Bible Study Guides – Called for Service

October 25, 2015 – October 31, 2015

Key Text

“No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 217–228.


“To everyone who becomes a partaker of His grace the Lord appoints a work for others.” The Ministry of Healing, 148.


  • How did the divine call come to the prophets of God? I Kings 12:22; I Chronicles 17:3; Luke 3:2. Explain the difference between the true prophets and the self-appointed ones. Jeremiah 14:14, 15; 23:21, 32.
  • How did the prophetic call come to Elisha? I Kings 19:16. What attributes had he revealed before this call? Verse 19.

Note: “The prophetic call came to Elisha while, with his father’s servants, he was plowing in the field. He had taken up the work that lay nearest. He possessed both the capabilities of a leader among men and the meekness of one who is ready to serve. Of a quiet and gentle spirit, he was nevertheless energetic and steadfast. Integrity, fidelity, and the love and fear of God were his, and in the humble round of daily toil he gained strength of purpose and nobleness of character, constantly increasing in grace and knowledge. While co-operating with his father in the home-life duties, he was learning to co-operate with God.

“By faithfulness in little things, Elisha was preparing for weightier trusts. … He learned to serve; and in learning this, he learned also how to instruct and lead. The lesson is for all. None can know what may be God’s purpose in His discipline; but all may be certain that faithfulness in little things is the evidence of fitness for greater responsibilities.” Prophets and Kings, 218.


  • As with every servant of God, what factors did Elisha have to consider when the divine call came to him? I Kings 19:20, 21; Luke 14:28.

Note: “Elisha must count the cost—decide for himself to accept or reject the call. …

“The call to place all on the altar of service comes to each one. We are not all asked to serve as Elisha served, nor are we all bidden to sell everything we have; but God asks us to give His service the first place in our lives, to allow no day to pass without doing something to advance His work in the earth. … God accepts the offering of each. It is the consecration of the life and all its interests, that is necessary. Those who make this consecration will hear and obey the call of Heaven.” Prophets and Kings, 220, 221.

  • What was Elisha’s only request at the end of his association with Elijah? II Kings 2:9.

Note: “Elisha asked not for worldly honor, or for a high place among the great men of earth. That which he craved was a large measure of the Spirit that God had bestowed so freely upon the one about to be honored with translation. He knew that nothing but the Spirit which had rested upon Elijah could fit him to fill the place in Israel to which God had called him.” Prophets and Kings, 226, 227.

  • What can we lose by neglecting our duties, our abilities, and our opportunities? Mathew 25:28, 29, last part. What will happen, on the other hand, if we are diligent in the faithful and honest use of the “capital” we already have received from God? Verse 29, first part.

Note: “Jesus has pointed out the way of life, He has made manifest the light of truth, He has given the Holy Spirit, and endowed us richly with everything essential to our perfection.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 218.


  • What should we learn from Elisha’s willingness to perform menial duties? II Kings 3:11, last part.

Note: “It was no great work that was at first required of Elisha; commonplace duties still constituted his discipline. He is spoken of as pouring water on the hands of Elijah, his master. He was willing to do anything that the Lord directed, and at every step he learned lessons of humility and service. As the prophet’s personal attendant, he continued to prove faithful in little things, while with daily strengthening purpose he devoted himself to the mission appointed him by God.” Prophets and Kings, 222.

  • What must a servant of God demonstrate before he can be promoted to carry higher responsibilities? Luke 16:10–12.

Note: “None can know what may be God’s purpose in His discipline; but all may be certain that faithfulness in little things is the evidence of fitness for greater responsibilities. Every act of life is a revelation of character.” Prophets and Kings, 218.

  • How does the thinking and acting of many resemble the attitude of the slothful servant who had received only one talent? Matthew 25:14, 18, 24–28.

Note: “Because they are not connected with some directly religious work, many feel that their lives are useless, that they are doing nothing for the advancement of God’s kingdom. If they could do some great thing how gladly they would undertake it! But because they can serve only in little things, they think themselves justified in doing nothing. In this they err. A man may be in the active service of God while engaged in the ordinary, everyday duties—while felling trees, clearing the ground, or following the plow. The mother who trains her children for Christ is as truly working for God as is the minister in the pulpit.” Prophets and Kings, 219.


  • What is one of the most important duties of a competent and faithful minister? II Timothy 2:1, 2.

Note: “Ministry comprehends far more than preaching the word. It means training young men as Elijah trained Elisha, taking them from their ordinary duties, and giving them responsibilities to bear in God’s work—small responsibilities at first, and larger ones as they gain strength and experience. … Young, inexperienced workers should be trained by actual labor in connection with these experienced servants of God. Thus they will learn how to bear burdens.

“Those who undertake this training of young workers are doing noble service. The Lord Himself co-operates with their efforts. And the young men to whom the word of consecration has been spoken, whose privilege it is to be brought into close association with earnest, godly workers, should make the most of their opportunity. God has honored them by choosing them for His service and by placing them where they can gain greater fitness for it, and they should be humble, faithful, obedient, and willing to sacrifice. If they submit to God’s discipline, carrying out His directions and choosing His servants as their counselors, they will develop into righteous, high-principled, steadfast men, whom God can entrust with responsibilities. …

“For several years after the call of Elisha, Elijah and Elisha labored together, the younger man daily gaining greater preparedness for his work.” Prophets and Kings, 222–224.

  • What points did the apostle Paul stress in the training of Timothy? II Timothy 1:5; 3:14–17.

Note: “The piety and influence of his [Timothy’s] home life was not of a cheap order, but pure, sensible, and uncorrupted by false sentiments. The moral influence of his home was substantial, not fitful, not impulsive, not changeable. The Word of God was the rule which guided Timothy. … His home instructors cooperated with God in educating this young man to bear the burdens that were to come upon him at an early age.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 918.


  • How was Elisha’s faith tested while traveling with Elijah? II Kings 2:5, 6.

Note: “The schools of the prophets, established by Samuel, had fallen into decay during the years of Israel’s apostasy. Elijah re-established these schools, making provision for young men to gain an education that would lead them to magnify the law and make it honorable. Three of these schools, one at Gilgal, one at Bethel, and one at Jericho, are mentioned in the record. Just before Elijah was taken to heaven, he and Elisha visited these centers of training. The lessons that the prophet of God had given them on former visits, he now repeated. … He also impressed upon their minds the importance of letting simplicity mark every feature of their education. Only in this way could they receive the mold of heaven and go forth to work in the ways of the Lord. …

“As Elisha accompanied the prophet on his round of service from school to school, his faith and resolution were once more tested. … And now the tried servant of the man of God kept close beside him.” Prophets and Kings, 224, 225.

  • What lesson can we all learn from the successful collaboration of these two faithful and diligent workers of God? I Corinthians 3:8, 9.

Note: “The angels of God will be much better pleased and will be attracted to us when the servants in the field can come together, and bow down together, and pray with tears and contrition of heart; when they can talk about the work, no matter whose that work will be.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 15.


1 What did Elisha ask Elijah immediately before his ascension?

2 Explain the peril of neglecting opportunities.

3 How much can we gain by using well what we have already?

4 What must we reveal before receiving greater responsibilities?

5 What can we learn from the collaboration of Elijah and Elisha?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Tempted to Doubt

October 18, 2015 – October 24, 2015

Key Text

“It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” I Kings 19:4, last part.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 155–176.


“A fugitive, far from the homes of men, his spirits crushed by bitter disappointment, he [Elijah] desired never to look upon the faces of men again.” The Review and Herald, October 16, 1913.


  • When Jezebel, the idolatrous queen, heard of the slaying of the false prophets, what message did she send Elijah? I Kings 19:1, 2.

Note: “Jezebel, hardened and impenitent, became infuriated. She refused to recognize in the events on Carmel the overruling providence of God, and, still defiant, she boldly declared that Elijah should die.” Prophets and Kings, 159.

  • After revealing undaunted courage in the contest on Mount Carmel, how did Elijah show human weakness? I Kings 19:3.

Note: “Elijah should not have fled from his post of duty. He should have met the threat of Jezebel with an appeal for protection to the One who had commissioned him to vindicate the honor of Jehovah. He should have told the messenger that the God in whom he trusted would protect him against the hatred of the queen.” Prophets and Kings, 160.

  • To what admonition should every worker in the cause of God give serious consideration? I Corinthians 10:12.


  • Utterly discouraged, what did Elijah request in his prayer to God? I Kings 19:4. What must every witness in the cause of God expect to endure? II Corinthians 4:8, 9.

Note: “Into the experience of all there come times of keen disappointment and utter discouragement—days when sorrow is the portion, and it is hard to believe that God is still the kind benefactor of His earthborn children; days when troubles harass the soul, till death seems preferable to life. It is then that many lose their hold on God and are brought into the slavery of doubt, the bondage of unbelief.” Prophets and Kings, 162.

“The servants of the Lord must expect every kind of discouragement. They will be tried, not only by the anger, contempt, and cruelty of enemies, but by the indolence, inconsistency, lukewarmness, and treachery of friends and helpers. … Even some who seem to desire the work of God to prosper, will yet weaken the hands of His servants by hearing, reporting, and half believing the slanders, boasts, and menaces of their adversaries.” Christian Service, 239, 240.

  • What is the remedy for discouragement? Luke 21:36; I Thessalonians 5:8, 17. How did the apostle Paul fight off discouragement? II Corinthians 12:10.

Note: “For the disheartened there is a sure remedy—faith, prayer, work. Faith and activity will impart assurance and satisfaction that will increase day by day. Are you tempted to give way to feelings of anxious foreboding or utter despondency? In the darkest days, when appearances seem most forbidding, fear not. Have faith in God. He knows your need. He has all power. His infinite love and compassion never weary. Fear not that He will fail of fulfilling His promise.” Prophets and Kings, 164, 165.

  1. Instead of granting the thoughtless request of His servant, how did God show him that his work was not yet finished? I Kings 19:5–8.


  • What did the Lord ask Elijah after he took refuge in a cave? I Kings 19:9. What rebuke was contained in the question?

Note: “ ‘I [the Lord God of hosts] sent you to the brook Cherith and afterward to the widow of Sarepta. I commissioned you to return to Israel and to stand before the idolatrous priests on Carmel, and I girded you with strength to guide the chariot of the king to the gate of Jezreel. But who sent you on this hasty flight into the wilderness?’ ” Prophets and Kings, 168.

  • In bitterness of soul, what complaint did Elijah make? I Kings 19:10. What lesson do you think God was teaching His servant through this experience?

Note: “He [God] desired to teach Elijah that it is not always the work that makes the greatest demonstration that is most successful in accomplishing His purpose. While Elijah waited for the revelation of the Lord, a tempest rolled, the lightnings flashed, and a devouring fire swept by; but God was not in all this. Then there came a still, small voice, and the prophet covered his head before the presence of the Lord. His petulance was silenced, his spirit softened and subdued. He now knew that a quiet trust, a firm reliance on God, would ever find for him a present help in time of need.” Prophets and Kings, 168, 169.

  • How had Elijah expected the Lord would reveal His power? I Kings 19:11, 12. What did Elijah finally understand when he considered the way of the Lord to convert souls? Zechariah 4:6.

Note: “It is not always the most learned presentation of God’s truth that convicts and converts the soul. Not by eloquence or logic are men’s hearts reached but by the sweet influences of the Holy Spirit, which operate quietly yet surely in transforming and developing character. It is the still, small voice of the Spirit of God that has power to change the heart.” Prophets and Kings, 169.


  • What question did the Lord repeat to Elijah, and what complaint did Elijah repeat to the Lord? I Kings 19:13, 14. How did God assure Elijah that the unrepentant rebels in Israel would be punished? I Kings 19:15–17.

Note: “The Lord answered Elijah that the wrongdoers in Israel should not go unpunished. Men were to be especially chosen to fulfill the divine purpose in the punishment of the idolatrous kingdom. There was stern work to be done, that all might be given opportunity to take their position on the side of the true God. Elijah himself was to return to Israel, and share with others the burden of bringing about a reformation.” Prophets and Kings, 169.

  • Who, among others, was chosen to help Elijah promote the reformation that had commenced? I Kings 19:19–21.
  • What parallel can be drawn between the apostasy prevalent in Israel in the days of Elijah and the apostasy which is spreading in the world today? II Peter 3:3–5.

Note: “The law of God, the divine standard of righteousness, is declared [in this age] to be of no effect. The enemy of all truth is working with deceptive power to cause men and women to place human institutions where God should be, and to forget that which was ordained for the happiness and salvation of mankind.

“Yet this apostasy, widespread as it has come to be, is not universal. Not all in the world are lawless and sinful; not all have taken sides with the enemy. God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal, many who long to understand more fully in regard to Christ and the law, many who are hoping against hope that Jesus will come soon to end the reign of sin and death. And there are many who have been worshiping Baal ignorantly, but with whom the Spirit of God is still striving.

“These need the personal help of those who have learned to know God and the power of His word. In such a time as this, every child of God should be actively engaged in helping others.” Prophets and Kings, 170, 171.


  • When Elijah complained that he alone was left, what did the Lord reveal to him? I Kings 19:18.

Note: “What strange work Elijah would have done in numbering Israel at the time when God’s judgments were falling upon the backsliding people! He could count only one on the Lord’s side.” Prophets and Kings, 189.

  • What is our duty in view of the fact that “God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal” and “with whom the Spirit of God is still striving”? Matthew 28:19, 20.

Note: “Among earth’s inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. … God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law. … The darker the night, the more brilliantly will they shine. …

“Then let no man attempt to number Israel today, but let everyone have a heart of flesh, a heart of tender sympathy, a heart that, like the heart of Christ, reaches out for the salvation of a lost world.” Prophets and Kings, 188, 189.


1 How did Elijah show spiritual cowardice after demonstrating great moral strength?

2 What admonition should be seriously pondered by every believer—as each of us has been called to witness for Christ?

3 What is the remedy for discouragement?

4 When Elijah complained of being alone, what did God declare?

5 What is our duty to all who have never bowed the knee to Baal?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Reformation in Elijah’s Time

October 11, 2015 – October 17, 2015

Key Text

“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” James 5:17, 18.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 119–154.


“God was seeking to free the people [of Israel] from their delusion, and lead them to understand their accountability to the One to Whom they owed their life and all things.” The Review and Herald, August 21, 1913.


  • What mission did God entrust to Elijah when Israel was controlled by the priests of Baal and Ashtoreth? What did he say to Ahab, the king? I Kings 17:1.

Note: “God’s message to Ahab gave Jezebel and her priests and all the followers of Baal and Ashtoreth opportunity to test the power of their gods, and, if possible, to prove the word of Elijah false.” Prophets and Kings, 124.

  • As God sought to speak to the king, the leaders, and the people through judgments—calling for repentance and reformation, how did the heathen priests seek to keep the nation deceived?

Note: “The people were urged by their leaders to have confidence in the power of Baal and to set aside as idle words the prophecy of Elijah. The priests still insisted that it was through the power of Baal that the showers of rain fell.” Prophets and Kings, 123.


  • When they met face to face, with what question did the king try to rebuke Elijah? I Kings 18:17. What must God’s messenger expect from those who refuse to receive the truth?

Note: “The prophets of God were hated by apostate Israel because through them their hidden sins were brought to light. Ahab regarded Elijah as his enemy because the prophet was faithful to rebuke the king’s secret iniquities. So today the servant of Christ, the reprover of sin, meets with scorn and rebuffs.” The Desire of Ages, 587.

“As men see that they cannot maintain their position by the Scriptures, many determine to maintain it at all hazards, and with a malicious spirit they assail the character and motives of those who stand in defense of unpopular truth. It is the same policy which has been pursued in all ages. Elijah was declared to be a troubler in Israel, Jeremiah a traitor, Paul a polluter of the temple. From that day to this, those who would be loyal to truth have been denounced as seditious, heretical, or schismatic.” The Great Controversy, 458, 459.

  • What can we expect from the vast majority, even when the truth is presented to them? Isaiah 59:14, 15; II Timothy 3:10–12. How is this to affect us?

Note: “Multitudes who are too unbelieving to accept the sure word of prophecy will receive with unquestioning credulity an accusation against those who dare to reprove fashionable sins. This spirit will increase more and more. …

“In view of this, what is the duty of the messenger of truth? Shall he conclude that the truth ought not to be presented, since often its only effect is to arouse men to evade or resist its claims? No; he has no more reason for withholding the testimony of God’s word, because it excites opposition, than had earlier Reformers. …

“The great obstacle both to the acceptance and to the promulgation of truth is the fact that it involves inconvenience and reproach. … But this does not deter the true followers of Christ. These do not wait for truth to become popular. Being convinced of their duty, they deliberately accept the cross.” The Great Controversy, 459, 460.


  • When King Ahab accused Elijah of being a troubler of Israel, how did the prophet respond? I Kings 18:18.

Note: “Standing in conscious innocence before Ahab, Elijah makes no attempt to excuse himself or to flatter the king. Nor does he seek to evade the king’s wrath by the good news that the drought is almost over. He has no apology to offer. Indignant, and jealous for the honor of God, he casts back the imputation of Ahab.” Prophets and Kings, 140.

  • What kinds of sermons are needed in calling for repentance and reformation? Isaiah 58:1. What is wrong with smooth sermons?

Note: “The smooth sermons so often preached make no lasting impression; the trumpet does not give a certain sound. Men are not cut to the heart by the plain, sharp truths of God’s word.” Prophets and Kings, 140.

“Those ministers who are men pleasers, who cry, Peace, peace, when God has not spoken peace, might well humble their hearts before God, asking pardon for their insincerity and their lack of moral courage. It is not from love for their neighbor that they smooth down the message entrusted to them, but because they are self-indulgent and ease-loving. …

“God calls for men like Elijah, Nathan, and John the Baptist—men who will bear His message with faithfulness, regardless of the consequences; men who will speak the truth bravely, though it call for the sacrifice of all they have.” Ibid., 141, 142.

  • When will the accusations of Ahab be repeated against the servants of God? Revelation 13:15–17.

Note: “As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.” The Great Controversy, 590.


  • After rebuking Ahab, what did Elijah demand? I Kings 18:19, 20.

Note: “[I Kings 18:19 quoted.]

“The command was issued by one who seemed to stand in the very presence of Jehovah; and Ahab obeyed at once, as if the prophet were monarch, and the king a subject. Swift messengers were sent throughout the kingdom with the summons to meet Elijah and the prophets of Baal and Ashtoreth.” Prophets and Kings, 143.

  • What challenge did Elijah put before the people? I Kings 18:21, first part.

Note: “Facing King Ahab and the false prophets, and surrounded by the assembled hosts of Israel, Elijah stands, the only one who has appeared to vindicate the honor of Jehovah. He whom the whole kingdom has charged with its weight of woe is now before them, apparently defenseless in the presence of the monarch of Israel, the prophets of Baal, the men of war, and the surrounding thousands. But Elijah is not alone. Above and around him are the protecting hosts of heaven, angels that excel in strength.” Prophets and Kings, 147.

  • What answer did Elijah get from the assembled multitude? I Kings 18:21, second part.

Note: “The Lord abhors indifference and disloyalty in a time of crisis in His work. The whole universe is watching with inexpressible interest the closing scenes of the great controversy between good and evil. The people of God are nearing the borders of the eternal world; what can be of more importance to them than that they be loyal to the God of heaven? All through the ages, God has had moral heroes, and He has them now—those who, like Joseph and Elijah and Daniel, are not ashamed to acknowledge themselves His peculiar people.” Prophets and Kings, 148.


  • When Elijah proposed that, in the impending contest, “the God that answereth by fire, let him be God,” what did the people say? I Kings 18:22–24.
  • After the people had seen that the heathen priests were deceivers, what did Elijah do? I Kings 18:30–34. And then, what happened when he prayed to the Lord to manifest Himself? Verses 36–38.
  • At the end of the contest, when the people saw the fire from heaven consuming the sacrifice and the water, what did they do and say of the true and only God? 1 Kings 18:39. What order did Elijah give concerning the false teachers? Verse 40.

Note: “The priests of Baal … would still remain the prophets of Baal. Thus they showed themselves ripe for destruction. That repentant Israel may be protected from the allurements of those who have taught them to worship Baal, Elijah is directed by the Lord to destroy these false teachers.” Prophets and Kings, 153, 154.


1 Describe the operation of the great controversy as it related to Ahab against Elijah.

2 Explain our duty when facing the unbelieving multitudes.

3 Why are smooth messages especially perilous today?

4 When, in the near future, will the accusation of Ahab be repeated against the servants of God?

5 How are we warned against false religious teachers?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – God’s Sentinels

October 4, 2015 – October 10, 2015

Key Text

“O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel.” Ezekiel 33:7.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 355.


“The stewards of the mysteries of God should stand as watchmen upon the walls of Zion. …

“Ambassadors of Christ should take heed that they do not, through their unfaithfulness, lose their own souls and the souls of those who hear them.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 403.


  • What is the difference between a faithful and an unfaithful watcher? Ezekiel 33:2–6.

Note: “In ancient times, sentinels were often stationed on the walls of cities, where, from points of vantage, they could overlook important points to be guarded, and give warning of the approach of an enemy. Upon their faithfulness depended the safety of all within. At stated intervals they were required to call to one another, to make sure that all were awake, and that no harm had befallen any. The cry of good cheer or of warning was borne from one to another, each repeating the call till it echoed round the city.” Gospel Workers, 14.

  • Why do we as individual Christians need to be concerned about the souls of those who are without God and without salvation? Ezekiel 33:7–9.
  • Does the Lord seek to destroy—or to save? Ezekiel 33:11.


  • What happens when the watcher blows the trumpet but does not give a distinct sound? I Corinthians 14:8.

Note: “Let the watchman beware lest, through his hesitancy and delay, souls shall be left to perish, and their blood shall be required at his hand.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 716.

  • Under the symbol of an evil servant, how did Christ describe a large class of unfaithful sentinels? Matthew 24:48–51.

Note: “The evil servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delayeth his coming’ (Luke 12:45). He does not say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming. But in his heart and by his actions and words he declares that the Lord’s coming is delayed. He banishes from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads men to presumptuous, careless delay. They are confirmed in their worldliness and stupor. Earthly passions, corrupt thoughts, take possession of the mind. The evil servant eats and drinks with the drunken, unites with the world in pleasure seeking. He smites his fellow servants, accusing and condemning those who are faithful to their Master. He mingles with the world. Like grows with like in transgression.” The Desire of Ages, 635.

  • What warning did the apostle Paul give us about these sentinels? I Thessalonians 5:3.

Note: “The advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers. They are saying, ‘Peace and safety.’ Like the priests and teachers before the fall of Jerusalem, they look for the church to enjoy earthly prosperity and glory. The signs of the times they interpret as foreshadowing this. But what saith the word of Inspiration? ‘Sudden destruction cometh upon them’ (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth, upon all who make this world their home, the day of God will come as a snare.” The Desire of Ages, 635.


  • How can we identify a disqualified watcher? Isaiah 56:10–12.

Note: “Some who occupy the position of watchmen to warn the people of danger have given up their watch and recline at ease. They are unfaithful sentinels. They remain inactive, while their wily foe enters the fort and works successfully by their side to tear down what God has commanded to be built up. They see that Satan is deceiving the inexperienced and unsuspecting; yet they take it all quietly, as though they had no special interest, as though these things did not concern them. They apprehend no special danger; they see no cause to raise an alarm. To them everything seems to be going well, and they see no necessity of raising the faithful, trumpet notes of warning which they hear borne by the plain testimonies, to show the people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins. These reproofs and warnings disturb the quiet of these sleepy, ease-loving sentinels, and they are not pleased. They say in heart, if not in words: ‘This is all uncalled for. It is too severe, too harsh. These men are unnecessarily disturbed and excited, and seem unwilling to give us any rest or quietude.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 2, 440.

  • What warning should we bear in mind regarding the work of spiritually-blind watchers? Matthew 15:14. How does the servant of the Lord describe one such sentinel in the history of Adventism?

Note: “Some have been so blinded by their own unbelief that they could not discern the spirit of Brother B. … He has refused to walk in the light of truth which God has given His people, and those who would walk in the light he has hindered.

“He feels that it is an honor to suggest doubts and unbelief in regard to the established faith of God’s commandment-keeping people. The truth that he once rejoiced in is now darkness to him, and, unless he changes his course, he will fall back into a mixture of the views of the different denominations, but will agree in the whole with none of them; he will be a distinct church of himself. …

“Satan is surely leading him, as he has led many others, away from the body in a course of deception and error.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 441.


  • Describe the characteristics of a faithful servant of Christ. I Timothy 4:12–16; Titus 2:7, 8.

Note: “It is the privilege of the watchmen on the walls of Zion to live so near to God, and to be so susceptible to the impressions of His Spirit, that He can work through them to tell sinners of their peril, and point them to the place of safety. Chosen of God, sealed with the blood of consecration, they are to rescue men and women from impending destruction. Faithfully are they to warn their fellow-men of the sure result of transgression, and faithfully are they to safeguard the interest of the church. At no time may they relax their vigilance. Theirs is a work requiring the exercise of every faculty of the being. In trumpet tones their voices are to be lifted, and never should they sound one wavering, uncertain note. Not for wages are they to labor, but because they cannot do otherwise, because they realize that there is a woe upon them if they fail to preach the gospel.” Gospel Workers, 15.

  • What work has Christ entrusted to us individually? Matthew 24:45; II Timothy 4:2, 5.

Note: “Among earth’s inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law. Even now they are appearing in every nation, among every tongue and people. … The darker the night, the more brilliantly will they shine. …

“Then let no man attempt to number Israel today, but let everyone have a heart of flesh, a heart of tender sympathy, a heart that, like the heart of Christ, reaches out for the salvation of a lost world.” Prophets and Kings, 188, 189.


  • When the redeemed get to heaven, will they recognize each other? I Corinthians 13:12. What will they hear from the mouth of those whom they led to Christ?

Note: “The redeemed will meet and recognize those whose attention they have directed to the uplifted Saviour. What blessed converse they have with these souls! ‘I was a sinner,’ it will be said, ‘without God and without hope in the world, and you came to me, and drew my attention to the precious Saviour as my only hope. …’ Others will say: ‘I was a heathen in heathen lands. You left your friends and comfortable home, and came to teach me how to find Jesus and believe in Him as the only true God. I demolished my idols and worshiped God, and now I see Him face to face. I am saved, eternally saved, ever to behold Him whom I love.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 6, 311.

  • What will Christ declare to them? Matthew 25:34–40.

Note: “Others will express their gratitude to those who fed the hungry and clothed the naked. ‘When despair bound my soul in unbelief, the Lord sent you to me,’ they say, ‘to speak words of hope and comfort. You brought me food for my physical necessities, and you opened to me the word of God, awakening me to my spiritual needs. You treated me as a brother.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 6, 311.


1 Differentiate between faithful and unfaithful watchers.

2 What is Christ’s description of unfaithful sentinels?

3 How are many in danger of the trap of “Brother B” in 3T 441?

4 How can we reflect more closely the characteristics of faith?

5 Relate the tremendously rewarding words of gratitude that will be expressed in Heaven.

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – God’s Missionary Program to the World

September 27, 2015 – October 3, 2015

Key Text

“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” Isaiah 2:3.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 17–22; The Acts of the Apostles, 14–16.


“It was God’s purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel men should be drawn unto Him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 290.


  • Which was the first great nation that Heaven wanted to bless with the knowledge of the true God? Psalm 135:9.

Note: “The descendants of Abraham … were brought down to Egypt that … they might reveal the principles of God’s kingdom. The integrity of Joseph and his wonderful work in preserving the lives of the whole Egyptian people were a representation of the life of Christ. Moses and many others were witnesses for God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 286.

  • What evidence shows that the king, his courtiers, and the people in general had chosen to remain in spiritual darkness? Exodus 5:1, 2.

Note: “The Lord would give the Egyptians an opportunity to see how vain was the wisdom of their mighty men, how feeble the power of their gods, when opposed to the commands of Jehovah.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 263.

“If we sow pride, we shall reap pride; if we sow stubbornness, we shall reap stubbornness.” Lift Him Up, 266.


  • What important mission was entrusted to the children of Israel when they numbered over 2,000,000—and the time of their deliverance from Egypt had arrived? John 4:22; Deuteronomy 4:6–8.

Note: “God chose Israel to reveal His character to men. He desired them to be as wells of salvation in the world. To them were committed the oracles of heaven, the revelation of God’s will.” The Acts of the Apostles, 14.

  • For what purpose did God establish Israel in a strategic place, “in the midst of the nations”? Ezekiel 5:5.

Note: “God had designed that His people should be the light of the world. From them was to shine forth the glory of His law as revealed in the life practice. For the carrying out of this design, He had caused the chosen nation to occupy a strategic position among the nations of earth.

“In the days of Solomon the kingdom of Israel extended from Hamath on the north to Egypt on the south, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the river Euphrates. Through this territory ran many natural highways of the world’s commerce, and caravans from distant lands were constantly passing to and fro. …

“Placed at the head of a nation that had been set as a beacon light to the surrounding nations, Solomon should have used his … influence in … directing a great movement for the enlightenment of those who were ignorant of God and His truth.” Prophets and Kings, 70, 71.

  • How did the powers of darkness work to thwart the plan of God? I Kings 11:1, 2; Ecclesiastes 2:8, 9; 10:1.

Note: “The missionary spirit that God had implanted in the heart of Solomon and in the hearts of all true Israelites was supplanted by a spirit of commercialism. The opportunities afforded by contact with many nations were used for personal aggrandizement.” Prophets and Kings, 71.


  • Why were other nations disqualified for evangelizing the world? Leviticus 18:24, 25; Deuteronomy 9:4. What lesson did the inhabitants of the world gradually forget after the Flood? Genesis 6:5, 11, 17.
  • What conditions prevalent among many heathen nations demanded their destruction? Romans 1:19, 21, 23–25.

Note: “In many nations parents were abandoned or put to death as soon as age had rendered them incapable of providing for themselves. …

“By perverted conceptions of divine attributes, heathen nations were led to believe human sacrifices necessary to secure the favor of their deities; and the most horrible cruelties have been perpetrated under the various forms of idolatry. Among these was the practice of causing their children to pass through the fire before their idols. …

“The most licentious and abominable rites were made a part of the heathen worship. The gods themselves were represented as impure, and their worshipers gave the rein to the baser passions. Unnatural vices prevailed and the religious festivals were characterized by universal and open impurity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 337, 338.

  • Does God send destruction without first sending warnings and calls for repentance? Ezekiel 18:21, 23; Amos 3:7. What happens to those who have exhausted the patience of God and are considered incurable? II Peter 3:5–7.

Note: “Could those whose hearts are filled with hatred of God, of truth and holiness, mingle with the heavenly throng and join their songs of praise? Could they endure the glory of God and the Lamb? No, no; years of probation were granted them, that they might form characters for heaven; but they have never trained the mind to love purity; they have never learned the language of heaven, and now it is too late. A life of rebellion against God has unfitted them for heaven.” The Great Controversy, 542, 543.


  • How do we know that the mercy of God was still extended towards the various nations that had not reached the point of no return? What was still granted to the Amorites under this plan? Genesis 15:16.

Note: “In the early days of Israel the nations of the world, through corrupt practices, had lost the knowledge of God. They had once known Him; but because ‘they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, … their foolish heart was darkened’ (Romans 1:21). Yet in His mercy God did not blot them out of existence. He purposed to give them an opportunity of again becoming acquainted with Him through His chosen people.” The Acts of the Apostles, 14.

  • What lesson can we learn from the way that God dealt with Nineveh? Jonah 3:10; 4:10, 11. What kind of missionary spirit did Jonah have?

Note: “When Jonah learned of God’s purpose to spare the city that, notwithstanding its wickedness, had been led to repent in sackcloth and ashes, he should have been the first to rejoice because of God’s amazing grace; but instead he allowed his mind to dwell upon the possibility of his being regarded as a false prophet.” Prophets and Kings, 271.

  • What encouraging message does God send to every missionary working in the cities? Acts 18:9.

Note: “God’s messengers in the great cities are not to become discouraged over the wickedness, the injustice, the depravity, which they are called upon to face while endeavoring to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation. … Let those engaged in soul-saving ministry remember that while there are many who will not heed the counsel of God in His word, the whole world will not turn from light and truth, from the invitations of a patient, forbearing Saviour.” Prophets and Kings, 277.


  • Specify the two main effects of the judgment reserved for the time of the end. Isaiah 24:4–6; 26:21, 9.

Note: “The time is at hand when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn. Disasters by sea and by land follow one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.” Prophets and Kings, 277.

  • What does God say while His merciful hand is still held out to save those who want to be saved? Isaiah 55:6, 7.

Note: “In every city, filled though it may be with violence and crime, there are many who with proper teaching may learn to become followers of Jesus. Thousands may thus be reached with saving truth and be led to receive Christ as a personal Saviour.” Prophets and Kings, 277.


1 Why did God bring the descendents of Abraham out of Egypt?

2 What are we to learn today from the way God strategically established Israel “in the midst of the nations”?

3 How did the powers of darkness work to thwart God’s missionary plan?

4 How does the book of Jonah teach that God is happy to save rather than destroy wicked people?

5 What does the Lord want us to realize about those around us?

© 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Seed Recipes


Chia seeds As Pudding: These mild seeds expand when wet. Fill a jar with 1 cup soy milk, 3 tablespoons agave syrup, 1/4 cup seeds, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (for flavor), and a pinch of salt. Cover, and shake; chill for 20 minutes. Serve cold with fruit or nuts.
Flax seeds On Oatmeal: Sprinkle ground flaxseed (which comes packaged this way or grind in electric grinder) onto oatmeal with honey.
Hemp seeds In Pesto: Hemp seeds taste like potent pine nuts, so they are great in a pesto. Puree a handful of the seeds with garlic, grated vegan Parmesan, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh basil, and arugula in a food processor.
Pumpkin seeds On Toast: Cover a slice of toast with mashed avocado, then add a sprinkling of sea salt and the seeds. Do not toast the seeds; this reduces their nutritional content.
Sesame seeds On Tofu: Marinate tofu slices in a soy-honey sauce, then coat with seeds. Bake or fry in a nonstick pan until the seeds form a crispy crust (which intensifies their nutty flavor). Frozen tofu, thawed, works best.
Sunflower seeds With Spices: Mix 1/2 cup of these sweet, buttery seeds with a pinch each of salt, cumin, chili powder, and allspice or nutmeg. Dry-roast in a pan over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Toss over guacamole, tacos or salads.



Food – Seeds

“The Lord expects us to work in order that we may obtain food. He does not propose that we shall gather the harvest unless we break the sod, till the soil, and cultivate the produce. Then God sends the rain and the sunshine and the clouds to cause vegetation to flourish. God works, and man cooperates with God. Then there is seed time and harvest.

“God has caused to grow out of the ground herbs for the use of man and if we understand the nature of these roots and herbs, and make a right use of them, there would not be a necessity of running for the doctor so frequently, and people would be in much better health than they are today.” The Place of Herbs in Rational Therapy, 144.

Chia seeds As Pudding: These mild seeds expand when wet. Fill a jar with 1 cup soy milk, 3 tablespoons agave syrup, 1/4 cup seeds, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (for flavor), and a pinch of salt. Cover, and shake; chill for 20 minutes. Serve cold with fruit or nuts.
Flax seeds On Oatmeal: Sprinkle ground flaxseed (which comes packaged this way or grind in electric grinder) onto oatmeal with honey.
Hemp seeds In Pesto: Hemp seeds taste like potent pine nuts, so they are great in a pesto. Puree a handful of the seeds with garlic, grated vegan Parmesan, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh basil, and arugula in a food processor.
Pumpkin seeds On Toast: Cover a slice of toast with mashed avocado, then add a sprinkling of sea salt and the seeds. Do not toast the seeds; this reduces their nutritional content.
Sesame seeds On Tofu: Marinate tofu slices in a soy-honey sauce, then coat with seeds. Bake or fry in a nonstick pan until the seeds form a crispy crust (which intensifies their nutty flavor). Frozen tofu, thawed, works best.
Sunflower seeds With Spices: Mix 1/2 cup of these sweet, buttery seeds with a pinch each of salt, cumin, chili powder, and allspice or nutmeg. Dry-roast in a pan over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Toss over guacamole, tacos or salads.


Lord’s Prayer Series – Freedom in Forgiveness

Human beings were never created to be independent creatures although some of us sometimes might like to think that we are. In this sinful world wherever there is more than one person, it is inevitable that differences will arise. If you have ever needed to apologize to somebody, you would have had to recognize that you are not independent and that it takes effort and compromise to sustain a proper relationship with others.

The fifth petition in the Lord’s Prayer is a request for forgiveness. It reads: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors [those who are indebted to us].” Matthew 6:12. We need to ask for forgiveness because we are sinners, because we are dependent, and because our conduct has been unworthy toward the One on whom we are dependent.

It would be unthinkable to ask help from somebody that you have wronged without at least some form of an apology in which you demonstrate your humility for what you have done. For that reason, the question of sin and our relation to God needs to be adjusted before we can have the proper use of any strength derived from the daily bread that He has lovingly provided for us. Maintaining a spiritual life without pardon is impossible. Forgiveness is one of the greatest needs that we have and it is one of the greatest gifts of God to the human race. This gift is the least deserved on our part and it is the hardest for us to give to others.

It is a wonderful experience to be forgiven for a wrong that we have committed against another person, but we should never forget what it cost the Godhead in order to be able to forgive our sins. The Bible says in I John 3:4 that “sin is the transgression of the law” KJV, or “sin is lawlessness.” This is repeated many times in the book of Leviticus. You sin by doing something contrary to one of God’s commandments. Romans 6:23 says that the wages or consequence of sin is death. The penalty for breaking God’s law is eternal death. His law is unchangeable and Jesus said that not even a part of a letter of it could be changed (Luke 16:17).

Not only is it impossible for God’s law to be changed, but the penalty for breaking it cannot be swept aside or done away with. There is no escaping the death penalty; someone must pay for the sins. Unless accepting the only acceptable substitute, the sinner will pay the price of his own sins and die, never to wake up again. Jeremiah describes the end of the wicked saying, “They will sleep a perpetual sleep and they will not wake up.” Jeremiah 51:39, literal translation.

However, because of God’s great love for His created beings and His unwillingness that any should perish but have eternal life (John 3:16), He provided a way out. A Substitute was provided to take the penalty in the sinner’s place. “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” I Corinthians 15:3. Jesus willingly died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. To those who accept Him as their Saviour from sin and commit their lives to Him, He gives His life, the One He laid down and took up again. The result for those who accept this “payment” by believing in Him, repenting of their sins, and asking for forgiveness is the free gift of eternal life.

Peter said there is not salvation in anybody else; no one else can give you eternal life (Acts 4:12). To accept the sacrifice Jesus offers is the only way that you can have eternal life. Jesus has paid the price for the sins of the world and offers the free gift of eternal life to all. But just like every other gift that God offers, forgiveness is not unconditional. It is only granted, “as we forgive our debtors.” Matthew 6:12. It is impossible to keep an unforgiving spirit toward those who have sinned against you and expect forgiveness from God. It just doesn’t work that way.

To receive forgiveness and be forgiving are among the hardest things for human beings to do. We are debtors to God and our sins incur indebtedness, which must be paid. Jesus, in His mercy, has paid the price of our sins, if we accept Him. We are sinners, and as such, have accrued debt that must be paid. If we do not recognize the payment that Jesus has made, it would indicate ingratitude of the worst possible type.

In His prayer Jesus promised that we will be forgiven as we forgive others or, as some translations say, “As we have forgiven those who are indebted to us.” So God does not promise to forgive us until we have forgiven others. Sometimes because of the restricted nature of our human vision, we do not see the comparison between what we owe God and what other people owe us. Thus it is often very difficult for people to forgive others for what has been done to them, asserting their right to remain angry because of their ill treatment. After all, they maintain, no one knows how bad they were treated.

Among the Jews there was a difference of opinion as to how many times you should forgive an offender. Some thought three times was enough and after that you don’t need to forgive them anymore. So Jesus told a story to illustrate this point. “Then Peter came to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21, 22 KJV.

On another occasion, “He [Jesus] said to the disciples, ‘It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, “I repent,” you shall forgive him’ (Luke 17:1–4).”

When the disciples heard that they said, “Lord, increase our faith” (verse 5). They had never heard any teaching like that before. They had heard that you should forgive somebody three times. But seven times in one day? Peter thought he was being very liberal in suggesting he would forgive somebody seven times, but he was amazed at Jesus’ response, “seventy times seven.”

Then Jesus told a story that illustrates the measure of forgiveness. You and I owe an infinite debt to God and it is impossible to pay that debt. How can you compute the price of God’s having sent the majesty of heaven to this earth to save a world in rebellion. It is a debt that we can never repay, but if we expect God to forgive us, we have to forgive our fellow men.

“Jesus said … ‘Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.’ ” Matthew 18:22–25. In ancient times, this was the rule of law in many countries. If you owed money and could not repay it, the creditor could have your wife and your children, sold as slaves and all your property sold to pay the debt.

In the story that Jesus told, the king commanded that the man and his family with his property be sold to pay his debt. He was to lose everything because he had incurred a debt that he could never repay, ten thousand talents. So, the story reads, “The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, he released him, and forgave him the debt.” Verses 26, 27.

His master was moved with compassion because this man had gotten himself in such a mess, and he was forgiven the whole debt. Notice what happened when he was free:

“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ ” Verses 28, 29. Now this was a small debt of around three month’s wages. It was a debt that could actually be repaid. “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.” Verse 29, 30.

This was the law of the land in so many ancient countries in the Middle East, Europe and England where people were thrown into a debtor’s prison when they could not pay their debts. It makes you wonder how they could make their payments while in prison, but that was the custom. “So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother their trespasses.” Verses 31–35.

Jesus does not take kindly to the one who receives grace yet does not pass it on to his brother or neighbor. In the little book of James there is a sentence that should strike terror into the heart of many people in this world. It says, “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy.” James 2:13. In the Old Testament, Proverbs 21:13 says, “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard.” It is clear throughout Scripture that forgiveness is given on the condition that you forgive others just as you wish for God to forgive you.

On the final Day of Judgment there will be many people who will say they have not done anything wrong. They do not realize that Jesus not only talked about sins of commission, but also about the sins of omission. In fact, Jesus made it very plain that many people on that day of final judgment will be condemned, not because they did something wrong, but because they did not do what was right.

There are sins of omission as well as sins of commission. Notice how clearly Jesus explained this in the parable of the sheep and the goats referring to the time when He would come in the clouds of heaven:

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the king will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take you in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31–46.

Notice what the problem was here. It was not because of some heinous crimes that they had committed that they were refused the gift of eternal life. Rather it was because of the right things they had neglected to do. O, friend, this should cause you to examine your life carefully. Some people think that they are Christians and living a wonderful life because they are not doing anything wrong. But have you asked yourself the question, “What am I doing that is right?” There are sins of omission as well as sins of commission. We must learn to do what is right for it is not enough to simply refrain from wrong.

One of the things that causes grief to parents is the lack of gratitude for what the child has been given as a result of great sacrifice on the part of the parents. The lack of gratitude does not necessarily manifest itself in wrongdoing; but it is just a neglect to express gratitude. This sin of ingratitude, not doing what is right, is often committed by children against their parents when their parents are elderly and most in need of the help of their children.

Do we grieve our heavenly Father by neglected duty, by base ingratitude for what He has done for us? Love is the supreme motive of service and no one can truly or properly love God, if they fail to serve Him and to serve His fellow men. We are hopelessly in debt. None of us can pay the debt, either for the sins we have committed or for the sins of omission—the right-doing that we have failed to do.

If we want to be forgiven for our enormous impossible debt, we must ask the Lord to give us a forgiving spirit toward those who have wronged us. Even our worst enemies must be forgiven from the heart. Your spirit will only be set free when you forgive your enemies. The person who hates his enemy and retains a grudge in his heart only destroys himself, for that enemy is often oblivious to what is going on in the mind or heart of the grudge-bearer. Unforgiveness destroys you spiritually and can even destroy you physically by ruining your health.

Jesus said, as much as you want God to forgive you, then you must forgive those who are indebted to you to the same extent. Friend, to find forgiveness is most liberating. Lay your burden at the cross of the One Who understands how you feel and Who knows the wrongs committed to you. Let Him deal with it in His way and in His perfect timing.

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

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

Health – Fresh Air

Air is an invisible, tasteless, odorless mixture of gases surrounding the earth. Air at sea level is composed of 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, 1% water vapor, carbon dioxide and traces of ammonia, argon, helium, and other rare gases. Experiments have shown that death will occur from prolonged inhalation of air, in which the proportion of oxygen is much greater than that in which it naturally occurs in the atmosphere. Therefore, we know that the mixture called air is not an accidental compound, but one perfectly adapted by our Creator to the needs of the human body. …

Air is Electrically Charged

Air contains electricity. The air we breathe affects the body as if it were charged with electricity. This electrical energy, absorbed by the blood, is carried to all parts of the body. The air we breathe contains both negatively charged ions and positively charged ions. Our bodies need a larger portion of the negatively charged ions for optimum health. As we breathe large quantities of positively charged ions (the bad kind), we may feel such adverse effects as headache, nasal obstruction, hoarseness, fatigue, dry throat, dizziness, etc. Breathing mostly negatively charged air (the good kind) will produce feelings of exhilaration and well-being. Negatively charged air has been shown to decrease the respiration rate and lower blood pressure, while positively charged air [the bad kind] does just the opposite.

Negatively charged air (the good kind) is found in abundance at the ocean, in the mountains, at the foot of a waterfall or by a river or stream. All outside air has a large amount of negative ions. This is why we feel so good when we go camping or to the ocean. Or, if one is fatigued, a short walk outside in the fresh air will liven up the whole body. There are over 3–4 thousand negative ions in one cubic centimeter of mountain air, but only 100 negative ions in one cubic centimeter of air in an office building at the end of an eight hour day. All electrical appliances, air conditioning units, and the like use up the good negative ions and give off positive ions. All the air we exhale is positively charged; that’s why a person gets drowsy after sitting for a long time in a closed room that is full of people.

The Lungs Give Off Positively Charged Poisonous Gases

Both food and oxygen are taken by the blood to the cells and are there converted into heat and energy by a process similar to combustion. When common fuel is burned, a by-product is formed – a gas or smoke which is deadly and must be removed. In like manner, the burning of food and oxygen in the body cells produce a positively charged carbonic acid gas, which is taken by lymph and blood to the lungs to be exhaled, thus saving the body from harm. If this elimination should cease for a few minutes, life would cease. About thirty quarts of this positively charged carbonic acid gas are exhaled per hour by one person. About one third of the body wastes, which are poisons, go out from the lungs. We should always so arrange our ventilation that those wastes will quickly go out-of-doors rather than accumulate in the room, thus enabling the lungs to always have a good supply of fresh, clean, negatively charged air.

Our Skin Also Needs Pure Fresh Air

The skin has millions of minute openings known as pores. One of the functions of these pores is to breathe in the fresh air. If we covered the skin of a person with a material like paint and closed these pores up, the person would suffocate in a short time.

Dr. Kellogg, an authority in natural medicine, who stressed adequate ventilation in homes, offices, and school rooms, estimated that each person requires at least 3,000 cubic feet of fresh air per hour to dilute the poisons poured forth from his own lungs and skin. He tells us that any system of ventilation is inadequate which does not supply this amount of air to each occupant of a dwelling. …

An old army surgeon who had charge of large hospitals during the war related a very interesting experience illustrating the importance of giving the sick, especially persons suffering with fever, an abundance of pure air. He said that in a large hospital he had at one time 320 cases of measles during the winter season. The hospital caught fire and burned to the ground, and the patients had to be placed in tents. All but one or two recovered. He said he had no doubt but that the number of deaths would have been thirty or forty at least, had the patients remained in the hospital.

One would never think of eating food some other person had chewed; yet we don’t realize how breathing enclosed, foul air over and over again will poison the bloodstream and injure the lungs. To enjoy good health our homes should have plenty of ventilation (windows opened winter and summer). With our modern sealed homes and air conditioning units re-circulating a large percentage of the impure indoor air, we are starving our lungs of pure fresh air. The oxygen the body obtains from the air is very important in maintaining good health. Without an abundance of pure fresh air, the important work of normalizing the blood chemistry could not be successfully performed and the individual would suffer serious consequences. …

The health of the whole body depends in part upon the healthy action of the respiratory organs and the kind of air we breathe. Man can live weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air.

Excerpts from Natural Medicine, Jerry Hoover, N.D., KNI Printers, Inc., pages 1–10.

Question & Answer – Why did Moses and Elijah appear with Christ instead of angels? (Matthew 17:1–3)

There were no others who could better encourage Jesus in His impending trial and death than those who had previously been His representatives on earth and who had suffered at the hands of those whom they had tried to lead.

“At the transfiguration the Lord sent Moses and Elijah to talk with Jesus concerning His sufferings and death. Instead of choosing angels to converse with His Son, God chose those who had themselves experienced the trials of earth.” Early Writings, 162.

“The Father chose Moses and Elijah to be His messengers to Christ, and glorify Him with the light of Heaven, and commune with Him concerning His coming agony, because they had lived upon earth as men; they had experienced human sorrow and suffering, and could sympathize with the trial of Jesus, in His earthly life. Elijah, in his position as a prophet to Israel, had represented Christ, and his work had been, in a degree, similar to that of the Saviour. And Moses, as the leader of Israel, had stood in the place of Christ, communing with Him and following His directions; therefore, these two, of all the hosts that gathered around the throne of God, were fittest to minister to the Son of God.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 329.

“Elijah had walked with God. His work had been painful and trying, for the Lord through him had reproved the sins of Israel. Elijah was a prophet of God; yet he was compelled to flee from place to place to save his life. His own nation hunted him like a wild beast that they might destroy him. But God translated Elijah. Angels bore him in glory and triumph to heaven.

“Moses was greater than any who had lived before him. He had been highly honored of God, being privileged to talk with the Lord face to face, as a man speaks with a friend. He was permitted to see the bright light and excellent glory that enshrouded the Father. The Lord through Moses delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses was a mediator for his people, often standing between them and the wrath of God. When the anger of the Lord was greatly kindled against Israel for their unbelief, their murmurings, and their grievous sins, Moses’ love for them was tested. God proposed to destroy them and to make of him a mighty nation. Moses showed his love for Israel by his earnest pleading in their behalf. In his distress he prayed God to turn from His fierce anger and forgive Israel, or blot his name out of His book.” Early Writings, 162, 163.

Also we are told that “Moses was present to represent those who will be raised from the dead at the second appearing of Jesus. And Elijah, who was translated without seeing death, represented those who will be changed to immortality at Christ’s second coming and will be translated to heaven without seeing death.” Ibid., 164.