God Plane Marriage
(Sermon Notes) By Warren Zehrung 8/15/2020
Back in 1953 Sharon and I danced together for the first time. I would like to tell you that it was a romantic evening with wine and roses – …but actually it was a grammar school square dance where we were learning the difference between “DO–SI–DO, ALLEMANDE LEFT, and PROMENADE your partner.”
I was 10 years old, and Sharon was 9, I was in the 5th grade and she was in the 4th. but I am sure that God who knows all things – had a gleam in His eye. God was working out His Plan for us.
Proverbs 16:9 In a person’s heart he plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.
Subsequently, our auspicious and promising paths merged again when Sharon and I next encountered each other five years later in 1958. Sharon’s mother was the secretary at Maryhill Catholic Seminary where I was a high-school student studying for the priesthood, and I accompanied the school rector, Alphonse Rigouts, C.I.C.M., provincial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Fathers, Arlington, VA., in giving her a ride home. And, there was Sharon – standing on her front porch – I’ll never forget it!
A few years later in 1960 – as a college student at Louisiana State University – Alexandria, I saw her again. She was beautiful! I told one of my college buddies in Civil Engineering, John David Blalock, “I’m going to marry that girl!”
Sharon and I had the same backgrounds – German dads and French speaking mothers. We were of the same religion. We were born in the same town, in the same year. She was beautiful and popular…
I purposefully mention these things, because marriages between those with a similar background and culture tend to have less obstacles to overcome in marriage.
Our first date was to a school talent show at St. Frances Cabrini School, 2215 E Texas Ave, Alexandria, LA, where Sharon sang her song on stage – looking at me in the audience, the entire time. If I wasn’t already smitten – that did it.
When Sharon and I first contemplated marriage, we both agreed that we were seeking a marriage that would last a lifetime. We didn’t know it then, but we know it now – that before we were married, God had put within each of us – a special place in our hearts, reserved for that one person, who would fill that emotional and physical void that was there within our hearts.
At that time – we were teenagers – we did not know of spiritual requirements needing to be met. But, before we are married, God has placed in each one of us a special place in our heart, reserved for that one person who might fill that emotional void within our heart – to make us complete.
So, we both agreed that divorce would never be an option. We learned to appreciate each other as well as enjoy each other’s qualities. As Catholics, we would not even go to a “C” rated movie that depicted divorce – for any reason. It seemed to us back then that the general population understood that divorce was wrong, and that it was something never to be contemplated. But, some of our friends back then went to those movies that were strictly off limits to us.
Those movies had a “condemned rating” by our church because they specifically depicted divorce. But our friends told themselves that they too, would never consider divorce. But, you know what happened brethren?
Those movies taught in a subliminal way – a subconscious way, that divorce could be an option… one never intended to be used. But when difficult times came – those people employed that unsavory and unacceptable option! Like so many – they succumbed to divorce. Our own immediate families were not unaffected.
Today, the world has changed greatly – it is gotten much worse. We’ve lived through a licentious and shameless generation wherein anything goes.
For a large portion of the younger population, the higher standard of “marriage is for life,” has given way to reckless abandon. That is, they abandoned the customary and traditional morality – sinking to a new low. As Paul wrote:
Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:
This sermon is not only for those who are contemplating marriage in the near future. It is for all of us. It is for all of us, because God’s eternal Biblical principles are beneficial to all who utilize them – at all times and in all places. It does not matter whether you are single or married, these marriage principles concerning Christ and the Church are applicable to every member of God’s Church. All converted and baptized members of the Church are part of the Bride of Christ and therefore must understand this mystery concerning Christ and the Church.
In today’s sermon, I will refer to marriages that incorporate God’s eternal Biblical principles, as God-Plane marriages. That is the title of today’s sermon: God-Plane marriage. God intends our marriages to rise to the level of the highest order. He has big plans for us.
God will use the God-Plane marriages of today, as He kicks off the Millennium. Our God-Plane marriages of today will be used as examples for the young people just starting out in the Millennium. That single point will make the world tomorrow a much different world than this present evil world.
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions [offices, jobs, positions to be fulfilled – room for everyone]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Every one of us will have a place in the better resurrection. 1 Corinthians 12:7 – tells us that our spiritual gifts are for the purpose of serving all the Church of God brethren. Jesus is in need of good marriages – especially for the world tomorrow!
The people of God’s Church will be teachers then. Saying: “This is the way [God-Plane marriages] – walk ye in it” – we will be the examples.
Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
God’s Church has not had many God-Plane marriages through the ages. But, because we do have the prospect of having God-Plane marriages now, we have the greatest opportunity to have the best, most productive, fulfilling, and spiritual relationships that are possible in this life.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
God-Plane Marriages are something to be highly sought after now – but they are primarily for the future when God will use them in a mighty way. That is when and where we will be – with Jesus Christ, helping to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. And that is when God will use the good examples of God-Plane marriages as He begins the Millennium.
Judging not only from the failed marriages in the world, but in God’s Church as well, we can readily see that ALL marriages can profit from the things God reveals to us about Godly marriage.
When we speak of a God-Plane relationship, we mean an interaction between two people that is incorporated into God’s way of life – His eternal principles of love, sharing, caring, giving, helping, sacrificing – all the attributes of God that make for a right relationship.
A God-Plane relationship is between two converted people that is on a spiritual level – a Godly level – unlike the marriages of this world. It reaches for the things higher than the things of this earth – to things eternal in the heavens.
We grow in grace and knowledge together. We set the highest standard – the God Plane standard. We live Godly virtues – that is what God has called us to.
Just think of the wonderful marriages that will develop within the Millennium. We know what our Incredible Human Potential is to be. We are to share that goal with our mates – to be together for all eternity in the family of God.
Marriage is God ordained. That alone tells us that Marriage is for a Godly purpose. We know well that we shall be like Him! On the physical plane, marriage is for bringing children into this world.
But, on the spiritual plane, marriage is the starting place of bringing many sons and daughters into God’s Glory. (Hebrews 2:10) God told Adam that he needed a wife. God’s intent is that with a mate we are able to be more than we can be individually. Paul spoke of the eternal substance that is produced in God-Plane relationships:
2Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved [that is speaking of after we die], we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
God-Plane Marriages are spiritual in nature. We are called to a better resurrection – a higher calling. Especially in marriage, we are called to a God-Plane relationship.
How does a God-Plane relationship differ from the marriages of the world? We need to know – if we are going to avoid the pitfalls that have claimed so many. What does God intend for our marriages to include? What are they to be like? How does one make sure that their marriage is all that God means for it to be? How do we get our carnal self out of the way so that God can work His work in our marriage?
Let’s understand a great truth: There are earthly marriages [some are fairly representative of exemplary model marriages] but they come short of what God intends a God-Plane marriage to be. How can that be?
In the flesh, we are totally unable to create, fashion and produce perfect marriages by our own power. We are imperfect people. We are in need of the redemption and salvation Jesus Christ provides. We are all sinners. Please never assume that you have arrived at perfection, and possessing all Godly wisdom. We come far short of that!
God-Plane marriages come about only with God’s direct and powerful involvement. How does that work? Yes, we are to go on to perfection – and we do that by being cleaned up by Jesus Christ – not by lifting ourselves up by our own boot-straps.
Our own strength and human wisdom is not enough – it is entirely insufficient. Our own righteousness is a filthy thing – compared to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We should know that the wife Jesus chose for Himself requires considerable cleaning up.
We find here what kind of wife Jesus is wanting, working toward, and building. Yes, building His Bride to be.
Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from [Adam], made [built] He a woman…
We can learn a lot about a God-Plane marriage by looking at how Jesus approaches ancient Israel – His wife to be. He is building her…
We will readily see that “me and my wife” [all of us] are in great need – because we have not done it perfectly. We have not been wise enough, strong enough, careful enough – to produce a God-Plane marriage on our own.
Brethren, it is only by means of God’s Spirit – it is only by the intervention of Jesus Christ – that we can obtain a God-Plane relationship within our marriages.
Jesus provides his perspective in Ezekiel 16 of how destitute Israel really is – and yet, He chose Israel as His own – out of all in the world. Without Christ we are just this destitute:
Ezekiel 16:1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Ezekiel 16:2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem [representative of all Israel – the wife of Jesus Christ] to know her abominations,
Exodus 19:7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD has spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
Exodus 24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice [the Covenant agreement], and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.
They said, “I do.” But they did not! The binding Old Covenant was ratified by blood:
Exodus 24:7 And [Moses] took the book of the Covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, [“I do”] and be obedient.
Ezekiel 16:3 And say, Thus said the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.
Israel was full of sin and imperfections – yet they were chosen by God – for His purposes.
Jesus is saying that Israel’s pedigree is contaminated – they were not the greatest of all nations:
Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
Deuteronomy 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
Because He is faithful, Jesus is keeping His part of the Covenant:
Deuteronomy 7:8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Back to Ezekiel – Jesus is speaking of the Birth of the nation of Israel. He describes Israel as a helpless abandoned baby:
Ezekiel 16:4 And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. [Israel was not cared for as a baby – not cleansed – not purified – not even loved by a caring mother.]
Ezekiel 16:5 None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field [abandoned and cast away to perish and be devoured], to the lothing [despised and unwanted] of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.
Jesus delivered Israel out of the hands of death:
Ezekiel 16:6 And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.
Sinful, forgetful Israel would have utterly perished in Egypt – aborted as soon as Israel came into the world – had not Jesus intervened and delivered them.
There is a lesson there for us! We too, would have died in our sins had God not called us.
God is saying, “I chose you and gave you life.”
Ezekiel 16:7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.
Israel, you are now grown up and mature – and you have been clothed. How did you get to this point of being – clothed, repentant and forgiven?
Notice what God did – how He intervened – and made all the difference:
Ezekiel 16:8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou became mine. [My Bride.]
Jesus entered into the Old Covenant with Israel – But, brethren, God is entering into a New Covenant with us!
Even with Israel’s terrible, sinful, past, God said, “I will make you my wife.” God acted first – and in a big way!
Romans 5:8 But God commended [exhibited, extolled His great] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God covered our nakedness – Jesus covered our sins – He saved us from a sure death! “You became mine” – through baptism and receiving God’s Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 16:9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.
We find here the perfect picture of conversion – baptism with water, followed by receiving God’s Spirit (anointed thee with oil vs 9).
Understand that Ancient Israel did not receive God’s Spirit. These verses looked forward to the New Testament establishment of God’s People.
And God’s True Church is a spiritual entity of called out saints who cannot be known, perceived or discerned with human eyes.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Children of God.
Therefore, God’s true saints are scattered throughout the various church organizations of this world. God did not put His people into church organizations of this world – but into the Body of Christ – God’s Church.
1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Ezekiel’s words point forward to the New Testament Church of God that we are a part of as Paul wrote unto the Galatians:
Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the [spiritually discerned] Israel of God.
We, who have been anointed with oil, as Ezekiel 16:9 says, and had hands lain on us – it is we – who will be the Bride of Christ.
God is perfecting us to righteousness in His Church even now. God is refining His wife to be by allowing us to enjoy a God-Plane relationship with Him – even now! Notice in Ezekiel 16:10 that it is Jesus, Himself, who is cleaning, perfecting and completing His bride even now.
Ezekiel 16:10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.
Covered with Fine linen – means our sins are forgiven and girded with the righteousness of the saints. (Revelation 19:8) Which is Christ’s righteousness – which is imputed to us. Not our own righteousness.
God is making his Bride absolutely beautiful and gorgeous – like the courts of heaven. We are not ‘children of poverty” but partakers in a God-Plane relationship – on God’s level and intensity – not ours of this mundane world. Jesus Christ is the one who left the courts of heaven, and glory, coming into our world to dress us, and put royal slippers on His Bride’s feet.
Jesus Christ left His Father’s throne as a man who leaves his father and mother so that he may be joined to his bride. So Christ left heaven for the sake of His Bride. Jesus purchased His Bride with His very life! As Jesus died, He was crying out, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
In that moment Jesus was separated from His Father. Why? So that He could purchase and save this Bride of His, who now, redeemed, is a part of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.
That is how much Jesus loves His Bride – He gave His life for us – the Church brethren. He was separated from His father for the sake of the Church:
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, [show] love [to] your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, [how did Jesus love the Church] and gave Himself for it; [Jesus died in total sacrifice for His Church.]
Ephesians 5:26 That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Ephesians 5:27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Please notice this one significant thing Jesus suffered and underwent for us:
John 19:5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, “Behold the man!” [With a crown of death upon His head.]
Jesus died so that His wife might live.
Revelation 2:10 … be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Brethren do not miss the incredible significance of these words.
Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord [loves] the church:
Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of His body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Ephesians 5:32 This mystery is great, this mystery is profound: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church brethren.
Brethren, could there be anything more wonderful, any more glorious than this God-Plane Marriage between a man and his wife?
We have been purchased by Christ, and we will be joined to Him throughout eternity.
We are a part of Him, one flesh, one Spirit, if you will, with Him.
The Church is the Bride of Christ, and as we think of this relationship we must always fix our eyes on this mystery and realize that, “We are members of Christ’s Body, of His flesh, and of His bones.”
But above all let us realize what He did in order that we might become His.
He left His Father’s throne above; He humbled Himself; He made Himself of no reputation; and He submitted Himself to God’s will (Philippians 2:7).
That is how much He has loved the Church!
He made her beautiful.
Ezekiel 16:12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
Crown – ‘a ta rah’ in Hebrew. Tiara in English. Let me speak a moment about that crown in Ezekiel 16:12.
That means that you and I are destined to wear an incorruptible crown of Sovereignty!
That is how important a God-Plane marriage is to God!
Jesus tells His Church that He will place a beautiful crown upon thine head of His wife!
If God made His Church brethren beautiful in His sight – we must endeavor to stay beautiful – especially at a time when the Church is under such attack and scattering. We are warned today, “Let no man take thy crown.”
Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Brethren, God gave me the fantastic opportunity to preach that warning to all the Church brethren in the Pasadena Ambassador Auditorium back on December 19, 1987 as the Worldwide Church of God began to crumble and unravel.
I did not even begin to realize the significance of that worldwide warning from the pulpit of what was considered the world headquarters Ambassador Auditorium Stage.
“Let no man take thy crown,” a crown of righteousness, … a crown of glory, …a crown of life, …a crown of rejoicing!
In Pasadena, that warning fell mostly on deaf ears:
Brethren, let me give you a few references to crowns in the Scriptures: Paul wrote to Timothy:
2Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all those also who love His appearing.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures trials and temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
1Corinthians 9:25 And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown [a crown that perishes]; but we strive for an incorruptible [crown].
We strive for a reward — an incorruptible crown. The Greek “Stephanos” [crown] means, a twisted garland, twine or wreath. It is an elaborate three tiered crown of honor, gold and jewels.
In Isaiah 62 Jesus is speaking to His Bride – about her Crown.
A Diadem is an ornamental jeweled headdress, like a Tiara, signifying Sovereignty.
Isaiah 62:1-5 As the Bridegroom [Jesus] rejoices over the Bride [Church brethren]… You are a Crown of Glory in the hand of the Lord. A Royal Diadem in the hand of your God – so shall your God rejoice over you.
Ezekiel 16:13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour [the very best food – in the same way that we are fed spiritually with the Word of God], and honey, and oil: and you were exceeding beautiful, and you did prosper into a Kingdom.
The wife of Jesus is exceeding beautiful because, as these verses clearly show, God has made here exceeding beautiful. We are not able to do that for ourselves.
It is God who grants us repentance and covers our sin – and gives us of His Life and Spirit. God alone, brings it about.
“And you did prosper into a Kingdom.” (vs 13) Yes, the Kingdom of God. That has been in God’s Plan from the beginning.
Brethren, let that be a warning to us.
Ancient Israel became a kingdom – but they were not worthy of it. Let that be a warning to us in the New Covenant not to despise the grace of God bestowed on His Church. Ancient Israel fell and went into captivity—we too, can fall.
Ezekiel 16:14 And thy renown went forth among the nations for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, said the Lord GOD.
Jesus said, “You became famous in every nation – because I dressed you to perfection in my splendor, and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign LORD.
Yes, we’ve had the holy, beautiful and sacred things of God bestowed upon us—that is what a God-Plane Marriage is about – God brings us up to His level! “I perfected your beauty,” says the Sovereign LORD.
We are supposed to be allowing Jesus Christ to bestow His splendor on our marriages. Do we continue to do things – “our way?”
Jesus prayed in the New Testament:
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 [Father] hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
We do not bring ourselves to perfection.
Some people in God’s Church today think that they have brought themselves to righteousness. It is not so! They trust in their own righteousness. Brethren, that is wrong.
Yes, God the Father sees righteousness when He looks at us, BUT, that is only because Jesus’ righteousness has been imputed to us.
Romans 4:24 [Righteousness] shall be imputed to us, if we believe on [God the Father] who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
We cannot make the mistake of trusting in our own righteousness. Ancient Israel made that mistake:
Ezekiel 16:15 But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and played the harlot because of thy renown, and poured out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.
Ancient Israel forgot that God had made her beautiful and began to trust in her own beauty. That led to her downfall – a lesson to us.
“Thy renown went forth among the nations.” [back in Ezekiel 16:14]
God surely intended for Ancient Israel to be a beautiful example to all the nations of the blessings to those who worship the True God.
In the same way, God fully intends that our God-Plane Marriages of today be an example to this present evil world – and especially an example to the World Tomorrow.
Deuteronomy 4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
Deuteronomy 4:7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
Deuteronomy 4:8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
How much more then should the present day Church of God be the standard bearer of God’s righteousness for a witness to the world?
Paul and Barnabas went to the Jews first – but the Jews rejected the Good News of the Kingdom of God so, Paul and Barnabas went to witness to all the nations.
Acts 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set you to be a light of the Nations, that you should be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
Matthew 24:14 And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
God intended good marriages from the beginning – God instituted it, God created marriage.
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.
That was a picture of Christ and the Church.
Genesis 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. -> HS
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Man is not complete without a wife. A man and a woman are intended to “round out” one another. They are to complement one another. Adam was originally one, a perfect, a complete man.
And yet there was a lack, there was no helper for him. God performed the operation, and this man who had been one now begins to be two—Adam and Eve, the man and the woman.
There should be no starvation for love in the Christian home, because the husband and wife should so love each other that their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs are met. Man is not complete without God’s Holy Spirit.
The love, the joy, the peace that must be present in any truly successful Christian marriage only comes by God’s Spirit as the Christian husband and wife strive to be teachable, obedient, and submissive in their intimate relationship with the Father and Christ.
God has given us in marriage, in His carefully designed plan, a workplace in which we can gain experience and understanding of how God’s family is designed to work.
Genesis 2:21-22 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
Woman is taken out of man, out of his substance, out of his flesh and bones. God takes a part out of man, and of that He makes a woman. Woman is of the same substance as man, of his flesh, and of his bones.
The wonderful thing is that these verses -> point to Christ and His Bride – the Church. And when Jesus returns we will be a part of His wedding supper – because the Bride has prepared herself, and made herself ready. If we build, grow, sacrifice, maintain our own personal God-Plane Marriages – and ask God to bless and further them, and ask God the Father and Jesus Christ to be a part of our marriages – we can have a God-Plane Marriage that will bring us near to the Kingdom of God. And then we will enter the World Tomorrow – the Millennium – and be a part of the Kingdom of God on earth – something Jesus and His Father have looked for – and anticipated since the Day He first made man.
A deep sleep fell upon Adam. A deep sleep fell upon Jesus; He died; and there in that operation the Church was taken out. So, in a sense as the woman was taken out of Adam, so the Church was taken out of Christ.
The woman was taken out of the side of Adam; That is her origin; and so she is indeed, “Flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bones.”
And the Church is from Christ’s bleeding, spear-pierced wounded side.
As Adam was incomplete without Eve, so is Christ incomplete without His Church. Adam was incomplete without a helper.
Eve makes up the ‘fullness’ of Adam; makes up that which was lacking in Adam. And that is what the apostle Paul says about the Church in her relationship to Christ.
The sense in which this is meant is that until Christ is united with the Church in marriage, the Messiah considers Himself in some sense wanting and unfulfilled.
Ephesians 1:22-23 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
The Church is the fullness of Jesus Christ – just as Eve filled out Adam. The Church fills Christ, and He is made complete by the Church. In a certain way, Jesus is incomplete until He is joined to us – the Church. In the same way that Eve complemented and fulfilled Adam – The purpose of the Church is to complement and fulfill Christ.
Jesus Christ as the Mediator will not be full, complete, and whole until every saint has been gathered in, for whom He died. It is only then that He will be full, only then will the fullness be complete.
This mystery of Christ and the Church is profound. Together, Christ and the Church will serve those people of the Kingdom of God.
The Church in the Millennium will be co-Saviors with Jesus the Messiah. The Church is more than a body of saints; it is more than the people of God; it expresses the essential union of God’s people with Christ.
It is God’s purpose for the Church to be the full expression of Jesus Christ, who Himself fills everything.
Jesus Christ is the author of marriage, and as such, He is the author and designer of the Family. He wants us to have Godly marriages – God–Plane Marriages. He fully intends that we work full time to produce Godly marriages. It is fully incumbent on those of us who are converted to:
It is our responsibility to make sure, and to make it possible that our mate has every opportunity to grow to the measure and fullness of the stature of Christ.
If we create an environment wherein our mate is unable to study the Bible, fast and pray, and to know God and to see His Plan for them, and to observe the Sabbath Day properly, we are denying them their due.
We are warring against the Spirit.
The Sabbath should be a delight [Isaiah 58:13] in our home – to the purpose that our mate will attain to the highest position possible in the Kingdom of God.
We each have a covenant with God – our Baptismal Covenant with God – to walk in all His ways. That is why we love one another, serve one another, help one another, and care for one another.
When we marry, we bring a third party directly into that Covenant relationship with us and God. That is why our marriages are on a God-Plane level.
Together, we will make decisions that affect eternity. We are in the book of Life together. We are led by God’s Spirit together.
That is why Peter says that we are heirs together of the grace of life.
1Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Let’s see what God’s intent was from the beginning:
Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. [men and women]
Mark 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; [in the beginning — it was intended to include the tree of life]
But Adam & Eve sinned…
Mark 10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
When a man and a woman are married – it is to be a God-Plane relationship – with God’s Spirit. It is never to be interrupted before the death of one of the parties.
Mark 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. [Till death do us part] [no divorce]
Mark 10:11 And [Jesus] saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
Mark 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
I’ve chosen these verses is to show that from the beginning God intended that God-Plane marriages would be led by God, strengthened by God, and bound by God, and made possible by God through His Holy Spirit. Without God’s Holy Spirit there cannot be a God-Plane marriage.
The marriage relationship and the family structure provide a workshop to learn the intricacies of the God-Plane relationship between Christ and the Church. So we look to the marriage of Christ to the Church for the right perspective of spiritual marriage. Jesus Christ is the perfect Bridegroom; He is the supreme standard that all other husbands should seek to emulate. All marriages should be fashioned after the marriage between Christ and the Church. The Church constitutes the Bride of Christ, an entity Christ loves as His own body. The Church then is actually a part of Christ, as woman was taken out of man (Genesis 2:18-23). Physical marriage typifies this God-Plane relationship which will play out in the marriage of the Lamb. Christ is the head; and the redeemed Church is the body, the fullness, the completion, the filling-up of the whole Kingdom over which He presides, and which He rules as Supreme King and High Priest under God the Father.
Credit to Martin G. Collins
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
In marriage, our giving, our sacrifices, our patience, our self-control, etc., they all accrue to storing up in heaven – and having a higher place in God’s Kingdom.
We can all imagine the blessings of a happy marriage at this time on earth.
We cannot imagine the supreme bliss we will share in God’s Kingdom when we are spirit beings.
Our minds cannot contain the wonder.
End: God-Plane Marriage
Countdown to the Return of Jesus Christ
We have come to a time where marriage as a natural union is not held in high regard as it once was. Many do not bother to marry at all. Why is the institution of marriage under attack? Today, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce, and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher than that.
We in God’s Church endeavor to hold marriage in high esteem because God is the author of marriage. We marry for life. Jesus taught that marriage was permanent and sacred. In marriage, husband and wife become one flesh. Jesus explained what that meant:
Matthew 19:4-11 [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, 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? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoso marries her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But He said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
Brethren, we in God’s Church are able to receive Jesus’ saying because our marriage is different from that of the world. Unlike the world’s natural union, Church marriages between two converted people form a spiritual union. That may be difficult to grasp, but Paul explained it to the Ephesians:
Ephesians 5:25-32 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify [set it apart] and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the Church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This mystery is great, this mystery is profound: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church brethren.
The unity and oneness between Jesus Christ and the Church cannot be over stated! Each Christian covenants with God. Our baptismal Covenant with God was to walk in all His ways. That is why we love, not only God, but we love one another, serve one another, help one another, and care for one another. When we marry, we bring a third party directly into that Covenant relationship with us and with God. We each covenant with God, and with each other. That is why our marriages are on an exalted God–Plane level.
The Christian marriage unity takes precedence over every other human endeavor. For this reason, it is to be regarded as sacred. It is sacred because of God’s direct involvement in it. Because the Marriage Covenant includes God, the husband and wife are made a part of the creation process by bringing children into the world to ultimately become Children of God.
On the physical plane, marriage includes bringing children into this world. But, on the spiritual plane, marriage is the starting place of bringing many sons and daughters into God’s Glory. (Hebrews 2:10)
To the unconverted world, a spiritual marriage is sheer nonsense. The mystery is unknowable to the world, but fully accessible to God’s Church brethren. These verses show that from the beginning God intended that God Plane marriages would be led by God, strengthened by God, and bound by God. Without God’s Holy Spirit there cannot be a God-Plane marriage.
A God Plane Marriage is something to be highly sought after and developed. We should each be asking ourselves, “What should I be putting into my marriage to make it a Godly marriage?”
A God-Plane Marriage transcends time and space – on into eternity! It is God’s intention that husbands and wives be heirs together of eternal life.
1Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.