Insights from the Book of Isaiah (II) – Cooperating With Heaven

February 18 – 24, 2018

Key Text

“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:13).

Study Help: Education, 169–184.


“An indwelling Saviour makes His power our property. The truth becomes our stock in trade. No unrighteousness is seen in the life. We are able to speak words in season to those who know not the truth. Christ’s presence in the heart is a vitalizing power, strengthening the entire being.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 71.



  • What comforting message to wayward Judah echoes down to us today in our desire to live for God and promote His cause? Isaiah 41:10–14.

Note: “The Lord has pledged Himself to make His name a praise in the earth. What power He has promised to all who will work in cooperation with heaven! The three highest powers in the universe are pledged to labor with those who will seek to save the lost. God wants His people to claim His promised help for the accomplishment of His work in the world.” The Review and Herald, August 12, 1909.

“Let us be hopeful and courageous. Despondency in God’s service is sinful and unreasonable. He knows our every necessity. He has all power. He can bestow upon His servants the measure of efficiency that their need demands. His infinite love and compassion never weary. With the majesty of omnipotence He unites the gentleness and care of a tender shepherd. We need have no fear that He will not fulfill His promises. He is eternal truth. Never will He change the covenant that He has made with those that love Him. His promises to His church stand fast forever. He will make her an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations.

“Study the forty-first chapter of Isaiah, and strive to understand it in all its significance.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 38, 39.



  • What assurances do we have of God’s love and protection in carrying forward our mission, even amid trials? Isaiah 43:1–6.

Note: “The furnace fires are not to destroy, but to refine, ennoble, sanctify. Without trial we should not feel so much our need of God and His help; and we should become proud and self-sufficient. In the trials that come to you I see evidence that the Lord’s eye is upon you and that He means to draw you to Himself. It is not the whole, but the wounded, who need a physician; it is those who are pressed almost beyond the point of endurance who need a helper. Turn to the stronghold. Learn the precious lesson: ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light’ (Matthew 11:28–30).” Testimonies, vol. 8, 123, 124.

  • What lessons of cooperation and encouragement even among idolaters can we apply today in our work for God? Isaiah 41:6, 7.

Note: “It would be helpful for the youth, and for parents and teachers as well, to study the lesson of cooperation as taught in the Scriptures. Among its many illustrations notice the building of the tabernacle—that object lesson of character building—in which the whole people united, ‘everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing’ (Exodus 35:21). Read how the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt by the returned captives, in the midst of poverty, difficulty, and danger, the great task successfully accomplished because ‘the people had a mind to work’ (Nehemiah 4:6). Consider the part acted by the disciples in the Saviour’s miracle for the feeding of the multitude. The food multiplied in the hands of Christ, but the disciples received the loaves and gave to the waiting throng.

“ ‘We are members one of another.’ As everyone therefore ‘hath received a (R.V.) gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God’ (Ephesians 4:25; 1 Peter 4:10).

“Well might the words written of the idol builders of old be, with worthier aim, adopted as a motto by character builders of today: [Isaiah 41:6 quoted].” Education, 286.


3              IN TUNE WITH OUR MAKER

  • How do both the psalmist and Isaiah declare the uniqueness of our Creator? Psalm 72:18; Isaiah 44:6–8; 45:11, 12. What should this cause us to consider?

Note: “Let us have more confidence in our Redeemer. Turn not from the waters of Lebanon to seek refreshment at broken cisterns, which can hold no water. Have faith in God. Trustful dependence on Jesus makes victory not only possible, but certain. Though multitudes are pressing on in the wrong way, though the outlook be ever so discouraging, yet we may have full assurance in our Leader; for ‘I am God,’ he declares, ‘and there is none else’ (Isaiah 45:22). He is infinite in power, and able to save all who come to Him. There is no other in whom we can safely trust.” The Review and Herald, June 9, 1910.

  • Instead of cooperating with our Creator in His purpose for us, what do we often do? Isaiah 45:9, 10. How did the heathen king, Cyrus, respond to God’s purpose for him? Verse 13.

Note: “We believe in a general way, but we lose much because we do not trust fully and entirely in God our Maker. When we can, notwithstanding disagreeable circumstances, rest confidingly in His love and shut ourselves in with Him, resting peacefully in His love, the sense of His presence will inspire a deep, tranquil joy. This experience gains for us a faith that enables us not to fret, not to worry, but to depend upon a Power that is infinite.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 289.

“As the king [Cyrus] saw the words foretelling, more than a hundred years before his birth, the manner in which Babylon should be taken; as he read the message addressed to him by the Ruler of the universe [Isaiah 45:5, 6 quoted], as he saw before his eyes the declaration of the eternal God, ‘For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel Mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known Me;’ as he traced the inspired record, ‘I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build My city, and he shall let go My captives, not for price nor reward,’ his heart was profoundly moved, and he determined to fulfill his divinely appointed mission (verses 4, 13). He would let the Judean captives go free; he would help them restore the temple of Jehovah.” Prophets and Kings, 557, 558.



  • When tempted to doubt the certainty of God’s Word, what should we remember about God? Isaiah 46:8–10.

Note: “It is impossible for the finite minds of men to fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. …

“We can so far comprehend His dealing with us, and the motives by which He is actuated, that we may discern boundless love and mercy united to infinite power. We can understand as much of His purposes as it is for our good to know; and beyond this we must still trust the might of the Omnipotent, the love and wisdom of the Father and Sovereign of all. …

“But God has given us in the Scriptures sufficient evidence of their divine character, and we are not to doubt His word because we cannot understand all the mysteries of His providence. …

“All that God has seen fit to make known we are to accept upon the authority of His word. Only a bare statement of facts may be given, with no explanation as to why or how; but though we cannot comprehend it we should rest content that it is true, because God has said it. All the difficulty lies in the weakness and narrowness of the human mind.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 698–700.

“In the annals of human history the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as dependent on the will and prowess of man. The shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, behind, above, and through all the play and counterplay of human interests and power and passions, the agencies of the all-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.” Education, 173.

  • In His purpose to use Cyrus to deliver Judah from Babylon, what great spiritual deliverance was assured by God, and through whom would this come? Isaiah 46:11–13.

Note: “In word and in deed the Messiah, during His earthly ministry, was to reveal to mankind the glory of God the Father. Every act of His life, every word spoken, every miracle wrought, was to make known to fallen humanity the infinite love of God.” Prophets and Kings, 696.


5              GOD’S HELPING HANDS

  • What essential experience must we all have in order to cooperate with God in the blessed work of soul-saving? Psalm 51:10–13; 2 Corinthians 4:1–7. Why?

Note: “Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary. He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life. The receiver becomes a giver. The grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert, welling up to refresh all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life.” The Desire of Ages, 195.

“He who becomes a child of God should henceforth look upon himself as a link in the chain let down to save the world, one with Christ in His plan of mercy, going forth with Him to seek and save the lost.” The Ministry of Healing, 105.

“Have you so deep an appreciation of the sacrifice made on Calvary that you are willing to make every other interest subordinate to the work of saving souls? The same intensity of desire to save sinners that marked the life of the Saviour marks the life of His true follower. The Christian has no desire to live for self. He delights to consecrate all that he has and is to the Master’s service. He is moved by an inexpressible desire to win souls to Christ. Those who have nothing of this desire might better be concerned for their own salvation. Let them pray for the spirit of service.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 10.

“Our work has been marked out for us by our heavenly Father. We are to take our Bibles and go forth to warn the world. We are to be God’s helping hands in saving souls—channels through which His love is day by day to flow to the perishing.” Ibid., vol. 9, 150.



1             Name some ways in which God’s cause can be benefited by our mutual cooperation.

2             What should we remember when faced with fierce trials and difficulties?

3              If we rest in God’s love and commit ourselves fully to Him, what will we gain?

4             Why is prophecy so useful in laying the groundwork for belief in God?

5             Why is evangelistic zeal an accurate gauge of genuine conversion?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Insights from the Book of Isaiah (II) – The Struggles of the Remnant

February 11 – 17, 2018

Key Text

“Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings” (Isaiah 51:7).

Study Help: Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 117–119; Selected Messages, Book 1, 121–143.


“The law of God will stand fully vindicated. It will be seen that all the dealings of God have been conducted with reference to the eternal good of His people, and the good of all the worlds that He has created.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 338, 339.



  • In Isaiah’s time, what developments occurred in Judah during the reign of King Manasseh? 2 Kings 21:16; 2 Chronicles 33:9–11.

Note: “The kingdom of Judah … was once more brought low during the long years of Manasseh’s wicked reign, when paganism was revived, and many of the people were led into idolatry. … The glorious light of former generations was followed by the darkness of superstition and error. Gross evils sprang up and flourished—tyranny, oppression, hatred of all that is good. Justice was perverted; violence prevailed.

“Yet those evil times were not without witnesses for God and the right. The trying experiences through which Judah had safely passed during Hezekiah’s reign had developed, in the hearts of many, a sturdiness of character that now served as a bulwark against the prevailing iniquity. Their testimony in behalf of truth and righteousness aroused the anger of Manasseh and his associates in authority, who endeavored to establish themselves in evil-doing by silencing every voice of disapproval. [2 Kings 21:16 quoted.]

“One of the first to fall was Isaiah, who for over half a century had stood before Judah as the appointed messenger of Jehovah.” Prophets and Kings, 381, 382.


2              THE LORD MIGHTY TO SAVE

  • What should we all learn from Manasseh’s repentance? 2 Chronicles 33:12, 13; 2 Peter 3:9.

Note: “In the case of Manasseh the Lord gives us an instance of the way in which He works. [2 Chronicles 33:9–13 quoted.]

“The Lord has often spoken to His people in warning and reproof. He has revealed Himself in mercy, love, and kindness. He has not left His backsliding people to the will of the enemy, but has borne long with them, even during obdurate apostasy. But after appeals have been made in vain, He prepares the rod for punishment. What compassionate love has been exercised toward the people of God! The Lord might have cut down in their sins those who were working at cross purposes with Him, but He has not done this. His hand is stretched out still. We have reason to offer thanksgiving to God that He has not taken His Spirit from those who have refused to walk in His way.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1132.

  • After God used Babylon to punish apostate Israel and then used Medo-Persia to destroy Babylon, how did He promise to deliver His nation after their period of chastisement? Isaiah 44:24, 28; 45:1–6, 13.

Note: “More than a century before the birth of Cyrus, Inspiration had mentioned him by name, and had caused a record to be made of the actual work he should do in taking the city of Babylon unawares, and in preparing the way for the release of the children of the captivity. Through Isaiah the word had been spoken: [Isaiah 45:1–3 quoted].” Prophets and Kings, 551.

  • How was this prophecy fulfilled? Ezra 1:1–4; 6:3–5. What principle should this fact cause us to remember? Numbers 11:23.

Note: “The Lord has resources. His hand is on the machinery. When the time came for His temple to be rebuilt, He moved upon Cyrus as His agent to discern the prophecies concerning Himself, and to grant the Jewish people their liberty.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1175.



  • What spiritual restoration prophesied to take place in our day was symbolized by the restoration in Nehemiah’s day? Isaiah 61:4; 58:12, 13.

Note: “The spiritual restoration of which the work carried forward in Nehemiah’s day was a symbol, is outlined in the words of Isaiah: [Isaiah 61:4; 58:12 quoted].

“The prophet here describes a people who, in a time of general departure from truth and righteousness, are seeking to restore the principles that are the foundation of the kingdom of God. They are repairers of a breach that has been made in God’s law—the wall that He has placed around His chosen ones for their protection, and obedience to whose precepts of justice, truth, and purity is to be their perpetual safeguard.

“In words of unmistakable meaning the prophet points out the specific work of this remnant people who build the wall. ‘If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it’ (verses 13, 14).

“In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man is to be repaired.” Prophets and Kings, 677, 678.

  • Why is it so important to have a good foundation in the work of reformation? Psalm 11:3. How does this apply to our work today in preparation for the Lord’s return? Matthew 3:9, 10; 17:11.

Note: “God’s remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue. Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to co-operate with Him in building up the waste places. They are to be repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in.” Prophets and Kings, 678.


4              PRESSING FORWARD

  • How humble are we to be in our work for others? Luke 17:10; Galatians 6:1; Isaiah 51:1.

Note: “We must lead the people along patiently and gradually, remembering the hole of the pit whence we were digged.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 21.

  • What promises to the spiritual children of Abraham are for us today? Isaiah 51:2, 3; Galatians 3:28, 29.

Note: “God’s people have a mighty work before them, a work that must continually rise to greater prominence. Our efforts in missionary lines must become far more extensive. …

“The vineyard includes the whole world, and every part of it is to be worked. There are places which are now a moral wilderness, and these are to become as the garden of the Lord. The waste places of the earth are to be cultivated, that they may bud and blossom as the rose. New territories are to be worked by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. New churches must be established, new congregations organized. At this time there should be representatives of present truth in every city and in the remote parts of the earth. The whole earth is to be illuminated with the glory of God’s truth. The light is to shine to all lands and all peoples. And it is from those who have received the light that it is to shine forth. The daystar has risen upon us, and we are to flash its light upon the pathway of those in darkness.

“A crisis is right upon us. We must now by the Holy Spirit’s power proclaim the great truths for these last days. It will not be long before everyone will have heard the warning and made his decision. Then shall the end come.

“It is the very essence of all right faith to do the right thing at the right time. God is the great Master Worker, and by His providence He prepares the way for His work to be accomplished. He provides opportunities, opens up lines of influence and channels of working. If His people are watching the indications of His providence, and stand ready to cooperate with Him, they will see a great work accomplished. … Our work is reformative, and it is God’s purpose that the excellence of the work in all lines shall be an object lesson to the people.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 23–25.


5              NOT TO BE LED ASTRAY

  • What happens when people reject God’s word in order to promote their own agenda? Isaiah 50:11; John 12:48; 2 Thessalonians 2:11.

Note: “The Lord has presented before me that those who have been in any measure blinded by the enemy, and who have not fully recovered themselves from the snare of Satan, will be in peril because they cannot discern light from heaven, and will be inclined to accept a falsehood. This will affect the whole tenor of their thoughts, their decisions, their propositions, their counsels. The evidences that God has given are no evidence to them, because they have blinded their own eyes by choosing darkness rather than light. Then they will originate something they call light, which the Lord calls sparks of their own kindling, by which they will direct their steps. …

“By many, the words which the Lord sent will be rejected, and the words that man may speak will be received as light and truth. Human wisdom will lead away from self-denial, from consecration, and will devise many things that tend to make of no effect God’s messages. We cannot with any safety rely upon men who are not in close connection with God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1146, 1147.

  • What key point must we keep in mind in this work? 1 Corinthians 14:8.

Note: “Let the church arise and repent of her backslidings before God. Let the watchmen awake, and give the trumpet a certain sound.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 126.



1             How far did King Manasseh plunge into the depths of wickedness?

2             Cite examples revealing the tremendous long-suffering of our Redeemer.

3             Many profess to be reformers—but what is God’s basis for true reform?

4             What is the most important task we should be actively pursuing today?

5             Name the kinds of problems that lead people astray from the truth.

Insights from the Book of Isaiah (II) – Sharing With Our Neighbors

February 4 – 10, 2018

Key Text

“Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no God; I know not any” (Isaiah 44:8).

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 367–378.


“We should know individually and be able to tell others that every promise of God is true. It is by bearing a straightforward testimony in word and work, that we are counted as true, faithful witnesses for Christ.” The Review and Herald, July 7, 1903.



  • Describe the Lord’s plan for His sheep who are outside His fold. Ezekiel 34:12–14. What was the modern-day messenger of God bidden to say about this need?

Note: “As I traveled through the South on my way to the Conference, I saw city after city that was unworked. What is the matter? The ministers are hovering over churches, which know the truth, while thousands are perishing out of Christ. If the proper instruction were given, if the proper methods were followed, every church member would do his work as a member of the body. He would do Christian missionary work. But the churches are dying, and they want a minister to preach to them. They should be taught to bring a faithful tithe to God, that He may strengthen and bless them. They should be brought into working order, that the breath of God may come to them. They should be taught that unless they can stand alone, without a minister, they need to be converted anew, and baptized anew. They need to be born again.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1750.

“The world is to be warned. Ministers should work earnestly and devotedly, opening new fields and engaging in personal labor for souls, instead of hovering over the churches that already have great light and many advantages.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 255.



  • What saving light must be given to every person on earth? Isaiah 42:6; Mark 16:15. How have we as individual believers often neglected this duty—especially when assembled in larger congregations?

Note: “The commission of Christ is to be carried out to the letter. God’s people must consecrate to Him their means and their capabilities. The faithful soldiers of the cross of Christ are to go forth without the camp, bearing the reproach, and following in the path of self-denial trodden by the Redeemer.

“The ministers who are hovering over the churches, preaching to those who know the truth, would better go into places still in darkness. Unless they do this, they themselves and their congregations will become dwarfed. Our religion has become weak and sickly because the members of the church have left their first love. They might be strong men and women in Christ if they would obey the Lord’s directions. …

“The world is perishing in sin. How much longer will you allow yourselves to be held from the great, needy vineyard, when the history of this world is so near its close?” The Review and Herald, February 9, 1905.

“There are many of the members of our large churches doing comparatively nothing, who might accomplish a good work, if, instead of crowding together, they would scatter into places that have not yet been entered by the truth.” Ibid., November 26, 1914.

  • What must every minister and layperson keep in mind? Isaiah 43:11.

Note: “The people of God who have had light and knowledge have not carried out the high and holy purposes of God. They have not advanced from victory to victory, adding new territory, lifting up the standard in the cities and their suburbs. Great spiritual blindness has been shown by those who have had great light flashed upon them by the Lord, but who have not advanced in the light to greater and still greater light. Church members have not been encouraged to use spiritual nerve and muscle in the work of advancement. …

“In every church young men and young women should be selected to bear responsibilities. Let them make every effort to qualify themselves to help those who know not the truth. God calls for earnest, whole-souled workers. The humble and contrite will learn by personal experience that beside Him there is no savior.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 139. [Emphasis author’s.]



  • What does God promise to do for those who seek to carry out His will wholeheartedly? Isaiah 44:3, 4.

Note: “We are taught in God’s word that this is the time, above all others, when we may look for light from heaven. It is now that we are to expect a refreshing from the presence of the Lord. We should watch for the movings of God’s providence as the army of Israel watched for ‘the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees’ (2 Samuel 5:24)—the appointed signal that heaven would work for them.

“God cannot glorify His name through His people while they are leaning upon man and making flesh their arm. Their present state of weakness will continue until Christ alone shall be exalted; until, with John the Baptist, they shall say from a humble and reverent heart: ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (John 3:30). Words have been given me to speak to the people of God: ‘Lift Him up, the Man of Calvary. Let humanity stand back, that all may behold Him in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered.’ …

“It is to the thirsting soul that the fountain of living waters is open. … [Isaiah 44:3 quoted.] To souls that are earnestly seeking for light and that accept with gladness every ray of divine illumination from His holy word, to such alone light will be given. It is through these souls that God will reveal that light and power which will lighten the whole earth with His glory.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 728, 729.

  • Describe the folly of the world in trusting to their idols. Isaiah 44:9, 14–17; 46:5–8. What refreshing news do these idol worshipers need to hear? Isaiah 44:22; Psalm 103:11–13.

Note: “God longs to breathe into prostrate humanity the breath of life. And He will not permit any soul to be disappointed who is sincere in his longing for something higher and nobler than anything the world can offer. Constantly He is sending His angels to those who, while surrounded by circumstances the most discouraging, pray in faith for some power higher than themselves to take possession of them and bring deliverance and peace. In various ways God will reveal Himself to them and will place them in touch with providences that will establish their confidence in the One who has given Himself a ransom for all, ‘that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments’ (Psalm 78:7).” Prophets and Kings, 377, 378.



  • What does God want His despised, forsaken remnant to do? Psalm 5:11; Isaiah 54:1.

Note: “All the fifty-fourth chapter of Isaiah is applicable to the people of God, and every specification of the prophecy will be fulfilled.” “Ellen G. Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1148.

  • Explain the assurance given to those who open their hearts and homes to others. Isaiah 54:2, 3; Hebrews 13:1, 2.

Note: “God has given me a message for His people. They must awake, spread their tents, and enlarge their borders. My brethren and sisters, you have been bought with a price, and all that you have and are is to be used to the glory of God and for the good of your fellow men. Christ died on the cross to save the world from perishing in sin. He asks your co-operation in this work. You are to be His helping hand. With earnest, unwearying effort you are to seek to save the lost. Remember that it was your sins that made the cross necessary. When you accepted Christ as your Saviour you pledged yourself to unite with Him in bearing the cross. For life and for death you are bound up with Him, a part of the great plan of redemption.

“The transforming power of Christ’s grace molds the one who gives himself to God’s service. Imbued with the Spirit of the Redeemer, he is ready to deny self, ready to take up the cross, ready to make any sacrifice for the Master. No longer can he be indifferent to the souls perishing around him. He is lifted above self-serving. He has been created anew in Christ, and self-serving has no place in his life.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 9, 10.

  • What amazing promises are associated with this type of missionary work? Isaiah 54:4, 5, 10, 17.

Note: “God’s everlasting arm encircles the soul that turns to Him for aid, however feeble that soul may be. The precious things of the hills shall perish; but the soul that lives for God, unmoved by censure, unperverted by applause, shall abide forever with Him.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 328.



  • What does God want us to be to those around us, and what assurances are there for those who undertake this work? 2 Chronicles 16:9; Isaiah 11:10–13; 57:13, 14.

Note: “The groups of missionaries in heathen lands have been likened by the prophet to ensigns set up for the guidance of those who are looking for the light of truth. …

“The day of deliverance is at hand. … Among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, He sees men and women who are praying for light and knowledge. Their souls are unsatisfied; long have they fed on ashes. (See Isaiah 44:20.) The enemy of all righteousness has turned them aside, and they grope as blind men. But they are honest in heart and desire to learn a better way. Although in the depths of heathenism, with no knowledge of the written law of God nor of His Son Jesus, they have revealed in manifold ways the working of a divine power on mind and character.

“At times those who have no knowledge of God aside from that which they have received under the operations of divine grace have been kind to His servants, protecting them at the risk of their own lives. The Holy Spirit is implanting the grace of Christ in the heart of many a noble seeker after truth, quickening his sympathies contrary to his nature, contrary to his former education.” Prophets and Kings, 375–377.

“The Lord sends the message, ‘Take up the stumbling-block out of the way of My people.’ Earnest effort is to be put forth to counterwork the influences that have kept back the message for this time. A solemn work is to be done in a short space of time.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1148.



1              If we are truly converted, what should we be willing to do in our churches?

2             Explain the disadvantage of large congregations.

3             To whom only will light be given, and what will they do with this light?

4             In what ways can I “enlarge” my “tent” for the Lord?

5             What steps can we take to help those who are blindly groping for light?

Insights from the Book of Isaiah (II) – Beholding the Lamb

January 28 – February 3, 2018

Key Text

“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 200–215.


“Look, O look upon the cross of Calvary; behold the royal victim suffering on your account.” That I May Know Him, 65.



  • How can we speak to others as Jesus did? Isaiah 50:4, 5.

Note: “Naturally we are self-centered and opinionated. But when we learn the lessons that Christ desires to teach us, we become partakers of His nature; henceforth we live His life. The wonderful example of Christ, the matchless tenderness with which He entered into the feelings of others, weeping with those who wept, rejoicing with those who rejoiced, must have a deep influence upon the character of all who follow Him in sincerity. …

“All around us are afflicted souls. Here and there, everywhere, we may find them. Let us search out these suffering ones and speak a word in season to comfort their hearts. Let us ever be channels through which shall flow the refreshing waters of compassion.

“In all our associations it should be remembered that in the experience of others there are chapters sealed from mortal sight. On the pages of memory are sad histories that are sacredly guarded from curious eyes. There stand registered long, hard battles with trying circumstances, perhaps troubles in the home life, that day by day weaken courage, confidence, and faith. Those who are fighting the battle of life at great odds may be strengthened and encouraged by little attentions that cost only a loving effort. To such the strong, helpful grasp of the hand by a true friend is worth more than gold or silver. Words of kindness are as welcome as the smile of angels.” The Ministry of Healing, 157, 158.



  • What were some of the things which Christ suffered for us? Why did He do this? Isaiah 50:6; 52:13–15.

Note: “The glorious Son of God … bore insult, mockery, and shameful abuse, until ‘His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men’ (Isaiah 52:14).

“Who can comprehend the love here displayed! The angelic host beheld with wonder and with grief Him who had been the Majesty of heaven, and who had worn the crown of glory, now wearing the crown of thorns, a bleeding victim to the rage of an infuriated mob, fired to insane madness by the wrath of Satan. Behold the patient Sufferer! Upon His head is the thorny crown. His lifeblood flows from every lacerated vein. All this in consequence of sin! Nothing could have induced Christ to leave His honor and majesty in heaven, and come to a sinful world, to be neglected, despised, and rejected by those He came to save, and finally to suffer upon the cross, but eternal, redeeming love, which will ever remain a mystery.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 207.

“Pride and self-worship cannot flourish in the soul that keeps fresh in memory the scenes of Calvary.” The Desire of Ages, 661.

  • Describe the appearance of Jesus as foretold by Isaiah the prophet. Isaiah 53:2. Why were many turned off by His plain appearance?

Note: “Worldly associations attract and dazzle the senses so that piety, the fear of God, faithfulness, and loyalty have not power to keep men steadfast. The humble, unassuming life of Christ seems altogether unattractive. To many who claim to be sons and daughters of God, Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, is ‘as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness’ (Isaiah 53:2).” The Adventist Home, 461.

“Prophecy foretold that Christ was to appear as a root out of dry ground. [Isaiah 53:2, 3 quoted.] This chapter should be studied. It presents Christ as the Lamb of God. Those who are lifted up with pride, whose souls are filled with vanity, should look upon this picture of their Redeemer, and humble themselves in the dust. The entire chapter should be committed to memory. Its influence will subdue and humble the soul defiled by sin and uplifted by self-exaltation.” The Youth’s Instructor, December 20, 1900.



  • How do many respond to Jesus’ love? Isaiah 53:3. What has He borne for us? Verses 4, 5.

Note: “It was through infinite sacrifice and inexpressible suffering that our Redeemer placed redemption within our reach. He was in this world unhonored and unknown, that, through His wonderful condescension and humiliation, He might exalt man to receive eternal honors and immortal joys in the heavenly courts. During His thirty years of life on earth His heart was wrung with inconceivable anguish. The path from the manger to Calvary was shadowed by grief and sorrow. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, enduring such heartache as no human language can portray. He could have said in truth, ‘Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow’ (Lamentations 1:12). Hating sin with a perfect hatred, He yet gathered to His soul the sins of the whole world. Guiltless, He bore the punishment of the guilty. Innocent, yet offering Himself as a substitute for the transgressor. The guilt of every sin pressed its weight upon the divine soul of the world’s Redeemer. The evil thoughts, the evil words, the evil deeds of every son and daughter of Adam, called for retribution upon Himself; for He had become man’s substitute. Though the guilt of sin was not His, His spirit was torn and bruised by the transgressions of men, and He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 322.

“How few have any conception of the anguish which rent the heart of the Son of God during His thirty years of life upon earth.” That I May Know Him, 66.

“The Son of God was rejected and despised for our sakes. Can you, in full view of the cross, beholding by the eye of faith the sufferings of Christ, tell your tale of woe, your trials? Can you nurse revenge of your enemies in your heart while the prayer of Christ comes from His pale and quivering lips for His revilers, His murderers—‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34)? …

“We must not shrink from the depths of humiliation to which the Son of God submitted in order to raise us from the degradation and bondage of sin to a seat at His right hand. … It is high time we devoted the few remaining precious hours of our probation to washing our robes of character and making them white in the blood of the Lamb, that we may be of that white-robed company who shall stand about the great white throne.” Ibid., 65.



  • What should we learn from the way Jesus responded to the abuse heaped upon Him at the time of the crucifixion? Isaiah 53:6–9; 1 Peter 2:19–24.

Note: “We should take our fitting place in humble penitence at the foot of the cross. We may learn the lessons of meekness and lowliness of mind as we go up to Mount Calvary, and, looking upon the cross, see our Saviour in agony, the Son of God dying, the Just for the unjust. Behold Him who could summon legions of angels to His assistance with one word, a subject of jest and merriment, of reviling and hatred. He gives Himself a sacrifice for sin. When reviled, He threatened not; when falsely accused, He opened not His mouth. He prays on the cross for His murderers. He is dying for them. He is paying an infinite price for every one of them. He would not lose one whom He has purchased at so great cost. He gives Himself to be smitten and scourged without a murmur. And this uncomplaining victim is the Son of God. His throne is from everlasting, and His kingdom shall have no end.” That I May Know Him, 65.

“In His humanity Christ was tried with as much greater temptation, with as much more persevering energy than man is tried by the evil one, as His nature was greater than man’s. This is a deep mysterious truth, that Christ is bound to humanity by the most sensitive sympathies. The evil works, the evil thoughts, the evil words of every son and daughter of Adam press upon His divine soul. The sins of men called for retribution upon Himself, for He had become man’s substitute, and took upon Him the sins of the world.” Ibid., 66.

  • What was heaven’s purpose in the incarnation of Christ? Isaiah 53:10.

Note: “The Majesty of heaven pleased not Himself. Whatever He did was in reference to the salvation of man. Selfishness in all its forms stood rebuked in His presence. He assumed our nature that He might suffer in our stead, making His soul an offering for sin. He was stricken of God and afflicted to save man from the blow which he deserved because of the transgression of God’s law. By the light shining from the cross, Christ proposed to draw all men unto Him. His human heart yearned over the race. His arms were opened to receive them, and He invited all to come to Him. His life on earth was one continued act of self-denial and condescension.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 418.


5              FOOD FOR THOUGHT

  • What inspired Christ to suffer such a disgraceful death? Isaiah 53:11, 12.

Note: “The adorable Redeemer … did not die as a hero in the eyes of the world, loaded with honors, as men in battle. He died as a condemned criminal, suspended between the heavens and the earth—died a lingering death of shame, exposed to the tauntings and revilings of a debased, crime-loaded, profligate multitude! …

“All this humiliation of the Majesty of heaven was for guilty, condemned man. He went lower and lower in His humiliation, until there were no lower depths that He could reach, in order to lift man up from his moral defilement. All this was for you.” That I May Know Him, 68.

  • What should this amazing condescension cause us to consider? Hebrews 2:3, 14, 15.

Note: “However sinful, however guilty you may be, you are called, you are chosen. ‘Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you’ (James 4:8, first part). Not one will be forced against his will to come to Jesus Christ. The Majesty of heaven, the only-begotten Son of the true and living God, opened the way for you to come to Him, by giving His life as a sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. But while He suffered all this for you, He is too pure, He is too just, to behold iniquity. But even this need not keep you away from Him; for He says, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’ (Mark 2:17, last part).” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 251, 252.



1             What do we need to learn in order to be more of a blessing to others?

2              What will be the effect upon us if we commit Isaiah 53 to memory?

3             As we view the sufferings of Jesus on the cross, what will we be unable to do?

4             Why did Jesus remain silent on the cross, except for praying for His enemies?

5              How can we show our appreciation for what Jesus has done for us?

Recipe – Broccoli Arugula Soup and Arugula/Romaine Salad



Broccoli Arugula Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil 2 1/2 cups water
1 clove garlic, chopped 3/4 cup arugula
1 small yellow onion, diced 1 tsp. salt, to your taste
1 head broccoli, cut in small florets

Sauté onions in oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so. Add broccoli and cook 3-4 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to boil. Cover and simmer until broccoli is tender, around 5 minutes. Pour into blender and add arugula. Blend until smooth or to consistency you would like.


Arugula/Romaine Salad
2 cups young arugula leaves, rinsed and dried  1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cups chopped Romaine lettuce A little salt to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp. oil

Place all ingredients except avocado into bowl. Cover, and shake or stir to mix. Serve with avocado slices.


Food – Arugula

Arugula is from the cruciferous family. Within the cruciferous family, in terms of conventional nutrients (vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, and fats), there is not another vegetable group that is as high in vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber as the cruciferous vegetables. Arugula is also known as rocket or Italian cress.

“Arugula is rich in vitamin K: One cup contains almost half the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin K is essential for clotting and is a key player in developing strong bones. The Framingham Heart Study, for example, found that people who consumed approximately 250 mcg of vitamin K a day had a 35 percent lower risk of hip fractures compared to those who consumed just 50 mcg a day. True, you’d have to consume 10 cups of arugula to get that much, but still, a few cups in a salad is a good start (33 mg). And besides, that’s hopefully not your only source of vitamin K.

“The arugula plant, like many others in the cruciferous family, contains glucosinolates. When you chew the plant, the glucosinolates mix with an enzyme (myrosinase) that turns them into other compounds called isothiocyanates, which have documented anticancer properties. Isothiocyanates combat carcinogens by neutralizing them, reducing their poisonous effect, and stimulating the release of other substances that help combat them. Isothiocyanates also inhibit cell proliferation. Studies have shown that they help prevent lung and esophageal cancer and can lower the risk of other cancers, including gastrointestinal cancer.

“That’s an awful lot of good stuff to pack into a cup of food that contains only 5 calories.” The 150 Healthiest Foods on earth, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., p. 20.




Broccoli Arugula Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil 2 1/2 cups water
1 clove garlic, chopped 3/4 cup arugula
1 small yellow onion, diced 1 tsp. salt, to your taste
1 head broccoli, cut in small florets
Sauté onions in oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so. Add broccoli and cook 3-4 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to boil. Cover and simmer until broccoli is tender, around 5 minutes. Pour into blender and add arugula. Blend until smooth or to consistency you would like.



Arugula/Romaine Salad

2 cups young arugula leaves, rinsed and dried  1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cups chopped Romaine lettuce A little salt to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp. oil

Place all ingredients except avocado into bowl. Cover, and shake or stir to mix. Serve with avocado slices.


Children’s Story – Finding My Cornet

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.”

“There’s one more piece, porter—a basket!”

“No, sir! Your ticket says eight pieces. That’s all you put in.”

“But the basket! It has my cornet in it, porter.”

“Well, I’m sorry for you, mister, but it isn’t usual to expect more out of a cloakroom than you put in. You’d better inform the police.”

“Then is it really truly lost?”

The awful truth that the porter’s statements were correct made me feel sick all over. No, stopping to think, I couldn’t remember seeing the basket when we got off the train in the morning. My cornet was lost!

Here we were on our way to the Burma meeting. The good pastor over there wanted some help with the music. But now it was gone. Gone! The cornet that had inspired the jungle band, and had played in a hundred villages—gone! I was surely disheartened.

I informed the police. I informed the station master. I searched the station and the lost luggage room. I asked every coolie within hearing distance if he had seen my basket. Not a soul had seen such a basket all day long. Neither had I. That was the whole trouble. The basket was lost, and my cornet was gone!

Lifelessly I put my eight pieces of luggage into the cart, and directed the driver to the mission house. I felt dejected. All at once the thought flashed into my mind, Why not pray? It was then just 3:30 in the afternoon. So right there, in that old cart rumbling off down the road, mingling with the thousand sounds and voices common to an Eastern street, I prayed.

I told the Lord that cornet was just as much His as it was mine. I told Him that it was just as good a preacher as I was. Then as we talked the situation over together, I dared to ask Him that if it could glorify His name, if it could benefit His cause, to please have it sent back that evening, as I wanted to take it to the meeting the next day.

Talking it all over with the Lord lifted my burden, and made me feel sure that God was now going to take matters into His hands. Maybe He would teach me a severe lesson. But I felt safe in the hands of the Lord, because He always works things out for our good. That’s what the Bible says (Romans 8:28). In this frame of mind, I completed the journey to the mission house, where my wife, sharing my disappointment and hope, helped me get things ready for the night.

While we were thus engaged, at five o’clock in the afternoon, there was a knock at the door. I opened the door and a total stranger stood before me with my basket in his hand! A friend of his, traveling in the ladies’ compartment with my wife, had by mistake taken it with her luggage. She had remembered my wife’s name, and in conversation had learned that we were Seventh-day Adventists. The stranger had quite a time finding us. First, he went to the church, then to the pastor’s home, then to the office, and finally to the mission house where we were staying. He declared that his friend had given him no peace till, at 3:30, he had started off in a cart to hunt us up.

But why did our friend wait till 3:30 before starting out to hunt us? Just what was it that made him start that afternoon at exactly 3:30?

Eagles, True Education Series, Eric B. Hare, adapted, 40, 41.

Life Sketches – From Sinner to Saint

Sometimes we can make decisions in a moment of time that will affect our lives either for the better, so that we have abundant and lifelong happiness, or for the worse, so that our happiness is destroyed and often irreparable. The Bible records experiences of people with both outcomes.

After Jesus rose from the tomb on the third day, the Bible records ten different incidences of personal interviews He had with people:

  • Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons (Mark 16:9).
  • A small group of women who had come to the tomb Sunday morning (Matthew 28:9, 10).
  • Peter (1 Corinthians 15:5).
  • Two men on a road to Emmaus, the Sunday afternoon of His resurrection (Luke 24:15).
  • His eleven disciples (John 20:19; 1 Corinthians 15:5).
  • A group of over 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6). When the book of Corinthians was written, Paul said the majority of those people were still alive.
  • James, Jesus’ step brother (1 Corinthians 15:7).
  • Jesus appeared a second time to the eleven (John 20:26).
  • Some days later, He appeared to seven of the disciples (John 21:1).
  • Paul, on the road to Damascus (1 Corinthians 15:8, 9).

When the apostle Paul met the Lord Jesus on the Damascus road, it was a momentary event that completely changed forever the course of his life. He was instantly transformed from persecutor into an apostle of the gospel after his personal interview with the Lord. This story of the conversion of the apostle Paul is still today one of the leading evidences of the Christian religion. While on a journey to Damascus to arrest Christians and bring them back, bound, to Jerusalem he was stopped in his tracks by a great light, brighter than the sun. He saw a glorious Personage in front of him that spoke to him, saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me” (Acts 22:7)?

Trembling, astonished, and inquiring what he was to do, Paul, being blinded by the light, was led into Damascus by the hand of those that were with him to wait on further instructions (see Acts 9:4–6). While in Damascus Paul was baptized.

Many years later telling his story to the Jews in Jerusalem, he said, “And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus” (Acts 22:11).

Later he related to King Agrippa some other things that the Lord told him on the Damascus road. The Lord said to him, “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” (Acts 26:15–19).

Paul was commissioned to preach, the result being that people were to have their eyes opened. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).

Every person who works in evangelism has this experience. When you read the Bible and pray that the Lord will help you to understand it, the meaning becomes so plain that you wonder how others can’t see it. Paul explains that it is the god of this age that dulls our understanding. This was the same experience for the Jews when Jesus was here. It says in John 12:39–41, “Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’ These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory.”

However, Jesus said, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (verse 46).

O, friend, do you have spiritual vision, or has your mind been blinded by the god of this world so that you cannot see? The Bible predicts that in the last days God’s professed followers will think that they can see, but they’re actually blind. Notice what it says in Revelation 3:17, 18: “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

In Matthew the 15th chapter, speaking of the Jewish leaders, Jesus says, “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (verse 14). Here is a description of a church member who doesn’t know the word of God for himself but hangs on every word of a clergyman or other supposed leader who is just as spiritually ignorant. They will both eventually fall in a ditch.

And the main reason for their blindness? Jesus says, “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’ ” (verses 7–9). The Jews thought they were keeping the commandments, but were actually breaking them with all their traditions (verse 6). The same happens today. Many Christians believe that they are keeping the commandments while in reality, they are just keeping them according to their own particular traditions.

Jesus said, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me has been dedicated to the temple,” is released from honoring his father and mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (verses 3–6, literal translation).

In 1 John 2:7–11, the apostle John identifies who is in the light and who is in the dark and can’t see where they are going. He said, “Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

O friend, how is it with you? The first four commandments say that you are supposed to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The last six commandments say to treat your neighbor as yourself. If you hate your brother, you break the last six commandments of the law. If you don’t love God with all your heart, you break the first four commandments of the law. If you hate your brother, your eyes are blinded, you are in the dark, and you don’t understand where you are going or where you will end up.

Many people think they are on their way to heaven but will find out at the last that they have been travelling down the broad road that leads to destruction. They were deceived into thinking that through their traditions they were keeping the commandments of God when actually they were not. They claimed that they were keeping God’s commandments. They claimed that they loved God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and their neighbor as themselves, but not really.

The Lord commissioned the apostle Paul to open their eyes, so that they can see, and to turn them from darkness to light. A person is in darkness when he hates his fellow man because they also have been made in the image of God. Paul’s job was to turn them from the power of Satan to the light.

The Gentiles, those who were not Jewish, were not aware that by worshiping their idols and other gods they were giving homage to the evil one and were under the power of Satan. Paul told the Corinthians, “What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice [to their idols] they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons” (1 Corinthians 10:19, 20).

Demons are deceptive. They do not manifest themselves as the demons that they are. They claim to be angels of light. Notice what the apostle Paul says about this in 2 Corinthians 11:13–15: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” All who do not worship the true God, the Creator God, are worshiping demons that claim to be ministers of righteousness.

The Bible predicts that in the last days, there will be many people who accept false doctrines from false teachers. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9–12).

O, friend, if you have pleasure in unrighteousness you are going to be deceived in the last days. John explains in 1 John 5:17 that all unrighteousness is sin. Sin is transgressing God’s law (1 John 3:4 KJV). So, having pleasure in unrighteousness is having pleasure in sin, or having pleasure in breaking God’s law. If you have pleasure in unrighteousness because you do not love the truth, you will be deceived.

Paul cautions the Christians to come out from all those practices so that they can turn from the power of Satan to the power of God. He cautions, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ Therefore ‘come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty’ ” (2 Corinthians 6:14–18).

So, not only were their eyes to be opened, not only were they to be delivered from darkness to light, not only were they to be delivered from the power of Satan to the power of God, but also, when they turned to the Lord, they were to receive forgiveness of sins. Whom God forgives, He first makes penitent. He first gives repentance, so that they confess their sins. The Bible says there is one mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5). There is only one Person in the universe that can forgive your sins. Peter said in Acts 4:12, literal translation, “Neither is there any other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” The Lord wants to save you, friend. He wants to deliver you from the power of Satan.

In 1 John 3:8–10 it says, “He who sins is of the devil (under the control or influence of the devil), for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”

There is a goal to be reached at the end of the Christian journey. Your eyes will be opened and you will turn from the darkness of the power of Satan to live a new life in the light and power of God. You confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and invite Him to be Sovereign of your life so that you can receive the forgiveness of sins. Now you are ready to “receive an inheritance among those that are sanctified” (Acts 26:18, literal translation). To be sanctified means to be a holy person. The New Testament teaches that only holy people will be in heaven. It says, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

Peter wrote the necessity of holiness when he said, “Because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear” (1 Peter 1:16, 17).

“Be holy; for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). God wants to make you a holy person. “It is God who works in you both to will and do His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13, literal translation). He wants to open your eyes, turn you from darkness to light, deliver you from the power of Satan to the power of God so that your sins can be forgiven and so that you can receive, someday, an inheritance among those that are sanctified. You will be holy, too.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – Pine Stimulates Healing

love the smell of pine as I am sure many of you do also. Did you know that pine and evergreen trees have many healing qualities? Let’s read about some of those healing qualities.

“… Pine and other evergreen trees, as it turns out, are loaded with compounds that have a variety of positive effects on the human body.

“An extract for what ails you
Native Canadians knew all about those benefits. According to a nearly 500-year-old legend, French explorer Jacques Cartier’s ship got stuck in the ice near Quebec. He and his crew faced certain death from scurvy (a vitamin C deficiency) until a tribal chieftain named Donacona brewed the sailors pine tea. It saved their lives and their explorations continued. Later, in the 1940s, a French researcher named Jacques Masquelier discovered that pine bark and needles contain vitamin C.

“That researcher went on to test French coastal pine trees (Pinus maritima) and learned that they’re loaded with beneficial antioxidant compounds called flavonols and bioflavonoids. He extracted the compounds with hot water and patented his discovery as Pycnogenol. Now marketed as a dietary supplement, Pycnogenol—which has been used as a jet lag remedy—has also been studied for its ability to ease circulatory problems, knee pain, and menstrual cramps; it may even improve memory in the elderly.

“A scent for stress relief
In Japan, going for a therapeutic walk in the woods is known as shinrin-yoku, which means ‘taking in the atmosphere of the forest.’ This practice has recently been studied for its ability to ease stress.

“In one study, researchers at Japan’s Kyoto University sent 498 healthy volunteers on two 15-minute forest strolls one day, compared to a control day when they didn’t walk. Volunteers rated their mood on a standard psychological scale. Their hostility and depression scores decreased significantly after walking. What’s more, the more stressed-out the volunteers were to begin with, the greater the relaxation they experienced.

“While most of us don’t have access to ancient Japanese pine forests, we can fake the same emotional effects by taking a stroll through a local Christmas tree farm—or by using essential oils such as balsam or silver fir, spruce, pine, or Scotch pine. Traditional aromatherapy recommends these foresty evergreen oils for soothing bumpy emotions and easing stress. Simply shake a few drops on your pillow or even onto a tissue. Breathe in deeply and slowly, relax … .

“Oils for bronchitis or chest coughs
Pine’s ability to heal isn’t confined to your emotions. It also provides gentle relief for colds and congested sinuses. Add three drops of pine essential oil to a bowl of hot tap water, cover your head with a towel, and inhale the steam through your nose and mouth.

“A massage for sore muscles
Add five drops of pine oil (P. pinaster) to two tablespoons of vegetable oil and use it to massage away muscle aches and pains. (Caution: Do not use Scotch pine oil—P. sylvestris—on the skin, as it may be irritating.) …”

Live pine trees with their wonderful scents are very healthy to be around. Ellen White also talks about pine as being a health benefit:

“In a certain place, preparations were being made to clear the land for the erection of a sanitarium. Light was given that there is health in the fragrance of the pine, the cedar, and the fir. And there are several other kinds of trees that have medicinal properties that are health promoting. Let not such trees be ruthlessly cut down. … Let them live.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 301.  

“How grateful to the invalids weary of city life, the glare of many lights, and the noise of the streets, are the quiet and freedom of the country! How eagerly do they turn to the scenes of nature! How glad would they be to sit in the open air, rejoice in the sunshine, and breathe the fragrance of tree and flower! There are life-giving properties in the balsam of the pine, in the fragrance of the cedar and the fir, and other trees also have properties that are health restoring.” The Ministry of Healing, 264. 

It is time to get out and smell the pine! God’s creation is always comforting and healing.

Question and Answer – How did the Israelites sink so low as to sacrifice their own children?

There is no limit to depravity when one denies worship of the true God.

“And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger” (2 Kings 17:16, 17).

“God was a wise and compassionate lawgiver, judging all cases righteously, and without partiality. While the Israelites were in Egyptian bondage, they were surrounded with idolatry. The Egyptians had received traditions in regard to sacrificing. They did not acknowledge the existence of the God of Heaven. They sacrificed to their idol gods. With great pomp and ceremony they performed their idol worship. They erected altars to the honor of their gods, and they required even their own children to pass through the fire. After they had erected their altars they required their children to leap over the altars through the fire. If they could do this without their being burned, the idol priests and people received it as an evidence that their god accepted their offerings, and favored especially the person who passed through the fiery ordeal. He was loaded with benefits, and was ever afterward greatly esteemed by all the people. He was never allowed to be punished, however aggravating might be his crimes. If another person who leaped through the fire was so unfortunate as to be burned, then his fate was fixed; for they thought that their gods were angry, and would be appeased with nothing short of the unhappy victim’s life, and he was offered up as a sacrifice upon their idol altars.

“Even some of the children of Israel had so far degraded themselves as to practice these abominations, and God caused the fire to kindle upon their children, whom they made to pass through the fire. They did not go to all the lengths of the heathen nations; but God deprived them of their children by causing the fire to consume them in the act of passing through it.

“Because the people of God had confused ideas of the ceremonial sacrificial offerings, and had heathen traditions confounded with their ceremonial worship, God condescended to give them definite directions, that they might understand the true import of those sacrifices which were to last only till the Lamb of God should be slain, who was the great antitype of all their sacrificial offerings.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 303, 304.