2. A Living Connection With the Living God

By John Thiel, Relationships Part 2, mp3

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

From eternal ages it was Gods 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.

God’s relationship, the warm relationship that existed between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, was God’s purpose by creating seraphs and other inhabitants of other planets and finally this planet. It is my purpose to focus on that living connection with the living God whose purpose for us is to be a temple for the indwelling of the creator. The Godhead wanted to share that and Satan came and wrecked it. He was the highest of all the angels. The very heart throb of God in desiring to impart the precious relationship beauty that existed in the Godhead, that heart throb having being ruined by Lucifer, God wanted to restore.

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.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit want to make their abode in us. As I pondered about relationships that we need to learn, I wanted to share God’s guidance in regard to relationships in the home, church and society but before I could enter into that, the Lord pulled me up and said first of all you must share with the people the relationship they must have with me. The instruction that God gives in reference to relationships, without a relationship with Him first, would be a burden to us.

The Do’s and Don’ts

Have you come face to face with the dos and don’ts? It all gets too much if we are going to uphold all the instruction and guidance God has given, we end up in the same train as the world around us just discovering morals. According to the Spirit of Prophecy, Christianity has come into the same category as the world:

Many who call themselves Christians are mere human moralists. They have refused the gift which alone could enable them to honor Christ by representing Him to the world. The work of the Holy Spirit is to them a strange work. They are not doers of the word. The heavenly principles that distinguish those who are one with Christ from those who are one with the world have become almost indistinguishable. The professed followers of Christ are no longer a separate and peculiar people. {COL 315.3}

The philosophy of the Greeks has affected modern society. It is philosophy, not action. What is meant with being a mere moralist? It means having a very capable mind discussing all the wonderful do’s and don’ts and basking in all the joy of this wonderful mental exercise. That is moralising. Nicodemus was such a person. When he came to Jesus he came to moralise. In our study of God’s word we must go beyond that. True relationships go beyond moralising.

Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission. {DA 171.1}

We are to go beyond the theoretical knowledge of God’s word. The work of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual regeneration, is little understood by modern Christianity. Therefore before we go into the counsels of gaining good relationships, let us appreciate the research of this subject.

Too often, fretful, impatient words are spoken, words which stir the worst passions of the human heart. Such ones need the abiding presence of Christ in the soul. Only in His strength can they keep guard over the words and actions. . . . {AG 295.3}

If we want to have good relationships in the home by not stirring each other’s passions up, we need the abiding presence of Christ in the soul. We need his strength so I can keep a guard over my words and actions. We must study God first because if we just study how to talk it won’t do any good. We need the abiding reality of Jesus inside of us.

He is going to change our life and character, speaking the words that Christ speaks, revealing the character that Christ reveals. And if trials come to us, we will not manifest a rebellious spirit. The opportunities will present themselves to every one of us, because we see oppression and unkindness, and because we see burdens that would be thrown upon us, and let self come in and exhibit itself. {UL 62.2}

You know what it’s like when it happens, relationship clangers. When speaking up because something is oppressing me, out comes an impassioned word. Out comes unkindness. As others hear it, they react. These are relationship destroyers. We need the answers beyond the mere information that I mustn’t be like that.

We let self arise. We want to put the trials in their right place, and where is it? Christ says to everyone that is weary and heavy laden, “Come unto me.” And what? “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” And notwithstanding the crush of conflict that we shall have to pass through if we accept the truth of heavenly origin, there is meekness and lowliness in every move. Hide in Jesus Christ. Our life and character is hid with Christ in God, so we cannot afford to let any impulse of passion control our words or control our actions, but we must keep the Saviour’s example ever before us, and we must do just as Jesus would have done under similar circumstances. We are not to be revengeful. {UL 62.3}

We need the presence of Jesus Christ in us. We need to have a living connection with the living God. What is this living connection? Unbroken communion a sense of God’s majesty inside of me. That noble, sacred and subduing presence. How do you do it? How can you come by such an intimate connection? How can we attain to the reality of a living connection with the living God? How do we come to it? Jesus words intimate the how.

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.

What was the precursor to abiding? If we will love Him and keep His words. This is what Jesus said is the precursor to abiding in us. It is what you do with the word. Jesus said if you keep my word.

Keep It

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Keep it, what does that mean? It is what you do with the word.

Your Lifeline

Deuteronomy 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

The 144,000 will be sealed where? In their foreheads. Bind Gods words in your soul. Many people concentrate on the do’s and don’ts of principles but they don’t do what God says.

Spiritual life must be sustained by communion with Christ through His Word. The mind must dwell upon it, the heart must be filled with it. The Word of God laid up in the heart and sacredly cherished and obeyed, through the power of the grace of Christ can make man right, and keep him right. {AG 228.4}

Do you want to be made right? Do you want to be kept right? Then the word of God must be sacredly cherished; it must be grasped by your mental, emotional and intelligent understanding. Then through the power of the grace of Christ you can be made right in your relationships.

When His words of instruction have been received, and have taken possession of us, Jesus is to us an abiding presence, controlling our thoughts and ideas and actions. . . . Jesus Christ is everything to us–the first, the last, the best in everything. {AG 228.5}

This is the how to of a living connection with God. Unless I do this I won’t have a living connection with God. You have to cherish it. It has to be your foremost function and then you will be changed. What is our natural response? When I came into my relationship with God, I didn’t go into doctrinal debates. I made it my own and He changed my life drastically. As I did that I was called into the ministry. When I came into the ministry it [my relationship with God] was nearly taken out of my life because there was effort to defend doctrine and debate on God’s word.

As I came into the ministry, I was brought face to face with defending what I believed at the expense of cherishing the precious words of my soul. I was hauled into conflict on the 1888 message and it was horror to me. To read and study God’s word savingly requires a relationship and a relationship centred approach to the word. If I want to find some information and go to the Bible and say, Lord help me then find the counsel and leave and go my way trying to put it into practise what have I done? I’ve gone without Jesus. When you read the Bible, don’t try to prove a doctrine, read it like this:

The Bible is God’s voice speaking to us, just as surely as if we could hear it with our ears. If we realized this, with what awe we would open God’s Word and with what earnestness we would search its precepts. {ML 283.3}

What would be motivating me? God speak to me, I need to hear His voice.

The reading and contemplation of the Scriptures would be regarded as an audience with the Infinite One. {ML 283.3}

If I want to get close to God I go out and look at the stars.

We are to open the Word of God with reverence and with a sincere desire to know the will of God concerning us. {ML 283.4}

Not information merely but the will of God concerning me.

The heavenly angels will direct our search. {ML 283.4}

You will know how if you come to God like this as the angels will come and help you. If God did that for me, why can’t He do that for others? Why do people have to come to me? Someone asked me, who feeds you? Don’t I have to find someone else to feed me? I have the pioneers who were led by the Lord but most of all it was the Lord who led me there. It was the angels that helped me to govern my research of God’s will for me.

God speaks to us in His Word. We are in the audience chamber of the Most High, in the very presence of God. Christ enters the heart. {ML 283.4}

When we come into the church, we are coming into the audience chamber of God.

Show that you reverence your faith, speaking reverently of sacred things. Never allow one expression of lightness and trifling to escape your lips when quoting Scripture. As you take the Bible in your hands, remember that you are on holy ground. {ML 283.5}

This is essential if I want to have a living connection with God. This is what it means to read the Bible savingly. I am coming not for an intellectual exercise of getting information, but the audience chamber of the Most High. As you come with that frame of mind, you will hear Him speaking personally to you.

Jeremiah 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

We have been so educated that the Holy Spirit will zap you and now you’ve got it. No, that is Pentecostalism and we’ve been affected by it. I was affected by it when I asked the Lord to give me a new heart but it didn’t happen as I wasn’t applying what it says to do in the Bible. We will find Him if we search in the word.

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

Is He going to answer? Is He a liar? God will do it if we come to Him in a relationship connection not merely academically.

If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Our hearts will often burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised. {DA 668.4}

I need to have one draw near to me and if I draw near to Him in the word I will hear His voice. He has promised that He will show me His mysteries personally. I’m there as a dependent child saying Lord, I don’t know and I need your instruction. If you have any question or concern about anything, go to the Lord in His word. Find the exact words that are relevant to your need. As you are there, say, Lord show me. Wait on the Lord. He doesn’t always show you at that moment.


The problem with all our Bible reading and worship times is this:

Not a pause for a moment in His presence, but personal contact with Christ, to sit down in companionship with Him–this is our need. {FLB 225.4}

We may bring Him our little cares and perplexities as well as our greater troubles. Whatever arises to disturb or distress us, we should take it to the Lord in prayer. {FLB 225.5}

What do we usually do? Go to the person and say I don’t like what you did. Or we go to another and say, that person has really upset me. Don’t do it, do this. Take it to the Lord in prayer. What will the Lord do?

Calmly, yet fervently, the soul is to reach out after God; and sweet and abiding will be the influence emanating from Him who sees in secret, whose ear is open to the prayer arising from the heart. He who in simple faith holds communion with God will gather to himself divine rays of light to strengthen and sustain him in the conflict with Satan. {FLB 225.6}

God will take away your terrible reaction to what is happening. His comfort and presence will defuse it and you will wonder why you ever reacted.

If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to us a sweet, joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. . . . Prayer turns aside the attacks of Satan. {FLB 225.7}

What does Satan want to do? He is making war upon us. What are we fighting against? Not flesh and blood but power and spirits. As I see a brother or sister suffering under some negativity, the presence of Jesus will help me to appreciate my brother or sister in trouble. There needs to be no reaction from me but only the sweet light and influence of heaven. As we spend time with God like that not in a hurry, not fast but in the presence of the Lord spending time with Him and waiting on Him, we will get the help we need. We won’t need to run to anyone else, we will get the help we need. When we get the help of His presence and love in our heart, we will relate to everyone around us the continual presence of God. As soon as you can feel the presence disappearing, you need to renew a communion with Him.

Some say I’m always buoyant and fresh, this is why. I don’t get despondent. I never do. There were times when the temptation came but the Lord sent something. The battle of doctrinal issues can rob you of a close relationship with Jesus. Notice the benefit that we are studying this subject for. As you embrace this precious moment of time and stay there.

“If a man love Me,” Christ said, “he will keep My words; and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23. The spell of a stronger, a perfect mind will be over us; for we have a living connection with the source of all-enduring strength. In our divine life we shall be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. We shall no longer live the common life of selfishness, but Christ will live in us. His character will be reproduced in our nature. Thus shall we bring forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit–”some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.” {COL 61.3}

What is the benefit of this relationship? We shall no longer live the common life of selfishness. Whenever you have discovered there were relationship tangles in the home and church, what was the problem? Poor little self. He or she hurt me and I think about it till Jesus is out of my view. The whole relationship that was once loved is shattered. Who is responsible for it?

Fix Your Eyes upon Jesus

In our battles we will be benefitted by this message. All day every day I will be walking with Jesus and Jesus will be the answer to all my perplexities. If we are going to be among the 144,000 who are translated, we need to walk as Enoch walked.

When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan’s constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life’s cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections–to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. Do not be misled by his devices. Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ he hopes to gain the victory. {SC 71.2}

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.

Why did God take him? Because he walked with God. God wants for us the relationship that exists between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Isn’t Enoch’s walk with God His heartthrob?

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

How do you please God? He wants to have a warm, loving relationship with us as Enoch did after the birth of Methuselah. He walked with God for three hundred years and God was so pleased with Him, He said come into my presence, I want to stay with you forever.

How Did He Walk?

Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. {PP 85.1}

God wants us to walk with Him in the daily duties of life and make those duties special because He is right in the midst of it.

He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had a work to do for God in the world. In the family and in his intercourse with men, as a husband and father, a friend, a citizen, he was the steadfast, unwavering servant of the Lord. {PP 85.1}

His heart was in harmony with God’s will; for “can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3. And this holy walk was continued for three hundred years. There are few Christians who would not be far more earnest and devoted if they knew that they had but a short time to live, or that the coming of Christ was about to take place. But Enoch’s faith waxed the stronger, his love became more ardent, with the lapse of centuries. {PP 85.2}

Some people say I will walk with Him as I know He is coming soon. The reason why many stop walking with Him is because they have gotten tired. The first, second and third watch has come and they lose their enthusiasm to walk with God. Enoch didn’t. This relationship bore fruit and our life can too if we walk with God keeping Him totally close. Feeling or no feeling makes no difference. Your mind will be fascinated. It will be under a spell. My body will give me ugly feelings but my mind will be under a spell of the presence of the Almighty.

The church is the object of God’s tenderest love and care. If the members will allow Him, He will reveal His character through them. He says to them, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Those who walk and talk with God practice the gentleness of Christ. In their lives, forbearance, meekness, and self-restraint are united with holy earnestness and diligence. As they advance heavenward, the sharp, rough edges of character are worn off, and godliness is seen. The Holy Spirit, full of grace and power, works upon mind and heart. {AG 206.4},

The heart in which Jesus makes his abode will be quickened, purified, guided, and ruled by the Holy Spirit, and the human agent will make strenuous efforts to bring his character into harmony with God. He will avoid everything that is contrary to the revealed will and mind of God. {AG 206.5}

People say we must develop character and put an effort into our salvation and others say you are trying to earn your way to heaven. If you have a relationship with Jesus and you cherish the word and begin hearing the voice of God, you will have such a communion that will make your effort fruitful. This is righteousness by faith. This is righteousness in cooperation not righteousness by magic. As we do this the sharp rough edges of our relationship problems will be diffused. Thus we are introduced to our next study. With hearts aglow with His presence we will adopt his counsel in the treatment of our fellow associates. We will learn of the Lord.


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Posted on 23/03/2011, in Divine Service Sermons, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Victor Bireaud

    I do also want to have this very relationship with God. This unbroken communion. I don’t want to fight doctrinal debates anymore. Thank you for your sermon. It is tremendously useful. Now what is left is to pray, and to follow Him, to keep His words.

    Thank you

  2. I want to walk as Enoch did I desire that relationship with my Lord and Saviour. My prayer is Lord connect me with you and let me never stray.

  3. I have been blest by this sermon and it is my desire to walk and spend time with Jesus here on earth so that walking and spending time with Jesusin heaven will be the end product of our relationship – so help me God.

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