Question – Why do I have to change?


The Bible says God accepts you where you are.  If that is true, then why do I have to change?


Yes, God does accept you as and where you are. As sinners, we have no way to change ourselves for the better so that we can come to Him ready for heaven. But this does not mean that we should believe that God does not require a change of heart. He does not leave us where He found us.

“The religion of Christ never degrades the receiver; it ennobles and elevates. Upon certain conditions we are assured that we may become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. … Through faith in Christ, and obedience to the requirements of His law, we are offered a life that shall run parallel with the life of God.” The Review and Herald, May 5, 1891

“Transformation of heart means an entire change of the entire man. ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,’ Christ declared (John 3:3). This change of heart is unseen; for it is an inward work, and yet, it is seen, because it works outward from within.

“Has the leaven of truth been at work in your heart? Has it absorbed the whole heart, the whole affections by its sanctifying power? …

“Our first work is with our own hearts. The true principles of reform should be practiced. The heart must be converted and sanctified else we have no connection with Christ.” This Day With God, 48

“When Jesus speaks of the new heart, He means the mind, the life, the whole being. To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ. To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives. What is the sign of a new heart?—A changed life.” Our High Calling, 159

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” Psalm 51:7, 9–11

Bible Study Guides – God’s New World Order

September 22–28, 2002

MEMORY VERSE: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Isaiah 65:17.

SUGGESTED READING: The Great Controversy, 662–678; Prophets and Kings, 729–733.

INTRODUCTION: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. . . . And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:1, 2.

“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:23.

“Between the school established in Eden at the beginning and the school of the hereafter there lies the whole compass of this world’s history—the history of human transgression and suffering, of divine sacrifice, and of victory over death and sin. Not all the conditions of that first school of Eden will be found in the school of the future life. No tree of knowledge of good and evil will afford opportunity for temptation. No tempter is there, no possibility of wrong. Every character has withstood the testing of evil, and none are longer susceptible to its power.” Education, 301.

1 For what purpose did God originally create the earth? Isaiah 45:18.

NOTE: “In the creation it was His purpose that the earth be inhabited by beings whose existence should be a blessing to themselves and to one another, and an honor to their Creator. All who will may identify themselves with this purpose. Of them it is spoken, ‘This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise.’ Isaiah 43:21.” Education, 173.

2 What events will bring to an end the present world order? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; Revelation 20:5, 9; 2 Peter 3:9–12.

NOTE: “Christ is coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory. He will come to honor those who have loved Him, and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them nor His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when ‘the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’ 1 Corinthians 15:52. A little longer, and we shall see the King in His beauty. A little longer, and He will wipe all tears from our eyes. A little longer, and He will present us ‘faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.’ Jude 24. Wherefore, when He gave the signs of His coming He said, ‘When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.’” The Desire of Ages, 632.

3 What are we told about God’s new world order? 2 Peter 3:13; Matthew 5:5; Proverbs 11:31. Compare Isaiah 65:17.

NOTE: “The meek ‘shall inherit the earth.’ It was through the desire for self-exaltation that sin entered into the world, and our first parents lost the dominion over this fair earth, their kingdom. It is through self-abnegation that Christ redeems what was lost. And He says we are to overcome as He did. Revelation 3:21. Through humility and self-surrender we may become heirs with Him when ‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’ Psalm 37:11.

“The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. [2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:3 quoted.]

“There is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, I am sick; there are no burial trains, no mourning, no death, no partings, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there. There ‘they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them.’ Isaiah 49:10.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 17.

4 Why is it impossible to adequately describe the new heaven and earth? 1 Corinthians 2:9.

NOTE: “Paul had a view of heaven, and in discoursing on the glories there, the very best thing he could do was to not try to describe them. He tells us that eye had not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for those that love Him. So you may put your imagination to the stretch, you may try to the very best of your abilities to take in and consider the eternal weight of glory, and yet your finite senses, faint and weary with the effort, cannot grasp it, for there is an infinity beyond. It takes all of eternity to unfold the glories and bring out the precious treasures of the Word of God.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 73.

5 What was Isaiah inspired to tell us about the new earth? Isaiah 65:17–19; 35:1, 2.

NOTE: “In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called a country. There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord.

“The grass will be a living green, and will never wither. There will be roses and lilies and all kinds of flowers there. They will never blight or fade or lose their beauty and fragrance.” My Life Today, 354.

6 In what activities will the saints participate in heaven? Isaiah 65:21, 22.

NOTE: “In the earth made new the redeemed will engage in the occupations and pleasures that brought happiness to Adam and Eve in the beginning. The Eden life will be lived, the life in garden and field. [Isaiah 65:21, 22 quoted.]

“There every power will be developed, every capability increased. The grandest enterprises will be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations will be reached, the highest ambitions realized. And still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of body and mind and soul.” The Adventist Home, 549.

7 How does the prophet Isaiah describe living conditions in the new earth? Isaiah 65:23, 24; 32:18; 33:24.

NOTE: “In the City of God ‘there shall be no night.’ None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close. ‘And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.’ Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the Holy City with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day.” The Great Controversy, 676.

“Christ came to restore to its original loveliness a world ruined by sin. . . . In the new earth there will be no sin nor disease. . . . And the body will be restored to its original perfection. We shall wear the spotless image of our Lord. . . .” My Life Today, 153.

8 Where will God’s dwelling place be and how is it described? Revelation 21:1–4; 22:1–5.

NOTE: “God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. . . .

“God created the earth to be the abode of holy, happy beings. That purpose will be fulfilled when, renewed by the power of God and freed from sin and sorrow, it shall become the eternal home of the redeemed.” The Adventist Home, 540.

“There is the New Jerusalem, ‘having the glory of God,’ her light ‘like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.’ Revelation 21:11. Saith the Lord, ‘I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.’ Isaiah 65:19.” The Story of Redemption, 431.

9 How will the regular system of worship be carried on in the new earth? Isaiah 66:22, 23.

NOTE: “The nations of the saved will know no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy. . . .

“So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun.” My Life Today, 364.

10 Who are the people who will be with Christ when He overcomes the beast power? Revelation 17:12–14.

NOTE: “Communion with Christ—how unspeakably precious! Such communion it is our privilege to enjoy if we will seek it, if we will make any sacrifice to secure it. When the early disciples heard the words of Christ, they felt their need of Him. They sought, they found, they followed Him. They were with Him in the house, at the table, in the closet, in the field. They were with Him as pupils with a teacher, daily receiving from His lips lessons of holy truth. They looked to Him as servants to their master, to learn their duty. They served Him cheerfully, gladly. They followed Him, as soldiers follow their commander, fighting the good fight of faith. ‘And they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 223.

11 Through what relationship do we inherit the promises made to God’s faithful followers? Romans 8:14, 17.

NOTE: “We are children of the heavenly King, members of the royal family, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. The mansions Jesus has gone to prepare are to receive only those who are true, who are pure, who love and obey His words. . . . If we would enjoy eternal bliss, we must cultivate religion in the home. . . . Peace, harmony, affection, and happiness should be perseveringly cherished every day, until these precious things abide in the hearts of those who compose the family.

“That which will make the character lovely in the home is that which will make it lovely in the heavenly mansions.” The Faith I Live By, 279.

12 How do we become heirs to heaven? Galatians 3:29; 2:20; Philippians 4:13.

NOTE: “Now is the time to receive grace and strength and power to combine with our human efforts that we can form characters for everlasting life. When we do this we will find that the angels of God will minister unto us, and we shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. And when the last trump shall sound, and the dead shall be called from their prison house and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the crowns of immortal glory shall be placed upon the heads of the overcomers. The pearly gates will swing back for the nations that have kept the truth and they will enter in. The conflict is ended.” In Heavenly Places, 369.

13 What assuring promises are given to those who seek this eternal inheritance? 1 John 3:1–3.

NOTE: “God regards us as His children. He has redeemed us out of the careless world and has chosen us to become members of the royal family, sons and daughters of the heavenly King. He invites us to trust in Him with a trust deeper and stronger than that of a child in his earthly father. Parents love their children, but the love of God is larger, broader, deeper, than human love can possibly be. It is immeasurable. Then if earthly parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more shall our Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 142.

14 What will bring the greatest satisfaction to the redeemed? Revelation 22:4.

NOTE: “Only by looking to Jesus, the Lamb of God, and following in His steps, can you prepare to meet God. Follow Him, and you will one day walk the golden streets of the city of God. You will see Him who laid aside His royal garments and His kingly crown, and disguising Himself with humanity, came to our world and bore our sins, that He might lift us up and give us a revelation of His glory and majesty. We shall see Him face to face if we now give ourselves up to be molded and fashioned by Him and prepared for a place in the kingdom of God.

“Those who consecrate their lives to the service of God will live with Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. ‘God himself shall be with them, and be their God’ (Revelation 21:3). . . .

“Their minds were given to God in this world; they served Him with their heart and intellect, and now He can put His name in their foreheads. ‘And there shall be no night there; . . . for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever’ (Revelation 22:5). They do not go in as those that beg a place there, for Christ says to them, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ (Matthew 25:34). He takes them as His children, saying, Enter ye into the joy of your Lord. The crown of immortality is placed on the brow of the overcomers. They take their crowns and cast them at the feet of Jesus, and touching their golden harps, they fill all heaven with rich music in songs of praise to the Lamb. Then ‘they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.’” That I May Know Him, 364.

Take Heed Lest You Fall, Part I

In 1 Corinthians 10:12, we read, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” You know, the devil would like people to become self-secure, to feel comfortable and satisfied. The Laodicean message attempts to shake people out of that feeling. God does not have to exaggerate to do it; it is a true message. There were some churches, as you know, about which God had nothing negative to say. But the last church has a special tendency to temptation—believing that, because they know “truth” or because they have more light than people of previous ages, they somehow are “good.” But Paul has a warning, and it is, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

I have always been interested in what Paul thought about himself. He said, “I am the chief of sinners.” (1 Timothy 1:15.) After preaching to others, he commented, “I have to keep myself under subjection lest I should be a castaway after helping other people to be saved.” (1 Corinthians 9:27.) In another place, he said, “Forgetting those things which are behind, I press forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13, 14.) It is so easy for us to reach the point where we are feeling pretty good about ourselves, but Paul says, “Take heed when you think you are standing. You may think you have the truth; you may think you are in the right church; take heed, lest you fall.” You may claim to be saved, or think you are saved, or know the time and date that you were saved. You may be planning on standing with the saved, but Paul says to “take heed lest you fall.”

Who is Able to Stand?

Revelation 6:14–17 tells about some people who were standing and what is going to happen to many people who once stood: “The sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’ ”

Who then is able to stand? David tells us, in Psalm 24:4, that only he who has clean hands and a pure heart. Only he, as it is told in Revelation 14, who is without fault before the throne of God, who is clothed with the robe of righteousness. We read in Revelation and in Hebrews 12:25–29 about how the earth is going to be shaken. It says, “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.” That is the Holy Spirit, of course. That is the Lord through His holy word. Do not refuse Him who speaks. We are told in Proverbs 28:9 that he “who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer [is] an abomination.”

At times the Lord may send people to us, and we may turn away from these people, because we think they do not come in the right spirit, or they do not say things right or do things right. Have you ever thought about the people who were swimming around the ark and all of the excuses they had for not going inside the ark? Noah was too harsh, or he was too negative, or he used the Spirit of prophecy in a wrong way. They all had their reasons, but it did not matter. They were all swimming out there with one another.

Paul warned, “Do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more [shall we not escape] if we turn away from Him who [speaks] from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, [‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’] Now this, [‘Yet once more,’] indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God [is] a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:25–29. The Bible says that everything that can be shaken will be shaken.

Rooted and Grounded

We try so hard to win souls. That is a work God has given to us. We plant the seeds, and we try to help everyone to be in heaven. We want to help our spouses, our children, our church members, our Sabbath School members, the person on the street, the person for whom we work. We want to help everyone who will listen to be in heaven. We want to help all to accept the free grace, the free gift of eternal life that Jesus has promised, but after people accept this gift, God requires them to grow and their roots have to go down deep.

Do you remember the parable that Jesus gave about sowing seeds and how some seeds sprung up quickly but they had no roots, and when the wind, the storm, and the blasting heat came, they were uprooted? They withered and were destroyed. That represents everyone who hears the word and allows other things to crowd it out and who do not become rooted and grounded. The Lord is looking for new converts. He is looking for new people who have never before heard the gospel. He is looking for children; He is looking for adults, but He wants everyone to send their roots down deep and to become rooted and grounded.

Are You Secure?

None of us are standing very secure, if we have not grown some over the last month, over the last two months, over the last year. If we are still losing our tempers, as we were a year ago, we are on shaky ground. If we are still becoming impatient, if we are still becoming irritable, if we are still falling into the same sins that we have been falling into time and time again, we are on shaky ground. We need to be overcoming; we need to be falling on the Rock and being broken. There is coming a time, before Jesus returns, when everybody who has been a Christian, but who has not been growing, is going to be shaken out of the faith.

Only those who have deep roots are going to stand. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. I have asked people, Is there anything that could get you to turn away from the Lord, anything at all in the world? Is there a sickness, a death, a discouragement, financial difficulty, or prosperity—anything that could cause you to lose your hold on the Lord? Lack of friends or good friends turning against you or rumors or character defamation or anything? Is there anything that could get you to turn away from the Lord? Are there people in whom you put great confidence that, if they turn against you or lose their faith, could cause you to lose your faith? Is there anything that could cause you to turn away from the Lord?

We may not know, of course. We may have a lot more confidence in ourselves than what the Lord has. He may see things we do not. But if there is anything that could cause you to be lost, Satan is going to try to tempt you on that point. There is coming a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and when that day comes, it will be too late to become rooted so we cannot be shaken.

Do you remember when the bridegroom came and all of the virgins awoke? (Matthew 25.) How much time did they have then to go and get extra oil? No time; it was too late. Now is the time we have—the only time we have—to be overcoming our besetting sins.

Idol Worship

Look at 1 Corinthians 10:12 and 14. It says, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” Paul is here writing to Christians. They were not worshipping idols anymore. It is interesting that from then until now, except for paganism and some cultures, the devil does not tempt people with literal idols anymore. The Catholic Church still has idols, and in Africa there are places with idols, but for the most part, the devil does not tempt Protestants with idols. Have you ever been tempted to kneel down and worship a graven image? I cannot ever remember being tempted in the slightest to kneel down and kiss an image’s foot or to burn incense to an image or pray to an image. Have you?

To what was Paul referring? The early Christian church never seemed to have been plagued with literal idols and images. Those things came in after they merged with paganism. It has never been a problem with most Protestants, and it did not seem to be an issue in the early Christian church. But Paul said, “Flee from idolatry.”

Are there things that we could be clinging to today that we just do not recognize as idols? If there are idols today that are tempting Christians, that they are worshipping, is it possible to hold onto those idols and to remain a Christian at the same time?

Arsenal of Temptations

Paul tells us, in the first 12 verses of 1 Corinthians 10, about the experience of the children of Israel. He says, in verses 1 and 2, “Brethren, I do not want you to be unaware”—to be ignorant—“that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized . . . .” These people were like you and me. They were set apart by baptism. They ate the same spiritual food. They heard Moses teach day after day, and they heard Joshua, and they heard Aaron. They heard the thunder from the mount. They drank the same spiritual drink, but even the literal water they drank came from that rock which represented Jesus. And they ate angel’s food, food that had such perfect nutrition they never got sick. In the wilderness, they never got sick! They had clear minds that could think spiritual thoughts; their minds were keen. They could pray clearly. They had fresh air, exercise, perfect food, and pure water, right from the Water of Life. “But with most of them God was not well pleased, for [their bodies] were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as [were] some of them. As it is written, [‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.’] Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by the serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” Verses 5–11.

The devil had a whole arsenal of temptations; some things worked on some people and different things worked on others. Some were caught up in games and playing; some were caught up in lusting after things that God had not given them to eat; some were caught up in sexual fantasies and immorality. Some were caught up with a lack of faith and with tempting Christ. When the manna withdrew, they began to complain and murmur. God was not well pleased with most of them.

Like Israel

We are like Israel. Israel had the truth—they had the truth. There was no doubt in their minds that they had the truth. They were there before Mount Sinai, and they heard the thunderous roar, and they heard God speak the Ten Commandments.

They did not have any question about keeping the Sabbath. The manna came six days a week, and on the sixth day, twice as much came. On the seventh day, it did not come at all. They had no problems with the Sabbath. There were a few who broke the Sabbath, but, by and large, they knew very well which day was the Sabbath. They were Sabbath keepers, and they knew it was God’s day.

There were idolaters all around who were worshipping the sun on Sunday, but the children of Israel were Sabbath keepers, and they worshiped the true God. They were not heathen as were the other people; they worshiped Jehovah. They had all the evidences; they had the gift of prophecy; they had the miracles of God all around them. They had the truth.

They were God’s children, and they knew they were God’s children. They were standing on truth, and they were going to Canaan—just like we are.

Only Two

But do you know the rest of the story? There were only two people, out of this vast number, who made it to Canaan. I think if you had told those people, after they crossed the Red Sea, that only two of them were going to make it into Canaan, they would have probably stoned you. They would have been certain that you were not telling the truth. They may have agreed that there might be a few who would fall by the wayside—but certainly the majority would make it. And if it were not a majority, it would certainly be a strong minority. But it was a very small minority—only two of God’s people—who entered the Promised Land!

Paul says, “These things were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world have come.” I believe, with all my heart—just as much as the children of Israel believed—that Seventh-day Adventist believers comprise the movement that God has raised up for the last days and that He has entrusted us with truth for the world today. I have not a single question. God has given us the Spirit of Prophecy; He has given us the truth, and we know the truth. We can always be learning more depths of truth, but we have the truth. There is not a question whatsoever in my mind which day is the Sabbath. Is there in your mind? I know which day is the Sabbath; it is as clear as can be in the Bible. I have seen the Lord work; I have seen miracles. We have the prophecies; they fit together as a hand in a glove. There can be no question on the part of the true church, and God’s true church is going through.

But we have been warned, time and time again. If we believe Ellen White is a prophet, she has warned us many times. We are warned in the Bible over and over again. In Testimonies, vol. 1, page 609, Ellen White wrote that only a very few of those who claim to be Seventh-day Adventists are going to be saved. In Testimonies, vol. 2, pages 401 and 402, she repeats the same thing. She says: “But a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved—not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God’s own appointed way.” Ibid., 445.


If there is one thing God wants to teach us in the Laodicean message and throughout the Bible, it is that it is not enough just to keep the law like the Jews kept it. We must be converted in our hearts. We must come to the place where we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves. We
must overcome our besetting sins; we must become like Jesus. We must be clothed with the robe of righteousness. We must have an individual and personal work of gaining an experience with Jesus. We must not go on day after day, week after week, year after year falling, falling, falling. We must be overcomers!

I am so thankful we have an Advocate who forgives our sins when we fall, but God wants to do more than just forgive our sins. He wants to make us overcomers. He wants us to be more than just forgiven sinners; He wants us to be people who overcome.

For Our Example

Some things that made the children of Israel fall are written as examples for us. Several things are listed in 1 Corinthians 10, but in Psalm 106, three specific things are given that aided in the fall of the children of Israel and are written for our examples.

“He [God] saved them from the hand of him who hated [them],”—that was the Egyptians—“And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. The waters covered their enemies; There was not one of them left. Then they believed His words; They sang His praise.” Verses 10–12. Oh, they believed then! And they sang then; they sang His praise. They were so happy and so full of faith, but they soon, it says in verse 13, “forgot His works.” Oh, how easy it is to have a religious experience on Sabbath or during a week of prayer or during a camp meeting. But how soon, it says, they “forgot His works.”

Their minds began to be occupied with other things. “They did not wait for His counsel.” Verse 13. How many times we run ahead of the Lord! We cannot wait; we become impatient. We pray, but we are not willing to wait for God to answer our prayers. We feel we have to go on; we become irritated, and we can become upset.

Lust of Appetite

The children of Israel “lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, And tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request.” Verses 14, 15. Do you remember for what they lusted? It was not something bad, especially. They were not lusting for pig. They knew better than that; that was wrong. They were not lusting for camel or rabbits or mice; they were not lusting for snakes or alligators or crabs. They were lusting for things that God had said are good food to eat—perhaps not the best, but permissible food to eat. They lusted for quail.

The Bible presents that vegetarianism is better than meat eating, and that is true, but they were not lusting for something that was bad or unclean. Beyond that, they were lusting for other things on which, certainly, God never placed any restrictions—onions, leeks, cantaloupe, and things that they did not have out there in the desert. They began to lust for these things, things that God had not provided for them. They were probably thinking, How were they going to live on this manna? After all, did they not need to have variety in their diet?

The children of Israel decided that they could not live on just manna. As time went by, they came to loathe the manna. But God kept sending it. Do you think God would send something that was really that bad? The Bible says that it was sweet; they could fix it in a variety of ways—they could bake it; they could eat it raw. But they came to the place where they literally hated it. I do not doubt that some came to the place where they were about ready to vomit if they ate another bite. They probably thought, We have got to have something else or we are going to die! Our bodies reject this stuff, and we are growing thinner every day. If we do not get something different pretty soon, we are going to be buried here in the wilderness.

Leanness to the Soul

Well, it says that God gave them their request. But do you know what else He sent them? Continuing in Psalm 106:15, it says, He “sent leanness into their souls.” And do you know what happened? They did die in the wilderness. Every one of those people who ate the quail died in the wilderness. They all died eating perfectly good food—food that was technically permissible. I do not know that He sent them any leeks or onions, but He did send them the quail. They all died. He sent leanness to their souls.

There are people who want to know what they can eat and still squeak into heaven. They want to know what is technically and legally permissible so they would not actually be sinning or transgressing but doing what they could get by with!

Do you know what God wants us to say? “Lord, what would please You the most? I want to learn to eat such a diet that will please You the most, that my mind will be the clearest and I can serve You to the best of my ability.” God will bless that. But to the person who says, I have got to have something else, God will say, Go ahead, but you know what will come with it—leanness to the soul.

Diet was one of the shortcomings of the children of Israel. They did not eat unclean food, but they were not satisfied with what God said was the best.

Symbol of Jehovah

When Moses went up on the mountain, he was up there a lot longer than the children of Israel had anticipated. How long could it possibly take to climb up a mountain and come back down again? But he did not come back on the first day or the next, and there was thundering and lightning on the top of the mount. They thought per-haps he had been killed—struck by a bolt of lightning or something. Time went on, day after day after day, even week after week, and soon over a month of time had passed! For over a month the people had been waiting, sitting around with very little to occupy their time.

The adults as well as the children were growing restless! Can you imagine? There were no recreational activities in the desert, and it was becoming boring! What in the world was there to do?

The people went to Aaron and declared that they had to do something! As for Moses, they could not imagine what happened to him, but they could not stay stagnant forever.

“Aaron said to them, ‘Break off the golden earrings which [are] in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters.’ ” Exodus 32:2. Well, that was a step in reformation! “So all the people broke off the golden earrings which [were] in their ears, and brought [them] to Aaron. And he received [the gold] from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, ‘This [is] your god, O Israel.’ ” Verses 3, 4.

They believed they really were still worshipping Jehovah. As we consider some of the things the children of Israel did, we wonder how they could do such things! In this situation, they did not think that they were rejecting Jehovah. The golden calf was simply a symbol of Jehovah; that was what they had grown up with in Egypt.

In fact, today, if you talk to Catholics who worship idols, do you think any one of them would admit to worshipping an idol? They will tell you that the idols are only symbols to which they kneel down; they are not the real things. And that is what the children of Israel had, a symbol.

Verse 5 continues: “So when Aaron saw [it], he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow is a feast to . . . .’ ” To whom? Was it a feast to the golden calf? Whom were they going to worship? In your Bibles, if you have a King James Version or a New King James Version, the next word, Lord, is spelled in all capital letters. What does that mean in Hebrew? Jehovah. “Let us have a feast to Jehovah!”

Do you think they had rejected Jehovah? No way! They must have figured that if they were going to enjoy themselves, at least they should do it in the name of God, and worship the Lord while doing it.

They were making great progress! They had gotten rid of their jewelry, and now they were going to have a great feast to Jehovah.

“Then they rose early on the next day,”—they could not waste any time—and “offered burnt offerings . . . .” After all, that is what God had told them to do. I want you to notice that they were following the Lord in their actions here. God had told them to offer burnt offerings, had He not? They were doing what God had said. This was a holy convocation. “And brought peace offerings;”—they needed peace offerings! All these offerings were not Egyptian offerings. The calf may have been Egyptian, but their worship was totally to Jehovah. The peace offerings were not from Egypt; the Egyptians did not have peace offerings.

To be continued . . .

Pastor Marshall Grosboll, with his wife Lillian, founded Steps to Life. In July 1991, Pastor Marshall and his family met with tragedy as they were returning home from a camp meeting in Washington state, when the airplane he was piloting went down, killing all on board.

How to Get Your Name in the Book, Part I

The parable of the ten virgins, as read in Matthew 25:1–13, is one of the stories Jesus told that shows us very clearly that not everybody who thinks they are going to be saved will actually be saved. That should cause solemn contemplation for all of us. You see, all of the virgins, at the beginning of the evening, thought they were going to the wedding supper, but they did not all get there.

It is a common belief among many churches that we are all going to the same place, but the Bible teaches differently. We need to face up to the fact that there really is a heaven to win and there is also a hell to shun. Read Revelation 20:15: “And if anyone was not found having been written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.” Not everybody is going to the same place. This verse identifies one place. The other place is identified in Revelation 21:27: “There shall in no case enter into it [that is, the holy city] any thing that is defiled or the one doing an abomination or the person who lies, rather, those who have been written in the book of life of the Lamb.” An abomination is something that is abhorrent and, in this case, especially something that is abhorrent to God. God abhors everything that is impure, unclean, polluted, or unrighteous; three things are mentioned in this text.

So, Revelation 20:15 says that if you are not written in the book of life, you are going to be cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 21:27 says that nobody who has not been cleansed from his pollution or defilement will enter into the city; only those whose names are written in the book will enter.

Two Options

In this article, we will first study how to get your name in the book, and, second, what to do so that it does not get blotted out of the book. There will be many people who come up to the end, thinking that they are going to be saved.

“To the marriage supper of the Lamb will come many who have not on the wedding garment—the robe [Christ] purchased for them with His lifeblood. From lips that never make a mistake come the words, ‘Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?’ (Matthew 22:12). Those [thus] addressed are speechless. They know that words would be useless. The truth, with its sanctifying power, has not been brought into the soul, and the tongue that once spoke so readily of the truth is now silent. The words are then spoken, ‘Take them out of My presence. They are not worthy to taste of My supper’ (cf. Luke 14:24).” The Upward Look, 301.

Jesus described this for us in the Sermon on the Mount. This is a verse of Scripture read in almost every meeting of a Prophecy Seminar, because this is a verse that was written especially for those living in the last days. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heavens, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in the heavens. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? In Your name we have cast out demons, and in Your name we have performed many miracles.’ And then I will confess to them, ‘Never at any time have I known you.’ ” Matthew 7:21–23.

Can you imagine what a shock that would be? These are Christians! They have called Jesus “Lord.” They come up to the Day of Judgment and say, “Lord, we know that we are saved, because we have the Holy Spirit. We were prophesying in Your name. We were working miracles in Your name. We were casting out demons in Your name. We know that we are saved.” But He says, “No. I have never known you.”

Have you ever considered that many people will receive much light and power in the last days from the devil? You see, these people have the light and the power. They could work miracles. They could prophesy. They could cast out demons. But Jesus says to them, “Then I will confess to them, ‘Never at any time have I known you, depart from Me you who practice lawlessness.’ ” In other words, you who break My law, you are not a subject of My kingdom because you break My law.

Oh, if we could just grasp the full force of that, we could, in the Christian world, quit arguing about which day to go to church and a lot of other things. Some Protestant churches today are so mixed up that they cannot figure out whether or not they should hire homosexual pastors. We could quit arguing about all kinds of things that are going on in the Christian world today if we would just realize that Jesus said, “When I come again, if you have been breaking My law, you are going to be rejected.”

In Luke 13, we read about Jesus going through the various cities and villages teaching, making His way towards Jerusalem (verse 22), and then it says, in verses 23–28, “And a certain one said to Him, ‘Lord, are there few who will be saved?’ And He said to them, ‘Struggle to enter through the narrow gate, because I say to you, many will seek to enter in and will not be strong enough. From what time the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you began to stand outside and to knock on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us,” and, answering, He will say to you, “I do not know you, where you are from.” Then you will begin to say, “We ate before You, and we drank, and You taught in our streets.” And He will say to you, “I do not know you, where you are. Depart from Me, all those working iniquity.” There will be weeping and gnashing of the teeth, when you see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God.’ ”

All those outside the wedding banquet will be wondering at those that have on the wedding garment without spot and wrinkle. But they, all the people that said, “You cannot keep God’s Law,” are going to be outside. They are going to see the people that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, did keep His Law.

First Shall Be Last

“They shall come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. But, behold, they are last who shall be first, and the first shall be last.” Verses 29, 30.

This has always been a very scary passage of Scripture to me, because I had the great privilege of growing up in a Seventh-day Adventist home. But the Bible says, “The first shall be last.”

So, how do you know that you will not meet with disappointment? Oh, you have to have your name in the book. How do you get your name written in the book?

Missionary Spirit

Luke 10:17 is one of the few verses in the New Testament that has a textual variation, and the best scholars cannot figure out for sure which reading is right, but we will find out when the Lord comes. There are some manuscripts that say that Jesus sent out 70, and there are some manuscripts that say He sent out 72, but I have decided I do not need to be in that controversy. So, we read:

“They came back with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us through Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I beheld Satan as lightning falling from heaven. Behold I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means injure you: [one of the most wonderful promises in the Bible] however, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names have been written in the heaven.’ ” Luke 10:17–20.

Jesus said, “Do not be glad because you can work miracles. What you really need to be glad about is that your name is written in heaven.” You see, what your eternal destiny is makes all the difference.

As I have gone through the Bible, this is just one of the passages that talks about those whose names are written in the book of life. Another such text is Philippians 4:3 where Paul wrote: “And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and [with] other my fellowlabourers, whose names [are] in the book of life.”

One of the important things that I have noticed is that the people written about in the Bible, whose names are written in heaven, are missionary workers. Do not ever forget that!

The Spirit of Christ is a missionary spirit. He left the throne of glory, laid aside His kingly robe, and laid down the scepter of absolute power. He laid aside His crown, and He came down to this world. Ellen White said, “Christ, at an infinite cost, by a painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to men, assumed humanity. Hiding His divinity, laying aside His glory, He was born a babe in Bethlehem.” The Upward Look, 90. It is a mystery that we will never fully comprehend, even in heaven!

In Luke 19:10, it says, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” The Spirit of Christ is the missionary spirit, and if we do not have the Spirit of Christ, we are none of His. (Romans 8:9.) We must never forget that.

If you have no burden on your soul for those that are lost, you had better start praying, because you do not have the Spirit of Christ. If you do not have the Spirit of Christ, you are not His; your name is not in the book. No one is written down in the books of heaven as a Christian who does not have a missionary spirit. (See Review and Herald, April 13, 1886.)

Confess Christ

How do we get our names written in the book? “Therefore whoever shall confess Me before men, I also will confess him before My Father who is in the heavens. But whoever will deny Me before men, I also will deny him before My Father who is in the heavens.” Matthew 10:32, 33.

If you want your name to be written down, Jesus said, “You need to confess Me before men.” If you are living in the United States, and have lived in the United States all of your life, perhaps the full significance of that statement does not reach your mind, because you are living in a land where there is religious liberty, to the present time.

Peter denied Christ when Jesus was at His trial. Have you ever tried to figure out what in the world drove him to do that? It was fear; he was afraid. Millions of people, even today, are not confessing Christ because of fear. Sometimes these fears are quite justified. We have church members who, because they have confessed Christ and chosen to be His disciples, have been divorced by their spouses. Sometimes confessing Christ costs something. There are people who have been driven away from home because they have confessed Christ.

Cost of Confession

In thousands of cities in the Roman Empire, for 300 years after the days of Christ, when those in charge decided they wanted to get rid of the Christians, they would set up a heathen altar in the center of the city, put a fire on it, and place some incense off at the side. They would then require everybody in town to march past the altar, pick up some incense, and throw it onto the fire. As the people did this, they were to exclaim, “The Caesar is the Lord.”

This was done deliberately because the leaders knew that a Christian could not and would not say that. When a Christian would come by the altar, he or she would say, “Christ is Lord.” Then the Christian would be separated from the others and martyred. We will learn one day how many people were martyred because they would not deny the name of Christ.

Several years ago while I was in England, I was taken to Cardiff, Wales, where the remains of a Roman garrison have been made into a museum. An amphitheater was even there. The amphitheater was where the Romans played. That was where they had their sports, and the Romans had some very cruel sports. The Romans enjoyed watching leopards, lions, and other ferocious animals kill and eat human beings. That was part of their entertainment. One of the signs at the amphitheater recorded that, in 309 a.d., two Roman soldiers who had become Christians were killed.

When Jesus said, “If you confess Me before men, I will confess you in heaven,” that cost something. It has cost millions of people their temporal lives.

Obedience Required

When you and I are willing to confess Jesus as our Lord and Saviour—that is what we do when we are baptized—then we are allowing Him to be the boss in our lives, and we are declaring that we will obey Him.

Jesus asked, in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and you do not do what I say?”

We must confess Jesus as our Lord and as our Saviour from sin. Unless we are willing to maintain that confession, even if it costs us our lives, we are not yet converted. The Lord might allow us, just as He has allowed a number of other people, to come to a situation where we have to choose between whether we are going to confess Jesus and die or deny Jesus and live.

This was the experience of Peter. He denied Jesus so that he could live, but later on, as recorded in Acts 3, 4, and 5, he confessed Jesus boldly. He was beaten, but he declared, “We are still going to preach; as long as we have breath, we are going to preach.” (See Acts 5:42.)

A Spiritual Religion

Read Romans 10:8–13: “But what does it say? ‘The word is near to you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word which we preach) [quoting there from Deuteronomy]: Because if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and you believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart is belief unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Every one who believes on Him shall not be ashamed.’ For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is rich unto all who call upon Him. For ‘every one who calls upon His name shall be saved.’ ”

I love the Christian religion because it is the most spiritual of all religions. You do not become a Christian simply by going through a ritual or a ceremony. You become a Christian when, with your heart, your spirit, and your mind, you confess and say, “I choose for Jesus Christ to be the Lord of my life. He has promised to be my Saviour from sin.”

“If you make that choice,” the Lord says, “if you choose Me as your Lord and as your Saviour from sin, I am going to save you someday at the end of the millennium.”

Wonderful Promise

One of the most wonderful promises in all of the Spirit of Prophecy is given at the end of The Great Controversy. Ellen White there tells what the devil is going to see. The devil is still fighting, but at the end, “He sees that his hellish plots have been powerless to destroy those who have put their trust in Jesus. As Satan looks upon his kingdom, the fruit of his toil, he sees only failure and ruin.” The Great Controversy, 669. He is going to see that all of his plots, all of his machinations, all of his temptations, all of his cruelties, all of his seductions, everything that he has put on the line to win the great controversy has been powerless to destroy one person who put his or her trust in Jesus.

If you have not already made the decision to surrender all to Him, I hope you make that decision today so that your name can be written in the book. If you have chosen Him as the Lord of your life and you trust Him to save you from the guilt and power of your sins, then your name is written in the book. Your name can be written in the book today, just like the thief on the cross. When confession is made, salvation is assured.

It is wonderful! I love to dwell upon this point; it is so wonderful because every single person could be saved. No one has to be one of the foolish virgins. Every single one of us could be saved.

Name Retained

After you make the decision to choose Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, there is something else you need to do.

Revelation 3:5 says, “Blessed is he who overcomes. He shall be clothed in white raiment and I will not blot his name out of the book of life.” This text implies that you could have your name blotted out of the book, but if you overcome, your name will not be blotted out. You will be given white raiment.

In Exodus 32:33, we read that the Lord told Moses, “The one who has sinned against Me is going to be blotted out of My book.” So, in addition to having your name written in the book of life, during the time of the judgment, your name must be retained in the book of life and not erased or blotted out. What can you do so that your name will be retained in the book of life and not blotted out?


Revelation 3:5 gives the answer to that question. If your name is going to be retained in the book of life, you must be an overcomer, a conqueror. There are three things you must overcome: (1) You have to overcome what the Bible calls the world. (See 1 John 5.) (2) You have to overcome the devil. (See James 4.) (3) You have to overcome the flesh, the sinful nature. (See Romans 6, 8; Galatians 5.) You have to overcome those three things.

After hearing Adventist preachers preach about those things, and then seeing their congregations become discouraged, saying, “What am I going to do?” I decided that I would not tell people to overcome, unless we had done a study on how to do it. I believe we all see from the Bible that we have to overcome if we are going to have our names retained in the book of life, but the question is, How?

The Power

The power to overcome, of course, comes from the Lord. You and I do not have power to overcome on our own. Only the Lord has power to overcome, and we must receive this power from the Lord if we are going to overcome. The Lord has plenty of power, and this is a great comfort to me.

Ellen White wrote that Jesus has made ample provision: “For all the natural weaknesses Jesus has made ample provision, that they may be overcome through His grace.” Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 91. [Emphasis added.]

“Christ was crucified to save the world. For his enemies, for a race in rebellion against God, our Saviour suffered the most excruciating agonies that human flesh could endure. He has made ample provision for sinners, that they need not perish. In the light of his death-agony on the cross, we may know that whosoever will truly repent and receive him as a personal Saviour will receive everlasting life.” Review and Herald, September 24, 1908. [Emphasis added .]

Do you know what the English word ample means? It means, “plenty.” It is not a situation where there is not quite enough; there is plenty. Jesus has ample power to save the person that is the most degraded, to save the person that is the most defiled, to save the person that is in the bottom of the pit of sin. Jesus has plenty of power.

Why, since He has plenty of power, is not everyone an overcomer? If there is plenty of power, why were there foolish virgins? Because the entire plan of salvation is a cooperative process. God is the only One that can make it happen, but God will not make it happen unless you and I cooperate.

To be continued . . .

[Bible texts quoted are literal translation.]

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

How to Get Your Name in the Book, Part II

What must we do so that the power of God will be revealed in our lives, enabling us to be overcomers? There are a number of points I wish to give you. I will give you the texts, and you can study them on your own.

Walk in the Spirit

We must learn how to walk in the Spirit, not after the flesh. Study Romans 6, 7, and 8. We should study these three chapters together. We will never understand this subject unless we study all three of them together. Study also Galatians 5.

Ellen White wrote that, “The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” The Desire of Ages, 671.

Since Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, the power of sin has been developing and working in the human race for centuries. Sin can be overcome only in the power of the Third Person of the Godhead. Who is the Third Person of the Godhead? It is the Holy Spirit. So we must learn how to walk in the Spirit.

Learn to Fight

We must fight! Now, this is unpopular today. A lot of people want an easy religion, where they just call on the name of the Lord then relax, and He does everything. This is not Bible religion. Study the first several verses of Hebrews 12. Study 1 Corinthians 9:24–27.

Unfortunately, the Bible translators use what is known as euphemisms to soften the message sometimes, because the biblical language is so strong. Most Bible translations have softened 1 Corinthians 9:24–27.

In this passage, Paul is talking about fighting with his own sinful nature. He says, “I fight, not like somebody that is beating the air,” and then he uses a very strong word. It is a word that is used when you beat somebody up and make him all black and blue with bruises. That is, literally, how this word is used in the Greek; somebody is taken and, in street language, is beaten to a pulp. Paul uses this word, and says, “This is what I do to my body, to my flesh, to my sinful nature; I am strict with it.”

Hebrews 12:4 says, “You have not yet resisted unto blood, fighting, striving, struggling against sin.”

Do not think that you will overcome and be saved if you are not making any effort. You have to be like Jacob and say, “Lord, only You can save me, but I am never going to quit trying.” (See Genesis 32:25, 26.)

Lay Aside Sin

In the first verses also of Hebrews 12, Paul says that we are to “lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets or entangles us.” Every person has one or more easily besetting or entangling sins.

We are not all the same. Everybody does not have exactly the same besetting sin, but everybody has at least one besetting sin with which to struggle and overcome. “If you cling to any besetting sin, you will find the gateway too narrow for you to enter. Your own ways, your own will, your wrong habits and unchristlike practises [sic], must be given up if you would keep the way of the Lord.” The Signs of the Times, June 22, 1904.

Paul says, “Lay aside every weight.” He is using a figure of speech from the runners’ world. The idea is that a runner straps the weights onto his legs and runs with them every day. But when it is actually time for a race, the weights are left off, and the runner feels like he is running on air.

Paul says, “Lay aside the weight. It is not practice time; you are in the race now; lay aside every easily entangling sin.” Oh, friend, for the sake of your own soul and salvation, please spend some time studying that phrase and praying about it. What is the easily entangling sin that you need to lay aside? If you are going to lay aside an easily entangling sin, allow me to give you a crude illustration so you will have something to start thinking through.

I have dealt with a number of people whose easily entangling sin is alcoholic beverages. Now, if that is a person’s easily entangling sin and if he wants to lay that aside, it would be very unwise for him to decide to go to witness to people in the bars and taverns. In fact, that person should try to stay away from any place where alcoholic beverages are being used.

My wife and I have attended many parties where alcoholic beverages were used. It did not bother me, because I have never drunk, and I am not tempted by alcohol. I can witness to people in a situation like that, and it is not troublesome for me. But if using alcohol is your besetting sin, you better not go to a party like that. You better do your witnessing somewhere else.

You see, whatever is your besetting sin, you need to do everything humanly possible to not put yourself in the way of temptation. If you put yourself in the way of temptation, that is presumption. Should you deliberately place yourself in such a position, the Lord will have to work a miracle to get you out of there undefiled.

Pray Without Ceasing

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Paul says, “Pray without ceasing.” Do you remember the time when the disciples were trying to cast a demon out of a boy, but they could not do it? Jesus said to them, “Oh, faithless generation. How long am I going to endure you? Bring him to me.” Mark 9:19. Then Jesus cast out the devil, and, afterwards, the disciples came to Him, asking: “Lord, why could we not cast him out?” Verse 28. Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief. Truly, truly I say to you, this kind does not go out except by prayer.” Verse 29.

If you have a besetting sin that you cannot overcome, you need to go to your closet, fast, and pray, “Lord, I am not going to quit struggling. I am not going to quit praying, until You give to me the victory over this.”

Memorize Promises

Memorize your Bible, especially the promises. Read Psalm 119:9, 11: “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.” “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!”

Music as a Weapon

Use Christian song—not “Christian” rock and roll or rap or hip hop—as a weapon when you are tempted. Paul says we should do this: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16. Use the words from Christian songs as a weapon against temptation.

Did you know that Jesus did this? Ellen White wrote:

“With a song, Jesus in His earthly life met temptation. Often when sharp, stinging words were spoken, often when the atmosphere about Him was heavy with gloom, with dissatisfaction, distrust, or oppressive fear, was heard His song of faith and holy cheer.” Education, 166.

Then, “Let praise and thanksgiving be expressed in song. When tempted, instead of giving utterance to our feelings, let us by faith lift up a song of thanksgiving to God. . . . Song is a weapon that we can always use against discouragement.” The Ministry of Healing, 254.

“If you sit in heavenly places with Christ, you cannot refrain from praising God. Begin to educate your tongues to praise him, and train your hearts to make melody to God; and when the evil one begins to settle his gloom about you, sing praise to God. When things go crossways at your homes, strike up a song about the matchless charms of the Son of God, and I tell you, when you touch this strain, Satan will leave you.” Review and Herald, August 5, 1890.

Follow Health Message

If you want to overcome, you must follow the health message that God has revealed in inspired writings. This is so important that I could write a whole article just on this point to show why, if you do not follow health reform, you will not be an overcomer. But, for now, consider the following:

“Let the young men and young women determine to love God supremely and to do His commandments. Under circumstances the most trying, let them remain faithful to duty—especially in their attitude toward the principles of health reform. Instead of being half-hearted reformers, let them make a whole hearted reformation, in all things practicing chastity and temperance. Let none begin to reform, and then stop. Resolve to overcome the wicked one.” Messages to Young People, 9, 10.

I wish I could find an English translation that translates 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 correctly. The reason these translations do not translate it correctly is because of one word that can mean two things. This word can mean either “to defile something” or it can mean “to destroy something.” This passage gives a parallel statement, and since it is a parallel statement, whichever way it is translated should be the same both times. Translators almost never do this.

One translation can be: “. . . that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and whoever defiles it, God will defile him.” Most people do not like the idea of God defiling somebody, so they do not translate it that way. The only other way to translate it yet keep it parallel, as it is written, is this: “Anyone who destroys his body, God will destroy him.” This, I believe, is the correct translation.

If you are not following the health message and you are deliberately doing something that is destroying your body, what does the text say that God is going to do to you? He is going to destroy you! If you want to be an overcomer, you must follow the health message.

Mrs. White also counsels that James 1:16–27 provides for us “God’s great remedy for the diseases of the body and soul. It is God’s health reform prescription. The whole chapter is a practical one. I advise all to follow the instruction; for if they take heed to it day by day, they will triumph at last with the overcomers.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 1.

Weep Not

In Nehemiah 8:9, Ezra told the people of Israel not to weep. In the book carrying his name, it is recorded that, “Many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes.” Ezra 3:12. They were weeping because of their problems and because the second temple was not nearly as beautiful as the first. They were told, “Do not weep. Do not allow yourself to be sad, because the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10.

This is something it would be good to individually study further. If you want to be an overcomer, you need to study about being thankful and having the joy of the Lord.

Ellen White says, “A praise meeting should be held, a simple service of thanksgiving to God. There would be much more power in our camp meetings if we had a true sense of the goodness, mercy, and long-suffering of God, and if more praise flowed forth from our lips to the honor and glory of His name. We need to cultivate more fervor of soul. The Lord says: ‘Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me.’ Psalm 50:23.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 62.

“Well now, commence to praise God. And praise Him with heart and soul and voice. The devil does not want you [to], because you would be a living witness to them that you had drunk of the living waters, and he does not want you to praise God.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 213. The joy of the Lord is your strength.

Avoid Temptation

Do not deliberately walk into temptation, or, if I could state it in even more simple language, do not look at or listen to sin.

“The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: ‘Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?’ He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure.” Isaiah 33:14–16. This passage is talking about the time when the sinners in Zion will be terrified because Jesus is coming. Verse 17 continues, “You are going to see the King in His beauty, and you are going to see the land that is very far off.”

Do you know what “the land that is very far off” is? It is that land that is over 600 light years away. Who are the people who will see this? Some of their characteristics are mentioned, and one of the characteristics given is that these people stop their ears; they do not allow their ears to hear evil. Neither do they allow their eyes to watch bloodshed. They will not look at it; they will not listen to it.

Our people are being destroyed spiritually because of what they are looking at on television and on videos, reading in magazines, and listening to musically. They are listening to sin. They are looking at sin. And then they wonder why they cannot overcome sin!

All Powerful

The Lord has plenty of power so that the weakest and the most sinful can overcome. The question is, are you and I going to cooperate? Pray and ask the Lord to help you to cooperate, for if you are going to be inside the city, your name must be written in that book. For that to happen, you must confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. If your name is not going to be blotted out of that book in the Day of Judgment, you must overcome, so you may be clothed with the change of garment.

You must realize your absolute dependence upon God, that you have no power of your own. You have no ability or strength to overcome the world, the devil, or the flesh except you look to Him and choose to cooperate with Him.

Pray that the power of the Third Person of the Godhead may be exercised in your life, that you might not only be born of the Spirit, but that you might walk in the Spirit, not fulfilling the lust of the flesh, not loving the world, and not falling for the temptations of the evil one that seem so enticing to the sinful human nature.

[Bible texts quoted are literal translation.]

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

One Day at a Time, Part II

From Hebrews 2:18 we know that sufferings are the sufferings of temptation: “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” That was how Jesus’ character was developed. It was there in the wilderness of temptation where the Holy Spirit led Him, out with the wild beasts and without food or drink or shelter. He was left there where Satan was able to meet Him face to face, tempting Him with misquoted Scripture, testing His faith, and testing His desires for the things of the world. (See Mark 1:13–15; The Desire of Ages, 114–131.) That is where Jesus’ character was developed. Then, throughout the rest of His life, as the devil met Him step-by-step, He conquered every trial and was a little stronger. Conversely, every time we fail, we are a little weaker.

The children of Israel failed their very first test. They hardly even knew it was a test. So many times our great tests we do not recognize as tests, like the people who were following Gideon. When they came up to the river and lapped the water, they did not realize they were being tested. But God was testing their hearts and testing their fidelity. (See Judges 7:4–7.)

So many times it is the little things of life that test the real character. Thus, it was that way back when Moses was called to lead out the children of Israel. God had revealed to the leaders of Israel that Moses was the man whom He had called. He had put him there in Pharaoh’s household to give him an education. Moses was not quite ready spiritually, but neither were the children of Israel. God tested them, and Moses went out and did the best he could. He was not perfect, of course.

When Moses saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite, his heart went out for the Israelites. As their defender and protector under God, he put his job and his career on the line, trusting everything to the children of Israel. He slew that Egyptian and delivered his people from the tyranny that this Egyptian was inflicting upon them. (See Exodus 2:11, 12.) Moses was not satisfied to just protect the Israelites; he wanted to help them to help themselves. The next day he went back to the slave people, one of whom he was choosing to become. “And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’ Then he said, ‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ ” Exodus 2:13, 14. They were tested. They were expressing the thoughts of the whole congregation of Israel, and they failed their first test. God did not leave them, although He left them for a while because they had rejected His leadership.

He led Moses out and developed his character for 40 years, but 40 years later Moses returned. He came back a little older and wiser. No longer did he have the kingly robes; no longer did he have all of his youth. He was older; he had less riches; he had less prestige; he was less recognized now than he had once been, but he was the same man.

God Does Not Change

God did not change His plan simply because the people did not like it at first. He gave them another opportunity. Moses returned, and this time he came not with a sword, but with a shepherd’s staff. Shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians. Moses first called the leaders of Israel and said, “God is going to redeem you,” and they told the people so they all knew God’s plans. (See Exodus 4:28–31.)

Then Moses, with Aaron his brother, went and performed some signs in front of Pharaoh. Pharaoh became upset, and he commanded, “The people are lazy. Give them more work to do.” And so he made them work with hardship. He did not provide their straw. (Exodus 5:1–19.)

The people got upset again. They came to Moses and said, “Moses, what are you doing to us? You came to free us, but you are giving us more work. Now look at the mess we are in.” (Verses 20–23.) They were not able to go through a little trial, trusting in the Lord to bring them through. They failed their second test.

Every test they failed led them to fail the next test, but God kept coming back, giving them opportunity after opportunity. When you fail the Lord, the most wonderful thing in the world is to have another opportunity to succeed.

Are you glad the Lord does not leave you when you fail? How wonderful that is! It gives you another opportunity to succeed, but the next opportunity is just a little different, a little harder many times. It comes in a little different way, but there it is, all unexpected; while you are going about your daily activities, there is the opportunity.

Count It A Joy

In James 1:2–4, we know, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have [its] perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” This is God’s great purpose for every one of us. “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children.” Education, 18.

As it was with the people of Noah’s day and with the children of Israel, so God is doing today. He is coming soon, much sooner than any of us can imagine. We are going to awaken one day to the startling realization that all the days of peace and prosperity are behind us, and we are in the time of final events. Then we are going to question whether or not our characters are ready. It will be too late then. The character takes a process of time to develop. Today is the day that we have to develop character, not tomorrow. Today Jesus is testing us to see if we will stand. He is giving us opportunity to develop our characters, and today is the only day we will ever have.

Jesus said that many people believe that they are His disciples—those who have eaten and drunk in His presence, partaken of the Lord’s Supper and listened to the words of God being spoken week by week, day by day—and that they are saved because they have followed all the rituals. In Luke 13:23, someone came to Jesus asking, “Lord, are there only going to be a few people saved? Certainly God’s grace is sufficient for all. Are there only going to be a few people saved?” He had been listening to Jesus’ sermons, and the more he listened, the more he became concerned. It sounded like there were not going to be a lot of people saved, so he had to know the answer to this question.

Jesus said, “Strive to enter in through the narrow gate, for many, I say, will seek to enter but will not be able to. When once the Master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence.’ ” Verses 24–26. What do You mean You do not know us? We partook of the Lord’s Supper. We read the Bible and drank of the spiritual drink just like the children of Israel did there in the wilderness. You taught in our streets. We heard Your representatives speak week after week.

“But He will say unto you, ‘I tell you I do not know who you are. I do not know where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves cast out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.” Verses 27–30.

How many today, like the Hebrews who left Egypt and the workers in Noah’s day, are professing to be followers of God, professing to be His people, professing a religious experience, but they are not going through the character development necessary for heaven; they are not conquering day by day each and every trial that God allows to come upon them? In heaven there will not be one jarring word spoken. There will not be one unkind remark, not one proud thought.

One Day

As I look at myself, I have to ask again, “How will I ever make it?” But I have learned the answer. God asks me to simply live one day at a time. Just today. Every day He gives me a clean sheet, and He says, “This is your opportunity. This day is your opportunity.” He gives me that one day to work on my character. That is all I need to do. I do not have to take care of tomorrow’s problems or the next day’s problems or next week’s problems.

Some people say, “I do not think I can live a life like this. I cannot do it. I just do not know how long I can last. I do not know how much more of this I can take.”

And God says, “Just try to take what there is today. Just try to last today. Survive today. That is all that is required of you.”

God is the One who will renew our strength each day. We will never run out of strength as long as we live one day at a time. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the promise is given, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear [it].” God has promised to renew our strength day by day. 11 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Ellen White gave much counsel regarding this:

“We need to trust in Jesus daily, hourly. He has promised that as our day is, our strength shall be. By His grace we may bear all the burdens of the present and perform its duties. But many are weighed down by the anticipation of future troubles. They are constantly seeking to bring tomorrow’s burdens into today. Thus a large share of all their trials are imaginary. For these, Jesus has made no provision. He promises grace only for the day. He bids us not to burden ourselves with the cares and troubles of tomorrow.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 200.

“The Christian life is a battle and a march. It is to work for today and not for tomorrow. It is to do the duties of today; it is, when you rise in the morning, to think, now I am wholly dependent upon God, and I will ask him to take care of me; and when I ask him to take care of me today, I believe that he will do so. I will lay my burden of care, and my troubles at the feet of Jesus, and he will gather them up. You must trust in his love; and if he has given you a small work, take that up, and do it today; and if you have been faithful in doing that little work today, tomorrow you will be capable of bearing a greater responsibility, and of doing a greater work; and he will give you a greater work and responsibility to bear on the morrow.” The Signs of the Times, January 31, 1878.

“We have only to live one day at a time, and if we get acquainted with God, he will give us strength for what is coming tomorrow, grace sufficient for each day, and every day will find its own victories, just as it finds its trials. We shall have the power of the Highest with us; for we shall be clad with the armor of Christ’s righteousness. We have the same God that has worked for his people in ages past. Jesus stands by our side, and shall we falter?—No, as the trials come, the power of God will come with them. God will help us to stand in faith on his word, and when we are united, he will work with special power in our behalf.” Review and Herald, April 29, 1890.

“We are to live only one day at a time. We do not have to do the work of a life-time in a few hours. We need not look into the future with anxiety; for God has made it possible for us to be overcomers every day, and he will give needed grace, that we may be conquerors. I am glad we have only a day at a time in which to work. We should not undervalue its responsibilities, and devote it to the service of the enemy.” Ibid., March 26, 1889.

You see, the children of Israel were always looking to the future, but the little trials that came each day they did not even recognize as great tests of their lives. Sometimes the greatest tests of our lives come in so subtly and so quietly we do not recognize them. We just slip into some transgression, some hasty speech, some impatience, and we have failed the test of that day. We do not recognize it.

Do you know what the great test was for the children of Israel when Jesus came? The great test was when those lowly shepherds came and announced the Messiah. They did not recognize it. It was just a baby there in Bethlehem, and these were some ignorant, uneducated shepherds that were coming with the message. Who were they? If God really had a message, certainly it would come through the leaders. But that was their test. That was the great test of the children of Israel. Because they failed that test, they were given another test, which they later failed with Anna and Simeon in the temple. And then, a year or two later, they failed the test when the wise men came. After failing the third test, they were ready to fail the next one when John the Baptist came. Every test failed led them to fail the next one. `

God has a test for you and me today. We may not recognize it, but I guarantee that there is some test for us today. That is the test of eternity. It is the daily tests that come today that develop our characters for all eternity. “We should not spend it [the day] in arraying ourselves in fashionable attire, in decorating our homes as if we were to be permanent dwellers upon the earth. We should employ its moments in trading with our intrusted [sic] talents, in using our ability to glorify God, instead of glorifying ourselves. Our whole study should be how we may win the approbation of God. If we are doing His will, with an eye single to His glory, we shall be able to say, ‘ “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” [Job 19:25.] Though heart and flesh should fail, Jesus lives to be my strength and my portion forever.’ One who is ever faithful and true among those who are changeable and false, will be our stay, and will prosper us in all we undertake. We shall find, as we seek to please God, that there is One who is working for us, even He whose name is ‘Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace.’ [Isaiah 9:6.]” Ibid.

“The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is a continuous one. Day by day God labors for man’s sanctification, and man is to co-operate with Him, putting forth persevering efforts in the cultivation of right habits. He is to add grace to grace; and as he thus works on the plan of addition, God works for him on the plan of multiplication. Our Saviour is always ready to hear and answer the prayer of the contrite heart, and grace and peace are multiplied to His faithful ones. Gladly He grants them the blessings they need in their struggle against the evils that beset them.” The Acts of the Apostles, 532.

Pastor Marshall Grosboll, with his wife Lillian, founded Steps to Life. In July 1991, Pastor Marshall and his family met with tragedy as they were returning home from a camp meeting in Washington state, when the airplane he was piloting went down, killing all on board.

Bible Study Guides – Justification

March 30, 2008 – April 5, 2008

Key Text

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” II Peter 1:1.

Study Help: Faith and Works, 103–109.


“Through all the ages the great truth of justification by faith has stood as a mighty beacon to guide repentant sinners into the way of life.” The Acts of the Apostles, 373.

1 What is justification? Romans 5:18.

Note: “Pardon and justification are one and the same thing.” Faith and Works, 103.

“Justification is the opposite of condemnation.” Ibid., 104.

2 What is the only acceptable way to be justified? Romans 3:21, 22; 5:1.

Note: “The Lord does not save sinners by abolishing His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and in earth. The punishment has been endured by the sinner’s substitute… In the councils of heaven, before the world was created, the Father and the Son covenanted together that if man proved disloyal to God, Christ, one with the Father, would take the place of the transgressor, and suffer the penalty of justice that must fall upon him.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1070.

“When the Spirit of God controls mind and heart, the converted soul breaks forth into a new song; for he realizes that in his experience the promise of God has been fulfilled, that his transgression has been forgiven, his sin covered.” The Acts of the Apostles, 476.

3 How does Paul explain God’s way to justify sinners? Romans 5:14–19.

Note: “Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner’s behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. Separated from the presence of God, the human family had been departing every successive generation, farther from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possessed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1081.

“In what contrast is the second Adam as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan single-handed. Since the Fall the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking lower in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ’s advent to the earth. And in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that he might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him.” Review and Herald, July 28, 1874.

4 Since we all are sinners, what is our only hope and assurance? Romans 3:23–26; Titus 3:5–7.

Note: “Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light.” Faith and Works, 101.

5 What is the role of the blood of Christ in our salvation? Romans 5:9.

Note: “God calls for faith in Christ as our atoning sacrifice. His blood is the only remedy for sin.

“It is not God’s will that you should be distrustful, and torture your soul with the fear that God will not accept you because you are sinful and unworthy… You can say: ‘I know I am a sinner, and that is the reason I need a Saviour… have no merit or goodness whereby I may claim salvation, but I present before God the all-atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is my only plea.’ ” The Faith I Live By, 102.

6 Why is the blood a key so essential in the plan of salvation? Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22.

Note: “We are to have free access to the atoning blood of Christ. This we must regard as the most precious privilege, the greatest blessing, ever granted to sinful man. And how little is made of this great gift! How deep, how wide and continuous is this stream. To every soul thirsting after holiness there is repose, there is rest, there is the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, and then the holy, happy, peaceful walk and precious communion with Christ… Its cleansing virtue gives strength and vigor to faith, power to prayer, and happiness in cheerful obedience.” Sons and Daughters of God, 224.

“Christ has made reconciliation for sin, and has borne all its ignominy, reproach, and punishment; and yet while bearing sin, He has brought in everlasting righteousness, so that the believer is spotless before God…

“But there are many who claim to be children of God who are resting their hopes upon other dependencies, rather than on the blood of Christ alone. When urged to rest their faith wholly upon Christ as a complete Saviour, many reveal the fact that they have faith in something that they think they can do. … They imagine that they have a great deal to do themselves to save their own souls, and that Jesus will come in and piece out that part which is lacking, and give the finishing stroke to their salvation. These poor souls will not be strong in God until they accept Christ as a complete Saviour. They can add nothing to their salvation.” Ibid., 227.

7 Among the Israelites, what was the only way of escape from destruction when they were about to leave Egypt? Exodus 12:13.

Note: “The Israelites were required to sprinkle the doorposts with the blood of a slain lamb, in order that when the angel of death passed through the land, they might escape destruction. But if instead of doing this simple act of faith and obedience, they had barricaded the door, and taken every precaution to keep the destroying angel out, their pains would have been in vain. … When the blood was seen upon the doorpost, it was enough. The salvation of the house was assured. So it is in the work of salvation; it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth from all sin.” Sons and Daughters of God, 227.

8 How can we be clean before God? 1 John 1:7–9. What attitude will this inspire in our heart?

Note: “Thank God that He who spilled His blood for us, lives to plead it, lives to make intercession for every soul who receives Him. [1 John 1:9 quoted.] The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. It speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, for Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us. We need to keep ever before us the efficacy of the blood of Jesus. That life-cleansing, life-sustaining blood, appropriated by living faith, is our hope. We need to grow in appreciation of its inestimable value, for it speaks for us only as we by faith claim its virtue, keeping the conscience clean and at peace with God.

“This is represented as the pardoning blood, inseparably connected with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer, illustrated by the ever-flowing stream that proceeds from the throne of God, the water of the river of life.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 947, 948.

“None but God can subdue the pride of man’s heart. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot regenerate ourselves. In the heavenly courts there will be no song sung, To me that loved myself, and washed myself, redeemed myself, unto me be glory and honor, blessing and praise. But this is the keynote of the song that is sung by many here in this world. They do not know what it means to be meek and lowly in heart; and they do not mean to know this, if they can avoid it. The whole gospel is comprised in learning of Christ, His meekness and lowliness.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 456.

9 How can we be overcomers over Satan and his devices? Revelation 12:11.

Note: “We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 974.

10 What will be our song in heaven? Revelation 15:3.

Note: “I urge you to prepare for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Day by day cast the love of the world out of your hearts. Understand by experience what it means to have fellowship with Christ. Prepare for the judgment, that when Christ shall come to be admired in all them that believe, you may be among those who will meet Him in peace. In that day the redeemed will shine forth in the glory of the Father and the Son. The angels, touching their golden harps, will welcome the King and His trophies of victory—those who have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. A song of triumph shall peal forth, filling all heaven. Christ has conquered. He enters the heavenly courts, accompanied by His redeemed ones, the witnesses that His mission of suffering and sacrifice has not been in vain.” The Adventist Home, 550.

Additional Reading

“As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ’s atonement in his behalf and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his will entirely to God’s will and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory.

“Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety. The Lord speaks to His heavenly Father, saying: ‘This is My child, I reprieve him from the condemnation of death, giving him My life insurance policy―eternal life―because I have taken his place and have suffered for his sins. He is even My beloved son.’ Thus man, pardoned, and clothed with the beautiful garments of Christ’s righteousness, stands faultless before God.

“The sinner may err, but he is not cast off without mercy. His only hope, however, is repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Father’s prerogative to forgive our transgressions and sins, because Christ has taken upon Himself our guilt and reprieved us, imputing to us His own righteousness. His sacrifice satisfies fully the demands of justice.

“Justification is the opposite of condemnation. God’s boundless mercy is exercised toward those who are wholly undeserving. He forgives transgressions and sins for the sake of Jesus, who has become the propitiation for our sins. Through faith in Christ, the guilty transgressor is brought into favor with God and into the strong hope of life eternal.” Faith and Works, 103, 104.

“It is the righteousness of Christ that makes the penitent sinner acceptable to God and works his justification. However sinful has been his life, if he believes in Jesus as his personal Saviour, he stands before God in the spotless robes of Christ’s imputed righteousness.” Ibid., 106.

“We have a living Saviour. He is not in Joseph’s new tomb; He is risen from the dead and has ascended on high as a Substitute and Surety for every believing soul. ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Romans 5:1.) The sinner is justified through the merits of Jesus, and this is God’s acknowledgment of the perfection of the ransom paid for man. That Christ was obedient even unto the death of the cross is a pledge of the repenting sinner’s acceptance with the Father. Then shall we permit ourselves to have a vacillating experience of doubting and believing, believing and doubting? Jesus is the pledge of our acceptance with God. We stand in favor before God, not because of any merit in ourselves, but because of our faith in ‘the Lord our righteousness.’ [Jeremiah 33:16.]” Ibid., 107.

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

Sitting with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

While in a bookstore recently, some books containing pictures of the past caught my eye. I looked at pictures of the Civil War, covered wagons, miners in California, and various groups of people, all of which were very interesting to me, because it is history which was lived, and now it is gone. Although a reality at one time, it is passed away, but pictures are left behind which help us see what the people and their lives were like.

Man can produce pictures of the past. We have the technology to produce pictures of the present, but God is the only One Who can produce pictures of the future. A picture of the future is given in Matthew 8:11: “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” Here is a picture of reality. Jesus pulls back the veil, and He gives us a picture of what is going to happen. Someday, “Some of you are going to sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in My kingdom.” Do you want to be there in that day?

The Future is Reality

In Matthew 22:31, 32, Jesus categorizes Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob among the living: “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Jesus says that God is a God of the living, not of the dead. But then He says that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These patriarchs of the Old Testament are dead. How, then, can He identify them among the living?

Romans 4 explains how God is able to do this. God looks at things differently than you and I look at things. Remember, through Isaiah, He says, “My thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8. “Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” Romans 4:16, 17.

God calls those things which are not right now, as though they are. He views reality—past, present, and future—all in the perspective of the living. So, He views Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as living even though they are not, because some-day they will be living. The picture of the future is reality. God deals in the reality of what has been, what is, and what will be. The question we may ask ourselves, at this point, is, Would it not be well for us to view life as God does? Yes, it would.

Real or Imaginary

“On a certain occasion, when Betterton, the celebrated actor, was dining with Dr. Sheldon, archbishop of Canterbury, the archbishop said to him, ‘Pray, Mr. Betterton, tell me why it is that you actors affect your audiences so powerfully by speaking of things imaginary.’ ‘My lord,’ replied Betterton, ‘with due submission to Your Grace, permit me to say that the reason is plain: It all lies in the power of enthusiasm. We on the stage speak of things imaginary as if they were real, and you in the pulpit speak of things real as if they were imaginary.’ ” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 255.

God wants us to wake up to the reality of the past, the present, and the future, because God is dealing in reality. If we are going to walk with God, we are going to have to deal in the same. How is it with us when we talk about salvation, when we talk about Jesus, when we talk about Calvary? Is it real? How is it when we talk about heaven? Is it real? If it is, it will be sensed in our voices; it will be seen in our expressions; it will be heard from the pulpit.

Sitting with Jesus

Jesus gave us a picture, in Matthew 8:11, that someday the redeemed would sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—very notable men—and there will be others with whom the redeemed will sit, but I want you to know there is Someone else. A picture of the future—a reality which will be: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21. Where is Jesus today? He is sitting at the right hand of His Father. Not only will the redeemed sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but they are going to sit with Jesus also.

Do you want to sit with Jesus Christ someday? Do you want to be in this picture? When you are looking at family pictures, and you see yourself in the picture, there is a special feeling about being included. God wants you in His picture. This verse tells us how Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the rest of the redeemed will eventually sit down with Jesus in His kingdom. How did they obtain an experience, which will eventually place them in the picture of the future—namely, eternal life? There is one word; they were overcomers! In their lives, they overcame, and this gives them the reward of someday sitting with Jesus and the rest of the redeemed in the picture of eternity.

One Author

It does not matter whether you read James, 1 Thessalonians, Romans, Isaiah, Ezekiel, or any of the other various books of the Bible; one Author inspired every book. It is the same One who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush. We are not listening to Paul; we are listening to Jesus. We are not listening to Isaiah; we are listening to Jesus. We are not listening to Moses; we are listening to Jesus. And may I say, we are not listening to Ellen White; we are listening to Jesus Christ! The testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of Prophecy.

Endure Temptation

“Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12. God places Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the future picture, because they overcame temptations in their lives. They will receive their crowns, because they endured the temptations to sin. Did they sin at one time? Oh, yes! But did they eventually gain victories? Yes, they did. If we are going to sit with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, we are going to have to learn to endure temptation as did they, living in a world of trouble, sin, and temptation.

Jesus said, very clearly, that we will never endure without Him. “Without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. Not a thing!


If we cannot endure temptation, we are going to sin. If we sinned this past week and we know that we have, it is because we disconnected ourselves from Jesus. If we are walking with Jesus, we will not sin; we will be overcomers.

Overcoming is merely coming over. It is coming over to Jesus and to His side of the issue in the great controversy. Jesus says, “Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. When we respond to this invitation, we then have made the decision to walk with Jesus. We then have the ability, through His grace, to endure temptation, just as surely as did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are attributes to help us overcome, and I would like for us to consider three of them. Three men with three things in their lives which, if we incorporate them into our lives, will give us the victory over temptations which they experienced, and thus give us the privilege of someday sitting with them in the kingdom of God!

Faith of Abraham

Let us start with Abraham. He is a tremendous example of faith. God called him and told him, early in his experience, that he needed to leave his hometown. Did he obey? Oh, yes, he did. Abraham had faith in God, and he responded to Him. Notice what God tells us about Abraham, through the writings of Paul. “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?” Romans 4:1. Abraham found something, which we need to find, and if we have found it, we need to hold on to it. Continuing, in verse 3: “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” It was accounted unto him for righteousness because he believed God. Abraham had more than just faith—he had a living faith. A living faith is a faith which acts!

James says that faith without works is dead. (James 2:20, 26.) We know, by God’s testimony of Abraham, that he had a faith that worked. The kind of faith Abraham had is the kind of faith that we need, if we are going to someday sit in God’s kingdom.

Notice what motivated his faith: “And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” 1 Corin-thians 13:2. The kind of faith, which Abraham had and God rewarded, was motivated by love. This is why James tells us that Abraham became the friend of God. You and I can be God’s friend, if we respond to His love with love. Love begets love, and God has taken the initiative to love us, even though we are unlovely. God commended His love to us, in that while we were yet transgressors of His law, Christ, His Son, died for you and me. (Romans 5:8.) He has demonstrated His love, not merely professed it, and He wants us to have the kind of faith that will act. Abraham had the kind of faith which was motivated by love.

On what was Abraham’s faith focused? Romans 4:20, 21 says, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” You see, Abraham focused on God’s Word—His promises. He not only focused, but he also believed what God said would be. He chose to cooperate with God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. (Romans 4:3.)

The living faith, which is motivated by Christ’s love, becomes a living reality and can do wonderful things. We find Abraham doing something that would be impossible without such faith. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten [son].” Hebrews 11:17. Abraham was privileged to illustrate the plan of redemption to fallen man by taking his only son, Isaac, up to Mount Moriah and willingly offering him as a sacrifice at the command of God. Did it take faith for Abraham to do this? It took a great deal of faith. He knew God’s voice, and he knew Who had asked him to do this nearly impossible thing. But he was willing to do it, and he exercised faith, which God rewarded.

If we have the kind of faith Abraham had, we will be able to do the impossible! What we think is impossible, we can do, by God’s grace, if it is His will and His command—just as Abraham did the impossible by taking Isaac to Mount Moriah. He never hesitated. This is why he is called the friend of God. If we have any hesitation in our experience with God, in believing His promises, we still have room to grow—and all of us have room to grow in faith.

We can have this kind of faith! “It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have that will give you success. It is that which the Lord can do for you. We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul. He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 146. We need to focus on His promises.

God wants to do great things for us, but He cannot do them unless we exercise faith, because He will not compromise. He does not have to compromise. He has made Himself well-known to humanity, if humanity chooses to respond through the avenues by which God has made Himself known. All that He did for Abraham, He will do for you and me, for God is no respecter of persons. If we are not there in the day when Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sit down with Jesus, it is not against God. It has nothing to do with any arbitrary decree on the part of God. It will be our own choice. Just because we are in church every Sabbath does not mean that we are safe and secure. We are marked men and women. “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed.” Revelation 12:17. We can choose to be God’s wheat, or we can choose to be the tares. Jesus told us they are growing together. We can all be wheat, if we so choose.

From Abraham, we learn a main attribute. If we are going to be in God’s kingdom someday, we have to exercise a living faith—a living faith that is motivated by love; faith that is a personal experience with God; an experience that causes God to call us His friend.

Isaac’s Obedience

Now let us look at another attribute from the life of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Did Abraham raise Isaac right? Oh, yes! We are going to see that he did. I can tell you that the majority of young people today, whom I see in the world around me, would not have reacted as Isaac did that day on Mount Moriah. It has everything to do with how a child is raised. “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.” Genesis 22:9.

Was Isaac struggling all the while? Was he saying, “Dad, Dad, do not do this; it is wrong”? No. Isaac was told by his father, Abraham, what God had told him, and Isaac said, “Father, may God’s will be done. Tie me up.” We need to think about this for a moment. Did Isaac have faith? Oh, yes, he had faith. But he also had obedience—obedience which was more than mere obedience.

Remember, the rich young ruler came to Jesus and said, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus enumerated some of the Ten Commandments, and the rich young ruler said, “I have done all of those since I was a child.” (Mark 10:17–20.) Did he have the obedience which would allow him to someday sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? No. He had obedience, but he did not have the kind of obedience that Isaac had.

Isaac had what we would call sacrificial obedience, which is the putting of self aside and obeying God, no matter what. Do we have this kind of obedience—actually dying to self and doing God’s will instead of our own, turning away from the inclinations of the flesh, the desires of our own, natural hearts and choosing God’s will no matter what? Jesus had this kind of sacrificial obedience to His Father when, in Gethsemane, He said, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42.

Isaac had what Jesus had—sacrificial obedience. If you and I are going to sit someday with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we are going to have to go beyond obedience. We are going to have to have sacrificial obedience, a willingness to die to self.

What motivated Isaac on Mount Moriah to allow his father to bind him and put him on the altar? “And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3. Isaac was motivated by love to offer the sacrifice of obedience. How is it with us?

“Isaac believed in God. He had been taught implicit obedience to his father, and he loved and reverenced the God of his father. He could have resisted his father if he had chosen to do so. But after affectionately embracing his father, he submitted to be bound and laid upon the wood.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 107. This is inspired commentary. Sacrificial obedience is what we see in the life of Isaac. “All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses.” The Desire of Ages, 668.

Do we not want to have this kind of obedience? Jesus is the only One Who can give it to us, but it is all based upon our consent, our willingness to do. “The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience.” Ibid. Did Isaac know God? Yes, but he was a young man. You might ask how he knew God. He knew God from his father, but then he came to know God himself, choosing, individually, to respond to his heavenly Father. So not only did Abraham know God personally, but Isaac also knew God personally.

We can never offer sacrificial obedience to God without first knowing Him. We can offer obedience without knowing Him, but never sacrificial obedience. We have to know Him from the heart.

Jacob’s Persevering Determination

Finally, what does Jacob teach us? What attribute from the life of Jacob will help us to be ready to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and him in God’s kingdom someday?

The conflict of Jacob’s life is recorded in Genesis 32. You and I are going through little conflicts, little tests, right now. A river Jabbok is just before each one of us. The conflict of our lives is just before us, as God’s professed people. Each one of us will be tested, closer and closer. How are we doing on the quizzes?

As Jacob struggled with the Angel—Jesus—from midnight to dawn, He said, “Let me go, for the day breaketh.” And Jacob responded, “I will not!” Have you ever told God this? Every time we fall into sin, we are saying, “God, I will not!” But we can say, as did Jacob, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” Genesis 32:26.

I can remember that, when I came back after the apostasy I went through, I struggled with things in my life. It is not an easy thing to come back, but it is not impossible either. I remember giving in to temptation and sinning, then weeping and going to my Father, thinking, “It is impossible! Give it up.” But the Lord inspired me with a thought, and I prayed it more than once, because it took more than once. I remember praying to my Father, “Please forgive me; I choose not to give up, but to get up!”

Jacob said, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What [is] thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Verses 26–28. We have something to learn from Jacob’s experience. It is called persevering determination. How much do you press toward heaven?

In 11 Peter 1:10, Peter says, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence [give determination] to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” May I add, if you do not do this, you will fall! He goes on to say, “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Verse 11. We must have this attribute—persevering determination—to continue to press on.

Paul said, “[This] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, . . . I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13, 14. [Emphasis supplied.] He pressed; he was determined. Paul was a determined man, because he realized that the pictures, which God put before him of the future, were reality. He knew the pictures of the past were reality. He knew what he was going through was reality.

Jacob was a determined man. What motivated Jacob? Paul speaks about love in 1 Corinthians 13:7, 8: “[Love] beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.” Did Jacob have this kind of love, this kind of motivation? Yes, he did. He was determined. His faith endured. Jacob knew his quest was real, not imaginary.

“Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded.” The Great Controversy, 621. This is
a wonderful promise. What Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob experienced, we can experience. It must be our experience if we are to someday sit with them in God’s kingdom.

The Final Picture

Someday soon, Jesus and all of His angels will come to this earth. He is coming for those who have had the living faith of Abraham, the sacrificial obedience of Isaac, and the persevering determination of Jacob. Of them, Jesus says, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13. We need to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ. Combining the attributes of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with love, we will have victory! We will secure a seat in the kingdom. We will be part of this picture!

Craig Meeker is Director of the Bible Correspondence School at Steps to Life. He may be contacted by e-mail at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Keys to the Storehouse – Lift that Shield

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16.

“The shield which covered Joseph’s heart was the fear of God, which caused him to be faithful and just to his master, and true to God. … The grace of God he called to his aid, and then fought with the tempter. He nobly says, ‘How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God’ [Genesis 39:9]. He came off conqueror.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 145.

When temptation comes, is your conviction the same as was Joseph? “It is not necessary that anyone should yield to the temptations of Satan and thus violate his conscience and grieve the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 574.

Joseph lifted that shield against the devil’s temptations. He had a steady, reliable allegiance to God and was not ashamed as he called to God for help. Is that shield covering your heart? Are you able to say: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth … . For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16, 17.

“From faith to faith” means that each time the shield of faith is exercised it gains strength in deflecting temptations. “You need ever to cultivate spirituality, because it is not natural for you to be heavenly-minded.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 520.

Take that shield, lift it up against those fiery darts and quench them—put the fire out. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego exercised amazing faith—they held their shield high as they chose allegiance to God over the threat of a fiery death! (See Daniel 3.)

To obtain eternal life, we must “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” I Timothy 6:12.

Satan continually hurls his fiery darts of temptation in our direction, but they can only reach their target while we let our shields of faith down by not believing God is in control and is working everything out for our good. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:28, 29. Do you really believe that God is in control? Then, lift that shield of faith!


  • Our shield is the first line of defense. “Above all, taking the shield of faith.”
  • When we allow doubt to creep in, our shield is lowered leaving vulnerability for the devil to make his onslaught.
  • Peter, while walking on water, became distracted by the waves. When his shield of faith went down, he started to sink. (Matthew 14:24–32.)
  • Lift that shield of faith against the enemy!

Heavenly Father, Equip me with the spiritual armor needed for the same spiritual battle fought by my brothers, Joseph, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Give me strength to lift my shield high to deflect all of the fiery darts of Satan. I want to be part of the Lord’s army, for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it truly is Thy power unto salvation to everyone that believes. It is Thy righteousness revealed in us from faith to faith. Amen.