Thursday, January 29, 2015

“The Blessings of the Righteous”

Insights #5 January 31, 2015
First Quarter 2015 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"The Blessings of the Righteous"
For the week of January 31, 2015
Proverbs is not a book often referenced in discussions of righteousness by faith.  It would appear those who support this truth (RBF) have not sufficiently integrated Proverbs into their thinking.  Yet, I believe we do appreciate the call to righteousness that is clearly presented in the book of Proverbs.

We have taken note of the Spirit of Prophecy reference cited in Friday's lesson:

The greatest deception of the human mind in Christ's day was that a mere assent to the truth constitutes righteousness. In all human experience a theoretical knowledge of the truth has been proved to be insufficient for the saving of the soul. . . .(DA309).
Although we have not fully integrated Proverbs into our understanding of the gospel, we have an understanding that is at least consistent with Proverbs.  Some may understand righteousness by faith to be merely accounting the believer righteous, while the life is unchanged and heart is unrenewed. However, the message of justification by faith that Jones and Waggoner taught involved much more than a mere accounting system.  They believed that the justified person was "made righteous."

The picture of righteousness by faith given in the Bible supports the Jones/Waggoner understanding.  It presents the idea that one who has genuine faith is actually righteous and this righteousness vitally affects the conduct of the believer, such that the righteousness becomes evident to all who observe.  The Bible says:

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous. . . By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him". . . By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. . . . By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. . . .  By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. . . . By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.  By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.  By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.  By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command.  By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter . . . . Hebrews 11:3-24
Consider the meaning of the words presented in Hebrews 11.  Abel believed God and his faith led him to offer "to God a more excellent sacrifice" (Heb. 11:3).  He did not behave in a manner that contradicted his faith.  His faith caused is actions to be consistent with what God could approve.  So also with Enoch and Noah and Abraham.  Their faith shaped their behavior.  It was real, and it was a living faith.

If you were in a building and the fire alarm sounded and you had not seen the fire, yet you believed the alarm was signaling a real fire, your behavior would reveal what you believed.  You would get out of the building.  That is the nature of genuine faith.  It demands action and thus James says, "I will show you my faith by my works" (James 2:18).  Anything less than this is not genuine faith.

The truth is everyone reveals their faith by their works.  It is impossible for it to be otherwise.  When we truly believe that Christ died for our sins because He loves us, we then begin to love Him because He first loved us.  Then motivated by this love we actually desire to do that which pleases Him.  We will not suddenly become sinless.  Character development takes time and knowledge.  Yet it is absolutely inevitable.

As we begin to understand God's will, we will overcome our natural sinful habits.  If we have genuine faith, we will "walk in the light" (1 John 1:7).  At the start of this journey, we may not understand some things.  We may be like Rahab was when the Bible says, "By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace."

Those who know the story of Rahab recorded Joshua 2:4, 5 understand that Rahab lied in order to receive the spies with peace.  And we may have wondered how she got listed in the great faith chapter.  Yet, we must remember Rahab was not an Israelite.  She did not have the privilege of understanding the moral law and the commandment about lying.  Therefore, she could not be held to the same standard as you and I.  She was living out her faith to the best of her knowledge, and she is commended in the great faith chapter (Heb. 11) right along with those who had a much better knowledge of God's will than she had.

The important thing to see is that she acted on God's side of the issues that confronted her country when the Israelite spies came to her.  And her feeble act of faith was commended by God in the book of Hebrews.  Through faith she did the right thing.  Her faith changed her heart and her actions.  She is counted among those who through faith "worked righteousness" (Heb. 11:33).

As we grow in grace and the knowledge of our Savior, Proverbs should become a part of our understanding of the Biblical description of righteousness.  Through faith the characteristics described in Proverbs become a part of our characters and thus we are made righteous.

Yet, we must remember that this is never our work alone.  We are cooperating with divine agencies.  It is the work that God does in us through the power of the Holy Spirit, if we consent.  As soon as we forget that it is God's work and that He must do it, we will find ourselves in sin once again.  We must walk by faith.  That means we must focus on the sacrifice of Christ and let our hearts be filled with love and appreciation for all that He has done for us and what He will do in us.

The cross of Calvary means everything to perishing souls. Through the suffering and death of the Son of man, the salvation of man was made possible. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit God designs that His image shall be restored in humanity, that a new and living principle of life shall be introduced into the minds that have become defiled by sin. The love of God is fully able to restore, rebuild, encourage, and strengthen every believing soul who will accept the truth as it is in Jesus. But in order that this may be accomplished, men must yoke up with Christ. The cross of Christ must be studied. It must rivet the attention and hold the affections. The blood which there was shed for sins will purify and cleanse mind and heart from every species of selfishness (TM 377.4).
-Mark Duncan

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fwd: “Divine Wisdom”

Insights #4 January 24, 2015
First Quarter 2015 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"Divine Wisdom"
For the week of January 24, 2015

There is a deep truth in this week's lesson – the wisdom of God – which admittedly will be hard for us to comprehend because "God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence, but of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption" 1 Cor. 1:27-31.
From this text we see that the wisdom of God is contrary to the wisdom of man. For "the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" 1 Cor. 2:14. Moreover, "he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one" vs. 15.
One of the most stirring passages in all of Scripture, I believe, is found in Proverbs 8:22-3, in which we catch a veiled glimpse into the relationship that God the Father and God the Son enjoyed prior to the creation of our world. They shared joy in the contemplation of our world-yet-to-be, inhabited by a race of beings uniquely made in their image, bearing their likeness, and capable of the closest union possible -- "male and female created He them" Gen. 1:27. This was all in the wisdom of God. So far, we do not see anything foolish about this plan.
But the wisdom of God encompassed more than this. For divine risk was involved in bringing into existence a race that could choose to love and adore its Maker, or – the unthinkable – murder their Maker. The wisdom of man is stretched to comprehend why God would create a race with the potential to shoot an arrow into the divine heart of God. And this is where it is best for us with our human wisdom to bow our heads, take off our shoes, and acknowledge that we are on holy ground.
It was in the wisdom of God, not the wisdom of man, that such a plan was conceived and executed. In the book Story of Redemption, Ellen White recounts the story of the fall of our first parents:

[After Adam and Eve sinned], Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost and that the world which God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness, and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die. I saw the lovely Jesus and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon His countenance. Soon I saw Him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, He is in close converse with His Father. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with His Father. Three times He was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time He came out from the Father, His person could be seen. His countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and doubt, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express.
He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father, and had offered to give His life a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon; that through the merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have favor of God and be brought into the beautiful garden and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.
At first the angels could not rejoice, for their Commander concealed nothing from them, but opened before them the plan of salvation. . . .
The angels prostrated themselves before Him. They offered their lives. Jesus said to them that He would by His death save many, that the life of an angel could not pay the debt. His life alone could be accepted of His Father as a ransom for man. Jesus also told them that they would have a part to act, to be with Him and at different times strengthen Him; that He would take man's fallen nature, and His strength would not be even equal with theirs; that they would be witnesses of His humiliation and great sufferings . . . .
With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels and informed them that hereafter those whom He should redeem would be with Him, and that by His death He should ransom many and destroy him who had the power of death. . . . Jesus bade the heavenly host be reconciled to the plan that His Father had accepted and rejoice that through His death fallen man could again be exalted to obtain favor with God and enjoy heaven.
Then joy, inexpressible joy, filled heaven.
Said the angel, "Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no. It was even a struggle with the God of heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give His beloved Son to die for Him" (excerpts from pp. 42-45).
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way.... And I was daily His delight. Prov. 8:22, 31
And because of His unfathomable love for us, and in His wisdom,

God so loved the world,-- that He gave.... John 3:16
To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. DA 25
-Patti Guthrie


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

“A Matter of Life and Death”

Insights #3 January 17, 2015
First Quarter 2015 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"A Matter of Life and Death"
For the week of January 17, 2015
How important is it to live the way you were designed to live? What would be the consequences if you ignored or even rejected clear instructions about the very essence of your existence?

The way we often view Satan's lie to Eve in Genesis 3 tends to focus on the consequence (death) and not the cause (sin). Which is worse, thinking that death is not at the end of the road I am on, or thinking that such a road--one that leads to death--is actually commendable? So the core of Satan's lie was this: "The way to live is to take what you need for yourself." If that were true, that self-interest is essential to life, then of course you won't die. It is not true, but Eve believed it, which means she was deceived, to think a lie is actually true.

But this lie is not just any lie. It is what the Jesus called "the lie" (John 8:44; literal Greek), that takes life rather than gives it. This was the beginning of the great controversy, introducing into the universe a deadly principle, to live for self. Thus sin began, with everything related to that, on the road to death. That Eve did not immediately die speaks of God's intervention, not any truthfulness of Satan's assertion. But how can we sort out what is true from what is not? Believing the lie became part of our nature because of Eve's and Adam's choice. "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18). We need help.

Solomon realized this. His prayer was, "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad" (1 Kings 3:9). And God's answer is the reason the book of Proverbs is in the Bible and is so important. For God responded to his request, "Because thou hast asked this thing, ... understanding to discern judgment, behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart."

A deceived heart blurs the distinction between "good and bad." That is why Proverbs is so black and white, describing the difference between a righteous life and a wicked one, and between the destiny of each. We need that, a description of what is right and what is wrong, to break the delusion that selfishness is healthy. So Proverbs stresses the importance of the law. Solomon's words echo God's:

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law (Proverbs 4:1, 2).
Our passages in this week's lesson speak of the same.
My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother.... For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life (Proverbs 6:20, 23).

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye (Proverbs 7:2).
Since the law describes how we were designed to function, and since we were designed in God's image, the law in its principles and practices reflects what God is like, the unselfish dimensions of His own character.

But solution must be deeper and higher than just descriptions. Since our very natures are perverted, the ability to leave the road to death must be more than having good road signs, or even the ability to read them. Both the signs and the ability to read are gifts of God, supernaturally preserved for sinners blinded by the lie. But a superficial understanding of "keep my commandments, and live" solves nothing, but does produce good hypocrites, as the Pharisees of old demonstrated. Jesus addressed this inadequate approach. "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20).

Paul wrote of the inadequacy of the law by itself.

Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe (Galatians 3:21, 22).
So where in Proverbs do we find "the promise by faith of Jesus Christ?" We must see that the instructions God gave Solomon are not detached, disconnected doctrines. They are expressions of His heart, fully aware of our need and inabilities, and offering Himself as the solution to our problems. "The commandment is a lamp; and the law is light," but only in Christ.  

The story in John 8 illustrates this. Jesus gave the adulterous woman the gospel ("Neither do I condemn thee"), and the law ("Go and sin no more") together, hand in hand. Then He immediately said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:11, 12). So in Christ "the commandment" and "the law" are light--expressions of "the promise by faith of Jesus Christ." He sees us restored to His image, and empowers that very possibility by extending His vision to us in commands and promises.

Are we willing to follow Him, to give as He has given, and thus walk the path of light, and not that of the darkness of selfishness and condemnation?

Solomon explains God's solution. It is no superficial remedy. It goes deeper, and is higher, than we tend to think. It is His very presence, bringing us hope, expressing to us faith, wrapping us in love. Solomon addressed this in the very first chapter in Proverbs:

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you (Proverbs 1:23).
So the instructions about binding, tying, and writing but express the New Covenant reality of His presence bringing His word into our very being, transforming our minds and hearts, and enabling a bastion against the flesh that remains, that we will war against until the change comes at Jesus' return. Think, then, of these verses in the personal way He designed for them:

Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck (Proverbs 6:21).1

Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart (Proverbs 7:3).2

This reality of His presence is addressed by Paul and Zechariah:
Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (Romans 8: 9).

Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD (Zechariah 2:10).
Only thus can we be kept from living the lie, allured by "the evil woman," "a strange woman" (Proverbs 6:24)--the deceived, independent Eve in all of us, whose "house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death" (Proverbs 7:27).
-Fred Bischoff
1.  The word "continually" is the Hebrew tamiyd, used first of the daily activities in the sanctuary's courtyard and Holy Place. (Exodus 25:30; 27:20; 28:29, 30, 38; 29:38, 42; 30:8)
2.  The word "table" is the Hebrew luach, first used in this verse: "And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them." (Exodus 24:12)

Thursday, January 08, 2015

“From Ears to Feet”

Insights #2 January 10, 2015
First Quarter 2015 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"From Ears to Feet"
For the week of January 10, 2015

At times we may be tempted to think of the 1888 message as "abstract" or "dry" or "intellectual" theology.  We may be tempted to think that the 1888 message helps us understand the right doctrines, the right truths, the right "theology", but does not move us forward in practical Christianity.  The 1888 message, and "right theology", are always meant to give us a practical Christianity – a Christianity that helps us and moves us to right action and right behavior.  The "most precious message," brought to us by Elders Waggoner and Jones, was just that – practical Christianity.

Our lesson this week is focused on moving us from hearing the truth (ears) to living or experiencing the truth (feet).  And such is the message of Proverbs.  Our memory verse in its context appeals and encourages us to look forward to where we are going, to watch where we are walking.  E.J. Waggoner, in the following article from the Signs of the Times, does several important things.  One, he gives us practical advice from the Bible about how to put into practice the verses we will be studying this week in Proverbs regarding looking where we are going and not looking behind.  Two, he quotes our memory verse and surrounding verses, to make the point about how to move truth from our "ears" to our "feet".  Finally, he bases this practical advice on the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Be blessed and see if you don't agree that the trumpet is being given a certain sound.
-Bob Hunsaker

"The Necessity of Forgetting" The Signs of the Times.

E. J. Waggoner

Said the apostle Paul to the Philippians: "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3:13, 14.

So much is said in the Bible about remembering, that many are in danger of losing sight of the fact that it is a duty sometimes to forget. It is a great thing to learn how to remember, but it is an equally great thing to learn the art of forgetfulness. One reason why so many fail to make advancement in the Christian life is because they have never learned how to forget. They think that one can forget only as the thing gradually fades from the mind, not realizing that they have to put forth positive effort in order to forget, as well as to remember.

It will scarcely be questioned by anyone that scenes and acts of wickedness are to be forgotten. When the sin has been confessed and forgiven, then the mind should turn from it. True, the individual should never forget that he has been taken from a horrible pit, nor that he stands only by faith, having no strength in himself; but if he allows his mind to dwell upon the specific acts of sin, one of two things, and possibly both, will result. Either he will be led to doubt that he has been forgiven, or else he will be impelled by the force of habit and association, to the commission of the same things again. An impure thought cannot find lodgment in the mind without leaving a stain. We have known many persons to cheat themselves out of a great blessing that God had for them, simply by keeping their minds fixed on the sin, and letting that eclipse the love of God. It is a great thing to forget, even while retaining sufficient remembrance to appreciate at its true value the wonderful love of God in pardoning sin.

Another thing that it is most necessary to forget is that which may have been said against us. If uncharitable remarks have been made, to remember them is like taking to one's self a deadly poison. Nothing is more deadening to spiritual life; for the fact that such things are not forgotten proves that they are not forgiven, and if they are not forgiven that is an evidence that the soul is not rejoicing in the love of God. When God forgives us, he puts upon us his own righteousness in place of the sin, and then treats us as though we had never sinned; and if we obey the injunction to forgive one another even as God hath for Christ's sake forgiven us, we shall treat the one who has offended as though he had always done us kindness instead of injury. Without this, the peace of God cannot rule in the heart.
Another cause of stumbling is the failure to forget the good deeds that have been done. This is scarcely less fatal than to remember the specific acts of sin. Sometimes through the grace of God we are enabled to accomplish a really good work, which gives us great joy. But then, instead of thanking God that he has done something with us, we insensibly take to ourselves some of the glory, and congratulate ourselves over our success. Instead of going on in the same strength to gain other victories, we sit down and look at what has been done, or else, going on, we keep looking back, and so stumble and fail. Nobody can expect to make any headway in a race if he keeps looking back over his shoulder. If he does so, he cannot fail to stumble over some object lying in his path, or else his course will be very crooked. He who is running the Christian race should heed these words of the wise man:-

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and all thy ways shall be order aright [margin]. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. Prov. 4:25-27.

But how shall we forget? Many would forget, but they do not know how. They take hold of the thing and resolutely attempt to force it out of their mind, but that only fixes it the more firmly. Well, the secret of forgetting is very simple. Forget one thing by thinking of something else. It is impossible for the mind to contemplate two things at the same time. Now if you wish to forget something bad, think of something good. Forget the things that are behind by looking toward the things that are before. If you have been able to do a good work, thank God for his help, and in the strength of that help go on to do another good work, giving your whole mind to it. There is a prize before us, even the prize of "the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." This high calling is holiness of life, godliness; it is above us, and we cannot climb toward it by looking down at the path we have already trod.

"No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Of course not, and he never can be until he looks straight forward instead of back. If a man at the plow should keep looking back, his plow would keep continually running out, and he could not plow at all. He would make no more headway than a man would who should try to run a race and at the same time look over his shoulder. Therefore, as he who has called us is holy, let us resolutely press toward that mark, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." W. {March 11, 1889 EJW, SITI}

Raul Diaz

Friday, January 02, 2015

“The Call of Wisdom”

Insights #1 January 3, 2015
First Quarter 2015 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"The Call of Wisdom"
For the week of January 3, 2015

During this quarter we will study the wisdom of many writers of proverbs and other sayings. We don't know who most of the writers were, but the evidence is that Solomon wrote most of Proverbs during the first years of his reign. Some of the Proverbs were gathered together during Hezekiah's reign (Proverbs 25:1). All those sayings—including Agur's (Prov 30:1) and Lemuel's (31:1)—were inspired by the Holy Spirit and preserved so we can learn from them.

What we will observe throughout the study of this book of Proverbs is an established rule or principle  which will be a self-evident truth. When we read these Proverbs, we don't need to have someone interpret them for us. We learn by reading them, by studying them, by pondering them. Here are true principles by which we may live. This book contains not only the wisdom of sages of yesteryear, it is truly the wisdom of God.

The book is a revelation of the gospel in shoes walking the pathway of life. We shall learn that the last message of mercy that goes to the world is not mere high theology (which indeed it is) but it is very practical.

Solomon was given wisdom from God and, consequently, became the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 3:5-14). Solomon himself was proverbial for His wisdom. His wisdom was and is known for its reasonableness and discretion, especially under trying circumstances. We may call to mind the two harlots who went to him to plead their cases. Both women gave birth to babies. One baby died. Both mothers claimed the living baby as her own. Solomon proposed to settle the dispute by dividing the living child in half. One woman thought this was an excellent idea. The other was horror stricken. This was the mother of the child. Solomon's proposal revealed the identity of the true mother. Here was revealed the self-evident truth of the real mother. Solomon's proposition may seem cruel, however, the successful resolution of the case won him the respect, not only of Israel, but also of the nations who heard of such wisdom. And, more than that local application of practical wisdom, Solomon's proposition has found a permanent place in the history of jurisprudence! You can read this case history in 1 Kings 3:16-28.

There is discussion regarding Solomon's name. Some believe that it is derived from shalom, translated as "peace." Be that as it may or may not be, one thing is for certain; early in his life he knew, experientially, the righteousness of God and its fruit of peace, quietness, and assurance (see Isa 32:17). This is forever true. However, Solomon turned from the pathway of righteousness by faith and fell headlong into the pit of selfishness. But by God's grace he was restored. As a result of his second redemption, we have hundreds of proverbs to warn us and to teach us both righteousness and the folly of iniquity.
The title of this first lesson is Wisdom. This is wisdom from heaven. This wisdom is always joined inseparably from Christ and His righteousness. In 1 Cor 1:30, Christ became, first of all, "for us wisdom from God" then "righteousness and sanctification and redemption." All the wisdom and knowledge of God are hidden in Jesus (Col 2:3). He is the Alphabet of heaven—the Alpha and Omega (Rev 1:11). We, like Solomon, learn the heavenly Alphabet by faith alone. It is through "faith that we understand" (Heb 11:3).
The first thing Solomon wants us to learn is found in our memory text: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Prov 1:7). In connection with the last part of this verse, read the following verses that deal with a fool's folly: Prov 13:1. "A scoffer (mocker) does not listen to rebuke." 15:12. "A scoffer does not love one who corrects him."
However, notice the one to whom God imparts wisdom: Prov 9:8: "Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you." Prov 19:25: "Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge."

Compare these verses with Rev 3:19 – "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent."
God's Word says the one designated as a fool is he who refuses a rebuke and refuses to love the one who corrects him. On the other hand, the wise will appreciate rebuke and will learn discernment. So the admonition of Jesus in rebuking and chastening is to lead us to repentance and to learn to love Him. That which He proclaims is always for the benefit of those who believe.
Now to the first part of the memory verse: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." What is the fear of the Lord? Solomon follows up with this thought in Prov 8:13 – "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil…"
E.J. Waggoner remarked with good insight regarding "the fear of the Lord." He wrote an article entitled "Be Not Afraid." He penned this in the English journal called The Present Truth:

"The fear of the Lord is to hate evil." Prov. viii. 13. It is not to be afraid of Him and shun His presence, but to hate and shun that which is unlike Him. The love of God is that we keep His commandments. And as hating evil is identical with keeping His commandments, so the fear and the love of God are identical. God wants all men to love Him; and "there is no fear in love." E.J. Waggoner, The Present Truth [British] April 4, 1895.

A.T. Jones wrote of the principle of morality in wisdom:

One reason why wisdom stands in the lead of all things is that she "leads in the way of righteousness," which is morals. Prov. 8:20. And that "One greater than Solomon," the model Man of all the ages, and "the last Adam," also exalts morals to this same place: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness." Matt. 6:33. The righteousness of God is the only true morality. The law of God is the only true moral law. And the Book of God, the teaching, the instruction, of God is the only true moral instruction. The Place of the Bible in Education, pp. 134, 135.
David wrote in Psalm 119:99, 100: "I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts." An example of this is seen in the case of Daniel and his three companions, who, through the fear of God, became, "in all matters of wisdom and understanding" "ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers" in all the realm of Babylon; that is, they were ten times wiser even than their teachers. (Dan 1:20).
This last reference shows that we are not talking mere theory. This advice is very practical. Writing a series on the book of Daniel, Jones wrote of the teachings from the schools of the prophets in which the prophets taught the fear of the Lord, which Daniel learned:

True science is the complement of true religion,—and it is only the complement, it is never the essence. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, and it is only the beginning. It is not intended to be anything but the beginning of knowledge. Therefore he who does not take the fear of the Lord, and use it for the acquirement of knowledge, makes an infinite mistake. And he who takes the fear of the Lord, and uses it for the acquirement of knowledge, and yet stops short of having his knowledge attain to the grade and character of science, just so far frustrates the real object of his receiving the fear of God to begin with. A.T. Jones RH Feb 22, 1898.
"The fear of the Lord IS the beginning of knowledge." The person who fears the Lord has entered upon a course of knowledge and wisdom which is limited only by eternity. However little he may have acquired of knowledge, as far as the world is concerned, if he has the fear of the Lord, he has eternity before him in which to increase his knowledge. On the other hand, even if one has all the knowledge of all the men in all the world, and does not fear the Lord, his little life soon ceases and all his knowledge is ended.
To conclude: Wisdom is "the fear of the Lord," and "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." So, in the nature of things, the fear of the Lord is the most important of all things. It is truly the beginning of knowledge, as well as of everything else.
-Jerry Finneman