1. A MAN AND A WOMAN
a. When did God celebrate the first marriage? Genesis 1:27; 2:21, 22.
“God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. ‘Marriage is honorable’ (Hebrews 13:4); it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the Fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 46.
b. At what occasion did Jesus perform His first miracle? John 2:1–10.
“Jesus did not begin His ministry by some great work before the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. At a household gathering in a little Galilean village His power was put forth to add to the joy of a wedding feast. Thus He showed His sympathy with men, and His desire to minister to their happiness. In the wilderness of temptation He Himself had drunk the cup of woe. He came forth to give to men the cup of blessing, by His benediction to hallow the relations of human life.—The Desire of Ages, p. 144.
“At the first feast He attended with His disciples, Jesus gave them the cup that symbolized His work for their salvation. At the last supper He gave it again, in the institution of that sacred rite by which His death was to be shown forth ‘till He come.’ ”—Ibid., p. 149.
2. LEAVE AND CLEAVE
a. What divine principle was written for a happy marriage? Genesis 2:24.
“Around each family there is a sacred circle that should be kept unbroken. Within this circle no other person has a right to come. Let not the husband or the wife permit another to share the confidences that belong solely to themselves. Let each give love rather than exact it. Cultivate what is noblest in yourselves, and be quick to recognize the good qualities in each other.”—The Faith I live By, p. 252.
b. How can two different people live in full harmony? Colossians 1:27, 28.
“If the will of God is fulfilled, the husband and wife will respect each other and cultivate love and confidence. Anything that would mar the peace and unity of the family should be firmly repressed, and kindness and love should be cherished. He who manifests the spirit of tenderness, forbearance, and love will find that the same spirit will be reflected upon him. Where the Spirit of God reigns, there will be no talk of unsuitability in the marriage relation. If Christ indeed is formed within, the hope of glory, there will be union and love in the home. Christ abiding in the heart of the wife will be at agreement with Christ abiding in the heart of the husband. They will be striving together for the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him.”—The Adventist Home, p. 120.
c. What are some additional principles given for edifying the family relationship? Ephesians 5:33.
“Let each give love rather than exact it. Cultivate that which is noblest in yourselves, and be quick to recognize the good qualities in each other. The consciousness of being appreciated is a wonderful stimulus and satisfaction. Sympathy and respect encourage the striving after excellence, and love itself increases as it stimulates to nobler aims. . . .
“Make Christ first and last and best in everything. As your love for Him becomes deeper and stronger, your love for each other will be purified and strengthened.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 361.
3. GOD HATES DIVORCE
a. What fundamental principle was declared by the Lord Jesus concerning the perpetuity of the marriage relation? Matthew 19:4–8.
“When the Pharisees afterward questioned Him concerning the lawfulness of divorce, Jesus pointed His hearers back to the marriage institution as ordained at creation. [Matthew 19:8 quoted.] He referred them to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things ‘very good.’ Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity. Then, as the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, saying, A man shall ‘leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one’ (Genesis 2:24), He enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time. That which the Eternal Father Himself had pronounced good was the law of highest blessing and development for man.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 63, 64.
b. What did God declare through Malachi regarding unfaithfulness in marriage? Malachi 2:12–16.
c. In case of divorce, what instruction did the Lord give through the apostle Paul? Romans 7:1–3; 1 Corinthians 7:10–15.
“If the wife is an unbeliever and an opposer, the husband cannot, in view of the law of God, put her away on this ground alone. In order to be in harmony with the law of Jehovah, he must abide with her, unless she chooses of herself to depart. He may suffer opposition and be oppressed and annoyed in many ways; he will find his comfort and his strength and support from God, who is able to give grace for every emergency. He should be a man of pure mind, of truly decided, firm principles, and God will give him wisdom in regard to the course which he should pursue.”— Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, pp. 158, 159.
“Now, as in Christ’s day, the condition of society presents a sad comment upon heaven’s ideal of this sacred relation. Yet even for those who have found bitterness and disappointment where they had hoped for companionship and joy, the gospel of Christ offers a solace.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 65.
4. TIMES OF RESTORATION
a. What is God’s purpose for His people in these last days? Isaiah 58:12–14.
“The prophet here describes a people who, in a time of general departure from truth and righteousness, are seeking to restore the principles that are the foundation of the kingdom of God. They are repairers of a breach that has been made in God’s law—the wall that He has placed around His chosen ones for their protection, and obedience to whose precepts of justice, truth, and purity is to be their perpetual safeguard. . . .
“In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired. God’s remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue. Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to cooperate with Him in building up the waste places. They are to be repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in.”—Prophets and Kings, pp. 677, 678.
b. Besides the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, name two other divine institutions that need to be restored—and why. 1) Marriage (Genesis 1:26, 27; Matthew 19:9). 2) The Original Diet (Genesis 1:29; Isaiah 22:12–14: the Day of Atonement).
“[In Eden] marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 63.
“What of the marriage relation today? Is it not perverted and defiled, made even as it was in Noah’s day? Divorce after divorce is recorded in the daily papers. This is the marriage of which Christ speaks when He says that before the flood they were ‘marrying and giving in marriage.’ ”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, p. 56.
“Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 202.
“The true fasting which should be recommended to all, is abstinence from every stimulating kind of food, and the proper use of wholesome simple food, which God has provided in abundance.”—Medical Ministry, p. 283.
5. TIMES OF RESTORATION (CONTINUED)
a. What is preceded and followed in the process of restoration? Acts 3:19–21.
“When there shall be a ‘restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’ (Acts 3:21), the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as ‘from one Sabbath to another’ (Isaiah 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 769, 770.
“Men need to think less about what they shall eat and drink of temporal food, and much more in regard to the food from heaven, that will give tone and vitality to the whole religious experience.”—Medical Ministry, p. 283.
“In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. . . . Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator.”—Child Guidance, p. 380.
“[John the Baptist] was a representative of those living in these last days, to whom God has entrusted sacred truths to present before the people, to prepare the way for the second appearing of Christ. John was a reformer. . . .
“John separated himself from friends, and from the luxuries of life. The simplicity of his dress, a garment woven of camel’s hair, was a standing rebuke to the extravagance and display of the Jewish priests, and of the people generally. His diet, purely vegetable, of locusts and wild honey, was a rebuke to the indulgence of appetite, and the gluttony that everywhere prevailed.”—Counsels on Health, p. 72.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is the biblical standard of marriage?
2. Explain the secrets of a happy marriage.
3. Where does the Bible make it clear that marriage is for life?
4. What vital institutions must we restore from Eden before Christ’s return?
5. How is our work similar to that of John the Baptist?