Bible Study Guides – Education in Ancient Israel

July 19 – 25, 2020

Key Text

“He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye” (Deuteronomy 32:10).

Study Help: Education, 33–44.


“The men who held fast God’s principles of life dwelt among the fields and hills. They were tillers of the soil and keepers of flocks and herds, and in this free, independent life, with its opportunities for labor and study and meditation, they learned of God and taught their children of His works and ways.

“This was the method of education that God desired to establish in Israel.” Education, 33, 34.



  • Describe Abraham’s example as a patriarch. Genesis 18:17–19; 12:6–8.

Note: “In early times the father was the ruler and priest of his own family, and he exercised authority over his children, even after they had families of their own. His descendants were taught to look up to him as their head, in both religious and secular matters. This patriarchal system of government Abraham endeavored to perpetuate, as it tended to preserve the knowledge of God. It was necessary to bind the members of the household together, in order to build up a barrier against the idolatry that had become so widespread and so deep-seated.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 141.

  • What lifestyle was pursued by the patriarchs? Hebrews 11:8–10; Genesis 25:27.



  • How did the Lord direct the education of Israel in the wilderness? 1 Corinthians 10:1–4; Isaiah 63:9.

Note: “The Lord Himself directed the education of Israel. His care was not restricted to their religious interests; whatever affected their mental or physical well-being was also the subject of divine providence, and came within the sphere of divine law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 592.

“Even in providing their food, God sought their highest good. The manna with which He fed them in the wilderness was of a nature to promote physical, mental, and moral strength.” Education, 38.

“The Hebrew nation were educated during their journeying through the wilderness. They engaged in physical and mental labor. They used their muscles in various lines of work. The history of the wilderness life of God’s chosen people was chronicled for the benefit of the Israel of God till the close of time. … The Lord did not forsake His people in their wanderings through the wilderness, but many of them forsook the Lord. The education they had had in Egypt made them subject to temptation, to idolatry, and to licentiousness, and because they disregarded the commandments of the Lord, nearly all the adults who left Egypt were overthrown in the wilderness; but their children were permitted to enter Canaan.” The Review and Herald, December 17, 1895.

“Everything connected with the pitching of the camp was an object lesson to the children, schooling them in habits of precision and carefulness and order. The children that were old enough were required to learn how to pitch the tents in which they lived, and to observe perfect order in all that they did. … Constantly they were obtaining an education in regard to heavenly things. Constantly the parents were explaining to their children why the Israelites were traveling in the wilderness; why the law was given at Sinai; and what they expected to do and to be when they reached the Land of Promise.” Lift Him Up, 145.

“Israel needed just the experience that God gave to them, and there was no other power that could deal with them as Christ did through all that long journey in the wilderness. The education of Israel was not entrusted to any human agency; they were taught by One who was infinite in wisdom. They were daily learners of what God required His church on earth to be.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 234.



  • What was God’s purpose for Israel in the settlement of Canaan? Deuteronomy 4:5–10; 11:22–24.

Note: “God chose Israel to reveal His character to men. He desired them to be as wells of salvation in the world. … In the early days of Israel the nations of the world, through corrupt practices, had lost the knowledge of God. They had once known Him; but because ‘they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, … their foolish heart was darkened’ (Romans 1:21). Yet in His mercy God did not blot them out of existence. He purposed to give them an opportunity of again becoming acquainted with Him through His chosen people. Through the teachings of the sacrificial service, Christ was to be uplifted before all nations, and all who would look to Him should live.” The Acts of the Apostles, 14.

“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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 544.

  • How did they fare in the implementation of this plan? Judges 2:7, 10–12; 1:28.

Note: “The Lord had faithfully fulfilled, on His part, the promises made to Israel; Joshua had broken the power of the Canaanites, and had distributed the land to the tribes. It only remained for them, trusting in the assurance of divine aid, to complete the work of dispossessing the inhabitants of the land. But this they failed to do. By entering into league with the Canaanites they directly transgressed the command of God, and thus failed to fulfill the condition on which He had promised to place them in possession of Canaan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 543.

“Wherever in Israel God’s plan of education was carried into effect, its results testified of its Author. But in very many households the training appointed by Heaven, and the characters thus developed, were alike rare. God’s plan was but partially and imperfectly fulfilled. By unbelief and by disregard of the Lord’s directions, the Israelites surrounded themselves with temptations that few had power to resist.” Education, 45.



  • From references to the existence of the schools of the prophets, what can we learn about their nature and operation? 1 Samuel 19:18–20; 2 Kings 6:1–7.

 Note: “The schools of the prophets were founded by Samuel to serve as a barrier against the widespread corruption, to provide for the moral and spiritual welfare of the youth, and to promote the future prosperity of the nation by furnishing it with men qualified to act in the fear of God as leaders and counselors. In the accomplishment of this object Samuel gathered companies of young men who were pious, intelligent, and studious. These were called the sons of the prophets. As they communed with God and studied His word and His works, wisdom from above was added to their natural endowments. The instructors were men not only well versed in divine truth, but those who had themselves enjoyed communion with God and had received the special endowment of His Spirit. They enjoyed the respect and confidence of the people, both for learning and piety.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 593.

“The chief subjects of study were the law of God with the instructions given to Moses, sacred history, sacred music, and poetry. It was the grand object of all study to learn the will of God and the duties of His people. In the records of sacred history were traced the footsteps of Jehovah. From the events of the past were drawn lessons of instruction for the future. The great truths set forth by the types and shadows of the Mosaic law were brought to view, and faith grasped the central object of all that system, the Lamb of God that was to take away the sins of the world.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 97.

  • What manual training did Jesus receive when He was on this earth? Matthew 13:55. What about the students of the schools of the prophets?

Note: “The pupils of these schools sustained themselves by their own labor as husbandmen and mechanics. In Israel this was not considered strange or degrading; it was regarded a crime to allow children to grow up in ignorance of useful labor. In obedience to the command of God, every child was taught some trade, even though he was to be educated for holy office.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 97.



  • How did God reward Joseph’s integrity and faith, after he had suffered great adversity? Genesis 37:28; 41:41–44. What preparation did he have?

Note: “Pure, active, and joyous, the lad [Joseph] gave evidence also of moral earnestness and firmness. He listened to his father’s instructions, and loved to obey God. The qualities that afterward distinguished him in Egypt—gentleness, fidelity, and truthfulness—were already manifest in his daily life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 209.

  • Describe Daniel’s background. How does Daniel’s life reveal the benefit of godly education? Daniel 1:1–6; 6:1–3.

Note: “By their wisdom and justice, by the purity and benevolence of their daily life, by their devotion to the interests of the people—and they, idolaters—Joseph and Daniel proved themselves true to the principles of their early training, true to Him whose representatives they were. These men, both in Egypt and in Babylon, the whole nation honored; and in them a heathen people, and all the nations with which they were connected, beheld an illustration of the goodness and beneficence of God, an illustration of the love of Christ. …

“The same mighty truths that were revealed through these men, God desires to reveal through the youth and the children of today. The history of Joseph and Daniel is an illustration of what He will do for those who yield themselves to Him and with the whole heart seek to accomplish His purpose.” Education, 56, 57.



1    What lifestyle was chosen by the patriarchs, and why?

2    Why did Israel need such extensive education in the wilderness?

3    How did God’s plan compare with what Israel actually achieved?

4    What important elements were present in the schools of the prophets?

5    How did God’s plan for education shine forth in the lives of the noble few?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Original Pattern for Education

July 12 – 18, 2020

Key Text

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15).

Study Help: Education, 20–22.


“The system of education instituted at the beginning of the world was to be a model for man throughout all aftertime. As an illustration of its principles a model school was established in Eden, the home of our first parents. The Garden of Eden was the schoolroom, nature was the lesson book, the Creator Himself was the instructor, and the parents of the human family were the students.” Education, 20.



  • In what surroundings was man originally placed and what were the instructions given by God? Genesis 2:8; 1:28.

Note: “The home of our first parents was to be a pattern for other homes as their children should go forth to occupy the earth. That home, beautified by the hand of God Himself, was not a gorgeous palace. Men, in their pride, delight in magnificent and costly edifices and glory in the works of their own hands; but God placed Adam in a garden. This was his dwelling. The blue heavens were its dome; the earth, with its delicate flowers and carpet of living green, was its floor; and the leafy branches of the goodly trees were its canopy. Its walls were hung with the most magnificent adornings—the handiwork of the great Master Artist. In the surroundings of the holy pair was a lesson for all time—that true happiness is found, not in the indulgence of pride and luxury, but in communion with God through His created works. If men would give less attention to the artificial, and would cultivate greater simplicity, they would come far nearer to answering the purpose of God in their creation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 49, 50.



  • What occupation did Eden provide for our first parents? Genesis 2:15. Why is this so important for us today?

Note: “Families and institutions should learn to do more in the cultivation and improvement of land. If people only knew the value of the products of the ground, which the earth brings forth in their season, more diligent efforts would be made to cultivate the soil. All should be acquainted with the special value of fruits and vegetables fresh from the orchard and garden.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 312.

“Better than any other inheritance of wealth you can give to your children will be the gift of a healthy body, a sound mind, and a noble character. Those who understand what constitutes life’s true success will be wise betimes. They will keep in view life’s best things in their choice of a home. …

“Go where, apart from the distractions and dissipations of city life, you can give your children your companionship, where you can teach them to learn of God through His works, and train them for lives of integrity and usefulness.” The Ministry of Healing, 366, 367.

“To parents who are living in the cities the Lord is sending the warning cry, Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil. Get out of the cities as fast as possible.” Medical Ministry, 310.

  • What does God teach us about practical work? 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12.

 Note: “God appointed labor as a blessing to man, to occupy his mind, to strengthen his body, and to develop his faculties. In mental and physical activity, Adam found one of the highest pleasures of his holy existence.” The Faith I Live By, 232.

“Practical work encourages close observation and independent thought. Rightly performed, it tends to develop that practical wisdom which we call common sense. It develops ability to plan and execute, strengthens courage and perseverance, and calls for the exercise of tact and skill.” Education, 220.



  • What was among the lessons that Eden’s environment offered? Psalm 19:1, 2.

Note: “The book of nature, which spread its living lessons before them [our first parents], afforded an exhaustless source of instruction and delight. On every leaf of the forest and stone of the mountains, in every shining star, in earth and sea and sky, God’s name was written. With both the animate and the inanimate creation—with leaf and flower and tree, and with every living creature, from the leviathan of the waters to the mote in the sunbeam—the dwellers in Eden held converse, gathering from each the secrets of its life. God’s glory in the heavens, the innumerable worlds in their orderly revolutions, ‘the balancings of the clouds’ (Job 37:16), the mysteries of light and sound, of day and night—all were objects of study by the pupils of earth’s first school.” Education, 21.

“Instead of dwelling where only the works of men can be seen, where the sights and sounds frequently suggest thoughts of evil, where turmoil and confusion bring weariness and disquietude, go where you can look upon the works of God. Find rest of spirit in the beauty and quietude and peace of nature. Let the eye rest on the green fields, the groves, and the hills. Look up to the blue sky, unobscured by the city’s dust and smoke, and breathe the invigorating air of heaven.” The Ministry of Healing, 367.

  • What lessons are presented in the growth of plants? Luke 12:27.

Note: “Working the soil is one of the best kinds of employment, calling the muscles into action and resting the mind. Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of the education given in our schools. This is the very first work that should be entered upon.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 179.

“Thus while the children and youth gain a knowledge of facts from teachers and textbooks, let them learn to draw lessons and discern truth for themselves. In their gardening, question them as to what they learn from the care of their plants. As they look on a beautiful landscape, ask them why God clothed the fields and woods with such lovely and varied hues. Why was not all colored a somber brown? … Teach them to notice the evidences everywhere manifest in nature of God’s thought for us, the wonderful adaptation of all things to our need and happiness.” Education, 119.



  • What senses did Adam and Eve utilize in their garden environment? Genesis 3:8, first part.

 Note: “In the song of the bird, the sighing of the trees, and the music of the sea, we still may hear His voice who talked with Adam in Eden in the cool of the day. And as we behold His power in nature we find comfort, for the word that created all things is that which speaks life to the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 281, 282.

“In His interest for His children, our heavenly Father personally directed their education. Often they were visited by His messengers, the holy angels, and from them received counsel and instruction. Often as they walked in the garden in the cool of the day they heard the voice of God, and face to face held communion with the Eternal.” Education, 21.

“Adam and Eve, in their untainted purity, delighted in the sights and sounds of Eden. God appointed them their work in the garden, ‘to dress it and to keep it’ (Genesis 2:15). Each day’s labor brought them health and gladness, and the happy pair greeted with joy the visits of their Creator, as in the cool of the day He walked and talked with them.” The Ministry of Healing, 261.

  • What lessons can be drawn from worship amidst God’s creation? Romans 1:20; Psalm 104:10–24.

Note: “Nature is filled with spiritual lessons for mankind. The flowers die only to spring forth into new life; and in this we are taught the lesson of the resurrection. All who love God will bloom again in the Eden above.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 291.

“The children need to be given lessons that will nurture in them courage to resist evil. Point them from nature to nature’s God, and they will thus become acquainted with the Creator.” Child Guidance, 49.

“The parents may take their children outdoors to view God in nature. They can be pointed to the blooming flowers and the opening buds, the lofty trees and beautiful spires of grass, and taught that God made all these in six days and rested on the seventh day and hallowed it. Thus the parents may bind up their lessons of instruction to their children, so that when these children look upon the things of nature, they will call to mind the great Creator of them all.” Ibid., 533.


Mission of the Christian Home

  • What is the purpose of the Christian home?

Note:  “The mission of the home extends beyond its own members. The Christian home is to be an object lesson, illustrating the excellence of the true principles of life. Such an illustration will be a power for good in the world. Far more powerful than any sermon that can be preached is the influence of a true home upon human hearts and lives. As the youth go out from such a home, the lessons they have learned are imparted. Nobler principles of life are introduced into other households, and an uplifting influence works in the community.” The Ministry of Healing, 352.

“Love, the basis of creation and of redemption, is the basis of true education. …

“The law of love calls for the devotion of body, mind, and soul to the service of God and our fellow men. And this service, while making us a blessing to others, brings the greatest blessing to ourselves. Unselfishness underlies all true development. Through unselfish service we receive the highest culture of every faculty. More and more fully do we become partakers of the divine nature. We are fitted for heaven, for we receive heaven into our hearts.” Education, 16.

  • What is the mission given to the Christian home? 2Corinthians 3:2.

 Note: “The world needs today what it needed nineteen hundred years ago—a revelation of Christ.” The Ministry of Healing, 143.



1    What characterized the garden of Eden as a home?

2    How were Eden’s residents occupied?

3    What was Eden’s system of education?

4    How did Eden form a place of worship?

5    What lessons have you drawn from the first home, school, and church?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Principles of Education

July 5 – 11, 2020

Key Text

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth for ever” (Psalm 111:10).

Study Help: Education, 13–19.


“The object for which you are obtaining an education should not be lost sight of for a moment. It should be to so develop and direct your faculties that you may be more useful and bless others to the extent of your ability.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 223, 224.



  • Where is true wisdom found? Proverbs 9:10; Colossians 2:2, 3.

Note: “As the moon and the stars of our solar system shine by the reflected light of the sun, so, as far as their teaching is true, do the world’s great thinkers reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Every gleam of thought, every flash of the intellect, is from the Light of the world.” Education, 14.

  • How does the Lord impart His wisdom to mortals? Proverbs 2:6; Psalm 32:8.

Note: “Whatever line of investigation we pursue, with a sincere purpose to arrive at truth, we are brought in touch with the unseen, mighty Intelligence that is working in and through all. The mind of man is brought into communion with the mind of God, the finite with the Infinite. The effect of such communion on body and mind and soul is beyond estimate.” Education, 14.



  • How do God’s ways compare to our ways? Isaiah 55:8, 9. How is this reflected in God’s ideal for us in education?

Note: “Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” Education, 13.

  • Therefore, what is the goal of true education? Ephesians 3:14–19.

Note: “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness—godlikeness—is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continual progress. He has an object to achieve, a standard to attain, that includes everything good, and pure, and noble. He will advance as fast and as far as possible in every branch of true knowledge. But his efforts will be directed to objects as much higher than mere selfish and temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth.” Education, 18, 19.

  • For what should we be aiming? Jeremiah 9:23, 24.

Note: “The education and training of the youth is an important and solemn work. The great object to be secured should be the proper development of character, that the individual may be fitted rightly to discharge the duties of the present life and to enter at last upon the future, immortal life. Eternity will reveal the manner in which the work has been performed. If ministers and teachers could have a full sense of their responsibility, we should see a different state of things in the world today. But they are too narrow in their views and purposes. They do not realize the importance of their work or its results.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 418.



  • How was man created? Genesis 1:27. With what potential?

Note: “ ‘God created man in His own image’ (Genesis 1:27), and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image—the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator. … Had he remained loyal to God, all this would have been his forever. Throughout eternal ages he would have continued to gain new treasures of knowledge, to discover fresh springs of happiness, and to obtain clearer and yet clearer conceptions of the wisdom, the power, and the love of God. More and more fully would he have fulfilled the object of his creation, more and more fully have reflected the Creator’s glory.

“But by disobedience this was forfeited. Through sin the divine likeness was marred, and well-nigh obliterated. Man’s physical powers were weakened, his mental capacity was lessened, his spiritual vision dimmed. He had become subject to death. Yet the race was not left without hope. By infinite love and mercy the plan of salvation had been devised, and a life of probation was granted. To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized—this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life.” Education, 15, 16.

  • What desire should fill every heart? Psalm 86:11.

Note: “Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator—individuality, power to think and to do. … It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation. …

“Such an education provides more than mental discipline; it provides more than physical training. It strengthens the character, so that truth and uprightness are not sacrificed to selfish desire or worldly ambition. It fortifies the mind against evil. … As the perfection of His character is dwelt upon, the mind is renewed, and the soul is re-created in the image of God.” Education, 17, 18.



  • In learning of God, what do we experience? 1 John 4:16, 19.

 Note: “Love, the basis of creation and of redemption, is the basis of true education. This is made plain in the law that God has given as the guide of life. The first and great commandment is, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind’ (Luke 10:27). To love Him, the infinite, the omniscient One, with the whole strength, and mind, and heart, means the highest development of every power. It means that in the whole being—the body, the mind, as well as the soul—the image of God is to be restored.” Education, 16.

“In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around.” Steps to Christ, 59.

  • How does God’s love influence our relationships with others? John 13:34, 35.

Note: “The same interest and tenderness and long-suffering that He [Jesus] has manifested toward us, we are to manifest toward others. ‘As I have loved you,’ He says, ‘that ye also love one another’ (John 13:34). If Christ dwells in us, we shall reveal His unselfish love toward all with whom we have to do. As we see men and women in need of sympathy and help, we shall not ask, ‘Are they worthy?’ but ‘How can I benefit them?’ ” The Ministry of Healing, 162.

“Satan has used the most ingenious methods to weave his plans and principles into the systems of education, and thus gain a strong hold on the minds of the children and youth. It is the work of the true educator to thwart his devices. We are under solemn, sacred covenant to God to bring up our children for Him and not for the world; to teach them not to put their hands into the hand of the world, but to love and fear God, and to keep His commandments. They should be impressed with the thought that they are formed in the image of their Creator and that Christ is the pattern after which they are to be fashioned. Most earnest attention must be given to the education which will impart a knowledge of salvation, and will conform the life and character to the divine similitude.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 127.



  • What does the plan of God entail? 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
  •  How does Jesus’ childhood illustrate this completeness? Luke 2:51, 52.
  •  How can we have success in education? Romans 12:1, 2.

 Note: “All the varied capabilities that men possess—of mind and soul and body—are given them by God, to be so employed as to reach the highest possible degree of excellence. But this cannot be a selfish and exclusive culture; for the character of God, whose likeness we are to receive, is benevolence and love. Every faculty, every attribute, with which the Creator has endowed us is to be employed for His glory and for the uplifting of our fellow men. And in this employment is found its purest, noblest, and happiest exercise.

“Were this principle given the attention which its importance demands, there would be a radical change in some of the current methods of education. … The student would seek the development of God’s gifts in himself, not to excel others, but to fulfill the purpose of the Creator and to receive His likeness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 595.

“He who created man has provided for his development in body and mind and soul. Hence, real success in education depends upon the fidelity with which men carry out the Creator’s plan.” Ibid.



1    Where can we find the source of wisdom?

2    What is the purpose of true education?

3    What work is to be done within each believer?

4    How does education teach us to serve others?

5    What parts of our being are included in a complete education?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – “Go… Teach”

June 28 – July 4, 2020

Key Text

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 25–34.


“So mightily can God work when men give themselves up to the control of His Spirit.” The Acts of the Apostles, 49.



  • What commission did Jesus give to His followers? Matthew 28:19, 20.

Note: “The gospel commission is the great missionary charter of Christ’s kingdom. The disciples were to work earnestly for souls, giving to all the invitation of mercy. They were not to wait for the people to come to them; they were to go to the people with their message.” The Acts of the Apostles, 28.

  • How would their work progress, and how far would it extend? Acts 1:8.

Note: “Although My people would not come to Me that they might have life, although priests and rulers have done unto Me as they listed, although they have rejected Me, they shall have still another opportunity of accepting the Son of God. You have seen that all who come to Me confessing their sins, I freely receive. Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. To you, My disciples, I commit this message of mercy. It is to be given to both Jews and Gentiles—to Israel, first, and then to all nations, tongues, and peoples. All who believe are to be gathered into one church.” The Acts of the Apostles, 27, 28.



  • How were the disciples often distracted as Jesus tried to forewarn them of His arrest and crucifixion? Mark 9:31–34; Luke 22:21–24.

Note: “On the journey through Galilee, Christ had again tried to prepare the minds of His disciples for the scenes before Him. He told them that He was to go up to Jerusalem to be put to death and to rise again. And He added the strange and solemn announcement that He was to be betrayed into the hands of His enemies. The disciples did not even now comprehend His words. Although the shadow of a great sorrow fell upon them, a spirit of rivalry found a place in their hearts. They disputed among themselves which should be accounted greatest in the kingdom. This strife they thought to conceal from Jesus, and they did not, as usual, press close to His side, but loitered behind, so that He was in advance of them as they entered Capernaum. Jesus read their thoughts, and He longed to counsel and instruct them. But for this He awaited a quiet hour, when their hearts should be open to receive His words.” The Desire of Ages, 432.

“The disciples clung to their favorite idea that Christ would assert His power, and take His position on the throne of David. And in heart each still longed for the highest place in the kingdom. They had placed their own estimate upon themselves and upon one another, and, instead of regarding their brethren as more worthy, they had placed themselves first.” Ibid., 643, 644.

  • How did these things take them by surprise? Luke 24:13–22.

Note: “Strange that the disciples did not remember Christ’s words, and realize that He had foretold the events which had come to pass! They did not realize that the last part of His disclosure would be just as verily fulfilled as the first part, that the third day He would rise again. This was the part they should have remembered. The priests and rulers did not forget this. On the day ‘that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, After three days I will rise again’ (Matthew 27:62, 63). But the disciples did not remember these words.” The Desire of Ages, 796.



  • How would Jesus continue to teach the disciples after His ascension? John 16:12, 13.
  • How does the Spirit teach and correct us? John 16:8.

 Note: “The preaching of the word is of no avail without the presence and aid of the Holy Spirit; for this Spirit is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit, will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. A minister may be able to present the letter of the word of God; he may be familiar with all its commands and promises; but his sowing of the gospel seed will not be successful unless this seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Without the co-operation of the Spirit of God, no amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light. Before one book of the New Testament had been written, before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying disciples. Then the testimony of their enemies was, ‘Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine’ (Acts 5:28).” Gospel Workers, 284.

  • What special gift does God give the remnant? Revelation 12:17; 19:10. Where do we find this gift at work today?

Note: “I took the precious Bible and surrounded it with the several Testimonies for the Church, given for the people of God. Here, said I, the cases of nearly all are met. The sins they are to shun are pointed out. …

“But there are not many of you that really know what is contained in the Testimonies. You are not familiar with the Scriptures. If you had made God’s word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies. It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourselves with God’s inspired Book that He has sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies, calling your attention to the words of inspiration which you had neglected to obey, and urging you to fashion your lives in accordance with its pure and elevated teachings.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 605.



  • How was the promise of the Spirit repeated? Acts 1:4–9.

Note: “Jesus had opened before His disciples a vast tract of truth. But it was most difficult for them to keep His lessons distinct from the traditions and maxims of the scribes and Pharisees. … Earthly ideas, temporal things, still had a large place in their thoughts. They did not understand the spiritual nature of Christ’s kingdom, though He had so often explained it to them. Their minds had become confused. They did not comprehend the value of the scriptures Christ presented. Many of His lessons seemed almost lost upon them. Jesus saw that they did not lay hold of the real meaning of His words. He compassionately promised that the Holy Spirit should recall these sayings to their minds. And He had left unsaid many things that could not be comprehended by the disciples. These also would be opened to them by the Spirit. The Spirit was to quicken their understanding, that they might have an appreciation of heavenly things.” The Desire of Ages, 670, 671.

  • What happened when the promise was fulfilled? Acts 2:1–4.

Note: “Under the influence of this heavenly illumination the scriptures that Christ had explained to the disciples stood out before them with the luster of perfect truth. The veil that had prevented them from seeing to the end of that which had been abolished, was now removed, and they comprehended with perfect clearness the object of Christ’s mission and the nature of His kingdom. They could speak with power of the Saviour; and as they unfolded to their hearers the plan of salvation, many were convicted and convinced.” The Acts of the Apostles, 44.

“What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? The glad tidings of a risen Saviour were carried to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world. As the disciples proclaimed the message of redeeming grace, hearts yielded to the power of this message. … Every Christian saw in his brother a revelation of divine love and benevolence. One interest prevailed; one subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.” Ibid., 48.



  • How were some early believers gently rebuked for their failure to advance in knowledge? Hebrews 5:12.

Note: “Many who ought to be teachers, have hardly learned the alphabet of the Christian life. They need constantly that one teach them. They do not grow in holiness, in faith, in hope, in joy, in gratitude. Christ opened the way, at an infinite cost, that we might live a Christian life. … It was by faith in Christ that the great apostle maintained the consistency and beauty of his course. He suffered opposition, insult, persecution, imprisonment, with a firmness and meekness which none but Christ could impart. Our obligations are no less than were his. Our privileges are great, our opportunities abundant. Great light is shining upon us, but it will become darkness to those who refuse to follow its guidance.” The Review and Herald, May 30, 1882.

  • What work is still to be done, and how? Matthew 24:14.

Note: “The Spirit of the Almighty is moving upon men’s hearts, and those who respond to its influence become witnesses for God and His truth. In many places consecrated men and women may be seen communicating to others the light that has made plain to them the way of salvation through Christ. And as they continue to let their light shine, as did those who were baptized with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, they receive more and still more of the Spirit’s power. Thus the earth is to be lightened with the glory of God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 54.



1    How does the Great Commission challenge me today?

2    Why were the disciples taken by surprise by Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion?

3    What is the role of the Holy Spirit in education?

4    How were the early Christians changed by the outpouring of the Spirit?

5    What education is needed by the world prior to the Second Coming?

© 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Apple Almond Flour Cookies

Organic Apples High in Bacteria

Published in Frontiers in Microbiology, a new study shows that organic apples harbor a more diverse and balanced bacterial community, which could make them healthier and tastier than conventional apples.

“The bacteria, fungi and viruses in our food transiently colonize our gut,” says study senior author Professor Gabriele Berg, of Graz University of Technology, Austria.

The researchers compared the bacteria in conventional store-bought apples with those in visually matched fresh organic ones. Stem, peel, flesh, seeds and calyx – the straggly bit at the bottom where the flower used to be – were analyzed separately.

“Putting together the averages for each apple component, we estimate a typical 240g raw apple contains roughly 100 million bacteria,” says Berg. The majority of the bacteria are in the seeds, with the flesh accounting for most of the remainder. So, if you discard the core, your intake falls to nearer 10 million.

“Freshly harvested, organically managed apples harbor a significantly more diverse, more even and distinct bacterial community, compared to conventional ones,” explains Berg.

Specific groups of bacteria known for health-affecting potential also weighed in favor of organic apples. Lactobacilli – of probiotic fame – was found in most of the organic apple samples.

For those who can “taste the difference,” “Methylobacterium, known to enhance the biosynthesis of strawberry flavor compounds, was significantly more abundant in organic apples; here especially on peel and flesh samples, which in general had a more diverse microbiota than seeds, stem or calyx.” Together the studies show that across both bacteria and fungi, the apple microbiome is more diverse in organically grown fruits.

Excerpts from

Recipe – Apple Almond Flour Cookies 


1 small organic sweet or tart-sweet apple (red delicious, gala, Macintosh, Braeburn)

1 cup blanched almond flour

2 tsp. coconut sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup, optional

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 tsp. fine sea salt


Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Scrub and cut apple into chunks; process in a food processor, scraping down sides, until pureed (mixture will look like raw apple sauce).

Place the almond flour in a medium bowl. Add the apple puree (1/2 cup only, not packed), sweetener, cardamom, extract, and salt. Stir until completely blended.

Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough in 12 mounds, spacing 2 inches apart, on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown and centers feel firm to the touch. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Life’s Sketches – Today’s Choice

Bible prophecy predicts that America, as well as the rest of the world, is headed for a gigantic religious crisis, which will result in losing the religious liberty that we have long enjoyed. History has proven that Bible prophecy has an uncanny way of always turning out to be correct.

The Bible says in Romans 14:12 that all are going to give an account of themselves to God. When the apostle Paul was brought before Felix, the governor in Rome, and had the opportunity to reason with him about righteousness, and judgment, and self-control, Felix trembled. Paul told him of the judgment that was coming in the future when every secret of men would be revealed (Romans 2). Jesus said, “There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known” (Matthew 10:26). At that time, sins that have been covered and unconfessed will be revealed and an account will be required.

Felix realized that if he was to face the judgment with a clear conscience, he would have to confess his sins. To do that would result in severe consequences. After preaching on the subject of confession once, I was told by one man that it made him angry because if he confessed his sins he would have to go to jail. Another woman told me that if she confessed her sins it would break up homes all over town. But friend, whatever the consequences are, those sins will either be confessed now to those we have wronged or be confessed later in the judgment when we must give an account to God.

Though Felix trembled at the thought, he did not yield to his conscience, but put it off saying, he would do it at a more convenient time. That convenient time never came for Felix. How many others will there be like him on the Day of Judgment who planned to become Christians, but waited for that illusive convenient time?

How is it with you? Have you chosen to follow Christ today and be prepared for the coming judgment? Paul said, “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV). It does not matter what our background is, what we believe, or don’t believe. All will stand before the judgment seat and give an account of their life.

It is critical to confess and repent of your sins and have them covered by the blood of Christ. The Bible says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Felix neglected to take advantage of the offer of salvation. His tragic story is recorded so that others will not make the same mistake. Felix will not be seen inside the Holy City, but will be on the outside with those who never followed up with what they knew was right.

Concerning the New Jerusalem, it says in Revelation 21:27, “There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of life.” Is your name in that book?

Ironically, two years after Felix had left Paul in prison simply as a favor to the Jews, convinced that he had done nothing worthy of death or of even being in prison, he was removed from his position as governor by the Roman government. Festus, a man who was more competent and morally qualified than Felix was given the job and it was he who was left with deciding what to do with the apostle Paul.

“When Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him, asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem—while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him. But Festus answered that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself was going there shortly. ‘Therefore,’ he said, ‘let those who have authority among you go down with me and accuse this man, to see if there is any fault in him.’ And when he had remained among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day, sitting on the judgment seat, he commanded Paul to be brought” (Acts 25:1–6).

Both Claudius Lysias and Felix had already declared that Paul had done nothing deserving of punishment. However, the Jews continued to bring their unsubstantiated charges against him. A third time Paul was brought to answer the Jews’ vehement accusations.

“When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood about and laid many serious complaints against Paul, which they could not prove, while he answered for himself,  ‘Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.’ But Festus, wanting to do the Jews a favor, answered Paul and said, ‘Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and there be judged before me concerning these things?’ ” (verses 7–9).

The Jews, just as before, brought against Paul the same charges of heresy, of treason against the government, and of sacrilege, but they were unable to sustain the charges. They tried to intimidate Festus, but he would not accede to their demands to do something against Paul without a trial. As Festus looked upon this scene he was disgusted with the Jewish dignitaries, the priests and rulers who, although they had scowling faces and gleaming eyes, had forgotten the dignity of their office in reiterating their accusations until the tribunal rang with their cries of rage. This disgusting scene displayed before the governor while in contrast to the demeanor of Paul’s humility and self-possession was not lost on Festus.

Festus realized that he had a difficult situation at hand. If he did not accede to the Jew’s demands, there could be an insurrection. So, he thought to compromise—go down to Jerusalem with Paul for a trial there. Paul knew of the dangerous plot, but Festus did not know that the Jews had planned to kill Paul on the way to Jerusalem.

Paul was weary of strife. He was weary of the fierce reiteration of the same charges, having them refuted and then renewed again. He had suffered repeated delays for over two years. Paul case was the first for which Festus was to render judgment; so he requested of Paul if he wanted to go down to Jerusalem and be tried there before him. “So Paul said, ‘I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you very well know. For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but if there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me, no one can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar’ ” (verses 10, 11). Today, that would be equivalent to a person saying, “I am appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Then the Bible says, “Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, ‘You have appealed to Caesar? To Caesar you shall go’ (verse 12)! Festus, oblivious to the conspiracy of the Jews to murder Paul, was surprised at this appeal to Caesar. It was a little bit humbling that the very first case that he should try would get referred to a higher court. Once again, we see that the hatred that is borne of Jewish bigotry and self-righteousness ended up driving a servant of God to turn for protection to a heathen ruler. It was this same hatred that forced the prophet Elijah to flee for help to the widow of Sarepta. It was this same hatred that had forced the heralds of the gospel to flee from Judea and proclaim the gospel message to the Gentiles (Acts 8). And, it is the same spirit that, according to Bible prophecy, the people of God in this age have yet to meet.

The spirit of unrelenting hatred against the heralds of the gospel that was manifested by the Jewish nation in the first century is the same spirit that God’s people in this day and age have yet to meet, according to Revelation 13, and the same spirit that the people of God in the last days will go through. They will then become better acquainted with the experience of the apostle Paul.

Today, among the professed followers of Christ, there is the same pride, the same formalism, the same vain glory, the same selfishness and oppression, that existed then in the Jewish nation. Before the warfare is ended and the victory is won, God’s people will experience trials similar to those of the apostle Paul. They will encounter the same hardness of heart, the same cruel determination, the same unyielding hatred.

Read Revelation 13, especially the last several verses. Men professing to be representatives of Christ will take a course similar to that taken by priests and rulers in their treatment of Paul. All who would fearlessly serve God according to the dictates of their own conscience will have to have moral courage, firmness, not only a knowledge of God and His word, but they will have to determine to stand, because persecution will be kindled against those who are true to God. Their motives will be impugned, and their best efforts will be misinterpreted. Their names will be cast out as evil.

And then what Jesus said will come to pass: “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16:1, 2). Anyone who attempts to destroy the faithful will think that he is doing God’s service. Then it is that Satan will work with all of his fascinating power to influence the heart, to becloud the understanding and to make evil appear good and to make good appear evil. Jesus predicted that “false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2, verses 9 to 12, concerning the very last days: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

It’s coming, friend. Jesus predicted it many times. We read it in Matthew 24 and in John 16. Paul predicted it in 2 Thessalonians 2. John the revelator predicts it clearly in Revelation 13. God wants you to be prepared for the crisis that is coming upon this world. But whether you are prepared or unprepared, you are going to meet it. Only those whose characters are thoroughly disciplined to meet the divine standard will be able to stand firm in that testing time.

Remember, when there are enemies on every side watching them for evil, the God of heaven will be watching His precious jewels for good. When the time comes, when secular rulers unite with the ministers of religion to come between God and the conscience of His people, then those who cherish the fear of God will be revealed. When the darkness is the deepest, then the light of a noble God-like character will shine the brightest. When every other trust fails in this world, then it will be seen which people have an abiding trust in God. The stronger and the purer the faith of God’s people, the firmer their determination will be to obey Him, and the more will Satan stir up the rage of those who claim to be righteous while trampling on the law of God.

In this coming emergency rulers and magistrates will not interpose in behalf of God’s people. The apostle Paul could at least appeal to Caesar, appeal to a heathen ruler to get justice. But in the coming crisis, rulers and magistrates will not interpose in behalf of God’s people. There will be a corrupt harmony with all who have not been obedient to the law of God. In that day all timeservers, all who do not have the genuine work of grace in the heart, will be found wanting. It will require the firmest trust and the most heroic purpose to hold fast the faith that was once delivered to the saints, but the Bible predicts that there will be a group of people who will stand that test. It says in Revelation 13 verses 16 and 17, “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on the right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

“Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name’ ” (Revelation 14:9–11).

Those who receive the mark described in Revelation 13:16 and 17, in spite of the warning that is given in the third angel’s message, will receive, first of all, the seven last plagues, because it says in Revelation 16:2, “So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.”

At that time, the Bible predicts that there will be some faithful people who will refuse the mark. They will not be able to buy or sell; they will not be able to even buy food unless the Lord works a miracle to preserve them. Even so, they will stay true to the worship of God regardless of the cost.

“I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God” (Revelation 15:2, 3). These people refuse to worship images (Exodus 20:4). They refuse to worship the beast, or the image to the beast, or receive the mark. Revelation 14:12 describes them this way: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

In the very last days of earth’s history the whole world will be brought to a decision. Everyone will choose, some to receive the mark of the beast and others to receive the seal of God—marked for destruction or marked for salvation. Which mark will you receive?

In Revelation 22:14 it says, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”

Friend, life is serious. This life is very short compared with eternity, but it is in this life where the decisions you make determine your eternal destiny. The choice is yours. What will it be, eternal life or eternal death?

The scripture says, “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” (verse 17).

God offers eternal life if you are willing to listen, if you are willing to follow, and if you are willing to obey. You must make this decision for yourself; your eternal destiny is up to you.

(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 in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Testimony – My Home

I was born in India to Armenian parents and spent some of my younger years in England before moving to Australia with my parents.

Years later, I was excited when my husband Edmond, a U.S. American citizen, received his Australian citizenship. We attended the ceremony that was held in a large hall of the Council office presided over by the mayor.

The candidates all stood on the podium while I stood watching with my three-year-old Katie standing on the chair next to me. She was so excited to see her daddy and waved to him. The music started playing and everyone stood to sing the national anthem, “Australia all let us rejoice for we are young and free …” Suddenly, I heard a little voice beside me singing. Katie, maybe thinking she was in church with everyone dressed in suits, started singing with gusto, in tune and on key, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so …”

The two songs blended so well, and people were smiling at Katie. As the anthem continued, “In history’s page, let every stage, Advance Australia Fair,” could be heard,

“Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.”

After the ceremony we met the mayor and found out that he had grandchildren Katie’s age. The mayor took the medallion from around his neck and placed it around Katie’s. She was all smiles and so happy. I will always remember this event with great joy.

My little Katie, so innocent and unashamed to praise Jesus.

“And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2, 3).

Sixteen years later it was I who stood before the citizenship officials to obtain my American citizenship. With all the candidates, I placed my hand over my heart while the national anthem started to play. I had heard the Stars and Stripes anthem so many times since living in this country, but that day it was different. Tears welled up in my eyes as I felt such joy, ownership and belonging. I was now accepted into the same citizenship of my family and felt a belonging as never before.

Very soon, Jesus will come to take His children home. The pearly gates will open and we will hear His welcoming words, “Come, ye blessed of My Father” (Matthew 25:34). The national anthem of the redeemed will play and we will sing in melodious tones the song of “Moses and the Lamb.” I have tasted the joy of being welcomed into a new society, but that is nothing compared to the joy the saints will experience when entering at last into the kingdom of heaven where the redeemed will be happier than they have ever imagined.

Oh friend, how wonderful Heaven will be. Let us live to be a blessing to others. After all, very soon our citizenship of Heaven will be a reality.

Health – Are World Pandemics Inevitable?

The year 2020 will be recorded in history books as the year of the global Coronavirus pandemic. It is not the first pandemic the world has experienced, but consequences of pandemics are more disastrous today because of easy global travel.

Are such pandemics inevitable? While we may never find the exact origin of the 2020 pandemic, most pandemics in recent decades, if not centuries, seem to have a common denominator – they are zoonotic infections, i.e., viruses transmitted from animals to humans. The origins are not from just any animals, they are from the kind that we shouldn’t handle in the first place, let alone kill them for food. These pandemics happen as a result of direct violation of dietary and hygienic principles laid out in Leviticus 11.

When reading the book of Leviticus, one is in awe of the knowledge people had thousands of years ago. Yet here we are in the 21st century and we violate the basic rules of health left and right.

People point to some Asian countries with wet markets, which are breeding grounds for diseases of all kinds. True, the torture and slaughter of animals we shouldn’t even touch are happening there on a large scale. May these horrific places be a warning for our own violations of biblical health principles.

The Bible is very specific on how to avoid animal-borne diseases:

Land Animals

The beginning of Leviticus 11 clearly states which animals God allowed to be consumed: “You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud” (Leviticus 11:3 NIV). The following verses clarify that both of these requirements are to be met, not just one. There are animals that have split hooves such as the pig, but it does not chew cud. And vice versa; there are animals that do chew cud, but do not have split hooves such as rabbit. Animals who do not meet these two requirements are declared unclean and unfit for human consumption. Their carcasses are not to be touched.

Water Animals

“Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales” (Leviticus 11:9 NIV). The same rules apply as in land animals: creatures that do not meet both requirements are not to be consumed and their carcasses not to be handled.


Consumption of all vulture birds is forbidden. Eagles, kites, gulls, ravens, owls, bats – all these are specifically named in the Bible as unclean (verses 13–19).


We are forbidden to consume all flying and crawling insects. Some may be surprised that consumption of some insects is permitted. The rule: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground, such as the grasshopper (verses 20–23).

Biblical Rules on Handling Animals

There may be situations when people have to remove or handle a carcass of a dead animal. Whether the animal meets the definition of clean or unclean, in such case the person is to wash himself and his clothes and should quarantine himself for the rest of the day. This hygienic rule is not taken from any modern brochure on hygiene. It was recorded thousands of years ago in Leviticus 11:24.
Should any live animal categorized as unclean touch any object that people use, such object is to be thoroughly washed and is not to be used until the next day. The book of Leviticus specifically mentions rats and snakes. The biblical counsel goes to such details as clay pots. These can’t be properly cleaned because of their porous nature. Such pots are to be destroyed if any unclean animal touches them. Any food that has come into contact with such a pot or animal is to be discarded (verses 29–35).

What more to add? These rules are so simple, yet most world inhabitants ignore them despite the fact that we have had this knowledge for millennia. We could have avoided the majority of diseases and pandemics if we stuck to these principles. Further chapters of Leviticus 12–15 provide simple principles on how to prevent contamination and infecting others if someone does get sick. These are very simple rules, yet we prefer to ignore them as well.

Most Christians eat creatures that the Bible explicitly forbids to consume. Just to name a few: pigs, shellfish, rabbits, lobsters, crabs, and all kinds of unclean fish (Leviticus 11;5–11). Nothing is off limit, depending on the particular culture of a country.

Christendom had to invent excuses why these principles are no longer binding. A common excuse is that these rules were only for the Jews. If these rules are for our health protection, does the Jewish population have a weaker immune system or perhaps some superior digestive system? It’s simple biology, not religion. All races of people are biologically prone to the same infections and diseases.

These unclean animals have a very important role in nature. They keep the environment clean, which prevents the spread of infections and viruses. While doing this dirty job, these animals carry all kinds of viruses for which they’re equipped. Subsequently these viruses don’t hurt them. By God’s design, these animals are not to come into direct contact with humans, let alone butchered and consumed! Once we violate this God-given principle, we can expect to be afflicted with diseases that our body is not designed to handle.

On land we often think of vultures as the cleaning crew. Think also about the seas. How does the ocean maintain its sparkling-clean water if large animals die and pollute it with digestive waste? Most oceans aren’t sparking clean anymore because we humans have dumped thousands of tons of garbage there. But the ocean is equipped with a self-cleaning mechanism to clean up its own carcasses and animal waste. There are creatures on the bottom of the ocean floor cleaning up everything that falls down. These cleaning crews can be animals as large as sharks or as tiny as shellfish. These animals are not to be consumed because they’re toxic. Shellfish are particularly very toxic. Even people who are used to consuming them often get sick. All restaurants in the United States have a mandatory warning on their menus: “Consuming raw seafood may increase the risk of food-borne illness.” These animals are clearly categorized as unclean in the Bible and unfit for human consumption. If we violate these Biblical dietary guidelines, disease will prevail.

Many people have in-home pets such as dogs or cats. These animals are categorized as unclean in the Bible. Despite thousands of years of domestication, they maintain their original nature and can carry dangerous pathogens. Therefore, we immunize and treat them for all kinds of infestations. We also don’t consume them in the western culture. Yet still, not everyone can keep a cat or dog at home. Some people develop health complications if in close proximity to them.

Especially in third world countries, large populations have parasites. How does it happen? They consume home-grown pigs who have been raised without drugs. The locals proudly say that their pork is better because it’s organic. Little do they know that such meat is far more dangerous for human consumption than pork from commercial farms. These naturally grown pigs are full of pathogens and parasites that easily transfer to humans via pork consumption. Entire villages are malnourished, not for lack of food, but because of the presence of parasites in their systems. Many people die once these parasites get into their brain. Entire populations in many sophisticated Latin-American cities are encouraged to de-parasite themselves on a regular basis. These are often wealthy, educated people, yet somehow consuming pork seems natural to them, even while being aware of the risks and being prescribed regular de-parasitation.

Despite being chemically treated, the domesticated pig still maintains its nature and easily consumes its own waste! No matter the chemical treatment, pork has to be cooked at high temperature to prevent health problems in humans. It is dangerous to consume pork, especially when undercooked. Yet most people think nothing of consuming pork chops, pork loin, bacon, or pork ribs.

It should be obvious that God gave these health laws to His people to keep them healthy, not just in their wilderness wanderings, but for all time. Note that these laws were given long before God’s people were called Jews. They were simply His chosen people.

Those who claim to be modern Israel today are “His people” in a special sense. As such, these health laws apply to them as well.

The question is, Are we observing them as God intended? If not, we must suffer the consequences.

Question – …Is it okay for certain kinds of dancing?


The Bible says that David danced. Is it okay for certain kinds of dancing?


“And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod” (2 Samuel 6:14).

“Again the long train was in motion, and the music of harp and cornet, trumpet and cymbal, floated heavenward, blended with the melody of many voices. ‘And David danced before the Lord,’ in his gladness keeping time to the measure of the song.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 707.

“David’s dancing in reverent joy before God has been cited by pleasure lovers in justification of the fashionable modern dance, but there is no ground for such an argument. In our day dancing is associated with folly and midnight reveling. Health and morals are sacrificed to pleasure. … God is not an object of thought and reverence; prayer or the song of praise would be felt to be out of place in their assemblies. This test should be decisive. Amusements that have a tendency to weaken the love for sacred things and lessen our joy in the service of God are not to be sought by Christians. The music and dancing in joyful praise to God at the removal of the ark had not the faintest resemblance to the dissipation of modern dancing. The one tended to the remembrance of God and exalted His holy name. The other is a device of Satan to cause men to forget God and to dishonor Him.” The Adventist Home, 517.

Speaking of the night of deliverance from Egypt, Ellen White wrote, “That vast helpless throng—bondmen unused to battle, women, children, and cattle, with the sea before them, and the mighty armies of Egypt pressing behind—had seen their path opened through the waters, and their enemies overwhelmed in the moment of expected triumph. Jehovah alone had brought them deliverance, and to Him their hearts were turned in gratitude and faith. Their emotion found utterance in songs of praise. …

“Like the voice of the great deep rose from the vast hosts of Israel that sublime ascription. It was taken up by the women of Israel, Miriam, the sister of Moses, leading the way, as they went forth with timbrel and dance. Far over the desert and sea rang the joyous refrain, and the mountains re-echoed the words of their praise—‘Sing ye to Jehovah, for He hath triumphed gloriously.’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 288, 289.

Children’s Story – Did Bob Think?

Bob was an old horse on my great-grandfather’s farm. He was a very clever horse. But it is not so much for his cleverness as for one thoughtful thing he did that his name has been handed down to us who live so long after him and who never saw him.

Bob was very fond of children. The boys who lived near used to have many a pleasant game with Bob on sunny afternoons, when he was grazing in the fields.

Sometimes the boys chased Bob, and sometimes he chased them. It was a funny sight to see the old horse running after a troop of boys, uttering a peculiar whinny that plainly said, “Isn’t this real fun, boys?”

One day Bob was coming slowly through the one long street of the village, dragging a loaded cart behind him. There, right in the middle of the street, a little child was sprawling in the dust. No one noticed it until Bob and the cart were close upon it.

Was the child to be trodden under the horse’s feet or crushed beneath the broad wheels of the cart? No; for just as the mother rushed out of the doorway with a shriek, Bob reached down, seized the child’s clothing with his teeth, and laid the little one safely on the footpath. It was done tenderly, quietly, and it was over in a minute. Then the wise horse went on as if he had done nothing surprising.

Do you wonder that we keep Bob’s memory green? And isn’t his thoughtfulness a lesson for children whose excuse for carelessness that injures others is, “I didn’t think”? Bob thought, and his thinking saved the child’s life.

Balloons, True Education Series, ©1976, 48, 49.

“Think right thoughts, and you will perform right actions.” The Adventist Home, 54. If we have invited Jesus to live in our heart, we will think His thoughts. Then it will be natural for us to be kind and thoughtful, helping and encouraging others around us. He will help us to think and then do what He would do.