Bible Study Guides – The Work of Redemption, Part II

July 8, 2007 – July 14, 2007

Key Text

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.” John 6:63.

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 23−26.


“The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, ‘They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads’ (Revelation 22:4), the burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme,—man’s uplifting,—the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57.

“He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s word.

“The science of redemption is the science of all sciences; the science that is the study of the angels and of all the intelligences of the unfallen worlds; the science that engages the attention of our Lord and Saviour; the science that enters into the purpose brooded in the mind of the Infinite—‘kept in silence through times eternal’ (Romans 16:25, R.V.); the science that will be the study of God’s redeemed throughout endless ages. This is the highest study in which it is possible for man to engage. As no other study can, it will quicken the mind and uplift the soul.” Education, 125, 126.

1 To whom does the Lord give His Spirit as a pledge? Galatians 4:6.

note: “What a privilege is ours, to be called the sons and daughters of God, to be the objects of God’s special love! In the prayer of Christ the relation of the believer to Christ is plainly revealed as one most tender and abiding. Christ loves the heavenly beings that surround his throne, but what shall account for the great love wherewith he hath loved us, who have accepted him as our personal Saviour? The rainbow encircling his throne is a pledge of his covenant of love. All heavenly gifts come to us through the work redemption has wrought, and the graces of his Spirit, the pledge of his word, are but the streams of life that flow from the fountain of his love.” The Youth’s Instructor, December 8, 1892.

2 To what time will the sons of God look with interest? 1 John 3:2.

note: “Through faith the children of God obtain a knowledge of Christ and cherish the hope of His appearing to judge the world in righteousness, until it becomes a glorious expectation; for they shall then see Him as He is, and be made like Him, and ever be with the Lord. . . . When Christ shall come, it will be to be admired of all those that believe, and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Faith and Works, 115.

3 What is said of the life of God’s people? Colossians 3:3.

note: “A healthy man, who is able to attend to the vocations of life and who goes forth day after day to his labor with buoyant spirits and with a healthy current of blood flowing through his veins, does not call the attention of every one he meets to his soundness of body. Health and vigor are the natural conditions of his life, and therefore he is scarcely conscious that he is in the enjoyment of so rich a boon.

“Thus it is with the truly righteous man. He is unconscious of his goodness and piety. Religious principle has become the spring of his life and conduct, and it is just as natural for him to bear the fruits of the Spirit as for the fig tree to bear figs or for the rosebush to yield roses. His nature is so thoroughly imbued with love for God and his fellow men that he works the works of Christ with a willing heart.

“All who come within the sphere of his influence perceive the beauty and fragrance of his Christian life, while he himself is unconscious of it, for it is in harmony with his habits and inclinations. He prays for divine light, and loves to walk in that light. It is his meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father. His life is hid with Christ in God; yet he does not boast of this, nor seem conscious of it. God smiles upon the humble and lowly ones who follow closely in the footsteps of the Master. Angels are attracted to them, and love to linger about their path. They may be passed by as unworthy of notice by those who claim exalted attainments and who delight in making prominent their good works, but heavenly angels bend lovingly over them and are as a wall of fire round about them.” The Sanctified Life, 12, 13.

4 In Christ, what do the righteous have? 1 John 5:11, 12.

note: “As children of the first Adam, we partake of the dying nature of Adam. But through the imparted life of Christ, man has been given opportunity to win back again the lost gift of life, and to stand in his original position before God, a partaker of the divine nature.” The Signs of the Times, June 17, 1897.

5 How do we have Christ? Ephesians 3:17, first part. How does faith come? Romans 10:17. Then how do we know that we have the pledge or earnest of the Spirit? See Galatians 5:22, 23; Romans 8:16.

note: “If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

6 What is said of the words of Christ? John 6:63.

note: “We must be constantly meditating upon the word, eating it, digesting it, and by practice, assimilating it, so that it is taken into the life current. He who feeds on Christ daily will by his example teach others to think less of that which they eat, and to feel much greater anxiety for the food they give to the soul.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 89, 90.

“The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God.” Education, 126.

7 What power has the Spirit that is given to the believers? Romans 8:11.

note: “God is clothed with power; he is able to take those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and by the operation of the Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead, transform the human character, bringing back to the soul the lost image of God. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are changed from being rebels against the law of God into obedient servants and subjects of his kingdom. They are born again, regenerated, sanctified through the truth.” The Youth’s Instructor, February 7, 1895.

8 What is it that brings forth the dead? John 5:28, 29.

note: “The voice that cried from the cross, ‘It is finished,’ [John 19:30] was heard among the dead. It pierced the walls of sepulchers, and summoned the sleepers to arise. Thus will it be when the voice of Christ shall be heard from heaven. That voice will penetrate the graves and unbar the tombs, and the dead in Christ shall arise. At the Saviour’s resurrection a few graves were opened, but at His second coming all the precious dead shall hear His voice, and shall come forth to glorious, immortal life. The same power that raised Christ from the dead will raise His church, and glorify it with Him, above all principalities, above all powers, above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come.” The Desire of Ages, 787.

9 To what time do those who have the earnest look? Romans 8:23. (Compare 11 Corinthians 5:4, 5.)

note: “We owe everything to grace, sovereign grace. Grace ordained our redemption, our regeneration, and our adoption to heirship with Jesus Christ. Let this grace be revealed to others.

“The Saviour takes those whom he finds will be molded, and uses them for his own name’s glory. He uses material that others would pass by, and works in all who will give themselves to him. He delights to take apparently hopeless material, those whom Satan has debased, and through whom he has worked, and make them the subjects of his grace. He rejoices to deliver them from suffering, and from the wrath that is to fall upon the disobedient. He makes his children his agents in the accomplishment of this work, and in its success, even in this life, they find a precious reward.

“But what is this compared with the joy that will be theirs in the great day of final revealing?” Review and Herald, January 5, 1905.

10 When will the body be redeemed? 1 Corinthians 15:22, 23, 51−53. At that time, what change will the body undergo? Philippians 3:20, 21.

note: “We have a living, risen Saviour. He burst the fetters of the tomb after He had lain there three days, and in triumph He proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ [John 11:25.] And He is coming. Are we getting ready for Him? Are we ready so that if we shall fall asleep, we can do so with hope in Jesus Christ? Are you laboring for the salvation of your brothers and sisters? The Life-giver is soon to come. The Life-giver is coming to break the fetters of the tomb. He is to bring forth the captives and proclaim, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ There stands the risen host. The last thought was of death and its pangs. The last thoughts they had were of the grave and the tomb, but now they proclaim, ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ [1 Corinthians 15:55.] The pangs of death were the last things they felt. ‘O death, where is thy sting?’ The last thing they acknowledged was the pangs of death. When they awake the pain is all gone. . . .

“Here they stand, and the finishing touch of immortality is put upon them, and they go up to meet their Lord in the air.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1093.

11 At that time, what change will the body undergo? Philippians 3:20, 21.

note: “Christ came to restore that which had been lost. He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body. The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will ‘grow up’ (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory. The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ’s faithful ones will appear in ‘the beauty of the Lord our God,’ [Psalm 90:17] in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord. Oh, wonderful redemption! long talked of, long hoped for, contemplated with eager anticipation, but never fully understood.

“The living righteous are changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ [1 Corinthians 15:52.] At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels ‘gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ [Matthew 24:31.] Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God.” The Great Controversy, 645.

12 What Bible subject, then, ought to be of great interest to every child of faith? John 14:3. What will the Scriptures on this subject be to the believer? John 6:54; 10:28. What, then, should we do? John 5:39.

note: “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ 1 John 5:12. The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life. ‘He that believeth in Me,’ said Jesus, ‘though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ [John 11:25, 26.] Christ here looks forward to the time of His second coming. Then the righteous dead shall be raised incorruptible, and the living righteous shall be translated to heaven without seeing death.” The Desire of Ages, 530.

The Investigative Judgment: Who Shall be Worthy of Eternal Life?

“I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” Ecclesiastes 3:17.

The judgment of the great day is an event certain to take place. “He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained.” Acts 17:31. What God hath appointed is sure to come in due time. The resurrection of Christ is an assurance to all men of the final judgment. It is not the fact of the judgment, however, but the order of its work that at this time engages our attention. The work to be accomplished is of immense magnitude. The judgment relates 1) to all of the righteous, 2) to all of the wicked, 3) and to all of the evil angels. The number of cases, therefore, to be acted upon at this grand tribunal exceeds our powers of conception. We must not, however, suppose that there will be any difficulty on the part of the Judge in acting upon every case individually. Far from this, “There is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” The Judgment, indeed, pertains to an immense number of beings; yet every one of them shall give account of himself to God. (See Romans 14:12.) It will not relate to so vast a number as to make it otherwise than a strictly personal matter. Nor will there be aught of confusion or disorder in that final reckoning. God has plenty of time for the work, and He has no lack of agents to do His bidding. That He has order in this work, the Scriptures clearly teach.

The righteous are to judge the wicked, yet the righteous are themselves to pass the test of the judgment. Whence it follows that the judgment must pass upon the righteous before they can sit in judgment upon the wicked.

This is a very important proposition. That it is truthful we know from the express testimony of the Scriptures. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” I Corinthians 6:2, 3.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4.

“I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” Daniel 7:21, 22.

Here is the exalted work of the saints in the judgment. They are to take part in the examination of the cases of all wicked men and fallen angels. But this is not to be until they have been changed to immortality and exalted to thrones of glory. They do not, therefore, have their cases decided at the same time with the wicked. We believe that the reader will acknowledge the justice of this reasoning. Let us state another proposition.

The trump of God sounds as the Saviour descends from heaven. When that trump is heard, all of the righteous are, in the twinkling of an eye, changed to immortality. There can be no examination after this to determine whether they shall be counted worthy of eternal life, for they will then have already laid hold upon it. From this it follows that the examination and decision of the cases of the righteous takes place before the advent of Christ. The resurrection of the righteous to immortality is decisive proof that they have then already passed the test of the judgment and have been accepted of the Judge. That they are thus raised to immortality the following texts plainly teach:

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” “Behold, I show you a mystery; We hall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” I Corinthians 15:42–44, 51, 52.

Judgment of the Righteous Precedes the Second Coming

These passages are certainly convincing. The resurrection of the saints is to immortal life, and they are made immortal in the very act of the resurrection. The decision of their cases is, therefore, passed before their resurrection; for the nature of their resurrection is declarative of eternal salvation. But the fact that the decision of the judgment in the case of the righteous precedes the advent is proved by another proposition, as follows:

The righteous are to be raised before the wicked have their resurrection. This shows that the examination of their cases takes place before they are raised, for the final discrimination is made in the very act of raising the just and leaving the unjust to the resurrection of damnation.

“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath a part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:5, 6.

“But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” Luke 20:35, 36.

“If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Literally “the resurrection out from the dead ones.”) Philippians 3:11.

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the First-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” I Corinthians 15:22, 23.

There is a resurrection which bears the inspired designation of the “first resurrection.” All who have part in this resurrection are pronounced “blessed and holy.” On them “the second death hath no power.” This resurrection is out from among the dead. Paul earnestly labored to attain unto it. It is to be at the coming of Christ. Only those who are Christ’s shall have part in it. All that have part in it are the children of God because they are the children of the resurrection to life. These facts clearly prove that the examination of the cases of the righteous precedes their resurrection at the advent of Christ, that event being really declarative of their innocence in the sight of God and of their eternal salvation. Such as are accepted of God are raised; the others sleep till the resurrection to damnation. These facts are decisive proof that the righteous are judged before they are raised.

But we have a still more explicit statement yet to notice. Says our Lord: “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead,” etc. Then it is certain that the act of accounting worthy to obtain the resurrection from among the dead and a part in the world to come does precede the resurrection of the righteous. But this act of accounting men worthy of a part n the kingdom of God is the very act of acquitting them in the judgment. The investigative judgment in the cases of the righteous is, therefore, past before their resurrection. As the resurrection of the just is at the advent of Christ, it follows that they pass their examination and are counted worthy of a place in the kingdom of God before the Saviour returns to the earth to gather them to Himself.

It is proved, therefore, that the resurrection of the saints to immortal life is declarative of their final acceptance before God. Whatever of investigation is requisite for the final decision of their cases must take place before the Saviour in mid-heaven utters the word of command to His angels, “Gather My saints together unto Me.” Psalm 50:5. (See also Matthew 24:31.) The act of accounting them worthy must precede all of this. The saints alone are to be caught up to meet Christ in the air. (See I Thessalonians 4:17.) But the decision who these saints are, who shall thus be caught up, rests not with the angels who execute the work, but with the Judge, who gives them their commission. We cannot, therefore, avoid the conclusion that the investigation in the cases of the righteous precedes the coming of the Saviour. Let us now consider an important proposition.

The Investigative Judgment Announced

This period of Investigative Judgment is ushered in by a solemn proclamation to the inhabitants of the earth, and this investigative work embraces the closing years of human probation. This is a very important statement, but it is susceptible of being clearly proven.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6, 7.

The gospel of Christ is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16. No other gospel than this can be preached, not even by an angel from heaven. (See Galatians 1:8.) Whence it follows that the angel of Revelation 14:6, 7, preaching the everlasting gospel, represents some part of the great gospel proclamation. It is a part of that preaching which is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. This fact alone is decisive that this proclamation concerning the hour of God’s judgment must be made while human probation still lasts. Two other solemn announcements follow. It is evident that the human family are still upon probation when the Third Angel declares that “if any man worship the beast . . . the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God. . . . Here is the patience of the saints.” Revelation 14:9, 10, 12. This is a consecutive prophecy, as several expressions plainly indicate. And it is to be observed that the Son of Man is seen upon the white cloud after all of these solemn proclamations have been made.

That this announcement of the hour of God’s judgment precedes the advent of Christ and is addressed to men while yet in probation, the fourteenth chapter of Revelation clearly proves. That this is not some local judgment is proved by the fact that “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” are concerned in it. It is evidently that part of the judgment work which precedes the coming of Christ, and, as has already been shown, this is the work of determining who shall be accounted worthy to have part in the resurrection to immortal life, and, we may add, who also of the living shall be accounted worthy to escape the troubles that shall come in the conclusion of this state of things and to stand before the Son of Man. (See Luke 20:35; 21:36.)

The Blotting Out of Sin

When the sins of the righteous are blotted out, they can be no more remembered. They are blotted out before Christ comes. There can be, therefore, no act of calling them to account for their sins after the advent of Christ. Thus we read: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” Acts 3:19, 20.

Mr. Wesley, in his Notes on the New Testament, gives a different translation, which may be more accurate: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and He may send to you Jesus Christ, who was before appointed.”

Albert Barnes, in his Notes on the Acts, speaking of these two translations, says, “The grammatical construction will admit of either.” One of these represents the blotting out to be when the times of refreshing arrive; the other makes it the cause of that refreshing. But neither of them gives the idea that this blotting out takes place when the sinner turns to God. Both of them throw it into their future. Each of them represents it as preceding the Second Coming of the Lord. But this is especially true of the latter translation, which follows the original in using a conditional verb respecting Christ’s advent; not as though that were a doubtful event, but rather as if His coming to the personal salvation of the ones addressed depended upon their having part in the refreshing, and as if that refreshing was to come in consequence of the blotting out of sins.

The sins of he righteous are blotted out before the coming of Christ. They cannot be called to give account of their sins after they have been blotted out; whence it follows that whatever account the righteous render to God for their sins must be before the advent of the Saviour, and not at, or after, that event.

The sins of men are written in the books of God’s remembrance. The blotting out of the sins of the righteous does, therefore, involve the examination of these books for this very purpose. That the sins of men are thus written is plainly revealed in the Scriptures.

“For though thou wash thee with niter, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before Me, saith the Lord God.” Jeremiah 2:22. And thus the Lord speaks of the guilt of Israel: “Is not this laid up in store with Me, and sealed up among My treasures?” Deuteronomy 32:34. And Paul speaks in the same manner: “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasureth up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds.” Romans 2:5, 6. These statements of wrath being treasured up can have reference only to the fact that God takes notice of men’s sins and that every sin is marked before Him. To this fact all of the texts which speak of the blotting out of sins must have reference. Thus, David prays that God would blot out his transgressions. (See Psalm 51:1, 9.) And Nehemiah, David, and Jeremiah pray, respecting certain persons, that their sin may not be blotted out. (See Nehemiah 4:5; Psalm 109:14; Jeremiah 18:23.) Isaiah, in prophetic language, speaks of this blotting out as if it were a past event, just as in the next verse he speaks of the new creation and the final redemption. (See Isaiah 44:22, 23.) And in the previous chapter he speaks in a similar manner of this blotting out as necessary in order that the sins of the people of God may be no more remembered. (See Isaiah 43:25.) These texts plainly imply that the sins of men are upon record and that there is a time when these are blotted out of the record of the righteous.

Bible Study Guides – Taking Hold of the Righteousness of Christ

November 22, 2014 – November 28, 2014

Key Text

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25–27.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 77–83.


“Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith means the contemplation of Christ, beholding Christ, ever cherishing the dear Saviour as our very best and honored Friend, so that we would not in any action grieve and offend Him.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 387.


  • What is desperately needed in our experience today? Matthew 5:3–11; II Peter 1:5–11.

Note: “There is need today of such a revival of true heart religion as was experienced by ancient Israel. Repentance is the first step that must be taken by all who would return to God. No one can do this work for another. We must individually humble our souls before God and put away our idols. When we have done all that we can do, the Lord will manifest to us His salvation.” Conflict and Courage, 145.

  • How do we experience revival? Acts 3:19; Matthew 8:5–13.

Note: “We must rely wholly upon Christ. It will do you no good merely to talk of the righteousness of Christ; you must appropriate it by living faith. You should cultivate faith until faith is the language of your soul. May God help us to walk in the light as He is in the light.” The Review and Herald, July 2, 1889.


  • What does it mean to appropriate the righteousness of Christ? II Corinthians 5:21.

Note: “In order to meet the requirements of the law, our faith must grasp the righteousness of Christ, accepting it as our righteousness. Through union with Christ, through acceptance of His righteousness by faith, we may be qualified to work the works of God, to be colaborers with Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 374.

“The only safeguard against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. It is because selfishness exists in our hearts that temptation has power over us. But when we behold the great love of God, selfishness appears to us in its hideous and repulsive character, and we desire to have it expelled from the soul. As the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ, our hearts are softened and subdued, the temptation loses its power, and the grace of Christ transforms the character.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 118.

  • How is appropriation different from presumption? James 2:19, 20.

Note: “Many concede that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, but at the same time they hold themselves away from Him, and fail to repent of their sins, fail to accept of Jesus as their personal Saviour. Their faith is simply the assent of the mind and judgment to the truth; but the truth is not brought into the heart, that it might sanctify the soul and transform the character.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 389, 390.

“If you would stand through the time of trouble, you must know Christ, and appropriate the gift of His righteousness, which He imputes to the repentant sinner.” The Review and Herald, November 22, 1892.

“We must rely wholly upon Christ. It will do you no good merely to talk of the righteousness of Christ; you must appropriate it by living faith. You should cultivate faith until faith is the language of your soul.” Ibid., July 2, 1889.

“Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the divine nature, and thus divinity and humanity are combined.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 363, 364.


  • How are changes produced in our life? II Corinthians 10:5.

Note: “In order to be candidates for heaven we must meet the requirement of the law: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself’ (Luke 10:27). We can do this only as we grasp by faith the righteousness of Christ. By beholding Jesus we receive a living, expanding principle in the heart, and the Holy Spirit carries on the work, and the believer advances from grace to grace, from strength to strength, from character to character. He conforms to the image of Christ, until in spiritual growth he attains unto the measure of the full stature in Christ Jesus. Thus Christ makes an end of the curse of sin, and sets the believing soul free from its action and effect.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 395.

“By dwelling upon the love of God and our Saviour, by contemplating the perfection of the divine character and claiming the righteousness of Christ as ours by faith, we are to be transformed into the same image.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 744.

“Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith means the contemplation of Christ, beholding Christ, ever cherishing the dear Saviour as our very best and honored Friend, so that we would not in any action grieve and offend Him.” Testimonies for Ministers and Gospel Workers, 387.

  • What is genuine faith? Hebrews 11:1.

Note: “The faith that is unto salvation is not a casual faith, it is not the mere consent of the intellect, it is belief rooted in the heart, that embraces Christ as a personal Saviour, assured that He can save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. To believe that He will save others, but will not save you is not genuine faith; but when the soul lays hold upon Christ as the only hope of salvation, then genuine faith is manifested. This faith leads its possessor to place all the affections of the soul upon Christ; his understanding is under the control of the Holy Spirit, and his character is molded after the divine likeness.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 391.


  • What relationship is the result of faith that works by love? John 15:8. What actions result from faith? Hebrews 11:29–34; Proverbs 4:25–27; 16:3.

Note: “Can we conceive of a closer, more intimate relation to Christ than is set forth in the words: ‘I am the Vine, ye are the branches’? (John 15:5). The fibers of the branch are almost identical with those of the vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the trunk to the branches is unobstructed and constant. The root sends its nourishment through the branch. Such is the true believer’s relation to Christ. He abides in Christ and draws his nourishment from Him.

“This spiritual relation can be established only by the exercise of personal faith. This faith must express on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. Our will must be wholly yielded to the divine will, our feelings, desires, interests, and honor identified with the prosperity of Christ’s kingdom and the honor of His cause, we constantly receiving grace from Him, and Christ accepting gratitude from us.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 229.

  • How are faith and love essential to one another? Galatians 5:6.

Note: “The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power.” The Desire of Ages, 347.

“And what is it to believe? It is to fully accept that Jesus Christ died as our sacrifice; that He became the curse for us, took our sins upon Himself, and imputed unto us His own righteousness. Therefore we claim this righteousness of Christ, we believe it, and it is our righteousness. He is our Saviour. He saves us because He said He would. Are we going to go into all the explanations as to how He can save us? Do we have the goodness in ourselves that will make us better and cleanse us from the spots and stains of sin, enabling us then to come to God? We simply cannot do it.” Faith and Works, 70.


  • Explain our part in the plan of salvation. Matthew 7:7; Mark 9:24; Ephesians 2:8.

Note: “The soul temple is to be sacred, holy, pure, and undefiled. There must be a copartnership in which all the power is of God and all the glory belongs to God. The responsibility rests with us. We must receive in thoughts and in feelings, to give in expression. The law of the human and the divine action makes the receiver a laborer together with God. It brings man where he can, united with divinity, work the works of God. Humanity touches humanity. Divine power and the human agency combined will be a complete success, for Christ’s righteousness accomplishes everything. …

“If we do God’s will, we may accept large blessings as God’s free gift, but not because of any merit in us; this is of no value. Do the work of Christ, and you will honor God and come off more than conquerors through Him that has loved us and given His life for us, that we should have life and salvation in Jesus Christ.” Faith and Works, 26–28.

  • Can we expect the approval of God if we do not trust Him? Hebrews 11:6.

Note: “Satan is ready to steal away the blessed assurances of God. He desires to take every glimmer of hope and every ray of light from the soul; but you must not permit him to do this. Do not give ear to the tempter.” Steps to Christ, 53.


1 Where does a clear understanding of the penalty of transgression of God’s law bring the wayward soul?

2 How do we appropriate the righteousness of Christ?

3 How is change produced in our life?

4 Review the roles of faith and love in Christian growth and maturity.

5 Describe how the process of faith works.

Copyright © 2013 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Accepting Jesus

November 15, 2014 – November 21, 2014

Key Text

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 49–55.


“The law is an expression of God’s idea. When we receive it in Christ, it becomes our idea. It lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 235.


  • What is the only way to effectively fight the enemy? James 4:7–10.

Note: “It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.” The Desire of Ages, 324.

  • How does Christ dwell in my heart? John 14:23.


  • What parable describes the danger of not inviting Christ to come into our heart and of not uniting with Him? Matthew 12:43–45.

Note: “The parable of the man from whom an evil spirit had been cast out, who did not fill the soul with the love of Christ, illustrates the necessity of not only emptying the heart, but of supplying the vacuum with a divine occupant. The demon desired to return to the heart from which he had been expelled. He came, and though it was swept and garnished, he found it still empty, and entered in with seven other spirits more evil than himself, so that the last state of the man was worse than the first. The man in this parable refused to do the work of Satan; but the trouble with him was that after the heart was swept and garnished, he failed to invite the presence of the heavenly guests. It is not enough to make the heart empty; we must have the vacuum filled with the love of God. The soul must be furnished with the graces of the Spirit of God. We may leave off many bad habits, and yet not be truly sanctified, because we do not have a connection with God. We must unite with Christ.” The Review and Herald, January 24, 1893.

  • What will Jesus do if we welcome Him into our heart? Jude 24; Revelation 3:20.

Note: “We must be emptied of self. But this is not all that is required; for when we have renounced our idols, the vacuum must be supplied. … As you empty the heart of self, you must accept the righteousness of Christ. Lay hold of it by faith; for you must have the mind and spirit of Christ, that you may work the works of Christ. If you open the door of the heart, Jesus will supply the vacuum by the gift of His Spirit, and then you can be a living preacher in your home, in the church, and in the world. You can diffuse light, because the bright beams of the sun of righteousness are shining upon you. Your humble life, your holy conversation, your uprightness and integrity, will tell to all around that you are a child of God, an heir of heaven, that you are not making the world your dwelling place, but that you are a pilgrim and a stranger here, looking for a better country, even a heavenly, living with an eye single to the glory of God.” The Review and Herald, February 23, 1892.


  • How can we, sinful humans, become sons and daughters of God? John 1:12, 13.

Note: “Divine sonship is not something that we gain of ourselves. Only to those who receive Christ as their Saviour is given the power to become sons and daughters of God. The sinner cannot, by any power of his own, rid himself of sin. For the accomplishment of this result, he must look to a higher Power. John exclaimed, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Christ alone has power to cleanse the heart. He who is seeking for forgiveness and acceptance can say only—‘Nothing in my hand I bring; Simply to Thy cross I cling.’ But the promise of sonship is made to all who ‘believe on His name’ (John 1:12). Everyone who comes to Jesus in faith will receive pardon.” [Emphasis author’s.] Sons and Daughters of God, 12.

  • How can we receive righteousness from God? John 3:16; Mark 9:24; Romans 1:16, 17.

Note: “Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift or sacrifice, is righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers and thirsts to receive it.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 18.

“Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned.

“More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure.” Steps to Christ, 62, 63.


  • What does God promise to do for those who accept Christ as their righteousness? Ezekiel 11:19, 20; Matthew 5:8.

Note: “The religion of Christ transforms the heart. It makes the worldly-minded man heavenly-minded. Under its influence the selfish man becomes unselfish because this is the character of Christ. The dishonest, scheming man becomes upright, so that it is second nature to him to do unto others as he would have others do unto him. The profligate is changed from impurity to purity. He forms correct habits, for the gospel of Christ has become to him a savor of life unto life.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 345.

  • How do we know that the words of Jesus, “Go, and sin no more,” mean more than forgiveness? John 5:14; I John 1:9.

Note: “The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means divine illumination, rejoicing in God. It means a heart emptied of self, and blessed with the abiding presence of Christ. When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the life testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 419, 420.

  • What is the evidence of having my sins forgiven? Luke 7:47; Matthew 7:16–20; Galatians 5:22, 23.

Note: “When the Lord speaks forgiveness to the repenting soul, he is full of ardor, full of love to God, full of earnestness and energy, and the life-giving Spirit which he has received cannot be repressed. Christ is in him, a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The Review and Herald, May 5, 1896.


  • Why did the delivered demoniacs seek to remain with Jesus? Psalms 16:11; 51:11; Luke 8:35.

Note: “They [the restored demoniacs] desire the companionship of their Deliverer. In His presence they feel secure from the demons that have tormented their lives and wasted their manhood.” The Ministry of Healing, 98.

“Whenever men reject the Saviour’s invitation, they are yielding themselves to Satan. Multitudes in every department in life, in the home, in business, and even in the church, are doing this today. It is because of this that violence and crime have overspread the earth, and moral darkness, like the pall of death, enshrouds the habitations of men. Through his specious temptations Satan leads men to worse and worse evils, till utter depravity and ruin are the result. The only safeguard against his power is found in the presence of Jesus. Before men and angels Satan has been revealed as man’s enemy and destroyer; Christ, as man’s friend and deliverer. His Spirit will develop in man all that will ennoble the character and dignify the nature.” The Desire of Ages, 341.

  • Why did Mary sit at Jesus’ feet? Luke 10:38, 39. What beauty in Christ’s character attracted her? Isaiah 40:11; 41:13; 42:3; Ezekiel 34:11, 15, 16, 23, 30, 31.

Note: “Jesus would teach His children that they must seize every opportunity to gain that knowledge which will make them wise unto salvation.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 359.


1 What can we do to fight evil in ourselves?

2 What happens to anyone who does not actively accept Jesus?

3 How do we accept Jesus?

4 What are the certain results of being fully forgiven by God?

5 Why is the beauty of Christ so attractive to the heart of the sinner?

Copyright © 2013 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Sermon on the Mount Series – Right Seems Strange

Some people are persecuted because of their wrong-doing and others, because they have stirred up resentment and opposition by their extreme or rigid ideas. However, others are persecuted because they have done what is right, which sounds strange.

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10 KJV). Before saying this, Jesus described the development of Christian character and then what would develop in the world and the attitude toward those who acquired this Christian character. Indeed, it is a strange reception that is accorded them.

When you first read the gospel story you might think that it would seem that such a character as Jesus had described—a person who is gentle, loves righteousness, is merciful, is pure in heart and who is a peacemaker—would be welcomed everywhere and that they would be congratulated on who they are. But Jesus said that it would be just the opposite. He declared that if you progressed up this beatitude ladder of spiritual growth, it would lead to opposition and persecution, that a genuine Christian character would stir up enmity and hatred on the part of other people in the world that did not have these virtues.

The Bible gives plentiful record that such is the case. Notice what the apostle Peter said about it in I Peter 5:8, 9: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

Jesus predicted that the development of a genuine Christian character would lead up to enmity, hatred and persecution. The character development produced by the experience of a person who has followed these first seven beatitudes arouses the enemy of all righteousness and He begins to persecute. He is especially incensed when those who climb this ladder that Jesus has described reach the blessed realm of purity of heart, with a vision of God so that they are qualified to become peacemakers to other alienated and troubled souls. This makes the prince of strife and confusion furiously angry with these ambassadors of peace and he makes war upon them. His fiercest anger and his most relentless persecutions will be manifested against the remnant; that is, the last of the church that exists just before Christ returns.

In Revelation 12:12 it says, “… rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest (or the remnant) of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (verse 17).

The apostle Peter says in I Peter 1:1 that the reason genuine Christians are persecuted is because they are strangers and pilgrims in the earth. Notice what the apostle Paul said in Hebrews 11:13 describing the faithful people of God in past ages: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” They are living in a land which Satan, the great adversary, claims as his and over which he claims to be the prince and ruler. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 the devil is called the god of this world. His enemies are those who have renounced allegiance to him and his kingdom. His subjects are those who sin. “He who sins is of the devil” (I John 3:8, first part) for the devil has sinned from the beginning.

On this account, “… the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (verse 8, last part). Sin is breaking God’s law (I John 3:4). As long as you live in sin, the devil will give you comparative rest because you are part of his kingdom. But when you choose to renounce the kingdom of Satan, follow Jesus Christ, and become obedient to the laws of heaven, forsaking your life of sin, you become his enemy. He is angry because he has lost you as one of his subjects.

When you transfer your citizenship to heaven by choosing to follow Jesus Christ and acknowledge Him as your Lord and Saviour, it will result in being subjected to his satanic wrath and persecution from which no real Christian can escape. Jesus said to His disciples, “… in the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He also said, “… the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20 KJV).

The persecution that Jesus foretold was not limited to only the disciples to whom He was speaking. Neither was it limited to the Christians of the 1st century or to any certain time period. Rather, notice what the apostle Paul says about it in 2 Timothy 3:12: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Just as Christ loves righteousness and hates lawlessness (Hebrews 1:9), Satan loves lawlessness and hates righteousness. In this rebellious world in which we live, vital holiness will provoke hatred and opposition, because holiness is a disturbing element. The light of truth always exposes the darkness of error. It sweeps away the black mantel that covers the sins of the ungodly and it makes manifest the necessity of a change, the need for a reform. This revelation may be welcomed by some, but it is resented by those who cling to their sins and do not want to change.

The apostle John wrote, “He who believes in Him (Christ) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:18–20). That is the very same problem the Christian has faced in all ages, the same problem that Jesus Himself faced. Those that are not willing to forsake their lawless deeds begin to war against the truth and its advocates. So, hatred against truth and godliness is manifested by persecuting those that possess these things and are sanctified by the truth.

Now a question could be asked, If what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12 is true—that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution—why is there comparatively little persecution in Christendom in the western world at the present time? This lack of persecution is especially true in the western world.

In the time of the apostles, the church of God suffered persecution, as recorded in the book of Acts and also in the epistles of Paul. Some of the epistles of Paul were actually written from a Roman prison. After the time of the apostles in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, there was persecution of the Christians by the pagan Roman Empire that lasted for 200 years or more.

Again, during that long period of history often called the Dark Ages, persecution raised its ugly head and millions of Christians were martyred in many parts of the world. Again, in the period of the Reformation of the 16th century, and again during the revivals in the time of John Wesley, there was persecution of the church. Persecution has appeared whenever there has been a revival of primitive godliness. The reason that there is so little persecution in the modern church today is because vital godliness is lacking.

Speaking to the church that would live in the last epochal period of Christian history Jesus says, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:15–20).

Notice what has happened. The church has compromised with the world and become lukewarm, conforming to worldly standards. Because there is so little vital godliness in the church, Christianity has become popular with the world and it awakens no opposition. A church that has lost its first love, so that it is lukewarm in its affection for both God and man, could hardly be expected to arouse the hatred of the enemy. He is so very well satisfied with the present spiritual condition of the church because he knows that few of its members have climbed the beatitude ladder.

Whenever there is a stir in the church and there is a development of primitive godliness, there will be a stir in the camp of the enemy. Let there be a revival of the faith and power of the apostolic church and there will be a revival of persecution. The enemy will become aroused as soon as the church begins to awake from its slumbering condition. But, of course, we must always remember, Jesus said, “Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” We are not talking about people that are persecuted because of their wrong-doing, because of the natural consequence of their own course of conduct. There are many today who think of themselves as martyrs. They are anxious for persecution, and they follow a course that brings persecution upon themselves. They are not happy unless they are creating resentment and stirring up opposition. This is especially true of certain extremists and fanatics. But that is not the persecution Jesus is talking about. He is talking about the persecution that results from a person being personally righteous.

Jesus declared when He was here that He was rejected and persecuted because He was not of the world and therefore different from the world. His godly life was a rebuke to sinners and it made them angry. They hated and persecuted Him because He was righteous and it exposed their unrighteousness. He was insulted, maligned, reproached, and finally murdered, not because they could find any evil in Him, but because they could not. In fact, at His trial, you recall, Pontius Pilate said three times that he found no fault in Him at all (John 18:38; 19:4, 6).

Jesus was crucified, not because they could find something wrong with Him, but because they could not. And Jesus said that His followers would receive the same treatment for the same reasons. Being like Christ they would be different from the world, and somehow, difference always awakens opposition. The genuine Christian, his very presence, his very life, is a reproof, a rebuke, to those who are selfish, to those who are proud, and they feel uncomfortable. An unselfish life offends them and arouses in them enmity and resentment. This last beatitude is the only one that Jesus enlarges upon. He emphasizes its importance with this statement in Matthew 5:11, 12 KJV: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

In these verses, Jesus explains what He means by persecution for righteousness’ sake. He enumerates some of the forms in which the persecution would come—reviling, saying evil against you—and He emphasizes the greatness of the reward. Sometimes when somebody is persecuted, we might be inclined to pity them or to sympathize with them, going through persecution. We might be inclined to pity ourselves if we are being persecuted and ill-treated by others, but Jesus offers His congratulations to those that are persecuted. He declares that “those that are persecuted for righteousness sake” should rejoice. This is true, first of all, because it is an evidence that we actually are the children of God, and we have become, thereby, a menace to Satan and his kingdom. The enemy never persecutes the lukewarm and the ungodly, but he tries rather to afflict those that live godly in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12).

So, persecution is an evidence that the person being persecuted is climbing up the ladder of spiritual growth, that he is traveling the highway of holiness that leads to the Holy City, the celestial city of God. And Jesus assures us, if we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, that we have the kingdom of heaven, and that we can rejoice. Not only that, but He also tells us that there is another reason we can rejoice and that is because of the good company we are in. Jesus said, those that went before you, the prophets, they were persecuted as well (Matthew 5:12). The brunt of Satan’s attack has always been against God’s spokesmen, against His prophets.

Many of the prophets suffered martyrdom and all of them were opposed and persecuted because they were holy men of God acting as His spokesmen (2 Peter 1:19–21). It was the fate of prophets and sages to be rejected. The reason, of course, is because the world will not bear rebukes. When we study the life of the apostles, we find that all except one of the eleven apostles died for their faith, and that one suffered banishment to the isle of Patmos.

Many millions of Christians were persecuted and martyred during the pagan Roman persecutions. And many millions more, during what we call the Middle Ages or the Dark Ages. So, Jesus said, if you are persecuted, remember that you are in the company of the best people that have ever lived. To join the company of the persecuted, therefore, is cause not for sorrow, but for rejoicing. Another cause for rejoicing is that persecution is one of the best of all purifiers and developer of character.

When we study Christian history, we find over and over again that the church has always been in its purest and most godly state while passing through persecution, and therefore at such times the church had its greatest power. Why? Because godliness awakens opposition and Christian character develops faster and becomes more vigorous under the strain, under the opposition of being persecuted. Because godliness always precedes the persecution and the persecution then performs an important part of burning out the dross and perfecting Christian character, the two blend together. Persecution increases with the increase of godliness and vice versa. If you want to be ready to meet Jesus Christ when He returns to this world, you must be willing to follow Him through evil report as well as good report.

The book of Revelation describes those who live in the final generation and are ready to meet Jesus before He comes. In Revelation 7:13, as John provided details of a vision, he wrote, “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ ” John answers, “Sir, you know” (verse 14, first part). The elder tells him: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (verse 14, last part).

If you want to be ready to meet Jesus when He returns, you must be ready, by His grace, to go through the great tribulation. The Bible is very clear that before Jesus comes again, there will be a time of trouble in this world such as has never been since there was a nation (Daniel 12:1). We are rapidly approaching that time. Now is the time for you and for me to prepare to go through it and to be ready to meet the Lord when He returns.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

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