Greetings MOL Family!
We are living in an age where the ways of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the antediluvian world, are being repeated…
Written For Our Admonition
Have you read who has designed these modern styles of dress, with these short skirts, and why they were designed? Well, it’s just an echo of what we were learning last week, in Proverbs. I don’t care to use some of the words that the world is using with reference to them. But oh, my dear friends, how in the world can the daughters of Zion (who are preparing to meet Jesus) copy, and imitate, and ape these worldly styles from head to foot and all in between? I do not understand. I can tell you this: all who do it are working with satan, to entice and allure men to break the 7th commandment. Have I said it plain enough? Is it clear?
And I want to tell you something, friends. If you were building a fence to protect somebody you love from going over a precipice, would you build it right on the very edge, or would you try to get back a ways? Do you believe in a margin of safety? Look at these automobiles speeding down the highway. How wide are they? Is a good highway just wide enough for two cars, or is there a little margin of safety? I’m afraid of the thinking of people who provide no margin of safety.
Dear Sisters, if you really are modest in your heart, and virtuous in your character, you’ll want to have a wide margin of safety in all these matters. You’ll want, under all circumstances, to be so attired that nobody will have the slightest thought that you are alluring, or enticing, or bewitching, or have a “come hither” look or attitude, or anything of the kind.
Yes, the winds are blowing, my friends. The winds are blowing – the pestilence-laden winds that we studied some weeks ago, and these perfume-laden breezes that we began to study last week. And they smell so sweet that they lure and allure all who will pay any attention to them.
You know another facet of this, another feature of this, is the matter of feasting; the appeal to appetite. The two things go together: the appeal to the affections and the passions on the one hand and the appeal to appetite on the other. Usually they go together. When Balaam tried to curse Israel and his curses fell harmless like water off a duck’s back, he finally said to the king of Moab, “I know how to get Israel cursed. It won’t be with my incantations up here on the mountain. I’ll take care of it if you’ll cooperate with me.” What did he do? He had the king of Moab plan for a great feast in honor of their gods.
Balaam, that backslidden prophet of God, deliberately planned the ruin of Israel. And how did he plan it? By having a big feast, a big feed and a big show, and inviting Israel to come – sort of an ecumenical spirit, you understand: ‘show a good neighbor’ attitude. Oh, they weren’t invited to come and worship the gods. Oh, no. They were just invited to come and look on. But before they got through, friends, they were eating what the Moabites were eating, they were singing what the Moabites were singing, they were dancing what the Moabites were dancing, and they were breaking the 7th commandment with the Moabites. Read it there in “Apostasy at the Jordan” in the book Patriarchs and Prophets.
All these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition… – 1 Corinthians 10:11
Now, I want to tell you something, friends. This garden of forbidden fruit is filled up with the idea of fun, foolishness, feasting, folly. And if there are any fun-loving Adventists reading these lessons, I hope you’ll be converted; because these breezes that blow from the garden of forbidden pleasure, these breezes are blowing everywhere today, friends. And unless you know where the refuge is, you will be lured away.
Every tree in Satan’s garden is hung with tempting, poisonous fruit, and a woe is pronounced upon everyone who plucks and eats. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, pg. 599
“Well,” says one, “nobody wants us to have a good time.” Well, that’s what the serpent told Eve. And I want to tell you something, friends: If that lie succeeded when everything around her was happy and pleasant and favorable, I know I’m not big enough to keep you from going after forbidden fruit, if that’s what you want.
If God (Oh, please get this lesson!)… If God Himself couldn’t make a garden beautiful enough, and attractive enough, and interesting enough, and delicious enough to hold Adam and Eve from that one tree, God forbid that you and I should blame His ministers, His teachers, His administrators, His parents if they cannot make a program attractive enough to keep our young people from the forbidden ways of this world. Do you see what I mean, my friends?
We hear the plea, “Oh, if you’d only make it more attractive.” Why didn’t God make Eden more attractive? Tell me, honestly, heart to heart, why didn’t He? I tell you, friends, there’s something about the mystery of iniquity as there is about the mystery of Godliness that’s impossible to explain.
…A Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind… – Isaiah 32:2
And there is a place to be safe and secure from all these perfume-laden breezes that tempt to forbidden pleasures. That Man is Jesus. If you and I will come, the place we’ll find Him is at the cross.
“Ah,” says one, “I don’t see much of a good time there.” I’ll tell you, friends; the only way for you and me, poor sinners, to find a real good time is to come to Calvary. If that’s a paradox, it’s still the truth.
Jesus, keep me near the cross;
There a precious fountain
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.
This is the river of the water of life. There’s real joy found in the heart of the one who has knelt at Calvary; and there learned the folly of sin. Oh, my friends, that we may come to Jesus!
Who Do You Love?
A dear old Elder used to use this illustration. It’s helped me to realize some things. He said, “Suppose that we should hear about a young bride whose husband has been murdered. And a few evenings later we go over to call on her, to comfort her. And we knock at the door. Presently she comes to the door, and she’s a bit embarrassed. She hardly likes to invite us in. But we linger, and she finally invites us in. There are several men there. They seem to be having a game together, and with her. And we’ve heard as we came up the walkway some laughing, apparently having a wonderful time. We wonder who these men are with whom she’s having such a party. And she finally admits that these are the men that murdered her husband.”
Unthinkable, isn’t it? But I want to tell you, friends, when we come to Calvary, we find that what killed Jesus was the sin of this world, the folly of this world, the fun of this world, the selfishness of this world, the law-breaking of this world, the gluttony of this world, the frivolity of this world, the vanity of this world, the pride of this world. And when you and I can have the slightest bit of satisfaction in sharing that, or watching it, or participating in it, we are enjoying fellowship with those who have murdered our best Friend:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. – James 4:4
Read how someone has put it:
Nay world, I turn away,
Though thou seemest fair and good;
That friendly outstretched hand of thine
Is stained with Jesus’ blood.
If in the least device
I stoop to take a part;
All unaware thine influence steals
God’s presence from my heart.
I miss my Saviour’s smile
Whene’er I walk thy ways;
Thy laughter drowns the Spirit’s voice,
And chokes the springs of praise.
If e’er I turn aside
To join thee for an hour,
The face of Christ grows blurred and dim,
And prayer has lost its power.
I tell you this, dear friends: we shall either enjoy Heaven or we shall experience hell. Hell is for those who cannot be happy in Heaven. That’s what hell is for. God’s going to take everybody to Heaven that can be happy there. Could you be happy there? What are the things that make you happy here? Will they be there? Is that a fair question?
The prophet of God tells about a woman (a woman, mind you) who had a pipe. It was her idol. That was her pleasure, her solace. And when she found and came face to face with the fact that to get ready for Heaven meant to give up that pipe, do you know what she said? “Farewell, heaven.” Yes, she said it. That’s what the prophet of God tells us. She’ll have to be where the smoke of the burning is.
What is it that makes you happy? I ask again. What’s your idea of pleasure, a good time? Will it be in Heaven? Are you sure? May I tell you, friends, what really satisfies? This is what God was trying to teach Adam and Eve 6,000 years ago. It’s what He’s still trying to teach us. Real satisfaction and joy comes only through love. And love is not selfishness. Love is not wanting our own way. And do you know something? If we have enough love, when there’s a sign on a tree that says ‘forbidden,’ instead of wanting to go over there, we’ll want to keep away from it. That takes a lot of love, doesn’t it? Yes.
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to have so much love that anything that God even hinted He wanted us to keep away from, we’d stay just as far away from it as we could; whether it was a book, or a show, or a skating rink, or a dance hall, or card game, or a bowling alley; you know, on, and on, and on, and on… Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing, friends, to have that much love for Jesus?
God’s going to have 144,000 people pretty soon just like that. The devil’s going to do everything he can. He’s going to blow every wind at them he can. He’s going to blow these terrible tornados that look like they could tear them all to pieces, but they’ll go right through it. He’s going to blow against them this awful howling hurricane of persecution, but they will not yield. And he’s going to turn on these perfume-laden breezes from his garden. He’s going to entice them. He’s going to sing oh, such sweet music to them and tell them about how much fun they can have if they’ll only come and watch the Moabites.
But there are going to be some young people today, as well as older ones, that are going to say, “Not a bit of it. I’m not even going to investigate. I’m not interested. I have found something better. I love my Lord. If my Lord is not there, I don’t even want to be there. The more fun there is there, the less I’m interested if He’s not there. I don’t want to find any fun away from Jesus or apart from Jesus.” This is the hiding place:
…A Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind… – Isaiah 32:2
You know, I’ll have to be honest with you. I feel sorry for some of our young people today that have just enough religion to make it hard for them – not enough to thrill their souls with real pleasure in prayer, and Bible study, and soul winning; just enough to bother their conscience when they’re having fun or afterwards. Do you know what I mean?
Ah, friends, if there’s a soul in that middle position, I invite you: Come to Jesus, and you’ll find Him at the cross. Come to Jesus and see Somebody that loves you a million times better than all your so-called friends; who loves you enough to die for you, to give His life for you. And as you look at that dear face wounded for you, as you see that heart broken for you, you ask, “What did He do it for? To make me miserable?” Oh, no. “To get me into trouble?”
Oh, no. To get me out of trouble. To get me happiness. Not just on Saturday night, but every day in the week; a joy and a satisfaction that are found (mark it!) not in tickling the nerve endings, but in satisfying the soul.
Something better is the watchword of education, the law of all true living. Whatever Christ asks us to renounce, He offers in its stead something better. – Education, pg. 296
Jesus made you for love – the love of God. If you know Him, you are hidden and safe from all these alluring temptations. Oh, that Jesus may make this real, and close, and practical to all of us today.
Jesus is our Someone better! May our eyes be turned only to Him; so that the things of this earth will grow strangely dim.
Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.