Bible Study Guides – A Holy Nation

June 21, 2015 – June 27, 2015

Key Text

“Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:6.

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 286–293; The Acts of the Apostles, 14–16.


“God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. …

“Their obedience to the laws of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 221, 222.


  • When the people of Israel were told that they were chosen to be a special people, a holy nation, entrusted with a specific mission, what did they answer? Exodus 19:8.

Note: “God had promised to be their [Israel’s] God, to take them to Himself as a people, and to lead them to a large and good land; but they were ready to faint at every obstacle encountered in the way to that land. In a marvelous manner He had brought them out from their bondage in Egypt, that He might elevate and ennoble them and make them a praise in the earth.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 292.

  • After all the commandments of the holy Law of God were declared to the people, what did they say? Exodus 24:3, 7.

Note: “God had chosen Israel as His people, and they had chosen Him as their King.” Prophets and Kings, 293.


  • Near the end of their pilgrimage, how were the conditions of the covenant repeated to the Israelites? Deuteronomy 4:1, 2.

Note: “Through Moses they [the Israelites] were warned against the temptations that would assail them in the future; and they were earnestly exhorted to remain separate from the surrounding nations and to worship God alone.” Prophets and Kings, 294.

  • It was the purpose of God to set up Israel as a light in the world. What was Moses instructed to say to them? Deuteronomy 4:5–8.

Note: “Through the Jewish nation it was God’s purpose to impart rich blessings to all peoples. … The nations of the world, through following corrupt practices, had lost the knowledge of God. Yet in His mercy God 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.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 286.

  • On what condition would the Lord extend His merciful hand toward them? Deuteronomy 4:29–31.
  • What would happen to them were they to forget the covenant of the Lord and turn away from Him? Deuteronomy 4:23–27.

Note: “Moses traced the evils that would result from a departure from the statutes of Jehovah. Calling heaven and earth to witness, he declared that if, after having dwelt long in the Land of Promise, the people should introduce corrupt forms of worship and bow down to graven images and should refuse to return to the worship of the true God, the anger of the Lord would be aroused, and they would be carried away captive and scattered among the heathen.” Prophets and Kings, 295.


  • That Israel might be the light of the world, they needed to be an educated people. What duty was entrusted to the parents in Israel? Deuteronomy 6:6–9.

Note: “God had commanded the Hebrews to teach their children His requirements and to make them acquainted with all His dealings with their fathers. This was one of the special duties of every parent—one that was not to be delegated to another. In the place of stranger lips the loving hearts of the father and mother were to give instruction to their children.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 592.

  • Is education necessary as a preparation for the gospel work? II Timothy 2:15.

Note: “Christ is the ‘Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’ (John 1:9). As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him every soul receives some ray of divine light. Not only intellectual but spiritual power, a perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. Co-operation with that power is man’s greatest need.” Education, 29.

  • What knowledge do we need so that our light may shine brighter and brighter? Matthew 5:14–16.

Note: “The minister, the missionary, the teacher, will find their influence with the people greatly increased when it is manifest that they possess the knowledge and skill required for the practical duties of everyday life.” Education, 221.


  • What is the greatest need of the world today? John 1:9–12.

Note: “The world today is in crying need of a revelation of Christ Jesus in the person of His saints. God desires that His people shall stand before the world a holy people. Why?—because there is a world to be saved by the light of gospel truth; and as the message of truth that is to call men out of darkness into God’s marvelous light is given by the church, the lives of its members, sanctified by the Spirit of truth, are to bear witness to the verity of the messages proclaimed.

“God desires His people to place themselves in right relation to Him, that they may understand what He requires of them above all things else. They are to reveal to every struggling soul in the world what it means ‘to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly’ with their God (Micah 6:8). Wherever they are, at home or abroad, they are to be His commandment-keeping people. They are to have the assurance that their sins are forgiven, and that they are accepted as children of the Most High.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 458, 459.

  • For what purpose has the present truth contained in the threefold message (Revelation 14:6–12) been entrusted to the Advent people? Isaiah 60:1, 2.

Note: “The Lord in compassion is seeking to enlighten the understanding of those who are now groping in the darkness of error. He is delaying His judgments upon an impenitent world, in order that His light bearers may seek and save that which is lost. He is now calling upon His church on the earth to awake from the lethargy that Satan has sought to bring upon them, and fulfill their heaven-appointed work of enlightening the world. His message to His church at this time is, ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee’ (Isaiah 60:1). To meet the conditions existing at the time when darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people, the church of God has been commissioned to cooperate with God in shedding abroad the light of Bible truth.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 458.


  • What responsibility has the Lord placed upon every believer in the threefold message? Philippians 2:15, 16.

Note: “The people of the world are worshiping false gods. They are to be turned from their false worship, not by hearing denunciation of their idols, but by beholding something better. God’s goodness is to be made known. ‘Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God’ (Isaiah 43:12). …

“We are to show to the world and to all the heavenly intelligences that we appreciate the wonderful love of God for fallen humanity. … Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 299.

  • What does God intend to accomplish through His people today? Matthew 24:14.

Note: “Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so that everyone shall be working for Him according to his ability. When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfillment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory.” The Acts of the Apostles, 111.


1 How were the conditions of the covenant with the people repeated to them as they were approaching Canaan?

2 How did God use the principles revealed through Israel as a means of restoring His moral image in men and women?

3 What would happen to them were they to forget the covenant of the Lord and turn away from Him?

4 What emphasis was placed on education so that Israel might be the light of the world?

5 How are the people of the world to be turned from false worship?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Israel Defeated—Why?

June 14, 2015 – June 20, 2015

Key Text

“Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant.” Joshua 7:11.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 493–498.


“The history of Achan teaches the solemn lesson that for one man’s sin the displeasure of God will rest upon a people or a nation till the transgression is searched out and punished.” Conflict and Courage, 120.


  • What happened soon after the fall of Jericho? Joshua 7:2–5.

Note: “The great victory that God had gained for them [over the fall of Jericho] had made the Israelites self-confident. Because He had promised them the land of Canaan they felt secure, and failed to realize that divine help alone could give them success. Even Joshua laid his plans for the conquest of Ai without seeking counsel from God.

“The Israelites had begun to exalt their own strength and to look with contempt upon their foes. An easy victory was expected, and three thousand men were thought sufficient to take the place. These rushed to the attack without the assurance that God would be with them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 493, 494.

  • Why were the Israelites defeated? Joshua 7:1, 12.

Note: “It was a time for prompt and decided action, and not for despair and lamentation. There was secret sin in the camp, and it must be searched out and put away before the presence and blessing of the Lord could be with His people. …

“God’s command had been disregarded by one of those appointed to execute His judgments. … Instruction was given to Joshua for the discovery and punishment of the criminal.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 494.


  • Was the command of God actually transgressed by the whole camp of Israel or by only one man? Joshua 7:18.

Note: “God was very particular in regard to Jericho, lest the people should be charmed with the things that the inhabitants had worshiped and their hearts be diverted from God. He guarded His people by most positive commands; yet notwithstanding the solemn injunction from God by the mouth of Joshua, Achan ventured to transgress. His covetousness led him to take of the treasures that God had forbidden him to touch because the curse of God was upon them. And because of this man’s sin the Israel of God were as weak as water before their enemies.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 264.

“The nation [of Israel] was held accountable for the guilt of the transgressor: ‘They have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also’ (Joshua 7:11).” [Emphasis author’s.] Patriarchs and Prophets, 494.

  • If only one individual sinned by acting consciously contrary to the divine prohibition, why did God put the responsibility on the whole nation? Joshua 7:11.

Note: “Achan’s sin brought disaster upon the whole nation. For one man’s sin the displeasure of God will rest upon His church till the transgression is searched out and put away. The influence most to be feared by the church is not that of open opposers, infidels, and blasphemers, but of inconsistent professors of Christ. These are the ones that keep back the blessing of the God of Israel and bring weakness upon His people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 497.

“In His dealings with His people in the past the Lord shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs. One sinner may diffuse darkness that will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, they should seek God earnestly, in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve His Spirit are searched out and put away.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 265.


  • How did Joshua cry to the Lord, and what was he mostly concerned about? Joshua 7:6–9.

Note: “Joshua and the elders of Israel were in great affliction. They lay before the ark of God in most abject humility because the Lord was wroth with His people. They prayed and wept before God.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 264.

“You can see by the prayer of Joshua, if you have spiritual discernment, that that which was esteemed by Achan as a very little thing was the cause of great anguish and sorrow to the responsible men of Israel. … Achan, the guilty party, did not feel the burden. He took it very coolly.” Christ Triumphant, 137.

  • What was the first work that God instructed Joshua to do? Joshua 7:10, 13.

Note: “It was a time for prompt and decided action, and not for despair and lamentation. There was secret sin in the camp, and it must be searched out and put away before the presence and blessing of the Lord could be with His people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 494.

“The Lord did not specify who was the guilty party; but He gave directions as to what was to be done.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 25, 1894.

  • How do some people react when a similar work must be done in the church today? Isaiah 30:9, 10.

Note: “The spirit of hatred which has existed with some because the wrongs among God’s people have been reproved has brought blindness and a fearful deception upon their own souls, making it impossible for them to discriminate between right and wrong. They have put out their own spiritual eyesight. They may witness wrongs, but they do not feel as did Joshua and humble themselves because the danger of souls is felt by them.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 266.


  • Why didn’t the Lord point out the culprit directly? What is the difference between acceptable and unacceptable confessions? Psalm 32:5.

Note: “The sinner was not directly pointed out, the matter being left in doubt for a time, that the people might feel their responsibility for the sins existing among them, and thus be led to searching of heart and humiliation before God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 494, 495.

“Achan … had seen the armies of Israel return from Ai defeated and disheartened; yet he did not come forward and confess his sin. He had seen Joshua and the elders of Israel bowed to the earth in grief too great for words. Had he then made confession, he would have given some proof of true penitence; but he still kept silence. He had listened to the proclamation that a great crime had been committed, and had even heard its character definitely stated. But his lips were sealed. … There is a vast difference between admitting facts after they have been proved and confessing sins known only to ourselves and to God. Achan would not have confessed had he not hoped by so doing to avert the consequences of his crime. But his confession only served to show that his punishment was just. There was no genuine repentance for sin, no contrition, no change of purpose, no abhorrence of evil.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 497, 498.

  • Why did God involve the whole congregation in a diligent search? I Corinthians 12:25, 26.

Note: “God holds His people, as a body, responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them. If the leaders of the church neglect to diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasure of God upon the body, they become responsible for these sins.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 269.

  • When it comes to helping the erring, what kind of wisdom should attend the needed pastoral work? James 1:5; 3:17, 18; Jude 22, 23.


  • When the lot fell upon Achan, what did he say? Joshua 7:20, 21.

Note: “To establish his guilt beyond all question, leaving no ground for the charge that he had been unjustly condemned, Joshua solemnly adjured Achan to acknowledge the truth. The wretched man made full confession of his crime.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 495.

“Confessions of sin made at the right time to relieve the people of God will be accepted of Him. But there are those among us who will make confessions, as did Achan, too late to save themselves.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 272.

  • What punishment, applied to Achan, served as a warning for the rest of the people? Joshua 7:24, 25. How is it a warning to us?

Note: “The deadly sin that led to Achan’s ruin had its root in covetousness, of all sins one of the most common and the most lightly regarded. While other offenses meet with detection and punishment, how rarely does the violation of the tenth commandment so much as call forth censure. The enormity of this sin, and its terrible results, are the lessons of Achan’s history.

“Covetousness is an evil of gradual development. Achan had cherished greed of gain until it became a habit, binding him in fetters well-nigh impossible to break. While fostering this evil, he would have been filled with horror at the thought of bringing disaster upon Israel; but his perceptions were deadened by sin, and when temptation came, he fell an easy prey.

“Are not similar sins still committed, in the face of warnings as solemn and explicit? We are as directly forbidden to indulge covetousness as was Achan to appropriate the spoils of Jericho. God has declared it to be idolatry.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 496.


1 Why were the Israelites defeated in the first encounter with the people of Ai?

2 What was the first work that God instructed Joshua to do?

3 Why did God involve the whole congregation in a diligent search for the culprit?

4 What kind of wisdom is needed to deal with erring church members?

5 Why was Achan’s confession unacceptable?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Conquest of Jericho

June 7, 2015 – June 13, 2015

Key Text

“The Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.” Joshua 6:2.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 487–493.


“Jericho [was] a heathen stronghold, the center of the worship of Ashtoreth, vilest and most degrading of all Canaanitish forms of idolatry.” Prophets and Kings, 229.


  • When the Israelites were encamped on the eastern side of the Jordan River, Joshua was seeking the help of the Lord in view of the conquest of Jericho. Who did he see as he arose from prayer? Joshua 5:13–15.

Note: “It was Christ, the Exalted One, Who stood before the leader of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 488.

  • What instruction did He give him? Joshua 6:2–5. What previous assurances from Christ gave Joshua courage to carry out his mission? Joshua 1:5, 6, 9.

Note: “In obedience to the divine command Joshua marshaled the armies of Israel. … They were simply to make the circuit of the city, bearing the ark of God and blowing upon trumpets. … The ark of God, surrounded by a halo of divine glory, was borne by priests clad in the dress denoting their sacred office. The army of Israel followed, each tribe under its standard. Such was the procession that compassed the doomed city.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 488.

  • On what condition do we have the same comforting assurance today? Matthew 28:20; James 1:5.


  • What happened on the seventh day? Joshua 6:15, 16, 20, 21.

Note: “All the inhabitants of the city [of Jericho], with every living thing that it contained, ‘both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass’ (Joshua 6:21), were put to the sword. … The city itself was burned; its palaces and temples, its magnificent dwellings with all their luxurious appointments, the rich draperies and the costly garments, were given to the flames. That which could not be destroyed by fire, ‘the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron’ (verse 24), was to be devoted to the service of the tabernacle. The very site of the city was accursed; Jericho was never to be rebuilt as a stronghold; judgments were threatened upon anyone who should presume to restore the walls that divine power had cast down. …

“The utter destruction of the people of Jericho was but a fulfillment of the commands previously given through Moses concerning the inhabitants of Canaan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 491, 492.

  • As the Lord had already demonstrated in the case of Sodom (Genesis 18:32), how did He show again that He does not destroy the righteous with the wicked? Joshua 6:22, 23.

Note: “Only faithful Rahab, with her household, was spared, in fulfillment of the promise of the spies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 491.

  • What declaration of Jesus shows that there is hope for all sinners on condition of repentance? Matthew 21:28–31; Luke 13:1–5. What assurance does He give them? John 6:37.

Note: “Whatever the appearance may be, every life centered in self is squandered. Whoever attempts to live apart from God is wasting his substance. He is squandering the precious years, squandering the powers of mind and heart and soul, and working to make himself bankrupt for eternity. The man who separates from God that he may serve himself, is the slave of mammon.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 200, 201.


  • Why was the destruction of Jericho and its inhabitants necessary? Wouldn’t it have been better to try to evangelize them? Genesis 15:13–16; Deuteronomy 9:4; Isaiah 26:10.

Note: “[Deuteronomy 7:2; 20:16 quoted.] To many these commands seem to be contrary to the spirit of love and mercy enjoined in other portions of the Bible, but they were in truth the dictates of infinite wisdom and goodness. …

“The inhabitants of Canaan had been granted ample opportunity for repentance. Forty years before, the opening of the Red Sea and the judgments upon Egypt had testified to the supreme power of the God of Israel. … All these events were known to the inhabitants of Jericho.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 492.

  • How are evangelists warned about the opponents to the truth who are incurably dishonest? Matthew 7:6. How does the apostle Paul admonish us not to waste much time with such people? Titus 3:10, 11.

Note: “[Matthew 7:6 quoted.]

“Jesus here refers to a class who have no desire to escape from the slavery of sin. By indulgence in the corrupt and vile their natures have become so degraded that they cling to the evil and will not be separated from it. The servants of Christ should not allow themselves to be hindered by those who would make the gospel only a matter of contention and ridicule.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 129.

  • Why should we be always prepared to give others the benefit of choice? I Samuel 16:7, second part.

Note: “Many choose darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. But there are those who, if the truth could have been presented in a different manner, under different circumstances, giving them a fair chance to weigh the arguments for themselves and to compare scripture with scripture, would have been charmed by its clearness and would have taken hold upon it.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 426, 427.


  • How was the faith of the people of Israel tested in connection with the miracle that the Lord wrought in Jericho? Hebrews 11:30.

Note: “The Captain of the Lord’s host communicated only with Joshua; He did not reveal Himself to all the congregation. … They might have reasoned: ‘What unmeaning movements are these, and how ridiculous the performance of marching daily around the walls of the city, blowing trumpets of rams’ horns. This can have no effect upon those towering fortifications.’ But the very plan of continuing this ceremony through so long a time prior to the final overthrow of the walls afforded opportunity for the development of faith among the Israelites. It was to be impressed upon their minds that their strength was not in the wisdom of man, nor in his might, but only in the God of their salvation. They were thus to become accustomed to relying wholly upon their divine Leader.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 493.

  • What lesson does this event teach us? John 14:12; I John 5:4.

Note: “As on the occasion of the taking of Jericho, not one of the armies of Israel could boast of exercising their finite strength to overthrow the walls of this city, but the Captain of the Lord’s host planned that battle in the greatest simplicity, that the Lord God alone should receive the glory and mortals should not be exalted. God has promised us all power.” Christ Triumphant, 136.

“God will do great things for those who trust in Him. The reason why His professed people have no greater strength is that they trust so much to their own wisdom, and do not give the Lord an opportunity to reveal His power in their behalf. He will help His believing children in every emergency if they will place their entire confidence in Him and faithfully obey Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 493.

“The greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual Christian are not those that are gained by talent or education, by wealth or the favor of men. They are those victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power.” Ibid., 203.

  • What warning and promise of Jesus should we always keep in mind? John 15:5, 7.

Note: “Henceforward Christ’s followers were to look upon Satan as a conquered foe. Upon the cross, Jesus was to gain the victory for them; that victory He desired them to accept as their own. ‘Behold,’ He said, ‘I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you’ (Luke 10:19).

“The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy’s power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper.” The Desire of Ages, 490–493.

“We can do nothing of ourselves. In all our helpless unworthiness we must trust in the merits of the crucified and risen Saviour. None will ever perish while they do this. The long, black catalogue of our delinquencies is before the eye of the Infinite. The register is complete; none of our offenses are forgotten. But He who listened to the cries of His servants of old, will hear the prayer of faith and pardon our transgressions. He has promised, and He will fulfill His word.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 203.

“Those who are unwilling to forsake every sin and to seek earnestly for God’s blessing, will not obtain it. But all who will lay hold of God’s promises … will succeed.” Ibid.


1 When Christ revealed Himself to Joshua, what instruction did He give along with His own assurance?

2 How did the Lord demonstrate His mercy in the destruction of Jericho?

3 With what class of sinner are we warned not to waste much time?

4 How can we obtain our greatest victories as individuals and as a church?

5 What is the secret to overcoming sin in our life?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Disaster in Israel

May 31, 2015 – June 6, 2015

Key Text

“And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.” Numbers 25:3.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 453–461.


“But agreeable as were their physical surroundings, the Israelites were here to encounter an evil more deadly than mighty hosts of armed men or the wild beasts of the wilderness.” The Signs of the Times, November 18, 1880.


  • While Moses was preparing to cross the Jordan River with Israel’s armies for the occupation of Canaan, why was the anger of the Lord kindled against Israel? Numbers 25:1–3.
  • Who was the mastermind behind this great evil? Revelation 2:14; Numbers 31:15, 16.

Note: “At Balaam’s suggestion, a grand festival in honor of their [the Moabites’] gods was appointed by the king of Moab, and it was secretly arranged that Balaam should induce the Israelites to attend. … Great numbers of the people [of Israel] joined him in witnessing the festivities. They ventured upon the forbidden ground, and were entangled in the snare of Satan. Beguiled with music and dancing, and allured by the beauty of heathen vestals, they cast off their fealty to Jehovah. As they united in mirth and feasting, indulgence in wine beclouded their senses and broke down the barriers of self-control. Passion had full sway; and having defiled their consciences by lewdness, they were persuaded to bow down to idols. They offered sacrifice upon heathen altars and participated in the most degrading rites.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 454.


  • What were Moses and the judges of Israel commanded to do before God’s punishment would be removed? Numbers 25:4, 5.

Note: “Their [the Moabites and Midianites’] iniquitous practices did that for Israel which all the enchantments of Balaam could not do—they separated them from God. By swift-coming judgments the people were awakened to the enormity of their sin. A terrible pestilence broke out in the camp, to which tens of thousands speedily fell a prey. God commanded that the leaders in this apostasy be put to death by the magistrates. This order was promptly obeyed. The offenders were slain, then their bodies were hung up in sight of all Israel that the congregation, seeing the leaders so severely dealt with, might have a deep sense of God’s abhorrence of their sin and the terror of His wrath against them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 455.

  • What happened while the people were weeping and confessing their sins? Numbers 25:6–8, 12, 13.

Note: “All felt that the punishment was just, and the people hastened to the tabernacle, and with tears and deep humiliation confessed their sin. While they were thus weeping before God, at the door of the tabernacle, while the plague was still doing its work of death, and the magistrates were executing their terrible commission, Zimri, one of the nobles of Israel, came boldly into the camp, accompanied by a Midianitish harlot, a princess ‘of a chief house in Midian’ (Numbers 25:15), whom he escorted to his tent. Never was vice bolder or more stubborn. Inflamed with wine, Zimri declared his ‘sin as Sodom’ (Isaiah 3:9), and gloried in his shame.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 455.

  • How many perished at the hand of God in the plague? Numbers 25:9. What did the census that was taken shortly afterwards further reveal? Numbers 26:1, 2, 63–65.

Note: “The judgments visited upon Israel for their sin at Shittim, destroyed the survivors of that vast company, who, nearly forty years before, had incurred the sentence, ‘They shall surely die in the wilderness’ (Numbers 26:65).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 456.


  • As the Midianites were among the most degraded enemies of God and among the most dangerous neighbors of Israel, what was Moses instructed to do? Numbers 31:1–3, 8.
  • What will God do to them that devise mischief against His people? Psalm 94:1, 2, 20–23.

Note: “He [God] Who slumbers not, Who is continually at work for the accomplishment of His designs, will carry forward His own work. He will thwart the purposes of wicked men, and will bring to confusion the counsels of those who plot mischief against His people. He who is the King, the Lord of hosts, sitteth between the cherubim, and amid the strife and tumult of nations He guards His children still.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 121.

  • On what condition has God promised to protect His people? Deuteronomy 28:1–7.

Note: “The church is God’s agency for the proclamation of truth, empowered by Him to do a special work; and if she is loyal to Him, obedient to all His commandments, there will dwell within her the excellency of divine grace. If she will be true to her allegiance, if she will honor the Lord God of Israel, there is no power that can stand against her. …

“If the church will put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness, withdrawing from all allegiance with the world, there is before her the dawn of a bright and glorious day. God’s promise to her will stand fast forever. He will make her an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Truth, passing by those who despise and reject it, will triumph. Although at times apparently retarded, its progress has never been checked. When the message of God meets with opposition, He gives it additional force, that it may exert greater influence. Endowed with divine energy, it will cut its way through the strongest barriers and triumph over every obstacle.” The Acts of the Apostles, 600, 601.


  • Why should we, and especially those who have been called to take part in the work of God, study the ups-and-downs in the history of Israel? Romans 15:4. Why does the apostasy that took place at the Jordan deserve special attention?

Note: “The Israelites, who could not be overcome by the arms or by the enchantments of Midian, fell a prey to her harlots. Such is the power that woman, enlisted in the service of Satan, has exerted to entrap and destroy souls. … It was thus that the children of Seth were seduced from their integrity, and the holy seed became corrupt. It was thus that Joseph was tempted. Thus Samson betrayed his strength, the defense of Israel, into the hands of the Philistines. Here David stumbled. And Solomon, the wisest of kings, who had thrice been called the beloved of his God, became a slave of passion, and sacrificed his integrity to the same bewitching power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 457.

  • What warning is addressed to this last generation of Christians? I Corinthians 10:8, 11.

Note: “As we approach the close of time, as the people of God stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, Satan will, as of old, redouble his efforts to prevent them from entering the goodly land. He lays his snares for every soul. It is not the ignorant and uncultured merely that need to be guarded; he will prepare his temptations for those in the highest positions, in the most holy office; if he can lead them to pollute their souls, he can through them destroy many. And he employs the same agents now as he employed three thousand years ago. By worldly friendships, by the charms of beauty, by pleasure seeking, mirth, feasting, or the wine cup, he tempts to the violation of the seventh commandment.

“Satan seduced Israel into licentiousness before leading them to idolatry. Those who will dishonor God’s image and defile His temple in their own persons will not scruple at any dishonor to God that will gratify the desire of their depraved hearts. Sensual indulgence weakens the mind and debases the soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 457, 458.


  • What condition (or conditions) prepared the way for the people of Israel to fall prey to the sensual temptations of Satan when they came to the Jordan River? Ezekiel 16:49, 50.

Note: “It was when the Israelites were in a condition of outward ease and security that they were led into sin. They failed to keep God ever before them, they neglected prayer and cherished a spirit of self-confidence. Ease and self-indulgence left the citadel of the soul unguarded, and debasing thoughts found entrance. It was the traitors within the walls that overthrew the strongholds of principle and betrayed Israel into the power of Satan. It is thus that Satan still seeks to compass the ruin of the soul. A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on in the heart before the Christian commits open sin. The mind does not come down at once from purity and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time to degrade those formed in the image of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become changed. By the indulgence of impure thoughts man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 459.

  • What warning should we always bear in mind? I Corinthians 10:12; I Peter 5:8.


1 Who was the mastermind behind the great apostasy that took place in Israel shortly before crossing the river Jordan?

2 How was the way prepared for the Israelites to fall on that occasion?

3 How were the most guilty punished?

4 What lesson should we learn from the fact that the Midianites had to be destroyed without making efforts to evangelize them?

5 What will a true servant of God be able to say if he or she follows the example of Paul in Philippians 4:9?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Chik-Style Salad

1 pkg. Soy Curls (8-oz., or approx. 4 ½ cups). Cover with warm water and soak for 10 minutes.

5 Tbsp. McKay’s Chicken Style Seasoning or 4 Tbsp Butler Chik-Style Seasoning

1 cup Vegenaise, Soyannaise, or Mayonnaise (8 oz.)

½ cup Sweet Relish (4 oz.)

1 cup diced celery (4.5 oz.)

1 cup diced onion (4 oz.)

½ tsp. garlic powder

Drain Soy Curls and dice. Add Chicken Style Seasoning and stir. Add remainder of ingredients and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate. Serve with a garnish of parsley, radish, pepper, etc. Makes a great sandwich, or topping for crackers! Serves 10.

For more information, recipes and pictures, please visit:

Food – A New Twist on Soy

Soybeans have long been a traditional part of the diet in Asia. Whole beans are sometimes used, but the most popular products, like tofu and soymilk, are usually only a part of the bean. Various products differ widely in nutrient value. I prefer the whole sum of foods when possible, as that is usually the most wholesome.

Soybeans contain the highest amount of protein of any grain or legume, and substantial amounts of fat, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and a variety of the phytochemicals useful for the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases.

The protein in the soybean is very digestible and contains all of the essential amino acids necessary for humans, and can sustain health at all stages of human development.

Approximately 50 percent of the fat in soybeans is linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat and an essential nutrient. In addition, soybean oil can contain as much as 8 percent alpha-linolenic acid, which is an Omega-3 fatty acid, the type of fat found in fish which is believed to be beneficial in lowering the risk of heart disease.

Soluble and insoluble carbohydrates, including dietary fiber, make up about 30 percent of the soybean. The oligosaccharides raffinose and stachyose are significant because they are not digested or used as nutrients directly by the human body, but instead are used as nutrients by the bifido bacteria in the lower intestine to sustain and promote their growth. These types of intestinal flora are considered important for human health, as it is believed that their presence can reduce the incidence of many diseases of the lower tract, including colon cancer.

The major mineral components of soybeans are potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and phosphorus.

The water-soluble vitamins in soybeans are thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, inositol and choline. Fat-soluble vitamins present in the soybean are vitamins A and E.

“Soy Curls” are one of the newer whole-soy foods. Like tofu, they are a convenience food and a nutritious addition to many dishes. But because they are the whole bean, they have plenty of fiber and all the other nutrients found in soybeans. No seasoning or other ingredients have been added, which makes them very versatile. Alone, or with other foods, they can be seasoned according to your preference.

Lord’s Prayer Series – Whose Way, Yours or Mine?

Whether a person is two or seventy-two, it is not uncommon to hear him or her say, when talking about receiving instructions, “I want to do it my way.” But there is a time when that is dangerous. In fact, it could be fatal.

The third petition of the Lord’s Prayer, as recorded in Matthew 6:10 KJV is, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” This petition is the climax of the first division of the Lord’s Prayer, the part that looks away from the earth, toward God and heaven, and has to do with things divine.

Each petition follows in a proper order. First of all there is a salutation. The God of heaven is recognized as “our Father” and then we ask that His name be hallowed in our lives. His name represents His character. When we ask that His character be hallowed in our own lives, it can only be accomplished when He is made the king of our lives.

The next petition is “Your kingdom come.” The evidence of God’s rulership over the dominion of our souls is complete submission to His will. The third petition is “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This petition is not separable from the one that immediately precedes it. To pray for the coming of the kingdom of God implies a willingness to submit to the will of the King. Before we can enter the kingdom of heaven in its final and glorious phase, the principles of the kingdom of heaven must have dominion over our souls.

The Gospel’s Provision

By the gospel every provision has been made available to fulfill the divine will. The evidence of citizenship in any kingdom is obedience to the will of the king and the laws that govern that kingdom. The coming of the kingdom of grace into our hearts transfers our citizenship to heaven. Since we are still living in a world that is in rebellion against the government of heaven, we are living in a world where God’s will is almost universally disregarded. Therefore, it is necessary to pray most earnestly for a complete submission to the sovereignty of the King of heaven as the evidence of our heavenly citizenship. Perhaps there is no petition that needs to be repeated more often than, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

In heaven, the will of God is absolutely supreme and is never violated. Those desiring citizenship of that kingdom must first learn the lesson of complete surrender to that will. This is severe discipline for human beings who live in a rebellious world. Therefore, this is one of the hardest lessons to learn.

The purpose of the gospel is to give victory over the spirit of rebellion that rules the human race today. Rebels cannot enter the kingdom of heaven nor can the kingdom of God enter them. The kingdom and the dominion of Paradise were lost through disobedience (see Genesis 3). It is only the obedient that will be permitted to enter Paradise restored. The person who insists that they will make their own decisions and live the way they choose will never enter the kingdom of heaven where the will of God is supreme.

Several thousand years ago Lucifer, the leading angel of heaven, violated God’s will. He chose to rebel against God’s government. He wanted to become like God and believed he would be a superior ruler. The record of his rebellion and how it started is recorded in Isaiah chapter 14, in Ezekiel 28, and in Revelation 12. “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7–9.

The person who presumes on God’s mercy while knowingly transgressing His law is trifling with his or her eternal destiny. It matters not what profession he may have or how many good works he might do. He will never have a passport to heaven while living in disobedience to God’s will.

Jesus made this very plain when He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ” Matthew 7:21–23. His statement was then driven home in verses 24–27 by a parable of the two builders. He said that the one who heard His words and did not do them would be like a person who built his house on the sand. When the storm came with the flood, his house was demolished.

Many times Jesus emphasized that those who are not obedient to the will of His Father cannot be His disciples. What Jesus was in this rebellious world is what His disciples are to be. Jesus spent over 30 years in this world as a man. “[He] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 KJV. He fulfilled the divine will on earth, just as He had in heaven before He came to earth. The change He experienced in environment did not alter His relationship at all to the law or to the government of God.

The character and conduct of Christ remained unchanged during His earthly pilgrimage. Speaking once about the purpose of His advent, Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me.” John 6:38.

His chief ambition, the first object He sought to accomplish, was to do His Father’s will. Again, He said, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” John 5:30.

To do His Father’s will was Jesus’ reason for living, the reason He was born. This was His life. Coming to the end of His mission, just a few minutes before He entered the Garden of Gethsemane and went to His final trial and crucifixion, He prayed to His Father, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” John 17:4.

The Father gave His Son a mission to perform in this world and Jesus declared that He had performed that mission. In fact, His very last words before He died on the cross were, “It is finished” (John 9:30). My mission is finished; I have fulfilled Your will in the earth.

Jesus Our Example

Jesus came to this world to show us the way from death to life, from darkness to light and to show us the way out of the dominion of evil into the sovereignty of righteousness. Because of the completeness of the provision that Jesus Christ has made for every one, there is no earthly circumstance that can excuse us from the same kind of submission to the will of the heavenly Father as Jesus Himself performed. For such obedience Jesus taught us to pray.

Remember, Jesus never asks us to do that which is impossible. All of His commands we will find to be promises and enablings. He has made full provision and will enable us to do what we are commanded if we accept the command with faith and choose to follow.

The sovereignty of God, as does any earthly sovereignty, involves law and order. Today, many people cringe from that idea and it seems that they would rather have anarchy or some kind of disorder, failing to realize that there could never be happiness, joy, or peace in this world without it. Heaven is a place to be desired because it is a place of peace.

God’s Will Defined

The will of any king or government is established by law and is made known to the citizens of that country by the laws that have been enacted to govern the kingdom. Since there can be no kingdom without law, the kingdom of grace must also have a rule of law. God’s will is defined by His law—the Decalogue. The gospel does not in any way alter or abolish the Decalogue or lessen its authority.

Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle [the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, or even a part of a letter of the alphabet] will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17–19.

Jesus made a more emphatic statement about the law in the gospel of Luke. He said, “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17. Considering Who said this, the Creator Who made all things in heaven and earth and upholds all things by the word of His power (see John 1:1–4; Hebrews 1:1–3; Colossians 1:16), it would be difficult to use stronger language than He used.

Consider the starry heavens at night with the millions of heavenly bodies traveling through space at such tremendous speed and what keeps them on their course. Jesus Christ is the One that holds all things together by the word of His power. It was He, Who upholds all things Who made the statement that He would destroy the whole of creation and start again before He would change even part of a letter of His law. (See Luke 16:17.)

The modern teaching is that grace in some way supplants the law and we have no more need to be concerned about it. The idea that faith is a substitute for practice is a fallacy. Notice what the apostle Paul said about it: “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31.

This is a most emphatic denial of the idea that the exercise of faith makes void the demands and authority of the law of God. Furthermore, Paul affirms that it is through faith that the binding claims of the law are established. It is the purpose of the gospel to set up the kingdom of heaven in our hearts and with it the law of the kingdom expressing the will of the king.

Sin, according to the Bible, is the transgression or breaking of God’s law (1 John 3:4). The mission of the gospel is to take away sin so that we might be under His grace, the unmerited favor of God. But Paul again drives this question home with another question: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:1, 2.

Notice what Paul is saying here. He says, Shall we continue breaking God’s law so that grace may abound and we can just keep asking for forgiveness—sin more and more and get more and more forgiveness? Certainly not! He goes on to explain in the rest of Romans 6 how we should live. He concludes, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” Verse 12. In light of such clear Bible statements as these, how can anyone say that the gift of grace takes away the necessity of God’s law? Actually, the very work of grace in the heart is to establish therein the law of the kingdom of heaven and to reflect obedience to that law in the life so that God’s will may be done on earth as it is in heaven.

When we are born again, we are brought into a new covenant relationship with the heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit writes the precepts of the law, not on stone, as in the old covenant, but on the fleshly tables of the heart (see II Corinthians 3).

When the law is written in the heart we will do by nature the things in the law. One man once wrote, “The moral law, written on perishable tables of stone and confirmed by the thunders of Sinai is now written on the imperishable tables of the heart and confirmed by the thunders of Calvary. … Therefore, no subject of the government of Christ dare continue in sin that grace may abound. Grace thunders against sin as loudly, or even more loudly, than does law. … Let it never be forgotten that, while we can not be saved by law without grace, no more can we be saved by grace without law. While we cannot be saved by morality without Christianity, no more can we be saved by Christianity without morality.”

How is it then that grace thunders against sin even more loudly than it thunders from Sinai? This is because Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). The reason that Jesus had to go to Calvary was because neither the law nor the penalty for breaking the law could be changed. Because of sin, the penalty had to be paid. You and I could pay it, but the penalty, if we pay it, is death (Romans 6:23). If we pay our own penalty we will die and never wake up.

But Jesus went to Calvary to pay the penalty for sin so that all who believe on Him could be forgiven of their sins and live, so that the sinner could receive grace and be forgiven. Even though we have sinned, Jesus died so that our hearts could be changed and be brought into harmony with God’s will again. The people that go to the kingdom of heaven will be people who keep God’s law, who do His will, just as it is done in heaven. They will have learned that to “do it my way” leads to death. They accept the gift of salvation paid for them on Calvary’s cross and willingly submit to the will of the Father, praying that His will be done on this earth as it is in heaven.

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

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

Children’s Story – The Plant in the Prison

“One time a Frenchman named Charney was put into prison because he was supposed to be an enemy of the emperor Napoleon,” began mother, as the children gathered for a story. “Charney was a wise man about many things, but he did not know God, and he had never read the Bible. In fact, he did not believe there was a God. On the wall of his prison cell he had scribbled these words, ‘All things come by chance.’

“Charney was lonely, since no one ever visited him. He had nothing interesting to do. All his books and papers had been taken away from him, so he could neither read nor write. He had nothing interesting to look at, for he could not see beyond the high prison walls.

“One day as Charney was walking in the yard adjoining his cell he saw a small green plant pushing up between the stones. Every day he watched this tiny living thing. One morning he saw some buds. They grew larger and larger, and, to his delight, opened into flowers. Charney thought that he had never before seen such beautifully colored blossoms. They were white, purple, and rose-colored, with a delicate silver fringe around the edge. And how sweet they smelled!—sweeter, he thought, than any other flowers he had ever known.

“Charney guarded his plant with great care. He made a framework around it from some bits of material he begged from the prison guards. One day there was a hailstorm. As long as the storm lasted, Charney bent over his plant to protect it from the pelting hailstones. At one time the plant began to wither and look as if it were going to die. Charney sought permission to take up the stones around it to give it more room to grow.

“In the same prison was an Italian whose daughter came to visit. She watched Charney carefully tending his plant. She went to Empress Josephine, Napoleon’s wife, and asked permission for Charney to take up the stones as he wished to do. Josephine loved flowers. She often said that she admired the purple of her cacti more than the purple of her robes, and that the fragrance of her magnolias was sweeter than the flattery of her attendants. She thought that a man who would take such care of a plant could not be a very bad man. She inquired about him, and learned that he did not mean any harm to the emperor or to the government. At last she persuaded Napoleon to set him free.

“When Charney came out of prison, he was a different man. The little plant had taught him that there is a God. He knew that if he should try all his lifetime he could never make one thing grow. Only God could give life. Only God can put something into a seed that will cause it to send out roots and leaves and fragrant blossoms.

“The man did not know how the tiny seed that grew into his plant had fallen between the rocks of the prison yard. Perhaps a bird had dropped it there. Perhaps the wind had blown it over the wall. But he knew God had sent it to say to him, ‘Charney, I love you, even though you are only a lonely prisoner, with no thoughts for Me. I love you, and I want you to love Me.’ When he left the prison he took the plant with him—the plant that had taught him the power and love of the Creator.”

Happy Home Stories, Ella M. Robinson, TEACH Services, Inc., pages 77–80.

Health – Animal Sense

Among one of the marvels of God’s creation that science has recently discovered is the ability of different animals to sense illness in humans. I have heard or read about dogs detecting undiagnosed illnesses such as cancer or warning their owners of an impending high blood pressure or epileptic attack. Some dogs are even able to detect the presence of human remains when they are buried, are able to trace their owners and make long journeys to be re-united with them. Other animals are able to sense impending storms and even earthquakes.

Even though animals were not given the intelligence that human beings were given to reason right from wrong, they were given remarkable instincts to know what their body needs when it becomes sick. The following article provides some interesting insights.

“Animals wounded in the wild or stricken by disease possess a remarkable ability to treat their ailments, according to new research that has important implications for humans.

“Examples of this new work include observations of capuchin monkeys that rub their fur with millipedes containing insect-killing chemicals called benzoquinones; chimpanzees who eat the pith of the plant Vernonia amygdalina to kill off intestinal worms; and domestic cats which eat houseplants or chew woolly jumpers to make themselves sick and so rid their bodies of poisons.

“Even more surprisingly, scientists have found that some creatures are adept at helping people to overcome diseases. ‘Dogs are particularly good at this,’ said Professor Keith Kendrick, of the Babraham Institute in Cambridge. ‘They have a stunning sense of smell and can detect when chemical changes occur in their owners. Dogs can tell long before the event when a person is going to have an epileptic fit. Obviously that is a talent with very important implications.’

“Another favourite animal cure that has recently been uncovered by scientists is eating clay to absorb toxins and pathogens – one favoured by mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. ‘The stuff is excellent if you have had a stomach bug or something similar,’ said Dr. Cindy Engel, whose book, Wild Health, is published by Phoenix.

“The effectiveness of animal self-medication is also revealed in studies by William Karesh of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York. He and his colleagues have studied a range of wild animals and found that most were in remarkably good condition. Blood tests carried out by Karesh revealed that extremely unpleasant viruses and bacteria, infections that usually kill domestic animals but which had been dealt with by their wild counterparts, had infected most of these creatures.

“This discovery may explain why many wild animals become sick and die in captivity – because insufficient attention is paid to their living conditions.

“Another example of animal’s self-medicating prowess is provided by elephants which make pilgrimages to a cave complex at Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano in western Kenya. They dig out the soft rock in the cave walls, grind and then swallow it. And the reason? Sodium is a vital ingredient in stimulating bodily defenses against toxins that major herbivores will encounter in many of the plants they eat.”

Here are a few more interesting insights from an article called The Wild Side of Animal Senses:

“Radar, compasses, and infrared detectors are all man-made contraptions that enable humans to stretch beyond our natural senses. They allow us to detect things in our environment that we otherwise could not sense. But these gadgets are far from original. An examination of the sensory world of animals reveals that nature invented them long before we did.

“About Animal Senses – Our senses tell us what we need to know about our environment. They help to keep us out of danger and enable us to find food and shelter. As humans, our senses include sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. But other animals need different information about the world to survive than we do. As a result, they can have senses that are very different from our own: ecolocation, infrared vision, electric sense, and magnetic sense.

“Ecolocation – Toothed whales (a group that includes dolphins), bats, and some shrews use ecolocation to navigate their surroundings. Each of these animals emits high-frequency sound pulses and, in turn, detects the echoes produced by those sounds. Special ear and brain adaptations enable them to build a three-dimensional picture of their surroundings, much like radar. Bats, for example, have enlarged ear flaps that gather and direct sound towards thin, supersensitive eardrums.

“Infrared Vision – Rattlesnakes and other pit vipers use their eyes to see during the day. But at night they use infrared sensory organs to detect and hunt warm-blooded prey. These infrared ‘eyes’ are cuplike structures that form crude images as infrared radiation hits a heat sensitive retina.

“Electric Sense – Electric fields are used in numerous ways by animals. Electric eels and some rays have modified muscle cells that produce an electric charge strong enough to shock and sometimes kill their prey. Other fish use weaker electric fields to navigate murky waters or to monitor their surroundings. For instance, bony fish and some frogs have a lateral line, a row of sensory pores in the skin that enables them to detect electrical current in water.

“Magnetic Sense – Together, the flow of molten material in the earth’s core and the flow of ions in the atmosphere generate a magnetic field that surrounds the earth. Amazingly, a number of animals are able to sense this magnetic field. Just as a compass helps us navigate by detecting magnetic north, animals who possess magnetic sense are able to identify direction and navigate long distances. Behavioral studies have revealed that many animals including honeybees, sharks, sea turtles, rays, homing pigeons, migratory birds, tuna, and salmon all have magnetic sense.

“The details of how these animals actually feel the earth’s magnetic field are not yet known. Researchers have found, though, that each of these animals has deposits of magnetite in their nervous systems. Magnetites, small magnet-like crystals, align themselves with magnetic fields and might act like microscopic compass needles. These crystals may be the key to revealing how animals sense magnetic fields.”

It is a blessing to be part of God’s most wonderful creation and to continue to learn awesome insights of life on this earth.

Question & Answer – Was the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness just about food?

“The first great temptation was the indulgence of appetite; the second, presumption; the third, love of the world.” The Review and Herald, November 28, 1882.

Besides food, the indulgence of appetite may also include a desire to satisfy a need or a craving for the things of this world. We are told: “Satan has better success in approaching man. He whispers, ‘All this money, all this gain, this land, this power, honor and riches will I give thee.’ For what? His conditions generally are, that integrity shall be yielded, conscientiousness blunted, and selfishness indulged. Through devotion to worldly interests, Satan receives the homage which he asks. The door is left open for him to enter as he pleases, with his evil train of impatience, love of self, pride, avarice, over-reaching, and the whole catalogue of sinful traits. Man is charmed, and treacherously lured on to ruin. If we yield ourselves to worldliness of heart and life, Satan is satisfied.” Ibid.

“Satan flattered himself that he could take advantage of the humanity of Christ to urge Him over the line of trust to presumption. Upon this point many souls are wrecked. Satan tried to deceive Christ through flattery. He admitted that Christ was right in the wilderness in His faith and confidence that God was His Father, under the most trying circumstances. He then urged Christ to give him one more proof of His entire dependence upon God, one more evidence of His faith that He was the Son of God, by casting Himself from the Temple. He told Christ that if He was indeed the Son of God He had nothing to fear; for angels were at hand to uphold Him. Satan gave evidence that he understood the Scriptures by the use he made of them.

“The Redeemer of the world wavered not from His integrity and showed that He had perfect faith in His Father’s promised care. He would not put the faithfulness and love of His Father to a needless trial, although He was in the hands of the enemy, and placed in a position of extreme difficulty and peril. He would not, at Satan’s suggestion, tempt God by presumptuously experimenting on His providence. Satan had brought in scripture which seemed appropriate for the occasion, hoping to accomplish his designs by making the application to our Saviour at this special time.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 282.

The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness was not just about food but included the indulgence of appetite, presumption and the love of the world and it is these three things that we can and must overcome through Jesus.