Bible Study Guides – The Smitten Rock

February 21 – 27, 2021

Key Text

“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed Me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:12).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 411–421.


“To dispel forever from the minds of the Israelites the idea that a man was leading them, God found it necessary to allow their leader to die before they entered the land of Canaan.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1116.



1.a. How were the Israelites supplied with water during their wilderness wanderings? Psalm 105:41; Isaiah 48:21.

Note: “From the smitten rock in Horeb first flowed the living stream that refreshed Israel in the desert. During all their wanderings, wherever the need existed, they were supplied with water by a miracle of God’s mercy. The water did not, however, continue to flow from Horeb. Wherever in their journeyings they wanted water, there from the clefts of the rock it gushed out beside their encampment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 411.

1.b.      Who was the source of all their temporal as well as spiritual blessings during their wanderings? Psalm 78:52–55.

Note: “He [Christ] is the source of all power, the giver of all temporal and spiritual blessings. He employs human beings as co-workers, giving them a part to act with Him as His helping hand. We are to receive from Him, not to hoard for self-gratification, but to impart to others.” The Review and Herald, April 4, 1907.



2.a. What trial of faith did the people of God have when they again came to Kadesh, and what was their reaction? Numbers 20:1–5.

Note: “Just before the Hebrew host reached Kadesh, the living stream ceased that for so many years had gushed out beside their encampment. It was the Lord’s purpose again to test His people. He would prove whether they would trust His providence or imitate the unbelief of their fathers.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 413.

“Before God permitted them to enter Canaan, they must show that they believed His promise. The water ceased before they had reached Edom. Here was an opportunity for them, for a little time, to walk by faith instead of sight. But the first trial developed the same turbulent, unthankful spirit that had been manifested by their fathers. No sooner was the cry for water heard in the encampment than they forgot the hand that had for so many years supplied their wants, and instead of turning to God for help, they murmured against Him.” Ibid., 414.

2.b.      What did Moses and Aaron do when they heard the complaints of the people? Numbers 20:6.

2.c. What were Moses and Aaron directed to do to satisfy the needs of the people? Numbers 20:7, 8. What mistaken idea, still cherished by the people, was the Lord trying to correct?

Note: “In all their wanderings, the children of Israel were tempted to attribute to Moses the special work of God, the mighty miracles that had been wrought to deliver them from Egyptian bondage. They charged Moses with bringing them out of the land of Egypt. It was true that God had manifested Himself wonderfully to Moses. He had specially favored him with His presence. To him God had revealed His exceeding glory. Upon the mount He had taken him into a sacred nearness to Himself, and had talked with him as a man speaks to a friend. But the Lord had given evidence after evidence that it was He Himself who was working for their deliverance.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1115, 1116.



3.a. How did Moses dishonor God when addressing the people? Numbers 20:9–11.

Note: “By his rash act Moses took away the force of the lesson that God purposed to teach. The rock, being a symbol of Christ, had been once smitten, as Christ was to be once offered. The second time it was needful only to speak to the rock, as we have only to ask for blessings in the name of Jesus. By the second smiting of the rock the significance of this beautiful figure of Christ was destroyed.

“More than this, Moses and Aaron had assumed power that belongs only to God. The necessity for divine interposition made the occasion one of great solemnity, and the leaders of Israel should have improved it to impress the people with reverence for God and to strengthen their faith in His power and goodness. When they angrily cried, ‘Must we fetch you water out of this rock?’ (Numbers 20:10)? they put themselves in God’s place, as though the power lay with themselves, men possessing human frailties and passions.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 418.

3.b.      What punishment did Moses and Aaron bring upon themselves? Why? Numbers 20:12; Deuteronomy 3:23–27.

Note: “God did not on this occasion pronounce judgments upon those whose wicked course had so provoked Moses and Aaron. All the reproof fell upon the leaders. … Moses and Aaron had felt themselves aggrieved, losing sight of the fact that the murmuring of the people was not against them but against God. It was by looking to themselves, appealing to their own sympathies, that they unconsciously fell into sin, and failed to set before the people their great guilt before God.

“Bitter and deeply humiliating was the judgment immediately pronounced. … With rebellious Israel they must die before the crossing of the Jordan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 418, 419.

“The transgression was known to the whole congregation; and had it been passed by lightly, the impression would have been given that unbelief and impatience under great provocation might be excused in those in responsible positions. But when it was declared that because of that one sin Moses and Aaron were not to enter Canaan, the people knew that God is no respecter of persons, and that He will surely punish the transgressor.” Ibid., 420.



4.a. Of whom was the smitten rock a type, and why was it wrong to smite the rock again? Isaiah 53:3–5.

Note: “The smitten rock was a figure of Christ, and through this symbol the most precious spiritual truths are taught. As the life-giving waters flowed from the smitten rock, so from Christ, ‘smitten of God,’ ‘wounded for our transgressions,’ ‘bruised for our iniquities’ (Isaiah 53:4, 5), the stream of salvation flows for a lost race. As the rock had been once smitten, so Christ was to be ‘once offered to bear the sins of many’ (Hebrews 9:28). Our Saviour was not to be sacrificed a second time; and it is only necessary for those who seek the blessings of His grace to ask in the name of Jesus, pouring forth the heart’s desire in penitential prayer. Such prayer will bring before the Lord of hosts the wounds of Jesus, and then will flow forth afresh the life-giving blood, symbolized by the flowing of the living water for Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 411.

4.b.      On what occasion and how was the flowing of water from the rock celebrated by the Jewish people in the days of Christ? John 7:37–39.

Note: “The flowing of the water from the rock in the desert was celebrated by the Israelites, after their establishment in Canaan, with demonstrations of great rejoicing. In the time of Christ this celebration had become a most impressive ceremony. It took place on the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles, when the people from all the land were assembled at Jerusalem. On each of the seven days of the feast the priests went out with music and the choir of Levites to draw water in a golden vessel from the spring of Siloam. They were followed by multitudes of the worshipers, as many as could get near the stream drinking of it, while the jubilant strains arose, ‘With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation’ (Isaiah 12:3). Then the water drawn by the priests was borne to the temple amid the sounding of trumpets and the solemn chant, ‘Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem’ (Psalm 122:2). The water was poured out upon the altar of burnt offering, while songs of praise rang out, the multitudes joining in triumphant chorus with musical instruments and deep-toned trumpets.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 412.



5.a. What lesson should we learn from the mistake of Moses? Psalm 106:33.

Note: “Moses was not guilty of a great crime, as men would view the matter; his sin was one of common occurrence. The psalmist says that ‘he spake unadvisedly with his lips’ (Psalm 106:33). To human judgment this may seem a light thing; but if God dealt so severely with this sin in His most faithful and honored servant, He will not excuse it in others. … The more important one’s position, and the greater his influence, the greater is the necessity that he should cultivate patience and humility.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 420.

5.b.      What warnings are calculated to keep us from self-exaltation? James 4:6, 7; 1 Corinthians 10:12.

Note: “However great one’s spiritual light, however much he may enjoy of the divine favor and blessing, he should ever walk humbly before the Lord, pleading in faith that God will direct every thought and control every impulse. …

“However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act. It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil. Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome. However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 421.



1    How did God supply water for the Israelites as they traveled? How does He supply our needs today?

2    How did the people react when God tested their faith? What about me?

3    Where was the focus of Moses and Aaron when they failed? Where is my focus, and what will the result be?

4    How was the beautiful lesson of the smitten Rock ruined by Moses?

5    How can I be kept safe from self-exaltation?

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

Bible Study Guides – Wandering Through the Wilderness

February 14 – 20, 2021

Key Text

“And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no” (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 406–410.


“The wilderness wandering was not only ordained as a judgment upon the rebels and murmurers, but it was to serve as a discipline for the rising generation, preparatory to their entrance into the Promised Land.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 407.



1.a. How long did the children of Israel wander in the wilderness before they came again to Kadesh and crossed the Brook Zered? Deuteronomy 2:14. Why did it take so long?

Note: “God gave positive evidence that He rules in the heavens, and rebellion was punished with death. Only two of those who as adults left Egypt, saw the promised land. The wanderings of the people were extended until the rest were buried in the wilderness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1113.

“Had Israel obeyed the directions given them by Moses, not one of those who started on the journey from Egypt would in the wilderness have fallen a prey to disease or death. They were under a safe Guide. Christ had pledged Himself to lead them safely to the promised land if they would follow His guidance. This vast multitude, numbering more than a million people, was under His direct rule. They were His family. In every one of them He was interested.” Ibid., 1118.



2.a. What evidences do we have of God’s care for His people during their time of wandering in the wilderness? Nehemiah 9:19–21; Psalm 105:37.

2.b.      How was the wilderness wandering a discipline for the rising generation? Deuteronomy 8:2, 3.

Note: “God permitted these lonely travels through the wilderness that His people might obtain an experience in enduring hardship, and that when they were in peril they might know that there was relief and deliverance in God alone. Thus they might learn to know and to trust God, and to serve Him with a living faith.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 409.

“As the people journeyed through the wilderness, many precious lessons were fixed in their minds by means of song. … The commandments as given from Sinai, with promises of God’s favor and records of His wonderful works for their deliverance, were by divine direction expressed in song, and were chanted to the sound of instrumental music, the people keeping step as their voices united in praise.

“Thus their thoughts were uplifted from the trials and difficulties of the way, the restless, turbulent spirit was soothed and calmed, the principles of truth were implanted in the memory, and faith was strengthened.” Education, 39.

2.c. What was the main reason why many of the Israelites were unable to enter the Promised Land? How can we avoid falling into the same sin? Hebrews 3:7–14.

Note: “It was not the will of God that Israel should wander forty years in the wilderness. … In like manner, it was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be so long delayed and His people should remain so many years in this world of sin and sorrow. But unbelief separated them from God. As they refused to do the work which He had appointed them, others were raised up to proclaim the message. In mercy to the world, Jesus delays His coming, that sinners may have an opportunity to hear the warning and find in Him a shelter before the wrath of God shall be poured out.” The Great Controversy, 458.



3.a. What class of people often proved to be troublemakers? Numbers 11:4.

Note: “The mixed multitude that came up with the Israelites from Egypt were a source of continual temptation and trouble. They professed to have renounced idolatry and to worship the true God; but their early education and training had molded their habits and character, and they were more or less corrupted with idolatry and with irreverence for God. They were oftenest the ones to stir up strife and were the first to complain, and they leavened the camp with their idolatrous practices and their murmurings against God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 408.

3.b.      What was God’s command with regard to uniting with unbelievers? Deuteronomy 7:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 6:14. What about today?

Note: “They [the Israelites] were warned not to have any connection with idolaters, not to intermarry with them, nor in any way put themselves in danger of being affected and corrupted by their abominations. They were counseled to shun the very appearance of evil, not to dabble around the borders of sin, for this was the surest way to be engulfed in sin and ruin.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1000.

“God strictly forbade the intermarrying of His ancient people with other nations. … But the heathen were in a more favorable condition than are the impenitent in this age, who, having the light of truth, yet persistently refuse to accept it.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 508.

3.c. What is always the result of being closely associated with the unconverted? 1 Corinthians 15:33, 34.

Note: “It is wrong for Christians to associate with those whose morals are loose. An intimate, daily intercourse which occupies time without contributing in any degree to the strength of the intellect or morals is dangerous. If the moral atmosphere surrounding persons is not pure and sanctified, but is tainted with corruption, those who breathe this atmosphere will find that it operates almost insensibly upon the intellect and heart to poison and to ruin.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 125.



4.a. How was contempt for divine authority and violation of the third commandment punished? Leviticus 24:10–16, 23.

Note: “On one occasion the son of an Israelitish woman and of an Egyptian, one of the mixed multitude that had come up with Israel from Egypt, left his own part of the camp, and entering that of the Israelites, claimed the right to pitch his tent there. This the divine law forbade him to do, the descendants of an Egyptian being excluded from the congregation until the third generation. A dispute arose between him and an Israelite, and the matter being referred to the judges was decided against the offender.

“Enraged at this decision, he cursed the judge, and in the heat of passion blasphemed the name of God. … God Himself pronounced the sentence; by the divine direction the blasphemer was conducted outside the camp and stoned to death. Those who had been witness to the sin placed their hands upon his head, thus solemnly testifying to the truth of the charge against him. Then they threw the first stones, and the people who stood by afterward joined in executing the sentence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 407, 408.

4.b.      Why was the punishment for these offenses so severe? Exodus 20:7.

Note: “There are those who will question God’s love and His justice in visiting so severe punishment for words spoken in the heat of passion. But both love and justice require it to be shown that utterances prompted by malice against God are a great sin. The retribution visited upon the first offender would be a warning to others, that God’s name is to be held in reverence. But had this man’s sin been permitted to pass unpunished, others would have been demoralized; and as the result many lives must eventually have been sacrificed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 408.

4.c. How do we sometimes show contempt for God’s authority today? Judges 17:6.

Note: “The sin of this age is disregard of God’s express commands.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 483.



5.a. Why did the Lord require obedience of His ancient people? Deuteronomy 6:1, 2, 24, 25. Where does true obedience spring from? Deuteronomy 6:5, 6.

Note: “All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.” The Desire of Ages, 668.

5.b.      Where should we begin to teach obedience and why? Deuteronomy 6:7–9.

Note: “From their earliest life children should be taught to obey their parents, to respect their word, and to reverence their authority. … In respecting and rendering obedience to their parents, they may learn how to respect and obey their heavenly Father.” Child Guidance, 82, 83.

“Let the youth and the little children be taught to choose for themselves that royal robe woven in heaven’s loom—the ‘fine linen, clean and white’ (Revelation 19:8), which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This robe, Christ’s own spotless character, is freely offered to every human being. But all who receive it will receive and wear it here.

“Let the children be taught that as they open their minds to pure, loving thoughts and do loving and helpful deeds, they are clothing themselves with His beautiful garment of character.” Ibid., 190.



1    Had the Israelites obeyed Moses, what would have happened to them?

2    What role did singing have in the wilderness journey?

3    What is to be our sole purpose in associating with unbelievers?

4    How can we reverence God’s name today?

5    How may we be daily clothing ourselves with Christ’s character?

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

Bible Study Guides – The Rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

February 7 – 13, 2021

Key Text

“And they [Korah, Dathan, and Abiram] rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown” (Numbers 16:2).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 395–405.


“The former rebellions had been mere popular tumults, arising from the sudden impulse of the excited multitude; but now a deep-laid conspiracy was formed, the result of a determined purpose to overthrow the authority of the leaders appointed by God Himself.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 395.



1.a. What conspiracy developed among the Israelites while they were chafing under the Lord’s decision that they must wander in the wilderness forty years? Who were the main conspirators? Numbers 16:1–3.

1.b.      What test did Moses propose to the conspirators to prove the divine call? Numbers 16:4–7, 16–18. Why were the people inclined to sympathize with the rebels?

Note: “To those who are in the wrong, and deserving of reproof, there is nothing more pleasing than to receive sympathy and praise.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 397.

“The people thought if Korah could lead them, and encourage them, and dwell upon their righteous acts, instead of reminding them of their failures, they should have a very peaceful, prosperous journey, and he would without doubt lead them, not back and forward in the wilderness, but into the promised land. They said that it was Moses who had told them that they could not go into the land, and that the Lord had not thus said.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 31.



2.a. How did Moses try to reason with the main rebels, and of what did they accuse him? Numbers 16:8–15.

Note: “Dathan and Abiram had not taken so bold a stand as had Korah; and Moses, hoping that they might have been drawn into the conspiracy without having become wholly corrupted, summoned them to appear before him, that he might hear their charges against him. But they would not come, and they insolently refused to acknowledge his authority. …

“Thus they applied to the scene of their bondage the very language in which the Lord had described the promised inheritance. They accused Moses of pretending to act under divine guidance, as a means of establishing his authority. …

“It was evident that the sympathies of the people were with the disaffected party; but Moses made no effort at self-vindication. He solemnly appealed to God, in the presence of the congregation, as a witness to the purity of his motives and the uprightness of his conduct, and implored Him to be his judge.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 399.

2.b.      What efforts did Moses and Aaron make to save the congregation from destruction? Numbers 16:22–30. What was the result of their efforts?

Note: “They [Moses and Aaron] fell upon their faces, with the prayer, ‘O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt Thou be wroth with all the congregation’ (Numbers 16:22)?

“Korah had withdrawn from the assembly to join Dathan and Abiram when Moses, accompanied by the seventy elders, went down with a last warning to the men who had refused to come to him. The multitudes followed, and before delivering his message, Moses, by divine direction, bade the people, ‘Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.’ (verse 26). The warning was obeyed, for an apprehension of impending judgment rested upon all. The chief rebels saw themselves abandoned by those whom they had deceived, but their hardihood was unshaken. They stood with their families in the door of their tents, as if in defiance of the divine warning.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 400.



3.a. What fate befell the rebels? Numbers 16:31–35.

Note: “The eyes of all Israel were fixed upon Moses as they stood, in terror and expectation, awaiting the event. As he ceased speaking, the solid earth parted, and the rebels went down alive into the pit, with all that pertained to them, and ‘they perished from among the congregation’ (Numbers 16:33, last part). The people fled, self-condemned as partakers in the sin.

“But the judgments were not ended. Fire flashing from the cloud consumed the two hundred and fifty princes who had offered incense. These men, not being the first in rebellion, were not destroyed with the chief conspirators. They were permitted to see their end, and to have an opportunity for repentance; but their sympathies were with the rebels, and they shared their fate.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 400, 401.

3.b.      How do we know that God does not punish indiscriminately? Who was spared? Deuteronomy 24:16; Numbers 26:9–11; 1 Chronicles 9:19. What lessons can we learn from this?

Note: “The children were not condemned for the sins of the parents; but when, with a knowledge of all the light given to their parents, the children rejected the additional light granted to themselves, they became partakers of the parents’ sins, and filled up the measure of their iniquity.” The Great Controversy, 28.

“When Moses was entreating Israel to flee from the coming destruction, the divine judgment might even then have been stayed, if Korah and his company had repented and sought forgiveness. But their stubborn persistence sealed their doom. … God in His great mercy made a distinction between the leaders in rebellion and those whom they had led. The people who had permitted themselves to be deceived were still granted space for repentance. Overwhelming evidence had been given that they were wrong, and that Moses was right. The signal manifestation of God’s power had removed all uncertainty.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 401.

3.c. What use was made of the censers of the rebels? For what purpose? Numbers 16:36–40.



4.a. Despite the evidences that were given to the congregation, what course did they pursue toward Moses and Aaron on the next day? Numbers 16:41.

Note: “It is hardly possible for men to offer greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities He would use for their salvation. The Israelites had not only done this, but had purposed to put both Moses and Aaron to death. Yet they did not realize the necessity of seeking pardon of God for their grievous sin. That night of probation was not passed in repentance and confession, but in devising some way to resist the evidences which showed them to be the greatest of sinners. They still cherished hatred of the men of God’s appointment, and braced themselves to resist their authority. Satan was at hand to pervert their judgment and lead them blindfold to destruction.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 402.

4.b.      In what way did the Lord intervene once more with a severe punishment, and what did Moses and Aaron do to avert the judgment? Numbers 16:44–49.

Note: “Even after God stretched forth His hand and swallowed up the wrong-doers, and the people fled to their tents in horror, their rebellion was not cured. The depth of their disaffection was made manifest even under the judgment of the Lord. The morning after the destruction of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and their confederates, the people came to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘Ye have killed the people of the Lord.’ (Numbers 16:41, last part). For this false charge on the servants of God, thousands more were killed, for there was in them sin, exultation and presumptuous wickedness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1114.

“The guilt of sin did not rest upon Moses, and hence he did not fear and did not hasten away and leave the congregation to perish. Moses lingered, in this fearful crisis manifesting the true shepherd’s interest for the flock of his care. He pleaded that the wrath of God might not utterly destroy the people of His choice. By his intercession he stayed the arm of vengeance, that a full end might not be made of disobedient, rebellious Israel. …

“As the smoke of the incense ascended, the prayers of Moses in the tabernacle went up to God; and the plague was stayed; but not until fourteen thousand of Israel lay dead, an evidence of the guilt of murmuring and rebellion.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 402, 403.



5.a. What test settled the question of the priesthood forever, and where was Aaron’s rod kept as a witness? Numbers 17:1–11.

Note: “All the remarkable changes in the rod occurred in one night, to convince them that God had positively distinguished between Aaron and the rest of the children of Israel.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1115.

5.b.      What warning comes to us from that great rebellion? 1 Corinthians 10:10, 11.

Note: “Do not the same evils still exist that lay at the foundation of Korah’s ruin? Pride and ambition are widespread; and when these are cherished, they open the door to envy, and a striving for supremacy; the soul is alienated from God, and unconsciously drawn into the ranks of Satan. Like Korah and his companions, many, even of the professed followers of Christ, are thinking, planning, and working so eagerly for self-exaltation that in order to gain the sympathy and support of the people they are ready to pervert the truth, falsifying and misrepresenting the Lord’s servants, and even charging them with the base and selfish motives that inspire their own hearts. By persistently reiterating falsehood, and that against all evidence, they at last come to believe it to be truth. While endeavoring to destroy the confidence of the people in the men of God’s appointment, they really believe that they are engaged in a good work, verily doing God service.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 403, 404.



1    What attitude is pleasing to the natural heart when we are in the wrong?

2    When Dathan and Abiram refused to come and speak to Moses, what was significant about their families standing next to them?

3    What lesson can we learn from God’s treatment of the children of Korah?

4    After the destruction of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their confederates, what was the response of the people? Why is this attitude so dangerous?

5    What cherished attitudes lay at the foundation of rebellion against God?

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

Bible Study Guides – The Rebellion at Kadesh

Wilderness Wonderings (2)

January 31 – February 6, 2021

Key Text

“But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it” (Numbers 14:24).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 387–394.


“The Lord promised to spare Israel from immediate destruction; but because of their unbelief and cowardice He could not manifest His power to subdue their enemies. Therefore in His mercy He bade them, as the only safe course, to turn back toward the Red Sea.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 391.



1.a. For what purpose were spies sent from Kadesh into the land of Canaan? Actually, whose idea was it for the spies to go into the land of Canaan? Numbers 13:1–3; 17–20; Deuteronomy 1:20–25.

1.b.      After how many days did the spies return to Kadesh, and what visible tokens of the fertility of the land did they bring back? Numbers 13:21–26.

Note: “They went, and surveyed the whole land, entering at the southern border and proceeding to the northern extremity. They returned after an absence of forty days. The people of Israel were cherishing high hopes and were waiting in eager expectancy. The news of the spies’ return was carried from tribe to tribe and was hailed with rejoicing. The people rushed out to meet the messengers, who had safely escaped the dangers of their perilous undertaking. The spies brought specimens of the fruit, showing the fertility of the soil.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 387.



2.a. What report did ten of the spies bring? Numbers 13:27–29, 31–33.

Note: “They [the ten spies] were resolved to discourage all effort to gain possession of Canaan. They distorted the truth in order to sustain their baleful influence. … When men yield their hearts to unbelief they place themselves under the control of Satan, and none can tell to what lengths he will lead them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 389.

2.b.      What was the response of Caleb and Joshua? Numbers 13:30; 14:6–9. What is one of our greatest needs today?

Note: “Calebs have been greatly needed in different periods of the history of our work. Today we need men of thorough fidelity, men who follow the Lord fully, men who are not disposed to be silent when they ought to speak, who are as true as steel to principle, who do not seek to make a pretentious show, but who walk humbly with God, patient, kind, obliging, courteous men, who understand that the science of prayer is to exercise faith and show works that will tell to the glory of God and the good of His people.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1113.

2.c. How did the people receive the conflicting reports of the spies? Numbers 14:1–4, 10.

Note: “Hope and courage gave place to cowardly despair, as the spies uttered the sentiments of their unbelieving hearts, which were filled with discouragement prompted by Satan. Their unbelief cast a gloomy shadow over the congregation, and the mighty power of God, so often manifested in behalf of the chosen nation, was forgotten. The people did not wait to reflect; they did not reason that He who had brought them thus far would certainly give them the land; they did not call to mind how wonderfully God had delivered them from their oppressors, cutting a path through the sea and destroying the pursuing hosts of Pharaoh.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 388.

“Revolt and open mutiny quickly followed; for Satan had full sway, and the people seemed bereft of reason.” Ibid., 389.



3.a. How did Moses and Aaron act when they saw that the people had accepted the cowardly report and were getting rebellious? Numbers 14:5.

Note: “In humiliation and distress ‘Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel’ (Numbers 14:5). not knowing what to do to turn them from their rash and passionate purpose. Caleb and Joshua attempted to quiet the tumult. With their garments rent in token of grief and indignation, they rushed in among the people, and their ringing voices were heard above the tempest of lamentation and rebellious grief: ‘The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not’ (verses 7–9).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 389, 390.

3.b.      How did the Lord intervene at this crucial moment, and what did He say? Numbers 14:10–12.

Note: “The unfaithful spies were loud in denunciation of Caleb and Joshua, and the cry was raised to stone them. The insane mob seized missiles with which to slay those faithful men. They rushed forward with yells of madness, when suddenly the stones dropped from their hands, a hush fell upon them, and they shook with fear. God had interposed to check their murderous design. The glory of His presence, like a flaming light, illuminated the tabernacle. All the people beheld the signal of the Lord. A mightier one than they had revealed Himself, and none dared continue their resistance. The spies who brought the evil report crouched terror-stricken, and with bated breath sought their tents.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 390.

3.c. As Moses pleaded with the Lord, what reason did he give for the Lord to pardon and spare the people of Israel? Numbers 14:13–19.



4.a. What sentence did the Lord pronounce upon the murmurers and rebels? Numbers 14:22, 23, 29–33.

Note: “In their rebellion the people had exclaimed, ‘Would God we had died in this wilderness’ (Numbers 14:2, last part)! Now this prayer was to be granted. … As the spies had spent forty days in their journey, so the hosts of Israel were to wander in the wilderness forty years.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 391.

4.b.      How did God punish the ten spies who gave the evil report? Numbers 14:36, 37.

Note: “When Moses made known to the people the divine decision, their rage was changed to mourning. They knew that their punishment was just. The ten unfaithful spies, divinely smitten by the plague, perished before the eyes of all Israel; and in their fate the people read their own doom.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 391.

 4.c. What sin of presumption did the murmurers commit the next day, and with what results? Numbers 14:39–45.

Note: “Forced to submission at last, the survivors ‘returned, and wept before the Lord;’ but ‘the Lord would not hearken’ to their voice (Deuteronomy 1:45). By their signal victory the enemies of Israel, who had before awaited with trembling the approach of that mighty host, were inspired with confidence to resist them. All the reports they had heard concerning the marvelous things that God had wrought for His people, they now regarded as false, and they felt that there was no cause for fear. That first defeat of Israel, by inspiring the Canaanites with courage and resolution, had greatly increased the difficulties of the conquest. Nothing remained for Israel but to fall back from the face of their victorious foes, into the wilderness, knowing that here must be the grave of a whole generation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 394.



5.a. What kind of repentance leads to salvation? 2 Corinthians 7:10. What was missing in the sorrow of the Israelites?

Note: “Now they [the people] seemed sincerely to repent of their sinful conduct; but they sorrowed because of the result of their evil course rather than from a sense of their ingratitude and disobedience. When they found that the Lord did not relent in His decree, their self-will again arose, and they declared that they would not return into the wilderness. In commanding them to retire from the land of their enemies, God tested their apparent submission and proved that it was not real. … Their hearts were unchanged, and they only needed an excuse to occasion a similar outbreak. …

“Had they mourned for their sin when it was faithfully laid before them, this sentence would not have been pronounced; but they mourned for the judgment; their sorrow was not repentance, and could not secure a reversing of their sentence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 391, 392.

5.b.      What accompanies true repentance? Acts 3:19.

Note: “In order to stand forgiven, the sinner must exercise repentance toward God, whose law has been transgressed, and faith in Christ, his atoning sacrifice. Without true repentance, there can be no true conversion.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 298.



1    What was shown by the fact that the people were eager to send spies to survey the land?

2    How did unbelief affect the ten spies and the congregation as a whole? How can we show the same unbelief?

3    How does a true leader attempt to counteract the work of complainers?

4    Would you like God to take you at your word when you speak in haste?

5    If I am truly sorry for my sins, what will it lead to in my own life?

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

Recipe – Walnut Spread


This little nut that looks a lot like a miniature brain contains a powerhouse of important nutrients for optimal health in just a one-ounce handful.

  • An excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid (2.5g) – most ALA of any other tree nut.
  • 4g of protein
  • 2g of fiber
  • A good source of magnesium (45mg)

Walnuts are a versatile nut with a flavor profile that pairs beautifully with a variety of seasonal foods. They can be included in meals any time of year, whatever the season.

For more than 25 years, the California walnut commission has supported scientific research on consumption of walnuts and a variety of health outcomes.

Heart Health—Since 1992, published research has been investigating how eating walnuts affects various heart health biomarkers and risk markers. The subsequent evidence resulted in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of one of the first qualified health claims for a whole food in March 2004: “Supportive, but not conclusive, research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

Scientific evidence suggests that including walnuts as part of a healthy diet may play a role in helping to maintain and improve physical and cognitive health as people age.

Recipe – Walnut Spread

(A Steps to Life camp meeting favorite)

Ingredients Part 1

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1 cup water

6 oz. tomato paste

2 Tbsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. cumin

Blend together.

Ingredients Part 2


2 cups breadcrumbs

¼ cup green onions, chopped

¼ cup black olives, sliced

¼ cup celery, chopped (optional)

Mix well.

Life Sketches – Heaven-born Peace

Often people wonder why bad things happen to good people and why God has allowed millions of His faithful followers to be martyred by governments or various religious groups over the years.

Just before Jesus was betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He said to His disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master’ (John 13:16). If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me” (John 15:18–21).

People who do not understand God, have a problem believing the one who comes to them with a message from God. When that message is diametrically opposed to the way they are used to living, they object to having their sins reproved. Just a few days before the crucifixion, Jesus again warned His disciples that they would be persecuted and delivered up to the synagogues and prisons. Although they would be brought before kings and rulers for His name’s sake, it would be an occasion for a testimony. They need not worry beforehand how to answer the charges, because they would be given an answer at that time which their adversaries would not be able to contradict or resist. They would even be betrayed by their family members and some of them would even be put to death. (See Luke 21:12–16.)

This prophecy by Jesus was fulfilled in a marked manner. In fact, there were multiple attempts to kill all the apostles, and all but John met with violent deaths. Because God had more work for John to do, he was miraculously delivered from a violent attempt on his life.

After the resurrection, Jesus predicted that Peter would glorify God by dying a martyr’s death. Notice what He said in John 21:18, 19: “ ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.’ This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ ”

That prediction was fulfilled right to the letter. When Peter was old, he and the apostle Paul both yielded up their lives as martyrs for Christ in the city of Rome, as seed for a vast harvest of millions of saints and martyrs since that time. About the time of Paul’s second arrest in Rome, Peter was also apprehended and thrust into prison. Peter had made himself especially obnoxious to Nero because he had had great success in exposing the deceptions and defeating the plots of Simon Magus, the sorcerer who had followed him to Rome to oppose and hinder the work of the gospel.

Nero was a believer in magic, and therefore he was greatly incensed against the apostle and was prompted to order his arrest. The emperor’s malice against Paul was also heightened by the fact that there were members of the imperial household, Caesar’s household, as well as other persons of distinction who had become Christians in the city of Rome as a result of Paul’s being a prisoner there for two years prior to his arrest.

Because of his malice, Nero decided to cut Paul’s life short as soon as he could find a plausible pretext for so doing. Nero’s mind had been so impressed by the force of the apostle’s words at his last trial that he deferred making a decision in the case. Paul was neither acquitted nor condemned. However, the sentence was only deferred, and it was not long before a decision was reached and pronounced that consigned the apostle to a martyr’s grave. Being a Roman citizen, he could not be subjected to torture. Therefore, he was sentenced to be beheaded.

Peter, being a Jew and a foreigner and not a Roman citizen, was condemned to be scourged and crucified. In prospect of this fearful death, the apostle remembered his great sin when he had denied Jesus during the time of His trial. His only thought was how unworthy he was to be put to death in the same manner as was his Master. Peter had sincerely repented of his sin and had been given a high commission by the Lord, but he could never forgive himself.

The two apostles, Paul and Peter, had been separated for many years in their labors because of their different commissions. Peter’s commission was to preach the gospel especially to the Jews. Paul had been commissioned to preach the gospel especially to the Gentiles. But the time and place of their martyrdom was similar, both in the region of Rome. Peter entreated his executioners as a last favor that he might be nailed to the cross with his head downward. His request was granted and, in this manner, died the great apostle Peter.

Paul was led in a private manner to the place of his execution. His persecutors were alarmed at the extent of his influence and were afraid that converts might be won to Christianity even by the scenes of his death. Few spectators were allowed to be present. But even the hardened soldiers, who attended him and listened to his words saw with amazement that he was cheerful, and even joyous, at the prospect of such a death. His spirit of forgiveness toward his murderers and his unwavering confidence in Christ right up to the end, proved a fragrance of life unto life to some who witnessed his martyrdom.

More than one person erelong accepted Christ due to Paul’s witness. To the latest hour of his life, Paul demonstrated the truth of what he had written to the Corinthian church. It says, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels [that is, the gospel] that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18).

In his life, Paul demonstrated the truth of which he spoke and wrote, which gave such convincing power to his preaching and to his deportment. The prophet Isaiah said, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).

Paul experienced heaven-born, heaven-generated peace. It was written on his countenance, and responsible for winning so many souls to the gospel. Paul had what so many desired and did not have.

As Paul walked toward the place of his execution, he did not see the glimmering sword that was so soon to make him a martyr, nor did he see his executioner. Rather, his mind was in a conversation with the Eternal, saying, “O, Lord, You are my comfort, and You are my portion. When will I embrace you? When will I see You for myself with no dimming veil between?” Since his conversion, Paul had carried with him the very atmosphere of heaven. Everyone who had associated with him had seen this. They had felt the influence of his connection with Christ and the companionship of angels. “The unstudied, unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 331. Allowing yourself to get into an argument may simply provoke opposition, but a godly example has a power that is impossible to completely resist.

Paul lost sight of his own sufferings, but he was concerned about his associates that were with him. He knew that in a few minutes he would be leaving them to cope with prejudice, and hatred, and persecution; so he endeavored to strengthen and encourage the few Christians who had accompanied him to the place of his execution. He repeated to them the exceeding precious promises given to those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. He assured them that nothing would fail of all that the Lord had spoken concerning His tried and faithful ones. He assured them as he wrote to Timothy, “I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12).

Christians might be oppressed for a little season with heaviness because of manifold trials and temptations. They may be destitute of earthly comfort, but they can encourage their hearts by those words. That day will come, the glad morning of peace. The perfect day will come. Paul declared to his brethren that it had not appeared to those who lived in the times of the Old Testament, the great and good things that were going to be given to those who believed in Jesus. Those who lived in Old Testament times desired, he said, to see the things that we see, and to hear the things which we hear. But they died without the sight or the knowledge. The greater light which we have received since Christ has come has made us more accountable because we know more.

Jesus said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches” (Luke 16:10, 11)? Again in Luke 12:47, 48, Jesus said, “That servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

Christians can behold the ladder that Jacob saw, the ladder that stretches from earth to heaven. That ladder represents Jesus Christ, who connected this earth with the infinite resources of heaven. Paul, looking toward the future, saw that there would be men and women in future ages who would not consider or hold their lives dear to themselves, but they would hold aloft the banner of the cross amid the dark mazes of infidelity. He heard in his mind these witnesses to Jesus as the Son of the Most High God, the Saviour of the world. He heard the martyrs’ shout of triumph, their fearless testimony for the faith that they know is true. It fell upon his ear from the rack, the torture chamber, the stake, the dungeon, from the dens and caves of the earth where, as he wrote, “They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Hebrews 11:37, 38).

With a continually increasing assurance, he heard the Christian of future ages saying, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” He knew that for him there awaited a crown of life. He knew the promise that Jesus gave in John 6:40 where He said to the Jews, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

The Jews wanted deliverance from the Romans. They wanted a Messiah that would set up a temporal kingdom in this world. When Pilate asked Jesus if He was a king, the Jews interjected, “This man is against Caesar because He calls Himself a king.” And Pilate said to Him, “Are you a king” (John 18:37, first part)? And Jesus said, “You say rightly that I am a king.” But “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (verses 37, last part, 36).

The kingdom that the Lord came to set up is a kingdom of righteousness. It is a kingdom that is established in the heart. Until the heart is cured from the leprosy of sin, no person can be given the gift of eternal life. For this reason, Jesus said to the Jews, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20, 21).

The kingdom of God is within you; it has to do with a change in heart, a change in spirit that is worked out by the Holy Spirit. The kingdom that Jesus came to establish was not a physical kingdom, but a spiritual kingdom, one of righteousness.

Revelation 11:15 says, “The seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’ ” The time is coming when the nations of this world will all come to an end and Christ will establish a kingdom that will last forever (Daniel 2; Revelation 11). That was the kingdom that the apostle Paul was looking forward to. He was looking forward to that time when the Lord would come and he would be given a crown of life. He would be resurrected. Therefore he wasn’t afraid to die; he knew that death was just a moment of silence and darkness until his Lord would return and take him and all the other saints out of this world.  He says, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6–8).

It has been almost 20 centuries since Paul, the aged, poured out his blood as a witness for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. No faithful hand recorded for the generations to come the last scenes in the life of this holy man, but inspiration has preserved his dying testimony. Like a trumpet peal his voice has rung out through the ages, nerving with his own courage thousands of faithful witnesses for Christ, and awakening in thousands of sorrow-stricken hearts the echo of his own triumphant joy.

(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 Nugget – “Give Us Our Daily Bread”

“Give Us Our Daily Bread”

Matthew 6:11

The above title is a well-recognized phrase from a prayer recorded in the Bible. It’s not just any prayer. This one was recited by Jesus Himself and lists several petitions to our Heavenly Father. These few simple words tell us much more about life in the period of ancient Rome:

  1. Bread was a daily staple.
  2. It’s listed as the first petition, therefore, an issue of the utmost importance.

The text confirms that bread has been the food staple for thousands of years. We know from later history that lack of bread spelled trouble for the ruling class who could easily lose their power if their subjects lacked bread. Bread is often consumed at every meal in many cultures. Wheat is the world’s #1 cultivated plant by far.

Even in modern history, if the price of bread goes too high, food riots and revolutions can unfold. The Arab Spring in 2010 in part happened because bread prices spiked, and political unrest followed. The price of wheat on international markets, hence the price of bread, can spin the world into trouble, especially in the Arab world.

What is bread? Three simple ingredients: flour, water, salt. If we consumed these three ingredients separately, we wouldn’t survive for too long. Yet, these three simple ingredients baked into bread can sustain us indefinitely.

A little grain of wheat is a miracle of life. It contains the nutrients to sustain life: carbohydrates, protein, minerals, vitamins. They’re locked in the little kernel, which is not digestible for humans. It becomes digestible once it is ground into flour and then fermented, which is the art of bakery. Fermentation unlocks the nutrients. Natural bacteria will take care of the fermentation process. Where does the bacteria come from? From the air! Once you leave wet flour on the table, the bacteria from the air will start working its magic and the process of fermentation begins. It is called the natural starter.

All of a sudden, we have a very nutritious substance. Working with the natural starter is more difficult than commercially purchased yeast, but worth the effort. Fast-acting commercial yeast does not unlock all the nutrients, which results in digestion problems in many people.

Natural bacteria will cause a glutenous mass to form that sticks together, hence the word gluten, which is a wheat protein. As the bacteria works and creates gases, a loaf of bread becomes full of air bubbles. Interestingly, we like bread because of the air bubbles inside. They deepen the natural flavor of grain. The air bubbles also make bread voluminous, which gives us the feeling of being full even if in reality we haven’t consumed much. This feeling of fullness, physical satisfaction, has been so important throughout history when other food was scarce. Bread has been our staple for generations reaching back to ancient Egypt.

The Gluten Free Trend

Yet in our modern times, a gluten-free craze has engulfed the western food scene. Intolerance to gluten is being widely reported. Scientists at first couldn’t figure out the problem of how possibly so many people can be gluten-intolerant if we have been eating bread for thousands of years. Sure, there are a few people who suffer from the celiac disease who should not consume gluten, but that’s only one percent of the population.

This whole gluten-free trend started in the United States and a little misunderstanding helped the gluten-free industry to take off. The food industry is always looking for gaps in the market. Some marketer realized that the tiny population of people with celiac disease would also like to indulge in pastries and pasta, but had no gluten-free alternative. So a small gluten-free shelf appeared in grocery stores. An unsuspecting consumer sees a sign that reads “gluten free.” The consumer has no idea what gluten is, but thinks “Oh, gluten free, it’s probably better for me.” Suddenly, mainstream consumers for whom these products were never intended started creating a huge market out of ignorance. Food companies didn’t waste any time and enlarged their gluten-free portfolio. This gluten-free illiteracy can go to extremes, such as a bag of potato chips labeled “gluten free.” Potatoes have never contained any gluten in the first place. It is as if a spaghetti box were labeled “pineapple free.”

When researching websites of companies producing gluten-free products, one can hardly find any evidence or benefit of a gluten-free diet. Often, the strongest argument one finds on such websites is that many people are gluten-intolerant and don’t know it. Therefore, should all of us quit eating bread? An educated consumer can make his/her own conclusion for such logic.

There are people intolerant of peanuts, strawberries, and a wide variety of foods. It doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t enjoy strawberries.

Chemical Cocktail

Yet still, is it somehow possible that an increased number of people are really intolerant to gluten? Scientists did discover one reason. It appears in the ingredients listed on bread packages.

As already mentioned, bread should contain just three ingredients: flour, water, salt. Bread purchased in the supermarket has 25–35 ingredients listed on the package. For two reasons:

  • Bread manufacturing has to be a fast process to be profitable.
  • Commercial bread has to last for weeks or months on the shelf.

Both goals can be achieved by using artificial fermentation starters and adding a myriad of chemicals to the process.

Raising dough the traditional way takes more time. Our grandmothers who made bread at home dedicated time and effort. Such bread we call today sourdough, which is how bread was historically made. Until about 100 years ago, no other bread than sourdough existed. Some independent bakeries still may bake bread this way, but the price will be premium. A supermarket consumer got used to packaged bread lasting for months for a negligible price.

Let’s not get confused, however. Packaged bread labeled “sourdough” is most likely not the real deal unless you’re sourcing your bread from a small independent baker who doesn’t use commercial yeast. Such bakeries are hard to come by.

Large factories’ profits would be gone if they took 2–3 days to make a loaf of bread. So they found ways to speed up the process. Commercial yeast will do wonders in minutes, a process that naturally takes long hours or days. The product has to last for months, and a load of chemical preservatives will assure a long shelf life.

This chemical cocktail and super speedy yeast take a health toll – health issues that people attribute to gluten, when in reality they’re consuming an artificial product that our grandmothers wouldn’t even call bread.

Commercial bread is made of white flour because it is shelf stable, nonperishable. We have removed all nutrients from bread by removing the outer layer of the grain which is needed for digestion. This is another reason why so many consumers experience an uneasy feeling in their stomach – there is no nutrition in modern “bread.”

Food scientists soon realized this mistake, so they found a way to put the nutrients back. Not by leaving the grain in its natural state, but by artificially adding back some minerals and vitamins. This product is called “enriched flour” which consumers will find listed on nearly every baked goods package.

Most of us are bread and pastry lovers. So where can we source these goodies in our chemical-laden world? Try our ancestors’ way. The Internet can come to the rescue! There are various YouTube channels and other resources that will teach you how to make your own bread with no commercial starters. Often there are local courses that will teach you this long-lost art. Once you master bread making, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Bake such bread with freshly ground whole wheat flour.

Do you think you are gluten intolerant? Unless you have been diagnosed with the celiac disease, taste such bread, made the natural sourdough way, which makes grains digestible, and see what your stomach and taste buds will say.

Question – What composes a person’s “frame”?

Question :

What composes a person’s “frame”?


“Our heavenly Father requires no more nor less than He has given us ability to do. He lays upon His servants no burdens that they are not able to bear. ‘He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust’ (Psalm 103:14). All that He claims from us we through divine grace can render.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 362.

“The Lord is full of compassion for His suffering ones. What sins are too great for His pardon? He is merciful, and as such is infinitely more ready and more pleased to pardon than to condemn. He is gracious, not looking for wrong in us; ‘He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are but dust’ (Psalm 103:14).” Selected Messages, Book 2, 231.

“Our life is in the hands of God. He sees dangers threatening us that we cannot see. He is the giver of all our blessings; the provider of all our mercies; the orderer of all our experiences. He sees the perils that we cannot see. He may permit to come upon His people that which fills their hearts with sadness, because He sees that they need to make straight paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. He knows our frame, and remembers that we are dust. Even the very hairs of our head are numbered.” In Heavenly Places, 265.

“Our heavenly Father measures and weighs every trial before He permits it to come upon the believer. He considers the circumstances and the strength of the one who is to stand under the proving and test of God, and He never permits the temptations to be greater than the capacity of resistance.” Mind, Character, and Personality, Book 2, 473.

“God is longsuffering and of tender mercy. Should He deal with us according to our perversity, according to our foolish, erratic course, our changeableness, where would we be? But ‘He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust’ (Psalm 103:14).” This Day With God, 258.

“The Lord Jesus gave Himself a sacrifice for us. He knows us and He knows just what we need. Trial lasts only for a season. Encourage your heart in faith. We must not look on trial as punishment.” That I May Know Him, 277.

Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Psalm 100:3

Nature – Animal Self-Medication

Do Wild Animals Heal Themselves?

Growing scientific evidence indicates that animals indeed have knowledge of natural medicines. In fact, they have access to the world’s largest pharmacy: nature itself.

The emerging science of Zoopharmacognosy studies how animals use leaves, roots, seeds and minerals to treat a variety of ailments. Biologists witnessing animals eating foods not part of their usual diet realize the animals are self-medicating with natural remedies.

Researchers who observed a pregnant African elephant for over a year made an interesting discovery. The elephant kept regular dietary habits throughout her long pregnancy, but the routine changed abruptly towards the end of her term. Heavily pregnant, the elephant set off in search of a shrub that grew 17 miles from her usual food source. The elephant chewed and ate the leaves and bark of the bush, then gave birth a few days later. The elephant, it seemed, had sought out this plant specifically to induce her labor. The same plant also happens to be brewed by Kenyan women to make a labor-inducing tea.

Not only do many animals know which plant they require, they also know exactly which part of the plant they should use and how they should ingest it. The Aspilia shrub produces bristly leaves which the chimpanzees in Tanzania carefully fold up, then roll around their mouths before swallowing whole. The prickly leaves ‘scour’ parasitical worms from the chimps’ intestinal lining.

The same chimps also peel the stems and eat the pith of the Vernonia plant (or bitter leaf). In bio-chemical research, Vernonia was found to have anti-parasitic and anti-microbial properties. Both Vernonia and Aspilia have long been used in Tanzanian folk medicine for stomach upsets and fevers.

It is only the sick chimpanzees that eat the plants. The chimps often grimace as they chew the Vernonia pith, indicating that they are not doing this for fun; healthy animals would find the bitter taste unpalatable.

Wild animals won’t seek out a remedy unless they need it. Scientists studying baboons at the Awash Falls in Ethiopia noted that although the tree Balanites aegyptiaca (Desert date) grew all around the falls, only the baboons living below the falls ate the tree’s fruit. These baboons were exposed to a parasitic worm found in water-snails. Balanites fruit is known to repel the snails. Baboons living above the falls were not in contact with the water-snails and therefore had no need of the medicinal fruit.

Many animals eat minerals like clay or charcoal for their curative properties. Colobus monkeys on the island of Zanzibar have been observed stealing and eating charcoal from human bonfires. The charcoal counteracts toxic phenols produced by the mango and almond leaves which make up their diet.

Some species of South American parrot and macaw are known to eat soil with a high kaolin content. The parrots’ diet contains toxins because of the fruit seeds they eat. The kaolin clay absorbs the toxins and carries them out of the birds’ digestive systems, leaving the parrots unharmed by the poisons. Kaolin has been used for centuries in many cultures as a remedy for human gastrointestinal upset.

Particularly among primates, medicinal skills appear to be taught and learned. Adult females are often seen batting their infant’s hand from a particular leaf or stem as if to say “No, not that one.” Excerpts from

“All the creatures of the woods and hills are a part of His [God’s] great household. He opens His hand and satisfies ‘the desire of every living thing’ (Psalm 145:16).” Child Guidance, 59.

Keys to the Storehouse – Faith Triumphs Over Fear

Life often deals out situations that seem so hard to navigate, and this past year surely has been no exception. On top of all the normal every-day struggles, we have had to survive the COVID-19 storm and for those living in the United States, the appalling lead-up to the Federal elections. It makes one wonder just how much they can endure. To cope, we can either choose faith or fear.

Think about the disciples on a boat when a life-threatening storm erupted on the lake. They were unprepared to face the danger, realizing that at any moment they might die. While they all panicked, Jesus, who was with them, slept peacefully through the storm. Instead of trusting His reaction to the storm, the disciples allowed the situation to dictate their reaction.

Jesus’ gentle rebuke, asking them why they were afraid, was intended for them to realize their lack of faith that He could see them through the storm. So how should we respond when passing through storms over which we have no control?

Trust in Him who does have control over the wind and waves of life. The situation may not change, but we can always choose to trust God. When storms come, do we focus on the size of the storm or on the One who already knows the outcome? Any situation can be navigated with His wisdom and peace.

It is so easy to be fearful when we are unable to control the outcome. We are called to live by faith and trust in the One who does know our future and is in the business of saving all who seek Him. There are always two choices when one is overwhelmed: either focus on the circumstances or on Jesus. He will walk by the side of those who depend on Him. No storm that anyone will ever face is more powerful than our Saviour. Remember, Jesus is always beside us and will guide us safely to the heavenly shore.

Father, thank You for the promise You have made to never leave us or forsake us. Give us the courage to always keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who alone can overpower any situation we find ourselves in and walk with us through the storms of life until we triumph at last. Amen.