Greetings MOL Family! Welcome back to Lesson 2 of our study!
As a brief review of our first lesson…
We found that just before Jesus came the first time, John the Baptist did the work of Elijah. In the last generation, this work must be done again. His work is to restore all things, and he begins in the home.
Home is a symbol of Heaven, and we are to make all things according to the pattern shown in the mount. God had Moses make a sanctuary, that He might dwell among us. The sanctuary was a little house for God, fashioned after His great house in Heaven; and every home is to be a little house for God, fashioned after His dwelling place in Heaven.
We noted the structure of the building which we compared to order and rules. There’s something rigid about that; we need something rigid. But if all we have is a structure, it’s empty. The thing that made the sanctuary wonderful is that God lived there. Does Jesus live at your house? If He does, it’s a sanctuary; if He doesn’t, it isn’t a sanctuary, even if it should have golden walls.
God is love. – 1 John 4:8
Every home should be a place of love. – Adventist Home, pg. 18
Love is well represented by light; selfishness and hatred suggests darkness. The earth today is dark. Gross darkness covers the people. But in every dwelling of the saints, there is to be light. For it is written:
God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. – 1 John 1:5
In the Sanctuary both in Heaven and on earth, we see the beautiful light. I want to study this light and other symbols in the sanctuary for the presence of God and for the love of God.
Let Your Light So Shine
Looking at the sanctuary, what was revealed between the cherubim? The presence of God. Was there light there? Oh, yes. And there were times when that light and glory in the Most Holy Place shone out in such brilliance that the priest ministering in the first apartment had to retire to the door of the sanctuary. Yes, God is light, and the light is love.
There was light in the Holy Place. The purpose of the seven-branched candlestick was to give light. But this is not the only light and the only evidence and symbol of presence. On the golden altar, a fire was burning all the time, and what was ascending as a result? The smoke of incense filling both apartments and out into the court and into the camp.
Here again, we have a beautiful symbol of love. Light is pleasant, the wise man said. Incense is fragrant. Both of these may represent for us the love that fills Heaven, and that God desires shall fill our homes because they fill our hearts.
There was fire out in the court. If you came to the tabernacle in the evening or in the early morning, while the stars were still shining, would you see light in the court? Yes. You have, from the entrance into the court, right on through the sanctuary, burning and shining lights. I want to pick up a New Testament application in the words of our Lord, and I want you to see how He links this, in figure, with the home.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. – Matthew 5:15-16
The house we are studying in this class is the home. The sanctuary of the home is to be filled with light.
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
The light is from God, but it shines in the lives of His children. That light is manifest in good works. That’s the light of love revealed in a practical way in cutting wood, washing dishes, cooking meals, making beds, tending gardens, sweeping the porch, taking care of the baby, and 101 other practical ways. And notice Jesus puts it in the house.
Ah, how many people have the idea that the way to shine is to go somewhere? But the light that shines the farthest shines the brightest nearest home. A trip never made anyone a missionary. Foreign missionaries are first home missionaries. If God sends them to a foreign field, when they get there they are to be at home, and they’ll still be “home missionaries.” Our first place of service is in the home. You remember that we dwelt on that at the close of our first lesson.
It is by faithfulness to duty in the parental home that the youth are to prepare themselves for homes of their own. – Messages to Young People, pg. 466
Generations ago, in some countries where most of the warmth came from a fireplace and most of the cooking was done there, when a new home was started, the bride would carry from the home of her father and mother coals from that fireplace around which she had been brought up. From those coals, the fire in the new home was started. It’s a beautiful figure, a beautiful symbol. That’s what this is talking about.
The place to experience love is not after we are married. In fact, he who marries because he has never experienced love, and hopes that by marrying he will experience it, does not know the nature of love. He does not know God’s plan for love. Love is not just for husband and wife; it’s for everybody, for every member of the family, and for every relationship of life. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. I am so thankful for this wonderful love shining in the heart, burning in the heart, and shining and burning in the home. Jesus says it gives light to all who are in the house. Here is an additional detail that I like:
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. – Luke 8:16
If love is burning in our homes, if it is shining in the hearts of the members of the home, all who enter into that home will see the light of love. Oh, that it may indeed be so. This is indeed making home a missionary agency.
From every Christian home a holy light should shine forth. Love should be revealed in action. It should flow out in all home intercourse, showing itself in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy. There are homes where this principle is carried out – homes where God is worshiped and truest love reigns. From these homes morning and evening prayer ascends. When the father is not able to function, the mother is to do that. No home is to be without the sacrifice morning and evening. If you are all by yourself, remember: wherever you are can be a Bethel. Jacob found it so. But we are talking now about a typical situation.
The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. – Leviticus 6:13
If the fire of love burns low in your home or your heart, it may be that the morning sacrifice is neglected. It may be that the evening sacrifice is omitted. The fire shall ever be burning on the altar. It shall never go out. God will kindle the fire when we come to Him and are converted, born again.
But we have to keep putting on the fuel as we study God’s word, as we pray, as we confess our sins, as we yield our bodies a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to God. If we want a home where love shines, where love burns, we must keep presenting the sacrifice, morning and evening.
Let’s notice the altar of incense within the veil. Here too is fire, the fire of God. The fragrance of the incense filled the sanctuary and out into the court.
“And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.” – Exodus 30:7-8
Jesus is suggesting that our homes should be happy places – places of pleasure, places of enjoyment, places where people like to be. Light, warmth, incense, fragrance – all these suggest that which is attractive and pleasurable.
Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. – verse 9
In other Scriptures, you will find that God had a special incense prepared that was to be used only in the sanctuary. He forbad the use of any other recipe. We need not only love in the home, but we need to be sure it is divine love. That fire which was upon the altar, both in the court and within the veil, originated in Heaven.
Do you remember two young men who one day thought that it didn’t make any difference what fire they used, as long as it was fire? What were their names? Nadab and Abihu. They offered strange fire before the Lord which He commanded them not.
And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. – Leviticus 10:2
It is not enough that we love. It must be divine love. The world today is having many experiences in what they call love. But is it divine love or is it merely lustful passion? Was it kindled from Heaven or is it a mere human impulse? Notice this expression:
Human love should draw its closest bonds from divine love. Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish affection. – Adventist Home, pg. 68
Does it make any difference where we get our fire, where we get our incense? It makes all the difference in the world. Thank God for the privilege of having fire on our altars that has been kindled by God Himself.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. – Matthew 22:37-38
The first thing to know about love is this: We are to give to God all of our love.
But how much will there be left for my wife?” None. “How much will there be left for my children?” None. “How much for my brother?” None. “How much for my sister?” None. Never be afraid of what the Scripture says.
The second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. – verse 39
But this is not the first commandment; it’s the second. We can never love our neighbor as we should until we have first given all our love to God. This is another way of saying that true love coming from Heaven is to be bestowed as He directs. Just as we have no right to spend our money foolishly, we have no right to bestow our love foolishly. Just as we look to God in the expenditure of money, we look to Him in the bestowal of affection.
You have, then, to guard the affections, not letting them go out and fasten upon improper objects. Jesus has purchased you with His own life; you belong to Him; therefore He is to be consulted in all things, as to how the powers of your mind and the affections of your heart shall be employed. – Adventist Home, pg. 54
If Samson had learned this lesson, he never would have loved Delilah. If David had learned this lesson, he would never have looked twice at Bathsheba. The first thing we need to learn about love is that all our love belongs to God. We are therefore to give Him all our love, and let Him direct us in the bestowal of all our love.
Did anything stand out to you from today’s study? Please let us know, before you go!
Don’t forget to invite someone you know to join in on the blessings!
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- Country Living
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- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.