The Dearest on Earth to Me

By John Thiel

Do you know someone in the past or present with whom you have bonded in a relationship of perfect harmony? It is an ideal of relationships that everybody looks for. A friend that is so close in exercise of unity of mind in every respect – total unity. There was an example of such a friendship in the book of 1 Samuel that I would like to hail back to in order to appreciate the kind of experience of such a friendship. The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David and David loved him as his own soul. The souls of Jonathan and David were knit together.

1 Samuel 18:3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan is injured in battle and David laments over him.

1:26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

Jonathan and David shared a love, a relationship that was loftier than a courtship relationship. It was higher and more beautiful. Can we imagine such a relationship? Mabe their relationship was something like this poem.

Even when we are apart we are together

We have a special kind of communication that needs few words and little time.

We have a rare understanding that has grown strong enough over years to weather long silences and distant partings and still continues to grow.

We’ve been through a lot together and I guess that is why we are the kind of friends we are – the kind who understand each other without need for promises.

Our friendship has meant so much to me it has filled my life in so many ways. No other friendship ever could.

We have that kind of friendship that has grown over much time. And many shared moments. The kind of friendship that will last forever.

Isn’t that the kind of friendship that we love to dream of? To have such a friend that is dearest on earth to me. If you were to see two people in our midst that were so bound together, would that raise jealously in your mind? There is no need to be jealous. Every human may bask with such a one, a friend. The kind of friendship that we yearn for is possible for every human being on earth. Consider very carefully.

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Who is that friend? We read of him in John 15.

John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

What a friend one that sticketh closer that a brother!

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Jesus says – I want to be a friend to you. I want to be so close to you that I will tell you everything that my father tells me. We have a special relationship together. A special friendship. One that grows over much time and many shared moments. A kind of friendship that will least for ever. Just to appreciate that close friendship I want to read to you from Desire of Ages. Jesus is a friend to so many and yet they do not make him their special friend. He can be our special friend though, a friend that we have all to ourselves. We all want someone we can talk to – someone we can trust to keep our secrets. Someone who understands us so that we don’t have to be shy. A friendship where there are no barriers and everything is open.

Friendship with Jesus

Every soul is as fully known to Jesus as if he were the only one for whom the Saviour died….He cares for each one as if there were not another on the face of the earth. {DA 480.1} The soul that has given himself to Christ is more precious in His sight than the whole world. The Saviour would have passed through the agony of Calvary that one might be saved in His kingdom. He will never abandon one for whom He has died. Unless His followers choose to leave Him, He will hold them fast. {DA 480.5}

Here is an interesting point. Do you want such a friend as this? Just you and him. If I choose not to leave him he will hold me fast. Now notice the kind of unity.

Though now He is hidden from mortal sight, the ear of faith can hear His voice saying, Fear not; I am with you. “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore.” Rev. 1:18. I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept.The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isa. 54:10. {DA 483.1}

Isn’t that a close friend? Someone who knows exactly how I feel about any given situation. We have a rare understanding because we have been through a lot together. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear I know. The things that you share with Jesus are so deep that you need not tell any other human being. He is so close to you that there is nothing you need to have – and he will never condemn you for the thoughts that come to you. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no cord in any heart on earth look unto him and live. How personal, how close is this friend. This is the Atonement! AT-ONE-MENT totally. How intimate that you have another human being with whom you can release the things that are pent up inside yourself. You can release it and talk to him and experience the flow of precious friendship. Yes indeed Jesus became a human on earth in order for you and me to find a friend. Especially for me personally. He is the dearest one on earth to me. And how intimate, how deep, how far reaching is this friendship?

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Remember a friendship that will last with you forever

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. And who is that that is in you?

14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

I will not leave you comfortless – I will come to you inwardly. What a comfort for all who are yearning for an intimate relationship? A yearning for the comfort of being able to talk to someone and never feeling alone or forsaken. This is the relationship that Jesus offers inwardly.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

The Holy Spirit is a comforter that brings Jesus so close – he abides with me and in me. That word abide is there every moment that you are alone? Jesus lives within you. In other words he is my bosom pal in the fullest sense of the word. If you read your bulletin notice it says three lines from the bottom.

By beholding, man can but admire and become more attracted to Him, more charmed, and more desirous to be like Jesus until he assimilates to His image and has the mind of Christ. Like Enoch he walks with God. His mind is full of thoughts of Jesus. He is his best Friend. . . . {3SM 169.3}

Do you need to be jealous when you see two people perfectly united with one another? Never! This is because you have a relationship with Jesus that is sweeter to you than what you see between those two people. I ask you the question this morning is Jesus the dearest on earth to you? People have answered very quickly – Oh yes Jesus is dearest to me – but is that really so? I mean really? I have found the majority of Christians that say they love Jesus and that he is the best on earth to me are lying because the next minute they complain that they are so lonely. If Jesus really is your best friend you will never be lonely – never! Jesus is yearning to be our best friend and to never leave us alone. Look how extensively he purposes to relate with you. Notice what he says in Luke and how close he wants to be with you.

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

What is Jesus saying? He is saying “I want to be your bosom pal and if you’ve got anyone else in the bosom relationship aside from me you can’t have me.” He doesn’t mean that he wants you to hate your mother and father, he is simply saying that to have an intimate relationship with him it is to be of such a nature that it comes first and foremost. He is to be our best friend!

Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Jesus is saying I want to be so close to you that you will never be let down and never forsaken. I want to abide with you alone away from mother, father, sister etc. When you are away from them I want to have your companionship and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. He craves a closer relationship with you than anyone on earth. You are the dearest on earth to him. When such a friendship exists between best of friends what do these two friends do those friends do when one of them is yearning for something from the other? You want to satisfy the slightest desire of that friend – don’t you? At the slightest crook of the finger I will jump to his attention.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Can you see the twofold response to that friendship? You who were doomed to death, we were in a hopeless state and we needed a friend to rescue us from this fallen state which would otherwise condemn us in the judgment and what did this friend do for us? He jumped to attention and came straight to my rescue. Greater love hath no man than this that he might lay down his life for his friend. How seriously do we take this friend? He wants my friendship so much that he was prepared to jump to attention at my need. Now he simply says – if you are my friends you will do whatever I command you. I am your friend, I have responded to your need immediately. Will you be my friend too and jump to attention at every yearning of mind? In this friendship of his jumping to my need – it invokes a response in me and my heart goes out to him. What a friend! What a heart binding emotional comfort lies in this friendship. It brings me to tears what he did for me.

If we are Christ’s, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. All we have and are is consecrated to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things. {SC 58.2}

He is my best friend. The dearest on earth to me. So close – and if I want to open my mind to this amazing friend, then I am never alone – I am never discomforted. I have an abiding friend 24 hours a day seven days a week. Commonly this term is solely applied to marriage and to the family. When we use the words “the dearest on earth to me” we use it for the term family. Now indeed if marriage is so contracted that it is in conjunction with Jesus with both husband wife and children then it is true.

The presence of Christ alone can make men and women happy. All the common waters of life Christ can turn into the wine of heaven. {AH 28.1}

What a beautiful representation – remember how Jesus turned the waters to wine at the wedding?

The home then becomes as an Eden of bliss; the family, a beautiful symbol of the family in heaven. {AH 28.1}

The family is a beautiful symbol of the family in heaven. Do you notice the swing of the material that we have been meditating this morning? If you have Jesus as your very best friend exclusive of everyone else so that – the husband has Jesus like that and the wife has Jesus like that and the children have Jesus like that. What is the natural thing? Every one of them has an intimate personal friendship with Jesus all throughout their years. What sort of a consequence will that produce? Won’t the Christ in one rejoice in the Christ in the other? Can you imagine the bliss!!! Sadly this is an imaginary dream for a lot of people in this world. It is a rarity today.

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

This is the plight in marriage problems – each marriage partner wants the full attention of their partner and if they don’t get it they lament and carry on but when Jesus is in the heart it is another matter. Indeed as it said the gospel provides a solace when marriages of today do not have that bliss. The individual who makes Jesus his very best friend will find a perfect comfort. And if the family makes Jesus their best friend the family will be a symbol of heaven – but notice it is only a symbol. If you as an individual are the only one in your family that really has Jesus your heart, you will still experience the symbol of marriage in your personal relationship with Christ. Consider the source of the union of the heavenly family.

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.

5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

What a sad mistake many people are making in the understanding of the Godhead. What is meant here in this statement is that there are three living beings who are the source of all life. They love each other so intimately that they are one. They are so close that where one is, the other is perfectly represented. This is the family of heaven. When these three produced angels, humans and other life in the universe, the heavenly family expanded and became big. And the source of their unity and love is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What did Jesus say?

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Now let us receive the prayer of Jesus and what he meant with that

John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

The very love wherewith the Father loved Jesus – it was his prayer that would partake of that love too. The Holy Spirit is a comforter that brings Christ right inside of us

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

The Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the only begotten Son of God, binds the human agent, body, soul, and spirit, to the perfect, divine-human nature of Christ. This union is represented by the union of the vine and the branches. Finite man is united to the manhood of Christ. Through faith human nature is assimilated with Christ’s nature. We are made one with God in Christ. {RH, April 5, 1906 par. 16}

Faith is needed for this to happen. If you exercise faith you will experience the dearest on earth to you and it will be Jesus Christ the human who is bonded in perfect union with his Father. A union of love as you know so well in the letter of John.

John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

God is love. And he who dwelleth in God dwelleth in love or the other way around – he who dwelleth in love dwelleth in God. This is what humanity is craving for and it is made possible through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ and the Father. We can be one with God in Christ in an intimacy that only the Godhead knows. Isn’t that beautiful!!! Every individual who is so bound in Christ will find others in that assimilation.

John 17:24 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.

17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

What was that the glory he wants us to behold. It is the glory – for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world. A love like that is glorious because it is the very thing that people are jealous for and God’s people never need to be jealous for it. It’s a reality, a possibility and so this is a prayer of Jesus.

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

17:23 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.

Notice how now it bifurcates – I in them and thou in me. I in them and thou in me that they (plural) may be one as we are one. Jesus your very best friend who shares with you everything of the Father (if you will make him indeed the only most central friend in your life) what will he do with you and with others?

He desires the union between those who work for Him to be as close as the union between Him and His Father. Those who have felt the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit will heed the lessons of the divine Instructor, and will show their sincerity by doing all in their power to work in harmony with their brethren. . . . {UL 366.3}

It is possible for us here on earth to have a relationship with each other just like Jesus had with the Father. That is what Jesus is praying for.

This request of Christ has no limit to its fulness. {RH, November 3, 1896 par. 3}

This request of Christ has no limit to its fulness. Did you pick that up? It has no limit. The prayer of Christ that we should be one as he is one has no limit to its fulness. You who connect with Jesus and I who also who connect with Jesus may have a union of love the fulness of which has no limit. But there is a “BUT”.

He desires that his followers shall reveal to the world his spirit of unity and love. BUT before this unity can exist among them, there must be a genuine renovation of every heart; there must be a vital connection with God; the character must be formed after the divine similitude. {RH, November 3, 1896 par. 3}

Here comes an interesting point – before this unity can exit among them there must be a genuine renovation of every heart. There must be a vital connection with God, the character must formed after the divine. You see as I’m sharing this subject with you it’s beyond our comprehension isn’t it? We find it difficult to comprehend and see it perfectly. What stops us from seeing it perfectly? Because first, there must be a genuine renovation of every heart – a vital connection with God. Until I have that vital connection with Jesus, it can’t happen – there won’t be perfect unity among God’s people.

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

There is the warmth that can take place among Gods people – a happy assimilate – thus will be answered the prayer of Christ. For this oneness every truly converted heart will be striving. Here is the message for today brothers and sisters. Do you like what I have shared with you? What a blissful Idea. When I got married my brother said to me at the wedding “John you are an idealist aren’t you”. I replied. “Yes – I am – my ideal is bent upon the ideal of heaven.” It is this ideal of unity and love that we need to believe and embrace in these last days. We need to strive for such a oneness that I will keep this ideal before my minds eye. And I will continue to labour in this church with this idea until the people pick it up or reject it – the choice is theirs to make. The final joy when we have all been renovated, when we have striven and gained the victory – I look forward to. The day when we reach that heavenly ideal in reality.

There the redeemed shall “know, even as also they are known.” The loves and sympathies which God Himself has planted in the soul shall there 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 who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, the sacred ties that bind together “the whole family in heaven and earth”– these help to constitute the happiness of the redeemed. {AH 544.1}

My ideal – I am going to experience to have such precious assimilation with fellow human beings and the angelsWe can gain it here if our hearts will be renovated. Those who are yearning and looking for a warm relationship – who are yearning for marriage – forget it. You can have it only if you’ve got it in Jesus first. I repeat you will never find a happy marriage without Jesus in your husband or wife. So get it first. Get it right with Jesus Christ. And it is these who truly engage here on earth in communion with their best friend who yearn for their communion. It is these whom have Jesus as their dearest friend on earth and Jesus has them as the dearest on earth and they have each other as the dearest on earth. It is written in our scripture reading.

Matthew 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 
12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

They said to Jesus “come on – you know that your mother is out there – why aren’t you going out there to speak with her?

Matthew 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Whosoever does the will of my Father is the dearest on earth to me. I would like to close with an appeal fellow believers. Do you feel lonely and alone inwardly to yourself? Then cross the barrier between you and Christ. Cross the barrier between you and his body. The disciples were the dearest on earth to him. Why? Whenever he spoke to the multitude the disciples formed the inner circle and pressed close beside him that they might lose nothing of his instruction. The disciples were the inner circle. So what must we do? We need to break the barrier.

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

The credential that we are the church of God must be displayed through the inner circle unity – I in them and thou in me. Can we comprehend the meaning of these words? Can we take it in? This is what I am trying to convey in the divine service. The thought that God loves us as he loves his Son should make us well up with gratitude and praise to Him. Provision has been made whereby God can love us as he loves his son and it is achieved through our oneness with Christ and our oneness with each other. We must each come to the fountain and drink for ourselves. A thousand around us may take of the stream of salvation but we shall not be refreshed unless we drink of the healing stream for ourselves. We must see the light – the beauty of God work for ourselves and kindle our taper. He wills that we should be one with him (what a thought) and make any sacrifice for his sake. Any and every sacrifice. Why are we still not in this perfect union? Because we are still not making every and any sacrifice for him. What a thought – He is my love, my righteousness, my comfort, my crown of rejoicing and he wills that we should behold his glory. The golden chain of love binding the hearts of believers in unity in bonds of fellowship and love and in oneness with Christ and the Father make the connection perfect and bears to the world a testimony of the power of Christianity that cannot be controverted.


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Posted on 18/02/2011, in Divine Service Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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