Bible Study – The State of the Dead

October 23 – 29, 2022

Key Text

“For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.” Ecclesiastes 9:5

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 531–562


“Upon the fundamental error of natural immortality rests the doctrine of consciousness in death—a doctrine, like eternal torment, opposed to the teachings of the Scriptures, to the dictates of reason, and to our feelings of humanity.” The Great Controversy, 545



1.a. When God created man and commanded him to dress and keep the Garden of Eden, what specific instruction was given to him? Genesis 2:15–17


Note: “A compassionate God gave no severe test, no strong temptation that would tax human endurance beyond the power to resist. The fruit itself was harmless. If God had not forbidden Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, their action in taking it would not have been sinful. Up to the moment of God’s prohibition, Adam might have eaten of the fruit of that tree without realizing any harm. But after God had said, Thou shalt not eat, the act became a crime of great magnitude. Adam had disobeyed God. In this was his sin. The very fact that Adam’s trial was small, made his sin exceeding great.” The Signs of the Times, January 23, 1879

1.b. What words were used by Satan, “the old serpent,” to defy God’s simple and explicit command? Genesis 3:4, 5


Note: “God said that sinners would die. Satan declares that they will not die.” The Bible Echo, February 1, 1897



2.a. Where do all living creatures go when they die? Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20; 9:10. What happens to the memory of the dead? Psalm 146:3, 4


Note: “Nowhere in the Sacred Scriptures is found the statement that the righteous go to their reward or the wicked to their punishment at death. The patriarchs and prophets have left no such assurance. Christ and His apostles have given no hint of it. The Bible clearly teaches that the dead do not go immediately to heaven. They are represented as sleeping until the resurrection. In the very day when the silver cord is loosed and the golden bowl broken, man’s thoughts perish. They that go down to the grave are in silence.” The Great Controversy, 549, 550

2.b. What did God say would be man’s fate because of disobedience? Genesis 3:19. What did Solomon say about the mental condition of the dead? Ecclesiastes 9:5


Note: “God declared that as a penalty for his sin, man should return to the ground whence he was taken: ‘Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’ Verse 19. The words of Satan, ‘Your eyes shall be opened,’ proved to be true in this sense only: After Adam and Eve had disobeyed God, their eyes were opened to discern their folly; they did know evil, and they tasted the bitter fruit of transgression.” The Great Controversy, 532

2.c. Why do many people disbelieve what God has said about the state of man at death? Isaiah 5:20, 21; 30:9, 10


Note: “The theory of the immortality of the soul was one of those false doctrines that Rome, borrowing from paganism, incorporated into the religion of Christendom. Martin Luther classed it with the ‘monstrous fables that form part of the Roman dunghill of decretals.’ Commenting on the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes, that the dead know not anything, the reformer says: ‘Another place proving that the dead have no … feeling. There is, saith he, no duty, no science, no knowledge, no wisdom there. Solomon judgeth that the dead are asleep, and feel nothing at all. For the dead lie there, accounting neither days nor years, but when they are awaked, they shall seem to have slept scarce one minute.’ ” The Great Controversy, 549



3.a. What happened to Moses because of his sin at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh? Deuteronomy 32:50, 51; 34:5, 6


Note: “Satan had exulted at his success in causing Moses to sin against God, and thus come under the dominion of death. The great adversary declared that the divine sentence—‘Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return’ (Genesis 3:19)—gave him possession of the dead. The power of the grave had never been broken, and all who were in the tomb he claimed as his captives, never to be released from his dark prison house.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 478

3.b. How long will the dominion of death keep those who have died since Adam in the grave? Romans 5:14. What happened to Moses after his death? Jude 1:9


Note: “The Bible clearly teaches that the dead do not go immediately to heaven. They are represented as sleeping until the resurrection. In the very day when the silver cord is loosed and the golden bowl broken, man’s thoughts perish. They that go down to the grave are in silence.” The Faith I live By, 181

“Satan railed bitterly against God, denouncing Him as unjust in permitting his prey [Moses] to be taken from him; but Christ did not rebuke His adversary, though it was through his temptation that the servant of God had fallen.” Early Writings, 164

“This act [of the resurrection of Moses] was a great victory over the powers of darkness. This display of power was an incontrovertible testimony to the supremacy of the Son of God. Satan had not expected that the body would be raised to life after death. He had concluded that the sentence, ‘Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return’ gave him undisputed possession of the bodies of the dead. Now he saw that he would be despoiled of his prey, that mortals would live again after death.” Christ Triumphant, 130

“In consequence of sin Moses had come under the power of Satan. In his own merits he was death’s lawful captive; but he was raised to immortal life, holding his title in the name of the Redeemer. Moses came forth from the tomb glorified, and ascended with his Deliverer to the City of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 479



4.a. What does the Bible say about the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust? John 5:28, 29


Note: “In consequence of Adam’s sin, death passed upon the whole human race. All alike go down into the grave. And through the provisions of the plan of salvation, all are to be brought forth from their graves. ‘There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;’ ‘for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ But a distinction is made between the two classes that are brought forth. ‘All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.’ They who have been ‘accounted worthy’ of the resurrection of life, are ‘blessed and holy.’ ‘On such the second death hath no power.’ But those who have not, through repentance and faith, secured pardon, must receive the penalty of transgression.” The Great Controversy, 544

4.b. When will the general resurrection of the righteous take place? 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20:4, 5, last part, 6.When will the wicked be raised? Revelation 20:5, first part


Note: “At His [Christ’s] coming the righteous dead will be raised, and the righteous living will be changed.

“Man in his present state is mortal, corruptible; but the kingdom of God will be incorruptible, enduring forever. Therefore man in his present state cannot enter into the kingdom of God. But when Jesus comes, He confers immortality upon His people; and then He calls them to inherit the kingdom of which they have hitherto been only heirs.” The Great Controversy, 322, 323

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



5.a. When Jesus received news that Lazarus was sick, He waited for a while. After that, what did He say to the disciples? John 11:11–14


Note: “Christ represents death as a sleep to His believing children. Their life is hid with Christ in God, and until the last trump shall sound those who die will sleep in Him.” The Desire of Ages, 527

5.b. The Scriptures compare the state of those who die in the Lord to what? Acts 7:59, 60; 1 Corinthians 15:6, 16–18


Note: “They that go down to the grave are in silence. They know no more of anything that is done under the sun. Job 14:21. Blessed rest for the weary righteous! Time, be it long or short, is but a moment to them. They sleep; they are awakened by the trump of God to a glorious immortality.” The Great Controversy, 550

“Amid the reeling of the earth, the flash of lightning, and the roar of thunder, the voice of the Son of God calls forth the sleeping saints. He looks upon the graves of the righteous, then, raising His hands to heaven, He cries: ‘Awake, awake, awake, ye that sleep in the dust, and arise!’ Throughout the length and breadth of the earth the dead shall hear that voice, and they that hear shall live.” Ibid., 644



1    What was the first lie told to Eve?

2    What is death?

3    In what sense is the resurrection of Moses an exception to the general rule?

4    Explain the differences between the first and second resurrections.

5    What lessons are demonstrated in the raising of Lazarus?

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

Bible Study – Our Attitude Toward Secular Authorities

October 16 – 22, 2022

Key Text

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authority. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Romans 13:1

Study Help: Testimonies, Vol. 6, 394–397; The Great Controversy, 603–612


“David’s power had been given him by God, but to be exercised only in harmony with the divine law. When he commanded that which was contrary to God’s law, it became sin to obey. ‘The powers that be are ordained of God’ (Romans 13:1), but we are not to obey them contrary to God’s law.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 719



1.a. What is the purpose of earthy authorities? Romans 13:3, 4. How far should we obey the laws of the land?


Note: “He who obeys the divine law will most truly respect and obey the laws of his country. He who fears God will honor the king in the exercise of all just and legitimate authority.” The Great Controversy, 278

1.b. We should always be the best law-abiding citizens. What are the good laws of the land that we should obey? Matthew 22:17–21; Romans 13:6, 7


Note: “The ten precepts of Jehovah are the foundation of all righteous and good laws. Those who love God’s commandments will conform to every good law of the land. But if the requirements of the rulers are such as conflict with the laws of God, the only question to be settled is: Shall we obey God, or man?” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 361, 362



2.a. From the experience of the early church, what important lesson can we learn through the words of Peter and John? Acts 4:15–20; Acts 5:29


Note: “It is our duty in every case to obey the laws of our land, unless they conflict with the higher law which God spoke with an audible voice from Sinai, and afterward engraved on stone with His own finger.” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 361

“We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God’s word must be recognized as above all human legislation. A ‘Thus saith the Lord’ is not to be set aside for a ‘Thus saith the church’ or a ‘Thus saith the state.’ The crown of Christ is to be lifted above the diadems of earthly potentates.

“We are not required to defy authorities. Our words, whether spoken or written, should be carefully considered, lest we place ourselves on record as uttering that which would make us appear antagonistic to law and order. We are not to say or do anything that would unnecessarily close up our way. We are to go forward in Christ’s name, advocating the truths committed to us.” The Acts of the Apostles, 69

2.b. Which commandments of God’s law will we be required to transgress? Exodus 20:8–11, 13


Note: “God’s people, who are His peculiar treasure, cannot engage in this perplexing [American] war [between the states, which brought about the end of slavery], for it is opposed to every principle of their faith. In the army they cannot obey the truth and at the same time obey the requirements of their officers. There would be a continual violation of conscience.” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 361

“As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield to the popular demand will make them objects of universal execration.” The Great Controversy, 615



3.a. What is the purpose of the good laws of the land? 1 Peter 2:13, 14. What are differences between the law of God and laws of the land? Psalm 19:7, 8


Note: “Worldly men are governed by worldly principles. They can appreciate no other. Worldly policy and public opinion comprise the principle of action that governs them and leads them to practice the form of rightdoing. But God’s people cannot be governed by these motives. The words and commands of God, written in the soul, are spirit and life, and there is power in them to bring into subjection and enforce obedience. The ten precepts of Jehovah are the foundation of all righteous and good laws.” Testimonies, Vol. 1, 361

“Where shall we find laws more noble, pure, and just, than are exhibited on the statute books wherein is recorded the instruction given to Moses for the children of Israel? Through all time these laws are to be perpetuated, that the character of God’s people may be formed after the divine similitude. The law is a wall of protection to those who are obedient to God’s precepts. From what other source can we gather such strength, or learn such noble science? What other book will teach men to love, fear, and obey God as does the Bible?” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 393, 394

3.b. What was given to Israel, as a nation, to be their guide and rule? Deuteronomy 4:5–8; Nehemiah 9:13


Note: “The Holy One of Israel has made known to us the statutes and laws which are to govern all human intelligences. These precepts, which have been pronounced ‘holy, and just, and good,’ are to form the standard of action in the home. There can be no departure from them without sin, for they are the foundation of the Christian religion.” Child Guidance, 506, 507

“He [God] designed that the principles revealed through His people should be the means of restoring the moral image of God in man.

“God’s law must be exalted, His authority maintained; and to the house of Israel was given this great and noble work. God separated them from the world, that He might commit to them a sacred trust. He made them the depositaries of His law, and He purposed through them to preserve among men the knowledge of Himself.” Prophets and Kings, 16



4.a. What argument was used by the enemies of God’s people for the purpose of exterminating them? How will this soon be repeated in our day? Esther 3:8, 9; Revelation 12:17


Note: “The trying experiences that came to God’s people in the days of Esther were not peculiar to that age alone. … The same spirit that in ages past led men to persecute the true church, will in the future lead to the pursuance of a similar course toward those who maintain their loyalty to God. Even now preparations are being made for this last great conflict.

“The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate. The reverence of God’s people for His law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling on His Sabbath. …

“To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for Sunday laws. But those who fear God, cannot accept an institution that violates a precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield will be fought the last great conflict in the controversy between truth and error. And we are not left in doubt as to the issue. Today, as in the days of Esther and Mordecai, the Lord will vindicate His truth and His people.” Prophets and Kings, 605, 606

“The world is against us, the popular churches are against us, the laws of the land will soon be against us. If there was ever a time when the people of God should press together, it is now.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 236

 4.b. What will be the culminating act of the powers of the earth against those who keep the commandments of God? Revelation 13:15–17


Note: “A decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.” The Great Controversy, 615, 616



5.a. What will be the conviction of those who persecute and try to kill God’s people? John 16:2; Matthew 24:9, 10


Note: “[John 16:2 quoted.] These words come sounding down along the line to our time. A deception is upon those who oppress their fellowmen because they do not believe the same form of doctrine that their oppressors believe.” The Review and Herald, April 19, 1898

“With what zeal will the workers of iniquity pursue their satanic purpose! They will put light for darkness, and darkness for light, until they will sincerely believe they are servants of God, and doing Him service by persecuting His children.” Ibid., May 8, 1888

5.b. What will the wicked try to do, and how will God intervene in favor of His people? Psalms 50:15; 91:3–7, 10


Note: “The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that ‘all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond’ (Revelation 13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death.” The Great Controversy, 604

“The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people. Like peals of loudest thunder His words roll through the earth. … And when the blessing is pronounced on those who have honored God by keeping His Sabbath holy, there is a mighty shout of victory.” Ibid., 640



1    What obligation do we have toward secular authorities?

2    Describe the attitude of Peter and John when forbidden to preach the gospel of Christ.

3    Why does the Bible record statutes in addition to the moral law?

4    Why is it important that Christians understand the true Sabbath?

5    Describe the deliverance soon to be wrought for faithful Sabbathkeepers.

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

Bible Study – The Authority of the Church

October 9 – 15, 2022

Key Text

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19

Study Help: Testimonies, Vol. 7, 260–264


“On the church has been conferred the power to act in Christ’s stead. … 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



1.a. What steps are to be taken before a person receives church discipline? Matthew 18:15–18


 Note: “No church officer should advise, no committee should recommend, nor should any church vote, that the name of a wrongdoer shall be removed from the church books, until the instruction given by Christ has been faithfully followed. When this instruction has been followed, the church has cleared herself before God. The evil must then be made to appear as it is, and must be removed, that it may not become more and more widespread.” Testimonies, Vol. 7, 262, 263

1.b. What authority does the church have regarding discipline? John 20:23; Matthew 18:18


Note: “To it [the church] 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.” Testimonies, Vol. 7, 263



2.a. What is the tragic response of some as the Lord calls them to return to Him? Jeremiah 6:16; 13:10


Note: “Those whose deeds are evil, will not come to the light, lest their deeds should be reproved and their real characters revealed. If they continue in the path of transgression, and sever themselves entirely from the Redeemer, stubbornness, and sullenness, and a spirit of revenge will take possession of them, and they will say to their own souls, Peace, peace, when there is every reason that they should be alarmed, for their steps are directed toward destruction.” The Signs of the Times, June 22, 1888

“By repentance and confession you can have pardon registered against your name; or you can resist the conviction of the Spirit of God. … But there stands the action, there stands the evil committed.” Sons and Daughters of God, 309

2.b. If the leaders keep silent and gloss over the wrongs of the members, what will be the result? Isaiah 56:10, 11; Philippians 3:2; Ezekiel 33:2–9; John 3:19, 20


Note: “Those who have too little courage to reprove wrong, or who through indolence or lack of interest make no earnest effort to purify the family or the church of God, are held accountable for the evil that may result from their neglect of duty. We are just as responsible for evils that we might have checked in others by exercise of parental or pastoral authority as if the acts had been our own.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 578

“He [God] would teach His people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to Him and are not to be lightly regarded. He shows us that when His people are found in sin they should at once take decided measures to put that sin from them, that His frown may not rest upon them all. But if the sins of the people are passed over by those in responsible positions, His frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for those sins. In His dealings with His people in the past the Lord shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs. One sinner may diffuse darkness that will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation.” Testimonies, Vol. 3, 265



3.a. What is the duty and responsibility of those holding a position of trust in the church when they see members practicing sin? 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:13; 2:15


Note: “The divine rebuke is upon that false sympathy for the sinner which endeavors to excuse his sin. It is the effect of sin to deaden the moral perceptions, so that the wrongdoer does not realize the enormity of transgression, and without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit he remains in partial blindness to his sin. It is the duty of Christ’s servants to show these erring ones their peril.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 361

“To defy the words of the Lord, spoken through His chosen instruments, will only provoke His anger and eventually bring certain ruin upon the offender. Indignation often kindles in the heart of the sinner against the agent whom God chooses to deliver His reproofs.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 180

“Ministers should be faithful watchmen, seeing the evil and warning the people. Their dangers must be set before them continually and pressed home upon them.” Ibid., 515

3.b. What will be the fate of unfaithful leaders if they refuse to correct the evils committed by the members of the church? Ezekiel 3:17, 18; 33:6


Note: “The rebuke of God is upon every minister and every medical missionary leader who has been asleep on the walls of Zion, when as vigilant watchmen they should have warned the people of the Lord against the dangers threatening them.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 19, 357

“The watchmen anciently placed on the walls of the cities occupied a most important position. Upon their faithfulness depended the safety of all within the walls. When danger was apprehended, they were not to sleep day or night. Every few minutes they were required to call to one another, to see that all were awake and that no harm had come to any.” The Review and Herald, April 15, 1902

“I saw that it was time that the watchmen upon the walls of Zion understood the responsibility and sacredness of their mission. They should feel that a woe is upon them if they do not perform the work God has committed to them. If they become unfaithful, they are endangering the safety of the flock of God, endangering the cause of truth, and exposing it to the ridicule of our enemies. Oh, what a work is this! It will surely meet its reward.” Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 4b, 124, 125



4.a. How does the Lord mold His erring people for the spiritual building? Revelation 3:19; Hebrew 12:6–11; 1 Peter 2:4, 5


Note: “The Lord estimates as of supreme importance the holiness of His people; and He permits reverses to come upon individuals, upon families, and upon churches, that His people may see their danger, and humble their hearts before Him in repentance. He chastens His children in the hope of saving their souls. Those who return to Him, He receives with tenderness and love. He speaks pardon to them and clothes them with the garments of Christ’s righteousness.” The Review and Herald, September 24, 1903

“When the heart is full of self-sufficiency and preoccupied with the superficial things of earth, the Lord Jesus rebukes and chastens in order that men may awake to a realization of their true condition.” The Signs of the Times, August 1, 1895

“Take with you those who are spiritually minded, and talk with the one in error in regard to the wrong. He may yield to the united appeals of his brethren. As he sees their agreement in the matter, his mind may be enlightened.” Testimonies, Vol. 7, 262

4.b. When parents or ministers try to correct the erring ones, what should they always keep in mind? 2 Timothy 4:2; Colossians 3:12–14


Note: “Sin should be faithfully reproved, and right discipline promptly and firmly enforced. Yet harsh dealing will not help the wrongdoer to see his error or to reform. Let all needed reproof or correction be given in the spirit which actuated our Saviour. Let firmness and decision be blended with sympathy and love. By wise management, the wayward, stubborn youth may be transformed. Parents, to accomplish such work, you need Christlike patience and self-command. Do not irritate by a sharp word or an angry look. Be calm; and let your heart often ascend in prayer to God for grace and wisdom. Angels will come to your side, and help you to raise up a standard against the enemy.” The Review and Herald, June 13, 1882

“In every instance where discipline is necessary, the tenderness and patience that God manifests toward us, is to be revealed.” Ibid., July 12, 1906



5.a. What should be done to the stubborn ones who refuse to yield to correction and persist instead in sin? 1 Corinthians 5:11–13. How can we distinguish loyal from disloyal leaders? Revelation 2:2


Note: “Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 71

“Sin and sinners in the church must be promptly dealt with, that others may not be contaminated. Truth and purity require that we make more thorough work to cleanse the camp from Achans. Let those in responsible positions not suffer sin in a brother. Show him that he must either put away his sins or be separated from the church.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 147

“If men close their eyes to the testimonies God has been pleased to give, and think it wisdom to walk in the light of the sparks of their own kindling, it will spoil the church. Such men are not qualified to become either ministers or presidents.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 327

5.b. How will God bless the church after all evils have been removed? Ephesians 5:27


Note: “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation.” Messages to Young People, 133

“Whenever the church at any period have forsaken their sins, and believed and walked in the truth, they have been honored of God.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 484



1    In what ways do we often neglect to carry out Matthew 18:15–18?

2    What consequences result from a failure to correct evils in the church?

3    What aspects of true leadership do church officers often overlook?

4    Why is discipline a God-given mandate to Christ’s church on earth?

5    What is Satan’s greatest fear regarding the church, and why?

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

Bible Study – The Organization of the Church

October 2 – 8, 2022

Key Text

“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:28

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 158–165


“System and order are manifest in all the works of God throughout the universe. Order is the law of heaven, and it should be the law of God’s people on the earth.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 26



1.a. What did Jesus do during the first part of His earthly ministry? Luke 6:12, 13



Note: “When Jesus had ended His instruction to the disciples, He gathered the little band close about Him, and kneeling in the midst of them, and laying His hands upon their heads, He offered a prayer dedicating them to His sacred work. Thus the Lord’s disciples were ordained to the gospel ministry.” The Desire of Ages, 296

1.b. What commission was given to the disciples—and to us? Matthew 28:18–20



Note: “To His disciples Christ said, … To you, My disciples, I commit this message of mercy. It is to be given to Israel first, and then to all nations, tongues, and peoples. It is to be given to Jews and Gentiles. All who believe are to be gathered into one church.” The Desire of Ages, 821

“The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shut out. There is no place for tradition, for man’s theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority are included in the commission. None of these are Christ’s servants to teach. ‘The law and the prophets,’ with the record of His own words and deeds, are the treasure committed to the disciples to be given to the world.” Ibid., 826



2.a. Who has God appointed to facilitate church organization? 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11



Note: “Let none entertain the thought that we can dispense with organization. It has cost us much study and many prayers for wisdom, that we know God has answered, to erect this structure. It has been built up by His direction, through much sacrifice and conflict. Let none of our brethren be so deceived as to attempt to tear it down, for you will thus bring in a condition of things that you do not dream of. In the name of the Lord I declare to you that it is to stand, strengthened, established, and settled. …

“Angels work harmoniously. Perfect order characterizes all their movements. The more closely we imitate the harmony and order of the angelic host, the more successful will be the efforts of these heavenly agents in our behalf. If we see no necessity for harmonious action, and are disorderly, undisciplined, and disorganized in our course of action, angels, who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, cannot work for us successfully. They turn away in grief, for they are not authorized to bless confusion, distraction, and disorganization. All who desire the cooperation of the heavenly messengers must work in unison with them. Those who have the unction from on high will in all their efforts encourage order, discipline, and union of action, and then the angels of God can cooperate with them. But never, never will these heavenly messengers place their endorsement upon irregularity, disorganization, and disorder.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 27, 28

2.b. What would be the result if there were no order, system, and organization in the church? 1 Corinthians 14:33; Ephesians 4:14


Note: “O how Satan would rejoice if he could succeed in his efforts to get in among this [independent-minded] people, and disorganize the work at a time when thorough organization is essential, and will be the greatest power to keep out spurious uprisings, and to refute claims not endorsed by the word of God! We want to hold the lines evenly, that there shall be no breaking down of the system of organization and order that has been built up by wise, careful labor. License must not be given to disorderly elements that desire to control the work at this time.” Gospel Workers, 487



3.a. Describe the experience of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Acts 9:1–6, 10–12


Note: “Many have an idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independently of His recognized followers on earth. But in the history of the conversion of Saul, important principles are given us, which we should ever bear in mind. He was brought directly into the presence of Christ. He was one whom Christ intended for a most important work, one who was to be a ‘chosen vessel’ unto Him; yet the Lord did not immediately impart to him the lessons of truth. He arrested his course and convicted him; but when asked by him, ‘What wilt thou have me to do?’ the Saviour placed him in connection with His church, and let them direct him what to do.

“Thus Jesus gave sanction to the authority of His organized church, and placed Saul in connection with His representatives on earth. All blessings flow from Christ, but He had now established a church as His representative on earth, and to it belonged the work of directing the repentant sinner in the way of life.

“Jesus is the friend of sinners; His heart is touched by their woe; He has all power, both in heaven and upon earth; but He respects the means that He has ordained for the enlightenment and salvation of men; He directs sinners to the church, which He has made a channel of light to the world.” The Review and Herald, March 23, 1911

3.b. Can someone belong to Christ while he or she repudiates the organized church, the body of Christ? Matthew 12:30


Note: “Everyone who seeks to do well in his own finite strength, will find his efforts a failure; but those who accept Christ by faith, will find him a personal Saviour. They will enlist in His army … .” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 292

“[I]ndependence of spirit is liable to lead the human agent to have too much confidence in himself and to trust in his own judgment rather than to respect the counsel and highly esteem the judgment of his brethren.” The Acts of the Apostles, 163

“The Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 68, 69



4.a. What does the word of God say about persons whom the Lord does not call for the gospel ministry but who push themselves in? Jeremiah 23:21


Note: “Those men who are not called of God are generally the very ones that are the most confident that they are so called and that their labors are very important.” Early Writings, 98

“The church should feel their responsibility and should look carefully and attentively at the lives, qualifications, and general course of those who profess to be teachers. If unmistakable evidence is not given that God has called them, and that the ‘woe’ is upon them if they heed not this call, it is the duty of the church to act and let it be known that these persons are not acknowledged as teachers by the church. …

“[I]n the apostles’ day the church was in danger of being deceived and imposed upon by false teachers. Therefore the brethren chose men who had given good evidence that they were capable of ruling well their own house and preserving order in their own families, and who could enlighten those who were in darkness. Inquiry was made of God concerning these, and then, according to the mind of the church and the Holy Ghost, they were set apart by the laying on of hands.” Ibid., 100, 101

4.b. What should the church do about those who act divisively independent from the church, the body of Christ? Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10



Note: “The spirit of pulling away from fellow laborers, the spirit of disorganization, is in the very air we breathe. By some, all efforts to establish order are regarded as dangerous—as a restriction of personal liberty, and hence to be feared as popery. These deceived souls regard it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently. …

“Some have advanced the thought that, as we near the close of time, every child of God will act independently of any religious organization. But I have been instructed by the Lord that in this work there is no such thing as every man’s being independent. The stars of heaven are all under law, each influencing the other to do the will of God, yielding their common obedience to the law that controls their action. And, in order that the Lord’s work may advance healthfully and solidly, His people must draw together.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 257, 258



5.a. Why is organization vital in the church? Ephesians 4:11–16


Note: “In order for the work to be carried forward with efficiency, the Lord sent forth His disciples two and two. God has a church, and these churches are organized on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” Testimonies to Southern Africa, 7

“As our numbers increased, it was evident that without some form of organization there would be great confusion, and the work would not be carried forward successfully. To provide for the support of the ministry, for carrying the work in new fields, for protecting both the churches and the ministry from unworthy members, for holding church property, for the publication of the truth through the press, and for many other objects, organization was indispensable.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 26

5.b. What was Paul’s attitude about organization? 1 Corinthians 1:10–13; 14:33, 40


Note: “Notwithstanding the fact that Paul was personally taught by God, he had no strained ideas of individual responsibility. While looking to God for direct guidance, he was ever ready to recognize the authority vested in the body of believers united in church fellowship. He felt the need of counsel, and when matters of importance arose, he was glad to lay these before the church and to unite with his brethren in seeking God for wisdom to make right decisions.” The Acts of the Apostles, 200



1    What characterizes the doctrinal standard of God’s true church?

2    What contrasts exist between God’s organizational plan and Satan’s ways?

3    What does Saul’s conversion experience teach us about organization?

4    What basic qualifications for ordination should be taken more seriously?

5    In what ways does organization bring blessings to the church?

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

Bible Study – God’s Church Today

This We Believe (3)

September 25 – October 1, 2022

Key Text

“[B]ut if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

Study Help: Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 15–31


“Very close and sacred is the relation between Christ and His church—He the bridegroom, and the church the bride; He the head, and the church the body. Connection with Christ, then, involves connection with His church.” Education, 268



1.a. How does God depict His church? Deuteronomy 32:9, 10; Zechariah 2:8



Note: “The church is to be the Lord’s light bearer to shine amid the moral darkness of a corrupt and sinful generation. There can be nothing in the world that is so dear to God as His church. Nothing is guarded by Him with such jealous care.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 18, 208

“The church of Christ, enfeebled and defective as it may be, is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard. … He comes personally by His Holy Spirit into the midst of His church.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 15


1.b. What did Jesus say of His church built upon the Rock? Matthew 16:18



Note: “The word Peter signifies a stone—a rolling stone. Peter was not the rock upon which the church was founded. The gates of hell did prevail against him when he denied his Lord with cursing and swearing. The church was built upon One against whom the gates of hell could not prevail.” The Desire of Ages, 413

“The church … is built on faith in Christ, ‘and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18).” Sons and Daughters of God, 77



2.a. In the Old Testament, what provision was made to save a person who accidentally killed someone? Numbers 35:11–15



Note: “The cities of refuge appointed for God’s ancient people were a symbol of the refuge provided in Christ. The same merciful Saviour who appointed those temporal cities of refuge has by the shedding of His own blood provided for the transgressors of God’s law a sure retreat, into which they may flee for safety from the second death. No power can take out of His hands the souls that go to Him for pardon.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 516

“As the manslayer was in constant peril until within the city of refuge, so is the transgressor of God’s law exposed to divine wrath until he finds a hiding place in Christ.” The Signs of the Times, January 20, 1881


2.b. What are two purposes of the church in these last days? Acts 2:47; Ephesians 4:11–13; Mark 16:15



Note: “The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people. …

“During ages of spiritual darkness the church of God has been as a city set on a hill. From age to age, through successive generations, the pure doctrines of heaven have been unfolding within its borders.” The Acts of the Apostles, 11, 12



3.a. To what are the believers compared in the Bible? Psalm 100:3, 4; John 10:16. Where should those who are baptized in Christ be? 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13



Note: “The church is organized for service; and in a life of service to Christ, connection with the church is one of the first steps. Loyalty to Christ demands the faithful performance of church duties. This is an important part of one’s training; and in a church imbued with the Master’s life, it will lead directly to effort for the world without.” Education, 268, 269

“All who believe are to be gathered into one church.” The Desire of Ages, 821

“The Lord could carry forward His work without our cooperation. He is not dependent on us for our money, our time, or our labor. But the church is very precious in His sight. It is the case which contains His jewels, the fold which encloses His flock, and He longs to see it without spot or blemish or any such things. He yearns after it with unspeakable love.” In Heavenly Places, 324


3.b. What is stated in the word of God about the good shepherd and His sheep? Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 40:10, 11; John 10:11–15. How does the undershepherd function? Luke 15:4–6



Note: “Jesus is the good Shepherd. His followers are the sheep of His pasture. A shepherd is always with his flock to defend them, to keep them from the wolves, to hunt up the lost sheep and carry them back to the fold.” Lift Him Up, 215

“When the lost sheep was found, it was borne home with joy, and much rejoicing followed. This illustrates the blessed, joyful work of laboring for the erring. The church that engages successfully in this work is a happy church.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 22

“Many are starving for the bread of life, and there is no time for accusing the brethren; rather pray one for another that ye may be healed, and go forth to seek and to save the lost and wandering sheep. Find the erring, discouraged ones by careful, diligent search, and bring them back to the fold.” The Review and Herald, October 24, 1893



4.a. To what plants “planted in the house of God,” is the church compared? Psalms 1:3; 92:12, 13; Jeremiah 17:8



Note: “In all the Lord’s arrangements there is nothing more beautiful than His plan of giving to men and women a diversity of gifts. … Many have received but a limited religious and intellectual training, but God has a work for this class to do if they will labor in humility, trusting in Him.

“From the endless variety of plants and flowers, we may learn an important lesson. All blossoms are not the same in form or color. Some possess healing virtues. Some are always fragrant. There are professing Christians who think it their duty to make every Christian like themselves. This is man’s plan, not the plan of God. In the church of God there is room for characters as varied as are the flowers in a garden. In His spiritual garden there are many varieties of flowers.” Evangelism, 98, 99

“A garden demands constant labor. The weeds must be removed; new plants must be set out; branches that are making too rapid development must be pruned back. So the Lord works for His garden, so He tends His plants. He cannot take pleasure in any development that does not reveal the graces of the character of Christ. The blood of Christ has made men and women God’s precious charge. Then how careful should we be not to manifest too much freedom in pulling up the plants that God has placed in His garden! Some plants are so feeble that they have hardly any life, and for these the Lord has a special care.” God’s Amazing Grace, 65


4.b. What does the Lord expect from those who are planted in His church? John 15:4, 5, 8, 16; Matthew 7:16–20



Note: “Just as a good tree will bear good fruit, so will the tree that is actually planted in the Lord’s garden produce good fruit unto eternal life. Besetting sins are overcome; evil thoughts are not allowed in the mind; evil habits are purged from the soul temple. The tendencies which have been biased in a wrong direction are turned in a right direction. Wrong dispositions and feelings are changed, new principles of action supplied, and there is a new standard of character. Holy tempers and sanctified emotions are now the fruit borne upon the Christian tree.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, 1080



5.a. Why is the church compared to the human body? 1 Corinthians 12:12, 27, 28; Ephesians 4:11, 12, 15, 16; Colossians 1:17, 18, 24



Note: “By a comparison of the church with the human body, the apostle [Paul] aptly illustrated the close and harmonious relationship that should exist among all members of the church of Christ.” The Acts of the Apostles, 317


5.b. Who is the head of the church? Colossians 1:18



Note: “Christ is the head of the church. The members of His body follow the directions of the Head, just as the members of the human body obey the impulses of the mind.” The Review and Herald, July 18, 1882

“The great heart of the work is at _____; and, as the human heart throws its living current of blood into all parts of the body, so does the management at this place, the headquarters of our church, affect the whole body of believers. If the physical heart is healthy, the blood that is sent from it through the system is also healthy; but if this fountain is impure, the whole organism becomes diseased by the poison of the vital fluid. So it is with us. If the heart of the work becomes corrupt, the whole church, in its various branches and interests, scattered abroad over the face of the earth, suffers in consequence.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 210



1    Who is the Rock on which the church is built?

2    Why does God want His servants to become members of His body?

3    In what sense is the church compared to a sheepfold?

4    Describe the variety of gifts in the church.

5    How does the condition of the spiritual heart affect the whole body, the church?

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

Recipe – Creamy Vegetable Noodle Soup

Bell Pepper

The bell pepper (Capsicum annuum), often mistaken for a vegetable, is really a nutritious fruit with great health benefits. Bell peppers, or sweet peppers, are brightly hued and beautifully bell-shaped, ringing with high flavor and nutritional notes.

Bell peppers come in a rainbow of shades—green, red, white, yellow, orange, purple, brown, and even black. Powerful, disease-fighting phytochemicals called carotenoids give the bell pepper its vibrant colors. Members of the nightshade family, which includes eggplants, tomatoes, and chili peppers, bell peppers may be eaten at any stage of growth, though their vitamin and nutrient content peaks at full ripeness. These fruits are bursting with vitamins: a one-cup serving boasts 317 percent Daily Value (DV) of the antioxidant vitamin C—more than twice that of an orange! That same serving contains a host of vitamins, including 93 percent DV of vitamin A, 22 percent DV of vitamin B6, and 12 percent DV of vitamin E.

Bell peppers contain more than 30 different carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Reduced oxidative stress helps lower cancer risk. Increased consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids is associated with long-term reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration. Eat bell peppers raw or gently cooked to maintain optimal health properties.

Creamy Vegetable Noodle Soup


1-2 Tbsp. olive oil, coconut oil, or water

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

3 carrots, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced

12 oz. baby red potatoes

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 ¼ tsp. salt, or to taste

1 15-oz. can garbanzos, drained

2 cups unsweetened, unflavored dairy free milk of choice (save aside ½ cup)

½ cup cashews, blended in 1 ½ cups milk

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

8 oz. package pasta of choice


Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, set aside.

Heat oil or water in soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery; sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add carrots, bell pepper, potatoes and garlic; sauté until starting to soften. Add oregano, rosemary, thyme and salt. Stir in garbanzos.

Pour in ½ cup milk, vegetable broth, and nutritional yeast. Stir. Bring to a boil. Then simmer until vegetables are tender. Add blended cashew/milk mixture; heat through. Adjust seasonings to taste. May use fresh herbs if available. Add desired amount of pasta to soup bowl. Ladle in soup.

Is My Name Written There?

Revelation 22:11 and 12 imply that when Jesus Christ returns the second time, there will have been a judgment court at which all mankind from all ages of earth’s history will have stood before God where their characters have been fixed and their eternal destinies set.

Daniel talks about this same judgment in Daniel 7:9 and 10. “I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”

Today, we keep most of our records in a computer system. However, God uses a far more accurate system of recordkeeping than anything we could devise.

The Bible is very clear that God has record books and that the information contained in these books will determine every individual’s future destiny. Revelation 20:12 says that the “… books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which are written in the books.”

But notice what Revelation 20:15 says: “Anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” My friend, the Bible is saying that if we are going to have eternal life, our names must be written in the book of life.

So we must ask ourselves this most important question: “Is my name in the book of life?”

Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, said in Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.”

All of our works, everything we’ve ever thought, said, or done is recorded in God’s book. Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36, 37

Concerning our thoughts, 1 Corinthians 4:5 says, “Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.”

What does it mean to “reveal the counsels of the hearts”? Isaiah explains this in Isaiah 66:18, “I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues: and they shall come and see My glory.”

David also understood this and wrote in Psalm 139 explaining God’s knowledge of the human beings that He made. “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me’ [or cover me], even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day. The darkness and the light are both alike to You.” Verses 1–12

It is clear that no matter where we go, what we do or say or think, God knows it all. As we have read, the record of each person’s life is recorded and one day soon God will ask each of us to give an account of the life that we have lived. Jesus tells us that there is nothing that will not be revealed. “Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” Matthew 10:26

There really are no secrets. We may be able to hide from man, but not God. Every deed known or unknown will be examined in the judgment, and we will be called to account for whether we obeyed God or not.

Luke 10 records the Lord’s appointment of the 70 elders who were sent out two by two to prepare the way for His eventual visit to a number of different places. It was their purpose to spread the good news of salvation offered by Jesus Christ, to heal the sick, and to point them to Him who heals both the body and the soul.

When the 70 returned to Jesus, they came to Him rejoicing because even the demons were constrained by them. When they spoke to the demons in Jesus’ name, the demons were forced to depart. But Jesus said to them in verse 20, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” It isn’t the power to work miracles, or even to cast out demons, that saves us. Jesus said our names must be written in the book of life.

When the judgment has come, Daniel 12:1 says, “At that time Michael shall stand up, the Great Prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time Your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book.”

So, is your name written in heaven’s book of life?

But here is another critical question each of us must consider: “Can I be sure that my name will not be blotted out of the book of life?” The Bible is very clear that during the period of time when probation is open and available, right now, names are being added to the book of life, but names can also be taken out of the book of life. What happens that determines if a name is blotted out of the book of life? How can you have assurance that your name is written in the book of life?

Acts 16:30, 31 say, “He brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ ”

Believing something with your whole heart means making a commitment. In this scripture it is saying that if you believe in Jesus with all your heart, then you are making a commitment to Him. Jesus is our Saviour and Deliverer, and if we believe this, then we are accepting Him as such and making Him the Lord of our lives. Making Him the Lord of your life means that you are committing to obey Him. Obeying Him in all that He says and asks will result in your name being written in the book of life.

But how is a person’s name erased or blotted out of the book of life? If obedience is necessary in order to have one’s name written in the book of life, then disobedience can result in a name being removed from it.

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:19–21. So, the New Testament teaches that when you come to Christ, you start to live a new life and your life of sin is in the past. You have been converted, a new creation—created to live a new Christlike life.

This text tells us that before Jesus comes again, our sins will be blotted out and our names will be retained in God’s book. The Old Testament prophets support this. “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25. And Isaiah 44:22, “I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

But, what happens if a person claims to follow Jesus, but continues to live a life of sin? What if he is not converted? He professes to follow Jesus, but his life is not one of obedience and does not reflect Jesus’ character. The result is that when Jesus comes again, instead of his sins being blotted out, his name will be blotted out of God’s book.

“Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.” Nehemiah 4:5

“Let them [Christ’s enemies] be blotted out of the book of the living.” Psalm 69:28

Moses pleaded with the Lord on behalf of the children of Israel who had rebelled and sinned against Him. He said, “ ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.’ And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.’ ” Exodus 32:31–33

Notice, the name of the person who continues in sin will be blotted out of God’s book. But if a person chooses to follow Jesus, their life of sin becomes part of their past. He or she is a new creation, created to live a new, Christlike life.

We all have a case pending in God’s court. If we have made a commitment to believe in and follow Jesus and accept Him as our Saviour, then our sins are blotted out, our name is written in the book of life, and our eternal life begins. On the other hand, if we have made no commitment to Jesus, nor do we accept Him as our Saviour, and continue living a life of sin, then our sins will not be blotted out, but our names will be, and we will miss out on eternal life. We must be saved from our sins if we are to spend all of eternity with Jesus when He comes again.

How can I know that my name will be retained in the book of life and not be taken out? This question is addressed very directly in Revelation 3:5, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

Jesus said the same thing to His disciples. We find it in Matthew 10:32, 33. “Whoever confesses Me before men, him will I also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

If we expect to have our name written in the book of life and for it to remain there until Jesus comes, then we must overcome the world and the flesh. The book of Revelation repeatedly states that the one who will be saved is the one who overcomes.

Who is an overcomer? And what must he or she overcome?

“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:4. If you have been converted and born again as a child of God, if your love and life are given to God, and you are obedient to His instruction and faithfully follow His direction, then you are an overcomer. You will not love the world, nor will you be controlled by your sinful nature (the flesh).

“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Romans 6:6

There are three things that the overcomer must overcome. We’ve already seen the first—the world. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15, 16

Second, the overcomer must overcome the flesh. “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24. What is the flesh? It is our sinful, carnal, selfish nature. There is only one way to overcome the flesh and that is through the power of the Holy Spirit working a transformative miracle in each life. When this occurs, a person is set free from his or her life of sin.

But there is still a third thing that the overcomer must overcome and that is the devil himself. James 4:7, 8 tell us exactly how that can be done. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts you double-minded.”

So, if you want your name in the book of life, and if you want it to be retained there, then you must be an overcomer. You must overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. And all of this can be accomplished because the Lord will give you the power to do it if you choose to fully and completely give your heart to Him and follow Him.

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 – Pure, Fresh Air

“Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies.”
The Ministry of Healing, 127

Consider the health benefits of breathing pure, fresh air.

“Air, air, the precious boon of heaven, which all may have, will bless you with its invigorating influence if you will not refuse its entrance. Welcome it, cultivate a love for it, and it will prove precious … .” Healthful Living, 203

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

The story of creation clearly depicts power in the breath of life. It proves vital to the lives of all living creatures on Earth. In turn, pure, fresh air proves vital to our health and has the same health benefits today as in Mrs. White’s day.

“… Its influence tends to invigorate the system and soothe the nerves. It purifies the blood and promotes a good circulation; it gives a healthful stimulus to the appetite and renders the digestion more perfect; and it induces sound, refreshing sleep. The pure, sweet air does its part toward making the body strong and healthy, and its influence is no less decidedly beneficial upon the mind, imparting to it tone and clearness, as well as a degree of composure and serenity.” Manuscript 58, 1890

The lungs are a part of a multi-organ respiratory system that allows the body to take in air while performing gas waste exchange. When we breathe in, air enters the lungs and moves through the blood stream where it is dispensed throughout the organs and tissues of the body. Air is vital to the life of each cell. Each cell exchanges air for gas waste which is then moved back through the bloodstream, into the lungs, and expelled as carbon dioxide when we exhale. Additionally, the respiratory system adapts the air breathed in to the appropriate body temperature and humidity level, prevents harmful substances from thriving, and supports the sense of smell.

The lungs are one of the largest organs in the body. Maximum lung capacity is about 1.5 gallons. Maturing by the age of 25, the lungs begin to decline in function after age 35; diaphragm muscles weaken, lung tissue loses elasticity, and rib cage bones get smaller. Slight breathing changes are normal. However, sudden breathing difficulties and shortness of breath indicate the need for a medical assessment.

In valuing the precious gift of fresh air, we must dedicate ourselves to spending as much time as possible outdoors. We do have to be careful because today we must deal with the harmful effects of air pollution, but this just increases our anticipation of the time when we will breathe in the crisp, refreshing air in the Garden of Eden.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6


Tips for improving breathing habits

1. Correct posture increases lung expansion and capacity.

2. Wear non-restrictive clothing.

3. Sleep in a well, ventilated room that has been thoroughly aired during the day.

4. Practice breathing exercises and breathing from the diaphragm.


Tips for improving efforts to obtain pure, fresh air

1. Enjoy the sunshine.

2. Spend time outside when the sky is overcast or in the cool of the evening.

3. Enjoy the beauty of a sunset.

4. Open the curtains and windows. Let in the sunshine and fresh air. This will eliminate stale air, germs, and allergens that cause illness.

Sources: American Lung Association (ALA) – Staff, STL Air Pamphlet – Jack Kendall, Vanderbilt Heath/My Southern Health Staff;;

Question – Were There Really Giants?


Were There Really Giants?


“There were many giants, men of great stature and strength, renowned for wisdom, skillful in devising the most cunning and wonderful works; but their guilt in giving loose rein to iniquity was in proportion to their skill and mental ability.” Conflict and Courage, 33

“There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward … .” Genesis 6:4, first part

The Philistines were a race of giants with Goliath as their champion. And when God told the children of Israel to go and take the land of Canaan as their home, the people were afraid because the men sent to spy out the land said it was inhabited with giants, the children of Anak.

But being a giant isn’t always determined by size. We find many giants recorded in the Bible, but they were giants because of their characters, not their height.

Gideon, David, and Jeroboam are all described as mighty men of valor (Numbers 13:1–33; Judges 6–7; 1 Samuel 16; 1 Kings 11).

Caleb and Joshua, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses were all giants of faith, believing and trusting in God (Numbers 13; Hebrews 11).

Daniel stood tall in the courts of Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, and Cyrus, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego stood tall on the plain of Dura.

These giants for God weren’t always perfect, but we will see every one of them in His kingdom. It isn’t the physical size of a man that makes him a giant; it is his spiritual connection to God.

“Let us take hold of the arm of infinite power. Let us walk humbly before God, but let us be giants in meeting discouragement and difficulty. We must have increased faith. Let us praise God. He is our strength, our shield, and our defense, our front guard and our rearward.” Pamphlet 067, 17

Nature – Why Don’t They Get Stuck?

Flies and moths unwittingly find themselves trapped in a spider’s web, hopelessly entangled and unable to free themselves. But the spider can rush across the web to enjoy a tasty, fresh meal without being trapped itself. A study published by two Costa Rican biologists some years ago suggests that spiders stay unstuck thanks to a combination of behavior, anatomy and, yes, even an oily non-stick coating.

Webs typically look something like a wheel with a series of spirals that form the round shape connected by spokes running from the outside spiral to the center of the web. It appears that the spiral strands are coated with droplets of adhesive. When a bug flies into a spider’s web it is instantly stuck, or if you walk into a web, the strands stick to your skin, hair, and clothing. Uck!

Spiders avoid getting stuck by walking on the spoke strands which do not have adhesive on them. If by chance the spider should stray into a sticky area, it will very gently pull the trapped leg back. The key word being gently. Pulling quickly or jerkily, like a bug trying to avoid becoming a main course, causes the adhesive to harden and trap the body.

In addition, the spider has oily substances and special hairs on its legs that prevent it from getting stuck, and it tiptoes carefully from strand to strand.

A spider is also a very careful groomer. It pulls each of its legs through its mouth scraping off any silk bits and other debris that may have gotten stuck to its claws or bristles. This grooming likely ensures that its legs and body are less prone to sticking if it should suffer a misstep in the web.