Bible Study – Pergamos

February 20 – 26, 2022

Pergamos – Elevation, Exaltation (A.D. 323–538)

Key Text

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7, first part

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 49–60; Maranatha, 161


“What was the origin of the great apostasy? How did the church first depart from the simplicity of the gospel?” The Great Controversy, 384



1.a. How did Jesus introduce Himself to the church at Pergamos? Revelation 2:12

1.b. What should the Christian use, and what is it able to accomplish? Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12

Note: “Let the truth do the cutting; the word of God is as a sharp, two-edged sword and will cut its way to the heart. Those who know that they have the truth should not, by the use of harsh and severe expressions, give Satan one chance to misinterpret their spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 239

1.c. What was the condition of the church during the period of Pergamos? Revelation 2:13–15

Note: “Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, ‘the mystery of iniquity’ carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church. The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the church endured under paganism.” The Great Controversy, 49



2.a. What desire was developed by Lucifer? Isaiah 14:13, 14. What would be the ultimate result of such a desire? Proverbs 16:18; Isaiah 14:15

Note: “Lucifer had said, ‘I will be like the Most High.’ Isaiah 14:12, 14; and the desire for self-exaltation had brought strife into the heavenly courts, and had banished a multitude of the hosts of God. Had Lucifer really desired to be like the Most High, he would never have deserted his appointed place in heaven; for the spirit of the Most High is manifested in unselfish ministry. Lucifer desired God’s power, but not His character. He sought for himself the highest place, and every being who is actuated by his spirit will do the same. Thus alienation, discord, and strife will be inevitable. Dominion becomes the prize of the strongest. The kingdom of Satan is a kingdom of force; every individual regards every other as an obstacle in the way of his own advancement, or a steppingstone on which he himself may climb to a higher place.” The Desire of Ages, 435, 436

2.b. When tempting Jesus, what position did Satan claim as legitimately belonging to him? Luke 4:5, 6; John 12:31

Note: “Satan, in his pride and arrogance, had declared himself to be the rightful and permanent ruler of the world, the possessor of all its riches and glory, claiming homage of all who lived in it, as though he had created the world and all things that were therein. … He endeavored to make a special contract with Christ, to make over to Him at once the whole of his claim, if He would worship him. …

“Satan had flattered himself in his first temptation that he had so well concealed his true character and purposes that Christ did not recognize him as the fallen rebel chief whom He had conquered and expelled from heaven. … Satan knew that if Jesus should die to redeem man, his power must end after a season, and he would be destroyed. Therefore, it was his studied plan to prevent, if possible, the completion of the great work which had been commenced by the Son of God. If the plan of man’s redemption should fail, he would retain the kingdom which he then claimed. And if he should succeed, he flattered himself that he would reign in opposition to the God of heaven.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 286, 287



3.a. How zealous were the early Christians in proclaiming the gospel? What was the fate of God’s faithful servant Antipas? Revelation 2:13

Note: “I was carried forward to the time when heathen idolaters cruelly persecuted and killed the Christians. Blood flowed in torrents. The noble, the learned, and the common people were alike slain without mercy. Wealthy families were reduced to poverty, because they would not yield their religion. Notwithstanding the persecution and sufferings which these Christians endured, they would not lower the standard. They kept their religion pure. I saw that Satan exulted and triumphed over their sufferings. But God looked upon His faithful martyrs with great approbation.” Early Writings, 210

“Looking upward by faith, they [the early Christians] saw Christ and angels leaning over the battlements of heaven, gazing upon them with the deepest interest and regarding their steadfastness with approval. …

“In vain were Satan’s efforts to destroy the church of Christ by violence. The great controversy in which the disciples of Jesus yielded up their lives did not cease when these faithful standard-bearers fell at their post. By defeat they conquered. God’s workmen were slain, but His work went steadily forward. The gospel continued to spread and the number of its adherents to increase.” The Great Controversy, 41

3.b. What was foretold by the apostle Paul about those who will serve the Lord with a godly life? 2 Timothy 3:12. Why is persecution against Christians not so strong today?

Note: “There is another and more important question that should engage the attention of the churches of today. The apostle Paul declares that ‘all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ 2 Timothy 3:12. Why is it, then, that persecution seems in a great degree to slumber? The only reason is that the church has conformed to the world’s standard and therefore awakens no opposition. The religion which is current in our day is not of the pure and holy character that marked the Christian faith in the days of Christ and His apostles. It is only because of the spirit of compromise with sin, because the great truths of the word of God are so indifferently regarded, because there is so little vital godliness in the church, that Christianity is apparently so popular with the world.” The Great Controversy, 48



4.a. What was Balaam’s suggestion to Balak, King of Moab, about the children of Israel? Numbers 25:1–3; 31:16

Note: “At first there was little intercourse between the Israelites and their heathen neighbors, but after a time Midianitish women began to steal into the camp. Their appearance excited no alarm, and so quietly were their plans conducted that the attention of Moses was not called to the matter. It was the object of these women, in their association with the Hebrews, to seduce them into transgression of the law of God, to draw their attention to heathen rites and customs, and lead them into idolatry. These motives were studiously concealed under the garb of friendship, so that they were not suspected, even by the guardians of the people.

“At Balaam’s suggestion, a grand festival in honor of their gods was appointed by the king of Moab, and it was secretly arranged that Balaam should induce the Israelites to attend. He was regarded by them as a prophet of God, and hence had little difficulty in accomplishing his purpose. Great numbers of the people joined him in witnessing the festivities. They ventured upon the forbidden ground, and were entangled in the snare of Satan. Beguiled with music and dancing, and allured by the beauty of heathen vestals, they cast off their fealty to Jehovah.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 454

4.b. What sins were present in the Christian church during the period of Pergamos? Revelation 2:14, 15; 2 Corinthians 6:14–16, first part; Ephesians 5:3

Note: “Most of the Christians at last consented to lower their standard, and a union was formed between Christianity and paganism. Although the worshipers of idols professed to be converted, and united with the church, they still clung to their idolatry, only changing the objects of their worship to images of Jesus, and even of Mary and the saints. The foul leaven of idolatry, thus brought into the church, continued its baleful work. Unsound doctrines, superstitious rites, and idolatrous ceremonies were incorporated into her faith and worship.” The Great Controversy, 43



5.a. What will be the inevitable result if we do not heed the warning of Jesus and repent? Revelation 2:16

Note: “The truth is the truth. It is not to be wrapped up in beautiful adornings, that the outside appearance may be admired. The teacher is to make the truth clear and forcible to the understanding and to the conscience. The word is a two-edged sword, that cuts both ways. It does not tread as with soft, slippered feet.” The Review and Herald, April 20, 1897

5.b. What wonderful promises were given the church at Pergamos and also to us if we overcome? Revelation 2:17; Isaiah 56:4, 5

Note: “Upon what ground may we claim the full and rich promises of God? We can claim them only when we have fulfilled the conditions prescribed in His word. The Lord is constantly giving. He pours down the rain and the sunshine. He promises to give to His people the privilege of eating of the tree of life, and the hidden manna. He holds forth the crown of life, the white stone with the new name written therein.” The Review and Herald, December 17, 1889

“Immortal glory and eternal life is the reward that our Redeemer offers to those who will be obedient to Him. He has made it possible for them to perfect Christian character through His name and to overcome on their own account as He overcame in their behalf. He has given them an example in His own life, showing them how they may overcome.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 365



1    What position should the word of God have in our lives?

2    What does Satan claim as his own?

3    What will happen to those who oppose Satan’s claim?

4    What did compromise bring to the church?

5    What is the promise to those who overcome worldly compromise?

Copytight 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Smyrna

February 13 – 19, 2022

Smyrna – Sweet Perfume (A.D. 100–323)

Key Verse

“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the First and the Last, which was dead, and is alive.” Revelation 2:8

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 529–538; The Great Controversy, 39–48


“The forgiveness of sins is promised to him who repents, justification to him who believes, and the crown of life to him who is faithful unto death.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 916



1.a. Knowing the terrible persecution and martyrdom that would befall the Christians of the Smyrna period, what assurance did Jesus give them? Revelation 1:18; 2:8

Note: “Jesus read the future of His disciples. He saw one brought to the scaffold, one to the cross, one to exile among the lonely rocks of the sea, others to persecution and death. He encouraged them with the promise that in every trial He would be with them.” The Desire of Ages, 669

1.b. At the resurrection of Lazarus, what did Jesus say to Martha about Himself? John 11:23–26

Note: “Still seeking to give a true direction to her faith, Jesus declared, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life. ‘He that believeth in Me,’ said Jesus, ‘though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ Christ here looks forward to the time of His second coming. Then the righteous dead shall be raised incorruptible, and the living righteous shall be translated to heaven without seeing death.” The Desire of Ages, 530



2.a. What was always the material condition of God’s people throughout the ages? Revelation 2:9, first part; Zephaniah 3:12

Note: “The Lord’s people are mainly made up of the poor of this world, the common people. Not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble are called. God ‘hath chosen the poor of this world. The poor have the gospel preached to them.’ The wealthy are called, in one sense; they are invited, but they do not accept the invitation.” Evangelism, 565

“The early Christians were indeed a peculiar people. Their blameless deportment and unswerving faith were a continual reproof that disturbed the sinner’s peace. Though few in numbers, without wealth, position, or honorary titles, they were a terror to evildoers wherever their character and doctrines were known. Therefore they were hated by the wicked, even as Abel was hated by the ungodly Cain. For the same reason that Cain slew Abel, did those who sought to throw off the restraint of the Holy Spirit, put to death God’s people.” The Great Controversy, 46

2.b. What kind of wealth is recommended to us? 1 Timothy 6:17–19. What example did Jesus Himself give? 2 Corinthians 8:9

Note: “The humblest and poorest of the true disciples of Christ who are rich in good works, are more blessed and more precious in the sight of God than the men who boast of their great riches. They are more honorable in the courts of Heaven than the most exalted kings and nobles who are not rich toward God. The admonition which the apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to give the rich is applicable to very many who profess to believe the truth for these last days.” The Review and Herald, January 15, 1880

“Those who impart to others of the riches of the grace of heaven, will be themselves enriched. The ministering angels are waiting, longing, for channels through which they can communicate the treasures of heaven. Men and women can reach the highest stage of mental and moral development only by cooperating with Jesus in unselfish effort for the good of others. We are never so truly enriched as when we are trying to enrich others. We cannot diminish our treasure by sharing it. The more we enlighten others, the brighter our light will shine.” Ibid., April 4, 1907



3.a. What does it mean to be a “Jew”? John 8:39; Romans 2:28, 29

Note: “The Pharisees had declared themselves the children of Abraham. Jesus told them that this claim could be established only by doing the works of Abraham. The true children of Abraham would live, as He did, a life of obedience to God. They would not try to kill One who was speaking the truth that was given Him from God. In plotting against Christ, the rabbis were not doing the works of Abraham. A mere lineal descent from Abraham was of no value.” The Desire of Ages, 466, 467

3.b. What is the “synagogue of Satan”? Revelation 2:9, last part

Note: “Christ speaks of the church over which Satan presides as the synagogue of Satan. Its members are the children of disobedience. They are those who choose to sin, who labor to make void the holy law of God. It is Satan’s work to mingle evil with good, and to remove the distinction between good and evil. Christ would have a church that labors to separate the evil from the good.” The Review and Herald, December 4, 1900

3.c. What does the Bible say the synagogue of Satan will acknowledge, and when will this happen? Revelation 3:9

Note: “Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai. …

“At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet.” Early Writings, 15



4.a. Under what condition would the promise be fulfilled to those who endured the ten prophetic days of tribulation? Revelation 2:10

Note: “What an example have the martyrs for Jesus left us in their lives of self-denial and sacrifice. They were faithful and true to principle. Although prisons, tortures, inquisitions, gibbets, and the stake threatened them, they counted not their lives dear unto themselves. Their love for the truth was here manifested. They chose to obey the truth at the expense of great suffering. The world was not worthy of these heroes of faith. They died for their faith. The pure gold was refined from all dross through trial and suffering. As these shall enter the portals of glory they will shout in triumph: We overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony. We were faithful unto death, and now receive a crown of life.” The Review and Herald, December 2, 1875

4.b. To whom else is given the promise of receiving a crown of life, and when will it be given? 2 Timothy 4:7, 8

Note: “It was through one who declared himself to be a ‘brother, and companion in tribulation’ (Revelation 1:9), that Christ revealed to His church the things that they must suffer for His sake. Looking down through long centuries of darkness and superstition, the aged exile saw multitudes suffering martyrdom because of their love for the truth. But he saw also that He who sustained His early witnesses would not forsake His faithful followers during the centuries of persecution that they must pass through before the close of time.” The Acts of the Apostles, 588

“The cross of Calvary is a pledge to us of everlasting life. Faith in Christ means everything to the sincere believer. The merits of Jesus blot out transgressions, and clothe us with the robe of righteousness woven in the loom of heaven. The crown of life is presented before us as the honor to be given at the end of the conflict.” Evangelism, 186, 187

“But we are to run the race, at the end of which is a crown of immortality and everlasting life. Yes, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will be awarded to us as the prize when the race is run. ‘We,’ says the apostle, ‘an incorruptible.’ ” Counsels on Health, 47



5.a. What wonderful promise is given to the overcomer in the period of Smyrna? Revelation 2:11

Note: “ ‘The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Romans 6:23. While life is the inheritance of the righteous, death is the portion of the wicked. Moses declared to Israel: ‘I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.’ Deuteronomy 30:15. The death referred to in these scriptures is not that pronounced upon Adam, for all mankind suffer the penalty of his transgression. It is ‘the second death’ that is placed in contrast with everlasting life.” The Great Controversy, 544

“We shall receive either eternal life or eternal death. There is no middle ground, no second probation. We are called upon to overcome in this life as Christ overcame.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1112

5.b. What wonderful invitation is extended to everyone to escape from the second death? Ezekiel 18:23, 31; Isaiah 55:7

Note: “The word of God plainly tells us that few will be saved, and that the greater number of those, even, who are called will prove themselves unworthy of everlasting life. They will have no part in heaven, but will have their portion with Satan, and experience the second death.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 293, 294

“Repentance is one of the firstfruits of saving grace. Repentance includes sorrow for sin, and a turning away from it.” The Signs of the Times, June 28, 1905



1    What did the future hold for Christ’s church?

2    What is the true wealth of the Christian?

3    Who composes the synagogue of Satan?

4    To whom is the crown of life promised?

5    Who will suffer the second, eternal death?

Copytight 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Ephesus

February 6 – 12, 2022

Ephesus – Desirable (A.D. 27–100)

Key Text

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write.” Revelation 2:1

 Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 281–290; Maranatha, 15


“The True Witness bears testimony in commendation of the diligence of the church at Ephesus, declaring. ‘I know thy works;’ and all His commendations and reproofs are to be strictly regarded, for it is One who knows that speaks.” The Review and Herald, May 31, 1887 [Author’s italics.]



1.a. What form of worship made Ephesus a religious center? Acts 19:24–37

Note: “In the days of the apostles, the city of Ephesus was famed for the worship of the goddess Diana and the practice of magic. The temple of Diana was considered, for its size and splendor, one of the wonders of the world. Its surpassing magnificence made it the pride of both the city and the nation.” The Signs of the Times, May 18, 1882

1.b. Who were the first converts at Ephesus, and how strongly were they defending the truth? Acts 19:1–3; Revelation 2:2, first part, 3

Note: “On his arrival at Ephesus, Paul found twelve brethren, who, like Apollos, had been disciples of John the Baptist, and like him had gained some knowledge of the mission of Christ. They had not the ability of Apollos, but with the same sincerity and faith they were seeking to spread abroad the knowledge they had received.” The Acts of the Apostles, 282



2.a. Although the condition of the church at Ephesus was desirable, what kind of men did they have to face? Revelation 2:2, last part; 1 Corinthians 15:32; 2 Corinthians 11:13

Note: “The arrest [of Paul] was affected by the efforts of Alexander the coppersmith, who had so unsuccessfully opposed the apostle’s work at Ephesus, and who now seized the opportunity to be revenged on one whom he could not defeat. Paul in his second epistle to Timothy afterward referred to the machinations of this enemy of the faith: ‘Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil. The Lord reward him according to his works.’ In his first epistle he spoke in a similar manner of Hymeneus and Alexander as among those who ‘concerning faith have made shipwreck;’ ‘whom,’ he says, ‘I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.’ These men had departed from the faith of the gospel, and furthermore had done despite to the Spirit of grace by attributing to the power of Satan the wonderful revelations made to Paul.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 305

2.b. Among the apostles there were some whom they found to be liars. Who were some of these liars? Acts 5:1–10

Note: “Not only to the early church, but to all future generations, this example of God’s hatred of fraud and hypocrisy was designed to be a danger-signal. The brief but terrible history of Ananias and Sapphira has been traced for the benefit of all who profess to be followers of Christ. The punishment that overtook them should be a warning to all to guard against covetousness. It was covetousness that Ananias and Sapphira first cherished. The desire to retain for themselves a part of that which they had promised to the Lord led to fraud and hypocrisy.” The Review and Herald, February 2, 1911

“What is lying against the truth? It is claiming to believe the truth while the spirit, the words, the deportment, represent not Christ but Satan. To surmise evil, to be impatient and unforgiving, is lying against the truth; but love, patience, and long forbearance are in accordance with the principles of truth. Truth is ever pure, ever kind, breathing a heavenly fragrance unmingled with selfishness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 936



3.a. After the commendation of Jesus for the good work done by the church at Ephesus, what did Jesus remark? Revelation 2:4

Note: “The words of the True Witness should be carefully studied by all: ‘I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love’—grown cold, unsympathetic; hardness of heart has taken the place of brotherly, Christlike love.” The Review and Herald, February 9, 1892

“ ‘[Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou has left thy first love.’ Revelation 2:4.] Those mentioned in this scripture as losing their first love were not ranked with open sinners. They had the truth; they were established in the doctrine; they were firm to condemn and resist evil. Yet God declared, ‘Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee.’ They were losing their realization of the greatness of the love that God has shown for fallen humanity by making an infinite sacrifice to redeem them.” Ibid., February 25, 1904

3.b. What was the cause of the early Christians losing their first love? John 13:34, 35; 2 Timothy 4:1–4; 1 Corinthians 11:31

Note: “But the early Christians began to look for defects in one another. Dwelling upon mistakes, giving place to unkind criticism, they lost sight of the Saviour and of the great love He had revealed for sinners. They became more strict in regard to outward ceremonies, more particular about the theory of the faith, more severe in their criticisms. In their zeal to condemn others they forgot their own errors. They forgot the lesson of brotherly love that Christ had taught. And, saddest of all, they were unconscious of their loss. They did not realize that happiness and joy were going out of their lives, and that soon they would walk in darkness, having shut the love of God out of their hearts.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 241

“But after a time the zeal of the believers began to wane, and their love for God and for one another grew less. Coldness crept into the church. Some forgot the wonderful manner in which they had received the truth. One by one the old standard-bearers fell at their post. … In their desire for something novel and startling [some of the younger workers] attempted to introduce new phases of doctrine, more pleasing to many minds, but not in harmony with the fundamental principles of the gospel.” The Act of the Apostles, 580



4.a. What warning and counsel was given to the church at Ephesus which is also extended to our time? Revelation 2:5

Note: “The message to the church at Ephesus is a close, decided personal testimony to them for leaving their first love, and an earnest call to repentance, lest their candlestick be moved out of its place. We need to heed these words of warning, and repent of our sins.” The Home Missionary, November 1, 1897

“The call to repentance is one that cannot be disregarded without peril. A belief in the theory of the truth is not enough. To present this theory to unbelievers does not constitute you a witness for Christ. The light that gladdened your heart when you first understood the message for this time, is an essential element in your experience and labors, and this has been lost out of your heart and life. Christ beholds your lack of zeal, and declares that you have fallen, and are in a perilous position.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 370, 371

4.b. Under what condition is there hope for a church or an individual that is in danger of losing the first love? 2 Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 18:8; Ezekiel 18:31

Note: “The only hope for churches today is to repent and do their first work. The name of Jesus does not kindle the heart with love. A mechanical, formal orthodoxy has taken the place of deep, fervent charity and tenderness to one another. Will any give heed to the solemn admonition, ‘Turn ye, turn ye; for why will ye die?’ Fall upon the Rock, and be broken; then let the Lord Jesus prepare you, to mold and fashion you, as a vessel unto honor. Well may the people fear and tremble under these words: ‘Except thou repent, I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place.’ What then? ‘If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!’

“The Spirit will not always strive with the heart that is filled with perversity. The infinite, forbearing One, who paid the price of His own blood to save His people, is addressing them. Who will hearken to His warning?” Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, 102, 103



5.a. What other commendation is given to the church at Ephesus, and why? Revelation 2:6

Note: “The death of God’s beloved Son on the cross shows the immutability of the law of God. His death magnifies the law and makes it honorable, and gives evidence to man of its changeless character. …

“But the doctrine is now largely taught that the Gospel of Christ has made the law of God of no effect; that by ‘believing’ we are released from the necessity of being doers of the word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned.” The Signs of the Times, February 25, 1897

5.b. What promise is given to the overcomer in this period? Revelation 2:7

Note: “The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality. But through man’s disobedience death entered the world. Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which he had been forbidden to touch. This was his test. He failed, and his transgression opened the floodgates of woe upon our world.” Medical Ministry, 233



1    Why does the word “Ephesus” represent the early church?

2    Who hindered the work of the early church?

3    What caused the downfall of this church period?

4    What hope was given to the early church?

5    What was promised to the overcomers at Ephesus?

Copytight 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – The Seven Churches

The Book of Revelation, Chapters 1-3

January 30 – February 5, 2022

Key Verse

“What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.” Revelation 1:11

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 585–592; God’s Amazing Grace, 95


“The Revelation was written to the seven churches in Asia, which represented the people of God throughout the world.” The Signs of the Times, January 28, 1903



1.a. What do the stars that John saw in the hands of Jesus represent? Revelation 1:16, 20. Who are to preach the messages to the seven churches?

Note: “God’s ministers are symbolized by the seven stars, which He who is the First and the Last has under His special care and protection. The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with these ministers of God, who are to represent the love of Christ. … They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power.” Gospel Workers, 13, 14

1.b. What counsel is given to ministers so that they may faithfully fulfill their duties? 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 6:3–7. What are the results of unfaithful ministry?

Note: “The people will seldom rise higher than their minister. A world-loving spirit in him has a tremendous influence upon others. The people make his deficiencies an excuse to cover their world-loving spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 645, 646



2.a. What is the significance of Jesus walking among the candlesticks as found in Revelation 1:20?

Note: “ ‘These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, I know thy works.’ This figure illustrates the eternal vigilance of our Saviour. Christ is in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, walking from church to church, from congregation to congregation, from heart to heart. He who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. If the candlesticks were left to the care of human beings, how often they would flicker and go out. But God has not given His church into the hands of men. Christ, One who gave His life for the life of the world, is the Watchman of the house. He is the Warder, faithful and true, of the temple courts of the Lord.” The Signs of the Times, February 12, 1902

“Christ knew just where to find John; and there, on the lonely island, He gave him a view of the closing scenes of this earth’s history. … John was shown the slain Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Conqueror, standing in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, which are the seven churches.” The Review and Herald, May 16, 1899

2.b. In the sermon given by Jesus on the mountain, what did He say about the light of the world? Matthew 5:14–16

Note: “Although there are evils existing in the church, and will be until the end of the world, the church in these last days is to be the light of the world that is polluted and demoralized by sin.” The Review and Herald, September 5, 1893

“No candlestick, no church, shines of itself. From Christ emanates all its light” The Faith I Live By, 280

“As we walk in the commandments of God, we follow on in the way cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. The faithful of all ages have walked in this path, and they have shone as lights in the world. In this age the light transmitted from them has been shining with increased brightness upon the path of those who are walking in darkness.” The Review and Herald, April 25, 1893



3.a. What assurance does the Lord give that He always cares for His church? Psalm 121:3, 4

Note: “ ‘Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.’ Revelation 2:1. This scripture shows Christ’s relation to the churches. He walks in the midst of His churches throughout the length and breadth of the earth. He watches them with intense interest to see whether they are in such a condition spiritually that they can advance His kingdom. Christ is present in every assembly of the church. He is acquainted with everyone connected with His service. He knows those whose hearts He can fill with the holy oil, that they may impart it to others. Those who faithfully carry forward the work of Christ in our world, representing in word and works the character of God, fulfilling the Lord’s purpose for them, are in His sight very precious.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 418, 419

3.b. To what is the true church of God compared, and how was it made up throughout the ages? 1 Timothy 3:15

Note: “The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work.” The Acts of the Apostles, 11

“The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God. … The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. … It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts.” Sons and Daughters of God, 13



4.a. What do we understand from the fact that the churches of the seven cities in Asia Minor were selected by Christ to represent the Christian church? Revelation 1:11

Note: “It was Christ who bade the apostle record that which was to be opened before him. ‘What thou seest, write in a book,’ He commanded, ‘and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.’ ‘I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. … Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks.’ Revelation 1:11, 18–20.

“The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number 7 indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world. Christ is spoken of as walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Thus is symbolized His relation to the churches.” The Acts of the Apostles, 585, 586

“The Lord Jesus sent a mighty angel to make plain to John, by the use of symbols, the things that were to come to pass until the coming of Christ. He was bidden to write the instruction in a book for the benefit of the seven churches. This writing we now have preserved in the book of Revelation, but this book is understood by only a very few. It contains the message for the last days, and we are to dwell much upon these prophecies.” The Review and Herald, February 14, 1907

4.b. To whom is the book of Revelation addressed? Revelation 1:9–11; 22:16

Note: “The Christ of Patmos had in His right hand seven stars. This assures us that no church faithful to their trust need fear of coming to naught; for not a star that has the protection of Omnipotence can be plucked from the hand of Christ. If a star separates itself from God, and falls from its setting, another will take its place. There will never be less than seven, this number being God’s symbol of completeness.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 359



5.a. How does the Lord consider His people which are His church? Deuteronomy 32:9, 10; Zechariah 2:8

Note: “Through centuries of persecution, conflict, and darkness, God has sustained His church. Not one cloud has fallen upon it that He has not prepared for; not one opposing force has risen to counterwork His work, that He has not foreseen.” The Acts of the Apostles, 11, 12

“To God, the dearest object on earth is His church. ‘The Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.’ ” The Signs of the Times, July 13, 1904

5.b. What will be the ultimate condition of God’s remnant church? Ephesians 5:25–27

Note: “I saw that Christ will have a church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing to present to His Father, and as He leads us through the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem, or the golden city, Jesus will look upon His redeemed children and see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 225

“What does God’s word mean when it declares that Christ will present to Himself a church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing? It means that God’s people can and must reach the standard of Christian perfection.” Ibid., vol. 14, 351



1    What qualities will the faithful steward possess?

2    What role does the church play in the closing work?

3    How has God’s church been protected?

4    Which cities were chosen to represent the church?

5    What is the final condition of the remnant church?

Copytight 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Vegan Potato Soup


What do you think of when you hear the word potato? Some people immediately think “best food ever!” For me, it brings back memories of the root cellar where my grandma stored potatoes and other vegetables.

What fun it was to go into the root cellar with my grandma. Embracing the coolness as we opened the creaky old door. The earthy smell of dirt as we entered. Always watching out for that sneaky snake hanging out in there. The potatoes and vegetables were placed in the cellar after harvest and kept very well for long periods of time. The potatoes used in Bible times were probably stored in a similar way.

Potatoes come in all shapes and colors. There are many different types including Russet, also known as Idaho, Yukon Gold, White Katahdins, Red Bliss, and sweet potatoes … just to name a few.

Potatoes are vegetables which are high in fiber and a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, magnesium and calcium.

There are many healthy, creative ways to cook potatoes including baked, steamed, boiled, air baked, grilled, twice baked, roasted, stir fried, and baked French fries. They are also good in soups, stews, and casseroles.

But be careful what you put on top of your potatoes. Many toppings are high in fat and calories. Fresh salsa and cashew cheese are healthy alternatives.

Potatoes can be used as a natural remedy for burns and rashes. Simply cut a raw potato and apply it to the irritated area. Welders use sliced potatoes to soothe their eyes from welding burns.

Remember the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The same could be said of the potato!

Recipe – Vegan Potato Soup


6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

½ tsp. each: thyme, marjoram, rosemary

3 cups of water

Vegetable boullion cube

Place the above ingredients in a large pan.

Blend the following in a blender:

½ small zucchini squash

½ small yellow summer squash

1 small onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 cup of water

1 Tbsp. of olive oil


Add blended mixture to pan of potatoes and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender. Reduce temperature and add a 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk or cream. Add salt to taste.

Seek Ye First

Some people believe that their prayers have merit. If this is so, then it could easily be concluded that the longer the prayer, the greater the merit. But is it true that if a person prays long enough, their prayer will have enough merit to atone for sin, or are eloquent prayers just idle words?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:5, 6

In these two verses, the Lord is not telling us that we should not pray in public. Jesus Himself prayed in public many times. Rather, He is teaching that a private prayer should not be made public. In our private devotions, our prayers are to reach the ears of no one except a prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to hear the burden of our private petitions.

Jesus said, when you pray, go into your room, have a place for secret prayer. He had select places for communion with God. In fact, it was because He so often went to Gethsemane in the evening to pray that Judas Iscariot knew where to lead the soldiers when he betrayed Him.

We also need to have a private place, however humble, where we can be alone with God. Jesus said, “Pray to your Father who sees in secret.” In the name of Jesus, we may come into God’s presence with the same confidence that a small child comes to a parent. We do not need a man, a priest, or pastor as a mediator. Through Jesus, we may open our hearts to God as One who knows, loves, and hears us.

In the secret place of prayer, where no one but God sees or hears, we are free to pour out to Him the most secret and hidden desires of the heart, and the Father has promised that He will hear. Remember, He is a Father of infinite love and pity and He never fails to answer the cry of human need. He will speak to us when we take time to talk to Him. In James 5:11, last part, it says, “ [T]he Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” He waits with unwearied love and pity to hear the confessions of the wayward and to accept their penitence.

In the same way as a mother watches for a smile of recognition from her beloved child, He wants us to understand how earnestly and tenderly His heart yearns over us. He wants us to bring to Him our trials, our sorrows, our troubles, our wounds, our weaknesses, and our emptiness, and He will supply all of our needs (Steps to Christ, 100). The Bible teaches that no one who comes to Him will be disappointed.

Psalm 34:5–10 tells us how the Lord answers the prayers of even the humblest of His children: “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. [T]hose who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”

When we come to the Lord in secret and tell Him our needs, and plead with Him for help, we will not plead in vain, because Jesus said, “… your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” If we make Jesus our daily companion and friend, we will realize, that although we cannot see it, the powers of the unseen world are all around us. By looking to Jesus, we will become assimilated to His image and the result will be an increase in piety, purity, and fervor.

In Matthew 6:7, Jesus said, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.” The heathen, then and now, look upon their prayers as having merit in and of themselves to atone for sin. If they could become holy by their own efforts, they would have something in themselves for which to rejoice, some ground for the boasting. This idea of prayer is the outworking of the principle of self-expiation, which actually lies at the foundation of false religion. The Pharisees adopted this pagan idea of prayer, and it is by no means extinct, even in our time, even among some who profess to be Christians.

When we pray using set, customary phrases, and the heart feels no need of God, we are just offering up words of the same character as the vain repetitions of the heathen. Nobody wants to talk to a friend who is just mumbling set words and phrases in their mind, but their heart is not in it, and this type of prayer is not acceptable to the Lord either.

Prayer does not atone for sin. It has no virtue or merit of itself. All the eloquent words that we might command are not equivalent to even one holy desire. So the most eloquent prayers can be worthless, idle words if they do not express the true sentiments of the heart. Praying from an earnest heart, expressing the real wants of our soul, the same way that we would ask an earthly friend for a favor and expect that it would be received, we have then prayed a prayer of faith, and we trust that prayer will be answered.

God does not need our ceremonial compliments. But the unspoken cry of a heart that is broken and subdued with a sense of sin and utter weakness and helplessness, will find its way to the Father of all mercy.

As He continued to talk about the Christian life, Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24

Notice, He did not say you should not serve God and mammon. He says, you cannot serve God and mammon. Mammon is a Greek word that simply means real estate, money, property, wealth, material possessions. Jesus is saying you cannot serve God and material things. In other words, no one can occupy a neutral position. There is no middle class who neither loves God nor serves the enemy of righteousness. If we do not give ourselves completely to God, the facts of the matter are, we are completely under the control of another power, listening in our minds to another voice whose suggestions are of an entirely different character.

If we attempt to give God only half service, we are actually placing ourselves on the side of the enemy as a successful ally of the hosts of darkness. When men claim to be Christians, soldiers of Christ, but then engage with the confederacy of Satan, they actually prove themselves to be enemies of Christ instead of His friends as they profess to be.

We are talking about a battle for the mind and heart, not just about outward words or behavior. The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the terrible life of some abandoned sinner or degraded outcast, but the life which appears virtuous, honorable, and noble, fostering one sin, indulging one vice. When there is someone struggling with a terrible temptation, the example of such a person is one of the most powerful enticements to sin. Thus, a person who claims to be a Christian but indulges one sin, is used by Satan to be a stumbling block to others so that they not only stumble in this life, but may even forfeit eternal life.

The apostle John talks about this problem in 1 John 2:15, 16, saying, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

Jesus says that we should not allow ourselves to be caught up in the sum and substance of our lives—making a living, making sure we have food to eat and water to drink, a home and clothing to wear—but instead we must be careful to seek first the kingdom of God. This is a better, higher way to live, so that we are not pressed down all the time, just trying to survive. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:31–33, “[D]o not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Jesus was opening to them the treasures of heaven, but the people who were listening to these words were still anxiously waiting for Him to announce that He would set up an earthly kingdom. Uppermost in their minds was how a connection with Him would best advance their prospects in this new kingdom. Interestingly, that is the same question many people ask today. What church can I go to that will best advance my worldly interests, my professional or business interests?

Jesus is trying to show us that in making the things of this world our supreme anxiety, we will become like the worldly people around us, living as if there were no God whose tender care is over all His creatures. Jesus said, the nations seek after these things, but your heavenly Father knows what we need (Luke 12:30) and He tells us instead to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

In other words, Jesus is telling us that He has come to open to us a kingdom of love, righteousness, and peace. We must open our hearts to receive this kingdom and make its service our highest interest. Even though it is a spiritual kingdom that He offers us, we are not to fear that the needs of this life will be uncared for. If we give ourselves to God’s service, the One who has all power in heaven and earth will provide for our needs.

This does not, however, release us from the necessity of effort. Jesus does not say we have nothing to do, that God just hands us whatever we need. He said, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” Matthew 6:26. How does the heavenly Father feed the birds? Does He put the food in their mouth? Absolutely not. He provides the food, but they have to go and find it.

In the same way, God provides for the needs of all of His children in this world, but that does not release us from the necessity of effort. When Adam and Eve sinned, God said to Adam that he would eat bread, the product of his personal effort from that day forward. As Christians, Jesus teaches us that we are to make Him first, and last, and best in everything. We are not to engage in any business, or follow any pursuit, or seek any pleasure that would hinder the outworking of His righteous character in our lives. Everything we do is to be done with this as our uppermost and first interest.

Friend, God’s everlasting arm encircles every soul who turns to Him for aid, however feeble that soul may be. Poverty or wealth, sickness or health, whether educated or uneducated, simple or wise, all are provided for in the treasures and promises of His grace.

The Bible tell us that the precious things of this world are going to pass away, but the soul that lives for God will abide with Him. The apostle John says, “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:17. If we learn to lean on God for wisdom, seeking Him for direction, if we commit our lives to Him, He will not only be our comfort and hope in this world, even amid loss and affliction, but in the world to come He will welcome us to an everlasting home. “ ‘For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed.’ says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” Isaiah 54:10

For this reason, because God cares for everyone who turns to Him for help and shields them and protects them, we do not need to live a life of worry. One of the biggest health problems in the western nations today is depression brought on by continual anxiety and worry. When on this earth, Jesus lived a dignified life in all its details by keeping before men the glory of God and subordinating everything else to the will of His Father. If we follow His example, He gives us the assurance that all things needful for this life will be added.

He does not promise that we will have the luxuries of life, but He does promise that what we will have in the future world will far exceed anything we could have here. For now, what is promised is what you need, not necessarily what you want. Since we are assured of this promise, if we commit our lives to Him, we will have no need to worry. Jesus says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

If you have given yourself to God to do His work, you do not need to worry or be anxious about what is going to happen tomorrow, because the One whose servant you are knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). The events of tomorrow, which are hidden from our view today, are open to the eyes of Him who is omnipotent. If we decide we want to manage our own life without His aid, to take matters into our own hands, if we want to depend on our own wisdom for success, then we are taking upon ourselves a responsibility that belongs to God, and thus are really putting ourselves in His place. As a consequence, we may well experience anxiety and apprehend danger and loss.

But, if we really believe that God loves us and means to do us good, we will be able to cease worrying about the future because we will have placed out trust in God as a small child trusts a loving parent. Our troubles and torments will then disappear, for our will is swallowed up in His will.

While Jesus is promising us this kind of help for today, He does not promise us that He would bear the worry, or anxiety, or burdens of tomorrow. Instead He said to Paul, and to us, in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you … .” Like the manna that He gave the children of Israel in the wilderness, His grace is bestowed each day for that day’s need. One day alone is ours and during this day we are to live for God.

Just this one day, we must put our hand in the hand of Christ, and trust Him with everything in our life—our purposes, our plans—casting all our care upon Him. He says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. “In returning and rest shall you be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

Dear friend, if you seek the Lord and are converted every day, if you will of your own spiritual choice be free and joyous in God, you will find peace and joy in His service, and an eternal home with Him.

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 – The Importance of the Sense of Taste

As we all know, taste is a matter of, well taste … But what exactly is taste? Taste is one of our five senses. The sense of taste is really just our ability to perceive a flavor of a given food or dish with our tongue in association with our senses of smell and touch. Our tongues have the ability to distinguish between five basic tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami (meaty or savory). A couple of additional tastes, probably more likely sensed in association with our sense of smell, are pungent and astringent. The rich diversity of taste sensations arise from the wide-ranging combinations of these five basic tastes, such as the sweet-and-sour taste we experience when we drink sweet lemonade or sweet-and-sour sauce with a favorite Chinese dish.

For a long time, scientists believed that it is the taste buds, located at different points on our tongue, that help us experience taste, but additional research has disproven this belief. While it is true that the edge of the tongue has more taste buds than the base and is thus more sensitive, the tongue is not divided into different types of taste. The one exception to this rule is the bitter taste, which is located chiefly at the rear of the tongue.

Approximately 10,000 taste buds,  pear-shaped structures with millions of receptors (sensory cells), are the components in the tongue that register taste. They are located around small structures on the upper surface of the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and back of the throat known as the gustatory papillae. Adults have between 2,000–4,000 of these papillae on their tongue.

Thanks to a special nerve in the mouth and throat, we are able to experience “hot” which is really not a flavor, but is perceived through free nerve endings in this nerve. In this way we are able to tell if a dish seasoned with a hot spice such as pepper, chili or curry is unpleasant or even painful.

Sensory cells have a lifespan of just ten days, but are constantly being renewed. However, as we age, our sense of taste deteriorates because the renewal process slows so that the number of sensory cells declines over the course of time. But here’s a tip: make generous use of fresh herbs when seasoning your food. This enables us to continue to have a rewarding taste experience as we age thanks to our other senses, including our sense of smell.

Whenever we eat a salty soup or a sweet dessert, the sensory cells in the taste buds are activated and taste signals travel from the mouth by way of the cranial nerves to the medulla oblongata in the brainstem to the thalamus and on to the cortex, where you become aware of what you are tasting and can then respond appropriately. Appropriately would mean if it tastes good, you swallow and enjoy it, but if it tastes bad or harmful, you spit it out. Whew! Those taste signals are really hard workers.

Taste, however, is actually a multisensory phenomenon. While the sense of taste gives basic information about sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory, most of the food experience, how a blueberry tastes different than a raspberry, for example, depends on the sense of smell.

When we chew food or sip an aromatic beverage, chemicals are converted to vapor in the air passages connecting the mouth with the back of the nose. This stimulates olfactory receptors and allows us to realize the subtleties of flavor. Other aspects of the taste experience, such as food texture and temperature, engage additional senses.

It is interesting that while humans have five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—the knowledge of sight and hearing has played a more important role in understanding how the brain interprets sensory impressions.

However, Dr. Preet Bano Singh, Postdoctoral Fellow on the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Oslo, finds it quite surprising that the senses of taste and smell receive so little attention because taste is actually essential to life.

“If the sense of taste is impaired, it may often negatively affect [a person’s] food intake, nutritional status and consequently health condition. Senses of smell and taste are vital in identification of valuable nutrients in the environment, procurement of adequate energy and central to survival. That is an important reason why research into taste and smell should receive just as much attention as the other senses,” says Dr. Singh.

Although we have been talking about the senses of taste and smell, the enjoyment of food involves more than just these two senses. The different sounds that accompany food preparation, like boiling in a pot, running the blender, a knife slicing through an onion or the timer going off when the food is fully cooked, involves our sense of hearing. Our sense of sight allows us to appreciate the presentation of well-prepared food, including the play of various colors, on our plate. The sense of touch is also involved as the food touches our tongue and we experience the different textures and nuances of the food as we chew.

What a wonderful God we have! We must eat to survive and yet He made not only good, nutritious food, but He did so with such a variety of flavors, and made them in such a way so as to be a pleasant experience in the preparing as much as in the eating.

Yes indeed, what a wonderful God!

Sources:; The Dana Foundation; Senses of Taste and Smell More Important Than We Think by Astrid Skiftesvik Bjørkeng, University of Oslo

Question – Did anyone accept Noah’s message?


Did anyone accept Noah’s message during the 120 years he built the ark?


“More than one hundred years before the flood the Lord sent an angel to faithful Noah to make known to him that He would no longer have mercy upon the corrupt race. But He would not have them ignorant of His design. Noah was to preach to the people, and also to prepare an ark as God should direct him for the saving of himself and family. He was not only to preach, but his example in building the ark was to convince all that he believed what he preached.

“Noah and his family were not alone in fearing and obeying God. But Noah was the most pious and holy of any upon the earth, and was the one whose life God preserved to carry out His will in building the ark and warning the world of its coming doom. Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, lived until the very year of the flood; and there were others who believed the preaching of Noah, and aided him in building the ark, who died before the flood of waters came upon the earth. …

“A multitude at first apparently received the warning of Noah, yet did not fully turn to God with true repentance. There was some time given them before the flood was to come, in which they were to be placed upon probation—to be proved and tried. They failed to endure the trial. The prevailing degeneracy overcame them, and they finally joined others who were corrupt … . They would not leave off their sins, but continued … in the indulgence of their corrupt passions.

“The period of their probation was drawing near its close. …

“Notwithstanding the solemn exhibition they had witnessed of God’s power … yet they hardened their hearts, and continued to revel and sport over the signal manifestations of divine power.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 69–73

“There were many who at first received Noah’s message, but the fear of men was greater than the fear of God, and they turned away from the truth of God to believe a lie. As time passed on, and reproach and ridicule were heaped upon them, their hearts failed them, and they did not bear the test. It is the testing time that will measure professed faith and assurance in God. Courage and integrity cannot be estimated rightly by men until the day of trial puts them to the test.” The Signs of the Times, April 18, 1895

“The antediluvians were warned, but the record states that they knew not until the Flood came and took them all away. … They saw Noah and his wife and their sons and their wives passing into the ark; and the door was closed upon them. Only eight persons entered that refuge from the storm.” Christ Triumphant, 61

Nature – Caribou

Caribou is a species of deer found in the forests, mountains, and arctic tundra of Greenland, Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska, and Canada. The life span of caribou in the wild ranges from about eight to 15 years, with the doe living the longest.

DID YOU KNOW? Reindeer and Caribou are the same creature.

The caribou have the widest and roundest hooves of any of the deer family. They are used as paddles when swimming and as snow shoes when the snow is deep.

During the short summer months, caribou eat the leaves of willows, grass-like plants, flowering tundra plants and mushrooms. Over the long winter months, they eat dried grass-like plants, small shrubs, and their favorite and largest part of their diet, lichens. Those wide hooves are very helpful in digging through the snow and ice to obtain the lichen. Lichen lives under the snow, sometimes under feet of snow in the winter, and you have to wonder how the caribou find it.

Simple. Caribou have a great sense of smell and the ability to see both visible light and ultraviolet light. The lichen absorbs ultraviolet light and is seen in the snow as having wild colors or the color black.

Both the buck and doe grow antlers, though they are much larger and heavier on the buck. Bucks lose their antlers after the fall mating season, but the does retain their antlers through the winter. Having antlers during those long winter months, provides a way to keep the larger bucks from stealing lichens from the smaller, weaker, pregnant does, making it possible for the doe and her unborn calf to survive when food is scarce.

The ability to see ultraviolet light also makes it possible for caribou to see polar bears and other harmful predators. How? Hair absorbs ultraviolet light and makes these predators easy to see, if you’re a caribou.

Caribou feed and travel in large groups, providing extra protection for the feeble and young of their herds. They are very fast runners and can reach speeds between 37-50 mph. A one-day-old caribou can outrun an Olympic sprinter. During their migration south, the pads of their hooves shrink, exposing more of the rim of the hoof providing a better grip on snow and ice.

Another protective measure is a clicking sound made by tendons found in their feet. The sound can be heard from as far away as 150 feet, nearly half the length of a football field. Some scientists believe that this clicking sound helps the caribou find each other in fog and blizzard conditions making it possible for them to stay together in a herd.

God has certainly equipped the caribou to help it survive in its harsh habitat.

Adapted from God’s Living Treasures, Volume 2, “Amazing Animals of Alaska”

Keys to the Storehouse – Hold the Banner High

It was July 3, 1863. The Northern Army was stationed at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The cry went out that the enemy was advancing.

Pickett’s division of the Southern Army—15,000 men—was marching toward the Northern lines. Shoulder to shoulder, rank upon rank, line upon line, they came. Silently, irresistibly down the ridge, across the creek and up the gentle slope to the rock wall protecting the Northern forces.

It was the South’s last, supreme effort. The outcome of the war, the destiny of the nation, depended on the success or failure of this one charge.

Northern cannons fired on the advancing line of humanity, thousands fell, but the living kept coming. When they reached the corner of the wall, Webb’s brigade stationed there fell back and Southern soldiers poured in. If enough made it across the wall, they could divide the Northern Army and win the war.

The North had enough men and weapons to stop them, but Webb’s men were confused and afraid. What they needed was just one man of courage to inspire them with new confidence.

A sergeant seized the banner of the Northern Army and ran for the enemy’s line. At first only one soldier followed, but when the sergeant fell, struck by a bullet, and the standard he bore fell beside him, the effect was electric. Webb’s men jumped to their feet and fought the enemy. Shouting, pushing, firing, punching until the enemy staggered to the wall and across it and beyond. And as suddenly as the battle had begun, it was over.

Taken from Out-Numbered and Other Stories by Lawrence Maxwell, Pacific Press Publishing, 1970.

 What inspired these men to fight, to win? The courage of one man to carry the banner no matter the consequences or cost.

Each of us has a struggle, an individual war, to win, a banner to bear. We are instructed that we must “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10–12

Ellen White writes, “I would rejoice with all my heart to see all who have been connected with the work, take their places to hold high the banner of Jesus, that when their work shall be done, they may say as did Paul, ‘I have fought a good fight, … I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness … .’ ” The Review and Herald, July 26, 1892

We must be men and women who will bear the banner of God and uphold His standards as found in Education, 57: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”

Dear Lord, help us to have the courage of the sergeant to bear Your banner in a world deluded by sin. Give us strength to win our personal battle with sin and then to stand for the right before a world desperate to know You.