6. Heaven’s Ideal for Marriage

By John Thiel, Restoration of the Marriage Institution Seminar, Study 6, mp3

God’s church is meant to convey particular components to those who are entering into marriage. It is God’s church that is to restore the institution of marriage and heavens ideal of marriage must be entered into if they are restorers of the marriage institution. We want to put into sequence in reference to what responsibility the church has to restore the marriage institution to those who are entering it.

Marriage is an entering into from a plurality into a singularity. The twain shall become one flesh. Let us explore this item when it comes to applying it to people who are looking for a marriage partner and establishing a proper relationship both originally and if things have gone wrong to reestablish it.

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

God made a help meet for Adam. How did He do it?

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.

As you examine verse 18 in its connection to verse 21 to 24, how do we understand the word help meet? Made suitable. God made a woman suitable for the man. That is what the hallmark of marriage is. That is the ideal that God had in mind in regards to combining two people. It was in reference to someone who was specially designed for that person. That is Gods ideal. Who was responsible for giving Adam a companion? God.

 God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided “an help meet for him”–a helper corresponding to him–one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self; showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one.” {AH 25.3}

To be a church that is a restorer of paths to dwell in does not refer to making a decision whether you should not have divorce or remarriage, but it is to focus on a development within in the church of weddings and marriages that are according to the above statement principle in Adventist Home page 25.3. That is the restoration of the marriage institution. I have been in ministries where they claim the restoration of the marriage restoration is to make sure that it is only to death do us part and no divorce and remarriage. That is very short of the mark of what the rest of the marriage institution is all really about.

The item of a help meet so that they are one flesh, bone of the same bone and flesh of the same flesh is identifying something very important in selecting a marriage partner. They are to become one flesh. We read it in Matthew 19 and we have read it before but it now comes with another dimension of application where Jesus spoke to the Pharisees. The Pharisees were saying we can have divorce but Jesus said just a moment, remember what God had done. I can read this again and again and have great joy in it as this is Gods mind portrayed here.

Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read,

Don’t you understand what you should be doing as a ministry?

Matthew 19:4 …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.

Very vividly here as you focus on that principle of God’s creation, He created marriage. What was His creation of marriage of having two people joined together that were put together by His guidance, His creation an amalgamation of a helpmeet? Somebody that God had especially selected for that person. Here comes the counsel of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to ensure that they know what they should be doing.

Mated but Not Matched

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Marriage is a yoke of two people uniting together. Don’t be unequally yoked. If the ministry is going to teach its young people, they are going to teach something that is going to restore the marriage institution God initiated it. They are going teach that if you find somebody, make sure you are not unequal. That is the responsibility of the church. Make sure there is not an unequal yoking. Most people read this only as far as unbelievers.

2 Corinthians 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Taking that, be not unequally yoked together beyond the unbeliever concept, you can see the way God created it, it was to be a yoking together with somebody that was specially designed for that person. If you yoke together people that are not designed for each other, you are yoking a difficulty and a problem that creates. That is part of the restoration of the marriage institution. We know Amos 3;

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

This pertains to many different phases of life to be in mind and heart and practice and nature as close as possible to each other. The mentality of the world is opposites attract is absolute garbage. That’s not the way that God put it. He said they belong together as one, not opposites not to be unequally yoked together.

Few have correct views of the marriage relation. Many seem to think that it is the attainment of perfect bliss; but if they could know one quarter of the heartaches of men and women that are bound by the marriage vow in chains that they cannot and dare not break, they would not be surprised that I trace these lines. Marriage, in a majority of cases, is a most galling yoke. {AH 44.1}

What a sad statement. You share this subject with people and they say don’t be so negative marriage is beautiful. Yes, heavens ideal is but they don’t follow heavens ideal. The majority of cases identifies marriages as a galling yoke.

There are thousands that are mated but not matched. {AH 44.1}

God has matched in His order of things but the world mates but doesn’t match.

The books of heaven are burdened with the woes, the wickedness, and the abuse that lie hidden under the marriage mantle. This is why I would warn the young who are of a marriageable age to make haste slowly in the choice of a companion. The path of married life may appear beautiful and full of happiness; but why may not you be disappointed as thousands of others have been? {AH 44.1}

To be a restorer of paths to dwell in, to be a ministry that claims they are Gods church, this dimension needs to be addressed by them to ensure that their young people who are members of the church are carefully guided so they will be matched before they are mated. Make haste slowly.

He who gave Eve to Adam as a help meet, performed His first miracle at a marriage festival. {MH 356.1}

Jesus was the one who gave them as a help meet and so as Gods children we are followers of Jesus Christ.

The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth.  It was designed to be a blessing to mankind. And it is a blessing wherever the marriage covenant is entered into intelligently, in the fear of God, and with due consideration for its responsibilities. {MH 356.4}

There is a design in everything He instituted. Can you see where the church has been miserable failures in restorers of paths to dwell in?

Those who are contemplating marriage should consider what will be the character and influence of the home they are founding. As they become parents, a sacred trust is committed to them. Upon them depends in a great measure the well-being of their children in this world, and their happiness in the world to come. {MH 357.1}

A lot of people think it is nice to have a baby. I want a baby. They have a baby and they don’t realise that the bonding of each other has a tremendous effect on those children and as those children grow up into human beings of intelligence they are tossed about by the parental incongruences and that needs to be entered into by a church that restores the paths to dwell in by the careful help of those young people. That is why we read as we get to the end, the fewer marriages we enter into the better. Why? Because we are heading into difficulties that unless they are absolutely matched, it only creates more difficulties. Do I want to bring into the world physically handicapped children? Dr Kellogg said if you have a physical malfunction, don’t marry. If I am a healthy man and I fall in love with an incapacitated woman it will be passed on. That was the stand that the old pioneers took.

To a great extent they determine both the physical and the moral stamp that the little ones receive. {MH 357.1}

How important that the parents as they look for each other’s company or marital unity that they examine all those factors.

“But I fall in love.” So what. This is the mentality of today. The point is why even get married just because you want to get married? In the light of the times in which we live and of all things considered.

And upon the character of the home depends the condition of society; the weight of each family’s influence will tell in the upward or the downward scale. {MH 357.1}

Why are societies falling apart today? The homes are falling apart. Do we want to be a church on the upward or downward scale? These are weighty responsibilities that need to be considered when people are the builders of the old paths.

We have a very serious subject. It is a very sacred subject. It is something much more than what society today considers. Because of that, they run into the problem of the divorce and remarriage subject. Can you see how ridiculous it is? They haven’t done the first works. What did Jesus say to the Pharisees? You are not to have left the smaller things undone but take care of the things that are the weightier matters of the law. Here is the weightier matter that people neglect for the legality. These are the things that have bothered me ever since I came into the ministry that people don’t consider so much the detail of this. They consider yes, they talk to the young people about courtship but when I hear the way they talk about courtship it makes me feel sick. They talk about something that is not as serious and deep as we are talking about here. If they talking about something that we are talking about here, it is regarded as it’s too harsh, let them have their romance and enjoy themselves.

Religion is needed in the home. Only this can prevent the grievous wrongs which so often embitter married life. Only where Christ reigns, can there be deep, true, unselfish love. Then soul will be knit with soul, and the two lives will blend in harmony. Angels of God will be guests in the home, and their holy vigils will hallow the marriage chamber. {MYP440.1}

I was once studying with a man and he said what?! They are in the marriage chamber? What? He couldn’t cope with that.

Debasing sensuality will be banished. Upward to God will the thoughts be directed; to Him will the heart’s devotion ascend. {MYP 440.1}

This throws the whole marriage intimacy into a higher level when you understand God’s ideal that should be concentrated on. As the heart yearns for human love, that human love must be connected with the divine love otherwise it is not a love that keeps a marriage together. Once the people are united in this correct procedure as God united Adam and Eve, that doesn’t mean that the church is now released from a responsibility to restore the marriage institution. What happened to Adam and Eve? Sin came into the picture and that perfectly matched couple ran into problems. Such a thing is possible still now. Again the responsibility of the church is here important.

When Sin Comes into the Picture

Notice what kind of sin comes into the picture that destroys a beautifully matched couple.

They now began to see the true character of their sin. Adam reproached his companion for her folly in leaving his side and permitting herself to be deceived by the serpent; but they both flattered themselves that He who had given them so many evidences of His love, would pardon this one transgression, or that they would not be subjected to so dire a punishment as they had feared. {PP 57.2}

Do you hear that in marriages sometimes? Why did you do that? That is what sin does. It makes men and women blame each other and tell each other off. Is that what it is meant to be? We are supposed to be matched but sin comes along and does that. Then you have marital problems.

Satan exulted in his success. He had tempted the woman to distrust God’s love, to doubt His wisdom, and to transgress His law, and through her he had caused the overthrow of Adam. {PP 57.3}

But the great Lawgiver was about to make known to Adam and Eve the consequences of their transgression. The divine presence was manifested in the garden. In their innocence and holiness they had joyfully welcomed the approach of their Creator; but now they fled in terror, and sought to hide in the deepest recesses of the garden. But “the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” {PP 57.4}

God came in because sin had come in and their marital relation was being challenged. They said ‘We heard your voice and we hid ourselves.’

Adam could neither deny nor excuse his sin; but instead of manifesting penitence, he endeavored to cast the blame upon his wife, and thus upon God Himself: “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” He who, from love to Eve, had deliberately chosen to forfeit the approval of God, his home in Paradise, and an eternal life of joy, could now, after his fall, endeavor to make his companion, and even the Creator Himself, responsible for the transgression. So terrible is the power of sin. {PP 57.5}

Look at marriages that are having trouble. One blames the other and the other is just as a seriously at fault as the one they are blaming. That is when sin comes into a perfectly matched couple and that needs to be addressed if we are going to be restorers of the marriage institution. There needs to be a restoration of the ideal of what marriage is meant to be. In the early stages of a marriage breaking up, God came straight in and dealt with it. If a ministry can see problems in a marriage, it is responsible to restore the marriage institution. Not to tell them you shouldn’t be like this or that but to show the way, heavens way.

How to Relate To Each Other

That is the love that is to be engendered. Eve quickly defended herself, “The serpent did it.” It is the personal error of one’s own self that sees the faults of others. In a marriage you see it all the time. The persons own problem is mirrored against the other person. They show up their distaste of another person’s faultiness when they are actually the ones with that problem. Yes Eve was wrong but so was he. That is what sin does.

To restore the marriage institution is to install Jesus Christ because that is what God did in Genesis 3:15. The seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head and that was Jesus. Bringing Jesus into the equation, the marriage was restored.

Like every other one of God’s good gifts entrusted to the keeping of humanity, marriage has been perverted by sin; but it is the purpose of the gospel to restore its purity and beauty. {MB 64.1}

Marriage is Beautiful

Marriage is beautiful but only when the gospel restores it. The gospel Christian church who has the true gospel, not pharisaical legalistic messages but true gospel religion, that is the only one that can restore the purity and beauty of the marriage institution.

The grace of Christ, and this alone, can make this institution what God designed it should be. {MB 65.1}

No amount of church regulation can do it. How can you restore a marriage institution by church regulations? And yet it is claimed we are restoring the marriage institution by laying down the principles of our faith that divorce and remarriage is not right.

An agent for the blessing and uplifting of humanity. And thus the families of earth, in their unity and peace and love, may represent the family of heaven. {MB 65.1}

Then it is a symbol of the heavenly family when Christ and his grace alone restores the marriage institution.

 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}

How can it be done by Christ? When sin has come in to undermine and destroy the beautiful relationship.

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}

That is what marriage and sin has done. It is a selfish love. What is selfish love? We loved Him because He loved first us. We only have selfish love. God has the true love. He comes along and is nice and loving and kind to us so we love Him. That is the beginning of the equation. He wants us to discover His love even though there are un-pleasantries such as when the wife gets ugly because she grows old. The love of God looks beyond the appearance. When sinful characteristics come in, we can look past those faults and errors because God’s love is the only thing that can make the marriage sweet with the bitterness of disappointments that are contained therein through sin.

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. 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}

The golden chain of love is a bond, it’s a chain. Marriage is a chain too we read. It is a chain that chains you down to misery and sin but the golden chain of love binds something more beautiful than that. The mentality of those who have entered and understand this restoration principle that it is a matching, a concentrating on Jesus in the match, that the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:6 which says what God has joined together let no man put asunder, that is sealed by the law of Romans 7.

The Law of Liberty – Not the Legal Law

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

It is not a law that condemns. It is a law that binds the two together. What is that law? The law of faith and love. That law can only be broken when death has separated them. That’s the reality. Under God’s ministry marriage can only be restored to its pristine beauty by the ministry that has it right.

Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

What were the gifts?

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

What did he give those gifts for?

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

People with these gifts are to use them for this purpose, to restore the marriage institution.

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

This is the restoration.

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Speaking the truth not according to legalism but in love.

Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Marriage is an edifying of itself in love. The gifts of husband and wife work together just like in a church the different gifts work together to edify each other up in love and that is what marriage is meant to be. How can a church work like this unless it clings to such a pure doctrine of the marriage issue that it is going to achieve that? If it doesn’t have this installed, then it happens so easy that divorces and remarriages take place. That is where it comes from. A church that has principle very clear in its mind.

1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

Isn’t that the correct thing that a ministry would do? It would actually communicate this sort of thing that as there’s a threat of divorce the ministry should come in and say, “No, let us prevent that from happening. Let not the woman put away her husband. Let those who are married not put away each other.” But if there can’t be a restoration and they want to part then stay in a relationship with Jesus until you can restore it again. This is not talking about Matthew 19:6. It is not talking about that. It is talking about restoring a marriage if you really put it in its correct framework by comparing scripture with scripture. The moment you put this in a legal manner, you’re destroying it. “Oh, you’ve separated, you’ve got to remain unmarried.” Can you see? That’s the legalistic approach.

When you see it from the church that restores marriages from that perspective, it puts a whole different slant to it. That’s the way that people read their Bibles on the slants of legalism and as a result there is heart ache and misery. I have not seen many happy marriages even amongst ministers and their wives because of legalism.

1 Corinthians 7:39 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.

It’s exactly the same language as the law says “Thou shalt not” instead of “Thou shalt”. It’s a promise. That slant applies here. In the gospel of Jesus Christ, the law takes a different slant. In the gospel of Jesus Christ there is a restoration of the paths to dwell in that we identified in Isaiah 58:12 and Prophets and Kings page 678.

Every divine institution is going to be restored from that approach. If we have truly been redeemed by Jesus, then Isaiah 61 applies. We will be restorers in God’s way. That heavenly ideal of marriage will be applied when young couples are looking for a relationship. When sin has come in after they have been perfectly matched, the other application applies to restore what they had lost and the concept of divorce and remarriage doesn’t even come into the equation. That is the important thing.

When you have a church that hasn’t done its homework properly and stipulates its legal demand on divorce and remarriage, they can’t be regarded as having done their job. It is easy as a parent to just buffet your children into obedience but to train them gently into obedience is hard work and the ministry has the same responsibility. May the Lord help us to appreciate this segment of approach of the restoration of the marriage institution.


About The Typist

Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 09/07/2010, in Restoration of the Marriage Institution (Seminar), Restoring Old Paths and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. what is facebook , if it costs anything l do not want it , thankyou

    • its totally free and costs nothing. its a social networking website. i do alot of missionary work on there with the studies i transcribe.

  2. are you the John Thiel who used to be connected with the SDA Reform church ?

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