Greetings MOL Family!
It has been several weeks since our last class in this series. Isn’t it such a blessing to know that God loves each and every one of us? He has given us exceeding great and precious promises, to escape the corruption of this world, that we may experience sweet fellowship with Him! Oh, the wonders of redeeming love!
This Is A Great Mystery
The mysterious union between one man and one woman in the home, in marriage, is presented by the inspired apostle, Paul, as a symbol of the union between Christ and His church. Speaking of both, He says:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery. – Ephesians 5:25, 31-32
In the New Testament, this does not mean something that nobody ever understands. The word mystery is applied only to the initiated. It is something that can be known, but only by those who experience it, who enter in to the mystery. The apostle is telling us that it is possible for one man and one woman to share that mystery.
We have been studying the home as a little “heaven on earth” – a little heaven to go to Heaven in. We have been studying the home as a little copy in this world of God’s great home above. For the purpose of our study, I would like to have you think of this mystery of the union between husband and wife as represented and illustrated by the mystery of the Most Holy Place. The Most Holy Place was the central point of the whole Sanctuary service. The union of one man with one woman is fundamental in the structure and experience of the Christian home.
I might mention that I see further parallels in other areas of the Sanctuary. For example, we may think of the sanctuary, as a whole, as the family; the sanctuary with the court surrounding it we may think of as the church; outside the court we may think of as the world.
There is a type of love and an expression of love that is proper in each one of those areas. There is a love we are to have for everybody in the world. As the Good Samaritan passed on the Jericho road, he saw the wounded man by the wayside. He did not stop to ask who he was, or whether he belonged to his nation or his race, his church or his religion. He was a human being who needed help. The Samaritan gave him what he needed. That was love in action. This is as broad as the world.
But there is a type of love that belongs to brothers and sisters in the church that does not belong to the world at all. You can meditate on the difference in those two things. For example, we are not to find our close friends in the world. The friendship of this world is enmity with God (James 4:4). We are to reach out to be friendly with the world in the sense that we extend a helping hand to them, but we do not experience fellowship there. Fellowship is inside the court, inside the church.
Another illustration is found in this verse:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. – 2 Corinthians 6:14
A true Christian will not consider marrying a non-Christian. Is that correct? You are familiar with that fact. It might be well for you to look up some references on that. It is covered clearly in Adventist Home and Messages to Young People. My point is: there is a closeness within the circle of the church that should never be considered out in the world as to friendship and association and love.
But there is a closeness that is within the family that is not found in the church as far as the expression of love is concerned. I want you to think of these various areas. But keep in mind that the center of it all, and that which gives meaning to the whole, is that inner mystery of the Most Holy Place. As the home is the sanctuary of the affections, as we look at the Most Holy Place, we think of the mystery of union between man and woman. The Most Holy Place of a woman’s heart is to be entered by only one man. And of course, the converse is true. The Most Holy Place of a man’s heart is to be entered only by one woman. Where is the proof of this? It rests fundamentally in the Law of God in the seventh commandment:
Thou shalt not commit adultery. – Exodus 20:14
I want to analyze this. Adultery comes from the same root as the word adulterate. The dictionary says that to adulterate is ‘to make impure or inferior by a mixture of other ingredients’. That’s very much to the point. The word adultery, adulteration, comes from two Latin words – add and alter.
Turning to something or somebody other than belongs there, this is adultery. To do that is to adulterate, to make impure or inferior by a mixture of other ingredients. The seventh commandment forbids any adulteration. How many are to be included? “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” Two, not half a dozen. This is God’s plan, and anything different is adultery. The law of God forbids it. We all understand this. But I dare to say (and I’m including myself) that none of us here has fully grasped all that there is in this wonderful principle. I invite you to study this with me in our future classes. Because whatever God does, He has tremendous reasons for.
Love: Exclusive Love
This is a unique relationship. In other human relationships, we may have more or fewer. A father or mother may have two, three, four, or a dozen children. That’s all right. There is nothing about that which dilutes the quality of the love. When a father and mother have two children, they do not take love and split it in half and give each one only half of what one would get. Do they? No. So with brothers and sisters. They may have just two or a dozen, and that all works out fine. There is love enough to go around. So with uncles and aunts and cousins and all the rest.
But here, we come to a relationship which is just the opposite. It is exclusive; it is commanded to be exclusive. In certain ages of the Bible times, there was polygamy. What a curse it was. Here is a man who takes two women. Not only does each woman in that case not get a full amount like a child would get from a parent, each one doesn’t even get half as much. Why? Because God didn’t make it that way. It’s not a matter of reasoning it out in human philosophy. God made it that “They two shall be one flesh.” Not three or four or half a dozen. Think of the sorrows in Jacob’s family. Think of the sorrows in David’s family. And they are written in the Bible to teach us that very lesson. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” They two, not several, shall be one flesh.
While there is a certain amount of polygamy and fornication in the world around us today, there is what is thought of as consecutive polygamy. A couple is married for a time, then they get a divorce and each one gets another partner. In some ways, this is even worse than polygamy. It’s very hard on the children.
If you have time, it would pay to read the pages on divorce in Adventist Home. In this class, I can only introduce it and give a background of certain principles. But there is room for a great deal of reading outside of the material we’re covering. We are on the fundamental fact that the inner place of the home, the Most Holy Place, is the union of one man with one woman. And there is a mystery there which is known only by those who experience it.
Somebody says, “But I want to know about it, and I’m not married.” Well, let me say this very kindly: There is no way to know it without being married. “Oh, then I want to get married quick.” I hasten to tell you, most of the people who are married have never known the mystery. Yes, this is true. Just getting married doesn’t make people know the mystery. It is the mystery of love. It is the mystery of the blended life. It is the mystery of two natures joined together so that they become one. And this is something that even when people are led by God, and the Lord has planned for them to be married, they don’t learn about it all at once.
To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated…. The real union of the two in wedlock is the work of the after years. – Adventist Home, pg. 105
We are dealing with the Most Holy Place. The world is not in there; the other members of the church are not in there; the other members of the family are not in there; the children and the grandparents are not in there; nobody else is in there – just the husband and wife, “they two.”
There is a sacred circle around every family which should be preserved. No other one has any right in that sacred circle. The husband and wife should be all to each other. – Ibid., pg. 177
If a husband gives part of it to somebody else, then he’s not giving all to his wife. If a wife gives part of it to some other man, then she’s not giving all to her husband. There is something about this kind of love, this expression of love, which, by its very nature, is exclusive.
One of God’s great purposes in this is to give us a picture of the exclusive relationship between God and each soul. God admits no rivals. The first commandment is clear.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:3
In the second commandment, He sets Himself forth as a jealous God. A husband is jealous of anyone who would attempt to invade the home. I am not talking about selfish, insane jealousy. I am talking about a true love jealousy. As a true husband and true wife have that attitude, God has the same attitude toward us. Nobody in this world is to share the place in your heart that’s made for God. There is a room – a throne room – in your heart that nobody but God is to occupy. We each should love the Lord with all the heart.
In the marriage state, we have a beautiful and wonderful and mysterious illustration of this. There is a sacred circle around every family which should be preserved, and no other one has any right in that sacred circle.
The wife should have no secrets to keep from her husband and let others know, and the husband should have no secrets to keep from his wife to relate to others. The heart of his wife should be the grave for the faults of her husband, and the heart of the husband the grave for his wife’s faults. – Ibid
In the ancient sanctuary, they had a place to cover up sins. The sins were covered with blood. Blood represents the life, and the life is love. That’s what it takes to cover sins.
Above all things, have fervent love among yourselves, for love shall cover a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:7
It’s a wonderful thing to know that somebody loves you enough that you are perfectly safe with them. If you visited my wife for weeks at a time, you’d never find out anything about my faults. You would never hear her say one thing about my faults and mistakes. It isn’t that she has such a wonderful husband; she just loves me. I’m perfectly safe. The interesting thing is that she knows more about my faults than anyone in the world, but I am just as safe as I can be. I don’t have to wonder what she is telling about me. I am perfectly safe. Isn’t that nice? Oh, how good the Lord is.
Never should either party indulge in a joke at the expense of the other’s feelings. – Adventist Home, pg. 177
Did you ever see that happen? The world is full of that.
I have been shown that there should be a sacred shield around every family. The home circle should be regarded as a sacred place, a symbol of heaven, a mirror in which to reflect ourselves. Friends and acquaintances we may have, but in the home life they are not to meddle. – Ibid
They belong in the holy place or court if they are in the family. If they are not in the family, they belong out in the camp somewhere. We may have friends and acquaintances, but they are not to meddle in the home life. A little later I will be studying with you how to find and marry the proper mate, but we are not prepared to understand how to find and marry the proper mate until we study what it’s all about.
“Oh, how many lives are made bitter by the breaking down of the walls which enclose the privacies of every family, and which are calculated to preserve its purity and sanctity! “– Ibid., pg. 337
Tell me, what would you think of a priest making a hole in one of the walls of the Most Holy Place and inviting people to come up and take a look? That would be sacrilege. Wouldn’t it? Yes. He would have died. That’s what would have happened.
When a woman relates her family troubles or complains of her husband to another man, she violates her marriage vows; she dishonors her husband and breaks down the wall erected to preserve the sanctity of the marriage relation. – Ibid., pg. 338
I thank the Lord there is a Sanctuary. I thank the Lord there is a Most Holy Place. I thank the Lord for the glory that is there. I thank the Lord for the walls and veils which enclose the privacy, the intimacies, and the mysteries of that wonderful union.
God is seeking to have this type of close, intimate, and personal relationship with each of us, individually. Will you accept His proposal, today?
Invite a friend, as we study more precious principles on having a home sanctuary; a life of Heaven, on earth…
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.