Lesson 13 | Sabbath, 24 June 2023
Alcohol means “bad spirit.” Noah means “rest,” “relief,” or “comfort.” Genesis 5:29.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:8, 9.
“Had the antediluvians believed the warning, and repented of their evil deeds, the Lord would have turned aside His wrath, as He afterward did from Nineveh. But by their obstinate resistance to the reproofs of conscience and the warnings of God’s prophet, that generation filled up the measure of their iniquity, and became ripe for destruction. The period of their probation was about to expire. Noah had faithfully followed the instructions which he had received from God. The ark was finished in every part as the Lord had directed, and was stored with food for man and beast. And now the servant of God made his last solemn appeal to the people. With an agony of desire that words cannot express, he entreated them to seek a refuge while it might be found. Again they rejected his words, and raised their voices in jest and scoffing.” —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 97.
SUNDAY, JUNE 18, 2023
The worldwide flood
- What did Moses write about Noah and his family? For how many years did he preach and warn the antediluvian world of the approaching cataclysm?
Genesis 6:8, 9 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
“The world’s Redeemer had many hearers, but few followers. Noah preached one hundred and twenty years to the people before the Flood, and yet there were few who appreciated this precious, probationary time. Save Noah and his family, not one was numbered with the believers and entered into the ark. Of all the inhabitants of the earth, only eight souls received the message; but that message condemned the world. The light was given in order that they might believe; their rejection of the light proved their ruin. Our message to the world will be a savor of life unto life to all who accept it, and of condemnation to all who reject it.” —Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 36.
“The inhabitants of the Noachian world were destroyed because, after being granted a period of one hundred and twenty years in which to choose between the evil and the good, they deliberately chose to follow their own wicked ways. Because they did not avail themselves of the opportunity God gave them to repent and turn to Him, they were destroyed by the flood.” —The Upward Look, p. 88.
MONDAY, JUNE 19, 2023
- How large was the ark, and how many stories did it have? What significance does the number of floors and the single door of the ark have for Seventh-day Adventist Reformers today?
Genesis 6:14-16 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
Revelation 14:6-12 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
“God gave Noah the exact dimensions of the ark and explicit directions in regard to the construction of it in every particular. In many respects it was not made like a vessel but prepared like a house, the foundation like a boat which would float upon water. There were no windows in the sides of the ark. It was three stories high, and the light they received was from a window in the top. The door was in the side. The different apartments prepared for the reception of different animals were so made that the window in the top gave light to all. The ark was made of the cypress or gopher wood, which would know nothing of decay for hundreds of years. It was a building of great durability, which no wisdom of man could invent. God was the designer, and Noah His master builder.” —The Story of Redemption, p. 63.
TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2023
- What was the difference between the animals that entered as seven pairs and those that entered as only one pair? Describe the year of the flood from beginning to end.
“Suddenly a silence fell upon the mocking throng. Beasts of every description, the fiercest as well as the most gentle, were seen coming from mountain and forest and quietly making their way toward the ark. A noise as of a rushing wind was heard, and lo, birds were flocking from all directions, their numbers darkening the heavens, and in perfect order they passed to the ark. Animals obeyed the command of God, while men were disobedient. Guided by holy angels, they ‘went in two and two unto Noah into the ark,’ and the clean beasts by sevens. The world looked on in wonder, some in fear. Philosophers were called upon to account for the singular occurrence, but in vain. It was a mystery which they could not fathom. But men had become so hardened by their persistent rejection of light that even this scene produced but a momentary impression. As the doomed race beheld the sun shining in its glory, and the earth clad in almost Eden beauty, they banished their rising fears by boisterous merriment, and by their deeds of violence they seemed to invite upon themselves the visitation of the already awakened wrath of God.” —Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 97.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21, 2023
Consequences of drunienness
- Despite being a man of God, what did Noah do after the flood? Why?
Genesis 9:20, 21 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
“God has written His law upon every nerve and muscle, every fiber and function of the human body. The indulgence of unnatural appetite, whether for tea, coffee, tobacco, or liquor, is intemperance, and is at war with the laws of life and health. By using these forbidden articles a condition of things is created in the system which the Creator never designed. This indulgence in any of the members of the human family is sin…. The eating of food that does not make good blood is working against the laws of our physical organism, and is a violation of the law of God. The cause produces the effect. Suffering, disease, and death are the sure penalty of indulgence.” —(Letter 123, 1899) Evangelism, p. 265.
“Satan is corrupting minds and destroying souls through his subtle temptations. Will our people see and feel the sin of indulging perverted appetite? Will they discard tea, coffee, flesh meats, and all stimulating food, and devote the means expended for those hurtful indulgences to spreading the truth?… What power can the tobacco devotee have to stay the progress of intemperance? There must be a revolution in our world upon the subject of tobacco before the ax is laid at the root of the tree. We press the subject still closer. Tea and coffee are fostering the appetite which is developing for stronger stimulants, as tobacco and liquor.” —Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 430.
THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2023
- What happens to everyone who becomes intoxicated? What damage is thus caused to human health and society?
Proverbs 23:29-33 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Isaiah 28:7, 8 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place.
Habakkuk 2:5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people.
“When the appetite for spirituous liquor is indulged, the man volun- tarily places to his lips the draft which debases below the level of the brute him who was made in the image of God. Reason is paralyzed, the intellect is benumbed, the animal passions are excited, and then follow crimes of the most debasing character.” —(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 561).
“We read of steamboat disasters, and railroad accidents, and what is the matter? Somebody in many, many cases has beclouded the mind with intoxicating drink. He did not feel the weight of responsibility resting upon him. Many, many lives have been lost because somebody got drunk. Thus lives will be charged to the man that put the bottle to his neighbor’s lips….
“The relation of crime to intemperance is well understood by men who have to deal with those who transgress the laws of the land. In the words of a Philadelphia judge: ‘We can trace four fifths of the crimes that are committed to the influence of rum. There is not one case in twenty where a man is tried for his life, in which rum is not the direct or indirect cause of the murder. Rum and blood, I mean the shedding of blood, go hand in hand.’” —Temperance, pp. 23, 288, 23.
FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2023
Jesus, Noah, and grape juice
- How did Ham’s attitude differ greatly from that of his brothers when he came across the results of Noah’s drunkenness? What did Jesus prophesy concerning the last days in relation to the times of Noah and before the flood?
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Luke 21:34, 36 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares…. 36 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.
“Jesus, seated on the Mount of Olives, gave instruction to His disciples concerning the signs which should precede His coming: ‘As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’ The same sins that brought judgments upon the world in the days of Noah, exist in our day. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking so far that it ends in gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to widespread corruption. Violence and sin reached to heaven. This moral pollution was finally swept from the earth by means of the flood. The same sins of gluttony and drunkenness benumbed the moral sensibilities of the inhabitants of Sodom, so that crime seemed to be the delight of the men and women of that wicked city. Christ thus warns the world: ‘Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.’” —Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 145.
SABBATH, JUNE 24, 2023
- What type of wine did Jesus produce by a miracle at the wed- ding feast in Cana and use at the Lord’s supper? What was His reaction when, on the cross, He was offered a liquid containing intoxicants?
Luke 22:17, 18 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
Mark 15:23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
1 Corinthians 5:11; 10:21 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat…. 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
“Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine that He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refresh- ing drink. This is the wine that was used by our Saviour and His disciples in the first Communion. It is the wine that should always be used on the Communion table as a symbol of the Saviour’s blood. The sacramental service is designed to be soul-refreshing and life-giving. There is to be connected with it nothing that could minister to evil.” —(The Ministry of Healing, p. 333) Pastoral Ministry, p. 171.
For further study
“We talk of the results, tremble at the results, and wonder what we can do with the terrible results, while too often we tolerate and even sanction the cause. The advocates of temperance fail to do their whole duty unless they exert their influence by precept and example—by voice and pen and vote—in favor of prohibition and total abstinence. We need not expect that God will work a miracle to bring about this reform, and thus remove the necessity for our exertion. We ourselves must grapple with this giant foe, our motto, No compromise and no cessation of our efforts till the victory is gained….
“What can be done to press back the inflowing tide of evil? Let laws be enacted and rigidly enforced prohibiting the sale and the use of ardent spirits as a beverage. Let every effort be made to encourage the inebriate’s return to temperance and virtue. But even more than this is needed to banish the curse of inebriety from our land. Let the appetite for intoxicating liquors be removed, and their use and sale is at an end. This work must to a great degree devolve upon parents. Let them, by observing strict temperance themselves, give the right stamp of character to their children, and then educate and train these children, in the fear of God, to habits of self-denial and self-control. Youth who have been thus trained will have moral stamina to resist temptation, and to control appetite and passion. They will stand unmoved by the folly and dissipation that are corrupting society.” —Gospel Workers, pp. 387, 388.
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MISSIONARY REPORT FROM MALAWI
To be read on Sabbath, June 24, 2023
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be collected on Sabbath, July 1, 2023
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7.
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia on the west, Tanzania on the north and northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south, and southwest. Covering 118,484 square kilometers (45,747 square miles), Malawi has a population of about 19.4 million (as of January 2021).
The capital city is Lilongwe, and the three other main cities are Blantyre, Mzuzu, and the former capital, Zomba. The country is called “The Warm Heart of Africa,” because the people are so friendly.
About 82 percent of the population are Christians, including 58 percent Protestants, 17 percent Catholics, and 7 percent others. Muslims compose 14 percent, and traditional faiths and atheists number 4 percent.
The message of Reformation reached Malawi in 1981 through Brother Mwabwagilo from Tanzania, who brought God’s message to Malawi with his friend Brother Kayira, a blind man. Brother Kayira shared the message with Brother F.S.K. Mwakhwawa, after which the two of them traveled to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to inquire more about the eformation. They met with the late Elder Andrew Mangwe, who shared information with them for two weeks. When they returned to Malawi, they began to preach the message, which thus began to spread. \
The country has four provinces and 28 districts. The message of the IMS has reached all four regions and all 28 districts, including those with many Muslims. The membership is 1,600, and there are 410 interested souls studying the Bible. Unfortunately, the question with which we are most often confronted is, “Where is your headquarters in Malawi?” We have difficulty answering this question. We want to construct a primary school, Union headquarters building, and publishing house in one location.
“We desire to erect a church school building for our children.” –Child Guidance, p. 315. By the grace of the Lord, construction of a primary school has already begun in an area with a high population density–Likuni, in Lilongwe District. The teacher-to-student ratio in this place is 1:150. This is evidence of a high demand for primary school education. We believe the income from the school will help to raise the funds for building the headquarters and publishing house, however the school project needs more funding for its completion.
Malawi is one the world’s least-developed countries. Its economy is heavily based on agriculture, and the opulation is largely rural and growing rapidly. The government depends on aid from outside the country to meet its development needs. Despite their economic struggles, the members in Malawi are making a lot of sacrifices.
It is our hope and prayer that the believers around the world will help Malawi generously. Since the message has reached all the districts in Malawi, it is our plan to broaden the work in the districts. This will need additional workers, more missionary support, and more means.
“The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Proverbs 11:25. We thank you for your prayers for Malawi and for your generous offerings next Sabbath for the school project, Union headquarters. and publishing house.
God bless His church worldwide.
–Elder Evance Mtikama
Malawi Union President