Bible Study Guides – “When the Fullness of the Time Was Come”

May 12, 2001 – May 18, 2001


“Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17.

STUDY HELP: The Desire of Ages,48, 49.


“But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. ‘Afterward,’ He said, ‘shall they come out with great substance.’ Genesis 15:14. Against that word, all the power of Pharaoh’s proud empire battled in vain. On ‘the self-same day’ appointed in the divine promise, ‘it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.’ Exodus 12:41. So in heaven’s council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. ‘When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son.’” The Desire of Ages, 32.

“All That the Prophets Have Spoken”

  1. When was the Redeemer first promised? Genesis 3:15.

NOTE: “To man the first intimation of redemption was communicated in the sentence pronounced upon Satan in the garden. The Lord declared, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.’ This sentence, uttered in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. While it foretold war between man and Satan, it declared that the power of the great adversary would finally be broken. Adam and Eve stood as criminals before the righteous Judge, awaiting the sentence which transgression had incurred; but before they heard of the life of toil and sorrow which must be their portion, or of the decree that they must return to dust, they listened to words that could not fail to give them hope. Tho they must suffer from the power of their mighty foe, they could look forward to final victory.” Signs of the Times, November 4, 1908.

  1. What did God reveal concerning the coming Redeemer to the prophets? Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:14; Zechariah 9:9; Zechariah 11:13; Psalm 22:7, 8, 18; Psalm 69:21; Isaiah 53:3–9.

NOTE: “It is the voice of Christ that speaks through patriarchs and prophets, from the days of Adam even to the closing scenes of time. The Saviour is revealed in the Old Testament as clearly as in the New. It is the light from the prophetic past that brings out the life of Christ and the teachings of the New Testament with clearness and beauty. The miracles of Christ are a proof of His divinity; but a stronger proof that He is the world’s Redeemer is found in comparing the prophecies of the Old Testament with the history of the New.” The Desire of Ages, 799.

“In All Things Like unto His Brethren”

  1. Why was it essential that, when Christ took upon Himself humanity, He should take the same nature as those He came to save? Hebrews 2:11, 14–18.

NOTE: “Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, the base resting on the earth, and the topmost round reaching to the gate of heaven, to the very threshold of glory. If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the earth, we should have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome. Made ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ (Romans 8:3), He lived a sinless life. Now by His divinity He lays hold upon the throne of heaven, while by His humanity He reaches us. He bids us by faith in Him attain to the glory of the character of God. Therefore are we to be perfect, even as our ‘Father which is in heaven is perfect.’” The Desire of Ages, 311, 312.

  1. What warning does John give about those who deny this truth? I John 4:1–3.

NOTE: “After the fall of man, Satan declared that human beings were proved to be incapable of keeping the law of God, and he sought to carry the universe with him in this belief. Satan’s words appeared to be true, and Christ came to unmask the deceiver. The Majesty of heaven undertook the cause of man, and with the same facilities that man may obtain, withstood the temptations of Satan as man must withstand them. This was the only way in which fallen man could become a partaker of the divine nature. In taking human nature, Christ was fitted to understand man’s trials and sorrows and all the temptations wherewith he is beset. Angels who were unacquainted with sin could not sympathize with man in his peculiar trials. Christ condescended to take man’s nature, and was tempted in all points like as we, that He might know how to succor all who should be tempted.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 252.

“The Time Is Fulfilled”

  1. With what message of prophetic fulfillment did Christ begin His ministry? Mark 1:14, 15. (Read verses 9–11 and compare Daniel 9:25.)

NOTE: “The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point for this period is given: ‘Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks,’ sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years. Daniel 9:25. The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9, margin), went into effect in the autumn of B.C. 457. From this time four hundred and eighty-three years extend to the autumn of A.D. 27. According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A.D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed. ‘The time is fulfilled.’” The Desire of Ages, 233.

  1. How did the gospel writers show their understanding that prophecy was being fulfilled? Matthew 1:22, 23; Matthew 2:14–18; Matthew 21:4, 5; Matthew 27:35; Mark 1:2.

NOTE: “The apostles also all testify to the importance of the Old Testament Scriptures. Peter says: ‘For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ Luke thus speaks of the prophets who predicted the coming of Christ: ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people; and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began.’” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 208.

“I Have Glorified Thee on the Earth”

  1. What was the purpose of Christ’s life? John 17:4. Compare Exodus 33:18, 19; John 14:9.

NOTE: “Christ’s life was a life of pure benevolence, of disinterested labor. He assumed human nature for no other purpose than to display the glory of God in the happiness of man.” Review and Herald, March 19, 1901.

“Christ took our nature and dwelt among us. Divinity was revealed in humanity; the invisible glory in the visible human form. Men could learn of the unknown through the known; heavenly things were revealed through the earthly; God was made manifest in the likeness of men.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 17.

  1. Did Christ exercise powers that may not be available to His followers? John 5:19, 30; John 7:16; John 8:28; John 12:49; John 14:12.

NOTE: ‘‘‘Verily, verily, I say unto you,’ Christ continued, ‘He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also.’ The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” The Desire of Ages, 664.

“The Lamb of God”

  1. Why was it necessary for Christ to die? Romans 5:6–8. Compare I John 4:10.

NOTE: “Our Saviour manifested for us a love that the love of man can never equal. When we were bruised and dying, He had pity upon us. He did not pass us by on the other side, and leave us, helpless and hopeless, to perish. He did not remain in His holy, happy home, where He was beloved by all the heavenly host. He beheld our sore need, He undertook our case, and identified His interests with those of humanity. He died to save His enemies. He prayed for His murderers. Pointing to His own example, He says to His followers, ‘These things I command you, that ye love one another’; ‘as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ John 15:17; 13:34.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 381, 382.

  1. What supreme evidence of love did Christ reveal on Calvary? Luke 23:34.

NOTE: “Christ was earning the right to become the advocate for men in the Father’s presence. That prayer for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner who had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Whenever we sin, Christ is wounded afresh. For us He lifts His pierced hands before the Father’s throne, and says, ‘Forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” The Story of Jesus, 142.

“Stand before the cross and learn from it the cost of redemption. With breaking heart, the Holy Sufferer looks up to God, and cries, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ His heart was breaking under the thought of the woe that was to come upon the actors, under a sense of their ingratitude, under the weight of the sin He Himself must carry for them. No heart save His own could approach unto such sin-bearing. Amidst His agony there came from heart and lips the wonderful prayer, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’” Bible Training School, July 1, 1916.

“Saved by His Life”

  1. What did the death of Christ achieve for us? Romans 5:10, first part.

NOTE: “Jesus did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do, and exclaimed with His departing breath: ‘It is finished.’ Satan was then defeated. He knew that his kingdom was lost. Angels rejoiced as the words were uttered: ‘It is finished.’ The great plan of redemption, which was dependent on the death of Christ, had been thus far carried out. And there was joy in heaven that the sons of Adam could, through a life of obedience, be finally exalted to the throne of God. Oh, what love! What amazing love! that brought the Son of God to earth to be made sin for us, that we might be reconciled to God.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 211.

  1. What will the living Saviour accomplish for His people? Romans 5:10, last part. (See also Hebrews 7:25.)

NOTE: “The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, ‘whither the forerunner is for us entered.’ Hebrews 6:20. There the light from the cross of Calvary is reflected. There we may gain a clearer insight into the mysteries of redemption. The salvation of man is accomplished at an infinite expense to heaven; the sacrifice made is equal to the broadest demands of the broken law of God. Jesus has opened the way to the Father’s throne, and through His mediation the sincere desire of all who come to Him in faith may be presented before God.” Great Controversy, 489.

“Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation. God’s word declares, ‘Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried.’ Daniel 12:10. Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12.) Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves. They lose sight of their own weakness and their constant need of divine strength. They are unprepared for Satan’s devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall into the very depths of sin. We are admonished, ‘Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.’ I Corinthians 10:12. Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 155.

The Man Nobody Knew, Part II

When we look at the trial of Jesus, we see that He was contending with supernatural forces, with demons. These demons were in control of the minds of the men that were all around Him. The demons had induced these men to do the most insulting things imaginable to Him. One of the things mentioned in the Bible is that they spit in His face. (Matthew 26:67.) “Jesus stood meek and humble before the infuriated multitude, while they offered Him the vilest abuse. They spit in His face—that face from which they will one day desire to hide.” Early Writings, 170.

They tempted Him to lose patience, to become irritated, but He was too big for that. I want to tell you, friend, if you and I get to know Him, we will be too big for that, too.

People become upset over such insignificant things. People get upset when they think they have not been treated with enough deference and respect. Have you ever seen that happen? Composers of country music often depict this theme in the music they write. You have perhaps heard one of these songs on the radio. It is what they call the “Somebody Done Somebody Wrong” song. But when you read the story of Jesus from beginning to end, you find that He was always calm and self-possessed. He was bigger than all of that. Are you bigger than that? You will be, if you get to know Him.

Personal Magnetism

Let us look at one other aspect of Jesus’ life and ask ourselves, “Do I know Him?” This is an exciting and fascinating subject to study. Jesus was a person who had personal magnetism. You know what I am talking about. People were powerfully attracted to Him, because He had a love in His heart for people. You see, Jesus loved every human being. He loved the worst sinners—the lepers, the people who were outcasts from society, the adulterers, and the tax collectors. There are numerous stories in the gospel in reference to these people, the scum of society. Jesus showed them love.

No matter what mistakes you have made, no matter how many sins you have committed, He still loves you. Because He loves human beings so much, He has a personal magnetism beyond compare. If you and I get to know Him, we will have a personal magnetism, too, and as a result, people with whom we associate will want the religion we have. If people do not want the religion we have, there is something the matter with our religion. Something is wrong with our religion, because we do not really know Him.

Let us look at an example, which illustrates the personal magnetism Jesus possessed that was a result of the love He had for every human being. He passed by no human being as worthless. Matthew knew about this magnetism, and he recorded his own personal experience with Jesus in the gospel he wrote. Matthew 9:9 says, “Then as Jesus passed on from there [Caper-naum], He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ And he arose and followed Him.” The more you study this verse, the more you will understand from it. It does not say that Jesus stopped; He was passing by. He was walking by the tax booth, and as He walked by, He gave the invitation, “Follow Me,” and Matthew got up and followed Him.

We cannot study this text without the realization that Jesus had personal magnetism; He had drawing power. Matthew was a man who had a lucrative job, but as Jesus passed him, he felt drawn to Him and did not hesitate to follow Him. If you need a leader in your life who will give you personal magnetism and make you an attractive human being, Jesus is the One you need.

Man of Authority

A similar example to Matthew’s experience is given in Matthew 8. In verses 5 to 13, the story is told of a person who understood this principle of magnetism. A centurion came to Jesus because his servant was “paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” Jesus said that He would come and heal the servant, but the centurion replied, “No, Lord, you do not need to come.” The centurion recognized that Jesus had authority, and he said, “You do not need to come down to my house because I am a man under authority. And I say to this person, ‘Go here,’ and they do it, and to that person, ‘Go there,’ and they do it; and I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ ” This centurion realized that Jesus had much more authority than he had. He said, “You do not need to come down to my house. All you need to do is speak, and if you will speak the word, my servant will be healed.”

This man had never before met Jesus. If you read the story as recorded in Luke 7:1–17, you will see there that some of the Jews came to Jesus and pleaded, “Oh, Lord, please help us. Please help this man, be-cause he has been good to us. He has given us a lot of money for the church.” But when the man actually came into Jesus’ presence, he recognized immediately in Whose presence he was. The centurion told Jesus, “You do not need to come down to my house. Even though you volunteered to, you do not need to . . . . All you need to do is speak the word and it will happen.” This man understood that authority is dependent on faith. He also understood that faith is dependent on authority. Now you think that through. Authority is dependent on faith, and faith is dependent on authority. This man knew that he needed to express faith.

“When Jesus heard [it], He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, [so] let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour.” Matthew 8:10–13.

Authority Depends on Faith

Authority depends on faith, and faith depends on authority. The Greek word for authority is exousia. At times, the King James Bible translates it power, but the most literal translation is authority. How much authority does Jesus have? How much power does He have? Well, friend, that is a question that I cannot answer. The way He described it to His disciples was, “Everything in heaven and earth is mine. I have all authority. I have all power.” (Matthew 28:18.)

We do not know Him, and that is why, friend, we experience so little of the power of God in our lives. We do not have faith in His authority and power. If we knew Him, we would know He has the authority and power to do everything; when He speaks, it happens.

Jesus demonstrated this over and over again when He was here. All it took was a word, a look, a touch, because He had authority; He had power. He had magnetic power to draw people to Himself.

Just before He was crucified, He said to the people, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself.” John 12:32. Do you know Him? If you know Him, you will have faith and confidence in Him, because you will know that He has all authority and all power.

Learn Dependence

There are people—friends in our own church family and in other places—who have been going through some terrible, terrible trials for which there is no human cure. Sometimes people wonder, “If you are serving an omnipotent God who has all power, why do you get into this kind of trouble?” This I cannot fully answer, but I will tell you one of the reasons. One of the reasons we find ourselves in such terrible troubles is so we will learn how incapable we are to know what is best for our lives, and we will realize that we need help from a higher power. God allows us to get into trouble where there is no human solution.

“The apostle Paul says, ‘When I am weak, then am I strong.’ 11 Corinthians 12:10. When we have a realization of our weakness, we learn to depend upon a power not inherent.” The Desire of Ages, 493. “Christ is our only hope. We may look to Him, for He is our Saviour. We may take Him at His word, and make Him our dependence. He knows just the help we need, and we can safely put our trust in Him. If we depend on merely human wisdom to guide us, we shall find ourselves on the losing side. But we may come direct to the Lord Jesus.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 486.

Pastors come into contact with such issues in the lives of those to whom they minister—there is no physician who can help a certain problem; there is no financial counselor who can help—then you need the Lord. Jesus has drawing power, and He has all authority to exercise it in your behalf. He has all authority. He has all power.

“The eternal Father is waiting for us to take our eyes off finite man, and place our dependence on him. Then look not to man for your light and strength. Put not your trust in the arm of flesh. All your love and praise and exaltation are to be given to him who loved you and gave himself for you. Strive to be one with Christ as he was one with the Father; but in no case exalt man, not even the ablest speaker that ever lived. Lift up Jesus. Talk of him, extol his name, and by so doing your own hearts will be warmed and encouraged and strengthened. As the believer studies the word and beholds Christ, he will become more and more like Christ. Searching the Scriptures, he will learn of Christ, whom to know aright is life eternal.” Review and Herald, October 16, 1900.

As You Have Believed

Maybe you are not receiving much of Jesus’ power and authority. Did you notice what Jesus said to the centurion? “According as you have believed . . . .” Matthew 8:13. You see, if we do not know Him, if we do not have confidence in Him, or if we do not have faith in Him, He cannot do much for us. That is something Jesus taught over and over again. When the blind people came to Him, Jesus would say, “Do you believe I can restore your sight?” They would respond, “Yes,” and He would say, “Well, according to your belief, let it be.” If they believed, what happened? They received sight. What if they did not believe?

An example of such unbelief is given in the Bible in Matthew 13:53–58. It is an experience that Jesus had in His hometown of Nazareth. “They were offended at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country and in his own house.’ And he did not do many works there because of their unbelief.” Verses 57, 58. How terrible! There were sick people in that town and people who needed help of all kinds, which they could have had, had they only believed.

“Some doubted. So it will always be. There are those who find it hard to exercise faith, and they place themselves on the doubting side. These lose much because of their unbelief.” The Desire of Ages, 819.

Oh, friend, think it through in your own mind. Is that your situation? Do you realize there is Someone who is all-powerful that wants to help you? He is attractive; He has personal magnetism; He has drawing power; but He cannot do much for you if you will not believe. That is one of the things that Jesus taught over and over again—I cannot do very much for you unless you will put your faith and trust in Me.

“Have you an unwavering trust in God? Lacking self-confidence, do you put your faith in him, rejoicing that you are privileged to be his child, even to suffer for his dear sake? Rejoicing in Christ as your Saviour, pitiful, compassionate, and touched with the feeling of your infirmities, love and joy will be revealed in your daily life. If you love Him who died to redeem mankind, you will love those for whom he died. A restful peace and happiness will fill your heart to overflowing when you believe that Jesus carries you and all your burdens.” Review and Herald, November 16, 1886.

Master of all Situations

I want you to ask yourself again, “Do I know Him? Am I going to become better acquainted with Him?” Jesus was the Master of every situation. Did you know that if you choose to put your trust in Him, you will never become the victim of circumstances? This is because He is still the Master of every situation.

In Matthew 8, we read that Jesus had been preaching and teaching all day. In verses 23 to 27, we see that He was very tired, and when He got into a boat, He went to sleep. While He was asleep, the devil tried to drown everyone in the boat. Great tempests came up on the sea. (The Bible is very clear that the devil is the prince of the power of the air. [See Ephesians 2:2.] He can stir up tempests, tornadoes, and a multitude of other things. It would be good to remember this the next time a tornado is called an “act of God.” That is a lie.) At about one or two o’clock in the morning, the boat was about to sink, and Jesus was asleep. What were the disciples to do?

Maybe you have not had such an experience; my wife and I have had this experience a number of times. What do you do when the phone rings at two o’clock in the morning? Are you ready to solve any problem that comes along at that time of the night? Jesus was, even though He was exhausted. The disciples awakened Him, and they said, “We are about to perish!” Jesus asked them, “Why are you fearful? You do not have enough faith; that is your problem.” He was not fearful. He was the Master of the situation, not because He was the Master of earth and sea and sky. Oh no! He had laid that power down. He was the Master of the situation because He was trusting in the Father’s might. He did not need to worry.

My dear friend, when you have chosen to commit your life to Him and you realize that He is the Master of every situation, you will not have to worry either.

“Trust yourself in the hands of Jesus. Do not worry. Do not think God has forgotten to be gracious. Jesus lives and will not leave you. May the Lord be your staff, your support, your front guard, your rearward.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 248.

What Will I Do If . . .

Someone may say, “What am I going to do? I may lose my job, and then I will not be able to buy any food or clothing nor be able to pay my rent. What am I going to do? I might succumb to some serious disease like all these other people I see getting sick. Then I will not be able to earn a living; I will not be able to do anything. What will I do?” Some people pass their whole life worrying, “What will I do if this happens? What will I do if that happens?” Do you know what Jesus said concerning this? He told us not to be anxious about what might happen. You can read about that in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5).

Why? Why not be anxious? Because your heavenly Father knows what you need; He knows how to take care of you. This does not mean you will not have to work. The Bible says that in this world we all must earn our bread by the sweat of our brow. (Genesis 3:19.) If you are following the Lord, you need not worry concerning the food you eat or the clothes you wear; your necessities will be taken care of. Jesus said, “You do not need to worry about that. If you make God first in your life and seek His righteousness and the kingdom of heaven, He will add the things to you that you need.” (Matthew 6:33, 34.) He is still the Master of all situations.

“Christ is our example. . . . He turned to His Father in these hours of distress. He came to earth that He might provide a way whereby we could find grace and strength to help in every time of need, by following His example in frequent, earnest prayer.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 509.

“You are as a child who is not yet placed in control of his inheritance. God does not entrust to you your precious possession, lest Satan by his wily arts should beguile you, as he did the first pair in Eden. Christ holds it for you, safe beyond the spoiler’s reach. Like the child, you shall receive day by day what is required for the day’s need. Every day you are to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ [Matthew 6:11.] Be not dismayed if you have not sufficient for tomorrow. You have the assurance of His promise, ‘So shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.’ [Psalm 37:3.]” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 110, 111.

Confidence in our Redeemer

So many times when people came to Jesus, trying to trick Him, they thought they had Him in a jam out of which He could not get. They thought they would either be able to destroy His influence or bring about His arrest by the Romans. It is very interesting to read the stories written in Matthew 21 and 22, in John 8, and in so many other scriptures. Jesus showed with ease, every time, that He was the Master of the situation.

If you are in a terrible situation for which there is no possible human solution, do you realize that He could be the Master of the situation in your life, too? He will be, if you commit your life to Him.

Ellen White wrote: “Let us have more confidence in our Redeemer. Turn not from the waters of Lebanon to seek refreshment at broken cisterns, which can hold no water. Have faith in God. Trustful dependence on Jesus makes victory not only possible, but certain. Though multitudes are pressing on in the wrong way, though the outlook be ever so discouraging, yet we may have full assurance in our Leader; for ‘I am God,’ he declares, ‘and there is none else.’ [Isaiah 45:22.] He is infinite in power, and able to save all who come to him. There is no other in whom we can safely trust.” Review and Herald, June 9, 1910.

Oh, friend, whoever you are, you need to know Him. If you choose to come to Him, to commit your life to Him, no matter how terrible of a sinner you are, no matter how weak you are, no matter how troubled you are, no matter how complicated your situation, He will be Master of the situation, and He will save you. Do you know Him? If you know Him, He will grant you eternal life, because He has all power and grace. He loves you, friend. He wants to save you.

[Bible texts quoted are literal translation.]

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

Bible Study Guides – The Origin of Sin and God’s Response

April 11, 2010 – April 17, 2010

Key Text:

“Thou wast perfect in all thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 14:15.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 114–123.


“It is impossible to explain the origin of sin so as to give a reason for its existence. Yet enough may be understood concerning both the origin and the final disposition of sin, to make fully manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all His dealings with evil. Nothing is more plainly taught in Scripture than that God was in no wise responsible for the entrance of sin. … Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it, is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin. Our only definition of sin is that given in the word of God; it is ‘the transgression of the law;’ (1 John 3:4) it is the outworking of a principle at war with the great law of love which is the foundation of the divine government.” That I May Know Him, 15.

1 Where did sin originate? Isaiah 14:12–15; Ezekiel 28:12–15.

Note: “In heaven itself this law was broken. Sin originated in self-seeking. Lucifer, the covering cherub, desired to be first in heaven. He sought to gain control of heavenly beings, to draw them away from their Creator, and to win their homage to himself. Therefore he misrepresented God, attributing to Him the desire for self-exaltation. With his own evil characteristics he sought to invest the loving Creator. Thus he deceived angels. Thus he deceived men. He led them to doubt the word of God, and to distrust His goodness. Because God is a God of justice and terrible majesty, Satan caused them to look upon Him as severe and unforgiving. Thus he drew men to join him in rebellion against God, and the night of woe settled down upon the world.” The Desire of Ages, 21, 22.

2 What happened to the sinners in heaven? Revelation 12:7–9.

Note: “Lucifer in heaven desired to be first in power and authority; he wanted to be God, to have the rulership of heaven; and to this end he won many of the angels to his side. When with his rebel host he was cast out from the courts of God, the work of rebellion and self-seeking was continued on earth. Through the temptation to self-indulgence and ambition, Satan accomplished the fall of our first parents; and from that time to the present the gratification of human ambition and the indulgence of selfish hopes and desires have proved the ruin of mankind.” Reflecting Christ, 51.

3 What was Satan’s goal when He was cast out? Isaiah 14:13, 14.

Note: “Lucifer might have remained in favor with God, beloved and honored by all the angelic host, exercising his noble powers to bless others and to glorify his Maker. But, says the prophet, ‘Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness’ [Ezekiel 28]. Verse 17. Little by little, Lucifer came to indulge a desire for self-exaltation. ‘Thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God.’ … ‘Thou hast said … I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation. … I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High’ [Ezekiel 28]. Verse 6; Isaiah 14:13, 14. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of His creatures, it was Lucifer’s endeavor to win their service and homage to himself. And coveting the honor which the infinite Father had bestowed upon His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power which it was the prerogative of Christ alone to wield.” The Great Controversy, 494.

4 How did Satan attempt to gain control of God’s creation? Genesis 3:1–6.

Note: “In order to accomplish his work unperceived, Satan chose to employ as his medium the serpent—a disguise well adapted for his purpose of deception. The serpent was then one of the wisest and most beautiful creatures on the earth. It had wings, and while flying through the air presented an appearance of dazzling brightness, having the color and brilliancy of burnished gold. Resting in the rich-laden branches of the forbidden tree and regaling itself with the delicious fruit, it was an object to arrest the attention and delight the eye of the beholder. Thus in the garden of peace lurked the destroyer, watching for his prey.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 53.

5 How did God meet the emergency of Adam and Eve’s fall? Genesis 3:15.

Note: “Christ, the Source of Our Salvation—After the fall of Adam and Eve, the race was plunged in hopeless misery, and it was then that this great plan of redemption was advanced. It was then the Son of God consented to leave His Father’s throne, lay aside His royal crown, clothe Himself with humanity, take upon Him the nature of man, and become a man among men. He became a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. Then shall we not say with John, ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God’! (I John 3:1). Many in our world seem to think that to be a Christian is to step down very low, getting upon a very low level. But this is a very mistaken idea. What is it to be a Christian? It is to be like Christ. Who is Christ? The Son of the living God. He is the One who wrought out the plan of salvation for the fallen race. Every blessing we have comes through this Source, through Jesus Christ. Anyone who would entertain the idea that it is a great sacrifice to become a Christian should remember, when seated around the family board partaking of the bounties there, that all these blessings come from Jesus Christ. It was in consequence of sin that man was shut out from the throne of God, but Christ steps in and pays the price, and through His merits man is brought back in favor with God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 230.

6 How and in what manner did the redeemer appear to mankind? Luke 2:4–7.

Note: “His birth was without worldly grandeur. He was born in a stable and cradled in a manger; yet His birth was honored far above that of any of the sons of men. Angels from heaven informed the shepherds of the advent of Jesus, and light and glory from God accompanied their testimony. The heavenly host touched their harps and glorified God. They triumphantly heralded the advent of the Son of God to a fallen world to accomplish the work of redemption, and by His death to bring peace, happiness, and everlasting life to man. God honored the advent of His Son. Angels worshiped Him.” Early Writings, 153.

7 How was the promised redeemer received? Luke 2:8–18; Matthew 2:1–13.

Note: “Jesus came as an infant of days, of poor parentage. But there were some who were willing to receive the heavenly Guest. For these the angel messengers veiled their glory, and the heavenly chorus rang over the hills of Bethlehem with hosannas to the newborn King. The humble shepherds believed Him, received Him, and worshiped Him. But the very ones who ought to have been the first to welcome Jesus did not discern Him. He was not the one their ambitious hopes desired. The false path they had entered, they continued to follow to the end. They became unteachable, self-righteous, and self-sufficient, fancying they possessed true light and that they were the only safe instructors of the people.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 14.

8 Where did Jesus grow up? Matthew 2:21–23.

Note: “For many years the Son of God lived unhonored, and almost unknown, in the wicked and despised city of Nazareth. This humble city was proverbial because of the wickedness of the people who resided therein. It was a humiliation to be an inhabitant of so corrupt a city. Christ commenced his mission among the hardest classes.” Redemption, 52.

9 Why was it necessary for Jesus to be baptized to be our complete Saviour from sin? Matthew 3:13–15.

Note: “Christ was baptized by John in Jordan, and as He came up out of the water after His baptism, the heavens were opened, and the glory of God, symbolized by a dove of burnished gold, encircled Him, and from the highest heaven were heard the words, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ [II Peter 1:17]. This was an assurance to John that Christ was the Son of God. And what do these words say to us, to every member of the human family, whatever our country or position? To every one of us they are words of hope and mercy. Through faith in the provision God has made in the behalf of man, you are accepted in the Beloved—accepted through the merits of Jesus.” The Bible Echo, November 12, 1894.

10 After His baptism by whom and how was Jesus recognized? Matthew 3:16, 17; Mark 1:11.

Note: “As Jesus prayed after his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove of burnished gold, hovered over him, and a voice was heard, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ Through the gates ajar there streamed bright beams of glory from the throne of Jehovah, and this light shines even upon us. The assurance given to Christ is assurance to every repenting, believing, obedient child of God that he is accepted in the Beloved.

“We are indebted to Jesus for all the blessings we enjoy. We should be deeply grateful that we are the subjects of his intercession.” The Signs of the Times, July 31, 1884.

Additional Reading

“To many minds, the origin of sin and the reason for its existence are a source of great perplexity. They see the work of evil, with its terrible results of woe and desolation, and they question how all this can exist under the sovereignty of One who is infinite in wisdom, in power, and in love. Here is a mystery, of which they find no explanation. And in their uncertainty and doubt, they are blinded to truths plainly revealed in God’s Word, and essential to salvation. There are those who, in their inquiries concerning the existence of sin, endeavor to search into that which God has never revealed; hence they find no solution of their difficulties; and such as are actuated by a disposition to doubt and cavil, seize upon this as an excuse for rejecting the words of Holy Writ. Others, however, fail of a satisfactory understanding of the great problem of evil, from the fact that tradition and misinterpretation have obscured the teaching of the Bible concerning the character of God, the nature of his government, and the principles of his dealing with sin.

“It is impossible to so explain the origin of sin as to give a reason for its existence. Yet enough may be understood concerning both the origin and the final disposition of sin, to fully make manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all his dealings with evil. Nothing is more plainly taught in Scripture than that God was in nowise responsible for the entrance of sin; that there was no arbitrary withdrawal of divine grace, no deficiency in the divine government, that gave occasion for the uprising of rebellion. Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it, is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin. Our only definition of sin is that given in the Word of God; it is ‘the transgression of the law’ [I John 3:4]; it is the outworking of a principle at war with the great law of love which is the foundation of the divine government.

“Before the entrance of evil, there was peace and joy throughout the universe. All was in perfect harmony with the Creator’s will. Love for God was supreme, love for one another impartial. Christ the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, and in purpose—the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. By Christ, the Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings. ‘By him were all things created, that are in Heaven, … whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers’ [Colossians 1:16]; and to Christ, equally with the Father, all Heaven gave allegiance.” The Great Controversy (1888), 492, 493.

This quarter’s lessons were prepared by Ruth Grosboll prior to her passing in January, 2010.

Enduring Trials

In rightly dividing the word of truth, it is often necessary to look beyond the stated words to the symbolism represented by those words. By so doing, the deeper meaning of Scripture is revealed and the diligent student can see more clearly the promises and workings of God in the lives of His faithful children today. For example, in Exodus 6:6, 7, when we understand that Egypt is symbolic of sin, we recognize not only a promise that God made to literal Israel—which was indeed fulfilled—but also a wonderful promise that applies today to spiritual Israel—a promise which is now being fulfilled through faith in God’s word.

“Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” Exodus 6:6, 7.

Understanding the symbolism in these two verses reveals one of the richest and most uplifting promises in Scripture. Here God promises to relieve us from the burden of sin, take us as His own people, and be to us a God, revealing to us that He is the Lord our God who releases us from the burden of sin. What a glorious promise!

But note how this work is to be accomplished: “with great judgments.” In verse 9, we are told that the children of Israel “hearkened not unto Moses.” Then Moses queried of God, “Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?” Verse 12.

It was not until the judgments began to fall on their overlords that the children of Israel realized that they were indeed to be delivered from their bondage. Similarly, many of God’s professed people will not understand the seriousness of the day until God’s judgments begin to fall today.

Even though as conservative, historic, faithful Seventh-day Adventists we make every effort to turn away from the world and keep our thoughts on things above rather than on things of this earth, regardless of how successful we may be at that, we would have to be living in a cave not to know that God is increasingly withdrawing His protecting hand from the earth. And even though His judgments are beginning to fall, His faithful children—spiritual Israel—can expect the same divine protection today that He manifested toward literal Israel when His judgments fell on Egypt. But just as the literal Israelites experienced trials and temptations all along their journey to the Promised Land, so too will the spiritual Israelites.

James 1:12 tells us, “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.”

The Greek word that is translated as temptation in this verse is the derivative of a root word that means to entice or discipline, often translated as try or trial.

Are there advantages to be gained from being tried by God? Clearly there are. Job noted in Job 23:10: “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

Job understands that God knows, as the Hebrew reads literally, “the way that is with him,” that is, his character and what he needs to do to bring it in line with God’s character. The trials that Job faces are for the specific purpose of developing in Job a character that reflects the character of God.

Even Eliphaz, one of the “miserable counselors,” understood to some extent the purpose of the trials and chastenings of God. He said in Job 5:17, “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.”

But just as God delivered literal Israel from bondage in Egypt by the imposition of His judgments on the Egyptians, in a similar manner He will deliver spiritual Israel from the bondage of sin in this world through His judgments.

An examination of the trials and chastenings that literal Israel experienced in their journey out of Egypt prior to crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land will give us a fuller understanding of what we can expect on our journey out of sin as we draw closer to the spiritual crossing of the Jordan.

  1. The literal Israelites had to prepare their hearts and homes for the exodus from Egypt by literally sacrificing a lamb and applying the blood to the entrances of their houses.

The Israelites were told, as recorded in Exodus 12:3 and 6, to take a spotless lamb on the tenth day and keep it, safeguard it, until the fourteenth day. Why? During those five days of caring for the lamb, they would undoubtedly become emotionally attached to it. Just as literal Israel grew to know and undoubtedly gain some affection toward the sacrificial lamb, so must spiritual Israel know Christ—the true Lamb of God—and grow to love Him through familiarity with His life and character. How can we gain that familiarity without studying His life, continually and consistently?

“It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.” The Desire of Ages, 83.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” I Peter 1:18, 19.

We, as the citizens of spiritual Israel, indeed must prepare our hearts by accepting by faith the sacrifice of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, and by faith applying the blood of Christ to wash our filthy robes of character and make them whiter than snow.

  1. The literal Israelites had to kill and eat the sacrificial lamb.

“And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. … And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” Exodus 12:6, 8.

By faith, spiritual Israel has to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the true Lamb.

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

  1. The Israelites were not released from bondage until the first-borns of their masters were destroyed.

“And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said.” Exodus 12:29–31.

Spiritual Israel is only released from the bondage of sin through accepting the sacrifice and death of the firstborn of God, His only begotten Son.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

  1. It was by means of the trials that the literal Israelites went through that the dross, the unbelievers, backsliders, and naysayers were purged from among them.

“Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it.” Numbers 14:22, 23.

If, when we are tried, the dross is not removed from us, we will be removed from the body of Christ, just as the unbelievers were purged from the literal Israelites during their wilderness sojourn.

“ ‘No one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.’ From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” John 6:65, 66 NKJV.

  1. Just as the blood descendants of Abraham faced one final test involving lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, so must the spiritual descendants of Abraham face similar tests against those same temptations.

“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.” Numbers 25:1–5.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” I John 2:16, 17.

Just as literal Israel had one last opportunity to choose between life and death, so too will spiritual Israel be given that same opportunity. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19.

Paul provided a succinct summary of the journey of the Israelites to the promised land in I Corinthians 10:1–11.

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”

We would do well to hearken to Paul’s conclusion to that summary: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Verse 12.

John Pearson is the office manager and a board member of Steps to Life. After retiring as chief financial officer for the Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon, Arizona USA, he moved to Wichita to join the Steps team and may be contacted by email at:

Boaz in the Sanctuary

David knew that to find God he would have to look in the sanctuary. In these last days, we should feel an urgency to understand the significance of the sanctuary message. The deeper we delve into God’s word the more hidden treasure is discovered. This could not be truer than the sanctuary, which provides a never-ending study that keeps enhancing both God’s character and His beauty.

In Revelation 3:11, 12, we are told: “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”

In a nutshell, that is the Advent message. Those who overcome will become like a pillar. Revelation 14:1 says, “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” It is in the forehead that the frontal lobe is located, the seat of the thinking process. That is where God’s seal is placed. God wants to write His name in our foreheads.

We are told in Psalm 29:9: “The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in His temple doth every one speak of His glory.” We know that glory means God’s character. Everything God has, and is, utters His character and is reflected in the sanctuary.

Both the earthly sanctuary and the temple Solomon built (I Chronicles 6:10) were constructed to reflect the heavenly temple.

In Exodus 27, 35 and 38, seven things included in the construction are mentioned: fine twined linen, the white fence, 60 pillars of brass, sockets of brass, hooks and fillets of silver, pins of brass and their cords, and something called a chapiter.

The chapiter was the capstone of the pillar. Made of silver, it sat right on top, becoming the head of the pillar. Similarly, the head is a capstone to the body. The head is also a representative of the thinking process.

In building the sanctuary, it was directed that each of the 603,550 men was to give a half shekel of silver for the service of the sanctuary (Exodus 38:26). From their gifts, 1,775 pieces of the silver shekels were used as “hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their chapiters” (verse 28). That may seem insignificant, but if you divide the 1,775 pieces of silver by 60 pillars, you will see that each pillar cost 29.58 pieces of silver. Rounding that number shows that the cost of each pillar was 30 pieces of silver, the price of a man. Jesus Christ was sold for 30 pieces of silver.

It says, in Job 22:25, 26, “Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.” So Job said that we shall have plenty of silver and the Almighty is our defense. Silver is a symbol of strength.

“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psalm 12:6. So should the words of the Christian be pure as silver. “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:3, 4.

The chapiter was a symbol of the thinking process, as were the words, “Holiness to the Lord” (Exodus 39:30), that were written on the front of the high priest’s hat, which was on his forehead—meaning righteousness. “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” Malachi 3:4. God wants to see righteousness. He wants to see purity, and He will purify us through the trials.

Psalm 66:10–13 says, “For Thou, O God, hast proved us: Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. I will go into Thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay Thee my vows.” “God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape.” I Corinthians 10:13. He makes it possible to endure any temptation and will never give you more than you can handle.

“The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.” “Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. … A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Proverbs 10:20; 25:4, 11.

That is good news! But have you ever been driving along with your family, praising God for the good worship service you heard that morning, and then someone driving cuts in front of you and there go your words? What happened? You find that your tongue is not bridled. There are many Christians regularly attending church who cannot bridle their tongue. Our words should be “fitly spoken like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Can you picture that?

Are your words like apples of gold? Have you ever tasted a really good apple? I remember a time when I was in the state of Washington and a friend gave me a case of apples to take back home on the plane. He said, “You have got to taste these apples.” And I responded that an apple is an apple. I really don’t like apples, because when you taste a bad one, you do not want any more.

The case of apples had been freshly picked and I was encouraged to just eat one. I had to be coaxed into trying it, but when I bit into it, oh, it was so good! I wanted to have the whole case of apples!

I was told, “Before, you haven’t tasted a good apple.”

When you taste a good apple, you will know it. It is like tasting a good mango or watermelon. Our words should be “like apples of gold.”

“The tongue of the just is as choice silver.” Now would you rather have a tongue of silver or a tongue of brass? Silver has a much higher value than brass, and gold is of more value than silver, but our words should be like silver.

Paul said, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5. Jesus always spoke with a tongue of silver when addressing the people and also the children. He knew exactly what to say to get His point across and even the times He had to rebuke, we are told He did it with tears.

“Jesus became a man that He might mediate between man and God. He clothed His divinity with humanity. He associated with the human race, that with His long human arm He might encircle humanity, and with His divine arm grasp the throne of Divinity. And this, that He might restore to man the original mind which he lost in Eden through Satan’s alluring temptation; that man might realize that it is for his present and eternal good to obey the requirements of God. Disobedience is not in accordance with the nature which God gave to man in Eden.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926.

It is the desire of Jesus to restore your mind. So when someone says, “You’ve lost your mind,” say, “Amen.” You ought to lose it to have the mind of Christ. He wants to give it to you.

Located in front of the Holy Place, on the porch of Solomon’s temple, were two pillars. The chapiters on the top of these pillars were decorated with pomegranates. The pillar on the right side was called the name Jachin and the pillar on the left was called the name Boaz. (See I Kings 7:20, 21.)

The name Boaz means in him is strength. Boaz was the kinsman to Naomi. Kinsman means redeem, revenger, to purchase, ransom, redeemer, buy back. Boaz was a representative of buying back—redeeming. (Read the story of Ruth—Ruth 1–4.) Our nearest kinsman is Jesus. Just as Rahab had a son, Boaz (see Matthew 1:5), who redeemed—type, Mary had a son Who really redeems—antitype. This is just one beautiful gem to be found when digging into the Word for hidden treasure.

The name Jachin means will establish. The root word means to set up, establish, fix, prepare a point, render prosperous, faithfulness, fasten, prepare, make, make provision, stand or tarry. Boaz was in a sense to redeem, but Jachin means that as you have been redeemed and bought back, becoming part of the family of God, He will fasten you so that you will not be moved. He will give you victory, and you will be prosperous in all of those things that God wants you to be. David said He will plant you by the rivers and you will bear fruit (Psalm 1:3). God wants to make you steadfast like the tree that never loses its leaves but just keeps producing fruit. That steadfastness can only be achieved by allowing Christ to buy you back and plant you by His side.

The price has already been paid on the cross of Calvary. So what is the problem? Have you not accepted the gift that God has for you?

Not accepting the gift would be like placing a special order for a car and paying for it in advance, but when it is delivered, the dealer decides he will drive it for a while before giving it to you. When you go to get it, he asks if he could drive it for another month because he likes the way it drives, the leather seats, the sound system and the sunroof. No, that would be totally unacceptable, for the car is yours. You paid for it.

How do you think Jesus feels when He says, “I paid for you. I bought you. You are mine.” He is coming to claim His own, but some say, “Well, let me hold on to self a little bit longer, Jesus, just a little bit longer.” What sort of condition would His property be in when He comes back if you hold on to self? Can you imagine Adam, who was around 16 feet tall, when he is raised up at the resurrection and sees what his dwarfed descendents look like? Will he ask, “Who are you? What happened? You are so small!” Sin has done that!

The Latin word for the pomegranates that were around the chapiter means apple with seeds. We know there are many seeds in pomegranates. More than one person has counted 650 seeds in just one pomegranate. Pomegranates are a rich source of anti-oxidants and have anti-cancer properties. The seeds contain estrone, which is a phytoestrogen especially beneficial for women. They are also helpful in cases of diarrhea, sore throats, fevers and bladder disorders. Tapeworms cannot live in the same environment as pomegranates. Eating too much can cause purging and excess perspiration. God has put amazing medicinal properties in plants.

“Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.” Isaiah 65:8. Not only does freshly squeezed fruit juice taste delicious but it is blessed with healing properties.

Why pomegranates around the chapiter? It says in Psalm 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” In the Hebrew, it says, “has a seed basket.” Farmers know that a seed basket is a basket that carries seeds. Even a little child knows that. So what is our seed basket? The majority of people in the United States of America have a seed basket in their house. Remember, the red juice of the pomegranate represents blood. The life of the flesh is in the blood, and we know that the blood has life properties.

The word of God is a seed. Every promise is a seed. It says in II Peter 1:3, 4, “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.” God’s word contains promises. The Bible is the seed basket and the seeds are the promises ready to be claimed by all who choose to believe.

Luke clearly says that, “The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11. Paul says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” I Peter 1:23. We are to be born again.

The gospel, the whole experience from conversion and the new birth leading to the Christian walk and sanctification, is represented in the seeds of the pomegranate.

  • God’s word gives us new birth (I Peter 1:23)
  • It gives us light (Psalm 119:130)
  • It guides our pathway (Psalm 119:1, 5)
  • It keeps us from sinning (Psalm 119:11)
  • It is a comfort in affliction (Psalm 119:50)
  • It causes us to rejoice (Jeremiah 15:16)
  • It cleanses (John 15:3)
  • It sanctifies (John 17:17)

There is plenty of power in God’s word. You need to saturate your mind with the word of God. God’s word is power.

Pillars with hooks of silver surrounded the tabernacle. In Psalm 119:41 is seen the word vau (the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet). Verses 41 through 48 speak about commandment keeping. God is saying that vau, the sixth letter, represents commandment keeping. For example, “So shall I keep Thy law continually for ever and ever.” Verse 44. “And I will delight myself in Thy commandments, which I have loved.” Verse 47. “My hands also will I lift up unto Thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will mediate in their statutes.” Verse 48. God is talking here about obeying His word, obedience to His commandments all through the Word. So the sixth letter here, these hooks, were vau, hooks, on which sat the fence.

On the hooks, that are on the pillars, hang the fence of white linen. White represents righteousness, hanging on obedience. It is impossible to have righteousness without obedience. When righteousness is put on, God’s voice will be heard and His will obeyed from a heart full of love and gratitude which is empowered by the Holy Spirit because of the sacrifice Jesus has made on the cross of Calvary.

The fillet is an arm that extends from one pillar to the next. In the Hebrew this means a rod or rail or connecting post of the pillars. The root word of this means to delight, to deliver, to join. The pins and stakes hold up the fence and make the line very tight. God tells us here that He wants us to be pillars, joined together with one another in unity, grounded in His truth. Those being swayed with every wind of doctrine tend to move about, and when anything new comes around they latch onto it. Bit by bit truths are let go of and eventually the Bible itself is rejected. It is necessary to be grounded in truth, in Jesus Christ, in His truth that He has given to us in these last days.

The root word for the cords means a remnant. When you look at the whole fence and everything around the sanctuary, it speaks of a commandment keeping people—the remnant who have the word of God in their forehead, who are daily claiming victories, who are given promises, who are reading their Bibles, and who have the faith of Jesus.

Are you part of that remnant? The sanctuary reveals a group of people who are commandment keepers who cannot be moved and who have settled in the truth. They cannot be moved intellectually or spiritually. They know His word because they are studying it; they are God’s people. This does not mean they are in a certain church. It just means they are lining up with God, having victories, keeping His commandments while helping and witnessing to people.

We need to pray for the angels to take us to the places we need to be for those divine appointments, because the angels know who are really searching for truth. Can you believe there are people crying out for truth but no one has come around to them? We could be the one God uses to reach their heart. Like the pillars connected by the fillets or arms, we are to reach out, connect to, hold on to, and save another one into His kingdom. The Bible says there is rejoicing in heaven over even one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10). We are here to help that one sinner. I pray that this year we will be praying for souls, for just one whom we could reach. It can be through a magazine. It could be through a tract. It could be through the Bible. It could be just an acquaintance, that one person for whom we are praying, “Lord, just give me one.” We cannot have any starless crowns in heaven. Just give me one star; just help me find one.

God is faithful and will bring that person into your path. Will you be ready to rescue him? Just like the earthly sanctuary was a place of rescue, the sanctuary in heaven is a place of rescue. Let’s encourage each other for victories. Let’s start claiming the promises. Just as Boaz had these pomegranates, the seeds, around his head, let’s start claiming the promises.

God’s word is power, and I believe it’s the best education book you can ever find. It exceeds the wisdom of all the popular colleges. Here is the infinite educator, and knowledge is available to all that seek. All who take to heart the instruction found therein, instructing their children and applying the principles, will find their homes and their churches restored and be a haven of rest while here on this earth.

Brad Neeley is Administrative Assistant of M.E.E.T. Ministry, Huntingdon, Tennessee. He is a master gardener, lecturer and Bible instructor with over ten years in Christian ministry.