Our Security in Trust

0814065

By John Thiel

I will trust in God but never in any man or human counsel. These words have often come to me bandied about and applied and I often wondered where these thoughts have come from. I will trust in God but I will never trust any man or any decisions arising from human counsel. Where do they come from?

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

Cursed is the man that trusteth in man. I will trust no man!

Micah 7:5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

In His mercy and faithfulness God often permits those in whom we place confidence to fail us, in order that we may learn the folly of trusting in man and making flesh our arm. Let us trust fully, humbly, unselfishly in God. He knows the sorrows that we feel to the depths of our being, but which we cannot express. When all things seem dark and unexplainable, remember the words of Christ, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. John 13:7. {MH 486.7}

In consequence of these statements humanity reads this and says, I will trust in God and never in man. It sounds so right and good to trust in God and trust no man. I have felt comfortable in this philosophy for quite some years until one day I needed help in matters not directly written in the Word of God. I pleaded with God to show me. How I can deal with these matters, I can’t see anything written anywhere? I trusted in God alone for counsel.

Deuteronomy 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.

I had to humble myself under this direction of God and go for counsel to the elders and to a large number of counsellors so that I would find safety in the conclusions I draw.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool [is] right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel [is] wise.

I did need help of men and women, men and women of experience. Go to the elders, ask thy father, counsels of more than myself and my God. Should I trust their counsel? This was a struggle that I have met in what the Lord had pointed out to me. Go to the safety of counsel of those who have had many years of experience in the old ways of truth. This was most difficult for me because I grew up in the sixties and seventies in the Seventh Day Adventist church where so many voices were saying here is truth, there is truth contradictory to one another. Who shall I trust? Who shall I look for counsel? In this terrible adversity that I found myself and if I don’t look out I will keep finding myself.

Isaiah 30:20 And [though] the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

God would show me the teachers that he had sent. I could understand that I would need teachers to teach me and that it’s not just God and me on my own, but teachers that he has sent. In the dilemma that we find ourselves in these last days God is appealing to me.

Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: 15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

It was a wonderful relief that God in his plan does commission other human beings that I should trust as being my teachers and my pastors. I had to rely on teaching and pasturing after all. I needed some other mind to help my mind. My mind was thrown into terrible chaos for a while. Don’t lean on the arm of flesh yet to understand that I need to get teaching from pastors and teachers, there was confusion for a while.

Don’t Trust in Man?

How does one balance the Scriptures where we aren’t to trust in man? As I walked with my God and as you walk with your God and you are hearing and seeing the teachers from the pastors that give us understanding or that the Lord gives according to Jeremiah, God would indicate that I can trust someone. As we are looking for the answers to our needs, we are calling on the name of the Lord to be saved and we trust God that he will save us.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

What will God do in answering my prayer for salvation?

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

God will send me teachers and preachers when I cry unto him to help me. I quickly learnt that I could not rely only on my own mind because my own mind is akin to every other persons mind and there is a way which seemeth right to man. Then there were some statements in the Spirit of Prophecy that really startled me.

Those who desire to follow a course which pleases their fancy are in danger of being left to follow their own inclinations, supposing them to be the leadings of God’s Spirit. The duty of some is indicated sufficiently clear by circumstances and facts; but, through the solicitations of friends, in harmony with their own inclinations, they swerve from the path of duty and pass over the clear evidences in the case; then, with apparent conscientiousness, they pray long and earnestly for light. They have earnest feeling in the matter, and they interpret this to be the Spirit of God. But they are deceived. This course grieves the Spirit of God. They had light and in the very reason of things should have understood their duty; but a few pleasing inducements balance their minds in the wrong direction, and they urge these before the Lord and press their case, and the Lord allows them to have their own way. They have so strong an inclination to follow their own course that He permits them to do so and to suffer the results. These imagine that they have a wonderful experience. {3T 73.2}

There is such a thing in our human minds that we can think it is God speaking to us yet it is my only feelings in the matter and my own personal strong human philosophy. Help me God not to rely on my own mind, help me to rely on what you have sent. I need to depend on those whom God has sent. However there are prophets that are NOT sent.

Jeremiah 23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. 15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. 16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, [and] not out of the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. 21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

There are prophets and there are teachers that speak not from the Lord. They speak out of the visions of their own heart but not out of the mouth of the Lord. There are messengers, preachers, teachers and prophets that God has not sent. I can’t trust them. Why can’t I trust them? Because I would be leaning on the arm of flesh. Those we are not to trust. Those he sends, I can safely trust.

Those Who Have Stood in the Counsel of the Lord

Who has stood in the counsel of the Lord? Go to your elders who have stood in the counsel of the Lord. There are many of them in our past history. I have had to rely on men and women very heavily. I’ve had to rely on the pioneers of Adventism such as Stephen Haskell, Uriah Smith, J N Loughborough, Ellen White and certain men in the church. However I had to select those who were under the guidance of God who stood in his counsel. If they are moved by him and I rely upon their counsel, am I trust in the arm of flesh? This was the question. How can I know when I am trusting in the arm of flesh and when I am trust in the Lord through the human agent? How do I know? God has not left us without a written instruction in that matter. There are many who preach today who do not speak the counsel of the Lord.

Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.

Here was my guidance. If there were people who proclaimed the pure law, people who preached the perfect harmony of doctrine, the pure truth, then I can trust them because there is light in them. I thought I was so right, but I was so wrong. Amongst the teachers, prophets and elders there is light if they are standing on the light of the law and the testimony. We are to trust God.

Isaiah 51:5 My righteousness [is] near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.

The Arm of the Lord

What is in the practical reality of the arm of the Lord that I am to trust in? What is an arm? It is an extension of my body. God’s body has an extension, his arm. What is that? It’s very interesting to know that the Jewish nation did not rely on that arm.

Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.

What is the arm? The one that will grow up as a tender plant. The arm of the Lord is none other but Jesus Christ. He is that arm in who we are to trust. Jesus in human flesh and where Jesus rules in human flesh, there the arm of the Lord is revealed. That was the problem with the Jews; they relied on the Roman Empire. When the arm of God came into their midst they relied on the arm of flesh. Jesus was a human being and he was so much a human, they didn’t believe he was God. We are to rely and rest and trust in the arm of the Lord in human flesh.

As a man He supplicated the throne of God till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion He received life from God, that He might impart life to the world. His experience is to be ours. {DA 363.1}

Jesus became the arm of the Lord. Why? Because the man Christ Jesus supplicated the throne of heaven and the humanity was connected with divinity with that. Through continual communion Jesus was the arm of the Lord, the arm we could trust. His experience is to be ours. Is it possible that Gods children may enjoy the arm of the Lord in their life? The direct interweaving of the arm of the Lord with human beings is clearly outlined.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

The arm of the Lord in human flesh. Can you see it?

Those who are drinking from the same fountain of blessing will draw nearer together. Truth dwelling in the hearts of believers will lead to blessed and happy assimilation. Thus will be answered the prayer of Christ that His disciples might be one even as He is one with the Father. For this oneness every truly converted heart will be striving. {FLB 343.2}

The Lord in Me and You

The above statement emphasises the fact that we can trust one another when we drink of the same fountain of blessing. When truth dwells in the heart of each one of us we will be so together that we will be in tune with the arm of the Lord. The Lord in me, the Lord in you. This is the reality of the prayer Jesus prayed.

This request of Christ has no limit to its fullness. He desires that his followers shall reveal to the world his spirit of unity and love. But before this unity can exist among them, there must be a genuine renovation of every heart; there must be a vital connection with God; the character must be formed after the divine similitude. {RH, November 3, 1896 par. 3}

Though each is charged with responsibility, and each has a part to act, none of us liveth to himself. God has designed by the unity of his people to impress upon a sinful world, and also to reveal to the heavenly intelligences, the fact that Christ has not died in vain. Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. The pure and holy principle of love distinguishes the character and conduct of Christians from those of worldlings. Standing out from the world, we are to become representatives of the goodness, mercy, and love of God. Thus we may be spectacles unto the world, and to angels, and to men. {RH, November 3, 1896 par. 4}

We are only to trust when genuine renovation of heart has taken place first. There must be a vital connection with God; the character must be formed after the divine similitude. In Gods church we learn to lean on his arm in our relationships with one another and in searching out the activity of God in each other and looking for Jesus in each other.

As His representatives among men, Christ does not choose angels who have never fallen, but human beings, men of like passions with those they seek to save. Christ took upon Himself humanity, that He might reach humanity. Divinity needed humanity; for it required both the divine and the human to bring salvation to the world. Divinity needed humanity, that humanity might afford a channel of communication between God and man. So with the servants and messengers of Christ. Man needs a power outside of and beyond himself, to restore him to the likeness of God, and enable him to do the work of God; but this does not make the human agency unessential. Humanity lays hold upon divine power, Christ dwells in the heart by faith; and through co-operation with the divine, the power of man becomes efficient for good. {DA 296.4}

What is humanity? It is the arm of the Lord. Men’s hands are angel’s hands. We are to be a relief society to others around us by being an extension of God. Humanity and divinity working together so we can be an arm of the Lord with the servants and messengers and Christ.

Man needs a power outside of and beyond himself, to restore him to the likeness of God, and enable him to do the work of God; but this does not make the human agency unessential. Humanity lays hold upon divine power, Christ dwells in the heart by faith; and through co-operation with the divine, the power of man becomes efficient for good. {CM 104.2}

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.

There are humans upon earth who are the connecting link for other humans. It says we are to follow another man’s faith. Who? The ones that God sends considering the end of their conversation. Look at their conversation and how they behave, the character which they demonstrate.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.

I am to obey a human being on earth. That took me a long time to equate with. Yes, submit yourselves. They are watching for your souls. One person one said to me, we can look after ourselves, you don’t need to come around, I can walk with God alone, I’m quite alright. We do need each other, we need each other’s experience in the Lord. We are to look for Jesus in each other and trust him in each other. We must not lean on the arm of flesh but on God in human nature. You are not leaning on the arm of flesh when you receive human power that has been given of God in cooperation with him. The ultimate trust is found in the character of God in his love among brethren.

1 Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

That took me a long time to understand. To believe all things? How can I believe all things? I know that this person is not being truthful. I had to believe my daughter telling me lies and it helped her because I believed her. In Gods church we rely upon God who cannot lie. We rely upon the activity of his cooperation with other human beings. The relationship of perfect love is a relationship of trust.

So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies. But a change came over this happy state. There was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the in habitants of heaven. Lucifer, son of the morning, was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him. Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering. . . . Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. Ezekiel 28:12-15. {PP 35.1}

This is where God wants us, a love that is confiding. What does the word confiding relate to? I’m confident this is Gods will for his church where we can trust and confide in one another.

Psalms 133:1 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity! 133:2 [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; 133:3 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.

This is when Aaron was anointed as high priest. Perfect confiding love and trust among brethren, this is the glory of the Lord in his church.

Brethren sometimes associate together for years, and they think they can trust those they know so well just as they would trust members of their own family. There is a freedom and confidence in this association which could not exist between those not of the same faith. This is very pleasant while mutual faith and brotherly love last; but let the accuser of the brethren gain admittance to the heart of one of these men, controlling the mind and the imagination, and jealousies are created, suspicion and envy are harbored; and he who supposed himself secure in the love and friendship of his brother, finds himself mistrusted and his motives misjudged. The false brother forgets his own human frailties, forgets his obligation to think and speak no evil lest he dishonor God and wound Christ in the person of his saints, and every defect that can be thought of or imagined is commented upon unmercifully, and the character of a brother is represented as dark and questionable. {RH, June 3, 1884 par. 4}

Don’t Rely on the Arm of Unreliable Flesh

This is very pleasant while brotherly love lasts. Don’t let the accuser of the brethren in because then it’s gone. Cursed is the man that trusteth in man. What is meant that we are not to trust in man? Don’t put your trust in a friend.

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

This person who is somebody who departs from God and relies on the arm of flesh, doesn’t rely on the scenario we have studied.

The alliances made by the Israelites with their heathen neighbors resulted in the loss of their identity as God’s peculiar people. They became leavened by the evil practises of those with whom they formed forbidden alliances. Affiliation with worldlings caused them to lose their first love, and their zeal for God’s service. The advantages they sold themselves to gain, brought only disappointment, and caused the loss of many souls. {4BC 1155.8}

This is leaning on human power and not leaning on the arm of the Lord.

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because [they are] many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD! 2 Yet he also [is] wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. 3 Now the Egyptians [are] men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

Micah 7:5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. 6 For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies [are] the men of his own house.

Don’t trust your father, mother or daughters. What is he talking about? Where else is this text written?

Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes [shall be] they of his own household. 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Where does this text apply? Don’t put your trust in your own relatives? It applies to those who have been cut asunder because they have rejected the counsel of the Lord. Don’t place your trust in those people. God will take away your dependence upon others so you will not trust in human flesh. Some rely not upon their relationship with God but make it easy for themselves and want to rely on ministers and not on the Lord.

We are prone to look to our fellow men for sympathy and uplifting, instead of looking to Jesus. In His mercy and faithfulness God often permits those in whom we place confidence to fail us, in order that we may learn the folly of trusting in man and making flesh our arm. Let us trust fully, humbly, unselfishly in God. He knows the sorrows that we feel to the depths of our being, but which we cannot express. When all things seem dark and unexplainable, remember the words of Christ, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. John 13:7. {MH 486.7}

This relates to when we are prone to looking for sympathy from humans and not in God when we rely on humans to comfort and cosset me. It doesn’t mean I’m not to trust my brothers and sisters who are leaning on Jesus, I won’t rely on comfort and sustenance from others. Can you see the difference? Very important difference.

The head of every man is Christ. God, who put all things under the Saviour’s feet, gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:22, 23. The church is built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head. It is not to depend upon man, or be controlled by man. Many claim that a position of trust in the church gives them authority to dictate what other men shall believe and what they shall do. This claim God does not sanction. The Saviour declares, All ye are brethren. All are exposed to temptation, and are liable to error. Upon no finite being can we depend for guidance. The Rock of faith is the living presence of Christ in the church. Upon this the weakest may depend, and those who think themselves the strongest will prove to be the weakest, unless they make Christ their efficiency. Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm. The Lord is the Rock, His work is perfect. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him. Jer. 17:5; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 2:12. {DA 414.3}

Can you see a difference? Christ is to be the arm of the Lord in the church. We are not to confuse our reliance upon human dependants as a separation from Jesus. We are to embrace a church affiliation, an inner circle of unity.

The unity, the harmony, that should exist among the disciples of Christ is described in these words: That they may be one, as we are. But how many there are who draw off and seem to think that they have learned all they need to learn. . . . Those who choose to stand on the outskirts of the camp cannot know what is going on in the inner circle. They must come right into the inner courts, for as a people we must be united in faith and purpose. . . . It is through this unity that we are to convince the world of the mission of Christ, and bear our divine credentials to the world. . . . {TMK 172.2}

The invitation is to come to the inner circle.

O that those who are proclaiming the most solemn message ever given to the world would realize how greatly their influence is weakened when they are suspicious of their brethren, when they allow angry words to pass their lips! The displeasure of God rests upon every one who speaks harsh, unkind words. Nothing so dishonors the Lord Jesus as a readiness on the part of church-members to take offense when something occurs to displease them. The conversion of unbelievers depends on the distinctness with which Christ is revealed in the lives of believers. When our hearts are filled with love and compassion, when our conduct toward one another is marked by Christlike tenderness and courtesy, then our words will have power to convict souls. {RH, July 21, 1903 par. 7}

Suspicion is not trust. We must come into the inner circle of unity. We must come and safe guard each other’s hold on God. If there are certain people who are weak and trembling and they are relying on others in the church, if we pull down people they look up to, you destroy their confidence in them.

By sowing evil in the minds of the weak, who have no vital connection with God, by telling them how little confidence you have in others, you tear away the hold their brethren have on them, because you destroy their confidence in them. But do not allow the enemy so to use your tongue; for at the day of final reckoning, God will call you to give an account of your words. Do not exert an influence that will break the hold of any trembling soul from God. {RH, August 24, 1897 par. 3}

In other words there are trembling souls that are hanging onto God through the avenue of human beings. When we put suspicion in the minds of people of those they are watching, then we are guilty and God will have ask us for an account.

There have ever been in the church those who are constantly inclined toward individual independence. They seem unable to realize that independence of spirit is liable to lead the human agent to have too much confidence in himself and to trust in his own judgment rather than to respect the counsel and highly esteem the judgment of his brethren, especially of those in the offices that God has appointed for the leadership of His people. God has invested His church with special authority and power which no one can be justified in disregarding and despising, for he who does this despises the voice of God. {AA 163.2}

By your words you may cause others to become suspicious. Put the best construction on everyone’s questionable words and actions so that the church is what God grants it to be.

Amen.

Further reading;

https://sabbathsermons.com/2009/09/03/the-arm-of-flesh-verses-the-arm-of-god/

Posted on September 3, 2009, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel, Unity and Trust and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. All that man has to say is to be tested against what the Scripture says. We need a good, strong knowledge of the Word for ourselves.

  1. Pingback: The Arm of Flesh Verses the Arm of God « Sabbath Sermons Australia

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