2. Silken Cords of Affection

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By John Thiel, Relationships in the Last Days Conference, Study 2, Audio: mp3

What is written in reference to affection in the last days?

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

What is the peril? It is relationships.

2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Can you see the relationship factors here?

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:

What must you do with them? Break the relationship:

2 Timothy 3:5 …from such turn away.

This peril that is spoken of here is not the perils of natural events around us, but the perils of relationships in the last days. The relationships between children and their parents, the relationship between husband and wife, where natural affections should govern, but it’s gone. Without natural affection. As you ponder upon each one of these items, you observe that for those who want to have a deep, meaningful relationship with God and His people, these days are full of peril. I hope and pray that we can really appreciate this and understand how to deal with this. During these times, it is most necessary to understand that which pertains to our affections, where and how to engage them.

Affections

What is that? What does that raise in your sense of appreciation? An affection is a strong feeling that you have for someone, and that is stirred by beauty and by desire. It is a word that you can’t really qualify very well, but you can understand it. In these last days we are meeting with problems of human affection. Affection, emotion, is stronger than intellect. Do you know that? You can have very intelligent men, but emotionally they act stupid. I have looked after men in hospital, lawyers, people with huge responsibilities, that managed their businesses very well, but when it came to affections they were a mess. And women, how do your emotions fluctuate? You can love one minute, but the next, Grrr! That is feelings and emotions.

We are living in the last days, and it is worse than ever before. You wonder what has been happening to you? Affections are stronger than intellect, but we are to be governed by our intellect, and yet these affections are so strong. Satan knows this. He knows it very well. And now that we are living in the perilous times of the last days, with whom is he making war? He already has the affections of the world in general. Look how stupid everything is around us. There is insanity of affections. People are centring their affections males on males and females on females. What a madness! They don’t care. They are not thinking. They are intellectually very capable; when you listen to them in parliament, oh they have great intelligence, but look at how stupid they are, because the affections rule them. We are to be ruled by our intellect, and we are to exercise our affections according to that. But it’s gone, it’s too powerful. Satan knows this. Here is the woeful statement of what a cruel being Lucifer is:

Many are the ways by which Satan works through human influence to bind his captives. {GC 597.1}

How does he do it?

He secures multitudes to himself by attaching them by the silken cords of affection to those who are enemies of the cross of Christ. {GC 597.1}

Your silken cords of affection Satan will bind to himself, to the enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ. What are these cords?

Whatever this attachment may be, parental, filial, conjugal, or social, the effect is the same; the opposers of truth exert their power to control the conscience, and the souls held under their sway have not sufficient courage or independence to obey their own convictions of duty. {GC 597.1}

Did you understand the terminologies here? Parental – the silken ties of parents to their children and children to their parents. Filial – what does that mean? The relatives; the things that tie us to each other as relatives: the family. Conjugal – what is that? The tender bonds of affections that are related to the marriage bed. That is what conjugal means. Or social. Satan uses these so that those who want to use their intellect and their conscience will be bound so that the opposers of truth will exert their power to control the conscience, and the souls thus held under their sway have not sufficient courage or independence to obey their own convictions of duty. This is the cruel treatment of Satan to the human race. He does not want them to use their conscience. How true we see this in the life around us. People act out their emotions, theirs cords of affection, instead of their intellect and conscience; and you’ve got a mad world around you. They know that AIDS comes from unnatural affection, but they still keep on doing it; their conscience won’t work. It is just a very crass example of what happens across the board. Satan is a cruel task master. The use of relatives, the dearest bondings that God has created Satan has used to destroy. Is this anything new? Is this just for the last days? We can go right back to Genesis, and there he used it. It is exactly the same.

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.

God created the conjugal, tender cord between husband and wife. It was so tender and so precious, and all you men know what it’s like to have a precious partner in a woman; it’s pretty strong, isn’t it? What did Satan do? Satan came to the woman, the one that was flesh of Adam’s flesh, that was bound together to him by God’s wonderful bindings of tender, silken cords, and he tempted Eve.

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Let us examine this experience that Adam went through, and meditate on this dreadful activity of the enemy, so we can understand how he works through the silken cords of affection:

And now, having herself transgressed, she became the agent of Satan in working the ruin of her husband. {PP 55.3}

How? By the conjugal, silken bond.

In a state of strange, unnatural excitement, {PP 55.3}

Have you a seen a very beautiful woman in a strange, unnatural excitement? It is very attractive to a man. She came to him,

…with her hands filled with the forbidden fruit, she sought his presence, and related all that had occurred. {PP 55.3}

Oh my darling, look at what has happened to me. I’m so happy! And in all her beauty and glory Adam was there stunned.

An expression of sadness came over the face of Adam. He appeared astonished and alarmed. To the words of Eve he replied that this must be the foe against whom they had been warned; {PP 56.1}

He knew. He was a glorious creation of God, intellectually powerful; he knew. He was far higher than any of us are, untouched by corruption. As he stands there looking at his wife, this beautiful woman, she urges him, Come on, it’s done me good, eat.

Adam understood that his companion had transgressed the command of God, disregarded the only prohibition laid upon them as a test of their fidelity and love. {PP 56.2}

His conscience was working.

There was a terrible struggle in his mind. He mourned that he had permitted Eve to wander from his side. But now the deed was done; he must be separated from her whose society had been his joy. {PP 56.2}

He must be separated from her – he knew it.

How could he have it thus? {PP 56.2}

Look at the silken cord of affection.

Adam had enjoyed the companionship of God and of holy angels. He had looked upon the glory of the Creator. He understood the high destiny opened to the human race should they remain faithful to God. Yet all these blessings were lost sight of in the fear of losing that one gift which in his eyes outvalued every other. {PP 56.2}

What was controlling him? Affections, the silken cord that Satan had now used through Eve.

Love, gratitude, loyalty to the Creator–all were overborne by love to Eve. She was a part of himself, and he could not endure the thought of separation. {PP 56.2}

Think what Satan has done there.

He resolved to share her fate; if she must die, he would die with her. {PP 56.2}

Isn’t that a wonderful story of loyalty to husband and wife? Have you heard those stories before? “Look at those two how they love each other!” Those silken cords of affection that people romance about. Who is behind it? The devil. All that we are suffering on this planet is as a result of that. Then is it any different today? Not at all. He will do exactly the same, only in more grand and powerful measures. Because he already has the people’s consciences confused with their emotions. As I often say, People get their sexuality and spirituality mixed up. It is very close, you know. Satan knows it all.

The Power of the Silken Cord

If we can understand this, we can learn how to deal with our affections and relationships in these last days. What is expressed here? She was a part of himself, and he could not endure the thought of separation from her. He was prepared to separate from the wonderful cords of connection with God for her.

For us to deal with family relationships under this terrible work of Satan today making war with the remnant of her seed – because he is going to make war in this very arena – what must we do?

How to Deal With That

If Satan knows the power of the silken cords of affection to use to his ends, how about us during these perilous times? We are to understand the power of silken cords and to deal accordingly to win the children and ourselves away from Satan. We have a very powerful illustration of this with the Hebrews in Egypt. Do you remember the plagues? Do you remember the last one? There is an object lesson for us in the history of the Hebrews, as they were to sever themselves from Egyptian captivity.

When the children of Israel were gathered out from among the Egyptians, the Lord said: “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. … And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. … And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever.” Exodus 12:12, 22-24. The blood upon the lintel of the door symbolized the blood of Christ, who alone saved the first-born of the Hebrews from the curse. Any one of the children of the Hebrews who was found in an Egyptian habitation was destroyed. {6T 194.2}

This experience of the Israelites was written for the instruction of those who should live in the last days. {6T 195.1}

What was it written for? For those who are living in the last days. Here is a lesson for us as we are to become severed and separated from Egypt.

Before the overflowing scourge shall come upon the dwellers of the earth, the Lord calls upon all who are Israelites indeed to prepare for that event. To parents He sends the warning cry: Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil. {6T 195.1}

Get them out. Keep them in your houses.

Get out of the large cities as fast as possible. Establish church schools. Give your children the word of God as the foundation of all their education. This is full of beautiful lessons, and if pupils make it their study in the primary grade below, they will be prepared for the higher grade above. {6T 195.1}

The word of God comes to us at this time: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? … Where are your children? Are you educating them to discern and to escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust? {6T 195.2}

through affections?

Are you seeking to save their souls, or are you by your neglect aiding in their destruction? {6T 195.2}

What are we not to neglect? We have been instructed by God to take our children away into our homes. Don’t let them dwell and communicate in the homes of those who are not obeying the Bible. Why? Because Satan is using the silken cords of social fellowship to tie them. Can you see it in the youth around us today? Can you experience it, youth? Can you see how your families have held you away from doing what you know your conscience is telling you to do? Have you? It is the devil, by your friends and relatives. He is cruel. God’s word says, Gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil. Now here is the challenge. How do you do it? Have you tried? Have you succeeded? Why not? I am going to spend some very precious moments now, and those of you who still have little children, understand very carefully what your duty is as instructed by God. Those of you who have failed, simply confess because you can’t do much about it. I will now read these passages and show you from God’s word how to do the opposite to what Satan is doing.

How do you do it? Remember? It is the silken cords of affection that Satan uses. So how are we going to do it? How are we going to tear the children away and save them from being caught up by those silken cords of affection? We have three points.

1. The Affections between Father and Mother

When you get married you are going to have children, and what you do before you have children is of the most crucial importance.

The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love, but includes human love, refined and purified. By it human love is elevated and ennobled. Human love can never bear its precious fruit until it is united with the divine nature and trained to grow heavenward. Jesus wants to see happy marriages, happy firesides. The warmth of true friendship and the love that binds the hearts of husband and wife are a foretaste of heaven. God has ordained that there should be perfect love and perfect harmony between those who enter into the marriage relation. {HP 202.3}

For those who understand the truth for these last days and get married, they need to have a relationship of silken binding that is enhanced by the divine nature, the divine love; then it becomes secure. Once this is there, there is a powerful challenge to the married couple:

Father and mother, bind your hearts in closest, happiest union. Do not grow apart, but bind yourselves more closely to each other; {AH 316.1}

What are you to do? Bind yourselves more closely to each other by the silken cord of love. Don’t grow apart.

…then you are prepared to bind your children’s hearts to you by the silken cord of love. {AH 316.1}

Do you want your children to be drawn by silken cords of love away from Satan who is drawing them to himself? The only way you are going to succeed, if both parents are there, is by giving the children a role model to see the bonds of love that will make them be attracted to home. That is the principle number one. Then comes

2. The Way That Parents Relate to Their Children

First, how they relate to one another so that the children can be bound to them, then:

Gentle manners, cheerful conversation, and loving acts will bind the hearts of children to their parents by the silken cords of affection and will do more to make home attractive than the rarest ornaments that can be bought for gold. {AH 426.4}

How many children are attached to the ornaments of modern technology today? Young people, are you bound to those things so that you can’t hardly turn your head away from the computer to spend a little bit of time with your family? Parents must tie their children to themselves so that home will be so attractive that they are bound to their relationship with their parents instead of all the relationships that are produced in the world today.

There is an atmosphere that surrounds every soul, an influence, either conscious or unconscious, that emanates from every person for good or evil; and to discipline a family so that the members shall meet the high claims of Heaven is a work that is counted of highest value in the sight of God. {ST, May 20, 1889 par. 2}

An Atmosphere

Say, have you ever walked into a home where you can cut the atmosphere with a knife because mum and dad are having a tiff? Do you enjoy coming home to that? Of course not, I’d rather be somewhere else, says the young person. And Satan says, Yes! There are some lovely ties here, and social affections there; don’t go home to such a bad place.

It is of great importance to know how to keep the affairs of home in running order without friction. The oil of patience must be poured in when things go hard, {ST, May 20, 1889 par. 3}

What is patience? One of the fruits of the Spirit. The oil of patience must be poured in when things go hard. So things go hard, and where is the patience?

…and our children must be bound to our hearts by the silken cords of love. Parents should know how to sympathize with their children in their little troubles, that look as large to them as older people’s trials look to them. {ST, May 20, 1889 par. 3}

I have seven children, and I have learnt a lot over that period of time. When my children were little they came to me with their little troubles and I thought, Why do you get worried about that? Have you ever said this to your children? Ah, don’t worry about that, come on; and you laugh at them? To them it’s a serious thing, and you are rubbing it off as something unimportant. That is why it says, Sympathize with your children in their little troubles, that look as large to them as older people’s trials look to them.

We should not neglect our children. It is in the early years that we have the best opportunity for sowing good seed in their hearts. If we neglect to do this work in their childhood, we shall find that Satan will preoccupy the field. {ST, May 20, 1889 par. 3}

He will.

Why not preoccupy the field yourself, and before the Evil one has a chance to plant his seeds of evil, fill the mind with that which is good and pure? The angels of God will help you in the work of forming your child’s character, if you will work in harmony with the plan of God. Do not let impatience control you. {ST, May 20, 1889 par. 3}

Impatience is another feeling where intellect doesn’t work.

Be patient, be forbearing, and may God help you to realize your accountability to him. {ST, May 20, 1889 par. 3}

Today in this terrible time things get too much for people, and they are trying to save their children, and they think, This is too bad. If you become weary, go to Jesus with all your cares. He says, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

If you are bearing a yoke of your own manufacture, just lay it aside, and take the yoke of Christ, and nothing will disturb your peace, for you will have the peace of Christ that passeth all understanding. {ST, May 20, 1889 par. 4}

Your children should not be driven off, and shut away from your sympathies. {ST, May 20, 1889 par. 5}

There are plenty of people out there that will give them sympathy. They should have much greater sympathy from you than from anybody else.

They should be encouraged to make confidants of father and mother. I have known children who had been so trained that even when they were grown men and women they counted it a privilege to counsel with their parents, though they were old and feeble. Is it not best, brethren, to be Christians? {ST, May 20, 1889 par. 5}

In the home? Indeed affection will bind the children so they will say, The world is rubbish, I have a much better home than the world can ever provide for me.

Then comes the third point. You don’t want Satan to take your children off you, do you?

3. Control Your Children

Now you have a problem. You get frustrated because Satan is getting them, so you become feverish, rigid, and very dictatorial. “Don’t you go there; you can’t go to that particular school because that is of the world!” The children say, “Oh Mom and Dad, come on.” Control? “But you know that the children of Israel had to be stayed in the home, you can’t go there! We are going to stay together.” All that sort of talk, is that going to succeed? I wish it would, it’s much easier. How do you help your children to control them and keep them in the home? We have already seen that there must be the affection that draws, but what about the control? How do you control your children?

While parents who have the fear of God before them restrain their children, they should study their dispositions and temperaments, and seek to meet their wants. Some parents attend carefully to the temporal wants of their children; they kindly and faithfully nurse them in sickness, and then think their duty done. Here they mistake. Their work has but just begun. The wants of the mind should be cared for. It requires skill to apply the proper remedies to cure a wounded mind. Children have trials just as hard to bear, just as grievous in character, as those of older persons. Parents themselves do not feel the same at all times. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 1}

Do you? You have had a bad night, you have a headache, you have all sorts of horrible sensations running through you as parents, and the children come long and grate on your nerves, and you say, Get out of here! Is that going to control them?

Parents themselves do not feel the same at all times. Their minds are often perplexed. They labor under mistaken views and feelings. Satan buffets them, and they yield to his temptations. They speak irritably, and in a manner to excite wrath in their children, and are sometimes exacting and fretful. The poor children partake of the same spirit, and the parents are not prepared to help them, for they were the cause of the trouble. Sometimes everything seems to go wrong. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 1}

Have you ever seen that in the family? It gets from bad to worse to worse.

There is fretfulness all around, and all have a very miserable, unhappy time. The parents lay the blame upon their poor children, and think them very disobedient and unruly, the worst children in the world, when the cause of disturbance is in themselves. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 1}

Some parents raise many a storm by their lack of self-control. Instead of kindly asking the children to do this or that, they order them in a scolding tone and at the same time a censure of reproof is on their lips which the children have not merited. Parents, this course pursued toward your children destroys their cheerfulness and ambition. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 2}

You’ve lost the ambition of the child, and the child says, I’m happier out there with Satan’s friends. That is a reality.

They do your bidding, not from love, but because they dare not do otherwise. Their heart is not in the matter. It is a drudgery, instead of a pleasure, and this often leads them to forget to follow out all your directions, which increases your irritation, and makes it still worse for the children. {SW,May 3, 1904 par. 2}

Have you ever given your child a direction and it hasn’t done it properly? Do you know why? It is because there is a short circuit in the brain. They are so distressed by the pressure of the parent’s arbitrary control that they can’t think of anything. You know what it’s like, when you are under pressure you can’t think of everything, can you? Then the child comes back and you say, Have you done this? It says, No; and down you come again at it with your anger. The poor child doesn’t know how to think straight anymore. The child forgets to follow out all your directions, which increases your irritation, and makes it still worse for the children.

The fault-finding is repeated, their bad conduct laid before them in glowing colors, until discouragement comes over them, and they are not particular whether they please or not. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 2}

Have you seen that in a child? It just throws the bundle over, and you get wilder still.

A spirit of “I don’t care” seizes them, and they seek that pleasure and enjoyment away from home, away from their parents, which they do not find at home. They mingle with street company and are soon as corrupt as the worst. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 2}

Conquer your disposition to be exacting with your children, lest too frequent reproof make your presence disagreeable to them and your counsels hateful. Bind them to your heart, not by foolish indulgence, but by the silken cords of love. You can be firm, yet kind. Christ must be your helper. Love will be the means of drawing other hearts to yours, and your influence may establish them in the good and right way. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 3}

Your influence over your children, and your course toward them, should be such as to attract holy angels to your dwelling, that they may assist you in your efforts to make your family and your home what God would have them. When you essay to independently fight your own way through, the heavenly angels are repelled, and retire from your presence in grief, leaving you to struggle on alone. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 4}

The fellowship, the association of the angels, don’t you want that?

Your children have the stamp of character that their parents have given them. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 5}

You hate the thought of that, don’t you? And the children hate the thought that they are like their parents. But it is a reality.

How careful, then, should be your treatment of them; how tenderly should you rebuke and correct their faults. You are too stern and exacting, and have frequently dealt with them when you were excited and angry. This has almost fretted away the golden cord of love that binds their hearts to yours. {SW, May 3, 1904 par. 5}

I could read on and on.

Do not let your children see you with a clouded brow. If they yield to temptation, and afterward see and repent of their error, forgive them. Satan and his host are making most powerful efforts to sway the minds of the children, and they must be treated with candor, Christian tenderness, and love. This will give you a strong influence over them, and they will feel that they can repose unlimited confidence in you. {4bSG 131.1}

Unlimited. Don’t you want that? Those of you who have little children, follow this counsel. In these last days, after all has been tried, you still make mistakes, but you have done everything you can. If your children still leave you in these days, is there a comfort in that?

Ezekiel 14:20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, [were] in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall [but] deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

If Noah, or Job, or Daniel were in the land, they could save neither son nor daughter; they could save only their own souls. What I have read to you as the instruction needs to be perfectly practised. You can train up a child in the way that he should go and he will not depart from it. But we are living in dreadful days. In the light of our duty to achieve this, we can most of all say, I have failed. We can repent to God, we can ask Him for forgiveness and He will forgive. I always say, If you have murdered someone, can you be forgiven? can you bring them back? If you have murdered your children, can you be forgiven? but can you bring them back? The point is, Those of you who are parents with little children, listen to the older ones, they can help you; because they have seen that those little children become adults. While they are little like this, you can’t see what they are going to become, but if you listen to the counsel of God’s word, and to the confessions of adults, you can learn and you can make progress. When the enemy has broken in, as he did in Genesis, with the bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, when the enemy of souls has caused rifts to take place and your own silken cords of affection to your children and relatives are very strong, and you are prone to say, I think I’ll compromise a little; what is the comfort for you? Remember the silken cords that have been established by Jesus’ wonderful sacrifice to us, if we will permit that to take root;

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones.

Of whose bones? Of whose flesh? Jesus’. Isn’t’ that right? Didn’t He become one of us, of the seed of the woman, with the same flesh? The unity of silken cords of affection has been established.

In his relation to Christ he [the Christian] will be bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, one with Christ in a peculiar relationship, because Christ took the humanity of man. He became subject to temptation, endangering as it were, His divine attributes. Satan sought, by the constant and curious devices of his cunning, to make Christ yield to temptation. Man must pass over the ground over which Christ has passed. As Christ overcame every temptation which Satan brought against Him, so man is to overcome. {7BC 926.5}

Because we are bound to Him by the silken cords of affection. He is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Jesus has made a provision so that when your heart strings are drawn out to marital partners and children, He says, Look at me, let this bind you. If they won’t be bound to me, who will you love most? I, the God of Israel, became bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh. Will you love Me more than these? We must keep on exercising our minds on the beautiful gift of Jesus Christ, and we will not permit the silken cords of affection that Satan uses to take us away from Jesus. Those who lose flesh of their flesh and bone and of their bones, may find an intimacy that is warmer than any human intimacy. Your children cannot get inside of your body, the Holy Spirit can, and that is much closer than even any human being. He will take of Jesus and show it unto you, inside of you. That is precious. That is what keeps you joyful when the world is falling in peril.

In the last days, Satan, as before, and now more intensely, will cause the silken cords of affection to snap. Which ones will snap in you? Satan’s and the relatives, or Christ’s and the children of God? John 17, read it there, it is all part of it. The silken cords of affection created by God for the delight of human relationships, Satan has insinuated himself and perverted. In the last days, families must understand their need of the counsel of God and exercise it against Satan. Where souls refuse, let them go. Let true believers choose Christ before them. Attract them if they will. That is all you can do.

May God help us to understand this principle as we launch out into the final scenes of these last days.

Amen.

Posted on October 17, 2009, in Relationships, Relationships in the Last Days and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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