Bible Study Guides – Eli and His Sons

July 19, 2015 – July 25, 2015

Key Text

“The sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.” I Samuel 2:12.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 575–580.


“Eli did not manage his household according to God’s rules for family government.” The Signs of the Times, April 6, 1888.


  • Which were the future and important offices held by the child born to Elkanah and Hannah? I Samuel 1:20; 3:20; 7:15–17.
  • In order to fulfill her solemn oath to God, what did Hannah do when the boy was weaned? I Samuel 1:24. What did she say to Eli the high priest? I Samuel 1:26–28.

Note: “Hannah’s prayer was granted; she received the gift for which she had so earnestly entreated. As she looked upon the child, she called him Samuel—‘asked of God.’ As soon as the little one was old enough to be separated from his mother, she fulfilled her vow. She loved her child with all the devotion of a mother’s heart; day by day, as she watched his expanding powers and listened to his childish prattle, her affections entwined about him more closely. He was her only son, the special gift of Heaven; but she had received him as a treasure consecrated to God, and she would not withhold from the Giver His own. …

“Eli was deeply impressed by the faith and devotion of this woman of Israel. Himself an overindulgent father, he was awed and humbled as he beheld this mother’s great sacrifice in parting with her only child, that she might devote him to the service of God. He felt reproved for his own selfish love, and in humiliation and reverence he bowed before the Lord and worshiped.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 570, 571.


  • What does the Bible say about the child Samuel? I Samuel 2:26.

Note: “God gives all an opportunity in this life to develop character. All may fill their appointed place in His great plan. The Lord accepted Samuel from his very childhood, because his heart was pure, and he had reverence for God. He was given to God, a consecrated offering, and the Lord made him, even in his childhood, a channel of light. A life consecrated as was Samuel’s is of great value in God’s sight. If the youth of today will consecrate themselves as did Samuel, the Lord will accept them and use them in His work.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1010.

  • How did Eli’s educational influence benefit Samuel? What lesson should the youth of our time learn from the example of Samuel?

Note: “Samuel had been placed under the care of Eli, and the loveliness of his character drew forth the warm affection of the aged priest. He was kind, generous, obedient, and respectful. Eli, pained by the waywardness of his own sons, found rest and comfort and blessing in the presence of his charge. Samuel was helpful and affectionate, and no father ever loved his child more tenderly than did Eli this youth. It was a singular thing that between the chief magistrate of the nation and the simple child so warm an affection should exist. As the infirmities of age came upon Eli, and he was filled with anxiety and remorse by the profligate course of his own sons, he turned to Samuel for comfort.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 573.

  • While Eli the high priest was grieving over the behavior of his sons, what warning did the Lord send to him through a prophet, and by what sign would it be confirmed? I Samuel 2:27–30, 34.

Note: “He [Eli] incurred the Lord’s displeasure by not reproving sin and executing justice upon the sinner. He could not be depended upon to keep Israel pure.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 578.


  • Describe the failure of Eli, the high priest and supreme judge of the nation, in the education of his sons. I Samuel 2:12, 17, 22.

Note: “The priest and judge of Israel had not been left in darkness as to the duty of restraining and governing the children that God had given to his care. …

“But Eli allowed his children to control him. The father became subject to the children. The curse of transgression was apparent in the corruption and evil that marked the course of his sons.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 575.

  • What effect did the mild admonitions of the high priest have upon his wicked sons? I Samuel 2:23–25.

Note: “Though wholly unfit for the office, they [Eli’s sons] were placed as priests in the sanctuary to minister before God. …

“These unfaithful priests also transgressed God’s law and dishonored their sacred office by their vile and degrading practices; yet they continued to pollute by their presence the tabernacle of God. Many of the people, filled with indignation at the corrupt course of Hophni and Phinehas, ceased to come up to the appointed place of worship. Thus the service which God had ordained was despised and neglected because associated with the sins of wicked men, while those whose hearts were inclined to evil were emboldened in sin. Ungodliness, profligacy, and even idolatry prevailed to a fearful extent.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 576, 577.

  • What effect would the apostasy in Israel have had on the surrounding nations? How will our inconsistent profession affect neighbors?

Note: “The people of surrounding nations also, who were not ignorant of the iniquities openly practiced in Israel, became still bolder in their idolatry and crime. They felt no sense of guilt for their sins, as they would have felt had the Israelites preserved their integrity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 582, 583.


  • As God could not communicate with Eli or with his sons, whom did He call to convey a last message of reproof to the house of the high priest? I Samuel 3:2–4.
  • Supposing that the high priest was calling him, what did Samuel do? I Samuel 3:5, 6. When the Lord called Samuel the third time, what did Eli tell the boy to do? I Samuel 3:8, 9.

Note: “Eli was convinced that the mysterious call was the voice of God. The Lord had passed by His chosen servant, the man of hoary hairs, to commune with a child. This in itself was a bitter yet deserved rebuke to Eli and his house.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 581.

  • What did the Lord commission Samuel to say to the old high priest? I Samuel 3:11–14. What did Eli say to Samuel to coax him out of his silence, and what was Eli’s answer? I Samuel 3:18.

Note: “In Eli’s reproof to his sons are words of solemn and fearful import—words that all who minister in sacred things would do well to ponder: ‘If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him; but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him’ (I Samuel 2:25)?” Patriarchs and Prophets, 580.

“Yet Eli did not manifest the fruits of true repentance. He confessed his guilt, but failed to renounce the sin. Year after year the Lord delayed His threatened judgments. Much might have been done in those years to redeem the failures of the past, but the aged priest took no effective measures to correct the evils that were polluting the sanctuary of the Lord and leading thousands in Israel to ruin. The forbearance of God caused Hophni and Phinehas to harden their hearts and to become still bolder in transgression. The messages of warning and reproof to his house were made known by Eli to the whole nation. By this means he hoped to counteract, in some measure, the evil influence of his past neglect. But the warnings were disregarded by the people, as they had been by the priests.” Ibid., 582.


  • How were the wicked priests, Hophni and Phinehas, punished? By what disastrous event did God call the whole nation to repentance? I Samuel 4:2, 14–18.

Note: “The [Israelite] nation was ripe for the judgments of God, yet they [the elders] did not see that their own sins had been the cause of this terrible disaster.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 583.

  • How careful should the church be in approving men for the ministry? I Timothy 3:5–7.

Note: “The church must show their zeal for God in dealing with those who have, while professing great faith, been putting Christ to open shame. They have imperiled the truth. They have been unfaithful sentinels. They have brought reproach and dishonor upon the cause of God. The time has come for earnest and powerful efforts to rid the church of the slime and filth which is tarnishing her purity.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 450.

“The standard of morality is not exalted high enough among God’s people. … Those who stand as ministers in the sacred desk should be men of blameless reputation. …

“There is a strange abandonment of principle, a lowering of the standard of morality. …

“If those who profess to be the depositaries of God’s law become transgressors of that law, His protecting care will be withdrawn.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 597–601.


1 What lesson should the youth of our time learn from the example of Samuel?

2 What was the failure of Eli in the education of his sons?

3 How will our inconsistent profession affect neighbors?

4 What disastrous event did God use to call the whole nation to repentance?

5 How careful should the church be in approving men for the ministry?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Samson

July 12, 2015 – July 18, 2015

Key Text

“The Spirit of the Lord began to move him [Samson] at times.” Judges 13:25.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 560–568.


“God’s promise that through Samson He would ‘begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines’ (Judges 13:5) was fulfilled; but how dark and terrible the record of that life which might have been a praise to God and a glory to the nation!” Conflict and Courage, 132.


  • What did the Israelites do during the times of prosperity and peace after the victories of Gideon and Jephthah? Judges 10:6, 7; 13:1.
  • How did the Lord answer their halfhearted cry for deliverance on one of those occasions? Judges 10:13, 14. Would God say the same thing to His people today?
  • How were the people of God in those times, and how are His people today, to support the work of reform to gain deliverance from sin and oppression? II Chronicles 7:14.

Note: “When His [God’s] people put away the sins that had shut out His presence, He heard their prayers and at once began to work for them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 558.

“Our first work is to put away sin; but in order to do this, we must come so close to God that we can understand His character and requirements, and thus measure our sinfulness and our need of a Saviour.” The Review and Herald, March 4, 1884.


  • How did God answer the prayers of Israel for deliverance from the Philistine oppression? Judges 13:24, 25.

Note: “Though there was apparently no response [to deliver Israel], though year after year the power of the oppressor continued to rest more heavily upon the land, God’s providence was preparing help for them. Even in the early years of the Philistine oppression a child was born through whom God designed to humble the power of these mighty foes.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 560.

  • Instead of consecrating himself to his mission, how did Samson allow Satan to lead him astray and make him a captive of the powers of darkness? Judges 14:1–3.

Note: “Had Samson obeyed the divine commands as faithfully as his parents had done, his would have been a nobler and happier destiny. But association with idolaters corrupted him. The town of Zorah being near the country of the Philistines, Samson came to mingle with them on friendly terms. Thus in his youth intimacies sprang up, the influence of which darkened his whole life. A young woman dwelling in the Philistine town of Timnath engaged Samson’s affections, and he determined to make her his wife.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.

“He did not ask whether he could better glorify God when united with the object of his choice, or whether he was placing himself in a position where he could not fulfill the purpose to be accomplished by his life. To all who seek first to honor Him, God has promised wisdom; but there is no promise to those who are bent upon self-pleasing.

“How many are pursuing the same course as did Samson! How often marriages are formed between the godly and the ungodly, because inclination governs in the selection of husband or wife!” Ibid., 563.

  • What did Samson do after he found out that his own bride had betrayed him? What happened after he left the wedding? What happened when Samson’s anger cooled? Judges 14:15–20; 15:1, 2.


  • Upon hearing that his wife was given to another man, how did Samson exact revenge against the Philistines? Judges 15:4, 5.
  • How did Samson avenge the murderous retaliation of the Philistines against his wife and her father? Judges 15:6–8.

Note: “His [Samson’s] revenge, in the wasting of all the fields and vineyards of the Philistines, provoked them to murder her, although their threats had driven her to the deceit with which the trouble began. Samson had already given evidence of his marvelous strength by slaying, singlehanded, a young lion, and by killing thirty of the men of Ashkelon. Now, moved to anger by the barbarous murder of his wife, he attacked the Philistines and smote them ‘with a great slaughter’ (Judges 15:8).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 563, 564.

  • Describe the process by which Samson developed a character unfit for his mission of reformatory work. How is his story often repeated by some of those who have been called to be the light of the world? Compare Matthew 6:23 with Galatians 5:9; I John 2:11.

Note: “If we do not choose to give ourselves fully to God then we are in darkness. When we make any reserve we are leaving open a door through which Satan can enter to lead us astray by his temptations. He knows that if he can obscure our vision, so that the eye of faith cannot see God, there will be no barrier against sin.

“The prevalence of a sinful desire shows the delusion of the soul. Every indulgence of that desire strengthens the soul’s aversion to God. In following the path of Satan’s choosing, we are encompassed by the shadows of evil, and every step leads into deeper darkness and increases the blindness of the heart. …

“Through persistently cherishing evil, willfully disregarding the pleadings of divine love, the sinner loses the love for good, the desire for God, the very capacity to receive the light of heaven. The invitation of mercy is still full of love, the light is shining as brightly as when it first dawned upon his soul; but the voice falls on deaf ears, the light on blinded eyes.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 92.


  • Despite God’s purpose to deliver Israel through Samson, what action demonstrated the Israelites spiritual degradation? Judges 15:10–13. Who, in many cases and in the first place, are to be blamed when such an estate of affairs exists among God’s people? Isaiah 3:12; Matthew 15:14.

Note: “There are men standing in responsible positions who teach one thing and practice another. While they have been forward to condemn their brethren, their own character is more faulty in the sight of God than the ones they would criticise [sic] and condemn. These men are blind leaders of the blind, and both leaders and those led by them will be ruined unless there is true repentance and heart-felt confession before God.” Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church, 13.

  • After judging Israel for twenty years (Judges 15:20), how did Satan make Samson a slave of the enemies of Israel? Judges 16:1, 4–6, 16–20.

Note: “What a change to him who had been the judge and champion of Israel!—now weak, blind, imprisoned, degraded to the most menial service! Little by little he had violated the conditions of his sacred calling. God had borne long with him; but when he had so yielded himself to the power of sin as to betray his secret, the Lord departed from him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 566.

  • Since Samson did not know how to control his eyes (in a spiritual sense, Matthew 5:28, 29), what did God allow the Philistines to do (in a literal sense)? Judges 16:21.

Note: “In suffering and humiliation, a sport for the Philistines, Samson learned more of his own weakness than he had ever known before; and his afflictions led him to repentance. As his hair grew, his power gradually returned; but his enemies, regarding him as a fettered and helpless prisoner, felt no apprehensions.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 566.


  • Why do you think Samson’s name is mentioned among the heroes of faith? Hebrews 11:32; Judges 16:28–30.
  • What warning should every Christian heed, especially by those who are directly engaged in the service of the Lord? I Corinthians 10:12.

Note: “God’s providential care had been over Samson, that he might be prepared to accomplish the work which he was called to do. At the very outset of life he was surrounded with favorable conditions for physical strength, intellectual vigor, and moral purity. But under the influence of wicked associates he let go that hold upon God which is man’s only safeguard, and he was swept away by the tide of evil. Those who in the way of duty are brought into trial may be sure that God will preserve them; but if men willfully place themselves under the power of temptation, they will fall, sooner or later.

“The very ones whom God purposes to use as His instruments for a special work, Satan employs his utmost power to lead astray. He attacks us at our weak points, working through defects in the character to gain control of the whole man; and he knows that if these defects are cherished, he will succeed. But none need be overcome. Man is not left alone to conquer the power of evil by his own feeble efforts. Help is at hand and will be given to every soul who really desires it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 568.


1 When the few faithful worshippers in Israel were pleading for deliverance, whom did God raise from the family of Manoah?

2 What was the first recorded misstep of Samson?

3 How soon did Samson realize that marriage between a believer and an unbeliever, which brings great suffering, is a great mistake?

4 Describe step by step how Samson allowed his light to become darkness.

5 Under what miserable conditions did Samson still find repentance?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Gideon

July 5, 2015 – July 11, 2015

Key Text

“This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.” Judges 7:14.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 548-556.


“All who would be soldiers of the cross of Christ, must gird on the armor and prepare for conflict. They should not be intimidated by threats; or terrified by dangers. They must be cautious in peril, yet firm and brave in facing the foe and doing battle for God.” The Signs of the Times, June 30, 1881.


  • When the Midianites and the Amalekites found out that Gideon had destroyed the altar of Baal and that he was about to form an army, what did they do? Judges 6:33.
  • What did Gideon do, with the help of the Lord, to give battle to the invaders? Judges 6:34, 35.
  • What instruction from the Lord reduced Gideon’s army to three hundred men? Judges 7:2–7.

Note: “He [Gideon] was filled with astonishment at the declaration that his army was too large. But the Lord saw the pride and unbelief existing in the hearts of His people. … Many were filled with fear when they saw the multitudes of the Midianites. Yet, had Israel triumphed, those very ones would have taken the glory for themselves instead of ascribing the victory to God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 549.


  • What lesson can we learn from the way the 32,000 men were tested? Mark 8:34. What are some important qualities we should look for in selecting men and women for the gospel work today? Romans 12:11.

Note: “The Lord has no place in His work for the indolent and self-indulgent. The men of His choice were the few who would not permit their own wants to delay them in the discharge of duty. The three hundred chosen men not only possessed courage and self-control, but they were men of faith. They had not defiled themselves with idolatry. God could direct them, and through them He could work deliverance for Israel. Success does not depend upon numbers. God can deliver by few as well as by many. He is honored not so much by the great numbers as by the character of those who serve Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 549, 550.

“We want missionaries who are missionaries in the fullest sense of the word, who will put aside selfish considerations, and let the cause of God come first; and who, working with an eye single to His glory, will keep themselves as minutemen, ready to go where He bids, and to work in any capacity to spread the knowledge of the truth.” Gospel Workers, 459.

  • In view of the responsibility given to parents to train their children in habits of usefulness (Proverbs 22:6), what question, echoed in the words uttered to the kind of Judah, will parents have to answer? Jeremiah 13:20, last part.

Note: “Parents cannot commit a greater sin than to neglect their God-given responsibilities in leaving their children with nothing to do; for these children will soon learn to love idleness and grow up to be shiftless, useless men and women.” Child Guidance, 122.

“God … is displeased with those who are too careless or too indolent to become efficient, well-informed workers. The Lord bids us love Him with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and with all the mind. This lays upon us the obligation of developing the intellect to its fullest capacity, that with all the mind we may know and love our Creator.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 333.


  • After Gideon had spent the night in fear of the imminent encounter with the Midianites and Amalekites, what did the Lord say to him in order to encourage him? Judges 7:9–11.
  • What did Gideon overhear from two enemy soldiers, and what was his response? Judges 7:13–15.

Note: “Gideon recognized the voice of God speaking to him through those Midianitish strangers. Returning to the few men under his command, he said, ‘Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian’ (Judges 7:15).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 550.

  • Describe the plan of attack that was suggested to him by divine revelation. Judges 7:16–20. What did the panic-stricken host do as they were put in confusion by this plan? Judges 7:21, 22.

Note: “By divine direction a plan of attack was suggested to him [Gideon], which he immediately set out to execute. The three hundred men were divided into three companies. To every man were given a trumpet, and a torch concealed in an earthen pitcher. The men were stationed in such a manner as to approach the Midianite camp from different directions. In the dead of night, at a signal from Gideon’s war horn, the three companies sounded their trumpets; then, breaking their pitchers and displaying the blazing torches, they rushed upon the enemy with the terrible war cry, ‘The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon’ (Judges 7:20).

“The sleeping army was suddenly aroused. Upon every side was seen the light of the flaming torches. In every direction was heard the sound of trumpets, with the cry of the assailants. Believing themselves at the mercy of an overwhelming force, the Midianites were panic-stricken. With wild cries of alarm they fled for life, and, mistaking their own companions for enemies, they slew one another.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 550–553.


  • What did thousands of men from the tribes of Israel do as soon as the call of Gideon reached them? Judges 7:23. What did the men of Ephraim do when Gideon called them? Judges 7:24, 25.
  • Why did the Ephraimites become angry? How did Gideon’s modest and wise answer soothe the unjustified anger of the men of Ephraim? Judges 8:1–3.

Note: “The spirit of jealousy might easily have been fanned into a quarrel that would have caused strife and bloodshed; but Gideon’s modest answer soothed the anger of the men of Ephraim, and they returned in peace to their homes. Firm and uncompromising where principle was concerned, and in war a ‘mighty man of valor’ (Judges 6:12), Gideon displayed also a spirit of courtesy that is rarely witnessed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 555.

  • What must a person learn before he or she can become a successful soul winner? Proverbs 15:1, 33; 25:15; Colossians 4:6; I Peter 3:15.

Note: “The leader whom God chose to overthrow the Midianites occupied no prominent position in Israel. He was not a ruler, a priest, or a Levite. He thought himself the least in his father’s house. But God saw in him a man of courage and integrity. He was distrustful of himself and willing to follow the guidance of the Lord. God does not always choose for His work men of the greatest talents, but He selects those whom He can best use. … The Lord can work most effectually through those who are most sensible of their own insufficiency, and who will rely upon Him as their leader and source of strength. He will make them strong by uniting their weakness to His might, and wise by connecting their ignorance with His wisdom.

“If they would cherish true humility, the Lord could do much more for His people; but there are few who can be trusted with any large measure of responsibility or success without becoming self-confident and forgetful of their dependence upon God. This is why, in choosing the instruments for His work, the Lord passes by those whom the world honors as great, talented, and brilliant. They are too often proud and self-sufficient. They feel competent to act without counsel from God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 553, 554.


  • After the armies of Israel had gained a signal victory over the Midianites and Amalekites, how did Satan work through the mind of Gideon to lead the people of Israel astray? Judges 8:24, 27.

Note: “Because he [Gideon] had been commanded to offer sacrifice upon the rock where the Angel appeared to him, Gideon concluded that he had been appointed to officiate as a priest. Without waiting for the divine sanction, he determined to provide a suitable place, and to institute a system of worship similar to that carried on at the tabernacle. … His course proved a snare to himself and his family, as well as to Israel. The unauthorized worship led many of the people finally to forsake the Lord altogether, to serve idols. After Gideon’s death great numbers, among whom were his own family, joined in this apostasy. The people were led away from God by the very man who had once overthrown their idolatry.

“There are few who realize how far-reaching is the influence of their words and acts. How often the errors of parents produce the most disastrous effects upon their children and children’s children, long after the actors themselves have been laid in the grave. Everyone is exerting an influence upon others, and will be held accountable for the result of that influence. Words and actions have a telling power, and the long hereafter will show the effect of our life here. The impression made by our words and deeds will surely react upon ourselves in blessing or in cursing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 555, 556.


1 Why was Gideon surprised when the Lord told him to reduce his army?

2 Under the existing circumstances, why was such a step necessary?

3 What did the Lord say to Gideon in the early hours before dawn?

4 What enabled Gideon to give such a wise answer to soothe the unjustified anger of the Ephraimites?

5 What must a person learn before he or she can become a successful soul winner?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Israel in Canaan

June 28, 2015 – July 4, 2015

Key Text

“Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel.” Joshua 24:31.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 543-548


“The Israelites yielded only a partial obedience to the command of God [to drive out all the inhabitants of Canaan], and for many generations they were afflicted by a remnant of the idolatrous nation.” The Signs of the Times, January 13, 1881.


  • At the end of his days, how did Joshua exhort the people to remain faithful to the Lord? And how did they respond to his exhortation? Joshua 24:15, 16, 20–26.

Note: “God had placed His people in Canaan as a mighty breastwork to stay the tide of moral evil, that it might not flood the world. If faithful to Him, God intended that Israel should go on conquering and to conquer. He would give into their hands nations greater and more powerful than the Canaanites.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 544.

  • However, what did they do after the death of Joshua? Judges 2:7, 8, 11, 12; 3:5–7.

Note: “The disregard of the Lord’s restrictions on the part of those who came in possession of Canaan sowed seeds of evil that continued to bring forth bitter fruit for many generations. … By their sins the Israelites were separated from God; His strength was removed from them, and they could no longer prevail against their enemies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 545.


  • What term does the Bible use for the reformers of this period of church history? What word is used to describe the reformatory work of these servants of God? Judges 2:16, 18.
  • Describe the depth of backsliding that the people of God experienced? Psalm 78:58–62. Due to His remembrance of the covenant promises to Abraham, how did God work to deliver His people from their enemies? Psalm 78:65, 66.
  • No matter how many may turn away from God, what assurance do we have that the truth will never be left without faithful standard bearers? Isaiah 1:9; Romans 11:1–5. What suggests that God will also use a faithful remnant to reform His people in the time of the end? Ecclesiastes 3:15.

Note: “He [God] did not utterly forsake His people. There was ever a remnant who were true to Jehovah; and from time to time the Lord raised up faithful and valiant men to put down idolatry and to deliver the Israelites from their enemies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 545.

“The great Head Who moves in the midst of His candlesticks will never be without a church. …

“If we refuse to let our light shine for the Master … others will do that very work which we might have done and could have done, but refused to do.” The Review and Herald, June 7, 1887.

“Many who have had great light have not appreciated and improved it. … They will deny the principles of truth in practice and bring reproach upon the cause of God.

“Christ declares that He will spue these out of His mouth. …

“The Lord will give His message to those who have walked in accordance with the light they have had, and will recognize them as true and faithful. … These men will take the place of those who, having light and knowledge, have walked not in the way of the Lord, but in the imagination of their own unsanctified hearts.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 421, 422.

“In the hour of the church’s greatest danger most fervent prayer will be offered in her behalf by the faithful remnant.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 524.


  • Mention some of the deliverers from among the faithful remnant that God raised in the early times of the judges. Judges 3:9, 15, 31; 4:4, 6. After these heroes, who was called to break the yoke of the oppressors? Judges 6:11–14.

Note: “To Gideon came the divine call to deliver his people. … He sadly pondered upon the condition of Israel and considered how the oppressor’s yoke might be broken from off his people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 546.

  • Why did Gideon request a sign from the One who was speaking to him? Judges 6:17–21.

Note: “Gideon desired some token that the one now addressing him was the Covenant Angel, who in time past had wrought for Israel. Angels of God, who communed with Abraham, had once tarried to share his hospitality; and Gideon now entreated the divine Messenger to remain as his guest. Hastening to his tent, he prepared from his scanty store a kid and unleavened cakes, which he brought forth and set before Him. But the Angel bade him, ‘Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth’ (Judges 6:20). Gideon did so, and then the sign which he had desired was given: with the staff in His hand, the Angel touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and a flame bursting from the rock consumed the sacrifice. Then the Angel vanished from his sight.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 547.

  • What assurance calmed Gideon after he had set his eyes on Christ as the Angel of the Covenant and became afraid for his very life? Judges 6:22, 23.

Note: “These gracious words were spoken by the same compassionate Saviour Who said to the tempted disciples upon the stormy sea, ‘It is I; be not afraid’ (Mark 6:50),—He who appeared to those sorrowing ones in the upper chamber, and spoke the selfsame words addressed to Gideon, ‘Peace be unto you’ (Luke 24:36).” The Signs of the Times, June 23, 1881.


  • Where did Gideon start the work of reformation in Israel? Judges 6:25, 27, 28.

Note: “Gideon’s father, Joash, who shared in the apostasy of his countrymen, had erected at Ophrah, where he dwelt, a large altar to Baal, at which the people of the town worshiped. Gideon was commanded to destroy this altar and to erect an altar to Jehovah over the rock on which the offering had been consumed, and there to present a sacrifice to the Lord. The offering of sacrifice to God had been committed to the priests, and had been restricted to the altar at Shiloh; but He who had established the ritual service, and to Whom all its offerings pointed, had power to change its requirements. The deliverance of Israel was to be preceded by a solemn protest against the worship of Baal. Gideon must declare war upon idolatry before going out to battle with the enemies of his people.

“The divine direction was faithfully carried out. Knowing that he would be opposed if it were attempted openly, Gideon performed the work in secret; with the aid of his servants, accomplishing the whole in one night.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 547.

  • The next morning, what was the reaction of the men of the city when they saw that the altar of Baal had been destroyed? Judges 6:30.
  • How did Joash, as a prominent man in the city, stand in defense of his son, and what did he say to the multitude? Judges 6:31, 32.

Note: “Great was the rage of the men of Ophrah when they came next morning to pay their devotions to Baal. They would have taken Gideon’s life had not Joash—who had been told of the Angel’s visit—stood in defense of his son. [Judges 6:31 quoted.] If Baal could not defend his own altar, how could he be trusted to protect his worshipers?” Patriarchs and Prophets, 547, 548.


  • What lesson should the soldiers of the cross learn from Gideon? Romans 15:4; I Peter 3:15.

Note: “The Lord is willing to do great things for us. We shall not gain the victory through numbers, but through the full surrender of the soul to Jesus. We are to go forward in His strength, trusting in the mighty God of Israel. …

“The Lord is just as willing to work through human efforts now, and to accomplish great things through weak instrumentalities. It is essential to have an intelligent knowledge of the truth; for how else could we meet its wily opponents? The Bible must be studied, not alone for the doctrines it teaches, but for its practical lessons. You should never be surprised, you should never be without your armor on. Be prepared for any emergency, for any call of duty. Be waiting, watching for every opportunity to present the truth, familiar with the prophecies, familiar with the lessons of Christ. But do not trust in well-prepared arguments. Argument alone is not enough. God must be sought on your knees; you must go forth to meet the people through the power and influence of His Spirit.

“Act promptly. God would have you minute men, as were the men who composed Gideon’s army. Many times ministers are too precise, too calculating. While they are getting ready to do a great work, the opportunity for doing a good work passes unimproved. The minister moves as though the whole burden rested on himself, a poor finite man, when Jesus is carrying him and his burden too. Brethren, trust self less, and Jesus more.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1003, 1004.


1 When the Jews were established in Canaan, what happened after the death of Joshua?

2 What assurance do we have that the truth will never be left without faithful standard bearers?

3 Where did Gideon start the work of reformation in Israel?

4 How did Joash try to calm down the anger of the people?

5 What lesson should we learn from the good work of Gideon?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Baked Radishes


6-8 Radishes, sliced Salt to taste

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the radishes and garlic on oiled baking dish. Season with salt. Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until radishes are tender.


Eat raw, slice and sauté until soft in olive oil with garlic and seasoning.


Food – The Scrumptious Radish

I remember when I was little, I would pull up a radish right out of the garden, and without even washing it, I would devour it! YUM! I didn’t know anything about the health benefits then. I just knew that they tasted good. Since then I have discovered some health benefits you may be interested in:

Due to their ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from the ground, root vegetables grown in rich soil are full of nutrients and are an excellent source of fiber. Many are high in vitamin C, B vitamins, and vitamin A. Many are antioxidants. Several have remarkable healing properties. Unfortunately, root vegetables also absorb toxins from the ground, making organic the best choice.

The health benefits of radishes are truly impressive. They are said to be good for the liver and stomach, the kidneys and bladder, the lungs, the cardiovascular system and the immune system. They purify the blood and eliminate waste, detoxify and are anti-congestive. They are beneficial in the treatment of cancer, jaundice, constipation, urinary tract and kidney infections, skin ailments, and more.

Radishes come in varying shapes and sizes from large to small, from long to round, and in colors that include white, black, yellow, green, pink, red, or purple. All are a great source of vitamin C.

Daikon radishes come in all shapes and sizes, although the ones sold in the U.S. market generally look like oversized white carrots. The tops—the part that grows above ground—are edible and have a peppery taste; they are often added to salads.

Smaller radishes are more nutritious because nutrition is pulled from the root to the tops as the vegetable matures.

Daikons are an excellent source of vitamin C. They also contain vitamin B6, magnesium, and calcium.

To store, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate.

Health – Pomegranate – Superfood

The pomegranate has been called a superfood mainly because of its antioxidant properties. Much research has been done to reveal that this old-fashioned fruit has some of the most amazing health benefits. Even the seeds have health-giving properties.

As a child growing up on a farm in the country, I can remember heading off with my brother on our quest to look for pomegranates. We knew where the tree was located; so we took off on our bicycles, loaded down with bags and baskets to bring some fruit home. We were told not to get the juice on our clothes as it would stain, but we loved the thrill of collecting these fruits. Little did we know that they are loaded with so many health benefits.

Each pomegranate is composed of hundreds of small seeds, each surrounded by a sac of sweet-tart reddish colored juice contained by a thin skin. The seeds are compacted around the core in a layer resembling honeycomb. The layers of seeds are separated by paper-thin white membranes which are bitter to the tongue. The inner membranes and rind are not generally eaten due to high tannic acid content.

Many people eat the fresh fruit by chewing on the seeds to release the juice from the sacs and then swallow seeds and all. The seeds are considered good roughage to help cleanse the body. In India, the seeds are dried and ground into a powder and used to flavor meat dishes. Others will get the juice from the seeds and then spit out the seeds. Eat or discard the seeds according to your personal preference.

Pomegranate juice, with its high levels of anti-oxidants, protects healthy cells from damage by destructive groups of atoms called free radicals. It also contains polyphenols and isoflavones, which are believed to play a role in cancer cell death. It is rich in vitamin C, fiber and potassium and is also effective as an anti-inflammatory.


Pomegranates rank high in the list of foods believed helpful in the prevention of cancer. The antioxidants and other compounds in pomegranates help to inhibit the initial formation of cancer cells, activate the enzymes that identify and fix damaged DNA, help eliminate damaged cells, and impair multiplication of cancerous cells.

Consuming pomegranate juice and eating the fresh fruit have been known to have positive effects on numerous types of cancers, especially prostate, breast, lung, skin, and colon cancers. Studies in Israel have shown that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone and may also prevent breast cancer cells from forming. Other studies show that it inhibits the development of lung cancer. It has been shown to slow down the growth of prostate cancer in mice. In a study with 50 men who have had treatment for prostate cancer, one glass of pomegranate juice per day kept PSA levels stable, reducing the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

For 10 years Allan Pantuck, M.D., director of cancer research at UCLA has specialized in the treatment of prostate cancer. Dr. Pantuck was honored by the U.S. Army for his investigations into slowing prostate cancer progression by blocking estrogen. He has received awards several times from the National Institute of Health for his research and written more than 150 peer-reviewed journals on the subject. Now he is sharing his findings from a major study that uses simple, totally safe ingredients to inhibit estrogen production and slow prostate cancer.

Dr. Pantuck studied 50 men over five years. Before enrolling in the study, every man had been treated for prostate cancer. Treatments included surgery or radiation. In all cases, the treatment had failed. Each man’s PSA levels were rising quickly. Their cancer had returned and it was growing fast.

For men with no history of prostate cancer, PSA levels may not always be an accurate indicator of cancer. But when a patient has been diagnosed and treated for cancer, PSA levels are an accurate way to see if the cancer is in remission. When those levels rise quickly, it is a sure indication that the cancer has returned and is progressing quickly. This was the case for every man in the study.

Dr. Pantuck gave each man 250 ml of pomegranate juice each day – and no other treatment. Within weeks the juice was stabilizing their PSA levels and slowing their PSA doubling times. Doubling time is critical in prostate cancer. Patients with short doubling times are much more likely to die from prostate cancer, says Dr. Pantuck. In the case of the test group, the average doubling time was about 15 months.

Adding this simple fruit juice made a big difference. The researchers recorded a four-fold increase in doubling times. Instead of taking 15 months to double, the time increased to 54 months for 82 percent of the men on the study.

“That’s a big increase,” says Dr. Pantuck. “In older men we can give them pomegranate juice and they may outlive their risk of dying from cancer. We’re hoping we may be able to prevent the need for other therapies which bring with them harmful side effects.”

There were further big improvements. The researchers’ results also showed a 12 percent decrease in cancer cell growth and a 17 percent increase in cancer cell death. “There are many substances in the juice that may be prompting this response,” says Dr. Pantuck. “We don’t know if it’s one magic bullet or the combination of everything else we know is in this juice.”

Cardiovascular Health

Pomegranates improve cardiovascular health by reducing serum LDL levels, or bad cholesterol, in healthy and in diabetic patients. A study published in 2008 in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry confirmed the findings of previous studies that whole pomegranate fruit and pomegranate juice demonstrate the ability to prevent and reverse atherosclerosis, or the build-up of plaque on artery walls. This means a decrease in blood pressure and increased blood flow to the heart and therefore reducing the chance of having a heart attack.


Long-term inflammation can cause multiple chronic diseases like rheumatic arthritis, asthma and cardiovascular disease. Pomegranates possess chemicals that reduce inflammation, helping to prevent and relieve symptoms of some of these diseases.

Other Health Benefits

  • Pomegranates possess antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-diarrheal properties. People drinking the juice have seen considerable improvement in their skin and oral health.
  • Because of less amyloid plaque build up in the brain, pomegranate consumption may prevent and slow Alzheimer’s disease. Mental tasks become easier.
  • It may help to slow down the aging process and is beneficial in maintaining the elasticity and health of skin.
  • It may help to prevent tooth decay by suppressing the detrimental bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay.
  • It may inhibit the replication of Influenza viruses.
  • It may inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and may inhibit the production of endotoxins by Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Pomegranates fight diarrhea, bronchitis, sore throat, and nausea.

Pomegranates can be purchased in season and eaten, but a very easy addition to the diet is the juice. Be aware that most pomegranate juice is flash pasteurized and is usually found in a clear container. Both of these factors result in the loss of some of the nutrients. Thus you cannot be sure of receiving all of the juice’s health benefits, but the benefits you do get will definitely outweigh the drawbacks. Therefore, try adding pomegranate juice to your diet.

Pomegranate juice is available in many supermarkets. Be sure to read the label to make sure you are getting a quality product that is 100% pure juice, or 100% pure juice from concentrate, at the very least. Also make sure that no sugars are added.

It has been stated that one glass of pomegranate juice a day can help your health in many different ways. The fruit has long been used in folk medicine in the Middle East and India. Healers have used the bark, leaves, skin and rind as well as the edible fruit to cure a multitude of ills. A boiled infusion of the rinds is said to soothe a sore throat and a scalp massage paste made from the leaves is thought to reverse baldness.

Kaye Sehm, Back to Eden Newsletter. Winter 2011, No. 47, P.O. Box 850, Lavington NSW 2641 Australia Telephone +61-2-6025-5018

Children’s Story – Seeds and Johnny Appleseed

Betty Lou had her own garden patch, in which she could plant anything she liked.

“Look!” she exclaimed one morning, “The bean seeds are crawling out of the ground!” The beans had made cracks in the earth and were popping through. On top of every stem was one of the beans that had been planted. Betty Lou pushed her trowel into the soft earth and brought up a tiny plant. “See, mother, see! This bean is growing a tail.”

There was a little stem with a bean on top and a tiny white root below. “The stem will keep on growing higher and higher, gathering light and air,” mother explained, “while the root will go farther and farther down into the earth searching for something to eat. The bean on top of the stem supplies the growing plant with food until the roots are strong enough to gather nourishment from the earth.

“Soon this plant will grow into a strong vine, twining around a pole, with pods growing on it. In the pods beans like the ones we planted will grow. The roots will become larger and stronger, each one having tiny mouths through which it will suck up food and water for the fast-growing plant.”

“What makes the seed grow?” asked Linda.

“It’s the life in the seed,” Harold answered.

“What is life?” mother asked.

“It’s what makes things grow,” said Linda, looking very wise.

“You have told me what life does, but you haven’t told me what life is. Only God, Who puts the life into the seeds and Who makes every living thing grow, knows what life really is.

“Here in this saucer are some beet seeds which I am going to soak in water overnight to soften their tight coverings so they will come up quickly. In this other saucer is some Grape-Nuts cereal. Betty Lou, how would you like to plant this cereal in your garden, so you could have all you want to eat?”

There was a question in Betty Lou’s eyes, but only for an instant, and then she said, “Grape-Nuts cereal won’t grow.”

“Because it is not seed.”

“That’s right. We’ll plant the seeds that are alive. Isn’t it wonderful that God has shut up a bit of life in each tiny seed—life which will spring up and grow into a plant, and bear many other seeds exactly like itself?

“Would you like to hear a story about a man who was named after a certain kind of seed?” The children looked puzzled, and mother added, “His first name was Johnny.”

“Is it Johnny Appleseed?”

“A good guess, Harold. So you’ve heard the story.”

“Yes, but I would like to hear it again,” said Harold.

Mother began: “His real name was John Chapman. When he was young he built himself a house out of stone and logs on the banks of the Ohio River, near the place where the city of Pittsburgh stands today.

“There were many apple orchards on the farms around his home, and the farmers used to send their apples to the cider mills. The apple skins and seeds were thrown away after the juice had been squeezed out. Johnny went around gathering up the seeds. He took them home and washed them. He planted some of them, and what he could not plant he laid away. It wasn’t many years until he had the best apple orchard in the country. He also had a fine nursery of young trees to supply other orchards.

“At that time thousands of people were moving west to start new homes. The journey was tiresome for there were no railroads or automobiles in those days. The trip was usually made in covered wagons pulled by oxen or horses.

“Some of the settlers were glad to stop for a day or two at Johnny’s house. He encouraged them on their way, often reading God’s promises from the Bible. When the pioneers continued their journey, he gave them provisions and apples. He gave to each guest a small bag of apple seeds, asking him to plant the seeds when he reached his home. Johnny knew that the shady apple trees would make the children happy and help their mothers forget their homesickness.

“Returning travelers who stopped at John Chapman’s home told him of the troubles the settlers were meeting. They were having a hard time to keep from starving while clearing new land and making farms. There was much sickness, and sometimes there were Indian raids. Even the apple trees that grew from the seeds he had given them were not doing well. Many of the people were homesick and discouraged. Johnny decided that he would have to go and show these pioneers how to plant the seeds and how to care for the trees.

“He left his comfortable home, giving his orchard and farm to a widow who had three children. He sewed his apple seeds into watertight bags, loaded them into two Indian canoes, and started down the river.

“For nearly forty years Johnny Appleseed traveled through the wilderness and over the plains, sometimes with his bags of apple seeds loaded on the back of a horse, but more often by foot. He carried his blanket roll, a sack of seeds and his food pouch over his shoulders. He also carried his Bible and some leaflets to give away.

“Day after day he tramped through the forest, hunting for settlers’ homes, bringing them the two kinds of seeds that he carried. Often in summer he had to wade through mud, and in winter through snows that hid the trail. The settlers’ cabins were far apart, and sometimes he would lose the trail and wander for days. He slept in hollow logs or under the open sky, with his Bible under his head.

“He learned the language of the Indians, and they welcomed him to their wigwams and gave him food and shelter. He nursed their sick children and talked to them about God, whom they called the Great Spirit.

“At every home Johnny left some of his apple seeds. He often helped the men prepare the soil and plant the seeds. He told them how to care for the trees when they came up, and how to transplant them.

“At mealtime they would draw up their rough stools to the pine-board table, and Johnny would ask God’s blessing on the food. Then, as they ate, he would give them the news and talk about the people they knew back home.

“After supper the children and older folk would listen to his stories. He would tell them about the heavenly Father Who loved them and Who was preparing a home for all who love Him.

“Then the family would make a bed for him on the floor. When the time came to leave, Johnny would hand them one of the leaflets in exchange for a few handfuls of corn meal or other food.

“Johnny had to be nurse as well as orchardist. Sometimes he would find entire families sick with chills and fever, or perhaps with the dreaded cholera. He cared for them, nursed them back to health, and cheered them with promises from the Bible. He did so many kind deeds and helped so many people that he was known and loved throughout the country. He spent his time and money trying to make other people happy.”

At the story’s end mother paused, and Linda looked up as if waiting for mother to say something. “What was the other kind of seed that John Chapman carried with him?” asked Linda.

Mother picked up her Bible. “The parable of the sower found in Matthew 13 tells us about the other seed,” she said. Before they had finished the chapter, Linda had guessed the answer. I wonder how many of you have done the same.

Excerpts from Happy Home Stories, by Ella M. Robinson, pp. 35–45.

Lord’s Prayer Series – Surrender Your Will

Inside the heart or mind of man there occurs tremendous conflicts. The greatest of these is over the issue of control. The eternal destiny of each one of us will be determined by the outcome of this battle.

The majority of Christians do not realize what, in fact, they ask for when they pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven, God’s will is supreme. There was only one time that His will was challenged and subsequently violated. For the sake of peace and harmony, Lucifer, who became Satan, was cast out. An account of this war in heaven is recorded in Revelation 12:7–9, which tells us that the devil and his angels fought against Christ and his angels. The controversy that began when our first parents sinned in the Garden of Eden is still raging today between Satan and his followers and Christ and His followers. When we pray that God’s will be done on earth, we are asking that our obedience to the divine will should measure up to the obedience of heavenly beings and those who live in the unfallen universe.

At times we are inclined to excuse ourselves from perfect obedience because we live in the middle of a crooked and perverse generation (Philippians 2:15). Heaven recognizes the challenges we face, but our extremities are God’s opportunities, and He never asks of us to do anything according to His will without providing the power needed to accomplish it. The beings in heaven perform God’s will cheerfully, with constancy and perfection.

This world would be a different place if His will were done here. When the gospel has completed its mission and God’s eternal purpose has been fully carried out, the entire world will be in complete submission to His will. Then the earth will again be a part of heaven and God’s moral law will be perfectly obeyed in this world as it is in the heavenly universe.

Some astronomers have said that the earth, in making its yearly journey around the sun, takes a little over 365 days. In each revolution, one ten thousandths of a second of time is lost. The heavenly bodies fulfill the will of God with precision. The strictness of their obedience, however, is no greater than that of the celestial beings.

The Bible describes the measure of obedience by the unfallen beings in heaven:

“The Lord has established His throne in heaven,

And His kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Who excel in strength, who do His word,

Heeding the voice of His word.”

(Psalm 103:19, 20).

To do God’s will is the greatest pleasure of the angelic host, as well as the highest service that can engage their powers. They do not render this service with a spirit of legality but because of the loving relationship they have with their Creator. Their allegiance to Him is a joy and this is the relationship for which Jesus told His disciples to pray.

Indeed, when you study obedience in the Bible, you will find that the only obedience that God accepts or even recognizes is that which is impelled or prompted by the motive of love. On the night of His betrayal, Jesus affirmed that when He said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15.

It is the love of Christ that constrains us to obey Him, to follow Him and to do His will. Love keeps us from doing evil. Obedience, therefore, is not just a test of discipleship or citizenship in the kingdom of heaven. It is also the evidence of whether we really love God. Jesus said, “ ‘He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and Manifest Myself to him.’ Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s Who sent Me.’ ” John 14:21–24.

It is not the greatness of the work that you do for God that counts but the motive behind the act that determines its value. It is the service of love that God highly esteems. When love is lacking, all you have is a form of godliness. All of the rites and ceremonies of religion may be performed, but it is an offense to Him when performed without the service of love.

The disciple spoken of in the gospels as the disciple that Jesus loved defines our love to God and man like this: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” I John 5:2, 3.

When motivated by love, the service is never drudgery, something that you have to do, or a list of do’s and don’ts. When you are in love with the Lord, His will is your delight. This is why Paul wrote at one time, “Love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10.

To love God with all my heart, soul, and mind is to refrain from following any other god. This is the first commandment. In respect for Him, no one will bow before or worship an image or an idol. That behavior is forbidden in the second commandment. I will not dream to take His name in vain. That is covered by the third commandment. And I will not work when he says to rest, which is the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:3–11).

When asked which of the commandments was the greatest, Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The second commandment is, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30, 31 literal translation). If I love my neighbor as myself, I will not dishonor my father and mother. I will not kill him or steal his wife. I will not steal his goods or possessions or lie to him. I will not covet what belongs to him. Instead, I will be glad for what he has that he can enjoy. God’s love abiding in the heart reflects in the way a man responds to his neighbors. It is called the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Love for God is the fulfilling of the law. The principles within the Decalogue become a man’s motivation. Jesus’ life demonstrated the law of love. Concerning the Messiah, Psalm 40:8 says, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”

With the law of God written in His heart, it was Jesus’ delight to do the will of His Father. That delightful obedience to the law, which is written in the heart, is the very essence of what is called righteousness by faith, or being born again. Isaiah 51:7 says, “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law.”

This is the new covenant experience of Hebrews 8:10, which actually quotes from Jeremiah 31:33: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

If you claim Him as your God, then His law must be written in your heart. Paul said the same thing in Hebrews 10:16–18: “ ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.”

Is that your experience? Is the law of God being written in your heart and in your mind? The evidence that you have been born again is having received a new heart by the action of the Holy Spirit. He writes the law of God in your heart. As a result, you want to do what is right and pleasing to God.

Salvation by works is an attempt to meet the demands of the law written only on stone. But, in the new covenant, the law is written not on stone but in the fleshly tables of the heart (II Corinthians 3:3). The difference between the old and the new covenants is the difference between seeking justification by works of obedience to an external law written on tables of stone and seeking justification by faith when the law is kept due to a change in the heart.

It is never what you do that saves you; it is Whom you know (Jesus). Then, Whom you know changes what you do as Paul wrote in Romans 8:1–4: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

When we surrender our will to God, we commit our talents to Him to be used for His glory. Submission to His will includes willing obedience to the commission to do our part in spreading the final warning message to the world before Jesus returns. God has given to every man his work. The Bible does not teach that everyone will accept the truth and be saved, but it does say that the gospel is going to be preached to all nations as a witness so that they have an opportunity to make a decision.

The place of the greatest struggle in the Christian warfare is the surrender of the will. By nature, man is stubborn and self-willed. Man is described by the prophet Isaiah in the Bible as being obstinate, with a brow like brass and a neck like iron sinew (Isaiah 48:4). It seems almost impossible to change the mind of man or to turn him from his course, because he obstinately carries out his own will and does as he pleases, regardless of the consequences.

One person said, “The will of man is invariably opposed to his own salvation and to God.” But it is the human will that either shuts or opens the gate to the kingdom of God. The will might be called the hinge on which the gate of destiny swings.

Because we were created free moral agents with the power of choice, the Lord will never force our will. Jesus said, “If anyone wants [wills] to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” John 7:17.

Today, there are many professed Christians who hope that God will work things out without any cooperation or effort on their part. This is a futile hope. The doctrine of predestination, or foreordination, often becomes an excuse for human indifference and indolence. Our wills must be brought into harmony with God’s will and our lives must come into conformity with His character. In this work we have an important part to act.

Revelation 22:17 says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

The benefits of the gospel and the issue of the conflict with sin depend completely upon the action of your will. God will not save you against your own will for that would be a violation of your choice. It was over the surrender of the will that Jesus had to fight that terrible battle in the Garden of Gethsemane. Would He yield Himself to be scourged, to be crucified, to die for the sins of the world, to go through that awful night and day of torture? Three times He prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42.

Likewise, the greatest battle that is ever fought in our world, the greatest battle that can ever be fought by man, is the surrender of self to the will of God, the yielding of the heart to the sovereignty of love.

It is therefore our greatest need to understand the true force of the will. There are many people who will lose eternal life while they are hoping and desiring to be saved because they do not now choose to be Christians.

The Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas, “ ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ’ ” (Acts 16:30, 31). Believe means to make a commitment. Choose Jesus as the Lord of your life and Saviour from sin. He never loses a case that is fully committed to Him.

The power of decision is the power that governs your life and in the end, your eternal destiny. Joshua said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15 KJV.

Have you chosen to serve the Lord?

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

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

Question & Answer – Explain Type and Anti-type of the Earthly Sanctuary

There is a reason why God had the people build an earthly sanctuary. Here is a little background: “It was difficult for man, surrounded by the darkness of sin, to comprehend these wonderful heavenly truths. The rays of light which shone from the heavenly sanctuary upon the simple sacrifices were so obscured by doubt and sin that God, in His great love and mercy, had an earthly sanctuary built after the divine pattern, and priests were appointed, who ‘served unto the example and shadow of heavenly things’ (Hebrews 8:5). This was done that Man’s faith might lay hold of the fact that in heaven there is a sanctuary whose services are for the redemption of mankind.

“God Himself gave to Moses the plan of that structure, with particular directions as to its size and form, the materials to be employed, and every article of furniture which it was to contain. The holy places made with hands were to be ‘figures of the true,’ ‘patterns of things in the heavens’ (Hebrews 9:24, 23)—a miniature representation of the heavenly temple where Christ, our great High Priest, after offering His life as a sacrifice, was to minister in the sinner’s behalf. God presented before Moses in the mount a view of the heavenly sanctuary, and commanded him to make all things according to the pattern shown him. All these directions were carefully recorded by Moses, who communicated them to the leaders of the people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 343.

To know that our brother John, the disciple of Jesus, saw Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary and wrote of it in the book of Revelation is a real faith builder. God’s word brings us into heavenly places when studied deeply by comparing Scripture with Scripture. The “type” with the “anti-type” come alive through the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.

Hebrews 8:1–5. The earthly sanctuary was a shadow of the heavenly sanctuary. Revelation 11:19. There is a temple in heaven.
Hebrews 9:1–3. The worldly sanctuary had two apartments. Hebrews 9:24. The heavenly sanctuary also has two apartments.
Exodus 40:24. Golden candlestick in the first apartment of earthly sanctuary. Revelation 1:12. John saw seven golden candlesticks in heaven.
Exodus 25:37; 40:25. There were seven lamps upon the candlestick. Revelation 4:2, 5. John saw seven lamps of fire before the throne of God in heaven.
Exodus 30:7, 8. The high priest trimmed and lighted the lamps in the earthly sanctuary. Revelation 1:12–18. John saw Christ, our High Priest, in the midst of the candlesticks in heaven.

The Cross and Its Shadow, Stephen N. Haskell, pages 21, 32, and 54.