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    Chapter 18—Heaven Can Begin Now

    Heaven in Heart and Home—[Our Saviour] wants us to trust in Him, believing His words so fully that we shall bring heaven into our lives here below. We can make heaven in heart and home as we pass along if our lives are hid with Christ in God. Thus we can bring joy and comfort into the lives of others. Christ's joy will remain in us, and our joy will be full.—Ms 28, 1901 quoted in Sermons and Talks 2, 147.Hvn 167.1

    Kingdom of Grace Being Established—The kingdom of God's grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. “The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,” is to be given to “the people of the saints of the Most High.” Daniel 7:27. They shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them “from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34. And Christ will take to Himself His great power and will reign.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 108.Hvn 167.2

    Heaven in Their Hearts—To His faithful followers Christ has been a daily companion and familiar friend. They have lived in close contact, in constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen. In them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has been reflected. Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and glory of the King in His majesty. They are prepared for the communion of heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts.—Christ's Object Lessons, 421.Hvn 168.1

    The Sweetest Type of Heaven—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.—Testimonies for the Church 3:539.Hvn 168.2

    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.—The Signs of the Times, June 20, 1911 quoted in The Adventist Home, 15.Hvn 168.3

    A Pleasant and Cheerful Home Can Be Heaven on Earth—Parents, make your home a little heaven on earth. You can do this, if you so choose. You can make home so pleasant and cheerful that it will be the most attractive place on earth to your children. Let them receive all the blessings of the household. You can so relate yourselves to God that His Spirit will abide in your home. Come close to the bleeding side of the Man of Calvary. Those who are partakers with Him in His sufferings will at last be partakers with Him in His glory.—Ms 77, 1902 quoted in Peter's Counsel to Parents, 31.Hvn 168.4

    Our Institutions Can Be Heaven on Earth—As sons and daughters of God, and members of the royal family, we are to learn of Him daily, that we may do His will and represent His character. The love of God received into the heart is an active power for good. It quickens the faculties of the mind and the powers of the soul; it enlarges the capacity for feeling, for loving. He who loves God supremely will love all the children of God. He will ever approach them with a respectful demeanor. And whatever his position of trust, his own considerate courtesy will win for him confidence and respect.Hvn 169.1

    If this spirit pervaded our institutions, leading everyone to manifest toward his fellow-workers a love that is without dissimulation, these institutions would be a representation of heaven on earth. They would be a perpetual testimony to the world of what sanctifying truth can do when practiced by the receiver. Every man desires that this love may be exercised toward himself; and God calls upon him to reveal the same spirit toward others.—Ms 18, 1896 quoted in The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 1356, 1357.Hvn 169.2

    Heaven Begins Here—As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, Come, learn of Me, and in thus coming we begin the life eternal. Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. As we walk with Jesus in this life, we may be filled with His love, satisfied with His presence. All that human nature can bear, we may receive here.—The Desire of Ages, 331, 332.Hvn 170.1

    When the Lord's people are filled with meekness and tenderness, they will realize that His banner over them is love, and His fruit will be sweet to their taste. They will make a heaven below in which to prepare for heaven above.—Testimonies for the Church 7:131.Hvn 170.2

    Heaven is to begin on this earth....Hvn 170.3

    He who receives Christ by living faith has a living connection with God.... He carries with him the atmosphere of heaven, which is the grace of God, a treasure that the world cannot buy.Hvn 170.4

    If you would be a saint in heaven, you must first be a saint on earth.—Letter 18b, 1891 quoted in Sons and Daughters of God, 112.Hvn 170.5

    “His servants shall serve Him.” Revelation 22:3. The life on earth is the beginning of the life in heaven; education on earth is an initiation into the principles of heaven; the lifework here is a training for the lifework there. What we now are, in character and holy service, is the sure foreshadowing of what we shall be.Hvn 170.6

    “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” Matthew 20:28. Christ's work below is His work above, and our reward for working with Him in this world will be the greater power and wider privilege of working with Him in the world to come.Hvn 171.1

    “Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.” Isaiah 43:12. This also we shall be in eternity.—Education, 307, 308.Hvn 171.2

    The happiness of heaven will be found by conforming to the will of God, and if men become members of the royal family in heaven, it will be because heaven has begun with them on earth.... The righteous will take every grace, every precious, sanctified ability, into the courts above, and exchange earth for heaven. God knows who are the loyal and true subjects of His kingdom on earth, and those who do His will upon earth as it is done in heaven, will be made the members of the royal family above.—Sons and Daughters of God, 361.Hvn 171.3

    Heaven Begins in the Soul—Heaven begins in the soul, and as heavenly-mindedness increases, Christ is more and more appreciated, and finally becomes the Chiefest among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely....Hvn 171.4

    If we would see heaven, we must have heaven below. We must have a heaven to go to heaven in. We must have heaven in our families, through Christ continually approaching unto God. Christ is the great center of attraction, and the child of God hid in Christ, meets with God, and is lost in the divine being. Prayer is the life of the soul; it is feeding on Christ; it is turning our faces fully toward the Sun of Righteousness. As we turn our faces toward Him, He turns His face toward us. He longs to give us divine grace; and as we draw nigh to God with full assurance of faith, our spiritual conceptions are quickened. We do not then walk in blindness, bemoaning our spiritual barrenness; for by diligent, prayerful searching of the Word of God, we apply His rich promises unto our souls. Angels draw close to our side, and the enemy with his manifold devices is driven back.—The Signs of the Times, July 31, 1893.Hvn 171.5

    As our Redeemer leads us to the threshold of the Infinite, flushed with the glory of God, we may catch the themes of praise and thanksgiving from the heavenly choir round about the throne; and as the echo of the angels’ song is awakened in our earthly homes, hearts will be drawn closer to the heavenly singers. Heaven's communion begins on earth. We learn here the keynote of its praise.—Education, 168.Hvn 172.1

    Life-Giving Fruit Ours Through Christ—The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality. But through man's disobedience, death entered the world. Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which he had been forbidden to touch. His transgression opened the floodgates of woe upon our race.Hvn 172.2

    After the entrance of sin, the heavenly Husbandman transplanted the tree of life to the Paradise above; but its branches hang over the wall to the lower world. Through the redemption purchased by the blood of Christ, we may still eat of its life-giving fruit.Hvn 172.3

    Of Christ it is written, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” He is the fountain of life. Obedience to Him is the life-giving power that gladdens the soul.Hvn 173.1

    Christ declares: “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” [John 6:57, 63; Revelation 2:7, last part, quoted].—The Signs of the Times, March 31, 1909 quoted in The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 7:988, 989.Hvn 173.2

    Bible Study Brings Heaven to Church—Christ and His Word are in perfect harmony. Received and obeyed, they open a sure path for the feet of all who are willing to walk in the light as Christ is in the light. If the people of God would appreciate His Word, we should have a heaven in the church here below. Christians would be eager, hungry, to search the Word. They would be anxious for time to compare scripture with scripture and to meditate upon the Word. They would be more eager for the light of the Word than for the morning paper, magazines, or novels. Their greatest desire would be to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. And as a result their lives would be conformed to the principles and promises of the Word. Its instruction would be to them as the leaves of the tree of life. It would be in them a well of water, springing up into everlasting life. Refreshing showers of grace would refresh and revive the soul, causing them to forget all toil and weariness. They would be strengthened and encouraged by the words of inspiration.Hvn 173.3

    Ministers would be inspired with divine faith. Their prayers would be characterized by earnestness, filled with the divine assurance of truth. Weariness would be forgotten in the sunlight of heaven. Truth would be interwoven with their lives, and its heavenly principles would be as a fresh, running stream, constantly satisfying the soul.—Testimonies for the Church 8:193.Hvn 173.4

    By Faith We May Stand on the Threshold—What sustained the Son of God during His life of toil and sacrifice? He saw the results of the travail of His soul and was satisfied. Looking into eternity, He beheld the happiness of those who through His humiliation had received pardon and everlasting life. His ear caught the shout of the redeemed. He heard the ransomed ones singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.Hvn 174.1

    We may have a vision of the future, the blessedness of heaven. In the Bible are revealed visions of the future glory, scenes pictured by the hand of God, and these are dear to His church. By faith we may stand on the threshold of the eternal city, and hear the gracious welcome given to those who in this life cooperate with Christ, regarding it as an honor to suffer for His sake.—The Acts of the Apostles, 601.Hvn 174.2

    God is not pleased to have His people hanging dark and painful pictures in memory's hall. He would have every soul plucking the roses and the lilies and the pinks, hanging memory's hall with the precious promises of God blooming all over the garden of God. He would have us dwelling upon them, our senses sharp and clear, taking them in their full richness, talking of the joy that is set before us. He would have us living in the world, yet not of it, our affections taking hold of eternal things. He would have us talking of the things which He has prepared for those that love Him. This will attract our minds, awaken our hopes and expectations, and strengthen our souls to endure the conflicts and trials of this life. As we dwell on these scenes the Lord will encourage our faith and confidence. He will draw aside the veil and give us glimpses of the saints’ inheritance.—Ms 24, 1888 quoted in Selected Messages 3:163, 164.Hvn 174.3

    Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave—not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours. Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal.—The Desire of Ages, 388.Hvn 175.1

    A Foretaste for the Humble—We need Jesus abiding in the heart, a constant living wellspring; then the streams flowing from the living fountain will be pure, sweet, and heavenly. Then the foretaste of heaven will be given to the humble in heart.—Letter 37, 1887 quoted in Counsels to Writers and Editors, 81.Hvn 175.2

    Christ in The Soul Is Heaven—Rest yourself wholly in the hands of Jesus. Contemplate His great love, and while you meditate upon His self-denial, His infinite sacrifice made in our behalf in order that we should believe in Him, your heart will be filled with holy joy, calm peace, and indescribable love. As we talk of Jesus, as we call upon Him in prayer, our confidence that He is our personal, loving Saviour will strengthen, and His character will appear more and more lovely.... We may enjoy rich feasts of love, and as we fully believe that we are His by adoption, we may have a foretaste of heaven.Hvn 175.3

    Wait upon the Lord in faith. The Lord draws out the soul in prayer, and gives us to feel His precious love. We have a nearness to Him, and can hold sweet communion with Him. We obtain distinct views of His tenderness and compassion, and our hearts are broken and melted with contemplation of the love that is given to us. We feel indeed an abiding Christ in the soul.... Our peace is like a river, wave after wave of glory rolls into the heart, and indeed we sup with Jesus and He with us. We have a realizing sense of the love of God, and we rest in His love. No language can describe it, it is beyond knowledge. We are one with Christ, our life is hid with Christ in God. We have the assurance that when He who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory. With strong confidence, we can call God our Father. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. His Spirit makes us like Jesus Christ in temper, and disposition, and we represent Christ to others.Hvn 176.1

    When Christ is abiding in the soul the fact cannot be hid; for He is like a well of water springing up into everlasting life. We can but represent the likeness of Christ in our character, and our words, our deportment, produces in others a deep, abiding, increasing love for Jesus, and we make manifest ... that we are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.—Letter 52, 1894 quoted in Sons and Daughters of God, 311.Hvn 176.2

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