Greetings MOL Family!
We are glad that you could join us, as we resume our weekly present truth studies. Today, we begin a new, 6-lesson, series – “Eden Life”…
Begin On This Earth
We remember the Eden that was. What book of the Bible tells about it? Genesis. Genesis means beginning. As soon as God made this world He put, shall I say, in the middle of it, that beautiful Garden of Eden as a home for our first parents. Where is that garden now? Yes, it’s in heaven. Will we enter it someday?
Thank God. The book of Revelation, at the end of the Bible, shows us that garden again: The same tree that was back there in the original garden – the Tree of Life, that river: the river of the water of life. How thrilled Adam is going to be when the resurrection comes and He takes that trip with Jesus (and I hope we’ll all be there); how thrilled he’ll be when he sees the very trees that he once saw in Eden; the very vines that he once trained. Read the thrilling description of it there in Great Controversy.
Yes, friends, it’s a real place – the Eden that was and the Eden that is to be. But in between lies our little life. Ah, friends, I thank God that we can enter, right here in this world, into the Eden experience. That’s what I want to study with you today, the Eden life. And lest anyone should think that it is presumptuous, let’s read a couple of statements. The first is from Ministry of Healing, page 160:
[God] will work upon the minds of men so that even in this world there will be seen in their lives a fulfillment of the promise of the future state. `The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose’. – Ministry of Healing, pg. 160
This prophecy from Isaiah 35 is speaking of the future state. But here the Spirit of Prophecy points out that it is God’s plan that even in this world there will be seen in our lives a fulfillment of this promise of the future state. So, with that clear statement from the inspired commentary, let us turn to Isaiah 51:3, where we shall find our text for today. Oh, this is wonderful!
For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. – Isaiah 51:3
Now remember, this is talking about the future state, and yet be sure to remember also, that you and I may enter in, in a sense, into that experience right here in this world. Let me put with this another statement that I love:
Heaven is to begin on this earth. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 7, pg. 131
Let’s repeat that again?
Heaven is to begin on this earth. – Ibid
Have you started? And look, friends, stop and think for a minute at the mathematics of it. Go on through eternity in the glorious Eden above for a million years, a million years, a million years, another million and so on. Billions, trillions, quadrillions. Can you add anything on that end? Can you? No – because it’s eternity. You can’t add anything on the other end. The only way to get more is to start sooner. Do you see that? Yes.
And you see the man of this world that foolishly thinks that the way to be bright, the way to be sharp, the way to be cute, the way to be really wise is to get all you can out of this world, and then just at the last minute give your heart to God and then you get the best of both worlds. What a foolish idea! In the first place, very few people succeed in doing that. But even if they did, they’ve only cheated themselves terribly, friends. They have sustained the loss that all eternity can never catch up with. I repeat, the only way you can get more of Heaven is to start sooner.
The Eden Life
So, I want to study with you the Eden life. The Eden life. We shall learn a great deal about the life that God wants us to live now, in having Heaven on earth, by thinking of the Eden that God put on earth, and the Eden that He’s preparing for us ahead.
Do we have anything still in this world that God established there in Eden? Can you think of anything that we have? The Sabbath. Doubtless, many of you thought of that. Where was the first Sabbath in this world celebrated? In the Garden of Eden. That’s right. Do we still have the Sabbath? [“Yes.”] Then the Sabbath is a memento of Eden, is that right? Is it also a foretaste of the future Eden? Yes. Isaiah 66:22-23: The new heavens and the new earth that God is going to make it says from one new moon until another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh will do what? Come to worship before Him.
So the Sabbath was in the Eden that was, and it will be in the Eden that is to be. Do you think then that it should be and will be in the Eden now if we have an Eden now? Oh, yes.
Can you think of anything else that we still have that they had in Eden? The family – the home. What a wonderful blessing. How thrilled Adam was when Eve was brought to him. What a wonderful fellowship they had. What a wonderful plan God had in mind in sharing with His children here on earth – the gift of parenthood.
You see, we still have this wonderful institution of marriage, the home, the family. We don’t know all about the conditions of the future life, and it’s foolish to speculate where Inspiration is silent. But I want to tell you something, friends: Never let what you don’t know, rob you of the joy of what you do know. And while I cannot answer a lot of questions that people have about what God is going to do for this one and that one who has had or failed to have certain experiences in this life, I want us to read something from Inspiration. This is Selected Messages, Book 2. The Lord’s messenger wrote this to a bereaved family. She’s writing it to some dear children who, with their mother, have just been bereaved; the husband and father is asleep:
Give your hearts to the loving Saviour, and do only those things that are pleasing in His sight. Do nothing to grieve your mother. Remember that the Lord loves you, and that each one of you can become a member of the family of God. If you are faithful here, when He shall come in the clouds of heaven, you will meet your father, and will be a united family. – Selected Messages, Volume 2, pgs. 265-266
And so, my friends, I look forward to the re-linking of the chain that has been broken by death in many a family when Jesus comes; when the little children are bourn to their mother’s arms, and when father and mother and children can unite in the glories of the Eden life. As I say, let me make it plain, there are a lot of questions that I don’t know the answer to at all. We may not know the answers about a lot of things, but we can look forward to some glorious experiences in the Eden above. My point is, that the family that was back there in the Eden that was, this glorious assurance of the re-linking of family ties in that world that is to be, both point to the glorious fact that you and I can now have in our home, in our families, the Eden life here. That’s what I want you to think about.
Are you having it? Is your home a bit of heaven to go to Heaven in? God wants it to be.
There’s a third gift that God gave our first parents that I trust that we shall recognize He still wants us to enjoy – that is the garden itself, the Garden of Eden. Now, it’s true, friends, that we have a lot of weeds that Adam didn’t have and thorns and briars, and all those are part of the discipline necessary. But God has preserved in this world a great deal of beauty. And there are reasons why He has preserved the garden.
What was Adam to do in that garden back there in the beginning? Dress the garden and keep it. Of course, when we get to Heaven we won’t have to worry with anything like that, will we?
And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. – Isaiah 65:21
I heard once of a boy who heard that there was going to be work like that in the earth made new, and he decided he didn’t want to go. I’m afraid he had had a great lack of proper orientation even in this world, what do you think?
On this day [speaking on the Sabbath] more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden. – Education, pg. 250
That’s our subject: the life of Eden. “On this day more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden.” Does this say you can’t live the life of Eden on Monday or Wednesday? No. As we go through this series I want to study with you how to live the life of Eden on Monday and Wednesday. But on the Sabbath day, more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden.
Would you like to study a bit on how to do it? I’m sure you know something about it, and I’m sure you don’t know all about it. So, there’s room for us all to study deeper into this. “On this day more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden.”
Tell me then, friend, if our homes are to be a demonstration of the Eden life, what should be the hub of our whole program? What do you think? The Sabbath. Do you think so? If on this day more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden; if people come to visit our homes who are not acquainted with God and His way of life, on what day should they find this program in its greatest demonstration? The Sabbath. Is that right?
Now, if I believe that, I’ll be wanting to have a part in it, both for the blessings it will bring to me, and so that I may make those blessings available to others. Is that right? Sure I would.
Let me say, friends, and I say it frankly: This approach to life and to education is fundamentally different from those ideas which are conventional today. If you would go to one of the world’s universities, I think you would find a program something like this: that Monday morning, the students buckle into a program and they go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and then they have a weekend –and what’s the little word with three letters? Off. That’s it: off. Well, I don’t blame them – the grind they’re in. I say that in order to say this: in God’s plan of education, the Sabbath is not the day off, it’s the day on. That’s the thing I want to emphasize; and that is made particularly strong by the opening sentence of this page:
The value of the Sabbath as a means of education is beyond estimate. – Ibid
If I want to get the best then, in God’s program of education, I’ll find it during what 24-hour period? The Sabbath. And if in our homes we are carrying on the very best program of Christian education, what, I repeat, what will be the hub and center of the whole program? The Sabbath. The Sabbath. This means a completely different approach to the whole plan of training.
We will only introduce it today, and we’re going to limit our study to this one thing: How to live the Eden life during the 24 hours; because on this day more than any other, it is possible for us to do what? Live the life of Eden.
We hope that you will join us, as we seek to learn more about and enter into the experience (even now) of the Eden life! Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.