Lesson & References Index

Lesson 09 – February 21 -27

Words of Truth

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

Sabbath Afternoon

Memory text: Proverbs 22:20-21

20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth
To those who send to you?

Sunday – The Knowledge of Truth

Proverbs 22:17-18

Sayings of the Wise

17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Proverbs 22:19-21

19 So that your trust may be in the Lord;
I have instructed you today, even you.
20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth
To those who send to you?

Monday – Robbing the Poor

Proverbs 22:22-23

22 Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate;
23 For the Lord will plead their cause,
And plunder the soul of those who plunder them.

Proverbs 23:10

10 Do not remove the ancient landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;

Exodus 22:21-27

21 “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

22 “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

25 “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest. 26 If you ever take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down. 27 For that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What will he sleep in? And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious.

2 Samuel 12:1-4
Nathan’s Parable and David’s Confession

1 Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich manhad exceedingly many flocks and herds. 3 But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. 4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

2 Samuel 12:13

13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

Proverbs 23:11

11 For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.

Job 19:25

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;

Tuesday – Being Jealous of the Wicked

Proverbs 23:17

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;

Proverbs 24:1-2

1 Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
2 For their heart devises violence,
And their lips talk of troublemaking.

Ephesians 5:20

20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Wednesday – What We Put in Our Mouths

Genesis 3:3

3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Genesis 3:1-7
The Temptation and Fall of Man

3 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which theLord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Romans 5:12
Death in Adam, Life in Christ

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Genesis 9:21

21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent.

Proverbs 23:29-35

29 Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.
34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:
35 “They have struck me, but I was not hurt;
They have beaten me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”

Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 1162 (from Ellen G. White Pamphlet 132)
Curse of the Liquor Traffic

"Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high. . . . Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken." "Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; that saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt thou reign because thou closest thyself in cedar? . . . . Thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it." Hab. 2: 9-15; Jer. 22: 13-17.

In every phase of the liquor-selling business, there is dishonesty and violence. The houses of liquor-dealers are built with the wages of unrighteousness, and upheld by violence and oppression. Those who deal in liquor, and those who sustain the traffic, are working in co-partnership with Satan. Through this business they are doing a greater work to perpetuate human woe than are men through any other business in the world.  Christians cannot use intoxicating liquors, nor connect themselves in the least degree with any business that leads to the degradation and downfall of humanity.

The rum-seller takes the same position as did Cain, and says, "Am I my brother's keeper?" And God says to him, as He said to Cain, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground." Gen. 4:9, 10. Liquor-dealers will be held accountable for the wretchedness and misery brought into the homes of those who are weak in moral power, and who fall through temptation to drink. They will be charged with the misery, the suffering, the hopelessness brought into the world through the liquor traffic. They will have to answer for the want and woe of the mothers and children who have suffered for food, and clothing, and shelter, who have buried all hope and joy. He who has a care for the sparrow, and notes its fall to the ground, who "clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven," will not pass by those who have been formed in his own image, purchased with his own blood, and pay no heed to their suffering cries. God marks this wickedness that perpetuates misery and crime. He charges it all up to those whose influence helps to open the door of temptation to the soul.

There are men who have accepted high positions of trust, who have placed themselves under solemn vows to work for the good of the people, but who are untrue to these vows, who are not acting the part of their brother's keeper. They are violating the principles of God's law, and failing to love their neighbour as themselves. Law-makers are permitting breweries to be planted all over the land, thus defiling the earth, and supplying to public houses that which they know to be a deadly evil. Drinking houses are scattered all over the cities and towns, inviting the traveller to stop and water his horses at the troughs, which are so convenient, and also to come in, and spend his money for a glass of some intoxicating drink. The water in the trough is a blessing to the thirsty horses, but what a curse is the liquor to the man who enters and drinks. The traveller enters the public house with his reason, with ability to walk upright; but look at him as he leaves. The lustre is gone from his eye. The power to walk upright is gone; he reels to and fro like a ship at sea. His reasoning power is paralysed; the image of God is destroyed. The poisonous, maddening draught has left a brand upon him so evil that nature rebels, and refuses to own him. He is the slave of depraved appetite, and instead of coming to his help, to break every yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, his brethren bind him the tighter in his chains. They rob his wife and children of his money, and take away from them a kind and sensible husband and father, by dealing out to him a potion that makes him a madman. He is in slavery, body and soul, and he cannot distinguish between right and wrong. The liquor-dealer has put the bottle to his neighbour's lips, and under its influence he is full of cruelty and murder, and in his madness actually commits murder.

He is brought before an earthly tribunal, and those who legalized the traffic are forced to deal with the results of their own work. They authorized by law the giving to this man of a draught that would turn him from a sane man into a madman, and now it is necessary for them to send him prison and to the gallows for his crime. His wife and children are left in destitution and poverty, to become the charge of the community in which they live. Soul and body the man is lost, cut off from earth, and with no title to heaven.

But there is a higher tribunal than that of earth, and in that tribunal the effect is traced to the cause, and the man who put the bottle to his neighbour's lips is charged with the sins of him who committed murder through the influence of the draught that robbed him of his reason.

And are not the rulers of the land largely responsible for the aggravated crimes, the current of deadly evil, that is the result of this liquor traffic? Is it not their duty and in their power to remove this evil?--Yes, it is; and unless they do it, the blood of souls will be found upon their garments.

When a ship is wrecked in sight of the shore, and the people look on, powerless to save, they are shocked and pained beyond measure. They talk of every possible means whereby to save those who are perishing; and even after the ship has gone down, and the lives of all are lost, they still try to think of some means that might have been successful in saving the perishing. But there is a deadly evil in our very land, which is sanctioned by law. Day after day, month after month, year after year, Satan's death-traps are set in our communities, at our doors, at the street corners, everywhere that it is possible to catch souls, that their moral power may be destroyed, and the image of God obliterated, and that they may be sunken in degradation far below the level of the brute. Souls are imperilled and perishing, and where is the active energy, the determined effort on the part of Christians to raise a warning signal, to enlighten their fellow-men, to save their perishing brothers? We are not talking of methods to save those who are dead and lost, but we desire to move upon those who are not yet beyond the reach of sympathy and help. We would present to these souls, who are guilty and polluted, the truth that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.

Shall souls always have to struggle for the victory, with the dens of temptation open before their very faces? Shall Satan always find agents to tempt those who are weak in moral power? Drawn into these dens of evil, shall he who has resolved to quit drink, be led to seize the glass again, and in the first sip of the intoxicant, put to his lips by the liquor-dealer, find every good resolution overpowered and gone? One taste of the maddening draught, and all thought of the suffering, heart-crushed wife has vanished. The debauched father cares no more that his children are hungry and naked. The law, by legalizing the liquor traffic, gives its sanction to the downfall of the soul, and refuses to stop the traffic that floods the land with evil. Let law-makers consider whether or not all this imperiling of human life, of physical power and mental vigour, is unavoidable.

How many frightful accidents occur through the influence of drink. Some one at an important post fails to give the right signal, or sends an incorrect message, and on come the trains. There is a collision, and hundreds of lives are lost. When the matter is investigated, it is found that the man at the post was drunk.

A steamer at sea meets with disaster, and when the matter is traced to its source, it is found that the engineer was drunk, or that the captain had taken too much liquor at supper. What is the portion of this terrible intoxicant that any man in responsible position can afford to take, and be safe with the lives of human beings? He can be safe only as he totally abstains from drink. He should not have his mind confused with drink. No intoxicant should pass the lips; then if disaster comes, men in responsible places can do their best, and meet their record with satisfaction, whatever may be the issue.

Let every soul remember that he is under sacred obligation to God to do his best for his fellow-creatures. How careful should every one be not to create a desire for stimulants by advising friends or neighbours to take brandy or other intoxicants for the sake of their health. Many instances have come to our notice in which through some such advice, men and women have become the slaves of drink. Physicians are responsible for making many a man or woman a drunkard. Knowing what drink will do for its lovers, they have taken upon themselves the responsibility of prescribing it for their patients. What excuse can these doctors render for the influence they have exerted in making fathers and mothers drunkards? These fathers and mothers transmit this appetite to their children, and thus the evil is perpetuated, and crime and misery increased. Thus it is that degradation, poverty, and woe are filling our world. Thus it is that ignorance and evil are wide-spread, and that the records show increasing hunger, nakedness, wretchedness, and transgression.

There is a lesson for us in the instruction God gave to Israel, directing them what to do in the case of a vicious ox that caused the death of any person. He said, "If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die; then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him. Whether he have gored a son or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him. If the ox shall push a man-servant or a maid-servant; he shall give unto their master thirty pieces of silver, and the ox shall be stoned."

Remember this instruction in regard to the vicious ox, and apply the principle involved to the man who deals out the poisonous alcoholic drinks, and to those who license the liquor traffic. This is the kind of compensation that should be granted to the liquor-dealer. Those who engage in the liquor business are not ignorant of the numberless ways in which it results in degradation, misery, poverty, cruelty, and death. The liquor traffic is a terrible scourge to our land, and yet it is sustained and legalized by those who profess to be Christians. In thus doing, the churches make themselves responsible for the results of this death-dealing traffic. The liquor traffic has its root in hell itself, and it leads to perdition. These are solemn considerations.

The man who has formed the habit of drinking intoxicating liquor is in a desperate situation. He cannot be reasoned with, or persuaded to deny himself the indulgence. His stomach and brain are diseased, his will power is weakened, and his appetite uncontrolled. The prince of the hosts of darkness holds him in bondage that he has no power to break. For the aid of such victims the liquor traffic should be prohibited.

The world is becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah, like the world before the flood, and terrible scenes are before us. What will be the record that law-makers and liquor-dealers will have to meet? They may wash their hands as did Pilate, but they will not be clean from the blood of souls. The ceremony of washing their hands will not cleanse them if they have by their influence or agency helped to make men drunkards.

No one can blind himself to the terrible results of the drink traffic. The daily papers show that the wretchedness, the poverty, the crime, resulting from this traffic, are not cunningly devised fables, and that hundreds of men are growing rich off the pittances of the men they are sending to perdition by their drink business. The accounts that fill the daily papers are enough to move a hearts of stone, and if the senses of our rulers were not perverted, they would see the necessity of doing away with this death-dealing traffic. O that a public sentiment might be created that would put an end to the drink business, close the public houses, and give their maddened victims an opportunity to reflect on eternal realities!

Proverbs 23:1-8

1 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
2 And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.

4 Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

6 Do not eat the bread of a miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.

1 Kings 3:9

9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

Thursday – Our Responsibilities

Ezekiel 33:8

8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.

Proverbs 24:11-12

11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death,
And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
12 If you say, “Surely we did not know this,”
Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?
He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?
And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

Proverbs 24:23-28
Further Sayings of the Wise

23 These things also belong to the wise:

It is not good to show partiality in judgment.
24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
25 But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.

26 He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.

27 Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward build your house.

28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
For would you deceive with your lips?

Leviticus 5:1
The Trespass Offering

1 ‘If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter—if he does not tell it, he bears guilt.

Proverbs 24:26

26 He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.

Friday – Further Study

Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 99.

Souls around us must be aroused and saved, or they perish. Not a moment have we to lose. We all have an influence that tells for the truth or against it. I desire to carry with me unmistakable evidences that I am one of Christ’s disciples. We want something besides Sabbath religion. We need the living principle, and to daily feel individual responsibility. This is shunned by many, and the fruit is carelessness, indifference, a lack of watchfulness and spirituality.  Where is the spirituality of the church? Where are men and women full of faith and the Holy Spirit? My prayer is: Purify Thy church, O God. For months I have enjoyed freedom, and I am determined to order my conversation and all my ways aright before the Lord.

Ellen G. White, Our High Calling, p. 20.
Look and Live, January 14

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. John 3:14, 15.

The same lesson that Christ bade Moses to give to the children of Israel in the wilderness is for all such souls suffering under the plague spot of sin. From the billowy cloud Christ spoke to Moses and told him to make a brazen serpent and place it upon a pole, and then bid all that were bitten with the fiery serpents to look and live. What if, in the place of looking as Christ commanded them, they had said, “I do not believe it will do me the least bit of good to look. I am too great a sufferer from the sting of the poisonous serpent.” Obedience was the object to be gained, implicit and blind obedience, without stopping to inquire the reason or the science of the matter. Christ’s word was, “Look and live”....

We want clear views of what Jesus is to us. We want to have distinct views of the victories gained in our behalf. He spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly. He broke the fetters of the tomb and came forth to take again His life that He laid down for us. He ascended on high, having led captivity captive and received gifts for men. All this suffering He endured for us....He will be our helper and He will be our refuge in every time of need. He should be revealed in our Christian experience as all-sufficient, a present Saviour.

Only look and live. We dishonor God when we do not go forth from the dark cellar of doubts unto the upper chamber of hope and faith. When the Light shineth in all its brightness let us take hold on Jesus Christ by the mighty hand of faith. No longer cultivate your doubts by expressing them and pouring them into other minds, and thus becoming an agent of Satan to sow the seeds of doubt. Talk faith, live faith, cultivate love to God; evidence to the world all that Jesus is to you. Magnify His holy name. Tell of His goodness; talk of His mercy, and tell of His power.