Bible Study Guides – The Call of the Church

March 26, 2017 – April 1, 2017

Key Text

“Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people” (Isaiah 62:10).

Study Help: Evangelism, 217–221.


“Let it be written upon the conscience as with a pen of iron upon the rock, that real success, whether for this life or for the life to come, can be secured only by faithful adherence to the eternal principles of right.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 164.



  • Why is it important that we apply to ourselves the message of the True Witness to Laodicea? Revelation 3:14–17; I Corinthians 8:2; 10:12.

Note: “The message to the Laodicean church comes home to those who do not apply it to themselves.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 99.

  • What shows that the Laodicean condition is not hopeless? Revelation 3:18. What will we need to do to apply the remedy? I Peter 5:6; Psalm 147:11.

Note: “But the counsel of the true Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are halfhearted and who are striving to serve God and mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 966.



  • What must we do so that we can have a part in carrying the final message to the world? I Corinthians 15:34; Romans 13:11.

Note: “We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time—not a moment—to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works: ‘My Lord delayeth His coming’ (Matthew 24:48). Let the message of Christ’s soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come. Let us arouse them to immediate preparation, for we little know what is before us. Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields to tell the unconcerned and indifferent to seek the Lord while He may be found. The workers will find their harvest wherever they proclaim the forgotten truths of the Bible. They will find those who will accept the truth and will devote their lives to winning souls to Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 252, 253.

  • What work is to be carried forward at this time? Nehemiah 2:18; Psalm 94:16.

Note: “The Lord desires His people to arise and do their appointed work. The responsibility of warning the world rests not upon the ministry alone. The lay members of the church are to share in the work of soul-saving. By means of missionary visits and by a wise distribution of our literature, many who have never been warned, may be reached. Let companies be organized to search for souls. Let the church members visit their neighbors and open to them the Scriptures. Some may be set to work in the hedges, and thus, by wise planning, the truth may be preached in all districts. With perseverance in this work, increasing aptitude for it will come, and many will see fruit of their labors in the salvation of souls. These converted ones will, in turn, teach others. Thus the seed will be sown in many places, and the truth be proclaimed to all.” The Review and Herald, January 25, 1912.

“We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do, but soon it will be more difficult than we imagine.” Evangelism, 218.



  • In the vision given to Ezekiel about the valley of the dry bones, what did God promise to do with the dry bones? Ezekiel 37:5, 6. What was the source of power which gave life to the bones? Verses 13, 14.

Note: “What power must we have from God that icy hearts, having only a legal religion, should see the better things provided for them—Christ and His righteousness! A life-giving message was needed to give life to the dry bones.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 177.

“But not only does this simile of the dry bones apply to the world, but also to those who have been blessed with great light; for they also are like the skeletons of the valley. They have the form of men, the framework of the body; but they have not spiritual life. But the parable does not leave the dry bones merely knit together into the forms of men; for it is not enough that there is symmetry of limb and feature. The breath of life must vivify the bodies, that they may stand upright, and spring into activity. These bones represent the house of Israel, the church of God, and the hope of the church is the vivifying influence of the Holy Spirit. The Lord must breathe upon the dry bones, that they may live.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1165, 1166.

  • What does the work of revival involve? Revelation 3:19, 20; 2 Timothy 4:2.

Note: “The angels of God are going from church to church, doing their duty; and Jesus Christ is knocking at the doors of your hearts for entrance. But the means that God has devised to awaken the church to a sense of their spiritual destitution, have not been regarded. The voice of the True Witness has been heard in reproof, but has not been obeyed. Men have chosen to follow their own way, instead of God’s way, because self was not crucified in them. Thus the light has had but little effect upon hearts and minds. ‘Be zealous, and repent’ (Revelation 3:19).” The Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.

“Those who bear the message to the world should seek the Lord earnestly, that His Holy Spirit may be abundantly showered upon them. You have no time to lose. Pray for the power of God, that you may work with success for those nigh and afar off.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 92, 93.



  • What is the one thing which absorbs the attention of God’s revived messengers? Psalm 17:15; John 17:3; I Corinthians 2:1, 2.

Note: “Deep, fervent piety at home, in the church, and in the neighborhood, will bring souls to behold wondrous things out of the law, and to see the glorious truth of Christ our righteousness. …

“Those who have the truth open before them for this time bear a solemn responsibility. They must proclaim repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. They must dwell upon the cross of Christ, and call the attention of every soul to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. Christ in His self-denial, Christ in His humiliation, Christ in His purity, His holiness, Christ in His matchless love—this is the theme that needs to be brought out in every discourse. I have been shown that there must be a great awakening among the people of God. Many are unconverted whose names are on the church books. Let these words be repeated by men who are consecrated to the work: [John 3:16 quoted].” The Review and Herald, August 13, 1889.

“One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up all others, Christ our Righteousness.” The Paulson Collection, 342.

  • How will the revived servant of the Lord react, despite opposition to the message of warning? Joel 2:17; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18.

Note: “God has always wrought for His people in their greatest extremity, when there seemed the least hope that ruin could be averted. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to His power and overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the turbulent and disaffected, the haters of God, His truth, and His people can be turned aside, even as the rivers of water are turned, if He orders it thus. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose Word controls the waves of the great deep, the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of His people if they call upon Him in faith. He will restrain the forces of darkness until the warning is given to the world and all who will heed it are prepared for the conflict.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 452, 453.



  • What great privilege do we have in preparation for Christ’s soon return? Luke 8:16; Isaiah 60:1.

Note: “It is the privilege of every soul to be a living channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour’s love. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 419.

  • In view of the soon coming of Christ, how should we be living today? 2 Peter 3:11, 12; Titus 2:11–13.

Note: “Christ has made every provision that His church shall be a transformed body, illumined with the Light of the world, possessing the glory of Emmanuel. It is His purpose that every Christian shall be surrounded with a spiritual atmosphere of light and peace. He desires that we shall reveal His own joy in our lives.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 419.

“The Lord is coming. Lift up your heads and rejoice. … This is the good, the joyful news which should electrify every soul, which should be repeated in our homes, and told to those whom we meet on the street. What more joyful news can be communicated!” Evangelism, 218.



1 How is the Laodicean message full of encouragement for us?

2 What are some practical ways that lay members can reach out to the souls around them?

3 How can the vision of the dry bones apply to those who have great light?

4 In what ways will God overrule the powers of darkness, as His people pray in faith?

5 In what way will God’s people spread the message of joy for this time?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Temple

April 23, 2017 – April 29, 2017

Key Text

“The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him” (Habakkuk 2:20).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 154–166; Testimonies, vol. 5, 491–500.


“The precincts of the church should be invested with a sacred reverence.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 494.



  • What situation prevailed in the temple of Jerusalem at the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry? John 2:13, 14.

Note: “The dealers demanded exorbitant prices for the animals sold, and they shared their profits with the priests and rulers, who thus enriched themselves at the expense of the people. The worshipers had been taught to believe that if they did not offer sacrifice, the blessing of God would not rest on their children or their lands. Thus a high price for the animals could be secured; for after coming so far, the people would not return to their homes without performing the act of devotion for which they had come.” The Desire of Ages, 155.

“In the defilement and cleansing of the temple we have a lesson for this time. The same spirit that existed among the Jews, leading them to substitute gain for godliness, and outward pomp for inward purity, curses the Christian world today. It spreads like a defiling leprosy among the professed worshipers of God. Sacred things are brought down to a level with the vain matters of the world. Vice is mistaken for virtue, and righteousness for crime. Temporal business is mingled with the worship of God. Extortion and wicked speculation are practiced by those who profess to be servants of the Most High.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 123.

  • What effect did the iniquitous trading have upon the temple services? Ezekiel 22:26, first part.



  • How does God consider the place where He manifests His presence? Exodus 3:1–5.
  • How should we conduct ourselves in God’s house and in His divine presence? Habakkuk 2:20.
  • What command did the Lord give when He descended upon Mount Sinai? Exodus 19:12, 13.

Note: “When the Lord descended upon Mount Sinai, the place was consecrated by His presence. Moses was commanded to put bounds around the mount and sanctify it, and the word of the Lord was heard in warning: ‘Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: there shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live’ (Exodus 19:12, 13). Thus was taught the lesson that wherever God manifests His presence, the place is holy. The precincts of God’s temple should have been regarded as sacred.” The Desire of Ages, 155, 156.

“It is too true that reverence for the house of God has become almost extinct. Sacred things and places are not discerned; the holy and exalted are not appreciated. Is there not a cause for the want of fervent piety in our families? Is it not because the high standard of religion is left to trail in the dust? God gave rules of order, perfect and exact, to His ancient people. Has His character changed? Is He not the great and mighty God who rules in the heaven of heavens? Would it not be well for us often to read the directions given by God Himself to the Hebrews, that we who have the light of the glorious truth shining upon us may imitate their reverence for the house of God? We have abundant reason to maintain a fervent, devoted spirit in the worship of God. We have reason even to be more thoughtful and reverential in our worship than had the Jews. But an enemy has been at work to destroy our faith in the sacredness of Christian worship. …

“The moral taste of the worshipers in God’s holy sanctuary must be elevated, refined, sanctified.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 495, 496.



  • What was the Lord’s purpose in establishing His sanctuary among His people? Exodus 25:8.

Note: “That temple, erected for the abode of the divine Presence, was designed to be an object lesson for Israel and for the world. From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator.” The Desire of Ages, 161.

  • What does it mean that we are the temple of God? I Corinthians 3:16, 17; Isaiah 57:15.

Note: “Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple.” The Desire of Ages, 161.

“By a most beautiful and impressive figure, God’s word shows the regard He places upon our physical organism and the responsibility resting on us to preserve it in the best condition: ‘Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own.’ ‘If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are’ (I Corinthians 6:19, R.V., margin; 3:17).

“Let pupils be impressed with the thought that the body is a temple in which God desires to dwell, that it must be kept pure, the abiding place of high and noble thoughts. As in the study of physiology they see that they are indeed ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14), they will be inspired with reverence. Instead of marring God’s handiwork, they will have an ambition to make all that is possible of themselves, in order to fulfill the Creator’s glorious plan. Thus they will come to regard obedience to the laws of health, not as a matter of sacrifice or self-denial, but as it really is, an inestimable privilege and blessing.” Education, 200, 201.

“It is a duty to know how to preserve the body in the very best condition of health, and it is a sacred duty to live up to the light which God has graciously given.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 70.



  • What was Christ’s reaction towards the desecration of the temple? John 2:15, 16.

Note: “As Jesus came into the temple, He took in the whole scene. He saw the unfair transactions. He saw the distress of the poor, who thought that without shedding of blood there would be no forgiveness for their sins. He saw the outer court of His temple converted into a place of unholy traffic. The sacred enclosure had become one vast exchange. …

“Slowly descending the steps, and raising the scourge of cords gathered up on entering the enclosure, He bids the bargaining company depart from the precincts of the temple. With a zeal and severity He has never before manifested, He overthrows the tables of the money-changers. The coin falls, ringing sharply upon the marble pavement. None presume to question His authority. None dare stop to gather up their ill-gotten gain. Jesus does not smite them with the whip of cords, but in His hand that simple scourge seems terrible as a flaming sword. Officers of the temple, speculating priests, brokers and cattle traders, with their sheep and oxen, rush from the place, with the one thought of escaping from the condemnation of His presence.” The Desire of Ages, 157, 158.

  • What is the extent of Christ’s act in purifying the temple? Malachi 3:1–3.

Note: “In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. … God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul. But the Jews had not understood the significance of the building they regarded with so much pride. They did not yield themselves as holy temples for the Divine Spirit. The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts. In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 161.



  • What is it that individuals cannot accomplish by their own efforts? Jeremiah 2:22; 13:22; Job 14:4.

Note: “No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart.” The Desire of Ages, 161.

  • What does the Lord intend to do for and in us? Ezekiel 36:25–27; Zechariah 3:3–5.

Note: “Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. But He will not force an entrance. He comes not into the heart as to the temple of old; but He says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him’ (Revelation 3:20). He will come, not for one day merely; for He says, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; … and they shall be My people.’ ‘He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea’ (2 Corinthians 6:16; Micah 7:19). His presence will cleanse and sanctify the soul, so that it may be a holy temple unto the Lord, and ‘an habitation of God through the Spirit’ (Ephesians 2:21, 22).” The Desire of Ages, 161, 162.

“While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by His Spirit the minister of the church on earth.” Ibid., 166.

“I call upon everyone who claims to be a son of God never to forget this great truth, that we need the Spirit of God within us in order to reach heaven, and the work of Christ without us in order to give us a title to the immortal inheritance.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 442.



1 Who were the leaders of the iniquitous trade in the temple?

2 What should be the attitude of anyone who comes to God?

3 What spiritual significance did the temple at Jerusalem have?

4 What did Christ announce in cleansing the temple?

5 Who only can cleanse the human heart?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Marriage at Cana

April 16, 2017 – April 22, 2017

Key Text

“His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 144–153; Temperance, 97, 98.


“Jesus began the work of reformation by coming into close sympathy with humanity.” The Desire of Ages, 150.



  • Where did Jesus begin His ministry on the earth? John 2:1, 2.

Note: “Jesus did not begin His ministry by some great work before the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. At a household gathering in a little Galilean village His power was put forth to add to the joy of a wedding feast. Thus He showed His sympathy with men, and His desire to minister to their happiness. In the wilderness of temptation He Himself had drunk the cup of woe. He came forth to give to men the cup of blessing, by His benediction to hallow the relations of human life.” The Desire of Ages, 144.

  • What happened long before the end of the wedding feast? John 2:3.

Note: “It was the custom of the times for marriage festivities to continue several days. On this occasion, before the feast ended it was found that the supply of wine had failed. This discovery caused much perplexity and regret. It was unusual to dispense with wine on festive occasions, and its absence would seem to indicate a want of hospitality.” The Desire of Ages, 145, 146.



  • What was the answer of Christ to His mother? John 2:4.

Note: “As a relative of the parties, Mary had assisted in the arrangements for the feast, and she now spoke to Jesus, saying, ‘They have no wine.’ These words were a suggestion that He might supply their need. But Jesus answered, ‘Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come’ (John 2:3, 4).

“This answer, abrupt as it seems to us, expressed no coldness or discourtesy. The Saviour’s form of address to His mother was in accordance with Oriental custom. It was used toward persons to whom it was desired to show respect. Every act of Christ’s earthly life was in harmony with the precept He Himself had given, ‘Honour thy father and thy mother’ (Exodus 20:12). On the cross, in His last act of tenderness toward His mother, Jesus again addressed her in the same way, as He committed her to the care of His best-loved disciple. Both at the marriage feast and upon the cross, the love expressed in tone and look and manner interpreted His words.” The Desire of Ages, 146.

  • What did Christ’s mother say to the servants and what is the application of these words today? John 2:5.

Note: “As the guests assemble, many seem to be preoccupied with some topic of absorbing interest. A suppressed excitement pervades the company. Little groups converse together in eager but quiet tones, and wondering glances are turned upon the Son of Mary. As Mary had heard the disciples’ testimony in regard to Jesus, she had been gladdened with the assurance that her long-cherished hopes were not in vain. Yet she would have been more than human if there had not mingled with this holy joy a trace of the fond mother’s natural pride. As she saw the many glances bent upon Jesus, she longed to have Him prove to the company that He was really the Honored of God. She hoped there might be opportunity for Him to work a miracle before them.” The Desire of Ages, 145.

“Christ’s dignity and officework are in imposing such conditions as He pleases. … God has provided divine assistance for all emergencies to which our human resources are unequal.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 414, 415.



  • What did Jesus tell the servants at the wedding to do? John 2:6–8.

Note: “Beside the doorway stood six large stone water jars, and Jesus bade the servants fill these with water. It was done. Then as the wine was wanted for immediate use, He said, ‘Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast’ (John 2:8). Instead of the water with which the vessels had been filled, there flowed forth wine.” The Desire of Ages, 148.

  • What was the reaction of the governor of the feast? John 2:9, 10.

Note: “Neither the ruler of the feast nor the guests generally were aware that the supply of wine had failed. Upon tasting that which the servants brought, the ruler found it superior to any he had ever before drunk, and very different from that served at the beginning of the feast. Turning to the bridegroom, he said, ‘Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now’ (John 2:10).

“As men set forth the best wine first, then afterward that which is worse, so does the world with its gifts. That which it offers may please the eye and fascinate the senses, but it proves to be unsatisfying. The wine turns to bitterness, the gaiety to gloom. That which was begun with songs and mirth ends in weariness and disgust. But the gifts of Jesus are ever fresh and new. The feast that He provides for the soul never fails to give satisfaction and joy. Each new gift increases the capacity of the receiver to appreciate and enjoy the blessings of the Lord. He gives grace for grace. There can be no failure of supply. If you abide in Him, the fact that you receive a rich gift today insures the reception of a richer gift tomorrow. The words of Jesus to Nathanael express the law of God’s dealing with the children of faith. With every fresh revelation of His love, He declares to the receptive heart, ‘Believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these’ (John 1:50).” The Desire of Ages, 148.



  • What type of wine did Christ provide? Isaiah 65:8.

Note: “The wine which Christ provided for the feast, and that which He gave to the disciples as a symbol of His own blood, was the pure juice of the grape. To this the prophet Isaiah refers when he speaks of the new wine ‘in the cluster,’ and says, ‘Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it’ (Isaiah 65:8).” The Desire of Ages, 149.

  • What did Christ say, through the wise man, regarding fermented wine? Proverbs 20:1; 23:29–32.

Note: “It was Christ who in the Old Testament gave the warning to Israel, ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise’ (Proverbs 20:1). And He Himself provided no such beverage. Satan tempts men to indulgence that will becloud reason and benumb the spiritual perceptions, but Christ teaches us to bring the lower nature into subjection. His whole life was an example of self-denial. In order to break the power of appetite, He suffered in our behalf the severest test that humanity could endure. It was Christ who directed that John the Baptist should drink neither wine nor strong drink. It was He who enjoined similar abstinence upon the wife of Manoah. And He pronounced a curse upon the man who should put the bottle to his neighbor’s lips. Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine which He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. Its effect was to bring the taste into harmony with a healthful appetite.” The Desire of Ages, 149.

“Let every soul remember that he is under sacred obligations to God to do his best for his fellow-creatures. How careful should everyone be not to create a desire for stimulants. … Many incidents have come to my attention in which through some simple advice, men and women have become the slaves of the drink habit. Physicians are responsible for making many drunkards. Knowing what drink will do for its lovers, they have taken upon themselves the responsibility of prescribing it for their patients. Did they reason from cause to effect, they would know that stimulants would have the same effect on every organ of the body as they have on the whole man. What excuse can doctors render for the influence they have exerted in making fathers and mothers drunkards?” The Review and Herald, May 29, 1894.



  • What objectives were achieved through Christ’s presence at the wedding feast at Cana? John 2:11.
  • What did Christ demonstrate through His ministry? Matthew 11:29.

Note: “The ministry of Christ was in marked contrast to that of the Jewish elders. Their regard for tradition and formalism had destroyed all real freedom of thought or action. They lived in continual dread of defilement. To avoid contact with the ‘unclean,’ they kept aloof, not only from the Gentiles, but from the majority of their own people, seeking neither to benefit them nor to win their friendship. By dwelling constantly on these matters, they had dwarfed their minds and narrowed the orbit of their lives. Their example encouraged egotism and intolerance among all classes of the people.

“Jesus began the work of reformation by coming into close sympathy with humanity. While He showed the greatest reverence for the law of God, He rebuked the pretentious piety of the Pharisees, and tried to free the people from the senseless rules that bound them. He was seeking to break down the barriers which separated the different classes of society, that He might bring men together as children of one family. His attendance at the marriage feast was designed to be a step toward effecting this. …

“A Jewish marriage was an impressive occasion, and its joy was not displeasing to the Son of man. By attending this feast, Jesus honored marriage as a divine institution.” The Desire of Ages, 150, 151.



1 What spiritual fruits did Christ’s miracle at Cana bear?

2 What is the significance of Christ’s words to His mother: “Woman, what have I to do with thee?”

3 Why did the governor of the feast show surprise?

4 What wine is appropriately a symbol of Christ’s blood?

5 What was Jesus’ purpose in being present at social gatherings?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Lamb of God

April 9, 2017 – April 15, 2017

Key Text

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 32–143; The Faith I Live By, 17.


“In order to enter into His joy—the joy of seeing souls redeemed by His sacrifice—we must participate in His labors for their redemption.” The Desire of Ages, 142.



  • What did John the Baptist declare concerning Jesus? John 1:15–18.
  • How did John identify himself to the priests and Levites when they asked him who he was? John 1:19–23.
  • What prophecy did John fulfill? Isaiah 40:3–5.

Note: “In every stage of this earth’s history God has had His agencies to carry forward His work, which must be done in His appointed way. John the Baptist had a special work, for which he was born and to which he was appointed—the work of preparing the way of the Lord. … His wilderness ministry was a most striking, literal fulfillment of prophecy.” “Ellen G. White,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1115.

“The childhood, youth, and manhood, of John, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah to do a special work in preparing the way for the world’s Redeemer, was marked with firmness and moral power. Satan could not move him from his integrity.” The Review and Herald, March 3, 1874.



  • When Jesus came to John to be baptized, how did John identify Him in public? John 1:29.
  • What prophecy did John fulfill at the baptism of Jesus? Isaiah 61:1; John 1:34.

Note: “The word of God includes the Scriptures of the Old Testament as well as of the New. One is not complete without the other. Christ declared that the truths of the Old Testament are as valuable as those of the New. Christ was as much man’s Redeemer in the beginning of the world as He is today. Before He clothed His divinity with humanity and came to our world, the gospel message was given by Adam, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah. Abraham in Canaan and Lot in Sodom bore the message, and from generation to generation faithful messengers proclaimed the Coming One. The rites of the Jewish economy were instituted by Christ Himself. He was the foundation of their system of sacrificial offerings, the great antitype of all their religious service. The blood shed as the sacrifices were offered pointed to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. All the typical offerings were fulfilled in Him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 126.

  • How did John introduce Jesus to his own disciples? John 1:35, 36.
  • What effect did the words of John have on his disciples? John 1:37.

Note: “On the following day, while two disciples were standing near, John again saw Jesus among the people. Again the face of the prophet was lighted up with glory from the Unseen, as he cried, ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ (John 1:29)! The words thrilled the hearts of the disciples. They did not fully understand them. What meant the name that John had given Him—‘the Lamb of God’? John himself had not explained it.” The Desire of Ages, 138.

“Those who are true to their calling as messengers of God, will not seek honor for themselves. Love for self will be swallowed up in love for Christ. They will recognize that it is their work to proclaim, as did John the Baptist, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29).” Gospel Workers, 56.



  • Who were some of Jesus’ first disciples? Matthew 4:18, 21; John 1:37, 40.

Note: “Leaving John, they [the two disciples] went to seek Jesus. One of the two was Andrew, the brother of Simon; the other was John the evangelist. These were Christ’s first disciples. Moved by an irresistible impulse, they followed Jesus—anxious to speak with Him, yet awed and silent, lost in the overwhelming significance of the thought, ‘Is this the Messiah?’

“Jesus knew that the disciples were following Him. They were the first fruits of His ministry, and there was joy in the heart of the divine Teacher as these souls responded to His grace. Yet turning, He asked only, ‘What seek ye?’ He would leave them free to turn back or to speak of their desire.

“Of one purpose only were they conscious. One presence filled their thought. They exclaimed, ‘Rabbi, … where dwellest Thou?’ (John 1:38). In a brief interview by the wayside they could not receive that for which they longed. They desired to be alone with Jesus, to sit at His feet, and hear His words.” The Desire of Ages, 138. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • What interest did the first disciples manifest, and how long did they stay with Him during their first meeting? John 1:38, 39.

Note: “They [Andrew and John] came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” The Desire of Ages, 139.

  • What did the first disciples do soon after meeting Jesus? John 1:41, 42.

Note: “Andrew sought to impart the joy that filled his heart. Going in search of his brother Simon, he cried, ‘We have found the Messias.’ Simon waited for no second bidding. He also had heard the preaching of John the Baptist, and he hastened to the Saviour. The eye of Christ rested upon him, reading his character and his life history. His impulsive nature, his loving, sympathetic heart, his ambition and self-confidence, the history of his fall, his repentance, his labors, and his martyr death—the Saviour read it all, and He said, ‘Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone’ (John 1:41, 42).” The Desire of Ages, 139.



  • Whom did Jesus invite to follow Him? John 1:43, 44.
  • As soon as Phillip heard the call of Christ, what did he become?

Note: “Philip obeyed the command, and straightway he also became a worker for Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 139.

  • Whom did Phillip reach? John 1:45.
  • When Nathanael manifested prejudice towards Jesus, what other invitation did Phillip make? John 1:46–49.

Note: “The inhabitants of Nazareth were proverbial for their wickedness. The low estimate in which they were generally held is shown by Nathanael’s question … .” The Desire of Ages, 71.

“Philip called Nathanael. The latter had been among the throng when the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God. As Nathanael looked upon Jesus, he was disappointed. Could this man, who bore the marks of toil and poverty, be the Messiah? Yet Nathanael could not decide to reject Jesus, for the message of John had brought conviction to his heart. …

“Philip entered into no controversy. He said, ‘Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!’ In surprise Nathanael exclaimed, ‘Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee’ (John 1:46–48).

“It was enough. The divine Spirit that had borne witness to Nathanael in his solitary prayer under the fig tree now spoke to him in the words of Jesus. Though in doubt, and yielding somewhat to prejudice, Nathanael had come to Christ with an honest desire for truth, and now his desire was met. His faith went beyond that of the one who had brought him to Jesus. He answered and said, ‘Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel’ (Verse 49).” Ibid., 139, 140.



  • What promise did Christ make to Nathanael? John 1:50, 51.
  • What is the significance of Christ’s promise?

Note: “[John 1:50, 51 quoted.]

“Here Christ virtually says, On the bank of the Jordan the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove upon Me. That scene was but a token that I am the Son of God. If you believe on Me as such, your faith shall be quickened. You shall see that the heavens are opened, and are never to be closed. I have opened them to you. The angels of God are ascending, bearing the prayers of the needy and distressed to the Father above, and descending, bringing blessing and hope, courage, help, and life, to the children of men.” The Desire of Ages, 142, 143.

  • What is available to those who accept Jesus as their Saviour, and what becomes their burden? John 4:14, 15; Revelation 22:17.

Note: “When one has received the truth in the love of it, he will make this manifest in the persuasion of his manner and the tones of his voice. He makes known that which he himself has heard, seen, and handled of the word of life, that others may have fellowship with him through the knowledge of Christ. His testimony, from lips touched with a live coal from off the altar, is truth to the receptive heart, and works sanctification upon the character.” The Desire of Ages, 142.



1 According to prophecy, what was the mission of John the Baptist?

2 How did prophecy predict the birth and mission of Jesus?

3 What commendable qualities did the first disciples reveal?

4 Describe the conversion of Nathanael.

5 What does the expression “hereafter ye shall see heaven open” mean?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Word Was God

April 2, 2017 – April 8, 2017

Key Text

“The Word was made 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 1:14).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 113, 114; The Faith I Live By, 46.


“From all eternity Christ was united with the Father, and when He took upon Himself human nature, He was still one with God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 228.



  • What does the Word of God say about Jesus before His incarnation? John 1:1, 2.

Note: “From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was ‘the image of God,’ the image of His greatness and majesty, ‘the outshining of His glory.’ It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world.” The Desire of Ages, 19.

“In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.” The Signs of the Times, August 29,1900.

“Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.

  • How is Jesus regarded by the Father and the angels? Psalm 45:6; Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:6–8.

Note: “Angels are God’s ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the ‘express image of His person,’ ‘the brightness of His glory,’ ‘upholding all things by the word of His power,’ holds supremacy over them all (Hebrews 1:3).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.



  • Who created all things? John 1:3, 10; Colossians 1:1–17.

Note: “In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space, and fashioned the flowers of the field. ‘His strength setteth fast the mountains.’ ‘The sea is His, and He made it’ (Psalms 65:6; 95:5). It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song. And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father’s love.” The Desire of Ages, 20.

  • How were the worlds and the universe created? Psalms 33:6, 9; 104:1–6. What was our world like when it was created?

Note: “God spoke, and His words created His works in the natural world. God’s creation is but a reservoir of means made ready for Him to employ instantly to do His pleasure.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1081.

“ ‘By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.’ ‘For He spake, and it was;’ ‘He commanded, and it stood fast.’ He ‘laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever’ (Psalms 33:6, 9; 104:5).

“As the earth came forth from the hand of its Maker, it was exceedingly beautiful. Its surface was diversified with mountains, hills, and plains, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes; but the hills and mountains were not abrupt and rugged, abounding in terrific steeps and frightful chasms, as they now do; the sharp, ragged edges of earth’s rocky framework were buried beneath the fruitful soil, which everywhere produced a luxuriant growth of verdure. There were no loathsome swamps or barren deserts. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. The heights were crowned with trees more majestic than any that now exist. The air, untainted by foul miasma, was clear and healthful. The entire landscape outvied in beauty the decorated grounds of the proudest palace. The angelic host viewed the scene with delight, and rejoiced at the wonderful works of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 44.



  • Who is the Author of all life and light? John 1:4–9; Acts 17:28.

Note: “Christ is the ‘Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’ (John 1:9). As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him every soul receives some ray of divine light.” Education, 29.

“Through Christ had been communicated every ray of divine light that had ever reached our fallen world. It was He who had spoken through everyone that throughout the ages had declared God’s word to man. Of Him all the excellences manifest in the earth’s greatest and noblest souls were reflections. The purity and beneficence of Joseph, the faith and meekness and long-suffering of Moses, the steadfastness of Elisha, the noble integrity and firmness of Daniel, the ardor and self-sacrifice of Paul, the mental and spiritual power manifest in all these men, and in all others who had ever dwelt on the earth, were but gleams from the shining of His glory. In Him was found the perfect ideal.” Ibid., 73.

  • What does Jesus say concerning Himself and what does He promise us? John 10:28; 8:12; 12:46.

Note: “In the words, ‘I am the light of the world’ (John 8:12), Jesus declared Himself the Messiah. The aged Simeon, in the temple where Christ was now teaching, had spoken of Him as ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel’ (Luke 2:32). In these words he was applying to Him a prophecy familiar to all Israel.” The Desire of Ages, 465.

“Only through Christ can immortality be obtained. Said Jesus: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life’ (John 3:36). Every man may come into possession of this priceless blessing if he will comply with the conditions. All ‘who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality,’ will receive ‘eternal life’ (Romans 2:7).” The Great Controversy, 533.

“That which had been revealed in His words was revealed also in His character. He was the embodiment of the truths He taught.” The Desire of Ages, 465.



  • What did Isaiah prophesy about Christ’s name? Isaiah 7:14.
  • When was this prophecy fulfilled and what does it mean to us? Matthew 1:20–23.

Note: “Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour’s life on earth, we see ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23).” The Desire of Ages, 24.

  • What did Jesus do to reach us in our fallen state? John 1:14; Philippians 2:5–8; Hebrews 2:14–18.

Note: “In Christ’s parable teaching the same principle is seen as in His own mission to the world. That we might become acquainted with His divine character and life, Christ took our nature and dwelt among us. Divinity was revealed in humanity; the invisible glory in the visible human form. Men could learn of the unknown through the known; heavenly things were revealed through the earthly; God was made manifest in the likeness of men. So it was in Christ’s teaching: the unknown was illustrated by the known; divine truths by earthly things with which the people were most familiar.

“The Scripture says, ‘All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; … that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world’ (Matthew 13:34, 35). Natural things were the medium for the spiritual; the things of nature and the life-experience of His hearers were connected with the truths of the written word. Leading thus from the natural to the spiritual kingdom, Christ’s parables are links in the chain of truth that unites man with God, and earth with heaven.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 17, 18.



  • What did Jesus come to do for humanity? John 1:14; 3:16, 17; Luke 19:10.

Note: “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5).” The Desire of Ages, 25.

  • How is the sinner considered by the Father when he believes in Jesus, His only begotten Son? John 1:12, 13; I John 3:1, 2.
  • What relationship is restored between the sinner and the Father through Christ? Galatians 4:5–7; Hebrews 2:10.

Note: “Christ is the uniting link in the golden chain which binds believers together in God. There must be no separating in this great testing time. The people of God are, ‘fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord’ (Ephesians 2:19–21). The children of God constitute one united whole in Christ, who presents His cross as the center of attraction. All who believe are one in Him.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 21.



1 What nature has Jesus possessed since eternity?

2 Who spread the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth?

3 From whom does all true life and light emanate?

4 What is Jesus called in Isaiah 7:14?

5 What did Jesus become upon assuming our human nature?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Food – A Nut that is not a Nut

Most people like to chew on nuts and cook with nuts. There is one nut that is not a nut but acts like a nut and all consider it a nut. What could that be? The peanut!

“… the peanut is actually a legume, native to South America, that happens to look and taste like a nut. Nutritionally, peanuts act like nuts, too. About half their weight comes from fat, with the rest split fairly evenly between protein and carbohydrate (with fiber). About half of their total fat comes from monounsaturated fat, the kind that is linked to more healthful blood lipid levels. One-third of the fat comes from polyunsaturated fat (all of which is omega-6 fatty acid, not the super healthy omega-3). About 14% of the fat is naturally saturated.”

“As American as apple pie, peanut butter has made its mark on American cuisine since the early 1900s. Whether it’s partnering with jelly on bread or is the featured ingredient in cookie dough, it’s an enduring favorite. Most households have a jar of it in the kitchen at all times.

“But is peanut butter good for you? Well, like most nut butters, peanut butter is high in fat and calories (with around 190 calories and 16 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons). But the good news is, you get a lot of nutrition for your 190-calorie investment. Nuts and nut butters are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

“In 2003 the FDA approved a qualified health claim for peanuts and certain tree nuts. It basically says that scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts (as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol) may reduce the risk of heart disease.

“Most of the research suggesting health benefits to nuts has involved lowering the risk of heart or cardiovascular disease or their risk factors. But there is some evidence nuts may help with other diseases as well. For example, peanuts are a source of the phytochemical resveratrol (also found in grape skins and red wine). A recent German study explored resveratrol’s possible cancer-preventing effects in colorectal cells.” Ibid.

The next time you chew on a peanut or spread the peanut butter, remember, you are chewing on a legume and you are spreading legume butter. It does sound more appetizing to say peanut butter. Enjoy!

Healthy Nutty Banana Spread
½ cup crunchy peanut butter ½ cup mashed banana
½ cup orange juice (fresh squeezed is best)
Basically use equal amounts of each ingredient. Combine peanut butter and orange juice. Add the mashed banana and mix well. This is easy, healthy and good on toast or crackers.




In the winter of 1864, my Willie was suddenly and violently brought down with lung fever*. We had just buried our oldest son with this disease, and were very anxious in regard to Willie, fearing that he, too, might die. We decided that we would not send for a physician, but do the best we could with him ourselves by the use of water, and entreat the Lord in behalf of the child. We called in a few who had faith to unite their prayers with ours. We had a sweet assurance of God’s presence and blessing.

The next day Willie was very sick. He was wandering. He did not seem to see or hear me when I spoke to him. His heart had no regular beat, but was in a constant agitated flutter. We continued to look to God in his behalf, and to use water freely upon his head, and a compress constantly upon his lungs, and soon he seemed rational as ever. He suffered severe pain in his right side, and could not lie upon it for a moment. This pain we subdued with cold water compresses, varying the temperature of the water according to the degree of the fever. We were very careful to keep his hands and feet warm.

We expected the crisis would come the seventh day. We had but little rest during his sickness, and were obliged to give him up into others’ care the fourth and fifth nights. My husband and myself the fifth day felt very anxious. The child raised fresh blood, and coughed considerably. My husband spent much time in prayer. We left our child in careful hands that night. Before retiring my husband prayed long and earnestly. Suddenly his burden of prayer left him, and it seemed as though a voice spoke to him, and said, Go lie down, I will take care of the child. I had retired sick, and could not sleep for anxiety for several hours. I felt pressed for breath. Although sleeping in a large chamber, I arose and opened the door into a large hall, and was at once relieved, and soon slept. I dreamed that an experienced physician was standing by my child, watching every breath, with one hand over his heart, and with the other feeling his pulse. He turned to us and said, “The crisis has passed. He has seen his worst night. He will now come up speedily, for he has not the injurious influence of drugs to recover from. Nature has nobly done her work to rid the system of impurities.” I related to him my worn-out condition, my pressure for breath, and the relief obtained by opening the door. Said he, “That which gave you relief, will also relieve your child. He needs air. You have kept him too warm. The heated air coming from a stove is injurious, and were it not for the air coming in at the crevices of the windows, would be poisonous, and destroy life. Stove heat destroys the vitality of the air, and weakens the lungs. The child’s lungs have been weakened by the room being kept too warm. Sick persons are debilitated by disease, and need all the invigorating air that they can bear to strengthen the vital organs to resist disease. And yet in most cases air and light are excluded from the sick room at the very time when most needed, as though dangerous enemies.”

This dream and my husband’s experience was a consolation to us both. We found in the morning that our boy had passed a restless night. He seemed to be in a high fever until noon. Then the fever left him, and he appeared quite well, except weak. He had eaten but one small cracker through his five-days’ sickness. He came up rapidly, and has had better health than he has had for several years before. This experience is valuable to us.

I have thought for years that I was dependent upon a meat diet for strength. I have eaten three meals a day until within a few months. It has been very difficult for me to go from one meal to another without suffering from faintness at the stomach, and dizziness of the head. Eating would remove these feelings. I seldom allowed myself to eat anything between my regular meals, and have made it a practice to often retire without supper. But I have suffered greatly for want of food from breakfast to dinner, and have frequently fainted. Eating meat removed for the time these faint feelings. I therefore decided that meat was indispensable in my case.

But since the Lord presented before me, in June, 1863, the subject of meat-eating in relation to health, I have left the use of meat. For a while it was rather difficult to bring my appetite to bread, for which, formerly, I have had but little relish. But by persevering, I have been able to do this. I have lived for nearly one year without meat. For about six months most of the bread upon our table has been unleavened cakes, made of unbolted wheat-meal and water, and a very little salt. We use fruits and vegetables liberally. I have lived for eight months upon two meals a day. I have applied myself to writing the most of the time for above a year. For eight months have been confined closely to writing. My brain has been constantly taxed, and I have had but little exercise. Yet my health has never been better than for the past six months. My former faint and dizzy feelings have left me. I have been troubled every spring with loss of appetite. The last spring I had no trouble in this respect. Our plain food, eaten twice a day, is enjoyed with a keen relish. We have no meat, cake, or any rich food upon our table. We use no lard, but in its place, milk, cream, and some butter. We have our food prepared with but little salt, and have dispensed with spices of all kinds. We breakfast at seven, and take our dinner at one. It is seldom I have a faint feeling. My appetite is satisfied. My food is eaten with a greater relish than ever before.

I have, since a child, been afflicted with dropsy and heart disease, occasioned by my misfortune when about nine years old. For several years, in the spring, I have had a shock of paralysis which has nearly cost me my life. But, in answer to prayer, I have recovered from its effects. The last spring I had no symptoms of this much-dreaded affliction. I have no trouble with dropsy or heart disease. I have within eight months lost twenty-five pounds of flesh. I am better without it. I have more strength than I have realized for years.

Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 151–153.

*An obsolete term for elevated core temperature resulting from an infection in the respiratory system.

Children Story – Christ Our Refuge

There were six cities in the land of Canaan which were set apart as places of refuge, to which a man might flee if he had, either by accident or design, killed another. These cities were easy of access. Three were on the west side of the river Jordan, and three on the east side. Every year the roads leading to them were examined, to see that they were in good condition, and that there was nothing in the way to stop the man-slayer as he was running from his pursuer. At different points there were guide-boards, and on them were written, REFUGE! REFUGE!

If any man by accident killed another, and reached one of these cities before his pursuer, he was allowed to stay there until the death of the high-priest who was then living. But if in anger a man had purposely killed another, then, although he sought refuge in one of these cities, he was given up to the avenger of blood to be slain. You will find more about these cities and their names if you will read the thirty-fifth chapter of Numbers, the nineteenth chapter of Deuteronomy, and the twentieth chapter of Joshua.

But what interest can boys and girls and all older persons have in these cities?

I will try to tell you. God has different ways of teaching. A great many things about which we read in the Old Testament are what is called types. A type, in scripture language, means a pattern or a likeness to a person who is to come, or to an event which is to take place. It is supposed to point forward to something more valuable than itself. Thus, for example, the blood of the lamb which was slain on the Jewish altar was type or a foreshadowing of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for our salvation. Hence John the Baptist pointing to the Saviour, said to His disciples, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The paschal lamb, which was slain to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews from the bondage of Egypt, and the lamb which was offered daily, both morning and evening, in the service of the temple, were representations of the greater sacrifice which Christ came from heaven to make for our salvation.

So the land of Canaan was a type of heaven. The lifting up of the brazen serpent on a pole was a type of our Saviour’s crucifixion; and the cities of refuge were a beautiful type of Jesus Christ, who is the sinner’s refuge.

You know, my dear children, that we have all sinned, and that we all need a place of safety. The avenger says, “Thou shalt surely die.” Escape for thy life. But that we may not die eternally, God has given us the Bible as our guide-board; and the Bible is constantly pointing to Jesus Christ as the sinner’s refuge. He is our hiding-place. It is to Him Isaiah refers when he says, “And a man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:2).

The way to our city of refuge is plain. “I am the way” (John 14:6), is the Saviour’s own direction. The gate is always open, and the assurance is, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

I want you to remember, dear children, that it is a great deal easier to run to this city of refuge when you are young, than it will be if you put it off until you are older. The promise of the Saviour is, “Those that seek Me early shall find Me” (Proverbs 8:17). Will you not flee to Jesus as your hiding-place? Will you not seek Him when He may be found? How sad it will be if you neglect to do so. You will need a refuge when the tempest of God’s judgments shall burst upon the wicked. Oh, then how glad you will be if you can say, as David said of his trust in God, “Thou art my hiding-place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).

Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle, vol. 1, 148–151.

Sermon on the Mount Series – One Goal, One Way

Because we live in a world full of scams, it is crucial to find a dependable way to tell the difference between truth and falsehood so that we do not end up being duped. With every wind of doctrine circulating, we certainly cannot trust people’s exalted professions or their fair speeches, as many have alternative motives that are not obvious on the surface. Honesty often seems a thing of the past and it is dangerous to depend on your senses. The Bible is the only sure foundation that remains firm among a cacophony of voices.

A popular belief today is that eventually everybody in the world will be saved, but nowhere in the Bible do we find such assurance. In fact, Jesus Christ Himself taught just the opposite. He said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many that go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14). It appears here that Jesus knew that the majority of the world would be attracted to the broad popular road where self rules and every desire of the heart can be supplied. In a world of consumerism, people desire immediate satisfaction. Few choose the road of self denial and delayed satisfaction.

Jesus said in Luke 13:24, “Seek to enter through the narrow gate because many, I say to you, will attempt to, and will not be able” (literal translation). The reason they are not able is because they cannot take along with them all of their sins, their sinful desires and their own pleasures and ambitions. Because the gate is narrow, people are in danger of being deceived and enticed onto the broad way, thinking that it will lead to the same end as the narrow way. The temptation is always, Why make it so hard for yourself? It is so much easier on the broad way.

Knowing how hard the temptation is, immediately after Jesus gave that instruction, He gave a warning that there are people in this world who are out to deceive you.

There are teachers of falsehood who will arise and draw you away from the narrow path, away from the straight gate with false promises that you can have eternal life while you are going down the broad road. He said, Watch out!

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:15–20).

Jesus said that we are not to prove whether they are a true or a false prophet by their fair speeches or their exalted professions. They are to be judged by the word of God. The word of God says, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). A strict warning here is given against listening to spiritualist manifestations, or spiritual apparitions, or people claiming to speak for the dead, or being spirits of the dead, or the like (verse 19).

The wise man said in Proverbs 19:27, “Cease, my son to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” What message are you listening to? Are you listening to a message that leads you to fear and reverence God? Are you listening to a message that leads you to love God by obeying Him, by being loyal to His commandments?

If we do not feel the weight of the moral law, if we make light of any of God’s precepts, if we break one of the least of His commandments, we shall be of no esteem in the sight of heaven, and it may be known that our claims to be religious teachers are without any foundation at all. Those kinds of teachings originate with the prince of darkness, the enemy of God.

Not all who profess the name of Christ, who call themselves Christians, not all who wear His badge, are actually Christ’s. The apostle Paul had some very pointed things to say on this subject. Notice what He said in 2 Corinthians 11:13–15: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

Paul here says that there are false apostles who pretend to be teachers of righteousness, who pretend to be the apostles of Christ, but actually they are serving another master. Not all who profess His name, not all who call themselves Christians, not all who wear His badge are actually Jesus Christ’s. Jesus said there will be many people who have taught in My name, that will be found wanting at last. Notice what He said as He neared the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ” (Matthew 7:21–23).

These are people who call Jesus, “Lord” and call themselves “Christians.” These are not just people who come and sit in the pew at church; these are Christian workers. They say, “We have prophesied in Your name. We had the Holy Spirit. We had the gift of prophecy.” “We cast out demons in Your name.” “We worked many wonders (miracles) in Your name.”

How can that be? The Bible teaches that there is a great spiritual battle going on in this world between two supernatural forces. Christ is one, but there is another supernatural force. He has lost the battle over and over again. So, because of his defeat in the way he has operated in the past, he masquerades and appears to join the winning side, calling himself Christ.

The Biblical word, antichrist simply means somebody that stands in the place of Christ. People who are actually serving antichrist, will think that they are serving Christ. The apostle Paul is very clear on this point. He wrote to the Corinthian church, “I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it” (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4)!

It concerned Paul that the church would be deceived and receive a different spirit instead of the Spirit that the apostles had brought to them and that the church would accept a different gospel. The New Testament gospel is a gospel that delivers a person not only from his guilt, but it delivers a person from the power of sin in his life. Jesus said, “… whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a Son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:34, 36). Notice, the gospel that Jesus taught was the gospel that would set you free from the power of sin in your life.

The apostles preached that same gospel. Paul preached it in Romans 6 and 8. The apostle John preached the same gospel and warned about the danger of having a false conception that we are followers of God when we are really not. He said, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (I John 2:3, 4). The apostle John, considered so loveable and so soft-spoken, had no mincing words to say about the person who claimed to be a Christian and who was living in violation of the law of God.

The apostle James is just as clear. He said, “If you keep the whole law, and you offend in one point, you are guilty of all. For the same person that said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ So if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those that will be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:10–12, literal translation).

James teaches it. Jude teaches it. John teaches it. Paul teaches it. Peter teaches it in 2 Peter 3. The apostle John teaches it again in Revelation 14:12 and 22. The people of God in the last days are those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. O, friend, we are in great danger today of thinking that we are Christians while we are living in sin.

The person who lives in sin is not a New Testament Christian because New Testament Christianity gives a person victory over their besetting sins and gives the power to live a new life. If a person claims to be a Christian and continues living in sin and does not overcome his/her sins, he/she is in danger of losing eternal life. Jesus said that many will come to Him in that last day and say that He has made a mistake. They will claim to know that they are saved, to know that they should be in the kingdom of heaven because they claim to be His as Christians. “We prophesied in Your name and we cast out demons in Your name and we did many miracles in Your name.”

Then will come the sad answer, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you’ ” (Matthew 7:23). It is difficult to take in the terrible shock that that would be. To think that you are serving Christ, when in reality you are serving another Jesus; to think that you have the Holy Spirit, but you have a different spirit; to think that you are following the gospel, but you are following a different gospel. And when Jesus comes, you claim to have prophesied in His name and to have cast out demons in His name, and done many miracles in His name, and He says, “I never knew you.” How shocking, indeed, that will be.

Does Christ know you? Jesus describes those He says He does not know in Matthew 7:23: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ” What is their problem? These are the people who believed that you can be a Christian and follow Jesus and yet continue to break His law.

In this world we are used to doing things half right or even partially right and still get along. In fact, we have schools that grade on the bell curve and you can get a pass with only 70%. However, that is not the way God’s law is. James 2:10–12 says, “Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.”

You cannot be a New Testament Christian unless you commit to following Jesus all the way. Remember that Jesus said in Luke 14:33, Whoever it is that “… does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” My friend, you are not going to take the riches of this world into the kingdom of heaven. All the material things here are going to burn up. God doesn’t need them for He is going to create a new world for His children to live in. The question is, Do you want what the Lord has prepared for the saved? Are you willing to go through the narrow gate and up the narrow way, and be obedient to the Lord Jesus and follow Him all the way and at last receive the gift of eternal life?

There are many people now, just as there were when Jesus spoke these original words, who want eternal life, but it seems that the price is too great to obey Jesus in everything because they will suffer some kind of a loss in this world. People felt that way then and people still feel that way today. So, before closing His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave to them a most striking illustration that would predict what their future would be. This story also predicts what your future will be.

He said: “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:24–27).

The difference is whether you choose to obey or choose not to obey, whether your life conforms to what Jesus said or whether it does not. Seven hundred years before Jesus came to the world Isaiah the prophet said, “The word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8 KJV). And many years after Jesus had preached on the mountain, the apostle Peter quoted these words from Isaiah: “… this is the word by which the gospel is preached to you” (I Peter 1:25, literal translation).

This is the word. When you receive the gospel, you receive the word of God that lasts forever. In other words, the word of God is the only steadfast thing that our world really knows. It is the sure foundation. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My word will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35, literal translation).

The great principles of the law of God, the very nature of God Himself, are enshrouded in the words of Jesus from the Mount. Whoever builds on them is building upon Christ, the Rock of Ages. In receiving His word, we receive Christ. Only those who receive His words and do them are building upon Christ. The apostle Paul said, “… other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3:11, literal translation).

Peter said the same thing. “… there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 KJV). That is the only foundation upon which you can build securely. We build on Christ by obeying His word. Jesus said, “If you do these sayings of mine, you’ll be like a man who built his house on the rock and when the storm came, the house did not fall. But if you hear these sayings of Mine and you don’t do them, you’d be like a man who built his house on the sand and when the storm came, his house collapsed” (Matthew 7:26, 27, literal translation).

Holiness is not rapture. It is the result of surrendering all to God. It is doing the will of our heavenly Father. Religion consists in doing the words of Christ. It is not doing them to earn God’s favor, but because, all undeserving, we have received the gift of His love. Jesus places the salvation of man, not upon profession merely, but upon faith that is made manifest by works of righteousness. Doing, not merely saying, is required and expected of the followers of Christ. It is through action that character is built.

Do you desire to be a follower of Jesus? There are many people today who say, “I want to be a Christian. I want to be a follower of Jesus Christ, but I don’t know how to start. I don’t know how to begin. I don’t know very much about the Bible.”

You may seem to be in the dark and not know how to find the light. So here is how to get started. Simply follow what light you do understand. Whatever you understand from the word of God tell the Lord, “By Your grace, what You tell me to do I am choosing to do, to obey and follow You.” If you set your heart to obey Jesus Christ, to acknowledge Him as the Lord of your life and follow Him, then, even though you may know very little right now, as you receive His word by faith, you will receive power to obey. As you start to obey the light you have, even if it is just a small amount, you will be given more light. You will be building on God’s word and your character will be built after the similitude of the character of Christ. Remember, “The path of the just (righteous) is like a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18, literal translation).

Jesus Christ is the sure foundation. He is the living Stone and His life is imparted to all who build upon Him, who do His words. Peter said, “… you also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house …” (I Peter 2:5, literal translation). Paul said, “… it’s fitly framed together, growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21, literal translation).

The living stones become one with the foundation because a common life dwells in all. And that building no tempest can overthrow. Every other building that is built on any other foundation will fall. If we build our character on human ideas, opinions, forms, and ceremonies, then our building will be destroyed. It will be knocked down by the fierce tempests of temptation. But right today, before the tempest comes that’s going to end this world’s history, the Lord says, “As I live, … I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will you die” (Ezekiel 33:11, literal translation).

O, friend, the Lord wants to save you and He will save you if you are willing to turn to Him and follow Him with all your heart.

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

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

Health – A Little Won’t Hurt

How often have you heard somebody say, “A little won’t hurt”! Could that be true? I remember a few years ago, a friend wanted to share some beauty cream she had picked up for a good price. She had read that this would help keep her complexion free of wrinkles and looking nice. I looked at the ingredients and the last ingredient on it was arsenic! I told my friend I was in no way going to use that cream, and what do you think she said? “A little won’t hurt”! I did some research and learned that young ladies back in the Middle Ages used arsenic to keep their faces nice and white. What a sad thing.

Let’s look at another occurrence which brings on the same reaction of “Oh, a little won’t hurt.” But, sad to say, a little does hurt—it is just that you cannot see the damage until it is almost too late. Many times, it is too late. That little bit has been ruining the fine machinery which the Lord has given to us.

A Striking Case of Moderate Drinking

“Here is a story that may interest you … . It is not hearsay but an experience in my own (I. S.Ritchie, M.D.) medical practice.

“A prominent young man of this city died recently of ‘moderate’ drinking. He had never been ‘drunk’—only ‘happy’; but after three years of it he paid for it with his life. I was called at the last minute, but nothing could be done. He did not respond to any kind of treatment. I never knew why until I saw his body opened at the autopsy and viewed his organs. His heart was but a mass of degenerative fat instead of muscle. His liver was double enlarged, pitted and hardened and scarred—chronic alcoholic hypertrophic cirrhosis. His lungs appeared sclerotic, as did his kidneys, and were irregular and pale. His stomach and bowels were pale and fatty externally, but congested and reddened and thickened throughout the mucous membrane lining. His spleen and glands were swollen and congested. I had known him for twenty years and never knew that he drank. He was never ill, but told his wife, ‘If I am ever sick, call Dr. Ritchie.’ And so she did, but it was too late. When I arrived I worked with might and main and called another physician, but no therapy or heart stimulation or adrenalin had any effect. I have told you the reason. The last three years they said he had drunk moderately but daily.

“The autopsy surgeon removed a piece of tissue from each of the above-named organs and sent these to the pathologist in charge of the laboratory of an accredited Class A Medical College. A microscopic study of these organs revealed the irreparable damage alcohol had done to the vital units or cells comprising these organs. No other cause for death could be discovered.” (I. S. Ritchie, M.D., …) Abundant Health, Julius Gilbert White, 273, 274, © 1951 by author.

It is often the unseen damage that will kill in the long run. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and these so-called, “little things” do affect our bodies. Whether it be a little kill or a big kill, either way it is still a kill and it is sinning against our Maker who has said, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13).

Another writer, Jethro Kloss, states the following:

“… Alcohol is certainly a snake in the grass, it is stimulating to the senses, makes a person feel happy when he is miserable, makes him feel strong for a while, but weakness follows. Alcohol numbs the nerves to such an extent that a man feels warm when he is cold. It makes him quite active while he is under its hellish influence, but there is great collapse as the effects wear off. It surely mocks a man and makes a fool of him. The wisest man that ever lived said that ‘wine is a mocker’ (Proverbs 20:1).” Back to Eden, 512, by Jethro Kloss, Back to Eden Books, 1982.

The young man mentioned above who died young stated that liquor made him feel happy, but what a dreadful end that may have been prevented.

It may not seem like it while we are indulging ourselves, but “a little bit does hurt.” When you hurt your body, which is the temple of the Lord, you are serving the god of this world who will accept your service at the cost of your health and possibly your life.

“… choose you this day whom ye will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).