Lesson & References Index 

Lesson 8 – February 15 – 21

With the Rich and Famous

(All Bible texts are in the NKJV Bible unless otherwise indicated)

Sabbath Afternoon

Memory text: 1 Timothy 6:10

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Sunday - Richly Blessed

Deuteronomy 8:17-18

17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’

18 “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Genesis 13:5-6

5 Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. 6 Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.

Genesis 41:41-43

41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.

Job 1:1-3

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. 2 And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 3 Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.

Daniel 4:28-31

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!

Monday –  Nighttime Rendezvous

John 3:1-15

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 2:13-25

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”

18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”

19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”

21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 176-177.

In the interview with Nicodemus, Jesus unfolded the plan of salvation, and His mission to the world. In none of His subsequent discourses did He explain so fully, step by step, the work necessary to be done in the hearts of all who would inherit the kingdom of heaven. At the very beginning of His ministry He opened the truth to a member of the Sanhedrin, to the mind that was most receptive, and to an appointed teacher of the people. But the leaders of Israel did not welcome the light. Nicodemus hid the truth in his heart, and for three years there was little apparent fruit.

But Jesus was acquainted with the soil into which He cast the seed. The words spoken at night to one listener in the lonely mountain were not lost. For a time Nicodemus did not publicly acknowledge Christ, but he watched His life, and pondered His teachings. In the Sanhedrin council he repeatedly thwarted the schemes of the priests to destroy Him. When at last Jesus was lifted up on the cross, Nicodemus remembered the teaching upon Olivet: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." The light from that secret interview illumined the cross upon Calvary, and Nicodemus saw in Jesus the world's Redeemer.

After the Lord's ascension, when the disciples were scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church that the Jews had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as a rock, encouraging the faith of the disciples, and furnishing means to carry forward the work of the gospel. He was scorned and persecuted by those who had paid him reverence in other days. He became poor in this world's goods; yet he faltered not in the faith which had its beginning in that night conference with Jesus.

Nicodemus related to John the story of that interview, and by his pen it was recorded for the instruction of millions. The truths there taught are as important today as they were on that solemn night in the shadowy mountain, when the Jewish ruler came to learn the way of life from the lowly Teacher of Galilee.

Tuesday – Rich and Infamous

Matthew 9:10-13

10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees sawit, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Luke 5:27-32

27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.

29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 And their scribes and the Phariseescomplained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Luke 19:1-10

1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Wednesday - The Gold-plated Message

Mark 4:18-19

18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Luke 1:51-53

51 He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.

Luke 6:22-25

22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich,
For you have received your consolation.
25 Woe to you who are full,
For you shall hunger.
Woe to you who laugh now,
For you shall mourn and weep.

Luke 12:16-21

16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Luke 16:13

13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Mark 8:36

36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

Thursday – Terms of Endangerment

Matthew 19:16-26

16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”

26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Ellen G. White, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald vol. 75, 16, p.121, April 19, 1898.
Evangelistic Temperance: How to Live

AS we can live only by breathing, it certainly follows that we can live rightly only when we breathe rightly; our physical life will be full, bright, and strong only when we breathe fully, brightly, and strongly.  And when, physically, we live fully, brightly, and strongly, we can also live a spiritual life that is full, bright, and strong.  Read this:–

"By giving heed to proper instruction, by following health principles in regard to the expansion of the lungs and the culture of the voice, our young men and women may become speakers that can be heard, and the exercise necessary to this accomplishment will prolong life."–"Christian Education," page 132.

This touches the point; yea, it tells the whole story. And again we may say, It is not enough simply to expand the lungs. You can expand the lungs in such a way as to make them only an invitation to consumption; yet in the right way, you can also expand the lungs so that it will be impossible for consumption to get hold of you. When this is done, then even if you should take cold, and it should even reach and settle upon your lungs or in your throat, you need not be afraid; it cannot stay, neither can it stop you in your work. The life and living vigor of the whole system will drive it speedily away. O, the Lord wants us to live!

"There is need that among our ministers careful attention should be given to the culture of the voice, or many will lie down in untimely graves. The Lord is not glorified by the reflections that are cast upon him, when men attribute to him their sufferings; for the Lord has no pleasure in the suffering and death of his people. He would have them pursue a right course of action, carefully looking after their bodies that they may be in health, and know how to keep the habitation in order."–Id., page 133.

Now, do not get the idea that this is an intricate thing, hard to understand, and difficult to get hold of, so that you must have a whole lot of unscientific instruction to get it. It is not that at all. It is all as simple as any other part of the religion of Christ. Listen to this:–

"If we neglect to heed the simple laws by which we may preserve health, and fail to cultivate right habits, the Lord will not work a miracle to heal our disorders, while we continue to transgress his laws. Men are sleeping in their graves that the Lord would have had live. They destroyed themselves through lack of knowledge."–Id., page 133.

What kind of laws are these?–Simple laws. That is just what they are. Do not allow yourself, nor allow anybody else for you, to make them anything else than simple. You will see this more fully as we follow this subject further:–

"Some of our most talented ministers are doing themselves great injury by their defective manner of speaking. While teaching the people their duty to obey God's moral law, they should not be found violating his physical laws. Ministers should stand erect, and speak slowly, firmly, and distinctly, taking a full inspiration of air at every sentence, and throwing out the words by exercising the abdominal muscles. If they will observe this simple rule, giving attention to the laws of health in other respects, they may preserve their life and usefulness much longer than men in any other profession."–"Gospel Workers," page 147.

Well, then, is it not almost a disgrace for any Seventh-day Adventist minister, except the oldest, to die, especially to die of lung or throat troubles? and he professing to be a health reformer, too! If we did not have these things, if God had not spoken on these subjects, and set them so plainly before us, and so repeatedly, too, it would not be so bad. But with all these things made so plain, and these good wishes of the Lord so fully expressed, it is awful to have our ministers dying, when to take the Lord's way, the ministers may "preserve their life and usefulness much longer than men in any other profession." Then let us quit dying. This expression is not out of place, either; for men often think they are all right, and not dying, when the truth is that they are dying all the time. Read again:–

"The chest will become broader. "What! the chest become broader by exercising the abdominal muscles?–Yes, of course. That is the only way the chest can become broader in the right way, in the way to have health. Now there is no contradiction nor inconsistency here. I am not explaining, yet, just how this will be. It is all true, though. You believe it, and practise it, and you will find it so. However, we are searching now for what is the right way to breathe; how to practise it we shall study afterward.

"The chest will become broader, and by educating the voice, the speaker need seldom become hoarse, even by constant speaking."–Id.

The throat is the last place in the body to become weary from speaking; the lungs, never. The abdominal muscles may become tired sometimes, and the back also, and even other parts of the body, with long or strong speaking, but the lungs and throat will be all right. Only use them as God intended them to be used, and they will outlast all the rest of the system.

"Instead of becoming consumptives by speaking, our ministers may, by care, overcome all tendency to consumption."–Id.

Good. Then why should any Seventh-day Adventist minister have anytendency to consumption, much less have consumption itself? And even some of  our doctors have tendency to consumption; yea, some have actually died of consumption, in the face of this direct instruction from the Lord, too! How long shall these things be? Instead of being delicate, and sunken-chested, and weaklunged, the Lord wants us to be healthy, full-chested, strong-lunged, and proof against disease instead of being subject to it. And why is not this true of all the people as well as of the ministeres? Why should our sisters be sunken-chested, stoop-shouldered, and weak-lunged, and subject to lung troubles, any more than our brethren or our ministers?–They should not. The Lord wants women to have as good health as he wants men to have. And these excellent things that we have been reading are just as much for women as for men, and are just as true of women as they are of men. Then, sisters, you stand erect, and use the abdominal muscles in deep breathing and in expanding the chest. You, too, can throw out your words by exercising the abdominal muscles. Then, if you have any tendency to consumption, you will soon be all right,–in more ways than simply your lung troubles, too,–you will "overcome all tendency to consumption." That is a great deal; it is a blessed promise.

"I would say to my ministering brethren, Unless you educate yourselves to speak according to physical law, you will sacrifice life, and many will mourn the loss of "those martyrs to the cause of truth," when the facts in the case are, that by indulging in wrong habits you did injustice to yourselves and to the truth which you represented, and robbed God and the world of the service you might have rendered. God would have been pleased to have you live, but you slowly committed suicide."–Id.

That is to Seventh-day Adventists who die of consumption. It is an awful thing when a person, in very desperation, commits suicide by a sudden act. But how much more awful it is for a person–and of all people a Seventh-day Adventist, too–slowly to commit suicide,–to keep it up, and follow it up persistently for years, till it is finally accomplished! That is terrible. Who, then, will continue to do it? O, rather, who will not cease entirely to do it, by choosing now, and diligently following, the right way?

Friday – Further Study

Read Ellen G. White, Chapter 17 – Nicodemus, in The Desire of Ages, pp. 167-177
Read Ellen G. White, Chapter 28 - Levi-Matthew, in The Desire of Ages, pp. 272-280
Read Ellen G. White, "One Thing Thou Lackest", in The Desire of Ages, pp. 518-523
Read Ellen G. White, Zacchaeus, The Desire of Ages, pp. 552-556
Read Ellen G. White, Chapter 14 - Ministry to the Rich in The Ministry of Healing, pp. 209-216