Bible Study Guides – Prayer – Prayer as a Way of Life

December 22 – 28, 2019

Key Text

“The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer” (Psalm 6:9).

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 115–126.


“Cultivate the habit of talking with the Saviour when you are alone, when you are walking, and when you are busy with your daily labor. Let the heart be continually uplifted in silent petition for help, for light, for strength, for knowledge. Let every breath be a prayer.” The Ministry of Healing, 510, 511.



  • How can we maintain a devotional attitude throughout the day? 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Does this mean we do nothing but pray all day?

 Note: “The life must be like Christ’s life—between the mountain and the multitude. He who does nothing but pray will soon cease to pray, or his prayers will become a formal routine. When men take themselves out of social life, away from the sphere of Christian duty and cross bearing; when they cease to work earnestly for the Master, who worked earnestly for them, they lose the subject matter of prayer and have no incentive to devotion. Their prayers become personal and selfish.” Steps to Christ, 101.

  • Where does this work begin? Proverbs 23:7, first part; 2 Corinthians 10:5.

 Note: “Unless a determined effort is made to keep the thoughts centered on Christ, grace cannot reveal itself in the life. The mind must engage in the spiritual warfare. Every thought must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. All the habits must be brought under God’s control.” In Heavenly Places, 164.



  • What is the subject of many of the Psalms, most of which were written by King David? Psalms 61:1; 69:13.
  • For what other purpose were the psalms intended? Psalms 144:9; 149:1.

 Note: “There are few means more effective for fixing His words in the memory than repeating them in song. And such song has wonderful power. It has power to subdue rude and uncultivated natures; power to quicken thought and to awaken sympathy, to promote harmony of action, and to banish the gloom and foreboding that destroy courage and weaken effort. …

“As a part of religious service, singing is as much an act of worship as is prayer. Indeed, many a song is prayer. If the child is taught to realize this, he will think more of the meaning of the words he sings and will be more susceptible to their power.” Education, 167, 168.

  • Tell of some powerful prayers made by other kings in the Old Testament. 1Kings 3:6–9; 2 Kings 19:15–19; 2 Chronicles 20:5–12. How can we incorporate the scriptures into our prayers?

 Note: “There is one blessing that all may have who seek for it in the right way. It is the Holy Spirit of God, and this is a blessing that brings all other blessings in its train. If we will come to God as little children, asking for His grace and power and salvation, not for our own uplifting, but that we may bring blessing to those around us, our petitions will not be denied. Then let us study the Word of God that we may know how to take hold of His promises and claim them as our own. Then we shall be happy.” In Heavenly Places, 113.

“It is the glory of God to give His virtue to His children. He desires to see men and women reaching the highest standard; and when by faith they lay hold of the power of Christ, when they plead His unfailing promises, and claim them as their own, when with an importunity that will not be denied they seek for the power of the Holy Spirit, they will be made complete in Him.” The Acts of the Apostles, 530.



  • After God worked a great miracle to bring the Israelites through the Jordan River, what did He ask them to do? Joshua 4:1–9.

Note: “But before the priests had come up out of the river, that this wonderful miracle might never be forgotten, the Lord bade Joshua select men of note from each tribe to take up stones from the spot in the river bed where the priests had stood, and bear them upon their shoulders to Gilgal, and there erect a monument in remembrance of the fact that God had caused Israel to pass over Jordan upon dry land. This would be a continual reminder of the miracle that the Lord had wrought for them. As years passed on, their children would inquire concerning the monument, and again and again they would recount to them this wonderful history, till it would be indelibly impressed upon their minds to the latest generation.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 158.

  • What should we avoid focusing on in our life? Psalms 25:7; 79:8.

Note: “It is not wise to gather together all the unpleasant recollections of a past life—its iniquities and disappointments—to talk over them and mourn over them until we are overwhelmed with discouragement. A discouraged soul is filled with darkness, shutting out the light of God from his own soul and casting a shadow upon the pathway of others.” Steps to Christ, 117.

  • What should we contemplate instead? Psalm 105:5; Hebrews 12:2, 3.

Note: “Thank God for the bright pictures which He has presented to us. Let us group together the blessed assurances of His love, that we may look upon them continually: The Son of God leaving His Father’s throne, clothing His divinity with humanity, that He might rescue man from the power of Satan; His triumph in our behalf, opening heaven to men, revealing to human vision the presence chamber where the Deity unveils His glory; the fallen race uplifted from the pit of ruin into which sin had plunged it, and brought again into connection with the infinite God, and having endured the divine test through faith in our Redeemer, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and exalted to His throne—these are the pictures which God would have us contemplate.” Steps to Christ, 118.



  • What had been the experience of the disciples in prayer? John 16:24, first part.

 Note: “As yet the disciples were unacquainted with the Saviour’s unlimited resources and power. He said to them, ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name’ (John 16:24). He explained that the secret of their success would be in asking for strength and grace in His name. … Every sincere prayer is heard in heaven. It may not be fluently expressed; but if the heart is in it, it will ascend to the sanctuary where Jesus ministers, and He will present it to the Father without one awkward, stammering word, beautiful and fragrant with the incense of His own perfection.” The Desire of Ages, 667.

  • How did Jesus encourage them to approach the Father in prayer? John 14:13, 14; 16:24, second part. For whom else are these promises?

 Note: “ ‘All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive’ (Matthew 21:22). These words are the pledge that all that an omnipotent Saviour can bestow will be given to those who trust in Him. As stewards of the grace of heaven, we are to ask in faith and then wait trustingly for the salvation of God. We are not to step in before Him, trying in our own strength to bring about that which we desire. In His name we are to ask, and then we are to act as if we believed in His efficiency.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 467.

“O, brethren and sisters, what we want is a living, striving, growing, faith in the promises of God, which are indeed for you and for me.” Pacific Union Recorder, December 26, 1912.

  • What part does hope play as we approach God in prayer? How should we come before Him? Romans 5:5; Hebrews 4:16.

Note: “There is nothing that can make the soul so strong to resist the temptations of Satan in the great conflict of life, as to seek God in humility, laying before Him your soul in all its helplessness, expecting that He will be your helper and your defender.” Sons and Daughters of God, 121.



  • What promises can we claim so that we may have strength in our conflict with the enemy? Isaiah 40:29; 41:10; Psalm 31:24.

Note: “He who serves under the bloodstained banner of Immanuel will have that to do which will call for heroic effort and patient endurance. But the soldier of the cross stands unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle. As the enemy presses the attack against him, he turns to the stronghold for aid, and as he brings to the Lord the promises of the word, he is strengthened for the duties of the hour. He realizes his need of strength from above. The victories that he gains do not lead to self exaltation, but cause him to lean more and more heavily on the Mighty One. Relying upon that Power, he is enabled to present the message of salvation so forcibly that it vibrates in other minds.” The Acts of the Apostles, 362.

  • What other promises can we claim in prayer in order to give us courage in the battle with sin? Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 49:25; 1Corinthians 15:57.

 Note: “What a source to which we can look in all times of trouble; the heart can have no misgivings! Man is erring, stubborn, rebellious, and defiant even against God; but the Lord is kind and patient and of tender compassion. He has heaven and earth at His command, and He knows just what we need even before we present our necessities and desires before Him.” My Life Today, 10.



1     Why don’t we need to withdraw from society and devote our entire lives to prayer?

2    How can we include God’s Word in our prayers? What will this do for us?

3    What can we learn from the Israelites’ use of monuments to remember God’s leading in their lives? How can we do the same?

4    How can we have victory against temptation?

5    Describe God’s power in helping us in our struggles.


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

Bible Study Guides – Prayer – Learning to Pray

December 15 – 21, 2019

Key Text

“O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared Thy wondrous works” (Psalm 71:17).

Study Help: Child Guidance, 517–526; Patriarchs and Prophets, 569–574.


“In the church at home the children are to learn to pray and to trust in God. … Come in humility, with a heart full of tenderness, and with a sense of the temptations and dangers before yourselves and your children; by faith bind them to the altar, entreating for them the care of the Lord. Train the children to offer their simple words of prayer. Tell them that God delights to have them call upon Him.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 110.



  • Where and how did Timothy learn to pray? 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14, 15.

 Note: “Timothy’s father was a Greek and his mother a Jewess. From a child he had known the Scriptures. The piety that he saw in his home life was sound and sensible. The faith of his mother and his grandmother in the sacred oracles was to him a constant reminder of the blessing in doing God’s will. The word of God was the rule by which these two godly women had guided Timothy. The spiritual power of the lessons that he had received from them kept him pure in speech and unsullied by the evil influences with which he was surrounded. Thus his home instructors had co-operated with God in preparing him to bear burdens.” The Acts of the Apostles, 203.

“Timothy’s mother and grandmother were united in their efforts to train him for God. What was his lesson book?—the Bible. Paul, his father in the gospel, declares, ‘From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures’ (2 Timothy 3:15).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 918.



  • Did Samuel as a young child know how to recognize God’s voice and identify answers to his own prayers? 1Samuel 3:7. Was this ignorance common in his day? Verse 1.

 Note: “Samuel was a child surrounded by the most corrupting influences. He saw and heard things that grieved his soul. The sons of Eli, who ministered in holy office, were controlled by Satan. … He [Samuel] did not fellowship, or have the least delight in, the sins which filled all Israel with fearful reports. Samuel loved God; he kept his soul in such close connection with heaven that an angel was sent to talk with him in reference to the sins of Eli’s sons, which were corrupting Israel.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 472, 473.

“Before receiving this message from God, ‘Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him’ (1 Samuel 3:7); that is, he was not acquainted with such direct manifestations of God’s presence as were granted to the prophets. It was the Lord’s purpose to reveal Himself in an unexpected manner, that Eli might hear of it through the surprise and inquiry of the youth.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 582.

  • How did Samuel confuse the voice of God with the voice of his earthly friend and mentor, Eli? What suggested to Eli that God was calling Samuel? 1Samuel 3:2–6, 8.

 Note: “Supposing the voice to be that of Eli, the child hastened to the bedside of the priest, saying, ‘Here am I; for thou calledst me.’ The answer was, ‘I called not, my son; lie down again’ (1 Samuel 3:5, 6). Three times Samuel was called, and thrice he responded in like manner. And then Eli was convinced that the mysterious call was the voice of God. The Lord had passed by His chosen servant, the man of hoary hairs, to commune with a child. This in itself was a bitter yet deserved rebuke to Eli and his house.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 581.

  • Did God talk to Samuel when the boy realized He was calling? What did He say? 1 Samuel 3:11.



  • When David was a fugitive in his early life, running from an angry, mad king, what requests did he make, and how did God answer? 1 Samuel 23:1, 2, 4, 10–12.

Note: “Still hunted by the king, David found no place of rest or security. At Keilah his brave band saved the town from capture by the Philistines, but they were not safe, even among the people whom they had delivered. From Keilah they repaired to the wilderness of Ziph.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 660.

  • After David became king and fell into temptation, what prayer did he make to God? Psalm 51:1–4, 7.

Note: “After his great sin, in the anguish of remorse and self-abhorrence he still turned to God as his best friend.” Education, 165.

“The prayer of David after his fall, illustrates the nature of true sorrow for sin. His repentance was sincere and deep. There was no effort to palliate his guilt; no desire to escape the judgment threatened, inspired his prayer. David saw the enormity of his transgression; he saw the defilement of his soul; he loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart.” Steps to Christ, 24, 25.

  • What did David plead for, and for what purpose? Psalm 51:12, 13.

Note: “God intended the history of David’s fall to serve as a warning that even those whom He has greatly blessed and favored are not to feel secure and neglect watchfulness and prayer. … thousands have thus been led to realize their own danger from the tempter’s power. The fall of David, one so greatly honored by the Lord, has awakened in them distrust of self. They have felt that God alone could keep them by His power through faith.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 724.



  • Who was Manasseh? Describe his character at the beginning of his reign. 2 Chronicles 32:33; 33:1–10.

 Note: “The kingdom of Judah, prosperous throughout the times of Hezekiah, was once more brought low during the long years of Manasseh’s wicked reign, when paganism was revived, and many of the people were led into idolatry. ‘Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen’ (2 Chronicles 33:9). The glorious light of former generations was followed by the darkness of superstition and error. Gross evils sprang up and flourished—tyranny, oppression, hatred of all that is good. Justice was perverted; violence prevailed.” Prophets and Kings, 381.

  • What experience did God bring upon this proud king to get his attention and to teach him to pray? 2Chronicles 33:11. What was the consequence of his waiting so long to pray?

 Note: “As an earnest of what would befall the people should they continue impenitent, the Lord permitted their king to be captured by a band of Assyrian soldiers, who ‘bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon’ (2 Chronicles 33:11, last part), their temporary capital. This affliction brought the king to his senses; ‘he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed unto Him: and He was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord He was God’ (2 Chronicles 33:12–13). But this repentance, remarkable though it was, came too late to save the kingdom from the corrupting influence of years of idolatrous practices. Many had stumbled and fallen, never again to rise.” Prophets and Kings, 383.

  • What was the result of Manasseh’s new-found prayer life? 2 Chronicles 33:12, 13, 15, 16. What was he known for at the time of his death? Verses 18, 19.



  • What led the pagan Naaman to accept the Creator as his God? 2Kings 5:1, 9–15.

 Note: “A slave, far from her home, this little maid was nevertheless one of God’s witnesses, unconsciously fulfilling the purpose for which God had chosen Israel as His people. As she ministered in that heathen home, her sympathies were aroused in behalf of her master. … She knew that the power of Heaven was with Elisha, and she believed that by this power Naaman could be healed.

“The conduct of the captive maid, the way that she bore herself in that heathen home, is a strong witness to the power of early home training.” Prophets and Kings, 244, 245.

  • What experience led the once pagan monarch, Nebuchadnezzar, to humbly trust in God? Daniel 4:28–36. What was his religious experience after his humiliation? Verses 2, 3, 37.

Note: “King Nebuchadnezzar, before whom Daniel so often honored the name of God, was finally thoroughly converted, and learned to ‘praise and extol and honour the King of heaven’ (Daniel 4:37).

“The king upon the Babylonian throne became a witness for God, giving his testimony, warm and eloquent, from a grateful heart that was partaking of the mercy and grace, the righteousness and peace, of the divine nature.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1170.



1     How did Timothy’s mother and grandmother train him for God?

2    Why was it that God chose to communicate with the child Samuel?

3    What shows the sincerity of David’s prayer after his fall? Did David’s Friend fail him?

4    What does Manasseh’s prayer teach us about God?

5    How did God’s witnesses lead heathen rulers to pray to God?

Bible Study Guides – Prayer – Teach us to Pray

December 8 – 14, 2019

Key Text

“And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).

Study Help: Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 102–122.


“Christ’s disciples were much impressed by His prayers and by His habit of communion with God. One day after a short absence from their Lord, they found Him absorbed in supplication. Seeming unconscious of their presence, He continued praying aloud. The hearts of the disciples were deeply moved. As He ceased praying, they exclaimed, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’ (Luke 11:1).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 140.



  • When the disciples heard the difference between the prayer of Christ and the formal prayers of their priests, what did they ask Jesus? What model prayer did the Lord give? Luke 11:1–4.
  • How does Jesus teach us to begin our prayers? To whom are we praying? Matthew 6:6, 9. What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name?

Note: “To pray in Christ’s name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works. The Saviour’s promise is given on condition. ‘If ye love Me,’ He says, ‘keep My commandments’ (John 14:15). He saves men, not in sin, but from sin; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience.” The Desire of Ages, 668.

“To pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer. It is to pray in the mind and spirit of Jesus, while we believe His promises, rely upon His grace, and work His works.” Steps to Christ, 100, 101.



  • What are the conditions upon which God answers prayer? 1 John 3:22; Matthew 21:22.

 Note: “God’s promises are all made upon conditions. If we do His will, if we walk in truth, then we may ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. While we earnestly endeavor to be obedient, God will hear our petitions; but He will not bless us in disobedience. If we choose to disobey His commandments, we may cry, ‘Faith, faith, only have faith,’ and the response will come back from the sure Word of God, ‘Faith without works is dead’ (James 2:20). Such faith will only be as sounding brass and as a tinkling cymbal. In order to have the benefits of God’s grace we must do our part; we must faithfully work and bring forth fruits meet for repentance.” Faith and Works, 47.

  • What is our duty toward those in need around us? Proverbs 3:27, 28. How does our behavior toward the needy reflect back upon us?

Note: “God demands that you open your hand wide to the needy, and have the tenderest compassion for those who are afflicted, or who are suffering from want. If you turn carelessly from their cry, the Lord will just as surely turn away from your prayer, and He will not hear you in your distress.” The Review and Herald, October 6, 1891.

  • How does God want us to cooperate with Him in helping others? 1 Corinthians 3:9.

 Note: “We are workers together with God. You are not to sit in indolence, waiting for some great occasion, in order to do a great work for the Master. You are not to neglect the duty that lies directly in your pathway, but you are to improve the little opportunities that open around you.” Faith and Works, 47.

“We should encourage [the afflicted ones] to try to help those more needy than themselves. The darkness will be dispelled from their own hearts as they try to help others. As we seek to comfort others with the comfort wherewith we are comforted, the blessing comes back to us.” The Ministry of Healing, 256.



  • What biblical examples of kneeling down to pray demonstrate this position as being both a duty and privilege? 1Kings 8:54, 55; Ephesians 3:14.

 Note: “Both in public and private worship it is our duty to bow down upon our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. This act shows our dependence upon God.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 312.

“Jesus, our example, ‘kneeled down, and prayed’ (Luke 22:41). Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, ‘kneeled down, and prayed’ (Acts 9:40). Paul declared, ‘I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Ephesians 3:14). In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. (See Ezra 9:5.) Daniel ‘kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God’ (Daniel 6:10).” Prophets and Kings, 48.

  • What was the position of Elijah when he prayed for rain? 1 Kings 18:42. Who else prayed in a similar position, and why is this attitude not suitable for public worship? Matthew 26:39.

 Note: “Behold Him [Christ] contemplating the price to be paid for the human soul. In His agony He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God. The chilling dew of night falls upon His prostrate form, but He heeds it not. From His pale lips comes the bitter cry, ‘O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.’ Yet even now He adds, ‘Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt’ (Matthew 26:39).” The Desire of Ages, 687.

“How much is lost in family worship when the one offering prayer bows the face down, and speaks in a low, feeble voice, as though just recovering from a long sickness. … Prayer that is thus uttered is appropriate for the closet, but not suitable for public worship; for unless those assembled with them can hear what is said, they cannot say Amen.” Christian Education, 127.

  • What position did Jesus ask the multitude to take before He offered thanks for the forthcoming meal? John 6:10, 11.



  • How can we show submission to God in our prayers? 1 John 5:14, 15.

 Note: “Jesus says, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them’ (Mark 11:24). There is a condition to this promise—that we pray according to the will of God. But it is the will of God to cleanse us from sin, to make us His children, and to enable us to live a holy life. So we may ask for these blessings, and believe that we receive them, and thank God that we have received them. It is our privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame or remorse.” The Faith I Live By, 141. [Emphasis author’s.]

“Whatever path God chooses for us, whatever way He ordains for our feet, that is the only path of safety. We are daily to cherish a spirit of childlike submission, and pray that our eyes may be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve in order that we may discern the indications of the divine will, lest we become confused in our ideas, because our will seems to be all-controlling.” That I May Know Him, 249.

  • How did Mary demonstrate submission to God? Luke 1:38. How can we have this same attitude?
  • What goes hand in hand with true submission? James 1:6.

 Note: “As stewards of the grace of heaven, we are to ask in faith and then wait trustingly for the salvation of God. We are not to step in before Him, trying in our own strength to bring about that which we desire. In His name we are to ask, and then we are to act as if we believed in His efficiency.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 467.

“Our languid, half-hearted prayers will not bring us returns from heaven. Oh, we need to press our petitions! Ask in faith, wait in faith, receive in faith, rejoice in hope, for everyone that seeketh findeth. Be in earnest in the matter. Seek God with all the heart.” Our High Calling, 131.

“The fervent prayer of the righteous is never lost. The answer may not come according as we expected, but it will come, because God’s word is pledged.” Ibid., 134.



  • What times during the day should we pray? Psalm 55:17.
  •  Should we limit our prayers to these times? 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

 Note: “There is no time or place in which it is inappropriate to offer up a petition to God. … In the crowds of the street, in the midst of a business engagement, we may send up a petition to God and plead for divine guidance, as did Nehemiah when he made his request before King Artaxerxes.” Steps to Christ, 99.

“We may speak with Jesus as we walk by the way, and He says, I am at thy right hand.

“We may commune with God in our hearts; we may walk in companionship with Christ. When engaged in our daily labor, we may breathe out our heart’s desire, inaudible to any human ear; but that word cannot die away into silence, nor can it be lost. Nothing can drown the soul’s desire. It rises above the din of the street, above the noise of machinery. It is God to whom we are speaking, and our prayer is heard.” Gospel Workers, 258.



1     How are we to live if we pray in Jesus’ name?

2    When does God answer prayer?

3    Why should we bow upon our knees in our regular public and private prayers?

4    How can we pray with a submissive spirit? What answer will we be willing to accept?

5    How can we pray to God as we go about our duties of the day?

Bible Study Guides – Prayer – Praying for the Holy Spirit

December 1 – 7, 2019

Key Text

“Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field” (Zechariah 10:1).

Study Help: Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506–512.


“We should pray as earnestly for the descent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the day of Pentecost. If they needed it at that time, we need it more today. Moral darkness, like a funeral pall, covers the earth. All manner of false doctrines, heresies, and satanic deceptions are misleading the minds of men. Without the Spirit and power of God it will be in vain that we labor to present the truth.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 158.



  • What power is promised to us if we commit ourselves fully to God? Acts 1:5, 8. For what purpose is this power promised? Luke 6:38, first part.

 Note: “It is not because of any restriction on God’s part that the riches of His grace do not flow to men. His gift is godlike. He gave with a liberality that men do not appreciate because they do not love to receive. If all were willing to receive, all would be filled with the Spirit. … We are too easily satisfied with a ripple on the surface, when it is our privilege to expect the deep moving of the Spirit of God.

“With the reception of this gift, all other gifts would be ours; for we are to have this gift according to the plentitude of the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive. Then let us not be satisfied with only a little of this blessing, only that amount which will keep us from the slumber of death, but let us diligently seek for the abundance of the grace of God.” My Life Today, 57.

“That which we receive from Christ we must give to others. … None who receive the grace of Christ can keep it to themselves.” Medical Ministry, 334.



  • How were the disciples to receive the promised blessing? Luke 24:49.

Note: “In obedience to Christ’s command, they waited in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father—the outpouring of the Spirit. They did not wait in idleness. The record says that they were ‘continually in the temple, praising and blessing God’ (Luke 24:53). They also met together to present their requests to the Father in the name of Jesus.” The Acts of the Apostles, 35.

“When we have entire, wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God. God cannot pour out His Spirit when selfishness and self-indulgence are so manifest; when a spirit prevails that, if put into words, would express that answer of Cain—‘Am I my brother’s keeper’ (Genesis 4:9, last part)?” My Life Today, 59.

  • What was the condition of the disciples before they received this power? Acts 2:1.

Note: “The disciples prayed with intense earnestness for a fitness to meet men and in their daily intercourse to speak words that would lead sinners to Christ. Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship. …

“These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls.” The Acts of the Apostles, 37.

  • What do each of us need to do to prepare to receive this power? Acts 3:19.

Note: “Let there be a work of reformation and repentance. Let all seek for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As with the disciples after the ascension of Christ, it may require several days of earnestly seeking God and putting away of sin.” My Life Today, 58.



  • What was the experience of the disciples as they received the power of the Holy Spirit? Acts 2:2–4. How will this experience compare to the experience of God’s church in the last days?

Note: “The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the ‘former rain,’ and glorious was the result. But the latter rain will be more abundant.” My Life Today, 60.

  • What did they do with the power they received? Acts 4:33.

Note: “The disciples … were weighted with the burden for the salvation of souls. The gospel was to be carried to the uttermost parts of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of the power that Christ had promised. Then it was that the Holy Spirit was poured out, and thousands were converted in a day.

“So may it be now. Instead of man’s speculations, let the Word of God be preached. Let Christians put away their dissensions and give themselves to God for the saving of the lost. Let them ask in faith for the blessing, and it will come.

“Zeal for God moved the disciples to bear witness to the truth with mighty power. Should not this zeal fire our hearts with a determination to tell the story of redeeming love, of Christ, and Him crucified?” My Life Today, 61.

  • What is the condition upon which we receive this power? Joel 2:15–17.

Note: “Those only who are constantly receiving fresh supplies of grace will have power proportionate to their daily need and their ability to use that power. Instead of looking forward to some future time when, through a special endowment of spiritual power, they will receive a miraculous fitting up for soul winning, they are yielding themselves daily to God, that He may make them vessels meet for His use. Daily they are improving the opportunities for service that lie within their reach. Daily they are witnessing for the Master wherever they may be, whether in some humble sphere of labor in the home or in a public field of usefulness.” My Life Today, 60.



  • What promise is given to us today regarding the special power of the Holy Spirit? Joel 2:23.

Note: “It is true that in the time of the end, when God’s work in the earth is closing, the earnest efforts put forth by consecrated believers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit are to be accompanied by special tokens of divine favor. Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God’s church. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result. To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church.

“But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest ‘in the time of the latter rain.’ In response, ‘the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.’ ‘He will cause to come down … the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain’ (Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:23).” The Acts of the Apostles, 54, 55.

  • What work has been prophesied by John? Revelation 18:1. How can we have a part in the work of the fourth angel today?

Note: “The Spirit of God is moving upon men’s hearts, and those who respond to its influence will become lights in the world. Everywhere they are seen going forth to communicate to others the light they have received as they did after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. And as they let their light shine, they receive more and more of the Spirit’s power. The earth is lighted with the glory of God. …

“Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the Word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lightened with the heavenly influence.” My Life Today, 63.



  • In view of the times in which we live, what is God’s desire for us today? Zechariah 10:1.

Note: “The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection. …

“There must be a constant development of Christian virtue, a constant advancement in Christian experience. …

“Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506, 507.

“Let us, with contrite hearts, pray most earnestly that now, in the time of the latter rain, the showers of grace may fall upon us. At every meeting we attend our prayers should ascend, that at this very time God will impart warmth and moisture to our souls. As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain. If we pray for the blessing in faith, we shall receive it as God has promised.” Ibid., 509.



1     Why do we need the power of the Holy Spirit even more than the disciples did?

2    What can we learn from the disciples’ experience in preparing for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?

3    Instead of looking to a future time when, through a special gift of spiritual power, we will be miraculously fitted up for soul winning, what can we do today?

4    How do we become lights in the world? What happens as we let our light shine?

5    What is the work of the former rain? How does it relate to the latter rain?

Recipe – Blackstrap Raisin Almond Balls

Blackstrap Raisin Almond Balls


1 ¼ cups raw almonds

2/3 cup raisins

1 tsp. cardamom and coriander, optional

pinch of salt

4 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses


Grind almonds and salt in food processor until finely ground. Add raisins, molasses and spices. Process until mixture is sticking together and uniform. Form into little snack sized balls and store in refrigerator or freezer. These little balls taste good with or without the extra seasonings—your choice. Enjoy!

Food – Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is really a powerhouse of nutrition. It tastes delicious in your hot cereal. I also like it as a hot drink on cold winter days. It is a great addition, along with honey, to add to your granola mix before your bake it. Yes, I really enjoy blackstrap.

“Molasses is the by-product of sugar refining that contains all the nutrients from the raw sugar-cane plant. Since the roots of sugarcane grow very deep, they are able to receive a pretty broad range of minerals and trace elements usually lacking in the topsoil. During the refining of sugarcane, the plants are boiled to a syrup from which the crystals are extracted. Then they are boiled two more times, both of which produce molasses. Blackstrap molasses, however, comes from the third and final boiling and is essentially the ‘dregs’ of the barrel.

“Blackstrap molasses is very dark and has a robust, somewhat bitter-tart flavor. It’s used in a variety of baked goods, particularly meat and vegetable dishes, as a sweetener and coloring agent. It is also widely accepted as a ‘health food.’ It can be used in any number of recipes and is particularly suitable to gingersnaps, soy-based sauces, licorice, canned baked beans, and fermentation systems.

“One of the reasons I like it so much is precisely because it has a low amount of sugar and a high amount of nutrients. As the only product from the third and final boil, blackstrap molasses contains the lowest sugar content of the molasses, but many more of the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements found naturally in the sugarcane plant, making it more nutritious than most other sweeteners.

“Blackstrap molasses is a very good source of iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and an excellent source of manganese and copper. It also contains a small amount of the cancer-fighting mineral selenium.  Look for unsulfured blackstrap molasses from organic sugar. Of the varieties of molasses, blackstrap molasses is richest in nutrients, such as iron, B vitamins, calcium, and potassium.” Excerpts from The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, p. 314, 315, by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.


Blackstrap Raisin Almond Balls


1 ¼ cups raw almonds

2/3 cup raisins

1 tsp. cardamom and coriander, optional

pinch of salt

4 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses


Grind almonds and salt in food processor until finely ground. Add raisins, molasses and spices. Process until mixture is sticking together and uniform. Form into little snack sized balls and store in refrigerator or freezer. These little balls taste good with or without the extra seasonings—your choice. Enjoy!


Life Sketches – The Letter that Changed the World

Have you ever read the letter that changed the world? It was written to Christians in one of the most prominent cities of the world today, and it has been changing the history of the world ever since it was written.

A few days before His crucifixion, Jesus gave His disciples a little insight into what was going to happen in the future. Aghast at this news, they asked Him when these things were going to happen. Jesus told about the troubles that were going to come upon the world. He said, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

What He said about the end coming after the gospel was preached to all the world was a dual prophecy. Jesus referred to two distinct events. In the first part of Matthew 24, Jesus predicted what would happen before the destruction of Jerusalem. This event was also a type of the destruction that will come upon the whole world at the end of time. Jesus said that before the end would come, the gospel would be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations. And it was preached in all the world as a witness to all nations before Jerusalem was destroyed. We know this because Paul said, “If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister” (Colossians 1:23).

How was it that the apostles were successful in getting the gospel preached to every creature under heaven? Remember, no more than 30 years after the crucifixion of Jesus, the gospel had been preached to the entire world. It was a time when there was no radio, or television, telegraph, telephone, newspapers, or any of the modern media or means of communication that we have available today. Yet the gospel was preached to all the world. It would never have happened without the special blessing and power of the Holy Spirit that came upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.

After the apostle Paul was converted on the road to Damascus, he went on missionary tours and raised up churches in the prominent cities of the Roman Empire. Ephesus, Thessalonica, Corinth, Philippi, Antioch, as well as other places he visited to share the gospel. He greatly desired to establish the Christian religion in the city of Rome itself. In a sense, Rome was the capital city of the world in those days. People came and went from that city to and from all parts of the world and Paul knew that if Christianity could be established in Rome, it would go very quickly to all parts of the world. He was right and that is exactly what happened. The gospel at that time had already been preached to every creature under heaven.

But before that, while he was working in the city of Corinth, Paul wrote and sent a letter to the Christians in Rome. He said, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me” (Romans 1:8–12).

Continuing he said, “Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greek and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.” Paul said, “I’m ready as much as is in me to preach the gospel to you that are in Rome.” And then he said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (verses 13–16).

Paul then proceeded to show that the ancient nations, by not acknowledging God, lost sight of eternal realities. There are a large number of people today who are unaware that there was a time when all the nations in the world knew about the true God. Unfortunately, that knowledge has been lost. Information can be lost in one, or two, or three generations. Paul says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (verses 18–27).

Here we see clearly that the result of people knowing God but refusing to glorify Him as God, not being thankful and not wanting to keep God in their remembrance, is a moral downhill slide. It says, “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (verses 28–32).

The description that the apostle gives is an accurate description of the exact conditions in which the Christians were living in the city of Rome. As one historian said, “Rome was the sewer of the nations.” History of Sacerdotal Celibacy in the Christian Church, by Henry Charles Lea, 1884.

The Christians in Rome were living in the place where idolatry and paganism reached its greatest heights, but where morality reached the lowest depths. By not acknowledging God, the nations lost sight of eternal realities. People want religion. They want to be saved some way. There are many people even today who believe that they will be saved by going through certain religious rituals or by making certain pronouncements. People claim that because they have made a profession and confessed their faith as a Christian they have a right to be saved. In fact, they quote a text from the book of Romans to try to prove it.

But Paul shows that there is no religious ritual or works that can save a person. Notice what he says in Romans 2:25. He says, “For circumcision [a religious rite] is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.” Concerning religious works, Paul said, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19, 20).

Paul says that not by the deeds of any law—the moral law, a ritual law, a religious law, a ceremonial law, whatever kind of law it is, by going through religious rituals, or doing certain things, making certain pronouncements—will you ever be saved.

Paul points out that we are all under condemnation and under the penalty of death because we are all violators of God’s law. It says in Romans 6:23, that “the wages of sin is death.” He says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). There is no such thing as a person who hasn’t sinned or who is not a sinner. The apostle John said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Verse 10 says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Everyone in the world has sinned and is under the sentence of death. In Romans 7:10, 11, it says, “And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.”

So, you cannot save yourself by any good work, by any religious ritual, or by any profession or confession. There is no ritual or ceremony you can do or be part of that can save. This is one of the first lessons you learn reading the book of Romans, but do not lose heart. God always has a solution to any problem we may have.

The book of Romans has had an effect that has changed the history of the world ever since it was written because it seems that the majority of people in the world have felt for thousands of years that the way to be saved is to do some good thing, do some good work, go through some religious ritual, be circumcised, become a member of a certain church. However, the apostle Paul shows that none of these things can bring salvation. The Jews thought that if you become a member of their religious organization, you would be saved. Jesus told His disciples that this thought was just a delusion.

Jesus said that if you want to be saved, you had to be directly connected to Him. (See John 15.) The book of Romans teaches us that we cannot perform any good work that will save us from death. Notice what it says in Romans 3:20: “By the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Verses 27 and 28 say, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.”

If we can’t do anything to save ourselves from the penalty of sin, which is death, and we are all sinners, guilty, and all doomed to die, then how are we going to be saved? There’s only one way. You can only be saved by the gift of the grace of God when you believe. Verses 24 to 26 say, “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation [meaning somebody that paid the price] by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

Romans 4:1–5 says, “What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”

You can be saved only by the grace of God, when you believe. Salvation is a gift. As the apostle Paul stated to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 2:8, salvation is a “gift of God.” Salvation is not of anything that you can work to achieve. However, when you read the rest of the chapter, you will see that to believe means to make a commitment. When Paul talks about believing, he is not just talking about giving an intellectual assent; he means making a life commitment.

Abraham is used as an example. Concerning him, Paul says, “Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became of the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness’ ” (Romans 4:18–22).

Notice, Abraham believed God, and he acted on that belief. He made a commitment. O, friend, have you made a commitment? There are many people in the world who say, “O, I believe that Jesus is the Christ. I believe that He died on the cross for the sins of the world.” But the Bible says, “The devils believe those things” (James 2:19). The devils believe all those things and tremble, but they are not going to be saved, because their intellectual belief does not lead them to make a commitment with the Lord.

Have you made a commitment with the Lord and committed your life to Him? Or is your religion just a matter of an intellectual assent, and hoping for the best? There are some people who think that because forgiveness comes by grace, by a gift of God, and not by anything that you can do, that you don’t have to do anything. You don’t even need to worry about keeping God’s law anymore. Paul clearly teaches in the book of Romans that that is not the way it is.

He says in Romans 2:13: “For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified.” In Romans 3:31, he says, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Romans 7:7: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet’ ” (referring refers to the 10th commandment).

“But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (verses 8–12). Notice, he does not say the law has been done away; he says the law is holy. It has not been made void but established (Romans 3:31). It is those who obey the law who will be justified and receive the gift of salvation. Paul says that the law is holy, and just, and good, and furthermore, he then states that the Christian who has received the Holy Spirit will, through the power of the Holy Spirit, keep God’s law. Notice what he says, in Romans 8:4: “That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Notice, the person who is filled with the Holy Spirit will be keeping God’s law. Who is the person that will be breaking God’s law? Paul says that it’s the person who has not been converted. In fact, he says, the person who has not been converted cannot keep God’s law. “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” (verse 7). Who is it who is not subject to the law of God, nor can be? It is the carnal man with the fleshly mind, the unconverted man, the person who has not made a commitment to the Lord. When you make a commitment to Christ, you are forgiven by grace alone when you receive the Holy Spirit, without anything that you do. The Holy Spirit gives you the power to live a new kind of life, one that is in harmony with God’s law. O, friend, has that miraculous change happened in your life? Have you really been converted? Have you received the Holy Spirit and are you resting in the only One who is “able to save to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25)?


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

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

Health – Is diet a Salvational Issue

Some time ago a Seventh-day Adventist pastor asked this question from the pulpit: “Is what you eat a salvational issue?” The response from the congregation was a very loud and overwhelming “NO!’’

Since when does consensus establish truth? Let us take a long and intensive look at this question from Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy and see if we can determine the truth from Inspired writing.

We will first go to the very beginning of Scripture in Genesis, chapter 1.

The original diet was given to mankind by our Creator, who should know better than any other being what would be best for us. Genesis 1:29 states: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” One can see that the original diet for mankind was a vegan diet. Absolutely no animal products or any refined or artificially manufactured products.

After the fall of man and his/her expulsion from the garden he was told to also eat “… the herb of the field.” This verse gave man permission to now eat things that grow in the dirt, which are assumed to be vegetables.

At this point we need to determine what is a fruit and what is a vegetable. A botanical definition is that a fruit is something that the plant produces and a vegetable is part of the plant itself, such as the leaves, the stem, or the root. Most of what we eat is classified as fruit. All products of trees, vines or bushes are fruits, e.g., apples, pears, peaches, nuts, berries, grapes, tomatoes, and such. Grains are actually fruits of grasses, as is corn. Such things as beets, carrots, celery, cabbage, lettuce, and the like, are vegetables or herbs of the field. These things were probably added since the abundance of fruits in the garden were now not available.

Now we come to the time of Noah in Genesis 6–9. Notice that God instructed Noah to take into the ark, which he had spent 120 years building, two, a male and a female, of every unclean animal, and seven of every clean animal (Genesis 7:2). The distinction between clean and unclean animals can be found in Leviticus, chapter 11. The reason for this is because the flood was going to destroy all life, plant and animal, from off the face of the earth. Following the flood Noah and his family would need something to eat until the new growth upon the face of the earth could be well established. That would take at least a year or maybe two.

I firmly believe that the permission to eat animals was only supposed to be temporary until plant life was reestablished sufficiently to provide what God had originally intended that we should eat. I can’t prove it, but since the Spirit of Prophecy states that man’s intelligence before the flood was vastly superior to ours today that Noah most probably also took a great abundance of seed onto the ark to be able to reestablish a productive garden and fruit trees in the ‘’new” earth after the flood. He also had to have enough stored food for all the animals that were now released upon a devastated world. I personally do not think that God ever intended that mankind would continue to consume animals for any length of time.

There were many things that could make a person ritually “unclean,” not just the use of an unclean animal for food: contamination with blood, or contact with a corpse to name a couple. The penalty for becoming ritually unclean was that the “unclean” individual was to leave the camp, wash himself and his clothes with water and wait until sundown, which began a new day. He then returned to the camp and went to the tabernacle where a specific offering was given. Afterwards he was then accepted back into full fellowship.

However, the penalty for the consumption of blood or fat from an animal was far more serious. Even Noah, in chapter 9 of Genesis, was told that when he began to use “clean” animals for food that he was in no way permitted to use any of the blood for food (verse 4). It was expressly forbidden by God to do so. Leviticus says in three places that it was a perpetual covenant that the fat and the blood were never to be consumed as food.

The penalty for the consumption of either fat or blood was that the individual was to be “cut off’ from the camp.” The Hebrew word used for cut off is karath. Daniel 9:26 states that, “After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off.” [Emphasis supplied.] The same Hebrew word for cut off is used here. The penalty for the consumption of blood or fat is far worse than just becoming “unclean.” I dare say that today those who consume animal flesh are not using ritually slaughtered nor ritually prepared animals for the source of animal flesh. Just remember, God NEVER changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Yes, ancient Jews as well as observant Jews and even Jesus ate animal flesh at least on Passover. The lamb that was roasted was certainly ritually prepared so that it was not unclean nor did they eat any of the fat or blood. So Jesus would have eaten animal flesh at least once per year on Passover. We also find a few occasions where He ate fish. Carnivores love to refer to this fact. In His 33 years upon this earth you can count on one hand the number of times that the Scriptures tell of Jesus eating fish. The carnivores use that as an excuse to consume animal flesh usually daily. “If meat eating was ever healthful, it is not safe now. Cancers, tumors, and pulmonary diseases are largely caused by meat eating.” Counsels for the Church, 236.

‘’If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:17). I had a pastor tell me that this verse is in the plural and therefore does not apply to the individual, but the church body. After researching this verse in the writings of Ellen G. White, of the 42 times she references this verse, every time she applies it to the individual. So it becomes abundantly clear that if you do not take care of the physical body given you by Christ, you will not make it into the kingdom of God. Of course this applies to those who should know better, have access to Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy, or have the opportunity to find out the truth.


Gene Swanson is a retired Adventist physician living in Montrose, Colorado.

Question & Answer – How does fine Gold Become Dim?

“How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed” (Lamentations 4:1)!

“Bathsheba observed the customary days of mourning for her husband; and at their close ‘David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife’ (2 Samuel 11:27). He whose tender conscience and high sense of honor would not permit him, even when in peril of his life, to put forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, had so fallen that he could wrong and murder one of his most faithful and most valiant soldiers, and hope to enjoy undisturbed the reward of his sin. Alas! how had the fine gold become dim! how had the most fine gold changed!” Patriarchs and Prophets, 720.

“The standard of holiness is the same today as in the days of the apostles. Neither the promises nor the requirements of God have lost aught of their force. But what is the state of the Lord’s professed people as compared with the early church? Where is the Spirit and power of God which then attended the preaching of the gospel? Alas, ‘how is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed!’ ” Testimonies, vol. 5, 240.

“Human beings have degenerated. One after another they fall under the curse, because sin has entered the world, and death by sin. The truth is not made precious by practise [sic]. It does not sanctify the soul. It fades from the mind because the heart does not appreciate its value. In consequence, the mind becomes more and more darkened by the atmosphere, which is malarious because of the perpetuating of Adam’s sin. The conscience has lost its sensitiveness. Through a repetition of sin, the impression made on the conscience by sin has no longer force enough to arrest the transgressor, diseased, depraved, and dying. The voice no longer echoes the voice of God, or gives expression to the music of a soul sanctified through the truth. The heart, in which God should be enthroned, is a place from which come forth all kinds of abominations. How has the fine gold become dim! Man has lost the reflection of God’s character.” The Signs of the Times, June 27, 1900.

“The church is not now the separate and peculiar people she was when the fires of persecution were kindled against her. How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! I saw that if the church had always retained her peculiar, holy character, the power of the Holy Spirit which was imparted to the disciples would still be with her. The sick would be healed, devils would be rebuked and cast out, and she would be mighty and a terror to her enemies.” Early Writings, 227.

Children’s Story – Thanksgiving Day

Every year, for many years, the good people of our land have kept Thanksgiving Day. It comes in the month of November, after the corn, the apples, and the pumpkins are gathered, and after the farmers have cut a pile of wood big enough to last all winter.

By that time, too, the boys and girls who live in the country have had a chance to gather the hickory nuts and walnuts, and the squirrels out in the woods have filled the hollow trees with nuts and acorns.

Then people remember that God has been very good. He has sent the rain and the sunshine, and has made the corn and the apples and the nuts grow. So we have Thanksgiving Day.

Sometimes a snow comes around Thanksgiving time. Then we may remember the little birds, and put out something for them to eat. We ought also to remember poor people and try to make them happy.

Do you know why they had pumpkin pies at the first Thanksgiving, long ago?

It was because they had no apples. So they took the big orange pumpkins and made pies of them. Now we have had pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving so many times that we do not want to do without them.

The first Thanksgiving was at a place called Plymouth. For almost a year the people there had been very hungry.

But God heard their prayers. One day two strangers called Samoset and Squanto visited the settlement. They were native Indians who lived on the land. They taught the settlers how to grow food on their new soil. So the pilgrims made new friends and learned how to grow food in their new home. With the help of Squanto and the other members of his tribe by the end of the season the Pilgrims had an abundant harvest.

To celebrate the harvest the Pilgrims invited the Indian tribes to the feast. The Indians helped the settlers hunt for the feast. And a large feast of corn, roasted meat, pumpkin pie, and fruits was shared. The Pilgrims dedicated this day to getting together with friends and family and thanking God for the abundance of good food and those they love.

And so began the tradition of Thanksgiving.


Night and morn

Shocks of corn

Stood ‘round Plymouth Town;

Then freeze

Nipped the trees

And the nuts came down.


Late that fall

Indians tall

Came to Plymouth Town,

There to eat

Corn bread sweet

And turkey roasted brown.


All the men

Quickly then

To the feast sat down;

Three whole days

Thanks and praise

Rose to God on high.


History Stories for Children,
John W. Wayland,
©1991, 23–26.