Bible Study – Life

July 23 – 29, 2023

Key Text

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 463–475; Testimonies, Vol. 6, 369–379


“Jesus came to ‘destroy the works of the devil.’ ‘In Him was life,’ and He says, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ 1 John 3:8; John 1:4; 10:10.” The Desire of Ages, 270



1.a. How was Adam brought into existence, and when? Genesis 2:7; 1:26–28, 31

Note: “The Lord created man out of the dust of the earth. He made Adam a partaker of His life, His nature. There was breathed into him the breath of the Almighty, and he became a living soul. Adam was perfect in form—strong, comely, pure, bearing the image of his Maker.

“Man came from the hand of his Creator perfect in organization and beautiful in form. The fact that he has for six thousand years withstood the ever-increasing weight of disease and crime is conclusive proof of the power of endurance with which he was first endowed.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, 1082

1.b.        Who were involved in the creation of Adam and Eve? Genesis 1:2, 26; 2:7; Colossians 1:16, 17
By what power are all things sustained? Psalm 93:1

Note: “The hand that sustains the worlds in space, the hand that holds in their orderly arrangement and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for us.” Education, 132



2.a. What is God’s plan for every human being? John 10:10

Note: “Jesus came to ‘destroy the works of the devil.’ ‘In Him was life,’ and He says, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly;’ He is ‘a quickening spirit.’ 1 John 3:8; John 1:4; 10:10; 1 Corinthians 15:45. And He still has the same life-giving power as when on earth He healed the sick, and spoke forgiveness to the sinner. He ‘forgiveth all thine iniquities,’ He ‘healeth all thy diseases.’ Psalm 103:3.” The Desire of Ages, 270

2.b.        What did Christ say about His mission on earth? John 3:16, 17

Note: “Christ does not weigh character in scales of human judgment. He says, ‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me’ (John 12:32). Every soul who responds to this drawing will turn from iniquity. Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. He who comes to Jesus is setting his feet upon a ladder that reaches from earth to heaven. Teach it by pen, by voice, that God is above the ladder; the bright rays of His glory are shining upon every round of the ladder. He is looking graciously upon all who are climbing painfully upward, that He may send them help, divine help, when the hand seems to be relaxing and the foot trembling. Yes, tell it, tell it in words that will melt the heart, that not one who shall perseveringly climb the ladder will fail of an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; those who believe in Christ shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of His hand.

“Tell the people in clear, hopeful language how they may escape the heritage of shame which is our deserved portion. But for Christ’s sake do not present before them ideas that will discourage them, that will make the way to heaven seem very difficult. Keep all these overstrained ideas to yourself.

“While we must often impress the mind with the fact that the Christian life is a life of warfare, that we must watch and pray and toil, that there is peril to the soul in relaxing the spiritual vigilance for one moment, the completeness of the salvation proffered us from Jesus who loves us and gave Himself that we should not perish but have everlasting life, is to be the theme.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 181, 182



3.a. What is God’s plan for our physical life? 3 John 2

Note: “The body must be kept in a healthy condition in order that the soul may be in health. The condition of the body affects the condition of the soul. He who would have physical and spiritual strength must educate his appetite in right lines. He must be careful not to burden the soul by overtaxing his physical or spiritual powers. Faithful adherence to right principles in eating, drinking, and dressing is a duty that God has laid upon human beings.

“The Lord desires us to obey the laws of health and life. He holds each one responsible to care properly for his body, that it may be kept in health.” Evangelism, 261

3.b.        What is the basic condition for a healthy life? Deuteronomy 7:9, 11, 15

Note: “Our bodies are Christ’s purchased possession, and we are not at liberty to do with them as we please. All who understand the laws of health should realize their obligation to obey these laws, which God has established in their being. Obedience to the laws of health is to be made a matter of personal duty. We ourselves must suffer the results of violated law. We must individually answer to God for our habits and practices. Therefore the question with us is not, ‘What is the world’s practice?’ but, ‘How shall I as an individual treat the habitation that God has given me?’ ” Child Guidance, 367, 368

“Whether they acknowledge it or not, God lays upon all human beings the duty of taking care of the soul temple. The body is to be kept clean and pure. The soul is to be sanctified and ennobled. Then, God says, I will come unto him and take up My abode with him. We are responsible for our own salvation, and God holds us accountable for the influence we exert on those connected with us. We should stand in such a position, physically and spiritually, that we can recommend the religion of Christ. We are to dedicate our bodies to God.” Medical Ministry, 295

“When speaking to persons on the subject of health, they often say, ‘We know a great deal better than we do.’ They do not realize that they are accountable for every ray of light in regard to their physical well-being, and that their every habit bears the inspection of God. He made the human being. We are His property, bought with a price, and what a price!” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 20, 8



4.a. What instruction did Christ give to those whom He healed? John 5:14; 8:11

Note: “If, after so much light has been given, God’s people will cherish wrong habits, indulging self and refusing to reform, they will suffer the sure consequences of transgression. If they are determined to gratify perverted appetite at any cost, God will not miraculously save them from the consequences of their indulgence. They ‘shall lie down in sorrow.’ Isaiah 50:11.

“Those who choose to be presumptuous, saying, ‘The Lord has healed me, and I need not restrict my diet; I can eat and drink as I please,’ will erelong need, in body and soul, the restoring power of God. Because the Lord has graciously healed you, you must not think you can link yourselves up with the self-indulgent practices of the world. Do as Christ commanded after His work of healing—‘go, and sin no more.’ John 8:11. Appetite must not be your god.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 25

4.b.        How are we bidden not to hurt ourselves by failing to practice health reform? Exodus 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. What do we do to others when we are unfaithful in health reform?

Note: “There are many expensive indulgences that are at the same time very injurious. They derange the digestive organs, and destroy the appetite for simple, wholesome food; and sickness and suffering are the result. With dyspepsia and its attendant evils comes the loss of a sweet disposition. There is irritability, fretfulness, and impatience, often resulting in harsh, unkind words and wrong acts.” Good Health, December 1, 1887

“If the churches expect strength, they must live the truth which God has given them. If the members of our churches disregard the light on this subject, they will reap the sure result in both spiritual and physical degeneracy. And the influence of these older church members will leaven those newly come to the faith. The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 370, 371



5.a. What is the only way to be faithful both to physical and spiritual laws? John 14:15, 23

Note: “The ten commandments, Thou shalt, and Thou shalt not, are ten promises, assured to us if we render obedience to the law governing the universe. …

“That law of ten precepts of the greatest love that can be presented to man is the voice of God from heaven speaking to the soul in promise, ‘This do, and you will not come under the dominion and control of Satan.’ There is not a negative in that law, although it may appear thus. It is DO, and Live. …

“The love of Jesus in the soul will banish all hatred, selfishness, and envy; for the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. There is health in obedience to God’s law. The affections of the obedient are drawn out after God. Looking unto the Lord Jesus, we may encourage and serve one another. The love of Christ is shed abroad in our souls, and there is no dissension and strife among us.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, 1105

5.b.        What is God’s plan for our whole life? 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 4; 5:23, 24; Philippians 2:12, 13

Note: “The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, but he will maintain a constant warfare against it. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims, ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57.” The Great Controversy, 469, 470



1    Describe God’s work on the sixth day of creation, and His desire regarding human life.

2    How can we be a healthy people, according to Deuteronomy chapter 7?

3    Why is it so important to live up to the light we have?

4    What is God’s purpose for His people according to 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24?

The Bible Study Guide “Life” will be continued in the July issue of LandMarks.

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

The Power of God’s Word Pt.2

July 16 – 22, 2023

Key Text

“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

Study Help: Child Guidance, 511–515


“We must search the Scriptures, not merely rush through a chapter and repeat it, taking no pains to understand it, but we must dig for the jewel of truth which will enrich the mind, and fortify the soul against the wiles and temptations of the archdeceiver.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 19



1.a. How did Christ illustrate belief in Himself as our personal Saviour? Matthew 7:24, 25

Note: “It is not enough, He [Christ] says, for you to hear My words. By obedience you must make them the foundation of your character. Self is but shifting sand. If you build upon human theories and inventions, your house will fall. By the winds of temptation, the tempests of trial, it will be swept away. But these principles that I have given will endure. Receive Me; build on My words.” The Desire of Ages, 314

1.b.        On the other hand, how did He illustrate the theoretical religion without practice? Matthew 7:26, 27

Note: “The reason why our people have not more power is that they profess the truth, but do not practice it. … The service of God is made a secondary matter, while worldly interests receive prompt attention. … If we realize the importance of the truth which we profess to believe we should feel that we have a sacred mission to fulfill, a responsibility involving eternal results. All temporal interests would yield to this.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 613, 614



2.a. In His interview with the Jews, what promise did Jesus make? John 8:31, 32

Note: “The means by which we can overcome the wicked one is that by which Christ overcame—the power of the word. God does not control our minds without our consent; but if we desire to know and to do His will, His promises are ours: ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ ‘If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching.’ John 8:32; 7:17, R. V. Through faith in these promises, every man may be delivered from the snares of error and the control of sin.” The Desire of Ages, 258

2.b.        In His intercessory prayer, how did Christ define the truth? John 17:17

Note: “ ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Romans 10:17. The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’ John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100

“You need to be sanctified by the truth, having your mind elevated above every personal consideration and every selfish interest.

“I point you to the life of Jesus as a perfect pattern. His life was characterized by disinterested benevolence. Precious Saviour! What sacrifices has He made for us that we should not perish, but have everlasting life! Heaven will be cheap enough if we resign every selfish interest to obtain it. Can we afford to have our own way, and take ourselves out of the hands of God, because it is more pleasing to the natural heart? God requires perfect submission and perfect obedience. Eternal life is worth everything to us. You may come in close connection with God if you will agonize to enter in at the strait gate.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 218



3.a. What figure of speech is used to illustrate God’s word? Ephesians 5:26, 27

Note: “In giving us His word, God has put us in possession of every truth essential for our salvation. Thousands have drawn water from these wells of life, yet there is no diminishing of the supply. Thousands have set the Lord before them, and by beholding have been changed into the same image. Their spirit burns within them as they speak of His character, telling what Christ is to them, and what they are to Christ. But these searchers have not exhausted these grand and holy themes. Thousands more may engage in the work of searching out the mysteries of salvation. As the life of Christ and the character of His mission are dwelt upon, rays of light will shine forth more distinctly at every attempt to discover truth. Each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 133, 134

“Trust in its fullness comes to us through constant communion with God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the lifeblood of the heart, and Christ and the Holy Spirit give nerve power. Begotten again unto a lively hope, imbued with the quickening power of a new nature, the soul is enabled to rise higher and still higher.” Counsels on Health, 593

3.b. How does Jeremiah depict God’s word and our feeble appreciation of it? Jeremiah 2:13

Note: “The many contradictory opinions in regard to what the Bible teaches do not arise from any obscurity in the book itself, but from blindness and prejudice on the part of interpreters. Men ignore the plain statements of the Bible to follow their own perverted reason. Priding themselves on their intellectual attainments, they overlook the simplicity of truth; they forsake the fountain of living waters to drink of the poisonous stream of error.” The Review and Herald, January 27, 1885

“There is far too much self-complacency among those who engage in Sabbath school work, too much machinery and routine, and all this tends to lead the soul away from the Fountain of living water.” Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, 74



4.a. What must we realize and appreciate about God’s word? Psalm 12:6

Note: “There are professed Christians who read the Bible without a fine perception of the gems they are handling. There are portions of Scripture that they are not sure are inspired, and they think that in God’s word there are errors and human reasoning. With the lamp of life in their very hands, they stumble. They interpret the Scriptures to suit themselves; they cannot appreciate the wisdom of God, and their own human wisdom is the light that guides them.” The Bible Echo, August 26, 1895

4.b.        What inspired symbolism is used to refer to God’s word? Psalm 119:105

Note: “Those who study the word of God with hearts open to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, will not remain in darkness as to the meaning of the word. ‘If any man willeth to do His will,’ Christ said, ‘he shall know of the teaching whether it be of God, or whether I speak from Myself.’ John 7:17, R.V. All who come to Christ for a clearer knowledge of the truth will receive it. He will unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and these mysteries will be understood by the heart that longs to know the truth. A heavenly light will shine into the soul temple, and will be revealed to others as the bright shining of a lamp on a dark path.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 36

4.c. How does Zechariah employ a similar comparison? Zechariah 4:1–6, 12–14

Note: “From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God’s presence His Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to His service. The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God’s people that heavenly grace which alone can make His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 408



5.a. How does Revelation 11:1–4 parallel with Zechariah’s prophecy?

Note: “The two witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Both are important testimonies to the origin and perpetuity of the law of God. Both are witnesses also to the plan of salvation. The types, sacrifices, and prophecies of the Old Testament point forward to a Saviour to come. The Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament tell of a Saviour who has come in the exact manner foretold by type and prophecy.” The Great Controversy, 267

5.b.        What does it mean to “prophesy clothed in sackcloth”? Revelation 11:3

Note: “ ‘They shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.’ During the greater part of this period, God’s witnesses remained in a state of obscurity. The papal power sought to hide from the people the word of truth, and set before them false witnesses to contradict its testimony. When the Bible was proscribed by religious and secular authority; when its testimony was perverted, and every effort made that men and demons could invent to turn the minds of the people from it; when those who dared proclaim its sacred truths were hunted, betrayed, tortured, buried in dungeon cells, martyred for their faith, or compelled to flee to mountain fastnesses, and to dens and caves of the earth—then the faithful witnesses prophesied in sackcloth. Yet they continued their testimony throughout the entire period of 1260 years. In the darkest times, there were faithful men who loved God’s word and were jealous for His honor. To these loyal servants were given wisdom, power, and authority to declare His truth during the whole of this time.” The Great Controversy (1888), 267



1    How can we build on the Rock?

2    How did Christ define the truth?

3    What symbols are used to illustrate the importance of studying the Bible?

4    Describe the picture presented by Zechariah.

5    Explain the prophecy about the two witnesses.

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

The Power of God’s Word

July 9 – 15, 2023

Key Text

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

Study Help: Child Guidance, 505–510; The Desire of Ages, 660, 661


“The Bible contains a simple and complete system of theology and philosophy. It is the book that makes us wise unto salvation. It tells us how to reach the abodes of eternal happiness. It tells us of the love of God as shown in the plan of redemption, imparting the knowledge essential for all—the knowledge of Christ.” The Signs of the Times, June 25, 1902



1.a. What tree was central in the garden of Eden? Genesis 2:9. What property made it so important? Genesis 3:22–24

Note: “In the midst of Eden grew the tree of life, whose fruit had the power of perpetuating life. Had Adam remained obedient to God, he would have continued to enjoy free access to this tree and would have lived forever.” The Great Controversy, 532, 533

1.b.  What was promised to the faithful of the period of Ephesus? Revelation 2:7

Note: “Not all the conditions of that first school of Eden will be found in the school of the future life. No tree of knowledge of good and evil will afford opportunity for temptation. No tempter is there, no possibility of wrong. Every character has withstood the testing of evil, and none are longer susceptible to its power.

“ ‘To him that overcometh,’ Christ says, ‘will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.’ Revelation 2:7. The giving of the tree of life in Eden was conditional, and it was finally withdrawn. But the gifts of the future life are absolute and eternal.” Education, 302



2.a. To what does God’s word compare heavenly wisdom? Proverbs 3:13–18

Note: “The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is an exaltation above everything else that is esteemed on earth or in heaven. It is the very highest education. It is the key that opens the portals of the heavenly city. This knowledge it is God’s purpose that all who put on Christ shall possess.” The Ministry of Healing, 45

2.b. What is said about the tree of life in the New Earth? Revelation 22:2, 14

Note: “In his efforts to reach God’s ideal for him, the Christian is to despair of nothing. Moral and spiritual perfection, through the grace and power of Christ, is promised to all. Jesus is the source of power, the fountain of life. He brings us to His word, and from the tree of life presents to us leaves for the healing of sin-sick souls. He leads us to the throne of God, and puts into our mouth a prayer through which we are brought into close contact with Himself. In our behalf He sets in operation the all-powerful agencies of heaven. At every step we touch His living power.” The Acts of the Apostles, 478

“Teachers need an intimate acquaintance with the word of God. The Bible, and the Bible alone, should be their counselor. The word of God is as the leaves of the tree of life. Here is met every want of those who love its teachings and bring them into the practical life. Many of the students who come to our schools are unconverted, though they may have been baptized. They do not know what it means to be sanctified through a belief of the truth. They should be taught to search and understand the Bible, to receive its truths into the heart and carry them out in the daily life. Thus they will become strong in the Lord; for spiritual sinew and muscle are nourished by the bread of life.” Counsels to Teachers, Parents, and Students, 352, 353

“The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be the rule of our faith. It is a leaf from the tree of life, and by eating it, by receiving it into our minds, we shall grow strong to do the will of God. By our Christlike characters we shall show that we believe the word, that we cleave to the Bible as the only guide to heaven.” The Review and Herald, May 4, 1897



3.a. What is written about Christ and God’s word? John 1:14; 2 Timothy 3:16

Note: “The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ (2 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed have themselves embodied the thought in human language.

“The ten commandments were spoken by God Himself, and were written by His own hand. They are of divine, and not human composition. But the Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ John 1:14.” The Great Controversy, v, vi

3.b.        What is the Christian instructed to lay aside? Hebrews 12:1, 2. What will be the result?

Note: “No man is so high in power and authority but that Satan will assail him with temptation. And the more responsible the position a man occupies, the fiercer and more determined are the assaults of the enemy. Let God’s servants in every place study His word, looking constantly to Jesus that they may be changed into His image. The inexhaustible fullness and the all-sufficiency of Christ are at our command, if we walk before God in humility and contrition.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 281

“In the epistle to the Hebrews, is pointed out the single-hearted purpose that should characterize the Christian’s race for eternal life: ‘Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.’ Hebrews 12:1, 2. Envy, malice, evil thinking, evilspeaking, covetousness—these are weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully the race for immortality.” The Acts of the Apostles, 312



4.a. What special provision was granted to the Israelites in the wilderness, and what reveals its superiority over any other food? Exodus 16:14, 15

Note: “The education of the Israelites included all their habits of life. Everything that concerned their well-being was the subject of divine solicitude, and came within the province of divine law. 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. Though so many of them rebelled against the restriction of their diet, and longed to return to the days when, they said, ‘We sat by the fleshpots, and when we did eat bread to the full’ (Exodus 16:3), yet the wisdom of God’s choice for them was vindicated in a manner they could not gainsay. Notwithstanding the hardships of their wilderness life, there was not a feeble one in all their tribes.” Education, 38

4.b.        What comparison did Christ make between the manna and Himself? John 6:48–51

Note: “They [the Jews] had referred Him [Jesus] to the manna which their fathers ate in the wilderness, as if the furnishing of that food was a greater miracle than Jesus had wrought; but He now declared unto them that the temporal food then given from heaven was but a meager gift compared with the blessing of eternal life which He now offered them. The food eaten then sustained the strength, but did not prevent the approach of death, nor insure immortal life. The bread that the Son of God offered to man was death-destroying, giving in the end immortal life to the body.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 2, 281

“As the human agent presses forward in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, as he receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, he will feed on the bread of life. The word is spirit and life, and if it is brought into the daily practice it will ennoble the whole nature of man. There will be opened to his soul such a view of the Saviour’s love as portrayed by the pen of Inspiration that his heart will be melted into tenderness and contrition.” Medical Ministry, 124


5 THE BREAD OF LIFE (continued)

5.a. What timeless explanation did Christ provide for our benefit? John 6:63

Note: “When men submit entirely to God, eating the bread of life and drinking the water of salvation, they will grow up into Christ. Their characters are composed of that which the mind eats and drinks. Through the Word of life, which they receive and obey, they become partakers of the divine nature.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1135

5.b.        What else is included in this figurative language? John 6:56–58

Note: “To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament. …

“ ‘He that eateth My flesh,’ He says, ‘and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.’ John 6:54, 56, 57. To the holy Communion this scripture in a special sense applies. As faith contemplates our Lord’s great sacrifice, the soul assimilates the spiritual life of Christ. That soul will receive spiritual strength from every Communion. The service forms a living connection by which the believer is bound up with Christ, and thus bound up with the Father. In a special sense it forms a connection between dependent human beings and God.” The Desire of Ages, 660, 661



1    What was God’s purpose through the tree of life?

2    Can we now enjoy the properties of the tree of life?

3    What relationship exists between Christ and the Bible?

4    How frequently should we partake of the Bread of Life, and how do we do so?

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

Bible Study – Divine Power in Redemption

July 2 – 8, 2023

Key Text

“O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption.” Psalm 130:7

Study Help: Lift Him Up, 152


“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.” The Acts of the Apostles, 552, 553



1.a. Who was involved in the plan of redemption? 2 Corinthians 13:14; Isaiah 48:16; Matthew 3:16, 17

Note: “The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that He could have done more. With Christ He gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting in the plan for man’s uplifting.” Counsels on Health, 222

1.b.        When was this plan established? Romans 16:25; Ephesians 1:4

Note: “The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of ‘the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.’ Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency.” The Desire of Ages, 22



2.a. With what words did John and Paul explain the incarnation of Christ? John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16

Note: “The incarnation of Christ is the mystery of all mysteries.

“Christ was one with the Father, yet… He was willing to step down from the exaltation of One who was equal with God.

“That He might accomplish His purpose of love for the fallen race, He became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.

“How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem’s manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one.

“It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.” The Faith I Live By, 48

2.b.        When was the prophecy of the incarnation fulfilled? Hebrews 10:5–7; Galatians 4:4

Note: “[Over] two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, ‘Lo, I come.’ ‘Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me. … Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.’ Hebrews 10:5–7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, ‘A body hast Thou prepared Me.’ Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence.” The Desire of Ages, 23



3.a. What are the main purposes of Christ’s incarnation? Matthew 18:11; John 17:4, 26

Note: “The plan of redemption had a yet broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of man. It was not for this alone that Christ came to the earth; it was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded; but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe. To this result of His great sacrifice—its influence upon the intelligences of other worlds, as well as upon man—the Saviour looked forward when just before His crucifixion He said: ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.’ John 12:31, 32. The act of Christ in dying for the salvation of man would not only make heaven accessible to men, but before all the universe it would justify God and His Son in their dealing with the rebellion of Satan. It would establish the perpetuity of the law of God and would reveal the nature and the results of sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 68, 69

3.b.        What did Christ declare at the end of His earthly mission? John 17:4–6

Note: “In the intercessory prayer of Jesus with His Father, He claimed that He had fulfilled the conditions which made it obligatory upon the Father to fulfill His part of the contract made in heaven, with regard to fallen man. He prayed: ‘I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. [That is, He had wrought out a righteous character on earth as an example for men to follow.] And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.’ In this prayer, He further goes on to state what is comprehended by the work which He has accomplished, and which has given Him all those who believe on His name. He values this recompense so highly that He forgets the anguish it has cost Him to redeem fallen man. He declares Himself glorified in those who believe on Him. The church, in His name, is to carry to glorious perfection the work which He has commenced; and when that church shall be finally ransomed in the paradise of God, He will look upon the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Through all eternity the ransomed host will be His chief glory.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3, 260, 261 [comments in brackets are in the original]



4.a. How does Paul define the gospel? Romans 1:16, 17

Note: “Christ should be uplifted by those whom He has redeemed by dying on the cross a death of shame. He who has felt the power of the grace of Christ has a story to tell. He seeks to put in operation methods of work which will diffuse the gospel of Christ. Humanity, drawing its efficiency from the great source of wisdom, is made the instrumentality, the working agency, through which the gospel exercises its transforming power on mind and heart.” Lift Him Up, 230

4.b.        What did the angel reveal to Joseph about Christ’s mission? Matthew 1:21

Note: “God is as powerful to save from sin today as He was in the times of the patriarchs, of David, and of the prophets and apostles. The multitude of cases recorded in sacred history where God has delivered His people from their own iniquities should make the Christian of this time eager to receive divine instruction and zealous to perfect a character that will bear the close inspection of the judgment.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 15

“We are all sinful, and of ourselves are unable to do the words of Christ. But God has made provision whereby the condemned sinner may be freed from spot and stain. ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;’ ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ But while Christ saves the sinner, He does not do away with the law which condemns the sinner. It is the work of redemption to exalt that law, and Christ’s great sacrifice was made in order that man might be a doer of that law. The law shows us our sins, as a mirror shows us that our face is not clean. The mirror has no power to cleanse the face; that is not its office. So it is with the law. It points out our defects, and condemns us, but it has no power to save us. We must come to Christ for pardon. He will take our guilt upon His own soul, and will justify us before God. And not only will He free us from sin, but He will give us power to render obedience to God’s will.” The Signs of the Times, September 24, 1896



5.a. What is amply provided through the plan of redemption? Matthew 11:28–30; Hebrew 7:25

Note: “We are to enter the school of Christ, to learn from Him meekness and lowliness. Redemption is that process by which the soul is trained for heaven. This training means a knowledge of Christ. It means emancipation from ideas, habits, and practices that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness. The soul must be delivered from all that is opposed to loyalty to God.” The Desire of Ages, 330

5.b.        On which main condition can we find Jesus? Jeremiah 29:12, 13

Note: “In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. But many who profess to be His followers have an anxious, troubled heart, because they are afraid to trust themselves with God. They do not make a complete surrender to Him; for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender, they cannot find peace.” The Desire of Ages, 330



1    What was decided by the Godhead regarding the plan of redemption?

2    What was revealed by Christ’s incarnation?

3    Besides saving the human race, what else did Christ have in view through His incarnation?

4    What is the biblical definition of the gospel?

5    How can we find true rest?

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

The Sabbath in the New Testament

Christian Character (3)

June 25 – July 1, 2023

Key Text

“And He said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.’ ” Mark 2:27, 28

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 281–289


“Jesus had come to ‘magnify the law, and make it honorable.’ He was not to lessen its dignity, but to exalt it. … He had come to free the Sabbath from those burdensome requirements that had made it a curse instead of a blessing.” The Desire of Ages, 206



1.a. How did Christ define His mission regarding God’s law? Matthew 5:17–20

Note: “It is the Creator of men, the Giver of the law, who declares that it is not His purpose to set aside its precepts. Everything in nature, from the mote in the sunbeam to the worlds on high, is under law. And upon obedience to these laws the order and harmony of the natural world depend. So there are great principles of righteousness to control the life of all intelligent beings, and upon conformity to these principles the well-being of the universe depends. Before this earth was called into being, God’s law existed. Angels are governed by its principles, and in order for earth to be in harmony with heaven, man also must obey the divine statutes. To man in Eden Christ made known the precepts of the law. … The mission of Christ on earth was not to destroy the law, but by His grace to bring man back to obedience to its precepts.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 48

1.b.        How did John, the beloved disciple, define sin? 1 John 3:4

Note: “The beloved disciple, who listened to the words of Jesus on the mount, writing long afterward under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaks of the law as of perpetual obligation. … He makes it plain that the law to which he refers is ‘an old commandment which ye had from the beginning.’ 1 John 2:7. He is speaking of the law that existed at the creation and was reiterated upon Mount Sinai.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 48



2.a. How did Christ identify Himself regarding the Sabbath? Luke 6:1–5

Note: “Upon one Sabbath day, as the Saviour and His disciples returned from the place of worship, they passed through a field of ripening grain. Jesus had continued His work to a late hour, and while passing through the fields, the disciples began to gather the heads of grain, and to eat the kernels after rubbing them in their hands. On any other day this act would have excited no comment, for one passing through a field of grain, an orchard, or a vineyard, was at liberty to gather what he desired to eat. See Deuteronomy 23:24, 25. But to do this on the Sabbath was held to be an act of desecration. Not only was the gathering of the grain a kind of reaping, but the rubbing of it in the hands was a kind of threshing. Thus, in the opinion of the rabbis, there was a double offense. …

“The Jewish teachers prided themselves on their knowledge of the Scriptures, and in the Saviour’s answer there was an implied rebuke for their ignorance of the Sacred Writings. ‘Have ye not read so much as this,’ He said, ‘what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him; how he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?’ ‘And He said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.’ ‘Have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.’ ‘The Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath.’ Luke 6:3, 4; Mark 2:27, 28; Matthew 12:5, 6.” The Desire of Ages, 284, 285

2.b.        What was Jesus’ custom on the Sabbath? Luke 4:16

Note: “During His childhood and youth, Jesus had worshiped among His brethren in the synagogue at Nazareth. Since the opening of His ministry He had been absent from them, but they had not been ignorant of what had befallen Him. As He again appeared among them, their interest and expectation were excited to the highest pitch. Here were the familiar forms and faces of those whom He had known from infancy. Here were His mother, His brothers and sisters, and all eyes were turned upon Him as He entered the synagogue upon the Sabbath day, and took His place among the worshipers.” The Desire of Ages, 236



3.a. Besides worshiping on the Sabbath, what else did Christ do on that day? Luke 6:6–10

Note: “Upon another Sabbath, as Jesus entered a synagogue, He saw there a man who had a withered hand. The Pharisees watched Him, eager to see what He would do. The Saviour well knew that in healing on the Sabbath He would be regarded as a transgressor, but He did not hesitate to break down the wall of traditional requirements that barricaded the Sabbath. Jesus bade the afflicted man stand forth, and then asked, ‘Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?’ It was a maxim among the Jews that a failure to do good, when one had opportunity, was to do evil; to neglect to save life was to kill. Thus Jesus met the rabbis on their own ground. ‘But they held their peace. And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.’ Mark 3:4, 5.” The Desire of Ages, 286

3.b.        What purpose did Christ have in mind by healing on the Sabbath? Luke 14:1–5

Note: “As the Jews departed from God, and failed to make the righteousness of Christ their own by faith, the Sabbath lost its significance to them. Satan was seeking to exalt himself and to draw men away from Christ, and he worked to pervert the Sabbath, because it is the sign of the power of Christ. The Jewish leaders accomplished the will of Satan by surrounding God’s rest day with burdensome requirements. In the days of Christ, the Sabbath had become so perverted that its observance reflected the character of selfish and arbitrary men rather than the character of the loving heavenly Father. The rabbis virtually represented God as giving laws which it was impossible for men to obey. They led the people to look upon God as a tyrant, and to think that the observance of the Sabbath, as He required it, made men hard-hearted and cruel. It was the work of Christ to clear away these misconceptions. Although the rabbis followed Him with merciless hostility, He did not even appear to conform to their requirements, but went straight forward, keeping the Sabbath according to the law of God.” The Desire of Ages, 283, 284



4.a. How did Christ spend the Sabbath after the crucifixion? Luke 23:44–47. What did the disciples do on that Sabbath? Luke 23:53–56

Note: “At last Jesus was at rest. The long day of shame and torture was ended. As the last rays of the setting sun ushered in the Sabbath, the Son of God lay in quietude in Joseph’s tomb. His work completed, His hands folded in peace, He rested through the sacred hours of the Sabbath day.

“In the beginning, the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after Their work of creation. When ‘the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them’ (Genesis 2:1), the Creator and all heavenly beings rejoiced in contemplation of the glorious scene. ‘The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ Job 38:7. Now Jesus rested from the work of redemption; and though there was grief among those who loved Him on earth, yet there was joy in heaven. Glorious to the eyes of heavenly beings was the promise of the future. A restored creation, a redeemed race, that having conquered sin could never fall—this, the result to flow from Christ’s completed work, God and angels saw. With this scene the day upon which Jesus rested is forever linked. For ‘His work is perfect;’ and ‘whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever.’ Deuteronomy 32:4; Ecclesiastes 3:14. When there shall be a ‘restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’ (Acts 3:21), the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as ‘from one Sabbath to another’ (Isaiah 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.” The Desire of Ages, 769, 770

4.b.        What is the meaning of the Sabbath for God’s people? Matthew 11:28–30; Hebrews 4:1–4, 9–11

Note: “To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him. The Sabbath points them to the works of creation as an evidence of His mighty power in redemption.” The Desire of Ages, 289



5.a. How can we receive the promised rest? John 16:13; Hebrews 3:7, 8; Jeremiah 6:16

Note: “ ‘There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. … Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.’ Hebrews 4:9, 11. The rest here spoken of is the rest of grace, obtained by following the prescription, Labor diligently. Those who learn of Jesus His meekness and lowliness find rest in the experience of practicing His lessons. It is not in indolence, in selfish ease and pleasure-seeking, that rest is obtained. Those who are unwilling to give the Lord faithful, earnest, loving service will not find spiritual rest in this life or in the life to come. Only from earnest labor comes peace and joy in the Holy Spirit—happiness on earth and glory hereafter.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 928

5.b.        How will the redeemed spend the Sabbath in the earth made new? Isaiah 66:23

Note: “The Sabbath was not for Israel merely, but for the world. It had been made known to man in Eden, and, like the other precepts of the Decalogue, it is of imperishable obligation. Of that law of which the fourth commandment forms a part, Christ declares, ‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.’ So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun. ‘From one Sabbath to another’ the inhabitants of the glorified new earth shall go up ‘to worship before Me, saith the Lord.’ Matthew 5:18; Isaiah 66:23.” The Desire of Ages, 283



1    How did Christ exalt God’s law?

2    What works, performed by Christ, were in full harmony with Sabbathkeeping?

3    Why did the Pharisees strongly oppose Christ’s humanitarian works on the Sabbath?

4    Describe Christ’s rest on the Sabbath.

5    How can I best prepare to worship the Lord in the new earth?

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

Recipe – Creamy Millet Breakfast Porridge


Millet is a starchy cereal grain rich in protein, carbohydrates and several vitamins and minerals. While it may look like a seed, millet’s nutritional profile is similar to that of sorghum and other cereals. It is an ancient grain, used both for human consumption as well as livestock and bird feed. There are two categories of millet—major and minor millets—with major being the most popular.

Because of its small size and hardness, it is drought and pest resistant, able to survive in harsh environments and less fertile soil.

Millet is widely consumed in developing countries throughout Africa and Asia, but has gained popularity in the West primarily because it is gluten-free.

Millet offers multiple health benefits:

  • High protein and fiber
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • May help control blood sugar levels
  • May help lower cholesterol

A potential downside is that millet contains anti-nutrients, compounds that block or reduce the body’s absorption of other nutrients and could lead to deficiencies in potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Millet’s anti-nutrient content can be reduced significantly by soaking it overnight at room temperature, then draining and rinsing it before cooking. However, a person with a balanced diet isn’t likely to experience adverse effects.

Enjoy millet as a breakfast porridge, side dish, salad add-in, and cookie or cake ingredient.


Recipe – Creamy Millet Breakfast Porridge


1 cup uncooked hulled millet

1 cup almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)

3 cups water

3Tbs. maple syrup + more to taste

Sliced strawberries, for topping

Chopped almonds, for topping


  • Combine uncooked millet, almond milk, and water in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until millet is cooked and tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add the maple syrup and mix well for another 30 seconds.
  • Serve topped with sliced strawberries and chopped almonds.

Yield: 2 medium bowls

Miraculous Change

“Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.”

1 Timothy 3:16

“The Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:1, 14

From these scriptures we can see that there was a time when Jesus was not a fleshly being, but a spiritual one. It was when He was born of Mary that He became flesh.

These scriptures would not be so difficult to understand or explain except for one other scripture found in Romans. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.” Romans 8:3. God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. We need to clearly understand this scripture.

Mrs. White says that Jesus was just like we are, so Adventist preachers for decades have gone to the moon and back with this verse preaching that Jesus had a fallen, sinful, human nature, which, of course, means that He had a carnal mind. They are preaching that He had to fight selfishness just like you and I have to fight it. From this scripture, preachers and laity alike have decided that Jesus came in sinful flesh, but Romans 8:3 doesn’t say that He came in sinful flesh. It says He came in the likeness of sinful flesh.

Paul wrote Romans 8:3 the way he did for a reason, so let’s do some research to understand what he was trying to tell us when he said that Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh. This subject is very controversial, spawning much argument, but rather than arguing, we need to search the inspired writings and let Inspiration tell us what is true about Christ’s human nature.

“Even the moral law fails of its purpose unless it is understood in its relation to the Saviour. Christ had repeatedly shown that His Father’s law contained something deeper than mere authoritative commands. In the law is embodied the same principle that is revealed in the gospel. The law points out man’s duty and shows him his guilt. To Christ he must look for pardon and for power to do what the law enjoins.” The Desire of Ages, 608

Romans 8:3 has been misapplied by many Adventists who fail to see the relationship of the humanity of Jesus Christ to the law. Notice the first sentence of the previous quote “Even the moral law fails of its purpose, unless it is understood in its relation to the Saviour.” The reason so many are confused is because they do not understand the far-reaching principle of God’s law and what constitutes sin. It is important to understand both, but it is also necessary to understand what the word sinful means and to what the word likeness refers. Let’s be sure we understand the meaning of the terms that we are using.

The word flesh can refer to one of two things—the physical body or the carnal mind—depending on the context. Flesh is sometimes used when referring to the physical body of man, the living machinery through which sin or righteousness is manifested. The body itself cannot act contrary to the will because the body is controlled by the mind, the will.

“The mind controls the whole man. All our actions, good or bad, have their source in the mind.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 426

So the body, the flesh, the house in which we live, is not sin, but is affected by sin. However, if the word flesh is used in relation to the natural or carnal mind, then that is sin. “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Romans 8:7

The carnal mind is enmity against God and, therefore, is most certainly sin. It is not subject to the law of God, nor can it be.

Texts that use flesh in reference to the physical body have been interpreted to mean the mind. It is the failure to recognize in inspired writings that the word flesh can have two different applications, depending on the context, that has confused so many people and resulted in much controversy.

As for the far-reaching principles of God’s law, David said that God’s commandments are exceedingly broad (Psalm 119:96). The ten commandment document is really one of the most amazing that was ever written—so short that a child can learn it, and yet so all-encompassing that it involves the entire will of God for the human family.

“It is so brief that we can easily commit every precept to memory, and yet so far-reaching as to express the whole will of God, and to take cognizance, not only of the outward actions, but of the thoughts and intents, the desires and emotions, of the heart.” The Signs of the Times, April 15, 1886

God’s law is to govern not only my actions, but every thought, intent, desire, and emotion of my heart. If I have a sinful desire, even if it has not yet manifested in action, that also is sin.

Human laws cannot do this. They can deal only with the outward actions. A man may be a transgressor, and yet conceal his misdeeds from human eyes; he may be a criminal—a thief, a murderer, or an adulterer—but so long as he is not discovered, the law cannot condemn him as guilty.

“The law of God takes note of the jealousy, envy, hatred, malignity, revenge, lust, and ambition that surge through the soul, but have not found expression in outward action, because the opportunity, not the will, has been wanting. And these sinful emotions will be brought into the account in the day when ‘God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.’ ” Ibid.

“Christ, in His teaching, fully developed the principles of the law, making it plain that it does not concern the outward actions merely, but has to do with the heart, reaching even to the unspoken thoughts.” The Signs of the Times, June 5, 1901

“God does not deal with actions so much as with the heart that prompts them.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 4, 440

Sin is not determined only by what I do, but by the motives in my mind and heart that cause me to do the things I do. Think about that: a single action could be good or evil depending on the motive in the heart. The far-reaching principles of God’s law embrace the heart, the mind, and the sinful emotions that have not found expression in outward action because of lack of opportunity. The requirements of God’s law go beyond what I choose to do.

“Many mistakes were made by the Jewish teachers in regard to the true character and far-reaching principles of the law. Its relation to sin was misconceived and misapplied. The outward action was dealt with, but inward sins were not touched. …

“In His sermon on the mount, Christ made known the comprehensive and far-reaching character of the law of God. He applied its great principles to the thoughts and the desires. He taught that all wrong thoughts and feelings, though unknown to any human being, are a transgression of the law of God, and that those who cherish them must suffer the penalty. Thus the law was shown to reach the inner life.” The Review and Herald, May 3, 1898

The word sinful means being tainted with, full of sin, being wicked. Being tainted means to be contaminated by or infected with, ruined or corrupted by something. An example would be a body full of cancer with no human way to eradicate it.

Being sinful isn’t just doing bad things, any more than being righteous is not doing bad things. It involves the very being of man. The heart and mind, thoughts and desires totally consumed by sinfulness, will do nothing but wickedness.

“And He said, ‘What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.’ ” Mark 7:20–23

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

“The law requires righteousness—a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God’s holy law.” The Desire of Ages, 762. Man is sinful, corrupted, so thoroughly infected with sin that it renders him incapable of meeting the claims of God’s holy law.

Did Jesus have this kind of heart and mind? Look again at these texts. In describing the nature of man’s heart and mind, were Mark and Jeremiah describing Jesus’ heart and mind as well? If His mind was tainted and infected with sin as ours are, how could He have been our Saviour?

When people say that Jesus had our natural tendencies toward sin, but that isn’t sin because He never actually committed sin, they speak directly against the word of God and inspired writings. We know this from 1 John 3:15: “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer.” And Matthew 5:27, 28: “ ‘You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’ ”

These both describe the thoughts and motives of the mind and heart of sinful man. A man who lusts after a woman is breaking the law just as if he had physically laid down with her and committed the act. A man who hates a brother, or anyone, is breaking the law just as though he had taken his life. Is this what was in the mind and heart of Jesus?

“All sin is selfishness.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1763. The person who has a selfish heart is living in sin. Every thought, every word, every action that he does is sinful because it proceeds from a selfish heart and therefore, is motivated by selfishness, which is sin. It is my nature, as a son of Adam, to be inherently selfish, and, therefore a sinner by nature which results in sinful action. It is who I am. Reason then says, that if Jesus had a nature like mine, He would be inherently selfish and thereby a sinner though He never committed a sinful act.

“One unsanctified act on the part of our Saviour would have marred the pattern, and He could not have been a perfect example for us; but although He was tempted in all points like as we are, He was yet without one taint of sin.Sons and Daughters of God, 148

The word nature also is used in reference to two different things. Sometimes it is used to reflect or describe the physical nature of man, and other times to describe his mental nature. In the context of Romans 8:3, the word flesh means man’s sinful nature that cannot keep the law. Flesh then equals sinful nature. Paul makes it very plain in Romans 8:5. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Here Paul is still speaking of the same sinful flesh that he has been speaking of in verses 3 and 4, but now he specifically identifies this sinful flesh. “For to be carnally [fleshly] minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Verses 6–8

“ ‘The carnal [or natural] mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ Human nature could not keep the law, even if it would.” The Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895. When someone tells you they cannot keep the law, they are telling the truth, for sinful human nature cannot keep the law of God no matter how much a person might want to.

That which Paul calls sinful flesh God’s modern-day prophet calls sinful nature and human nature. Therefore in this context, sinful flesh, human nature, and sinful nature are used synonymously to refer to the carnal mind which cannot keep the law of God.

In Zechariah 3, we find the vision of Joshua the high priest, the leader of God’s people, standing before the angel in filthy garments. Mrs. White says the setting of this vision is just before probation closes. What are these filthy garments? “The fact that the acknowledged people of God are represented as standing before the Lord in filthy garments should lead to humility and deep searching of heart on the part of all who profess His name. … we should realize our sinful condition.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 471

“Your sinful condition demanded a sacrifice. In your spiritual destitution you had nothing to offer.” The Review and Herald, May 28, 1901. Our filthy garments, our sinful condition, is the result of our spiritual poverty. “By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: ‘Dead in trespasses and sins;’ ‘the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;’ ‘no soundness in it.’ We are held fast in the snare of Satan, ‘taken captive by him at his will.’ Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26.” Steps to Christ, 43

We are carnally-minded. Our sinful human nature is spiritually destitute and at war with God. Our sinful condition demanded a sacrifice that was not spiritually destitute, nor hostile toward God.

“Christ is called the second Adam. In purity and holiness, connected with God and beloved by God, He [Jesus] began where the first Adam began. Willingly He passed over the ground where Adam fell, and redeemed Adam’s failure.” The Youth’s Instructor, June 2, 1898

“He humbled Himself to become a man, so that a body should be found, a Lamb without blemish should be provided as a sinless offering, that God might be just and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” The Signs of the Times, June 18, 1896

Every mind is controlled either by Satan or the Holy Spirit. Therefore, our condition is sinful because the carnal mind is held captive to the power of Satan. The body alone is not evil. The sin is in the mind and the body simply responds to its direction.

“The standard of the law cannot be lowered to meet man in his fallen condition. No compromise can be made with the sinner to take less than the full requirement of the law. The law cannot acquit the guilty, it cannot cleanse the sinner, or give power to the transgressor to raise himself into a purer, holier atmosphere.” Ibid., May 30, 1895. How then is it possible for me to be saved? It is impossible unless a divine miracle takes place in my life.

For the unconverted person, every thought, word, emotion, everything that he or she says or does, is sinful. Remember when Adam was first created, the law of righteousness was written in his heart and his life was governed by this law. But when he sinned, the law of selfishness became the governing power and his heart became permeated with selfishness. Because selfishness is sin, then a man’s motives are selfish, and everything he thinks, says, and does is sin.

Paul first realized this and wrote about it in Romans 7. He was one of the strictest of Pharisees, and while he lived without the law, he considered himself to be blameless regarding the law. No one could accuse him of committing a wrong action. Paul knew the law, had memorized it, but he did not yet understand the far-reaching claims of God’s law. He believed that if he did all the right things, then he was following the law.

But the day came when, on the Damascus road, Paul met Jesus. It was then that he realized that God’s law especially had to do with the motivations of his heart, his thoughts, and desires. Having been “alive once without the law,” Paul now recognizes that our inward, fallen condition, prompting our outward, sinful acts, is the transgression that is being condemned.

We are born into this world with sinful flesh which is hostile against God, and all of Adam’s posterity have and will inherit from him sinful flesh. This inherited condition is out of harmony with God’s law, making all of Adam’s posterity transgressors by nature, even before they are born (Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 48:8; Psalm 58:3), and guilty of not keeping it. Selfishness is the governing principle in the life of every man and woman, and selfishness is sin. “Adam disobeyed and entailed sin upon his posterity; but God gave His Son for the redemption of the race.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 6, 3

Man is selfish by nature, a sinner at enmity with God, unless a miraculous transformation is accomplished in the mind, heart, and soul.

“The perishing sinner may say: ‘I am a lost sinner; but Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost.’ He says, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’ (Mark 2:17). I am a sinner, and He died upon Calvary’s cross to save me. I need not remain a moment longer unsaved.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 392

Paul tells us that he was ignorant of sin and the true principles of the law, even though he had memorized the law and was a “strict” law keeper, but then he saw that God’s law, His great standard of righteousness, condemned sin in the flesh. Suddenly Paul saw himself as God saw him—a sinner. He accepted the truth found in the gospel, laid hold of the Saviour, and the Holy Spirit immediately began the work of purification in his life.

The person in the most dangerous spiritual condition is not the man who knows he is a great sinner and sees that he is lost unless he surrenders all of himself to this work of purification. It is the man who believes he is rich and needs nothing who is in the most dangerous spiritual condition.

“When man [Adam and Eve] fell, the law of self was set up. This law harmonizes with the will of sinful humanity.” The Signs of the Times, January 25, 1899

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

We must understand that selfishness is the root of all sin, the most deeply-engrained, natural trait of man’s character. It must be purged if we expect to be in the kingdom of heaven. “It is a weakness of humanity to pet selfishness, because it is a natural trait of character.” The Faith I Live By, 140

“Never should we lower the standard of righteousness in order to accommodate inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong-doing. We need to understand that imperfection of character is sin.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 330

If I am to be saved, I must go to the foot of the cross, recognizing that I am ruined and unable to change myself. I must surrender myself to the Lord and ask Him to help me, for He has promised to send the Holy Spirit to begin the process of transformation in my life if I will but ask. I cannot, by my own efforts, be born again because it is a creative act that only God can perform. Everything must become new. This is the change that the Holy Spirit makes in my heart and mind.

Mrs. White says that we must pray day by day asking the Lord to cast out all selfishness from our hearts. This is the Christian’s warfare. The Holy Spirit will implant a new nature within us, but we still must overcome our carnal nature by His power and grace.

“God desires everyone to understand the evil of selfishness, and to cooperate with Him in guarding the human family against its terrible, deceptive power.” Manuscript Releases, Vol, 7, 233

“Christ will not permit one selfish person to enter the courts of heaven. No covetous person can pass through the pearly gates; for all covetousness is idolatry.” The Review and Herald, July 11, 1899

Friend, this is an overwhelming problem in Adventism today. People do not know what sin truly is. They believe our actions alone are sin. But selfishness permeates man’s mind and heart, and it is selfishness that directs his sinful actions.

When we understand our true condition, then we can understand that we must surrender everything to the Lord, choosing to follow Him because nothing short of a miracle can ever change us. The God whom we serve is a specialist in miraculously doing the impossible. He who is mighty to save will never turn away anyone seeking salvation. The conversion of a sinner is God’s greatest miracle of all.

“The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37, last part

[Emphasis supplied.]

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.

Question – What does it mean “to have an eye single to the glory of God”?


What does it mean “to have an eye single to the glory of God”?


“To have an eye single to the glory of God means to have singleness of purpose, to show forth the work that has been wrought in your heart, that subdues your will to the will of God, and brings into captivity every thought to the glory of God. … What testimony have you borne in your daily life and character? God expected you all to do your best, not to please, amuse, and glorify yourselves, but to honor Him in all your ways, returning unto Him according to the light and privileges that He had given you through the endowment of His grace. He expected you to testify before heavenly intelligences, and to be living witnesses to the world, of the power of the grace of Christ. The Lord tested you, to see if you would treat His rich blessing as a cheap, light matter, or regard it as a rich treasure to be handled with reverent awe. If all had treated the gift of God in this manner—for the work was of God,—then, according to the measure of each one’s responsibility, the grace given would have been doubled, as were the talents of him who traded diligently with his lord’s money.” The Review and Herald, February 6, 1894

Parasitic Fungus

In the world, influenced by the entertainment industry, people talk about the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. But in the insect world, becoming a zombie is a real thing.

By definition, a zombie is a human corpse said to be revived by witchcraft or voodoo. But for insects there is no magic involved. Cordyceps fungi is a parasitic fungus that targets and kills insects. After the fungus has attached itself to an insect, it begins to slowly penetrate into the skeleton and brain. The insect effectively becomes a zombie as the infection takes over the body. As it spreads, it consumes the innards and the remaining carcass becomes its home. The corpse of the insect continues to function, but it is the fungus that is manipulating it.

Over the course of about three weeks, the fungus continues to grow and produce spores which can attach themselves to any other hapless insect, and then the process begins all over again. There are about 600 species of cordyceps that specialize in specific species of insect. The fungus will grow stem-like growths through the body of the insect and in this way, some other poor, unsuspecting insect can easily be infected by them. Symptoms of infection are not discernable for many days.

The fungus can attack ants and is able to wipe out an entire colony. But they can usually tell if one of their fellow colony members is infected, and those individual ants are booted out of the colony so that the fungus will not spread any further.

The fungus is found worldwide, but thrives best in tropical forests found in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, and Thailand. What may seem like a gruesome way to kill, the fungus actually controls insect populations so that they don’t become too large.


Like the cordyceps fungus, sin took control of human nature long ago and continues to control and manipulate mankind. But if we, like the ant, boot sin out of our lives as soon as we recognize it, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, then we do not have to be controlled by it anymore.

Day by day His tender mercy,

Healing, helping, full and free,

Brought me lower, while I whispered,

‘Less of self, and more of Thee.’


Higher than the highest heavens,

Deeper than the deepest sea,

Lord, Thy love at last has conquered;

None of self, and all of Thee!

Are Your Heels too High?

Having pain in your back and knees? How about your hips, pelvis and ankles? Even your neck?

It could be your feet.

Over the last century and then some, women’s shoes have evolved and devolved—Mary Janes, kitten heels, wedges, T-straps, low heels, high heels, stilettos, wide heels, peep-toe, pointy-toe, square-toe, strappy heels, mules, ankle-straps, pumps, go-go boots, platform heels, clogs, sandals, slingbacks, huarache-style, crocs, platform sneakers, heels that have no heel, and the ever-popular flip-flops—but very seldom have fashionable shoes been healthy, not only for women’s feet, but the back, knees, and hips as well.

Fun Fact: the first high-heeled shoe style was worn by men in the Persian cavalry during the 10th century.

High heels change your posture.

The spine naturally curves resembling an S, with discs that absorb impact between each vertebra, an arrangement that protects your spine when you bend or jump.

But when you wear high heels, your lower back tends to arch outward more than is normal, and your weight is pushed forward, causing you to imperceptibly lean back in order to maintain your balance.

Anatomical changes.

Wearing heels for prolonged periods of time can result in anatomical changes over the years. In addition to the stress put on the knees, back, and ankles, wearing heels will cause the calf muscles to shorten and tendons to become thicker and tighter.

I knew a woman, many years ago, who had worn nothing but heels for so long that her calf muscles had shortened to the point that, when in her older years, she was unable to wear flats at all without pain.

High heels can affect your pelvic structures.

The normal working dynamics between the glutes, the pelvic floor, respiratory diaphragm, the mutifidus muscle, and transverse abdominis become imbalanced when you wear high heels.

And what does all that mean? The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments that sit inside the pelvis and are, by and large, forgotten. But the pelvic floor is an integral part of the “anticipatory core.” This core is made up of abdominal muscles, including the diaphragm, muscles in the spine, and the pelvic floor that allow the body to prepare for motion and creates stability in the trunk. These along with the back, knees, and ankles make up the foundation that holds the body structure up. Without them, we would be unable to squat, bend, lift, and perform many other activities that life calls for.

So what can happen when this system gets out of whack? Incontinence, pelvic, low back and hip pain, gastronintestinal issues, and constipation, to name a few.

Other possible consequences of wearing high heels long-term:

  • Ingrown toenails
  • Muscle spasms
  • Osteoarthritis on the knees
  • Damaged leg tendons

And if you are already having problems in your back, wearing high heels can result in spondylolisthesis, forminal stenosis, and sciatica. Those words alone should scare you enough to slip your feet comfortably into a nice pair of loafers.

For many years I have suffered back pain and sciatica. I think back over my life and wonder if all those years from my youth into adulthood, when it was fashionable to wear high heels, combined with many other activities that I likely did not perform in the proper way, might very well be the cause.

Podiatrists recommend that heels should be wide and no higher than two inches. They also recommend that the length of time wearing heels should be limited, and changing heel heights would help to avoid pressure on the knees and back. So ladies, if we wear, lower and wider heels made of cork or rubber, with a round toe box, in a wedge-style, we will experience less foot pain, discomfort, and harm to the back, knees, ankles, and pelvis.