Bible Study Guides – The Passover

October 25 – 31, 2020

Key Text

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no. life in you” (John 6:53).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 273–280.


“The followers of Christ must be partakers of His experience. They must receive and assimilate the word of God so that it shall become the motive power of life and action. By the power of Christ they must be changed into His likeness, and reflect the divine attributes. They must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, or there is no life in them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 278.



  • How was Moses regarded by the Egyptians? Exodus 11:3, last part.
  •  What judgment was foretold before the tenth plague, and what would Pharaoh and his servants do? Exodus 11:1, 4–8; 12:12.
  •  What can we learn about God’s character from the many warnings He sent to the Egyptians before sending the tenth plague? 2 Peter 3:9.

 Note: “The judgment of which Egypt had first been warned, was to be the last visited. God is long-suffering and plenteous in mercy. He has a tender care for the beings formed in His image. If the loss of their harvests and their flocks and herds had brought Egypt to repentance, the children would not have been smitten; but the nation had stubbornly resisted the divine command, and now the final blow was about to fall.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 273.

“The Lord wills not that any soul should perish. His mercies are without number.” The Upward Look, 150.



  • Who was permitted to eat the Passover lamb? Exodus 12:43, 48, 49.
  • What were the Israelites instructed to do with the blood, and what was the purpose of that institution? Exodus 12:7, 13, 23.

Note: “Before obtaining freedom, the bondmen must show their faith in the great deliverance about to be accomplished. The token of blood must be placed upon their houses, and they must separate themselves and their families from the Egyptians, and gather within their own dwellings. Had the Israelites disregarded in any particular the directions given them, had they neglected to separate their children from the Egyptians, had they slain the lamb, but failed to strike the doorpost with blood, or had any gone out of their houses, they would not have been secure. They might have honestly believed that they had done all that was necessary, but their sincerity would not have saved them. All who failed to heed the Lord’s directions would lose their first-born by the hand of the destroyer.

“By obedience the people were to give evidence of their faith. So all who hope to be saved by the merits of the blood of Christ should realize that they themselves have something to do in securing their salvation. While it is Christ only that can redeem us from the penalty of transgression, we are to turn from sin to obedience. Man is to be saved by faith, not by works; yet his faith must be shown by his works.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 278, 279.

  • Who was to perform the work of slaying the Passover lamb and applying the blood to the doorpost? Exodus 12:21. What significance does this have for us today?

Note: “The father was to act as the priest of the household, and if the father was dead, the eldest son living was to perform this solemn act of sprinkling the doorpost with blood. This is a symbol of the work to be done in every family. Parents are to gather their children into the home and to present Christ before them as their Passover. The father is to dedicate every inmate of his home to God and to do a work that is represented by the feast of the Passover. It is perilous to leave this solemn duty in the hands of others.” The Adventist Home, 324.



  • How were the Israelites to eat the lamb and the other provisions of the Passover feasts? Exodus 12:8–11. What change took place after they had settled down in their own land?

Note: “At the time of their deliverance from Egypt, the children of Israel ate the Passover supper standing, with their loins girded, and with their staves in their hands, ready for their journey. The manner in which they celebrated this ordinance harmonized with their condition; for they were about to be thrust out of the land of Egypt, and were to begin a painful and difficult journey through the wilderness. But in Christ’s time the condition of things had changed. They were not now about to be thrust out of a strange country, but were dwellers in their own land. In harmony with the rest that had been given them, the people then partook of the Passover supper in a reclining position.” The Desire of Ages, 653.

  • How was the marvelous deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt kept fresh in the minds of their children? Exodus 12:26, 27.

Note: “The Passover was ordained as a commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. God had directed that, year by year, as the children should ask the meaning of this ordinance, the history should be repeated. Thus the wonderful deliverance was to be kept fresh in the minds of all.” The Desire of Ages, 652.

  • What is the relationship between the Passover service and the Lord’s Supper? What work is kept fresh in our minds by the communion service? Matthew 26:17–19, 26–29; 1 Corinthians 11:26.

Note: “As He [Christ] ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages. …

“The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was given to commemorate the great deliverance wrought out as the result of the death of Christ. Till He shall come the second time in power and glory, this ordinance is to be celebrated. It is the means by which His great work for us is to be kept fresh in our minds.” The Desire of Ages, 652, 653.



  • Of whom was the Passover lamb a type? John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7.

Note: “God desired to teach them [Israel] that from His own love comes the gift which reconciles them to Himself.” The Desire of Ages, 113.

“The sacrificial lamb represents ‘the Lamb of God’ (John 1:29), in whom is our only hope of salvation. Says the apostle, ‘Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us’ (1 Corinthians 5:7). It was not enough that the paschal lamb be slain; its blood must be sprinkled upon the doorposts; so the merits of Christ’s blood must be applied to the soul. We must believe, not only that He died for the world, but that He died for us individually. We must appropriate to ourselves the virtue of the atoning sacrifice.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 277.

  • Who is symbolized by the bread and what reality should this remind us of? John 6:47, 48, 51.

Note: “To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament.

“And how much more are Christ’s words true of our spiritual nature. He declares, ‘Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life’ (John 6:54). It is by receiving the life for us poured out on Calvary’s cross, that we can live the life of holiness. And this life we receive by receiving His word, by doing those things which He has commanded. Thus we become one with Him. [John 6:54, 56, 57 quoted.] To the holy Communion this scripture in a special sense applies. As faith contemplates our Lord’s great sacrifice, the soul assimilates the spiritual life of Christ. That soul will receive spiritual strength from every Communion. The service forms a living connection by which the believer is bound up with Christ, and thus bound up with the Father. In a special sense it forms a connection between dependent human beings and God.” The Desire of Ages, 660, 661.



  • Describe the last plague. Exodus 12:29, 30.
  • How were the Israelites driven out of the land of Egypt? Why? Exodus 12:31–33.

Note: “Throughout the vast realm of Egypt the pride of every household had been laid low. The shrieks and wails of the mourners filled the air. King and courtiers, with blanched faces and trembling limbs, stood aghast at the overmastering horror. Pharaoh remembered how he had once exclaimed, ‘Who is Jehovah, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, neither will I let Israel go’ (Exodus 5:2). Now, his heaven-daring pride humbled in the dust, he ‘called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said. … And be gone; and bless me also’ (Exodus 12:31, 32). The royal counselors also and the people entreated the Israelites to depart ‘out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men’ (verse 33).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 280.



1     How did God show mercy in His warnings before each plague and especially before the tenth plague?

2     How does the Passover service illustrate how faith and works are to be combined? How does this relate to my own personal experience?

3     What deliverance does the Lord’s Supper commemorate? Why do we need to observe it regularly?

4     How do we appropriate to our souls the saving blood of Christ?

5     How do we, as Pharaoh, sometimes wait until God has humbled us before we obey His voice?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – The Plagues of Egypt

October 18 – 24, 2020

Key Text

“Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed” (1 Samuel 6:6)?

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 265–272.


“God destroys no man. Everyone who is destroyed will have destroyed himself. Everyone who stifles the admonitions of conscience is sowing the seeds of unbelief, and these will produce a sure harvest.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 84.



  • What was the first plague, and why was it sent? Exodus 7:14–21.

Note: “During the plagues on Egypt Pharaoh was punctual in his superstitious devotion to the river, and visited it every morning, and as he stood upon its banks he offered praise and thanksgiving to the water, recounting the great good it accomplished, and telling the water of its great power; that without it they could not exist; for their lands were watered by it, and it supplied meat for their tables.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4A, 54, 55.

  • What was the second plague, and how did God choose to remove the effects of this plague? Exodus 8:2–14.

Note: “The frog was regarded as sacred by the Egyptians, and they would not destroy it; but the slimy pests had now become intolerable. …

“The Lord could have caused them to return to dust in a moment; but He did not do this lest after their removal the king and his people should pronounce it the result of sorcery or enchantment, like the work of the magicians. The frogs died, and were then gathered together in heaps.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 265, 266.



  • How did the Lord make a distinction in those affected by the fourth plague? Exodus 8:20–24.

Note: “Flies filled the houses and swarmed upon the ground, so that ‘the land was corrupted by reason of the swarms of flies’ (Exodus 8:24). These flies were large and venomous, and their bite was extremely painful to man and beast. As had been foretold, this visitation did not extend to the land of Goshen.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 266.

  • What further distinction was made by God in the fifth and ninth plagues? Exodus 9:1–6; 10:22, 23.

Note: “A more terrible stroke followed—murrain upon all the Egyptian cattle that were in the field. Both the sacred animals and the beasts of burden—kine and oxen and sheep, horses and camels and asses—were destroyed. It had been distinctly stated that the Hebrews were to be exempt; and Pharaoh, on sending messengers to the home of the Israelites, proved the truth of this declaration of Moses. ‘Of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one’ (Exodus 9:6). Still the king was obstinate.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 267.

“Suddenly a darkness settled upon the land, so thick and black that it seemed a ‘darkness which may be felt’ (Exodus 10:21, last part). Not only were the people deprived of light, but the atmosphere was very oppressive, so that breathing was difficult. ‘They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings’ (Exodus 10:23). The sun and moon were objects of worship to the Egyptians; in this mysterious darkness the people and their gods alike were smitten by the power that had undertaken the cause of the bondmen.” Ibid., 272.

  • What care did the Lord promise to have for His people? Deuteronomy 32:43?

Note: “Yet fearful as it was, this judgment [during the ninth plague] is an evidence of God’s compassion and His unwillingness to destroy. He would give the people time for reflection and repentance before bringing upon them the last and most terrible of the plagues.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 272.



  • What was the reaction of the magicians to the third plague? Exodus 8:18, 19.

Note: “At the command of God, Aaron stretched out his hand, and the dust of the earth became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh called upon the magicians to do the same, but they could not. The work of God was thus shown to be superior to that of Satan. The magicians themselves acknowledged, ‘This is the finger of God’ (Exodus 8:19). But the king was still unmoved.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 266.

  • How did God instruct Moses to introduce the plague of boils? Exodus 9:8–10. What was the significance about the ashes coming from the furnace?

Note: “Moses was next directed to take ashes of the furnace, and ‘sprinkle it toward heaven in the sight of Pharaoh’ (Exodus 9:8). This act was deeply significant. Four hundred years before, God had shown to Abraham the future oppression of His people, under the figure of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp. He had declared that He would visit judgments upon their oppressors, and would bring forth the captives with great substance. In Egypt, Israel had long languished in the furnace of affliction. This act of Moses was an assurance to them that God was mindful of His covenant, and that the time for their deliverance had come.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 267.

  • What effect did the boils have upon the magicians? Exodus 9:11.

Note: “As the ashes were sprinkled toward heaven, the fine particles spread over all the land of Egypt, and wherever they settled, produced boils ‘breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast’ (Exodus 9:10). The priests and magicians had hitherto encouraged Pharaoh in his stubbornness, but now a judgment had come that reached even them. Smitten with a loathsome and painful disease, their vaunted power only making them contemptible, they were no longer able to contend against the God of Israel. The whole nation was made to see the folly of trusting in the magicians, when they were not able to protect even their own persons.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 267.



  • How did God warn the Egyptians in mercy concerning the seventh plague, and what were the results? Exodus 9:18–21.

Note: “Rain or hail was unusual in Egypt, and such a storm as was foretold had never been witnessed. The report spread rapidly, and all who believed the word of the Lord gathered in their cattle, while those who despised the warning left them in the field. Thus in the midst of judgment the mercy of God was displayed, the people were tested, and it was shown how many had been led to fear God by the manifestation of His power. …

“Ruin and desolation marked the path of the destroying angel. The land of Goshen alone was spared. It was demonstrated to the Egyptians that the earth is under the control of the living God, that the elements obey His voice, and that the only safety is in obedience to Him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 269.

  • After God warned the Egyptians of the eighth plague of locusts, what showed that Pharaoh’s servants were afraid of God? Exodus 10:7.

Note: “The counselors of Pharaoh stood aghast. The nation had sustained great loss in the death of their cattle. Many of the people had been killed by the hail. The forests were broken down and the crops destroyed. They were fast losing all that had been gained by the labor of the Hebrews. The whole land was threatened with starvation. Princes and courtiers pressed about the king and angrily demanded, ‘How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed’ (Exodus 10:7)?” Patriarchs and Prophets, 271.

  • After all that had happened thus far, how did Pharaoh show that he was still not willing to let all of Israel go? Exodus 10:8–11.

Note: “Pharaoh had endeavored to destroy the Israelites by hard labor, but he now pretended to have a deep interest in their welfare and a tender care for their little ones. His real object was to keep the women and children as surety for the return of the men.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 271.



What was the effect upon Pharaoh of each successive judgment of God? Exodus 9:7, 35; 10:3.

Note: “God speaks to men through His servants, giving cautions and warnings, and rebuking sin. He gives to each an opportunity to correct his errors before they become fixed in the character; but if one refuses to be corrected, divine power does not interpose to counteract the tendency of his own action. He finds it more easy to repeat the same course. He is hardening the heart against the influence of the Holy Spirit. A further rejection of light places him where a far stronger influence will be ineffectual to make an abiding impression.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 268.

  • As Pharaoh chose to be in rebellion to God, to what is this sin likened, and what is always the result of such a choice? 1 Samuel 15:23, first part; Proverbs 28:14.

Note: “He who manifests an infidel hardihood, a stolid indifference to divine truth, is but reaping the harvest of that which he has himself sown. It is thus that multitudes come to listen with stoical indifference to the truths that once stirred their very souls. They sowed neglect and resistance to the truth, and such is the harvest which they reap.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 268, 269.



1     How were the gods of Egypt shown to be inferior to the God of heaven during the first and second plagues?

2     During the plagues, how did God show His care of both His people and the Egyptians?

3     How did the lice and the boils defeat the magicians?

4     How did the Egyptians show that they believed God’s word concerning the coming plague of hail? How do we show belief in God’s word?

5     What two attitudes lead to unbelief?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Stubbornness, a Fruit of Pride

October 11 – 17, 2020

Key Text

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6.7).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 257–265.


“Pharaoh sowed obstinacy, and he reaped obstinacy. He himself put this seed into the soil. There was no more need for God by some new power to interfere with its growth, than there is for Him to interfere with the growth of a grain of corn.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1100.



  • When Moses and Aaron came before the king of Egypt, what request did they present to him, and how did he respond? Exodus 5:1–3.
  • Why is it dangerous to ignore or resist a Divine warning? Hebrews 3:12–14; John 12:35.

Note: “Those who exalt their own ideas above the plainly specified will of God, are saying as did Pharaoh, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice’ (Exodus 5:2, first part)? Every rejection of light hardens the heart and darkens the understanding; and thus men find it more and more difficult to distinguish between right and wrong, and they become bolder in resisting the will of God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1100.

“Let all be warned by the messages sent from heaven that when any man shall exalt his own ways and his own judgment as supreme, he will come under Satan’s jurisdiction and will be led blindfold by him until his spirit and his methods will conform to the archdeceiver, little by little, until his whole mind is under the influence of the spell. The serpent keeps its eye fixed upon a man, to charm him, until he has no power to go from the snare.” The Publishing Ministry, 175.



  • What accusation did the king bring against Moses and Aaron? Exodus 5:4, 5. To what “rest” was he referring?

Note: “In their bondage the Israelites had to some extent lost the knowledge of God’s law, and they had departed from its precepts. The Sabbath had been generally disregarded, and the exactions of their taskmasters made its observance apparently impossible. But Moses had shown his people that obedience to God was the first condition of deliverance; and the efforts made to restore the observance of the Sabbath had come to the notice of their oppressors.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 258.

  • What was the purpose of God in bringing Israel out of Egypt? Psalm 105:43–45. What implications does this have for us?

Note: “As the Sabbath was the sign that distinguished Israel when they came out of Egypt to enter the earthly Canaan, so it is the sign that now distinguishes God’s people as they come out from the world to enter the heavenly rest. The Sabbath is a sign of the relationship existing between God and His people, a sign that they honor His law. It distinguishes between His loyal subjects and transgressors. …

“The Sabbath given to the world as the sign of God as the Creator is also the sign of Him as the Sanctifier. The power that created all things is the power that re-creates the soul in His own likeness.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 349, 350.

“And when the law of God is thus exemplified in the life, even the world will recognize the superiority of those who love and fear and serve God above every other people on the earth.” Ibid., 12.

  • What was the result of the interview with Pharaoh? Exodus 5:6–14.

Note: “The king, thoroughly roused, suspected the Israelites of a design to revolt from his service. Disaffection was the result of idleness; he would see that no time was left them for dangerous scheming. And he at once adopted measures to tighten their bonds and crush out their independent spirit.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 258.


  • With what reproach did the officers of the children of Israel come to Moses and Aaron? Exodus 5:19–21.
  • What part do trials have in preparing a people for deliverance? James 2:1–4.

Note: “The Hebrews had expected to obtain their freedom without any special trial of their faith or any real suffering or hardship. But they were not yet prepared for deliverance. They had little faith in God, and were unwilling patiently to endure their afflictions until He should see fit to work for them. Many were content to remain in bondage rather than meet the difficulties attending removal to a strange lane; and the habits of some had become so much like those of the Egyptians that they preferred to dwell in Egypt. Therefore the Lord did not deliver them by the first manifestation of His power before Pharaoh. He overruled events more fully to develop the tyrannical spirit of the Egyptian king and also to reveal Himself to His people. Beholding His justice, His power, and His love, they would choose to leave Egypt and give themselves to His service. The task of Moses would have been much less difficult had not many of the Israelites become so corrupted that they were unwilling to leave Egypt.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 260.

“The children of Israel were addicted to licentiousness, idolatry, gluttony, and gross vices. This is ever the result of slavery. But the Lord looked upon His people, and after their deliverance He educated them. They were not left uncared for.” The Southern Work, 43.

  • As Moses complained to the Lord when new trials came upon Israel, what did the Lord promise to do for His people? Exodus 5:22, 23; 6:1–8.

Note: “In mercy to us, He [God] does not always place us in the easiest places; for if He did, in our self-sufficiency we would forget that the Lord is our helper in time of necessity. But He longs to manifest Himself to us in our emergencies, and reveal the abundant supplies that are at our disposal, independent of our surroundings; and disappointment and trial are permitted to come upon us that we may realize our own helplessness, and learn to call upon the Lord for aid, as a child, when hungry and thirsty, calls upon its earthly father.” Reflecting Christ, 353.



  • When Moses spoke to the children of Israel the second time, how did they receive the message of the Lord? Exodus 6:9. What promises should have been a source of hope for all the Israelites? Genesis 15:13, 14; 50:24.

Note: “The elders of Israel endeavored to sustain the sinking faith of their brethren by repeating the promises made to their fathers, and the prophetic words of Joseph before his death, foretelling their deliverance from Egypt. Some would listen and believe. Others, looking at the circumstances that surrounded them, refused to hope. The Egyptians, being informed of what was reported among their bondmen, derided their expectations and scornfully denied the power of their God. They pointed to their situation as a nation of slaves, and tauntingly said, ‘If your God is just and merciful, and possesses power above that of the Egyptian gods, why does He not make you a free people?’ They called attention to their own condition. They worshiped deities termed by the Israelites false gods, yet they were a rich and powerful nation. They declared that their gods had blessed them with prosperity, and had given them the Israelites as servants, and they gloried in their power to oppress and destroy the worshipers of Jehovah. Pharaoh himself boasted that the God of the Hebrews could not deliver them from his hand.

“Words like these destroyed the hopes of many of the Israelites. The case appeared to them very much as the Egyptians had represented. It was true that they were slaves, and must endure whatever their cruel taskmasters might choose to inflict. Their children had been hunted and slain, and their own lives were a burden. Yet they were worshiping the God of heaven. If Jehovah were indeed above all gods, surely He would not thus leave them in bondage to idolaters. But those who were true to God understood that it was because of Israel’s departure from Him—because of their disposition to marry with heathen nations, thus being led into idolatry—that the Lord had permitted them to become bondmen; and they confidently assured their brethren that He would soon break the yoke of the oppressor.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 259, 260.

  • With what argument did Moses try to excuse himself when the Lord told him to speak to Pharaoh again? Exodus 6:10–12.



  • As the Lord encouraged Moses to return to Pharaoh, what did He say He would multiply in Egypt, and what would be the reaction of the Egyptians? Exodus 7:1–5.

Note: “Before the infliction of each plague, Moses was to describe its nature and effects, that the king might save himself from it if he chose. Every punishment rejected would be followed by one more severe, until his proud heart would be humbled, and he would acknowledge the Maker of heaven and earth as the true and living God. … God would glorify His own name, that other nations might hear of His power and tremble at His mighty acts, and that His people might be led to turn from their idolatry and render Him pure worship.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 263.

  • How were God’s and Satan’s powers contrasted before Pharaoh? Exodus 7:8–12. What was Satan’s purpose in trying to counterfeit the work of God?

Note: “By counterfeiting the work of God through Moses, he [Satan] hoped not only to prevent the deliverance of Israel, but to exert an influence through future ages to destroy faith in the miracles of Christ. Satan is constantly seeking to counterfeit the work of Christ and to establish his own power and claims. He leads men to account for the miracles of Christ by making them appear to be the result of human skill and power. In many minds he thus destroys faith in Christ as the Son of God, and leads them to reject the gracious offers of mercy through the plan of redemption.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 265.



1     How do we sometimes show the same pride as Pharaoh?

2     In what way is the Sabbath a distinguishing sign for God’s people today?

3     Why were so many of the Israelites unwilling to leave Egypt? Why are so many of us unwilling to let go of worldly customs and ideas today?

4     Why had God allowed the Israelites to become slaves?

5     Why did Satan try to counterfeit the miracles of God?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – A Message of Deliverance

October 4 – 10, 2020

Key Text

“And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs” (Exodus 4:17).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 251–256.


“The time for Israel’s deliverance had come. But God’s purpose was to be accomplished in a manner to pour contempt on human pride. The deliverer was to go forth as a humble shepherd, with only a rod in his hand; but God would make that rod the symbol of His power.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 251.



  • While Moses was tending Jethro’s flocks, what was happening in Egypt? Exodus 2:23–25.
  • What experience did Moses have at the burning bush? Exodus 3:1–5.
  • What important lesson can we learn from this experience? Psalm 89:7.

Note: “Humility and reverence should characterize the deportment of all who come into the presence of God. In the name of Jesus we may come before Him with confidence, but we must not approach Him with the boldness of presumption, as though He were on a level with ourselves. There are those who address the great and all-powerful and holy God, who dwelleth in light unapproachable, as they would address an equal, or even an inferior. There are those who conduct themselves in His house as they would not presume to do in the audience chamber of an earthly ruler. These should remember that they are in His sight whom seraphim adore, before whom angels veil their faces.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 252.



  • What was the Lord about to do in behalf of His people? Exodus 3:7–9.
  • How did Moses fit into God’s plan to accomplish this? Exodus 3:10; Acts 7:34, 35.    
  • How did Moses respond to God’s call and what did the Lord want him to realize? Exodus 3:11–15.

Note: “Amazed and terrified at the command, Moses drew back, saying, ‘Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt’ (Exodus 3:11)? The reply was, ‘Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain’ (verse 12).

“Moses thought of the difficulties to be encountered, of the blindness, ignorance, and unbelief of his people, many of whom were almost destitute of a knowledge of God. ‘Behold,’ he said, ‘when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them’ (Exodus 3:13)? The answer was—“ ‘I AM THAT I AM.’ ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you’ (verse 14)” Patriarchs and Prophets, 252, 253.

“Moses did not expect that this was the manner in which the Lord would use him to deliver Israel from Egypt. He thought that it would be by warfare. And when the Lord made known to him that he must stand before Pharaoh, and in His name demand him to let Israel go he shrank from the task.

“The Pharaoh before whom he was to appear, was not the one who had decreed that he should be put to death. That king was dead, and another had taken the reins of government. Nearly all the Egyptian kings were called by the name of Pharaoh. Moses would have preferred to stand at the head of the children of Israel as their general, and make war with the Egyptians. But this was not God’s plan. He would be magnified before his people, and teach not only them, but the Egyptians, that there is a living God, who has power to save, and to destroy.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 189, 190.



  • What message was Moses to give the elders of Israel? Exodus 3:16–20?
  • How was God going to fulfil His promise that His people would not leave Egypt empty-handed? Exodus 3:21, 22.

Note: “The Egyptians had been enriched by the labor unjustly exacted from the Israelites, and as the latter were to start on the journey to their new home, it was right for them to claim the reward of their years of toil. They were to ask for articles of value, such as could be easily transported, and God would give them favor in the sight of the Egyptians. The mighty miracles wrought for their deliverance would strike terror to the oppressors, so that the requests of the bondmen would be granted.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 253.

  • As Moses was reluctant to accept God’s calling, what further evidence did the Lord give him of His providence? Exodus 4:1–9. How should we respond to God’s calling today?

Note: “Moses saw before him difficulties that seemed insurmountable. What proof could he give his people that God had indeed sent him? ‘Behold,’ he said, ‘they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee’ (Exodus 4:1). Evidence that appealed to his own senses was now given. He was told to cast his rod upon the ground. As he did so, ‘it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it’ (verse 3). He was commanded to seize it, and in his hand it became a rod. He was bidden to put his hand into his bosom. He obeyed, and ‘when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow’ (verse 6). Being told to put it again into his bosom, he found on withdrawing it that it had become like the other. By these signs the Lord assured Moses that His own people, as well as Pharaoh should be convinced that One mightier than the king of Egypt was manifest among them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 253, 254.

“Who is ready at the call of Providence to renounce cherished plans and familiar associations? Who will accept new duties and enter untried fields, doing God’s work with firm and willing heart, for Christ’s sake counting his losses gain?” Ibid., 127.



  • What shows that Moses was still unwilling to obey God’s call? Exodus 4:10–13.

Note: “But the servant of God was still overwhelmed by the thought of the strange and wonderful work before him. In his distress and fear he now pleaded as an excuse a lack of ready speech. … He had been so long away from the Egyptians that he had not so clear knowledge and ready use of their language as when he was among them. …

“These excuses at first proceeded from humility and diffidence; but after the Lord had promised to remove all difficulties, and to give him final success, then any further shrinking back and complaining of his unfitness showed distrust of God. It implied a fear that God was unable to qualify him for the great work to which He had called him, or that He had made a mistake in the selection of the man.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 254.

  • What help did God provide for Moses, as He patiently tried to encourage His servant? Exodus 4:14–17. How does God encourage His people today?

Note: “Let them [the members of God’s church] realize that the work in which they are engaged is one upon which the Lord has placed His signet. … He bids us go forth to speak the words He gives us, feeling His holy touch upon our lips.” God’s Amazing Grace, 275.

  • With what further assurance did God provide Moses? Exodus 4:18–23.

Note: “A man will gain power and efficiency as he accepts the responsibilities that God places upon him, and with his whole soul seeks to qualify himself to bear them aright. However humble his position or limited his ability, that man will attain true greatness who, trusting to divine strength, seeks to perform his work with fidelity. Had Moses relied upon his own strength and wisdom, and eagerly accepted the great charge, he would have evinced his entire unfitness for such a work. The fact that a man feels his weakness is at least some evidence that he realizes the magnitude of the work appointed him, and that he will make God his counselor and his strength.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 255.



  • As Moses accepted God’s call and went to Egypt, what happened along the way? Exodus 4:24–26. What solemn parallel can be drawn from this event?

Note: “He [Moses] had failed to comply with the condition by which his child could be entitled to the blessings of God’s covenant with Israel; and such a neglect on the part of their chosen leader could not but lessen the force of the divine precepts upon the people. … In his mission to Pharaoh, Moses was to be placed in a position of great peril; his life could be preserved only through the protection of holy angels. But while living in neglect of a known duty, he would not be secure; for he could not be shielded by the angels of God.

“In the time of trouble just before the coming of Christ, the righteous will be preserved through the ministration of heavenly angels; but there will be no security for the transgressor of God’s law. Angels cannot then protect those who are disregarding one of the divine precepts.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 256.

  • When Moses and Aaron arrived in Egypt and gathered together the elders, how did the people react to the message of deliverance? Exodus 4:29–31.



1     What does the account of Moses at the burning bush teach us regarding the manner in which we should approach God in prayer and in the sanctuary?

2     How did Moses expect God to deliver Israel from Egypt? Why didn’t God deliver Israel in this manner?

3     Why are we sometimes reluctant to accept God’s call to labor for Him?

4     What is a sign of the true greatness in those who serve God?

5     In the time of trouble before us, what do those who disregard just one of the divine precepts forfeit?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – God’s Chosen Leader

Wilderness Wanderings

September 27 – October 3, 2020

Key Text

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:24, 25).

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 241–251.


“The strength of Moses was his connection with the Source of all power, the Lord God of hosts. He rises grandly above every earthly inducement, and trusts himself wholly to God. He considered that he was the Lord’s.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1098.



  • As the children of Israel, dwelling in the land of Egypt, were fast becoming a numerous race, what did Pharaoh propose to do, fearing they would one day turn against him? Exodus 1:15–17, 22.

Note: “The king and his counselors had hoped to subdue the Israelites with hard labor, and thus decrease their numbers and crush out their independent spirit. Failing to accomplish their purpose, they proceeded to more cruel measures. Orders were issued to the women whose employment gave them opportunity for executing the command, to destroy the Hebrew male children at their birth. Satan was the mover in this matter. He knew that a deliverer was to be raised up among the Israelites; and by leading the king to destroy their children he hoped to defeat the divine purpose. But the women feared God, and dared not execute the cruel mandate. The Lord approved their course, and prospered them. The king, angry at the failure of his design, made the command more urgent and extensive.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 242.



  • What was Moses’ heritage? Exodus 2:1; 6:20.

Note: “[Exodus 1:22 quoted.] While this decree was in full force a son was born to Amram and Jochebed, devout Israelites of the tribe of Levi. The babe was ‘a goodly child’ (Exodus 2:2); and the parents, believing that the time of Israel’s release was drawing near, and that God would raise up a deliverer for His people, determined that their little one should not be sacrificed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 242, 243.

  • What did Moses’ mother do to save his life? Exodus 2:2–4.
  • How did God overrule the plans of Satan to destroy God’s planned deliverer? Exodus 2:5–10. What can we learn from the way Moses’ mother fulfilled her sacred trust in training her son for God?

Note: “God had heard the mother’s prayers; her faith had been rewarded. It was with deep gratitude that she entered upon her now safe and happy task. She faithfully improved her opportunity to educate her child for God. She felt confident that he had been preserved for some great work, and she knew that he must soon be given up to his royal mother, to be surrounded with influences that would tend to lead him away from God. All this rendered her more diligent and careful in his instruction than in that of her other children. She endeavored to imbue his mind with the fear of God and the love of truth and justice, and earnestly prayed that he might be preserved from every corrupting influence. She showed him the folly and sin of idolatry, and early taught him to bow down and pray to the living God, who alone could hear him and help him in every emergency. …

“The lessons learned at his mother’s side could not be forgotten. They were a shield from the pride, the infidelity, and the vice that flourished amid the splendor of the court.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 243, 244.

“Every child born into the home is a sacred trust. God says to the parents, ‘Take this child, and bring it up for Me, that it may be an honor to My name, and a channel through which My blessings shall flow to the world.’ ” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 145.



  • Following his early education in the home, what did the second phase of Moses’ education involve? Acts 7:22. Why do you think God placed him in Pharaoh’s palace?

Note: “From the humble home in Goshen the son of Jochabed passed to the palace of the Pharaoh, to the Egyptian princess, by her to be welcomed as a loved and cherished son. In the schools of Egypt, Moses received the highest civil and military training. Of great personal attractions, noble in form and stature, of cultivated mind and princely bearing, and renowned as a military leader, he became the nation’s pride. The king of Egypt was also a member of the priesthood; and Moses, though refusing to participate in the heathen worship, was initiated into all the mysteries of the Egyptian religion.” Education, 62.

  • Because of the faithful early training from his parents what choice was Moses led to make later in his life? Hebrews 11:24–26.

Note: “Moses was fitted to take pre-eminence among the great of the earth, to shine in the courts of its most glorious kingdom, and to sway the scepter of its power. His intellectual greatness distinguishes him above the great men of all ages. As historian, poet, philosopher, general of armies, and legislator, he stands without a peer. Yet with the world before him, he had the moral strength to refuse the flattering prospects of wealth and greatness and fame, ‘choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season’ (Hebrews 11:25).

“Moses had been instructed in regard to the final reward to be given to the humble and obedient servants of God, and worldly gain sank to its proper insignificance in comparison. The magnificent palace of Pharaoh and the monarch’s throne were held out as an inducement to Moses; but he knew that the sinful pleasures that make men forget God were in its lordly courts. He looked beyond the gorgeous palace, beyond a monarch’s crown, to the high honors that will be bestowed on the saints of the Most High in a kingdom untainted by sin. He saw by faith an imperishable crown that the King of heaven would place on the brow of the overcomer. This faith led him to turn away from the lordly ones of earth and join the humble, poor, despised nation that had chosen to obey God rather than to serve sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 246.



  • When Moses tried to work out God’s plan for Israel in his own way, what were the results? Exodus 2:11–15; Acts 7:23–29.

Note: “Moses had supposed that his education in the wisdom of Egypt fully qualified him to lead Israel from bondage. Was he not learned in all those things necessary for a general of armies? Had he not had the advantages of the best schools in the land? Yes, he felt that he was able to deliver his people. He set about his work by trying to gain their favor by redressing their wrongs. He killed an Egyptian who was imposing upon one of the Israelites. In this he manifested the spirit of him who was a murderer from the beginning, and proved himself unfit to represent the God of mercy, love and tenderness.

“Moses made a miserable failure of his first attempt; and, like many another, he immediately lost confidence in God and turned his back on his appointed work. He fled from the wrath of Pharaoh. He concluded that because of his great sin in taking the life of the Egyptian, God would not permit him to have any part in the work of delivering his people from their cruel bondage. But the Lord allowed these things that He might teach Moses the gentleness, goodness, and long-suffering that it is necessary for every laborer for the Master to possess in order to be a successful worker in His cause.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 407.

“It was not God’s will to deliver His people by warfare, as Moses thought, but by His own mighty power, that the glory might be ascribed to Him alone. Yet even this rash act overruled by God to accomplish His purposes. Moses was not prepared for his great work. He had yet to learn the same lesson of faith that Abraham and Jacob had been taught—not to rely upon human strength or wisdom, but upon the power of God for the fulfillment of His promises.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 247.

  • How did Moses find a home in the land of Midian, and who became his family? Exodus 2:16–22; 18:2–4.
  • What was Moses’ occupation in the land of Midian? Exodus 3:1.



  • What was later said of Moses, which showed the great change brought about by the years of training in the wilderness? Numbers 12:3. What lessons had he learned in the wilderness?

Note: “The education received by Moses, as the king’s grandson, was very thorough. Nothing was neglected that was calculated to make him a wise man, as the Egyptians understood wisdom. This education was a help to him in many respects; but the most valuable part of his fitting for his life work was that received while employed as a shepherd. As he led his flocks through the wilds of the mountains and into the green pastures of the valleys, the God of nature taught him the highest and grandest wisdom. In the school of nature, with Christ Himself for teacher, he contemplated and learned lessons of humility, meekness, faith, and trust, and of a humble manner of living, all of which bound his soul closer to God. In the solitude of the mountains he learned that which all his instruction in the king’s palace was unable to impart to him—simple, unwavering faith, and constant trust in the Lord.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 342.

“In the school of self-denial and hardship he was to learn patience to temper his passions. Before he could govern wisely, he must be trained to obey. His own heart must be fully in harmony with God before he could teach the knowledge of His will to Israel. By his own experience he must be prepared to exercise a fatherly care over all who needed his help.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 247.



1     How did Satan know that a deliverer was to be raised up from among the Israelites, and what did he do to try to prevent this?

2     How did Moses’ mother train the child whom she was sure had some great destiny? For what purpose should children be trained today?

3     What led Moses to choose poverty over worldly gain?

4     Why did Moses have to be re-educated in a desert place?

5     What did Moses learn in his years as a shepherd? What things can we learn from the trials we experience in our own lives?

Copyright 2019, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Butter Bean Mashed Potatoes

Velvety Buttery Butter Bean

The Lima bean, Phaseolus lunatus, is commonly known as the lima bean or butter bean. These beans have a buttery, sweet, starchy taste and a smooth texture. The term butter bean is widely used for a large, flat and white variety of lima bean (P. lunatus var. macrocarpus).

Lima beans, named after its place of origin, Lima, Peru, are native to South America and are popular in Andean foods. They’re also used widely in regional southern U.S. cuisine. In the southern United States the Sieva type are traditionally called butter beans, also otherwise known as the Dixie or Henderson type. In that area, lima beans and butter beans are seen as two distinct types of beans. In the United Kingdom, “butter beans” refers to either dried beans, which can be purchased to re-hydrate or the canned variety, which is ready to use. These distinctions do not change the scientific terminology, and the two common terms used for the lima bean are often interchangeable regardless of regional or culinary preferences.

In culinary use, lima beans and butter beans are distinctly different, the former being small and green, the latter large and yellow. In areas where both are considered to be lima beans, the green variety may be labeled as “baby” limas.

Lima beans and butter beans add a protein-packing punch to soups, stews and even summer salads. Although slightly bland in taste, there is nothing unremarkable about the beans’ linguistic impact. Plump and creamy when fully cooked, they do in fact have a butter-like texture that is most appealing.

Recipe – Butter Bean Mashed Potatoes


4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into equal size chunks

2 15-ounce cans, drained, or cook from scratch – Butter Beans

½-1 cup vegetable broth

1 onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup unsweetened plant milk

salt, to taste


Place potatoes in a pot; cover with water; add a little salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low; boil uncovered for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Saute onions and garlic in a little water or oil until golden. In a small pan, heat butter beans through (an important step). Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add hot butter beans to potatoes. Add vegetable broth, onion and garlic, and mash with a potato masher. Add unsweetened plant milk; continue mashing until smooth. Season with salt. Serve with your favorite gravy.

Life Sketches – Though a Prisoner, Still Free

There are many people among the higher classes today to whom vice, presenting its glittering allurements, ends up holding them willing captives. However, the gospel has always achieved its greatest success among the humble class of men and women of this world who are willing to make a break from sin.

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians says, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For the Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:18–28).

A good example of how this works is found in the experience of Paul when he was taken to Rome the second time. The first time he arrived in Rome with letters proclaiming his innocence from people like Festus and Felix and Lysias, and at his trial, he was acquitted and set free. But, when Paul was seized in the house of a disciple in Troas and arrested the second time, he was taken to Rome as a poor and friendless prisoner.

That time he would not be able to attract the attention of the wealthy nor the titled class of Roman citizens whose whole lives, physical, mental, and moral, were on a completely different plane than that of the apostle. To them, just as today among the higher classes, vice presented all its glittering allurements and held them willing captives. Within the city of Rome, there were a multitude of servants and slaves who were toil-worn, want-stricken victims of Roman oppression. There were poor slaves who were ignorant and degraded, but in spite of their condition, they were willing to listen to the words of Paul. They found in the faith of Christ a hope and a peace that sustained them and cheered them under the hardships of their lot in life.

So, the apostle’s work in Rome as a prisoner began with the humble and the lowly, the servants, the slaves with whom he came in contact and who visited him at his home. However, this invitation of salvation soon reached the very palace of the emperor.

Rome was at this time the metropolis of the world and the haughty Caesars were making laws for nearly every nation upon the earth. The king and the court were either completely ignorant of who Jesus of Nazareth was, or they regarded Him with hatred and derision. Yet, in less than two years during the time of Paul’s first imprisonment, the gospel found its way from the prisoner’s lowly home into the imperial halls.

Paul was in bonds as an evil doer. His enemies thought that his life work as an apostle was ended, that he could not go out and do public evangelism as he had done in Athens, Corinth, and Ephesus, and other cities in the Roman Empire. But, as Paul wrote to Timothy, “the word of God is not bound” (2 Timothy 2:9 KJV). And we find that Paul, in his chains in Rome, in a situation that seemed that it would be impossible for him to do anything for the cause of Christ, became one of the most effective evangelists that there has ever been in the history of the world.

In Philippians 4:22, Paul says, “All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.” Nero was the Roman Caesar at that time. History shows that in no other place existed an atmosphere that was more hostile to Christianity than the Roman court when it was administered by such a monster of wickedness as was Nero.

Nero seemed to have obliterated from his soul every trace of the divine and even the human, and totally bear the impress of that which was Satanic. His attendants and his courtiers in general were of the same character as himself – fierce, debased, and corrupt. To all appearance it would be impossible for Christianity to gain a foothold in such a wicked place. And yet, in this case, as in so many others, Paul’s assertion that he made to the Corinthians in his second letter to them was proved true.

He said, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). Trophies for the cross of Christ were won even in Nero’s household. From the vile attendants of an even more vile king were gained converts who became the sons of God.

These servants in Nero’s household were not Christians secretly. They were Christians openly and were not ashamed of their faith, even though they knew that at any time it could cost them their lives. These converts felt the warmest affection for those who were older in Christian faith and experience, and they were not afraid or ashamed to call them brethren sending special greetings to the other churches that had been raised by Paul.

Paul could no longer publicly proclaim the faith of Christ with winning power and with signs and miracles as he had done in previous years. Because he was under house arrest, he could only proclaim the truth to those who came in contact with him at his own house. He was apparently cut off from public labor, yet it was during that time when the greatest victory was won for the truth of the gospel in the headquarters of the Roman Empire.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Philippians 1:12–14).

It was not by his sermons that the apostle gained this great victory, but by his chains. It was by his bonds that the attention of the court of the Caesar had been attracted to Christianity. It was as a captive that he had captured rulers. It was with his chains that he had broken the bonds of so many souls who had been held in the slavery of sin.

The patience and meekness with which Paul submitted to a long and unjust imprisonment resulted in drawing the attention of the public and forced the conviction on many people that where there was such willingness to suffer, there must be an unwavering faith in the doctrines that were being presented.

Paul’s cheerfulness under affliction and imprisonment was completely unlike anything they’d ever seen from other prisoners. People were impressed that there must be a power abiding with this man that is higher than any human influence.

His courage and his faith were a continual sermon. And so it happened that when to all appearance he could do the least, when his power and usefulness seemed to be wholly cut off, it was then that he was gathering souls for Christ from fields from which he was apparently totally excluded.

We need to learn a lesson from his example. When a servant of God is withdrawn from active duty and his voice is no longer heard in encouragement, or reproof, or counsel, as human beings we are short sighted, thinking that his or her usefulness as a servant of God is at an end. However, that is not how God regards it. These mysterious providences that we see, over which we so often lament, are designed by God to do something that otherwise would never get done.

When a Christian manifests patience and cheerfulness under bereavement or suffering and when a Christian meets death with the peace and calmness of an unwavering faith in God, then it is that he or she may accomplish more to subdue the opposition of enemies than could ever be done by active missionary labor.

When through the malice of Satan and his agents God’s children are persecuted and their active labor is hindered, and they are cast into prison as was Paul, or they are dragged to the scaffold or the stake, it is then that the truth gains a greater triumph. Those who before doubted are now convinced of their sincerity, and when a Christian seals his faith with his blood, from the martyr’s ashes spring forth an abundant harvest for the garner of God. As Tertullian said 1800 years ago, “The blood of Christians is seed.”

So, if you are a Christian and find yourself in a situation where you can no longer actively labor for God and His truth, God has not laid you aside. He will use you effectively whether you are well or sick, whether you are in trouble or affliction, trial or persecution. Whatever your situation, if you are trusting in God, He will use you to win other people to the gospel.

When the grave receives a child of God, the Bible says, “He being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4). Patience as well as courage has its victories. Converts may be made to Christianity by meekness as well as by boldness in enterprise. The Christians had been hoping that when Paul came to Rome, he would be able to hold evangelistic campaigns and win people to Christ and that from Rome, Christians would go out to the whole inhabited world to finish the gospel story. The whole world would then be told the story of the cross and the resurrection and hope of the Christian.

However, their hopes were crushed when the apostle arrived at Rome in chains as a prisoner. Yet, we find it was as a prisoner that he had the greatest success. As a prisoner he gained access to people in the court and in the household of Caesar, that he would never have been able to have access to in any other way. O, friend, we need to learn the lesson from the apostle Paul’s imprisonment, that whatever situation we may be in, if we are put in prison unjustly, if we are treated dishonestly, by the law, by the court, by the government, by whomever, as a Christian, we have a hope in Christ that should never be able to be daunted, whatever other men or groups of men do to us.

It is the witness we provide when we are being treated unjustly which proves that our religion is not just talk, but that it is real, and that the power of God is actually operating in our life. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household” (Philippians 4:21, 22). Whatever difficult or unpromising situation you may find yourself in, you can still be a Christian.

Nero was of a most despicable character. During the first year of his reign he poisoned his own stepbrother who was actually the rightful heir to the throne. After this, he descended from one vice and crime to another even worse than the former, until eventually he murdered his own mother. He then murdered his wife. In fact, there was no atrocity which he was not willing to perpetrate, no vile act to which he would not stoop. Anybody who had a noble mind felt abhorrence and contempt for this person. The details of the iniquity that was practiced in his court are too degrading and horrible for description. His abandoned wickedness created disgust and loathing even among those who were forced to share his crimes.

Even those who were the closest to him were in constant fear as to what atrocities he would suggest next. In a place like that, how could anyone repent of their sins and choose to follow Christ? How could anybody render obedience? But the gospel was presented and there were souls in Caesar’s household who decided that they would obey and follow God at any cost. So, notwithstanding the obstacles and the dangers, they decided that they would walk in the light, trusting in God for an opportunity to let their light shine to others. Who could be placed in circumstances more unfavorable to a religious life or more dangerous for living a Christian life? Who could bring upon himself more fierce opposition than would those who chose to exchange heathenism for Christianity in the court of the Caesar?

The fact of the matter is, friend, that no human being is so situated that he cannot obey God. Today Christians have too little faith. They are willing to work for Christ and His cause only when they themselves see prospects for favorable results. But divine grace is able to aid the efforts of every believer, no matter what the circumstance is, because the Lord said to the apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you.” The Spirit of the Lord will exert its renewing and perfecting power upon every person who chooses to follow Christ and to be obedient and faithful to his divine Lord and Master.

God is the great I Am. He is the source of being, the center of authority and power. Whatever the condition or situation of His creatures, they can have no sufficient excuse for refusing to answer the claims of God. The Lord holds us responsible for the light shining upon our pathway. We may be surrounded by difficulties that appear formidable to us. Because the way they make a living involves disobeying the Lord, people say, “How will I make a living and obey the Lord?” People make all kinds of excuses, but Jesus said to the people that were listening to the Sermon on the Mount, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Paul said, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

God is above all human authority and power. You may be surrounded by all kinds of difficulties, but the Lord is able to give you the grace, the power, the strength to obey Him, and to do His will in any situation. We don’t need to spend our time worrying about the future. All we need to do is remember the words of Jesus when He said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34 KJV). Do not worry about what will happen next month, or ten months from now. Decide to follow the Lord today, and you will find day by day that you will receive all the grace you need to follow the Lord for that day. You do not need the grace of tomorrow today; all you need is grace to follow the Lord today and He is willing to give you all that you need if you are willing to follow and obey as were the servants in Nero’s household.

(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 Nugget – Let Your Skin Breathe!

Much of the fabric used today for making garments is made from synthetic materials. It is always good to know what fabric your clothes are made of and how they will affect the health of your body. We all need to take care of our skin. It is beneficial to your health when wearing clothes that allow the skin to breathe. A person dressed in a satin shirt would be much less comfortable than the person who chose to wear a cotton shirt. This is because of the breathability of the fabric. The following article will help you to understand the different fabrics and how they affect your skin and eventually your health.

“Breathability can be defined as the fabric’s ability to allow air and moisture to pass through it. This is determined by the composition of fibers and how tightly they are woven together. Wearing breathable fabric helps your skin breathe by allowing sweat to evaporate rather than block skin pores. This also helps regulate your body’s temperature. So, when you go shopping for your summer wardrobe, look out for these fabrics.

  1. Cotton: Cotton is a natural fiber that can be found in a number of varieties. However, not all of them are breathable. For your skin to breathe, avoid cotton blends and stick to 100% cotton fabric. Seersucker and madras cotton are great for summer. Cotton clothes are ideal for dry summers as well as humid conditions.
  2. Linen: The light weight nature of linen makes it an extremely breathable fabric. This natural fiber also absorbs moisture very well.
  3. Light Silk: Silk is often termed as a winter material but light silks are ideal for any weather. Silk is highly absorbent and dries quickly thus allowing your skin to breathe. It also has natural climate regulating properties that allow it to stay cool in summers and warm in winters. Silk is also the most hypoallergenic fabric available.
  4. Chambray: Chambray is a breathable alternative to denims. While heavy weight chambray has a rugged appeal, light weight chambray can have a casual as well as dressy appeal.

On that note, here are a few fabrics to avoid

  1. Nylon: Nylon is a completely synthetic material with low absorption and a water repellant nature. Thus not only will it not allow sweat to evaporate, it will trap your sweat within your clothes. This is both uncomfortable and unhealthy.
  2. Polyester and Polyester blends: Like nylon, polyester is water repellent and thus allows perspiration between your clothes and your skin causing the garment to stick to the body. Don’t assume a polyester cotton blend to be any better as even a 40% synthetic presence can keep the fabric from absorbing sweat.
  3. Viscose or Rayon: Both these fabrics are often passed off as cotton. However they do not have the absorption or breathability nature of cotton. While it will not trap heat like nylon and polyester, rayon also repels water thus leading to a perspiration build up.
  4. Satin: Satin is produced by weaving nylon and polyester together and hence is synthetic and does not allow the skin to breathe. Also satin is thick and heavy.

Question – Bind on Earth…


What did Jesus mean by the terms “bind on earth” and “loose on earth”?


“ ‘Verily I say unto you,’ Christ continued, ‘whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ (Matthew 18:18).

“This statement holds its force in all ages. On the church has been conferred the power to act in Christ’s stead. It is God’s instrumenatality for the preservation of order and discipline among His people. To it the Lord has delegated the power to settle all questions respecting its prosperity, purity, and order. Upon it rests the responsibility of excluding from its fellowship those who are unworthy, who by their un-Christlike conduct would bring dishonor on the truth. Whatever the church does that is in accordance with the directions given in God’s word will be ratified in heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 263.

“Peter declared, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (Matthew 16:16). He waited not for kingly honors to crown his Lord, but accepted Him in His humiliation. …

“Peter had expressed the truth which is the foundation of the church’s faith, and Jesus now honored him as the representative of the whole body of believers. He said, ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ (verse 19). …

“The Saviour did not commit the work of the gospel to Peter individually. At a later time, repeating the words that were spoken to Peter, He applied them directly to the church. And the same in substance was spoken also to the twelve as representatives of the body of believers. If Jesus had delegated any special authority to one of the disciples above the others, we should not find them so often contending as to who should be the greatest. They would have submitted to the wish of their Master, and honored the one whom He had chosen.” The Desire of Ages, 412–414.

Nature – Elephant Shrew

The world is full of quirky creatures, and the elephant-shrew is a perfect example. These furry, long-nosed animals resemble a mix between miniature antelopes, anteaters, and rodents, says Galen Rathbun of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Even though their name and appearance suggest otherwise, elephant-shrews are more closely related to aardvarks, sea cows, and elephants than they are to shrews.

Checkered elephant shrews are found only in central and southeast Africa, Uganda, southern Tanzania, northern Zaire, northern and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, northern and central Mozambique, northeastern Zambia, and Malawi. Although found in a range of habitats, the checkered elephant shrew is more adapted to areas where water and plentiful supplies of food are available year-round. The thick ground cover of coastal bush forest, as well as highland and lowland forest, provides an ideal habitat.

Elephant shrews are terrestrial and are active during the day. Their ears and eyes are large, and, when alarmed, they run on their toes swiftly along paths that they construct and maintain, sometimes leaping over obstacles. When foraging, they move along the pathways, using their paws and the constantly moving proboscis to turn over leaf litter and soil in search of prey, which consists of small insects (especially ants and termites), other arthropods, and earthworms.

Elephant shrews take their name from their long pointed head and very long, mobile, trunk-like nose. Long, slim legs and characteristic hunchbacked posture give them the appearance of a miniature antelope or perhaps a tiny pig with a long tail. A gland on the underside of the tail produces a strong scent used to mark territories. This musky smell apparently serves as a deterrent against many carnivores.

Unlike many small mammals, the checkered elephant shrew is only active during daylight. It feeds nearly all day, constantly poking its long nose under leaves and forest litter. The mouth is set back and below the nose, but the tongue is extremely long and can be extended beyond the end of the nose. It eats invertebrates like ants, termites, beetles, spiders, millipedes and worms.