Bible Study Guides – Insights from the Book of Isaiah (1) — Reasoning For Righteousness

October 22 – 28, 2017


Key Text

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 23–41.


“He [Jesus] is acquainted with the sins of men, He knows all their acts and reads their secret motives; yet He does not turn away from them in their iniquity. He pleads and reasons with the sinner, and in one sense—that of having Himself borne the weakness of humanity—He puts Himself on a level with him.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 294.



  • Freshly purged after seeing the vision of the heavenly sanctuary, what was Isaiah’s response to the call of God? Isaiah 6:8–10.

Note: “The prophet [Isaiah] was nerved for the work before him. The memory of this vision [of the temple in heaven] was carried with him throughout his long and arduous mission.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 751.

  • How should we, too, respond to God’s appeal today? Hebrews 3:12–15.

Note: “Heavenly angels have long been waiting for human agents—the members of the church—to co-operate with them in the great work to be done. They are waiting for you.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 46, 47.

“There is something for everyone to do. Every soul that believes the truth is to stand in his lot and place, saying: ‘Here am I; send me.’ ” Ibid., vol. 6, 49.



  • Explain how and why God makes an appeal to us logically. Isaiah 1:18.

Note: “The Lord requires His people to use their reason, and not lay it aside for impressions. His work will be intelligible to all His children. His teaching will be such as will commend itself to the understanding of intelligent minds. It is calculated to elevate the mind.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 230.

“Christ has bought our hearts. Christ has bought the human intelligence. Christ has bought the reasoning powers; and Christ has entrusted us with capabilities and with powers. He does not want that we should let these powers and capabilities be employed merely in the common things of earthly substance, and lose sight of the eternal.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 251.

“A great name among men is as letters traced in sand, but a spotless character will endure to all eternity. God gives you intelligence and a reasoning mind, whereby you may grasp His promises; and Jesus is ready to help you in forming a strong, symmetrical character.” God’s Amazing Grace, 81.

  • How does the gospel bless us with greater mental clarity? 2 Timo­thy 1:7.
  • What is the relationship between the heart and the mind? Hebrews 10:16; Ezekiel 36:26.

Note: “What is the new heart? It is the new mind. What is the mind? It is the will. Where is your will? It is either on Satan’s side or Christ’s side. Now it is up to you. Will you put your will today on Christ’s side of the question? That is the new heart. It is the new will, a new mind.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 210.

“The words, ‘A new heart also will I give you’ (Ezekiel 36:26), mean, A new mind will I give you. This change of heart is always attended by a clear conception of Christian duty, an understanding of truth.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 452.



  • What simple choice was Isaiah bidden to explain, and what simi­lar choice is given to us? Isaiah 1:19, 20; Joshua 24:14, 15.

Note: “The will is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or choice. Every human being possessed of reason has power to choose the right. In every experience of life, God’s word to us is, ‘Choose you this day whom ye will serve’ (Joshua 24:15). Everyone may place his will on the side of the will of God, may choose to obey Him, and by thus linking himself with divine agencies, he may stand where nothing can force him to do evil. In every youth, every child, lies the power, by the help of God, to form a character of integrity and to live a life of usefulness.” Education, 289.

“We cannot overestimate the value of simple faith and unquestioning obedience. It is by following in the path of obedience in simple faith that the character obtains perfection.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1137.

  • What sins of God’s people were then mentioned by the prophet? Isaiah 1:21–23.

Note: “[A] grievous sin existing in our midst, is self-sufficiency—Pharisaism—feeling that we are righteous, and all our acts are meritorious, when we are far from cherishing the right spirit toward God or toward our brethren. … Self-esteem has been cherished, and you have had a spirit of criticism toward others because you were not first. Envy, jealousy, suspicion, fault-finding, and false witnessing have existed. There are unconsecrated hearts among you, who turn everything said or done, even under the special direction of God, in a wrong way. … They please the enemy … by making a man an offender for a word. In many of these cases that are criticised [sic] there is no actual sin; the suspicion is the result of the condition of the mind that entertains it. If one crosses their path, they have no unity or fellowship with him. They feel disgusted with all he may say or do. … yet those who are thus creating disaffection and disunion, and planting the seeds of jealousy, all the while claim to be firm believers in the truth. Such do not practice the spirit of the truth.” The Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.



  • What is necessary in order for us to have full repentance? Psalm 119:18.

Note: “[1 John 3:2, 3 quoted.]

“Here is a work for man to do. He must face the mirror, God’s law, discern the defects in his moral character, and put away his sins, washing his robe of character in the blood of the Lamb. …

“But the influence of a gospel hope will not lead the sinner to look upon the salvation of Christ as a matter of free grace, while he continues to live in transgression of the law of God. When the light of truth dawns upon his mind and he fully understands the requirements of God and realizes the extent of his transgressions, he will reform his ways, become loyal to God through the strength obtained from his Saviour, and lead a new and purer life.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 294, 295.

“In your study of the word, lay at the door of investigation your preconceived opinions and your hereditary and cultivated ideas. You will never reach the truth if you study the Scriptures to vindicate your own ideas. Leave these at the door, and with a contrite heart go in to hear what the Lord has to say to you. As the humble seeker for truth sits at Christ’s feet and learns of Him, the word gives him understanding. To those who are too wise in their own conceit to study the Bible, Christ says, You must become meek and lowly in heart if you desire to become wise unto salvation.

“Do not read the word in the light of former opinions; but, with a mind free from prejudice, search it carefully and prayerfully. If, as you read, conviction comes, and you see that your cherished opinions are not in harmony with the word, do not try to make the word fit these opinions. Make your opinions fit the word. Do not allow what you have believed or practiced in the past to control your understanding. Open the eyes of your mind to behold wondrous things out of the law. Find out what is written, and then plant your feet on the eternal Rock.” Messages to Young People, 260.

  • How should our determination to turn away from sin be reminis­cent of the great reformation in Nehemiah’s day? Nehemiah 4:6, last part.

Note: “Oh, may none put off the day of repentance and reformation! Now is the accepted time.” The Signs of the Times, July 30, 1894.



  • Describe the level of earnest repentance Christ is looking to see in us, living as we are in this period of earth’s history. Revelation 3:19.

Note: “ ‘A great work must be done for the remnant. Many of them are dwelling upon little trials.’ Said the angel, ‘Legions of evil angels are around you, and are trying to press in their awful darkness, that ye may be ensnared and taken. Ye suffer your minds to be diverted too readily from the work of preparation and the all-important truths for these last days. And ye dwell upon little trials and go into minute particulars of little difficulties to explain them to the satisfaction of this one or that.’ Conversation has been protracted for hours between the parties concerned, and not only has their time been wasted, but the servants of God are held to listen to them, when the hearts of both parties are unsubdued by grace. If pride and selfishness were laid aside, five minutes would remove most difficulties.” Early Writings, 119.

“Christ is coming. I remember when we thought that the end was to come in 1844, and when we came together in our meetings the question would be asked by one and another, ‘Brethren, have you seen anything in me that is not right? I know that we cannot see our own faults, and if any of the brethren have seen anything wrong in me, I want them to tell me.’ Sometimes there would be wrongs confessed, and we would bow before God and ask His forgiveness. Then you would see brethren who had had some difficulty going away alone in some barn or orchard and pleading with God together. Then they would come arm in arm, loving one another, and at peace among themselves. We felt that we could not separate unless everything was in harmony. The sweet spirit of peace was in our midst, and the glory of God was around us. You could see faces shine.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 24.



 1      Why can we be inspired by Isaiah’s eagerness to accept God’s call?

2      What does true Christian religion do for the human mind?

3      How will true repentance transform our relationships with one another?

4      Explain a vital key to how we can achieve real growth in our Bible study.

5      What experience from the early Advent believers would we do well to repeat?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Insights from the Book of Isaiah (1) — Facing Reality

October 15 – 21, 2017

Key Text

“Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 217–235.


“Isaiah had denounced woes upon others for their apostasy and separation from God. He had been almost ready to yield to discouragement, so keenly did he realize that he dwelt among ‘a people of unclean lips;’ but now he sees himself in danger. He is himself ‘a man of unclean lips’ (Isaiah 6:5). He had no disposition to exalt himself. O how little he was in his own wisdom, how unworthy, how unfitted for sacred service.” The Bible Echo, September 9, 1895.



  • How have others expressed the types of feelings Isaiah would have had in beholding great wickedness in God’s professed people? Psalm 94:3, 4; Jeremiah 4:14.

Note: “It seemed as if God’s purpose for Israel were about to fail and that the rebellious nation was to suffer a fate similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah.

“In the face of such conditions it is not surprising that when, during the last year of Uzziah’s reign, Isaiah was called to bear to Judah God’s messages of warning and reproof, he shrank from the responsibility. He well knew that he would encounter obstinate resistance. As he realized his own inability to meet the situation and thought of the stubbornness and unbelief of the people for whom he was to labor, his task seemed hopeless. Should he in despair relinquish his mission and leave Judah undisturbed to their idolatry? Were the gods of Nineveh to rule the earth in defiance of the God of heaven?

“Such thoughts as these were crowding through Isaiah’s mind as he stood under the portico of the temple.” Prophets and Kings, 306, 307.



  • What did Isaiah see in vision as he stood before the temple? Isaiah 6:1–4.

Note: “Suddenly the gate and the inner veil of the temple seemed to be uplifted or withdrawn, and he [Isaiah] was permitted to gaze within, upon the holy of holies, where even the prophet’s feet might not enter. There rose up before him a vision of Jehovah sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, while the train of His glory filled the temple. On each side of the throne hovered the seraphim, their faces veiled in adoration, as they ministered before their Maker and united in the solemn invocation, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory’ until post and pillar and cedar gate seemed shaken with the sound, and the house was filled with their tribute of praise (Isaiah 6:3).” Prophets and Kings, 307.

“Did he [Isaiah] think himself unworthy before he had a view of God’s glory?—No; he imagined himself in a righteous state before God.” The Review and Herald, June 4, 1889.

  • Upon seeing this vision, what abruptly happened to Isaiah’s image of himself (keeping in mind that he had already delivered messages of rebuke to Israel)? Isaiah 6:5.

Note: “As Isaiah beheld this revelation of the glory and majesty of his Lord, he was overwhelmed with a sense of the purity and holiness of God. How sharp the contrast between the matchless perfection of his Creator, and the sinful course of those who, with himself, had long been numbered among the chosen people of Israel and Judah!” Prophets and Kings, 307.

“Isaiah had denounced the sin of others; but now he sees himself exposed to the same condemnation he had pronounced upon them. He had been satisfied with a cold, lifeless ceremony in his worship of God. He had not known this until the vision was given him of the Lord. How little now appeared his wisdom and talents as he looked upon the sacredness and majesty of the sanctuary. How unworthy he was! how unfitted for sacred service! His view of himself might be expressed in the language of the apostle Paul, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death’ (Romans 7:24)?” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1139.



  • What is needed today, just as much as it was in Isaiah’s time? Joel 2:12, 13.

Note: “Close heart searching is needed. With tears and heartbroken confession we need to draw nigh to God that He may draw nigh to us.” Evangelism, 510.

“There must be thorough repentance, faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ, vigilant watchfulness, unceasing prayer, and diligent searching of the Scriptures.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 338.

“Pure and undefiled religion is to be brought into the sanctuary of the soul. Each has a work to do, and no friend or minister can do it for him; each must repent for himself, and confess his sins to God. Make thorough work of it. Believe for yourself; have the grace of God in your heart for yourself. God will have His true, faithful witnesses in every walk of life, testifying to the power of His grace. They may be humble, but they will be living in the sunshine of God’s countenance, with the Bible as their guide.

“See, O see, where your duties have been neglected, and where you have given an example to both believers and unbelievers which would lead them away from God, away from righteousness and the spirit of the truth. Jesus would have men come to Him, trust in Him, rely upon Him, and have their experience founded upon Him alone.” The Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.

  • What experience does God desire for those who follow Him? Proverbs 4:18.

Note: “The Lord bids you to come up higher, to reach a holier standard. You must have an experience much deeper than you have yet even thought of having. … Give to Jesus the heart’s best and holiest affections. Treasure every ray of light. Cherish every desire of the soul after God. Give yourselves the culture of spiritual thoughts and holy communings. You have seen but the first rays of the early dawn of His glory. As you follow on to know the Lord, you will know that His going forth is prepared as the morning. … Having repented of our sins, confessed them, and found pardon, we are to continue to learn of Christ until we come into the full noontide of a perfect gospel faith.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 317, 318.



  • Explain the far-reaching extent of our need for repentance. Joel 2:15–17.

Note: “Let the many ministers of Christ sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, and seek God while He is to be found. Call upon Him while you are now lying at the foot of the cross of Calvary. Divest yourselves of all pride and as representative guardians of the churches, weep be­tween the porch and the altar. … Pray, oh, pray for the outpouring of the Spirit of God!” Selected Messages, Book 3, 189.

“Instead of lifting up their souls in self-sufficiency, ministers and people should be confessing their sins before God and one another.” Ibid., 390.

  •     What do we all need to understand in this solemn work? Romans 3:9–12.

Note: “There is too much comparing ourselves among ourselves, taking poor fallible mortals for a pattern when we have a sure, unerring Pattern. The people of God should not measure themselves by the world, nor by the opinions of men, nor by what they once were before embracing the truth. But their faith and position in the world, as they now are, must be compared with what they would have been if their course had been continually onward and upward since they professed to be followers of Christ. This is the only safe comparison that can be made. In every other, there will be self-deception. If the moral character and spiritual state of God’s people do not correspond with the blessings, privileges, and light which have been conferred upon them, they are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Angels make their report, Wanting!” The Review and Herald, August 31, 1886.

“We cannot afford to live on the husks of others’ faults or failings. Evilspeaking is a twofold curse, falling more heavily upon the speaker than upon the hearer. He who scatters the seeds of dissension and strife reaps in his own soul the deadly fruits. The very act of looking for evil in others develops evil in those who look. By dwelling upon the faults of others, we are changed into the same image. But by beholding Jesus, talking of His love and perfection of character, we become changed into His image.” The Ministry of Healing, 492.



  • Once Isaiah’s heart was humbled as never before, what did the God of heaven do for His servant? Isaiah 6:6, 7. What should we learn from this?

Note: “The vision given to Isaiah [in chapter 6] represents the condition of God’s people in the last days. They are privileged to see by faith the work that is going forward in the heavenly sanctuary. ‘And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament’ (Revelation 11:19). As they look by faith into the holy of holies, and see the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, they perceive that they are a people of unclean lips—a people whose lips have often spoken vanity, and whose talents have not been sanctified and employed to the glory of God. Well may they despair as they contrast their own weakness and unworthiness with the purity and loveliness of the glorious character of Christ. But if they, like Isaiah, will receive the impression the Lord designs shall be made upon the heart, if they will humble their souls before God, there is hope for them. The bow of promise is above the throne, and the work done for Isaiah will be performed in them. God will respond to the petitions coming from the contrite heart.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1139.

  • What should be our daily prayer? Psalm 51:2, 7.

Note: “Do not listen to the enemy’s suggestion to stay away from Christ until you have made yourself better; until you are good enough to come to God. If you wait until then, you will never come.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 205, 206.



1      Before the temple vision, how did Isaiah feel about himself and others?

2      How did the vision of heavenly glory transform the prophet’s attitude?

3      Describe the work that needs to be done by all of us today.

4      Explain what happens when we become faultfinders.

5      What assurance given to Isaiah echoes down to every contrite soul?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Insights from the Book of Isaiah (1) — Ripe for Reformation

October 8 – 14, 2017

Key Text

“In that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach” (Isaiah 4:1).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 1, 216–220; vol. 4, 628–648.


“We are not to cling to our own ways, our own plans, our own ideas; we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).” The Upward Look, 218.



  • Describe Judah’s condition as Jotham, the son of Uzziah, began to take on more responsibilities prior to his father’s death. 2 Kings 15:34, 35; Hosea 10:13; 11:7.

Note: “By their apostasy and rebellion those who should have been standing as light bearers among the nations were inviting the judgments of God. Many of the evils which were hastening the swift destruction of the northern kingdom, and which had recently been denounced in unmistakable terms by Hosea and Amos, were fast corrupting the kingdom of Judah.” Prophets and Kings, 306.

  • How were the material goods—given by God—being managed? Isaiah 3:14, 15; 5:8; 10:1, 2.

Note: “The outlook was particularly discouraging as regards the social conditions of the people. In their desire for gain, men were adding house to house and field to field. See Isaiah 5:8. Justice was perverted, and no pity was shown the poor. … Even the magistrates, whose duty it was to protect the helpless, turned a deaf ear to the cries of the poor and needy, the widows and the fatherless.” Prophets and Kings, 306.



  • What did God declare would come as a result of the pride and love of display that accompanied oppression? Isaiah 2:11, 12; Proverbs 29:23.

Note: “Pride of heart is a fearful trait of character. ‘Pride goeth before destruction’ (Proverbs 16:18). This is true in the family, the church, and the nation.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 377.

“The moment we begin to feel self-sufficient and confident then we are in danger of a disgraceful failure.” This Day With God, 277.

  • What situation did Isaiah prophesy, and how would it impact the administration of justice? Isaiah 3:4–6, 12. How can we ensure that our children are properly trained in order to escape this de­structive trend today?

Note: “Parents generally have not taken a proper course with their children. They have not restrained them as they should, but have left them to indulge in pride and follow their own inclinations. Anciently, parental authority was regarded; children were then in subjection to their parents, and feared and reverenced them; but in these last days the order is reversed. Some parents are in subjection to their children. They fear to cross the will of their children, and therefore yield to them. But just as long as children are under the roof of the parents, dependent upon them, they should be subject to their control. Parents should move with decision, requiring that their views of right be followed out.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 216, 217.

“Parents, make home happy for your children. By this I do not mean that you are to indulge them. The more they are indulged, the harder they will be to manage, and the more difficult it will be for them to live true, noble lives when they go out into the world. If you allow them to do as they please, their purity and loveliness of character will quickly fade. Teach them to obey. Let them see that your word must be respected. This may seem to bring them a little unhappiness now but it will save them from much unhappiness in the future. Let the home government be just and tender, full of love and compassion, yet firm and true. Do not permit one disrespectful word or disobedient act.” The Signs of the Times, April 8, 1903.

“The mother should not allow her child to gain an advantage over her in a single instance.” Child Guidance, 283.



  • List some of the objections the Lord had against the women of Zion in Isaiah’s day. (Use a Bible dictionary for more insight.) Isaiah 3:16–23.

Note: “The love of display produces extravagance, and in many young people kills the aspiration for a nobler life. Instead of seeking an education, they early engage in some occupation to earn money for indulging the passion for dress. And through this passion many a young girl is beguiled to ruin. …

“Even the day and the services of worship are not exempt from fashion’s domination. … The church is made a parade ground, and the fashions are studied more than the sermon.” Education, 247.

“The idolatry of dress is a moral disease.” Child Guidance, 432.

“Not a few of our people are backsliding. They are imitating the fashions of the world. Their spirituality is dying. Step by step they are approaching world-loving. Selfishness and pride are taking possession of them, and the love of God finds little room in their hearts. Some who were once zealous reformers are now indifferent. Sisters who were once plain in dress are now conforming to fashion.” The Review and Herald, November 17, 1904.

  • In contrast to wearing provocative clothing, how should Chris­tians dress? 1 Timothy 2:9; Romans 13:14.

Note: “You can choose life and salvation if you will, or you can choose to worship self and devote your precious hours of probation to making your person attractive to please the eye of the worldling and the sensualist, to receive flattery from lying lips, and at last reap that harvest which you have been sowing—corruption.” Daughters of God, 121.

“True Christians are elevated in their conversation; and while they believe it to be a sin to condescend to foolish flattery, they are courteous, kind, and benevolent. Their words are those of sincerity and truth. They are faithful in their dealings with their brethren and with the world. In their dress they avoid superfluity and display; but their clothing is modest and arranged upon the person with order and taste.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 87.



  • What serious consequences to our spirituality will showy, provoc­ative habits of dressing have if they are not removed from the church? Isaiah 3:24–26; Matthew 5:27, 28.

Note: “The love of dress endangers the morals and makes woman the opposite of the Christian lady characterized by modesty and sobriety. Showy, extravagant dress too often encourages lust in the heart of the wearer and awakens base passions in the heart of the beholder.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 645.

“Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people. Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline. If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God.

“There is a terrible sin upon us as a people, that we have permitted our church members to dress in a manner inconsistent with their faith. We must arise at once and close the door against the allurements of fashion. Unless we do this, our churches will become demoralized.” Ibid., 647, 648.

  • Describe the training to be given to our youth. Titus 2:3–6; 1 Peter 3:1–4.

Note: “Girls should be taught that the true charm of womanliness is not alone in beauty of form or feature, nor in the possession of accomplishments; but in a meek and quiet spirit, in patience, generosity, kindness, and a willingness to do and suffer for others. They should be taught to work, to study to some purpose, to live for some object, to trust in God and fear Him, and to respect their parents. Then as they advance in years, they will grow more pure-minded, self-reliant, and beloved. It will be impossible to degrade such a woman. She will escape the temptations and trials that have been the ruin of so many.” Child Guidance, 140.



  • What spiritual pitfall has plagued God’s people, both in Isaiah’s day and ours (keep in mind that, in Bible symbols, “seven” de­notes completeness and a “woman” often refers to a church—Jeremiah 6:2)? Isaiah 4:1. What is God’s response? Isaiah 55:8, 9.

Note: “We must come up to a higher standard, or we are unworthy of the Christian name.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 605.

“The Christian warfare is not a life of indulgence to eat and drink and dress as self-indulgent worldlings. The Lord Jesus came in human nature to our world to give His precious life as an example of what our life should be. He is the specimen, not of spiritual indulgence, but of a life constantly before us of self-denial, self-sacrifice. We have the correct view that Christ our Pattern came to give us. There is before us the Prince of heaven, the Son of God. He laid aside the royal crown and the princely robe and came to take His position in our world as a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. How few take it in!” The Upward Look, 217.

  • Explain a vital pillar of Christian faith. Luke 9:23–26.

Note: “We have a character to maintain, but it is the character of Christ. … May the Lord help us to die to self, and be born again, that Christ may live in us, a living, active principle, a power that will keep us holy.” My Life Today, 335.

“Let self die. Surrender your will and die to self now, just now, and leave God to make your way for you.” This Day With God, 323.



 1      Why is earthly prosperity often a curse and a snare to God’s people?

2      How can we as parents improve in guiding and nurturing our children?

3      Name some vain aspects of dress that show signs of spiritual weakness.

4      How can we lead our youth to develop holier tastes and purer minds?

5      In what ways am I being self-willed instead of surrendered to God?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Insights from the Book of Isaiah (1) — The State of the Vineyard

October 1 – 7, 2017

Key Text

“What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes” (Isaiah 5:4)?

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 15–22, 303–305.


“Yield up your self-will, the long idolized habits peculiar to yourself, that you may receive the principles of truth. Thus you become a branch of the True Vine, and you will not bear wild grapes or thorn-berries, but rich clusters of precious fruit.” The Review and Herald, April 12, 1892.



  • For what purposes did the Creator establish the Hebrew nation? Genesis 12:2; Deuteronomy 7:6–8; 26:17–19.
  • Why was this nation to be deeply grateful to God? Deuteronomy 32:9–12.
  • How did God plan for the Hebrew nation to bless other nations, and how does this apply to us today? Deuteronomy 4:5–8; Matthew 5:16.

Note: “The Lord has His eye upon every one of His people; He has His plans concerning each. It is His purpose that those who practice His holy precepts shall be a distinguished people. …

“Not to this world only but to the universe are we to make manifest the principles of His [God’s] kingdom.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 12, 13.



  • Why was God disappointed with the vineyard He loved? Isaiah 5:1–4.

Note: “They [the Jewish nation] desired to appropriate to themselves the fruits of the vineyard over which they had been made stewards. Their covetousness and greed caused them to be despised even by the heathen. Thus the Gentile world was given occasion to misinterpret the character of God and the laws of His kingdom.” Prophets and Kings, 20, 21.

  • When does the church not bear fruit from the true vine? John 15:4.

Note: “The Lord planted His church as a vine in a fruitful field. … But this vine of God’s planting has inclined to the earth and entwined its tendrils about human supports. Its branches are extended far and wide, but it bears the fruit of a degenerate vine. …

“The Lord has bestowed great blessings upon His church. Justice demands that she return these talents with usury. As the treasures of truth committed to her keeping have increased, her obligations have increased. But instead of improving upon these gifts and going forward unto perfection, she has fallen away from that which she had attained in her earlier experience. The change in her spiritual state has come gradually and almost imperceptibly. As she began to seek the praise and friendship of the world, her faith diminished, her zeal grew languid, her fervent devotion gave place to dead formality. Every advance step toward the world was a step away from God. As pride and worldly ambition have been cherished, the spirit of Christ has departed, and emulation, dissension, and strife have come in to distract and weaken the church.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 240, 241.

  • What kind of fruit is God longing to see us bear? Galatians 5:22, 23.

Note: “The fruit Christ claims, after the patient care bestowed upon His church, is faith, patience, love, forbearance, heavenly-mindedness, meekness. These are clusters of fruit which mature amid storm and cloud and darkness, as well as in the sunshine.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 117.



  • Describe the state of the Lord’s spiritual vineyard in the early reign of Uzziah, king of Judah? 2 Kings 15:1–3; 2 Chronicles 26:1–7, 15.

Note: “The long reign of Uzziah [also known as Azariah] in the land of Judah and Benjamin was characterized by a prosperity greater than that of any other ruler since the death of Solomon, nearly two centuries before. For many years the king ruled with discretion. Under the blessing of Heaven his armies regained some of the territory that had been lost in former years. Cities were rebuilt and fortified, and the position of the nation among the surrounding peoples was greatly strengthened. Commerce revived, and the riches of the nations flowed into Jerusalem.” Prophets and Kings, 303.

  • Name some spiritual blemishes that darkened the picture. 2 Kings 15:4.

Note: “This outward prosperity [under Uzziah] … was not accompanied by a corresponding revival of spiritual power. The temple services were continued as in former years, and multitudes assembled to worship the living God; but pride and formality gradually took the place of humility and sincerity.” Prophets and Kings, 303, 304.

  • How does a neglect to put away evil plague us? Song of Solomon 2:15.

Note: “Many pet and excuse the defects in their characters; but these must all be remedied. Every deviation from the right is sin, and sin must be put away. We cannot afford to walk carelessly before our brethren or before the world.

“Many confess their sins again and again, but do not put them away by genuine repentance. Unless we have a firm purpose and the aid of the grace of God, strong resolutions and vigilant watchfulness will be vain and powerless when temptations assail the soul.” The Signs of the Times, March 6, 1884.

“It is the little foxes that spoil the vines, the little neglects, the little deficiencies, the little dishonesties, the little departures from principle, that blind the soul and separate it from God.” In Heavenly Places, 226.



  • Why did disaster come upon Uzziah? 2 Chronicles 26:16–21; Numbers 15:30.

Note: “The sin that resulted so disastrously to Uzziah was one of presumption. In violation of a plain command of Jehovah, that none but the descendants of Aaron should officiate as priests, the king entered the sanctuary ‘to burn incense upon the altar.’ Azariah the high priest and his associates remonstrated, and pleaded with him to turn from his purpose. ‘Thou hast trespassed,’ they urged; ‘neither shall it be for thine honor’ (2 Chronicles 26:16, 18).

“Uzziah was filled with wrath that he, the king, should be thus rebuked. But he was not permitted to profane the sanctuary against the united protest of those in authority. While standing there, in wrathful rebellion, he was suddenly smitten with a divine judgment. Leprosy appeared on his forehead. In dismay he fled, never again to enter the temple courts. Unto the day of his death, some years later, Uzziah remained a leper—a living example of the folly of departing from a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ Neither his exalted position nor his long life of service could be pleaded as an excuse for the presumptuous sin by which he marred the closing years of his reign, and brought upon himself the judgment of Heaven.” Prophets and Kings, 304.

“The Lord has ordained men to certain positions in his church, and He would not have them step out of the places to which He has appointed them. When the Lord gives them a measure of success, they are not to become lifted up, and think themselves qualified to do a work for which they are not fitted, and to which God has not called them.” The Review and Herald, August 14, 1900.

  • How does God consider pride? Proverbs 6:16, 17; James 4:6.

Note: “He who falls into some of the grosser sins may feel a sense of his shame and poverty and his need of the grace of Christ; but pride feels no need, and so it closes the heart against Christ and the infinite blessings He came to give.” Steps to Christ, 30.

“Pride, self-confidence, love of the world, fault-finding, bitterness, envy, are the fruit borne by many who profess the religion of Christ. Their deportment is in sharp contrast to the character of Christ. … With such conversions Christ had no connection.” The Review and Herald, April 15, 1902.



  •  Describe the prevailing conditions in Israel and Judah at the time Isaiah was called to serve as a prophet. Isaiah 1:1–9, 21–23.

Note: “The reign of Uzziah was drawing to a close, and Jotham was already bearing many of the burdens of state, when Isaiah, of the royal line, was called, while yet a young man, to the prophetic mission. … The divine protection was being removed, and the Assyrian forces were about to overspread the land of Judah.

“But the dangers from without, overwhelming though they seemed, were not so serious as the dangers from within. It was the perversity of his people that brought to the Lord’s servant the greatest perplexity and the deepest depression.” Prophets and Kings, 305.

  • What summarizes the plight of the faithful, then and now? Psalm 11:3.

Note: “With oppression and wealth came pride and love of display, gross drunkenness, and a spirit of revelry. … Iniquitous practices had become so prevalent among all classes that the few who remained true to God were often tempted to lose heart and to give way to discouragement and despair.” Prophets and Kings, 306.

“While others are panting after earthly enjoyments, be ye panting after the unmistakable assurance of the love of God, earnestly, fervently crying: Who will show me how to make my calling and election sure?” Testimonies, vol. 2, 145.



 1      What caused the faith of God’s church to decline?

2      Name one seemingly small oversight during Uzziah’s reign.

3      Why does God consider pride such a grievous sin? Do we?

4      How did Judah’s superficial prosperity eventually affect them as a nation?

5     In an age of degeneracy, what do God’s faithful few need to realize?

Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Creamy Tomato Bisque Soup


1 qt. tomatoes                                                        ¾ cup cashews, rinsed in hot water
1 6-oz. jar tomato paste                                        1 onion, cut into large chunks
1 cup hot water                                                      1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. salt                                                                 ½ cup black olives, chopped
½ tsp. dried oregano or sweet basil
Puree tomatoes and tomato paste. Pour into pan. Blend hot water, salt, oregano or basil, cashews and onion until creamy and add to first ingredients. Add chopped tomatoes and olives. Cook uncovered on medium-low heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand 5–10 minutes. Serve.

Food – Soup’s On!

Current dietary guidelines recommend that adults should eat at least five portions of fruits and five portions of vegetables daily to support a healthy diet and reduce the risk of major illness. It’s time to bring on the soup! Vegetable or fruit, raw or cooked, filling, nutritious, flavor-induced soup is an ingenious way to contribute to that recommendation and satisfy even the most finicky appetites any season of the year.

Soup is a broth infused with flavor. Thin, thick, creamy or chunky, soup is an essential mainstay in the daily diet of most cultures. It can be a simple meal addition or a meal in itself.

Perhaps the simplest and most delicious way to incorporate generous amounts of health-promoting nutrient-dense vegetables in your daily meals is in a soup. Use a selection of vegetables such as potato, carrot, onion, leek, garlic and celery to make a flavorful basic soup providing vitamins and rich minerals. Add greens, tomato, cabbage, broccoli, turnip, sweet potato or beet to bump up nutrition and provide depth of flavor. Puree beans to thicken vegetable soups or use whole alone. Cream or puree soups using blended squash, carrot, broccoli, tomato or pepper, adding cashews, soaked and blended, instead of milk or cream to impart a delicious creaminess.

Top Benefits of Soup

Soup is economical:

It is adaptable to whatever ingredients are on hand. For a reasonable cost, a pot can feed an entire family.

Soup helps to fill up without adding unnecessary calories:

Most soups are low-fat and high fiber, which aid in meeting nutrient needs without excessive calories. Fiona Kirk who wrote “Soup Can Make You Thin,” states: “The wealth of ingredients in a bowl of soup provides a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats as well as the vitamins and minerals required to create energy and keep us firing on all cylinders.”

Soup warms up body core:

Hot soup can increase core body temperature by increasing metabolism by 10–20% dispelling chill.

Vegetables have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties:

A bowl of veggie soup can help clear up mucus and aid a digestive system that has been weakened by sickness.

Vitamins and minerals don’t disappear:

Valuable vitamins and minerals are retained directly within the soup.

Soup improves tolerance of vegetables for children:

Studies have found that toddlers who were given veggie and herb packed soups for seven weeks showed an improved tolerance for vegetables of all kinds when compared with toddlers who didn’t eat soup.


Creamy Tomato Bisque Soup

1 qt. tomatoes                                                        ¾ cup cashews, rinsed in hot water
1 6-oz. jar tomato paste                                        1 onion, cut into large chunks
1 cup hot water                                                      1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. salt                                                                 ½ cup black olives, chopped
½ tsp. dried oregano or sweet basil
Puree tomatoes and tomato paste. Pour into pan. Blend hot water, salt, oregano or basil, cashews and onion until creamy and add to first ingredients. Add chopped tomatoes and olives. Cook uncovered on medium-low heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand 5–10 minutes. Serve.


Children’s Story – Mr. Rui’s Sabbath

Down in Brazil there lived a poor man named Rui. He was a humble water carrier, and he was so poor that he even had to borrow the can in which he carried water. Then he heard about the Seventh-day Sabbath and decided to keep it. Although he was earning hardly enough money to buy food for his family, Rui decided to pay tithe. His faithfulness to God made him faithful and honest and happy in his work. Soon he had so many customers that he bought his own water can and began to save a little each week in a small bank on the kitchen shelf. Soon it was full, and he bought a little donkey. Soon the bank was full again, and he bought another donkey. He taught his older son to help him in the water business. Soon the bank was full again, and Rui bought a store, and turned the water business over to his son.

After the sun sets on the evening after Sabbath, he puts up a sign that says, “First day of the market.” Sunday evening he puts up another sign: “Second day of the market”; and so on till Friday evening when he puts up the sign “Sabbath.” Then he closes his store, and as the sun sets he gathers his family and they all sing as the Sabbath begins. Since there are mother and father and thirteen children in the family, the whole village knows when Sabbath begins. Pastor Baerg was spending the weekend with Mr. Rui’s family not long ago, and since they were all ready, Pastor Baerg suggested they begin to sing. “No, no, Pastor,” said Mr. Rui, “if we sing now, it will throw the village folks out of time, for we always sing at a certain time, and the village folks set their clocks and watches by our Sabbath songs.” No wonder God blessed Mr. Rui and his family! No wonder Isaiah says, “Blessed is the man that doeth this, … that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil” (Isaiah 56:2).

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

Make God First, Mrs. John Baerg/Eric B. Hare, 267.

Life Sketches – The Only Way

Although the New Testament clearly says that all Israel will be saved, the real question that needs to be answered is, Whom does God consider to be part of Israel today?

The prophets in the Old Testament clearly predicted the coming of the Messiah. His birth place, where He would appear as well as when and how He would die were all predicted. When the Messiah would appear, the glory of the Lord would be revealed to all the earth. When these prophecies were fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus, through both His teachings, and His many miracles, the evidence was plain and clear to all the world that God had sent His Son into the world for their salvation. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in the midst of a huge concourse of people, it was an evidence that could not really be gainsaid that here was a miracle that had never been performed before. Here was a person who had the ability to call the dead from their graves.

Jesus demonstrated that He was the resurrection and the life, that He had power over death, that He had come into the world for their salvation. He did not promise the people eternal life immediately. He said, “If you believe in Me, though you die, you will live. The one who believes in Me, I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40, literal translation). The evidence was overwhelming that through a belief in Jesus Christ of Nazareth as Lord and Saviour there was a way out of the tomb. But, the Old Testament prophets also predicted that the Messiah would be rejected by the Jewish people. (See Isaiah 53).

It was predicted that He would be crucified. (See Psalm 22.) He would be resurrected again and would go back to heaven. When Jesus came, and the Jews rejected Him, He told them what was going to happen to them: “Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?” Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.’ ” (Matthew 21:42, 43).

He said, “You will no longer be God’s chosen people because you have rejected the majesty of heaven. You have rejected the only One who gives you eternal life.” There is only one person in the universe who can give you eternal life. Notice what Jesus said in John 5:40 speaking to the Jews. He says, “You are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” He is called, “The Prince of Life” (Acts 3:15). The apostle Peter made the following statement to the Jews: “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).

There is no other way, the New Testament says, to have eternal life. There is no other way to escape death, the grave, except through Jesus Christ. He is the One who is the life-giver, He is the one who created the world (John 1:10). He is the One who upholds everything in the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:1–3). He is the only One who can give you eternal life. If you reject Him, John said, you have lost everything for, “This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11, 12). It’s that simple. The one who has the Son of God has life. The one who does not have the Son of God does not have life. There is no one in the universe who can give you eternal life except Jesus Christ.

There are people in heathen countries who are following the voice of the Holy Spirit, perhaps unknowingly, but who are living up to all the light that they know. They will have eternal life, but that eternal life is through Jesus Christ.

When the Jewish people rejected Jesus Christ, they rejected all means of salvation. If you do not know about Christ but are living up to the all the light you have, you can be saved. But if you reject Christ who is “… the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), if you reject truth, you are rejecting all possibility of having eternal life. So Jesus said to the Jews that the kingdom of God was going to be taken from them. It was to be given to a nation that would bring forth the fruits of it.

Even when they crucified Christ, the kingdom of God still was not taken from them right away. They were given even another opportunity to repent. On the Day of Pentecost while Peter preached to the Jews who were gathered in Jerusalem from all over the world, He told them that they were responsible for the crucifixion of the Majesty of heaven (Acts 2:22, 23). They were pricked in their conscience and said, “What shall we do” (verse 37)? “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be converted, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’ ” (verse 38, literal translation).

Jesus taught that nobody could be saved if they did not receive the Holy Spirit. (See John 3.) In mercy, the Jewish people were still offered salvation even after that. However, they became so bitter and vehement in their opposition to Christ that eventually they were willing to kill anyone who was a Christian. In fact, the first Christian martyr was Stephen the deacon. The Jews stoned him to death for telling them the truth of the gospel. While giving his last sermon and realizing his death was inevitable, Stephen said to his persecutors,

“ ‘You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.’ When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at Him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him” (Acts 7:51–58).

Stephen was stoned for witnessing to them the gospel, and after that, the gospel went to the Gentiles. (See Acts 8.) The Jews could still be saved individually, but as a nation they were no longer God’s chosen people. Jesus was very clear that the kingdom of God was going to be taken away from them because they rejected the One who is the way, the truth, and the life. They rejected the Majesty of heaven.

So, who is Israel now? Who are His chosen people now? It is not the Jewish nation, for they have not accepted the Messiah even to the present day. They are not God’s chosen people, according to the New Testament.

The promises of salvation given to Abraham by God are all conditional on obedience. The Jews are in need of the gospel just like all the rest of us and can be saved.

Who is Israel today? It says in Galatians 3:26, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” These are the people that have been baptized in the name of Christ. They are now Christians. He says that if you have done this, then you have put on Christ.

Verse 28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek.” Notice, it doesn’t matter whether you are a Jew or Greek or what nationality you are. What matters is, Have you been baptized into Christ? Are you a Christian? “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female.”

A sharp distinction was made in the old covenant in the law of Moses, between males and females, but those distinctions, the apostle Paul says, do not apply anymore. He says there is no distinction between a Jew and a Greek, or between a servant or a slave and a free person. There is no distinction between a male and female.

It is amazing that even with this plain instruction in the New Testament even Christians can’t seem to get it figured out. In the eyes of God all are equal. There are no differences, for all are one in Christ Jesus, whether a Jew or a Greek, a male or a female, slave, free, whatever you may be. All are one in Christ Jesus. Notice verse 29: “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

O, that is a wonderful verse. Paul says that if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed; you are Abraham’s children; you are Israel, heirs to eternal life according to the promise of God.

John the Baptist tried to teach the Jews this. He said, “Do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones” (Matthew 3:9).

Jesus made the same truth clear in John 8. He acknowledged that the Jews were Abraham’s children according to the flesh, but it is not being a child according to the flesh that matters. Notice what the apostle Paul wrote to the Christian church in Rome: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is that circumcision that which is outward in the flesh, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God” (Romans 2:28, 29).

It is not outward profession that matters. It is the one who has the circumcision of the heart, circumcision representing the cutting away of sin from the life. This is not a new teaching. If you go back to the Old Testament, you will see that the prophets pleaded with Israel continually saying that the children of Israel needed to circumcise their hearts and cut sin out of their lives.

“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed— God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:13–17).

So, we may ask the question again, Who is Israel today? Everyone who has been baptized into Christ comprises modern spiritual Israel. They are the new covenant Israel. If you want to become part of God’s chosen people, under the new covenant, then you need to be baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. You need to acknowledge the sovereignty of Jesus Christ in your life. You need to acknowledge Him as your Lord and Saviour so that you can become part of Israel today.

Notice what Paul says in Romans 9:6–8: “It is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.”

Who is Israel today? Israel today are all those Jews or Gentiles who have been baptized into Christ, who have acknowledged Christ as their Lord and Saviour and who are following Him, who acknowledge the sovereignty of Christ, that is, the Lordship of Christ, and that He is their Saviour from sin. Remember, there is nobody else in the universe who can give you eternal life. There is no one else in the universe who can take your sins away. John said, “He that has the Son has life and he that does not have the Son does not have life.”

But something terrible has happened since these wonderful things were written. Today, most of the Christian world is under a delusion just as big as the Jewish world was in the days of Christ. John predicted in Revelation 12:9 that the devil would deceive the whole world in the last days.

There is a deception upon the Christian world today that is similar to the one that was upon the Jewish world in the days of Christ and the apostles. It is the belief that trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour from sin sets you free from the ordinances or decrees or laws pointing forward to the work of Christ in the Christian dispensation, as the apostle Paul clearly stated in Ephesians 2 and Colossians 2. But, the book of Revelation predicts that the devil will deceive the entire world. (See Revelation 12:9; Revelation 13, 16, 18, and 19.) How does the devil deceive the Christian world today?

The Jewish world was deceived when it refused to accept the Redeemer of the world. The Christian world profess to accept the Redeemer of the world, but then they say there is no more need to keep His law because grace sets you free and you don’t need to worry about that anymore.

The idea that grace sets you free from keeping God’s law is addressed by almost all the apostles. Paul says, “That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). Then he says in verse 7, “Because the carnal mind (the unconverted person) is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

The apostle Paul is very clear in both Romans 6 and 8 that the Christian is under obligation to keep the law of God. The apostle John talks about it also. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him and does not keep His commandments,’ is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3, 4). John spells out clearly what sin is, who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil.

Notice what John says: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:4–10).

How could you state it any more plainly than that? The apostle Peter talks about the very same thing when he says, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth;’ who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:21–24).

Peter says that if you are a Christian, you have died to sin and you live for righteousness. In other words, you do not continue in breaking God’s law, for sin is breaking God’s law.

James is just as clear as any of the other Bible writers. In James the 2nd chapter he not only spells it out, but he says that according to God’s ten commandment law we are going to be judged. The standard of the judgment is God’s law—the ten commandment law—which is not ten separate laws but just one law (Exodus 24:12).

Notice what James says: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery (the 7th commandment), but you do murder (the 6th commandment), you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:8–12).

The New Testament is clear. Paul, Peter, John and James all said that obedience to the law is necessary for salvation. In fact, it is spelled out in the book of Revelation that at the end of the world the whole world is going to be divided into two classes: those Christians that keep the law of God and those Christians who do not keep the law of God. What class are you going to be in? The class you choose will determine your eternal destiny.

Notice what it says in Revelation 12:17: “The dragon (the devil) was enraged with the woman (the church), and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring (the last church), who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

God’s people in the last days will keep His commandments. In Revelation 14:12, it says, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” God’s people in the last days of earth’s history, according to Revelation 12, 13 and 14, will be those who keep God’s commandments. They will not be people that say, “Well, I believe in Christ, therefore I can live any way I please.”

O, friend, what side are you going to be on when the world comes to an end? Will you be part of those who are Christians in deed and not just in name?

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

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

Health – Moderation and the Jewels of Health

In the early 1900s many were looking to preserve their health or to restore their health but had not an understanding on what to do or where to begin. About this time, Dr. Frederick M. Rossiter, B.S., M.D., wrote the book, The Practical Guide to Health, which was published in 1908 by The Review & Herald Publishing Association. The book was designed for nurses and for home use and must have been quite popular because it was published again in 1910.

The following is a very thought provoking tidbit which I am sure you will find interesting and may even help to stimulate your approach to preserving your own health.

“In the physical as well as the moral world the virtues are all strung upon this same silken thread, moderation. Health is that physical righteousness which results from the practice of the physical virtues. It is the ‘pearl chain.’

“Everybody longs to possess the priceless necklace of health. Many fail to obtain it because they do not realize that it is a treasure of separate jewels, every one of which must be faithfully earned and carefully guarded on the silken string.

“It is true that health is often inherited. But the vast majority of persons neglect this precious heirloom. The string is broken. The pearls are scattered. Some are preserved because their value is recognized, but others are thrown away as being of no intrinsic worth.

“Most of us, however, it seems to me, lose or never win true physical righteousness chiefly because we have sought certain of the physical virtues at the expense of others, and have quite disregarded the shining thread that must run through all.

“Some try to find health by practicing the one virtue of exercise. They think that if they walk far enough and fast enough every day, or manipulate pulleys and Indian clubs, or practice Swedish gymnastics, they may eat what they please and when they please, and sit up till midnight seven times a week—and still be well. Others reverse this theory, and believe that everything depends upon diet—that if a man eats only simple and wholesome fare, he may neglect physical exercise, work all day and half the night at a high tension of nerve and will, and still maintain vigorous and sound health.

“Another class extols the virtue of sleep, or of recreation, or of some particular game or sport.

“Many, alas! seek after false jewels—tonics, medicines, fads of all sorts—thinking with them to fashion the ornament health. But sooner or later these spurious gems crumble or tarnish in their hands; and they are left with worse than nothing for all their trouble.

“The man who magnifies one physical virtue, and fails to give the rest their proper place, is working an evil as wide-spread as his influence. He is really a sinner. …

“The apostle Paul said, ‘Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things’ (1 Corinthians 9:25). It is quite likely that in this great man’s mind the ‘all things’ included working and sleeping as well as eating and drinking. ‘Let your moderation be known unto all men’ (Philippians 4:5).

“Would you have health? Would you carry an atmosphere of health wherever you go? Then gather and cherish every virtue that nature has decreed belongs to that sacred and beautiful whole. Take exercise—not spasmodically or excessively, but in moderation. Eat simple and healthful food—not too much, too little, too often, or too seldom, but in moderation. Take sleep—not fitfully, two or three hours one night and ten the next, but regularly, and in moderation. Wear healthful clothes—not bags, but garments made with sense and moderation. Take recreation—not long, idle vacations, or short, feverish pleasure trips when your health has threatened to give way, but sensible, wholesome outings by which the whole current of your thoughts is changed, and your entire being refreshed. Seek with equal ardor all these shining gems that make for physical righteousness. Preserve their beauty and unity by keeping them always upon that ‘silken string,’ and you will have a possession of worth untold, not only to yourself, but to everyone whose life touches yours.” Pages 547–549.

Dr. Rossiter helped many people back then to be restored to good health. Would you like to preserve your health or be restored to good health? Pray to God to give you strength to do what is right and then push forward in following each of the health laws daily, and not sporadically. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and God wants us to be healthy.

Question & Answer: How was Matthew 16:28 fulfilled?

“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.”

“His prayer is heard. While He is bowed in lowliness upon the stony ground, suddenly the heavens open, the golden gates of the city of God are thrown wide, and holy radiance descends upon the mount, enshrouding the Saviour’s form. Divinity from within flashes through humanity, and meets the glory coming from above. Arising from His prostrate position, Christ stands in godlike majesty. The soul agony is gone. His countenance now shines ‘as the sun,’ and His garments are ‘white as the light’ (Matthew 17:2).

“The disciples, awaking, behold the flood of glory that illuminates the mount. In fear and amazement they gaze upon the radiant form of their Master. As they become able to endure the wondrous light, they see that Jesus is not alone. Beside Him are two heavenly beings, in close converse with Him. They are Moses, who upon Sinai had talked with God; and Elijah, to whom the high privilege was given—granted to but one other of the sons of Adam—never to come under the power of death. …

“Moses upon the mount of transfiguration was a witness to Christ’s victory over sin and death. He represented those who shall come forth from the grave at the resurrection of the just. Elijah, who had been translated to heaven without seeing death, represented those who will be living upon the earth at Christ’s second coming, and who will be ‘changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump;’ when ‘this mortal must put on immortality,’ and ‘this corruptible must put on incorruption’ (1 Corinthians 15:51–53). Jesus was clothed with the light of heaven, as He will appear when He shall come ‘the second time without sin unto salvation.’ For He will come ‘in the glory of His Father with the holy angels’ (Hebrews 9:28; Mark 8:38). The Saviour’s promise to the disciples was now fulfilled. Upon the mount the future kingdom of glory was represented in miniature—Christ the King, Moses a representative of the risen saints, and Elijah of the translated ones.” The Desire of Ages, 421, 422.