Biographical Blessings – Glory Only to God

April 21 – 27, 2019

Key Text

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5, first part).

Study Help: Education, 253–261.


“We have nothing to recommend us to God; but the plea that we may urge now and ever is our utterly helpless condition that makes His redeeming power a necessity.” The Desire of Ages, 317.



  • What were the virtues that characterized Job’s daily life? Job 29:5, 8–16.

Note: “God has given in His word a picture of a prosperous man—one whose life was in the truest sense a success, a man whom both heaven and earth delighted to honor. [Job 29:4–16 quoted.]” Education, 142.

  • What timeless lesson are we to learn from Job’s trials? Psalm 34:18, 19.

Note: “It is very natural for human beings to think that great calamities are a sure index of great crimes and enormous sins; but men often make a mistake in thus measuring character. We are not living in the time of retributive judgment. Good and evil are mingled, and calamities come upon all. Sometimes men do pass the boundary line beyond God’s protecting care, and then Satan exercises his power upon them, and God does not interpose. Job was sorely afflicted, and his friends sought to make him acknowledge that his suffering was the result of sin, and cause him to feel under condemnation. They represented his case as that of a great sinner.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1140.



  • Although Job’s conscience was clean and his life virtuous, what did God want His faithful servant to pause to consider? Job 38:1–7; 40:1, 2.

Note: “Every opening flower, every leaf with its delicate veins, will testify of the infinite skill of the great Master Artist. The massive rocks and towering mountains that rise in the distance are not the result of chance. They speak in silent eloquence of One who sits upon the throne of the universe, high and lifted up. … All His plans are perfect. What awe and reverence should His name inspire!” Our High Calling, 251.

  • How did Job respond to God’s wake-up call? How should all respond who, like Job, may have been cruelly misunderstood and unjustly maligned by others? Job 40:3–5; 42:6.

Note: “Some shortsighted, short-experienced friends cannot, with their narrow vision, appreciate the feelings of one who has been in close harmony with the soul of Christ in connection with the salvation of others. His motives are misunderstood and his actions misconstrued by those who would be his friends, until, like Job, he sends forth the earnest prayer: Save me from my friends. God takes the case of Job in hand Himself. His patience has been severely taxed; but when God speaks, all his pettish feelings are changed. The self-justification which he felt was necessary to withstand the condemnation of his friends is not necessary toward God. He never misjudges; He never errs. Says the Lord to Job, ‘Gird up now thy loins like a man;’ and Job no sooner hears the divine voice than his soul is bowed down with a sense of his sinfulness, and he says before God, ‘I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes’ (Job 38:3; 42:6).” Testimonies, vol. 3, 509.

“We are living in perilous times. Seventh-day Adventists are professedly the commandment-keeping people of God; but they are losing their devotional spirit. This spirit of reverence for God teaches men how to approach their Maker—with sacredness and awe through faith, not in themselves, but in a Mediator. Thus man is kept fast, under whatever circumstances he is placed.” Notebook Leaflets, vol. 1, 121.



  • What should we learn from the Lord’s final verdict concerning Job and his friends? Job 42:7–9.
  • What did God then do for Job? Why? Job 42:10–17; Psalm 66:10–12.

Note: “From the depths of discouragement and despondency Job rose to the heights of implicit trust in the mercy and the saving power of God.” Prophets and Kings, 163.

“When Job caught a glimpse of his Creator, he abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes. Then the Lord was able to bless him abundantly and to make his last years the best of his life.” Ibid., 164.

  • Why should the attitude of faithful Job be an inspiration to every Christian? James 5:11; Ephesians 2:8–10.

Note: “Those who live nearest to Jesus discern most clearly the frailty and sinfulness of humanity, and their only hope is in the merit of a crucified and risen Saviour.” The Great Controversy, 471.

“In His divine arrangement, through His unmerited favor, the Lord has ordained that good works shall be rewarded. We are accepted through Christ’s merit alone; and the acts of mercy, the deeds of charity, which we perform, are the fruits of faith; and they become a blessing to us; for men are to be rewarded according to their works. It is the fragrance of the merit of Christ that makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grace that enables us to do the works for which He rewards us. Our works in and of themselves have no merit. When we have done all that it is possible for us to do, we are to count ourselves as unprofitable servants. We deserve no thanks from God. We have only done what it was our duty to do, and our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful natures.” The Review and Herald, January 29, 1895.



  • As virtuous a man as Job was, what should we realize about the spiritual needs of this man (or those of any other person)? 1 Peter 1:18, 19.

 Note: “The prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God’s right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 344.

“The more of the Spirit of Christ we have, the more humble we shall become. When we obtain clear views of Christ, no words of self-exaltation will escape our lips. When the Lord gave to Job a view of His majesty, Job ceased to vindicate his own righteousness. He felt his sinfulness, and humbled himself before the purity and holiness of God. ‘I abhor myself,’ he said, ‘and repent in dust and ashes’ (Job 42:6). Yet by the pen of inspiration, God presents Job as perfect and upright, one that feared God and eschewed evil. ‘There is none like him in the earth’ (Job 1:8).” The Signs of the Times, August 11, 1898.

  • How do we know that Job trusted in Christ as his Saviour? Job 19:25–27. To what inspiring determination should this lead each of us?

Note: “You now have precious hours of probation granted you to form a right character. … You now have a period allotted you in which to redeem the time. You cannot in your own strength put away your errors and wrongs; they have been increasing upon you for years, because you have not seen them in their hideousness and in the strength of God resolutely put them away. By living faith you must lay hold on an arm that is mighty to save. Humble your poor, proud, self-righteous heart before God; get low, very low, all broken in your sinfulness at His feet. Devote yourself to the work of preparation. Rest not until you can truly say: My Redeemer liveth, and, because He lives, I shall live also.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 88.



  • When the outlook is bleak, what strengthens us to follow the faith of Job? Job 13:15, 16.

Note: “We are justified to walk by sight as long as we can, but when we can no longer see the way clearly, then we need to put our hand in our heavenly Father’s and let Him lead. There are emergencies in the life of all in which we can neither follow sight nor trust to memory or experience. All we can do is simply to trust and wait. We shall honor God to trust Him because He is our heavenly Father.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 186.

“Are you tempted to give way to feelings of anxious foreboding or utter despondency? In the darkest days, when appearances seem most forbidding, fear not. Have faith in God.” Prophets and Kings, 164.

  • How does the history of Job illustrate righteousness by faith, and how is this theme to be reflected in our lives? Romans 5:1–5; Titus 3:3–7.

Note: “It is only as we depend upon the strength and righteousness of Christ that we can stand the testing of God. We shall have to educate the mind, and again and again bring to our remembrance the fact that Christ has His hand upon us. With His own divine lips He has said, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing’ (John 15:5, last part), but through Christ we can do all things. It is not for us to mark out the way in which we shall walk; but if we take everything that comes to us as in the providence of God, even our tribulation will work patience, and we need not sink in discouragement while we look by faith to Jesus.” The Signs of the Times, March 28, 1892.



1     Why may I be in danger of misjudging the case of a suffering person?

2    What is nearly extinct in the worship of God, yet is nonetheless essential?

3    What startled Job out of his misery?

4    Why is it so important to depend on the divine Redeemer?

5    No matter how bad things get, what should we always keep in mind?


© 2018, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.


Biographical Blessings – The Patience of Job

April 14 – 20, 2019

Key Text

“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job” (James 5:11, first part).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 341–348.


“He [God] permitted trials to come upon you, that, through them, you might experience the peaceable fruits of righteousness.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 416.



  • Being human, how did Job feel about his predicament? Job 3:1–3, 9–11, 20–22.
  • What should we all consider in hard times? Job 5:17–19.

Note: “The very time to exercise faith is when we feel destitute of the Spirit. When thick clouds of darkness seem to hover over the mind, then is the time to let living faith pierce the darkness and scatter the clouds.” Early Writings, 72.

“To every stricken one, Jesus comes with the ministry of healing. The life of bereavement, pain, and suffering may be brightened by precious revealings of His presence.

“God would not have us remain pressed down by dumb sorrow, with sore and breaking hearts. He would have us look up and behold His dear face of love. The blessed Saviour stands by many whose eyes are so blinded by tears that they do not discern Him. He longs to clasp our hands, to have us look to Him in simple faith, permitting Him to guide us. His heart is open to our griefs, our sorrows, and our trials. He has loved us with an everlasting love and with loving-kindness compassed us about. We may keep the heart stayed upon Him and meditate upon His loving-kindness all the day. He will lift the soul above the daily sorrow and perplexity, into a realm of peace.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 12.



  •  Why did Job seek to search his heart? Proverbs 26:2; Job 9:1–4; 10:1, 2.

Note: “To a great degree the experiences of life are the fruition of our own thoughts and deeds.” Education, 146.

  • When we fall into unexpected suffering, why is it wise for us to follow Job’s example of self-examination? 2 Corinthians 13:5; Psalm 139:23, 24.

Note: “If each will search and see what sins are lurking in his own heart to shut out Jesus, he will find such a work to do that he will be ready to esteem others better than himself. He will no longer seek to pluck the mote out of his brother’s eye while a beam is in his own eye.” Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 213.

  • Why does Jesus warn us against being quick to judge the cause of others’ afflictions? Luke 13:1–5.
  • What was Job’s response when friends misjudged his affliction? Job 16:1–3.

Note: “Still another element of bitterness was added to his [Job’s] cup. His friends, seeing in adversity but the retribution of sin, pressed on his bruised and burdened spirit their accusations of wrongdoing.” Education, 155.

“There is wickedness in our world, but all the suffering is not the result of a perverted course of life. Job is brought distinctly before us as a man whom the Lord allowed Satan to afflict. The enemy stripped him of all he possessed; his family ties were broken; his children were taken from him. For a time his body was covered with loathsome sores, and he suffered greatly. His friends came to comfort him, but they tried to make him see that he was responsible, by his sinful course, for his afflictions. … By seeking to make him guilty before God, and deserving of His punishment, they brought a grievous test upon him, and represented God in a false light.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1140.



  • What should we learn from Job’s attitude toward his friends? Job 16:4, 5.

Note: “Let no Christian be found an accuser of the brethren. Satan is the one who bears this title; he accuses them before God day and night, he stirs up the enemies of our faith to accuse us, and he prompts those of like precious faith to criticize and condemn one another. We are not to take part in his work. These are days of trial and of great peril, the adversary of souls is upon the track of every one; and while we stand out separate from the world, we should press together in faith and love. United, we are strong; divided, we are weak.

“We are exhorted to love as brethren, to be kind, courteous, forbearing, in honor preferring one another.” Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 213, 214.

  • How are we, like the psalmist, to be comforted when no human understands nor sympathizes with our pain or sorrow? Psalm 27:10; 73:25, 26.

Note: “Into the experience of all there come times of keen disappointment and utter discouragement—days when sorrow is the portion, and it is hard to believe that God is still the kind benefactor of His earthborn children; days when troubles harass the soul, till death seems preferable to life. It is then that many lose their hold on God and are brought into the slavery of doubt, the bondage of unbelief. Could we at such times discern with spiritual insight the meaning of God’s providences we should see angels seeking to save us from ourselves, striving to plant our feet upon a foundation more firm than the everlasting hills, and new faith, new life, would spring into being.” Prophets and Kings, 162.

“While we review, not the dark chapters in our experience, but the manifestations of God’s great mercy and unfailing love, we shall praise far more than complain. We shall talk of the loving faithfulness of God as the true, tender, compassionate shepherd of His flock, which He has declared that none shall pluck out of His hand. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining. Praise, like clear-flowing streams, will come from God’s truly believing ones.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 367.



  • What perspective helps us develop patience in trial? James 5:10; Lamentations 3:31–33.

Note: “Life is disciplinary. While in the world, the Christian will meet with adverse influences. There will be provocations to test the temper; and it is by meeting these in a right spirit that the Christian graces are developed. If injuries and insults are meekly borne, if insulting words are responded to by gentle answers, and oppressive acts by kindness, this is evidence that the Spirit of Christ dwells in the heart, that sap from the living Vine is flowing to the branches. We are in the school of Christ in this life, where we are to learn to be meek and lowly of heart; and in the day of final accounts we shall see that all the obstacles we meet, all the hardships and annoyances that we are called to bear, are practical lessons in the application of principles of Christian life. If well endured, they develop the Christlike in the character and distinguish the Christian from the worldling.

“There is a high standard to which we are to attain if we would be children of God, noble, pure, holy, and undefiled; and a pruning process is necessary if we would reach this standard. How would this pruning be accomplished if there were no difficulties to meet, no obstacles to surmount, nothing to call out patience and endurance? These trials are not the smallest blessings in our experience. They are designed to nerve us to determination to succeed. We are to use them as God’s means to gain decided victories over self instead of allowing them to hinder, oppress, and destroy us.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 344, 345.

  • How does Scripture connect trials with patience? Romans 5:3, 4.

Note: “The Lord frequently places us in difficult positions to stimulate us to greater exertion. In His providence special annoyances sometimes occur to test our patience and faith. God gives us lessons of trust. He would teach us where to look for help and strength in time of need. Thus we obtain practical knowledge of His divine will, which we so much need in our life experience. Faith grows strong in earnest conflict with doubt and fear.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 116, 117.



  • Why are today’s trials essential for the conflict ahead? Zechariah 13:9.

Note: “God’s love for His children during the period of their severest trial is as strong and tender as in the days of their sunniest prosperity; but it is needful for them to be placed in the furnace of fire; their earthliness must be consumed, that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected.

“The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. … Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God—how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God.

“We should now acquaint ourselves with God by proving His promises. Angels record every prayer that is earnest and sincere. We should rather dispense with selfish gratifications than neglect communion with God. The deepest poverty, the greatest self-denial, with His approval, is better than riches, honors, ease, and friendship without it. We must take time to pray. If we allow our minds to be absorbed by worldly interests, the Lord may give us time by removing from us our idols of gold, of houses, or of fertile lands.” The Great Controversy, 621, 622.



1     Where is God when people such as Job are suffering?

2    How might I be guilty of the error of Job’s friends?

3    What should we do when there seems to be no answer to our suffering?

4    How do our trials develop patience?

5    Describe the type of experience we need in preparation for the final events.

Biographical Blessings – The Enigma of Trials

April 7 – 13, 2019

Key Text

“He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

Study Help: Messages to Young People, 78–80, 94–98; Early Writings, 46–48.


“The suffering soul is made patient, trustful, triumphant in God under adverse circumstances.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 355.



  • What is written about the character of Job? Job 1:1; 29:15; 31:6.

Note: “Job did not neglect his duty to those outside of his household; he was benevolent, kind, thoughtful of the interest of others.” The Review and Herald, August 30, 1881.

  • What troublesome influences are operating in this world, hidden behind the scenes—and why do we need to be aware of them? Ephesians 6:12.

Note: “From the days of Adam to our own time, our great enemy has been exercising his power to oppress and destroy. He is now preparing for his last campaign against the church. All who seek to follow Jesus will be brought into conflict with this relentless foe. The more nearly the Christian imitates the divine Pattern, the more surely will he make himself a mark for the attacks of Satan.” The Great Controversy, 510.

“If our eyes could be opened to see the good and evil agencies at work, there would be no trifling, no vanity, no jesting or joking.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 41.



  • What were Job’s concerns for his children and what are the implications for all parents? Job 1:4, 5.

Note: “It were well for parents to learn from the man of Uz a lesson of steadfastness and devotion. Job … labored earnestly for the salvation of his own family. Amid the festivities of his sons and daughters, he trembled lest his children should displease God. As a faithful priest of the household, he offered sacrifices for them individually. He knew the offensive character of sin, and the thought that his children might forget the divine claims, led him to God as an intercessor in their behalf.” The Review and Herald, August 30, 1881.

“You roll vast responsibilities upon the preacher and hold him accountable for the souls of your children; but you do not sense your own responsibility as parents. … Your sons and daughters are corrupted by your own example and lax precepts; and, notwithstanding this lack of domestic training, you expect the minister to counteract your daily work and accomplish the wonderful achievement of training their hearts and lives to virtue and piety. After the minister has done all he can do for the church by faithful, affectionate admonition, patient discipline, and fervent prayer to reclaim and save the soul, yet is not successful, the fathers and mothers often blame him because their children are not converted, when it may be because of their own neglect. The burden rests with the parents; and will they take up the work that God has entrusted to them, and with fidelity perform it? Will they move onward and upward, working in a humble, patient, persevering way to reach the exalted standard themselves and to bring their children up with them?” Testimonies, vol. 5, 494, 495.

“It is the parents’ work to give line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. Correct wrong tendencies, not in passion, but in love. The children may be saved if fathers and mothers will do their work faithfully. …

“We are teaching lessons to the children which we wish them to copy. If we wish our children to be chaste, pure-minded, and noble, we must be so ourselves. If we are impostors, professing to be children of God, while our impatience, fretfulness, and deception stamp us children of Satan, our children will be no better than we. All efforts of parents should be to go forward to perfection of Christian character.” The Review and Herald, April 14, 1885.



  • What incited the devil’s wrath against Job? Job 1:6–11.
  • Despite Job’s fidelity, what series of shocks soon came with regard to his earthly possessions and the temporal lives of his children? Job 1:12–19.

Note: “All suffering is not the result of a perverted life. Job is brought before us as a man whom the Lord permitted Satan to afflict. The enemy stripped him of all he possessed; his family ties were broken; his children were taken from him.” The Signs of the Times, June 21, 1899.

  • What can we learn from how Job responded to these trials? Job 1:20–22.

Note: “Christ is our Guide and Comforter, who comforts us in all our tribulations. When He gives us a bitter draught to drink, He also holds a cup of blessing to our lips. He fills the heart with submission, with joy and peace in believing, and enables us to say submissively, Not my will, but Thy will, O Lord, be done.” Selected Messages, Book. 2, 270.

  • In the face of Satan’s perverse accusations before the heavenly universe, why can we still have hope? Job 2:1–6.

Note: “There is no power in the whole satanic force that can disable the soul that trusts, in simple confidence, in the wisdom that comes from God.

“Christ is our tower of strength, and Satan can have no power over the soul that walks with God in humility of mind. … In Christ there is perfect and complete help for every tempted soul. Dangers beset every path, but the whole universe of heaven is standing on guard, that none may be tempted above that which he is able to bear.” My Life Today, 316.



  • What was the devil’s next attacks upon Job and how did the faithful man of Uz respond? Job 2:8–10.

Note: “Job was deprived of his worldly possessions and so afflicted in body that he was abhorred by his relatives and friends, yet he preserved his integrity and faithfulness to God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 525.

  • What reveals the tremendous depth of Job’s tragic situation? Job 2:11–13.
  • What did Job realize about his predicament, and how does the apostle Peter echo these thoughts for our benefit? Job 23:8–10; 1 Peter 1:3, 6, 7.

Note: “The fact that we are called upon to endure trial proves that the Lord Jesus sees in us something very precious, which He desires to develop. If He saw in us nothing whereby He might glorify His name He would not spend time in refining us. We do not take special pains in pruning brambles. Christ does not cast worthless stones into His furnace. It is valuable ore that He tests.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 214.

  • Why does God want us to understand the value of trial? 1 Peter 4:12, 13.

Note: “The furnace fires are not to destroy, but to refine, ennoble, sanctify. Without trial we should not feel so much our need of God and His help; and we should become proud and self-sufficient. …

“Your heavenly Father loves you, and He will draw you to Himself by the trials that seem to you severe.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 123, 124.

“We should not dishonor God by the mournful relation of trials that appear grievous. All trials that are received as educators will produce joy.” Ibid., vol. 6, 365.



  • In the midst of unexpected trials that may be keen and cutting, what does the Lord want us to bear in mind? Jeremiah 29:11; John 16:33.

Note: “God leads His children by a way that they know not, but He does not forget or cast off those who put their trust in Him. He permitted affliction to come upon Job, but He did not forsake him. … The very trials that task our faith most severely and make it seem that God has forsaken us, are to lead us closer to Christ, that we may lay all our burdens at His feet and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange.

“God has always tried His people in the furnace of affliction. It is in the heat of the furnace that the dross is separated from the true gold of the Christian character. Jesus watches the test; He knows what is needed to purify the precious metal, that it may reflect the radiance of His love. It is by close, testing trials that God disciplines His servants. He sees that some have powers which may be used in the advancement of His work, and He puts these persons upon trial; in His providence He brings them into positions that test their character and reveal defects and weaknesses that have been hidden from their own knowledge. He gives them opportunity to correct these defects and to fit themselves for His service. He shows them their own weakness, and teaches them to lean upon Him; for He is their only help and safeguard. Thus His object is attained. They are educated, trained, and disciplined, prepared to fulfill the grand purpose for which their powers were given them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 129, 130.



1     How is a moment-by-moment sense of the great controversy to affect us?

2    As the great controversy intensifies, what should parents realize?

3    Why was Job able to respond to the attacks against him with relative calm?

4    The next time an unexpected trial comes my way, what should I remember?

5    Why will we grow if we view trials in a more mature way?

Biographical Blessings – A Candidate for Heaven

March 31 – April 6, 2019

Key Text

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 84–89.


“How often those who trusted the word of God, though in themselves utterly helpless, have withstood the power of the whole world—Enoch, pure in heart, holy in life, holding fast his faith in the triumph of righteousness against a corrupt and scoffing generation.” Education, 254.



  • What summarizes the experience of Enoch? Genesis 5:18–22.

Note: “There never has been and never will be an age when the moral darkness will be so dense as when Enoch lived a life of irreproachable righteousness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1088.

“Enoch had temptations as well as we. He was surrounded with society no more friendly to righteousness than is that which surrounds us. The atmosphere he breathed was tainted with sin and corruption, the same as ours; yet he lived a life of holiness.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 122.

“We should not, my brethren and sisters, float along with the popular current. Our present work is to come out from the world and be separate. This is the only way we can walk with God, as did Enoch.” Ibid., vol. 5, 535.

“Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or a vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had, in the world, a work to do for God.” Ibid., vol. 8, 329, 330.



  • What was Enoch’s priority during his earthly life? Genesis 5:23, 24.

Note: “The Lord loved Enoch because he steadfastly followed Him, and abhorred iniquity, and earnestly sought heavenly knowledge that he might do His will perfectly. He yearned to unite himself still more closely to God, whom he feared, reverenced, and adored. God would not permit Enoch to die as other men, but sent His angels to take him to Heaven without seeing death.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 57.

“For three hundred years Enoch had been seeking purity of heart, that he might be in harmony with heaven. …

“To such communion God is calling us. As was Enoch’s, so must be their holiness of character who shall be redeemed from among men at the Lord’s second coming.” Gospel Workers, 53, 54.

  • What was shown to the first prophet in history, and why was he entrusted with such a vision? Jude 14, 15.

Note: “Enoch was the first prophet among mankind. … His life was a specimen of Christian consistency.  Holy lips alone should speak forth the words of God in denunciation and judgments.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1088.

  • What types of behavior provoke God’s wrath? Jude 5–8, 10, 11, 16; Matthew 11:20, 23, 24.

Note: “The fate of Sodom is a solemn admonition, not merely to those who are guilty of outbreaking sin, but to all who are trifling with Heaven-sent light and privileges. …

“It will be more tolerable in the day of judgment for the cities of the plain than for those who have known the love of Christ, and yet have turned away to choose the pleasures of a world of sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 165.



  • What assisted Enoch in maintaining his purity? 1 Corinthians 15:33; Titus 1:15, 16.

 Note: “He [Enoch] did not make his abode with the wicked. He did not locate in Sodom, thinking to save Sodom. He placed himself and his family where the atmosphere would be as pure as possible. Then at times he went forth to the inhabitants of the world with his God-given message. Every visit he made to the world was painful to him. He saw and understood something of the leprosy of sin. After proclaiming his message, he always took back with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning. Some of these became overcomers, and died before the Flood came. But some had lived so long in the corrupting influence of sin that they could not endure righteousness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1087, 1088.

“The greater and more pressing his labors, the more constant and earnest were his [Enoch’s] prayers. He continued to exclude himself at certain periods from all society. After remaining for a time among the people, laboring to benefit them by instruction and example, he would withdraw, to spend a season in solitude, hungering and thirsting for that divine knowledge which God alone can impart.” Gospel Workers, 52.

  • What can we learn from Enoch’s example? Hebrews 11:5.

Note: “The infinite, unfathomable love of God through Christ became the subject of his [Enoch’s] meditations day and night. With all the fervor of his soul he sought to reveal that love to the people among whom he dwelt. …

“As the scenes of the future were opened to his view, Enoch became a preacher of righteousness, bearing God’s message to all who would hear the words of warning. …

“The power of God that wrought with His servant was felt by those who heard. Some gave heed to the warning and renounced their sins, but the multitudes mocked at the solemn message. The servants of God are to bear a similar message to the world in the last days, and it will also be received with unbelief and mockery.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 329, 330.



  • What will help us to be over-comers like Enoch? Galatians 6:8, 9.

Note: “As year after year passed, deeper and deeper grew the tide of human guilt, darker and darker gathered the clouds of divine judgment. Yet Enoch, the witness of faith, held on his way, warning, pleading, and teaching, striving to turn back the tide of guilt and to stay the bolts of vengeance.

“The men of that generation mocked the folly of him who sought not to gather gold or silver, or to build up possessions here. But Enoch’s heart was upon eternal treasures.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 330.

  • What should guide our daily thoughts and decisions? Philippians 4:8; Hosea 14:9.

Note: “The greater the existing iniquity, the more earnest was his [Enoch’s] longing for the home of God. While still on earth, he dwelt, by faith, in the realms of light.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 330, 331.

“Did he [Enoch] see God by his side? Only by faith. He knew that the Lord was there, and he adhered steadfastly to the principles of truth. We, too, are to walk with God. When we do this, our faces will be lighted up by the brightness of His presence, and when we meet one another, we shall speak of His power, saying, Praise God. Good is the Lord, and good is the word of the Lord. …

“Those who will be translated at the close of time, will be those who commune with God on earth. Those who make manifest that their life is hid with Christ in God will ever be representing Him in all their life-practices. Selfishness will be cut out by the roots.

“Let us realize the weakness of humanity, and see where man fails in his self-sufficiency. We shall then be filled with a desire to be just what God desires us to be—pure, noble, sanctified. …To be like God will be the one desire of the soul.

“This is the desire that filled Enoch’s heart. … He did not mark out his own course, or set up his own will, as if he thought himself fully qualified to manage matters. He strove to conform himself to the divine likeness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1087.



  • What is the ultimate reward of all who live a pure life? Matthew 5:8.

Note: “God has a heaven full of blessings that He wants to bestow on those who are earnestly seeking for that help which the Lord alone can give. It was in looking in faith to Jesus, in asking of Him, in believing that every word spoken would be verified, that Enoch walked with God. He kept close by the side of God, obeying His every word.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1087.

“How few are aware that they have darling idols, that they have cherished sins! God sees these sins to which you may be blinded, and He works with His pruning knife to strike deep and separate these cherished sins from you. You all want to choose for yourselves the process of purification. How hard it is for you to submit to the crucifixion of self; but when the work is all submitted to God, to Him who knows our weakness and our sinfulness, He takes the very best way to bring about the desired results. It was through constant conflict and simple faith that Enoch walked with God. You may all do the same. You may be thoroughly converted and transformed, and be indeed children of God, enjoying not only the knowledge of His will, but, by your example, leading others in the same path of humble obedience and consecration.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 543.

“He [Enoch] lived in a corrupt age, when moral pollution was teeming all around him; yet he trained his mind to devotion, to love purity. His conversation was upon heavenly things. He educated his mind to run in this channel, and he bore the impress of the divine. His countenance was lighted up with the light which shineth in the face of Jesus.” Ibid., vol. 2, 122.



1     What should we realize about Enoch’s generation?

2    What are we to learn from the fate of Sodom?

3    Explain Enoch’s policy about his environment.

4    With what purpose in mind did Enoch study God’s word?

5    How is this week’s lesson to bring us hope?

Food – Memories — What Veggies?

The majority of the time, my family just did not seem to get enough vegetables into our diets. Growing up in a meat and potato environment, we really did not think about anything green. My mom was a really good cook but since dad liked his meat and potatoes, which was what comprised the majority of our meals, that is what we ate. Mom used to make “grease gravy” and it really tasted good on our meat and potatoes. The only time we really had any vegetables that I can remember was when the corn-on-the-cob showed up on our plates. YUM! But that was often swamped with butter!

Now, as an adult, I enjoy the variety of flavors that I find in different foods. In fact, I was really surprised to find how many different vegetables and grains were out there. I am very thankful for God’s abundant variety of foods.

I remember when I first decided to become a vegan and saw pictures on vegan food cans and packets showing meat just like mom used to make and it looked so good. My first thought was that it would be easy being vegan replacing the meat with all the products available. Though it may be a good replacement initially for some when changing their diet, unfortunately it was not agreeable to my family’s taste buds and many meals were discarded. Soon I learned about seasoning foods and to make most of my meals from scratch. No one has the same taste buds; so I learned to take a recipe and trim it to the taste of my family. Praise the Lord for the skill to do that! Yes, it took practice and is still a work in progress.

God has provided so many varieties of vegetables to choose from and innumerable ways they can be prepared. There are many different seasonings available to add to our enjoyment of different foods. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


Veggie Gravy


2 cups tomatoes, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

¼ cup flour

½-1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

¼ cup water


Simmer tomatoes with onion and celery 5-10 minutes. Mix flour and water and add slowly to tomato mixture, stirring constantly over low heat until thickened and add seasonings—remember to season it to your taste buds! This is great over hot baked potatoes, toast, or anything else requiring gravy.


Life Sketches – Be Born Again

There are many people in the world today who, though they have an intellectual knowledge of the truth, are lacking the moral character that will fit them for eternal life.

While Apollos was teaching and preaching in Corinth, the apostle Paul went to the city of Ephesus. (See Acts 19.) At that time, Ephesus was one of the leading commercial cities of the world. It was a harbor city, a center of trade and shipping from all parts of the civilized world. Its streets were filled with people from many lands. Thus the city of Ephesus, like the city of Corinth, presented a favorable missionary field, from which the gospel could be taken to all parts of the world.

Within 20 to 30 years after Jesus ascended to heaven, the gospel had been preached to every creature under heaven. Part of the reason for this success was Paul’s concentrated effort in the large commercial cities where the gospel would be dispersed to all parts of the world.  The Jews had been widely dispersed in all civilized lands and were generally expecting the speedy advent of the Messiah, for while they attended their annual feasts at Jerusalem, some of them had gone to hear John the Baptist preach by the Jordan and heard from him that the time of the Messiah was at hand. On return to their homes they had talked about it and the knowledge of the Messiah was widely dispersed throughout the world at that time.

Jesus had made many promises to His disciples that those who accepted and followed Him would receive the Holy Spirit. He had promised, “John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:5, 8).

While Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, in the audience were some who had clamored for the crucifixion of Christ. Coming to the conviction of what they had done, they said to Peter, “ ‘What shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent [change your mind], and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission [forgiveness] of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’ ” (Acts 2:37, last part, 38).

Many were baptized and did receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In Ephesus, Paul met twelve brethren who had listened to the preaching of John the Baptist, but didn’t fully understand the gospel perfectly or the gift of the promised Holy Spirit. Paul asked them, “ ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ So they said to him, ‘We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said to them, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ ” So they said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’

“Then Paul said, ‘John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus’ ” (Acts 19:1, last part–4).  Paul explained to them about Jesus’ mission in this world and how He had suffered a cruel and shameful death. He told how the Lord of life had broken the barriers of the tomb and had arisen on the third day, triumphant over death. This same triumph was promised to all those who believe and follow Him and they would receive the Holy Spirit.

Paul repeated to the twelve the commission that Jesus had given to His disciples: “ ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’ ” (Matthew 28:19, 20).

By faith these twelve brethren grasped what Paul was teaching them. The Bible says, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues [other languages] and prophesied” (Acts 19:5).

One of the most interesting things in this story is that these twelve men, by cherishing a humble and teachable spirit, gained precious knowledge and a new religious experience they had never had before. Their example presents a lesson of great value to Christians in our age also. There are many claiming to be Christians who make but little progress in their spiritual life because they are too self-sufficient to be learners. They are content with their present knowledge of God’s word, which may be very meager, and make no effort to obtain greater light. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9).

Are you a seeker? Are you asking? Are you seeking the Lord and asking for more spiritual truth or do you think you know enough already? Give yourself to God and He will guide you by His divine hand just as Moses was.

You may think of yourself as lowly and ungifted, but if with a loving, trusting heart you obey every intimation of God’s will, then He will give you more and more truth and knowledge. It is not enough to be content with an intellectual knowledge of religious truth. Jesus longs to send His Spirit to work upon the hearts of those who seek Him. Many talk about salvation, but they are not experiencing it. The Bible is so clear about this point. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Unless you are born of water and of the spirit, there is no chance that you can enter the kingdom of heaven” (John 3:3, 5). Or simply, only those who are born again will see the kingdom of God.

The Holy Spirit works upon the heart creating new emotions, new thoughts, and new feelings. Jesus spoke of it as a new birth. The life giving power of the Holy Spirit, proceeding from Christ and imparted to every disciple, pervades the soul and changes the motives and the affections. This affects even the most secret thoughts and brings forth fruit in holy deeds. Referring to the Holy Spirit, Jesus told Nicodemus that it is like the wind. You see the results, but you can’t actually see the wind itself (verse 8).

In the same way, the operations of the Holy Spirit upon the heart cannot be seen with human eye, but the results can be seen. We are sustained both physically and spiritually through the blessings that God places within our reach as we take and receive them. Are you watching? Are you praying? Are you studying God’s word and giving heed to the instructions that you see there or just stumbling along without seeking for an experience in the Holy Spirit that would result in a holy life? The Holy Spirit brings to each believer an experience in “… holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

God’s children who are living just before the close of the age (world KJV) are described as those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ and keep God’s commandments. Revelation 14:12 says, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” There are many who believe they can be saved while in transgression of God’s law but John specifically says in Revelation that the saints will be keeping the commandments of God.

In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said, “Not everyone that 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’ ” (Matthew 7:21, 22)?

These people are not atheists or unbelievers. They claim to be Christians who call Jesus Lord. They tell Him that they have made a mistake. They believe that they are saved because they have prophesied in His name and cast out demons in His name, and have done many miracles in His name. They know that they are saved.

Every time I read this Scripture it causes a tremor to go through my mind and sometimes through my whole body as I realize the terrible shock that these people are going to have.

Jesus says, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’ ” (Matthew 7:23)! Can you imagine? They believe they are saved. They had the spirit, but it wasn’t the right spirit. The Holy Spirit never leads a person to “practice lawlessness” by breaking the law of God.

Paul says, “The mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:7–10).

These “protesters” are deceived because they did not receive the love of the truth. It is not enough to have an intellectual knowledge of the truth. You must also love it and choose to follow and obey it so you can receive the Holy Spirit and be changed in character. Those who do not love the truth enough to obey it will be sent a strong delusion so that they will believe the lie that you can be saved in sin. They believe that you can go ahead and keep breaking God’s law and God will still save you. The New Testament does not teach that. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:19, “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God is what matters.”

God’s children in the last days will be keeping His commandments. In Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, he speaks of a condemnation on those “who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12). The Bible says that all unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17). “Sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 KJV). So in other words, those who find pleasure in sin have pleasure in breaking the law of God.

All must choose their own destiny. There are many people today who have unwittingly violated one of the precepts of God’s law. Look again at Exodus 20:3–17 and ask yourself the question, “Am I keeping God’s commandments or not?” When the understanding is enlightened and the claims of the 4th commandment are urged upon the conscience, then a person sees himself or herself as a sinner in the sight of God. Notice that James 2:10 says that whoever offends in one point of the law is guilty of all. Keeping only 90% of the law is not enough.

We are bidden to search the Scriptures and all who are honest seekers after truth will not plead ignorance of the law as an excuse for transgression. Light is within the reach of all. God’s word is plain, His law is holy, just and good (Romans 7:12). Earnest seekers after truth will repent of their transgression and plead that the atoning blood of Christ may pardon their sins so that they may be converted and live in harmony with all of God’s commandments.

When the Holy Spirit works on the heart, that person will be led to be in harmony with everything that Christ and His apostles have taught.

There’s no promise in the Bible for salvation in sin. The promise of salvation is salvation from sin. The angel said to Joseph, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). [Emphasis supplied.] God is going to have a people at the end of the world who are obedient to all His commandments (Revelation 14:12). Revelation 22:14 says, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” But then notice what it says in the next verse: “But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral (see the seventh commandment) and murderers (see the sixth commandment) and idolaters (see the first and second commandment), and whoever loves and practices a lie (see the ninth commandment)” (verse 15).

When Jesus returns, the whole world is going to be separated into two classes—the saved and the lost. In Matthew 25:31–33, Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.”

The world population will be separated, some to the right hand and some to the left hand. Those on the right will receive the benediction of Christ, the gift of eternal life and will enter into the kingdom. Jesus said, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ ” (verse 34). But to those on the left, He will say, “ ‘Depart … into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ ” (verse 41, literal translation).

Waste no time in choosing life, for soon God will ask, “Has this person been obedient to My law or not?” The decisions that you make day by day are going to determine your eternal destiny. Yield yourself to the work of the Holy Spirit that will transform your character so that your life will come into harmony with God’s word and with His law.


(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.

Children’s Story – Knots That Can’t be Untied

John and Paul Baxter liked to play in the woods near their home. They liked to watch the birds fly among the branches. They liked to hear the bluejays scold. They liked when the leaves sang in the cool spring breeze. They liked to stand beside the tall pines that stretched long, bushy arms toward the sky. Sometimes it seemed they almost reached the sky. Another reason the boys liked the woods was because they were always finding something there that they had never seen before.

That’s the way it was the day they discovered the tree that looked as if a knot had been tied in it. The knot was about half way up the tree. The boys looked at it. They walked around it. How could a tree grow that way? the boys wondered. The trunk was at least four inches through the middle. Surely no one could have tied a knot in a tree that was so big.

When Dad came home from work, Paul and John showed him the tree.

“It’s a knot, all right,” Mr. Baxter told his sons. “But it must have been tied a long, long time ago. I think it was tied when the tree was a tiny sapling.” He ran his long fingers over the pattern of the knot as he spoke.

“Maybe this is the way it happened,” he said. “Long ago some boy may have played in these woods just as you do now. When he felt the young sapling, he discovered that it could be bent very easily. Twisting it under and around itself, he tied a knot in it.”

Mr. Baxter examined the tree again. Then he turned back to the boys.

“Do you think you could untie that knot?”

“No, never,” Paul said. “It’s grown together that way now. No one could ever untie the knot.”

“That’s what I wanted you to say,” the boys’ father said. “It’s that way with young fellows like you, too. There’s an old truth that says, ‘As a twig is bent … ’ which means as boys are bent, so the man will grow. The way you start out in life, the habits you make when you are young, will determine the kind of person you will be when you grow up. Knots tied in young boys’ lives are just as hard to untie as this tree knot.”

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Dear Lord, we are glad that You can keep our lives free from ugly knots. We thank You for parents, for teachers and for pastors who teach us how to live — so we won’t have any knots in our minds and souls. Help us to choose wisely the things we do. May we always be pleasing to You. In Jesus’ dear name. Amen.

Happy Moments With God, Margaret Anderson, © 1962, 45, 46.

Health – Cardiac Health

The relation that exists between the mind and the body is very intimate. When one is affected, the other sympathizes.

The Ministry of  Healing, 241

Heart protection begins in the kitchen. As it is with most chronic conditions, your fork is your best defense against heart attacks, strokes and other forms of cardiovascular disease. But while a basic produce-heavy, clean-protein diet is a must, some foods really shine when it comes to heart health.


  • Cardiovascular health powerhouse
  • Can lower levels of total cholesterol
  • Contains more than twice the amount of potassium than bananas
  • High in fiber and extremely low in sugar
  • The only fruit that contains a significant amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Not necessary to purchase organic as the thick outer skin protects the inner flesh from pesticide residues


  • Heart-healthy, thanks in large part to lycopene
  • Eating lycopene-rich foods regularly is linked to a lower risk of heart disease
  • The richest source of lycopene
  • Becoming healthier when you cook them; cooked tomatoes contain up to 2.5 times as much lycopene as raw tomatoes


  • Nature’s healthy equivalent of a candy bowl
  • Packed with anthocyanins, which have antioxidants
  • Good source of fiber, which is known to help decrease cholesterol
  • Anthocyanins in blueberries protect against hypertension, or high blood pressure


  • Most heart-healthy among greens
  • Prevents plaque from clogging up arteries
  • Improves the body’s ability to detoxify itself
  • Reduction in cancer risk


  • Rich in vitamin E
  • Great source for omega-3 fatty acids, which help ease inflammation, and just ¼ cup fulfills most people’s daily need
  • Raw, unsalted walnuts will garner you the most heart health benefits


  • Rich in isoflavones, which are phytonutrients that can boost functioning of your arteries and veins
  • Replacing animal protein with plant protein such as edamame is linked to better health and even a longer life
  • The fiber can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and help manage your weight to lower heart disease risk


5 Ways to Protect Your Heart

See your dentist regularly
Oral health translates to heart health. A study from Taiwan of more than 100,000 people showed that those who had their teeth professionally cleaned and scaled by a dentist or dental hygienist lowered their risk of heart attack by 24% (13% for stroke) compared with those who never had a dental cleaning.

Quit smoking
Even one or two cigarettes a day can dramatically increase the risk of heart attack, stroke or other serious conditions, says Jason Freeman, MD, director of Interventional Cardiology at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York. A major risk factor on its own, the risk of heart disease increases further when smoking is combined with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity, according to the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute. (And avoid secondhand smoke, which can also increase cardiac risk.)

Monitor your blood pressure
The American Heart Association says normal blood pressure should be below 120/80 mm/Hg. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke; if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, aim to lower your blood pressure to less than 140/80 mm/Hg. Check with your practitioner regarding what blood pressure level is right for you.

Take the stairs
As an easy on-the-go exercise, take the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator whenever you can. It is also a great way to monitor your cardiac health. If you can’t make it up the same amount of stairs you did a week ago without stopping, see your physician for a checkup.

Control your emotions
 Strong emotions, such as anger, sadness, frustration or anxiety, can increase blood pressure and put stress on the heart. A 2004 Canadian study reported that heart attack risk for people with high levels of psychosocial distress nearly matched the risk seen in smokers.

Excerpts from


Question & Answer – What was the “reproach” that was rolled away in Joshua 5:9?

“And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.”

“Heathen nations had reproached the Lord, and His people, because the Hebrews had not possessed the land of Canaan, which they expected to inherit soon after leaving Egypt. Their enemies had triumphed, because they had so long wandered in the wilderness [40 years], and they proudly lifted themselves up against God, declaring that He was not able to lead them into the land of Canaan. They had now passed over Jordan on dry land, and their enemies could no longer reproach them.” Spiritual Gifts, 4a, 61.

“One other text, if any one were needed to settle the fact that Israel did not get out of Egypt as long as they were in the wilderness, is found in the book of Joshua. You remember the passage, after they had crossed Jordan, then they were circumcised, it is written, ‘This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you’ (Joshua 5:9). Those people, you see, who left Egypt, never got out of Egypt till they had crossed Jordan; for not until then was the reproach of Egypt taken away. Then they were all converted men. That whole nation crossed Jordan by faith. It was a nation that believed God, and there was not a dissenting voice nor a doubting thought—then they were out of Egypt. Thus you see that it is perfectly evident that spiritual Egypt is the literal Egypt of the Bible.” March 7, 1897, A.T. Jones, General Conference Daily Bulletin.

“It was because they would not forsake the idols of Egypt, that the men who left that country with Moses did not enter into the promised land. A people cannot at one and the same time be both free and in bondage. The bondage of Egypt—“the reproach of Egypt”—was not merely the physical labor which the people were forced to do without reward, but was the abominable idolatry of Egypt, into which they had fallen. It was from this that God would deliver His people, when He said to Pharaoh, ‘Let My people go, that they may serve Me’ (Exodus 7:16).” The Present Truth, UK 836, December 31, 1896.

Keys to the Storehouse – The Menace of Mingling

It is interesting to note that the meaning of mingling is to become mixed, blended or united. On this note, the following paragraph is full of meaning.

“During the sojourn of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage, they largely lost sight of the knowledge of God and of His law; in their constant mingling with heathenism and idolatry they lost almost all the knowledge of the true God and of His laws, which had been entrusted to them.” Practical Lessons, F.C. Gilbert, page 157. [Emphasis supplied.]

Constant mingling with heathenism and idolatry caused the Israelites to lose almost all of their knowledge of the true God and His laws. Today we face the same danger.

Let us put our own name in place of the Israelites. Are we not sojourning here while we wait for our Lord’s return? Have we not also lost the knowledge of the true God and His laws by mingling with the world? Is it not time to take the advice of Paul to “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. … that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV)? The devil’s plan is to lure Christians away from Godly paths until they have blended with the world.

Egypt is a symbol for sin. Living a life of worldliness today is akin to living in Egypt. The more we mingle and blend with the world’s habits in eating, drinking, dressing and entertainment, we trade the knowledge of God with the knowledge of the world until the danger is unrecognized.

God says in Exodus 20:1–3, “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”

God has brought us out of the world—out of the house of bondage into the freedom of His glorious light. Why hunger for those things that we have left behind, as the Israelites did for the leeks of Egypt, when God has eternal realities in mind?

“We might expect the Israelites to harden their hearts against the reproofs of the prophet. We listen to hear them respond, ‘We do not wish to be continually reminded of our sins. Speak to us words of peace, encouragement, and hope, but do not keep ever before us the dismal relation of our backslidings.’ How often do the professed people of God at the present day turn away from instruction, and neglect oft-repeated warnings. They dislike to be reminded of their defects of character. They are unwilling to be reproved for their pride and idolatry in turning from the requirements of God to seek the gains, friendship, or pleasures of the world.” The Signs of the Times, June 23, 1881. What a heartbreaking parallel!

Are we mingling and becoming blended with this world? Pray to God for help and guidance.

Heavenly Father: Our sojourn here has been long and we need Your help. We are beginning to wear down and are tempted to seek the momentary pleasures of this world by constant mingling with those who would draw us astray. Oh Lord, give us strength and grace to stand in Thy ways bringing honor to Your name as true representatives of Jesus in this world. Thank You for hearing our cry. Amen.