The Lord’s Flock

February 18 – 24, 2024

Key Text

“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one Shepherd.” John 10:16

Study Help: Testimonies, Vol. 6, 91–99


“While the great adversary will try his utmost to make of none effect the word of God, truth must go forth as a lamp that burneth.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 595



1.a. To what are Christ’s followers often compared, and why? John 10:24–28

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

“There is a large, a very large number of straying and lost sheep that have perished in the wild deserts of sin, simply because no one went after them, to search for them and to bring them back to the fold. Jesus uses the illustration of a lost sheep to show the need of seeking after those who have wandered from Him; for a sheep once lost will never find its way back to the fold without help. It must be sought for, it must be carried back to the fold.” The Review and Herald, June 30, 1896

1.b.        What do we need to realize about the size and character of Christ’s true fold? Luke 12:32; John 10:14, 15

Note: “The church on earth is greatly beloved by God. It is the fold provided for the sheep of His pasture.” The Signs of the Times, October 31, 1900



2.a. In what can Christ’s torn, scattered flock rejoice? John 10:16

Note: “It is the unity of Christ’s followers that convinces the world that God has indeed sent His Son to die for sinners, to make them partakers of His perfection, changing the sinful heart, and forming the character after the divine likeness.” The Review and Herald, July 21, 1903

“All who believe are to be gathered into one church.” The Acts of the Apostles, 28

2.b.        When will many of the sheep come out of their churches and join God’s true church, the one fold? Revelation 18:4

Note: “The time of God’s destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter. Large numbers will be admitted who in these last days hear the truth for the first time.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 979

“God still has a people in Babylon; and before the visitation of His judgments these faithful ones must be called out, that they partake not of her sins and ‘receive not of her plagues.’ Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard: ‘Come out of her, My people.’ These announcements, uniting with the third angel’s message, constitute the final warning to be given to the inhabitants of the earth.” The Great Controversy, 604

“God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant.” Early Writings, 261



3.a. What other terms are used by Christ to describe His faithful church? Exodus 19:5, 6; Matthew 21:42, 43; 1 Peter 2:9

Note: “The Lord made a special covenant with ancient Israel: ‘Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.’ He addresses His commandment-keeping people in these last days: ‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.’ ” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 450

3.b.        How can sinners become a part of God’s holy nation? Matthew 21:44; 7:24, 25; 2 Corinthians 5:17

Note: “In both the Old and the New Testament the Lord has positively enjoined upon His people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice, to be a holy nation, a peculiar people. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness. And this distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time. It is not a profession of faith, or a name registered in the church book, that constitutes us children of God. It is a vital connection with Christ. We must be one with Him, imbued with His Spirit, partakers of the divine nature, crucified to the world with its affections and lusts, renewed in knowledge and true holiness.” The Review and Herald, November 12, 1914

3.c. When and how did God open the door for the Gentiles to become “children of the living God”? 1 Peter 2:10; Romans 9:25, 26; Hosea 1:10; 2:23; Ephesians 2:13

Note: “The Saviour Himself, during His earthly ministry, foretold the spread of the gospel among the Gentiles. In the parable of the vineyard He declared to the impenitent Jews, ‘The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.’ Matthew 21:43. And after His resurrection He commissioned His disciples to go ‘into all the world’ and ‘teach all nations.’ They were to leave none unwarned, but were to ‘preach the gospel to every creature.’ Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15.” The Acts of the Apostles, 174

“In the quarry of the Jewish and the Gentile world the apostles labored, bringing out stones to lay upon the foundation.” Ibid., 596



4.a. How does one become part of God’s final fold? Acts 2:37–41, 47

Note: “Present truth leads onward and upward, gathering in the needy, the oppressed, the suffering, the destitute. All that will come are to be brought into the fold. In their lives there is to take place a reformation that will constitute them members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. By hearing the message of truth, men and women are led to accept the Sabbath and to unite with the church by baptism. They are to bear God’s sign by observing the Sabbath of creation. They are to know for themselves that obedience to God’s commandments means eternal life.” Testimonies, Vol. 8, 195, 196

“Every believer should be wholehearted in his attachment to the church. Its prosperity should be his first interest, and unless he feels under sacred obligations to make his connection with the church a benefit to it in preference to himself, it can do far better without him.” Ibid., Vol. 4, 18

4.b.        Before new converts can be fellowshipped into God’s true church, what must be done in their behalf and be manifested in their lives? Matthew 28:19, 20; 3:7, 8

Note: “There is need of a more thorough preparation on the part of candidates for baptism. They are in need of more faithful instruction than has usually been given them. The principles of the Christian life should be made plain to those who have newly come to the truth. None can depend upon their profession of faith as proof that they have a saving connection with Christ. We are not only to say, ‘I believe,’ but to practice the truth. It is by conformity to the will of God in our words, our deportment, our character, that we prove our connection with Him. Whenever one renounces sin, which is the transgression of the law, his life will be brought into conformity to the law, into perfect obedience. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. The light of the word carefully studied, the voice of conscience, the strivings of the Spirit, produce in the heart genuine love for Christ, who gave Himself a whole sacrifice to redeem the whole person, body, soul, and spirit. And love is manifested in obedience. The line of demarcation will be plain and distinct between those who love God and keep His commandments, and those who love Him not and disregard His precepts.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 91, 92



5.a. What hinders the progress of God’s truth? Matthew 13:24–30

Note: “Joining the church is one thing, and connecting with Christ is quite another. Not all the names registered in the church books are registered in the Lamb’s book of life. Many, though apparently sincere believers, do not keep up a living connection with Christ. They have enlisted, they have entered their names on the register; but the inner work of grace is not wrought in the heart.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 278

“Reformatory action is always attended with loss, sacrifice, and peril. It always rebukes love of ease, selfish interests, and lustful ambition. Hence, whoever initiates or prosecutes such action must encounter opposition, calumny, and hatred from those who are unwilling to submit to the conditions of reform. It is no easy matter to overcome sinful habits and practices. The work can be accomplished only with the help of divine grace; but many neglect to seek such help and endeavor to bring down the standard to meet their deficiencies, instead of bringing themselves up to meet the standard of God.” Sketches From the Life of Paul, 305, 306

“There have ever been two classes among those who profess to be followers of Christ. While one class study the Saviour’s life and earnestly seek to correct their defects and conform to the Pattern, the other class shun the plain, practical truths which expose their errors. Even in her best estate the church was not composed wholly of the true, pure, and sincere. Our Saviour taught that those who willfully indulge in sin are not to be received into the church; yet He connected with Himself men who were faulty in character, and granted them the benefits of His teachings and example, that they might have an opportunity to see their errors and correct them. Among the twelve apostles was a traitor.” The Great Controversy, 43

5.b.        When sin without repentance invades a faithful church, one of two things should happen. What are they? 1 Corinthians 5:11–13

Note: “[In Corinth] one former convert had so far backslidden that his licentious course was a violation of even the low standard of morality held by the Gentile world. The apostle pleaded with the church to put away from among them ‘that wicked person.’ ” The Acts of Apostles, 303, 304



1     Why have God’s people always been few and rejected by most?

2     How did Jesus prophesy of unity in one church body?

3     How do we become a part of God’s church, His holy, spiritual nation?

4     If one desires to become a member of Christ’s visible church, what must he or she do?

5     In teaching true reformation, what can we expect from most people?

Copyright 2008, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Organization

February 11 – 17, 2024

Key Text

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 638–645, 659


“God wants His people to be united in the closest bonds of Christian fellowship; confidence in our brethren is essential to the prosperity of the church; union of action is important in a religious crisis.” Testimonies, Vol. 3, 446



1.a. As the originator of disorganization was expelled from heaven, with what atmosphere has he tainted this earth? Revelation 12:7–10; James 3:15, 16

Note: “The world is filled with strife for the supremacy. The spirit of pulling away from fellow laborers, the spirit of disorganization, is in the very air we breathe.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 257

“We are inclined to exalt self. But God wants no self-exaltation in His work.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 4, 354

1.b. Since the Roman Catholic organizational system is thoroughly hierarchical, what do some Protestants fear will be the results of following order and organization? 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4

Note: “By some, all efforts to establish order are regarded as dangerous—as a restriction of personal liberty, and hence to be feared as popery. These deceived souls regard it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently. They declare that they will not take any man’s say-so, that they are amenable to no man. I have been instructed that it is Satan’s special effort to lead men to feel that God is pleased to have them choose their own course independent of the counsel of their brethren.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 257



2.a. In order to avoid self-exaltation, what must we learn? Psalm 84:10; Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:6

Note: “Talent is too much idolized, and station too much coveted. There are too many who will do nothing unless they are recognized as leaders; too many who must receive praise, or they have no interest to labor. What we need to learn is faithfulness in making the utmost use of the powers and opportunities we have, and contentment in the lot to which Heaven assigns us.” Education, 117

2.b.        What is God’s plan for His gifts to the church? Ephesians 4:13 

Note: “God is leading a people out from the world upon the exalted platform of eternal truth, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. He will discipline and fit up His people. They will not be at variance, one believing one thing, and another having faith and views entirely opposite, each moving independently of the body. Through the diversity of the gifts and governments that He has placed in the church, they will all come to the unity of the faith. If one man takes his views of the Bible truth without regard to the opinions of his brethren, and justifies his course, alleging that he has a right to his own peculiar views, and then presses them upon others, how can he be fulfilling the prayer of Christ? … Where will be that harmony which existed between Christ and His Father, and which Christ prayed might exist among His brethren?” Testimonies, Vol. 3, 446, 447

2.c. What principle, associated with diverse gifts, will promote unity in the church? Romans 12:6–9; Ephesians 4:15, 16

Note: “Oh, how Satan would rejoice if he could succeed in his efforts to get in among this people and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of organization and order that has been built up by wise, careful labor.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 257, 258



3.a. How much can we accomplish if we work without using practical wisdom? Proverbs 24:3, 4; Ecclesiastes 10:10. Explain the importance of cooperation.

Note: “It is not a good sign when men refuse to unite with their brethren and prefer to act alone. Let laborers take into their confidence the brethren who are free to point out every departure from right principles. If men wear the yoke of Christ, they cannot pull apart; they will draw with Christ.

“Some workers pull with all the power that God has given them, but they have not yet learned that they should not pull alone. Instead of isolating themselves, let them draw in harmony with their fellow laborers. Unless they do this, their activity will work at the wrong time and in the wrong way. They will often work counter to that which God would have done, and thus their work is worse than wasted.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 258, 259

3.b.        In the days of Nehemiah, how did the enemies try to hinder God’s work? Nehemiah 4:7–16. How did the reformer respond to distractions, and with what result? Nehemiah 4:6, 17, 18; 6:1–4, 15

Note: “They [the enemies of Israel] attempted to cause division among the workmen by suggesting doubts and arousing unbelief as to their success. They also ridiculed the efforts of the builders, declared the enterprise an impossibility, and predicted a disgraceful failure. … Emissaries of the enemy, professing friendliness, mingled with the builders, suggesting changes in the plan, seeking in various ways to divert the attention of the workers.” Christian Service, 173

“Every device that the prince of darkness can suggest will be employed to induce God’s servants to form a confederacy with the agents of Satan. Repeated solicitations will come to call them from duty; but, like Nehemiah, they should steadfastly reply, ‘I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.’ God’s workers may safely keep on with their work, letting their efforts refute the falsehoods that malice may coin for their injury. Like the builders on the walls of Jerusalem they must refuse to be diverted from their work by threats or mockery or falsehood. Not for one moment are they to relax their watchfulness or vigilance, for enemies are continually on their track. Ever they must make their prayer to God ‘and set a watch against them day and night.’ Nehemiah 4:9.” Prophets and Kings, 659



4.a. What is one of the greatest problems for those who are called to be saved? Psalm 119:176; Isaiah 53:6

4.b.        How does Jesus deal with those who have a tendency to go astray? Matthew 18:12–14; 1 Peter 2:25

Note: “If one strays from the fold, he is not followed with harsh words and with a whip, but with winning invitations to return.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 273

4.c. What happens if we refuse to be rescued? Hebrews 12:25; 2:3; Isaiah 1:20

Note: “Those who are inclined to regard their individual judgment as supreme are in grave peril. It is Satan’s studied effort to separate such ones from those who are channels of light, through whom God has wrought to build up and extend His work in the earth. To neglect or despise those whom God has appointed to bear the responsibilities of leadership in connection with the advancement of the truth is to reject the means that He has ordained for the help, encouragement, and strength of His people. For any worker in the Lord’s cause to pass these by, and to think that his light must come through no other channel than directly from God, is to place himself in a position where he is liable to be deceived by the enemy and overthrown. The Lord in His wisdom has arranged that by means of the close relationship that should be maintained by all believers, Christian shall be united to Christian and church to church. Thus the human instrumentality will be enabled to cooperate with the divine. Every agency will be subordinate to the Holy Spirit, and all the believers will be united in an organized and well-directed effort to give to the world the glad tidings of the grace of God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 164

“We are living amid the perils of the last days, and if we have a spirit of self-sufficiency and independence we shall be exposed to the wiles of Satan and be overcome. Self-importance must be put away from you, and you be hid in God, depending alone upon Him for strength. The churches do not need your labor. If you are consecrated to God, you can labor in new fields, and God will work with you. Purity of heart and life God will accept. Anything short of this, He will not regard. We must suffer with Christ if we would reign with Him.” Testimonies, Vol. 3, 66



5.a. What was Christ’s greatest concern for the young church after His departure? What “credentials” must we show before outsiders can believe that we are Christ’s true followers? John 13:34, 35; 17:21

Note: “The world is against us, the popular churches are against us, the laws of the land will soon be against us. If there was ever a time when the people of God should press together, it is now. God has committed to us the special truths for this time to make known to the world. The last message of mercy is now going forth. We are dealing with men and women who are judgment bound. How careful should we be in every word and act to follow closely the Pattern, that our example may lead men to Christ. With what care should we seek so to present the truth that others by beholding its beauty and simplicity may be led to receive it. If our characters testify of its sanctifying power, we shall be a continual light to others—living epistles, known and read of all men. We cannot afford now to give place to Satan by cherishing disunion, discord, and strife.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 236

“God has made His church a channel of light, and through it He communicates His purposes and His will. He does not give one an experience independent of the church. He does not give one man a knowledge of His will for the entire church, while the church, Christ’s body, is left in darkness.” Ibid., Vol. 3, 414

“God has invested His church with special authority and power which no one can be justified in disregarding and despising, for in so doing he despises the voice of God.” Ibid., 417

5.b. Will there ever be a time when church fellowship will cease to be appropriate for God’s people? John 10:16; Hebrews 10:25

Note: “Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And, in order that the Lord’s work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 258



1     What attitude is in the very air we breathe? What is the difference between a hierarchy and God’s system of organization?

2     What has God provided in His church to facilitate unity of action?

3     In order to succeed in accomplishing the work assigned to us in God’s great vineyard, how must we work in relation to our fellow workers?

4     What are some great dangers we face in these last days?

5     What is a key component in our preparation for Christ’s soon advent?

Copyright 2008, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Unity in Diversity

February 4 – 10, 2024

Key Text

“Fulfill my joy by being likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 805, 806


“All who believe are to be gathered into one church.” The Desire of Ages, 821



1.a. To advance His cause on earth, what does God want us to do in forming plans of action? Proverbs 11:14; 15:22

Note: “The Lord does not apportion to any one man some special territory in which he alone is to labor. This is contrary to His plan. He designs that in every place where the truth is introduced, different minds, different gifts, shall be brought in to exert an influence upon the work. No one man has sufficient wisdom to manage an interest without helpers, and no one should think himself competent to do so. The fact that a person has ability in one direction, is no evidence that his judgment on all other subjects is perfect, and that the wisdom of some other mind does not need to be united with his.” Gospel Workers, 481

1.b. In order to work with others with whom we are bonded by the same precious faith, what is needed in each of us? 2 Chronicles 7:14; 34:27; Isaiah 57:15; 1 Peter 5:5, 6

Note: “Those who do labor together should seek to be in perfect harmony. And yet no one should feel that he cannot labor with those who do not see just as he sees, and who do not in their labors follow just his plans. If all manifest a humble, teachable spirit, there need be no difficulty. God has set in the church different gifts. These are precious in their proper places, and all may act a part in the work of preparing a people for Christ’s soon coming.” Gospel Workers, 481



2.a. Why could Jesus speak with authority, and how can we teach with the same divine mandate? Matthew 7:28, 29; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15

2.b.        What types of gifts are needed in the church, and why do we need people with varied abilities to reap the gospel harvest? 1 Corinthians 12:7–11

Note: “Many times the progress of the work has been hindered because the laborers thought their gifts all that were necessary for its advancement. The Lord has not done for His people what He would have done if so many of the workers had not limited the development of the work by refusing to cooperate with laborers who should have been given standing room and encouragement. In self-sufficiency, men have ignored and pushed aside those to whom God has given a special work.” Pacific Union Recorder, December 29, 1904

“It may seem to some that the contrast between their gifts and the gifts of a fellow laborer is too great to allow them to unite in harmonious effort; but when they remember that there are varied minds to be reached, and that some will reject the truth as it is presented by one laborer, only to open their hearts to God’s truth as it is presented in a different manner by another laborer, they will hopefully endeavor to labor together in unity.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 145

2.c. What will people recognize when they see that Christians are working harmoniously? Acts 4:13; John 13:34, 35; 17:21–23

Note: “Let the messengers whom He [God] sends work so harmoniously that all will take knowledge that they have learned of Jesus.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 146

2.d.        In Old Testament times, as entrusted according to specific families, what did each member of the tribe of Levi receive as a divine responsibility?

  1. Gershonites: Numbers 3:23–26
  2. Kohathites: Verses 29–32
  3. Merarites: Verses 35–37



3.a. In the case of Uzzah, what happened when he did another’s work? 2 Samuel 6:6, 7; Numbers 3:38. How does this apply today?

Note: “[One] remarkable exhibition to the nations round about was the perfect order observed in the camp of the Israelites. They could see the cloud hovering over the place where the tabernacle was to be pitched; they observed the priests and other appointed agencies going about their special work, each one doing the part assigned him in the work of preparing the camp for the night. No one did anything that someone else should do. Whoever would have tried to do another man’s work would have suffered the death penalty. Each one attended to his special duty. In the erecting of the tabernacle, part fitted to part, and the house of the Lord was set up with beautiful precision. Not a word was spoken, not an order given, excepting by the one in charge. No one was confused.” Lift Him Up, 145

“The directions in regard to order in the tabernacle service were recorded that lessons might be drawn from it by all who should live upon the earth. Men were selected to do various parts of the work of setting up and taking down the tabernacle, and if one strayed in carelessly and put his hands to the work assigned to another, he was to be put to death. We serve the same God today. But the death penalty has been abolished; had it not been, there would not now be so much careless, disorderly work in His cause. The God of heaven is a God of order, and He requires all His followers to have rules and regulations, and to preserve order.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 274

3.b.        How does God intend to finish the work when we are composed of such a diverse group of believers? 1 Corinthians 12:14–18

Note: “The leaders among God’s people are to guard against the danger of condemning the methods of individual workers who are led by the Lord to do a special work that but few are fitted to do. Let brethren in responsibility be slow to criticize movements that are not in perfect harmony with their methods of labor. Let them never suppose that every plan should reflect their own personality. Let them not fear to trust another’s methods; for by withholding their confidence from a brother laborer who, with humility and consecrated zeal, is doing a special work in God’s appointed way, they are retarding the advancement of the Lord’s cause.” Gospel Workers, 488



4.a. How are we in danger of underestimating one another? Ephesians 4:7

Note: “Let us beware of allowing our minds to become fixed on ourselves, thinking that no one can be serving the Lord unless he is working on the same lines as those on which we are working.

“Never is a worker to say, ‘I do not want to work with such a one, because he does not see things as I do. I wish to work with someone who will agree with all I say, and follow out all my ideas.’ The one the worker thus refuses to connect with may have truths to present that have not yet been presented.” Pacific Union Recorder, December 29, 1904

4.b.        Because we are all fellow believers, can we dictate the details of what each missionary worker shall do? Matthew 23:8

Note: “No human being is to seek to bind other human beings to himself as if he were to control them, telling them to do this and forbidding them to do that, commanding, dictating, acting like an officer over a company of soldiers. This is the way the priests and rulers did in Christ’s day, but it is not the right way. After the truth has made the impression upon hearts, and men and women have accepted its teachings, they are to be treated as the property of Christ, not as the property of man.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 146

“A strange thing has come into our churches. Men who are placed in positions of responsibility that they may be wise helpers to their fellow workers have come to suppose that they were set as kings and rulers in the churches, to say to one brother, Do this; to another, Do that; and to another, Be sure to labor in such and such a way. There have been places where the workers have been told that if they did not follow the instruction of these men of responsibility, their pay from the conference would be withheld.

“It is right for the workers to counsel together as brethren; but that man who endeavors to lead his fellow workers to seek his individual counsel and advice regarding the details of their work, and to learn their duty from him, is in a dangerous position and needs to learn what responsibilities are really comprehended in his office. God has appointed no man to be conscience for his fellowman.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 477



5.a. Despite our great diversity, how will God’s work be finished? Isaiah 52:7, 8; 1 Corinthians 1:10

Note: “The Reformation was greatly retarded by making prominent differences on some points of faith and each party holding tenaciously to those things where they differed. We shall see eye to eye erelong, but to become firm and consider it your duty to present your views in decided opposition to the faith or truth as it has been taught by us as a people, is a mistake, and will result in harm, and only harm, as in the days of Martin Luther. Begin to draw apart and feel at liberty to express your ideas without reference to the views of your brethren, and a state of things will be introduced that you do not dream of.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 76

5.b.  Where does God place believers, and why? 1 Corinthians 12:18–25

Note: “Our Redeemer throws souls into the arms of the church, for them to care for unselfishly and train for heaven.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 331

“The man who is truly united with Christ will never act as though he were a complete whole in himself. 

“The perfection of the church depends not on each member being fashioned exactly alike.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, 1090

5.c. What type of authority does this united church have over its membership? Matthew 18:16–18

Note: “On the church has been conferred the power to act in Christ’s stead. It is God’s instrumentality for the preservation of order and discipline among His people. To it the Lord has delegated the power to settle all questions respecting its prosperity, purity, and order. Upon it rests the responsibility of excluding from its fellowship those who are unworthy, who by their unchristlike conduct would bring dishonor on the truth. Whatever the church does that is in accordance with the directions given in God’s word, will be ratified in heaven.” Gospel Workers, 501, 502

“Unless the advice and counsel of the church can be respected, it is indeed powerless. God has placed a voice in the church which must control its members.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 108



1     Since God’s work is diverse and complex, what do we greatly need?

2     Why are various gifts and abilities important in the final harvest?

3     What can we learn from the thorough order and organization of the Levitical system?

4     How can we guard individual duty to the great Head of the church?

5     How does respect for individuality relate to organizational structure?

Copyright 2008, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – An Orderly God

The City of Refuge (1)

January 28 – February 3, 2024

Key Text

“Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40

Study Help: Testimonies, Vol. 3, 428–433


“He who says or does anything that tends to separate the members of Christ’s church is counterworking the Lord’s purpose.” Taestimonies, Vol. 9, 145



1.a. What condition characterizes everything in the work of God? How can we succeed in our work for the Lord? 1 Corinthians 14:40

Note: “God is a God of order. Everything connected with heaven is in perfect order; subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. Success can only attend order and harmonious action. God requires order and system in His work now no less than in the days of Israel. All who are working for Him are to labor intelligently, not in a careless, haphazard manner. He would have His work done with faith and exactness, that He may place the seal of His approval upon it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 376

1.b.        What does God expect from His creatures? 1 Peter 2:21; Psalm 119:133; 1 John 2:6

Note: “Order is heaven’s first law, and the Lord desires His people to give in their homes a representation of the order and harmony that pervade the heavenly courts. Truth never places her delicate feet in a path of uncleanness or impurity. Truth does not make men and women coarse or rough and untidy. It raises all who accept it to a high level. Under Christ’s influence, a work of constant refinement goes on.” Counsels on Health, 101



2.a. What example did God leave us of thorough organization as a real blessing? Exodus 18:13–24. How is that implemented today?

Note: “This counsel [of Jethro] was accepted, and it not only brought relief to Moses, but resulted in establishing more perfect order among the people.

“The Lord had greatly honored Moses, and had wrought wonders by his hand; but the fact that he had been chosen to instruct others did not lead him to conclude that he himself needed no instruction. The chosen leader of Israel listened gladly to the suggestions of the godly priest of Midian, and adopted his plan as a wise arrangement.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 301

“God has not set any kingly power in the Seventh-day Adventist Church to control the whole body or to control any branch of the work. He has not provided that the burden of leadership shall rest upon a few men. Responsibilities are distributed among a large number of competent men.

“Every member of the church has a voice in choosing officers of the church. The church chooses the officers of the state conferences. Delegates chosen by the state conferences choose the officers of the union conferences, and delegates chosen by the union conferences choose the officers of the General Conference. By this arrangement every conference, every institution, every church, and every individual, either directly or through representatives, has a voice in the election of the men who bear the chief responsibilities in the General Conference.” Testimonies, Vol. 8, 236, 237

2.b.        What is the fundamental principle for living as one of God’s children? Deuteronomy 10:12, 13; Joshua 22:5

Note: “Evil does not result because of organization, but because of making organization everything, and vital godliness of little moment. When form and machinery take the preeminence, and a laborious task is made of carrying on the work that should be done with simplicity, evil will result, and little will be accomplished in proportion to the effort put forth. The object of organization is just the reverse of this; and should we disorganize, it would be like tearing down that which we have built up.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 253



3.a. How does the church relate to Christ? Ephesians 1:17, 22, 23; Colossians 1:18. What result should follow among ourselves?

Note: “Those who have a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus must now become one in heart and purpose. All differences must be swept away. The members of the church must work unitedly under the great Head of the church.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 93

3.b.        As we dedicate ourselves to Jesus without reservation, what happens in our relations with others who have the same experience? John 17:21

Note: “A union of believers with Christ will as a natural result lead to a union with one another, which bond of union is the most enduring upon earth. We are one in Christ, as Christ is one with the Father.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 47

“If we are united to Christ, we shall be united to one another.” The Review and Herald, December 6, 1892

“Those who are truly converted will press together in Christian unity. Let there be no division in the church of God, no unwise authority exercised over those who accept the truth. The meekness of Christ is to appear in all that is said and done.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 147

3.c. What happens to our personal relations the closer we come to Jesus? John 13:34, 35

Note: “As they [the disciples] were drawn to Christ in greater love, they were drawn to one another.” The Desire of Ages, 664

“True religion unites hearts not only with Christ, but with one another in a most tender union. When we know what it means to be thus united with Christ and with our brethren, a fragrant influence will attend our work wherever we go.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 145

3.d.        How does unity relate to perfection of character? Ephesians 4:13

Note: “Unity is the sure result of Christian perfection.” The Sanctified Life, 85



4.a. As new believers in Jesus, how do we unite with Him in a practical way? Ephesians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 12:27

Note: “[An] obligation, too often lightly regarded—one that to the youth awakened to the claims of Christ needs to be made plain—is the obligation of church relationship.

“Very close and sacred is the relation between Christ and His church—He the bridegroom, and the church the bride; He the head, and the church the body. Connection with Christ, then, involves connection with His church.

“The church is organized for service; and in a life of service to Christ, connection with the church is one of the first steps. Loyalty to Christ demands the faithful performance of church duties. This is an important part of one’s training; and in a church imbued with the Master’s life, it will lead directly to effort for the world without.” Education, 268, 269

“To human agencies is committed the work of extending the triumphs of the cross from point to point. As the Head of the church, Christ is authoritatively calling upon everyone who claims to believe on Him to follow His example of self-denial and self-sacrifice in working for the conversion of those whom Satan and his vast army are exerting every power to destroy. God’s people are called upon to rally without delay under the bloodstained banner of Christ Jesus. Unceasingly they are to continue their warfare against the enemy, pressing the battle even to the gates. And everyone who is added to the ranks by conversion is to be assigned his post of duty.” Testimonies, Vol. 7, 30

4.b.        How do we see, through the examples of Saul and Cornelius, that connection to the church is important? Acts 9:1–6, 17, 18; 10:1–6, 47, 48

Note: “God’s Spirit convicts sinners of the truth, and He places them in the arms of the church. The ministers may do their part, but they can never perform the work that the church should do. God requires His church to nurse those who are young in faith and experience, to go to them, not for the purpose of gossiping with them, but to pray, to speak unto them words that are ‘like apples of gold in pictures of silver.’ ” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 69



5.a. How do we know that the true church is a visible, tangible entity? 1 Corinthians 16:1, 19; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 8:1, 18

Note: “We should all feel our individual responsibility as members of the visible church and workers in the vineyard of the Lord.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 16

5.b. What happens if someone despises the God–given authority of the church? John 20:23

Note: “ ‘Whosesoever sins ye remit,’ said Christ, ‘they are remitted; … and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.’ Christ here gives no liberty for any man to pass judgment upon others. In the Sermon on the Mount He forbade this. It is the prerogative of God. But on the church in its organized capacity He places a responsibility for the individual members. Toward those who fall into sin, the church has a duty, to warn, to instruct, and if possible to restore. ‘Reprove, rebuke, exhort,’ the Lord says, ‘with all longsuffering and doctrine.’ 2 Timothy 4:2. Deal faithfully with wrongdoing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbath-breaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. ‘They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ Galatians 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God’s word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonors her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it. She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven. He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself.” The Desire of Ages, 805, 806

5.c. What is the major reason for having a church? Mark 16:15, 16

Note: “The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world.” The Acts of the Apostles, 9



1     What “first law” does God expect from His creatures that obey Him?

2     When a believer truly unites with Christ, what else happens?

3     How important is our relation with other souls of like precious faith?

4     Why does God place new believers into the arms of the church?

5     What duties rest upon God’s recognized and organized church?

Copyright 2008, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Polenta Pizza


Corn is the third-most cultivated crop in the world, following wheat and rice. Originating in the Americas—but grown on every continent except Antarctica—over 440 million tons of corn are harvested yearly throughout the world. In 2019, US farmers planted 91.7 million acres of corn—the equivalent of 69 million football fields.

There are six main varieties of corn that come in different shades and combinations of white, yellow, red, blue, purple/black, and green. An ear of corn has about 800 kernels in 16 rows, always an even number with one silk strand for every kernel. A good ear of corn is juicy and sweet on its own, but can also be used in soups, chili, salsas, salads, breads, and crusts.

DID YOU KNOW? One variety of corn grown in Peru has kernels so large that they are eaten individually.

Eighteen nations of the world consume corn as their primary food source—twelve in Latin America and six in Africa. In the United States, corn is used in the production of so many foods that the number of products without at least a trace amount of corn is smaller than the number of those that contain corn.


Recipe – Polenta Pizza


2½ cups water

½ cup almond milk

1 cup cornmeal

1 tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. dried thyme, or to taste

¼ tsp. dried oregano, or to taste

¼ tsp. dried basil, or to taste

1 Tbs. olive oil

Tomato Sauce

2 cups tomatoes, chopped

6-8 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp. lemon juice, or to taste

½ tsp. salt

Olive oil

Topping suggestions: sliced cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, olives


Bring water and almond milk to a boil in a pot. Reduce heat to low. Add cornmeal and whisk until clumps are reduced and mixture thickens. Add salt and herbs. Continue to whisk for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Brush a baking sheet with oil and pour half the corn mixture on one side forming a ½-inch thick circle. Pour the remaining mixture on the other side of the sheet, making two pizzas. Cover the sheet and refrigerate until mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. Combine tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil in a blender; blend to combine. Adjust seasonings. Remove crusts from refrigerator, top with tomato sauce and toppings of choice. Pop pizzas in the oven; bake at 375°F for 15 minutes or until crust is crispy.

The Spiritual Nature of the Law

We have studied many things regarding the mystery of godliness. Our eternal destiny is directly affected by this sacred subject.

God gave to Martin Luther, one of the great heroes of faith, the work of reminding the entire Christian world of the doctrine of justification by faith. This important doctrine had been almost forgotten, and Christians needed to be brought back to an understanding of it.

Let’s say this very clearly: Justification by faith is the only way that we can be saved. It doesn’t matter what you do, how religious you are, that you go to church and pay tithe, how much you sing and pray, how much you read your Bible, or the amount of missionary work and good deeds you do, unless you are justified by faith you are lost.

“The danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining, as a people, false ideas of justification by faith.” Faith and Works, 18. Mrs. White wrote this in 1888, at a time of great crisis in the Adventist church. Even today, we are in danger of accepting false ideas regarding justification by faith. Have we seen that in the Christian world, in Adventism, today? “I have been shown for years that Satan would work in a special manner to confuse the mind on this point.” Ibid. It is the devil’s direct purpose to muddy the spiritual waters as much as he possibly can. He takes special measures, especially on this point, to bring in confusion.

Even though some people will say that Mrs. White wrote more than a hundred years ago, thus these counsels were for her time, they are, in fact, just as true today as when she first wrote them. “The law of God has been largely dwelt upon and has been presented to congregations, almost as destitute of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relation to the law as was the offering of Cain.” Ibid. As bad as the offering of Cain? That is a strong rebuke. We must have a knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relationship to the ten commandments.

For over 40 years after the above statement was written, Adventist ministers preached the three angels’ messages, God’s last message of warning and mercy to the world. The Second Advent Movement was to reach out to a fallen world that was, and still is, rapidly heading toward destruction. The three angels’ messages offered to the people of the world a choice—listen and have life; don’t and be destroyed.

Seldom is there anything revealed that is more important than when God says to listen. We have a problem with listening. Adam and Eve didn’t listen. Cain didn’t listen. The people of the Antediluvian world didn’t listen. The people of Sodom didn’t listen. People today are listening, just not to God. Messages are being given by strange voices, but they are not messages from heaven. These voices are so attractive. They say that man will not die. They say that man can know everything that God knows. They say that man can be and do and have whatever he wants. They say that man can be like God. But these voices are lying, and they lead all who listen to them to destruction.

Ellen White was a prophet. God spoke to her and gave her visions regarding the things He needed for her to share with His people. “I have been shown that many have been kept from the faith because of the mixed, confused ideas of salvation, because the ministers have worked in a wrong manner to reach hearts.” Ibid. She is talking about Seventh-day Adventist ministers in this passage. Sadly, many people have been kept from accepting Jesus as their Saviour because of what these ministers have taught. What a terrible indictment against Adventist ministers!

How much is salvation worth to you? What would it mean if you could have a life with God that would never end—a life with no pain or sorrow, no death or funerals, no troubles or disappointments, no violence—instead there would be songs and praises, everlasting joy and gladness? Then it should be important to us to have a correct understanding of salvation.

At the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, speaking of the last days, said that there will be many Christians who would think they were saved, but who, in fact, would be lost. They would come right up to the very end, believing that they were doing the work of God, only to find out it wasn’t true.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ ” Matthew 7:21, 22

They are absolutely sure that they are saved. They have prophesied, cast out demons, performed miracles and wonders, all in the name of Jesus. Their prophesies have come true, and when they admonished demons, they departed. They healed the sick and did many other miraculous things. But here is the problem:

“And then I declared to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ ” Verse 23. In spite of all the things they have done, believing that the power was coming from Jesus, He says He did not know them at all. Why? Because they were still sinning. So where was the power to perform all these things coming from? The devil can give prophesies and then make them come true. He can make people sick and then heal them. A demon can certainly allow himself to be cast out so that it looks like the work of the Holy Spirit. These Christians had a power, but it wasn’t a power from God. They had claimed to have worshipped God for years, but Jesus will say that He doesn’t know them.

The Greek word anti plus the Greek word Christos is anti-Christos. From these two Greek words comes our word antichrist. Friend, there is an antichrist in the world. The Greek word anti in its primitive sense means “someone who stands in the place of someone or something else.”

The apostle John writes that there are many antichrists who have stood and are standing in the place of Christ (1 John 2:22). The chief antichrist is the devil. Revelation predicts that a time is coming when almost the whole world will think they are worshiping Christ, but they will be worshiping the antichrist.

How can you tell whether you are worshiping Christ or the antichrist? Matthew 7:23, last part, tells us. “ ‘Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ” These people who claim to be Christians are breaking God’s law. The antichrist teaches people to break God’s law. Christ teaches people to keep God’s law. “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.” 1 John 3:6. Those who transgress God’s law do not know Jesus and Jesus does not know them.

The Bible is clear that sin is the transgression of the law. “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He [Jesus] was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil.” Verses 4–8, first part. If I am living in sin, I am serving the devil, not Christ. Everyone who is living in sin is a child of the devil. “… the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” Verse 8, last part

Christ came to this world as a man to destroy sin. It was decided thousands of years ago that sin could not be tolerated and would have to be destroyed. He has allowed it to continue for so long so that the entire universe can see just how bad sin really is, how it destroys lives.

God hasn’t destroyed sin yet because there are people all around the world who have sin in them. If He destroyed sin now, then they would be destroyed, too. God doesn’t want to destroy anyone, but anyone who clings to sin will be destroyed when sin is destroyed. There is only one way to avoid the destruction that will come when sin is destroyed: if we allow Jesus to take the sin out of us. Understand, I can never take the sin out of myself. Neither can you take the sin out of yourself.

When I was a child, people didn’t understand this. They thought if they prayed enough and studied their Bibles enough, if they went to church every Sabbath and paid their tithe, if they told people about Jesus, that sin would be booted out of their lives. But there is no amount of praying, studying, church attending, tithe paying, or witnessing that will remove sin from my life. All of these things are needful, and are the outworking of a transformed life, but by themselves, they will not remove sin from my life. Only God can take the sin out of me and replace it with the righteousness of Jesus in my heart. That is why Jesus died on the cross. Without His death, it would have been impossible for God to take the sin out of me.

Romans 6:23 tells us, that ”the wages of sin is death.” Death is the natural consequence of sin, so when a person sins, they are guilty and cannot receive eternal life. Jesus died on the cross to bear my guilt for me and free me from the penalty of sin.

“The point that has been urged upon my mind for years is the imputed righteousness of Christ.” Faith and Works, 18. That is how God takes the sin out. There are several things that have to happen. What should happen when a person sins? They should die. Remember, “The wages of sin is death.” That is the natural consequence of sin—if you are guilty of sin you deserve death and you cannot be given eternal life. So, the first thing that has to happen if you are going to have eternal life is the guilt in your conscience has to be removed. Sin and the guilt we bear is so awful that the only way it could be removed was for Jesus Christ to die on the cross, bearing your guilt for you.

“I have wondered that this matter was not made the subject of discourses in our churches throughout the land, when the matter has been kept so constantly urged upon me, and I have made it the subject of nearly every discourse and talk that I have given to the people.” Ibid.

Let’s look at the following three points to help us better understand Jesus’ relationship to God’s law.

  1. We must understand the spiritual nature of the law. The main thrust of the Sermon on the Mount was the spirituality of the law (Romans 7:14).
  2. We want to understand Jesus Christ and His relationship to the law—the ten commandments (The Signs of the Times, November 15, 1899).
  3. If you don’t understand the first two points, here’s what will happen:
  4. You will have a wrong idea about justification by faith.
  5. If you have a wrong idea about justification by faith, you will have a wrong idea about sanctification.
  6. If you have a wrong idea about sanctification, you will not know what to do to be ready for Jesus to come.

The foundation of truth in all of these doctrines begins with a correct understanding of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relationship to the law. Before a sinner is justified, he must be convicted of sin and confess it.

The experience of Paul reveals that it is the moral law that brings conviction of sin. “I was alive once without the law.” Romans 7:9, first part. Paul had been taught by Gamaliel. He was a strict Pharisee. In the Jewish church, he was called a doctor of the law and a teacher of it. He could quote the law perfectly in three languages. He could explain all the tenants of the ten commandments. But in this text, Paul admits, without realizing it, that he did not understand the spiritual nature of the law. He knew the words, but he did not know the part the law played in the spiritual transformation of his heart.

Paul engaged in hunting down, persecuting, and killing Christians, breaking the sixth commandment in the name of God, until one day, as he journeyed along the Damascus Road, on his way to hunt down more Christians, God struck him down. A brilliant light shone all around him, brighter than the sun. He fell to the ground, and he “heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ ” Acts 9:4–6

Before he truly understood the law, Paul believed that he was doing God’s work. He believed he was a good Jew, a good Pharisee, doing good work in hunting down those who allegedly spread blasphemy—those who, in Paul’s view, were sinners. Although most of the people of this world, because of their sins, are children of the devil, and yet, they still belong to God. The way we treat them, shows how we would treat Jesus. Thus unknowingly, Paul’s treatment of faithful Christians reveals how he might have treated Christ.

“ ‘Then He will also say to those on the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.” ‘Then they also will answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?” Then He will answer them, saying, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’ ” Matthew 25:41–46

Paul is saying in Romans 7:9 that, for the first time in his life, the law revealed to his conscience that he was a sinful man. Only then did he begin to understand the spiritual nature of the law. He never understood it before. He lived in the world without the law, but now he was able to see himself as he truly was—a sinner with a character filled with sin. He believed himself to be a righteous person, but the law showed him that he was exactly the opposite. What was his response to this revelation? “I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.” Recognizing that he is totally devoid of righteousness, devoid of all spiritual life, he says, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells.” Verse 18, first part

“The law revealed to Paul his defects of character; but he did not seek to abolish the law because he stood condemned before it. He said, ‘I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came [home to his conscience], sin [in his character] revived, and I died. … Wherefore the law [that worked so sharply against the natural propensities] is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.’ To his quickened conscience, sin became exceedingly sinful. This is the work of the law and the Holy Spirit, that convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.” The Home Missionary, October 1, 1897

When the moral law comes home to the conscience and the spiritual nature of the law is discerned, the sinner will realize that he is condemned because of his natural, sinful propensities. Notice the law not only convicts of sin, it also convicts of the righteousness found only in Jesus.

“Even the moral law fails of its purpose, unless it is understood in its relation to the Saviour.” The Desire of Ages, 608

If we fail to recognize this relationship, we are in danger of embracing false ideas of justification by faith. Many today fail to recognize the relationship between Christ and the law, and therefore, they are not convicted that man is born a sinner. The definition of sin is limited to simply a choice. They deny that we have sin within—that we are sinners by nature—so they ascribe to the humanity of Christ the same sinful flesh [carnal nature] that we inherited from Adam.

Jude warns us against this danger—ascribing our sinful nature to Christ’s humanity—admonishing us to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.

My dear friend, the plan of salvation provides for the removal of sin from your life. Jesus, more than anything else in the world wants to take the sin out of your life so that He can replace it with His righteousness, and give you eternal life.

Are you willing to let Him do it? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to allow Jesus to come into your heart and mind and change you? To save you requires a creative act of God. He speaks and our sinfulness is removed and He creates in us a new heart, a new mind, a new spirit, a new character.

“Behold! I stand at the door and knock.”

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.

Magnificent Minerals

Vibrant health, not just the absence of disease or injury, is something that we all want. Good Health is one of the greatest blessings we can have, and is something that we can work toward as we cooperate with God in choosing a healthy lifestyle. One area of life style that greatly impacts our health is our diet. There are seven broad, needful categories to be considered when it comes to good nutrition, if we hope to experience vibrant health. Of these seven categories, we have already looked at carbohydrates, protein, fat, and vitamins. The three remaining are minerals, fiber, and water. In this article, we will look at minerals.

Minerals are inorganic substances that do not break down easily, maintaining their chemical structure. Most scientists divide minerals into two groups: macro or major minerals and micro or trace minerals. Macro-minerals are needed and stored by the body in larger quantities. Some examples of macro-minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, chloride, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. The body only requires a small amount of essential micro-minerals such as iron, copper, iodine, boron, manganese, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium. Both macro and micro minerals are essential for vibrant health and your body must get these from food and/or supplementation.

Your body uses minerals for many different jobs, including keeping your bones, joints, muscles, heart, and brain working properly. They have a role in the proper balance of water in the body, and are important for making enzymes and hormones, stabilizing proteins that make up skin, hair, and nails, and serve as antioxidants to support healthy cells.

In the perfect world that existed before sin entered, we would get all the macro and micro minerals (and vitamins) we needed by eating a wide variety of foods, particularly vegetables and fruit. However, over the years, studies have shown a significant loss of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements in many foods. Some macro and micro nutrients have lost 20-40% of their nutrient value over the last 50 years. These declines were attributed to agricultural practices and contributing environmental factors.

Foods that are high in minerals include nuts, seeds, cruciferous vegetables, beans, cocoa, avocadoes, berries, spirulina, starchy vegetables, tropical fruits, leafy greens, and ancient grains—amaranth, millet, quinoa, and sorghum.

With this background, let’s look at some of the essential macro and micro minerals.

Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth and helps muscles relax and contract. It is important for nerve functioning, blood clotting, and maintaining healthy blood pressure. It is contained in fortified tofu and soy beverage, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and legumes.

Magnesium is found in the bones and is needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and immune system health. It is found in nuts and seeds, legumes, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, whole wheat bread, artichokes, and “hard” drinking water.

Phosphorus is important for healthy bones and teeth and is found in every cell of the body and is part of the system that maintains acid-base balance. It is found in green peas, broccoli, nuts, grains, legumes, and vegetables.

Potassium is needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction. Foods containing potassium are fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

Iron is a part of the hemoglobin molecule found in red blood cells which carry oxygen to every cell in the body. It is also needed for chemical reactions in the body and for making amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones. It is found in legumes, dried fruits, dark leafy greens, iron-enriched breads and cereals, and fortified cereals. Because iron is harder to absorb from plants, experts suggest vegetarians get twice the recommended amount, assuming the source is food. Many women of childbearing age don’t get enough iron, which can be a source of many problems for them.

Zinc is a part of the make-up of many enzymes and plays a role in the proper function of more than 300 hormones and enzymes. It is needed for making protein and genetic material and functions in taste perception, wound healing, fetal development, production of sperm, normal growth and sexual maturation, and immune system health. It is also a key part of the body’s most vital antioxidant system. It plays a part in carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar support. It is found in leavened whole grains, vegetables, beans, and nuts. Because vegetarians absorb less zinc, experts suggest that they get twice the recommended requirement from plant foods. Older adults most often lack key nutrients such as zinc and other nutrients containing antioxidants. One government study of over 29,000 60+ aged adults revealed that 35-45% had zinc intakes insufficient to meet the estimated average daily requirements.

Iodine is found in thyroid hormones, which helps regulate growth, development, and metabolism. Foods containing iodine are foods grown in iodine-rich soil, iodized salt, bread, and dairy products.

Selenium acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable free radicals that can damage cells. It also helps regulate thyroid hormone activity. It is found in walnuts, Brazil nuts, broccoli, spinach, green peas, beans, potatoes, bananas, grapefruit, and grains.

When it comes to nutrients such as micro-minerals, macro-minerals, and vitamins, each individual has different requirements. These vary according to age, sex, certain physiological states such as pregnancy, and general state of health. Those over 50 often have trouble meeting their needs for micronutrients. With aging, there is a reduction in the ability to absorb certain nutrients from food. Compounding the problem, medications may prevent proper absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Because of the current decrease of nutrient density in our foods, dietary choices, health conditions, and medications, you may not be able to rely on diet alone to provide you with all the macro and micro minerals and other nutrients you need, particularly if you are in an older age group. Each of these essential minerals is critical to some aspect of health. So evaluate your specific needs and liabilities, and address any problem areas you may have.


The Duck-billed Platypus

The duck-billed platypus is a unique mammal, very unlike any other mammal. They make their homes in the freshwater creeks and rivers of Tasmania and the eastern and southeastern coasts of Australia. They grow to about 20 inches in length—15 inches of head and body and 5 inches of tail. Full grown they will weigh about three pounds. They are relatively long-lived, and live in the wild for an average of 12 years, 20 years in captivity. They are nocturnal, being most active from dusk to dawn, sleeping during the day.

Their thick fur is dark brown on top and tan on their bellies and repels water to keep them warm and dry even after hours of swimming. They have a soft, duck-like bill, and are similar to a beaver in that they have webbed feet, a paddle shaped tail, and spend much of their time in the water. However, unlike the beaver, they can only stay submerged in the water for a little over two minutes. They are excellent swimmers, using their front feet for propulsion and their back feet and tail for steering. When not swimming, the platypus retires to a short, straight resting burrow in the riverbank not far above water level, hidden in a tangle of roots. They sleep an average of 14 hours per day.

Their body resembles an otter. Both male and female are born with ankle spurs, but the male’s spurs located on the back of the ankles delivers a toxic venom comprised of molecules called defensin-like proteins, three of which are unique to the platypus. When stung by one of these spurs, a victim is effectively, and painfully, incapacitated. And while the venom might kill a small dog, it won’t actually kill a man, but it can be excruciatingly painful. Edema (fluid build-up in tissue) will rapidly develop around the wound and the pain can develop into a long-lasting hyperalgesia (heightened sensitivity to pain) that could persist for days or even months. The venom is only produced during mating season, so it is not to be a form of defense, but rather is used in competition with other males for mating rights. Interestingly, studies have found that the venom might be useful in the treatment of diabetes.

The platypus is considered a carnivore, eating insects, larvae, worms, shellfish, freshwater shrimp, and yabby (crayfish) found in the water. But what is fascinating is how it finds its fooda true miracle of God’s creation. When in the water, the platypus closes its eyes and ears, and flaps close over its nose, so it sees, hears, and smells nothing. Electroreceptors (which detect electric fields) are located in the skin of its bill with mechanoreceptors (which detect touch) uniformly distributed across the bill. These receptors detect the electrical impulse when muscular contractions cause a shrimp or yabby to move its tail. This is called electrolocation.

This mammal feeds from the bottom of the water bed. It scoops up the food along with bits of gravel and mud from the riverbed with its snout. All this material is stored in cheek pouches and mashed for swallowing. While the platypus is born with teeth, these fall out at a very early age, leaving horny plates behind upon which the gravel helps to grind up their food. The food is carried to the surface, where it is eaten. A platypus must eat 20% of its weight every day, so it spends most, if not all, of its time awake looking for food.

Unlike most mammals whose offspring are delivered by live birth, the platypus is a monotreme, a species of mammal that lays eggs. There are only five species of monotremes—the platypus, and the four species of echidnas. Mating occurs between June and October. Females have two ovaries, but only the left is functional. She lays one to three small, leathery eggs, similar to reptile eggs. The eggs develop in utero for about 28 days, and once laid, she will curl around them and they incubate externally about ten days more. Once hatched, the young platypus is blind, hairless, and extremely vulnerable. Being warm-blooded, the female feeds her young with milk. She does have mammary glands, but has no teats, so her milk is released through milk patches found in the pores of the skin in a manner very similar to sweating. She nurses in the burrow for three to four months, then the babies are ready to swim. They are considered fully mature by the age of two. There is no official term for the platypus young, but the terms platypup or puggle are often used unofficially.

The Aboriginal peoples used the platypus for food and fur until 1912 when it was prohibited by law.

As of 2019, with the exception of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California, all platypus held in captivity are exhibited in Australian zoos. Syd the platypus was one of three mascots for the Sydney 2000 Olympics along with an echidna and a kookaburra. Expo Oz was the mascot for the World Expo 88, held in Brisbane in 1988. The platypus also has appeared on Australian postage stamps and currency.

What a sense of humor our God has in creating the duck-billed platypus which looks like a duck, a beaver, and an otter combined into one mammal!

Resources:;; Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution, part 1; The Dodo, Platypus Facts by Alina Bradford – Live Science Contributor August 04, 2014; kids.nationalgeographic/animals/mammals/facts/platypus


“While I was in England, one day there was a great parade in the streets. It was the Queen’s Jubilee. Everyone was talking about it. The shop windows were filled with her pictures, and all were extolling the queen of England.” The Review and Herald, February 11, 1890

The Royal Jubilee is the celebration of a significant milestone in a British monarch’s reign. The Silver Jubilee marks 25 years, Ruby is 40, Golden is 50, Diamond is 60, and Platinum is 70 years. Monarchs rarely lived long enough to reach most of these milestones, but since the early 1800s there have been two: Queen Victoria and her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth.

Mrs. White’s reference to the Queen’s Jubilee is regarding the June 1887 Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. She ruled from 1837 to 1901—64 years—the longest reign of any British monarch, until Elizabeth celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. Elizabeth would reign for an additional three months until her death on September 8, 2022.

The Royal Jubilee is marked by celebration throughout the Commonwealth—banquets, parades through London, visiting dignitaries, and firework displays. The British public is invited to join in the celebration, lining the streets and cheering for their monarch. It is estimated that $1.4 million was spent on Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee and that over a million of England’s citizenry participated in the event.

“If men can make so much ado over the Queen’s Jubilee, if they can manifest so much enthusiasm over a finite being, can we not speak to the glory of the Prince of Life, who is so soon to come in majesty to take His weary, worn followers to Himself … ?” Ibid.

Hark! The Jubilee is sounding
O the joyful news is come,
Free salvation is proclaimed
In and through God’s only Son.
Now we have an invitation,
To the meek and lowly Lamb,
Glory, honor, and salvation,
Christ the Lord is come to reign.
Now let each one cease from sinning,

Come and follow Christ the Way;
We shall all receive a blessing,
If from Him we do not stray;
Golden moments we’ve neglected,
O the time we’ve spent in vain.
Glory, honor, and salvation;
Christ the Lord is come to reign.

Come, dear children, praise your Jesus,
Praise Him, praise Him evermore.
May His great love now constrain us,
His great name for to adore:
O then let us join together,
Crowns of glory to obtain,
Glory, honor, and salvation;
Christ the Lord is come to reign.

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803

Everyone a Watchman

So far as his opportunities extend, everyone who has received the light of truth is under the same responsibility as was the prophet of Israel to whom came the word: “Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 33:7–9

Are we to wait until the fulfillment of the prophecies of the end before we say anything concerning them? Of what value will our words be then? Shall we wait until God’s judgments fall upon the transgressor before we tell him how to avoid them? Where is our faith in the word of God? Must we see things foretold come to pass before we will believe what He has said? In clear, distinct rays light has come to us, showing us that the great day of the Lord is near at hand, “even at the doors.” Let us read and understand before it is too late.

We are to be consecrated channels, through which the heavenly life is to flow to others. The Holy Spirit is to animate and pervade the whole church, purifying and cementing hearts. Those who have been buried with Christ in baptism are to rise to newness of life, giving a living representation of the life of Christ. Upon us is laid a sacred charge. The commission has been given us: “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:19, 20, margin. You are dedicated to the work of making known the gospel of salvation. Heaven’s perfection is to be your power.

Testimonies, Vol. 9, 20, 21