The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart.” Psalms 24:1–4.
God is looking for a pure people. A people who are totally His and who have the pure character of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated by the sins and practices of the world.
“When the character of the Saviour shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim His own.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 324. The reason Christ has not yet come is because His character has not been reproduced in us. It is still mixed with impurities that should not be there. But when we represent Christ and our homes represent Christ’s home, then He will come to receive us unto Himself. It is time, brethren and sisters, that we take the impurities out of our lives and out of our homes. Shall we do it?
From time to time we hear of government inspectors finding other things in hamburgers besides beef. Some hamburger chain is trying to cut down on its costs and so they find some cheaper substance to mix with their beef. It may be a soy product or it may be a pork product, but whatever it is it should not be there and it is against the law. For when a product is labeled as “hamburger,” that signifies that it is all beef. Any added alteration makes it an adulterated product. This is what the government inspectors call it.
When you add an alteration to what something is supposed to be, it becomes adulterated or an adulteration. The dictionary says adulterate means: “To make impure by mixing in a foreign or inferior substance.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 1974.
If there is not a pattern or standard for a product (if there is no label), can you alter it? Can it become adulterated?
The Home Pattern
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Ephesians 5:22–26.
“God would have our families symbols of the family in heaven. Let parents and children bear this in mind every day, relating themselves to one another as members of the family of God. Then their lives will be of such a character as to give to the world an object lesson of what families who love God and keep His commandments may be. Christ will be glorified; His peace and grace and love will pervade the family circle like a precious perfume.” Adventist Home, 17.
The family is a symbol of heaven. Can you think of another symbol of heaven that God has given to this earth? Hebrews 8:5 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 showed to thee in the mount.” “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” Hebrews 9:23.
The sanctuary that Moses built was patterned after the exact same object which the home is patterned after. They are both patterned after and are a symbol of heaven.
If you made two copies of the same thing, would they resemble each other?
Our families are to be built upon heaven’s plan and this Divine Plan for our families is graphically illustrated in the sanctuary. In fact, as the home is copied after heaven, as illustrated in the sanctuary, the home becomes a miniature sanctuary itself: a place patterned after heaven so closely that it becomes a little heaven on earth where God meets with His children.
God said: “And let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8. “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?” Psalms 77:13.
“The subject of the sanctuary . . . should be clearly understood by the people of God.…Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill.” The Great Controversy, 488.
God’s way, His Divine pattern, is found in the sanctuary. This is where He meets in a special way with His people. As our homes copy this pattern, they in-turn become miniature sanctuaries and God in-turn meets in a special way with its occupants there.
“From the sacredness which was attached to the earthly sanctuary, Christians may learn how they should regard the place where the Lord meets with His people. . . . The house is the sanctuary for the family.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 491.
Adventists used to be known as the Sabbath and Sanctuary people. The sanctuary was so important that it was the very first thing God presented and enjoined upon us as a people—even before the Sabbath message. We used to preach and preach and preach about the sanctuary, but now it has become almost a dead subject to some members.
Let us look at heaven’s pattern and maybe we will see some alterations that have been added in our families and in our homes.
Who was allowed in the different areas of the sanctuary?
Holy Place ………………… Priests
Most Holy Place ……. High Priest
It is noteworthy to observe that the further into the sanctuary you go, the more beautiful, luxurious, and holy it becomes and the more exclusive it becomes. The Most Holy place was filled with gold and tapestries and exquisite workmanship which radiated with untold glory.
And what was it that kept other people out of the respective places? The veil. The veil was a curtain that hung in front of each compartment to keep people out who should not be in. The veil, or curtain, that was rent from top to bottom at the time of Christ’s death, signified that there was no more sanctity in the Most Holy Place. Without the veil, there was no sanctity or holiness! The veil kept out what was not supposed to be there. It kept out any added alteration: any adultery. The veil provided the protection that maintained the purity and holiness within.
No Guided Tours
Once upon a time there was a very good king in Judah. The Bible says that “he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 26:4. His name was Uzziah and because he was such a good king the Lord permitted him to reign a very long time and gave him prosperity all around. No king since Solomon had been so prosperous and no king had ruled longer. “He sought God…(and) God made him to prosper.” “And God helped him against the Philistines.…And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.” “And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong.”
2 Chronicles 26:5, 7, 8, 15.
He was a professional. He was the king. He had rights and privileges which no one questioned. So one day, he decided he wanted a guided tour of the temple. He wanted to see what all was in there. He wanted to take part in its services. The priests, not seeming to understand his profession and authority, tried to dissuade him, but he would not be turned aside from his heart’s desire.
Uzziah took the “censer in his hand to burn incense . . . (and) leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense alter. . . . And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 26: 19, 21.
What a severe punishment! And for one who had been so good for so long! But God said there would be no guided tours of the holy sanctuary. Only certain people were to go beyond the veils and anyone else was an added alteration to God’s heavenly plan.
Why were these curtains covering things up? Why were others not allowed to go in? Was it because there was something bad going on in there? Why was only the High Priest allowed in the Most Holy place? Was there something “dirty” and unholy about the service?
No! It was quite the opposite. (There are doors that do cover up things because they are unholy and “dirty” but that is not the case here.) These veils formed a sacred enclosure. Within each enclosure was found a more intimate and personal relationship with God until the high priest himself, alone, stood personally face to face before God.
It was totally holy for the right people, but totally unholy for all others. But remember, the sanctuary is but a symbol of heaven and of heaven’s relationship with us (like the home is).
Each individual can have a sanctuary relationship with God. (See Testimonies, vol. 5, 491.) Each individual can have the same personal relationship with God that the high priest illustrated. Each of us can enjoy all of God’s riches as though they were meant just for us. Each of us can receive the blessing of Christ’s sacrifice as though it was done just for us.
“The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.” Steps to Christ, 100. That is worth memorizing!
And as the sanctuary represents Christ’s plan of government—His love—for us, so our homes and families do the same thing. “Through the… deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know, He [God] has sought to reveal Himself to us.” Ibid., 10.
What are the “deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know?” Mrs. White says that “The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth.” The Ministry of Healing, 356.
As in the sanctuary, so there are certain expressions of love and service that are perfectly proper within the church but which would be improper outside of the church body—such as foot washing. This is represented by the court.
Within the family there is more intimacy and devotion that is sacred and holy—but only as it remains in the family. This is like the Holy Place of the sanctuary.
But it remains for the husband and wife to receive the full glory of intimacy—and only within the veil. Is this exclusiveness because there is something that is unholy about marriage and its ordinances of love and service? No, Paul says:
“Marriage is honourable in all [some religions teach that it is not], and the bed undefiled; but [he quickly adds] whoremongers and adulterers [ones that have added alterations to the marriage—added a person that should not be there] God will judge [as He did Uzziah].” Hebrews 13:4.
Within the Most Holy
Within the Most Holy Place of the family, God would teach us that we are to give our allegiance to only one. We are to be all to God and He will be all to us. And so there is to be only one man for each woman and only one woman for each man. They are to be all to each other. (See Adventist Home, 177; 1 Corinthians 7:3, 4.)
“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to
his wife: And they twain (2) shall be
one flesh?” Matthew 19:5. (To see how this teaches us about God, read
Christ said that they twain shall be one. Not they three or they four but they twain. Any third party to this union is an added alteration that is contrary to the pattern (or label). Around this sacred institution God has placed a “sacred circle” to maintain its purity and any third person makes it impure.
Who all are excluded from this principle? Kings? Professionals? Friends? Parents?
(For further reading, read what Mrs. White says about physicians preserving “those barriers of reserve [the sacred veil] that should exist between men and women” in Counsels on Health, 363–365.)
Around every married couple and around every family God has put a veil, a sacred circle, which must be preserved. “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. 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 the husband, and the heart of the husband the grave for his wife’s faults. Never should either party indulge in a joke at the expense of the other’s feelings. Never should either the husband or wife in sport or in any other manner complain of each other to others, for frequently indulging in this foolish and what may seem perfectly harmless joking will end in trial with each other and perhaps estrangement. 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. A strong sense of proprietorship should be felt, giving a sense of ease, restfulness, trust.” Adventist Home, 177.
“And they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain; but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” Matthew 19:5, 6. God formed the union between man and woman in the garden of Eden. It was one of the two sacred institutions that were established even before sin.
God made man and woman with certain essential characteristics which would draw them together into this circle of love—into partnership—into being one.
God made man to notice (his wife!)
God made woman to be noticed (by her husband!)
It is as this plan is carried out in the home that the two become one. This is sacred and holy within the Most Holy Place of the home. But God made this blending to be carried on between two people, only, and around these two people he has put a sacred veil. Any third party within this enclosure is an added person and is adultery.
God made man to notice his wife. Would the husband noticing another woman be, in actuality, introducing a third party into the relationship—and therefore committing adultery?
Christ understood this principle (for He had established it). He said: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28.
Have you ever wondered why Christ did not mention women looking at men, but only men looking at women? This is man’s special problem, not woman’s. When a woman looks at another man, she is hoping that he will notice her.
God put into man the desire to notice his wife and any third party is adultery. (And any “third party” attraction of the husband lessens the attraction he should have for his wife.)
And yet, just as Satan has perverted the Sabbath institution so he has perverted the marriage institution. The seventh commandment is just as rarely kept today as the fourth. But those who go to heaven will be keepers of the commandments; the seventh as well as the fourth.
All around the devil has attractions which lead men to look at and notice other women than their wives. The whole television industry is built upon immorality—upon showing attractive women to catch men’s attention. Immorality is so common today that we take it for granted. But the chosen, peculiar people of God are going to be a pure, unadulterated people; keepers of the seventh commandment. They are likened to virgins. (Revelation 14:4.)
But if any man is going to escape the corruption that is in the world, he is going to have to have a veil in front of his eyes! We will have to be as a people that have ears and hear not and have eyes and see not.
Christ said that if you do not have this veil in front of your eyes, it would be better to cut out your eyes—because that would be the only way that you could be saved.
“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:29.
The television “eye” in the living room is more precious to many people than would be their own right eye. But most people, if they are ever going to be saved at all, are going to have to cut this eye out from their life—because most of us do not have a good enough veil to block all the “third party” sexuality that comes over the screen. (Plus there are other commandments that are broken on television.)
The beginning of Lucifer’s fall was the desire to invade the sacred veil that enshrouded the Father and the Son. He wanted to be included in their councils and to be a third party into their relationship. We must learn to respect the veil God has put around man and woman before we can be trusted in heaven.
A Woman’s Problem Too
Listen! Do you think this is only a man’s problem. No, it is just as much a woman’s problem but it is in a different area. Because God made man to notice and He made woman to be noticed. The woman’s problem is in seeking to be noticed rather than in noticing!
The man’s veil must be in front of his eyes, but the woman’s veil must be in front of her body and conduct. The woman’s dress and demeanor are her covering veil (not a wedding ring—that does not cover nearly enough).
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.” 1 Peter 3:1–5.
Notice that after telling women to be subject to their “own husbands” Peter immediately goes into the dress question and into conduct and the “adorning” and “putting on of apparel” and “chaste conversation.” These are a woman’s veil.
And remember, did the veil around the temple say to “come in” or “stay out”? The woman must resist the attentions and attractions of “third party” men or she is allowing a third party into the marriage relation and is also committing adultery.
“Any woman who will allow the addresses of another man than her husband, who will listen to his advances and whose ears will be pleased with the outpouring of lavish words of affection, of adoration, of endearment, is an adulteress and a harlot.” Testimonies to Ministers, 434.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy talk so much about woman’s dress and not about man’s? It is for the same reason that the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy talk so much about man’s “eyes” and not about woman’s. They each have their particular veil to keep, in order to preserve the sanctity of the marriage. And the devil has made it equally hard on each of them.
Have you, as a man, ever wondered why women have such a problem with their dress—but do you always guard your eyes? Or do you as a woman ever wonder why men have such a problem with their eyes—and yet, you have not mastered the dress problem?
A woman’s demeanor and dress are her veil. What would you think of someone in the sanctuary taking a pair of scissors and cutting off some of the veil in front of the Most Holy Place? Think about it.
The Home Is a Symbol of Heaven
Let us now remember, that as the sanctuary is a symbol of heaven, so is the home. As in the home there is to be no “third party” in the marriage relation, so there is to be no third party in our relation with God. “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3.
God is all sufficient. He wants to be all to us (as the wife and husband are to be to each other. (Adventist Home, 177.) God wants us to have an exclusive relationship with Him only. No courting with the devil. No enticing glances. No attracting. No lust.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24. It is time to break away from our besetting sins and become wholly married to God. Then He will come back and claim us as His own.
The Lord is waiting to reproduce His character in us and to reproduce His home in ours; to establish His sanctuary in our midst. “And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, [they will have sanctified homes], when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” Ezekiel 37:28. When the sanctuary is reproduced in our homes and in our church, then Christ “will come to claim His own.”