Relationship Series, #4
The Church as a Type of Marriage
This morning I would like to continue our series on relationships. For the past couple weeks we’ve been looking at isolation and it’s effect upon relationships. It doesn’t matter if it is in a marriage or in other relationships such as a church or any Group of people who have a common bond. When someone in that group, or marriage, begins to become depressed, they will begin to lose hope, and when they have lost hope, they begin to isolate themselves from their spouse or from the body of believers, and before you know it they will leave that group of believers.
A couple years ago, we studied this process which brother Branham told us was happening in the world today. We saw that isolation or “dis-association”, was the last stage in the neurotic condition before the person became totally a neurotic. In the message Christ Revealed in His Own Word. he had said, , 20 Men now and people today are in such a neurotic condition, the whole world..
Now, in order to understand more deeply how to keep a marriage relationship healthy and full of life, we need to know what things cause it to fall apart. As I said last week, 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, as well as the death of any other relationships, including church relationships. And families die by the vine, and friendships die by the vine because the people loose their focus on why we are placed here on earth. We found in our study of neurosis that the main thing which causes the process of neurosis to start, is the people are not focused on the right things.
Jesus commanded us to “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Right-wise-ness, and ALL the things you have need of will be added unto you.” From the Message CHRIST IS THE MYSTERY Brother Branham said, Hell is against this truth of the revelation of this mystery. But the Bride is standing on it. That's Her stand. Why do you hunger, Church? Why do you thirst? It's the Father trying to reveal this hidden secret to you, but you let so many things get it out of you. You let your job, you let your wife, you let your husband, you let your children, you let the cares of the world, you let some pastor, you let somebody else get that out of you, when you know that way down in your heart you're a-thirsting, hungry. It's God trying to reveal it to you (See?), the revelation. The last day is here.
And once you let your job or your wife or your children or whatever get your focus off God’s promise for you, then it’s over, and you’ve lost. YOU then become depressed and once depression sets in, hope takes it’s flight and then your gone.
Remember, the process goes from depression to isolation. Depression, then isolation, that is the order of the falling away. Brother Vayle called it attrition. A wearing away. You just get tired of it all. You wear out and lose hope, and when hope is gone you die. For Hope maketh alive.
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.”
PROVERBS 13:12 ¶ Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but [when] the desire cometh, [it is] a tree of life.
MIGHTY CONQUEROR You're... Not only is He here alive, but you're alive with Him. The great hope that you have within your heart makes you alive.
WITNESSES And we who were once dead in sin and trespasses has he quickened us. And the word "quick" means "resurrect" from our old forms of life to a new and living hope that lies within our hearts, waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus the second time in glory.
So we see that hope maketh alive. It is a living hope we are talking about.
I PETER 1:3 ¶ Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope ( That means a living hope) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Now, last week we spoke of how close the early church seemed to be. We read in the scriptures how the early church did everything together. This kept the rires burning in their hearts. In the Book of Acts we found the key to this intimacy was a four step process of Doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. That’s what is lacking today in the home and in the church. It’s not having all four of these elements working together.
These four important elements begin with having the same Doctrine, because how can two walk together lest they be agreed. Then this doctrine brings fellowship which means association, community and sharing, participating together to the point of intimacy.
ROMANS 5:1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK 57-1208 He's got to have access to every room in the house, every compartment. All the little secret things of life, He's got to have access to every bit of it. Then He becomes Lord. What does He want to come in your heart for? Is to be your Lord. He's knocking at the door to be your Saviour. And if you hold selfishness, and pride, and malice, and all these things in your heart, He can't be Lord, though you accept Him in, He can't be Lord. When He's Lord, He's Lord over all. And that's what He's knocking for. [Brother Branham knocks--Ed.] Oh, Lord...?... Let Him in. "I want to come in and sup." What supping is, is fellowship, when you got fellowship one with another. How that the--the Lord and you are buddies. You're partners. And whatever you have, He has too. Whatever He has then, you have too. You see, He becomes you, that you might become Him. And everything is in common.
Notice brother Branham is quoting from the book of Revelations here, REVELATION 3:20 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. He said, ." What supping is, is fellowship, when you got fellowship one with another. The Jesus is calling out for us to just open up to Him that He might have access to fellowship. That is all He is asking. He wants access to fellowship with you. And how does He do that? Through His Word? And how does He present His Word to you? Through men. Men having access with Men. Brother getting together with brother and talking the Word and fellowshipping around the Word, and praying together.
Access into fellowship. That is what a church is all about, and that is what a marriage or any relationship is all about. Access into fellowship. That is what the Church needs more of today than at any other time. Access to sharing. Access to caring, access to loving. 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.
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. Your in the same ship, but have no fellowship. Your in the same church but don’t really know each other. You eat the same spiritual food, sit at the same spiritual table, and yet isolated, alienated and cut off from one another. Why? You come together to worship together, to believe together, because you have the same Loving Father, and yet why are we so distant from one another? You were not created to live alone. Then why do we try to live out our Christian life alone? YOU couldn’t isolate yourself and keep your family together, and more than you can isolate yourself and keep your marriage together. You need to be loved, and you need to love.
Paul said in the Book of 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.
PSALMS 133:1 ¶ How good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 [It is] like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, [even] Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore.
EPHESIANS 4:1 ¶ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 ¶ With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (what does it mean to endeavour to do something?) It means to be diligent and to exert oneself on behalf of that thing. ) 4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Now, this is the key. There is one body, not two, but one body period. And the same thing applies in marriage.
Jesus said in, MATTHEW 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
And this is also the key to a close knit church. Realizing we are not a bunch of individuals, but we are one body. Why? Because God made us that way. I guess, this is one area where we all need to learn to grow together.
I am sure that in every marriage there are things that the husband does that just drives the wife insane, and there are things that the wife does that just drives the wife insane. But the rub comes when the things that drive him insane are the same thing that drives her insane, and yet just the opposite.
Therefore, where we need to come together and recognize that we are not two but one means that we must have a meeting of the minds to work out those areas. Just like when a couple are different in their money matters, maybe he is real free with the buck, and she might be a real saver. Now, in a situation like this both he and she will usually try to get the other one to convert over to their way of thinking and then you’ve got troubles. If we would realize that God does not do anything with out a purpose, then we might understand if we believe that the Footsteps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord, then we should also know that God had a purpose in our marrying the person we did.
God has a way of getting you to look at your faults, and he could find no better way than to give you a spouse. The same applies in the church. If we were all the same then God could not perfect us by rubbing us together and knocking off all the nubs. But God has a purpose in what He does and it is no secret that He has placed us together to work within each of us a rubbing in order to bring us to the place that He wants us to be.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 64-0830E 1149-30 018 How can I take a cocklebur and make a grain of wheat out of it? It's impossible for me to do it. The only way it can be is because inside that cocklebur has been transmitted from a cocklebur wheat--a cocklebur to a germ called "wheat life." Then you bury that cocklebur, and it'll produce a grain of wheat (That's right. See?), because there has been a life of wheat put in the cocklebur. And the life of the cocklebur has been taken out; but the nature of the cocklebur is still sticky (See?), and it will be until this new life has fully been developed out of the ground and raised up again. When it comes forth, then it's no more cocklebur, but wheat--but wheat. But while it's here on earth and the--in the--out of the earth... And a cocklebur, it's still sticky, but it's got the nature on the inside of it of wheat. And as long as you're in this life, you're going to be sticky and have a carnal nature that's going to bother you as long as you live; but the inside of you, you're borned again. And when you're raised up, you're in the likeness of Christ and all the sin is gone from you. See? That's--that's the thing.
1151-36 023 Somebody told me he had one, one time was converted, received the Holy Ghost, and he said to him, "How you getting along?" He said, "Pretty good and pretty bad." He said, "Well, how do you mean pretty bad and pretty good?" He said, "Well, since me receive the Holy Ghost," he said, "there's been two dogs in me, and one of them a black dog and one of them a white dog." And said, "They argue all the time." Said, "They growl and fight at one another." And said, "The white dog wants me do good; the black dog wants me do bad." Said, "Well, Chief, which one of them wins the fight?" Said, "That depends on which one Chief feeds the most." So I think that's a good answer here. See? There just depends on the warring of the body that's in you; it depends on which one you cater to, which nature you cater to, the carnal nature after the things of the world, or the spiritual nature after the things of God. That does it.
Now, the reason the chief had a struggle after He received the Holy Ghost is because, before He received The Holy Ghost, there was only one direction he was going, and that was to perdition. And if you are not born again, then there is no battle within. But when you receive the Holy Spirit, that is when the battle begins. It is a battle for the mind to take possession of your being.
There are only two powers in this world. God and Satan. And before you were born again, you just drifted along with the world and the cares of the world. YOU might have been happy go lucky, because you didn’t know better. But when God enters your heart by the Word, you begin to understand and it is this understanding that brings conflict. And this conflict is the greatest battle ever fought and it is being fought in your mind by God and Satan for the right to control your mind, and thus your entire being.
But in marriage there is another kind of confrontation that awaits you, because you and your wife are used to being two people, and now you have been made one by the Law of God in marriage. Therefore, you are no longer two, but you are one, and you have to think like one, and work together like one if you are to succeed in your marriage. And whenever you have two coming together to make one, you will have conflict. But I is how you resolve that conflict that will determine the results.
You should never handle your conflict based upon emotion. Your conflict should never be based upon unwarranted fears. Either you trust the Lord in your life or you do not. Either the cares of this life guide you or the Word of God guides you, but you can not be guided by both.
And so I would like to examine this conflict in marriage, this conflict of two becoming one, this conflict where many come together to become one body, and thus live in harmony and unity as David said. PSALMS 133:1 ¶ How good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!