Bible Study Guide – God’s Description

June 24 – 30

Key Text

“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord” (Genesis 18:19).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 125, 140–144.


“One well-ordered, well-disciplined family is a greater power in demonstrating the efficiency of Christianity than all the sermons in the world.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1118.



  •  How did Abraham order his household? Genesis 18:19; 26:5. What promise was given to him and to us if we follow the same guidelines? Genesis 28:14; Galatians 3:6–9.

Note: “Of Abraham it is written that ‘he was called the friend of God’ (James 2:23) … It is God that speaks. He who understands the thoughts afar off, and places the right estimate upon men, says, ‘I know him.’ ” Patriarchs and Prophets, 140, 141.

  • What were Abraham and his wife’s attitudes? Hebrews 11:8–11.

Note: “Abraham’s unquestioning obedience is one of the most striking evidences of faith to be found in all the Bible. … Relying upon the divine promise, without the least outward assurance of its fulfillment, he abandoned home and kindred and native land, and went forth, he knew not whither, to follow where God should lead.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 126.

  • How did Abraham lead so many individuals in the right way? Psalm 145:18.

Note: “Abraham, ‘the friend of God,’ set us a worthy example. His was a life of prayer.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 128.



  •  Describe heaven’s first law. 1 Corinthians 14:40.

Note: “Order is heaven’s first law, and the Lord desires His people to give in their homes a representation of the order and harmony that pervade the heavenly courts. Truth never places her delicate feet in a path of uncleanness or impurity.” Counsels on Health, 101.

  • How do we teach this? Romans 2:21.

Note: “Begin early to teach the little ones. … This work of teaching neatness and order will take a little time each day, but it will pay in the future of your children, and in the end it will save you much time and care.” Child Guidance, 111.

  • If we have not been taught these habits, how can we learn them? James 1:5; Psalm 25:9, 12.

Note: “Help must be given … to those who seem to have no sense of the meaning and importance of cleanliness. They are to be taught that those who are to represent the high and holy God must keep their souls pure and clean, and that this purity must extend to their dress and to everything in their home, so that the ministering angels will have evidence that the truth has wrought a change in the life, purifying the soul and refining the tastes. Those who, after receiving the truth, make no change in word or deportment, in dress or surroundings, are living to themselves, not to Christ.” The Adventist Home, 22.

  • What else is included in the concept of godly order? Psalm 108:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:5–8.

Note: “How prevalent is the habit of turning day into night, and night into day. Many youth sleep soundly in the morning, when they should be up with the early singing birds and be stirring when all nature is awake. …

“If the youth would form habits of regularity and order, they would improve in health, in spirits, in memory, and in disposition.” Child Guidance, 111, 112.



  •  What did Jesus teach us about the small details of life? Luke 16:10; 24:1–3, 12; John 20:7.

Note: “They [the disciples] saw the shroud and the napkin, but they did not find their Lord. Yet even here was testimony that He had risen. The graveclothes were not thrown heedlessly aside, but carefully folded, each in a place by itself. …

“It was Christ Himself who had placed those graveclothes with such care. … In His sight who guides alike the star and the atom, there is nothing unimportant. Order and perfection are seen in all His work.” The Desire of Ages, 789.

  • Where is this to be implemented? Numbers 24:5–7.

Note: “The home must be kept pure and clean. Unclean, neglected corners in the house will tend to make impure, neglected corners in the soul. …

“If parents desire their children to be pure, they must surround them with pure associations such as God can approve.” Child Guidance, 114.

“Remember that in heaven there is no disorder, and that your home should be a heaven here below. Remember that in doing faithfully from day to day the little things to be done in the home, you are a laborer together with God, perfecting a Christian character.” Ibid., 110.

“The house of God is often desecrated, and the Sabbath violated by Sabbath-believers’ children. In some cases they are even allowed to run about the house, play, talk, and manifest their evil tempers in the very meetings where the saints should worship God in the beauty of holiness. And the place that should be holy, and where a holy stillness should reign, and where there should be perfect order, neatness, and humility, is made to be a perfect Babylon, ‘confusion.’ This is enough to bring God’s displeasure and shut His presence from our assemblies.” Ibid., 540.

“While we are to guard against needless adornment and display, we are in no case to be careless and indifferent in regard to outward appearance. All about our persons and our homes is to be neat and attractive. The youth are to be taught the importance of presenting an appearance above criticism, an appearance that honors God and the truth.” Counsels on Health, 102.



  •  What does discipline mean and what is its purpose? Hebrews 12:7–13.

Note: “If you want the blessing of God, parents, do as did Abraham. Repress the evil, and encourage the good. Some commanding may be necessary in the place of consulting the inclination and pleasure of the children.

“To allow a child to follow his natural impulses is to allow him to deteriorate and to become proficient in evil. Wise parents will not say to their children, ‘Follow your own choice; go where you will, and do what you will’; but, ‘Listen to the instruction of the Lord.’ Wise rules and regulations must be made and enforced, that the beauty of the home life may not be spoiled.” Child Guidance, 234.

  • What is the difference between punishment and training? Deuteronomy 21:18–21; Proverbs 22:6.

Note: “Children are the heritage of the Lord, and unless parents give them such a training as will enable them to keep the way of the Lord, they neglect solemn duty.” Child Guidance, 229.

“Parents, you should commence your first lesson of discipline when your children are babes in your arms. Teach them to yield their will to yours. This can be done by bearing an even hand and manifesting firmness. Parents should have perfect control over their own spirits and, with mildness and yet firmness, bend the will of the child until it shall expect nothing else but to yield to their wishes.” Ibid., 229, 230.

  • What is the result if we are unbalanced in our training? Proverbs 13:24.

Note: “The parent or teacher who … trains the child to self-control will be the most useful and permanently successful. …

“To direct the child’s development without hindering it by undue control should be the study of both parent and teacher. Too much management is as bad as too little. The effort to ‘break the will’ of a child is a terrible mistake. Minds are constituted differently; while force may secure outward submission, the result with many children is a more determined rebellion of the heart.” Child Guidance, 209, 210.



  •  How do we know what to do? Jeremiah 33:3; Isaiah 30:21; Proverbs 3:5–7.
  • Why can we be sure we are not alone in following God’s counsels to train up our children both in the family and in the church? Isaiah 41:10; 40:28–31; Philippians 2:13.

Note: “Your compassionate Redeemer is watching you with love and sympathy, ready to hear your prayers and to render you the assistance which you need. …

“Parents may understand that as they follow God’s directions in the training of their children, they will receive help from on high. They receive much benefit; for as they teach, they learn. …

“Parents, are you working with unflagging energy in behalf of your children? The God of heaven marks your solicitude, your earnest work, your constant watchfulness. He hears your prayers. With patience and tenderness, train your children for the Lord. All heaven is interested in your work. … God will unite with you, crowning your efforts with success.” The Adventist Home, 204, 205.

“Even if the character, habits, and practices of parents have been cast in an inferior mold, if the lessons given them in childhood and youth have led to an unhappy development of character, they need not despair. The converting power of God can transform inherited and cultivated tendencies; for the religion of Jesus is uplifting. ‘Born again’, means a transformation, a new birth in Christ Jesus. …

“He knows that you are doing the best you can, and He will increase your power. He will Himself do the part of the work that the mother or father cannot do.” Ibid., 206, 207.



 1     What can you learn from Abraham regarding family training?

2     What is heaven’s first law and what does it include?

3     Explain the relationship between the little details of daily life and your spiritual condition.

4     What is true discipline?

5     How can you accomplish God’s design in your family?

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

Bible Study Guide – Abraham’s Inheritance

June 17 – 23

Key Text

“For he [Abraham] looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 1, 346–353; The Faith I Live By, 304.


“We are only pilgrims and strangers in this world. We are seeking the city which Abraham looked for, whose builder and maker is God.” In Heavenly Places, 112.



  •  What inheritance did God promise to Abraham and his seed? Genesis 17:7, 8; 1 Chronicles 16:15–18; Romans 4:13.

Note: “The gift to Abraham and his seed included not merely the land of Canaan, but the whole earth. … And the Bible plainly teaches that the promises made to Abraham are to be fulfilled through Christ.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 170.

  • Of what was the earthly promised land of Canaan a symbol? Hebrews 11:8–10, 13–16; Revelation 21:1–3.

Note: “The voice of God was heard, bidding him [Abraham] not to expect immediate possession of the Promised Land, and pointing forward to the sufferings of his posterity before their establishment in Canaan. The plan of redemption was here opened to him, in the death of Christ, the great sacrifice, and His coming in glory. Abraham saw also the earth restored to its Eden beauty, to be given him for an everlasting possession, as the final and complete fulfillment of the promise.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 137.



  •  Who is the only true heir of the kingdom of promise? Matthew 21:33–39; Galatians 3:16; Hebrews 1:1, 2.

Note: “Christ was the Father’s ‘appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.’ He was the ‘brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person.’ And He upheld ‘all things by the word of His power’ (Hebrews 1:2, 3). He possessed divine excellency and greatness. It pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell. And Christ ‘thought it not robbery to be equal with God’ (Philippians 2:6). Yet Jesus exchanged a throne of light and glory which He had with His Father, counting it not a thing to be desired to be equal with God, while man was lost in sin and misery. He came from heaven to earth, clothed His divinity with humanity, and bore the curse as surety for the fallen race. He was not compelled to do this; but He chose to bear the results of man’s transgression that man might escape eternal death.” The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1893.

  • How can we become heirs with Christ in sharing His inheritance? Romans 4:13–17; Galatians 3:26–29.

Note: “Only those who have appreciated the grace of Christ, which has made them heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus, will rise from the grave bearing the image of their Redeemer.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 259.

“The fulfillment of the promise that we shall be joint-heirs with Christ rests upon our willingness to deny self.” The Upward Look, 235.

  • As we declare our faith in Jesus Christ in whom all the promises of God are made, what does He call us? Romans 8:14–17; Galatians 4:4–7.

Note: “The treasures of eternity have been committed to the keeping of Jesus Christ, to give to whomsoever He will; but how sad it is that so many quickly lose sight of the precious grace that is proffered unto them through faith in Him. He will impart the heavenly treasures to those who will believe in Him, look to Him, and abide in Him.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 138.



  •  As sons and daughters of God, through faith, what type of kingdom is promised to us? Daniel 2:44; 7:27; 2 Peter 1:11.

 Note: “The Lord’s purposes for His people have ever been the same. He desires to bestow on the children of men the riches of an eternal inheritance. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. When those who choose to become obedient subjects of the Most High are finally saved in the kingdom of glory, God’s purpose for mankind will have been fulfilled.” The Review and Herald, December 26, 1907.

  • How long will believers enjoy this everlasting kingdom? Titus 3:7; 1 John 5:11–13.

Note: “This life is a training school, where we are to be transformed, refined, and made meet for the society of saints in the kingdom of God, with whom we expect to associate throughout the ages of eternity.” The Bible Echo, July 29, 1895.

  • How do we know that God wants everyone to share in this inheritance? 2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:32; John 3:16.

Note: “The Lord wills not that any soul should perish. His mercies are without number, and He will not leave His purchased possession that He has given His own life to ransom to become the sport of Satan’s temptations. All Heaven is given to all those who believe in Jesus Christ as their present personal Saviour.” The Upward Look, 150.

“The Light of the world is shining upon us that we might absorb the divine rays and let this light shine upon others in good works that many souls shall be led to glorify our Father which is in heaven. He is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, and it grieves the heart of Jesus that so many refuse the offers of His mercy and matchless love.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 237, 238.



  •  What are we admonished to hold on to? Hebrews 3:14; 10:23, 35, 36; Revelation 3:11.

Note: “Decisions may be made in a moment that fix one’s condition forever. … But remember, it would take the work of a lifetime to recover what a moment of yielding to temptation and thoughtlessness throws away. …

“Those who win heaven will put forth their noblest efforts and will labor with all long-suffering, that they may reap the fruit of toil. There is a hand that will open wide the gates of Paradise to those who have stood the test of temptation and kept a good conscience by giving up the world, its honors, its applause, for the love of Christ, thus confessing Him before men and waiting with all patience for Him to confess them before His Father and the holy angels.” My Life Today, 322.

  • Explain how the majority of Abraham’s literal children will be denied an inheritance. Numbers 13:25–33; 14:1; Hebrews 3:18, 19; Jude 5.

Note: “For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.” Evangelism, 696.

  • What should be the number one priority in our life? Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:31–34; Colossians 3:1, 2.

Note: “Look away from this world to the eternal. Put forth your most earnest endeavors to obtain those things upon which God places value, and which Christ gave His precious life that you might secure. His sacrifice has thrown open wide to you the gates of heavenly commerce. Lay up your treasure beside the throne of God, by doing with His entrusted capital the work that He desires done in the winning of souls to a knowledge of the truth.” Counsels on Stewardship, 225, 226.



  •  How many of Abraham’s children will be with him, praising God as he enters into his inheritance? Hebrews 11:39, 40; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Isaiah 66:23.

Note: “We need not despair when we see that others have struggled through discouragements like our own, have fallen into temptations even as we have done, and yet have recovered their ground and been blessed of God. The words of inspiration comfort and cheer the erring soul. Although the patriarchs and apostles were subject to human frailties, yet through faith they obtained a good report, fought their battles in the strength of the Lord, and conquered gloriously. Thus may we trust in the virtue of the atoning sacrifice and be overcomers in the name of Jesus.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 15.

  • What will every saved believer do when beholding Jesus Christ face to face as Saviour? Philippians 2:9–11; Revelation 7:9, 10. What will Jesus then do? 1 Corinthians 15:24–28.

Note: “All [the redeemed] unite in praising Him [the Lamb] who died that human beings might have the life that measures with the life of God. The conflict is over. Tribulation and strife are at an end. Songs of victory fill all heaven as the ransomed ones take up the joyful strain, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again, a triumphant conqueror.” The Acts of the Apostles, 602.



 1     What type of land was Abraham looking for?

2     How only can we be partakers of Abraham’s inheritance?

3     What is God’s desire for everyone in this world?

4     How can we hold our confidence steadfast to the end?

5     What types of songs will the redeemed sing together in the heavenly choir?

Bible Study Guide – Pleading for Sinners

June 10 – 16

Key Text

“He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 156–170.


“Earnest, self-sacrificing men and women are needed, who will go to God and with strong crying and tears plead for the souls that are on the brink of ruin.” Gospel Workers, 26.



  •  What punishment did the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah suffer? Genesis 19:24, 25; Luke 17:29.

Note: “The Lord rained brimstone and fire out of heaven upon the cities and the fruitful plain; its palaces and temples, costly dwellings, gardens and vineyards, and the gay, pleasure-seeking throngs that only the night before had insulted the messengers of heaven––all were consumed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 162.

  • To whom is Sodom and Gomorrah an example? 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7.

Note: “The flames that consumed the cities of the plain shed their warning light down even to our time. We are taught the fearful and solemn lesson that while God’s mercy bears long with the transgressor, there is a limit beyond which men may not go on in sin. When that limit is reached, then the offers of mercy are withdrawn, and the ministration of judgment begins. …

“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.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 162, 165.



  •  Where was Abraham’s nephew Lot abiding? Genesis 13:10–13; 19:1.

Note: “Fairest among the cities of the Jordan Valley was Sodom, set in a plain which was ‘as the garden of the Lord’ in its fertility and beauty. Here the luxuriant vegetation of the tropics flourished.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 156.

  • As the Lord revealed to Abraham that He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, how did Abraham indirectly plead for Lot’s family? Genesis 18:22–32.

Note: “And the man of faith pleaded for the inhabitants of Sodom. Once he [Abraham] had saved them by his sword, now he endeavored to save them by prayer. …

“With deep reverence and humility he urged his plea. … There was no self-confidence, no boasting of his own righteousness. He did not claim favor on the ground of his obedience, or of the sacrifices he had made in doing God’s will. Himself a sinner, he pleaded in the sinner’s behalf. Such a spirit all who approach God should possess. Yet Abraham manifested the confidence of a child pleading with a loved father. He came close to the heavenly Messenger and fervently urged his petition. … Abraham thought that in that populous city there must be other worshipers of the true God. … Abraham asked not once merely, but many times. Waxing bolder as his requests were granted, he continued until he gained the assurance that if even ten righteous persons could be found in it, the city would be spared.

“Love for perishing souls inspired Abraham’s prayer. While he loathed the sins of that corrupt city, he desired that the sinners might be saved. His deep interest for Sodom shows the anxiety that we should feel for the impenitent. We should cherish hatred of sin, but pity and love for the sinner. All around us are souls going down to ruin as hopeless, as terrible, as that which befell Sodom. Every day the probation of some is closing. Every hour some are passing beyond the reach of mercy. And where are the voices of warning and entreaty to bid the sinner flee from this fearful doom? Where are the hands stretched out to draw him back from death? Where are those who with humility and persevering faith are pleading with God for him?” Patriarchs and Prophets, 139, 140.



  •  Explain how God answered Abraham’s prayer to spare Lot. Genesis 19:1–3, 12–16, 27–29.

Note: “Stupefied with sorrow, he [Lot] lingered, loath to depart. But for the angels of God, they would all have perished in the ruin of Sodom. The heavenly messengers took him and his wife and daughters by the hand and led them out of the city.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 160.

  • What ingredient do we always need to mix with our prayers to give them power? Hebrews 11:6; Matthew 17:14–20; Matthew 9:29.

Note: “Pray in faith. And be sure to bring your lives into harmony with your petitions, that you may receive the blessings for which you pray. Let not your faith weaken, for the blessings received are proportionate to the faith exercised. ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ ‘All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive’ (Matthew 9:29; 21:22). Pray, believe, rejoice. Sing praises to God because He has answered your prayers. Take Him at His word. ‘He is faithful that promised’ (Hebrews 10:23). Not one sincere supplication is lost.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 274.

“We must lay hold with firmer grasp on the unfailing promises of God. We must have faith that will not be denied, faith that will take hold of the unseen, faith that is steadfast, immovable. Such faith will bring the blessing of heaven to our souls.” My Life Today, 8.

  • How can we have confidence that God will always deliver the righteous? 1 Peter 3:12; Psalm 145:18, 19; 55:22.

Note: “In the darkest hours, under circumstances the most forbidding, the Christian believer may keep his soul stayed upon the source of all light and power. Day by day, through faith in God, his hope and courage may be renewed. … The Lord will more than fulfill the highest expectations of those who put their trust in Him. He will give them the wisdom their varied necessities demand.” My Life Today, 55.



  •  What condition will the world be in just prior to the return of Jesus? Luke 17:28–30; 2 Timothy 3:1–6.

Note: “I was shown the state of the world, that it is fast filling up its cup of iniquity. Violence and crime of every description are filling our world, and Satan is using every means to make crime and debasing vice popular. The youth who walk the streets are surrounded with handbills and notices of crime and sin, presented in some novel or to be acted at some theater. Their minds are educated into familiarity with sin. The course pursued by the base and vile is kept before them in the periodicals of the day, and everything which can excite curiosity and arouse the animal passions is brought before them in thrilling and exciting stories.

“The literature that proceeds from corrupted intellects poisons the minds of thousands in our world. Sin does not appear exceeding sinful. They hear and read so much of debasing crime and vileness that the once tender conscience which would have recoiled with horror becomes so blunted that it can dwell upon the low and vile sayings and actions of men with greedy interest.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 471, 472.

“The multitudes are striving to forget God, and they eagerly accept fables, that they may pursue the path of self-indulgence undisturbed.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1122.

  • Explain how we should have the same attitude of prayer as Abraham had. Ezekiel 9:4; James 5:16–20.

Note: “We are not to condemn others; this is not our work; but we should love one another and pray for one another. When we see one err from the truth, then we may weep over him as Christ wept over Jerusalem.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 345, 346.

“Should a brother go astray, then is the time to show your real interest in him. Go to him kindly, pray with and for him, remembering the infinite price which Christ has paid for his redemption. In this way you may save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins.” Ibid., 58, 59.

“The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God.” Ibid., 211.



  •  From what should we be trying to help souls escape? Revelation 14:7, 10, 11; 15:1.

Note: “Wicked men will not oppose a form of godliness, nor reject a popular ministry which presents no cross for them to bear. The natural heart will raise no serious objection to a religion in which there is nothing to make the transgressor of the law tremble, or bring to bear upon the heart and conscience the terrible realities of a judgment to come. It is the demonstration of the Spirit and the power of God which raises opposition, and leads the natural heart to rebel. The truth that saves the soul must not only come from God, but His Spirit must attend its communication to others, else it falls powerless before opposing influences.” Gospel Workers (1892), 66.

  • Like Lot’s experience, how do we know that many will just barely escape the judgments to come? Genesis 19:17; Luke 17:28–32; 1 Peter 4:17, 18.

Note: “The judgments of God are soon to be poured out upon the earth. ‘Escape for thy life’ is the warning from the angels of God (Genesis 19:17). Other voices are heard saying: ‘Do not become excited; there is no cause for special alarm.’ Those who are at ease in Zion cry ‘Peace and safety’ (1 Thessalonians 5:3), while heaven declares that swift destruction is about to come upon the transgressor. … Thus it was at the destruction of the old world and when Sodom and Gomorrah were consumed by fire.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 233.



 1     What warning are we given from Sodom’s experience?

2     What should be the burden of every Christian?

3     Explain how a prayer of faith can save a soul.

4     What attitude do we need now more than ever?

5     Explain why the last warning needs to be given with urgency.

Bible Study Guide – Abraham’s Patience

June 3 – 9

Key Text

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 93–104; Our High Calling, 315–319.


“When we are in perplexity, even before we open to Him our distress, He [God] is making arrangements for our deliverance.” Our High Calling, 316.



  •  What was Abraham’s heart’s desire? Genesis 15:1–3. What does God promise to those who believe in Him? Psalm 37:4, 5; Matthew 21:21, 22.

Note: “Every promise in the word of God is for us. In your prayers, present the pledged word of Jehovah and by faith claim His promises. His word is the assurance that if you ask in faith, you will receive all spiritual blessings. Continue to ask, and you will receive exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think. Educate yourself to have unlimited confidence in God. Cast all your care upon Him. Wait patiently for Him, and He will bring it to pass.” In Heavenly Places, 71.

  • When we pray for God to fulfill a desire of our heart, what else should we always include with our request? James 4:13–15; Matthew 26:39.

Note: “The consistent course is to commit our desires to our all-wise heavenly Father, and then, in perfect confidence, trust all to Him. We know that God hears us if we ask according to His will. But to press our petitions without a submissive spirit is not right; our prayers must take the form, not of command, but of intercession.” The Ministry of Healing, 230.



  •  Explain how God answered Abraham’s prayer as soon as he finished his request? Genesis 15:3, 4.

Note: “As Abram had no son, he at first thought that his trusty servant, Eliezer, should become his son by adoption, and his heir. But God informs Abram that his servant shall not be his son and heir, but that he should really have a son.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 100, 101.

  • Even though God immediately promised Abraham a son, why didn’t He reveal at first the date when Abraham’s son would be born? Acts 1:6, 7; Proverbs 16:9; Psalm 34:8.

Note: “The Lord intended to prove the firm faith and reliance of Abram upon the promises He had made him.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 101.

“We need not expect all sunshine in this world. Clouds and storms will cluster about us, and we must be prepared to keep our eyes directed where we saw the light last. Its rays may be hidden but they … still shine beyond the cloud. It is our work to wait, to watch, to pray, and to believe. We shall prize the light of the sun more highly after the clouds disappear. We shall see the salvation of God if we trust in God in the darkness as well as in the light.” Our High Calling, 318.

  • When prayer is not answered when we expect it, what are we in danger of? 1 Corinthians 10:9, 10; Hebrews 3:12–14. Where will it lead? Genesis 16:1–6.

Note: “When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise; for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most. But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Then do not fear to trust Him, even though you do not see the immediate answer to your prayers. Rely upon His sure promise, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you’ (Matthew 7:7).” Steps to Christ, 96.



  •  In what two things does God want us to believe? Hebrews 11:6. What was Abraham’s initial demonstration? Genesis 15:4–6.

Note: “We should not present our petitions to God to prove whether He will fulfill His word, but because He will fulfill it; not to prove that He loves us, but because He loves us.” The Desire of Ages, 126. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • As God rejected Ishmael as the promised seed, describe how time affected Abraham and Sarah’s faith in God’s fulfilling His promise. Genesis 17:15–18; 18:9–12.

Note: “When Abraham was nearly one hundred years old, the promise of a son was repeated to him, with the assurance that the future heir should be the child of Sarah. But Abraham did not yet understand the promise. His mind at once turned to Ishmael, clinging to the belief that through him God’s gracious purposes were to be accomplished.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 146.

  • What does every answered prayer have attached to it? Genesis 18:14, 21:1, 2. What should we always remember about God’s timing compared to our timing? Habakkuk 2:3.

Note: “To every sincere prayer an answer will come. It may not come just as you desire, or at the time you look for it; but it will come in the way and at the time that will best meet your need. The prayers you offer in loneliness, in weariness, in trial, God answers, not always according to your expectations, but always for your good.” Gospel Workers, 258.

“God does not always answer our prayers the first time we call upon Him; for should He do this, we might take it for granted that we had a right to all the blessings and favors He bestowed upon us. Instead of searching our hearts to see if any evil was entertained by us, any sin indulged, we should become careless, and fail to realize our dependence upon Him and our need of His help.” The Review and Herald, March 27, 1913.



  •  Why doesn’t God always let the fulfillment of a prayer happen immediately? James 1:2–4; Romans 8:24, 25.

Note: “We all desire immediate and direct answers to our prayers, and are tempted to become discouraged when the answer is delayed or comes in an unlooked-for form. But God is too wise and good to answer our prayers always at just the time and in just the manner we desire. He will do more and better for us than to accomplish all our wishes. And because we can trust His wisdom and love, we should not ask Him to concede to our will, but should seek to enter into and accomplish His purpose. Our desires and interests should be lost in His will. These experiences that test faith are for our benefit. By them it is made manifest whether our faith is true and sincere, resting on the word of God alone, or whether depending on circumstances, it is uncertain and changeable. Faith is strengthened by exercise.” The Ministry of Healing, 230, 231.

  • What assurance can we have in God’s promises even though they are not always fulfilled when we think they should be? Hebrews 6:13–18; Isaiah 55:8–11; Psalm 27:14.

Note: “Work in faith, and leave results with God. Pray in faith, and the mystery of His providence will bring its answer. At times it may seem that you cannot succeed. But work and believe, putting into your efforts faith, hope, and courage. After doing what you can, wait for the Lord, declaring His faithfulness, and He will bring His word to pass. Wait, not in fretful anxiety, but in undaunted faith and unshaken trust.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 245.

“Wait on the Lord, and again I say, Wait on the Lord. We may ask of the human agents and not receive. We may ask of God and He says, Ye shall receive. Therefore you know to whom to look; you know in whom to trust. You must not trust in man or make flesh your arm. Lean as heavily as you please upon the Mighty One who hath said, ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me’ (Isaiah 27:5). Then wait and watch and pray and work, keeping your face constantly turned to the Sun of Righteousness.” Reflecting Christ, 119.



  •  What characteristic describes God’s remnant people? Revelation 14:12. Why is love, the highest round of the Christian ladder, unmentioned? 2 Peter 1:5–7; James 5:7, 8.

Note: “It is the steady purpose, the untiring effort, that will gain the victory at last. It is he who endureth to the end that shall be saved. It is they who patiently continue in well-doing that shall have eternal life and the immortal reward. … All who are engaged in this warfare with Satan and his host have a close work before them. They must not be as impressible as wax, that the fire can melt into any form. They must endure hardness as faithful soldiers, stand at their post, and be true every time.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 101, 102.

  • Explain how God is using our present trials to prepare us for the return of our Lord. Hebrews 10:35–39; Matthew 25:5; 24:13, 42–44.

Note: “In the religious life of every soul who is finally victorious there will be scenes of terrible perplexity and trial; but his knowledge of the Scriptures will enable him to bring to mind the encouraging promises of God, which will comfort his heart and strengthen his faith in the power of the Mighty One. … The trial of faith is more precious than gold. All should learn that this is a part of the discipline in the school of Christ, which is essential to purify and refine them from the dross of earthliness.” God’s Amazing Grace, 81.



 1     Will God give us every desire of our heart?

2     How should we react when every prayer is not answered the way we think?

3     Why can “time” be the greatest challenge to our faith?

4     In a world of instant technology, what trait do we need to cultivate?

5     Why will those who fail to develop a patient trust in God’s Word fall away?

Bible Study Guide – Abraham’s Saviour

May 27, 2018 – June 2, 2018

Key Text

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 752–760, 785–787.


“Through type and promise God ‘preached before the gospel unto Abraham’ (Galatians 3:8). And the patriarch’s faith was fixed upon the Redeemer to come.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 154.



  •  Who was Isaac a figure of? Genesis 22:7–9; Hebrews 11:17–19.

Note: “Isaac was a figure of the Son of God, who was offered a sacrifice for the sins of the world. God would impress upon Abraham the gospel of salvation to man. In order to do this, and make the truth a reality to him as well as to test his faith, He required him to slay his darling Isaac. All the sorrow and agony that Abraham endured through that dark and fearful trial were for the purpose of deeply impressing upon his understanding the plan of redemption for fallen man. He was made to understand in his own experience how unutterable was the self-denial of the infinite God in giving His own Son to die to rescue man from utter ruin.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 369.

  • How did God reveal to Abraham the day of Christ? Genesis 22:13; John 1:29; Isaiah 53:7.

Note: “He [Abraham] … was shown that in giving His only-begotten Son to save sinners from eternal ruin, God was making a greater and more wonderful sacrifice than ever man could make.” The Desire of Ages, 469.



  •  Describe how God tried to reveal to Abraham the depths of the great sacrifice He was making in giving His only begotten Son. Genesis 22:11, 12, 16; 1 John 4:9, 10.

Note: “Our heavenly Father surrendered His beloved Son to the agonies of the crucifixion. Legions of angels witnessed the humiliation and soul anguish of the Son of God, but were not permitted to interpose as in the case of Isaac. No voice was heard to stay the sacrifice. God’s dear Son, the world’s Redeemer, was insulted, mocked at, derided, and tortured, until He bowed His head in death. What greater proof can the Infinite One give us of His divine love and pity?” That I May Know Him, 20.

“The agony which he [Abraham] endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 154.

  • Explain how Jesus knew, just like Isaac knew, that it was His Father that was offering Him up as the sacrifice for the whole world. Genesis 22:10; Matthew 26:38, 39; Philippians 2:8.

Note: “Jesus left His home in heaven, and came to this dark world to reach to the very depths of human woe, that He might save those who are ready to perish.” The Bible Echo, January 1, 1893.

  • What was the greatest pain Jesus suffered during His ultimate sacrifice? Psalm 69:18–21; Isaiah 53:4, 10, 12.

Note: “It was the anguish of separation from His Father’s favor that made Christ’s sufferings so acute. … His terrible anguish, caused by the thought that in this hour of need God had forsaken Him, portrays the anguish that the sinner will feel when, too late, he realizes that God’s Spirit is withdrawn from him.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 464, 465.



  •  Why was Christ forsaken and Isaac was not? Genesis 22:12; Matthew 27:42, 43, 46; John 3:17; 12:27; 2 Corinthians 5:21.

 Note: “The angels of heaven sympathized with their loved Commander. Gladly would they have broken their ranks and gone to His assistance. But this was not God’s plan.” The Upward Look, 223.

“Voluntarily our divine Substitute bared His soul to the sword of justice, that we might not perish but have everlasting life.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 322.

  • What is significant about Abraham’s servants staying behind and only the father and son going to the altar together? Genesis 22:3–5, 8; John 16:32.

Note: “With amazement angels witnessed the Saviour’s despairing agony. The hosts of heaven veiled their faces from the fearful sight. Inanimate nature expressed sympathy with its insulted and dying Author. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Its full, bright rays were illuminating the earth at midday, when suddenly it seemed to be blotted out. Complete darkness, like a funeral pall, enveloped the cross. …

“In that thick darkness God’s presence was hidden. … The Father was with His Son. Yet His presence was not revealed. Had His glory flashed forth from the cloud, every human beholder would have been destroyed. And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father’s presence.” The Desire of Ages, 753, 754.

  • How do we know that Christ was forsaken but not lost? Isaiah 54:7, 8; Acts 2:22–24, 27; 1 Corinthians 15:55–57.

Note: “Jesus was laid in the tomb. He went into the darkness of the grave, and tasted death for every man. But He did not long remain under the power of the enemy. A mighty angel came from heaven and rolled back the stone from the sepulcher. … Christ came forth from the tomb a triumphant conqueror, and led forth from their graves a multitude of captives.” The Signs of the Times, November 25, 1889.



  •  Describe how Abraham believed in the power of the resurrection. Genesis 22:5; Hebrews 11:19.

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

  • Explain what Christ’s death and resurrection mean to humanity. Hebrews 2:14, 15; 2Timothy 1:10; Romans 6:5.

Note: “Satan cannot hold the dead in his grasp when the Son of God bids them live. He cannot hold in spiritual death one soul who in faith receives Christ’s word of power. God is saying to all who are dead in sin, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead’ (Ephesians 5:14). That word is eternal life.” The Desire of Ages, 320.

  • How important is Christ’s victory over death to the believer? 1 Corinthians 15:12–19; 1 Peter 1:3; John 11:25, 26.

 Note: “The captives brought up from the graves at the time of the resurrection of Jesus were His trophies as a conquering Prince. Thus He attested His victory over death and the grave; thus He gave a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection of all the righteous dead.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1109.

“He alone … who is able … to raise His saints from the grave and clothe them with immortality, giving them everlasting victory over death and the grave, is able now to keep the souls of all committed to His trust against that day, and to deliver them in their perplexities.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 273.



  •  How did Abraham feel when God revealed Christ as the Saviour over sin and death? John 8:56. Why should Christians be the world’s most joyful people? Philippians 4:4; Acts 2:25–27; 1 Thessalonians 5:16.

Note: “When in most discouraging circumstances, which would have had a depressing influence upon halfway Christians, he [Paul] is firm of heart, full of courage and hope and cheer, exclaiming, ‘Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice’ (Philippians 4:4). The same hope and cheerfulness is seen when he is upon the deck of the ship, the tempest beating about him, the ship going to pieces. He gives orders to the commander of the ship and preserves the lives of all on board. Although a prisoner, he is really the master of the ship, the freest and happiest man on board.” My Life Today, 334.

  • Why is singing and praising the Lord an essential part of our faith? Psalms 98:1–6; 95:1–8; Revelation 15:2–4.

Note: “As the people [of Israel] journeyed through the wilderness, many precious lessons were fixed in their minds by means of song. …

“Thus their thoughts were uplifted from the trials and difficulties of the way, the restless, turbulent spirit was soothed and calmed, the principles of truth were implanted in the memory, and faith was strengthened.” Education, 39.

“If more praising of God were engaged in now, hope and courage and faith would steadily increase.” Prophets and Kings, 202.



 1     In what ways was Isaac a type of Christ?

2     How does Abraham’s experience reveal the depths of God’s sacrifice?

3     Explain why Christ had to experience the feeling of being forsaken.

4     What does the resurrection mean to the Christian?

5     What is the best cure for depression?

Recipe – Tasty Lentils

1 ½ cups lentils           ½ tsp. basil
3 cups water 1 bay leaf
2 tsp. onion powder 2 cups stewed or canned tomatoes (add last)
1 ½ tsp. salt
Bring all to boil except tomatoes. Simmer till lentils are tender. When done add tomatoes. Serve as is or over rice.

Food – Amazing Little Lentil

I never knew what a lentil was until I became a Seventh-day Adventist and began to change my diet. I soon discovered that this little legume, loaded with nutrition, is truly another nutrition-filled gift from our Lord!

“Lentils are small, disk-shaped brown, reddish-orange, or brownish-green legumes that grow on an annual bush like plant and are native to central Asia. They are used throughout the Mediterranean region and the Middle East and are especially popular in India. In the United States, lentils are often enjoyed in soup. Lentils are dried as soon as they ripen and then sold that way. There are at least fifty varieties of lentils in addition to the brown variety most common in the West, with colors that range from yellow to red-orange to green. Lentils are distinguished from beans in that they don’t contain sulfur and therefore don’t produce gas. So anyone wanting the benefits of high fiber without the social unpleasantness associated with beans would do well to check out this cool little legume.

“But the real claim to fame for lentils is the fact that they are so loaded with fiber, especially soluble fiber. Soluble fiber breaks down as it passes through the digestive tract, forming a gel that traps some substances related to high cholesterol. Soluble fiber also helps control blood sugar by delaying the emptying of the stomach and retarding the entry of sugar into the bloodstream. This is why high-fiber foods like lentils have such a low glycemic load. Because fiber slows the digestion of foods, it can help blunt the sudden spikes in blood sugar and insulin that can cause you to be hungry again an hour after eating a low-fiber meal. Those constant spikes in blood sugar and insulin can also contribute to diabetes and can make weight very hard to take off. High-fiber diets have been consistently associated with better ‘glucose control’ for both diabetics and non-diabetics, and with better management of weight. High-fiber diets also are associated with lower risks for cancer and heart disease.

“A cup of [cooked] lentils contains a nice amount of protein—about 18g. But best of all, that same cup contains a whopping 16g of fiber. Lentils are also a terrific source of folate and a good source of at least seven minerals. One cup provides 37 percent of the Daily Value of iron and 49 percent of Daily Value for manganese, an important trace mineral that’s essential for growth, reproduction, wound healing, peak brain function, and the proper metabolism of sugars, insulin and cholesterol.

“Worth Knowing: Unlike beans, lentils need no presoaking and are ready in 20 to 30 minutes. Brown and green lentils hold their shape well after cooking and are excellent for salads or other dishes where you want texture. Red lentils cook quicker and work best in purees and other dishes where softness is an advantage.” 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, by Jonny Bowden Ph. D, pgs. 87, 88.



Tasty Lentils

1 ½ cups lentils           ½ tsp. basil
3 cups water 1 bay leaf
2 tsp. onion powder 2 cups stewed or canned tomatoes (add last)
1 ½ tsp. salt
Bring all to boil except tomatoes. Simmer till lentils are tender. When done add tomatoes. Serve as is or over rice.

Life Sketches – A Clean Heart

There are many people today who believe God must be worshiped specifically within a certain protocol to be acceptable. This thought is due to early training in their church.

Amongst the Jews, there was argument with the apostles and early Christians about the Messiahship of Jesus but there was never argument over clean and unclean foods. In fact, there is no record anywhere in the New Testament of the apostles eating anything unclean. The early Christians believed that God had given instruction as to what was acceptable for food in Leviticus 11. Many Christians today believe God has given permission to eat all manner of unclean foods when He gave Peter the vision recorded in Acts 10. However, the Lord was teaching Peter something quite different.

“While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them’ ” (Acts 10:19). So Peter went and met Cornelius who fell down and worshiped him. “But Peter lifted him up, saying ‘Stand up; I myself am also a man.’ And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. Then he said to them, ‘You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean’ ” (Acts 10:26–28). Here we see that Peter understood that the vision he saw was not in reference to food but in judging people.

Peter had been taught from birth that the Gentiles were unclean and the common thought was that Gentiles could not be saved. This belief caused many arguments with Jesus who told His disciples that there would be some surprises in the Kingdom of Heaven. He said, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you” (Matthew 21:31).

Today, we all must learn the same lesson as the Jews needed and not look upon any human being as unclean or common. They may be steeped in sin, but if they receive the gospel they could turn around and be saved from the power of their sinful habits. The gospel message is open to every human being and not one is excluded. Jesus made that very clear in Revelation 22:17: “And the Spirit says, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

“Whoever” means that anyone who wants to be saved can come to Jesus, but some think their lives are so steeped in sin that they would never be accepted. This is Satan’s lie. Jesus said in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”

If you come to the Saviour and commit your life to Him, you will be saved from the guilt and power of your sins. That could happen for you today just as it has happened to Cornelius and his house.

Peter said, “ ‘God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?’

“So Cornelius said, ‘Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, “Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.” So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.’

“Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him’ ” (Acts 10:28–35). God shows no partiality. He does not respect a person of one race more than another.

“The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him, will receive remission [forgiveness] of sins.” (verses 36–43).

The Scripture says, “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues [languages] and magnify God. Then Peter answered, ‘Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days” (verses 44–48).

Gentiles, who had never been circumcised, became baptized Christians and received the Holy Spirit. This raised a huge question in the Christian church whether they should be allowed to be part of the church without keeping all the law of Moses with its Jewish rites and ceremonies, including circumcision.

When Peter returned home he found himself in a lot of trouble with the brethren. “The apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, saying, ‘You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!’ But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: ‘I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But I said, “Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.”

“ ‘But the voice answered me again from heaven, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea. Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.” And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.

“ ‘Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, “John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?’ When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.’ ” (Acts 11:1–18).

It was a hard lesson for the Jews to learn. God had granted to Gentiles, the people that they had looked down upon all their lives as being common, unclean, and steeped in sin, the same offer of salvation, that if they repented, their sins would be forgiven, and they also could receive the Holy Spirit.

However, the issue did not rest there. Some of the brethren came down to Antioch from Judea and said, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1). The issue of circumcision was agitated yet again. As they saw what was happening in Antioch and other places where many Gentiles were becoming Christians, many of the Jewish Christians were concerned that there would be more Gentiles in the Christian church than Jews.

The Jews became fearful that they would lose their national customs and distinctiveness from other nations as Christians and demanded that these Gentile Christians come into harmony with all Jewish laws and practices. They believed that they all must worship God the way their forefathers did by being circumcised according to the custom of Moses. The issue was not about breaking God’s law, the ten commandments. There was no argument over the Sabbath, idol worship, adultery, theft, dishonesty or anything forbidden by God, but only those things connected with the ceremonial law, the law of Moses.

To Moses was given ceremonial laws that were a shadow of things to come. They were all representative or prophetic of what would happen when Jesus would come. Paul understood they were temporary until Christ came (Galatians 3:19).

The issue became a hot topic. The Bible says, “Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question” (Acts 15:2).

So, they went up to Jerusalem for a church council. “And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.’

“Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: ‘Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe” (verses 4–7). Peter here referred to his trip to Caesarea when Cornelius and his family and friends believed and received the Holy Spirit for which he was criticized. He got in trouble for preaching the gospel. He got in trouble for sitting down to eat with an uncircumcised Gentile.

The church at that time was racially prejudiced against the Gentiles. Peter said, “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them” (verses 8, 9).

God does not make distinctions among people who belong to different churches, different races, different nations, different languages. When Jesus met people He did not ask them about their philosophy or ask what church they belonged to or what they believed. He simply said, “Do you want to be saved? Do you want to have eternal life? Follow Me. I will take away your burden of sin. I will give you a new heart and a new spirit, My Spirit, the Holy Spirit.”

When Nicodemus, a Jewish ruler, came to visit Jesus one night, Jesus told him that unless he experienced change, unless he received the Holy Spirit and was born again of the Spirit, he could not be saved and go to heaven. Nicodemus was shocked at these words of Jesus. He was a religious leader and teacher of the law.

It does not matter whether you are a religious leader. It does not matter even if people consider you to be a holy person. There are a lot of people who are considered holy because they look that way outwardly, but their hearts are corrupt. That was the condition of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. Jesus said to them, “You look righteous on the outside, but your heart has not been cleansed. In your heart there is lawlessness and hypocrisy” (Matthew 23:28, literal translation).

God asks, “Are you willing to accept My only begotten Son as the Sovereign of your life and your Saviour from sin? Are you willing to follow Me?” Or, “Are you on the other side of the great controversy and want to run your own life independent from Me?” Everyone makes their own choice.

The Bible says, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). That is a simple equation. No one else in the universe can give you eternal life, only God’s Son. Would you like to be saved? Do you want to be saved badly enough to make a commitment to the One that can save you? Peter said, “God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:8, 9).

God does what is impossible for us to do ourselves: He can purify a person’s heart. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, what race you are, what religion you are, what social class you belong to, high or low, what nation you belong to; none of those things matter to God. All that matters is, “Are you willing to make a commitment?” Jesus said, “If you believe enough to make a commitment, if you will commit to Jesus Christ as the Sovereign of your life, the Ruler and Master of your life, the One that you will obey and follow, I will give you eternal life.”

The Christian religion is the most spiritual of all religions because it has everything to do with the decision of your mind and not with some formal religious ritual. Sadly, Jesus said of the Jews, “But you are not willing to come to Me that you might have life” (John 5:40), but if you will come, God promises to purify your heart.

Someone may say, “I go to church.” But has your heart been purified? Someone may say, “I’ve studied theology.” But has your heart been purified? Another may say, “I read the Bible.” But has your heart been purified? And another may say, “I spend this much time in praying, and in meditating, and devotions.” The same question must be asked, Has your heart been purified?

O, friend, unless your heart is purified, it doesn’t matter what religious ritual, what form of worship you go through. If you are going to be saved at last in the kingdom of heaven, your heart needs to be purified. That is the question that needs to be answered. That is the question you need to pray to God about and ask, “Lord, I want my heart to be purified by faith, not just with ceremonies and outward observances but with a pure purpose.”

David said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit” (Psalm 51:10–12 KJV). This should be our own prayer.

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

Health – Far Reaching Consequences

The food of which we partake has far-reaching consequences to our well-being. Depending on what goes into our bodies, we may have healing and increased good health or we may have a withering up and a tendency toward disease. We all daily have choices to make.

I know there are people who believe food has basically nothing to do with health. But there are some who may be interested in the following information which offers some insights into the effects of eating certain foods.

“Many of the elderly in the United States—and quite a few of the not so elderly—experience terrible pain in their joints. Their fingers may become twisted and swollen, and they may be unable even to button a coat without large doses of anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin. Many come to feel crippled and useless.

“By the age of 35, 35 percent of Americans have diagnosable arthritis in their knees. At least 85 percent of those over the age of 70 have it, and many have it severely. There are 180,000 people in the country today who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair because of this disease.

“The official position of the Arthritis Foundation is that diet and arthritis are not related. But, astoundingly, there has been very little research done to justify this assertion. Up until now, virtually all arthritis research money has gone to test drugs.

“At Wayne State University Medical School, however, there were a few medical researchers willing to investigate the heresy that diet might have something to do with arthritis. They put six rheumatoid arthritis patients on a fat-free diet. The results were startling. In seven weeks, all of the subjects showed total disappearance of their symptoms. When fats were reintroduced into their diets, it took only three days for the symptoms to reappear.

“In 1981, the British Medical Journal reported another instance that suggests the Arthritis foundation’s conclusions might be premature. It involved a 38-year-old woman who for 11 years had been suffering from steadily worsening rheumatoid arthritis. Three weeks after doctors removed all dairy products from her diet she showed signs of improvement. In four months, her arthritic symptoms had completely disappeared. She remained free of symptoms until, in the interests of scientific curiosity, she once again ate some cheese and milk. The next day her joints were swollen, stiff, and painful. Fortunately, her symptoms again disappeared as she resumed her abstinence from dairy products.

“In parts of the world where the diets are low in fats and cholesterol and moderate in protein, and where the consumption of processed and junk foods is minimal, even old people who have done hard physical work their whole lives are essentially free of arthritis. This presents quite a contrast to United States, where so many are crippled by the disease that it is rare to find an older person who is not affected.

“One study found not a single case of rheumatoid arthritis in a rural black South African community of over 800 people who ate no meats or dairy products. Another study found that black South Africans who ate significant amounts of meat and other high-fat foods had almost four times the incidence of arthritis as those whose diet was very low in meat and fat. …

“Gouty arthritis is acknowledged even by the Arthritis Foundation as being diet related. In fact, gout is one of the most easily controlled of all diseases when proper dietary guidelines are followed.

“Gout occurs when uric acid in the body forms needle-like crystals that become deposited in a joint. When that happens, there is severe pain and swelling in a joint, often the big toe.

“Avoiding foods that are high in either purines or protein has been shown to be of enormous benefit to gouty arthritis sufferers. Shellfish, fish, poultry, beef, pork and legumes are all high in purines.

“Some people, particularly Filipinos, are especially susceptible to gout. But on a low-purine, low-protein diet, gout is almost nonexistent, even among those people most genetically disposed toward it. During World War II, when gout sufferers in occupied European countries were suddenly forced to consume fewer meats and dairy products, the incidence of gouty arthritis plummeted.

“There are many kinds of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout … The connection with diet and gout is crystal clear, but far more work needs to be done … The evidence strongly suggests that diets very low in saturated fat, low in protein, high in fiber, and without any cholesterol would be best for the prevention of arthritis and as an important element in treatment.”

Excerpts from Diet for a New America, John Robbins, pages 267–269.

What you eat does make a difference on how your body reacts.

Spirit of Prophecy states: “The eating of flesh meats has made a poor quality of blood and flesh. Your systems are in a state of inflammation, prepared to take on disease. You are liable to acute attacks of disease, and to sudden death, because you do not possess the strength of constitution to rally and resist disease. …

“Meat eating deranges the system.” Healthful Living, 99. [Emphasis supplied.]

Colorful fruits and veggies – the darker or more brilliant the color, the more antioxidants it has. Good ones include blueberries, cherries, spinach, kale and broccoli. Beans are an excellent and inexpensive source of protein. Our Lord has given to us such a wide variety to choose from. Feed your body healthfully and you will have a healthful response.

Question & Answer – Why did the Lord want to kill Moses?

“And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him”  (Exodus 4:24).

“As Moses journeyed to Egypt, the angel of the Lord met him and assumed a threatening posture, as though he would slay him. He was fearful of his life. He had yielded to the refusal of his wife to have their son circumcised, and, in compliance with her wishes, had neglected to obey God. His wife, fearful that her husband might be slain, overcame her feelings of undue affection for her son, and performed the act herself. After this, the angel let Moses go. In his mission to Pharaoh, he was to be placed in a perilous position, where his life would be exposed to the will of the king, if God did not by his power, through the presence of his angels, preserve him. While Moses was living in neglect of one of God’s positive commands, his life would not be secure, for God’s angels could not protect him while in disobedience. Therefore, the angel met him in the way and threatened his life. He did not explain to Moses why he assumed that threatening aspect. Moses knew that there was a cause. He was going to Egypt according to God’s express command, therefore the journey was right. He at once remembered that he had not obeyed God in performing the ordinance of circumcision upon his youngest son, and had yielded to his wife’s entreaties to postpone the ceremony. After he had obeyed the command of God he was free to go before Pharaoh, and there was nothing in the way to hinder the ministration of angels in connection with his work.

“In the time of trouble, just previous to the coming of Christ, the lives of the righteous will be preserved through the ministration of holy angels. Those who come up to that trying time, neglecting to obey God’s commands, will have no security of their lives. Angels cannot protect them from the wrath of their enemies while they are living in neglect of any known duty, or express command of Jehovah.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 195, 196.