5. Marriage a Symbol of Heaven’s Union

By John Thiel, Restoration of the Marriage Institution Seminar, Study 5, mp3

The wise shall be purified and they shall shine. We are in need of becoming part of the wise to understand.

Proverbs 4:4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget [it] not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [therefore] get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

This verse connects with the wise virgin’s parable and with the wise in Daniel who understand. This is an important subject and needs to be understood under the wisdom of God. God’s church on earth is to represent this institution. How? In God’s plan His church became established.

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

God’s church is to be the very pillar and ground of truth as a church and we need to understand the establishment of this church as the pillar and ground of the truth. This connects with Isaiah 58:12. Those that are of God will be the restorers of paths to dwell in, the pillar and ground of truth, the restorer of the foundation.

 The Lord has provided His church with capabilities and blessings, that they may present to the world an image of His own sufficiency, and that His church may be complete in Him, a continual representation of another, even the eternal world, of laws that are higher than earthly laws. His church is to be a temple built after the divine similitude, and the angelic architect has brought his golden measuring rod from heaven, that every stone may be hewed and squared by the divine measurement and polished to shine as an emblem of heaven, radiating in all directions the bright, clear beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The church is to be fed with manna from heaven and to be kept under the sole guardianship of His grace. Clad in complete armor of light and righteousness, she enters upon her final conflict. The dross, the worthless material, will be consumed, and the influence of the truth testifies to the world of its sanctifying, ennobling character. . . . {TM 17.1}

This statement identifies God’s final church, the church that is being measured and polished to shine as an emblem of heaven. It is clad with an armor and righteousness so she may enter her final conflict. We are studying the subject we have as a backdrop and we are seeing what God’s church is to really exist like as true reformers as the pillar of truth in the final conflict to stand brilliantly. The subject of the marriage institution would therefore be a subject that this pure church will reflect as heavens ideal. It is to shine as the glory of God itself.

Heaven’s Ideal

To understand the pure doctrines of God’s people is what we are in need of researching and building upon. The revelation regarding the marriage which is to reflect to the world around us is to be a symbol of the heavenly family.

 Marriage has received Christ’s sanction and blessing and is to be regarded as a sacred institution. True religion does not counterwork the Lord’s plans. God ordained that woman should be united with man in holy wedlock, to raise up families that would be crowned with honor who would be symbols of the family in heaven. . . . Marriage, when Jesus oined with purity and holiness, truth and righteousness, is one of the greatest blessings ever given to the human family. . . . {HP 202.2}

Remember what God’s plans are for marriage? God doesn’t counter that. Marriage is a production of a symbol of the heavenly family. The testimony of Jesus identifies it.

The divine love emanating from Christ never destroys human love…. 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. {HP 202.3}

Marriage is a symbol and foretaste of heaven. This is what the church to stand in its final conflict must portray. If we want to be part of such a company, this is our focus. Let us observe the detail of such a concept that represents the family of heaven.

When God Created Marriage

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.

What for shall a man leave? There was a joint that God had created. Therefore marriage continued. They shall be one flesh. We see the parallel to the family of heaven. In Genesis we see the singularity and the plurality that is identified as in a marriage.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

This is plural suddenly becoming singular and singular becoming plural. God said let us make man in our image after our likeness so God created man in His own image. In the image of God created He him. This is plurality and singularity in one. God says us. How many were there that He said us? Three. Those three is now God – His. God created man in His own image plural/singular. In the image of God created He him, male and female created He them. Them are Him just like it is with God, us and God. It is the same principle. Marriage is a plurality that becomes a singularity.

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 Jesus joined together, let not man put asunder.

The importance of this plural singular binding must be indelibly imprinted into a church that portrays the pillar and ground of the truth. Jesus said I am my Father are one. There are some people that believe there is only one God and Jesus is only His Son and the Holy Spirit a force.

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

The family of heaven is singular like marriage, singular but plural

John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Show us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

A belief must exist in the church of such a union that Father, Word and Holy Spirit is of such a unity that if you see one, you see the other. Haven’t you heard that being said about a couple being married? They are both the same. That is the way it is meant to be. They are so similar that they speak and act the same. That is what marriage is depicting as to what the family of heaven is like. This union Jesus enlarged.

John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

“God please reveal to these people the blessed union that we have, that we had before the world was.”

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

When you have children, the parents both say, “These children are mine.” The father says they are mine and the mother says they are mine and Jesus is speaking the same language.


There we shall know even as also we are known. There the loves and sympathies that God has planted in the soul will find truest and sweetest exercise. The pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and with the faithful ones of all ages, the sacred fellowship that binds together “the whole family in heaven and earth”–all are among the experiences of the hereafter. {Ed 306.2}

This is a bonding in unity that exists in heaven which marriage reflects as a symbol as the institution as God created it. Jesus who was entwined with the Godhead came to this earth so the Godhead can be entwined with us. Some people get a shock about this. When we study the love that is of God, it is a love that He brought Jesus into proximity in the entwinement and the atonement where man became part of God and God became man.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;

Was there a separation and annihilation between man and God? Indeed. To bring God and man together, Jesus came down in the body of His flesh to unite man with Himself so that man will become a complete new man and the barrier has been crossed in him.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

Heirs of what; heirs of the kingdom? Heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. In Jesus Christ a marriage took place which the atonement is a symbol of. They have entered into the unity of the Godhead. Isn’t that what Satan wanted? But he couldn’t have it. Only by the death and resurrection of Jesus is it possible.

John 17:22 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. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

A Marriage

The love of multiple entities loved and combined together in the love of God is what marriage is meant to be. Marriage is a symbol of the unity of heaven. What was this bonding of the Godhead which was shared with human beings? What was it called?

Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his Father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

The Godhead unit that is shared with the human being is a marriage, the marriage of Christ and his church.

 Christ honored the marriage relation by making it also a symbol of the union between Him and His redeemed ones. He Himself is the Bridegroom; the bride is the church, of which, as His chosen one, He says, “Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.” {AH 26.2}

Humanity not taking everything as it reads and comes up with all sorts of contortions so we actually believe in divorce and remarriage when it doesn’t even fit in to this picture. To appreciate the dimensions of true marriage requires a research into the revelations that are given in the book Song of Solomon. Song of Solomon goes into graphic detail of marriage and people say, is that right? It is a graphic detail of marriage clearly portrayed as Christ and His church. The expressions in Song of Solomon are symbolic of the relations between Christ and his church.

God Comes To His Bride to Be

Ezekiel 16:8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time [was] the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. 9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. 10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. 11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.

This bride He had made a covenant with became untrue to Him and played the harlot. He has a right to divorce hasn’t He? But did He? The descriptions that He gives of her harlotry are shocking.

Ezekiel 16:60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. 61 Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. 62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD: 63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.

Here is a case of adultery and fornication and the Lord was prepared to heal and renew the covenant with this harlot. This is God’s view of sin coming in and creating a rift in his people. He is not talking about the harlots that were not His people but His people that played the harlot.

The church that has been called by Him in this beautiful understanding of the gospel that has made its mistakes and been misguided by its own perversions, as Jesus partook of their corruptions and sins and died with it, the church that understands this, is the only true judge of the lofty principles of the marriage institution. There is no legalism involved. It is a relationship concept. The church that has been treated by her Saviour as He did so that she feels grotty about her sins and discovers He still loves her all of a sudden you feel God’s love shining. Those people know the true understanding of the marriage vow.

The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light which streams from the cross of Calvary, and in connection with the wondrous, central truth of the Saviour’s atonement. Those who study the Redeemer’s wonderful sacrifice grow in grace and knowledge. {5BC 1137.7}

The knowledge of the marriage of the vow and of the marriage institution is something as you look at the cross of Jesus as He took his harlot wife and became one and died with and raised up together with, is the atonement by which you can correctly understand the doctrine of the marriage. Can you see the contrast to legalism? It is a drastic contrast. Only by the relationship of atonement in Jesus can the standard of the marriage institution be upheld in its ideal character, only then. In the church that is heading towards its final conflict, if a marriage in that capacity becomes estranged, what is the gospel of Jesus going to do?

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.

Backslidden children and the very people who are small in number are addressed. I will take you one of a city and two of a family. I’m married to you. Here is the remnant, the faithful church that is going to submit to this call. We’ve been estranged, we’ve lost our way but God is calling me, He doesn’t want to divorce me. That is the principle of marriage and divorce. I will do my utmost to call you back. This is the mentality of the church. This is the restoration of the marriage institution.

Jeremiah 3:20 Surely [as] a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. 21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping [and] supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, [and] they have forgotten the LORD their God. 22 Return, ye backsliding children, [and] I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou [art] the LORD our God.

Here is a divorce that was ready to take place and the Lord is restoring the marriage institution. The church with its many ups and downs in its marriage to Christ has continued. Israel in majority fell away but the faithful ones have continued. That was his bride. Through history the Christian church has gone corrupt but the faithful ones continue.

“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted. But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me.” Isaiah 49:8-16. {AA 11.1}

  The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people. {AA 11.2}

   Through centuries of persecution, conflict, and darkness, God has sustained His church. {AA 11.3}

History shows that the mainstream churches went into corruption but the faithful ones continued. Some fraternized with the opposition but He called them out. In Laodicea He says come out of her my people.

During ages of spiritual darkness the church of God has been as a city set on a hill. From age to age, through successive generations, the pure doctrines of heaven have been unfolding within its borders. Enfeebled and defective as it may appear, the church is the one object upon which God bestows in a special sense His supreme regard. It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts. {AA 12.1}

Here is a church that understands the subject of marriage, harlotry and adultery, it knows. The church may appear as about to fall but it does not fall but it remains while the sinners in Zion are sifted out. She doesn’t’ fall entirely. A sinner may fall many times but he will rise again whereas the wicked will fall into perdition.

The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.–2SM 380 (1886). {LDE 180.5}

Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

Who is this woman? It’s the church with the twelve stars. Is this the story of the Old Testament or the New Testament? This woman brought forth a man child. This is the Old Testament woman, a woman with twelve stars. What sort of corrupt tribes were they? The twelve sons of Jacob. Study the sons of Jacob and see how corrupt they were. This is the woman. She gave birth to the man child.

Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.

This woman continues from the Old Testament through to the New Testament, it’s the same woman. She flees and has a terrible experience through the dark ages.

Revelation 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child]. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Here is the woman, the woman that is His bride who has come through all sorts of contortions, corruptions and falls.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of JesusChrist.

Here she is in her final stage. Where are we today? We are called to be part of that final church. We have gone through all sorts of corruptions and we have finally been purified, purged and burnt until all the dross has come away. Now starts this company of people in the last days that have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus.

Song of Solomon 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. 9 My dove, my undefiled is [but] one; she [is] the [only] one of her mother, she [is] the choice [one] of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; [yea], the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. 10 Who [is] she [that] looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, [and] terrible as [an army] with banners?

What does it say? Fair as the moon, clear as the sun. Wasn’t that the woman in Revelation 12? She comes finally as a remnant of her seed. There are many seeds that have made the church through the ages but here is the remnant of her seed. The church that understands and is the company in the light, the bridal party, the church has been through all those experiences and the true nature of the words, what God has joined together is what she represents. She stands in the last days as the true restorer of the marriage institution. The others, the harlots have a perverted view. They either have a view of legalism which they think they can get away with or the others have a view of legalism so you are filled with despair.

The Words of Corrupt Churches

Isaiah 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. 2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.3 And it shall come to pass, [that he that is] left in Zion, and [he that] remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, [even] every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: 4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

This is the purification of the church through burning. Yes there are people that all made all sorts of mistakes and sins and complications but they have been washed by the blood of the lamb. Their sins of the past are no longer acknowledged. She is pure because she has been purged from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith. That transaction has helped the woman to become perfectly clean. There is lots of uncleanliness that had to be washed from her. So many wrong actions of individuals in her but she has been purged and been made guiltless. We need to keep all that in focus as we deal with difficult questions that come up.


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Posted on 05/07/2010, in Restoration of the Marriage Institution (Seminar) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Adelheid newaka

    Thanks alot for these powerful words

  2. this web is a blessing to our home church. thank you and God bless you.

  3. I am really blessed to have this sermon it will help me a lot in my ministry. I will urge to to continue doing it.

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