Question – Did anyone accept Noah’s message?


Did anyone accept Noah’s message during the 120 years he built the ark?


“More than one hundred years before the flood the Lord sent an angel to faithful Noah to make known to him that He would no longer have mercy upon the corrupt race. But He would not have them ignorant of His design. Noah was to preach to the people, and also to prepare an ark as God should direct him for the saving of himself and family. He was not only to preach, but his example in building the ark was to convince all that he believed what he preached.

“Noah and his family were not alone in fearing and obeying God. But Noah was the most pious and holy of any upon the earth, and was the one whose life God preserved to carry out His will in building the ark and warning the world of its coming doom. Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, lived until the very year of the flood; and there were others who believed the preaching of Noah, and aided him in building the ark, who died before the flood of waters came upon the earth. …

“A multitude at first apparently received the warning of Noah, yet did not fully turn to God with true repentance. There was some time given them before the flood was to come, in which they were to be placed upon probation—to be proved and tried. They failed to endure the trial. The prevailing degeneracy overcame them, and they finally joined others who were corrupt … . They would not leave off their sins, but continued … in the indulgence of their corrupt passions.

“The period of their probation was drawing near its close. …

“Notwithstanding the solemn exhibition they had witnessed of God’s power … yet they hardened their hearts, and continued to revel and sport over the signal manifestations of divine power.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 69–73

“There were many who at first received Noah’s message, but the fear of men was greater than the fear of God, and they turned away from the truth of God to believe a lie. As time passed on, and reproach and ridicule were heaped upon them, their hearts failed them, and they did not bear the test. It is the testing time that will measure professed faith and assurance in God. Courage and integrity cannot be estimated rightly by men until the day of trial puts them to the test.” The Signs of the Times, April 18, 1895

“The antediluvians were warned, but the record states that they knew not until the Flood came and took them all away. … They saw Noah and his wife and their sons and their wives passing into the ark; and the door was closed upon them. Only eight persons entered that refuge from the storm.” Christ Triumphant, 61

Bible Study Guides – Hebrews 9:1–7

May 4- May 10, 2003

MEMORY VERSE: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.

SUGGESTED READING: The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 272–275.

INTRODUCTION: “As Jesus died on Calvary, He cried, ‘It is finished,’ and the veil of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom. This was to show that the services of the earthly sanctuary were forever finished, and that God would no more meet with the priests in their earthly temple, to accept their sacrifices. The blood of Jesus was then shed, which was to be offered by Himself in the heavenly sanctuary. As the priest entered the most holy once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary.” Early Writings, 253.

1 What does the apostle Paul say the first covenant had? Hebrews 9:1.

NOTE: “In patriarchal times the sacrificial offerings connected with divine worship constituted a perpetual reminder of the coming of a Saviour, and thus it was with the entire ritual of the sanctuary services throughout Israel’s history. In the ministration of the tabernacle, and of the Temple that afterward took its place, the people were taught each day, by means of types and shadows, the great truths relative to the advent of Christ as Redeemer, Priest, and King; and once each year their minds were carried forward to the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, the final purification of the universe from sin and sinners.” Lift Him Up, 26.

2 What is meant by a “worldly sanctuary”? Hebrews 9:1; Exodus 25:8, 9.

NOTE: “Moses made the earthly sanctuary after a pattern which was shown him. Paul teaches that that pattern was the true sanctuary which is in heaven.” The Faith I Live By, 202.

“A most splendid sanctuary had been made, according to the pattern showed to Moses in the mount, and afterward presented by the Lord to David. The earthly sanctuary was made like the heavenly.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Book 1, 413.

3 Where is the only real sanctuary? Hebrews 8:1, 2.

NOTE: “Here [Hebrews 8:1, 2] is revealed the sanctuary of the new covenant. The sanctuary of the first covenant was pitched by man, built by Moses; this is pitched by the Lord, not by man. In that sanctuary the earthly priests performed their service; in this, Christ, our great High Priest, ministers at God’s right hand. One sanctuary was on earth, the other is in heaven.” The Great Controversy, 413.

4 How many apartments were in the earthly sanctuary and what were they called? Hebrews 9:2, 3.

NOTE: “The building was divided into two apartments by a rich and beautiful curtain, or veil, suspended from gold-plated pillars; and a similar veil closed the entrance of the first apartment. These, like the inner covering, which formed the ceiling, were of the most gorgeous colors, blue, purple, and scarlet, beautifully arranged, while inwrought with threads of gold and silver were cherubim to represent the angelic host who are connected with the work of the heavenly sanctuary and who are ministering spirits to the people of God on earth.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 347.

“Besides the outer court, which contained the altar of burnt offering, the tabernacle itself consisted of two apartments called the holy and the most holy place, separated by a rich and beautiful curtain, or veil; a similar veil closed the entrance to the first apartment.” The Great Controversy, 412.

5 What was in the holy place? Hebrews 9:2; Exodus 40:22–27.

NOTE: “In the holy place was the candlestick, on the south, with its seven lamps giving light to the sanctuary both by day and by night; on the north stood the table of shewbread; and before the veil separating the holy from the most holy was the golden altar of incense, from which the cloud of fragrance, with the prayers of Israel, was daily ascending before God.” The Great Controversy, 412.

6 What was in the holiest place of all? Hebrews 9:3, 4.

NOTE: “In the inner apartment was the ark, which was the most sacred object connected with that system of worship. It was a chest of precious wood, overlaid within and without with pure gold, and having a crown of gold about the top.” The Signs of the Times, June 24, 1880.

7 What was in the ark? Hebrews 9:4, last part; Exodus 25:21.

NOTE: “In the ark were placed the tables of stone upon which God had engraved with his own finger the ten commandments. It was made expressly for this purpose, and hence was called the ark of the covenant, and the ark of the testament, since the ten commandments were God’s covenant, and the basis of the covenant made between God and Israel.” The Signs of the Times, June 24, 1880.

8 What was the cover of the ark called? Hebrews 9:5.

NOTE: “The cover of the sacred chest was called the mercy seat. This was wrought of one solid piece of gold, and was surmounted by golden cherubim, one standing on each end. One wing of each angel was stretched forth on high, while the other was folded over the body (see Ezekiel 1:11) in token of reverence and humility. The position of the cherubim, with their faces turned toward each other, and looking reverently downward toward the ark, represented the reverence with which the heavenly host regard the law of God and their interest in the plan of redemption.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 348, 349.

9 Why was it called the mercy seat? Exodus 25:21, 22. Compare Hebrews 4:16.

NOTE: “The law of God, enshrined within the ark, was the great rule of righteousness and judgment. That law pronounced death upon the transgressor; but above the law was the mercy seat, upon which the presence of God was revealed, and from which, by virtue of the atonement, pardon was granted to the repentant sinner. Thus in the work of Christ for our redemption, symbolized by the sanctuary service, ‘mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.’ Psalm 85:10.” The Faith I Live By, 194.

“In the temple in Heaven, the dwelling-place of God, his throne is established in righteousness and judgment. In the most holy place is his law, the great rule of right by which all mankind are tested. The ark that enshrines the tables of the law is covered with the mercy-seat, before which Christ pleads his blood in the sinner’s behalf. Thus is represented the union of justice and mercy in the plan of human redemption. This union infinite wisdom alone could devise, and infinite power accomplish; it is a union that fills all Heaven with wonder and adoration. The cherubim of the earthly sanctuary looking reverently down upon the mercy-seat, represent the interest with which the heavenly host contemplate the work of redemption. This is the mystery of mercy into which angels desire to look,—that God can be just while he justifies the repenting sinner, and renews his intercourse with the fallen race; that Christ could stoop to raise unnumbered multitudes from the abyss of ruin, and clothe them with the spotless garments of his own righteousness, to unite with angels who have never fallen, and to dwell forever in the presence of God.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 261.

10 How often did the priests go into the sanctuary? Hebrews 9:6; Exodus 30:1, 7, 8; Numbers 28:3.

NOTE: “Every morning and evening a lamb of a year old was burned upon the altar, with its appropriate meat offering, thus symbolizing the daily conecration of the nation to Jehovah, and their constant dependence upon the atoning blood of Christ.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 352.

11 How often was there service in the most holy place? Hebrews 9:7.

NOTE: “The ministration of the earthly sanctuary consisted of two divisions: the priests ministered daily in the holy place, while once a year the high priest performed a special work of atonement in the most holy, for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Day by day the repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle, and, placing his hand upon the victim’s head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them to the innocent sacrifice. The animal was then slain, and the blood or the flesh was carried by the priest into the holy place. Thus the sin was, in figure, transferred to the sanctuary. Such was the work that went forward throughout the year. The continual transfer of sins to the sanctuary, rendered a further work of ministration necessary in order for their removal. On the tenth day of the seventh month the high priest entered the inner apartment, or most holy place, which he was forbidden, on pain of death, to enter at any other time. The cleansing of the sanctuary then performed completed the yearly round of service.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 263.

12 What relation did the earthly sanctuary and its services have to the heavenly? Hebrews 8:5.

NOTE: “I was also shown a sanctuary upon the earth containing two apartments. It resembled the one in heaven, and I was told that it was a figure of the heavenly. The furniture of the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary was like that in the first apartment of the heavenly. The veil was lifted, and I looked into the holy of holies and saw that the furniture was the same as in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. The priest ministered in both apartments of the earthly. He went daily into the first apartment, but entered the most holy only once a year, to cleanse it from the sins which had been conveyed there. I saw that Jesus ministered in both apartments of the heavenly sanctuary. The priests entered into the earthly with the blood of an animal as an offering for sin. Christ entered into the heavenly sanctuary by the offering of His own blood. The earthly priests were removed by death; therefore they could not continue long; but Jesus was a priest forever. Through the sacrifices and offerings brought to the earthly sanctuary, the children of Israel were to lay hold of the merits of a Saviour to come. And in the wisdom of God the particulars of this work were given us that we might, by looking to them, understand the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.” Early Writings, 252, 253.

Sound an Alarm! Build an Ark!

Friend, maybe it is said too much. Maybe you have grown weary with hearing it or reading about it, but when the Bible speaks of sounding an alarm or blowing a trumpet, there is a reason for it. We hear it from the pulpit and in Sabbath School class. We read it in our own studies, and we feel conviction from the Holy Spirit that there needs to be an awakening among God’s children.

The awakening is necessary because we have grown accustomed to the world and the things of the world, and we are somewhat asleep. That is very, very sad. It is not pleasant to be told repeatedly that we are in a sleepy state, but friend, we need to be reminded that an alarm must be sounded and preparation needs to be made. We need to be building an ark, because a flood is coming. Destruction is coming upon this earth.

As we reflect upon the Flood in Genesis, I am overwhelmed with what those people must have experienced, and what they must have witnessed. We have not seen anything like what they saw. If it is this message that applies to God’s last day people, then we need to be sounding an alarm as never before, and we need to be building an ark.

There may be an alarm being sounded to a certain degree, but I wonder if there are any arks being built. We can sound the alarm all we want, but unless we are building an ark—an ark of safety, an ark of faith, an ark of refuge—we are not going to be preserved. How many of us are building that kind of ark? Noah could have preached his 120 years and not have built the ark. What good would all that preaching have done him? It did very little good anyway. Today, we need to be preparing.

Ark of Safety

Contemplate some important facts in Genesis 7 to see whether or not you are building an ark in your life. You are either building an ark or you are destroying the one that was made to preserve you. This is the ark of safety. In Genesis 7:1, it says, “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” How sad that was, in the sense that, as God looked over the face of the whole world, He looked at Noah and said, “In thee I see the righteousness.” Of all that He had done and all that He had provided for His children, He could not find any righteous.

I guarantee you, friend, that there were many that were professing. I guarantee that there were many that were saying, “We are Christians. Yes, we are prepared. We are a part of the family of God, and we understand things are going to happen.” I hear all the time, “I am doing the very best I can do.” The best you can do on your own is to be totally lost! The very best that you can do is as filthy rags. (See Isaiah 64:6.)

You and Your House, Come

I like what the Lord said to Noah before destruction came. As He looked at Noah, He said, “I want you and all your house to come.” That would be wonderful to hear today! Oh, friend, if God said to you, “You and your entire house, come,” do you realize what a blessing that would be?

At the time of the Flood, I do not believe God took any into the ark that were not ready, were not willing, or did not believe. He did not take unbelievers into the ark. The people who were in the ark wanted to be there. They believed what dad was preaching! Today, children often do not believe what their parents are teaching or what they stand for in the home. They have their own thoughts and their own ways. But it was a real blessing for Noah’s family to have believed their dad. As Noah preached, they did not grow weary; they stayed right in there with him.

So God told Noah, “Come on, all your house, come on into the ark.” Verse 13 says, “In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark.”

No Youth

Did you notice that there were no children, no youth, and no teenagers who went into the ark? There were only adults. Of all the people on the face of the earth, there were no young people who went into the ark.

I do not claim to have an answer for this, but I was astounded as I thought of it. Was it possible that the parents had not instilled within the youth reverence and respect for God? Were others too young to make the choice on their own to go into the ark? Did mom and dad, through their witnesses, influence what the children did or did not do? Can you possibly think of all those babies—the little ones in the arms of the moms and the grandmas and grandpas? Were the parents asleep, or dead in trespasses and sins, losing all sense of their accountability to God?

Oh, friend, where were the young people? Were they out partying and having a “good time”? Something was going on, because they did not show up. But then, Scripture tells us that they lived in a time of partying. The young always wanted to be active—interacting with people of their own age, having fun, going places and doing things. None of them were ready to go into the ark. After all, that was a dismal, old place. Who wanted to go on an old boat where there was only one, little window? Who was going in some stinky ark with all those smelly animals? They would rather be with their friends.

You can weigh that however you want to today, but we need to look at it closely. It is very difficult to blame the children, because training and accountability start in the home with mom and dad. Ellen White wrote, referring to the sins of Eli’s sons (1 Samuel 3:11–14): “Such is the fearful reaping of the harvest sown when parents neglect their God-given responsibilities,—when they allow Satan to pre-occupy the field which they themselves should carefully have sown with precious seed of virtue, truth, and righteousness. If but one parent is neglectful of duty, the result will be seen in the character of the children; if both fail, how great will be their accountability before God! How can they escape the doom of those who destroy their children’s souls?” Review and Herald, August 30, 1881.

Yes, children may stray, go their own way and make their own decisions as they become older, but “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. He or she may stray, but if you have fulfilled your responsibility as a parent, praise God! Your child has that truth. “Our first work is to bring our families to understand their accountability to God.” The Signs of the Times, December 3, 1885.

Prison or a Haven?

Noah and his family entered the ark that same day, and when it began to rain, the waters rose “fifteen cubits upward,” above the highest mountain peaks on the earth at that time. (Genesis 7:20.) Verse 24 says, “And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.” That does not mean that the experience was over. Genesis 8:13 tells us that “it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], the first [day] of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth,” and verse 14 says, “in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.” From this we can calculate that Noah was shut in the ark 365 days, for he entered the ark the seventeenth day of the second month, in the six hundredth year of his life. (Genesis 7:11, 13.) A year! For a year Noah and his family were in the ark. Who would want to be in there for that long?

Who wants to go through what you are going through today? If you are preparing for heaven, you are going to have to go through some things. It will be very uncomfortable at times and, may I say, stinky at times.

It may have seemed they were imprisoned, because they had not shut the door, and they could not open it. The unbelievers looking at it from the outside probably considered it somewhat of a prison, but the believers inside looked at it as a haven. They were thanking God the door was shut, because they believed it was going to rain, and if the door was open, the ark would flood and they would drown. “And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 7:18.

Do you realize that after it began to rain, it was too late to have started building a shelter? Many tried to build their own little boat while there was a deluge coming down; it did not work. Many tried to beat and bang and saw and hack their way into the ark; their efforts were in vain. I can only imagine the screams and the pleadings for help, as the water was rising. The bodies of little ones began to float on the water, as their parents lost their grasps on them and they drowned. The people began to climb up the highest peaks in an attempt to save themselves.

Ellen White wrote: “Some clung to the ark until they were borne away by the surging waters, or their hold was broken by collision with rocks and trees. . . .

“The beasts, exposed to the tempest, rushed toward man, as though expecting help from him. Some of the people bound their children and themselves upon powerful animals, knowing that these were tenacious of life, and would climb to the highest points
to escape the rising waters. Some fastened themselves to lofty trees on the summit of hills or mountains; but the trees were uprooted, and with their burden of living beings were hurled into the seething billows. One spot after another that promised safety was abandoned. As the waters rose higher and higher, the people fled for refuge to the loftiest mountains. Often man and beast would struggle together for a foothold, until both were swept away.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 100.

Oh, friend, we do not realize the magnitude of what went on at that time. The earth was literally torn apart. Many of the people wanted to find salvation, but they were searching for it with a wrong motive. How are your motives today? Why do you serve Jesus? Are you looking for Him today?

Genesis 8:4 says, “And the ark rested.” That is wonderful to know. Inspiration and the Bible tell us that that boat was beaten violently in the wind and the rain. “The massive ark trembled in every fiber as it was beaten by the merciless winds and flung from billow to billow. The cries of the beasts within expressed their fear and pain. But amid the warring elements it continued to ride safely. Angels that excel in strength were commissioned to preserve it.” Ibid.

Test of Faith

God preserved that ark, but for five months, day in and day out, 24 hours a day, it was twisting, rocking, and creaking. You know there had to have been creaks! How would those creaks have affected you? Would some doubt have started creeping into your mind? Would you have begun to wonder if it was going to sink, if something was going to give way, if it was really made the way God wanted it to be made? Or would you have said, “I know it is going to hold up. This ark was built exactly the way God said to build it. We did the very best we knew how to do, and God will do the rest.” I wonder; where would our faith be?

Five months! We have a problem if we experience rough waters in our lives for an hour or two, but five months! God’s watchful eye and hand were on that ark. “As the waters began to subside, the Lord caused the ark to drift into a spot protected by a group of mountains that had been preserved by His power. These mountains were but a little distance apart, and the ark moved about in this quiet haven, and was no longer driven upon the boundless ocean. This gave great relief to the weary, tempest-tossed voyagers.” Ibid., 105.

When the drying up period began, God called up the wind to blow on the face of the earth. “[God] caused a powerful wind to pass over the earth for the purpose of drying up the waters, which moved them with great force—in some instances carrying away the tops of the mountains like mighty avalanches, forming huge hills and high mountains where there were none to be seen before, and burying the dead bodies with trees, stones, and earth. These mountains and hills increased in size and became more irregular in shape by collections of stones, ledges, trees, and earth, which were driven upon and around them.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 80, 81. I cannot even imagine such a forceful wind. How frightening that would have been, but Noah and his family were safe in the ark, resting in the protected area God had provided for them. Do you think God does not care?

The Animals

Have you ever thought about all those animals that came into the ark? We generally consider it to be a children’s story, but it is awesome. God sent out angels to collect the animals and gather them into the ark. The people who were around the ark heard and saw the animals. They thought that it was the strangest thing they had ever seen, and they knew something miraculous was taking place. The animals came in such an orderly fashion—by twos and by sevens. They appeared in pairs, a male and a female of every species.

During the time before the Flood, there was an occurrence called amalgamation that we find in the world today. Of all the animals in the ark, not one of them was “man-made.” God was preserving His own creations. Inspiration tells us that “Every species of animals which God had created was preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the Flood. Since the Flood, there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men.” Ibid., 78. The angels were not sent for the “confused species,” because such were not of God.

As the people saw this miraculous loading of the animals for seven days, they could not understand it, but it did not change their minds. “Philosophers were called upon to account for the singular occurrence, but in vain. It was a mystery which they could not fathom. But men had become so hardened by their persistent rejection of light that even this scene produced but a momentary impression.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 98. Can you comprehend how many animals were loading for seven days into a boat that was three stories high? But still the people did not believe.

Seven days before the rain began, the people witnessed the glory of the angel closing the door of the ark. They saw that massive door being closed and locked and still they tried to reason it away. They did not want to believe. Then it was too late.

Patience a Virtue

“And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.” “But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters [were] on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” Genesis 8:6, 9. After seven days, Noah sent out the dove again. That time she returned with an olive leaf. No one in the ark knew that the waters were abated off of the earth.

Imagine not being able to look out and see what was going on. What faith that must have taken.
I would have wanted to peek! I would have wanted to get out of that place! But God had told Noah when to go into the ark, and Noah was going to wait on God to tell him when to go out of the ark. What a lesson for us today!

Compare the experience of these eight individuals to your own Christian experience. What we sometimes think is brutal and a curse, friend, can actually be a haven. They considered the ark to be a haven, a protection. They understood what was going on out in the elements. It was awful out there, and they were afraid to be out there. They wanted to be under the care of the Lord.

Waiting on the Lord

What joy for the ark occupants to know that the water was abated, but verse 12 says that they stayed yet another seven days. I would have been ready to get out as soon as I saw the olive leaf, but they patiently waited seven more days. “And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], the first [day] of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.” Verse 13.

I would say, “Come on, let’s go,” but not Noah. He waited almost the entire next month (verse 14)—almost two months after he saw the ground—before he left the ark. Do you realize how long those two months must have seemed?

What was Noah doing? In Genesis 7:1, we read, “And the Lord said unto Noah, come into the ark.” In Genesis 8:15, 16, we read, “And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark . . . .” Noah was waiting on God’s instruction and direction. When God says to you, “Go and do,” do not do anything different until God tells you to do something different—not even if you see the ground and it looks dry. Noah never questioned God nor, evidently, did any of his family.

Thank You

“And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord . . . .” Verse 20. The Bible continues that the burnt offering was a sweet smell, a welcome fragrance, as it were, in the nostrils of God. There is something exceedingly beautiful and interesting to know that the first act of this devout patriarch was to return thanks for the signal instance of mercy and goodness, which he and his family had experienced. He was grateful to the Lord for preserving their lives.

Friend, how many of us, when we have come through a terribly difficult situation, first give God praise and honor and glory? Many times we do not. How many times has God shown mercy to you over the years? If it were not for His mercy, none of us would be here. The devil is beating at us with a tempest that we could not endure if it was not for God’s hand over us. The psalmist tells us to “give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.” Psalm 136:2. Mrs. White wrote: “Every manifestation of His mercy and love toward us should be gratefully acknowledged, both by acts of devotion and by gifts to His cause.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 106.

Devotion is prayer time, piety in our hearts. Loyalty is what it really means or, in other words, deep affection. We want to give God deep affection, and we want to give Him our hearts and our minds. We want to spend more time with Him. Every blessing that we receive means we need to spend time on our knees, thanking God.

Then Mrs. White said we need to do one more thing. We need to deny self and show that we are really grateful by giving a gift to His cause. Friend, if we did that every day, the coffers would be full. For every act of His love, His graciousness, and His goodness, these two things—devotion and a gift—are to be given. One will not suffice.

God daily preserves our lives in His ark of safety. There is still opportunity for others to enter into this ark. The door is still open, but soon it will shut forever. That day is just upon us. “The picture which Inspiration has given of the antediluvian world represents too truly the condition to which modern society is fast hastening.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 102. The world has become so vile and so violent. It is worse than it was at the time before the Flood. We need to daily show our devotion to God and acknowledge His goodness by giving a gift to His cause.

We have all passed through violent storms—loss of health, of material goods, of businesses, of dear friends and loved ones—but we still have numerous blessings to count. God still loves us and cares for us, and He has prepared a haven for us. We need only to follow His instruction, to wait upon His direction and obey it.

Pastor Kenny Shelton is speaker for the television ministry of Behold the Lamb in Herrin, Illinois. He may be contacted by e-mail at or by telephone at 1-800-238-2856.

The Sanctuary Furnished with Lessons

The sanctuary message is a message that is dear to the heart and soul of God’s people. It is as vital to the Christian’s life as the air we breathe, and just as air is life to the physical body, so the sanctuary message is vital to our spiritual life. But it is not just a message, it is a call to action—a plea to live after the perfect example of Christ.

“Thy way, O God, [is] in the sanctuary: who [is so] great a God as [our] God?” Psalms 77:13. Very few words, yet so profound. We are told that the sanctuary was originally a tabernacle built by Moses after the pattern of the sanctuary in heaven. “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, [that] thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:5. It was not just the physical nature of the sanctuary that was patterned after that of the heavenly, but also the services. “Thy way, O God, [is] in the sanctuary.” These words alone should state clearly how important it is that we have a clear understanding of the sanctuary. God’s way has been laid open for all to see as we take a walk through the earthly sanctuary.

Although not a complete list of all of the purposes of the sanctuary, four broad purposes can be identified. Through the representations of Christ in the sanctuary, the Israelites were to lay hold of the merits of the Savior to come. Secondly, the sanctuary was a physical confirmation that God was indeed with them. It was a place where He might dwell amongst His people. The sanctuary was also to show, not just the Israelites, but all generations of mankind, the plan of salvation. Although just a shadow, it provides all that needs to be known that we might be saved from a wretched world of sin. The message is presented to us in such a way that even children can comprehend the foundation on which it is built—love, obedience, and holiness. Fourthly, when we look at the sanctuary, we are also able to see the ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary. Just as the high priest went into the Holy of Holies once a year to cleanse the sanctuary, Jesus is now in that Holy of Holies ministering as our high priest.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. Jesus is the only entrance into the sanctuary, and thus, into heaven. This is exemplified in the physical sanctuary. The only entrance into the tabernacle was the eastern gate. God and sin cannot coexist and because we all are sinners and have each fallen short of the glory of God, our only hope of eternal life with God the Father is through Jesus, our entrance.

It is only through Jesus that we can find forgiveness of our sins. This was expressed by John the Baptist the day Jesus came to be baptized by him. John 1:29 reads, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” In the earthly sanctuary the sinner was to bring a lamb without blemish over which to confess his sins, sacrificing its life in atonement for transgression of the law. The blood of the slain lamb was the foreshadowing of Christ’s perfect sacrifice on Calvary.

The sanctuary message makes it perfectly clear that the life of a Christian is a life of sacrifice. “If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24. There were many types of offerings in the sanctuary, one of which was the burnt offering. In the burnt offering, not only was the sacrifice slain, but also dismembered and placed on the altar to be completely consumed by the flames. I Corinthians 15:31 says, “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” Though just a few words, but profound. Each day we are to die to self and surrender all to Christ as He surrendered all for us, for what servant should expect to be treated better than the Master?

This brings new meaning to God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. The burnt offering in the sanctuary was a show of complete surrender to the will of God. Christ’s body was mutilated and hung on the cross for humanity. The torture that Christ endured prior to His death makes the Christian heart ache when struck by the reality of the cruelty. Words cannot express the affliction He endured as the cat of nine tails struck His body over and over again—an instrument of torture tearing at His flesh by the ends of each tail. Thirty nine lashes, not once, but twice. The crown of thorns pressed into His brow, the mockery, the nails, and the desertion; and all the while, Jesus, with just a word, could have put a stop to it all—but chose to endure. The very people that He was dying to save were His murderers. The inexplicable sacrifice of Christ for our salvation was a complete surrender to the will of the Father; a will which stemmed from an incomprehensible love for a vile, fallen race. Our Christian calling is portrayed in the sacrifice to Christ—to surrender our will completely to the Father. Our lives are not ours, but His—paid for through creation and redemption.

“The laver was placed between the altar and the congregation, that before they [the priests] came into the presence of God, in the sight of the congregation, they might wash their hands and their feet. … It was to show them that every particle of dust must be put away before they could go into the presence of God.” Gospel Workers, 162, 163. The “dust” to be put away was symbolic also of sin. The lesson taught by the washing in the laver is that Jesus provides the cleansing. Psalms 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” There is nothing good within us without the presence of Christ. He alone can mold us into His image. Genesis says that we were created in the image of God and this image was to be reflected in each member of God’s family. Since the sin of Adam and Eve, mankind has adapted the image of evil and only by inviting Jesus into our hearts every moment of every day to cleanse us from sin and self, can we display the character of Jesus.

As the lambs were slain every morning and evening, the blood from the lamb was taken to the inner veil of the temple and sprinkled before it. Through the presentation of the blood to the sanctuary, the people were showing their faith in Christ’s cleansing and transforming power. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the veil would be cleansed; not by the priest, not with anything made by man, but by the only One who has the power to cleanse us from our sins and transform our lives. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9. Jesus is the only Source of forgiveness and cleansing from a life of sin. We must believe completely in His goodness and mercy for there is no other way to be cleansed and transformed.

A breathtaking glow radiated throughout the tabernacle, the light reflecting gently off the pure gold that furnished God’s house. In the life of the Christian, Jesus is the light. He is the source of life, goodness, and love. It is the object of all who love and fear God to reflect His perfect light and holiness to others. But just as gold does not come to its purest form except through fire, so we do not become perfect in character except through the trials and tribulations that God allows in our lives to purge the impurities from us. Only then, can we truly reflect Christ. II Corinthians 7:1: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” We are to become perfect in holiness, so we can reflect Christ, the Holy One.

In the first apartment of the sanctuary was the table of showbread. Upon the table were twelve loaves of bread, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. The bread was placed in two stacks of six. Now, two sixes, when placed side by side make sixty six—the number of books that make up the Bible. God’s word, the bread of life, should be consumed daily. It is our life sustenance, an anchor to hold us steady through the churning waters we call life. There is no other standard, by which we can judge our lives or characters than by God’s word.

The candlestick was made of solid gold. The seven lights were to remain lit day and night, year in and year out, never to flicker. This light represents the Holy Spirit. Maintaining the light of the lampstand required constant vigilance as does having the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Satan is imposing and forceful, but the Holy Spirit is gentle and respectful. We must constantly be battling the devil and inviting Christ. The good news is that, with our invitation, Christ helps us fight the enemy. He is our most powerful ally, if we but ask.

In the first apartment of the sanctuary was the table of incense before which the priest offered prayers on behalf of the children of Israel. The smoke rising to the heavens exemplified their prayers lifting up before the Saviour. Just as the smoke is mixed with the prayers of the priest, Jesus mixes our prayers with His righteousness before the Father. Communion with God is the key for a spiritual relationship. No relationship can be built and sustained without communication. A relationship with Jesus is no different. He wants to be our best friend. Never would we consider cutting off communication with someone who is dear to our hearts. Christ wants to be part of our lives. There is no matter too great or too small for His interest. He granted us the privilege of prayer so that we can speak with Him. Just like a human relationship is built with time and dedication, so a meaningful relationship with God is built through persistent communion.

In these ways, the Sanctuary not only teaches of a need to purify our lives, but also how we can accomplish this. When Jesus asks something of us, He never leaves us without a knowledge of how to achieve His will; nor does He leave us without a means by which to do so. He recognizes our human frailty and reaches out His hands to uphold us if only we reach back.

Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.” We are told in the Bible that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It would stand to reason, then, that if He said that keeping His commandments “is the whole duty of man,” it is just as true now as it was then. It is stated so very clearly that there is no room for speculation and doubt. This exact principle is depicted when looking at the Sanctuary. The law was designated a place of prominence—the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy of Holies, a place entered only once a year by only one person. Had the high priest entered the Most Holy place with a sin in his heart, he would have instantly died from the Shekinah glory of God. It was a serious matter to have cherished sin and it is just as serious a matter today. God has not changed. Sin cannot exist in the presence of God. Our eternal life with Him depends on our cleansing through Christ who is now in the Holy of Holies ministering on our behalf.

There were three objects in the Ark of the Covenant. The manna which Israel was given during the forty year exile in the desert shows God’s provision for His people. It serves as a reminder that God is the ultimate provider. Even something as simple as the food we eat is given us by the Creator. We need not depend on money, food or water—but solely to trust in Christ and lean on Him to meet our needs.

Aaron’s staff, which bloomed, was also stored in the Ark of the Covenant. The story is familiar to most of us. Because of the disunity amongst the Israelites over the appointment of the priesthood, God caused one staff to bud signifying His choice for the priest. God is the authority in the church, not man. This is just as true today as it was then. His directions are still binding to all Christians. We need to first follow the law and the authority of God. Only where the will and law of man is in line with that of heaven are we bound to succeed.

The third object in the Ark of the Covenant was the tablets of stone on which were written the Ten Commandments. The writing of the laws in stone was not abstract; it was to signify the undying contract that was made between God and His people. Stone stands the test of time and so it is with the divine commandments. The law is based on the love of God—God is love, and He is unchanging, thus His law is unchanging. Although people are increasingly disregarding the law created for the protection of a most beloved race, God has not changed even one letter of the law. Indeed, we are told that it would be easier for the heavens and the earth to pass away than for even a part of a letter to be taken away from the law of God. The Ten Commandments were so important to God that He wrote them with His own finger, not entrusting the job to a mortal such that we would recognize the weight of His law—the only thing given to humanity that was written by God Himself. The fact that we are bound to this agreement is indisputable. It is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Another lesson to be learned through the sanctuary is order. I Corinthians 14:40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” During their sojourn in the wilderness, the twelve tribes of Israel pitched their tents in an orderly manner on the perimeter of the camp surrounding the sanctuary, which was always the centerpiece of the camp. Everything about the camp and the sanctuary was done in an orderly fashion. This is the way it is to be in our homes, our work places, and in our churches. God is a God of order and we, as His people, are to do all things “decently and in order” as taught through the sanctuary.

“All the pillars round about the court [shall be] filleted with silver; their hooks [shall be of] silver, and their sockets [of] brass.” Exodus 27:17. There are important lessons to be learned from the pillars that held up hangings that defined the perimeter of the courtyard. According to Exodus 24:4, Moses built an altar and set up twelve pillars, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. In Revelation 3:12, it says, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.” As you can see, the pillars in both of these two texts represent God’s people. The pillars that surround the court are joined by the linen hangings, so the pillars, which represent God’s people, are joined to each other by Christ. What a beautiful picture of our relationship to each other as shown to us in the sanctuary.

Lastly mentioned here in the sanctuary service is the lesson of the judgment. Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest went into the holy of holies in the presence of the Shekinah glory of God. If the priest had not confessed and had his sins forgiven, he would die. We serve a Holy God, and no sin can withstand the presence of a Holy God. It was therefore critical that any sins be confessed and covered with the blood of the Lamb, Jesus. So, the sanctuary also teaches that every man will someday face his life record and just as the high priest had to be right before God, we also need to have our sins forgiven and covered with the blood of the Lamb, for God has “appointed a day in which He will judge the world.” (Acts 17:31.)

As we study the sanctuary, we see a beautiful representation of the plan of redemption. There are many lessons to be learned, and with each lesson comes a decision, to learn of and follow the Lord with our whole being. We can find You Lord as we study and act upon the lessons of the sanctuary for “Thy way, O God, [is] in the sanctuary.” Psalms 77:13.

Janet Headrick is office manager at Steps to Life. She can be contacted by email at: or by phone at: 316-788-5559.

Bible Study Guides – Statutes and Judgments

July 22, 2012 – July 28, 2012

Key Text

“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” Malachi 4:4.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 307–310, 824.


“That God who reads the hearts of everyone, will bring to light hidden things of darkness where they are often least suspected, that stumbling blocks which have hindered the progress of truth may be removed, and God have a clean and holy people to declare His statutes and judgments.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 333.


  • What item in the Ark of the Covenant reveals the character of our Creator? Matthew 22:36–40; I John 4:7, 8; 5:3.

Note: “The law of God is as sacred as God Himself. It is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 52.

“God has set forth in His word the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life—obedience to His commandments, through faith in Christ. God has elected a character in harmony with His law, and anyone who shall reach the standard of His requirement will have an entrance into the kingdom of glory.” Ibid., 207.

  • Besides a clear understanding and belief of the truth, what else do we need in order to be saved? Matthew 5:20; 19:17–19; James 2:10; Galatians 5:6.

Note: “You may believe all the truth; yet if its principles are not carried out in your lives, your profession will not save you.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 161.

“The righteousness which Christ taught is conformity of heart and life to the revealed will of God.” The Desire of Ages, 310.


  • Because of God’s great love for those who had lost their understanding of His law, what further clarification did He send? Deuteronomy 4:1, 2.

Note: “He [God] then came still closer to His people, who were so readily led astray, and would not leave them with merely the ten precepts of the Decalogue. He commanded Moses to write, as He should bid him, judgments and laws, giving minute directions in regard to what He required them to perform, and thereby guarded the ten precepts which He had engraved upon the tables of stone. These specific directions and requirements were given to draw erring man to the obedience of the moral law, which he is so prone to transgress.

“If man had kept the law of God, as given to Adam after his fall, preserved in the ark by Noah, and observed by Abraham, there would have been no necessity for the ordinance of circumcision. And if the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a token or pledge, they would never have gone into idolatry, nor been suffered to go down into Egypt, and there would have been no necessity of God’s proclaiming His law from Sinai, and engraving it upon tables of stone, and guarding it by definite directions in the judgments and statutes given to Moses.

“Moses wrote these judgments and statutes from the mouth of God while he was with Him in the mount. If the people of God had obeyed the principles of the ten commandments, there would have been no need of the specific directions given to Moses, which he wrote in a book, relative to their duty to God and to one another. The definite directions which the Lord gave to Moses in regard to the duty of His people to one another, and to the stranger, are the principles of the ten commandments simplified and given in a definite manner, that they need not err.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 264, 265.

  • Since the statutes simply explain God’s law, do they include more than the writings of Moses? Isaiah 8:20; II Kings 17:13; Luke 24:44, 45. Would they be included in the restoration of the breach in the law? Isaiah 58:12.

Note: “The law of God has been given for the regulation of our conduct, and it is far reaching in its principles. There is no sin, no work of unrighteousness, that escapes the condemnation of the law. The great statute book is truth, and truth only.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 316.


  • Did God ever give statutes that were not designed for the benefit of humanity— and if so, why? Ezekiel 20:19–26; Psalm 81:11, 12. Name one such example regarding the use of flesh meats. Deuteronomy 12:20, 21.

Note: “In this instance [when quails were blown into the Israelite camp] the Lord gave the people that which was not for their best good, because they would have it. They would not submit to receive from the Lord only those things which would prove for their good.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 377.

“Because they [the Israelites] were so determined to have the flesh of dead animals, He [God] gave them the very diet He had withheld from them.” Medical Ministry, 277.

  • Why does God give certain laws that are in conflict with His eternal principles? Ezekiel 14:1–5; Mark 10:5.

Note: “Sin is the transgression of the law, and the arm that is now mighty to save will be strong to punish when the transgressor passes the bounds that limit divine forbearance. He who refuses to seek for life, who will not search the Scriptures to see what is truth, lest he should be condemned in his practices, will be left to blindness of mind and to the deceptions of Satan. To the same degree that the penitent and obedient are shielded by God’s love, the impenitent and disobedient will be left to the result of their own ignorance and hardness of heart, because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 313.

“God is no respecter of persons; but in every generation they that fear the Lord and work righteousness are accepted of Him; while those who are murmuring, unbelieving, and rebellious, will not have His favor or the blessings promised to those who love the truth and walk in it. Those who have the light and do not follow it, but disregard the requirements of God, will find that their blessings will be changed into curses, and their mercies into judgments. God would have us learn humility and obedience as we read the history of ancient Israel, who were His chosen and peculiar people, but who brought their own destruction by following their own ways.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 379.


  • Since some of the good statutes have to do with dietary reform, what is the result of obeying them? Genesis 1:29; Exodus 15:25, 26.

Note: “The importance of caring for the health should be taught as a Bible requirement. Perfect obedience to God’s commands calls for conformity to the laws of the being.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 295.

“He [The Lord] made a covenant with them [His people], if they would obey Him in all things, He would preserve them from disease.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 412.

  • How does the New Testament show that the health statutes affect both body and soul? III John 2; I Corinthians 6:19, 20.

Note: “In the preparation of a people for the Lord’s second coming a great work is to be accomplished through the promulgation of health principles. The people are to be instructed in regard to the needs of the physical organism and the value of healthful living as taught in the Scriptures, that the bodies which God has created may be presented to Him a living sacrifice, fitted to render Him acceptable service. There is a great work to be done for suffering humanity in relieving their sufferings by the use of the natural agencies that God has provided and in teaching them how to prevent sickness by the regulation of the appetites and passions. The people should be taught that transgression of the laws of nature is transgression of the laws of God.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 224, 225.

“The science of education includes as full a knowledge of physiology as can be obtained. No one can properly understand his obligations to God unless he understands clearly his obligations to himself as God’s property. He who remains in sinful ignorance of the laws of life and health, or who willfully violates these laws, sins against God.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 295.

“Let it ever be kept before the mind that the great object of hygienic reform is to secure the highest possible development of mind and soul and body. All the laws of nature—which are the laws of God—are designed for our good. Obedience to them will promote our happiness in this life, and will aid us in a preparation for the life to come.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 120.


  • What is said about the statutes in these last days—and the results which follow if God’s people obey them? Malachi 4:2, 4.

Note: “In consequence of continual transgression, the moral law was repeated in awful grandeur from Sinai. Christ gave to Moses religious precepts which were to govern everyday life. These statutes were explicitly given to guard the ten commandments. They were not shadowy types to pass away with the death of Christ. They were to be binding upon men in every age as long as time should last. These commands were enforced by the power of the moral law, and they clearly and definitely explained that law.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1104.

“As men, women, and children proclaim the gospel, the Lord will open the eyes of the blind to see His statutes, and will write upon the hearts of the truly penitent His law. The animating Spirit of God, working through human agencies, leads the believers to be of one mind, one soul, unitedly loving God and keeping His commandment—preparing here below for translation.” Ibid., vol. 7, 984.

  • Why are these statutes part of the restoration to be accomplished by the Elijah people in the last days? Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 11:14.

Note: “Those who are to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ are represented by faithful Elijah, as John came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ’s first advent. The great subject of reform is to be agitated, and the public mind is to be stirred. Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message, to turn the people of God from their idolatry, their gluttony, and their extravagance in dress and other things.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 62.

“Many are not obeying the commandments of God, yet they profess so to do. If they would be faithful to obey all the statutes of God they would have a power which would carry conviction to the hearts of the unbelieving.” Ibid., vol. 2, 446, 447.

“The instructions given to Moses for ancient Israel, with their sharp, rigid outlines, are to be studied and obeyed by the people of God today.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1103.

“How can we pass on so indifferently, choosing our own course, following the sight of our own eyes, and departing farther and farther from God, as did the Hebrews? God cannot do great things for His people because of their hardness of heart and sinful unbelief.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 379.


1 Why does God expect more than a mere intellectual assent to the truth?

2 How did God reacquaint His people with the principles of His law?

3 Because of rebellion against the revealed will of God, what was introduced to His people, and what were the results?

4 What are some specific examples of the good statutes?

5 Before Christ returns, what is included in the restoration process?

Extra Reading

“From Genesis to Revelation the conditions upon which eternal life is promised, are made plain. God requires that those who shall enter heaven shall be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Keep my commandments and live, is the requirement of God. But one says, ‘My conscience does not condemn me in not keeping the commandments of God.’ But in the word of God we read that there are good and bad consciences and the fact that your conscience does not condemn you in not keeping the law of God, does not prove that you are uncondemned in His sight. Take your conscience to the word of God, and see if your life and character are in accordance with the standard of righteousness which God has there revealed. You can then determine whether or not you have an intelligent faith, and what manner of conscience is yours. The conscience of man cannot be trusted unless it is under the influence of divine grace. Satan takes advantage of an unenlightened conscience, and thereby leads men into all manner of delusions because they have not made the word of God their counselor.” The Review and Herald, September 3, 1901.

“The statutes concerning marriage, inheritance, and strict justice in deal with one another, were peculiar and contrary to the customs and manners of other nations, and were designed of God to keep His people separate from other nations. The necessity of this to preserve the people of God from becoming like the nations who had not the love and fear of God, is the same in this corrupt age, when the transgression of God’s law prevails and idolatry exists to a fearful extent. If ancient Israel needed such security, we need it more, to keep us from being utterly confounded with the transgressors of God’s law. The hearts of men are so prone to depart from God that there is a necessity for restraint and discipline.” Ibid., May 6, 1875.

“We have the example of ancient Israel, and the warning for us not to do as they did. Their history of unbelief and rebellion is left on record as a special warning that we should not follow their example of murmuring at God’s requirements.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 172.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Following the Ark

July 15, 2012 – July 21, 2012

Key Text

“When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.” Joshua 3:3.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 348, 349; 481–486.


“Study carefully the experiences of Israel in their travels to Canaan. Study the third and fourth chapters of Joshua, recording their preparation for and passage over the Jordan into the promised land.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 994.


  • Where did the children of Israel encamp before crossing into the Promised Land? Joshua 3:1.

Note: “The Israelites were still encamped on the east side of Jordan, which presented the first barrier to the occupation of Canaan. ‘Arise,’ had been the first message of God to Joshua, ‘go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them’ [Joshua 1:2]. No instruction was given as to the way in which they were to make the passage. Joshua knew, however, that whatever God should command, He would make a way for His people to perform, and in this faith the intrepid leader at once began his arrangements for an advance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 482.

  • During the time of their preparation for the longed-for crossing, what event were the people waiting for as the signal for advance? Joshua 3:2, 3.

Note: “The ‘ark of the covenant’ was to lead the way before the host. When they [the Israelites] should see the token of Jehovah’s presence, borne by the priests, remove from its place in the center of the camp, and advance toward the river, then they were to remove from their place, ‘and go after it’ [Joshua 3:3].” Patriarchs and Prophets, 483, 484.


  • Why was a great space required between the ark and the congregation? What were they to follow in order to have absolute safety? Joshua 3:4.

Note: “At the appointed time began the onward movement, the ark, borne upon the shoulders of the priests, leading the van. The people had been directed to fall back, so that there was a vacant space of more than half a mile about the ark. All watched with deep interest as the priests advanced down the bank of the Jordan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 484.

  • What was God preparing to show them once again as they continued their journey? Joshua 3:5.

Note: “Leaving their encampment in the acacia groves of Shittim, the host descended to the border of the Jordan. All knew, however, that without divine aid they could not hope to make the passage. At this time of the year—in the spring season—the melting snows of the mountains had so raised the Jordan that the river overflowed its banks, making it impossible to cross at the usual fording places. God willed that the passage of Israel over Jordan should be miraculous. Joshua, by divine direction, commanded the people to sanctify themselves; they must put away their sins and free themselves from all outward impurity; ‘for tomorrow,’ he said, ‘the Lord will do wonders among you’ [Joshua 3:5].” Patriarchs and Prophets, 483.

  • At the time of the remarkable event, what commands of Joshua prepared the people to move in an orderly and godly fashion? Joshua 3:6, 7.

Note: “When ancient Israel journeyed, the ark of the covenant went before them. Beneath the mercy-seat, which was the cover of the ark, were the tables of the law. The ark was a symbol of the presence of God; and the glory of the Lord, which is His righteousness, shall be the rearward of His people.” The Review and Herald, February 20, 1894.


  • How was the miraculous crossing of the Jordan going to give the people an assurance of victory in their future endeavors to conquer the Promised Land? Joshua 3:8–10.

Note: “When the tidings that God had stayed the waters of Jordan before the children of Israel, reached the kings of the Amorites and of the Canaanites, their hearts melted with fear. The Hebrews had already slain the five kings of Midian, the powerful Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og of Bashan, and now the passage over the swollen and impetuous Jordan filled all the surrounding nations with terror. To the Canaanites, to all Israel, and to Joshua himself, unmistakable evidence had been given that the living God, the King of heaven and earth, was among His people, and that He would not fail them nor forsake them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 485.

  • What can we learn from the way some were called to take the lead in exercising faith by entering the turbulent waters of Jordan? Joshua 3:14, 15.

Note: “The priests obeyed the commands of their leader and went before the people, carrying the ark of the covenant. The Hebrew hosts took up the line of march and followed this symbol of the divine presence. The wide column filed down the bank of Jordan, and, as the feet of the priests were dipped in the brim of the river, the water was cut off from above, and the volume below rolled on, leaving the bed of the stream dry. The priests passed on, bearing the ark of God, and Israel followed in the rear. Halfway over Jordan the priests were commanded to stand still in the channel of the river till all the Hebrew host had crossed over. This was to impress upon their minds more forcibly the fact that the power which stayed the waters of Jordan was the same that enabled their fathers to cross the Red Sea forty years before.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 157.

“Young men who have never made a success in the temporal duties of life will be equally unprepared to engage in the higher duties. A religious experience is gained only through conflict, through disappointment, through severe discipline of self, through earnest prayer. The steps to heaven must be taken one at a time, and every advance step gives strength for the next.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 100.


  • As the Israelites moved forward in faith, what miracle made it possible for the entire people to cross over into the land of Canaan? Joshua 3:11–17.

Note: “They [the congregation] saw them [the priests] with the sacred ark move steadily forward toward the angry, surging stream, till the feet of the bearers were dipped into the waters. Then suddenly the tide above was swept back, while the current below flowed on, and the bed of the river was laid bare.

“At the divine command the priests advanced to the middle of the channel and stood there while the entire host descended and crossed to the farther side. Thus was impressed upon the minds of all Israel the fact that the power that stayed the waters of Jordan was the same that had opened the Red Sea to their fathers forty years before. When the people had all passed over, the ark itself was borne to the western shore. No sooner had it reached a place of security, and ‘the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land’ [Joshua 4:8], than the imprisoned waters, being set free, rushed down, a resistless flood, in the natural channel of the stream.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 484.

  • What did God request once the people had crossed the river? Joshua 4:1–5. Why do we need tangible reminders of God’s miracles? Revelation 12:11.

Note: “All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb.” Early Writings, 114.

“We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.


  • What was the purpose of the twelve stones that needed to be picked up from the midst of the Jordan’s dry riverbed? Joshua 4:6–10, 20–24.

Note: “Coming generations were not to be without a witness to this great miracle [of crossing the Jordan]. While the priests bearing the ark were still in the midst of Jordan, twelve men previously chosen, one from each tribe, took up each a stone from the river bed where the priests were standing, and carried it over to the western side. These stones were to be set up as a monument in the first camping place beyond the river.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 484.

  • What was the first thing that entered the river, and what was the last thing that came out? Joshua 3:15; 4:18. Why do we need to keep our eyes on the ark of God? Numbers 10:33.

Note: “In all the journeyings of Israel, ‘the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them, … to search out a resting place for them’ (Numbers 10:33). Borne by the sons of Kohath, the sacred chest containing God’s holy law was to lead the van. Before it went Moses and Aaron; and the priests, bearing silver trumpets, were stationed near. These priests received directions from Moses, which they communicated to the people by the trumpets. It was the duty of the leaders of each company to give definite directions concerning all the movements to be made, as indicated by the trumpets. Whoever neglected to comply with the directions given was punished with death.

“God is a God of order. Everything connected with heaven is in perfect order; subjection and thorough discipline mark the movements of the angelic host. Success can only attend order and harmonious action. God requires order and system in His work now no less than in the days of Israel. All who are working for Him are to labor intelligently, not in a careless, haphazard manner. He would have his work done with faith and exactness, that He may place the seal of His approval upon it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 375, 376.

  • Where was the communication center with God found among His ancient people? Exodus 25:21, 22. Through what Source do we have access to such a center today? I Thessalonians 5:17; Hebrews 4:16.


1 In their travels, upon what were the Israelites expected to keep their eye in order to be found faithful in every trying situation?

2 What was associated with the ark that made it so important?

3 What did God design to have the new generation experience as they entered the Promised Land through a miracle?

4 What is the purpose of erecting memorials or reminders of special events in our life?

5 If we want to be preserved, at what do we need to keep looking?

Extra Reading

“We need to keep the heart and mind in training, by refreshing the memory with the lessons that the Lord taught His ancient people. Then to us, as He designed it should be to them, the teachings of His Word will ever be interesting and impressive.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 994.

“Every deliverance, every blessing, that God in the past has granted to His people, should be kept fresh in memory’s hall as a sure pledge of further and richer, increasing blessings that He will bestow. The Lord’s blessings are adapted to the needs of His people.” Ibid., vol. 4, 1183.

“God permitted His ark to be taken by their [Israel’s] enemies [the Philistines] in the days of Eli, to show Israel how vain it was to trust in the ark, the symbol of His presence, while they were profaning the commandments contained in the ark. God would humble them by removing from them that sacred ark, their boasted strength and confidence.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 404.

“Israel trusted in the ark of God and worshipped it instead of the God which the ark represented. And the Lord removed from His people the symbol of His presence, the assurance to them of the presence and power of God. Then the Jewish nation no longer stood as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. They had forgotten their God, and were scattered into all parts of the world. Those who were loyal and steadfast and true in obedience to His commandments, the Lord favored. … Even in the land of their captivity was the Lord God revealed. For all who were faithful, wherever they were, the way was left open to approach God through prayer and supplication and heavenly communion.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 210.

“How few are aware that they have darling idols, that they have cherished sins! God sees these sins to which you may be blinded, and He works with His pruning knife to strike deep and separate these cherished sins from you. You all want to choose for yourselves the process of purification.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 543.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Pot of Manna Rejected

August 19, 2012 – August 25, 2012

Key Text

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Jeremiah 6:16.

Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 297, 452, 453, 19–22.


“True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful. There are few who realize as they should how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their character, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.


  • As God is the Maker of the human organism, what type of diet did He design for His masterpiece of creation? Genesis 1:29.

Note: “God gave our first parents the food He designed that the race should eat. It was contrary to His plan to have the life of any creature taken. There was to be no death in Eden. The fruit of the trees in the garden was the food man’s wants required.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 373.

“The diet appointed man in the beginning did not include animal food.” The Ministry of Healing, 311.

  • What types of food became necessary once sin entered this world? Genesis 3:18; Psalm 104:14.

Note: “Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 380.


  • When—and under what circumstances—did the use of flesh food begin to be allowed? Genesis 8:13–19; 9:3, 4. How did the human lifespan change after that time? Compare Genesis 9:29; 11:32; 25:7; Psalm 90:10.

Note: “Not till after the Flood, when every green thing on the earth had been destroyed, did man receive permission to eat flesh.” The Ministry of Healing, 311.

“After the Flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And He permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 373.

  • Even during that time of permissiveness, what items were strictly forbidden under any circumstances? Genesis 9:4, 5; Leviticus 3:17; 7:26, 27; Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25. Why?

Note: “Of the meats permitted, the eating of the fat and the blood was strictly forbidden.

“Only such animals could be used for food as were in good condition. No creature that was torn, that had died of itself, or from which the blood had not been carefully drained, could be used as food.” The Ministry of Healing, 312.

“The meat is served reeking with fat, because it suits the perverted taste. Both the blood and the fat of animals are consumed as a luxury. But the Lord gave special directions that these should not be eaten. Why? Because their use would make a diseased current of blood in the human system.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 393, 394.

  • In the wilderness, what was God attempting to restore among His people, and what were to be the results? Jeremiah 6:16, first part. What work is to be accomplished before Christ’s return? Isaiah 58:12; Acts 3:20, 21.

Note: “Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to his original design—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 380.


  • How did the Hebrews distinguish the types of flesh that were permitted as food from those that were forbidden for being very unhealthy? Leviticus 11:1–42; Deuteronomy 14:3–21.

Note: “The distinction between articles of food as clean and unclean was not a merely ceremonial and arbitrary regulation, but was based upon sanitary principles. To the observance of this distinction may be traced, in a great degree, the marvelous vitality which for thousands of years has distinguished the Jewish people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 562.

“Upon their settlement in Canaan, the Israelites were permitted the use of animal food, but under careful restrictions which tended to lessen the evil results. The use of swine’s flesh was prohibited, as also of other animals and of birds and fish whose flesh was pronounced unclean.” The Ministry of Healing, 311, 312.

  • How do we know that the use of flesh—even of the clean meats—was still displeasing to God and was never for the benefit of His chosen people—physically or spiritually? Compare Deuteronomy 12:20; Psalm 106:15.

Note: “The disregard for the Lord’s special directions has brought a variety of difficulties and diseases upon human beings. … If they introduce into their systems that which cannot make good flesh and blood, they must endure the results of their disregard of God’s word.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 394.

“By departing from the plan divinely appointed for their diet, the Israelites suffered great loss. They desired a flesh diet, and they reaped its results. They did not reach God’s ideal of character or fulfill His purpose. The Lord ‘gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.’ Psalm 106:15. They valued the earthly above the spiritual, and the sacred preeminence which was His purpose for them they did not attain.” The Ministry of Healing, 312.


  • What did the Israelites continually do with God’s plan symbolized by the pot of manna? Jeremiah 6:16, last part; Ezekiel 20:23, 24.

Note: “In choosing man’s food in Eden, the Lord showed what was the best diet; in the choice made for Israel He taught the same lesson. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt and undertook their training, that they might be a people for His own possession. Through them He desired to bless and teach the world. He provided them with the food best adapted for this purpose, not flesh, but manna, ‘the bread of heaven.’ It was only because of their discontent and their murmuring for the fleshpots of Egypt that animal food was granted them, and this only for a short time. Its use brought disease and death to thousands. Yet the restriction to a nonflesh diet was never heartily accepted. It continued to be the cause of discontent and murmuring, open or secret, and it was not made permanent.” The Ministry of Healing, 311.

  • As a result of Israel’s continual rejection of God’s plan, what item was the only one remaining in the Ark of the Covenant when Solomon’s temple was dedicated? I Kings 8:9; II Chronicles 5:10.
  • How are many modern Israelites repeating the mistake of ancient Israel? I Corinthians 10:6.

Note: “God gave the light on health reform, and those who rejected it rejected God. One and another who knew better said that it all came from Dr. Kellogg, and they made war upon him.” The Review and Herald, April 14, 1903.

“Flesh meat is not necessary for the health and strength of mind or body. If the Lord had not furnished all that is essential in the vegetable world, there would be an excuse for meat eating, but animals are now so diseased that it is now really dangerous; it is unclean to eat meat. Flesh meat formed no part of the food provided for man in the beginning. It was after the transgression and fall, when death was to be man’s portion, that God permitted that long lived race to eat the flesh of clean animals.” The Kress Collection, 21.


  • Although God tried to work with Israel even after they had rejected the pot of manna and kept only the tables of stone, how did they eventually react to the Ten Commandments themselves? Jeremiah 7:4–12; II Chronicles 36:15, 16.
  • As a result of the rejection of the Ten Commandments from the Ark of the Covenant, what did God finally do with the temple as well as the ark itself? Jeremiah 7:13–16; 25:7–11; II Chronicles 36:17–20.

Note: “Because of the sins of Israel, the calamity which God said should come upon the temple if His people departed from Him was fulfilled some hundreds of years after the temple was built. …

“Because of Israel’s transgression of the commandments of God, and their wicked acts, God suffered them to go into captivity, to humble and punish them. Before the temple was destroyed, God made known to a few of His faithful servants the fate of the temple, which was the pride of Israel, and which they regarded with idolatry, while they were sinning against God. He also revealed to them the captivity of Israel. These righteous men, just before the destruction of the temple, removed the sacred ark containing the tables of stone, and, with mourning and sadness, secreted it in a cave where it was to be hid from the people of Israel, because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hid. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 414.

  • What ray of hope was prophesied in that dark era? Malachi 4:5. Explain the twofold fulfillment of this prophecy. Matthew 17:11–13.

Note: “His [John’s] diet, purely vegetable, of locusts and wild honey, was a rebuke to the indulgence of appetite and the gluttony that everywhere prevailed. … Those who are to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ are represented by faithful Elijah, as John came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ’s first advent. The great subject of reform is to be agitated, and the public mind is to be stirred. Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 62.


1 What diet did God try to restore among the Israelites?

2 What is the difference between the clean and the unclean meats? What was forbidden to all generations?

3 How do we know that the people of Israel sinned by demanding flesh?

4 Because of the continual rejection of dietary reforms among the Hebrews, what was finally removed from the ark?

5 What eventually happened to the Ark of the Covenant itself as a result of continual rejection of the principles contained therein?

Extra Reading

“In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. ‘Behold,’ He said, ‘I have given you every herb yielding seed, … and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.’ Genesis 1:29, ARV. Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man received permission to eat also ‘the herb of the field.’ Genesis 3:18.

“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” The Ministry of Healing, 295, 296.

“Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body? How can they take the life of God’s creatures that they may consume the flesh as a luxury? Let them, rather, return to the wholesome and delicious food given to man in the beginning.” Ibid., 317.

“Although Christ was suffering the keenest pangs of hunger, He withstood the temptation. He repulsed Satan with the same scripture He had given Moses to repeat to rebellious Israel when their diet was restricted and they were clamoring for flesh meats in the wilderness, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ [Matthew 4:4]. In this declaration, and also by His example, Christ would show man that hunger for temporal food was not the greatest calamity that could befall him.” Confrontation, 43.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Pot of Manna

August 5, 2012 – August 11, 2012

Key Text

“There was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.” Hebrews 9:2–4.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 291–297; Early Writings, 32, 33.


“In the holiest I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was purest gold. … In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book.” Early Writings, 32.


  • What was one of the most important events in the history of Israel, and how was it commemorated each year? Exodus 12:11.

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.

  • How long did it take to go from Egypt to the wilderness of Sin (which is between Elim and Sinai)? Exodus 15:27; 16:1.

Note: “Here they [the people at Elim] remained several days before entering the wilderness of Sin. When they had been a month absent from Egypt, they made their first encampment in the wilderness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 292.


  • Arriving at their next major resting point, what was the very first thing the children of Israel began to do, showing their complete sense of insecurity? Exodus 16:2.

Note: “Their [the Israelites’] store of provisions had now begun to fail. There was scanty herbage in the wilderness, and their flocks were diminishing. How was food to be supplied for these vast multitudes? Doubts filled their hearts, and again they murmured. Even the rulers and elders of the people joined in complaining against the leaders of God’s appointment. …

“They had not as yet suffered from hunger; their present wants were supplied, but they feared for the future. They could not understand how these vast multitudes were to subsist in their travels through the wilderness, and in imagination they saw their children famishing. The Lord permitted difficulties to surround them, and their supply of food to be cut short, that their hearts might turn to Him who had hitherto been their Deliverer. If in their want they would call upon Him, He would still grant them manifest tokens of His love and care. He had promised that if they would obey His commandments, no disease should come upon them, and it was sinful unbelief on their part to anticipate that they or their children might die for hunger.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 292.

  • As we consider all the murmurings during the wilderness sojourn, who was the real target of such grumblings? If we murmur today, who is the real target of our complaints? Exodus 16:6–10.

Note: “God is displeased with the disposition that some have to murmur against those who have fought the heaviest battles for them, and who endured so much in the beginning of the message, when the work went hard. The experienced laborers—those who toiled under the weight and the oppressive burdens when there were but few to help bear them—God regards; and He has a jealous care for those who have proved faithful. He is displeased with those who are ready to find fault with and reproach the servants of God who have grown gray in building up the cause of present truth. Your reproaches and murmurings, young men, will surely stand against you in the day of God.” Gospel Workers, 318.


  • After only a month on their journey, what were the Israelites already lusting for, showing how controlling our evil desires can become? Exodus 16:3.

Note: “In Egypt their [the Israelites’] taste had become perverted. God designed to restore their appetite to a pure, healthy state, in order that they might enjoy the simple fruits that were given to Adam and Eve in Eden. He was about to establish them in a second Eden, a goodly land, where they might enjoy the fruits and grains that He would provide for them. He purposed to remove the feverish diet upon which they had subsisted in Egypt; for He wished them to be in perfect health and soundness when they entered the goodly land.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1102.

  • With what did God supply their needs and wants? Exodus 16:11–15. What should we learn from His step-by-step method of leading?

Note: “We cannot expect worldlings to accept at once that which our people have been years in learning. Even now there are many of our ministers who do not practice health reform, notwithstanding the light they have had. We cannot expect those who do not realize the need of abstemiousness in diet, who have had no practical experiences on this subject, to take at once the wide step between self-indulgence in eating and the most strenuous diet in health reform.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 288.

  • How long were quails provided? Is there a record of any negative results from eating flesh food at that time? Exodus 16:12.

Note: “At the giving of the manna, just before Israel reached Sinai, the Lord had granted them flesh in answer to their clamors; but it was furnished them for only one day.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 378.

“Murmuring and tumults had been frequent during the journey from the Red Sea to Sinai, but in pity for their ignorance and blindness God had not then visited the sin with judgments.” Ibid., 379.


  • What was the manna like, how long was it to be used, and why? Numbers 11:7–9; Exodus 16:35; Joshua 5:10–12.

Note: “For forty years they [the children of Israel] were daily reminded by this miraculous provision, of God’s unfailing care and tender love.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 297.

  • What was the main purpose of this miraculous provision? Exodus 16:4, last part; Psalm 105:45; James 1:2–4, 12.

Note: “God’s children are always being tested in the furnace of affliction. If they endure the first trial, it is not necessary for them to pass through a similar ordeal the second time; but if they fail, the trial is brought to them again and again, each time being still more trying and severe. …

“Sorrow and trial must come to all, and is beautiful only as it works to polish, to sanctify, and refine the soul as a fit instrument to do service for the Lord.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1146.

  • How was this a test on the seventh-day Sabbath? Exodus 16:5, 16–20, 22–26.

Note: “A threefold miracle was wrought in honor of the Sabbath, even before the law was given on Sinai. A double quantity of manna fell on the sixth day, none upon the Sabbath, and the portion needed for the Sabbath was preserved sweet and pure, when if any were kept over at any other time, it became unfit for food. Here is conclusive evidence that the Sabbath was instituted at creation.” The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1884.

  • How does this experience show that the children of Israel already understood the law before reaching Mount Sinai? Exodus 16:27–30.


  • Because of God’s monumental miracle in the dry desert, what did He give for a continual reminder of His miraculous provisions? Exodus 16:32, 33.
  • Where was this pot of manna placed? How then are we to consider healthful diet in relation to the Decalogue? Exodus 16:34; Hebrews 9:3, 4.

Note: “In the holiest I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was purest gold. … In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book.” Early Writings, 32.

“In the ark, beneath where the angels’ wings were spread, was a golden pot of Manna, of a yellowish cast; and I saw a rod, which Jesus said was Aaron’s; I saw it bud, blossom, and bear fruit. Numbers 17:8.” A Word to the Little Flock, 16.

  • What does this manna preservation also tell us about our obligation to heed the instructions relating to the Sabbath? Exodus 16:23.

Note: “The Lord is no less particular now in regard to His Sabbath, than when He gave the foregoing special directions to the children of Israel. He required them to bake that which they would bake, and seethe (that is, boil) that which they would seethe, on the sixth day, preparatory to the rest of the Sabbath. Those who neglect to prepare for the Sabbath on the sixth day, and who cook food upon the Sabbath, violate the fourth commandment and are transgressors of God’s law. All who are really anxious to observe the Sabbath according to the commandment, will not cook any food upon the Sabbath. They will, in the fear of that God who gave His law from Sinai, deny themselves, and eat food prepared upon the sixth day, even if it is not so palatable. God forbade the children of Israel baking and boiling upon the Sabbath. That prohibition should be regarded by every Sabbath-keeper, as a solemn injunction from Jehovah to them. The Lord would guard His people from indulging in gluttony upon the Sabbath, which He has set apart for sacred meditation and worship.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 225, 226.


1 Why does insecurity over the future too often trigger fear in us, causing us to murmur against God and His chosen leaders?

2 How long was flesh given, compared to manna?

3 How does God lead people in progressive steps of reform?

4 What does the manna experience teach us about Sabbath keeping?

5 What should we learn from the fact that the manna was placed in the ark?

Extra Reading

“Many look back to the Israelites, and marvel at their unbelief and murmuring, feeling that they themselves would not have been so ungrateful; but when their faith is tested, even by little trials, they manifest no more faith or patience than did ancient Israel. … Though their present needs are supplied, many are unwilling to trust God for the future, and they are in constant anxiety lest poverty shall come upon them, and their children shall be left to suffer. Some are always anticipating evil or magnifying the difficulties that really exist, so that their eyes are blinded to the many blessings which demand their gratitude.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 293.

“God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: ‘God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.’ Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: ‘They are joined to their idols, let them alone’ [Hosea 4:17], and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 187.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Two Laws

July 29, 2012 – August 4, 2012

The People of the Ark

Key Text

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 363–373.


“[Galatians 3:24 quoted.] … The Holy Spirit through the apostle [Paul] is speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 234.


  • What was one of the purposes for which Jesus came into the world? From what does He save us? Matthew 1:21. How can we recognize sin in our life? Romans 3:20; 7:7, 12; Psalm 19:7.

Note: “It was because the law was changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross.” The Desire of Ages, 763.

“By His [Christ’s] perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.

“Without the law, men have no just conception of the purity and holiness of God or of their own guilt and uncleanness. They have no true conviction of sin and feel no need of repentance.” The Great Controversy, 468.

  • How did Christ relate to the moral law? Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17–20, 27, 28; Luke 16:17, 18. What did Paul write about the moral law? Romans 2:12, 13, 17, 21–27; 3:31; 8:7.

Note: “Satan is seeking to destroy the force of the Ten Commandments, urging his agents to declare that Christ nailed them to His cross. The cross is an immutable argument of the unchangeable character of the law of God. Christ died in order that a way might be provided for saving the sinner, in meeting the demands of the broken law.” The Signs of the Times, March 12, 1896.


  • Which law is called “a schoolmaster,” and why? Galatians 3:24.

Note: “When the mind is drawn to the cross of Calvary, Christ by imperfect sight is discerned on the shameful cross. Why did He die? In consequence of sin. What is sin? The transgression of the law. Then the eyes are open to see the character of sin. The law is broken but cannot pardon the transgressor. It is our schoolmaster, condemning to punishment. Where is the remedy? The law drives us to Christ, who was hanged upon the cross that He might be able to impart His righteousness to fallen, sinful man.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 341.

“What law is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ? I answer: Both the ceremonial and the moral code of ten commandments.

“Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. The death of Abel was in consequence of Cain’s refusing to accept God’s plan in the school of obedience to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ typified by the sacrificial offerings pointing to Christ. Cain refused the shedding of blood which symbolized the blood of Christ to be shed for the world. This whole ceremony was prepared by God, and Christ became the foundation of the whole system. This is the beginning of its work as the schoolmaster to bring sinful human agents to a consideration of Christ the Foundation of the whole Jewish economy.

“All who did service in connection with the sanctuary were being educated constantly in regard to the intervention of Christ in behalf of the human race. This service was designed to create in every heart a love for the law of God, which is the law of His kingdom. The sacrificial offering was to be an object lesson of the love of God revealed in Christ—in the suffering, dying victim, who took upon Himself the sin of which man was guilty, the innocent being made sin for us.” Ibid., 233.

  • What does the Bible say about the ceremonial law? Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 10:1.

Note: “The ceremonial law was to answer a particular purpose in Christ’s plan for the salvation of the race. The typical system of sacrifices and offerings was established that through these services the sinner might discern the great offering, Christ.” The Faith I Live By, 106.


  • Why did the ceremonial law—the shadow of future things—come to an end? Colossians 2:16, 17, 20; Hebrews 10:4; 9:11, 12, 15.

Note: “There are many who try to blend these two [legal] systems, using the texts that speak of the ceremonial law to prove that the moral law has been abolished; but this is a perversion of the Scriptures. The distinction between the two systems is broad and clear. The ceremonial system was made up of symbols pointing to Christ, to His sacrifice and His priesthood. This ritual law, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be performed by the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Then all the sacrificial offerings were to cease. It is this law that Christ ‘took … out of the way, nailing it to His cross.’ Colossians 2:14.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 365.

“God’s people, whom He calls His peculiar treasure, were privileged with a two fold system of law; the moral and the ceremonial. The one, pointing back to creation to keep in remembrance the living God who made the world, whose claims are binding upon all men in every dispensation, and which will exist through all time and eternity. The other, given because of man’s transgression of the moral law, the obedience to which consisted in sacrifices and offerings pointing to the future redemption. Each is clear and distinct from the other.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1094.

  • Who was among the first to offer an animal sacrifice, and what did this represent? Hebrews 11:4; John 1:29; Hebrews 9:28.

Note: “The typical service and the ceremonies connected with it were abolished at the cross. The great antitypical Lamb of God had become an offering for guilty man, and the shadow ceased in the substance.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1061.

“Our Saviour, in His life and death, fulfilled all the prophecies pointing to Himself, and was the substance of all the types and shadows signified.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 231.


  • Why were animal sacrifices required? Hebrews 9:22; 10:10–14.

Note: “In the plan of redemption there must be the shedding of blood, for death must come in consequence of man’s sin. The beasts for sacrificial offerings were to prefigure Christ. In the slain victim, man was to see the fulfillment for the time being of God’s word, ‘Ye shall surely die’ [Genesis 2:17]. And the flowing of the blood from the victim would also signify an atonement.” The Review and Herald, March 3, 1874.

“The sacrificial offerings were ordained by God to be to man a perpetual reminder and a penitential acknowledgment of his sin and a confession of his faith in the promised Redeemer. They were intended to impress upon the fallen race the solemn truth that it was sin that caused death.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 68.

  • After the children of Israel had suffered under bondage in Egypt, what special service was introduced to be more specific in the representation of Jesus Christ? Leviticus 23:5; I Corinthians 5:7, 8.

Note: “It was Christ’s desire to leave to His disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed—that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1139, 1140.

“He [Christ] kept the moral law, and exalted it by answering its claims as man’s representative. Those of Israel who turned to the Lord, and accepted Christ as the reality shadowed forth by the typical sacrifices, discerned the end of that which was to be abolished.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 231.

  • What was the blood of animals unable to accomplish? Hebrews 7:19; 10:4. How only is complete cleansing obtained? Acts 4:12.


  • On many occasions in the history of the Jewish nation, what was so very difficult for them to understand? Isaiah 1:11–15. Why? Isaiah 1:6. What did the early Christians therefore understand?

Note: “The Jews had prided themselves upon their divinely appointed services; and they concluded that as God once specified the Hebrew manner of worship, it was impossible that He should ever authorize a change in any of its specifications. They decided that Christianity must connect itself with the Jewish laws and ceremonies. They were slow to discern to the end of that which had been abolished by the death of Christ, and to perceive that all their sacrificial offerings had but prefigured the death of the Son of God, in which type had met its antitype rendering valueless the divinely appointed ceremonies and sacrifices of the Jewish religion. …

“He [Paul] knew that the typical ceremonies must soon altogether cease, since that which they had shadowed forth had come to pass, and the light of the gospel was shedding its glory upon the Jewish religion, giving a new significance to its ancient rites.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 64, 65.

“[In Acts 15:13–29]. It was his [the apostle James’] sentence that the ceremonial law, and especially the ordinance of circumcision, be not in any wise urged upon the Gentiles, or even recommended to them.” Ibid., 69.

  • While the Jews used the sacrificial system as a license to sin, what type of sacrifices was God really seeking? Psalm 51:17–19; Isaiah 1:16–18.

Note: “Paul did not bind himself nor his converts to the ceremonies and customs of the Jews, with their varied forms, types, and sacrifices; for he recognized that the perfect and final offering had been made in the death of the Son of God. The age of clearer light and knowledge had now come. And although the early education of Paul had blinded his eyes to this light, and led him to bitterly oppose the work of God, yet the revelation of Christ to him while on his way to Damascus had changed the whole current of his life. His character and works had now become a remarkable illustration of those of his divine Lord. His teaching led the mind to a more active spiritual life, that carried the believer above mere ceremonies. …

“He preached the cross of Christ.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 105.


1 Why do we need to have a clear understanding of the principles of the Ten Commandments?

2 Why did the death of Christ make the entire ceremonial law no longer valid?

3 What are we actually doing if we continue to keep the ceremonial law—including the Passover—after the crucifixion?

4 Whose blood do we need in order to have actual cleansing from sin?

5 Because there are statutes directly connected to the ceremonial law, as well as to the moral law, which ones are we to study and implement today?

Extra Reading

“The Jews had become familiar with the offering of blood, and had almost lost sight of the fact that it was sin which made necessary all this shedding of the blood of beasts. They did not discern that it prefigured the blood of God’s dear Son, which was to be shed for the life of the world.” The Desire of Ages, 589, 590.

“The moral law was never a type or a shadow. It existed before man’s creation, and will endure as long as God’s throne remains. God could not change nor alter one precept of His law in order to save man; for the law is the foundation of His government. It is unchangeable, unalterable, infinite, and eternal. In order for man to be saved, and for the honor of the law to be maintained, it was necessary for the Son of God to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He died for us on Calvary. His death shows the wonderful love of God for man, and the immutability of His law.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 239, 240.

“The Sabbath commandment was not nailed to the cross. If it was, the other nine commandments were; and we are at liberty to break them all, as well as to break the fourth. I saw that God had not changed the Sabbath, for He never changes.” Early Writings, 33.

“After Christ died on the cross as a sin offering, the ceremonial law could have no force. Yet it was connected with the moral law, and was glorious. The whole bore the stamp of divinity, and expressed the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God. And if the ministration of the dispensation to be done away was glorious, how much more must the reality be glorious, when Christ was revealed, giving His life-giving sanctifying Spirit to all who believe?” Lift Him Up, 147.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Modern Pot of Manna

August 26, 2012 – September 1, 2012

The People of the Ark

Key Text

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” Revelation 11:19.

Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 311–317.


“The light that God has given and will continue to give on the food question is to be to His people today what the manna was to the children of Israel.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 269.


  • What is one of the first points of truth to be accepted near the beginning of one’s Christian experience? III John 2; Galatians 5:22, 23.

Note: “When the message comes to those who have not heard the truth for this time, they see that a great reformation must take place in their diet. They see that they must put away flesh food, because it creates an appetite for liquor, and fills the system with disease. By meat eating, the physical, mental, and moral powers are weakened.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 268, 269.

“Discard everything detrimental to health. Use simple, wholesome food. Fruit is excellent, and saves much cooking. Discard rich pastries, cakes, desserts, and the other dishes prepared to tempt the appetite. Eat fewer kinds of food at one meal, and eat with thanksgiving.” Medical Ministry, 274.

  • Why does health reform play such an active and important part in one’s life as a believer? I Corinthians 3:16, 17.

Note: “There are but few as yet who are aroused sufficiently to understand how much their habits of diet have to do with their health, their characters, their usefulness in this world, and their eternal destiny.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 488, 489.


  • What prophecy speaks about the ark of the covenant being restored once again to the true people of God? Where is this ark at the present time, and what is found inside it? Revelation 11:18, 19; Hebrews 9:3, 4, 23, 24.

Note: “The Lord gave me the following view in 1847. …

“In the holiest I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was purest gold. On each end of the ark was a lovely cherub, with its wings spread out over it. Their faces were turned toward each other, and they looked downward. Between the angels was a golden censer. Above the ark, where the angels stood, was an exceeding bright glory, that appeared like a throne where God dwelt. Jesus stood by the ark, and as the saints’ prayers came up to Him, the incense in the censer would smoke, and He would offer up their prayers with the smoke of the incense to His Father. In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book.” Early Writings, 32.

  • Once God entrusts the ark to a people, are they guaranteed to keep it forever no matter what they do? Romans 11:17–24.

Note: “It may be that erelong all prophesyings among us will be at an end, and the voice which has stirred the people may no longer disturb their carnal slumbers.

“When God shall work His strange work on the earth, when holy hands bear the ark no longer, woe will be upon the people. Oh, that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace! Oh, that our people may, as did Nineveh, repent with all their might and believe with all their heart, that God may turn away His fierce anger from them.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 77, 78.

  • What promise can give us a constant assurance that God will always have a people to bear the ark? Romans 9:27; 11:1–5.

Note: “Satan has laid every measure possible that nothing shall come among us as a people to reprove and rebuke us, and exhort us to put away our errors. But there is a people who will bear the ark of God. Some will go out from among us who will bear the ark no longer. But these cannot make walls to obstruct the truth; for it will go onward and upward to the end.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 411.


  • What day are we living in as we approach the close of time? Isaiah 22:12, 20, 22; Revelation 3:7.

Note: “None [those who had studied the subject of the sanctuary] could fail to see that if the earthly sanctuary was a figure or pattern of the heavenly, the law deposited in the ark on earth was an exact transcript of the law in the ark in heaven; and that an acceptance of the truth concerning the heavenly sanctuary involved an acknowledgment of the claims of God’s law and the obligation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Here was the secret of the bitter and determined opposition to the harmonious exposition of the Scriptures that revealed the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. Men sought to close the door which God had opened, and to open the door which He had closed. But ‘He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth,’ had declared: ‘Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.’ Revelation 3:7, 8. Christ had opened the door, or ministration, of the most holy place.” The Great Controversy, 435.

  • What practice on that specific day provides insight on how to observe the antitypical day of atonement? Leviticus 23:28, 29.

Note: “The true fasting which should be recommended to all is abstinence from every stimulating kind of food, and the proper use of wholesome, simple food, which God has provided in abundance.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 90.

  • What will happen to those who, knowing the light, persist in eating flesh in the antitypical day of atonement? Isaiah 22:13, 14; (Leviticus 23:27–30; Psalm 106:14, 15).

Note: “It has been clearly presented to me that God’s people are to take a firm stand against meat eating. Would God for thirty years give His people the message that if they desire to have pure blood and clear minds, they must give up the use of flesh meat, if He did not want them to heed this message? By the use of flesh meats the animal nature is strengthened and the spiritual nature weakened.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 383.


  • What kind of ministry do we need to prepare a people to face the final crisis of this world’s history? Ezekiel 44:23.

Note: “Only those who appreciate these principles, and have been trained to care for their bodies intelligently and in the fear of God, should be chosen to take responsibilities in this work. Those who have been long in the truth, yet who cannot distinguish between the pure principles of righteousness and the principles of evil, whose understanding in regard to justice, mercy, and the love of God is clouded, should be relieved of responsibilities. Every church needs a clear, sharp testimony, giving the trumpet a certain sound.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 375.

“God calls at this time for laborers whose interests are fully identified with His work and His cause. The ministers engaged in this work must be energized by the spirit and power of the truths they preach, and then they will have an influence. The people will seldom rise higher than their minister.” Ibid., vol. 2, 645.

“For every offense committed against the laws of health, the transgressor must pay the penalty in his own body.” Ibid., vol. 4, 409.

“We have been given the work of advancing health reform. …

“Beware how you place yourself in opposition to the work of health reform. It will go forward; for it is the Lord’s means of lessening the suffering in our world, and of purifying His people.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 38.

  • Is it possible to faithfully lead God’s people without leading by example? Leviticus 10:8–11; I Corinthians 11:1.

Note: “No man should be set apart as a teacher of the people while his own teaching or example contradicts the testimony God has given His servants to bear in regard to diet, for this will bring confusion. His disregard of health reform unfits him to stand as the Lord’s messenger.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 378.

“A reformation is needed among the people, but it should first begin its purifying work with the ministers. …

“One important part of the work of the ministry is to faithfully present to the people the health reform as it stands connected with the third angel’s message as part and parcel of the same work. They should not fail to adopt it themselves, and should urge it upon all who profess to believe the truth.” Ibid., vol. 1, 469, 470.


  • What type of dietary practices are needed by the faithful as a whole before the second coming of Jesus? I Corinthians 9:25–27.

Note: “Had they [the Israelites] been willing to deny appetite in obedience to His [God’s] restrictions, feebleness and disease would have been unknown among them. Their descendants would have possessed physical and mental strength. They would have had clear perceptions of truth and duty, keen discrimination, and sound judgment. But they were unwilling to submit to God’s requirements, and they failed to reach the standard He had set for them, and to receive the blessings that might have been theirs.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 378.

“Every careless action, any abuse put upon the wonderful mechanism by disregarding [God’s] specified laws of the human habitation is a violation of God’s law. This law embraces the treatment of the entire being.” Healthful Living, 20.

“Adam fell by the indulgence of appetite; Christ overcame by the denial of appetite. And our only hope of regaining Eden is through firm self-control.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 167.

“Again and again I have been shown that God is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it. I cannot think that in the practice of flesh eating we are in harmony with the light which God has been pleased to give us. All who are connected with our health institutions especially should be educating themselves to subsist on fruits, grains, and vegetables.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 119.

  • What type of character does this translation diet foster? Ephesians 5:26, 27.

Note: “It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 400.

“Men need to think less about what they shall eat and drink, of temporal food, and much more in regard to the food from heaven, that will give tone and vitality to the whole religious experience.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 90.


1 What is the relationship between one’s diet and spirituality?

2 As the people of God have entered the final period of the Christian era, what has been preserved in heaven to guide them during this time?

3 What restriction was placed on Israel on the Day of Atonement? How are we to fulfill its antitype today?

4 In order for true reformation to succeed, where must it begin?

5 How does our diet prepare us for translation to our heavenly home?

Extra Reading

“The unbelief and murmurings of the children of Israel illustrate the people of God now upon the earth. Many look back to them, and marvel at their unbelief and continual murmurings, after the Lord had done so much for them, in giving them repeated evidences of His love and care for them. They think that they should not have proved ungrateful. But some who thus think, murmur and repine at things of less consequence. They do not know themselves. God frequently proves them, and tries their faith in small things; and they do not endure the trial any better than did ancient Israel.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 223.

“Those who indulge appetite … need to wake up and reason from cause to effect. They need to realize that they are disease producers because of their ignorance upon the subject of proper eating, drinking, and dressing.” Temperance, 196.

“Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. Many idols are worshipped, even by professed Sabbathkeepers. God especially charged His ancient people to guard against idolatry, for if they should be led away from serving the living God, His curse would rest upon them, while if they would love Him with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might, He would abundantly bless them in basket and in store, and would remove sickness from the midst of them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 609.

“In the past God has raised up men, and He still has men of opportunity waiting, prepared to do His bidding—men who will go through restrictions which are only as walls daubed with untempered mortar. When God puts His Spirit upon men, they will work. They will proclaim the word of the Lord; they will lift up their voice like a trumpet. The truth will not be diminished or lose its power in their hands. They will show the people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 411.

“Our God is a jealous God, He will have a clean, pure and holy people.” The Review and Herald, June 12, 1855.

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.