04 Restoration of the Marriage Institution

By John Thiel, Marriage Seminar, Study 4, Audio: mp3

We are to study Gods word in such a way that the truth that we embrace is found in a frame work of truth rather than isolated truths and statements dependent upon other statements to understand a complete frame work of truth. There is a danger of studying the bible from a legal view point as we are to study it from a view point of Jesus Christ. In the last days Jesus will have a people approved of God and as a consequence they will be a company that restores all things as He says, “Those who are approved of me will restore all things.” To be of that company requires us to have a relationship with Jesus. As we are endeavouring to be part of a company that restores all things, we apply ourselves to that and allow nothing to interfere.

To be restorers of paths to dwell in, one of the paths we need to be restoring is the path of marriage, the restoration of the marriage institution. As we contemplate this work under the messages of the three angels messages, we know they are the very messages that the remnant of Gods people are actually pursuing and nothing was permitted for the genuine three angels messages people to interfere in their work. If we are going to restore all things, what should we be doing?

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein].

We are to be restorers and if we are, we are to ask for the old paths, the paths from the ancient of days. His ways are not our ways. Notice what He says for people who want to do that.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

If I’m going to find Gods ways which are not my ways, if I am going to stand in the paths and ways and see and ask for the old paths, he wants us to call upon him to help us to see them. If you call upon me I will answer thee. I will show you great and mighty things which you have no idea of. We are to take these words seriously. When God in his mercy shows us things that we did not know, then God’s perfect will comes into effect

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.

By whom? By Jesus Christ, not by the law. We are going to be judged by Jesus and what we do with Him. Why did He die? He gives us assurance. He died because we have been walking in ignorance in our own opinions. How many times Jesus said to the Pharisees you err not knowing the scriptures. Because we are, He says I will show you things. Something you have been ignorant of and you will learn so don’t get upset. He took our ignorant mistakes and died for them. As He shows us these things we have no idea of, the framework of truth opens a different picture. We are going to be judged by that man whom He hath ordained. I’ve been practising wrong in the past. The wrong practises of the past done in ignorance are not judged against us. We always identified sin as breaking the law of God but there is something else here.

John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

If in my blindness I have been doing things that weren’t right I have no sin. That is God’s way of judging. God does not judge with the seeing of the eyes or seeing of the ears. He has a righteous judgement. When a person is in darkness and blind He doesn’t hold Him to account for that. God will even bless a person and support him if in genuine ignorance foreign to Gods ways.

2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou [art] the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [that had been] too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife [to be] thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

What did God say? I have given you wives. Polygamy. I have set you up as king when I didn’t want Israel to have a king. God will bless people in a way that is not necessarily the way he wants it but since 1844 God is at work via the three angels messages to restore all things.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Jesus will come when there is a restitution of all things. God’s people are called to do that in Isaiah 58:12.

 In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired. God’s remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue. Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to co-operate with Him in building up the waste places. They are to be repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in. See verse 12. {PK 678.2}

What is included in the restoration of all things?

He referred them to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things “very good.” Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity. Then, as the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, saying, A man shall “leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one” (Genesis 2:24), He enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time. {MB 63.2}

He enunciated it back there where there was no sin. That is the institution that is a twin to the Sabbath.

Marriage and the Sabbath Twin Institutions

Marriage was from the creation, constituted by God, a divine ordinance. The marriage institution was made in Eden. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment was instituted in Eden, when the foundations of the world were laid, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Then let this, God’s institution of marriage, stand before you as firm as the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Letter 8, 1888, pp. 1, 2. {1MR 160.3}

We take great pride sometimes legally to defend the Sabbath and the Sabbath is indeed to be defended. It is do with the glory of God and so the marriage is too. The minute details of true Sabbath keeping are also applicable to true marriage keeping and what a bizarre situation we find ourselves in today. As mad as is the breaking of the Sabbath is the breaking of the marriage institution. Jesus identifies in his life that he came to restore the marriage institution.

He came not to destroy the sacred relationship of marriage, but to exalt it and restore it to its original sanctity. {AH 121.2}

Those who in the last days who are part of that company who are to restore paths to dwell in, will do exactly what Jesus did. Jesus restores its original sanctity.

You are zealous for the truth. You love it and wish to invest something in it. This is all right, but be careful that the precepts you give to others are backed up with example. {2T 438.2}

You can legally argue everything but Jesus gave an example and we are to follow an example. Jesus gives a clear indicator since 1844 by precept and example to restore the marriage institution. The marriage institution was identified by Jesus in precept when He was challenged by the legalists. There is a mentality of saying oh that’s not fair, why were they able to do it and we can’t?

Matthew 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

What God has done in the beginning to the marriage institution is what we are to focus our attention on to restore it like that. There are many arguments that come today and Jesus says all these other things have to do with the hardness of the heart. He says if you want to give glory to God, what does it mean? Restore everything to his glory.

In The Beginning It Was Not So

Before these arguments arose among the legalists;

Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder

Here is the enunciation of marriage. A intertwining of two people that He has created so they become one. Once a couple have become one, how can you separate it? It is a terrible eruption of tearing and destroying contrary to what God created. If you look at what Jesus is saying and truth through Him and not through legalism, you have a different view point. God has put two together and by tearing them apart we are not giving glory to God. The people who are so occupied don’t have that in heart. No action of man can disentangle that until what? Sin came in and death had a chance of doing that. There was not meant to be death but death came because of sin. That institution will remain while both parties live.

“The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.” {AH 62.1}

Very simply Jesus raises the point. If we restore it to its original principle it’s the binding of two people who are one and let no man pull it asunder and the only thing that can is death. If death happens she may marry who she will.

In the youthful mind marriage is clothed with romance, and it is difficult to divest it of this feature, with which imagination covers it, and to impress the mind with a sense of the weighty responsibilities involved in the marriage vow. {AH 340.1}

Imagination cover s it from the weighty responsibility.

This vow links the destinies of the two individuals with bonds which nought but the hand of death should sever. {4T 506.3}

Nothing but death should sever that vow just as it reads. No interpretation. If Gods people who are restoring the marriage institution in the framework of what we have studied, the original concept, the representatives of the messages will display it in precept and example and in doctrine and personal practise.

The Dilemma Society is In Today

The waters have been muddied because of the shepherds who have not fed the flock – see Ezekiel 33 and 34. We live in a deplorable time in which marriages everywhere are crumbling as the beauty of the marriage institution has not been safeguarded. 51% of marriages are falling apart. Even Seventh Day Adventist ministers have a percentage of 51%. People are married by romance and sacred responsibilities are shaded over. There is misery and unhappiness.

 Now, as in Christ’s day, the condition of society presents a sad comment upon heaven’s ideal of this sacred relation.  {MB 65.2}

It is worse now as in her day there was not 51% divorce. As we are living in this debacle, second marriages aren’t often any better than the first. The mentality that comes upon the people is man shouldn’t live to be alone, we are meant to be married. The mentality is that if marriage is not to happen after divorce, then I am doomed to live lonely life. That is the mentality behind the divorce and marriage question. We live in the time of the Day of Atonement, the day of judgement. If we are fully occupied with the atonement of Jesus and the work of Jesus as my high priest now, I am involved in getting myself ready for Jesus to come and this priority nothing must interfere with.

All my attention must be upon Jesus for me to reach this high standard and condition as we look up on Jesus in contrast of legalism verses gospel religion. The people in Christ Jesus are branches in the vine connected to him. He turns their misery into joy, their ashes into rejoicing. In such a relationship, the misery, sorrow and heaviness because of the problems we are living in today, Jesus can provide a wonderful answer to that if we consent.

If We Consent

 All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. {DA 668.3}

Many people in today’s society are buried alive. They don’t really consent. The identifying with Him brings us into conformity to His will. Not because the legal statement is telling me to do that but because of my intimacy with Jesus who became intimately wrapped up with my sinfulness. It does something to me. It binds me to Him. With all the sufferings that He suffered with my ignorance, divorce and whatever it is, I am bound so close to Him that I will be obeying Him because I am carrying out my own impulses.

The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us. {DA 668.3}

  As Christ lived the law in humanity, so we may do if we will take hold of the Strong for strength. But we are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. {DA 668.4}

In such details as marriage, how can you find counsel in another human being? You are in dire straits. The internal part of you is being affected ad no human being can come into you but the Holy Spirit and Jesus can as I need counsel for the deep impressions of my personal discomforts.

The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Our hearts will often burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised. Whatever was given to Christ–the “all things” to supply the need of fallen men–was given to Him as the head and representative of humanity. And “whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22. {DA 668.4}

Many are fallen in the debacle of marriage today. The connection of Jesus with me in the intimacy that the atonement of Christ is all about, He came into sinful flesh and He had to struggle with the sinful flesh as I struggle with my sinful flesh. I struggle with the misery and the horror of the debacles of marriage and when romance has removed these responsibilities and I wake up too late, all these things that go on in the hearts of people, is a horrifying experience that only an internal Jesus can actually deal with.

Yet even for those who have found bitterness and disappointment where they had hoped for companionship and joy, the gospel of Christ offers a solace. The patience and gentleness which His Spirit can impart will sweeten the bitter lot. The heart in which Christ dwells will be so filled, so satisfied, with His love that it will not be consumed with longing to attract sympathy and attention to itself. {MB 65.2}

He will tell you how to deal with it. Isn’t that what you long for in a husband or a wife? I need help please and the comfort doesn’t come and you think why did I get married? You will not long to attract sympathy to self. Isn’t that what happens; a wife does things to attract the husband to herself. None of that because Jesus is there.

And through the surrender of the soul to God, His wisdom can accomplish what human wisdom fails to do. Through the revelation of His grace, hearts that were once indifferent or estranged may be united in bonds that are firmer and more enduring than those of earth–the golden bonds of a love that will bear the test of trial. {MB 65.2}

With the personal atonement with Jesus intact, if there is a loss of a marriage partner it is not so shattering because they have become one flesh and the spirit of communion with Jesus is so satisfying. The flesh may scream but the spirit is content. The battle between the spirit and the flesh is found in Jesus Christ.

Legalists

These statements are read and interpreted legalistically;

Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

This is what Jesus said. Yet Jesus said in another statement which seems a contradiction but when you see it from this perspective, it’s not a contradiction.

If you are perfectly content in Jesus Christ and you are put away by your spouse, then you will not commit adultery because you are contended in Jesus Christ. The concept of divorce and remarriage is put in its correct setting. The same Jesus who said what He said in Matthew 9 says this in reference to personal intimacy with Him.

Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.

In the framework of an intimacy with Christ, this is where this applies. Many in the churches look for an escape route somewhere and they will go to those verses. We will cover that later but we are looking at a picture here of restoring the marriage institution. You do it in Christ. If there is a separation and one partner finds himself alone, the experience of loneliness looks to find a partner but Gods institution of marriage restored at such a very difficult time as this is we do not and must not get into the legal concepts otherwise we will lose souls.

Many find themselves in second marriages problems. How can they come to the information and join Gods people by precept and example? At the time of ignorance God winked at. That which was done in blindness is not against them. That is what Jesus said. But now is the time for everyone everywhere to repent and to restore. So what do you do? Stand loyal to the marriage you have whether it’s a second one or not. That is the loyal one when all things have been explained by Christ. Those who come to the company and they are solo mums and dads and they embrace this beautiful restorative message and they feel sad and say, “This means I’m not going to marry again.” If they have Jesus in their heart, how will they respond?

The Beauty of Jesus is the Answer

Mark 10:28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. 29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

If you are wrapped up with the restorative issues and you come into a church that upholds this in all its beauty and you are a solo person, are you going to be occupied with finding a marriage partner? It says because I love to restore the marriage institution and by my example I’m going to restore the marriage institution and I’m going to be among the people, the disciples of Jesus who have forsaken wife and children for His sake, if they do this and they join, this is the part that the church must examine itself closely on. If they do this and become part of such a company, they shall receive a hundred fold in this time houses, brethren’s and children.

I have a family, I have brothers and sisters and those who come from a broken home the family of the Lord must provide a family. This is part of Gods final remnant people. The whole concept of being a restorer of paths to dwell in which brings pain in the suffering of the flesh must be done for Jesus Christ and the glory of God. It will not be a burden but a comfort that the Lord Jesus provides. As Jesus says you are going to receive my presence and you are going to receive eternal life together with brothers and sisters on earth. This is what it means to be part of those who are restorers of the marriage institution and paths to dwell in.

Amen.

Posted on June 28, 2010, in Marriage and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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