These text files are prepared by Laurelbrook staff member James Brenneman for his personal use and for those who wish to see the Bible texts in the adult Sabbath School lesson in possibly a new light.
Memory Text: Proverbs 9:10 Good News Translation To be wise you must first have reverence for the Lord. If you know the Holy One, you have understanding.
Proverbs 9:10 COMMENTARY FAMILY BIBLE NOTES The foundation of all true wisdom is the knowledge and fear of God. A wicked heart separates man from God, and keeps them in darkness and self-delusion.
Sunday – “Return, O Backsliding Children”
Deuteronomy 28:1-14 New International Version If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. 8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
Jeremiah 3:14-18 New American Standard Bible ‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the Lord; ‘For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion.’ 15 “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding. 16 It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the Lord, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the Lord,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.
Monday – “Right in His Own Eyes”
Judges 17:6 New Living Translation In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.
Judges 17:6 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY Anarchy prevailed. Might was right, and the whims of men guided them rather than the instruction of the laws of God. The Israelites had been warned that they should not be ruled by such a philosophy of life (Deut. 12:8).
Judges 21:25 New Century Version In those days Israel did not have a king. All the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.
Judges 2:11-13 Easy-to-Read Version 11 So the Israelites did something very evil before the Lord. They began serving the false god Baal. 12 It was the Lord, the God their ancestors worshiped, who had brought the Israelites out of Egypt. But they stopped following him and began to worship the false gods of the people living around them. This made the Lord angry. 13 The Israelites stopped following the Lord and began worshiping Baal and Ashtoreth.
Judges 3:5-7 Common English Bible 5 So the Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 6 But the Israelites intermarried with them and served their gods. 7 The Israelites did things that the Lord saw as evil, and they forgot the Lord their God. They served the Baals and the Asherahs.
Tuesday – The Division of the Hebrew Nation
1 Kings 12:1-16 Contemporary English Version Rehoboam went to Shechem where everyone was waiting to crown him king. 2 Jeroboam son of Nebat heard what was happening, and he stayed in Egypt, where he had gone to hide from Solomon. 3 But the people from the northern tribes of Israel sent for him. Then together they went to Rehoboam and said, 4 “Your father Solomon forced us to work very hard. But if you make our work easier, we will serve you and do whatever you ask.” 5 “Give me three days to think about it,” Rehoboam replied, “then come back for my answer.” So the people left. 6 Rehoboam went to some leaders who had been his father’s senior officials, and he asked them, “What should I tell these people?” 7 They answered, “If you want them to serve and obey you, then you should do what they ask today. Tell them you will make their work easier.” 8 But Rehoboam refused their advice and went to the younger men who had grown up with him and were now his officials. 9 He asked, “What do you think I should say to these people who asked me to make their work easier?” 10 His younger advisors said: Here’s what we think you should say to them: “Compared to me, my father was weak. 11 He made you work hard, but I’ll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I’ll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!” 12 Three days later, Jeroboam and the others came back. 13 Rehoboam ignored the advice of the older advisors. 14 He spoke bluntly and told them exactly what his own advisors had suggested: “My father made you work hard, but I’ll make you work even harder. He punished you with whips, but I’ll use whips with pieces of sharp metal!” 15-19 When the people realized that Rehoboam would not listen to them, they shouted: “We don’t have to be loyal to David’s family. We can do what we want. Come on, people of Israel, let’s go home! Rehoboam can rule his own people.” Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor, and Rehoboam sent him to talk to the people. But they stoned him to death. Then Rehoboam ran to his chariot and hurried back to Jerusalem. So the people from the northern tribes of Israel went home, leaving Rehoboam to rule only the people from the towns in Judah. Ever since that day, the people of Israel have opposed David’s family in Judah. All of this happened just as the Lord’s prophet Ahijah had told Jeroboam.
Proverbs 4:1-9 God’s Word Translation Sons, listen to your father’s discipline, and pay attention in order to gain understanding. 2 After all, I have taught you well. Do not abandon my teachings. 3 When I was a boy learning from my father, when I was a tender and only child of my mother, 4 they used to teach me and say to me, “Cling to my words wholeheartedly. Obey my commands so that you may live. 5 Acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding. Do not forget. Do not turn away from the words that I have spoken. 6 Do not abandon wisdom, and it will watch over you. Love wisdom, and it will protect you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding with all that you have.8 Cherish wisdom. It will raise you up. It will bring you honor when you embrace it. 9 It will give you a graceful garland for your head. It will hand you a beautiful crown.”
Proverbs 9:10 International Standard Version The fear of the Lord is where wisdom begins, and knowing holiness demonstrates understanding.
James 1:5 English Standard Version If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Wednesday – Schism in Corinth
1 Corinthians 1:10-17 The Living Bible 10 But, dear brothers, I beg you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so that there won’t be splits in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some of those who live at Chloe’s house have told me of your arguments and quarrels, dear brothers. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul”; and others say that they are for Apollos or for Peter; and some that they alone are the true followers of Christ. 13 And so, in effect, you have broken Christ into many pieces. But did I, Paul, die for your sins? Were any of you baptized in my name? 14 I am so thankful now that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius. 15 For now no one can think that I have been trying to start something new, beginning a “Church of Paul.” 16 Oh, yes, and I baptized the family of Stephanas. I don’t remember ever baptizing anyone else. 17 For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; and even my preaching sounds poor, for I do not fill my sermons with profound words and high-sounding ideas, for fear of diluting the mighty power there is in the simple message of the cross of Christ.
Thursday – “Wolves Will Come”
Acts 20:25-31 New Living Translation 25 “And now I know that none of you to whom I have preached the Kingdom will ever see me again. 26 I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, 27 for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know. 28 “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders. 29 I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. 30 Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. 31 Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.
2 Timothy 2:14-19 New Life Version 14 Tell your people about these things again. In the name of the Lord, tell them not to argue over words that are not important. It helps no one and it hurts the faith of those who are listening. 15 Do your best to know that God is pleased with you. Be as a workman who has nothing to be ashamed of. Teach the words of truth in the right way. 16 Do not listen to foolish talk about things that mean nothing. It only leads people farther away from God. 17 Such talk will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are like this. 18 They have turned from the truth. They say the dead have already been raised. The faith of some people has been made weak because of such foolish talk. 19 But the truth of God cannot be changed. It says, “The Lord knows those who are His.” And, “Everyone who says he is a Christian must turn away from sin!”
2 Timothy 3:12-17 New English Translation 12 Now in fact all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves. 14 You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
Memory Text: John 17:20-21 New Century Version 20 “I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in me because of their teaching. 21 Father, I pray that they can be one. As you are in me and I am in you, I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me.
Sunday – Jesus Prays for Himself
John 17:1-5 New Living Translation After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
John 17:3 Easy-to-Read Version And this is eternal life: that people can know you, the only true God, and that they can know Jesus Christ, the one you sent.
John 17:3 COMMENTARY THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL God is revealed in Jesus Christ: Jesus had just prayed for his glorification that the Father may be fully revealed in Him. The revelation of God is the first step toward the attainment of eternal life. The inner reception of that revelation by a daily conformity to it is the second step. As we actually live God's life we come to know him; but we cannot attempt to live his life without a revelation.
Monday – Jesus Prays for His Disciples
John 17:9-19 Good News Translation 9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those you gave me, for they belong to you. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine; and my glory is shown through them. 11 And now I am coming to you; I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. Holy Father! Keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one just as you and I are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me. I protected them, and not one of them was lost, except the man who was bound to be lost—so that the scripture might come true. 13 And now I am coming to you, and I say these things in the world so that they might have my joy in their hearts in all its fullness. 14 I gave them your message, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the Evil One. 16 Just as I do not belong to the world, they do not belong to the world. 17 Dedicate them to yourself by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18 I sent them into the world, just as you sent me into the world. 19 And for their sake I dedicate myself to you, in order that they, too, may be truly dedicated to you.
John 17:12 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES Judas is called a son of perdition because he had the character of a destroyer. He was a traitor and a murderer. And this shows that he who knew the heart regarded his character as that of a wicked man--one whose appropriate name was that of a son of perdition.
Tuesday – “For Those Who Will Believe in Me”
John 17:20-26 New English Translation 20 “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, 21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25 Righteous Father, even if the world does not know you, I know you, and these men know that you sent me. 26 I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.”
John 17:21 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY There would be diversities of gifts, but there was to be unity of spirit, objectives, and beliefs. There were to be no strivings for supremacy such as had recently plagued the Twelve. The unity springing from the blended lives of Christians would impress the world of the divine origin of divine origin of the Christian church.
John 17:24-26 COMMENTARY BY MATTHEW HENRY Christ, as one with the Father, claimed on behalf of all that had been given to him, and should in due time believe on him, that they should be brought to heaven; and that there the whole company of the redeemed might behold his glory as their beloved Friend and Brother, and therein find happiness. He had declared and would further declare the name or character of God, by his doctrine and his Spirit, that, being one with him, the love of the Father to him might abide with them also. Thus, being joined to Him by one Spirit, they might be filled with all the fulness of God, and enjoy a blessedness of which we can form no right idea in our present state.
Wednesday – Unity Among Christians
Mark 9:38-41 God’s Word Translation 38 John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone forcing demons out of a person by using the power and authority of your name. We tried to stop him because he was not one of us.” 39 Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! No one who works a miracle in my name can turn around and speak evil of me. 40 Whoever isn’t against us is for us. 41 I can guarantee this truth: Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”
Mark 9:40 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY Compare the reverse statement of the same truth in Matthew (ch. 12:30). The two are not mutually exclusive, but rather complementary. Obviously a man cannot be both for and against Jesus at the same time. If the man James and John rebuked was found doing the same work Jesus did, and doing it in the name of Jesus, it must be that God was working with and through him.
John 10:16 Holman Christian Standard Bible But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.
John 10:16 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES Not of this fold. Not Jews. This is a distinct intimation that the gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles--a doctrine extremely offensive to the Jews. This prediction of the Saviour has been strikingly confirmed in the conversion of millions of the Gentiles to the gospel.
Thursday – One Faith Shared in Love
1 John 2:3-6 New International Reader’s Version 3 We know that we have come to know God if we obey his commands. 4 Suppose someone says, “I know him.” But suppose this person does not do what God commands. Then this person is a liar and is not telling the truth. 5 But if anyone obeys God’s word, then that person truly loves God. Here is how we know we belong to him. 6 Those who claim to belong to him must live just as Jesus did.
1 John 2:3 COMMENTARY BY ADAM CLARKE If we keep the commandments of God, loving him with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves, we have the fullest proof that we have the true saving knowledge of God and his Christ.
John 13:34-35 New Life Version 34 I give you a new Law. You are to love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. 35 If you love each other, all men will know you are My followers.”
John 13:34 COMMENTARY WILLIAM BURKITT’S NOTES This he calls a new commandment: not that it was new in regard of institution, but of restitution: not new in regard of the substance of it, for it was a branch of the law of nature, and a known precept of the Jewish religion; but he calls it a new commandment:
1. Because purged from the old corrupt glosses of the Pharisees, who had limited this duty of love, and confined it to their own countrymen; whereas Christ enlarges the object, and obliges his disciples to love all mankind, even their very enemies.
2. Because this duty of love was so greatly advanced and heightened by our Saviour, as to the measures and degrees of it, even to the laying down of our lives one for another.
3. It is called a new commandment, because urged from a new motive, and enforced by a new example. As I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Never was this duty so effectually taught, so mightily encouraged, so much urged and insisted upon, by any teacher, as our Saviour; and never was there such an example given of it as his own.
4. It is a new commandment, because with the rest it was never to wax old; but to be always fresh in the memory and practice of Christ's disciples to the end of the world.
Friday – Further Thought
Denis Fortin, “Relations to Other Denominations,” The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, pp. 763-764 –
“They [Seventh-day Adventists] believe that membership in ecumenical organizations would compromise or put at risk their missionary activities and freedom to communicate their message to all…
“Yet in spite of such reluctance in associating with other denominations, Ellen White has written forthrightly that until the end of time Christ will have true followers in all churches and that the rejection of biblical truth by denominations will be a progressive movement until the second coming of Christ (GC 389,390). Prior to the return of Christ all true followers of God will be invited to come out of the religious confusion in traditional churches to follow wholeheartedly the teachings of Scripture (GC 603-612). Out of respect for all people, she cautioned Adventist ministers not to arouse the antagonism of other denominations by “making denunciatory speech” or harsh comments (Ev 564), nor get into controversy with other clergy (Ev 562). Such behavior will inevitably shut doors of influence and close the minds of honest people. Instead she invited Adventist ministers to meet with clergy of other denominations, to pray for them and with them (6T 77,78). She counseled ministers who preached for the first time in new areas not to give the impression to ministers of other denominations “that they are wolves stealing in to get the sheep,” but rather to seek a common ground and “to call the attention of the people to the truths of God’s Word” that are dear to all Christians before attempting to present the distinctive beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists (Ev 143,144). Writing to a minister and his wife who were going to South Africa to serve as missionaries, she said, “In laboring in a new field, do not think it your duty to say at once to the people, We are Seventh-day Adventists; we believe that the seventh day is the Sabbath; we believe in the non-immortality of the soul. This would often erect a formidable barrier between you and those you wish to reach. Speak to them, as you have opportunity, upon points of doctrine on which you can agree….Let them see that you are conscientious. Thus you will gain their confidence and there will be time enough for doctrines. Let the heart be won, the soil prepared, and then sow the seed, presenting in love the truth as it is in Jesus” (GW 119, 120; cf. Lt. 12, 1887, in TSA 14-20.