, which is necessary for building muscle and regulating the heart’s electrical activity, and manganese, which helps maintain muscle and nerve function, build bone strength, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote a healthy immune system.”

Beets may be enjoyed in several ways: grate them raw over salads; steam; roast in the oven, cut in chunks and top a tossed salad, adding a favorite dressing; juice raw with other vegetables for a healthy drink or use diced or grated in soups. Borscht, a very popular vegetable soup made of beets is a delicious favorite in Poland, Russia, Germany and other European menus.

Children’s Story – Everything for the Best

Toward the evening of a fine summer’s day, a gentleman, who lived in the country, took his son William with him to the top of a neighboring hill. While they were admiring the beauty of the setting sun, which made everything around them look bright and happy, they saw a shepherd driving his flock and heard the bleating of the playful lambs.

The sides of the road which they were obliged to travel were lined with thorn bushes and thistles, and every sheep in passing, rubbed against the briers and lost some of its wool. This troubled little William very much.

“See, Father,” he said, “see how the naughty thorns steal the wool from the sheep. Why does God, Who is so good to everything, let the thorns grow to do such mischief? Why do not men destroy every one of them? Poor sheep! Tomorrow morning, I will come with my knife and cut down all these bushes. Will you not come and help me, Father?”

“I will see about it,” said his father. “But why are you so angry with the briers and thorns? Do you not know that we ourselves rob the sheep by shearing them? Instead of taking a few pieces of wool, we take the whole coat.”

“True,” replied William, “but we need it to make our clothes; and it grows all the better after being cut off. Besides, I have heard you say, that sheep always shed their wool in summer; and it is surely better that we should cut it off and make some use of it, than that it should be entirely lost.

“But these thorns do not need the wool. They rob the sheep of wool which is of no use to them nor to anybody. Will you, Father, come with me tomorrow morning and help me cut them down?”

“Perhaps I will,” said his father. “We will take a walk at break of day, and then we will see about it.”

William, who thought himself a great hero because he was going to destroy the hurtful bushes, could hardly sleep; so much was his mind occupied with his glorious project. He waked his father as soon as the singing of the birds gave notice that morning was coming.

Both of them enjoyed the clear air and the glorious spectacle of the rising sun, and went along singing merrily until they arrived at the foot of the hill. William was running to the bushes with his knife in his hand to cut them down, when his father called to him to stop.

A great number of birds were flying round the thorns, and his father told William to watch and see what they came there for. He soon saw that each little bird carried away in his bill a piece of the wool which the briers had torn from the sheep. Wrens, linnets, goldfinches, and robins all went away with full loads of wool.

“You now see,” said his father, “that God takes care of everything. The thorns, which you thought did nothing but mischief, furnish these pretty birds with wool to line their nests. The sheep do not miss these few locks of wool, and the birds are made rich and happy by them. And does my boy now wish to cut down the thorn bushes?”

“Oh no!” said William. “I now see I was too hasty. God is wise and good and has made everything for the best.”

The Moore McGuffey Readers, Book 2, 145–148.

Keys to the Storehouse – Oh, What an Excuse!

How often have you heard the excuse, “It is natural”? Or have you used that excuse yourself?

“I have seen professed Christians act out their natural infirmities,

  • let their evil temper get the victory over them, and
  • after the excitement has passed, reflection and reason teaches them they have greatly erred.
  • They excuse themselves by saying,
  • ‘It’s natural for me to be quick, it’s my temperament.’ …

“I have heard the most covetous and selfish, when reproved for these sins, urge the excuse, ‘It’s natural. I was taught to be so.’ O, what an excuse for a Christian, ‘It’s natural.’

  • ‘It’s natural’ to give way to a passionate temper.
  • ‘It’s natural’ to indulge in pride.
  • ‘It’s natural’ to be covetous and selfish.

“Let me ask you professed Christian, are you going into heaven with all these ‘natural’ infirmities unsubdued? No, never! Heaven will not be marred with the presence of any with ‘natural’ infirmities.

“Well since these infirmities must be overcome, what shall we do?

  • Shall we excuse ourselves by saying ‘It’s natural?’ or
  • shall we rather go about the work earnestly to subdue self, and
  • take the steps necessary to be taken, to accomplish the object?

“ ‘It’s natural’ is the excuse that comes from a carnal heart. The axe has not been laid at the root of the tree. There has not been a thorough acquaintance with the heart, and poisonous weeds that choke every good growth have been permitted to flourish there. These evils must be rooted out, these besetments overcome, or lose heaven.

“Look to the rock that is higher than you, plead with God in secret prayer for grace. All these ‘natural’ infirmities can be overcome by grace. But the ‘natural,’ carnal, heart is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. If the carnal mind is subdued, you will not hear so frequently, ‘It’s natural.’

  • Satan loves to hear this.
  • His angels rejoice that you have not grace sufficient to overcome ‘natural’ infirmities.
  • They triumph at these words, ‘It’s natural.’

“But Jesus says, ‘my grace is sufficient for you.’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). Yes it is sufficient to overcome and subdue the ‘natural,’ carnal, heart.

“Watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation (Mark 14:38). Earnest, fervent prayer will avail much when tempted to speak wrong. Say not a word until you first pray, then watch with all your powers. Set a watch before the door of your lips. Jesus knows just how hard you try to overcome, and His all-sufficient grace will be imparted, and with holy trust, you may rejoice in your Redeemer Who giveth you the victory.” The Youth’s Instructor, November 1, 1857. [All emphasis author’s.]

Health – Nutrition – One of the Eight Health Laws

Nutrition may well be the most important of the eight laws of health, for without adequate nutrition, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to keep the other seven, due to the ill-health that inadequate nutrition brings on.

Many tend to take health for granted or fail to appreciate it as they should. What about you? Are you looking to preserve the health you have or are you failing to appreciate it and therefore allowing it to slip by little-by-little? Consider the health law of nutrition and how it affects you.

The immune system, which is a gift from God, is a sure defense against disease. When this system is compromised, infections and disease walk right in and take over, making you sick and at times causing death. It is the responsibility of each person to see that their immune system is working to its best ability. One way is by carefully choosing the best nutrition for his or her body’s needs.

“Our bodies are built up from the food we eat. There is a constant breaking down of the tissues of the body; every movement of every organ involves waste, and this waste is repaired from our food. Each organ of the body requires its share of nutrition. The brain must be supplied with its portion; the bones, muscles, and nerves demand theirs. It is a wonderful process that transforms the food into blood and uses this blood to build up the varied parts of the body; but this process is going on continually, supplying with life and strength each nerve, muscle, and tissue.

“Those foods should be chosen that best supply the elements needed for building up the body. In this choice, appetite is not a safe guide. Through wrong habits of eating, the appetite has become perverted. … The disease and suffering that everywhere prevail are largely due to popular errors in regard to diet.” The Ministry of Healing, 295.

“If you want to prevent cancer and reduce the risk of other chronic health problems, then you need to consider the types of foods that you are eating. People don’t often realize the impact that their diet has on their overall health, and they make poor food choices every day because they are following the Standard American Diet. It is possible to change your health through diet and lifestyle adjustments, and one of the first things that you need to do is stay away from ‘dead’ foods.

“What are ‘Dead’ Foods? When you bite into a fresh apple, a slice of cucumber, or any other kinds of fruits and vegetables, you are providing your body with a number of enzymes that support digestion and overall health. These foods are ‘living’ and you should eat an abundance of them each day. But, there are many types of food that are ‘dead’ because they don’t contain the important enzymes that are needed for good health.

“Most of the time, foods that come in a box, can, jar, or any other type of package have been so processed that the enzymes have been destroyed. These packaged foods are known as dead foods, and they often contain a host of other unhealthy ingredients such as preservatives, fats, sugars, and chemicals.

“Eating these dead foods not only prevents your body from getting the nutrition and enzymes that are needed for good health, but you are also loading the body with toxins and garbage that need to be removed. Each time you take a bite of dead food, it puts a burden on your body and causes damage to your major organs.

“ ‘Living’ Foods Support Health. In comparison, living foods are very good for your health and they support overall wellness. If you want to reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, then you need to increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with the beneficial enzymes that your body needs. These foods are very beneficial for building and repairing, and they provide your body with important compounds instead of placing a greater burden on the organs.

“When you cut out the dead foods and increase the living foods, you will notice a change in your energy levels and overall health. It is amazing to see how much of a difference it can make!”

It is better for your health to increase the “living” foods and decrease the “dead” foods. We were created in the image of God—living and vibrant—full of life. Why would we want to refuse the proper nourishment and lose the gift of health which is so valuable?

We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

“The knowledge that man is to be a temple for God, a habitation for the revealing of His glory, should be the highest incentive to the care and development of our physical powers. Fearfully and wonderfully has the Creator wrought in the human frame, and He bids us make it our study, understand its needs, and act our part in preserving it from harm and defilement.” The Ministry of Healing, 271.

Question & Answer – How do the animal sacrifices represent Christ?

I believe the following type-antitype chart will help you to understand the correlation between animal sacrifices and how they represented Christ.

Leviticus 4:3, 23, 28. The animal was to be without blemish. 1 Peter 1:19. Christ was “without blemish and without spot.”
Leviticus 4:4, 14. The offering was to be brought before the Lord to the door of the sanctuary. Hebrews 4:15, 16. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Leviticus 4:4; Numbers 5:7. The sinner laid his hand on the head of the offering, thus acknowledging his sins. 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”
Leviticus 4:29. The sinner slew the sin-offering; he took the life of the lamb with his own hands. Isaiah 53:10. Christ’s soul was made an offering for sin. Criminals often lived for days upon the cross; it was the awful burden of the sins of the world that slew Christ.
Leviticus 4:5–7, 17, 18. In some offerings the blood was taken into the sanctuary and sprinkled before the Lord. Hebrews 9:12. “By His own blood He [Christ] entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
Leviticus 10:16–18. When the blood was not taken into the sanctuary, a portion of the flesh was eaten by the priest in the holy place; thus in type the priest bore “the iniquity of the congregation to make atonement for them before the Lord.” 1 Peter 2:24. This was a type of the One “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
Leviticus 4:31; 7:30. The sinner with his own hands was to separate all the fat from the sin-offering, the fat typifying sin. Psalm 37:20. Isaiah 1:16. We are not only to confess past sins, but we are to examine our own hearts and put away evil habits. “Cease to do evil.”
Leviticus 4:31. The fat is all burned to ashes in the court of the sanctuary. Malachi 4:1–3. All sin and sinners will be burned to ashes on the earth.
Leviticus 4:7, 18, 25, 30. The blood of every sin-offering was poured on the ground at the bottom of the brazen altar in the court. Ephesians 1:14. Christ purchased the earth as well as its inhabitants by His death on the cross.

The Cross and Its Shadow, by Stephen N. Haskell, reprint by The Review and Herald Publishing Company, 130, 131.