Greetings MOL Family!
We have been talking about the work of Elijah in our homes; yet does it mean that the literal Elijah from back in the mountains of Gilead is to appear down here?
How To Have A Successful Home
…Not at all. Jesus shows clearly that this work was fulfilled; first of all in the work of John the Baptist. In these latter days, in the Advent Movement, God has given us an inspired prophet to do this same work of reform that Elijah did back there in the days of Ahab. If we will listen to the testimonies of the Spirit of God, we shall come under the influence of the Elijah message.
The book, Ministry of Healing isn’t just a book on how to get well if you’re sick. It’s how to live all the way through. There’s a wonderful section in there on the home. Parents, have you read it, studied it? Young people, have you read it, studied it? Study it on your knees for your life. Survivors will find in this book, Ministry of Healing, a manual of instruction. And this subject is not left out – how your home can survive.
Then there is the wonderful volume, The Adventist Home. Wonderful pages full of precious instruction on how to have a successful home instead of a broken home. Then, there is the companion volume, Child Guidance. Do you have it? Where is it? – On your shelf? – In your heads? Has it gotten into your hearts and habits?
These are the questions. If we will study these inspired volumes [such as] Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students; the book Education; the volumes of the Testimonies for the Church, every single one of the 9 volumes has special counsels to parents, and children.
Friends, we are a rich people. We are a blessed people. But by the same token we have a great responsibility. If we will listen, we will hear the voice of Elijah the prophet calling the hearts of parents to their children; calling the hearts of children to their parents. Oh, let us make our family altars more than just a routine, a ritual, a formal time of snatching a few moments to read some prepared reading. Let us as parents and children meet together at the appointed place and time of prayer and study and find God’s way of life. What do you say?
The Basis of All Authority
Now turn over to Isaiah 8, and I want to show you a brighter picture in these closing hours of human history. Here are some children who are signs of the times, but of a different character. They’re not the disobedient, unruly ones of 2 Timothy 3.
Here are signs and wonders. Children, you dear boys and girls and young people today who are going through these lessons, I hope that you will be among these signs and wonders that we are going to read about. And parents, I can wish you nothing greater and more wonderful than what we are going to read; but first, let’s get the setting.
You’ll notice from the 9th verse (of Isaiah 8), it’s the time when the people and the nations are associating together. It’s the time of the United Nations. It’s the time of great confederacies according to the 11th and 12th verses — Men binding themselves in bundles, in labor unions; the churches getting together in the ecumenical movement; nations banding together; all sorts of confederacies. It’s the time in the 16th verse when God has sent a special message to put the seal back in His holy law. What is the seal? – The Sabbath. It is the time when the people of God in the 17th verse are waiting for what? – Waiting for the coming of the Lord. Do you know this time? Ah, this is our hour, our day. Now notice in the midst of these world conditions, and as a part of the great world message putting the seal back in the law among the people who are looking for the coming of Jesus, here the 18th verse:
Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwells in mount Zion. – Isaiah 8:18
Yes, here are some children that are sighing. Not by being disobedient, but by being obedient; not by breaking the law, but having it sealed to their hearts – the 16th verse. Isn’t that a wonderful promise, a wonderful prophecy?
Dear fathers and mothers, will your boy, your girl be among these wonder children? There won’t be very many of them, but there will be enough to demonstrate that God’s way of life is good for the last generation as well as the first, that it is good for the boys and girls as well as the fathers and mothers. There will be some children, like John the Baptist, who are different from the young people around them. There will be some children like Jesus in Nazareth, who quote the Scripture as the reason why they don’t do things in work or play, at home or otherwise like the children around them. They’ll be different.
Can your child qualify as a sign, a wonder? An obedient child today is a wonder, isn’t he? Let me say something to the young people in their teens and twenties: Whether you realize it or not, you have grown up in a generation that knows practically nothing of obedience. If you learned it, you are a rare exception.
And do not think that you can go to Heaven merely because you’ve gotten old enough to assert your way and choose your program. Do not think that you can go to Heaven without learning the lesson of obedience. Oh, no! If your parents, God forgive them, did not teach you these lessons when you were 1 and 2, and 3 and 6, and 8 and 10, and 12 years old, God help you to realize that you must learn them before the great white cloud appears. And if your parents are so weak and sentimental, and not understanding these principles we’re studying; that they have let you get by without learning the lessons of obedience, and still do not require you to be obedient, then ask God to help you to get into some situation where you’ll have to learn this lesson. Get down upon your knees and pray to God that He will help you to find an experience, a situation where you are under law, under direction, and learn to love it.
I know that to some the answer will be, “This is a hard saying, who can hear it?” But I’m giving you the word of God. Do not think that merely because you are old enough for society to recognize you, old enough to vote, old enough to make your own decisions, that this enables you to skip the assignments that God in Heaven gave you when you were little, and you didn’t learn. You must learn these lessons. You must listen to Elijah. You must learn to obey. Why do I know this? It is written, concerning those who survive:
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. – Revelation 14:12
You and I are a part of a movement that believes that no man in this world has the authority to change one letter of that law. Do you agree with me? There’s a man over on the Tiber that says he can leave out a whole commandment and change another one. Do you agree with him? Then how dare you set aside the 5th commandment? It is written,
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God gives thee. – Exodus 20:12
Turn now to the New Testament comment on this, please:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou may live long on the earth. – Ephesians 6:1-3
Notice that honor includes obedience; that’s what this says, obey. And as the inspired comment in the book Patriarch and Prophets says, in commenting on this 5th commandment, that this includes not only respect and obedience to our natural parents, but to those that God has placed over us in the church and in government.
The 5th commandment is the basis of all authority in this world. If you have any authority as a parent, a teacher, a government agent, a church officer, you get it from the 5th commandment. The remnant will be obedient to every commandment of God.
Now friends, this is not something hard. This is truly the easy way. It is the way of the transgressors that is hard. It is the way of rebellion that is difficult. Underlying all of the Ten Commandments are the 2 great commandments of – love to God and love to fellowmen. We’re told in these inspired comments, these volumes, that it is love which underlies all the law of God.
Unless parents are loving, they are not able to represent God to their children. If parents scold, if they fight, if they complain and murmur, if they get angry, and lose their tempers, they can never turn the hearts of the children to the fathers. Parents, you and I have a great responsibility in showing the firmness of God to reveal His loving kindness.
It’s too bad that so many have the idea that to be loving means to be yielding, to let children and youth have their way. It’s also too bad that too many in being firm think they must be stern, hard, mean, and even cruel. God’s law of love should be administered in love. It is in Heaven. It can be on earth. If we will seek for love enough to be kind while we’re firm, and firm while we’re kind, we can get ready some families that will survive.
Let us read a beautiful little message that the Lord’s messenger wrote to those members of a family who had been bereaved; in fact, we’ll read 2 of them. The first is in Selected Messages, Book 2. We read this to show that there’s such a thing as the survival of a whole family, as a family, and that even death doesn’t have to spoil it.
Here is a message on these 2 pages written to the sorrowing family on the death of a husband and father. There’s a message written to the wife and mother; and a message written to the children. In writing to them, Sister White points them to the pearly gates, the coming of Jesus; and she says to the children:
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, Book 2, pg. 266
Then, this [next] is a letter written to a brother, a husband, and father who had lost his wife. In writing to him and to the children, the Lord’s messenger says:
We will pray that you may have influence and success in guiding your little ones, then you, with them, may gain the crown of life, and that in the home above, now being prepared for us, you and your wife and children may be a family joyously, happily reunited, nevermore to be separated. – Ibid., pg. 263
Isn’t that a wonderful concept? Oh, that God may make every family a united family. Can you think of anything greater than you could ask the great Giver for? Won’t it be a wonderful thing when the Savior comes parents, to be able to look the dear Father in the face and with love and gratitude say to Him, “Behold, I and the children God has given me”?
This is something to live for. This is something that’s worth missing everything in this world for, isn’t it friends? And we’ll need to miss most of what’s in this world in order to have this experience. The world is going the other way. The world is going the way of the breakup of civilization, and the breakdown of the home.
But I’ve shown you a better way. It’s a steep way, it’s a narrow way, it’s a rugged way. It’s the way of obedience through love. This love must begin in the hearts of parents. And dear fathers and mothers, where we failed either in requiring obedience or in doing it in a loving way, shall we not get down and ask God to forgive us? Shall we not ask our children to forgive us? Shall we not ask them to unite with us in learning Heaven’s way?
Dear children and young people, where we have been disobedient shall we not ask God to give us a true sorrow for it? Let’s ask God to help us to quit thinking it’s smart to be rebellious, that it’s the thing to be disobedient. Let’s be willing to be the signs and wonders of Isaiah 8 instead of the signs of the times in 2 Timothy 3. What do you say?
Precious Lord, write on our hearts what we have heard from thy book. Spoil this world for us. Unmask the devil and his great last campaign to deceive us, with the rebellious spirit he started in Heaven. Give us a love for Thy law, the love for the home, the love for obedience. We ask it in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Next week, we’ll be continuing on with our class rotation – 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.