Relationship Series, #3

Neurosis In The Marriage


This morning I would like to continue our series on relationships. Last week as you know we touched on the cancer of isolation in a relationship. A couple years ago, we had seen how that isolation or “dis-association” was the next to the last stage in the neurotic condition which brother Branham had spoke of in the message Christ Revealed in His Own Word.  If you will remember, he had said,


19 And to see this nervous age that we're living in... And last week's tapes, I think, will reveal to you the great hideous things that we're going to speak on one of these days when we can get a place sufficient, of the opening of those last plagues to be poured out upon the earth--those Vials, rather, pouring out of the Vials, and the Seven Thunders... And those hideous sights that's coming upon the earth... Now, before we go any further, I want you to notice how Brother Branham speaks of the nervous age we live in, then he tells us this nervousness is because we are about to approach the opening of the vials which are the plagues to be poured out upon mankind. He goes on to further define this nervous condition.  He says,  20 Men now and people today are in such a neurotic condition, the whole world.  And then a few sentences later he defines further this neurotic condition as follows,  It's come to a place where the whole nation, the whole world, not only this nation, but everywhere, mentally gone.


So we see that neurosis is a mental condition that develops to where the people don’t act right. They become controlled by impulses rather than rational behavior,  and I would like to prove today, that this neurotic condition is also what tears away at the marriage until the marriage dies a slow death.


He said, It's come to a place where the whole nation, the whole world, not only this nation, but everywhere, mentally gone… Just as neurosis develops to the condition of dis-association, and then from there, it comes to it’s final stage or complete expression, which is  called conversion, so to does the marriage that is falling apart come to it’s final stage of isolation before the bid “D” divorce, takes place.


Now, in order to understand more deeply how to keep a marriage relationship healthy and full of life, we need to know what things causes it to fall apart. I believe the same stages that we saw in the development of neurosis also apply in the death of a marriage, and the death of family.  You will remember, the seven stages of neurosis are as follows. #1) Anxiety, compulsion, obsession, phobia, depression, disassociation and finally conversion which means at this point you are totally a neurotic.


During our study we found how each attribute is linked to the previous attribute as though these are not just individual attributes which make up the behavioral condition of the neurotic, but rather they are stages in the full development of neurosis.


We found scriptural evidence for these six characteristics of neurosis prophesied for the end-time hour. In our study we have found anxiety was the main condition that is manifested in the end-time, and all these other characteristics come forth as a result of anxiety. Now, anxiety  is spoken of in the scriptures mostly in reference to the cares of this life. Satan  took advantage of the curse placed upon man by God after the fall in the garden. This fall resulted in man having to sweat and toil for a living and since the ground was cursed, man does not always know what will his labors will produce, and it is this uncertainty that leads to anxiety.  Therefore, anxiety is a condition which actually comes forth as a reflection of man’s lack of faith, or lack of trust in God, and therefore he tries to take his own life into his own hands. 


In [Proverbs 16: 9] we read, “A mans heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth His footsteps” and therefore our labor and toil and everything else is in the hands of God. That is why we Paul said in [Romans 8:31] “If God be for us who can be against us.” But it is Satan’s purpose to gain control of our minds, and he does this by bringing you under his influence, thus into bondage to himself.


[John 8: 34] Jesus said, “he that committeth sin is the servant of sin.” And we know that sin is unbelief. Therefore, “he that disbelieves is the servant of his unbelief.” Now, just think about that for a moment, because we will come back to this later on this morning. “he that disbelieves is the servant of his unbelief.”


In [2 Peter 2: 19] we read, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. Therefore, when we are overcome by a certain influence, we thus become in bondage to that influence. And if that influence is our lack of faith and trust, in other words, our unbelief, then we come into bondage of that unbelief. This bondage then,  is a result of an influence that begins with anxiety. The Devil has laid out a snare or trap for every one in the whole world. And that snare or trap is in the guise of the economy. He knows that people have to make a living. He has known that since the curse that was placed upon man for his disobedience in the garden.  In fact he was responsible for that curse being placed upon man. And so then we see that he took advantage of that situation and he has manipulated man into a wrong focus again.


Therefore, we see the influence that Satan has upon the people. He has blinded them by material prosperity. In [Rev 3: 17]  we see that the predominant spirit of this age is that man is so consumed with his material possessions that he is blind to his spiritual condition. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:


In [Luke 21: 26] we read  Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:   Now, is it the looking that causes the heart to fail? No! But it is the fear which brings about this heart condition. Why? Because fear has a penalty. It stops you in your forward movement as it stopped Joseph for a while in taking Mary to be his wife.


If we examine  Luke 21: 34 we read,   And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with excessive over indulgence, and cares of this life, [so] that day come upon you unawares.   35    For as a snare (a trap)  shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.  (The what are we told to do?) He says, 36    Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


Satan used the economy and life style as a trap to not only catch you off guard, but he uses it to give you another focus, a wrong focus just like he did with Eve back in the garden. This then, because it is of his design, brings you under his influence. And once under his influence he then step by step brings you under his full control.  He did it to Eve, he got her to step out from the protection of the Word and once he did death set in. The day you eat thereof, is the day you die.  We see then, how the cares of this life begins to turn our focus from a Christ Centered one to the place of  coming under a wrong influence all because of  our anxiety concerning the things which MIGHT happen concerning the cares of this life.


Notice, in Luke 21, Jesus warns us of what is to happen, but tells us to keep focused, He says, 36    Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things.


People today are beginning to see the judgments coming, whether it be Y2K, the next depression, the nation going broke, the new world order, etc. They see these things coming, but in focusing on them they are completely missing the Lord Who has come down from heaven with a shout. And so we see the condition of the church is looking at the “what ifs”, and they are missing their deliverance from those things.  And so to this happens in Marriage. People begin to look outside the marriage for those things they are not getting fulfilled in the marriage.


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, 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?”


In the book of Luke we see Jesus warning us that people will be focused on the very trap and delusion, instead of the way out of it.  When he says, Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things, He is telling us that by watching, which actually means to be without sleep, or don’t be found sleeping, and actually means that you should to be observant. Then after you have paid close attention to what it is that is coming, then you need to pray about it. Pray about what you are observing, and you will find the way of escape.  And that way of escape, is to be standing in the presence of the Son of Man.


Now, sometimes, Satan will make those cares of life more real to you than the promises of God will appear to be. Yet Jesus commanded us to “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and ALL the things  you have need of will be added unto you.”  Therefore,  instead of looking at the trap, we should be looking for a way to avoid the trap. And so we found that by having a wrong focus to begin with leads us only further into a wrong direction. By having a wrong focus we find ourselves becoming anxious over things, which we should not be. And when we focus all of our energies on these things, and we find ourselves getting caught up into finding our own way out of the dilemma. At this point we enter into COMPULSION which is irrational behavior, we then become obsessed by them and this becomes possession. Devil possession.


 [1 Peter 2: 19] tells us that “whatsoever we are overcome by we also become in bondage to as well.”


Now once this obsession takes over our being, we enter into the fourth characteristic of  neurosis is Phobias or fear. And Fear has a penalty according to [ 1 John 4: 18]    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment (punishment). He that feareth is not made perfect in love.


In [Hebrews 2: 15] we see that through fear we are made subject to bondage.  We found out that this fear and bondage has the effect of stopping any progressive movement in the things of God.  Joseph stopped in his tracks concerning Mary. He feared to take Mary to be his wife, and so God had to send His Angel to help Joseph overcome his fear. Next we found that fear leads to Depression which manifests in the fact that you don’t want to eat any more, and you begin to sleep. This sleeping shows that you are not focused on watching and praying, but you have closed your eyes to hope at this point. 


The death of hope is a terrible thing, because the life goes out of the person or marriage at that point. PROVERBS 13:12   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but [when] the desire cometh, [it is] a tree of life. And what is hope deferred? It is hope that has been laid aside, put off.  You see, Paul taught us in ROMANS 5:5 thathope maketh not ashamed;”  Hope makes us to be not confused and confounded.


But when people give up hope, they become depressed and quit eating. They shut off the Spiritual Food In Due Season. They quit eating from Gods Word and from His Message, and when this happens you become weak and sickly.   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.”   And we see the same things in a marriage.  Our isolation from one another comes about because of so many idle excuses. We use our jobs, or our schedule, or we allow the children or their schedules to cut into our time together to eat as a family, and to eat the spiritual Food in Due season, and pretty soon we have become isolated one from the other  in the things we eat.


 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.”

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 that we have time pressures, and work demands, and economic anxieties that lead us to believe that we have excuses for our lack of interest in eating together. Every day we face choices that we must make and it is these choices we make that will either bring us into further blessings in our relationship, or will lead us into depression and eventual isolation.


We said the last stage of neurosis that occurs before the person is a full blown neurotic is Disassociation. This means that you begin to cut off fellowship with the believers. First you cut off eating from the tree of Life and then you cut off all association with it. And this means with those who are eating it themselves. In the marriage we see the same thing. Isolation begins and this leads to separate eating schedules and finally separate ways.


I believe that eating together as a family is a very important thing. If you look at the families which have become isolated from each other, the isolation begins when the individual members of that family pay more attention to their own schedule than they do to the family schedule. When the children grow older and begin to take on more responsibilities, is when most families begin to drift apart. Why? They stop eating together.

We often talk about how close  the early church was. We can read in the scriptures and see for ourselves how the early church did everything together. In the Book of Acts we find the key to the closeness that is so lost in the churches today.


ACTS 2:42  42       And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common;


Here we see that there are four important elements that are involved here. Doctrine is the number one element, because how can two walk together lest they be agreed. Next we find that this doctrine brings us into fellowship which is a word koinonia    {koy-nohn-ee'-ah}which means fellowship, association, community…the sharing and  participating togethe to the point of intimacy.



  E-22   022   If I knocked at your door, and you would let me in and say, "Brother Branham, come into my house. You're--you're just welcome here. I'll be glad for you to visit with me." Oh, I would appreciate that. And then I'd just feel at home. I'd go right in and if I want to take off my shoes and lay across the bed, I would do so. If I wanted to go into the refrigerator, and make me a great big sandwich, and eat it, I'd feel welcome. I'd just go ahead and make myself at home. But when Jesus comes in, He isn't welcome. I want to ask you something. You say to me, "Brother Branham, I've already let Jesus in my heart a long time ago." Well, I sure appreciate that. That's very nice. But did you just let Him in as a fire escape? Did you let Him in to save you from hell? Or did you let Him in to have full control in your heart, to be welcome?



That's the way Jesus wants to do in your heart. He wants to feel at home. But we got Him closed off to a lot of things. "Now, Jesus, I'll tell You what, I'll let You in my door. I don't want to go to hell. I want to be saved at the end of the life. You can come in the door, but now, don't You go to meddling around." When you get in the human heart, let's think this; that over on the right hand side there's a little closet, a little door. That's a hard one, that most people don't want anyone meddling with, and that's called, over that door, "The door of my private life." "Now, Jesus, I'll let You in. But don't You go to meddling with my private life. If I have to stop my card party, if I have to give up the--the pool room bunch that I run with, if I have to be called old fashion, because I don't smoke cigarettes with the rest of the women, if I have to burn up my shorts and can't wear them like the rest of the women, You stay right there, don't meddle with me." That's the way lots of Christians accept Jesus. He wouldn't be welcome in your heart.

"Don't You interrupt any of my... I drink a little sociable beer. And I don't want You to bother with that, only I--I'll let You in because I don't want to go to hell." Now, is that the way you accepted Jesus? Jesus don't want to come in like that. When He's knocking at your heart when He comes in He wants to be your Lord. "Lord" is "rulership." He comes into your heart, knowing that He made that heart for Himself. All the rest of the body you can have, but the heart is the control tower; and He wants to come to this heart, so He can lead you, be a Lord. You want Him as your Saviour but not your Lord.  So many people say, "Oh, I want Him as my Saviour; I've accepted Him as my Saviour." That's good, but have you accepted Him as your Lord, to be ruler over you, to rule you, to guide you, to walk into that door of your private life and clean the closet out? Take His own Blood and paint it on the walls...


Access into fellowship. That is what marriage and relationships are all about.  Access into fellowship. That is what the Church is all about. Access into sharing. Access into love. Access to one another, as a family of God. But what have we done? We have let our jobs, or our schedules, or our other associations cut in on the fellowship of the saints. We have become a reclusive world and we wonder why we starve for affection and someone to love us.


I will have to say that when I came to Cincinnati I was looking forward to what I had always heard was Southern Hospitality. And yet I find that the hospitality in the north is far superior to what I have found in the South. In Minnesota, we did not need to have an appointment to stop by someone’s home. We just dropped in and whatever they were doing was put aside and we just enjoyed the fellowship. We couldn’t get enough of each other.


But here, it’s different. You need an appointment to be friends, and that isn’t what Christianity is all about. It’s about sharing. It’s about caring. It’s about preferring your brother. It’s about being able to share one another’s tooth brush. And as brother Vayle said, “whatever Y2K brings, it’s because we have a need of it.”


We hide behind phone message recorders so we can screen our calls. Are we so busy that we can’t answer our phones. Those things are supposed to be used for when you are away from home. But God knows what we are lacking, and so  “whatever Y2K brings, it’s because we have a need of it.”  The early church had all things in common. They were not each man for himself. They were not each family for themselves. They had all things in common and that is what we are headed for.


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..


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.  


In 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? 


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?


HEAR YE HIM 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.


HEBREWS 10:24-25   And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.