Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to class! Today, as we continue with our new series, think of the three gifts that we still have, that God gave Adam back there in Eden. What were they? The Sabbath, the family or the home, and the garden…
More Than On Any Other
As was discussed in our class last week, on the Sabbath, more than any other, it’s possible for us to live the life of Eden. On this day, we have these three gifts. I want you to notice how they are related. They belong together – they were made together. They will be together in the Eden that is to be. They are to be together in the Eden life now.
On this day, more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden. It’s easy for us to see this about the Sabbath. Naturally, we’re going to get the Sabbath blessing during the Sabbath hours, but let’s see how these two things fit with it and with each other.
The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden. – Education, pg. 250
What does instituted mean? Started, given – the program began there.
…and in God’s purpose they are indissolubly linked together. – Ibid
Now here are two parts of our triangle, and it says that they’re what? They’re linked together. What’s that word that’s used along with linked? Indissolubly. What does that mean? You can’t separate them.
“Well,” the devil says, “we’ll see about that.” He has a wrecking crew working on the Sabbath end of this, and he has a wrecking crew working on the family end of it. He’s trying to destroy both of them and trying to destroy their relation to each other. Now open your minds wide as we study this thing, of the way in God’s plan the Sabbath and the family are indissolubly linked together.
In the mystery of iniquity, did the devil get the man of sin to change the Sabbath entirely? Yes. And he got the Sabbath out of the way, and put something else in its stead. And the family, the devil is trying to wreck that. But if you were the devil, what would you do with Sabbath keepers who are looking for the coming of Jesus on this matter? They know that the 7th day is the Sabbath. They’ve been warned all their lives about the mark of the beast. Do you suppose that the enemy is trying to put asunder that which God has joined together? But what God has joined together, let not man put asunder.
Now what are the two things we’ve notice so far that are indissolubly linked together? The Sabbath and the family. Is it so in your life? Is the Sabbath – dare I ask it – is the Sabbath the day that draws the family together or is it the day that scatters them around, here, there and yonder? The answer is the difference between a holy day and a holiday. And we believe that the Sabbath is not a holiday, it’s a holy day.
The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden, and in God’s purpose they are indissolubly linked together. On this day more than on any other it is possible for us to live the life of Eden. It was God’s plan for the members of the family to be associated in work and study, in worship and recreation, the father as priest of his household, and both father and mother as teachers and companions of their children. – Ibid
God intended His best plan is that every day of the week, husband and wife, parents and children should be together as much as possible. Well, is that His ideal plan? It takes a lot of love to endure it, doesn’t it? Oh, yeah. But if you have the love, it’s a heaven below to go to Heaven in. But now this paragraph goes on and comments on the fact that due to the way the world is today, in economic conditions, that during the week in many cases, the father is away from his family much of the time. But God, in His mercy, puts a stop to that once a week.
…God’s love has set a limit to the demands of toil. Over the Sabbath He places His merciful hand. In His own day He preserves for the family opportunity for communion with Him, with nature, and with one another. – Ibid., pg. 251
You notice we read that word “nature” there. Where in our triangle does nature come in? In the garden. And when you think of a garden, don’t just think of a row of carrots. That’s part of it. Let’s please go back to there to Genesis 2, for I want you to see what the Garden of Eden was like:
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food… – Genesis 2:8-9
So you see, there were a lot of ornamental trees there as well as fruit-bearing trees. There were a lot of flowers there as well as food. All this is part of the garden. We don’t go out on the Sabbath to hoe the garden; we go out to view the garden. We go out to rest in the joy of seeing what God has done, and what God and man together have produced. That may lead us to the flowers, to the vegetables, to the fruit trees. It may lead us to the lawns, the lake, the groves. It may lead us to the trees that man has planted and cultivated in cooperation with God, or it may lead us to the trees that God has had the entire charge of. It’s all a part of the garden.
And notice, this is one of the great reasons for the Sabbath, we’re told. Let us read that again:
Over the Sabbath He places His merciful hand. In His own day He preserves for the family opportunity for communion with Him, with nature, and with one another. – Education, pg. 251
Now, I want to ask you something: Suppose that my brand of Sabbath keeping is such that I don’t get very much time with my family or very much time with nature. Am I living the Eden life? No. No, I’m not. That’s what I want you to see, friend. And if you want the joy of the Sabbath in its fullness, get all three sides of this triangle. The great purpose of the Sabbath is that man may have opportunity for communion with God, with his family, and with nature. And all three are to be blended together.
We’re used to thinking of the Sabbath as the day of worship, public worship of God. That’s good. Jesus’ custom was to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day (Luke 4:16). We’re told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. But I want to tell you something, friends. Ordinarily (and I know there are exceptions) there are times when we need meetings much of the day on Sabbath, but ordinarily there is an experience that’s to come sometime during the Sabbath hour to the parents and children together, that can never be found within the walls of a church or Sabbath School. Now let us read that so we don’t have to take anybody’s word for it.
The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship occupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family… – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 6, pg. 358
What’s the rest of the day for? The family. I could name some things that are robbing families of this, but perhaps I’d better not get too detailed. But there are good activities, perfectly good at the right time and place, that are robbing families. Today, in some places, the fashionable thing is for the children to be separated from the parents all day long on Sabbath. That’s right; it happens. And they are in church-sponsored activities. I lift the warning signal: God’s great purpose in giving us the Sabbath is that we may live the Eden life in which the Sabbath, the family, and nature are indissolubly linked together.
The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship occupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family may be made the most sacred and precious season of all the Sabbath hours. Much of this time parents should spend with their children… In pleasant weather let parents walk with their children in the fields and groves. – Ibid
What’s the name we used for that? The garden. By the way, what is the verb in that sentence? How many gallons of gas does it take to do that? What is the verb? Walk. You know my dear friends, if I lived in the heart of some great city with a million people or more, I’d be so glad if I had an automobile and I could take my family to some park or to some place where there was a garden. I surely would, wouldn’t you? Yes.
By the way, is the heart of a great city the place for a family to live the Eden life? Oh, no. Then I ask you another question: If in God’s wonderful providence, He has placed us right in the midst of the Eden surroundings, aren’t we glad for that verb that we just read there? Because the way to live the Eden life is to walk through the fields and groves. While I’m on that, may I drop just this word from Volume 6:
If we desire the blessing promised to the obedient, we must observe the Sabbath more strictly. I fear that we often travel on this day when it might be avoided. – Ibid., pg. 359
She goes on to say that there are times our ministers have to travel a bit on the Sabbath in order to preach in the churches; but even then, they should avoid doing it unless it’s absolutely necessary. May I share this thought with you? Personally, friends, I’ve tried to make it a rule: Never to take my car on the Sabbath any distance, no matter how short, unless if I got in an accident, I could look up to God and say, “Dear Lord, You know I’m on Your errand; I went on this trip because You sent me, now You take care of me and help me out of this accident. Help me.”
Do you see what I mean, dear friend? Because is it not a fact that when any of us get into an automobile and start that car, we don’t know what accident’s going to happen? Isn’t that a fact? Yes.
So I would suggest, friends, let us come back to the simplicity of the Eden life. The Eden life has three great elements – the Sabbath, the family, and the garden. And when the Sabbath rolls around, on this day more than any other, we may live the life of Eden. Let’s get all the blessing possible out of the Sabbath school and church service. And, friends, if you want to get the greatest blessing, let families sit together as families in the church of God. Then if you want to get the great blessing through the rest of the day, let families enter into the joy and the blessings of nature in the fields and in the groves.
Read this wonderful chapter in Volume 6 on the observance of the Sabbath. Read this wonderful chapter from Education. The possibilities are tremendous. Now, back to this fundamental reason for all this: God wants His people to live the life of Eden on earth so that He can bring in people that don’t know how to live it, and they can learn how. That’s the great reason.
I want to ask you something, friend: When people come, (and God knows He’s going to get them here, first in ones and twos, and then later in dozens and in scores) what a wonderful thing it will be if you and I are living the Eden life in which the Sabbath and the family and the garden are linked together to give us heaven on earth. This is the recipe for happiness.
Dear Lord, we thank Thee that the Eden life is available for us now. Not just to Adam and Eve back there in the beginning, not just in the future world, but here and now, Heaven is to begin on earth. Forgive our sins. Forgive our failures in keeping the Sabbath. Forgive us. Forgive our failures in the home to represent the love of Jesus. Take all our failures and cover them with Your precious light, and we thank Thee in Jesus’ name, Amen. God bless you all.
Until next week – 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.