Lesson 11 *March 10 - 16

Dead Flies and Snake Charmers: More Live Under the Sun

Memory Text: Ecclesiastes 10:1 NKJV 1 Dead flies putrefy the perfumer's ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.

“Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION”. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Used by Permission.

Sabbath Afternoon


Dead Flies

Ecclesiastes 10:1 NKJV 1 Dead flies putrefy the perfumer's ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.

Ecclesiastes 9:18 NKJV 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroys much good."

Genesis 3:6 NKJV 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.

Exodus 32:1-4 NKJV 1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." 2 And Aaron said to them, "Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." 3 "So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!"

2 Samuel 11:1-4 NKJV 1 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 11:2-4 2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house.


The Fool’s Heart

Ecclesiastes 10:2 NKJV 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand, But a fool's heart at his left.

Matthew 26:64 NKJV 64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Matthew 25:31-34 NKJV 31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Acts 7:55 NKJV 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,

Ecclesiastes 10:2 NKJV 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand, But a fool's heart at his left.

Genesis 6:5 NKJV 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Exodus 25:2 NKJV 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.

1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Ecclesiastes 10:3 NKJV 3 Even when a fool walks along the way, He lacks wisdom, And he shows everyone that he is a fool.

Ecclesiastes 10:2 NKJV 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand, But a fool's heart at his left.


More Evil

Ecclesiastes 10:4-7 NKJV 4 If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, Do not leave your post; For conciliation pacifies great offenses. 5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, As an error proceeding from the ruler: 6 Folly is set in great dignity, While the rich sit in a lowly place. 7 I have seen servants on horses, While princes walk on the ground like servants.

2 Samuel 18:9 NKJV 9 Then Absalom met the servants of David. Absalom rode on a mule. The mule went under the thick boughs of a great terebinth tree, and his head caught in the terebinth; so he was left hanging between heaven and earth. And the mule which was under him went on.

1 Kings 1:38 NKJV 38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David's mule, and took him to Gihon.

2 Chronicles 25:28 NKJV 28 Then they brought him on horses and buried him with his fathers in the City of Judah.

Esther 6:8 NKJV 8 "let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head.

Jeremiah 17:25 NKJV 25 "then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever.

Judges 5:10 NKJV 10 "Speak, you who ride on white donkeys, Who sit in judges' attire, And who walk along the road.

Judges 10:4 NKJV 4 Now he had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys; they also had thirty towns, which are called "Havoth Jair" to this day, which are in the land of Gilead.

1 Kings 1:33 NKJV 33 The king also said to them, "Take with you the servants of your lord, and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon.

Isaiah 58:6-7 NKJV 6 "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Matthew 26:52 NKJV 52 But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

John 18:36 NKJV 36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."

2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

Revelation 13:10 NKJV 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.


The Snake Charmer

Ecclesiastes 10:8-11 NKJV 8 He who digs a pit will fall into it, And whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent. 9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, And he who splits wood may be endangered by it. 10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success. 11 A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different.

Psalms 7:15 NKJV 15 He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made.

Psalms 57:6 NKJV 6 They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They have dug a pit before me; Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah

Proverbs 26:27 NKJV 27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.

Esther 9:23 NKJV 23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them,

Esther 9:25 NKJV 25 but when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

Ecclesiastes 10:9-11 NKJV 9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, And he who splits wood may be endangered by it. 10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success. 11 A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different.


The Fool’s Lips

Ecclesiastes 10:10-20 NKJV 10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success. 11 A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up; 13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, And the end of his talk is raving madness. 14 A fool also multiplies words. No man knows what is to be; Who can tell him what will be after him? 15 The labor of fools wearies them, For they do not even know how to go to the city! 16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, And your princes feast in the morning! 17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, And your princes feast at the proper time-For strength and not for drunkenness! 18 Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks. 19 A feast is made for laughter, And wine makes merry; But money answers everything. 20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

Ecclesiastes 10:12-14 NKJV 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up; 13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, And the end of his talk is raving madness. 14 A fool also multiplies words. No man knows what is to be; Who can tell him what will be after him?

Ecclesiastes 10:20 NKJV 20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.

Ecclesiastes 10:12 NKJV 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;

Psalms 45:2 NKJV 2 You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Proverbs 22:11 NKJV 11 He who loves purity of heart And has grace on his lips, The king will be his friend.

Luke 4:22 NKJV 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"

Genesis 6:8 NKJV 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Exodus 15:12 NKJV 12 You stretched out Your right hand; The earth swallowed them.

Numbers 16:32 NKJV 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.

Jeremiah 51:34 NKJV 34 "Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon Has devoured me, he has crushed me; He has made me an empty vessel, He has swallowed me up like a monster; He has filled his stomach with my delicacies, He has spit me out.

Lamentations 2:5 NKJV 5 The Lord was like an enemy. He has swallowed up Israel, He has swallowed up all her palaces; He has destroyed her strongholds, And has increased mourning and lamentation In the daughter of Judah.

Ecclesiastes 10:20 NKJV 20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.



The Desire of Ages, p. 323

Closely connected with Christ's warning in regard to the sin against the Holy Spirit is a warning against idle and evil words. The words are an indication of that which is in the heart. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." But the words are more than an indication of character; they have power to react on the character. Men are influenced by their own words. Often under a momentary impulse, prompted by Satan, they give utterance to jealousy or evil surmising, expressing that which they do not really believe; but the expression reacts on the thoughts. They are deceived by their words, and come to believe that true which was spoken at Satan's instigation. Having once expressed an opinion or decision, they are often too proud to retract it, and try to prove themselves in the right, until they come to believe that they are. It is dangerous to utter a word of doubt, dangerous to question and criticize divine light. The habit of careless and irreverent criticism reacts upon the character, in fostering irreverence and unbelief. Many a man indulging this habit has gone on unconscious of danger, until he was ready to criticize and reject the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." {DA 323.1}

     Then He added a warning to those who had been impressed by His words, who had heard Him gladly, but who had not surrendered themselves for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is not only by resistance but by neglect that the soul is destroyed. "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man," said Jesus, "he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there." {DA 323.2}

     There were many in Christ's day, as there are today, over whom the control of Satan for the time seemed broken; through the grace of God they were set free from the evil spirits that had held dominion over (p. 324) the soul. They rejoiced in the love of God; but, like the stony-ground hearers of the parable, they did not abide in His love. They did not surrender themselves to God daily, that Christ might dwell in the heart; and when the evil spirit returned, with "seven other spirits more wicked than himself," they were wholly dominated by the power of evil. {DA 323.3}

Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 337

 In seeking to correct or reform others we should be careful of our words. They will be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. In giving reproof or counsel, many indulge in sharp, severe speech, words not adapted to heal the wounded soul. By these ill-advised expressions the spirit is chafed, and often the erring ones are stirred to rebellion. All who would advocate the principles of truth need to receive the heavenly oil of love. Under all circumstances reproof should be spoken in love. Then our words will reform but not exasperate. Christ by His Holy Spirit will supply the force and the power. This is His work. {COL 337.1}

     Not one word is to be spoken unadvisedly. No evil speaking, no frivolous talk, no fretful repining or impure suggestion, will escape the lips of him who is following Christ. The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." Eph. 4:29. A corrupt communication does not mean only words that are vile. It means any expression contrary to holy principles and pure and undefiled religion. It includes impure hints and covert insinuations of evil. Unless instantly resisted, these lead to great sin. {COL 337.2}

     Upon every family, upon every individual Christian, is laid the duty of barring the way against corrupt speech. When in the company of those who indulge in foolish talk, it is our duty to change the subject of conversation if possible. By the help of the grace of God we should quietly drop words or introduce a subject that will turn the conversation into a profitable channel. {COL 337.3}

     It is the work of parents to train their children to proper habits of speech. The very best school for this culture is the home life. From the earliest years the children should be taught to speak respectfully and lovingly to their parents and to one another. They should be taught that only words (p. 338) of gentleness, truth, and purity must pass their lips. Let the parents themselves be daily learners in the school of Christ. Then by precept and example they can teach their children the use of "sound speech, that cannot be condemned." Titus 2:8. This is one of the greatest and most responsible of their duties. {COL 337.4}

Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 302

You know not the deceptions of the human heart. You know not the devices of Satan. Some who have drawn largely upon your sympathy have a sickly, diseased imagination, are lovesick, sentimental, ever eager to create a sensation and make a great ado. Some are dissatisfied with their married life. There is not enough romance in it. Novel reading has perverted all the good sense they ever had. They live in an imaginary world. Their imagination creates a husband for themselves such as exists only in romances found in novels. They talk of unrequited love. They are never contented or happy, because their imagination pictures to them a life that is unreal. When they face the reality, come down to the simplicity of real life, and take up life's burdens in their families, as is woman's lot, then they will find contentment and happiness. {2T 302.1}

     You have cherished thoughts that were not right. These thoughts have borne fruit. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Your words are not always chaste, pure, and elevated. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." Guile is too often found in your mouth-- low expressions that proceed from a heart cherishing corrupt thoughts and evil desires. {2T 302.2}

     For some time your feet have been turned from the path of rectitude and purity. You know that your course has been displeasing to God, that you are transgressing His holy law; (p. 303)

you know that these things cannot be hid. God will not permit His people to be deceived in your case. Your great sin is in enlisting the sympathies of those who do not understand your crooked course, and by thus doing dividing the judgment of the people who profess the truth. We pity you. My heart aches for you. I see nothing before you but perdition, nothing but utter shipwreck of faith. {2T 302.3}

Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, pp. 251-253

  When temptations assail you, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light. Rest in Christ's love and under His protecting care. When sin struggles for the mastery in the heart, when guilt oppresses the soul and burdens the conscience, when unbelief clouds the mind, remember that Christ's grace is sufficient to subdue sin and banish the darkness. Entering into communion with the Saviour, we enter the region of peace. The Healing Promises "The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants: And none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate." Psalm 34:22. "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: And His children shall have a place of refuge." Proverbs 14:26. "Zion said, Jehovah hath forsaken me, and The Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, That she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, these may forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands." Isaiah 49:14-16, A.R.V. (p. 251) "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." Isaiah 41:10. "Ye that have been borne by Me from your birth, That have been carried by Me from your earliest breath, Even to your old age I am the same; Even to hoar hairs I will carry you; I have done it, and I will still bear you; I will carry, and I will deliver you." Isaiah 46:3, 4, Noyes. {MH 250.1} Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings--as much a duty as it is to pray. If we are heaven-bound, how can we go as a band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the way to our Father's house? {MH 251.1}

     Those professed Christians who are constantly complaining, and who seem to think cheerfulness and happiness a sin, have not genuine religion. Those who take a mournful pleasure in all that is melancholy in the natural world, who choose to look upon dead leaves rather than to gather the beautiful living flowers, who see no beauty in grand mountain heights and in valleys clothed with living green, who close their senses to the joyful voice which speaks to them in nature, and which is sweet and musical to the listening ear--these are not in Christ. They are gathering to themselves gloom and darkness, when they might have brightness, even the Sun of Righteousness arising in their hearts with healing in His beams. {MH 251.2}

     Often your mind may be clouded because of pain. Then do not try to think. You know that Jesus loves you. He understands your weakness. You may do His will by simply resting in His arms. {MH 251.3} It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings are encouraged and strengthened as we give them utterance. (p. 252) While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words. If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have,--the great mercy and love of God,--we should have more faith

(p. 253) and greater joy. No tongue can express, no finite mind can conceive, the blessing that results from appreciating the goodness and love of God. Even on earth we may have joy as a wellspring, never failing, because fed by the streams that flow from the throne of God. {MH 251.4}

     Then let us educate our hearts and lips to speak the praise of God for His matchless love. Let us educate our souls to be hopeful and to abide in the light shining from the cross of Calvary. Never should we forget that we are children of the heavenly King, sons and daughters of the Lord of hosts. It is our privilege to maintain a calm repose in God. {MH 253.1}

     "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; . . . and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:15. Forgetting our own difficulties and troubles, let us praise God for an opportunity to live for the glory of His name. Let the fresh blessings of each new day awaken praise in our hearts for these tokens of His loving care. When you open your eyes in the morning, thank God that He has kept you through the night. Thank Him for His peace in your heart. Morning, noon, and night, let gratitude as a sweet perfume ascend to heaven. {MH 253.2}

     When someone asks how you are feeling, do not try to think of something mournful to tell in order to gain sympathy. Do not talk of your lack of faith and your sorrows and sufferings. The tempter delights to hear such words. When talking on gloomy subjects, you are glorifying him. We are not to dwell on the great power of Satan to overcome us. Often we give ourselves into his hands by talking of his power. Let us talk instead of the great power of God to bind up all our interests with His own. Tell of the matchless power of Christ, and speak of His glory. All heaven is interested in our salvation. The angels of God, thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, are commissioned to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. They guard us against evil and press back the powers of darkness that are seeking our destruction. Have we not (p. 254)

reason to be thankful every moment, thankful even when there are apparent difficulties in our pathway? {MH 253.3}

Ellen G. White Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 429-430

False Shepherds I have no real ground of hope for those who have stood as shepherds to the flock, and have for years been borne with by the merciful God, following them with reproof, with warnings, with entreaties, but who have hid their evil ways, and continued in them, thus defying the laws of the God of heaven by practicing fornication. We may leave them to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, after all has been done to reform them; but in no case entrust to them the guardianship of souls. False shepherds! Oh, can it be that the men who have been engaged in this work for a long time will corrupt their ways before the Lord after great experience and special light? {TM 428.2}

     He that is to come says, "Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Every good deed done by the people of God as the fruit of their faith, will have its corresponding reward. As one star differeth from another star in glory, so will believers have their (p. 429) different spheres assigned them in the future life. Will the man who did not walk with God as did Enoch, but who walked by the side of Satan, listening to his suggestions, obeying his promptings, imperiling his own soul and souls for whom Christ died, to gratify the carnal mind, giving lenity to sin in his example--will such a man be found among the overcomers? {TM 428.3}

     When a man dies, his influence does not die with him; but it lives on, reproducing itself. The influence of the man who was good and pure and holy lives on after his death, like the glow of the descending sun, casting its glories athwart the heavens, lighting up the mountain peaks long after the sun has sunk behind the hill. So will the works of the pure and the holy and the good reflect their light when they no longer live to speak and act themselves. Their works, their words, their example will forever live. "The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance." {TM 429.1}

     But what a contrast to this is the life of those who are earthly, sensual, devilish! The sensual pleasure was indulged. In the light of the judgment, the man appears as he is, stripped of the livery of heaven. He stands before others as he is in the sight of a holy God. Let every one of us think seriously whether the works following us will be the mellow light of heaven or the shadows of darkness, and whether the legacies we bequeath are those of blessings or curses. {TM 429.2}

     Every passing hour of the present is shaping our future life. These moments spent in carelessness, in self-pleasing, as if of no value, are deciding our everlasting destinies. The words we utter today will go on echoing when time shall be no more. The deeds done today are transferred to the books of heaven, just as the features are transferred by the artist onto the polished (p. 430) plate. They will determine our destiny for eternity, for bliss or eternal loss and agonizing remorse. Character cannot be changed when Christ comes, nor just as a man is about to die. Character building must be done in this life. We fear that repentance will come to the self-indulgent, tainted soul all too late.

A few resolves, a few tears, will never reverse a guilty past life nor blot out of the books of heaven the transgressions, the willful, knowing sins of those who have had the precious light of truth, and can explain the Scriptures to others, while sin and iniquity are drunk up like stolen waters. As though written with an iron pen, they may be found lead in the rock forever. {TM 429.3} Need of Alarm I would make my brethren alarmed if I could. I would urge upon them with pen and voice, Live in the Lord, walk with God, if you would die in the Lord, and enter by and by where the Lord abideth forever. Be not disobedient to the heavenly warnings; grasp the neglected appeals, the entreaties, the warnings, the rebukes, the threatenings of God, and let them correct your wayward, sinful heart. Let the transforming grace of Christ make you pure, true, holy, and lovely as the pure white lily which opens its blossom on the bosom of the lake. Transfer your love and affections to Him who died for you on Calvary's cross. Train your lips to speak forth His praises, and to offer up your prayers as holy incense. {TM 430.1}

     I ask again, How can any who have the precious, solemn message for this time indulge in impure thoughts and unholy deeds, when they know that He that never slumbers and never sleeps sees every action and reads every thought of the mind? Oh, it is because iniquity (p. 431)

is found in God's professed people that He can do so little for them. {TM 430.2}