Bible Study – “I Will Come Again”

December 24 – 30, 2023

Key Text

“For the Son of man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” Matthew 16:27

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 299–316


“Those who have loved Him and waited for Him, He will crown with glory and honor and immortality. The righteous dead will come forth from their graves, and those who are alive will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air.” The Acts of the Apostles, 34



1.a. What prophetic hope was expressed by both Job and Enoch? Job 19:25–27; Jude 14, 15

1.b.      How does the psalmist describe the Lord’s return, and what should it make us pause to consider? Psalms 50:1–6; 96:11, 13

Note: “The coming of Christ to usher in the reign of righteousness has inspired the most sublime and impassioned utterances of the sacred writers. The poets and prophets of the Bible have dwelt upon it in words glowing with celestial fire.” The Great Controversy, 300

“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. Those who believe the important truths that we profess, should act out their faith. There is too much seeking after amusements and things to take the attention in this world; the mind is left to run too much upon dress, and the tongue is engaged too often in light and trifling conversation, which gives the lie to our profession, for our conversation is not in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour.” Early Writings, 111



2.a. In Old Testament times, what was the hope of the true believers in connection with the second coming of Jesus? Isaiah 26:19; 25:8, 9

2.b.      What did Paul write about the same hope? 1 Corinthians 15:51–55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

Note: “When the Thessalonian Christians were filled with grief as they buried their loved ones, who had hoped to live to witness the coming of the Lord, Paul, their teacher, pointed them to the resurrection, to take place at the Saviour’s advent.” The Great Controversy, 302

2.c. What did Paul call the hope of Christ’s return, and what appeal is included with it? Titus 2:11–14

Note: “The coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers. The Saviour’s parting promise upon Olivet, that He would come again, lighted up the future for His disciples, filling their hearts with joy and hope that sorrow could not quench nor trials dim. Amid suffering and persecution, the ‘appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ was the ‘blessed hope.’ ” The Great Controversy, 302

“We are pilgrims and strangers who are waiting, hoping, and praying for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If we believe this and bring it into our practical life, what vigorous action would this faith and hope inspire; what fervent love one for another; what careful holy living for the glory of God; and in our respect for the recompense of the reward, what distinct lines of demarcation would be evidenced between us and the world.” Evangelism, 220

“The church of God is required to fulfill her night watch, however perilous, whether long or short. Sorrow is no excuse for her to be less watchful. Tribulation should not lead to carelessness, but to double vigilance. Christ has directed the church by His own example to the Source of their strength in times of need, distress, and peril. The attitude of watching is to designate the church as God’s people indeed. By this sign the waiting ones are distinguished from the world and show that they are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 205



3.a. With what message did the angels comfort the disciples at Christ’s ascension, and how is this confirmed in other scriptures? Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16

3.b.      What further descriptions do we have of Christ’s return? Matthew 24:27; Mark 13:26; Revelation 1:7

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. His hair was white and curly and lay on His shoulders; and upon His head were many crowns. His feet had the appearance of fire; in His right hand was a sharp sickle; in His left, a silver trumpet. His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched His children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out, ‘Who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless?’ Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence, when Jesus spoke: ‘Those who have clean hands and pure hearts shall be able to stand; My grace is sufficient for you.’ At this our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart. And the angels struck a note higher and sang again, while the cloud drew still nearer the earth.

“Then Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried, ‘Awake! awake! awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise.’ Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, ‘Alleluia!’ as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.

“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.” Early Writings, 15, 16



4.a. How does John describe the New Jerusalem? Revelation 21:9–26

4.b.      Who will be there and who will not be there? Revelation 21:27; 22:14, 15

Note: “The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. …

“It is now evident to all that the wages of sin is not noble independence and eternal life, but slavery, ruin, and death. The wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered them; but how desirable it now appears. ‘All this,’ cries the lost soul, ‘I might have had; but I chose to put these things far from me. Oh, strange infatuation! I have exchanged peace, happiness, and honor for wretchedness, infamy, and despair.’ All see that their exclusion from heaven is just. By their lives they have declared: ‘We will not have this Man [Jesus] to reign over us.’ ” The Great Controversy, 668

4.c. What should be our constant prayer in view of Christ’s promise to come again soon to gather His faithful, final remnant? Revelation 22:16–20

Note: “ ‘I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. … He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.’

“We see from these words the necessity of sacredly cherishing every ray of light that the Lord Jesus sends to His church on the earth. The efficiency of any church depends upon its entire consecration. The church is not to conform to any one man’s mind or judgment or will, or depart in the slightest particular from the teachings of the Word.” Australasian Union Conference Record, October 7, 1907

“On rocky Patmos the beloved disciple hears the promise, ‘Surely I come quickly,’ and his longing response voices the prayer of the church in all her pilgrimage, ‘Even so, come, Lord Jesus.’ Revelation 22:20.” The Faith I Live By, 348



5.a. Whom did John see holding the seal of the living God, and for what purpose? Revelation 7:2–4

5.b.      Who will—and who will not—be ready for Christ’s appearing? Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21

Note: “We are not to rest in the idea that because we are church members we are saved, while we give no evidence that we are conformed to the image of Christ, while we cling to our old habits, and weave our fabric with the threads of worldly ideas and customs.” Maranatha, 54

“We need a thorough reformation in all our churches. The converting power of God must come into the church. Seek the Lord most earnestly, put away your sins, and tarry in Jerusalem till ye be endowed with power from on high.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 443

“If you harbor pride, self-esteem, a love for the supremacy, vainglory, unholy ambition, murmuring, discontent, bitterness, evil speaking, lying, deception, slandering, you have not Christ abiding in your heart, and the evidence shows that you have the mind and character of Satan, not of Jesus Christ, who was meek and lowly of heart. You must have a Christian character that will stand. …

“There must be thorough conversions among those who claim to believe the truth, or they will fall in the day of trial. God’s people must reach a high standard. They must be a holy nation, a peculiar people, a chosen generation—zealous of good works.” Ibid., 441



1    Who was the first to prophesy about the second coming of Jesus?

2    Who will take part in the first resurrection?

3    Who will see Christ at His glorious return?

4    How is the manner of Christ’s return described?

5    Describe the New Jerusalem, and explain how we can be there.

6    How can I get ready for Christ’s return?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – The Greatest Gift Part 2

December 17 – 23, 2023

Key Text

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 303–314


“The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God. Ephesians 3:10.” The Acts of the Apostles, 9



1.a. What is the only way to control our temper? James 4:7, 8

Note: “In the daily life you will meet with sudden surprises, disappointments, and temptations. What saith the word? ‘Resist the devil.’ By firm reliance upon God, ‘and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.’ ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.’ Look unto Jesus at all times and in all places, offering a silent prayer from a sincere heart that you may know how to do His will. Then when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. When you are almost ready to yield, to lose patience and self-control, to be hard and denunciatory, to find fault and accuse—this is the time for you to send to heaven the prayer, ‘Help me, O God, to resist temptation, to put all bitterness and wrath and evilspeaking out of my heart. Give me Thy meekness, Thy lowliness, Thy long-suffering, and Thy love. Leave me not to dishonor my Redeemer, to misinterpret the words and motives of my wife, my children, and my brethren and sisters in the faith. Help me that I may be kind, pitiful, tenderhearted, forgiving. Help me to be a real house-band in my home and to represent the character of Christ to others.’ ” The Adventist Home, 214, 215

1.b.      How can our sinful inclinations be subdued? John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 10:3–5; Philippians 3:21



2.a. Where do evil thoughts originate? Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:19, 20

Note: “As a man thinketh, so is he. From within, out of the heart, proceed evil thoughts inspired by Satan. He begins to quibble at technicalities and manners. The spirit of Satan links him up with the enemy to bear a word of criticism on less important themes. The truth becomes of less and still less value to him. He becomes an accuser of his brethren, etc., and changes leaders. The outside world has a greater weight with him than has the flood of light that God has poured in upon the world in messages that he has given, and which he once rejoiced in.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 408, 409

2.b.      What things should be kept in mind if we will ever see God? Matthew 5:8; Psalms 15:1–5; 24:3, 4

Note: “Charity ‘doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.’ Christlike love places the most favorable construction on the motives and acts of others. It does not needlessly expose their faults; it does not listen eagerly to unfavorable reports, but seeks rather to bring to mind the good qualities of others.” The Acts of the Apostles, 319

“Into the city of God there will enter nothing that defiles. All who are to be dwellers there will here have become pure in heart. In one who is learning of Jesus, there will be manifest a growing distaste for careless manners, unseemly language, and coarse thought. When Christ abides in the heart, there will be purity and refinement of thought and manner.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 24, 25

2.c. How can we attain to purity in heart? Psalm 119:9–11

Note: “The words of Jesus, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart,’ have a deeper meaning—not merely pure in the sense in which the world understands purity, free from that which is sensual, pure from lust, but true in the hidden purposes and motives of the soul, free from pride and self-seeking, humble, unselfish, childlike.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 25



3.a. According to Isaiah, who will see the King in His beauty? Isaiah 33:14–17

Note: “The darkest hour of the church’s struggle with the powers of evil is that which immediately precedes the day of her final deliverance. But none who trust in God need fear; for ‘when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall,’ God will be to His church ‘a refuge from the storm.’ Isaiah 25:4

“In that day only the righteous are promised deliverance.” Prophets and Kings, 725

3.b.      What example must parents set so that their children may not be lost? Psalm 101:1–3

Note: “From their infancy the youth need to have a firm barrier built up between them and the world, that its corrupting influence may not affect them. Parents must exercise unceasing watchfulness, that their children be not lost to God. The vows of David, recorded in the 101st Psalm, should be the vows of all upon whom rest the responsibilities of guarding the influences of the home. …

“The youth should not be left to learn good and evil indiscriminately, the parents thinking that at some future time the good will predominate and the evil lose its influence. The evil will increase faster than the good. It is possible that the evil which children learn may be eradicated after many years, but who would trust to this? Whatever else they neglect, parents should never leave their children free to wander in the paths of sin.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 119

3.c. Instead of fig leaves, what kind of dress should we seek to obtain? Genesis 3:7, 21; Isaiah 61:10

Note: “Mothers, as well as youth and children, need to pray, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me’ [Psalm 51:10]. This purity of heart and loveliness of spirit are more precious than gold, both for time and for eternity. Only the pure in heart shall see God.” Child Guidance, 418



4.a. What is promised to Christ’s faithful followers? Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 26:20, 21

Note: “When tempted to sin, let us remember that Jesus is pleading for us in the heavenly sanctuary. When we put away our sins and come to Him in faith, He takes our names on His lips and presents them to His Father, saying, ‘I have graven them upon the palms of My hands; I know them by name.’ And the command goes forth to the angels to protect them. Then in the day of fierce trial He will say, ‘Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.’ What are the chambers in which they are to hide? They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies, and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Everyone must stand the test for himself.” The Review and Herald, November 19, 1908

4.b.      What promise belongs to the overcomers in the Laodicean period? Revelation 3:21. In what sense is this also an appeal to us?

Note: “The one who stands nearest to Christ will be he who has drunk most deeply of His spirit of self-sacrificing love—love that ‘vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, … seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil’ (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5)—love that moves the disciple, as it moved our Lord, to give all, to live and labor and sacrifice even unto death, for the saving of humanity.” The Acts of the Apostles, 543

“Are you ready to make the surrender now? You are to put away your sin right now when you see it, but do not make leeway [that] you are going to overcome by degrees; you are going to try little by little to give up sin. Now, while it is called today, heed the invitation and harden not your hearts.

“Oh my soul, why not leave the cursed thing today? Sin crucified my Lord. Why not turn from it with loathing? Why not love the things that Christ loved, and hate the things that Christ hated? He has made provision ample enough for you that you can through Him be more—yea, more—than overcomers. Then what do you want? Do you want a second crucifixion of Christ? You cannot have that. You must look to Calvary. You must take the blood by faith and apply it. You must wash in it. You must be cleansed by the already shed blood of Jesus Christ. It can cleanse you to the utmost.” Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1, 188



5.a. What will be avoided by those who possess true love? 1 Corinthians 13:6

Note: “ ‘Rejoiceth not in iniquity.’ Mark it. The apostle meant where there is a cultivation of genuine love for precious souls, it will be exhibited for those most in need of that patience which suffereth long and is kind, and will not be ready to magnify a small indiscretion or direct wrong into large unpardonable offenses, and will not make capital of others’ misdoings.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 279

5.b.      What spirit should control those who sit in church administrative meetings? 1 Corinthians 13:5–7

Note: “Our every thought, word, and action should be subject to the will of Christ. Levity is not appropriate in meetings where the solemn work and word of God are under consideration. The prayer has been offered that Christ shall preside in the assembly, and impart His wisdom, His grace, and righteousness. Is it consistent to take a course that will be grievous to His Spirit and contrary to His work? Let us bear in mind that Jesus is in our midst. Then an elevating, controlling influence from the Spirit of God will pervade the assembly. There will be manifested that wisdom which is from above, that is first pure, then peaceable, full of mercy and good fruits, which cannot err. In all the plans and decisions there will be that charity that ‘seeketh not her own;’ which is ‘not easily provoked,’ that ‘thinketh no evil,’ that ‘rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;’ that ‘beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ [1 Corinthians 13:5–7.] Self must be hid in Jesus, then the judgment will not be one-sided and warped, so that there can be no dispassionate and righteous decisions.” Gospel Workers (1892), 231



1    What fundamental principle do we need to understand about self-control?

2    How can we obtain clean hearts?

3    Who will see “the King in His beauty”?

4    What is promised to the remnant of Laodicea?

5    How do we feel when our enemies suffer?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – The Greatest Gift

December 10 – 16, 2023

Key Text

“But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:31

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 309–312; Testimonies, Vol. 2, 411–418


“True love for God carries with it true, reverential trust. And he who loves God will love his brother also.” Sons and Daughters of God, 193



1.a. What is the value of various gifts without love? 1 Corinthians 13:1–3

1.b. What is the first characteristic of true love? 1 Corinthians 13:4

Note: “The Christian who manifests patience and cheerfulness under bereavement and suffering, who meets even death itself with the peace and calmness of an unwavering faith, may accomplish for the gospel more than he could have effected by a long life of faithful labor.” The Acts of the Apostles, 465

1.c. What will kindness do when associated with true love? Ephesians 4:32

Note: “Love should be revealed in action. It should flow out in all home intercourse, showing itself in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy. From a worldly point of view, money is power; but from a Christian standpoint, love is power. Wealth is often an influence to corrupt and destroy; force is strong to do hurt; but pure love has special efficacy. It prevents discord and misery, and brings the truest happiness. It gives intellectual and spiritual strength, and truth and goodness are its properties.” The Bible Echo, December 15, 1893



2.a. What are the fruits of envy? Job 5:2; Proverbs 14:30; 27:4

Note: “Envy, malice, evil thinking, evilspeaking, covetousness—these are weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully the race for immortality. Every habit or practice that leads into sin and brings dishonor upon Christ must be put away, whatever the sacrifice. The blessing of heaven cannot attend any man in violating the eternal principles of right. One sin cherished is sufficient to work degradation of character and to mislead others.” The Acts of the Apostles, 312

2.b. What condition will the remnant people of God reach before they can receive the latter rain? Acts 3:19; Isaiah 52:11; 2 Timothy 2:19–22

Note: “The cross of Christ is the pledge of our fellowship and union. The time must come when the watchmen shall see eye to eye; when the trumpet shall give a certain sound; when ‘Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim’ anymore.” The Review and Herald, January 3, 1899

“Oh, that all might repent and do their first works. When the churches do this they will love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves. Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. Divisions will then be healed, the harsh sounds of strife will no more be heard in the borders of Israel. Through the grace freely given them of God, all will seek to answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples shall be one, even as He and the Father are one. Peace, love, mercy, and benevolence will be the abiding principles of the soul. The love of Christ will be the theme of every tongue, and it will no more be said by the True Witness, ‘I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.’ The people of God will be abiding in Christ, and the love of Jesus will be revealed, and one Spirit will animate all hearts, regenerating and renewing in the image of Christ, fashioning all hearts alike. As living branches of the True Vine, all will be united to Christ the living Head. Christ will abide in every heart, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, and presenting to the world the unity of the followers of Jesus, thus bearing testimony that the heavenly credentials are supplied to the remnant church. In the oneness of Christ’s church it will be proved that God sent His only begotten Son into the world.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 5, 51, 52



3.a. How does God consider human pride and arrogance? Proverbs 8:13; 11:2; 16:18

Note: “Cain was willing to offer the fruit of his ground, but refused to connect with his offering the blood of beasts. His heart refused to show his repentance for sin, and his faith in a Saviour, by offering the blood of beasts. He refused to acknowledge his need of a Redeemer. This, to his proud heart, was dependence and humiliation.” Confrontation, 22, 23

3.b.      What was King David’s attitude toward a proud heart? Psalm 101:5

Note: “The vows of David, recorded in the 101st psalm, should be the vows of all upon whom rest the responsibilities of guarding the influences of the home.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 119

3.c. What quality must we be especially careful to cultivate? Matthew 11:29; 1 Peter 5:6

Note: “Humility is a characteristic of those who have true wisdom, and, no matter what may be their attainments, they will not be self-confident and boastful.” Sabbath School Worker, March 1, 1892

“Truly great men are invariably modest. Humility is a grace which sits naturally upon them as a garment. Those who have stored their minds with useful knowledge, and who possess genuine attainments and refinement, are the ones who will be most willing to admit the weakness of their own understanding. They are not self-confident nor boastful; but in view of the higher attainments to which they might rise in intellectual greatness, they seem to themselves to have but just begun the ascent. It is the superficial thinker, the one who has but a beginning or smattering of knowledge, who deems himself wise and who takes on disgusting airs of importance.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 338, 339

“It is the superficial thinker who deems himself wise. Men of solid worth, of high attainments, are the most ready to admit the weakness of their own understanding. God wants everyone who claims to be His disciple to be a learner, to be more inclined to learn than to teach.” Ibid., 361



4.a. What is the effect of grievous words? On the other hand, what will kind words do? Proverbs 15:1; 16:24; 25:15

Note: “Love, lifted out of the realm of passion and impulse, becomes spiritualized, and is revealed in words and acts. A Christian must have a sanctified tenderness and love in which there is no impatience of fretfulness; the rude, harsh manners must be softened by the grace of Christ.” The Adventist Home, 51

“Courtesy, even in little things, should be manifested by the parents toward each other. Universal kindness should be the law of the house. No rude language should be indulged; no bitter words should be spoken.

“All may possess a cheerful countenance, a gentle voice, a courteous manner; and these are elements of power. Children are attracted by a cheerful, sunny demeanor. Show them kindness and courtesy, and they will manifest the same spirit toward you and toward one another.” Ibid., 421

4.b.      What should we learn from the way kind words settled a great difficulty in the time of Joshua? Joshua 22:10–31; 1 Corinthians 13:5

Note: “Had the men of Gad and Reuben retorted in the same spirit, war would have been the result. While it is important on the one hand that laxness in dealing with sin be avoided, it is equally important on the other to shun harsh judgment and groundless suspicion.

“While very sensitive to the least blame in regard to their own course, many are too severe in dealing with those whom they suppose to be in error. No one was ever reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach; but many are thus driven further from the right path and led to harden their hearts against conviction. A spirit of kindness, a courteous, forbearing deportment may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins.

“The wisdom displayed by the Reubenites and their companions is worthy of imitation. While honestly seeking to promote the cause of true religion, they were misjudged and severely censured; yet they manifested no resentment. They listened with courtesy and patience to the charges of their brethren before attempting to make their defense, and then fully explained their motives and showed their innocence. Thus the difficulty which had threatened such serious consequences was amicably settled.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 519, 520



5.a. What is included in the eighth commandment? Exodus 20:15

Note: “Both public and private sins are included in this prohibition. The eighth commandment condemns manstealing and slave dealing, and forbids wars of conquest. It condemns theft and robbery. It demands strict integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids overreaching in trade, and requires the payment of just debts or wages. It declares that every attempt to advantage oneself by the ignorance, weakness, or misfortune of another is registered as fraud in the books of heaven.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 309

5.b.      What will characterize the life of true Christians, and why? Matthew 5:37; Hebrews 13:5

Note: “Everything that Christians do should be as transparent as the sunlight. Truth is of God; deception, in every one of its myriad forms, is of Satan; and whoever in any way departs from the straight line of truth is betraying himself into the power of the wicked one. Yet it is not a light or an easy thing to speak the exact truth. We cannot speak the truth unless we know the truth; and how often preconceived opinions, mental bias, imperfect knowledge, errors of judgment, prevent a right understanding of matters with which we have to do! We cannot speak the truth unless our minds are continually guided by Him who is truth.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 68



1    How much are our gifts worth without love?

2    How do you explain envy?

3    How does God deal with spiritually proud people?

4    Explain Christian courtesy.

5    Explain the eighth commandment.

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Hospitality part 2

December 3 – 9, 2023

Key Text

“Distributing to the needs of saints, given to hospitality.” Romans 12:13

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 524–536; Christ’s Object Lessons, 376–389


“Our work in this world is to live for others’ good, to bless others, to be hospitable; and frequently it may be only at some inconvenience that we can entertain those who really need our care and the benefit of our society and our homes.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 645



1.a. When weary of His labors, where did Jesus often find rest? Luke 10:38–42

Note: “At the home of Lazarus, Jesus had often found rest. The Saviour had no home of His own; He was dependent on the hospitality of His friends and disciples, and often, when weary, thirsting for human fellowship, He had been glad to escape to this peaceful household, away from the suspicion and jealousy of the angry Pharisees. Here He found a sincere welcome, and pure, holy friendship. Here He could speak with simplicity and perfect freedom, knowing that His words would be understood and treasured.” The Desire of Ages, 524

1.b.      How was Lazarus benefited by the greatest miracle of Jesus? John 11:1–5; 38–44

Note: “It was for Lazarus that the greatest of Christ’s miracles was performed. The Saviour blessed all who sought His help; He loves all the human family, but to some He is bound by peculiarly tender associations. His heart was knit by a strong bond of affection to the family at Bethany, and for one of them His most wonderful work was wrought.” The Desire of Ages, 524



2.a. Once Lydia had received the truth, how did she put her home to the service of the Lord? Acts 16:14, 15

Note: “God opened the ears of Lydia, so that she attended to the message spoken by Paul. To declare the whole counsel of God and all that was essential for Lydia to receive—this was the part Paul was to act in her conversion; and then the God of all grace exercised His power, leading the soul in the right way.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, 1062

2.b. After having suffered cruel persecution, where did Paul and Silas find relief? Acts 16:40

Note: “Acting upon the instruction given by Christ, the apostles would not urge their presence where it was not desired. ‘They went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.’ ” The Acts of the Apostles, 218

2.c. Lydia warmly welcomed the apostles. Whom else should we welcome as God’s heritage in need of refuge? 1 Timothy 4:12, first part; Jude 21–23

Note: “Our homes should be a place of refuge for the tempted youth. Many there are who stand at the parting of the ways. Every influence, every impression, is determining the choice that shapes their destiny both here and hereafter. Evil invites them. Its resorts are made bright and attractive. They have a welcome for every comer. All about us are youth who have no home, and many whose homes have no helpful, uplifting power, and the youth drift into evil. They are going down to ruin within the very shadow of our own doors.

“These youth need a hand stretched out to them in sympathy. Kind words simply spoken, little attentions simply bestowed, will sweep away the clouds of temptation which gather over the soul. The true expression of heaven-born sympathy has power to open the door of hearts that need the fragrance of Christlike words, and the simple, delicate touch of the spirit of Christ’s love. If we would show an interest in the youth, invite them to our homes, and surround them with cheering, helpful influences, there are many who would gladly turn their steps into the upward path.” The Ministry of Healing, 354, 355



3.a. Being persecuted by his own countrymen, where did Paul find hospitality? Acts 28:1, 2, 7

Note: “The shipwrecked crew were kindly received by the barbarous people of Melita. … Paul was among those who were active in ministering to the comfort of others.” The Acts of the Apostles, 445

3.b. How were all the company at Melita blessed by Paul’s stay? Acts 28:8–10

Note: “During the three months that the ship’s company remained at Melita, Paul and his fellow laborers improved many opportunities to preach the gospel. In a remarkable manner the Lord wrought through them. For Paul’s sake the entire shipwrecked company were treated with great kindness; all their wants were supplied, and upon leaving Melita they were liberally provided with everything needful for their voyage.” The Acts of the Apostles, 446

3.c. How useful is hospitality for spreading the gospel? Luke 14:12–14

Note: “Our social entertainments should not be governed by the dictates of worldly custom, but by the Spirit of Christ and the teaching of His word. … How much such a welcome might do to cheer and encourage the missionary nurse or the teacher, the care-burdened, hard-working mother, or the feeble and aged, so often without a home, and struggling with poverty and many discouragements. …

“These are guests whom it will lay on you no great burden to receive. You will not need to provide for them elaborate or expensive entertainment. You will need to make no effort at display. The warmth of a genial welcome, a place at your fireside, a seat at your home table, the privilege of sharing the blessing of the hour of prayer, would to many of these be like a glimpse of heaven.

“Our sympathies are to overflow the boundaries of self and the enclosure of family walls. There are precious opportunities for those who will make their homes a blessing to others. Social influence is a wonderful power. We can use it if we will as a means of helping those about us.” The Ministry of Healing, 352–354



4.a. How did Christ answer a lawyer’s question about how to inherit eternal life? Luke 10:25–28

Note: “The lawyer was not satisfied with the position and works of the Pharisees. He had been studying the scriptures with a desire to learn their real meaning. He had a vital interest in the matter, and he asked in sincerity, ‘What shall I do?’ In his answer as to the requirements of the law, he passed by all the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic precepts. For these he claimed no value, but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. The Saviour’s commendation of this answer placed Him on vantage ground with the rabbis. They could not condemn Him for sanctioning that which had been advanced by an expositor of the law.

“ ‘This do, and thou shalt live,’ Christ said. In His teaching He ever presented the law as a divine unity, showing that it is impossible to keep one precept and break another; for the same principle runs through all. Man’s destiny will be determined by his obedience to the whole law.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 377, 378

4.b. What was the next question the lawyer presented to Jesus, and what answer did he receive? Luke 10:29–37

Note: “The lawyer knew that he had kept neither the first four nor the last six commandments. He was convicted under Christ’s searching words, but instead of confessing his sin he tried to excuse it. Rather than acknowledge the truth, he endeavored to show how difficult of fulfillment the commandment is. Thus he hoped both to parry conviction and to vindicate himself in the eyes of the people. The Saviour’s words had shown that his question was needless, since he was able to answer it himself. Yet he put another question, saying, ‘Who is my neighbor?’

“Again Christ refused to be drawn into controversy. He answered the question by relating an incident, the memory of which was fresh in the minds of His hearers. …

“The priest and the Levite both professed piety, but the Samaritan showed that he was truly converted. It was no more agreeable for him to do the work than for the priest and the Levite, but in spirit and works he proved himself to be in harmony with God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 378–380



5.a. In what sense does the story of the good Samaritan illustrate the work of Christ on earth? Acts 10:38

Note: “In the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus gave a picture of Himself and His mission. Man had been deceived, bruised, robbed, and ruined by Satan, and left to perish; but the Saviour had compassion on our helpless condition. He left His glory, to come to our rescue. He found us ready to die, and He undertook our case. He healed our wounds. He covered us with His robe of righteousness. He opened to us a refuge of safety, and made complete provision for us at His own charges.” The Desire of Ages, 503, 50

5.b. How will the true followers of Christ act toward those who need help? Galatians 6:1, 2

Note: “Sin is the greatest of all evils, and it is ours to pity and help the sinner. There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They look upon their mistakes and errors, until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. If we are Christians, we shall not pass by on the other side, keeping as far as possible from the very ones who most need our help. When we see human beings in distress, whether through affliction or through sin, we shall never say, This does not concern me.

“ ‘Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.’ Galatians 6:1. By faith and prayer press back the power of the enemy. Speak words of faith and courage that will be as a healing balsam to the bruised and wounded one. Many, many, have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life, when one word of kindly cheer would have strengthened them to overcome. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God.” The Desire of Ages, 504, 505



1    Who was Lydia?

2    In the parable of the good Samaritan, how did the Levite and the priest act?

3    How did the good Samaritan deal with the wounded stranger?

4    Whom does the good Samaritan represent, and in what practical ways can we follow His example?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – God’s Love in the Church—Hospitality

Christian Character (4)

November 26 – December 2, 2023

Key Text

“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9

Study Help: Christian Service, 191–193


“The Bible lays much stress upon the practice of hospitality. Not only does it enjoin hospitality as a duty, but it presents many beautiful pictures of the exercise of this grace and the blessings which it brings.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 341



1.a. What blessing does Paul mention regarding hospitality? Hebrews 13:2

 Note: “ ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels.’ Hebrews 13:2. These words have lost none of their force through the lapse of time. Our heavenly Father still continues to place in the pathway of His children opportunities that are blessings in disguise; and those who improve these opportunities find great joy. ‘If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.’ Isaiah 58:10, 11.” Prophets and Kings, 132

1.b.      How else does Scripture promote hospitality? Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:9

Note: “All acts of injustice that tend to shorten life; the spirit of hatred and revenge, or the indulgence of any passion that leads to injurious acts toward others, or causes us even to wish them harm (for ‘whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer’); a selfish neglect of caring for the needy or suffering; all self-indulgence or unnecessary deprivation or excessive labor that tends to injure health—all these are, to a greater or less degree, violations of the sixth commandment.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 308



2.a. At his home, how did Abraham receive “three men” who were strangers? Genesis 18:2–8. Who was among them? Genesis 18:1

 Note: “It was Christ who spoke with Abraham under the oaks at Mamre.” The Desire of Ages, 290, 291

“Angels have appeared in human form to men of God. They have rested, as if weary, under the oaks at noon. They have accepted the hospitalities of human homes.” The Great Controversy, 631

2.b.      What unique experience did Lot have with “two men”? Genesis 19:2–11. Who were those “men”? Genesis 19:1

Note: “In the twilight two strangers drew near to the city gate. They were apparently travelers coming in to tarry for the night. None could discern in those humble wayfarers the mighty heralds of divine judgment, and little dreamed the gay, careless multitude that in their treatment of these heavenly messengers that very night they would reach the climax of the guilt which doomed their proud city. But there was one man who manifested kindly attention toward the strangers and invited them to his home. Lot did not know their true character, but politeness and hospitality were habitual with him; they were a part of his religion—lessons that he had learned from the example of Abraham. Had he not cultivated a spirit of courtesy, he might have been left to perish with the rest of Sodom. Many a household, in closing its doors against a stranger, has shut out God’s messenger, who would have brought blessing and hope and peace.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 158

2.c. How does the experience of these patriarchs apply to us today?

Note: “The privilege granted Abraham and Lot is not denied to us. By showing hospitality to God’s children we, too, may receive His angels into our dwellings. Even in our day, angels in human form enter the homes of men and are entertained by them. And Christians who live in the light of God’s countenance are always accompanied by unseen angels, and these holy beings leave behind them a blessing in our homes.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 342



3.a. How did Joseph receive his brothers in spite of their past cruelty toward him? Genesis 45:1–5

 Note: “He [Joseph] had seen in his brothers the fruits of true repentance. Upon hearing Judah’s noble offer he gave orders that all but these men should withdraw; then, weeping aloud, he cried, ‘I am Joseph; doth my father yet live?’

“His brothers stood motionless, dumb with fear and amazement. The ruler of Egypt their brother Joseph, whom they had envied and would have murdered, and finally sold as a slave! All their ill treatment of him passed before them. They remembered how they had despised his dreams and had labored to prevent their fulfillment. Yet they had acted their part in fulfilling these dreams; and now that they were completely in his power he would, no doubt, avenge the wrong that he had suffered.

“Seeing their confusion, he said kindly, ‘Come near to me, I pray you;’ and as they came near, he continued, ‘I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.’ Feeling that they had already suffered enough for their cruelty toward him, he nobly sought to banish their fears and lessen the bitterness of their self-reproach. …

“The news of what had taken place was quickly carried to the king, who, eager to manifest his gratitude to Joseph, confirmed the governor’s invitation to his family, saying, ‘The good of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ The brothers were sent away abundantly supplied with provision and carriages and everything necessary for the removal of all their families and attendants to Egypt.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 230, 231

3.b.      How did Pharaoh deal with Jacob and his family at their arrival in Egypt? Genesis 45:16–20; 47:5–7 How was Pharaoh rewarded?

 Note: “Joseph brought his father also to be presented to the king. The patriarch was a stranger in royal courts; but amid the sublime scenes of nature he had communed with a mightier Monarch; and now, in conscious superiority, he raised his hands and blessed Pharaoh.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 233



4.a. Who was Rahab, and what kindness did she show to the Israelite spies? Joshua 2:1–7

 Note: “A few miles beyond the river, just opposite the place where the Israelites were encamped, was the large and strongly fortified city of Jericho. This city was virtually the key to the whole country, and it would present a formidable obstacle to the success of Israel. Joshua therefore sent two young men as spies to visit this city and ascertain something as to its population, its resources, and the strength of its fortifications. The inhabitants of the city, terrified and suspicious, were constantly on the alert, and the messengers were in great danger. They were, however, preserved by Rahab, a woman of Jericho, at the peril of her own life. In return for her kindness they gave her a promise of protection when the city should be taken.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 482, 483

 4.b.      How was Rahab’s faith rewarded? Joshua 2:8–13; 6:25; Hebrews 11:31

 Note: “God’s judgments were awakened against Jericho. It was a stronghold. But the Captain of the Lord’s host Himself came from heaven to lead the armies of heaven in an attack upon the city. Angels of God laid hold of the massive walls and brought them to the ground. God had said that the city of Jericho should be accursed and that all should perish except Rahab and her household. These should be saved because of the favor that Rahab showed the messengers of the Lord.” Testimonies, Vol. 3, 264

“All the inhabitants of the city, with every living thing that it contained, ‘both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass,’ were put to the sword. Only faithful Rahab, with her household, was spared, in fulfillment of the promise of the spies. The city itself was burned … .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 491

“Through the teaching of the sacrificial service, Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live. All who, like Rahab the Canaanite and Ruth the Moabitess, turned from idolatry to the worship of the true God were to unite themselves with His chosen people.” Prophets and Kings, 19



5.a. How did Job treat the poor and the strangers, and how was his faith rewarded? Job 29:12–16; 31:32; 42:10–17

5.b.      Why is hospitality required even of those who are not especially rich in this world’s goods? Deuteronomy 26:12, 13

Note: “ ‘Thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe of thy corn, or thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.’ Deuteronomy 14:23, 29; 16:11–14. …

“Every third year, however, this second tithe was to be used at home, in entertaining the Levite and the poor, as Moses said, ‘That they may eat within thy gates, and be filled.’ Deuteronomy 26:12. This tithe would provide a fund for the uses of charity and hospitality.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 530

“ ‘A lover of hospitality’ is among the specifications given by the Holy Spirit as marking one who is to bear responsibility in the church. And to the whole church is given the injunction: ‘Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.’ 1 Peter 4:9, 10

“These admonitions have been strangely neglected. Even among those who profess to be Christians, true hospitality is little exercised. Among our own people the opportunity of showing hospitality is not regarded as it should be, as a privilege and blessing. There is altogether too little sociability, too little of a disposition to make room for two or three more at the family board, without embarrassment or parade. Some plead that ‘it is too much trouble.’ It would not be if you would say: ‘We have made no special preparation, but you are welcome to what we have.’ By the unexpected guest a welcome is appreciated far more than is the most elaborate preparation.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 342, 343



1    How would you define hospitality?

2    List two examples of hospitality in the Old Testament.

3    Explain the experience of Joseph with his brothers.

4    Who were the only survivors of Jericho, and why?

5    Summarize Job’s experience in the welfare work, and explain how many more can imitate his example.

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Apple Oat Bran Muffins

Some Facts About Apples

Originating in central Asia, there are 75,000 varieties grown worldwide. If a person ate one a day, it would take more than 20 years to try every variety.

Some apple varieties have red flesh instead of white. Varieties such as Pink Pearl and Kissabel have flesh that ranges from pink or orange to bright red. Some of these apples are even yellow or green on the outside and red on the inside.

A real-life Granny Smith discovered the apple that now bears her name. Back in the late 1800s, Mary Ann Smith from Australia discovered the apple tree in her backyard and began cultivating the now-popular variety.

The Red Delicious apple tree was discovered in Iowa. It might be the most commonly known out of all the North America 2,500 varieties.

Crab apple trees are native to North America and Asia. They were once called common apples and actually belong to the rose family.

It took over 30 years to develop the Honeycrisp apple. This sweet, aromatic apple is grown in Minnesota, and has soared in popularity over the last decade. The Honeycrisp apple became a parent (along with the Enterprise apple) to the Cosmic Crisp. Breeding between the varieties began at Washington State University in 1997, and 20 years later, the Cosmic Crisp was born. It is characterized by its dark-red skin, dense firm flesh, and expanded shelf life. First available in 2019, it has become a favorite of consumers.

Did you know? It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple. And that one apple makes about 1/3 cup of apple juice.

The average American eats close to 20 pounds of fresh apples per year—and even more when factoring in applesauce, apple juice, and other apple products.


Recipe – Apple Oat Bran Muffins


1 ½ cups Golden Delicious apple(s), cut into chunks

¼ cup apple juice concentrate or water

1 cup smashed banana

¼ cup light honey or maple syrup

1 tsp. orange zest

¼ cup almond or cashew butter

1 cup quick oats

1 cup oat bran

⅓ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

⅓ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

1 cup dates, finely chopped


In a saucepan, lightly cook the apple chunks in apple juice or water until just wilted. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add next 4 ingredients and mix together. Add the oats, bran, coconut, nuts, and dates; stir to combine. Spoon into paper-lined or prepared muffin tin ¾ full. Bake at 375° F for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes approximately 8 muffins.

Fallen, but Not Corrupted

Though the Bible enjoins us to gather together to worship God (Matthew 18:20), just going to church will not provide all you spiritually need to know. Bible study and prayer, outside of the church setting, is essential every day in order to develop your relationship with Jesus and strengthen your faith. Successful study of the many topics of the Bible is dependent upon being willing to allow the Holy Spirit to show you what truth is.

“An understanding of Bible truth depends not so much on the power of intellect brought to the search as on the singleness of purpose, the earnest longing after righteousness.

“The Bible should never be studied without prayer. The Holy Spirit alone can cause us to feel the importance of those things easy to be understood or prevent us from wresting truths difficult of comprehension. …

“We are living in the most solemn period of this world’s history. The destiny of earth’s teeming multitudes is about to be decided. Our own future well-being and also the salvation of other souls depend upon the course which we now pursue. We need to be guided by the Spirit of truth. … We should now seek a deep and living experience in the things of God. We have not a moment to lose.” Reflecting Christ, 116

Too many, including Adventist ministers and laymen, while studying a particular subject, conclude and then doggedly dig in on what they believe to be true rather than on what the Holy Spirit might be trying to show them. It is essential that, before opening the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy to study a subject, that we ask the Holy Spirit to give us open minds and hearts to what He will show us.

Mrs. White addresses this determined refusal to accept evidence of something other than what a person, after their own study of a subject, has decided is truth. Let’s look at this in the context of our ongoing study of the nature of Christ.

The following is a well-known quotation, a favorite of revivalist Adventist preachers when speaking on Christ’s human nature.

“It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam, He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.” The Desire of Ages, 49

All will agree that, based on evidence found in the Bible and Inspiration, the Son of God took man’s nature. We have already studied that in relation to humanity, there are two different meanings to the word nature. Nature can be used to mean humanity in general, or it can be used to mean a single individual. When speaking of humanity, nature is referring to the physical aspects of man’s being. But if you are speaking of an individual, nature refers to the disposition or condition of his mind, therefore, his character.

When Mrs. White says that the Son of God took man’s nature, that He accepted humanity, she is speaking of humanity in general, therefore, the aspects of Christ’s nature under discussion in the above paragraph is His physical nature and not the disposition of His mind or His character. Jesus’ physical nature was “weakened by four thousand years of sin,” just as is the physical nature of all humans.

The word weakened means to “lessen the strength of or to deprive of strength or debilitate or to enfeeble.” This would be a common aspect of both man’s and Jesus’ physical nature.

“Sin is the cause of physical degeneration; sin has blighted the race, and introduced disease, misery, and death.” Pacific Health Journal, February 1, 1902

The word degeneration means “growing worse or losing good qualities from the virtue or worth of ancestors, a decay of the natural good qualities of the species, a falling from a more excellent state to one of less worth either in the natural or the moral world.” In the natural world, plants and animals degenerate when something grows to less its normal size or loses some of the valuable qualities that belongs to its species. In the moral world, man degenerates when he declines in virtue or other good qualities.

“Earthly treasures must pass away; but nobility of character, moral worth, will endure forever.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 69

Returning to the article found in the Pacific Health Journal, February 1, 1902, we find a detailed explanation of the effects of sin.

“Since the fall, the tendency of the race has been continually downward, the effects of sin becoming more marked with every successive generation. But so great was the vitality with which man was endowed that the patriarchs from Adam to Noah, with a few exceptions, lived nearly a thousand years. …

“Since the flood, the average length of life has been decreasing. Had Adam possessed no greater physical force than men now have, the race would before this have become extinct.”

Each generation of man has physically degenerated more and more as a consequence of sin. When Jesus took on humanity and accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity, He accepted the physical degeneration, but He did not take on the condition of our moral (spiritual) nature, one that was defiled with sin.

“Christ who knew not the least moral taint or defilement of sin, took our nature in its deteriorated condition.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 16, 115

Remember, when man sinned in the garden of Eden, his character was no longer governed by the principles of righteousness on which God’s laws are based. His character, instead, became subject to the principles of selfishness, which is the basis for everything the devil does. Jesus’ body and all the other physical aspects of humanity were subject to the degeneration caused by sin. Unlike man’s moral nature which is selfish, Christ’s moral nature is pure.

As a practical example, a person might have dark brown hair, but with a little help from their hairdresser, they can change the color to red. Now, is that person no longer a brown-haired person? What happens as the hair begins to grow out? While the part of the hair that was colored is still red, the new-growth hair is still dark brown. That’s the way it is with our nature and sin. We are selfish by nature, and we can do as many good things as we can, we can even repent and ask the Holy Spirit to transform us, however, being selfish is still what the natural man is inside. Except Jesus wasn’t. His moral nature, His character, was completely free from sin.

“By taking upon Himself man’s nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 17, 25.

He took man’s ruined physical condition, his fallen nature (referring to man in general), but He did not in the least participate in the sin, nor was His moral nature (referring to an individual) selfish.

Remember, what we have studied previously regarding Christ’s nature. The foundation of Satan’s government is selfishness. “All sin is selfishness.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 3, 331. But Jesus came to this world as the embodiment, the physical representation, of God’s law. His every word, action, and thought were an outworking of God’s law. Jesus’ moral nature was righteous. God was with man in the person of His Son. Sin cannot exist where God is, so Jesus could not have had our selfish nature. And anyone who digs in and insists that Christ had our moral nature (referring to an individual), is saying He was selfish and sinful like us. Neither the Bible nor the Spirit of Prophecy supports this.

“He voluntarily assumed human nature. It was His own act, and by His own consent. He clothed His divinity with humanity. He was all the while as God, but He did not appear as God. … He was God while upon earth, but He divested Himself of the form of God … . He walked the earth as a man.

“He humbled Himself, and took mortality upon Him. As a member of the human family He was mortal, but as a God He was the Fountain of life to the world.” The Review and Herald, July 5, 1887

“He might have helped His human nature to withstand the inroads of disease by pouring from His divine nature vitality and undecaying vigor to the human. But He humbled Himself to man’s nature.” Ibid.

“The divine nature, combined with the human, made Him capable of yielding to Satan’s temptations. Here the test to Christ was far greater than that of Adam and Eve, for Christ took our nature, fallen but not corrupted, and would not be corrupted unless He received the words of Satan in the place of the words of God.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 16, 182, 183

He came to share our sorrows and temptations. Isaiah described Him as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. What is the cause of our sorrow? Sin is the source of our sorrow. Inspiration says that Jesus came with such a heredity, and, according to the 1828 dictionary, the word such means “the same as what has been mentioned.” He came as a member of the human race to show them how, though ruined by sin, to live a sinless life.

“The human nature of Christ was like unto ours, and suffering was more keenly felt by Him; for His spiritual nature was free from every taint of sin. Therefore His desire for the removal of suffering was stronger than human beings can experience. How intense was the desire of the humanity of Christ to escape the displeasure of an offended God, how His soul longed for relief, is revealed in the words, ‘O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.’ ” The Signs of the Times, December 9, 1897

Take just a moment to consider this: Jesus came to this world in a body ruined by the effects of sin, all the while His moral nature was holy and righteous. Imagine how Jesus suffered! A holy gift, wrapped in a degraded package.

Jesus, for our sake, became a real man; one who could suffer our kinds of temptation, who sought relief from the suffering that was imposed upon Him because of our sins.

God’s prophet links the sorrows and temptations of Jesus to the expression “the likeness of sinful flesh,” thereby explaining more fully what Paul meant when he wrote Romans 8:3. “Christ, the second Adam came in the likeness of sinful flesh. In man’s behalf, he became subject to sorrow, to weariness, to hunger, and to thirst. He was subject to temptation, but he yielded not to sin. No taint of sin was upon Him.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 141, 142

The taint of sin is the natural selfishness of sin that the first Adam, the father of the race, entailed upon all his posterity. Yielding to temptation is committing sin. Jesus did not, by any word, action, or thought, commit sin nor was His spiritual nature tainted with sin.

“In His earthly life, Jesus of Nazareth differed from all other men. His entire life was characterized by disinterested benevolence and the beauty of holiness. In His bosom existed the purest love, free from every taint of selfishness and sin. From the beginning of His ministry, men began more clearly to comprehend the character of God.” The Signs of the Times, September 23, 1908

After four thousand years of sin, Jesus took upon Himself the physical degeneration of the race that He might know what it is like to experience the sorrow that I experience, the weariness that I experience, the hunger that I experience, the thirst that I experience, and even the death that I will experience. And while suffering all these miserable things, He was tempted, in every way, like we are, yet He did not sin.

Paul discusses these things in detail in Hebrews. “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.’ ” Hebrews 10:5

When God sent His Son into the world, He came in a body especially prepared in the likeness of sinful flesh—both physically and mentally. “So Christ was to come in ‘the body of our humiliation’ (Philippians 3:21, R. V.), ‘in the likeness of men.’ In the eyes of the world He possessed no beauty that they should desire Him; yet He was the incarnate God, the light of heaven and earth. His glory was veiled, His greatness and majesty were hidden, that He might draw near to sorrowful, tempted men.” The Desire of Ages, 23

This inspired reference “the likeness of men” is found in Philippians 2:7. The word likeness is the same word used in Romans 8:3. His moral nature is also described in this short paragraph. Mrs. White also writes that Jesus was the incarnate God. The word incarnate means “in the flesh.” Jesus was God in the flesh. This is what Paul is talking about when he wrote, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.” 1 Timothy 3:16, first part. Mrs. White is saying here that Jesus was still God even though He was a man. She describes the incarnate God as the light of heaven and earth. “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12

Jesus was first the light of heaven, but when He took man’s nature, His light, the outward manifestation of His glory, was veiled, completely hidden from man’s sight. Mrs. White wrote that it would have been an almost infinite humiliation for Christ to take man’s nature when Adam stood in innocence in Eden. (See The Desire of Ages, 49.) This has a special significance. “The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. All the strength of their affections was given to their heavenly Father. A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310, 311. Adam and Eve did not need physical clothing. The robe of light that surrounded them was a symbol of their spiritual nature: pure, holy, and righteous innocence.

“Had they remained true to God it would ever have continued to enshroud them.” Ibid., 311. This robe of light that enshrouded the holy pair was a symbol of their inward spiritual condition of innocence. Jesus also wore this white robe, this garment of innocence, but it was veiled. He lived in perfect conformity to the will of His Father, just as Adam and Eve first did in the garden of Eden. All the strength of His affection was given to His heavenly Father.

What happened to the beautiful, soft light that enshrouded the holy pair when they sinned? “But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments … .” Ibid. Interestingly, though they were able to fashion for themselves fig-leaf garments, they were still ashamed to appear before God. No longer enshrouded by their heavenly garments, they were naked, deprived of the godly dignity they had worn both inwardly and outwardly, they were humiliated, degraded, and ashamed.

The light that surrounded the holy pair prior to their fall was only a reflection of the far greater light that surrounded God. For Jesus to have taken even this garment of light would have been an infinite humiliation for He is the light of heaven, the source of all light, far surpassing every other light.

“With His divinity clothed with humanity, He stood before the people, presenting to them their true condition.” The Review and Herald, July 17, 1900

It is important that we read carefully what the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy say about Jesus’ nature. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, not in sinful flesh. Sinful flesh represents the carnal mind. Likeness means “in the form of.” Likeness is not sameness. Jesus did not come with a carnal mind. He came in the likeness of the physical nature of man so that He would be able to suffer, as we do, misery and death while being tempted. However, it should be noted that the physical aspect of His human nature does not deny the reality of the part that His human mental and spiritual nature also played in His suffering.

“He had not taken on Him even the nature of the angels, but humanity, perfectly identical with our own nature, except without the taint of sin. A human body, a human mind, with all the peculiar properties, He was bone, brain, and muscle.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 16, 182. The taint of sin is the naturally carnal mind that we inherit from Adam. The human spiritual nature of Christ was free from every taint of sin, however, every single son and daughter of Adam inherits the carnal mind from him and the condition of the spiritual nature of the natural man is described as “By nature we are alienated from God.” Steps to Christ, 43. This is our natural nature.

Was Jesus by nature alienated from God? It would be blasphemy to say that.

“The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: ‘Dead in trespasses and sins;’ ‘the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint;’ ‘no soundness in it.’ We are held fast in the snare of Satan, ‘taken captive by him at his will.’ God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him.” Ibid. That may sound harsh, but friends, there is no other way to be saved except to be completely transformed. Transformation comes only by an utterly complete surrender to God because He doesn’t use force.

Putting together everything we have studied to this point, we find that when God sent His own Son in the likeness, the form of sinful flesh, He came in the body of our humiliation. He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity after four thousand years of sin. Sin is the cause of physical degeneration, misery, and death. He was found in the external condition of our nature in its deteriorated condition, able to share our sorrows and temptations.

There are many Adventist people who changed the words of scripture and substituted the word same for the word likeness in Romans 8:3. As a result, many Adventist ministers have said that Jesus came in sinful flesh. For more than 40 years, I have researched the Spirit of Prophecy to find even a single quotation by Mrs. White that says that Jesus came in sinful flesh. I have found not one scripture, not one statement of Inspiration that says He came in sinful flesh. Those who change the words of the Scriptures and say that Jesus took the same sinful flesh that we have, are unwittingly saying that Jesus took a carnal mind. This is blasphemy. Christ’s nature was “fallen, but not corrupted” mentally or spiritually. (See Manuscript Releases, Vol. 16, 182.)

“Jesus Christ is our example in all things. He began life, passed through its experiences, and ended its record, with a sanctified human will. He was tempted in all points like as we are, and yet because He kept His will surrendered and sanctified, He never bent in the slightest degree toward the doing of evil, or toward manifesting rebellion against God.” The Signs of the Times, October 29, 1894

Jesus began life with a sanctified human will and kept it sanctified. He never had our natural bent to evil, no tendencies or propensities, inherent or cultivated, toward sin as some people have taught.

Friends, the plan of salvation is not just about forgiveness. Jesus Christ came to this world and became one flesh with us in order that we, by being united to Him, might become one spirit with Him. That is the experience that everyone must have if they are going to be in the kingdom of heaven.

The apostle John wrote, “We know that when He appears we will be like Him.” 1 John 3:2

Peter wrote, “Unto us are given exceedingly great and precious promises, that you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4

Everyone who is taken to heaven will be a partaker of the divine nature. Everyone will reflect the light of Jesus’ character. Everyone will be wearing His robe of righteousness.

“The salvation of the human soul requires the will power to be subject to the divine will power, which will can’t be forced, but there must be cooperation of the human and divine agencies.

“Man cannot possibly work out his own salvation without the ordained divine power, and God will not do for man that which He requires man shall do for himself, through his own earnest willing cooperation. …

“The Lord has in His heavenly counsels set forth methods and agencies whereby His grace shall be at work through various influences for the saving of the soul of the sinner. But all these facilities will be ineffectual and powerless without the sinner’s consent … . It is a united work, a union of the divine and human, dependent upon grace, and concurring with grace in willing obedience.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 10, 332

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

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.

Question – Why do I suffer?


“Why is it so hard?”

“There are thousands in the Christian age who have fallen into an error similar to that of the Jewish people. They feel that they must depend on their obedience to the law of God to recommend them to His favor. The nature and importance of faith have been lost sight of, and this is why it is so hard for many to believe in Christ as their personal Saviour.” The General Conference Bulletin, March 5, 1895

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“Be anxious for nothing … .” Philippians 4:6, first part

“Why am I left alone?”

“You may never be lonesome, never feel that you are alone, if you will take Jesus as your Companion and your Everlasting Friend.” Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 2, 632

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid … for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“Why do I suffer?”

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10

“To have strong faith, we must be placed in circumstances where our faith will be exercised. … It is our privilege to be strong in the strength of God under all circumstances and to glory in the cross of Christ.

“In this life we must meet fiery trials and make costly sacrifices, but the peace of Christ is the reward. …

“Persecution should bring joy to the disciples of Christ, for it is an evidence that they are following in the steps of their Master.” God’s Amazing Grace, 90

“Why do I worry?”

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? … Therefore do not worry about tomorrow … .” Matthew 6:25, 34, first part

“A life in Christ is a life of restfulness. … Your weakness is united to His strength, your ignorance to His wisdom, your frailty to His enduring might. …

“Commit the keeping of your soul to God, and trust in Him. … Rest in God.” A New Life, 39, 40

May we always remember that the whys of this world have but one answer, Jesus Christ.

The Lion

A large, powerful cat, second only in size to the tiger, the lion has been given the title, “king of beasts.” They can live in a variety of habitats, but they like grassland, savannah, and scrubland the most.

A full-grown male is six to seven feet long and stands about four feet high at the shoulder. They can weigh as much as 500 pounds. The female, called a lioness, is typically five feet long and stands about three feet at the shoulders. She can weigh up to 400 pounds.

The coat is short and can be a buff yellow, orange-brown, silvery gray, or dark brown. The males have the shaggy mane around the neck just behind the ears, but the females do not. The mane can make the males look larger and more intimidating to rivals and more impressive to a potential mate. However, the mane is a product of high hormone levels in the lion, and if the hormone level decreases, he will lose the mane.

Lions live in prides made up of several generations of lionesses, breeding males, and their cubs. One might find a pride with as many as 37 members, but the average is around 15. They live in well-defined territory. If prey is abundant, that territory can be about eight square miles, but if prey is sparse, the territory could expand to as much as 250 square miles. That involves a lot of walking to find some lunch. Lions lay stake to their territory by roaring and scent marking.

Did you know? A lion’s guttural roar can be heard five miles away.

Living in an open savannah, the lionesses of a pride will do most of the hunting, and the males will take their meal from the lionesses’ kill. But don’t let that fool you, or make you believe that the male lions are lazy. They are actually adept hunters and in the scrubland or wooded habitat, they will spend less time with the pride and hunt their own food. Lions eat medium to large-sized animals such as zebra, antelope, and wildebeests, but you might find them taking on a hippo or elephant if the victim is young or sick. They often steal carrion or even fresh kills from hyenas.

A hunting pride is potentially nature’s most formidable predatory force on land. Once they have acquired their meal, they tend to gorge themselves and then rest for several days before hunting again. A male lion can consume more than 75 pounds of meat at a single meal and then rest for a week before resuming the hunt. If prey is abundant, both the lion and lioness will only hunt for two or three hours per day, spending the remaining hours of the day resting.

Lions are polygamous (meaning more than one lioness), but the lionesses typically stay with the one or two adult males in their pride. Breeding is a busy time, and once pregnant, a lioness will give birth in about 108 days, with a litter of one to six cubs.

Cubs are born helpless, blind, and wearing a thick coat marked with dark spots to provide camouflage. Once they reach maturity, the spots disappear. They begin to follow their mothers at three months, are weaned by the sixth or seventh month, and are participating in the hunt by 11 months. However, they probably cannot live on their own until about two years of age. They are considered fully mature at three to four years old.


The Bible identifies both Jesus and Satan as lions, though with entirely different characteristics.

“We are approaching the end of this earth’s history, and Satan is working as never before. He is striving to act as director of the Christian world. With an intensity that is marvelous he is working with his lying wonders. Satan is represented as walking about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He desires to embrace the whole world in his confederacy. Hiding his deformity under the garb of Christianity, he assumes the attributes of a Christian, and claims to be Christ Himself.” Last Day Events, 155

“Once again the Saviour was presented to John, under the symbol of the ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah,’ and of ‘a Lamb as it had been slain.’ These symbols represent the union of omnipotent power and self-sacrificing love. As the Lion of Judah, Christ will defend His chosen ones and bring them off victorious, because they accepted Him as ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ Christ the slain Lamb, who was despised, rejected, the victim of Satan’s wrath, of man’s abuse and cruelty—how tender His sympathy with His people who are in the world! And according to the infinite depths of His humiliation and sacrifice as the Lamb of God will be His power and glory as the Lion of Judah, for the deliverance of His people.” The Home Missionary, November 1, 1893

Christ’s representation as a lion ready to defend and protect His children should give us all comfort in times of difficulty, fear, and discouragement.

Hot Foot Bath


  • Basin deep enough to hold sufficient water to cover the feet and ankles
  • Thermometer, if available. If not, test the water temperature with your elbow. Temperature should be between 39-43° C/103-110° F
  • Washcloth (to use as a cold compress as needed), bath towel, and sheet
  • Rubber sheet or plastic to protect the bed or floor around the chair
  • Bowl of very cold water
  • Pitcher or dipper to add hot water

Some Precautions to Keep in Mind

It is best to determine first if a patient has a pre-existing condition or may be taking medications that would make the use of the hot foot bath unsafe, and consult with their physician before administering the treatment.

Getting Started

  • The room should be warm and free of drafts. All necessary materials should be at hand. The patient can either lie on the bed or sit in a chair.
  • Pour hot water, to tolerance, into the tub to the level that it will cover the feet and up to two inches above the ankles.
  • Once the patient’s feet are in the tub, drape the patient with the sheet, draping also around the tub.
  • As the water in the tub begins to cool, add more hot water. The purpose is to maintain the water temperature at 39-43° C/103-110° F. This in essence gives the patient a fever. Continue this for 20-60 minutes.
  • If the patient becomes too warm, begins to sweat, or has head congestion, wet the washcloth in the cold water, wring it out, and place it on the patient’s forehead. Continue re-wetting the washcloth to keep the patient cool. If sweating continues, give the patient water through a straw.
  • When finished, remove the washcloth from the patient’s head, lift his/her feet above the tub, and pour the cold water over both the feet and ankles.
  • Dry the feet thoroughly, including between the toes with the bath towel.
  • The patient should rest for 30-60 minutes following the treatment.