Bible Study – Glory

August 13 – 19, 2023

Key Text

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 202–210


“Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of affliction.” The Acts of the Apostles, 576



1.a. What should we realize about the futility of human glory? Jeremiah 9:23

Note: “God is the source of all wisdom. He is infinitely wise and just and good. Apart from Christ, the wisest men that ever lived cannot comprehend Him. They may profess to be wise; they may glory in their attainments; but mere intellectual knowledge, aside from the great truths that center in Christ, is as nothingness.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 66

“It was a very intellectual being, one who occupied a high position among the angelic throng, that finally became a rebel; and many a mind of superior intellectual attainments is now being led captive by his power.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 422

1.b. What is written about loving worldly riches? 1 Timothy 6:9, 10. Give one example. Matthew 26:14–16

Note: “Worldly policy plans were constantly cherished by Judas. There was no outbreaking sin on his part, but his sharp scheming, the selfish, parsimonious spirit that took possession of him, finally led him to sell his Lord for a small sum of money.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1101



2.a. What is worldly wisdom in the sight of God? 1 Corinthians 1:19–21. What miracle will yet be seen even in some who have been blinded by worldly wisdom?

Note: “Many of the greatest scholars and statesmen, the world’s most eminent men, will in these last days turn from the light because the world by wisdom knows not God. Yet God’s servants are to improve every opportunity to communicate the truth to these men. Some will acknowledge their ignorance of the things of God and will take their place as humble learners at the feet of Jesus, the Master Teacher.” The Acts of the Apostles, 241, 242

2.b. Rather than becoming spiritually dwarfed by the temporal scope of worldly knowledge, how are we to make the most of our intellectual endowments? 2 Timothy 2:15

Note: “Ignorance will not increase the humility or spirituality of any professed follower of Christ. The truths of the divine word can be best appreciated by an intellectual Christian. Christ can be best glorified by those who serve Him intelligently. The great object of education is to enable us to use the powers which God has given us in such a manner as will best represent the religion of the Bible and promote the glory of God.

“We are indebted to Him who gave us existence, for all the talents which have been entrusted to us; and it is a duty we owe to our Creator to cultivate and improve upon the talents He has committed to our trust. Education will discipline the mind, develop its powers, and understandingly direct them, that we may be useful in advancing the glory of God.” Testimonies, Vol. 3, 160

“Whatever may be your calling, it is essential that you improve your abilities by diligent study. Young men and women should be urged to appreciate the heaven-sent blessings of opportunities to become well disciplined and intelligent. They should take advantage of the schools that have been established for the purpose of imparting the best of knowledge. It is sinful to be indolent and negligent in regard to obtaining an education. Time is short, and therefore because the Lord is soon to come to close the scenes of earth’s history, there is all the greater necessity of improving present opportunities and privileges.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 216



3.a. Where is true wisdom to be found? 1 Corinthians 1:23, 24, 30

3.b. In what kind of knowledge should God’s children glory? 1 Corinthians 1:31; Jeremiah 9:24

Note: “If sinners can be led to give one earnest look at the cross, if they can obtain a full view of the crucified Saviour, they will realize the depth of God’s compassion and the sinfulness of sin.

“Christ’s death proves God’s great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father’s love, Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and accepts us in the Beloved.

“Without the cross, man could have no union with the Father. On it depends our every hope. From it shines the light of the Saviour’s love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy, for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain.” The Acts of the Apostles, 209, 210

3.c. What will be the result in our life if we partake of that in which the apostle Paul gloried? Galatians 6:14

Note: “Through the cross we learn that the heavenly Father loves us with a love that is infinite. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed, ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’? Galatians 6:14. It is our privilege also to glory in the cross, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to Him who gave Himself for us. Then, with the light that streams from Calvary shining in our faces, we may go forth to reveal this light to those in darkness.” The Acts of the Apostles, 210



4.a. What is the value of trusting in human power in God’s plan? Psalm 20:7, 8

Note: “ ‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places.’ Ephesians 6:12, margin. It is impossible for us in our own strength to maintain the conflict; and whatever diverts the mind from God, whatever leads to self-exaltation or to self-dependence, is surely preparing the way for our overthrow. The tenor of the Bible is to inculcate distrust of human power and to encourage trust in divine power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 717

4.b. What warnings should we heed when considering, for example, the tragic episode in David’s life at a moment when he was trusting in his own strength? 2 Samuel 11:1–4; 1 Corinthians 10:12

Note: “David was surrounded by the fruits of victory and the honors of his wise and able rule. It was now, while he was at ease and unguarded, that the tempter seized the opportunity to occupy his mind … When in ease and self-security he let go his hold upon God, David yielded to Satan and brought upon his soul the stain of guilt.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 718

“It was the spirit of self-confidence and self-exaltation that prepared the way for David’s fall. Flattery and the subtle allurements of power and luxury were not without effect upon him. … Instead of relying in humility upon the power of Jehovah, he began to trust to his own wisdom and might. As soon as Satan can separate the soul from God, the only Source of strength, he will seek to arouse the unholy desires of man’s carnal nature. The work of the enemy is not abrupt; it is not, at the outset, sudden and startling; it is a secret undermining of the strongholds of principle. It begins in apparently small things—the neglect to be true to God and to rely upon Him wholly, the disposition to follow the customs and practices of the world.” Ibid., 717, 718

4.c. Describe an example of how divine power can readily outstrip human strength. Isaiah 36:18–20; 37:33–38

Note: “The God of the Hebrews had prevailed over the proud Assyrian [king]. … Their earnest entreaties for deliverance had been mingled with confession of sin and with many tears. In their great need, they had trusted wholly in the power of God to save, and He had not failed them.” Prophets and Kings, 361, 362



5.a. What is the only way by which God’s people should defend the truth? Zechariah 4:6, 7, 10

Note: “The very same difficulties which were created to hinder the restoration and upbuilding of the work of God, the great mountains of difficulty which loomed in Zerubbabel’s way, will be met by all who today are loyal to God and to His work. Many human inventions are used to carry out plans after the mind and will of men with whom God is not working. But it is not boastful words nor a multitude of ceremonies that show that the Lord is working with His people. The assumed power of the human agent does not decide this question. Those who place themselves in opposition to the Lord’s work may hinder for a time, but the same Spirit that has guided the Lord’s work all the way through will guide it today. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’ …

“The Lord would have every soul strong in His strength. He would have us look to Him, receiving our directions from Him.” The Review and Herald, May 16, 1899

5.b. What promise should encourage us in these last days? Joel 2:28, 29

Note: “If this prophecy of Joel met a partial fulfillment in the days of the apostles, we are living in a time when it is to be even more evidently manifest to the people of God. He will so bestow His Spirit upon His people that they will become a light amid the moral darkness; and great light will be reflected in all parts of the world. O that our faith might be increased, that the Lord might work mightily with His people.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1175



1    Explain why “reasons” for human glory are empty according to Jeremiah 9:23.

2    What is the basic difference between human wisdom and divine wisdom?

3    What role does the cross of Calvary play in our Christian life?

4    Relate the victories of God’s people over the Assyrians.

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Godliness

August 6 – 12, 2023

Key Text

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.” 2 Peter 1:5, 6

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 272–283


“Faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity are the rounds of the ladder. We are saved by climbing round after round, mounting step after step, to the height of Christ’s ideal for us.” The Acts of the Apostles, 530



1.a. Against what class of professed believers are we warned? 2 Timothy 3:1–5

Note: “Since the second angel proclaimed the fall of the churches, they have been growing more and more corrupt. They bear the name of being Christ’s followers; yet it is impossible to distinguish them from the world. Ministers take their texts from the word of God, but preach smooth things. To this the natural heart feels no objection. It is only the spirit and power of the truth and the salvation of Christ that are hateful to the carnal heart. There is nothing in the popular ministry that stirs the wrath of Satan, makes the sinner tremble, or applies to the heart and conscience the fearful realities of a judgment soon to come. Wicked men are generally pleased with a form of piety without true godliness, and they will aid and support such a religion.” Early Writings, 273

1.b. Why are false believers worse than unbelievers? Revelation 3:15, 16

Note: “Halfhearted Christians are worse than infidels; for their deceptive words and noncommittal position lead many astray. The infidel shows his colors. The lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worlding nor a good Christian” Our High Calling, 348



2.a. What is the ideal Christian life? Romans 12:9–14

Note: “We are to compare our characters with the infallible standard of God’s law. In order to do this, we must search the Scriptures, measuring our attainments by the word of God. Through the grace of Christ, the highest attainments in character are possible; for every soul who comes under the molding influence of the Spirit of God, may be transformed in mind and heart. In order to understand your condition, it is necessary to study the Bible, and to watch unto prayer. The apostle says, ‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?’ Let not those who are ignorant remain in ignorance. They cannot remain in ignorance, and meet the mind of God. They are to look to the cross of Calvary, and estimate the soul by the value of the offering there made. Jesus says to all believers, ‘Ye are My witnesses.’ ‘Ye are laborers together with God.’ This being true, how earnestly should each one strive to make use of every power to improve every opportunity for becoming efficient that he may be ‘not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.’ ” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 214

2.b. What example do we have from the early Christians? Acts 2:42–47

Note: “After the descent of the Holy Spirit, the disciples went forth to proclaim a risen Saviour, their one desire the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of the communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. In their daily association with one another, they revealed the love that Christ had commanded them to reveal. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts.

“The believers were ever to cherish the love that filled the hearts of the apostles after the descent of the Holy Spirit. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment: ‘As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ John 13:34. So closely were they to be united to Christ that they would be enabled to fulfill His requirements. The power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness was to be magnified.” Testimonies, Vol. 8, 241



3.a. Since we are living in the Laodicean era, in what situation may we find ourselves, and what hope does Christ offer? Revelation 3:18–20

Note: “Love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. … Let us thank the Lord that while this class is so numerous, there is still time for repentance.” Our High Calling, 348

3.b. What is God’s desire for each one of us? Ephesians 3:14–21

Note: “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. The living God has given in His holy law a transcript of His character. The greatest Teacher the world has ever known is Jesus Christ; and what is the standard He has given for all who believe in Him? ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ Matthew 5:48. As God is perfect in His high sphere of action, so man may be perfect in his human sphere. The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 365

3.c. How can this desire be accomplished? John 15:4, 5

Note: “Without the divine working, man can do no good thing. God calls every man to repentance, yet man cannot even repent unless the Holy Spirit works upon his heart. But the Lord wants no man to wait until he thinks he has repented before he takes steps toward Jesus. The Saviour is continually drawing men to repentance; they need only to submit to be drawn, and their hearts will be melted in penitence.

“To man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting life—he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit. It will require a struggle to break through the powers of darkness, and the Spirit works in him to accomplish this. But man is no passive being, to be saved in indolence. He is called upon to strain every muscle and exercise every faculty in the struggle for immortality, yet it is God that supplies the efficiency. No human being can be saved in indolence.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 365, 366



4.a. How can we be overcomers in our spiritual struggle? Ephesians 6:11–13

Note: “In the word of God are represented two contending parties that influence and control human agencies in our world. Constantly these parties are working with every human being. Those who are under God’s control and who are influenced by the heavenly angels will be able to discern the crafty workings of the unseen powers of darkness. Those who desire to be in harmony with the heavenly agencies should be intensely in earnest to do God’s will. They must give no place whatever to Satan and his angels.

“But unless we are constantly on guard, we shall be overcome by the enemy. Although a solemn revelation of God’s will concerning us has been revealed to all, yet a knowledge of His will does not set aside the necessity of offering earnest supplications to Him for help, and of diligently seeking to cooperate with Him in answering the prayers offered. He accomplishes His purposes through human instrumentalities.

“God wants everyone to stand with the whole armor on, ready for the great review.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, 1119

4.b. What is the meaning of the “breastplate of righteousness”? Ephesians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Note: “We must put on every piece of the armor, and then stand firm. The Lord has honored us by choosing us as His soldiers. Let us fight bravely for Him, maintaining the right in every transaction. Rectitude in all things is essential to the welfare of the soul. As you strive for the victory over your own inclinations, He will help you by His Holy Spirit to be circumspect in every action, that you may give no occasion for the enemy to speak evil of the truth. Put on as your breastplate that divinely protected righteousness which it is the privilege of all to wear. This will protect your spiritual life.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 12, 1901



5.a. What are the other parts of our armor? Ephesians 6:15, 16

Note: “ ‘Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,’ you will be prepared to walk from house to house, carrying the truth to the people. Sometimes you will find it very trying to do work of this kind; but if you go forth in faith, the Lord will go before you, and His light will shine upon your pathway. As you enter the homes of your neighbors to sell or to give away our literature, and in humility to teach them the truth, you will be accompanied by the light of heaven. Learn to sing the simplest of songs. These will help you in house-to-house labor, and hearts will be touched by the influence of the Holy Spirit.” The Review and Herald, November 11, 1902

5.b. Mention two essential weapons with which Christian should continually be armed. Ephesians 6:18

Note: “Men and women may reach a high standard, if they will but acknowledge Christ as their personal Saviour. Watch and pray, making a surrender of all to God. The knowledge that you are striving for eternal life will strengthen and comfort you both. In thought, in word, in action, you are to be lights in the world. Discipline yourselves in the Lord; for He has committed to you sacred trusts, which you cannot properly fulfill without this discipline. By believing in Jesus, you are not only to save your own souls, but by precept and example you are to seek to save other souls.” The Adventist Home, 96



1    How would you define a Laodicean believer?

2    What do we understand by the expression “hot”?

3    What is my goal as a Christian?

4    Name the parts of the Christian armor.

5    How can we reach a higher standard in spiritual, cultural, and physical education?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Life

Christian Character (3)

July 30 – August 5, 2023

(continued from July)

Key Text

“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:14

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 652–661


“The cross stands where two roads diverge. One is the path of obedience leading to heaven. The other leads into the broad road, where man can easily go with his burden of sin and corruption, but it leads to perdition.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1095, 1096



1.a. What basic principle for spiritual life was taught by Christ? John 6:54, 56, 57

Note: “It is by receiving the life for us poured out on Calvary’s cross, that we can live the life of holiness. And this life we receive by receiving His word, by doing those things which He has commanded.” The Desire of Ages, 660

1.b.        What is the meaning of the expression “whoever eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, has eternal life”? John 6:63

 Note: “To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ is to receive Him as a personal Saviour, believing that He forgives our sins, and that we are complete in Him. It is by beholding His love, by dwelling upon it, by drinking it in, that we are to become partakers of His nature. What food is to the body, Christ must be to the soul. Food cannot benefit us unless we eat it, unless it becomes a part of our being. So Christ is of no value to us if we do not know Him as a personal Saviour. A theoretical knowledge will do us no good. We must feed upon Him, receive Him into the heart, so that His life becomes our life. His love, His grace, must be assimilated.” The Desire of Ages, 389



2.a. How does Paul describe God’s word? Hebrews 4:12

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 Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1147

2.b. How does Christ identify Himself to the church of Pergamos? Revelation 2:12.

Note: “When Christ preached, His message was like a sharp, two-edged sword, piercing the consciences of men and revealing their inmost thoughts. The work that Christ did His faithful messengers will have to do. In simplicity, purity, and the strictest integrity they are to preach the Word.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 159

2.c. How is this powerful sword to operate in our own life? 2 Corinthians 13:5

Note: “You should humbly and carefully examine your own hearts, your own individual characters. You need to open your hearts that light may shine upon your darkness, that you may see and understand your motives. … What is the character of your thoughts, your spirit, your purposes, your words and actions? Compare them with the Scripture, and see whether you represent the character of Christ. Go to Jesus humbly, and break your hearts hardened by feelings of bitterness and hatred. Let the grace of Christ soften and melt you that you may put away everything that is destructive of your peace. If you do not see your hearts in the light of Jesus Christ, self love will prompt you to have a much better opinion of yourselves than you deserve; for the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, 87



3.a. How does Jeremiah describe his relish for God’s word? Jeremiah 15:16

3.b. What must we likewise cultivate in order to obtain real spiritual strength from the Word? Matthew 5:6

Note: “All pampering of self must be at an end. There must be an earnest longing, a soul-hunger, for the presence of the Lord. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ Matthew 5:6.

“It is a case of life or death with us. We have been stricken with spiritual paralysis, and everyone needs the help of the Great Physician. He alone can reach our case. He is only waiting to be invited by us with earnest heart, with sincere desire. Nothing is wanting but a preparation of heart, and earnest, believing prayer, to bring Jesus to our side as a mighty helper. He longs to come. If we will but listen to His voice and open the door, He will come in.” Gospel Workers (1892), 225, 226

3.c. What factors are important to consider when spiritually feeding our young? Proverbs 22:6

Note: “Do not encourage a superficial manner of investigating the truth. Make every point of truth clear and distinct to the minds of the children. Do not crowd upon their minds an accumulated amount of matter at one time. The precious word of God is to be a lamp to their path, and a light to their feet. Impress upon their minds that it is their privilege to walk in the light. It is the path of peace, of purity, of holiness, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. Christ has led the way in this path; He is the true Shepherd; in following Him, they avoid the bypaths and dangerous pitfalls.

“In the word of God they are to learn that all who enter heaven must have a perfect character; for then they will meet their Lord in peace. Many children and youth have their characters imprinted on their countenances. Their life’s history they carry in the features of the face. The true workers should impress upon the minds of the children a beautiful, pure, Christlike character, which will transfigure the countenance.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 112, 113



4.a. What are we to realize about the inspiration of Scripture, and how the Bible came into being? Habakkuk 2:2; 2 Peter 1:19–21

 Note: “The Bible was designed to be a guide to all who wish to become acquainted with the will of their Maker. God gave to men the sure word of prophecy; angels and even Christ Himself came to make known to Daniel and John the things that must shortly come to pass. Those important matters that concern our salvation were not left involved in mystery. They were not revealed in such a way as to perplex and mislead the honest seeker after truth. … ‘Write the vision, and make it plain, … that he may run that readeth it.’ Habakkuk 2:2. The word of God is plain to all who study it with a prayerful heart.” The Great Controversy, 521

4.b. What admonition did Paul send to Timothy? 2 Timothy 3:15–17; 2:15

 Note: “The law is a wall of protection to those who are obedient to God’s precepts. From what other source can we gather such strength, or learn such noble science? What other book will teach men to love, fear, and obey God as does the Bible? What other book presents to students more ennobling science, more wonderful history? It clearly portrays righteousness, and foretells the consequence of disloyalty to the law of Jehovah. No one is left in darkness as to that which God approves or disapproves. In studying the Scriptures we become acquainted with God, and are led to understand our relation to Christ, who is the sinbearer, the surety, the substitute, for our fallen race. These truths concern our present and eternal interests. The Bible stands the highest among books, and its study is valuable above the study of other literature in giving strength and expansion to the mind. …

“The word of God is the most perfect educational book in our world. Yet in our colleges and schools, books produced by human intellect have been presented for the study of our students, and the Book of books, which God has given to men to be an infallible guide, has been made a secondary matter. Human productions have been used as most essential and the word of God has been studied simply to give flavor to other studies. Isaiah describes the scenes of heaven’s glory that were presented to him, in most vivid language. All through this book he pictures glorious things that are to be revealed to others.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 394, 395



5.a. Since the Bible is a divine book, how should we approach it? Isaiah 28:10

Note: “Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given.” Steps to Christ, 91

“Observe system in the study of the Scriptures in your families. Neglect anything of a temporal nature, … but be sure that the soul is fed with the bread of life. It is impossible to estimate the good results of one hour or even half an hour each day devoted in a cheerful, social manner to the word of God. Make the Bible its own expositor, bringing together all that is said concerning a given subject at different times and under varied circumstances.” Child Guidance, 511

5.b. How could we be really benefited by studying God’s word? Matthew 4:4

Note: “We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know ‘what saith the Lord.’

“In His promises and warnings, Jesus means me. … The experiences related in God’s word are to be my experiences. Prayer and promise, precept and warning, are mine. ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20. As faith thus receives and assimilates the principles of truth, they become a part of the being and the motive power of the life. The word of God, received into the soul, molds the thoughts, and enters into the development of character.” The Desire of Ages, 390, 391 [Author’s emphasis.]



1    How can we “eat” the flesh and “drink” the blood of Christ?

2    In what sense is God’s word a “two-edged sword”?

3    What is the difference between reading the Bible and studying the Bible?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Precious Promises

August 20 – 26, 2023

Key Text

“By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 307–319


“The promises spoken by the great Teacher will captivate the senses and animate the soul of the child with a spiritual power that is divine. There will grow in the receptive mind a familiarity with divine things which will be as a barricade against the temptations of the enemy.” Child Guidance, 496



1.a. After the Fall, in what words was the work of redemption promised? Genesis 3:15

 Note: “Ever since the first promise of redemption was spoken in Eden, the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ have been the study of human minds. Yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new. The truths of redemption are capable of constant development and expansion. Though old, they are ever new, constantly revealing to the seeker for truth a greater glory and a mightier power.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 127

1.b. How sure can we be about God’s promises? 1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13

Note: “The apostle adjured the Corinthians, ‘Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.’  Should they become boastful and self-confident, neglecting to watch and pray, they would fall into grievous sin, calling down upon themselves the wrath of God. Yet Paul would not have them yield to despondency or discouragement. … ‘God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ ” The Acts of the Apostles, 316



2.a. What is promised to us if we fulfill some basic conditions? 1 John 1:9

Note: “Thank God that He who spilled His blood for us, lives to plead it, lives to make intercession for every soul who receives Him. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. It speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, for Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us. We need to keep ever before us the efficacy of the blood of Jesus. That life-cleansing, life-sustaining blood, appropriated by living faith, is our hope. We need to grow in appreciation of its inestimable value, for it speaks for us only as we by faith claim its virtue, keeping the conscience clean and at peace with God.

“This is represented as the pardoning blood, inseparably connected with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer, illustrated by the ever-flowing stream that proceeds from the throne of God, the water of the river of life.” Our High Calling, 47

2.b. What are the conditions upon which we are forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Christ? Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13

Note: “The conditions of obtaining mercy from God are simple and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order to gain forgiveness. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression. He that ‘confesseth and forsaketh’ his sin ‘shall have mercy.’ Proverbs 28:13.

“In the courts above, Christ is pleading for His church—pleading for those for whom He has paid the redemption price of His blood. Centuries, ages, can never lessen the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice. Neither life nor death, height nor depth, can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus; not because we hold Him so firmly, but because He holds us so fast. If our salvation depended on our own efforts, we could not be saved; but it depends on the One who is behind all the promises. Our grasp on Him may seem feeble, but His love is that of an elder brother; so long as we maintain our union with Him, no one can pluck us out of His hand.” The Acts of the Apostles, 552, 553



3.a. How can we be free from sinning? Matthew 1:21

Note: “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil and He has made provision that the Holy Spirit shall be imparted to every repentant soul, to keep him from sinning.

“The tempter’s agency is not to be accounted an excuse for one wrong act. Satan is jubilant when he hears the professed followers of Christ making excuses for their deformity of character. It is these excuses that lead to sin. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, believing child of God.” The Desire of Ages, 311

3.b. What is promised to those who accept the gospel? Romans 1:16, 17

Note: “United with Christ, all the power you require will be given you. Abiding in Him, you can fight manfully. The more you believe and trust as a child in the Lord Jesus, the greater will be your capacity for believing. By faith you stand. Only by exercising faith can you conquer self. … Self is the ground where Satan always meets and manages those whom he wishes to deceive and conquer. But if the righteousness of Christ is revealed in you, you become strong. Looking beyond yourself to a crucified Saviour, a risen and ascended Lord, who is, as your Advocate, making intercession for you, taking hold of Christ’s power and efficiency, you can conquer.” Our High Calling, 126

3.c. How long did it take for Christ to cleanse the leper? Matthew 8:2, 3. How long will it take for Christ to forgive and cleanse us?

Note: “In some instances of healing, Jesus did not at once grant the blessing sought. But in the case of leprosy, no sooner was the appeal made than it was granted. When we pray for earthly blessings, the answer to our prayer may be delayed, or God may give us something other than we ask, but not so when we ask for deliverance from sin. It is His will to cleanse us from sin, to make us His children, and to enable us to live a holy life.” The Desire of Ages, 266



4.a. What is promised to overcomers in the Laodicean period? Revelation 3:21

Note: “If Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations, He will help us to resist. He came to bring divine power to combine with human effort.

“Jesus was free from all sin and error; there was not a trace of imperfection in His life or character. He maintained spotless purity under circumstances the most trying. …

“Christ’s overcoming and obedience is that of a true human being. In our conclusions, we make many mistakes because of our erroneous views of the human nature of our Lord. When we give to His human nature a power that it is not possible for man to have in his conflicts with Satan, we destroy the completeness of His humanity. His imputed grace and power He gives to all who receive Him by faith.

“The obedience of Christ to His Father was the same obedience that is required of man. Man cannot overcome Satan’s temptations without divine power to combine with his instrumentality. So with Jesus Christ; He could lay hold of divine power. He came not to our world to give the obedience of a lesser God to a greater, but as a man to obey God’s holy law, and in this way He is our example. The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to reveal what a God could do, but what a man could do, through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency. Man is, through faith, to be a partaker in the divine nature, and to overcome every temptation wherewith he is beset.

“The Lord now demands that every son and daughter of Adam, through faith in Jesus Christ, serve Him in human nature which we now have. … Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, could only keep the commandments of God in the same way that humanity can keep them.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 929

4.b. What is the only way we can be overcomers? 1 Corinthians 15:57

 Note: “The followers of Christ are to become like Him—by the grace of God to form characters in harmony with the principles of His holy law. This is Bible sanctification.

“This work can be accomplished only through faith in Christ, by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God.” The Great Controversy, 469



5.a. In accepting God’s written promises, what happens to our life? 2 Peter 1:4

 Note: “Through belief in Him [Christ] it is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Then we are cleansed from all sin, all defects of character. We need not retain one sinful propensity. …

“As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine Teacher, daily partaking of His nature, we cooperate with God in overcoming Satan’s temptations. God works, and man works, that man may be one with Christ as Christ is one with God. Then we sit together with Christ in heavenly places. The mind rests with peace and assurance in Jesus.” The Review and Herald, April 24, 1900

“It is God who gives us power to overcome. Those who hear His voice and obey His commandments are enabled to form righteous characters.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 943

5.b. What does Revelation 12:11 say about how a person overcomes?

Note: “All who will can be overcomers. Let us strive earnestly to reach the standard set before us. Christ knows our weakness, and to Him we can go daily for help. It is not necessary for us to gain strength a month ahead. We are to conquer from day to day.

“We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 974



1    What was the first gospel message ever preached?

2    How can we be sure that our sins are forgiven?

3    Explain the expression: “He shall save His people from their sins.”

4    What is the only way we can be overcomers?

5    How many of us can be overcomers?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Watermelon Apple Salsa


Is watermelon a fruit or a vegetable? Interestingly, it can be considered both. Watermelon is botanically a fruit like the pepper, tomato, and pumpkin, and a vegetable like squash and cucumber. This large, sweet fruit originated from southern Africa.

Did you know? Watermelon is 100% edible.

There are 200-300 varieties of watermelon from different parts of the world. Watermelon has a smooth exterior rind and a juicy, sweet interior flesh. It is most often eaten raw, but can be added to desserts, salads, and beverages, and can be cooked, grilled, or baked.

The seeds have a nutty flavor and can be ground, dried, or roasted. The rind contains fiber and potassium, and is rich in citrulline. You can pickle the rind, use it in a smoothie, and make rind preserves and gazpacho.

Farmers plant seeds or seedlings in a nursery and then transplant them into well-drained rows or raised beds of soil. They are grown in warm, sunny climates. One plant grows into multiple vines, 6 to 8 feet in length. Honeybees are needed to pollinate the yellow blossoms from which the watermelon grow. The melons are ready to harvest in about 90 days.

Watermelons are packed with water and nutrients, have very few calories, and may help lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce muscle soreness.

Watermelons are available today with seeds, seedless, and in mini size. Picking the best watermelon is as easy as, “Look, Lift, Turn! Look for a firm watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents; light scratches are all right. A watermelon is 92% water by weight and is therefore very heavy. When turned over, the underside should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun. Farmers do not recommend thumping, patting, slapping, flicking, or knocking. But if you insist on trying the thump, a ripe watermelon will have a dull, muffled, or hollow sound like a pong; an unripe watermelon will have a metallic, clear ring like a ping.


 Recipe – Watermelon Apple Salsa


1/2 of a medium-sized watermelon

2 granny smith apples

1 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. fresh mint

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Zest of 1 lime

1 Tbs. fresh lime juice

A pinch of sea salt


  • Cut the watermelon and apples into 1/4”-thick matchsticks.
  • Chop the mint and cilantro.
  • Zest the lime and squeeze out the juice.
  • Toss all ingredients gently to mix together.
  • Best served chilled and before the apples begin to brown.

How am I Tempted?

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15

Is it possible to wrongly divide the word of truth? Paul’s specific wording to rightly divide tells us that God’s word can also be wrongly divided. As we study the subject of the mystery of godliness, we must be careful to rightly divide what we study. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that this subject will be the study of the saved throughout eternity. In its completeness, it is a subject that is meant to be a mystery to us, but there are things that we can study and understand, and God means for us to study and rightly divide what He has revealed in His word.

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

So Paul is saying that to understand the deep things of God, we must wholly and continually rely upon the Holy Spirit to make plain that which we cannot grasp with our human mind. This has led to great debate and controversy in the Adventist church regarding the human nature of Christ.

One of the most wonderful verses in all of Scripture is found in Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.” However, this verse is so difficult to understand that it will not be understood until we get to heaven; and we might not fully understand it even then.

In Luke 1, the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “ ‘And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son … He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ ” Verses 31–35 KJV

Mrs. White wrote to Elder Baker, an Adventist minister, about “that Holy Thing.” “These words [that Holy Thing] are not addressed to any human being, except to the Son of the Infinite God. Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called that Holy Thing. It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, 19

When God’s prophet quotes a verse from the Scriptures and, without reservation, says that it is a mystery that is left unexplained to man, there is no human explanation that can be trusted.

Mrs. White also wrote, “The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery.” Ibid. Even in heaven, the saved will be unable to fully explain the incarnation of Christ.

However, God has given us some things that can be understood regarding the human nature of Christ. “That which is revealed, is for us and for our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves: for it cannot be.” Ibid.

The best way to understand how Christ could be tempted like us is to understand how we are tempted. When I was a young preacher, I never preached about this, because I thought everyone understood how we are tempted. But I have since learned that there are many things in the spiritual world that we think everyone understands, but almost no one does. So, to be confident in our study of how Christ was tempted, let’s first study how we ourselves are tempted.

We have already studied that the nature of man before the fall was governed by the principles of righteousness; that the nature of man after the fall was, and continues to be, governed by the principles of selfishness. And what is sin? Sin is not just an action, but also a state of being—the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.” Proverbs 27:19

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

“All sin is selfishness.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1763

“The sowing of seeds of selfishness in the human heart was the first result of the entrance of sin into the world.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 7, 233

When I am tempted, but do not yield to the temptation, I have not committed a sin. However, if my temptation, for example, is to be angry with a fellow brother, and if I yield to that temptation and express my anger, the Bible says that I am guilty of breaking the sixth commandment (Matthew 5:21, 22). Why is it that if I hate my brother, even though I do him no physical harm, I still am guilty of breaking the ten commandments? Because human nature is now governed by the principle of selfishness. Selfish is what we are to the core and, without a miracle of transformation effected by the power of the Holy Spirit, selfishness directs everything we think, say, and do.

My brother Marshall and I both attended Seventh-day Adventist schools for over 20 years, including Loma Linda University where we both obtained master’s and doctor’s degrees, and also a year at Andrew’s Theological Seminary for Ministers. We both entered the ministry.

Over 40 years ago, Marshall was living on the East Coast while I was living on the West Coast. We had a difference of understanding regarding the incarnation of Christ. We would write back and forth, each trying to convince the other of our understanding. After a few years of this back-and-forth dialogue, we stopped the discussion, realizing that neither of us was going to be able to convince the other to change what we believed to be true. For the last ten years of my brother’s life, I do not recall that we ever discussed it again. We knew we agreed on the important things—that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient, that He did not sin, and that we must overcome sin as He did in order to be saved. On the rest, we just did not discuss it.

During the time of our discussions, I wrote a paper on the subject of sin. Marshall liked my explanation of sin so much, and believing that it needed to be published, he sent it to the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference (BRI). The BRI director at that time happened to be a personal friend of mine, whom I had known for many years. But when he received and reviewed my paper, the BRI would not print it. The BRI is supposed to be a collection of the best theological minds in the Adventist church, but they had a different opinion about sin.

So how is it that two men, having received the same education, both ministers in good standing with the Seventh-day Adventist church (at that time), both totally committed to studying, knowing, following, and preaching the truth, along with a collection of the best theological minds of the Adventist church be so opposite in their understanding of Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy on the subjects of sin and the incarnation of Christ?

In addition to the texts and quotations above, let me add what I feel is the best definition of sin that I have ever found in the Spirit of Prophecy.

“God will accept only those who are determined to aim high. He places every human agent under obligation to do his best. Moral perfection is required of all. Never should we lower the standard of righteousness in order to accommodate inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong-doing. We need to understand that imperfection of character is sin. …

“And those who would be workers together with God must strive for perfection of every organ of the body and quality of the mind.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 330

Notice that moral perfection is not optional. It is a requirement, an obligation to do our very best. This is a frightening thought. I am a terrible sinner and I cannot make myself better, let alone perfect. But there is a way that you and I can reach that required, perfected character.

“All righteous attributes of character dwell in God as a perfect, harmonious whole, and everyone who receives Christ as a personal Saviour is privileged to possess these attributes.” Ibid.

Unless Christ delivers me, I have no hope. He, the promised Saviour, is my only hope. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25. Another literal Greek translation of this verse is, “He is able to save perfectly those that come to God by Him.”

There is no need to be afraid or feel anxious about your imperfect character, for we have a Saviour who is able to save every soul, even those at the very bottom of the pit of sin. He has promised to pull us, each one, out of the darkness of sin and to perfectly save us. In your heart, you may feel that you are nothing, filthy, and that your mind is all wrong, but you can call upon Him, and trusting in Him alone, He will work out the plan of salvation in your life.

God’s law is holy, just, and good, and broad in its requirements. It reaches to the very thoughts and feelings of the soul (Manuscript Releases, Vol. 10, 287). Notice that God’s law reaches to my thoughts and feelings. Why? Because that is where the sin is. It is not just what I do, but what I am. I, my thoughts, feelings, and intentions, are not in harmony with God’s law. Just because I have not committed an act of sin does not make me any less of a sinner. If I am, in any way, out of harmony with the law of God, then I am sinning because I am living in a state of sin.

“They [the law of God, the ten commandments] lay men under obligation to God: they reach to the thoughts and feelings of the soul; and they will produce conviction of sin in everyone who is sensible of having transgressed them. If the law extended only to the external conduct, men would not feel guilty over their wrong thoughts, desires, and designs. But the law requires that the soul itself, the spiritual agent, be pure.” Ibid., 287, 288. We must accept Christ as our Saviour, surrendering to His transforming power, or we will remain impure, unholy, and sinful, because alone we are unable to be anything else.

The Spirit of Prophecy makes it very clear that the expression “that Holy Thing,” was referring to Jesus’ humanity not His divinity. Jesus was to be the physical walking, talking, breathing example to man of the character of God. “The Lord Jesus is the embodiment of the glory of the Godhead.” The Signs of the Times, December 12, 1895

Webster’s dictionary defines embodiment as “the act of embodying or a state of being embodied.” Embodied means to “cause to become a body or part of a body”; in other words, incarnate. When Mrs. White wrote that Jesus is the embodiment of the glory of the Godhead, she was speaking about His body.

“What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God. Divinity flashed through humanity in softening, subduing light. He was the embodiment of the law of God, which is the transcript of His character.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1131

“To human eyes, Christ was only a man, yet He was a perfect man. In His humanity He was the impersonation of the divine character. God embodied His own attributes in His Son—His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His purity, His truthfulness, His spirituality, and His benevolence. In Him, though human, all perfection of character, all divine excellence, dwelt. …

“He was manifesting God in humanity. Yet He was the humblest of all the prophets; and He exemplified in His life the truth that the more perfect the character of human beings, the more simple and humble they will be.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 16, 1897

Jesus came to this world as a human being, “not to reveal what a God could do, but what a man could do, through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency. Man is, through faith, to be a partaker in the divine nature, and to overcome every temptation wherewith he is beset. The Lord now demands that every son and daughter of Adam through faith in Jesus Christ, serve Him in [the] human nature which we now have.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 140

The devil was jubilant. He was sure that finally he would win the great controversy. And if he were to win, every son and daughter of Adam would perish. Christ would perish, too, because if the devil had won, Christ would have lost His divinity.  Divine wrath would have come upon Christ.

“Satan and his angels exulted as they discovered that the Son of God had taken upon Himself the nature of man, and had come to be man’s substitute, to engage in the conflict in our behalf. The human family had been overpowered by the deception of the enemy; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, and the enemy hoped that Christ also would become a victim to his seductive wiles. Satan gloried in the opportunity of besieging the Son of God with fierce temptations. Because He had taken upon Himself the nature of man, Satan deemed that his victory was certain, and with every malignant device in his power he strove to overcome Christ. The steadfast resistance of Christ to the temptations of the enemy brought the whole confederacy of evil to war against him. Evil men and evil angels united their forces against the Prince of Peace. The issues at stake were beyond the comprehension of men, and the temptations that assailed Christ were as much more intense and subtle than those which assail man as his character was purer and more exalted than is the character of man in his moral and physical defilement. In his conflict with the prince of darkness in this atom of a world, Christ had to meet the whole confederacy of evil, the united forces of the adversary of God and man; but at every point he met the tempter, and put him to flight. Christ was conqueror over the powers of darkness, and took the infinite risk of consenting to war with the enemy, that he might conquer him in our behalf.” The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1893

Christ was tempted far more than any of us will ever be tempted. If He had lost, we, too, would have been lost. Yet, He took an infinite risk, coming to this earth as a man to face the devil, and to save mankind. Imagine the difference of the level of temptation between Jesus and us. One demon comes and whispers a suggestive thought to us and have we not given in to the temptation many times? Jesus met Satan and “the whole confederacy of evil, the united forces of the adversary” and stood fast.

Very few Adventists understand what happened to mankind when Adam sinned. “When man sinned, all heaven was filled with sorrow; for through yielding to temptation, man became the enemy of God, a partaker of the satanic nature. The image of God in which He had been created was marred and distorted. The character of man was out of harmony with the character of God; for through sin man became carnal [fleshly].” Ibid. February 13, 1893. The entire human race became carnal.

Man’s carnal flesh must be crucified, and he must be born again. Paul speaks repeatedly that the old man, our carnal nature, must be crucified.

“That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22–24

Your carnal nature is to be crucified, but a crucified person can come down from the cross. That is what they said to Jesus. “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down [from the cross].” Matthew 4:6. Mrs. White says that Christ could have come down from the cross and gone back to His Father, but had He done so, you and I would be lost (The Desire of Ages, 145). Have you let your carnal man get down from the cross?

Because of Adam’s sin, the whole human race became carnal, therefore, we are all partakers of the satanic nature, and if we are to be in heaven, three things must occur. “Since the divine law is as changeless as the character of God, there could be no hope for man unless some way could be devised whereby his transgression might be pardoned, his nature renewed, and his spirit restored to reflect the image of God.” That I May Know Him, 18

God’s law requires a perfect character. “Even the thoughts must be brought into subjection to the will of God, and the feelings under the control of reason and religion. Our imagination was not given us to be allowed to run riot and have its own way, without any effort at restraint and discipline. If the thoughts are wrong, the feelings will be wrong; and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character. When we decide that as Christians we are not required to restrain our thoughts and feelings, we are brought under the influence of evil angels, and invite their presence and control.” The Review and Herald, April 21, 1885

God’s law requires that we present to Him a holy character. What constitutes a holy character? “The law requires us to present to God a holy character. It demands of men today just what it demanded of Adam and Eve in Eden—perfect obedience, perfect harmony with all its [the law of God] precepts in all relations of life, under all circumstances and conditions. No unholy thought can be tolerated, no unlovely action can be justified. As the law requires that which no man of himself can render, the human family are found guilty before the great moral standard.” The Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895

The thoughts and feelings in all relations of life, under all circumstances and all conditions must be holy, in harmonious agreement with all the precepts of God’s law; anything less is transgression of God’s law and therefore, sin.

 “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” James 1:14. So what is temptation?

“It [temptation] is the means by which those who claim to be the children of God are tested and tried.” The Signs of the Times, May 27, 1897

When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, the temptation involved three parts: [1] distrust in God’s love, [2] doubting His wisdom, [3] and transgressing His law (Patriarchs and Prophets, 57). “Satan exulted in his success. He had tempted the woman.” Ibid. Eve failed in all three, and if you or I fail on the first two parts, we will fail on the third—every time. We must be vigilant, because the devil is still using this same temptation on God’s people all over the world today.

Someone might say, “I know that God loves me and everything He does is wise and best. I would never distrust His love or doubt His wisdom.” But what if that same person had a loved one in the hospital dying of cancer, and they say, “This person is a Christian, how can this happen? If there was a God in heaven, this couldn’t happen.” Do you see? The devil is tempting them to doubt God’s love and wisdom. The devil whispers in the ears of those suffering some trial, “If there was a God who had infinite love, infinite wisdom, and infinite power, He wouldn’t let this happen.”

The time of trouble is coming, and if I do not trust in God’s love and wisdom now, then I will not keep His law, and I will be unable to make it through that terrible time.

If I am to survive the temptations that are coming, then I must be rooted and grounded in the truth so that I have perfect trust and confidence in God’s love for me. Whether I am sick and no one can say why, or everything seems to be going against me and nothing makes sense, still I must have faith in God’s love and wisdom now.

An army of soldiers came to the home of a Waldensian family. They killed the sons, cut off their heads, tied them around their father’s neck, and then marched the father to his death. Could you trust that there is a God in heaven who has infinite love and wisdom for you in a situation like that? Can you trust God’s love and know that He is wise and He is going to work all things out for your good in the end even when everything’s going wrong and you can’t understand it?

Friends, we must practice trusting in God now, every day, in all things—because trust in God will not just magically appear when things get tough. We must trust in Him or we will fail and be lost.

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 – Carbohydrates

What comes to your mind when you hear, read, or think about the word health? Health is a nebulous concept that has different definitions depending on your personal perspective. The tendency of some is to define health simply as the absence of disease or injury. The constitution of the World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Seven Dimensions of Wellness has an even more comprehensive definition. Their definition is “Wellness is commonly viewed as having seven dimensions: mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, and vocational. These dimensions are interdependent and influence each other.”

An article found on the Aetna Insurance website identifies the four pillars of health as nutrition, exercise, relaxation, and sleep. You can find many varying numbers and explanations of the pillars of health in many places on their website.

As Adventists, we subscribe to the Eight Laws of Health: nutrition, exercise, water, sunshine, temperance, air, rest and trust in God. Without fail, nutrition is identified by almost everyone as a key pillar/law when it comes to achieving good health. What is considered good nutrition is nebulous. You can find varied recommendations for what constitutes good nutrition, depending on the book, author, or region. Because we are each created uniquely with what are different inherited strengths, tendencies, and weaknesses, what constitutes good nutrition will vary somewhat from person to person.

If we are going to experience vibrant health, not just the absence of disease or injury, there are seven broad, needful categories to be considered when it comes to good nutrition. These categories are carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate, often shortened to carbs, seems to have taken on a bad connotation because of the obesity and diabetes rampant in American society today. But are carbs inherently bad for us? Are all carbs bad or just some of them? Are they a detriment to vibrant health, and have they always been detrimental for us? Or have certain carbohydrates under some circumstances become detrimental?

Carbohydrates means “watered carbon.” They are probably the most abundant and widespread organic substance in nature. They are composed primarily of molecules containing atoms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and are formed by plants during the process of photosynthesis. They are an essential structural component of all organisms and are even part of the structures which contain our genetic information. They come in three main forms: simple sugars, starch, and fiber.

The importance of carbohydrates to all living things can hardly be overemphasized. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of fuel and energy. Simple sugars are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and enter, with the aid of insulin, into the cells of the body to provide immediate energy in the form of glucose. This energy fuels physical activities, all bodily functions that maintain life, and cellular activity that we cannot see. Extra glucose is converted to fat, or stored in the liver, muscles, and other cells for later use.

Carbohydrates work cooperatively to protect against disease, supply fuel and energy, and help with weight control. Some studies suggest that whole grains, and the fiber found in whole foods, help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.  The same fiber may also play a role in the fight against obesity, colon and rectal cancers, and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is also essential in good digestive health.

Many studies show that by consuming the carbs contained in whole fruits, vegetables, and grains we can help control weight. Their bulk and fiber content supports weight control by helping us feel fuller on fewer calories. Too often, we have sabotaged our innate regulation of “feeling full” by consistently overeating.

Carbohydrates, as created by God, clearly are not detrimental to our health or a loving God would not have prescribed them for our diet.

The Bible tells us that, “Out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” Genesis 2:9, first part. God then said, “… of every tree of the garden you may freely eat.” Verse 16. This instruction came with but one exclusion, the tree of knowledge of good and evil as found in verse 17.

After Adam and Eve sinned God added the green plants of the field, “Both thorns and thistles it [the ground] shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.” Genesis 3:18

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” Counsels for the Church, 222

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet and do much to help us achieve and maintain health, while providing essential nutrients. Today, we must choose our carbohydrates wisely, because not all carbs are equally good for us, nor are they created by our Creator.

Focus on eating fiber-rich whole, fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables without added sugar.

Choose whole grains over refined grains. Refined grains are processed—a process by which fiber and other important nutrients are stripped away.

Include beans, peas, and lentils in your diet. Low in fat and high in needed proteins, vitamins, and minerals, these are among the most versatile and nutritious foods.

Limit foods with added sugars and refined grains, such as sugary drinks, desserts, and candy. These are high in calories, but low in nutrition.

So choose your carbohydrates wisely. If God created them, they are good for us; if man-made, man-processed, or man-altered, use caution, think twice.

“Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. … If we move from principle in these things, if we as Christian reformers educate our own taste, and bring our diet to God’s plan, then we may exert an influence upon others in this matter, which will be pleasing to God.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 119



Question – Counsel on Leaving the Cities?


What is Mrs. White’s counsel on leaving the cities?


“Get out of the cities as soon as possible and purchase a little piece of land where you can have a garden, where your children can watch the flowers growing and learn from them lessons of simplicity and purity.

“Out of the cities, is my message at this time. Be assured that the call is for our people to locate miles away from the large cities. …

“The Lord calls for His people to locate away from the cities, for in such an hour as ye think not, fire and brimstone will be rained from heaven upon these cities. …

“As God’s commandment-keeping people we must leave the cities. As did Enoch, we must work in the cities but not dwell in them.

“The cities are to be worked from outposts. …

“For years I have been given special light that we are not to center our work in the cities.” Last Day Events, 95, 96

“Again and again the Lord has instructed that our people are to take their families away from the cities, into the country, where they can raise their own provisions; for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one. We should now begin to heed the instruction given us over and over again: Get out of the cities into rural districts, where the houses are not crowded closely together, and where you will be free from the interference of enemies.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 141

“It was not God’s purpose that people should be crowded into cities, huddled together in terraces and tenements. In the beginning He placed our first parents in a garden, amid the beautiful sights and sounds of nature, and these sights and sounds He desires men to rejoice in today. The more nearly we can come in harmony with God’s original plan, the more favorable will be our position for the recovery and the preservation of health. …

“He [God] wants them to take their families out of the cities, that they may better prepare for eternal life. In a little while they will have to leave the cities. … Satan is in them, controlling men in their work of destruction. … Every mind is controlled either by the power of Satan or the power of God. … God can fill our lives with His peace and gladness and joy. He wants His joy to be in us, that our joy may be full.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 12, 30, 31

“Your letter tells me, my brother, that there are many who are stirred deeply to move out of Battle Creek. There is need, great need, of this work being done, and now. Those who have felt at last to make a move, let it not be in a rush, in an excitement, or in a rash manner, or in a way that hereafter they will deeply regret that they did move out. …

“Take heed that there shall be no rash movements made in heeding the counsel in moving from Battle Creek. Do nothing without seeking wisdom of God, who hath promised to give liberally to all who ask, and who upbraideth not. All that anyone can do is to advise and counsel, and then leave those who are convicted in regard to duty to move under divine guidance, and with their whole hearts open to learn and obey God.” Country Living, 25

Nature – Out of the Fire – Knobcone pine

On the west coast of the United States grows an amazing example of “beauty from ashes”—the Knobcone pine. This tree does not attract a second glance; however, observing it for any length of time, one would see what makes this tree so special.

The pinecones of most species maintain the natural cycle of life by dropping their seeds in the fall of each year which then germinate with the coming rains, thus perpetuating the species, but the Knobcone doesn’t do this. Its cones cling to its branches year after year, closed firmly against the environment, glued shut with resin, a phenomenon called serotiny. An extremely determined squirrel may chew through a pinecone or two, but for the most part these cones resist predators and remain unharmed.

Things may continue this way for years, 50 or more. The possibility of the Knobcone pine’s extinction looks real. The situation appearing hopeless until one day, a forest fire sweeps through the forest, reducing all in its path to smoking ashes. The Knobcone pine is now a charred stump with no possibility of reviving. To our logical minds this looks like the end for this tree; but God created something miraculous when He formed it.

The fire melts the resin, allowing the heavily armored and insulated cones to open, releasing its seeds. These areas of burn are soon covered in dense carpets of seedlings, thriving because there is reduced competition from other plants. Over a period of time, lasting up to four years after a burn, they will still be scattering seeds, replanting what was lost, and more.

The seeds of a Knobcone pine grow best in soil with a higher pH level. A fire temporarily creates this condition. All the cones produced since the tree was a sapling, or since the last fire, are caused to open by the heat and discharge their seeds soon after a forest fire. Fire is essential for the completion of the pinecone’s life cycle. Thus fire, the destroyer of these trees, is directly responsible for the new growth that follows. In the aftermath of destruction, seedlings of life are born, springing up out of the ashes.

The Heartbeat of the Remnant, Spring 2017, Angela Zimmerman;

The Refiner’s Fire

There burns a fire with sacred heat
White hot with holy flame
And all who dare pass through its blaze
Will not emerge the same
Some as bronze, and some as silver
Some as gold, then with great skill
All are hammered by their sufferings
On the anvil of His will

I’m learning now to trust His touch
To crave the fire’s embrace
For though my past with sin was etched
His mercies did erase
Each time His purging cleanses deeper
I’m not sure that I’ll survive
Yet the strength in growing weaker
Keeps my hungry soul alive

The Refiner’s fire
Has now become my sole desire
Purged and cleansed and purified
That the Lord be glorified
He is consuming my soul
Refining me, making me whole
No matter what I may lose
I choose the Refiner’s fire

Written by: Jon Mohr and John Randall Dennis

Songs – Just as I Am

Charlotte Elliott was born on March 18, 1789, in Westfield Lodge, Brighton (England). She was the third of six children, with two brothers and three sisters. Charlotte was highly educated and developed a great passion for music and art at an early age and was surrounded by great refinement and piety in her family.

While still young, Charlotte became “aware of her sinful nature and realized her need to resist sin’s enticements. She felt unworthy to receive God’s grace, and wholly incapable of facing a righteous and perfect God.” She was a frequent visitor at many different churches and the pastors advised her to pray more, study the Bible more, and to do more virtuous deeds.

The first 32 years of her life were spent in Clapham, a district in S.W. London, where she was popular as a portrait artist and wrote humorous verses. In 1821, she suffered a serious illness that removed her from the whirl of social life in London and put her in a position to feel her dire need of a personal Saviour. A pastor visiting in her father’s home, asked her, “Are you at peace with God?” She resented the question at first, but some days later, she called for the pastor to return. She apologized for her behavior and told him that she wanted to cleanse her life before becoming a Christian. But the pastor replied, “Come just as you are.” Charlotte committed her life to Christ that very day.

She had a weak constitution thereafter, but in 1834, undertook the editorial supervision of The Christian Remembrancer Pocket Book and in 1836, the Invalid’s Hymn Book. This she did for the next 25 years and many of her own hymns can be found in these annual publications.

In 1835, Charlotte wrote the hymn Just As I Am. It is sung to at least four different hymn tunes, but the tune Woodworth, written by William B. Bradbury, is the best known and used by congregations the world over today.

Charlotte Elliott died on September 22, 1871. Little did she know that her most famous hymn would become the number one altar call song in the world. It was the song to which Billy Graham gave his heart to the Lord and then used for decades during his own crusades.

Just imagine the number of people who will come to Charlotte Elliott, if she remained faithful, to tell her how this beloved song touched their hearts and helped them to come, just as they were, to the Saviour.

“Jesus loves to have you come to Him just as you are, hopeless and helpless, and cast yourself upon His all-abundant mercy and believe that He will receive you just as you are.” In Heavenly Places, 119



Just as I am – without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come!


Just as I am – and waiting not

To rid my soul of one dark blot,

To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,

O Lamb of God, I come!


Just as I am – though toss’d about

With many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, without,

O Lamb of God, I come!


Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind;

Sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,

O Lamb of God, I come!