Judgment Day–Are You Ready?

Judgment Day–Are You Ready?
By Brenda Douay

“I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.” “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him” (Daniel 7:9, 10, 13).

“Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days.” The Great Controversy, 488.

There are many compelling reasons why we should study the judgment hour message, but I will simply mention one. We know we have a subtle and powerful enemy seeking our souls. One of his greatest weapons is deception. Inspiration tells us we must understand the subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment or we will not make it through the coming times of trouble. Why is this message of such vital importance? Because it is the only means of salvation, and therefore is the central focus of Satan’s deceptions. Satan’s greatest deception is to twist the sanctuary message in our understanding so we will lose eternal life. It was so in the time of the Jews. He blinded them to the transition from the earthly sanctuary and its services to the opening of the holy place of the sanctuary in heaven and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry there. Today he is seeking to blind God’s people to the understanding of the transition of Jesus from the holy to the most holy place.

It is essential that we understand that shift or our worship and prayers will be to Satan, who has taken Christ’s place in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary after Christ left it to move into the most holy place. (See Early Writings, 54–56.) We must understand the difference between the ministration that Christ performed while He was in the holy place, and how it changed when He left the holy place and moved into the most holy place. This is our “anchor.” (See Early Writings, 256.) The same page in Early Writings says, “Those who understand and receive them (that is, the three angels’ messages, which are synonymous with the sanctuary message) will be kept from being swept away by the many delusions of Satan.”

“Light from the sanctuary illumined the past, the present, and the future.” The Great Controversy, 423. “The third angel has lighted up the past, the present, and the future.” Early Writings, 255.

The following vision is chronicled in the book in which God shows His servant in detail about this coming judgment, and what we are to face. It is found in Testimonies, vol. 4, 384–387. God’s servant writes, “On the morning of October 23, 1879, about two o’clock, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I beheld scenes in the coming judgment. Language fails me in which to give an adequate description of the things which passed before me and of the effect they had upon my mind.

“The great day of the execution of God’s judgment seemed to have come. Ten thousand times ten thousand were assembled before a large throne, upon which was seated a person of majestic appearance. Several books were before Him, and upon the covers of each was written in letters of gold, which seemed like a burning flame of fire: ‘Ledger of Heaven.’ One of these books, containing the names of those who claim to believe the truth, was then opened. Immediately I lost sight of the countless millions about the throne, and only those who were professedly children of the light and of the truth engaged my attention. As these persons were named, one by one, and their good deeds mentioned, their countenances would light up with a holy joy that was reflected in every direction. But this did not seem to rest upon my mind with the greatest force.

“Another book was opened, wherein were recorded the sins of those who profess the truth. Under the general heading of selfishness came every other sin. There were also headings over every column, and underneath these, opposite each name, were recorded, in their respective columns, the lesser sins. [Emphasis author’s.]

“Under covetousness came falsehood, theft, robbery, fraud, and avarice; under ambition came pride and extravagance; jealousy stood at the head of malice, envy, and hatred; and intemperance headed a long list of fearful crimes, such as lasciviousness, adultery, indulgence of animal passions, etc. As I beheld I was filled with inexpressible anguish and exclaimed: ‘Who can be saved? who will stand justified before God? whose robes are spotless? who are faultless in the sight of a pure and holy God?’

“As the Holy One upon the throne slowly turned the leaves of the ledger, and His eyes rested for a moment upon individuals, His glance seemed to burn into their very souls, and at the same moment every word and action of their lives passed before their minds as clearly as though traced before their vision in letters of fire. Trembling seized them, and their faces turned pale. Their first appearance when around the throne was that of careless indifference. But how changed their appearance now! The feeling of security is gone, and in its place is a nameless terror. A dread is upon every soul, lest he shall be found among those who are wanting. Every eye is riveted upon the face of the One upon the throne; and as His solemn, searching eye sweeps over that company, there is a quaking of heart; for they are self-condemned without one word being uttered. In anguish of soul each declares his own guilt and with terrible vividness sees that by sinning he has thrown away the precious boon of eternal life.

“One class were registered as cumberers (meaning to hinder; to overload; burden; inconvenience; trouble) of the ground. As the piercing eye of the Judge rested upon these, their sins of neglect were distinctly revealed. With pale, quivering lips they acknowledged that they had been traitors to their holy trust. They had had warnings and privileges, but they had not heeded nor improved them. They could now see that they had presumed too much upon the mercy of God. True, they had not such confessions to make as had the vile and basely corrupt; but, like the fig tree, they were cursed because they bore no fruit, because they had not put to use the talents entrusted to them.

“This class had made self supreme, laboring only for selfish interests. They were not rich toward God, not having responded to His claims upon them. Although professing to be servants of Christ, they brought no souls to Him. Had the cause of God been dependent on their efforts, it would have languished; for they not only withheld the means lent them of God, but they withheld themselves. But these could now see and feel that in occupying an irresponsible position in reference to the work and cause of God they had placed themselves on the left hand (Matthew 25:31–46). They had had opportunity, but would not do the work that they could and should have done. [Emphasis author’s.]

“The names of all who profess the truth were mentioned. Some were reproved for their unbelief, others for having been slothful servants. They had allowed others to do the work in the Master’s vineyard, and to bear the heaviest responsibilities, while they were selfishly serving their own temporal interests. Had they cultivated the abilities God had given them, they could have been reliable burden bearers, working for the interest of the Master. Said the Judge: ‘All will be justified by their faith and judged by their works.’ How vividly then appeared their neglect, and how wise the arrangement of God in giving to every man a work to do to promote the cause and save his fellow men. Each was to demonstrate a living faith in his family and in his neighborhood, by showing kindness to the poor, sympathizing with the afflicted, engaging in missionary labor, and by aiding the cause of God with his means. But, like Meroz, the curse of God rested upon them for what they had not done. They had loved that work which would bring the greatest profit in this life; and opposite their names in the ledger devoted to good works there was a mournful blank.

“The words spoken to these were most solemn: ‘You are weighed in the balances, and found wanting (Daniel 5:27). You have neglected spiritual responsibilities because of busy activity in temporal matters, while your very position of trust made it necessary that you should have more than human wisdom and greater than finite judgment. This you needed in order to perform even the mechanical part of your labor; and when you disconnected God and His glory from your business, you turned from His blessing.’

“The question was then asked: ‘Why have you not washed your robes of character and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14)? God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that through Him it might be saved. My love for you has been more self-denying than a mother’s love. It was that I might blot out your dark record of iniquity, and put the cup of salvation to your lips, that I suffered the death of the cross, bearing the weight and curse of your guilt. The pangs of death, and the horrors of the darkness of the tomb, I endured, that I might conquer him who had the power of death, unbar the prison house, and open for you the gates of life. I submitted to shame and agony because I loved you with an infinite love, and would bring back my wayward, wandering sheep to the paradise of God, to the tree of life. That life of bliss which I purchased for you at such a cost, you have disregarded. Shame, reproach, and ignominy, such as your Master bore for you, you have shunned. The privileges He died to bring within your reach have not been appreciated. You would not be partaker of His sufferings, and you cannot now be partaker with Him of His glory.’ Then were uttered these solemn words: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still’ (Revelation 22:11). The book then closed, and the mantle fell from the Person on the throne, revealing the terrible glory of the Son of God.

“The scene then passed away, and I found myself still upon the earth, inexpressibly grateful that the day of God had not yet come, and that precious probationary time is still granted us in which to prepare for eternity.”

What are you doing with the “precious probationary time” we are granted? Are you using the time as God intends that we use it—“to prepare for eternity?” My friends, God does not tell us these things for any other reason than a yearning for your soul that He may be reunited with the children of His heart. God so loved you that He allowed His Son to be born, a helpless babe, into the world where Satan claimed dominion—Satan who hated Christ three times over—subject to the weakness of humanity, “to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.” The Desire of Ages, 49.

Can we possibly doubt the love of such a God? He gives us this information that we may know what is coming that we may prepare. He gives explicit directions as to how to prepare. Let us heed these words from His great heart of love. As Inspiration states it, “Make it your first business to gain the kingdom of heaven and the righteousness of Christ. Live for God and heaven, and the eternal reward will be yours at the end of the race.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 225.

My friends, what is the status of your soul today? Have you heeded the pleadings of God on your behalf? Are you daily fulfilling His will in permitting nothing “to interfere with your duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God?”

Judgment Day – Are you Ready?

Brenda Douay is a staff member at Steps to Life. She may be contacted by email at: brendadouay@stepstolife.org.

Covetousness Ambition Jealousy Intemperance
Falsehood Pride Malice Lasciviousness

(Unbridled lust)

Theft Extravagance Envy
Robbery Hatred Adultery
Fraud Indulgence of animal passions, etc.



Recipe – Almond Butter Balls


Almond Butter Balls
½ cup almond butter         ½ cup honey
1 cup wheat germ             ¼ cup unsweetened coconut

Mix almond butter, wheat germ and honey and roll into little balls. Then roll in the coconut. Eat fresh, refrigerate so they will firm up, or freeze. Yummy!


Food – The Forgotten Wheat Germ

I do not hear much talk about wheat germ—it could be a lost nutritional additive that may give our health a needed boost.

“Wheat germ is part of a wheat kernel and is responsible for helping the plant reproduce and spawn new wheat. While it’s removed from most processed wheat products, it is a major nutritional component of whole grain wheat.

“Wheat germ, along with the husk, is removed from refined wheat products …

“Wheat germ is added to some granolas, cereals, and cornbread, and is also available raw.

“Wheat germ … is an excellent source of vegetable proteins, along with fiber and healthy fats. It is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, thiamin, folate, potassium, and phosphorus. Wheat germ is also high in vitamin E, an essential nutrient with antioxidant properties—natural sources of antioxidants are best in preventing disease.”

Excerpts from: www.healthline.com/health/wheat-germ-benefits#2

“Unfortunately, this kernel, which includes the wheat germ, is tragically removed during the refining of whole wheat grains to white flour. In the manufacturing process, it is removed because its healthy oils can go rancid quickly, so removing it makes it easier for food production companies to keep wheat in storage much longer. The germ itself makes up only about 3% of the kernel, and you need over 50 pounds of wheat to get one pound of wheat germ.

“Because it is meant to feed the new plant, wheat germ is packed with good nutrients. Two tablespoons of raw wheat germ have about 1.5 grams of unsaturated fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugars, no cholesterol and about 60 calories. This is plenty of protein and fiber.

“Plus, it has a number of other healthy nutrients. …

“Wheat germ is fantastic food that usually is in the form of a coarse powder. You can easily incorporate it into protein shakes, oatmeal, casseroles, muffins, and sprinkled over cereal. … You can even make a tea out of it by brewing one tablespoon per two cups of water; steep for 20 minutes, then filter and drink.”


I think it would be a good idea to return this nice little healthy germ into our recipes to increase the health benefits of our families!


Almond Butter Balls
½ cup almond butter         ½ cup honey
1 cup wheat germ             ¼ cup unsweetened coconut

Mix almond butter, wheat germ and honey and roll into little balls. Then roll in the coconut. Eat fresh, refrigerate so they will firm up, or freeze. Yummy!


Bible Study Guides – The Good Shepherd

July 23 – 29, 2017

Key Text

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 476–484; Steps to Christ, 17–22.


“Christ is both the door and the shepherd. He enters in by Himself. It is through His own sacrifice that He becomes the shepherd of the sheep.” The Desire of Ages, 478.



  •  How did Jesus distinguish between the thief and the shepherd, and what spiritual lesson was He illustrating? John 10:1, 2.

Note: “Christ applied these prophecies [referring to the Messiah’s pastoral mission, as found in Isaiah 40:9–11, Psalm 23:1, and Ezekiel 34:23, 16, 25, 28] to Himself, and He showed the contrast between His own character and that of the leaders in Israel. The Pharisees had just driven one from the fold, because he dared to bear witness to the power of Christ. They had cut off a soul whom the True Shepherd was drawing to Himself. In this they had shown themselves ignorant of the work committed to them, and unworthy of their trust as shepherds of the flock. Jesus now set before them the contrast between them and the Good Shepherd, and He pointed to Himself as the real keeper of the Lord’s flock.” The Desire of Ages, 477.

  • What relationship exists between the sheep and their shepherd? John 10:3, 4.
  • What will the sheep do before a stranger? John 10:5.



  •  How did Jesus further identify Himself and how did He classify the impenitent Pharisees? John 10:7–10.

Note: “Christ is the door to the fold of God. Through this door all His children, from the earliest times, have found entrance. In Jesus, as shown in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelation of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to His disciples, and in the miracles wrought for the sons of men, they have beheld ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29), and through Him they are brought within the fold of His grace. Many have come presenting other objects for the faith of the world; ceremonies and systems have been devised by which men hope to receive justification and peace with God, and thus find entrance to His fold. But the only door is Christ, and all who have interposed something to take the place of Christ, all who have tried to enter the fold in some other way, are thieves and robbers.

“The Pharisees had not entered by the door. They had climbed into the fold by another way than Christ, and they were not fulfilling the work of the true shepherd. The priests and rulers, the scribes and Pharisees, destroyed the living pastures, and defiled the wellsprings of the water of life. Faithfully do the words of inspiration describe those false shepherds: ‘The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away; … but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them’ (Ezekiel 34:4).” The Desire of Ages, 477, 478.

  • What contrast did Jesus draw between the true shepherd and the hireling? John 10:11–13.

Note: “He [Christ] … presented the parable of the true and the false shepherds, telling them that He was the good shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep; while the hireling, whose own the sheep are not, would flee and betray the flock in time of peril. The Pharisees were of that number who were holy in their own estimation. They took no notice of the lost sheep.” The Youth’s Instructor, April 28, 1886.



  • What other characteristic of the good shepherd did Jesus manifest? John 10:14, 15.

Note: “As an earthly shepherd knows his sheep, so does the divine Shepherd know His flock that are scattered throughout the world. ‘Ye My flock, the flock of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.’ Jesus says, ‘I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine.’ ‘I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands’ (Ezekiel 34:31; Isaiah 43:1; 49:16).

“Jesus knows us individually, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows us all by name. He knows the very house in which we live, the name of each occupant. He has at times given directions to His servants to go to a certain street in a certain city, to such a house, to find one of His sheep.

“Every soul is as fully known to Jesus as if he were the only one for whom the Saviour died. The distress of every one touches His heart. The cry for aid reaches His ear. He came to draw all men unto Himself. He bids them, ‘Follow Me,’ and His Spirit moves upon their hearts to draw them to come to Him. Many refuse to be drawn. Jesus knows who they are. He also knows who gladly hear His call, and are ready to come under His pastoral care. He says, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me’ (John 10:27). He cares for each one as if there were not another on the face of the earth.” The Desire of Ages, 479, 480.

  • For what other sheep did Jesus also show concern? John 10:16.

Note: “Jesus thought upon the souls all over the earth who were misled by false shepherds. Those whom He longed to gather as the sheep of His pasture were scattered among wolves, and He said, ‘Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd’ (John 10:16, R.V.).” The Desire of Ages, 483.



  •  What divine power did Jesus declare He possessed? John 10:17, 18.

Note: “ ‘Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again’ (John 10:17). That is, My Father has so loved you, that He even loves Me more for giving My life to redeem you. In becoming your substitute and surety, by surrendering My life, by taking your liabilities, your transgressions, I am endeared to My Father.

“ ‘I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again’ (verses 17, 18). While as a member of the human family He was mortal, as God He was the fountain of life for the world. He could have withstood the advances of death, and refused to come under its dominion; but voluntarily He laid down His life, that He might bring life and immortality to light. He bore the sin of the world, endured its curse, yielded up His life as a sacrifice, that men might not eternally die. ‘Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. … He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53:4–6).” The Desire of Ages, 483, 484.

  • What is it that leads men to follow Christ? John 10:27; 1John 4:10, 19; Matthew 11:28–30.

Note: “It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour’s matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary’s cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.” The Desire of Ages, 480.

“If Christ is dwelling in our hearts … . We shall work as He worked; we shall manifest the same spirit. And thus, loving Him and abiding in Him, we shall ‘grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ’ (Ephesians 4:15).” Steps to Christ, 75.



  •  What assurance did Jesus give His sheep? John 10:28, 29.

Note: “Though now He has ascended to the presence of God, and shares the throne of the universe, Jesus has lost none of His compassionate nature. Today the same tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the woes of humanity. Today the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world. ‘And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand’ (John 10:28). The soul that has given himself to Christ is more precious in His sight than the whole world. The Saviour would have passed through the agony of Calvary that one might be saved in His kingdom. He will never abandon one for whom He has died. Unless His followers choose to leave Him, He will hold them fast.” The Desire of Ages, 480–483.

  • Upon what does our spiritual security and assurance of salvation rest? Romans 8:31–39.

Note: “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.



 1      Explain the difference in conduct between a shepherd and a thief.

2      Through what other symbol did Jesus identify Himself?

3      How do true shepherds behave with their sheep?

4      Why do the sheep follow the shepherd and not a stranger?

5      What assures our salvation?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Blind Man

July 16 – 22, 2017

Key Text

“I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind” (John 9:39).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 470–475.


“It is not God that blinds the eyes of men or hardens their hearts. He sends them light to correct their errors, and to lead them in safe paths; it is by the rejection of this light that the eyes are blinded and the heart hardened.” The Desire of Ages, 322.



  •  What question did the disciples ask Jesus when they saw the man who was born blind? John 9:1, 2.
  • How did Satan profit from the erroneous idea that the Jews maintained concerning affliction? Job 9:34.

Note: “It was generally believed by the Jews that sin is punished in this life. Every affliction was regarded as the penalty of some wrongdoing, either of the sufferer himself or of his parents. It is true that all suffering results from the transgression of God’s law, but this truth had become perverted. Satan, the author of sin and all its results, had led men to look upon disease and death as proceeding from God—as punishment arbitrarily inflicted on account of sin. Hence one upon whom some great affliction or calamity had fallen had the additional burden of being regarded as a great sinner.” The Desire of Ages, 471.

  • What answer of Jesus shed light on this erroneous idea? John 9:3–5.
  • What did Christ do to illustrate His point, and how did the blind man cooperate with Him? John 9:6, 7.



  •  What were the varied reactions of the blind man’s neighbors? John 9:8–12.
  • To whom did the men take the blind man, and why? Upon which day was he cured? John 9:13, 14.
  • Describe the reaction of the Pharisees. John 9:15, 16.

Note: “ ‘Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because He keepeth not the Sabbath day’ (John 9:16). The Pharisees hoped to make Jesus out to be a sinner, and therefore not the Messiah. They knew not that it was He who had made the Sabbath and knew all its obligation, who had healed the blind man. They appeared wonderfully zealous for the observance of the Sabbath, yet were planning murder on that very day.” The Desire of Ages, 472.

  • When the blind man’s parents were called before the council, how did they answer the question put to them? John 9:18–23.

Note: “The Pharisees had one hope left, and that was to intimidate the man’s parents. With apparent sincerity they asked, ‘How then doth he now see’ (John 9:19)? The parents feared to compromise themselves; for it had been declared that whoever should acknowledge Jesus as the Christ should be ‘put out of the synagogue;’ that is, should be excluded from the synagogue for thirty days. During this time no child could be circumcised nor dead be lamented in the offender’s home. The sentence was regarded as a great calamity; and if it failed to produce repentance, a far heavier penalty followed. The great work wrought for their son had brought conviction to the parents, yet they answered, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself’ (verses 20, 21). Thus they shifted all responsibility from themselves to their son; for they dared not confess Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 472, 473.



  •  Upon summoning the young man for the second time, what did the Pharisees try to force him to do? John 9:24.

Note: “The Pharisees saw that they were giving publicity to the work done by Jesus. They could not deny the miracle. The blind man was filled with joy and gratitude; he beheld the wondrous things of nature, and was filled with delight at the beauty of earth and sky.” The Desire of Ages, 473.

  • What irrefutable argument did the young man present? John 9:25.
  • What did the Pharisees again ask the young man? John 9:26. What did they really intend to do with the young man?

Note: “Then they questioned again, ‘What did He to thee? how opened He thine eyes’ (John 9:26)? With many words they tried to confuse him, so that he might think himself deluded. Satan and his evil angels were on the side of the Pharisees, and united their energies and subtlety with man’s reasoning in order to counteract the influence of Christ. They blunted the convictions that were deepening in many minds.” The Desire of Ages, 473.

  • How did the young man answer them, and who stood by his side to thus inspire him? John 9:27.

Note: “Angels of God were also on the ground to strengthen the man who had had his sight restored.

“The Pharisees did not realize that they had to deal with any other than the uneducated man who had been born blind; they knew not Him with whom they were in controversy. Divine light shone into the chambers of the blind man’s soul. As these hypocrites tried to make him disbelieve, God helped him to show, by the vigor and pointedness of his replies, that he was not to be ensnared.” The Desire of Ages, 473, 474.



  •  As they were unable to deceive the young man, how did the Pharisees treat him? John 9:28.
  • What ignorance did they manifest? John 9:29.
  • What else did the formerly blind man say? John 9:30–33.
  • Since they were unwilling to accept the evidences, what did the angry Pharisees do with the young man? John 9:34.

Note: “The man had met his inquisitors on their own ground. His reasoning was unanswerable. The Pharisees were astonished, and they held their peace—spellbound before his pointed, determined words. For a few moments there was silence. Then the frowning priests and rabbis gathered about them their robes, as though they feared contamination from contact with him; they shook off the dust from their feet, and hurled denunciations against him—‘Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us’ (John 9:34)? And they excommunicated him.” The Desire of Ages, 474. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • What words did the young man and Christ exchange following his excommunication? John 9:35–38.

Note: “To the Saviour’s question, ‘Dost thou believe on the Son of God?’ the blind man replied by asking, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?’ And Jesus said, ‘Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee’ (John 9:35–37). The man cast himself at the Saviour’s feet in worship. Not only had his natural sight been restored, but the eyes of his understanding had been opened. Christ had been revealed to his soul, and he received Him as the Sent of God.” The Desire of Ages, 475.



  •  What did Jesus say concerning the results of His work? John 9:39.

Note: “A group of Pharisees had gathered near, and the sight of them brought to the mind of Jesus the contrast ever manifest in the effect of His words and works. … Christ had come to open the blind eyes, to give light to them that sit in darkness. He had declared Himself to be the light of the world, and the miracle just performed was in attestation of His mission. The people who beheld the Saviour at His advent were favored with a fuller manifestation of the divine presence than the world had ever enjoyed before. The knowledge of God was revealed more perfectly. But in this very revelation, judgment was passing upon men. Their character was tested, their destiny determined.” The Desire of Ages, 475.

  • How did the Pharisees react to that declaration of Jesus? John 9:40. Why were they guilty of their own blindness? John 9:41.

Note: “The manifestation of divine power that had given to the blind man both natural and spiritual sight had left the Pharisees in yet deeper darkness. Some of His hearers, feeling that Christ’s words applied to them, inquired, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus answered, ‘If ye were blind, ye should have no sin.’ If God had made it impossible for you to see the truth, your ignorance would involve no guilt. ‘But now ye say, We see.’ You believe yourselves able to see, and reject the means through which alone you could receive sight. To all who realized their need, Christ came with infinite help. But the Pharisees would confess no need; they refused to come to Christ, and hence they were left in blindness—a blindness for which they were themselves guilty. Jesus said, ‘Your sin remaineth’ (John 9:40, 41).” The Desire of Ages, 475.



 1      Of what did the Pharisees try to convince the formerly blind man?

2      Who was using the unbelieving Pharisees?

3      Who helped the young man give explicit and convincing answers?

4      What is the worst form of blindness?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Light of the World

July 9 – 15, 2017

Key Text

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 463–470.


“As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him every soul receives some ray of divine light.” Education, 29.



  • What reveals Christ’s work in the creation of the world? Genesis 1:1, 2; John 1:1–3.
  • How did the Holy Spirit refer to Jesus through the prophet Isaiah? Isaiah 49:6.
  • How did Simeon identify Jesus when He was brought to the Temple for dedication? Luke 2:25–33.

Note: “[Luke 2:32 quoted.] In these words he [Simeon] was applying to Him [Christ] a prophecy familiar to all Israel. By the prophet Isaiah, the Holy Spirit had declared ‘It is too light a thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth’ (Isaiah 49:6, R.V.).”  The Desire of Ages, 465.



  •  How were the children of Israel guided in the desert? Exodus 13:21, 22.

Note: “In the manifestation of God to His people, light had ever been a symbol of His presence. At the creative word in the beginning, light had shone out of darkness. Light had been enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, leading the vast armies of Israel.” The Desire of Ages, 464.

  • How did God show that He protects His own? Psalm 105:39; Isaiah 4:5, 6.

Note: “In one of the most beautiful and comforting passages of Isaiah’s prophecy, reference is made to the pillar of cloud and of fire to represent God’s care for His people in the great final struggle with the powers of evil.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 283.

  • How did Moses and the people react to the divine light of Christ upon Mt. Sinai? Exodus 19:16–18; 20:18, 19; Hebrews 12:21.

Note: “So terrible were the tokens of Jehovah’s presence that the hosts of Israel shook with fear, and fell upon their faces before the Lord. Even Moses exclaimed, ‘I exceedingly fear and quake’ (Hebrews 12:21).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 304.

  • How did Christ manifest His presence in the tabernacle? Exodus 40:3, 4, 34, 35.
  • What happened at the dedication of the Temple constructed by Solomon? 2Chronicles 7:1.



  •  When the Light of the world did come, what was the reaction of the Jews? John 1:11; 8:12, 13.

Note: “To the Pharisees and rulers this claim [‘I am the light of the world’] seemed an arrogant assumption. That a man like themselves should make such pretensions they could not tolerate.” The Desire of Ages, 465.

  • What comprehensive declaration did Jesus make to the unbelieving Pharisees? John 8:14–18.
  • What marked contrast existed between Christ and the unbelieving Pharisees? John 8:19–23.
  • What was to be the fatal consequence of the Jewish rulers’ rejection of Christ? John 8:24; Matthew 23:38.
  • What other question did the Pharisees ask Jesus? John 8:25, first part. With what intention did they ask the question?

Note: “Seeming to ignore His words, they demanded, ‘Who art Thou’ (John 8:25, first part)? They were bent upon forcing Him to declare Himself the Christ. His appearance and His work were so at variance with the expectations of the people, that, as His wily enemies believed, a direct announcement of Himself as the Messiah would cause Him to be rejected as an impostor.” The Desire of Ages, 465.

  • How did the Saviour answer them, and what was the effect of His answer upon the sincere listeners? John 8:25, last part, 26–30.



  •  What did Christ say to the Jews who accepted Him? John 8:31, 32. How did the unbelievers react to His words? John 8:33.

 Note: “Among His hearers many were drawn to Him in faith, and to them He said, ‘If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ (John 8:31, 32).

“These words offended the Pharisees. The nation’s long subjection to a foreign yoke, they disregarded, and angrily exclaimed, ‘We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free?’ Jesus looked upon these men, the slaves of malice, whose thoughts were bent upon revenge, and sadly answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin’ (verses 33, 34). They were in the worst kind of bondage—ruled by the spirit of evil.

“Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness.” The Desire of Ages, 466.

  • Describe the only process by which we can be made free from sin? John 8:36.

Note: “Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed’ (John 8:36). ‘The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’ sets us ‘free from the law of sin and death’ (Romans 8:2). …

“The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. ‘The truth shall make you free’ (John 8:32); and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self—to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is ‘the law of liberty’ (James 2:12).” The Desire of Ages, 466.



  •  What do the words of Christ in John 8:12 mean?

Note: “God is light; and in the words, ‘I am the light of the world’ (John 8:12, first part), Christ declared His oneness with God, and His relation to the whole human family. It was He who at the beginning had caused ‘the light to shine out of darkness’ (2 Corinthians 4:6). He is the light of sun and moon and star. He was the spiritual light that in symbol and type and prophecy had shone upon Israel. But not to the Jewish nation alone was the light given.” The Desire of Ages, 464.

  • What did Paul write about the light? 2 Corinthians 4:6.

Note: “As the sunbeams penetrate to the remotest corners of the earth, so does the light of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon every soul.

“ ‘That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’ (John 1:9). The world has had its great teachers, men of giant intellect and wonderful research, men whose utterances have stimulated thought, and opened to view vast fields of knowledge; and these men have been honored as guides and benefactors of their race. But there is One who stands higher than they. ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God’ (verse 12).” The Desire of Ages, 464.



 1      How did Jesus manifest Himself to His people in the desert?

2      Who proclaimed the law at Sinai?

3      How did Jesus manifest Himself at the dedication of the Temple built by Solomon?

4      What did Simeon say about Jesus?

5      How do the sincere react to Christ’s message?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Bread of Life

July 2 – 8, 2017

Key Text

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 383–394.


“As from that [miraculous] bread they [the great multitude] had received physical strength and refreshment, so from Christ they [His hearers in the synagogue] might receive spiritual strength unto eternal life.” The Desire of Ages, 386.



  •  What sign did the Jews want to see and what historical fact did they mention in connection with their question? John 6:30, 31.
  • What did Jesus say concerning the bread from heaven? John 6:32, 33.
  • Having their minds fixed merely upon the natural, physical bread, what request did they make to Christ? John 6:34. What explanation did Jesus give them? John 6:35, 36.
  • What two intimately related promises are given to those who identify themselves with Christ? John 6:37–40.

Note: “Again Christ appealed to those stubborn hearts. ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37). All who received Him in faith, He said, should have eternal life. Not one could be lost. No need for Pharisees and Sadducees to dispute concerning the future life. No longer need men mourn in hopeless grief over their dead.” The Desire of Ages, 386, 387.



  •  What effect did the words of Christ have on the Jews, and what explanation did Jesus give them concerning His flesh and blood? John 6:52–55.
  • What does it mean to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God? John 6:56, 57; 1John 3:24; 5:12.

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.” The Desire of Ages, 389.

  • What did Christ’s words provoke among His own disciples? John 6:60, 61, 65, 66.
  • After many disciples had left Him, what did Christ ask the twelve, and what did Peter answer Him? John 6:67–69.
  • What position did the renegades then take? 1John 2:19.

Note: “As those disaffected disciples turned away from Christ, a different spirit took control of them. They could see nothing attractive in Him whom they had once found so interesting. They sought out His enemies, for they were in harmony with their spirit and work. They misinterpreted His words, falsified His statements, and impugned His motives. They sustained their course by gathering up every item that could be turned against Him; and such indignation was stirred up by these false reports that His life was in danger.” The Desire of Ages, 392, 393.



  •  After members of Jesus’ family tried to influence Him towards the rabbis (John 7:3–8), what question did He put to those rabbis? John 7:19.

Note: “His [Christ’s] brothers, as the sons of Joseph were called, sided with the rabbis. They insisted that the traditions must be heeded, as if they were the requirements of God.” The Desire of Ages, 86.

“Jesus gave the rabbis an evidence of His divinity by showing that He read their hearts. Ever since the healing at Bethesda they had been plotting His death. Thus they were themselves breaking the law which they professed to be defending. ‘Did not Moses give you the law,’ He said, ‘and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill Me?’ (John 7:19).” Ibid., 456.

  • What did the rabbis answer Christ and of what did they accuse Him? John 7:20.
  • How did Jesus respond to the mean insinuations of His enemies? John 7:21–23.

Note: “To this insinuation [that His wonderful works were instigated by an evil spirit] Christ gave no heed. He went on to show that His work of healing at Bethesda was in harmony with the Sabbath law, and that it was justified by the interpretation which the Jews themselves put upon the law. He said, ‘Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; … and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man’ (John 7:22). According to the law, every child must be circumcised on the eighth day. Should the appointed time fall upon the Sabbath, the rite must then be performed. How much more must it be in harmony with the spirit of the law to make a man ‘every whit whole on the Sabbath day’ (verse 23).” The Desire of Ages, 456, 457.

  • What warning did Christ give them? John 7:24.



  •  Upon hearing and seeing Jesus preach openly, what did some of the people ask? John 7:25, 26.

Note: “Many among Christ’s hearers … were dwellers at Jerusalem, and … conviction pressed upon them that He was the Son of God.” The Desire of Ages, 457.

  • With what words did many express their faith in Jesus? John 7:31, 40; Deuteronomy 18:15.
  • What did Jesus declare on the last day of the feast, and what did these words mean? John 7:37–39.
  • When told to arrest Christ (John 7:45), why did the officers not comply? John 7:46.

Note: “On the last day of the feast, the officers sent out by the priests and rulers to arrest Jesus, returned without Him. They were angrily questioned, ‘Why have ye not brought Him?’ With solemn countenance they answered, ‘Never man spake like this Man’ (John 7:45, 46).

“Hardened as were their hearts, they were melted by His words. While He was speaking in the temple court, they had lingered near, to catch something that might be turned against Him. But as they listened, the purpose for which they had been sent was forgotten. They stood as men entranced. Christ revealed Himself to their souls. They saw that which priests and rulers would not see—humanity flooded with the glory of divinity. They returned, so filled with this thought, so impressed by His words, that to the inquiry, ‘Why have ye not brought Him?’ they could only reply, ‘Never man spake like this Man.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 459.

“The spirit which actuated those priests and rulers is still manifested by many who make a high profession of piety. They refuse to examine the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the special truths for this time. They point to their own numbers, wealth, and popularity, and look with contempt upon the advocates of truth as few, poor, and unpopular, having a faith that separates them from the world.” The Great Controversy, 596.



  •  After trying to set a legal trap for Christ (John 8:1–5), how did Jesus react before the falsehood of the Pharisees? John 8:6.
  • What did Jesus do while the Pharisees were waiting for His verdict? John 8:8, 9.
  • How did Jesus deal with the woman after her accusers had left? John 8:10, 11.

Note: “The accusers had been defeated. Now, their robe of pretended holiness torn from them, they stood, guilty and condemned, in the presence of Infinite Purity. They trembled lest the hidden iniquity of their lives should be laid open to the multitude; and one by one, with bowed heads and downcast eyes, they stole away, leaving their victim with the pitying Saviour.” The Desire of Ages, 461.

  • How will true believers act when a Christian falls into sin? Galatians 6:1, 2. What will false-hearted believers often do?

Note: “It is not Christ’s follower that, with averted eyes, turns from the erring, leaving them unhindered to pursue their downward course. Those who are forward in accusing others, and zealous in bringing them to justice, are often in their own lives more guilty than they. Men hate the sinner, while they love the sin. Christ hates the sin, but loves the sinner. This will be the spirit of all who follow Him. Christian love is slow to censure, quick to discern penitence, ready to forgive, to encourage, to set the wanderer in the path of holiness, and to stay his feet therein.” The Desire of Ages, 462.



 1      How was the prejudice of the Jews against Christ manifested?

2      What does it mean to look to Jesus?

3      What spirit did the rabbis manifest towards Jesus?

4      Why did Jesus attract the attention and respect of the people?

5      How does Jesus deal with erring souls?


Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Feeding the Multitude

June 25 – July 1, 2017

Key Text

“Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat” (Matthew 14:16).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 364–371.


“Often we hesitate, unwilling to give all that we have, fearing to spend and to be spent for others. But Jesus has bidden us, ‘Give ye them to eat’ (Matthew 14:16). His command is a promise; and behind it is the same power that fed the multitude beside the sea.” The Desire of Ages, 369. [Emphasis author’s.]



  •  Besides the disciples, who else accompanied Jesus? John 6:1, 2.

Note: “Christ had retired to a secluded place with His disciples, but this rare season of peaceful quietude was soon broken. The disciples thought they had retired where they would not be disturbed; but as soon as the multitude missed the divine Teacher, they inquired, ‘Where is He?’ Some among them had noticed the direction in which Christ and His disciples had gone. Many went by land to meet them, while others followed in their boats across the water. The Passover was at hand, and, from far and near, bands of pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem gathered to see Jesus. Additions were made to their number, until there were assembled five thousand men besides women and children. Before Christ reached the shore, a multitude were waiting for Him.” The Desire of Ages, 364.

  • What was the spiritual condition of the people? Mark 6:34.

Note: “He [Christ] ‘was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd’ (Mark 6:34). Leaving His retreat, He found a convenient place where He could minister to them. They received no help from the priests and rulers; but the healing waters of life flowed from Christ as He taught the multitude the way of salvation.” The Desire of Ages, 364, 365.



  •  Besides satisfying the spiritual needs of the people, with what else did Jesus concern Himself? John 6:3–5.

Note: “He who taught the people the way to secure peace and happiness was just as thoughtful of their temporal necessities as of their spiritual need. The people were weary and faint. There were mothers with babes in their arms, and little children clinging to their skirts. Many had been standing for hours. They had been so intensely interested in Christ’s words that they had not once thought of sitting down, and the crowd was so great that there was danger of their trampling on one another. Jesus would give them a chance to rest, and He bade them sit down. There was much grass in the place, and all could rest in comfort.” The Desire of Ages, 365, 366.

  • What did Jesus say to Philip and with what intention? John 6:5, 6.
  • What did Philip answer Jesus? John 6:7.

Note: “The day seemed to them [the people] like heaven upon earth, and they were utterly unconscious of how long it had been since they had eaten anything.

“At length the day was far spent. The sun was sinking in the west, and yet the people lingered. Jesus had labored all day without food or rest. He was pale from weariness and hunger, and the disciples besought Him to cease from His toil. But He could not withdraw Himself from the multitude that pressed upon Him.

“The disciples finally came to Him, urging that for their own sake the people should be sent away. Many had come from far, and had eaten nothing since morning. In the surrounding towns and villages they might be able to buy food. But Jesus said, ‘Give ye them to eat’ (Luke 9:13), and then, turning to Philip, questioned, ‘Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?’ (John 6:5). This He said to test the faith of the disciple. Philip looked over the sea of heads, and thought how impossible it would be to provide food to satisfy the wants of such a crowd. He answered that two hundred pennyworth of bread would not be nearly enough to divide among them, so that each might have a little.” The Desire of Ages, 365.



  •  What information did Andrew give to Jesus? John 6:8, 9.

Note: “Jesus inquired how much food could be found among the company. ‘There is a lad here,’ said Andrew, ‘which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?’ (John 6:9).” The Desire of Ages, 365.

  • What plan did Jesus suggest to keep order among the hungry multitude? John 6:10.

Note: “Jesus directed that these [the five barley loaves and two fishes] be brought to Him. Then He bade the disciples seat the people on the grass in parties of fifty or a hundred, to preserve order, and that all might witness what He was about to do.” The Desire of Ages, 365.

  • Explain the sequence of actions Christ took in multiplying the food. John 6:11; Matthew 14:19.

Note: “When this [order] was accomplished, Jesus took the food, ‘and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude’ (Matthew 14:19). ‘And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes’ (Mark 6:42, 43). …

“Christ never worked a miracle except to supply a genuine necessity, and every miracle was of a character to lead the people to the tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. The simple food passed round by the hands of the disciples contained a whole treasure of lessons. It was humble fare that had been provided; the fishes and barley loaves were the daily food of the fisher folk about the Sea of Galilee. Christ could have spread before the people a rich repast, but food prepared merely for the gratification of appetite would have conveyed no lesson for their good. Christ taught them in this lesson that the natural provisions of God for man had been perverted. And never did people enjoy the luxurious feasts prepared for the gratification of perverted taste as this people enjoyed the rest and the simple food which Christ provided so far from human habitations. …

“Selfishness and the indulgence of unnatural taste have brought sin and misery into the world, from excess on the one hand, and from want on the other.” The Desire of Ages, 365–367.



  •  What lesson did Jesus teach the disciples after feeding the multitude? John 6:12, 13.

 Note: “After the multitude had been fed, there was an abundance of food left. But He who had all the resources of infinite power at His command said, ‘Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost’ (John 6:12). These words meant more than putting the bread into the baskets. The lesson was twofold. Nothing is to be wasted. We are to let slip no temporal advantage. We should neglect nothing that will tend to benefit a human being. Let everything be gathered up that will relieve the necessity of earth’s hungry ones. And there should be the same carefulness in spiritual things. When the baskets of fragments were collected, the people thought of their friends at home. They wanted them to share in the bread that Christ had blessed. The contents of the baskets were distributed among the eager throng, and were carried away into all the region round about. So those who were at the feast were to give to others the bread that comes down from heaven, to satisfy the hunger of the soul. They were to repeat what they had learned of the wonderful things of God. Nothing was to be lost. Not one word that concerned their eternal salvation was to fall useless to the ground.” The Desire of Ages, 368.

  • What lessons of cooperation can we learn from this experience? Mark 6:37–40; Luke 6:38; Galatians 6:6, 10.

Note: “In Christ’s act of supplying the temporal necessities of a hungry multitude is wrapped up a deep spiritual lesson for all His workers. Christ received from the Father; He imparted to the disciples; they imparted to the multitude; and the people to one another. So all who are united to Christ will receive from Him the bread of life, the heavenly food, and impart it to others. …

“Christ is the great center, the source of all strength. His disciples are to receive their supplies from Him. The most intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart only that which we receive from Christ; and we can receive only as we impart to others. As we continue imparting, we continue to receive; and the more we impart, the more we shall receive. Thus we may be constantly believing, trusting, receiving, and imparting.” The Desire of Ages, 369, 370.



  •  What additional spiritual lessons can we learn from the multiplication of the food? Mark 4:26–28.

Note: “In feeding the five thousand, Jesus lifts the veil from the world of nature, and reveals the power that is constantly exercised for our good. In the production of earth’s harvests God is working a miracle every day. Through natural agencies the same work is accomplished that was wrought in the feeding of the multitude. Men prepare the soil and sow the seed, but it is the life from God that causes the seed to germinate. It is God’s rain and air and sunshine that cause it to put forth, ‘first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear’ (Mark 4:28). It is God who is every day feeding millions from earth’s harvest fields. Men are called upon to co-operate with God in the care of the grain and the preparation of the loaf, and because of this they lose sight of the divine agency. They do not give God the glory due unto His holy name. The working of His power is ascribed to natural causes or to human instrumentality. …

“The miracle of the loaves teaches a lesson of dependence upon God. When Christ fed the five thousand, the food was not nigh at hand. Apparently He had no means at His command. Here He was, with five thousand men, besides women and children, in the wilderness. He had not invited the large multitude to follow Him; they came without invitation or command; but He knew that after they had listened so long to His instruction, they would feel hungry and faint; for He was one with them in their need of food. They were far from home, and the night was close at hand. Many of them were without means to purchase food. He who for their sake had fasted forty days in the wilderness would not suffer them to return fasting to their homes. The providence of God had placed Jesus where He was; and He depended on His heavenly Father for the means to relieve the necessity.” The Desire of Ages, 367, 368.



 1      What was Christ’s main interest in the people?

2      Why did Jesus supply the physical necessities of the people?

3      Explain Christ’s method to maintain the hungry multitude in order.

4      How did Jesus include the disciples in the work of feeding the people?

5      After feeding the people, what other important lesson did Jesus teach?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Life Sketches Series – By What Power is This Miracle?

The use of force is the last resort of every false religion, but Jesus works on a different principle. The only power that He uses is the compelling, drawing power of His love. Jesus invites all who desire to choose His way to follow Him.

Shortly after Jesus had been crucified and raised from the dead, a crippled man was seen begging in the porch of the temple in Jerusalem. Unable to work and support himself, he begged for money to get food and other necessities. Seeing Peter and John entering the temple, he asked alms from them. Peter said to him, “ ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk.’ … and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:6–8).

“As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: ‘Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses’ ” (verses 11–15).

Peter went on to say, “ ‘Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out …’ That heaven must receive the Christ, Jesus, until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (verses 19–21, literal translation).

Then, he said, “ ‘All the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, “And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. To you first, God, having raised up His Servant, Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities” ’ ” (verses 24–26).

A great number of people who witnessed this event believed the words of Peter. They were stricken in their conscience, realizing that they were responsible for the death of the Messiah, for the death of Christ. A great number of them believed and the religious leaders became alarmed.

“Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of men came to be about five thousand” (Acts 4:1–4).

The religious leaders in Jerusalem were more disturbed, more terrified, and angrier than ever before because they reasoned with themselves that if one or two discourses from the apostles could produce results as marvelous as 5,000 being converted, what would be the result of further preaching by the apostles. We don’t know how many were in the church at this time. There were 5,000 men, in addition to that, of course, there were the women and children. The temple leaders thought that the world would soon believe on Christ, and their influence would be lost. So, they seized the apostles, thrust them into prison, wanting to intimidate them and cause them to be silent.

However, the disciple who had denied his Lord was not going to deny his Lord anymore. And when the apostles had opportunity to speak the next day, the Bible says that the rulers, as well as Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest, who was responsible for the decision to crucify Jesus, said, “By what power or by what name have you done this” (verse 7)?

The miracle in the sight of a multitude of people could not be denied. They demanded an answer. “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the “stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.” Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ ” (verses 8–12).

There have been, and there are still, many religions in the world, but it is only the Christian religion that has demonstrated in its leader and founder the ability to raise the dead. This is not referring to spirits or apparitions, but about a bodily resurrection. Only by the power of the leader of the Christian religion has anyone been given the ability to raise people from the dead.

Every person in the world who is saved and has eternal life will receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Peter said that there is no salvation in anybody else, and “no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” This was a very bold assertion, considering that the speech was given to the very people who were responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. The Bible states that the Pharisees did not know what to do because the man that had been healed was right there, and there were many witnesses.

“But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, ‘What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.’ So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:15–18).

The people were forbidden to testify concerning their religious beliefs. If they did they would pay the price with their life.

Remember, force is the last resort of every false religion. If any religious system uses force to preserve itself, propagate its beliefs, or gain adherents, you can know that it is a false religion. Jesus never used force to win converts. He said, “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28, literal translation).

The invitation given by the One who inspired the Bible, in Revelation 22:17 is, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

Jesus invites all who will to come to Him and be saved. He will give you a different way of living.

There are no prisons in heaven. There are no armies and no wars. The government of heaven does not operate by force and there is no army of angels on the ready with weapons of destruction. Force is contrary to the principles of God’s government. When Lucifer, the covering cherub became Satan and chose to rebel against the government of God, he asserted that he would use force if he was not given what he wanted.

Revelation 12:7–9 says, “War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

This scripture says the devil deceives the whole world. The book of Revelation reveals the devil’s plan to deceive as many as he can and only those who study and understand Bible prophecy will be able to avoid being deceived. When the devil has completed his devious work, he will attempt to kill the faithful few that stand firm to principle. Only by getting rid of these so-called rebels can he have complete control of the whole world. This has been the devil’s strategy from the beginning. First, deceive the majority, then kill the few people that you cannot deceive. Thus, the apostles were threatened, just as Christians have been threatened in every generation, right down to the present. New Testament Christians, people whose desire is to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, like Jesus did, have been threatened in every generation by the devil’s agents who profess to be the Lord’s servants.

The apostles were threatened by the people who claimed to be God’s true people. They claimed to know from Bible prophecy and the Old Testament that they were God’s people, yet attempted to stop Jesus’ mission at every turn. Eventually, realizing there was no other way to stop Him, He was crucified. They were mistaken in their thought that Christ’s work would stop, but after He was resurrected, their hatred turned to the apostles who continued the work that He commenced. The apostles were working miracles in Christ’s name. How could Christ be dead if these people with various forms of sickness were now made well, and they were made well in the name of Jesus.

The apostles said that the miracles they performed were evidence that Jesus was not dead, but raised and gone to heaven. With unleashed anger, they were threatened that if they continued to speak in the name of Jesus or teach in His name, they would pay with their lives. These people were not now as willing to take the blame for the crucifixion of Christ as they were when, just before Jesus was crucified, they said to Pilate, “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25).

Peter and John answered and said to the temple leaders after they had threatened them, “ ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’ So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed” (Acts 4:19–22).

After the rulers had let them go, they went back and prayed asking for power to preach with boldness whether they were put in prison, threatened with death, or no matter what happened to them.

It was not long before the disciples were in trouble again with the high priests and officers, the religious leaders of the Jews, and once more they were put in prison. This time, the same thing happened. First there was an attempt to stop them from witnessing, to stop the Christian church founded by Jesus from developing. At that time, there were only a few thousand people in the whole world who believed in Christ and it was believed that if they could be stopped in the beginning, this new faith would never become established.

A study of the history of the Christian religion reveals that it is a miracle that there are any Christians left alive in the world today because of the continual attempts by the devil and his agents, who, claiming to be the servants of God and His true people, have since the beginning attempted to destroy the true Christians throughout the world.

What resulted from the persecution served to augment the fears of the religious leaders, increasing their hatred? The Bible records in Acts 4:32, first part, “The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul.” The tremendous harmony and unity between the believers had never before been witnessed in the early, primitive Christian church. Continuing, it says, “Neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostle’s feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabus by the apostles (which is translated “son of encouragement”), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostle’s feet” (verses 32, last part–37).

Priests and leaders witnessed this harmony and unity and they also saw that the Holy Spirit was in charge of events in this church. So, when a couple, Ananias and Sapphira, tried to lie to the leaders of this new sect about what they were doing, Peter said, “ ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? … While it remained [before you sold the land] was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God’ ” (Acts 5:3, 4). And when Peter said these things, Ananias fell down dead. Three hours later his wife came in and told the same lie (verses 5–8). “Then Peter said to her, … ‘The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’ Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. … So great fear came upon all the church …” (verses 9–11).

All realized that this was not just a human organization. This movement was being directed by the Holy Spirit of God. The lesson to be learned from the story of Ananias and Sapphira is that it is a serious business to save people. Therefore, do not play games of pretend with God and think that you are going to be religious.

Because the temple leaders saw that something more had to be done to crush this powerful “heresy,” once more the disciples were arrested and imprisoned. The Sanhedrin was called to try their case and a number of learned men, in addition to those on the Sanhedrin council, were summoned to discuss together the wisest way to deal with these disturbers of the peace. The Bible record states, “They (the Jewish rulers) laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, ‘Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life’ ” (verses 18–20).

Notice what happened. The religious leaders threatened them, admonishing them not to speak any more in the name of Jesus. But an angel from heaven said, “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life” (Acts 5:20).

The Bible says, “And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought” (verse 21). But they were not there. The doors were still bolted and the soldiers were all there, but the apostles were gone. Soon they were found standing in the temple and teaching the people (see verse 25)!

“When they had brought them, they set them before the council” (verse 27), then they said in verse 28: “… Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name?” Now notice, an angel from heaven told them to keep preaching, the religious leaders told them not to. “… look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him’ ” (verses 29–32).

The Christian should obey every human, civil law. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 13 that the Christian is to obey the laws of men until the laws of men command him to disobey the laws of God, the laws of heaven. When that happens, Peter said, “We should obey God rather than men.” When Peter said these things to them, they became so furious that they decided they would kill them right on the spot. The Jews had killed others without taking them to Roman authorities, but the authorities had been bribed to turn a blind eye to it. However, while they were getting ready to do this, a rabbi among them by the name of Gamaliel gave them a warning. “He said to them: ‘Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. For some time ago …,’ ” and then he mentions a number of different cases where different heresies had arisen and they came to naught. “Now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God” (verses 35–39).

O, friend, that is a question that leaders of all religions need to ask themselves today. Remember, force is the last resort of every false religion. If you use force to get your way, you are using Satan’s methods. No stronger evidence can be given that you are inspired by the spirit of Satan and doing his will and are part of his kingdom. The religion of Jesus Christ is a religion where people are invited—not forced. The Lord says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3).

How is it with you, friend? Are you willing to be drawn by the love of Jesus so your life can be changed and you can receive eternal life?

(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.

Health – The Back Closet

Many times we hear or read something and as time goes on we tend to put it in the back closet of our minds. And of course, anything stored in the back closet usually stays there, well hidden, from our daily thoughts. This is what has happened to a considerable amount of the health message given by the Spirit of Prophecy. Much instruction has been heard by many. However, it has not been implemented but placed there for later use.

I can just now hear, as many are reading this article, the sighing and the words being spoken: “Here we go again.” Before you get too carried away on the sighing, you must read the following interesting information on oxidized cholesterol and where it is found from Neil Nedley, M.D.

The Problem with Oxidized Cholesterol

“Cholesterol exposed to the atmosphere for a period of time tends to combine with oxygen in the air, producing what is called “oxidized cholesterol.” … In fact, this compound may turn out to be the most important dietary factor that influences heart disease risk.

“As early as the 1940s it was discovered that not all cholesterol was the same in its likelihood of causing atherosclerosis. Dr. Chaikoff and associates found that chickens that were fed large amounts of cholesterol developed high blood cholesterol levels and a considerable amount of atherosclerosis. On the other hand, chickens that were given hormones to raise their cholesterol to similar levels had virtually no fatty buildup in their arteries. Drs. Peng and Taylor in Albany, New York, carried on further experiments looking for something in dietary cholesterol that was particularly damaging to blood vessels. …

“Some of the chemicals called ‘oxidation products,’ were so toxic that they destroyed cells that line the arteries in less than 24 hours. Furthermore, it took only a small amount of these toxic chemicals to cause irreversible damage. In Peng and Taylor’s work, the deadly effects on blood vessels occurred when as little as one half of one percent of the blood cholesterol was oxidized. Their research is particularly important because destruction of artery-lining cells is one of the main factors that begins or accelerates the buildup of cholesterol in atherosclerosis. …

“Foods containing harmful cholesterol by-products …:

  • Custard mixes
  • Pancakes mixes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lard

“The most harmful combination of cholesterol oxidation products was found in custard mix where sugar, milk, and eggs were combined. The dried mix was apparently exposed to air for a considerable period of time due to its long shelf life.

“Over 100 years ago the danger of custards and puddings were recognized by Ellen White in Ministry of Healing, 301, 302.” [Emphasis author’s.] Proof Positive, by Neil Nedley, M.D., pages 73, 74. Copyright 1998, 1999 by Neil Nedley, M.D.

Wonderful warnings have been given to us through the Spirit of Prophecy. Pull them out of the back closet and return them to active service. We truly are fearfully and wonderfully made and our enemy, the devil, is trying to destroy these wonderful bodies that God has given to us. The seeds are sown—let’s pull the weeds out and live to God’s glory.