Relationships for Heaven

By John Thiel

Psalms 133:1 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 [It is] like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, [even] Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore.

Life for evermore is to be enjoyed on the mountains of Zion, the New Jerusalem. Our attention to relationships in this study is to fit us for the society of heavenly unity and bliss.

The whole Word of God is our rule of action. We are to carry out its principles in our daily lives; there is no surer mark of Christianity than this. We must carry out the great principles of justice and mercy in our relations with one another. We must be daily cultivating those qualities that will fit us for the society of heaven. {BLJ 170.5}

Our focal point is the principles of justice and mercy in our relationships. What are the characteristics of the society that we are to be fitted for and the purpose of life at the present time?

God desires that heaven’s plan shall be carried out, and heaven’s divine order and harmony prevail, in every family, in every church, in every institution. Did this love leaven society, we should see the outworking of noble principles in Christian refinement and courtesy and in Christian charity toward the purchase of the blood of Christ. {AH 535.3}

Did you pick up the characteristics of that society? It was heavens order, harmony, refinement and courtesy. Those are the characteristics we need to focus on if we are going to be there.

Spiritual transformation would be seen in all our families, in our institutions, in our churches. When this transformation takes place, these agencies will become instrumentalities by which God will impart heaven’s light to the world and thus, through divine discipline and training, fit men and women for the society of heaven. {AH 535.3}

The characteristics that we are to gain are heavens harmony, refinement and courtesy which are to be trained in us, trained by discipline so that we will be fitted for that society. These refining characteristics should be exercised between God’s people will only come into existence by discipline and training.

You can’t expect to see it in God’s people just like that. We have to go through discipline of training. This is the subject of relationship skills which I want to spend time exploring. Relationship skills are crucial for salvation. If we don’t have those relationship skills we won’t be fitted for heaven. This study will explore the source of such relationships and proceeding studies will focus on relationships in the home, church and public.

The Source of Such Relationships

Come back to the distant past before any angel was created.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In the beginning there was God, the Word and according to Genesis 1 the Holy Spirit was moving upon the face of the waters. In the beginning there were three individuals from everlasting. When you have three individuals, what do you need to have? You need to have good relationships. The three dignitaries of heaven had a relationship. Before they ever created they had a beautiful relationship. When God created He spoke.

Isaiah 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I [am] he; I [am] the first, I also [am] the last.

 48:13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: [when] I call unto them, they stand up together.

 48:14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these [things]? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm [shall be on] the Chaldeans.

 48:15 I, [even] I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.

He says, “Come close and listen to this.” In other words He is going to make a very important statement.

Isaiah 48:16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there [am] I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

The Lord God and His Spirit has sent the speaker Jesus, who said I am the last and first. At creation the Word created all things and it was the work of the three – the Word, the Spirit and the Father. These three decided to build and create and after creation as we know so well, sin arrived and there the three were in counsel and in their relationship the two sent the other one.

There was harmonious counselling and interacting together, which is worthy of studying as the source of our relationships. From eternal ages these three dignitaries from heaven purposed to create other intelligent entities. Why did they want to create? Why not enjoy each other’s company?

Why These Three Dignitaries Created Other Beings

  From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. {HP 191.2}

What does that mean? This means that God created beings for relationships between Him and them and among themselves. Relationships are what God’s existence and creation was all about. The Godhead’s relationship is entwined with those that He created. The purpose of God’s creation for the entire universe was to enter into a relationship with their creator and each other.

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.

 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

The above texts are pregnant with relationships. God made the planet and said let us make man in our image. It is plural and singular. To be in His image there needed to be two, male and female as a relationship exists between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Immediately we can see a relationship between husband and wife. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit were there but there were no other intelligent beings in the universe before the angels are created. It is like husband and wife who marry but is it normal for them to stay just the two of them? What does every woman want? They want to share their love and have children and that is what God says, multiply, enter into a relationship principal that we the Godhead have created and sourced but more than that I want you to take care of the whole world that I have created. Does that require a relationship?

To look after what He has so lovingly created require harmony between God and His created intelligences. The Ten Commandments are God’s character as the blueprint of all other relationships, happy, harmonious relationships. God’s character is the Ten Commandments because it’s the relationship between man to God and between human beings and other created intelligences.

It is a beautiful relationship that existed Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Happy and holy assimilation is the fabric of the very existence of God. As a young couple enjoy each other’s company they want to share their love with their offspring so God wanted to share their love with all the creatures they created; to be a temple of the Godhead in them. To interact in blessed harmony such was God’s yearning. It was not good for man to be alone so He created a helpmeet. It was not good for the Godhead to live in eternity just between themselves. He did what all married couples want to do. It is this that Jesus came to reveal.

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

How distinct can you get it? What is the glory He is talking about?

 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.

He is making a direct reference to something in existence before the foundation of the world before anything was created. What was it? The glory and love that existed between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That love is what Jesus wants all created beings to enjoy.

John 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.

God is anxious to communicate His love with other living entities.

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.

A beautiful revelation of what we read in the beginning that every creature from the seraph to man would be a temple of God, thou in me and I in them. The question is, why did Jesus say these words? What happened? The relationship that God had created in His creatures was wrecked. It is so beautiful to explore the harmony we have. What precious love it tantalises every person on this planet today. I want a loving relationship. You want it and crave for it don’t you? We want it so badly and we just about get to a beautiful relationship and it smashes in front of us like a bubble that explodes. Why, oh why? Notice how the loving relationship was shattered.

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

 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

What would they have done before they ate of the tree? God is coming let’s go and they would have run to him. But what happened?

 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

What has just happened? A relationship has just been shattered. Have you experienced that? You used to look forward to being with certain people and the next minute you’d rather stay home. Is that right? A relationship joy has just been shattered and this is the experience. A young couple love each other and enter into a marriage and after a while what happens? The early joy of love begins to melt away. When the romance is over the reality strikes. The reality is that we are on this planet to discipline ourselves for the society of heaven. That is what marriage is for, to learn and the church is there for that purpose. Why do we run away from someone we once enjoyed the company of? We became afraid.

Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?

 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.

The agony of broken relationships has been upon this planet ever since. God never designed that agony. Lucifer the enemy of all relationships is the designer of that. But whether with Lucifer or man, what was God’s careful deliberate activity? God engaged in a restoration.  What did He say in Genesis 3:15? Lucifer came in and did something so what did God say? I will put enmity. That beautiful relationship between the serpent and you I’m going to break.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Here is the first intimation of a restoration of the relationship but it wasn’t going to happen overnight, it was something way in the future, 4000 years after. In the breaking of the relationship what sign was broken? Man ran away. God doesn’t have a problem as He loves. Humans were to be the temple of the Lord.

Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. {DA 161.1}

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The incarnation brought God into a man that was affected by sin and was afraid.

God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple. God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul. {DA 161.1}

The relationship restoration skills manifested by God we are to learn and to copy. These restoration skills are to restore relationships where you don’t like to be in another person’s company anymore. We look to God so we can behold and copy Him in order to restore marital and church relationships that have been so maligned, twisted and contorted. Lucifer, His angels, Adam and Eve lost their love for God. How did that manifest itself? They were scared.  Adrenalin is a hormone, a chemical that deals with fear. Its fight or flight. When there is a fight or flight it is because of fear. A lot of people don’t know that fight is to do with fear. Lucifer exercised fight. Adam and Eve exercised flight and both have to do with fear, which is the opposite of love.

No Flight or Fight in Love

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

They lost their love for God. They lost their relationship with him. Did God lose His relationship with them? Did God lose His love for Lucifer? A lot of people don’t know this they think God let him go on with his rebellious nature and finally cast him out of heaven. No He did not. What did He do for Lucifer? Look at God’s relationship restoration skill and how He affected the mind and heart of Lucifer who lost his love.

 To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels. To this object he was about to bend the energies of that mastermind, which, next to Christ’s, was first among the hosts of God. But He who would have the will of all His creatures free, left none unguarded to the bewildering sophistry by which rebellion would seek to justify itself. Before the great contest should open, all were to have a clear presentation of His will, whose wisdom and goodness were the spring of all their joy. {PP 36.1}

Lucifer was deliberating doing it. Rebellion was seeking to justify itself and it was in the heart of Lucifer and God wouldn’t let it happen. What is the spring of all our joy? God and God’s love only.

   The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. {PP 36.2}

He came to demonstrate to the angels the relationship that exists. Lucifer thought Jesus was just another angel. That’s why he thought I am as strong and great as this angel. He was next in position. He thought God the word was only an angel so God had to show him.

About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng–“ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love. {PP 36.2}

   The angels joyfully acknowledged the supremacy of Christ, and prostrating themselves before Him, poured out their love and adoration. Lucifer bowed with them, but in his heart there was a strange, fierce conflict. Truth, justice, and loyalty were struggling against envy and jealousy. The influence of the holy angels seemed for a time to carry him with them. As songs of praise ascended in melodious strains, swelled by thousands of glad voices, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; unutterable love thrilled his entire being; his soul went out, in harmony with the sinless worshippers, in love to the Father and the Son. But again he was filled with pride in his own glory. His desire for supremacy returned, and envy of Christ was once more indulged. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as God’s special gift, and therefore, called forth no gratitude to his Creator. {PP 36.3}

A lot of people don’t realise Lucifer has had his chance. Lucifer did what every human being does who rejects the sacrificial service. Lucifer had the opportunity and opened his heart for a moment to this wonderful love but he turned against it again.

   The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; {DA 22.1}

Don’t you sometimes feel you want to ram people who are rebellious and put them into place? You can’t force relationships.

He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. {DA 22.1}

How many men I’ve talked to try to command this both in their homes and in the church. The woman is supposed to obey the man, do as you’re told woman. If we are going to exercise the same thing in the church that men are to rule women you have the same problem as commanding is not God’s way.

Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world’s dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.” Malachi 4:2. {DA 22.1}

   The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of “the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.” Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. {DA 22.2}

God knew that rebellion would come after He created creatures that were to enjoy relationships. He knew this could be broken so He already had the remedy in place. It is called the everlasting covenant. Analyse the items of restoration of relationships that we have to meet with each other on this planet. What did Lucifer do? He rebelled in his heart. How did God meet it? Kindness. Here is a principle in restoration of relationships. Resistance and rebellion were met with love and resignation. What did Jesus do? What did the God of the universe do to deal with this terrible condition?

   Lucifer had said, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; . . . I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14. But Christ, “being in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:6, 7, R. V., margin. {DA 22.3}

He emptied himself. Resistance was met by resignation and antagonism was met by kindness. These relationship skills Jesus came to teach us.

Matthew 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Is that resignation?

Matthew 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloak also.

What should you do as evil comes to you? Put a metal bar against it?

Matthew 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

That is the mentality of heaven.

Matthew 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so?

 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

That is the true meaning of perfection. Jesus put that before the people and practised it Himself. He showed it in living experience. When He was on the cross He didn’t revile or threatened. He took upon himself all the rebelliousness and antagonism and resigned to it. From that example and teaching the church is admonished.

What We Have to Discipline Ourselves To

Have you ever heard anyone say to you what a put on?

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

 3:14 And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Relationships have been and are violated because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Let us study the restoration principles of God’s world that are applicable to our home, church and fellow humanity. May God help us to pay attention to this important subject so we are fitted for the soon coming of Jesus so we have a place with Him in the blessed eternal Zion. How pleasant it is for brethren dwell together in unity. Doesn’t your whole being desire that? Praise the Lord He gives us the answers.

Amen.


Posted on March 20, 2011, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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