Lesson & References Index

Lesson 11: September 4 – 10

Longing for More

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

Sabbath Afternoon

Memory Text: 1 Corinthians 10:6

6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

Sunday – Baptized Into Moses

1 Corinthians 10:1-11
Old Testament Examples

1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Hebrews 8:5

5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

Read 1 Corinthians 10
Exodus 16:31-35

31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

32 Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Fill an omer with it, to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ ” 33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generations.” 34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. 35 And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

John 6:48
48 I am the bread of life.

John 4:10

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

Monday - Ritual and Sacrifices

Leviticus 4:32-35

32 ‘If he brings a lamb as his sin offering, he shall bring a female without blemish. 33 Then he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill it as a sin offering at the place where they kill the burnt offering. 34 The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar. 35 He shall remove all its fat, as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering. Then the priest shall burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire to the Lord. So the priest shall make atonement for his sin that he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

John 1:29
The Lamb of God

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

1 Peter 1:18-21

18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Leviticus 17:11

11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

Tuesday - The “Example” of Rest

Hebrews 4:1-11
The Promise of Rest

1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:

“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ”

although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”

6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

The Word Discovers Our Condition

11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

Hebrews 3:7-19
Be Faithful

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Failure of the Wilderness Wanderers

16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Wednesday - Harden Not Your Hearts

Hebrews 4:4-7

4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”

6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”

Psalm 95:8-11

8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

Psalm 95:7, 8

7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you will hear His voice:
8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,

Thursday - Conquering a Heavenly City

Read Hebrews 4
Hebrews 4:8-11

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

The Word Discovers Our Condition

11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

Galatians 3:26-29
Sons and Heirs

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Friday: Further Thought

Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, March 17, 1887, p. 161.
Rest in Christ

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Thus Jesus invites the weary and care-laden sons and daughters of Adam to come to him, and lay on him their heavy burdens. But many who hear this invitation, while sighing for rest, yet press on the rugged path, hugging their burdens close to their heart. Jesus loves them, and longs to bear their burdens and themselves also in his strong arms. He would remove the fears and uncertainties that rob them of peace and rest; but they must first come to him, and tell him the secret woes of their heart. He invites the confidence of his people as the proof of their love for him. The gift of the humble, trusting heart is more precious to him than all the wealth that riches can bestow. If they would only come to him in the simplicity and confidence with which a child would come to his parents, the divine touch of his hands would relieve them of their burdens.

Jesus, our compassionate Saviour, is the way, the truth, and the life. Why will we not accept his gracious offer of mercy, believe his words of promise, and not make the way of life so hard? As we travel the precious road cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, let us not overcast it with doubts and gloomy forebodings, and pursue our way murmuring and groaning, as though forced to an unpleasant, exacting task. The ways of Christ are ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are peace. If we have made rough paths for our feet, and taken heavy burdens of care in laying up for ourselves treasures upon the earth, let us now change, and follow the path Jesus has prepared for us.

We are not always willing to come to Jesus with our trials and difficulties. Sometimes we pour our troubles into human ears, and tell our afflictions to those who cannot help us, and neglect to confide all to Jesus, who is able to change the sorrowful way to paths of joy and peace. Self-denying, self-sacrificing gives glory and victory to the cross. The promises of God are very precious. We must study his word if we would know his will. The words of inspiration, carefully studied and practically obeyed, will lead our feet in a plain path, where we may walk without stumbling. Oh, that all, ministers and people, would take their burdens and perplexities to Jesus, who is waiting to receive them, and to give them peace and rest! He will never forsake those who put their trust in him.

Wickedness prevails at the present day. The perils of the last days thicken around us, and because iniquity abounds the love of many waxes cold. This need not be if all would come to Jesus, and in confiding faith trust in him. His meekness and lowliness, cherished in the heart, will bring peace and rest, and give moral power to every soul.

The shortness of time is frequently urged as an incentive for seeking righteousness and making Christ our friend. This should not be the great motive with us; for it savors of selfishness. Is it necessary that the terrors of the day of God should be held before us, that we may be compelled to right action through fear? It ought not to be so. Jesus is attractive. He is full of love, mercy, and compassion. He proposes to be our friend, to walk with us through all the rough pathways of life. He says to us, I am the Lord thy God; walk with me, and I will fill thy path with light. Jesus, the Majesty of Heaven, proposes to elevate to companionship with himself those who come to him with their burdens, their weaknesses, and their cares. He will count them as his children, and finally give them an inheritance of more value than the empires of kings, a crown of glory richer than has ever decked the brow of the most exalted earthly monarch.

It is our duty to love Jesus as our Redeemer. He has a right to command our love, but he invites us to give him our heart. He calls us to walk with him in the path of humble, truthful obedience. His invitation to us is a call to a pure, holy, and happy life,—a life of peace and rest, of liberty and love,—and to a rich inheritance in the future, immortal life. Which will we choose—liberty in Christ, or bondage and tyranny in the service of Satan? Why should we reject the invitation of mercy, and refuse the proffers of divine love? If we choose to live with Christ through the ceaseless ages of eternity, why not choose him now as our most loved and trusted friend, our best and wisest Counselor?

It is our privilege to have daily a calm, close, happy walk with Jesus. We need not be alarmed if the path lies through conflicts and sufferings. We may have the peace which passeth understanding; but it will cost us battles with the powers of darkness, struggles severe against selfishness and inbred sin. The victories gained daily through persevering, untiring effort in well-doing will be precious through Christ who has loved us, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a “peculiar people, zealous of good works.” We should seek to obtain the excellence of Christ. In the face of temptation we should school ourselves to firm endurance, nor should we allow one murmuring thought to arise, although we may be weary with toil and pressed with care.

Some have passed through afflictions with light undimmed. Their hope and faith are strong, because acquired by conflict, and nurtured by suffering. If it were not for these heroes of faith, who have learned to endure, and to suffer, and be strong, the outlook would indeed be discouraging. How could we know how to sympathize with the burdened, the sorrowing, the afflicted, and to afford them the help they need, if we had never experienced similar trials ourselves?

We can never have a clear appreciation of the value of our Redeemer, until, by an eye of faith, we see him taking upon himself the nature of man, the capacity to suffer, and then reaching the very depths of human wretchedness, that by his divine power he might save even the vilest sinner. Jesus died that the sinner might live,—that God’s justice might be preserved, and guilty man pardoned. The Son of the Highest suffered shame on the cross, that sinners might not suffer everlasting shame and contempt, but be ransomed, and crowned with eternal glory. Why is it that we have so little sense of sin, so little penitence? It is because we do not come nearer to the cross of Christ. We do not consider the Captain of our salvation, and our conscience becomes hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

The cross of Calvary appeals to us in power, affording a reason why we should love our Saviour, and why we should make him first and last and best in everything. We should take our fitting place in humble penitence at the foot of the cross. Here, as we see our Saviour in agony, the Son of God dying, the just for the unjust, we may learn lessons of meekness and lowliness of mind. Behold Him who with one word could summon legions of angels to his assistance, a subject of jest and merriment, of reviling and hatred. He gives himself a sacrifice for sin. When reviled, he threatens not; when falsely accused, he opens not his mouth. He prays on the cross for his murderers. He is dying for them; he is paying an infinite price for every one of them. He bears the penalty of man’s sins without a murmur. And this uncomplaining victim is the Son of God. His throne is from everlasting, and his kingdom shall have no end.

Come, you who are seeking your own pleasure in forbidden joys and sinful indulgences, you who are scattering from Christ, look upon the cross of Calvary; behold the royal victim suffering on your account, and while you have opportunity be wise, and seek the fountain of life and true happiness. Come, you who complain and murmur at the little inconveniences and the few trials you must meet in this life, look on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. He turned from his royal throne, his high command, and, laying aside his divinity, clothed himself with humanity. For our sakes he was rejected and despised; he became poor that we through his poverty might be made rich. Can you, beholding by the eye of faith the sufferings of Christ, tell your trials, your tale of woe? Can you nurse revenge in your heart while you remember the prayer that came from the pale and quivering lips of Christ for his revilers, his murderers: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”?

There is a work before us to subdue the pride and vanity that seek a place in our hearts, and through penitence and faith to bring ourselves into familiar and holy converse with Christ. We must not shrink from the depths of humiliation to which the Son of God submitted in order to raise us from the degradation and bondage of sin to a seat at his right hand. We must deny self, and fight continually against pride. We must hide self in Jesus, and let him appear in our character and conversation. While we look constantly to Him whom our sins have pierced and our sorrows have burdened, we shall acquire strength to be like Him. Our lives, our deportment, will testify how highly we prize our Redeemer, and the salvation he has wrought out for us at such a cost to himself. And our peace will be as a river while we bind ourselves in willing, happy captivity to Jesus.

It is high time that we devoted the few precious remaining hours of our probation to washing our robes of character, and making them white in the blood of the Lamb, that we may be of that white-robed company who shall stand around the great white throne.

Ellen G. White, Our High Calling, p. 368, quoting The Youth Instructor, January 28, 1897.
Faithfulness in Little Things

As the children of God, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are here on trial, and that we are ourselves deciding our own destiny, for everlasting happiness or for eternal death. We have everything to gain or to lose. We each have a work before us. We must co-operate with God in reaching the Bible standard, in conforming to his will. In these precious hours of probation, God desires that we shall form such characters as we shall wish we had perfected, when Christ shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Christ has given himself for his church “that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” The apostle Paul says: “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is need to cultivate every grace that Jesus, through his sufferings and death, has brought within our reach; for that grace alone can remedy our defects; Christ alone can transform the character. And God would have us manifest this grace, so richly provided, in the little as well as the large things of life.

If you would skilfully cultivate and train your flowers, you must consult a gardener; for he understands the work, he trains them to grow how and where he will. He gives them plenty of water, sunshine, and air, and digs about their roots. Day by day he works, not by violent efforts, but by little acts constantly repeated, until he can train shrub and flower into perfect form and beauty. Thus the grace of Christ works upon the human mind and heart as an educator. The continued influence of his Spirit trains the soul, molding the character after the divine Model.

Our entire life is God’s, and must be used to his glory. His grace will consecrate and improve every faculty. Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character; for if you come to this decision, you will certainly fail to obtain everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you cannot overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of unsanctified hearts, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God.

Some youth are much opposed to order and discipline. They do not respect the rules of the home by rising at a regular hour. They lie in bed some hours after daylight, when every one should be astir. They burn the midnight oil, depending upon artificial light to supply the place of the light that nature has provided at seasonable hours. In so doing they not only waste precious opportunities, but cause additional expense. But in almost every case the plea is made, “I cannot get through my work; I have something to do; I cannot retire early.” Thus they are sleeping soundly when they should be awake with nature and the early rising birds. The precious habits of order are broken; and the moments thus idled away in the early morning set things out of course for the whole day.

Our God is a God of order, and he desires that his children shall will to bring themselves into order, and under his discipline. Would it not be better, therefore, to break up this habit of turning night into day, and the fresh hours of the morning into night. If the youth would form habits of regularity and order, they would improve in health, in spirits, in memory, and in disposition.

It is the duty of all to observe strict rules in their habits of life. This is for your own good, dear youth, both physically and morally. When you rise in the morning, take into consideration, as far as possible, the work you must accomplish during the day. If necessary, have a small book in which to jot down the things that need to be done, and set yourself a time in which to do your work. If it is the work of the bedrooms, see that the rooms have a proper airing, that the bedclothes are separated, and that the entire room is freshened with air and sunshine. Allow yourself a certain time in which to perform this work. Do not sit down while it is yet unfinished, to read any paper or book that may interest you but say, I must do this work in the given time.

Your room may contain many little ornaments placed there for admiration; but if you would have an eye single to the glory of God, you would do well to pack away these little idols. In handling, dusting, and replacing them, many precious moments are spent that might be employed in needful work. But if these trinkets are not to be stored away, then you have another lesson to learn. Be expeditious. Do not dreamily take up every article, and keep it in your hand, as though loath to lay it down. It is the duty of those who are slow in their movements to improve in this respect. The Lord has said, “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” In preparing the meals, make your calculations, giving yourself all the time that you know by experience you will require in order to cook the food thoroughly and place it upon the table at the proper time. But it is better to be ready five minutes before the time than to be five minutes late. In washing dishes, also, the work may be done with despatch, and yet with care and thoroughness. Slow, dilatory habits make much work out of very little. But if you will, you may overcome these fussy, lingering habits. The exercise of the will power will make the hands move deftly.

When I have been searching for a girl to help with my housework, certain young persons have been recommended to me. But when I inquired of those who had previously employed them, the reply was, concerning one: “She will not suit you; she is very slow. You will have to pay your money for having your work done in a slovenly manner, and you will feel that it is money wasted.” Of another it was said: “She has no method; she has not cultivated caretaking. She needs some one beside her; for she has not breadth of mind enough to comprehend the situation, to understand how one thing after another should be done, nor to use tact in her housekeeping.” I was warned against employing another because, while everything was in disorder, she would sit down in the midst of her unfinished work, and with newspaper or book in hand, forget all about her duties. Of still another who I thought would please me, I learned that she was untidy. Another was disrespectful. For persons to whom she took a violent fancy, she would show great consideration, going to any lengths in order to receive their approbation and flattery. But she had no reverence or even respect for any one else. “But,” I reasoned, “if she is a Christian, she will surely take counsel.” An expression of sorrow came over the countenance of my friend as she replied: “I am afraid you will be disappointed in her. If you insist upon having things done as you wish, if you plainly set before her the mistakes she is making, instead of correcting them, she will say that she does the best she can, and will take upon her the air of one who has been much injured. She does not respect those in authority, but will have a sneer in her mind, which, if not revealed to you in words, will be manifest in her expression. Her opinions, too, are not kept secret, but expressed freely to others. I have myself been compelled to live over this experience, to my sorrow.” Another will spend not only minutes, but hours of the day, in needless talk, and thus squanders much precious time.

These matters have been looked upon as little things, and almost unworthy of notice. But many are deceived as to the importance of these little things. They bear strongly upon the great whole. God does not regard anything as unimportant that pertains to the well-being of the human family. He gave his only begotten Son for the body as well as for the soul, and all is to be consecrated to him.

Let there be a determined purpose to overcome, and to cultivate those habits that are desirable. This work requires ceaseless watchfulness, and steady, persevering effort. But this adherence to right practises in little things is a discipline of self that will become less difficult in proportion as the heart is sanctified by the grace of God. Earnest, persevering effort will place you on the vantage-ground of victory.

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Can you, dear youth, look forward with joyful hope and expectation to the time when the Lord, your righteous Judge, shall confess your name before the Father and before the holy angels? The very best preparation you can have for Christ’s second appearing is to rest with firm faith in the great salvation brought to us at his first coming. You must believe in Christ as a personal Saviour, and that he was once offered to bear the sins of many; that his love, abiding in your soul as a living, active agency to correct, refine, and purify your ways and practises, may save you from your errors.

The Lord is not pleased to have his children disorderly; to have their lives marred with defects, their religious experience crippled, and their growth in grace dwarfed by hereditary and cultivated deficiencies. These defects will be copied by others, and thus be reproduced and multiplied. Listen to the words of God, spoken through his servant John, coming down through the ages to our own time: “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” Great truth can be brought into little things; practical religion must be carried into the lowly duties of daily life. And in the performance of these duties, you are forming characters that will stand the test of the Judgment. Then, in whatever position you may be placed, whatever your duties may be, do them nobly and faithfully, realizing that all heaven is beholding your work.

Romans 5:11

11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.