The focal point of the advent movement is the coming of Jesus. The great objective of the advent movement is to make ready a people prepared to meet Him. Whenever the bride is ready, the Bridegroom will come. To make ready a people prepared for the Lord, this is our work.
You remember that this work of preparation has been presented under the figure of the coming of Elijah. John the Baptist came before the Saviour’s first appearing to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Jesus said that he fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah coming. This prophecy is being fulfilled again in the work of the great threefold message.
I want you to notice, dear friends, that in all three cases, in the first literal Elijah, in the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning his return in the work of John the Baptist, and in the work of this movement, the gift of prophecy is leading out. This is true in all these three cases. It was the gift of prophecy that made Elijah’s work so powerful. Right? It was the gift of prophecy that enabled John the Baptist to accomplish his mission. It has been, and is, and will be, the gift of prophecy in this movement that will make us successful as individuals and as a church, in completing our assignment and developing the characters that shall be translated from this earth without seeing death.
Our first text in our class today is Matthew 17:11. (Note: I pray that every reader online will take notes. It would be good to devote a whole notebook for this class that we will take together on the christian home. Look up the references in both the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy and share it with others). Please bring your Bibles, Adventist Home and Messages to Young People to each class. We will draw upon these inspired sources for our information. Because, dear friends, while there are some things concerning astronomy, many of them, that we can learn outside the Bible, and so with physics and chemistry, and so forth, most of that which we need to know in this course must come from inspired sources if it is to be of any real value to us. And we are fortunate in having so many inspired instructions on these wonderful subjects. Back to our text in Matthew 17:11. You all have it. Will you read it with me? “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things” Matthew 17:11.
What is Elijah’s work? To restore. What does restore mean? To put back in its place, is that right? Right? You remember the Bible speaks of a man who has stolen something: if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed. And we are told that in the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. This is why the Sabbath is such an outstanding sign of this work and this message. The seal of God is being restored to the law. But every divine institute is to be restored.
I wish you would turn to Messages to Young People, page 324 and we will notice a very interesting sentence here. Someone mentioned that to restore means not only to put back, but to put it back like it was. This is true. “The restoration and uplifting of humanity begins” Where? “In the home” Messages to Young People, page 324.
So in this class on the Christian home, we are dealing with the foundation. We are dealing with the basics. “The restoration and uplifting of humanity begins in the home” Messages to Young People, page 324.
Will you repeat those ten words with me? “The restoration and uplifting of humanity begins in the home” Messages to Young People, page 324. I would like for you to memorize that sentence. Some of you probably have it already. Shall we say it once again? “The restoration and uplifting of humanity begins in the home” Messages to Young People, page 324.
I want you to see that in the Bible. Malachi 4:5, 6. The very last note sounded in the Old Testament as the shadows fall on the ancient dispensation. This last note is a note of cheer and courage, pointing to the coming of Elijah to restore all things. And notice where it begins:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” Malachi 4:5, 6.
Does he begin with the home? Very definitely. (Dear reader please feel to participate in this class, take notes and read the references. Write down both the questions and answers. Most of our questions are to direct us to the text or quotation that we are looking at. And so in most cases, if we will look at what we are reading, we will find the answer to the question.)
I wish you would take Adventist Home and turn to page 15. So far we have read that Elijah comes to restore all things. He begins this work with the home, turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to their fathers. The work of this message is to prepare us for heaven. And in order to get ready for heaven, we must have heaven on earth. And this is what Elijah is seeking to do. “Home should be made all that the word implies. It should be a little heaven upon earth” Adventist Home, page 15.
What is home to be? A little heaven upon earth. Another place it speaks of it as a little heaven to go to heaven in. Isn’t that nice? I like that. A little heaven to go to heaven in (Review and Herald, April 4, 1891).
Now, I want to ask you something. Was there ever anything made in this world that was made to be a copy of, from heaven and of heaven? What was it? The sanctuary. Who made it? Moses made it. Who gave him the pattern? God. Where did he go to get the pattern? Up into that Mount Sinai. When we read the book of Hebrews we see that there was more to what Moses saw than just some blueprints. He actually saw something in heaven. What was it? The heavenly sanctuary, the heavenly temple.
What does a sanctuary mean? A dwelling place. And as used in the Bible, it most often relates to a dwelling place for whom? God. So it is written: “And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them” Exodus 25:8. God wanted to dwell with us down here in this world. So He said, “Make Me a sanctuary.” And “Moses,” He said, “Make Me a little house down in this world like My home in heaven.” And to every father and mother in this world comes the message, “Make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.”
I want you to turn to Hebrews 8:5. Note the instructions that accompany this call. Speaking of the priests who ministered in that ancient tabernacle, Paul says:
“Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” Hebrews 8:5.
What was Moses to do? Make all things according to what? The pattern. And where did he see it? In the mount. But what he saw, Paul says, were heavenly things. He saw God’s house in heaven, and he made a house for Him down here, a little house copied after the great house in heaven. Can you think of any higher honor or greater privilege that could come to anyone in this world than to have your home such a sanctuary? This is your privilege, my dear friends.
Everybody here, whether you know it or not, is a part of what we are studying about and what we are talking about. Whether you are married or unmarried, parents or children, brothers or sisters, there is a place for you in the total plan. As we study from class to class and week to week, that will become very clear. Nobody needs to think, “Well, now I am left out of this.” No, you are not left out at all. You are very important. You are vital. You are precious. You belong, at least it is your privilege to belong. So, don’t miss anything thinking, “Well, I guess this is not for me.” Yes, it is for you, and be sure to get it. Salt it down. Make all things according to what? The pattern. What pattern?
The pattern shown to thee in the mount. May I dwell on this point? It was a pattern shown by revelation. Moses did not devise the pattern. He did not sit down and think up a plan. His work was to behold the heavenly original and copy it with exactitude. Is this true? Can you do better than that in your home?
Would you be satisfied with any less? Ah, friends, what a privilege we have. Watch! If my little home is to be a copy of that heavenly home, and God has had Moses make a little copy down in this world, to help us understand what is going on up there, would it not be a good thing for me to study this earthly copy, and learn some lessons about the heavenly sanctuary? And in turn, learn from that precious lessons about how my home is to be organized, managed, structured, carried on. Is that right? This is what I want to do with you in this course. Oh, my dear friends, I am so thankful for the privilege of studying these things with you, and to study them in the light of the sanctuary; the sanctuary in heaven from which the glorious light is shining down. Now in your Adventist Home, look at page 17:
“God would have our families” Adventist Home, page 17, What? “Symbols of the family in heaven” Adventist Home, page 17.
Is your home a symbol of the family in heaven? If it is, the neighbors, as they look on, as they visit from time to time, if there is anything in their hearts responsive to heaven, they will learn more about heaven by knowing more about you and your home. Is that right? This is our privilege. There is no higher missionary work, my friends, than to just demonstrate here in this world what heaven is like.
Now, I am going to begin that study with you today. I am not going to complete it. But I would like to have you notice two very important things about the sanctuary, as you view it.
The first is the building itself, the structure, the walls, if you please, of which the building is built. I would have you look upon that today as order. And I would like to have you copy
this little statement of just five words:
“Order is heaven’s first law” Counsels on Health, page 101.Will you read or repeat that with me? “Order is heaven’s first law” Counsels on Health, page 101.
Can you picture a sanctuary without walls? There would be no building, would there? A home without order is a contradiction.
Do you know what order is? Well, order is (1) a place for everything and everything in its place; (2) a time for everything and everything on time. Is that the way they do things in heaven? Somebody says, “You have me discouraged already.”
Well, listen, dear ones, the sanctuary was not built in a day. Your sanctuary will not be perfected in a day. Did you suppose the people who were working on that building looked at the pattern every day? I am sure they did, because when they got through, God moved in. And as in the original creation, He saw everything, and behold, it was very good. “Order is heaven’s first law” Counsels on Health, page 101.
Now look at your Adventist Home, just across the page on page 16: “Every Christian home should have” What? “Rules” Adventist Home, page 16.
Do you believe that? Do you really believe it? Do you like it? Well, I will tell you, dear friends, if a cold wind is howling, I am glad for some walls. If there is a wolf outside, I am glad for some walls. If there is a thief prowling around, I am glad for some walls. What do you say?
Is there a cold wind blowing out in this selfish world today? Are there wolves prowling in this licentious, wicked generation? Are there thieves who would steal away the jewels of virtue and love and unity and loyalty? Are there? Thank God, there is a sanctuary. If we can get inside those golden walls, thank God, we have a refuge, a wonderful refuge. The sanctuary in heaven? Yes. The church – that’s God’s sanctuary on earth? Yes. But in this class I am studying the sanctuary of the home. And oh, what a sanctuary it is – a symbol of the home in heaven.
So, as you think of these golden walls of the sanctuary, I want you to think of the rules of the home, the order of the home, the structure of the home, the organization of the home. Tell me, do you think there is anything very rigid about the walls? I was about to say, I hope so. After all, that is what walls are for, isn’t it? We are living in a generation that has lost respect for law and order. But if you will allow me to say it, they didn’t have much to lose, because their parents didn’t have very much.
But Elijah is to come and restore all things. Does he bring us back to the law of God? Does he bring us back to the Sabbath? Does he bring us back to rules and order in the home? Yes. And oh, my friends, to see this as the copy of the heavenly temple, this is glory. I know there are such things as laws and rules that are tyrannical. I know there are such things as dictators and dictatorships. I know there are such things as families where force and iron discipline pervert and distort any image of God in heaven. That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about the reality, the true, the genuine, the great original – the family of God in heaven.
And friends, is there law there (in heaven)? Is there order? Did it even become the object, the point of a rebellion, once? Riots in the streets did not start with the twentieth century. Rising up against the establishment is not original with this generation. It didn’t even start on earth. It started where? In heaven. And right on this point of whether law is or is not essential, whether order is or is not a benefit. Oh, I thank God that Elijah has come to restore all things. What do you say?
Yes, every Christian home should have rules. But now, listen. The sanctuary is more than a building. It is a dwelling place for God. And God is love (1 John 4:8). God is light (1 John 1:5). When you look at the sanctuary on earth, copied after the one in heaven, do you see light there? Do you see light in the holy place in those glowing candlesticks, in that heaven kindled flame on the altar of incense? And then, beyond the inner veil, do you see the holy light of the Shekinah above the mercy seat?
Ah, friends, what would the sanctuary be without God? Just some walls. And what is the order and structure of you home without the light of love? Just a structure. Oh, I thank God that the purpose of the building is that the light of the glory of God may be revealed. What do you say? And the purpose of rules, the structure, the organization, is that the light of the glory of the love of God may be revealed.
Turn, please, to Messages to Young People, page 466. Here is one of the most wonderful statements in inspiration. The last paragraph of this wonderful book:
“True love is a high and holy principle, altogether different in character from that love which is awakened by impulse, and which suddenly dies when severely tested. It is by faithfulness to duty in the parental home that the youth are to prepare themselves for homes of their own. Let them here practice self-denial, and manifest kindness, courtesy, and Christian sympathy. Thus love will be kept warm in the heart” Messages to Young People, page 466.
Where is the place for me to get ready to head a Christian home? In what home? In the parental home. The place to learn to cook is in a kitchen, right? The place to learn to nurse is in a sanitarium or hospital. The place to learn to successfully carry on a home is in a home.
But I want to tell you something, friends. If I am interested in learning health cookery, I had better get in a health kitchen, right? Not in a hamburger joint. And oh, I thank God that every one of us who wishes, can learn this wonderful science of love; love within the structure of order and discipline.
Notice, the young are to prepare themselves for homes of their own in faithfulness to duty in the parental home. Now turn to page 326 of this same little book, Messages to Young People
and notice how this is emphasized:
“The highest duty that devolves upon youth is in their own homes, blessing father and mother, brothers and sisters, by affection and true interest” Messages to Young People, page 326.
The whole page is wonderful. This is what, for young people? The highest duty. Thank God.
Now, in Adventist Home, page 35. Turn to that, please. I want you to notice that the Christian home is not only a training ground for those who are going to establish homes of their own, this is the best training ground for missionaries:
“Missionaries for the Master are best prepared for work abroad in the Christian household, where God is feared, where God is loved, where God is worshiped, where faithfulness has become second nature, where haphazard, careless inattention to home duties is not permitted, where quiet communion with God is looked upon as essential to the faithful performance of daily duties” Adventist Home, page 35.