Relationship Series, #2

The Cancer of Isolation

 

This morning I would like to continue our series on relationships that we began last Sunday. I believe of all the things I have ever preached that are pastoral in nature, this series will do the most to help us in our homes to understand and develop our relationships.

 

As you know, last week we began our series by focusing on the wedding ceremony as Brother Branham gave it. He also said in the message Flashing Red Light,      Notice, there is nothing that God could give a man outside of salvation better than a nice wife. There's no man can console, no person can console a person when they're tired; they'll won't confide in anyone like they do their own wife. And what a fortunate thing you brothers are when you've got a nice little wife that's clean, and upright, and moral, and you can come in when you're tired and weary and set down, and she can talk to you. She can do more with you than anybody else. That's right. She's a jewel; she's a queen.”  

 

It was once said, “Getting married is easy, staying married is difficult. Staying happily married for a lifetime would be considered among the fine arts.”

 

Last week we took our text from the wedding ceremony which Brother Branham used, where he said, “It is therefore not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but advisably, soberly, and in the fear of God.

 

We focused our thoughts on these three main points which he said, being advisably, soberly, and in the fear of God.

 

We found to enter into marriage,  advisably, means that you are to seek advice, counsel or the opinion of someone who is knowledgeable, if you are serious about establishing and maintaining a harmonious relationship with someone for the next 70-80 years of your life.  Therefore you had better know what it takes to make that relationship work. If marriage is to be entered into advisably, then it can not be entered into without preparing for it.

 

Secondly he said,   it (marriage)  must be entered into soberly, meaning to be temperate, not extreme, but serious, solemn, grave and sedate.  Not bright, garish or flashy, but with quietness, plainness, and in self control.  In other words, well thought out, having your mind, your emotions, and your flesh under control. These are not attributes of an immature person. These attributes suggest someone who is mature and thoughtful.

 

The third point brother Branham brings out is,  it (marriage)  must be entered into in the fear of God. And according to God’s own word, “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: In Proverbs 1:7 we read,   The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

 

If we want to have a marriage that lasts, one that is focused, and that is entered into with understanding and prudence, then we need to enter marriage “in the fear of the Lord.”

 

 

As we began our series last week we also examined the word relationship and found that it comes from the root word relation, or relations. Webster tells us the word relationship deals with the connection of persons by blood or marriage, and uses the word kinship to express this relationship. Therefore in this series when we are speaking of relationship, we will be speaking of family.

 

We found the same thing applies in having a relationship to God. From the message, “Is Your Life Worthy of the Gospel” Brother Branham said, “Christians, oh, you must have a personal relationship to God. In order to be a son of God, you must become relation to God. He must be your Father in order for you to be a son. And only His sons and daughters are saved, not the members of a church, but sons and daughters. There's only thing--one thing that will produce that; that's the new birth. The new birth is the only thing that will produce relationship to God.”

 

We found that relationship is not the same as fellowship. These are two different words. According to Webster and Brother Branham, relationship has to do with family access, or family connectivity,  where as fellowship is something altogether different. Fellowship has to do with sharing things in common, But what we found last week  is it takes relationship to give you true fellowship. And the focus of every family here this morning, should be to have true fellowship with your spouse, your children, your siblings, because,  there is nothing better in life than for a man and wife to be able to share their life with each other.

 

In the Message God’s Provided Way, brother Branham said, “We enter into fellowship through relationship, by being borned of the Holy Spirit,…

 

 

And in Ephesians 2:18     For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father

Access into fellowship. That is what marriage and relationships are all about.  Access into fellowship. Access into sharing. Access into love.

 

And yet why do we see so many marriages falter. Why do we see so many marriages die a slow death.

 

In Matthew 13: 22 Jesus told us,  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

 

Now, to be choked is not sudden death. No, death sets in rather slowly and harshly through suffocating, it begins to die for lack of something, and that is exactly how so many marriages have ended in the big “D” for Death by Divorce. And since this is the hour for the great  Divorce, when God has Divorced the church because she has cut herself off  from Him and His Life, it should only seem fitting that the manifestation of this divorce and separation, would become manifested in the lives of so many people today.  He said, I used to know you as my wife, but I do not know you as my wife any more… And thus cut off from Him she dies.

 

We read in Ephesians 4:17    This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having their understanding darkened, they become alienated  from the life of God through (there’s your conduit) through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  19  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  20  But ye have not so learned Christ;  Notice, they have become alienated, separated, set apart, that means excluded.

 

Now this is a terrible condition to be in, but this is the same atmosphere we find the majority of marriages in today. Married yet lonely. Married yet isolated.  Married, yet separated from the fellowship of sharing a life together.

 

The more I study on this subject of marriage, The more I am convinced that the neurotic condition brother Branham spoke to us about seems to be the main reason for the high amount of disintegration in marriages today. If you remember, the cares of this life seem to engulf the people. That is the beginning’s of neurosis.

 

I TIMOTHY 6:10   For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.   11    But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

 

It is a known fact among marriage counselor’s today that nearly 85% of all marriage dissolution’s occurs because of  money problems. Therefore, the cares of this life begins the whole down hill spiral. The people get so caught up in the cares of this life, that it just takes over the marriage. This brings about compulsive behavior,  which in turn, leads to  possessive behavior, which brings about fear which in turn brings forth depression and finally disassociation. And then at this point death has taken it’s toll.  

 

The following story was published by a San Jose Patrolman  Dave Johnson in a Book called “The Light Behind the Star”.   I could see a couple standing in the yard of a home. A woman was crying and yelling at the man, who was standing with his hands in the pockets of his greasy overalls. I could see homemade tattoos on his arms-usually a sign of having been in prison.

   Walking toward the two, I heard the woman demanding that he fix whatever he had done to the car so she could leave. He responded only with a contemptuous laugh.

   She turned to me and asked if I would make him fix the car. The other officer came forward, and we separated the couple to find a solution to the problem.

   I began talking to  the man, who told me his wife was having an affair and was leaving him. I asked if they had gone for counseling, and he said he wasn’t interested. He said he was interested in only getting back his “things”, which he said she had hidden from him.

   I asked the wife about his things and she said she wouldn’t give them to him until she got one of the VCR's. She said she wanted only one of the three VCR’s they owned.

   The other officer walked over to the wife’s car and looked under the hood to see if he could fix the trouble. The husband walked over, took the coil wire out of  his pocket, and handed it to the officer. He then told his wife that she could have a VCR if he could have his things.  She finally agreed and went into the house. (I found out later that his things were narcotics he was dealing in.)

   As the wife entered the house, I noticed two little girls standing in the doorway, watching the drama unfold. They were about eight and ten years old. Both wore dresses and each clung to a Cabbage patch doll. At their feet were two small suitcases. My eyes couldn’t leave their faces as they watched the two people they loved the most tear at each other.

   The woman emerged with the VCR in her arms and went to the car where she put it on the crowded back seat. She turned and told her husband where he could find his things. They agreed to divide their other possessions equally.

   Then, as I watched in disbelief, the husband pointed to the two little girls and said, “Well, which one do you want?” with no apparent emotion, the mother chose the older one. The girls looked at each other, then the older daughter walked out and climbed into the car. The smaller girl, still clutching her Cabbage Patch doll in one hand and her suitcase in the other, watched in bewilderment as her sister and mother drove off. I saw tears streaming down her face. The only “comfort” she received was an order from her father to go back into the house, as he turned to go talk with some friends. 

He concludes this story by saying,      There I stood…the unwilling witness to the death of a family.”

 

Why did  this family die? Was it drugs? The husbands criminal background? Was it the anger and hatred? No! All these things may have been involved, but the look on the little girls face said it all.  What Dave Johnson saw was the pain filled eyes of a little girl who over the years  had watched a creeping separateness distance her parents from each other. That family died from a disease which infects millions of marriages today, a disease called isolation. Notice it is isolation or disassociation which is the last attribute of neurosis before the all consuming conversion or change takes place. The big “D”, divorce.

 

Why did brother Branham use those three points in the wedding ceremony? Because unless you are willing to enter marriage advisably, soberly,  and in the fear of God, your marriage is destined to naturally move toward this state of isolation.  What does this mean? You have got to enter marriage with a plan, and not just any plan will do. You have got to enter this marriage with God’s plan for that marriage. After all, he is the author of marriage. It is He that said, GENESIS 2:18   And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. GENESIS 2:21    And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;  22    And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  23    And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  24    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 

 

Now this word cleave means to stick together, to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to, overtake, catch  So we see it was God Himself that said, it is not good for man to dwell alone, therefore, I will institute marriage for the purpose of having someone by his side always.

 

But what causes this isolation, this separation, this exclusion or alienation that takes place in marriages today?  When you are excluded you have a feeling of distance, a lack of closeness, and very little intimacy. You can share the same ship, but have no fellowship. You can sleep in the same bed, eat at the same table, parent the same children, and still be alone, and isolated, alienated and cut off.  The sad thing is that people don’t marry thinking they will be lonely. It’s just the opposite. People marry to fill that void of loneliness. They marry to share their lives together. But what has happened to bring about this void called alienation or isolation? 

 

PROVERBS 14:12    There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.    13       Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth [is] heaviness.

 

I do not believe that any one intentionally wants their marriage to turn sour. Nor do I believe that any one would intentionally do that which leads to death. But man has a propensity too often to try to work out their problems on their own, without the help of God.  If we are to have a marriage that one which God Himself ordained, then we must have a blueprint to follow. How can we try to produce on our own a marriage which is something that God has ordained. Wouldn’t it seem a little ridiculous to leave out the author of marriage from the planning of our own? I mean, if He ordained and established marriage, then wouldn’t He also be the one who designed how marriage should be lived out. And if He designed marriage for man to fulfill that emptiness in man, to fulfill that loneliness in man, to take that loneliness away, don’t you think that He wouldn’t also have a plan to keep that marriage together?

 

COLOSSIANS 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  17    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  And this word consist means, 1) to place together, to set in the same place, to bring or band  together; 2) to set one with another 3) to put together by way of composition or combination, to teach by combining and comparing, hence to show, prove,  establish,

 

Therefore, if any marriage is to stay together, it has to be put together by way of composition, and it has to be done by God Himself.  He does have a plan for your life, and he has someone to share that plan with. 

 

Now, then, we are looking at two things here. First, to have a marriage that will last we must go tot he source of that marriage for our answers. And secondly, when we try to do so on our own, we should know by now that we are bound to fail.

 

We know that the number one killer is heart disease. At least it has been so for the past 40 years. We know that this is a sign of the end-time. LUKE 21:25   And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;    26    Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  27    And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.   28    And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. 

 

In the message,  BALM IN GILEAD  59-0614 Brother Branham said, And now, we hear so much today about heart disease. They say that heart trouble is the number one killer in America. Heart trouble isn't the number one killer; it's sin that's the number one killer in America. Sin is what does the killing. 

 

And I would like to ask, what is sin? It’s unbelief!

 

Dr. James Lynch, a specialist in Psychosomatic diseases at the University of Maryland, wrote a book called, “The Broken Heart: The Medical Consequences of Loneliness”, based on the premise that heart disease is connected with a lack of human companionship. He said, “Almost every segment of our society seems to be deeply afflicted by one of the major diseases of our age – human loneliness.” “The price we are paying for our failure to understand our biological needs for love and human companionship may be ultimately exacted in our own hearts and blood vessels.  The old saying, “He died of a broken heart may be more true than you think.”  The health of your own heart depends on the amount of Love to that heart.

 

Man was not created to live alone. After all, if God Himself longed for companionship and fellowship, how much more mere man?  So to desire for your lonely heart to be fulfilled with companionship is not an unnatural thing. But as I said before, if God planned it that way, and He made us to crave companionship, and He gave us a means to fulfill this craving, then would He not also give us a way to keep that fulfillment?

 

From the message, Reconciliation Through Fellowship, brother Branham said, Notice...Fellowship, God wanting to fellowship with man, always wanted to do it. The Old Testament, all of it was full of the shed blood. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." And where there's no remission of sin there's no fellowship. You've got to get away from sin before you can every have fellowship with God, 'cause God can't fellowship with sin. So you're borned a sinner, shaped in iniquity, come to the world speaking lies, and how can you ever do it? You just might as well quit right now to begin with. You can't do it within yourself, but there is One Who died to bring you to fellowship, back not only to fellowship, but relationship with God, to make you sons and daughters of God. Died for that purpose, come here, proved Hisself Emanuel, omnipotent. And when an Omnipotent speaks, the miraculous happens.

 

 In the Magazine Psychology Today, Dr. Philip Zimbardo, professor at Stanford University, said, “I know of no more potent killer than isolation. There is no more destructive influence on physical and mental health than the isolation of you from me and us from them. Isolation has been shown to be the central agent in the development of depression, paranoia, schizophrenia, rape, suicide and mass murder.” “The devil’s strategy for our times is to trivialize human existence and to isolate us from one another while creating the delusion that reasons are time pressures, work demands, or economic anxieties.”

 

There’s your neurosis again. Oh, how I love it when God brings me into contact with things that verify and validate that these things are from God.

 

In his book, His Needs, Her Needs, Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. contends that meeting each others needs is the key to making your marriage happy and affair-proof. Dr. Harley, who directs a network of mental health clinics throughout the state of Minnesota, has had more than twenty years of experience in counseling hundreds of couples. He writes: Once a spouse lacks fulfillment of any basic need, it creates a thirst that must be quenched. If changes do not take place within the marriage to care for that need, the individual will face the powerful temptation to fill it outside of marriage.”  Notice how he speaks of these innate needs for fulfillment that create a thirst if not attended to. Did not brother Branham speak the same things to us when he said, “God places a thirst in man, and man tries to quench that thirst on his own?”

 

When we have needs which are not being met, this is a good indication that we have become isolated in our marriage at least in those certain area’s. But so many times we would rather slide into a state of isolation than to have to deal with the problem. Just like the person who has come from anxiety, through compulsion, and possession, fear depression, and into isolation or disassociation, those who slip into isolation do not do it because they want to be hurt, but rather they think there is solace and comfort  and safety in solitude. The “Peace of avoidance is better than the pain of dealing with reality”, but this form of death is very deceptive.

 

Isolation is not forced upon any married couple. We delude ourselves by the atmosphere we have set up in our homes. We create the delusion the we have time pressures, and work demands, and economic anxieties which lead us to believe that we are excused for our lack of interest in meeting the needs of our spouse. Every day we face choices that we must make and it is these choices we make that will either bring us into a further  blessing in our relationship, or will lead us into depression and eventual isolation.

 

As I have said before in the mini series I preached a few years ago called, “Home and the House of God,” And in the series entitles, “As a man Thinketh in His Heart,” you might remember where we found that the seeds of every  trial,  and every reaction we go through, is only the result of what we have already been sowing in our mind. It is our minds that get in the way of our having the most wonderful relationships. It is our minds that get tired, and look to find an easy way out. It is in our mind where we have the opportunity to take God’s provided way for our marriage or to take the way which only seems right for the moment. And it is in our mind where the atmosphere is created to either cause a wonderful harmonious relationship to exist or destructive isolation to occur.  It all begins in our minds. 

 

We know that this is the hour when the church ends up in divorce-ment because she isolates herself from the Groom, Jesus Christ the Word. He’s on the outside knocking, trying to gain entrance but she won’t open the door. Oh, how I hope you see that this is the spirit of the age. Don’t get caught up into that or your marriage to one another and your marriage to Him will end up on the ash heap of history. It’s time to arise and shake ourselves. Pinch yourself to make sure you are awake. Remember, Brother Branham taught us to look at the women and you will see the condition of the church.

 

From the Message, I WILL RESTORE, brother Branham said, “not only among the Pentecostal denominations, but all denominations, this great palmerworm has broke down brotherhood. It's did it with the Lutherans. It's did it with the Baptists. It's did it with the Presbyterians. It's did it with the Nazarenes. It's did it with the Pentecostals. It's always been that old worm in there to make them isolate themselves. "We got it. You ain't got nothing." What a pity. He goes on to say   .. And did you notice it's the same insect all the way down. Now, this old devil cankerworm has come in, and he crawls in the skin too, you know, cankers you up. Once they ever find a little thing and when he does, it don't make any difference what somebody else tries to say, he will just hold to that, and he will isolate his little group into something, "but this is this." Brother, it ain't, "This is this."; this is "that."

 

     WHY SOME PEOPLE CAN'T KEEP VICTORY   So it takes the baptism of the Holy Ghost to come into that human heart there to make the thing run right. The love of God, God is love. And unless each one of these gifts is put right in the center of love, it'll become selfish and indifferent, and pull itself off, and isolate itself, and cross over, and fuss and stew. But when it's anchored right into the middle of love, it'll fellowship everywhere. And that's right. That's exactly what we need. The church is dying for love, brother.

 

HEAR YE HIM  But you'll never isolate yourself and get anything from God,

 

Eric Fromm once said, “To feel completely alone and isolated leads to mental disintegration just as physical starvation leads to death.

 

 

 

As you fill out this questionnaire, be completely honest and ask yourself, when I do any of the following of these activities, do we both participate (husband and wife together) or do we seem to have our own way of doing these things apart.

 

 

Areas of relationship

Isolated

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

Intimacy

6

Spiritual  Growth and Togetherness

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finances

 

 

 

 

 

 

Problem Solving

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rearing our children

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goals for our Marriage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Physical Intimacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotional intimacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resisting stress and pressures

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recreation and friendships

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grocery shopping