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1This evening I would like to take for our text Ephesians 5:25“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That 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. 28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: 30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
2Now, in the Spoken Word is the original Seed, brother Branham says in paragraph 100"Christ" means "the anointed One," a Man that was anointed. And God dwelling in Him, what was it? The germ with the flesh, the anointed One, flesh being anointed with the Spirit of God produced the Word of God made manifest. "And we beheld Him, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace..." See? There He was. See? He was God's Word made manifest. And now He died in order to pay the debt of your hybreeding (my, my, there it is, what is it?), that you could die to yourself until you're no more yourself …
3Now, I want you to notice that Brother Branham is speaking of how Christ laid down his life for the brethren just as Paul told us in Ephesians 5 how that Christ expressed His Love by giving his life for the Church. Therefore since this evening is a communion night, I would like to take a little dedicational message so that we might understand this kind of Love that Christ had for His Church, His Bride, so that we might understand the kind of love that we should have in our life s well.
4I read an article sometime ago by Rabbi Frand concerning Marriage and he said some things that I thought were noteworthy, and I found some very enlightening thoughts from Brother Branham and some Scripture that all came together to express the Love that Christ had for the church and the love a man is to have for his wife.
5Now, we are all aware that God Himself established the institution of marriage with Adam and eve shortly after the creation of man. Now, when we study the Bible, “it almost seems as though Eve was created as an afterthought,” (1) because when we read the story of the Creation in Genesis 1:26-28 we see that Adam was created a spirit being that was both male and female.
6Genesis 1:26And 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. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28And 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.
7Now, we know from Genesis 1:26-28 man was created a spirit being. Listen to what brother Branham had to say about that from his sermon Faithful Abraham 61-0312 P:55 Now, this first man, Adam, look at him. In spirit he was both feminish and masculine. And then he was made flesh. And he had no helpmate. Then God... A woman is not in the original creation of God. She's a byproduct of the man. So to make them one, to show what He did, He opened up the side of Adam, and took a part of Adam's flesh (so that they wouldn't be separated, they'd be one), and took part of Adam's spirit, part of Adam's flesh, took the feminish spirit off of Adam and made an Eve. And when you see a woman, the way some of our modern women, hair cuts like men, smoke like men, cuss like men... You see a woman that wants to be masculine, there's a perversion there somewhere. And when you see a man sissified with a look like a duck setting on the back of his head, and so forth like that, and wants to wear women's clothes all the time, there's something perverted there somewhere. God made men to be men, and women to be women. The Bible said...
8Again from his sermon, Seed shall not be heir with the shuck 65-0429B P:24 he said, That's what the church is doing today, for Jesus is the Word, and He is the Bridegroom, and the Bride is a part of the Groom. Therefore, the Word that's to be fulfilled this day is the same part of the Word that was fulfilled in His day, and it's the same Word, same experience, same Life. For when God separated Adam, we find out, Adam was spirit to begin with. "He made man in His own image, created He male and female." And then, Genesis 2 and on, He created man out of the dust of the earth. Man was created in God's image (God is a Spirit.), so he's a spirit man. Then when he become flesh man, animal flesh on the earth, He's showing, portraying here the Bride. He never taken and made another being, but he took part of Adam, the original creation, took from him, a rib from his side; and took the feminish spirit out of Adam, left the masculine spirit in there, and placed it in the feminish part. Therefore, part of his spirit, part of his body: flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone, Word of His Word, Life of His Life, and that's the way the Bride is to Christ. That's why the rapture of the royal Seed has to come first. And the rest of the dead live not for a thousand years, then they were brought up at the white throne judgment. See, there is no judgment to the royal Seed, or the predestinated Seed of Abraham.
9Notice in chapter two Adam was all alone. All other creation had two of every specie, one male and one female, but Adam was alone. Notice God’s comment about this in “Genesis 2:18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
10Notice in Genesis 1:26-28 God made man a spirit being first, and in this state he was both male and female, but when God placed him in the flesh in order to till the soil and express the Life that was in his spirit, why did the all knowing God wait to see Adam all alone before He said it was not good for him to be alone. Now, the ignorant would say that it looks like God made a mistake and corrected His mistake by separating eve from Adam to make two beings. But it was not a mistake. You see, God made all of creation, every specie He created, he made one male and one female in order to procreate and replenish the earth. But when he created man as a spirit being, he made man in his own image and after his own likeness. And if Adam was to procreate in that form, it would have been the same way God did it, through the Spoken Word. With Adam, he did not make two beings; one male and the other female, He made Adam one being who was both male and female.
11So why did God, after putting skin on this unique being that was both male and female, why did God say it was “not good for man to dwell alone”? That is the question I would like to address this evening.
12“Why was it necessary for God to make Eve into a separate being? Wouldn’t it have been more convenient and more self-sufficient for Adam to be able to bear and raise children without the need for another person?” (2) Isn’t that what the women’s liberation movement desires? Don’t they promote having children without having to go through marriage to do so? And in some cases without man involved? And why is that? Because of their sinful self centric nature.
13Notice, in Genesis 2:18 God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone." Therefore, there is something that is “not good” about “being alone”. The entire purpose of our relationship with our Heavenly Father and our understanding the relationship that He had with His firstborn son Jesus, is that God, our father, wants us to come to the same maturity in our relationship with Him and His whole family, as His uniquely born son did. And it is very, very difficult to do that alone. One of the most meaningful ways of building character is by living for others. In fact brother Branham said, the evidence that you have Eternal Life is that you live for others, for Eternal Life is living for others.
14From his sermon, That day on Calvary 60-0925 P:39 Brother Branham said, “You don't live for yourself. You live for others that you might redeem that man. You become sons. And the trouble of it is that the church has forgot they were sons. You are sons. You're taking Christ's place. You are sons; so don't live for yourself; live for others." Well, Brother Branham, I can live for this brother because he sure is a nice man." That's not it. Live for that man who hates you. Live for that person who'd kill you if they could. That's what they done to Him. They killed Him, and He died that He might save them. That's Eternal Life. When that's in your bosom, you're facing heaven then. But you sacrifice your own things, give them up like the sheep gives its wool. You look on towards Calvary.”
15You see, as sons created in the image of God, and given His God-Life, God did not give us his own Life so that we can be selfish with it, He gave it to us to give it to others, to share our life and our being with others, and that is what eternal life is all about. And in every family the sons and daughters must learn to live for each other and do for each other or that household is in a lot of trouble, and their will be total chaos inside those walls that make up that house.
16Paul said in Ephesians 5:25“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. She was not made your help mate so you can put all the work on her and sit back and command her to come and wash your feet. A man that would act that way is a selfish pig, he’s not a man.
17Brother Branham taught us that in his sermon That day on Calvary 60-0925 P:38 where he said, “He was just one Man, the perfect Man. He gave His life, and He made an example for you. Now, what must we do. Now, the first thing I want to say is: Jesus never lived for Himself. His Life was spent for others. That's perfectly Eternal Life. When you say you go to church and you do good things, that's fine. But when you live your life to yourself, you haven't Eternal Life. Eternal life is living for others. It proved it when He come in the Lamb of God. He lived and had Eternal Life, because He did not live for Himself. He lived for others. And you receive Eternal Life by receiving that day, and you don't live for yourself no more. You live for others.”
18And the church that has no desire to help others outside their own fold, I doubt the people are born again. I doubt that they have eternal life. For you see, it is almost impossible to isolate yourself and live for others. How are you ever going to mature and be conformed to the image of the first born son if you isolate yourself from others.
19Had Adam stayed all alone, he would have lacked what is necessary to become a mature son of God. When we entered into this world as an immature being, a baby… we were what would be called consummate takers. (3)
20Everyone who is born into this world, comes into it as an immature baby that is totally consumed with themself. Anyone who has had a baby or has been in close contact with one knows that babies are the greatest takers. They never worry about anyone else. Their entire focus in life is to be fed, warm, dry, and cuddled, and they have absolutely no interest in how their needs affect you. They couldn’t care less whether you had a hard day or whether you haven’t slept for two nights. Their motto is, “Feed me; clothe me; diaper me; burp me; love me; take care of me.” (4)
21All of us, every one of us were born that way. That’s the way we came into this world, but that is not the way we are supposed to leave it. “Self centered, self centric, self-absorbed, little, immature narcissistic babies.” But the purpose of life is to die to self and come to maturity of The Faith by the knowledge of the Son of God. And if you do that you will not remain a taker, you will become a giver. You may have come into this world self absorbed, but you will not remain that way, because you will learn to your will die to yourself, so that Christ (the firstborn, adopted son of God Life) might live in you.
22Now, for any family to live harmoniously, it must live for each other. And it begins with marriage. Yes, this is where most people learn to step aside from self and they learn to live for others. And any marriage where either the man or woman is not willing to die to self, that marriage is doomed for failure. Marriage is where we must learn to make the switch from taker to giver. Marriage requires us to undergo this change or the marriage will not last.
23In marriage, you can no longer think primarily about yourself. Paul said, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; and he said, wives, submit yourself unto your own husbands as unto the Lord. Marriage is not a union of one, It is not a lording of one over the other. Marriage is a coming together of two individuals who complement each other and who build a blessed union based on a common love that is so strong between them that they cannot live apart from each other.
24Over the years I have counseled various young men who were seeking marriage, and I have told them, Marriage is not about self, it is about a union of two beings. Therefore your “me” must become “we,” and your “I” must become “us.” That is the entire purpose of marriage, and that is why God said, “It is not good that man be alone."
25This doesn’t mean that it is impossible for a person to come to maturity outside of marriage. Just look at Jesus and Paul, and Paul said I wish you were as I am, and he was talking about being single so you can devote your entire life in servitude to the family of God. But the process of son-ship is given a real boost when two people because of love come together and learn to be a giver instead of a taker. There is hardly an better institution than that of marriage where by two people are thrown into the ideal situation, where they have someone to whom to give.
26Also I want you to understand that our love for others doesn’t increase when we receive from others. The true way to build love is to give unconditionally. The Hebrew word “ahavah”, love, is related to the word “hav”, which means to give. (5) And the Greek word for God’s Love, “agape” is most often translated as charity, for love is best expressed in giving. John 3;16 tells us, “For God so loved the world he gave”…
27Let me ask you this question. Why do you think people love their dogs so much? I’ll tell you why. Dog’s don’t talk back, they don’t sass and they don’t bring on anxiety or heartache, they don’t need clothes, they don’t need braces, you don’t have to worry about their morals or bending to peer pressure. So the love they give to their dog is an unconditional love. They don’t place conditions on what they do for them? They feed them because they love them. They buy them treats because they want to express their love for them. That is why people literally love their dogs. And many dog owners treat their dog a whole lot better than they treat their own children. I know people, good Godly people who give their dog more affection than they ever gave their own children. And to those who do, unlike their children, their dog probably returns their love more than their children do. The dog is always so happy to see them. But that is not where their love for their dog comes from, it comes from their unconditional giving.
28There are other reasons why Eve was fashioned from Adam. One of the basic human traits is that we have a difficult time viewing situations in an objective manner. Our vested interests will taint our view on a matter, even if we try to ignore it. It is important, therefore, to have the input of an impartial second party to help us view our lives properly. A spouse plays an important role that can be fulfilled only by a separate party: a spouse provides a second opinion. (6)
29As individuals, unless we have already died to self, we all have problems with our egos, and we tend to become irritated when people tell us what to do – That is why Paul said, Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
30Because wives many times have a different opinion on things than their husbands do, husbands tend to get irritated with their own wives for speaking up concerning things we perhaps don’t ask their opinion about. In fact most men don’t ask their wives for their opinion, because they don’t want any opinion but their own in which they are comfortable with. But that is not a good thing to do. No man is an island unto himself and so we need input from outside sources if we are to make a clear and fair assessment of many situations we must deal with.
31I do not care how much a man might know the Word, if he is only given part of a story he is going to make his conclusions based on only half truths. So a second opinion always is helpful if we look for it to be so. But if we are content only with self, then other opinions different from ours will be more of an irritation than a help, or so some would think. But a mature person will look for advice from more than one source, and then weigh out that advice with the Word of God and prayer.
32So often we convince ourselves that our own opinions are right and we are not open to outside opinions, and that is not healthy. And the beauty of marriage is that it provides us the perfect solution to our own self centric egos, because God places together opposites to bring us to the middle of the road on many opinions we carry in life. Without being open to an outside opinion, leads us to a situation where our own limited knowledge and subjectivity might cause us to make some very grave errors in judgment. But the person who is self absorbed, will usually reject sound advice from others because it was not their own.
33So then, marriage is God’s way of doing us a great favor. Rabbi Yissocher Frand pointed out in his article, “God provides us with an insider who can provide us with an unbiased, loving opinion. A spouse has the advantage of being part of you — as our Sages said, “Ishto kegufo -- one’s wife is like himself” — but he or she is also objective enough to tell you, “I’m sorry, but you are viewing this issue incorrectly.” The Netziv finds an allusion to this idea in the words, “It is not good that man be alone, I will make for him a helper, corresponding to him [an eizer kenegdo].” Although the term kenegdo may be translated as “corresponding to him,” the more common translation is “opposite him or opposing him.” This leads the Talmud to point out that eizer kenegdo seems to be an oxymoron. A wife is either a helper to her husband or opposite him. How can she be both? Therefore, On occasion, the "helper" must be “opposing him.” (7)
34Naphtali Tzvi Judah Berlin also known as Rebbe Hirsch Leib Berlin, a famous Russian Jewish writer of the 17th century Jewish explains that a wife is indeed a helper, but the help may sometimes come in the form of opposing him. It may be difficult for us to hear our spouses tell us, “Honey, you’re making a mistake,” but the alternative is to stumble through life repeating our blunders or committing even greater ones. On occasion, the "helper" must be “opposing him.” (8)
35In closing let let me read to you some things this Rabbi Yissocher Frand had to say on this subject. “Like everything else in life, "opposing him" can be overdone. Have you ever noticed that a salt shaker has several holes, while a pepper shaker has only a few? Food is enhanced by the sharpness of pepper, but only if it is applied in small measure. Criticism, like pepper, must be used sparingly. If you lay it on too thick, it has a negative effect.
36As we all know, on the very first day of that marriage, God told Adam that he could partake of the fruit of any tree in the Garden of Eden except for the Tree of Knowledge. Adam relayed the commandment to Eve, but before long, the Serpent enticed her into eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and she, in turn, gave Adam to eat from the tree. This sin affected the world in the worst possible way, for one of the curses that came upon mankind as a result of that sin was death.
37Directly following the verse in which God informs Adam that he would eventually die, as would all of his offspring, the Bible states, “The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she had become the mother of all the living”.
38Have you ever noticed this strange juxtaposition? If we were to name a person who just brought death upon mankind, we might have been tempted to call her Misah (death). It may not sound as good as "Chavah (Eve)," but it certainly would have been appropriate given the situation that had just unfolded.
40The Talmud (Sotah 14a) states that the Torah begins with kindness and ends with kindness. The final verses of the Torah deal with God burying Moses. Performing a burial is called a chesed shel emes, a true kindness. Where is the chesed at the beginning of the Torah? As a result of partaking of the Tree of Knowledge, Adam and Eve were suddenly aware of the fact that they were unclothed, and they became bashful. Although this bashfulness was a result of their sin, God nevertheless performed a kindness and made clothing for them. This, says the Talmud, is the first chesed mentioned in the Torah.
41Left to our own devices, we might have assumed that there was an immeasurable kindness that preceded this one. God had no need for us mortals in the world. He created us to enable us to reap the reward for our mitzvot. Why doesn’t the Bible consider the creation of mankind the first kindness in history
42The creation of Adam was indeed a chesed, but not a particularly difficult one. Adam was the most perfect being ever created, and he was to perform an important function in the world. But when Adam and Eve sinned, bringing death and destruction to the pristine new world, they felt terrible about themselves. When God showed them that He was willing to look beyond their mistakes and love them and take care of them despite their wrongdoings, that was a tremendous kindness.
44Adam perceived that, and put that form of chesed into practice. Eve had committed the greatest mistake imaginable. No one would ever make such a grave error again. Adam looked at her and said, “You are still Eve. You are still the mother of all mankind.”
45If our marriages are to succeed, we must all learn to look beyond our spouses’ mistakes. We must learn not to narrow our focus to the present state of affairs, but to look at the totality of our relationships and consider all the good our spouses have done for us.
46Don’t dwell on mistakes. Forgive and forget. Remember, no woman will ever make a greater mistake than Eve did. Even forgetting to mail the mortgage check is not as bad as eating from the Tree of Knowledge. (It’s pretty bad, but not as bad.) Look at the totality of your relationship, and remember that your spouse is the one who has provided you with so much happiness and blessing.
48The Hebrew word for marriage is nisu’in, which has its roots in the word naso, to carry. In marriage, one must carry — and sometimes it can indeed be a schlep — his or her spouse’s foibles and negative traits, along with the idiosyncrasies that so endear us to one another.
49In our world of instant communication, we are no longer used to waiting. In order to succeed in marriage, however, you must have the patience to allow your spouse to change, to grow, and to overcome the obstacles that he or she has been born with. People do change, but it takes years. Marriage is not instant. Changing oneself is not instant. You must learn to have patience with the other person’s foibles and carry them until they can change.
52Whether you are a single person -- may God send your soul mate speedily -- a newlywed, or an old hand at marriage, remember that marriage is about giving, about caring enough to criticize respectfully, about willing to forget and to forego -- about willing to make that change from caterpillar to butterfly.” (9)