Editorial – Have you left out of your life what is most important?

“That which in the counsels of heaven the Father and the Son deemed essential for man’s salvation is clearly presented in the Holy Scriptures.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 438

“Christ’s words contain nothing that is nonessential. The Sermon on the Mount is a wonderful production, yet so simple that a child can study it without misunderstanding. … Every word He uttered came from God, and He spoke with the authority of heaven. … His teaching is full of ennobling, saving truth, to which men’s highest ambitions and most profound investigations can bear no comparison. He was alive to the terrible ruin hanging over the race, and He came to save souls by His own righteousness, bringing to the world definite assurance of hope and complete relief.

“It is because Christ’s words are disregarded, because the word of God is given a second place in education, that infidelity is riot and iniquity is rife. … A mass of tradition, containing merely a semblance of truth, is brought into the courses of study given in the schools of the world. The force of much human teaching is found in assertion, not in truth. … There is a painful uncertainty, a constant searching, a reaching for assurance, that can be found only in God. The trumpet of human greatness may be sounded, but it is with an uncertain sound; it is not reliable, and the salvation of souls cannot be assured by it.

“In acquiring earthly knowledge, men have thought to gain a treasure; and they have laid the Bible aside, ignorant that it contains a treasure worth everything else. A failure to study and obey God’s word has brought confusion into the world. Men have left the guardianship of Christ for the guardianship of the great rebel… .

“When in difficulty, philosophers and men of science try to satisfy their minds without appealing to God. They ventilate their philosophy in regard to the heavens and the earth, accounting for plagues, pestilences, epidemics, earthquakes, and famines by their supposed science. Questions relating to creation and providence they attempt to solve by saying, This is a law of nature.” Ibid., 439, 440

If you are uncertain about why the world is in the mess it is in, read these predictions found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, 2 Timothy 3, 2 Thessalonians 2, 1 Peter 4, and 2 Peter 3.

Bible Study – The New Heaven and the New Earth

December 25 – 31, 2022

Key Text

“My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 32:18

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 674–678


“The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was then given to the saints of the Most High, who were to possess it forever, even forever and ever.” Early Writings, 295



1.a. What promise will be fulfilled after sin and sinners are blotted out? Isaiah 65:17; Daniel 7:18, 27

 Note: “God’s entire universe was clean, and the great controversy was forever ended. Wherever we looked, everything upon which the eye rested was beautiful and holy. And all the redeemed host, old and young, great and small, cast their glittering crowns at the feet of their Redeemer, and prostrated themselves in adoration before Him, and worshiped Him that liveth forever and ever. The beautiful new earth, with all its glory, was the eternal inheritance of the saints.” Early Writings, 295

1.b. What gives us the privilege of becoming heirs of the kingdom of glory? John 1:12; Galatians 4:4–7

 Note: “In the heavenly courts there will be no song sung, To me that loved myself, and washed myself, redeemed myself, unto me be glory and honor, blessing and praise. … The whole gospel is comprised in learning of Christ, His meekness and lowliness.

“What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 456



2.a. What condition will exist among the animals in the new earth? Isaiah 11:6, 7, 9

 Note: “Man will be restored to his lost kingship, and the lower order of beings will again recognize his sway; the fierce will become gentle, and the timid trustful.” Education, 304

2.b. What kinds of dwelling places will the saints enjoy in the earth made new? Isaiah 32:18; Proverbs 1:33

 Note: “If we can meet Jesus in peace and be saved, forever saved, we shall be the happiest of beings! Oh, to be at home at last where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest! Heaven, sweet heaven! Oh, I shall appreciate heaven! I know that I must watch and keep my garments unspotted from the world or I shall never enter the abode of the blessed.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 21, 343

“There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.” The Great Controversy, 675

“What we are in the heavenly home, when saved, eternally saved, will be the reflection of what we now are in character and holy service. Shall we not show our loyalty by keeping God’s commandments here, in this our place of probation?” In Heavenly Places, 298

“Let us consider most earnestly the blessed hereafter. Let our faith pierce through every cloud of darkness and behold Him who died for the sins of the world. He has opened the gates of paradise to all who receive and believe on Him. To them He gives power to become the sons and daughters of God. Let the afflictions which pain us so grievously become instructive lessons, teaching us to press forward toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 286, 287



3.a. What evils will no longer exist in the earth made new? Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24; 60:18

Note: “Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning.” The Great Controversy, 676

“This earth is the place of preparation for heaven. The time spent here is the Christian’s winter. Here the chilly winds of affliction blow upon us, and the waves of trouble roll against us. But in the near future, when Christ comes, sorrow and sighing will be forever ended. Then will be the Christian’s summer. All trials will be over, and there will be no more sickness or death.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 988

3.b. Will the redeemed remember the suffering that was their lot on this earth? Isaiah 65:17–19

 Note: “We tried to call up our greatest trials, but they looked so small compared with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory that surrounded us that we could not speak them out, and we all cried out, ‘Alleluia, heaven is cheap enough!’ and we touched our glorious harps and made heaven’s arches ring.” Early Writings, 17

3.c. Describe life in the earth made new. Isaiah 51:3; 65:21–25

 Note: “There [in heaven] we shall know even as also we are known. There the loves and sympathies that God has planted in the soul will find truest and sweetest exercise. The pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and with the faithful ones of all ages, the sacred fellowship that binds together ‘the whole family in heaven and earth’—all are among the experiences of the hereafter.

“There will be music there, and song, such music and song as, save in the visions of God, no mortal ear has heard or mind conceived.” Education, 306, 307



4.a. What admonition is given to us about the immutability of God’s words? Revelation 21:5, last part; 22:18, 19

 Note: “Those who, by their human construction, shall make the Scripture to utter that which Christ has never placed upon it, weaken its force, making the voice of God in instruction and warnings to testify falsehood, to avoid the inconvenience incurred by obedience to God’s requirements, have become signboards, pointing in the wrong direction, into false paths, which lead to transgression and death.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 387

“Many will make the words of the Revelation a spiritualistic mystery, robbing them of their solemn import. God declares that His judgments shall fall with increased dreadfulness upon anyone who shall try to change the solemn words written in this book—the Revelation of Jesus Christ.” The Review and Herald, August 2, 1906

“In His word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 122

4.b. What warning is given to children and youth who desire to inherit the new earth? Ephesians 6:1–3; Colossians 3:20

Note: “Children who dishonor and disobey their parents, and disregard their advice and instructions, can have no part in the earth made new. The purified new earth will be no place for the rebellious, the disobedient, the ungrateful, son or daughter. Unless such learn obedience and submission here, they will never learn it; the peace of the ransomed will not be marred by disobedient, unruly, unsubmissive children. No commandment breaker can inherit the kingdom of heaven.” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 497, 498

“Children, do you desire eternal life? Then respect and honor your parents. Do not wound and grieve their hearts, and cause them to spend sleepless nights in anxiety and distress over your case. If you have sinned in not rendering love and obedience to them, begin now to redeem the past.” The Youth’s Instructor, June 22, 1893



5.a. What should be our attitude considering the nearness of our eternal redemption? James 4:8–11; Titus 2:11–13

 Note: “The Lord is soon to come, and we must be prepared to meet Him in peace. Let us be determined to do all in our power to impart light to those around us. We are not to be sad, but cheerful, and we are to keep the Lord Jesus ever before us. He is soon coming, and we must be ready and waiting for His appearing. Oh, how glorious it will be to see Him and be welcomed as His redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our hope is not to grow dim. If we can but see the King in His beauty we shall be forever blessed.” Testimonies, Vol. 8, 253

“The closest relation exists between God and His people. … The servants of God are to be earnest, penitent, trustful, thankful. Their lives should be living epistles, known and read of all men. They should be continually looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” The Signs of the Times, January 27, 1890

5.b. What comfort do we find in God’s word as we approach the consummation of our hope? James 5:7, 8; Hebrews 10:36–39

 Note: “There will be no sadness in the city of God. No wail of sorrow, no dirge of crushed hopes and buried affections, will evermore be heard. Soon the garments of heaviness will be changed for the wedding garment. Soon we shall witness the coronation of our King. Those whose lives have been hidden with Christ, those who on this earth have fought the good fight of faith, will shine forth with the Redeemer’s glory in the kingdom of God.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 287



1    What is the reward of the faithful?

2    Describe the home of the saved.

3    What will happen to the many trials we now have?

4    What should our youth think about if they desire everlasting life and joy?

5    What will you do today with the offer of salvation?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Sin and Sinners Destroyed

December 18 – 24, 2022

Key Text

“ ‘For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all that do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘that will leave them neither root nor branch.’ ” Malachi 4:1

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 663–673


“Satan, the root of every sin, and all evil workers, who are his branches, shall be utterly cut off. An end will be made of sin, with all the woe and ruin that have resulted from it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 341



1.a. Before the coming of Jesus, what will be the condition of the wicked? Malachi 3:14; 2 Timothy 3:1–4. 1 John 5:19

Note: “The cities around us are filled with wickedness, and after the message of warning has been given to them no more words of peace will be given.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 3, 87

“The state of the world, with its abominations and crimes, in fulfilment of the prophecies concerning the wickedness that would prevail during the last days, is enough to lead true Christians to live lives of humility and prayer.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 338

1.b. What will happen to the wicked ones who will be alive at the time of Jesus’ coming? 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9; 2:8

Note: “At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth—consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory.” The Great Controversy, 657



2.a. What will take place after the one thousand years have expired? Isaiah 24:22; Revelation 20:5, first part

 Note: “Every eye in that vast multitude is turned to behold the glory of the Son of God. With one voice the wicked hosts exclaim: ‘Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!’ It is not love to Jesus that inspires this utterance. The force of truth urges the words from unwilling lips. As the wicked went into their graves, so they come forth with the same enmity to Christ and the same spirit of rebellion. They are to have no new probation in which to remedy the defects of their past lives. Nothing would be gained by this. A lifetime of transgression has not softened their hearts. A second probation, were it given them, would be occupied as was the first in evading the requirements of God and exciting rebellion against Him.” The Great Controversy, 662

2.b. How does the Bible describe the multitude of the resurrected wicked ones at the end of the millennium? Revelation 20:7, 8. Who are included in that vast multitude?

 Note: “In that vast throng are multitudes of the long-lived race that existed before the Flood; men of lofty stature and giant intellect, who, yielding to the control of fallen angels, devoted all their skill and knowledge to the exaltation of themselves; men whose wonderful works of art led the world to idolize their genius, but whose cruelty and evil inventions, defiling the earth and defacing the image of God, caused Him to blot them from the face of His creation. There are kings and generals who conquered nations, valiant men who never lost a battle, proud, ambitious warriors whose approach made kingdoms tremble. In death these experienced no change. As they come up from the grave, they resume the current of their thoughts just where it ceased. They are actuated by the same desire to conquer that ruled them when they fell.” The Great Controversy, 664



3.a. What did Jesus say about the eradication of sin? Matthew 15:13

 Note: “Every plant that Satan has planted—jealousy, anger, envy, evil surmising, evil speaking, impatience, fretfulness, prejudice, vanity, covetousness, and selfishness—should be rooted up without delay. There is constant peril for the soul who nurtures these evil qualities, for they will bear a burden of evil fruit, whereby many will be defiled. These poisonous plants defile the soul and crowd out the precious flower of love.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, 79

“The extermination of sin will vindicate God’s love and establish His honor before a universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law.” The Desire of Ages, 764

3.b. After the second resurrection, what will Satan do in desperation as he deceives the innumerable multitude of wicked? Revelation 20:9, first part

 Note: “Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy. He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans. The wicked are Satan’s captives. In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader. They are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. Yet, true to his early cunning, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan. He claims to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him. He represents himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that his power has brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny. The presence of Christ having been removed, Satan works wonders to support his claims. He makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy. He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.” The Great Controversy, 664



4.a. What will even the wicked understand regarding the mission of Christ when He came into the world? 1 John 3:8, last part; Luke 13:35

 Note: “When the Judge of all the world demands, Why have ye done thus? what reason can he assign, what cause can he plead? Bear in mind every tongue is silent, every mouth that has been so ready to speak evil, so ready to accuse, so ready to utter words of recrimination and falsehood is stopped, and the whole world of rebellion stands speechless before God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventhday Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1163

“With all the facts of the great controversy in view, the whole universe, both loyal and rebellious, with one accord declare: ‘Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.’ ” The Great Controversy, 671

4.b. What will happen to the wicked, the evil angels, and Satan? Psalms 11:6; Jude 1:6, 7; Revelation 20:9, last part, 14, 15

 Note: “Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10. The earth’s surface seems one molten mass—a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men’—the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.’ Isaiah 34:8.

“The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. Proverbs 11:31. They ‘shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Malachi 4:1. Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. All are punished ‘according to their deeds.’ ‘The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived. After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is still to live and suffer on. In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch—Satan the root, his followers the branches.” The Great Controversy, 672, 673



5.a. What condition will exist after sin and sinners are destroyed? Psalm 104:35; Isaiah 14:7; 35:10; Zechariah 1:11

 Note: “Satan’s work of ruin is forever ended. … Now God’s creatures are forever delivered from his presence and temptations.” The Great Controversy, 673

“Christ … saw the happiness of those who through His humiliation should receive pardon and everlasting life. He was wounded for their transgressions, bruised for their iniquities. The chastisement of their peace was upon Him, and with His stripes they were healed.” The Ministry of Healing, 504

5.b. How will the redeemed express their gratitude to the Lord for the restoration of His original plan? Revelation 5:13; 19:1, 6, 7

Note: “When the redeemed stand in the presence of God, they will see how shortsighted were their conclusions as to what heaven records as success. As they review their efforts to achieve success they will see how foolish were their plans, how petty their supposed trials, how unreasonable their doubts. They will see how often they brought failure to their work by not taking God at His word. And one truth will stand out in clear lines: that position does not prepare a man for entrance into the heavenly courts. They will see, too, that the honor given to man is due to God alone, that to Him belongs all the glory. From the lips of the angelic choir and the redeemed host will peal forth the chorus.” Testimonies, Vol. 7, 28



1    How does this lesson confirm the old saying, “Crime does not pay”?

2    What reveals the fact that human character is unchanged after death?

3    With what deception does Satan incite the resurrected wicked to fight?

4    In what sense will the redeemed be further amazed by God’s glory?

5    Describe the joy that will be felt in the universe.

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – The Resurrections

December 11 – 17, 2022

Key Text

“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” 1 Corinthians 15:12–14

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 644-662


“The hope of the bereaved is in looking forward to the glorious day when the Life-giver shall break the fetters of the tomb, and the righteous dead shall arise and leave their prison house to be clothed with glorious immortal life.” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 40



1.a.        Name a few cases of resurrection in Old Testament times. 1 Kings 17:18–22; 2 Kings 4:32–36; 13:21

 Note: “Christ, the great Life-giver, restored her [the Shunammite’s] son to her. In like manner will His faithful ones be rewarded, when, at His coming, death loses its sting and the grave is robbed of the victory it has claimed. Then will He restore to His servants the children that have been taken from them by death.” Prophets and Kings, 239

1.b.        What does the resurrection of Moses symbolize for all believers? Matthew 17:1–3

Note: “Moses was present [at Christ’s transfiguration] to represent those who will be raised from the dead at the second appearing of Jesus.” Early Writings, 164



2.a.        Relate some resurrections in the New Testament. Luke 7:11–15; 8:49–55; Acts 9:36–40; 20:9–12

 Note: “He who gave back to the widow of Nain her only son, and who in His agony upon the cross remembered His own mother, is touched today by the mother’s sorrow. In every grief and every need He will give comfort and help.” The Desire of Ages, 512

“Jesus approached the bedside [of Jairus’ daughter], and, taking the child’s hand in His own, He pronounced softly, in the familiar language of her home, the words, ‘Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.’

“Instantly a tremor passed through the unconscious form. The pulses of life beat again. The lips unclosed with a smile. The eyes opened widely as if from sleep, and the maiden gazed with wonder on the group beside her. She arose, and her parents clasped her in their arms, and wept for joy.” Ibid., 343

“Directing that the weeping friends be sent from the room, he [Peter] kneeled down and prayed fervently to God to restore Dorcas to life and health. Turning to the body, he said, ‘Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.’ Dorcas had been of great service to the church, and God saw fit to bring her back from the land of the enemy, that her skill and energy might still be a blessing to others, and also that by this manifestation of His power the cause of Christ might be strengthened.” The Acts of the Apostles, 132

2.b. The resurrection of Lazarus was the greatest miracle performed in Christ’s ministry on earth. Tell the sequence of events in this experience. John 11:14, 21, 32, 33–44

 Note: “There is a stir in the silent tomb, and he who was dead stands at the door of the sepulcher. His movements are impeded by the graveclothes in which he was laid away, and Christ says to the astonished spectators, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’ Again they are shown that the human worker is to cooperate with God. Humanity is to work for humanity. Lazarus is set free, and stands before the company, not as one emaciated from disease, and with feeble, tottering limbs, but as a man in the prime of life, and in the vigor of a noble manhood. His eyes beam with intelligence and with love for his Saviour. He casts himself in adoration at the feet of Jesus.” The Desire of Ages, 536



3.a. What promise belongs to those who die in the Lord? Job 14:14; Isaiah 26:19; 1 Corinthians 15:20–23

 Note: “The Sadducees were in opposition to the Pharisees regarding the resurrection of the dead. The former claimed that there would be no resurrection of the body. But Jesus tells them that one of the greatest works of His Father is raising up the dead, and even so the Son of God has power in Himself to raise from the dead. ‘Marvel not,’ said He, ‘at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.’ ” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 2, 167

3.b. What is the greatest proof that there will be a resurrection of the dead? Luke 24:1–8; John 11:23–27

 Note: “[At Christ’s resurrection,] brave soldiers, who had never been afraid of human power, were now as captives taken without sword or spear. The face they looked upon was not the face of mortal warrior; it was the face of a heavenly messenger, sent to relieve the Son of God from the debt for which He had become responsible, and for which He had now made a full atonement. This heavenly visitant was the angel that on the plains of Bethlehem had proclaimed Christ’s birth. The earth trembled at his approach, and as he rolled away the stone from Christ’s grave, heaven seemed to come down to earth. The soldiers saw him removing the stone as he would a pebble, and heard him call, Son of God, Thy Father saith, Come forth. They saw Jesus come from the grave as a mighty conqueror, and heard Him proclaim, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ The angel guards bowed low in adoration before the Redeemer as He came forth in majesty and glory, and welcomed Him with songs of praise.” The Youth’s Instructor, May 2, 1901

“In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life. ‘He that believeth in Me,’ said Jesus, ‘though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ Christ here looks forward to the time of His second coming. Then the righteous dead shall be raised incorruptible, and the living righteous shall be translated to heaven without seeing death.” The Desire of Ages, 530



4.a.        What did Daniel the prophet say would take place in the time of trouble? Daniel 12:1, 2

 Note: “There was a mighty earthquake. The graves were opened, and those who had died in faith under the third angel’s message, keeping the Sabbath, came forth from their dusty beds, glorified, to hear the covenant of peace that God was to make with those who had kept His law.” Early Writings, 285

“ ‘Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.’ Daniel 12:2 All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb. … ‘They also which pierced Him’ (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ’s dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient.” The Great Controversy, 637

4.b. How many classes of people will be living on earth after the partial resurrection? Matthew 25:31–33

Note: “Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake.” Early Writings, 15

“A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob’s trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God.” Ibid., 36, 37

“Through a rift in the clouds there beams a star whose brilliancy is increased fourfold in contrast with the darkness. It speaks hope and joy to the faithful, but severity and wrath to the transgressors of God’s law.” The Great Controversy, 638

“In the issue of the contest all Christendom will be divided into two great classes—those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark.” Ibid., 450



5.a.        When will the general, final resurrection of the righteous take place? 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 20:4–6

 Note: “Amid the reeling of the earth, the flash of lightning, and the roar of thunder, the voice of the Son of God calls forth the sleeping saints. He looks upon the graves of the righteous, then, raising His hands to heaven, He cries: ‘Awake, awake, awake, ye that sleep in the dust, and arise!’ Throughout the length and breadth of the earth the dead shall hear that voice, and they that hear shall live. And the whole earth shall ring with the tread of the exceeding great army of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. From the prison house of death they come, clothed with immortal glory, crying: ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ 1 Corinthians 15:55. And the living righteous and the risen saints unite their voices in a long, glad shout of victory.” The Great Controversy, 644

5.b. When will the unrighteous be raised from the grave? Revelation 20:5, 7, 8, 12, 13

 Note: “After the judgment of the wicked dead had been finished, at the end of the one thousand years, Jesus left the city, and the saints and a train of the angelic host followed Him. …

“Then, in terrible, fearful majesty, Jesus called forth the wicked dead; and they came up with the same feeble, sickly bodies that went into the grave. What a spectacle! What a scene!” Early Writings, 291, 292



1    How do Old Testament resurrections reveal the everlasting gospel?

2    Why did Jesus allow Lazarus to die?

3    How did the Sadducees and the Pharisees differ in their beliefs concerning the resurrection of the dead?

4    Where is the partial resurrection recorded, and why is it so important?

5    Explain the difference between the first and second resurrection.

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – The Millennium

December 4 – 10, 2022

Key Text

“I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; and the heavens, they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled. I beheld, and indeed, the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down at the presence of the Lord, by His fierce anger.” Jeremiah 4:23–26

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 653–661


“The saints will rest in the Holy City and reign as kings and priests one thousand years.” Early Writings, 51



1.a.        After the seven last plagues are poured out, what will happen to the bodies of the wicked? Isaiah 66:15–17; Jeremiah 25:30–33

 Note: “The wicked had been destroyed, and their dead bodies were lying upon its [the earth’s] surface.” Early Writings, 289

1.b.        How will the earth appear at this time? Revelation 19:17–21

Note: “At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth—consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. Christ takes His people to the City of God, and the earth is emptied of its inhabitants. …

“The whole earth appears like a desolate wilderness. The ruins of cities and villages destroyed by the earthquake, uprooted trees, ragged rocks thrown out by the sea or torn out of the earth itself, are scattered over its surface, while vast caverns mark the spot where the mountains have been rent from their foundations.” The Great Controversy, 657



2.a. What will happen to Satan at the beginning of the one thousand years of Revelation 20? Revelation 20:1, 2

Note: “Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years. Here he will be confined, to wander up and down over the broken surface of the earth and see the effects of his rebellion against God’s law. For a thousand years he can enjoy the fruit of the curse which he has caused.” Early Writings, 290

“Limited to the earth, he will not have access to other worlds to tempt and annoy those who have never fallen. It is in this sense that he is bound: there are none remaining, upon whom he can exercise his power. He is wholly cut off from the work of deception and ruin which for so many centuries has been his sole delight.” The Great Controversy, 659

2.b. Where will Satan be imprisoned during the one thousand years? Revelation 20:3

 Note: “That the expression ‘bottomless pit’ represents the earth in a state of confusion and darkness is evident from other scriptures. Concerning the condition of the earth ‘in the beginning,’ the Bible record says that it ‘was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.’ Genesis 1:2. Prophecy teaches that it will be brought back, partially at least, to this condition.” Maranatha, 307

“The revelator foretells the banishment of Satan and the condition of chaos and desolation to which the earth is to be reduced, and he declares that this condition will exist for a thousand years.” The Great Controversy, 658

“For a thousand years, Satan will wander to and fro in the desolate earth to behold the results of his rebellion against the law of God. During this time his sufferings are intense. Since his fall his life of unceasing activity has banished reflection; but he is now deprived of his power and left to contemplate the part which he has acted since first he rebelled against the government of heaven, and to look forward with trembling and terror to the dreadful future when he must suffer for all the evil that he has done and be punished for the sins that he has caused to be committed.” The Great Controversy, 660



3.a.        What scene was shown the apostle John and what power was given those who had obtained victory over the beast, his image, and his mark? Revelation 20:4, 6, 12, 13

Note: “After the saints are changed to immortality and caught up together with Jesus, after they receive their harps, their robes, and their crowns, and enter the city, Jesus and the saints sit in judgment. The books are opened—the book of life and the book of death. The book of life contains the good deeds of the saints; and the book of death contains the evil deeds of the wicked. These books are compared with the statute book, the Bible, and according to that men are judged. The saints, in unison with Jesus, pass their judgment upon the wicked dead.” Early Writings, 52

3.b. What will be the main occupation of the saints during the millennium? Daniel 7:22; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3

Note: “During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection the judgment of the wicked takes place. The apostle Paul points to this judgment as an event that follows the second advent. ‘Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.’ 1 Corinthians 4:5. Daniel declares that when the Ancient of Days came, ‘judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:22. At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. John in the Revelation says: ‘I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.’ ‘They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.’ Revelation 20:4, 6. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, ‘the saints shall judge the world.’ 1 Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.” The Great Controversy, 660, 661



4.a. When the judgment of the wicked is completed in heaven, what event will take place? Isaiah 24:22; Revelation 20:5, 13

Note: “At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth. He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels. As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of disease and death.” The Great Controversy, 662

“[At the second resurrection, the wicked] … appear before God for the execution of ‘the judgment written.’ ” Ibid., 661

4.b.        What will be the fate of those whose names were not written in the book of life? Revelation 20:15. How is this a warning to all? Ezekiel 33:13–16

Note: “What a spectacle! What a scene! At the first resurrection all came forth in immortal bloom; but at the second the marks of the curse are visible on all.” Early Writings, 292

“Few will be saved, and that the greater number of those, even, who are called will prove themselves unworthy of everlasting life. They will have no part in heaven, but will have their portion with Satan, and experience the second death.

“Men and women may escape this doom if they will. It is true that Satan is the great originator of sin; yet this does not excuse any man for sinning; for he cannot force men to do evil. He tempts them to it, and makes sin look enticing and pleasant; but he has to leave it to their own wills whether they will do it or not.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 294

“If the professed believer becomes self-confident, if in word or spirit he breaks the least precept of God’s holy law, he misrepresents Jesus, and in the Judgment the awful words will be spoken, ‘Blot out his name from the book of life; he is a worker of iniquity.’ But the Father pities the self-distrustful, God-fearing soul.” The Signs of the Times, August 6, 1885



5.a. After Satan is released from his prison, how will he try to deceive all the wicked that have just been resurrected? Revelation 20:7–9

Note: “The wicked are filled with the same hatred of God that inspires Satan; but they see that their case is hopeless, that they cannot prevail against Jehovah. Their rage is kindled against Satan and those who have been his agents in deception, and with the fury of demons they turn upon them. …

“Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up.” The Great Controversy, 672

5.b. What will be the fate of Satan, his angels, evil men, and sin? Revelation 20:10, 14; 21:8. Malachi 4:1. Will there be any hope of resurrection from the second death? Psalm 37:10; Obadiah 1:16, last part

Note: “Those who have not, through repentance and faith, secured pardon, must receive the penalty of transgression—‘the wages of sin.’ They suffer punishment varying in duration and intensity, ‘according to their works,’ but finally ending in the second death. Since it is impossible for God, consistently with His justice and mercy, to save the sinner in his sins, He deprives him of the existence which his transgressions have forfeited and of which he has proved himself unworthy.” The Great Controversy, 544, 545



1    What is soon to happen to the earth?

2    In what sense will Satan be “bound” for 1,000 years?

3    When is 1 Corinthians 6:3 to be fulfilled?

4    What do we know about the book of life?

5    What is the second death?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – The Second Coming of Jesus

This We Believe (3)

November 27 – December 3, 2022

Key Text

“In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2, 3

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 638–652


“Soon Christ is coming for His people to take them to the mansions He is preparing for them. But nothing that defiles can enter those mansions. Heaven is pure and holy, and those who pass through the gates of the city of God must here be clothed with inward and outward purity.” Counsels on Health, 103



1.a.        What was the expectation of all patriarchs, prophets, and faithful believers of old? Job 19:25–27

 Note: “The doctrine of the second advent is the very keynote of the sacred Scriptures.” The Great Controversy, 299

1.b.        What did Jesus promise to His disciples, and for what did He pray to the heavenly Father? John 14:1–3; 17:24. How did the angels repeat the promise of Jesus? Acts 1:10, 11

 Note: “None who truly love Jesus will be sorry that He is coming again. And as they approach nearer to the coming of the Son of man, the true lovers of Jesus will look forward with joyous hope, and will seek to get all ready to behold Him whom their souls loveth, who died to redeem them.” Lift Him Up, 379



2.a. Who will accompany Jesus at His coming and what will they be commanded to do? Matthew 24:31

 Note: “Christ is soon to come the second time. Of this we should often talk. It should be the uppermost thought in our minds. He is coming, with power and great glory, and every eye shall see Him.” The Upward Look, 311

“Christ will come in His own glory, in the glory of His Father, and the glory of the holy angels. Ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels, the beautiful and triumphant sons of God, possessing surpassing loveliness and glory, will escort Him on His way.” The Desire of Ages, 739

2.b. What is revealed in the Scriptures regarding those that died in the Lord? Isaiah 26:19. What event will take place when Jesus comes again? Philippians 3:20, 21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16

 Note: “Amid the reeling of the earth, the flash of lightning, and the roar of thunder, the voice of the Son of God calls forth the sleeping saints. He looks upon the graves of the righteous, then, raising His hands to heaven, He cries: ‘Awake, awake, awake, ye that sleep in the dust, and arise!’ Throughout the length and breadth of the earth the dead shall hear that voice, and they that hear shall live. And the whole earth shall ring with the tread of the exceeding great army of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. From the prison house of death they come, clothed with immortal glory, crying: ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ 1 Corinthians 15:55. And the living righteous and the risen saints unite their voices in a long, glad shout of victory.” The Great Controversy, 644

“Do we believe with all the heart that Christ is soon coming and that we are now having the last message of mercy that is ever to be given to a guilty world? Is our example what it should be? Do we, by our lives and holy conversation, show to those around us that we are looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who shall change these vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body? I fear that we do not believe and realize these things as we should.” Early Writings, 111



3.a. Who will see Jesus at His second coming? Matthew 24:30; Mark 14:60–62; Revelation 1:7

Note: “Solemn hour when the servants are reckoned with, and retribution is awarded to all! There is no second trial. Probation is forever ended. All unbelief in regard to the claims of God’s law here ceases; for it is by this standard that all are judged. Every eye then sees Him; and every soul then realizes what has proved his ruin. It is then seen and acknowledged that God’s law governs all created intelligences. There is none to question His authority.” The Review and Herald, January 12, 1886

“There are those who mocked Christ in His humiliation. With thrilling power come to their minds the Sufferer’s words, when, adjured by the high priest, He solemnly declared: ‘Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ Matthew 26:64. Now they behold Him in His glory, and they are yet to see Him sitting on the right hand of power.” The Great Controversy, 643

“Whether we be saved or lost, we shall sometime see the Saviour as He is, in all His glory, and shall understand His character. At His second coming, conviction will be brought to every heart. Those who have turned from Him to the trivial things of this earth, seeking selfish interests and worldly honor, will in the day of His coming acknowledge their mistake.” The Signs of the Times, January 28, 1903

3.b. To what was the coming of Jesus compared, and how should this affect us? Matthew 24:25–27; Mark 13:33–37

Note: “Those who watch for the Lord’s coming are not waiting in idle expectancy. The expectation of Christ’s coming is to make men fear the Lord, and fear His judgments upon transgression. It is to awaken them to the great sin of rejecting His offers of mercy. Those who are watching for the Lord are purifying their souls by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they combine earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to cooperate with the divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls.” The Desire of Ages, 634



4.a. What will the inhabitants of the earth be doing and saying just before the coming of Jesus? Matthew 24:37–39; Luke 17:28–30; 2 Peter 3:3, 4

Note: “Men and women now carry their eating and drinking so far that it ends in gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to widespread corruption.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 146

“He [the Saviour] foretold the state of backsliding that would exist just prior to His second advent. There would be, as in the days of Noah, the activity and stir of worldly business and pleasure seeking—buying, selling, planting, building, marrying, and giving in marriage—with forgetfulness of God and the future life.” The Great Controversy, 309

“In Noah’s day the inhabitants of the old world laughed to scorn what they termed the superstitious fears and forebodings of the preacher of righteousness. He was denounced as a visionary character, a fanatic, an alarmist. … Men will reject the solemn message of warning in our day, as they did in Noah’s time. They will refer to those false teachers who have predicted the event and set the definite time, and will say that they have no more faith in our warning than in theirs. This is the attitude of the world today. Unbelief is widespread, and the preaching of Christ’s coming is mocked at and derided.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 308

4.b. In view of the urgency of time in which we are living, what warning should be heeded? Matthew 24:44; Luke 21:34–36

Note: “You are now to get ready for the time of trial. Now you are to know whether your feet are planted on the Eternal Rock. You must have an individual experience, and not depend upon others for your light. When you are brought to the test, how do you know that you will not be alone, with no earthly friend at your side? Will you then be able to realize that Christ is your support? Will you be able to recall the promise, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world?’ ” Maranatha, 255



5.a. What comforting words did the apostle Paul send to the believers in Thessalonica? 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18. How is the coming of Jesus described in the Spirit of Prophecy?

Note: “Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared, about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire; a rainbow was over the cloud, while around it were ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sat the Son of man.” Early Writings, 15, 16

5.b. Describe the ascension of the saints. What will they receive? 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:50–57

 Note: “We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns, and with His own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. Some of them had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars, while others had but few. All were perfectly satisfied with their crowns. … Jesus raised His mighty, glorious arm, laid hold of the pearly gate, swung it back on its glittering hinges, and said to us, ‘You have washed your robes in My blood, stood stiffly for My truth, enter in.’ ” Early Writings, 16, 17



1    If we genuinely love Jesus, what thought will we cherish above all?

2    Why is the second coming of Christ so significant?

3    In considering Christ’s return, what personal preparation do we need?

4    In what ways do we see the days of Noah being repeated today?

5    Why will all the saints be satisfied with their crowns?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Creamy Vegan Banana Pudding

The Banana

Bananas are one of the most versatile foods available. They come in their own container and can be eaten right out of the peel.

The banana plant, also called a banana tree, is technically regarded as an herb, not a tree, because the stem doesn’t have true woody tissue.

Bananas are the most popular fruit in the world. Over 100 billion bananas are eaten every year. The majority of them are eaten around breakfast time.

Americans eat more bananas than any other fruit, with an average consumption of 26.2 pounds of bananas per person per year. In fact, Americans eat more bananas than both apples and oranges combined.

A cluster of bananas is formally called a hand. A single banana is called a finger.

Fully ripe bananas with dark patches on their yellow skin produce a substance called Tumor Necrosis Factor, which has the ability to combat abnormal cells in your body. The darker the patches it has, the higher will be the immunity enhancement quality. Therefore, the riper the banana, the greater the anti-cancer properties.

Humans share about 50% of their DNA with bananas.

A diet of potassium rich bananas can help beat high blood pressure because bananas speed up the rate at which salt is excreted from the body.

Source: Tonsoffacts.com

Recipe – Creamy Vegan Banana Pudding



2 cups coconut milk or non-dairy milk of choice

1 ripe banana

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup raw cashews

6 pitted medjool dates

1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

For layering:

Roasted pecans

2 ripe bananas, sliced

Coconut whipped cream


In a blender, combine the pudding ingredients and blend briefly. Leave mixture in the blender for 10-15 minutes to soften the chia seeds and cashews, and then blend again on high until creamy and smooth. Pour into a container and refrigerate until thickened, several hours, or overnight. Layer the pudding into glasses with the pecans, sliced bananas, and coconut whipped cream.

Who Will be Saved and Who Will be Lost

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that in the last days not everyone who wants to go to heaven would be allowed entrance. Many of those who consider themselves His followers would be denied entrance to the kingdom. But what is the deciding factor that determines who will be saved and who will be lost?

The book of Revelation teaches us that heaven is for the overcomer. “Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’ And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.’ ” Revelation 21:5–7

Those who do not overcome are described in verse 8: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

We see something very similar to this in Revelation 22:14, 15. “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”

Verse 16 tells us, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” So we see that Jesus Himself is describing these two very different classes of people.

John’s letters to the seven churches, found in Revelation 2 and 3, lay out the Lord’s message to all of His professed followers in the Christian dispensation.

Speaking to the church of Ephesus, he says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7. The person who overcomes is promised the ability to eat of the fruit of the tree of life.

The tree of life is alluded to in the very first chapters of the Bible. “The Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’ ” Genesis 2:16, 17

The Lord planted all manner of plants and trees to be food for Adam and Eve to eat, and they could eat of everything, as they pleased, except for the one tree. The Bible tells us in Genesis 3 that the woman, Eve, entered into conversation with a creature that looked like a serpent, but was the devil, called in Revelation a dragon and that serpent of old, in disguise. “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” ’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” ’ And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ ” Genesis 3:1–5

The devil is a liar and always has been (John 8:44). However in this one thing he told the truth—once Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the tree, they did know good from evil. But when he told Eve that they would not die, this was a lie, for the Bible does not say that the soul of man is immortal. In fact, it says, “The soul who sins shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20, first part

“[W]hen the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6. As a result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve were driven from the garden, no longer allowed access to the tree of life, and they along with all of their descendants became subject to death.

After pronouncing a curse upon the serpent, we see God speak to Adam, “He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it”: ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. … In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.’ ” Genesis 3:17, 19

Adam was terrified when he heard the pronouncement that he would return to dust. “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’—therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:22–24

So Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden that day and not a single member of the human race has been allowed back to eat of the tree of life.

The early generations of mankind would live for a very long time—several hundred years—and unless a person was murdered, such as Abel was by his brother Cain, people lived so long the Bible tells us that there were nine generations alive on the earth at the same time before the Flood (see Genesis 5).

But after the Flood, man’s lifespan rapidly decreased so that by the twentieth generation, instead of living several hundred years, people only lived between one and two hundred years. Within a relatively short time after that, most people lived less than a hundred years until finally, as we find in the Psalms, the term of a man’s life had degenerated to around seventy years of age.

As many people have said, we scarcely start to live until we begin to die. And the truth is, that after sin entered the world, we began a downward slide from birth to death in just a few, short years. However, we have the divine promise that, if we are overcomers, we will once again be allowed access to the tree of life, whose fruit perpetuates life, and we need no longer fear death.

The second church John wrote to, the church of Smyrna, the Lord gave special promises regarding the problem of death. Smyrna was a persecuted church and many of its believers were martyred for the cause of Christ.

The Lord told them, “ ‘Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.’ ” Revelation 2:10, 11

In this world, regardless of whether we are good or bad, whatever our situation is, we all—except those alive at the second coming—will die the first death, because the Bible says, “[I]t is appointed for men to die once, … after this the judgment … .” Hebrews 9:27. But when Jesus comes, all those who are His children—all those who are overcomers—will be raised and given eternal life.

We find a description of this resurrection in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then they who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

All who have died in Christ will be raised from the dead and all who have lived in Christ and are alive at His coming will be gathered to Him. 1 Corinthians 15:53–55 tells us what happens to this group of people: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ ”

But what happens to those who do not die in Christ, those who do not overcome, those who have not chosen to follow Him? “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’ ” Revelation 6:15–17

Once God’s children have been gathered into the clouds to be with Him and the wicked who are alive are destroyed by the brightness of His coming, Revelation 20 tells us, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.” Verses 1–3

In verse 5, the Bible tells us what happens to the wicked who have died before Christ’s coming. It says, “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” So, those who died before His coming, but did not die in Christ, will not be saved. They will not be raised when He returns, and the Bible says they will not live again until the millennium is finished.

If you are part of the first resurrection, verse 6 says, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Sin and death have no power over you anymore.

At the end of the thousand years, all of the unsaved will be raised.

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades [the grave] delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Verses 11–15

Friend, if your name is not written in the book of life, you will not have eternal life; but if you are an overcomer, you will not be hurt by the second death. You will be taken to heaven to live with the Lord.

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:28, 29

Speaking about those who would be raised to the resurrection of life, Jesus said, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age … and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” Luke 20:34–36

In the day of his great trial and distress, Job looked forward to that time, and said, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth.” Job 19:25

Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, predicted this same event. “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 14, last part, 15

Paul wrote that when the Lord would come, some would be saved while others would be lost. And writing to Timothy, he said, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me at that day, and not to me only but also to all who love His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8

Revelation teaches that eternal life, heaven, and salvation are the reward of the one who overcomes. So what exactly must we overcome so that we can be in the kingdom of heaven?

The Bible is very specific about this. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them [false spirits], because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the Spirit of error.” 1 John 4:4–6

Then John comes more directly to the point, “Whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:4

What is John talking about when he says, “He that is born of God overcomes the world?” He explains himself in 1 John 2:15, 16: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

So what is in the world?

“The lust of the flesh” – the desire for unlawful sensual pleasure.

“The lust of the eyes” – the desire for possessions.

“The pride of life” – the desire for the praise and approbation of men.

Paul summarizes what the flesh causes men to do in Galatians 5:19–21, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Paul spells out exactly what the works of the flesh are, and over and over again he makes it clear that we must overcome them if we are to be in the kingdom of God. But if we have received the Holy Spirit, something completely different will happen in our lives. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Verses 22–25

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9–11

The gospel is the most wonderful thing in the world. It can take people who have been involved in any kind of sin, and transform their lives so that they are no longer a slave to their evil habits and they will receive power to overcome.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us that were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? … [K]nowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. … Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present yourselves as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.” Romans 6:1–3, 6, 11–14

Friend, there will be only two categories of people when Jesus comes: those who are part of the resurrection to eternal life, and those who are part of the resurrection to condemnation. Which category will you be in?

[Emphasis supplied.]

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: historic@stepstolife.org, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

The Garden of God’s Promises

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

Hebrews 10:36

The promises of God are like precious flowers scattered through a garden. The Lord would have us linger over them, looking closely into them, taking in their loveliness, and appreciating the favor that God has bestowed upon us by making such rich provisions for our needs. Were it not for contemplation of the promises of God, we could not understand the gracious love and compassion of God toward us or realize how rich were the treasures prepared for those who love Him. He would have the soul encouraged to repose in faith upon Him, the only sufficiency of the human agent.

We are to send our petitions through the darkest clouds that Satan may cast over us, and let our faith pierce to the throne of God encircled by the rainbow of promise, the assurance that God is true, that in Him is no variableness neither shadow of turning. The answer may appear to be delayed, but it is not so. The petition is accepted, and the answer given when it is essential for the best good of the petitioner and when the fulfillment of the request will work most for our eternal interest. God scatters His blessings all along our path to brighten our heavenward journey. …

We are to come before the mercy seat with reverence, calling up to our mind the promises that God has given, contemplating the goodness of God, and offering up thankful praises for His unchangeable love. We are not to trust in our finite prayers, but in the word of our heavenly Father, in His assurance of His love for us. Believing the promise of His unchanging love, we press our petitions to the throne of grace. Our faith may be tested by delay, but the prophet has given instruction as to what we should do. He says, “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His Servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.” Isaiah 50:10

Wait upon the Lord; He has made the promise and is back of the assurance. … He who hungers and thirsts after righteousness will be filled. In Heavenly Places, 125

Question – How can I be thankful when everything is so bad?


How can I be thankful when everything is so bad?


Illness and death, grief and loneliness. Loss of a job and bills to pay. Violence, crime, hatred, crises, wars, and disasters. Temptation and trial. How is it possible, even for a moment, to be thankful in this world?

All evil is brought about by Satan. And while God allows hardships, misfortune, and trials to strengthen our faith and characters, He does not forsake us, providing the strength to bear the task, to carry the load.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man … but with the temptation will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. … His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. … Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice.” Steps to Christ, 100

“Never allow Satan to discourage you. Trust yourself … in the hands of God. … [C]ommit the keeping of your soul to God. Depend in all that you do on the Holy Spirit, for He is our strength, our efficiency.” This Day With God, 22

“Educate the soul to cheerfulness, to thankfulness, and to the expression of gratitude to God for the great love wherewith He hath loved us. …. Christian cheerfulness is the very beauty of holiness.” Sons and Daughters of God, 168

“Of all things that are sought, cherished, and cultivated, there is nothing so valuable in the sight of God as a pure heart, a disposition imbued with thankfulness and peace.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 559

“Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have any being. … Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” Psalm 146:1, last part, 2, 5