Bible Study Guides – Abraham’s Two Sons

April 22 – 28

Key Text

“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman” (Galatians 4:22).

Study Help:  Our High Calling, 119–122, Patriarchs and Prophets, 370–373.


“Faith is not a happy flight of feeling; it is simply taking God at His word—believing that He will fulfill His promises because He said He would.” Our High Calling, 119.



  •  Why is Isaac called the son of promise? Genesis 15:2, 3; 17:15, 16; 18:9–14 (compare with Galatians 4:22, 23, 27, 28).
  • How did Abraham and Sarah try to help the Lord fulfill His promise of a son? Genesis 16:1–4.

Note: “Abraham had accepted without question the promise of a son, but he did not wait for God to fulfill His word in His own time and way. A delay was permitted, to test his faith in the power of God; but he failed to endure the trial. Thinking it impossible that a child should be given her in her old age, Sarah suggested, as a plan by which the divine purpose might be fulfilled, that one of her handmaidens should be taken by Abraham as a secondary wife. Polygamy had become so widespread that it had ceased to be regarded as a sin, but it was no less a violation of the law of God, and was fatal to the sacredness and peace of the family relation. Abraham’s marriage with Hagar resulted in evil, not only to his own household, but to future generations.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 145.



  •  How did God react as Abraham presented Ishmael as the son of promise? Genesis 17:15–21.

Note: “When Abraham was nearly one hundred years old, the promise of a son was repeated to him, with the assurance that the future heir should be the child of Sarah. But Abraham did not yet understand the promise. His mind at once turned to Ishmael, clinging to the belief that through him God’s gracious purposes were to be accomplished. In his affection for his son he exclaimed, ‘O that Ishmael might live before Thee!’ Again the promise was given, in words that could not be mistaken: ‘Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish My covenant with him’ (Genesis 17:18, 19).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 146.

  • Why did God refuse to accept Ishmael as the promised seed? Galatians 4:22, 23, 30; Romans 14:23, last part.

Note: “The lack of faith on the part of Abraham and Sarah had resulted in the birth of Ishmael, the mingling of the righteous seed with the ungodly. The father’s influence upon his son was counteracted by that of the mother’s idolatrous kindred and by Ishmael’s connection with heathen wives.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 174.

  • What essential truth would Abraham have missed if God had accepted Ishmael as the promised seed? Romans 4:1–5, 21, 22.

Note: “The reward is not of works, lest any man should boast; but it is all of grace.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 401.

“When we individually rest upon Christ, with full assurance of faith, trusting alone to the efficacy of His blood to cleanse from all sin, we shall have peace in believing that what God has promised He is able to perform.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 181.

“[Philippians 4:4–7 quoted.] … The promise itself is of no value unless I fully believe that He that has made the promise is abundantly able to fulfill, and infinite in power to do all that He has said.” This Day With God, 156.



  •  Explain which class of people Ishmael and his mother Hagar spiritually represent, and why. Genesis 16:4–6; Galatians 4:22, 23.
  • Why does the apostle Paul describe the Jews living in Jerusalem in his day as bond servants, like Hagar and Ishmael? John 8:31–36; Romans 9:6–8.

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

“God has done so much to make it possible for us to be free in Christ, free from the slavery of wrong habits and evil inclinations. Dear young friends, will you not strive to be free in Christ?” Our High Calling, 29.

  • In whom and in what did the Jews of the flesh (the literal descendants of Abraham) place their confidence in receiving the blessing of God? John 8:37–40; Philippians 3:3–9; Galatians 6:12, 13.

Note: “The Jews claimed to have descended from Abraham; but by failing to do the works of Abraham, they proved that they were not his true children. Only those who prove themselves to be spiritually in harmony with Abraham by obeying the voice of God, are reckoned as of true descent.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 268.

“Paul says that as ‘touching the righteousness which is in the law’—as far as outward acts were concerned—he was ‘blameless’ (Philippians 3:6); but when the spiritual character of the law was discerned, he saw himself a sinner. Judged by the letter of the law as men apply it to the outward life, he had abstained from sin; but when he looked into the depths of its holy precepts, and saw himself as God saw him, he bowed in humiliation and confessed his guilt.” Steps to Christ, 29, 30.



  •  When we trust in our own works for acceptance with God, rather than in Christ, what covenant are we falling under? Galatians 4:21–25; 3:10; 2 Corinthians 3:14, 15.

Note: “The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient’ (Exodus 24:7); … yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the new covenant. …

“The ‘new covenant’ was established upon ‘better promises’—the promise of forgiveness of sins and of the grace of God to renew the heart and bring it into harmony with the principles of God’s law. …

“The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth ‘the fruits of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:22). Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 371, 372.

  • Why is it evident that a person cannot make himself or herself righteous before God by keeping the law? Galatians 2:21; 3:11, 12.

Note: “Were it not for Christ’s atoning sacrifice, there would be nothing in us in which God could delight. All the natural goodness of man is worthless in God’s sight. He does not take pleasure in any man who retains his old nature, and is not so renewed in knowledge and grace that he is a new man in Christ.” God’s Amazing Grace, 66.



  •  What event does the apostle Paul use to illustrate the Jewish persecution of the Christian church? Galatians 4:28, 29; Genesis 21:6–10.
  • Why will the children of the spirit always be persecuted by the children of the flesh? John 15:17–22; John 3:19, 20; Galatians 5:17, first part.

Note: “Cain hated and killed his brother, not for any wrong that Abel had done, but ‘because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous’ (1 John 3:12). … Abel’s life of obedience and unswerving faith was to Cain a perpetual reproof. … The brighter the heavenly light that is reflected from the character of God’s faithful servants, the more clearly the sins of the ungodly are revealed, and the more determined will be their efforts to destroy those who disturb their peace.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 74.

“The early Christians were indeed a peculiar people. Their blameless deportment and unswerving faith were a continual reproof that disturbed the sinner’s peace. Though few in numbers, without wealth, position, or honorary titles, they were a terror to evildoers wherever their character and doctrines were known. … It was for the same reason that the Jews rejected and crucified the Saviour—because the purity and holiness of His character was a constant rebuke to their selfishness and corruption. From the days of Christ until now His faithful disciples have excited the hatred and opposition of those who love and follow the ways of sin.” The Great Controversy, 46.



 1     How only can God’s promises be fulfilled?

2     Why will God never accept the works of the flesh as righteousness?

3     Why can we never place trust in our heritage, our flesh, or our works?

4     Why is it impossible to be justified by the works of the law?

5     Describe the type of warfare Christians must expect because of their faith.

 Copyright © 2017, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Promised Seed

April 15 – 21


Key Text

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 145–155.


“The gift to Abraham and his seed included not merely the land of Canaan, but the whole earth.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 170.



  •  Even though Abraham asked God for one seed to be his heir, how many children did God promise to bless him with? Genesis 13:15, 16; 15:2–5.
  • How does the apostle Paul reveal that God’s promises made to Abraham were to be realized through one very special seed, Jesus Christ? Genesis 17:1–8; Galatians 3:16; Hebrews 2:14–16.

Note: “Plain and specific prophecies had been given regarding the appearance of the Promised One. To Adam was given an assurance of the coming of the Redeemer. The sentence pronounced on Satan, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel’ (Genesis 3:15), was to our first parents a promise of the redemption to be wrought out through Christ.

“To Abraham was given the promise that of his line the Saviour of the world should come: ‘In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.’ ‘He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ’ (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16).” The Acts of the Apostles, 222.



  •  How do we know that Abraham was aware that the promises were to come through a very special seed, Jesus Christ? John 8:56.

Note: “He [Abraham] was given a view of the divine sacrifice for sin. Of this sacrifice he had an illustration in his own experience. … Upon the altar of sacrifice he laid the son of promise, the son in whom his hopes were centered. …

“Abraham learned of God the greatest lesson ever given to mortal. His prayer that he might see Christ before he should die was answered. He saw Christ; he saw all that mortal can see, and live. By making an entire surrender, he was able to understand the vision of Christ, which had been given him. He was shown that in giving His only-begotten Son to save sinners from eternal ruin, God was making a greater and more wonderful sacrifice than ever man could make.” The Desire of Ages, 468, 469.

  • Seeing that Sarah was past the age of child-bearing, what did Abraham and Sarah need before they could have a child? Genesis 17:15–19; 18:9–14; Mark 10:27.

Note: “I would that all could realize what possibilities and probabilities there are for all who make Christ their sufficiency and their trust. The life hid with Christ in God ever has a refuge; he can say, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’ (Philippians 4:13).” Country Living, 28.

  • In what ways did the miracle birth of Isaac symbolize the miracle birth of the promised seed, Jesus Christ? Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18–23.

Note: “The birth of a son to Zacharias, like the birth of the child of Abraham, and that of Mary, was to teach a great spiritual truth, a truth that we are slow to learn and ready to forget. In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul. It was through faith that the child of promise was given. It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness.” The Desire of Ages, 98.



  •  Describe how God predicted the death of the promised seed, Jesus Christ, through the sacrifice of Isaac. Genesis 22:1–3, 9–13; Romans 8:31, 32; Isaiah 53:4–7.

Note: “The ram offered in the place of Isaac represented the Son of God, who was to be sacrificed in our stead. When man was doomed to death by transgression of the law of God, the Father, looking upon His Son, said to the sinner, ‘Live: I have found a ransom.’

“It was to impress Abraham’s mind with the reality of the gospel, as well as to test his faith, that God commanded him to slay his son. The agony which he endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption. No other test could have caused Abraham such torture of soul as did the offering of his son. God gave His Son to a death of agony and shame. The angels who witnessed the humiliation and soul anguish of the Son of God were not permitted to interpose, as in the case of Isaac. There was no voice to cry, ‘It is enough.’ To save the fallen race, the King of glory yielded up His life. What stronger proof can be given of the infinite compassion and love of God?” Patriarchs and Prophets, 154.

  • What was significant about the expression “thine only son” as God spoke to Abraham? Genesis 22:2; Mark 1:11; 1John 4:9.

Note: “Our heavenly Father surrendered His beloved Son to the agonies of the crucifixion … God’s dear Son, the world’s Redeemer, was insulted, mocked at, derided, and tortured, until He bowed His head in death. What greater proof can the Infinite One give us of His divine love and pity? [Romans 8:32 quoted].” That I May Know Him, 20.

“Let us, then, cheerfully suffer something for Jesus’ sake, crucify self daily, and be partakers of Christ’s sufferings here, that we may be made partakers with Him of His glory, and be crowned with glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life.” Early Writings, 114.



  •  How did God show to Abraham that the promised seed, Jesus Christ, was to be the Saviour of the world? Genesis 22:7, 8, 11–13; Hebrews 11:17–19.

Note: “When the command was given to Abraham to offer up his son, the interest of all heavenly beings was enlisted. With intense earnestness they watched each step in the fulfillment of this command. When to Isaac’s question, ‘Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ Abraham made answer, ‘God will provide Himself a lamb’ (Genesis 22:7, 8); and when the father’s hand was stayed as he was about to slay his son, and the ram which God had provided was offered in the place of Isaac—then light was shed upon the mystery of redemption, and even the angels understood more clearly the wonderful provision that God had made for man’s salvation.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 155.

  • What wonderful truth was Abraham assured of as he laid hold of the promise, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called” (Genesis 21:12)? Genesis 22:5; Hebrews 11:18, 19.

Note: “He [Abraham] strengthened his soul by dwelling upon the evidences of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. This son had been unexpectedly given; and had not He who bestowed the precious gift a right to recall His own? Then faith repeated the promise, ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called’ (Genesis 21:12)—a seed numberless as the grains of sand upon the shore. Isaac was the child of a miracle, and could not the power that gave him life restore it? Looking beyond that which was seen, Abraham grasped the divine word, ‘accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead’ (Hebrews 11:19).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 151, 152.

  • How did this truth typify the true promised seed, Jesus Christ? Acts 3:25, 26; 1Peter 1:18–21.

Note: “He [the Son of God] rose from the grave and proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life’ (John 11:25). One equal with God passed through death in our behalf. He tasted death for every man, that through Him every man might be a partaker of eternal life.” In Heavenly Places, 13.



  •  What inheritance did God promise to Abraham and his seed? Genesis 17:7, 8; Psalm 105:6–11. How does this symbolize the inheritance of Christ? Daniel 7:13, 14, 18; Matthew 25:31–34.

Note: “Language fails to express the value of the immortal inheritance. The glory, riches, and honor offered by the Son of God are of such infinite value that it is beyond the power of men or even angels to give any just idea of their worth, their excellence, their magnificence.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 40.

  • How can we have the assurance that God will honor His promises and give His children the Promised Land? Hebrews 6:13–18; John 14:1–3.

Note: “Long have we waited for our Saviour’s return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored. Casting at the feet of the Redeemer the crowns that He has placed on our heads, and touching our golden harps, we shall fill all heaven with praise to Him that sitteth on the throne.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 254.



 1     How did God reveal to Abraham the Gospel?

2     What miracle declares Christ to be of divine origin?

3     How does the experience of Abraham and Isaac reveal the depths of the sacrifice God made for humankind?

4     Why is the resurrection so important to the believer?

5     What should we never forget as we await the land of inheritance?

Bible Study Guides – The Faith of Abraham

April 8 – 14

Key Text

“He [Abraham] believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 6, 91–99.


“Our souls may be trained to believe, taught to rely upon the word of God.” Our High Calling, 119.



  •  What was Abraham’s greatest concern regarding the promises of God? Genesis 12:7; 15:1–3.

Note: “As Abraham had no son, he at first thought that his trusty servant, Eliezer, should become his son by adoption, and his heir. But God informed Abraham that his servant should not be his son and heir, but that he should really have a son.” The Story of Redemption, 77.

  • How did God reassure Abraham that He had not forgotten His promise? Genesis 15:4, 5; Isaiah 55:10, 11.

Note: “God desires us to receive great blessings. His promises are so clearly stated that there is no cause for uncertainty. He desires us to take Him at His word. At times we shall be in great perplexity, and not know just what to do. But at such times it is our privilege to take our Bibles and read the messages He has given us; and then get down on our knees and ask Him to help us. Over and over again He has given evidence that He is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God. He fulfills His promises in far greater measure than we expect to receive help. …

“Wherever we are, we are under obligation as disciples of our Lord and Master, to anchor our faith in the promises of God.” The Watchman, May 1, 1914.



  •  Why did Abraham decide to believe in God’s promise of a child? Genesis 15:6, first part; Romans 4:20, 21.

Note: “That faith which works by love and purifies the soul is not a matter of impulse. It ventures out upon the promises of God, firmly believing that what He has said, He is able also to perform.” Our High Calling, 119.

“[Philippians 4:4–7 quoted.] The promise itself is of no value unless I fully believe that He that has made the promise is abundantly able to fulfill, and infinite in power to do all that He has said.” This Day With God, 156.

  • What was his reward for believing in God’s promise? Genesis 15:6, last part; Romans 4:22.

Note: “The moment the sinner believes in Christ, he stands in the sight of God uncondemned; for the righteousness of Christ is his: Christ’s perfect obedience is imputed to him. But he must cooperate with divine power, and put forth his human effort to subdue sin, and stand complete in Christ.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 429, 430.

“We may rest upon God, not because of our own merit, but because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us. We must look away from self to the spotless Lamb of God, who did no sin; and by looking to Him in faith we shall become like Him.” Gospel Workers (1892), 427.

  • When is faith truly exercised? Hebrews 11:1; Habakkuk 2:3.

Note: “To abide in faith is to put aside feeling and selfish desires, to walk humbly with the Lord, to appropriate His promises, and apply them to all occasions, believing that God will work out His own plans and purposes in your heart and life by the sanctification of your character; it is to rely entirely, to trust implicitly, upon the faithfulness of God. If this course is followed, others will see the special fruits of the Spirit manifested in the life and character.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 341, 342.



  •  What shows us that Abraham was a sinner in need of justification? Romans 3:9–12, 23; Genesis 12:11–20.

Note: “During his stay in Egypt, Abraham gave evidence that he was not free from human weakness and imperfection. In concealing the fact that Sarah was his wife, he betrayed a distrust of the divine care, a lack of that lofty faith and courage so often and nobly exemplified in his life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 130.

  • What does the Bible say about the justification of Abraham before God? Romans 4:1–8; 3:28.

Note: “Our acceptance with God is sure only through His beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of His sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for our good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls. Salvation is God’s free gift to the believer, given to him for Christ’s sake alone. The troubled soul may find peace through faith in Christ, and his peace will be in proportion to his faith and trust. He cannot present his good works as a plea for the salvation of his soul.” “Ellen G. Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1122.

“Remember that Christ came into the world to save sinners. We have nothing to recommend us to God; the plea that we may urge now and ever is our utterly helpless condition, which makes His redeeming power a necessity. Renouncing all self-dependence, we may look to the cross of Calvary.” The Ministry of Healing, 65.

  • What happens to an ungodly human when he or she chooses to believe whole heartedly in God? Romans 6:17, 18; 10:9, 10; 1:17.

Note: “The moment we surrender ourselves to God, believing in Jesus we have the righteousness of Christ. We realize that we have been redeemed from sin and appreciate His sacrifice to purchase our freedom.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 346.



  •  What outward act did Abraham perform to demonstrate his internal change? Genesis 17:10, 11; Romans 4:11.

Note: “The rite of circumcision … was to be observed by the patriarch [Abraham] and his descendants as a token that they were devoted to the service of God and thus separated from idolaters, and that God accepted them as His peculiar treasure. By this rite they were pledged to fulfill, on their part, the conditions of the covenant made with Abraham. They were not to contract marriages with the heathen; for by so doing they would lose their reverence for God and His holy law; they would be tempted to engage in the sinful practices of other nations and would be seduced into idolatry.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 138.

  • Why is it essential to understand that Abraham was accounted righteous before he became circumcised? Romans 4:8–12; 2:28, 29.

Note: “Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. …

“Many are losing the right way, in consequence of thinking that they must climb to heaven, that they must do something to merit the favor of God. They seek to make themselves better by their own unaided efforts. This they can never accomplish. Christ has made the way by dying our Sacrifice, by living our Example, by becoming our great High Priest. He declares, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6). If by any effort of our own we could advance one step toward the ladder, the words of Christ would not be true. But when we accept Christ, good works will appear as fruitful evidence that we are in the way of life, that Christ is our way, and that we are treading the true path that leads to heaven.” Faith and Works, 101, 102.



  •  Before we are baptized with water (the New Covenant act that replaces circumcision), what must first take place within? John 3:5–8; Colossians 2:10–13.

Note: “All who enter upon the new life should understand, prior to their baptism, that the Lord requires the undivided affections. … The bearing of fruit testifies to the character of the tree. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. … There is need of a thorough conversion to the truth.” Evangelism, 308.

“Every soul united to Christ will be a living missionary to all around him.” Ibid., 319.

  • What happens to Christians who rely solely on the outward act of baptism in order to be saved, as the Jews relied on circumcision? Romans 10:1–3; Matthew 23:25–28.

Note: “Your connection with the church, the manner in which your brethren regard you, will be of no avail unless you believe in Christ. It is not enough to believe about Him; you must believe in Him. You must rely wholly upon His saving grace.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 49.

“The Lord has a work for us all to do. And if the truth is not rooted in the heart, if the natural traits of character are not transformed by the Holy Spirit, we can never be co-laborers with Jesus Christ. Self will constantly appear, and the character of Christ will not be manifested in our lives.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 969.



 1     How can we have confidence in God’s promises?

2     What does it mean to be persuaded in God’s word?

3     What gracious blessing is ours when we surrender to God?

4     What does circumcision symbolize?

5     What is more important, baptism within or without?

Bible Study Guides – Abraham’s Calling

April 1 – 7


Key Text

“I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 125–131.


“Abraham had grown up in the midst of superstition and heathenism. … But the true faith was not to become extinct. God has ever preserved a remnant to serve Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 125.



  •  What did God call Abraham to do, and who went with him? Genesis 12:1–4; Acts 7:4.

Note: “After the dispersion from Babel idolatry again became well-nigh universal, and the Lord finally left the hardened transgressors to follow their evil ways, while He chose Abraham, of the line of Shem, and made him the keeper of His law for future generations.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 125.

  • Why didn’t God immediately tell Abraham the place where He was calling him to go? Hebrews 11:8. What decision did Abraham have to make in obeying God’s call? Genesis 12:1; Matthew 10:34–38.

Note: “Abraham’s unquestioning obedience is one of the most striking evidences of faith to be found in all the Bible. …

“It was no light test that was thus brought upon Abraham, no small sacrifice that was required of him. There were strong ties to bind him to his country, his kindred, and his home. But he did not hesitate to obey the call. He had no question to ask concerning the land of promise. … God has spoken, and His servant must obey; the happiest place on earth for him was the place where God would have him to be.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 126.



  •  What initial promises did God make to Abraham? Genesis 12:2, 3.

Note: “It was for the purpose of bringing the best gifts of Heaven to all the peoples of earth that God called Abraham out from his idolatrous kindred and bade him dwell in the land of Canaan. ‘I will make of thee a great nation,’ He said, ‘and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing’ (Genesis 12:2). It was a high honor to which Abraham was called—that of being the father of the people who for centuries were to be the guardians and preservers of the truth of God to the world, the people through whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed in the advent of the promised Messiah.

“Men had well-nigh lost the knowledge of the true God. Their minds were darkened by idolatry. For the divine statutes, which are ‘holy, and just, and good’ (Romans 7:12), men were endeavoring to substitute laws in harmony with the purposes of their own cruel, selfish hearts. Yet God in His mercy did not blot them out of existence. He purposed to give them opportunity for becoming acquainted with Him through His church. He designed that the principles revealed through His people should be the means of restoring the moral image of God in man.” Prophets and Kings, 15, 16.

  • Which land did God promise to Abraham and his seed? Genesis 12:5–7; 13:14–18.
  • What is significant about Abraham and his children living in tents? Hebrews 11:9, 10, 13–16. What similar attitude are we called to adopt? 2 Peter 3:11–14.

Note: “Let us strive to be Christians (Christ-like) in every sense of the word, and let our dress, conversation and actions preach that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, and that we are looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of Jesus. Let us show to those around us, that this world is not our home, that we are pilgrims and strangers here.” The Review and Herald, June 10, 1852.



  •  What temptation did Lot fall into as he journeyed to the Promised Land with Abraham? Genesis 13:5–11; 1John 2:16, 17.

Note: “The most fertile region in all Palestine was the Jordan Valley, reminding the beholders of the lost Paradise and equaling the beauty and productiveness of the Nile-enriched plains they had so lately left. … Dazzled with visions of worldly gain, Lot overlooked the moral and spiritual evils that would be encountered [in the crowded marts of the wealthy and beautiful cities]. The inhabitants of the plain were ‘sinners before the Lord exceedingly’ (Genesis 13:13); but of this he was ignorant, or, knowing, gave it but little weight. He ‘chose him all the plain of Jordan,’ and ‘pitched his tent toward Sodom’ (verses 11, 12). How little did he foresee the terrible results of that selfish choice!” Patriarchs and Prophets, 133.

  • What is the devil seeking to achieve through the lust of the eyes? Mark 4:18, 19; Matthew 4:8–10.

Note: “If the claims and cares of the world are allowed to engross all our time and attention, our spiritual powers weaken and die because they are not exercised.” This Day With God, 87.

  • How can the place where we choose to pitch our tent potentially destroy our spiritual life and that of our families? Genesis 13:12, 13; 19:1, 12–16.

Note: “Many … in selecting a home … look more to the temporal advantages they may gain than to the moral and social influences that will surround themselves and their families. They choose a beautiful and fertile country, or remove to some flourishing city, in the hope of securing greater prosperity; but their children are surrounded by temptation, and too often they form associations that are unfavorable to the development of piety and the formation of a right character. The atmosphere of lax morality, of unbelief, of indifference to religious things, has a tendency to counteract the influence of the parents. … Many form attachments for infidels and unbelievers, and cast in their lot with the enemies of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 168, 169.



  •  What should we learn from the experience of Lot’s wife? Genesis 19:26; Luke 17:28–33.

Note: “She [Lot’s wife] rebelled against God because His judgments involved her possessions and her children in the ruin. …

“The invitations of mercy are addressed to all; and because our friends reject the Saviour’s pleading love, shall we also turn away? The redemption of the soul is precious. Christ has paid an infinite price for our salvation, and no one who appreciates the value of this great sacrifice or the worth of the soul will despise God’s offered mercy because others choose to do so.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 161, 162.

  • Even though the daughters of Lot escaped Sodom, how had their morals become corrupted? Genesis 19:30–38; Leviticus 18:6, 7.

Note: “Lot made his way to the mountains and abode in a cave, stripped of all for which he had dared to subject his family to the influences of a wicked city. But the curse of Sodom followed him even here. The sinful conduct of his daughters was the result of the evil associations of that vile place. Its moral corruption had become so interwoven with their character that they could not distinguish between good and evil. Lot’s only posterity, the Moabites and Ammonites, were vile, idolatrous tribes, rebels against God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 167, 168.

  • In these last days, where is the safest place to pitch our tents as we journey to the Promised Land, and why? Genesis 2:7, 8; Jude 5–7.

Note: “So long as God gives me power to speak to our people, I shall continue to call upon parents to leave the cities and get homes in the country, where they can cultivate the soil and learn from the book of nature the lessons of purity and simplicity. The things of nature are the Lord’s silent ministers, given to us to teach us spiritual truths. They speak to us of the love of God and declare the wisdom of the great Master Artist.” The Adventist Home, 146, 147.



  •  As we have been called to the Promised Land as Abraham was called, of what should we be mindful? 2Peter 1:10, 11; Matthew 22:14.

Note: “None need lose eternal life. Everyone who chooses daily to learn of the heavenly Teacher will make his calling and election sure. Let us humble our hearts before God and follow on to know Him whom to know aright is life eternal. …

“We cannot afford to allow anything to separate us from God and heaven. In this life we must be partakers of the divine nature. Brethren and sisters, you have only one life to live. O let it be a life of virtue, a life hid with Christ in God!” In Heavenly Places, 29.

  • Who only will make it to the Promised Land? Revelation 17:14; Hebrews 3:12–14.

Note: “The work of conquering evil is to be done through faith. Those who go into the battlefield will find that they must put on the whole armor of God. The shield of faith will be their defense and will enable them to be more than conquerors. Nothing else will avail but this—faith in the Lord of hosts, and obedience to His orders. Vast armies furnished with every other facility will avail nothing in the last great conflict. Without faith, an angel host could not help. Living faith alone will make them invincible and enable them to stand in the evil day, steadfast, unmovable, holding the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 182, 183.



 1      What does it mean to love our families more than we love Christ?

2      How can we tell if we are pilgrims and strangers today?

3      Explain how the place where we choose to live can affect our destiny.

4      What are the dangers of living in close quarters to sinful cities?

5      Why is not everyone called also chosen?

Recipe – Sunflower Seed Mustard

¾ cup raw sunflower seeds 1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. turmeric             1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. onion powder 7/8 cup of water
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice  
Blend until smooth. It will thicken as it sets.


Food – Tasty Yellow Turmeric

I have never been to India but I have been to Indian restaurants here in this country. The food is really tasty. In India, as well as the restaurants here, they use that yellow seasoning which gives Indian food its distinctive flavor. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and contains many compounds, but the family of compounds thought to be most responsible for turmeric’s medicinal effects are the curcuminoids, which are also responsible for giving turmeric its bright yellow color. The most important—and the most studied of the curcuminoids—is curcumin.

Turmeric Known for Alleviating Arthritis and Joint Inflammation

“Turmeric is part of the healing systems of India, China, and the Polynesian Islands, and occupies a place of distinction in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. One reason is its phenomenal anti-inflammatory properties, which are believed to be due to the presentence of curcuminoids. One of turmeric’s many traditional uses has been for the treatment of arthritis, because of its ability to lower inflammation. In one study, curcumin was found to be virtually as effective as the anti-inflammatory medication phenylbutazone. It is used in India to relieve arthritis, and can be useful for muscle pains as well as joint inflammation and even carpal tunnel syndrome. …

“There are at least thirty published studies indicating that curcumin has an antitumor effect (either reducing the number or size of tumors or the percentage of animals who developed them). Of course these are mostly animal studies, but still that’s pretty promising. … One study, published in 2006 in the medical journal Oncogene, showed that curcumin inhibited the growth of human colon cancer cells. While no one is claiming that turmeric cures cancer, there is plenty of reason to believe that it is a really useful adjunct to the diet of everyone concerned with staying healthy.

“Curcumin also has a positive effect on cholesterol, both in rats and in humans, making it a great adjunct to a heart-healthy diet. And it has powerful antioxidant properties as well. …

Why Your Liver Loves Turmeric

“This ability to fight inflammation and also to serve as an antioxidant makes curcumin, a very liver-friendly food. I like to recommend it for people with various liver ailments, including hepatitis. Though it is not the only thing I would use for serious liver problems, it’s definitely part of the arsenal. … Dr. Mark Stengler, author of The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies, also recommends it for hepatitis and says that it is frequently used to lower elevated liver enzymes.” The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S, pages 292, 293.

Turmeric is also very easy to use and it has a really pleasing taste and a beautiful color—it tastes good on almost any food you put it on.




Delicious Sunflower Seed Mustard

¾ cup raw sunflower seeds 1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. turmeric             1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. onion powder 7/8 cup of water
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice  
Blend until smooth. It will thicken as it sets.


Children’s Story – God’s Little Lamp

Because Mother and Dad had gone to a distant city on business, Aunt Jane had come to spend the night with Randy.

Now it was time for bed. Randy took his bath. Then he decided to surprise Aunt Jane, so he put on the pajamas she had given him for Christmas.

Aunt Jane was very pleased.

“How about a story?” she asked. Aunt Jane was a very good storyteller.

“Two?” Randy came back.

And two it was.

“Now your prayer,” Aunt Jane said when she had finished telling the stories.

Randy knelt beside his bed and began to pray,


“Jesus, tender shepherd, hear me

Bless Thy little lamb tonight.

Through the darkness be Thou near me

Keep me safe ‘til morning light.


“All this day Thy hand has led me

And I thank Thee for Thy care …

Thou hast warmed me, clothed me, fed me.

Listen to my evening prayer.


“Let my sins be all forgiven

Bless the friends I love so well—

Take us all at last to heaven

Happy there with Thee to dwell.”


Aunt Jane was smiling when he was through. Randy wondered why. Then she told him.

“Randy, when I was a little girl, I prayed that very same prayer. But for years I prayed it a wee bit differently. When Mother taught it to me, I thought she said, ‘Bless Thy little lamp tonight.’ You see, I had a small kerosene lamp in my bedroom. I loved the lamp very much. So, it seemed quite all right to ask God to bless it.

“One night Mother realized I was saying lamp not lamb. She told me I should say lamb, because I was God’s little lamb.

“But when I grew older, I came to believe my prayer wasn’t too wrong at that.”

“How come?” Randy asked.

“Well,” Aunt Jane answered, “All who love Jesus are meant to be lamps for Him. So He needs to bless His lamps, too. See?”

Randy nodded. And, sometimes in the nights that followed, he would pray, “Bless Thy little lamp tonight.” When he did, he always remembered what Aunt Jane had told him.

If Jesus is a Shepherd, who are His lambs? If Jesus is the Light of the world, how can we be His lamps? Where should our light shine?

“Ye are the light of the world. … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14–16).

Dear Lord Jesus, we thank You for caring for us as a shepherd does for his sheep. We thank You for giving Your light so we can shine as lamps for You. Help us to give a bright light wherever we go. In Thy name. Amen.

Happy Moments With God, Margaret J. Anderson, 27, 28.

Keys to the Storehouse – Personal Walk with God

A personal religion is something that is individually claimed. It is special and very intimate. A personal religion occurs when you commune with God. Are you experiencing that special relationship that is unique to you and God?

“Religion means the making of a daily consecration of yourself to God.” The Signs of the Times, January 16, 1893.

  •  Pray: “Here, Lord, am I, Thy property; take me, use me today. I lay all my plans at thy feet; I will have no way of my own in the matter. My time is Thine; my whole life is Thine. Thou hast bought me with a price.” Manuscript Releases, 21, 307.

Religion means “meekness and lowliness of heart.” Medical Ministry, 22.

  • Pray: “I am nothing and Thou art everything. Thou hast said, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing’ (John 15:5, last part). Now Lord, I must have Thee abiding in me, that I may abide in Thee.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, 1092.

“It [religion] means to take everything that comes to you as a blessing, to let praise flow back to God. …” The Signs of the Times, January 16, 1893.

  • Pray: I praise Thee for every opportunity to confess my faith in the face of danger, and amid sorrow, sickness, pain and death because I know that all things work together for good to them that love You and that are called according to Your will.

“At morning, noon, and night we should meditate upon the goodness and love of God, that we may know God; for this is life eternal. The Father has given the best gift, the greatest treasure of heaven, to us, and we are of value to God, and should render praise to Him.” Ibid.

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17.

“The Lord says, ‘Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me.’ As we praise God, the soul becomes strong in spiritual power.” The Signs of the Times, January 16, 1893.

Personalize your walk with God each day by opening your heart to God, not once, not twice, but continually throughout the day. Make sure you take special times for special prayers as shared herein. Make a daily consecration to God.

Father: Breathe new life into my soul for I sincerely desire to serve Thee; touch my lips with a live coal from off Thine altar and cause me to become eloquent with Thy praise. Make me strong to bear courageous testimony to Thy truth. And most of all, Father, help me to walk with Thee moment by moment each day.

Opposing Forces

The problem of racism is thousands of years old. The Bible repeatedly speaks about it. Is there a solution and would you accept the real solution if you found it?

Preaching to the Greeks in Athens, Paul said, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:24).

Why is it then, if God has made of one blood all nations, that the different races or nations cannot get along? The reason is because we are listening to two different spirits. Notice what the Holy Spirit does for those that follow the Lord. It says, “He [Jesus] Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of  ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie and wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Ephesians 4:11–15, literal translation).

There you have a recipe for unity, how different peoples, different nations, different races can all be in harmony and unity. However, not all are listening to the same spirit. It is the Holy Spirit only that brings unity, not only in the church but also in the nation.

There was infighting in the church at Corinth. Paul indicates that some would preach another Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4). Two Jesus, two beliefs—disunity.

There is more than one Jesus preached in the world today, just like there was back then. Many people say they believe in Jesus, but they don’t all believe in the same Jesus. There are two supernatural spirits seeking control of this planet. These two spirits are at enmity with one another. Everybody is under the control of one or the other. One is the Spirit of God and the other is an evil spirit.

Paul wrote that the other Jesus would preach a different gospel, one which they have not accepted—but they may well put up with it! Those listening to the voice of a different spirit will believe in a different Jesus, believe in a different gospel, and then there will be strife. We are all under the control of supernatural forces, whether we know it or not.

It says in Acts 14:1–7, “Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

“But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe … . And they were preaching the gospel there.”

That still happens today. People who do not believe the gospel want to destroy those who proclaim it or believe it. There are several reasons for this. One is, when people proclaim the gospel and what it involves, those who do not believe do not want to accept the provisions it provides. They want to be saved a different way, their own way. There are many philosophies in the world today offering salvation through many different systems. But the Bible says, there is only one Person who can save you—Jesus, God’s dear Son.

Peter said there is no other name under heaven by which you can be saved (Acts 4:12).

So, after they had preached the gospel they fled. There were many that believed, but there also was a lot of opposition. Jesus had told them that if, when they preach, the people won’t believe, flee, shake the dust off their feet and go to another place. So they fled to another place. They went to Lystra and Derbe, and some terrible things happened there also. Saul, who later became the apostle Paul, was one of those who had consented to the stoning of Stephen. And in Lystra, eventually the apostle Paul was stoned himself. Thinking him to be dead, they dragged him out of the city but he was not dead.

The gospel, if it is not accepted, can stir up the worst passions in the human heart, because most people do not want to turn their life over to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. They do not want to bring their life into subjection to the government of heaven, to the law of heaven. They want to live and do whatever they please. There are a lot of theologies today teaching people that you can be saved just the way you are.

The Bible does not teach that. The Bible says that if you are going to be saved, you must be changed, be born again and receive a new heart and a new spirit. There is no way you can be saved unless this miraculous change happens in your heart and in your mind. Jesus told this to Nicodemus in John 3.

The Bible says, “And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, ‘Stand up straight on your feet!’ And he leaped and walked” (Acts 14:8–10).

Right there in public a miracle is worked. A man, crippled from the time he was born, is instantly healed; he can leap and walk. Then it says, “Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’ And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker” (verses 11, 12). These were superstitious, heathen people hearing the gospel for the first time, but they had still imbibed much of their pagan philosophy so they got the priest of the Zeus, and they brought oxen and garlands to the gate intending to sacrifice with the multitudes and offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas, believing them to be gods.

Verses 14–17: “But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless [vain] things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, giving us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.’ ”

With these sayings, they could scarcely restrain the multitude from sacrificing to them. During their journeys, the apostles ran into all kinds of faiths and religions. They were brought in contact with the Jewish bigotry and intolerance, with sorcery and blasphemy, unjust magistrates, superstition and idolatry. Now, these people wanted to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. Not being allowed to do that they became disappointed.

It is very interesting to see what happens when people are disappointed. It is often a time when they exercise very poor judgment. We often see it happen among young people. Somebody is jilted in a love affair, but something goes wrong and they flip. In a very short time, without adequate time to think things over, they marry somebody they do not know very well. Whether it turns out good or bad is a matter of conjecture, nobody knows. Often when a person is disappointed it is possible while under that kind of emotional situation, to make some very poor judgments. Especially is this the case if you have just experienced a death in your family or some traumatic event. It is very dangerous to trust poor counselors that encourage you to do something that, if you were in a different frame of mind, you would know it was not the wisest thing to do.

“Paul and Barnabas scarcely restrained them from offering sacrifices to them” (verse 18, literal translation). It says in verse 19, “Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.”

These Jews persuaded the multitudes that Paul and Barnabas were not only gods, but they were doing these miracles by means of evil spirits of demons whom these men served. They denied that God had any part in this miracle that had been worked. These superstitious people were acquainted with demons because, in the pagan religions, they actually worshiped devils and were acquainted with the idea that there were good and evil forces in the world. Now, the very people who wanted to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas as gods, were deceived into believing that this miracle was not worked by the God of heaven, but it was accomplished through demons and were about to destroy them.

This was the same class of people that formerly had accused Jesus Christ of casting out devils through the power of the devils. Matthew 12:24–28 says, “Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.’ But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.’ ”

The people were deceived by these Jews who were prejudiced against the apostles and against the gospel of Jesus Christ, into thinking that these were false teachers and had worked this miracle by the power of demons, just as was the accusation against Jesus. The characters of Paul and Barnabas were misrepresented so that the heathens thought that they were now worse than murderers and whoever should put them out of the world would be doing a service for God. So, the Bible says, “They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.”

It is still true today, that those who believe and teach the truths of God’s word, meet opposition from unprincipled persons who refuse to accept the truth and will not hesitate to prevaricate, and to even circulate the most glaring falsehoods, in order to destroy the influence and hedge up the way of a person, whom God has sent, with a message of warning to the world. There are many people who do not want to hear the message of warning, especially that message found in Revelation the 14th chapter, the three angels’ messages.

These warn that we are living in the hour of God’s judgment. Most people do not want to believe there is a judgment and that we are all going to be called to account for the lives that we have lived in this world. The multitudes decided to stone Paul. Immediately the experience of Stephen came vividly into his mind as he was one of those who had consented for Stephen to be stoned. Now he was to share Stephen’s fate and he remembered that man of God when he was being stoned said, “I see the heavens opened and I see the Son of man standing at the right hand of the throne of God” (Acts 7:56, literal translation)!

This could have been Paul’s last moments in this world. He was stoned until he was unconscious and the people thought he was dead and dragged his body outside of the city while the Christians who were around him mourned. You too would mourn if one of the leaders in your church was stoned to death and his or her body was lying outside the gate of the city.

As the Christians mourned over him, all of a sudden, he came to with rejoicing that he had been allowed to suffer for the name of Christ. “When the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God’ ” (Acts 14:20–22).

Today, multitudes want an easy religion. They are not interested in a religion that involves hardship. They want to go to heaven as it is said, “sitting down.” But that is not the gospel, that is not the religion of the New Testament. Notice what Paul says about his experience in 2 Corinthians 11:23–26: “In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.” This was the tribulation the apostle Paul endured. He encouraged the Christians to continue in the grace of God and said, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

The apostle John was given a vision of the future when those who had endured these tribulations in the Christian walk inherited eternal life. He says, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues [or languages], standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’

“Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. … They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ ” (Revelation 7:9–17).

The day is coming when tribulation will be over, but that is not in this world, that is in the next world. Jesus said to His followers, just before His crucifixion, in John the 16th chapter, verse 33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus has not promised to His followers that they would have no tribulation in this world. In fact, He said just the opposite. He said you will have trouble, but be of good courage.

Paul told the Christians, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” A vision was given to John the revelator in Revelation 7. Who are these people who make up the countless multitude from all nations who are saved? They are those who have come out of great tribulation.

We live in a world of suffering, pain, sickness, and death, and these things happen to Christians as well as non-Christians. God has not promised us a free ride in this world, but He has promised us something much better. He has promised to sustain us, to support us, and to help us in all of our tribulation.

In 1 Corinthians 10:12, 13 it says, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

God has promised to “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). He will support you and help you so that you will be able to endure the trouble that you have in this world.

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

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

Health – Breakfast – Great Benefits

There are many people who are not breakfast eaters. I listen to some of their excuses for not eating breakfast which include: “I do not have time” or “It’s easier to combine it with lunch,” and so on. Our bodies suffer the consequences. An interesting article in The New York Times shares the following:

“Many of us grab coffee and a quick bite in the morning and eat more as the day goes on, with a medium-size lunch and the largest meal of the day in the evening. But a growing body of research on weight and health suggests we may be doing it all backward.

“A recent review of the dietary patterns of 50,000 adults who are Seventh Day [sic] Adventists over seven years provides the latest evidence suggesting that we should front-load our calories early in the day to jump-start our metabolisms and prevent obesity, starting with a robust breakfast and tapering off to a smaller lunch and light supper, or no supper at all.

“More research is needed, but a series of experiments in animals and some small trials in humans have pointed in the same direction, suggesting that watching the clock, and not just the calories, may play a more important role in weight control than previously acknowledged. …

“Perhaps not surprisingly, the latest study found that those who supplemented three meals a day with snacks tended to gain weight over time, while those who ate only one or two meals a day tended to lose weight, even compared with those who just ate three meals a day.

“But the researchers also found that those who ate their largest meal early in the day were more likely to have a lower body mass index than those who ate a large lunch or dinner. Breakfast eaters tended to keep their weight down generally, compared with breakfast skippers. The lowest B.M.I.s were recorded in the fraction of people — about 8 percent of the total sample — who finished lunch by early afternoon and did not eat again until the next morning, fasting for 18 to 19 hours.”

More assets provided through eating breakfast!

“Some reason that because they were not hungry in the morning, skipping breakfast would help them eat fewer calories during the day and would thus favor weight loss. This is a myth. The truth is that eating a good breakfast should be part of any weight loss program.

“Years ago Dr. Charles Cupp proposed that weight gain is the result of inappropriate timing of food intake in relation to the evening sleep time. During a medical practice that spanned a remarkable seven decades, Cupp instructed hundreds of patients on his novel approach to weight control. Overweight patients were instructed to change their meal pattern from a heavy meal and snacks in the evening to a heavy morning meal, moderate lunch, and a light supper. They were to eat their last meal ideally at noon but by no means later than 3:00 p.m., and they were instructed not to go to sleep for at least eight and a half hours after the last intake of food. Of significance, they were not asked to change their food choices nor the amount of calories they ate. Intrigued researchers in the Department of Nutrition at Tulane University’s School of Public Health analyzed the records of 595 of Cupp’s overweight patients. The results of their study are: (All patients who followed his instructions lost weight.)

  • Those who ate only breakfast averaged 10 lbs. weight loss a month.
  • Those who ate breakfast, lunch, and snacks averaged 5 to 6 lbs. a month.
  • Those who lost from 20-30 lbs. showed an increase in hemoglobin level.
  • Blood sugar levels of diabetic patients who lost 30 lbs. or more were normalized.
  • Hypothyroid patients showed a reduction in daily thyroid maintenance requirements.

“Note that some additional benefits accrued from eating breakfast: improved blood hemoglobin level, reduced blood sugar, and improved thyroid function.

Breakfast and Heart Attacks

“Adults may be able to reduce their risk of heart attacks by eating breakfast regularly. Platelets, the body’s blood clotting cells, become ‘stickier’ in the morning before breakfast. This increases the tendency for a blood clot to form during the morning hours. If such a clot occurs in a heart blood vessel, a heart attack can result. As expected from this physiology, most heart attacks occur between 7 a.m. and 12 noon. Eating breakfast can help the platelets to become less sticky and thus decrease the risk of morning heart attacks.

Breakfast and Mental Capacity

“There are additional benefits from eating a good breakfast beyond longevity. In August of 1995, the Pediatrics Department at the University of California at Davis hosted a number of physiologists, neuro-scientists, nutritionists, and physiologists to review the scientific studies on breakfast. The researchers concluded that the ‘eating of breakfast is important to learning, memory, and physical well-being in both children and adults.’ Good breakfast habits are essential for maximum efficiency, both mental and physical, particularly during the late morning hours. Breakfast eaters demonstrate better attitudes and improved scholastic performance.”

Excerpts from Proof Positive, How to Reliably Combat Disease and Achieve Optimal Health through Nutrition and Lifestyle, Neil Nedley, M.D., pages 5, 6.

Amazing what happens to our bodies and its response to the times we eat. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and we need to preserve what God has given to us. Most of the time it is our own mindset, including our habits, that prevents us from doing what is best.