Your application is being submitted.

Please do NOT hit the back button or refresh the page.

[ close ]

The Christian Home – Lesson 2

In our first lesson we found that just before Jesus came the first time, John the Baptist did the work of Elijah. Here today in this last generation, this must be done again. His work is to restore how much? All things. And he begins where? In the home.

 

 Home is the symbol of heaven, and we are to make all things according to the pattern shown in the mount. God had Moses make in this world 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.

 

So, we are going to study in class dear reader, along these lines, that we may have here on earth a little heaven to go to heaven in.

 

We noted in our first study the structure, the building itself, which we compared to what? Order, rules. There is something rigid about that. We need something rigid. But if all we have is a structure, it is empty. The thing that made the sanctuary wonderful is this, dear friends, God lived there. Does Jesus live at your house? If He does, it is a sanctuary. If He does not, it isn’t a sanctuary even if it should have golden walls, right? That is right. God is love. Where is that? 1 John 4:8.

 

Notice Adventist Home. Turn to page 18, a beautiful little statement, next to the last line on

the page:

 

“Every home should be” What?

 

“A place of love” Adventist Home, page 18. “Every home should be a place of loveAdventist Home, page18.

 

Love is well represented by light. Selfishness and hatred suggest darkness. The earth today is dark. Gross darkness covers the people (Isaiah 60:2). 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 with you in our online class today, and other symbols in the sanctuary for the presence of God and for the love of God.

 

Looking at the sanctuary, what was revealed there between the cherubim? What was the Shekinah? The presence of God. That is right. Was there light there? Oh, yes (1Tim. 6:15, 16). And there were times that, that light and glory there in the most holy place shone out in such brilliance that the priest ministering in this first apartment had to retire to the door of the sanctuary.

 

And of course, there were rays of that, that then shone on out. Yes, God is light, and the light is love. In the holy place of the sanctuary, do we see any light? Yes. The purpose of the seven-branched candlestick was to give what? Light. But this is not the only light and the only evidence and symbol of God’s presence. There on the golden altar a fire was burning all the time, and what was ascending as the result? The smoke of incense, fragrant perfume filling both apartments and on out into the court and into the camp.

 

Here, again, we have a beautiful symbol of love. Light is pleasant as the wise man says (Ecc. 11:7). 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.

 

Now, let us go still farther out. Out there in the court, any light or fire out there? Yes. If you would come to the tabernacle, suppose in the evening, or in the early morning while the stars were still shining, would you see light here in the court? Yes.

 

I want you to see something very interesting before we get through with our study today, about that fire on that altar. Keep it in mind. We will come to it later. My point is this, you have from the entrance into the court right on through the sanctuary, burning and shining lights.

 

If you will turn to Matthew 5:15, 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 with the home in figure:

 

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a” What? “Candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house”Matthew 5:15. And 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 is the light of love revealed in a practical way: in cutting wood, in washing

dishes, in cooking meals, making beds, making gardens, sweeping the porch, taking care of

the baby, and a hundred and one other practical ways. And notice Jesus puts it where? In the

house.

 

Ah, my dear friends, 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. Is that right? A trip never made anybody a missionary. Foreign missionaries are first home missionaries.

 

“Those who would be true missionaries in foreign fields must first be true missionaries in the home. Those who desire to work in the Master’s vineyard must prepare themselves for this by a careful cultivation of the little piece of vineyard He has intrusted to their care.”  {MYP 143.4} 

 In fact, if God sends them to foreign fields, when they get there, they are to be at home, and they will still be home missionaries. Our first place of service, our first place of love is in the home.

 

You remember we dwelt on that at the close of our study in the first lesson. Turn again to Messages to Young People, the last page:

 

“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 heartMessages to Young People, page 466.

 

You know, generations ago in some countries where most of the warmth came from a fireplace, and most of the cooking was done there, sometimes when a new home was started, the bride would carry from the home of her mother and father, coals from that fire, that fireplace around which she had been brought up. And from those coals the fire in the new home was started – a beautiful figure, a beautiful symbol. And that is what this is talking about.

 

The place to experience love is not after we are married, friends. In fact, may I put it this way: 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.

 

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.

(And the rest of the paragraph is meaningful.)

 

My point is this, dear friends: Love is not just for husband and wife, it is for everybody. It is for every member of the family and every relationship of life. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” 1 John 4:8.

 

Oh, I am so thankful for this wonderful love shining in the heart, burning in the heart; shining in the home, burning in the home. Jesus says here that it gives light to all who are in the house. Turn please to Luke 8, 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 entereth in may see the light” Luke 8:16.

 

My dear friends, 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 what? The light, the light of love. Oh, that it may indeed be so. This is indeed making home a missionary agency.

 

Turn now to Adventist Home, page 37, right on this point. Oh, this is a beautiful paragraph:

 

From every Christian home a holy light should shine forthAdventist Home, page 37.

 

Will you read this with me? (Note: dear reader, please be sure to make reference to this page and literally read it for yourself from the Spirit of Prophecy. I want you to see this for yourself and be able to help others to make their homes a little heaven on earth-a place of love. Notice the quotation it is wonderful):

 

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 outhomes where God is worshiped and truest love reigns. From these homes morning and evening prayer ascends to God as sweet incense, and His mercies and blessings descend upon the suppliants like the morning dewAdventist Home, page 37.

 

Isn’t that a beautiful picture? Beautiful figures. Now, you notice there in that quotation we have brought in to us here, not merely the figure of the light, but the incense. There are two altars that God has placed in connection with His sanctuary: one at the door, the altar of burnt offering; one within, the altar of incense.

 

 Let’s take a thought or two on each one of them. Leviticus 6:12, 13. This is speaking of the altar of burnt offering at the door of the sanctuary:

 

“And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings” Leviticus 6:12.

 

Now, notice that thirteenth verse: “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” Leviticus 6:13.

 

God intends that in our homes, friends, the light of love shall never cease, the fire of love shall never go out. But do you know why that fire never went out on the altar? How did it start, by the way? God kindled that fire. But why did it not go out? The priest kept adding fuel.

 

I want you to notice that twelfth verse again:  “The priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it” Leviticus 6:12.

 

Take your Adventist Home, page 212. See something wonderful here. Would the fire have gone out if the priest had not kept putting the sacrifice on it? Yes. Every morning, every evening, he put on the wood, put on the lamb.

 

All members of the family center in the father. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing the sterner virtues… The father is in one sense the” What? “The priest of the household” Adventist Home, page 212.

 

Now, in a reference that I may give at another time, it is clearly stated that the mother is to do that work when the father either is absent, or the father is not able to function. In other words (Watch the point!), no home is to be without this sacrifice, morning and evening. And if you are all by yourself (dear reader), like out on an errand for God someplace or without a functioning husband or spouse, remember, wherever you are can be a Bethel. Jacob found it so, didn’t he?

 

 But we are talking now about the ideal, ordinary situation: 

“The father is in one sense the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice” Adventist Home, page 212.

 

Oh, what a picture, now, back to Leviticus 6:13: “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” Leviticus 6:13.

 

Dear ones, if at times the fire of love burns low in your home, your heart, it may be that the morning sacrifice was neglected. It may be that the evening sacrifice was omitted.  

“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out” Leviticus 6:13.

 

God will kindle the fire, my friends, when we come to Him and are converted, born again. But we have to keep putting the fuel on, 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, remember we must keep presenting the sacrifice morning and evening.

 

Let’s go a little further. Turn please nto Exodus 30, and notice the altar that is in the sanctuary. This altar is not called the brazen alter but is the golden altar of incense, within the veil. Here, too, is fire, the fire of God – the incense filling the sanctuary and out into the court with fragrance:

  “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.

 

Do you see, friends, in this that Jesus is suggesting that our homes should be pleaseant, happy places, places of pleasure, places of enjoyment, places where people like to be? Light, warmth, fragrance, incense – all these suggest that which is attractive and pleasurable. For truly light is “sweet” and “pleasant” Ecc. 11:7.

 

Notice this next verse:  “Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon” Exodus 30:9.

 

In other scriptures you will find that God had a special incense prepared that was to be used only in the sanctuary. And He forbad the use of any other recipe. My dear friends, we need not only love in the home, but we want to be sure it is divine love. Again, that fire that was upon the altar, both in the court and within the veil, where did that fire originate? In heaven. Do you remember two young men who one day thought that it didn’t make any difference what fire they used just so it was fire? What were their names? Nadab and Abihu. Put in your notes Leviticus 10:1, 2. They offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not:

 

“And there went out fire from before the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” Leviticus 10:2.

 

My dear friends, it is not enough that we love. Don’t miss this! It must be divine love. The world today is having many experiences in what they call love, but the question is, 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 in Adventist Home, page 68:

 

Human love should draw its closest bonds from divine love. Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish affectionAdventist Home, page 68.

 

I ask again. Does it make any difference where we get our fire? Where we get our incense? Oh, it makes all the difference in the world. Thank God, friends, for the privilege of having fire on our altars that has been kindled by God Himself. What do you say?

 

How can we get this type of love in our hearts and home ? Turn to Matthew 22:37, 38. Here is the recipe:

 

“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: that we are to give to God how much of our love? All of it? Well, 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. Now some people are afraid of that. But never be afraid of what scripture says it will work it alright!

 

Now, notice very carefully what the scripture say again in Matthew 22:37, Thou shalt do what?

 

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with”  What? “All thine heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” Matthew 22:37-39.

 

The second commandment is the one the calls for love for our neighbors (and in the context that we are studying in the Christian home, that is love experience by the family). But this is not the first commandment. It is the what? Second. My point is this, that 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.

 

Turn to Adventist Home, page 54, “Guard the Affections,” the last six lines:

“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, page 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 that we need to learn about love is that all our love belongs to who? God. And that we are to therefore give Him all our love, and then let Him direct us, guide us in the bestowal of all our love.

And if we will learn this lesson, I say if we really learn this lesson of love, our homes can be transformed into a little heaven upon earth:

Home should be made all that the word implies. It should be a little heaven upon earth, a place where the affections are cultivated instead of being studiously repressed. Our happiness depends upon this cultivation of love, sympathy, and true courtesy to one another. The sweetest type of heaven is a home where the Spirit of the Lord presides. If the will of God is fulfilled, the husband and wife will respect each other and cultivate love and confidence.  {AH 15} 

Dear reader, you can begin receiving this love today. Right where you are, whisper a prayer to Jesus, that He might fill your heart and home with this love today!

“Supreme love for God and unselfish love for one another–this is the best gift that our heavenly Father can bestow. This love is not an impulse but a divine principle, a permanent power. The unconsecrated heart cannot originate or produce it. Only in the heart where Jesus reigns is it found. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the ruling principle of action.–AA 551

1 Comment

  1. Bro. M

    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. Amen