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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Ecclesiastes 4:12, "And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

This morning, the old adage "there is strength in numbers" continues to hold true. While a vast majority of numbers is not a guarantee of either success or correctness, there is strength and safety in numbers or multitudes of counsellours. (Proverbs 11:14) We, as the household of faith, should not value the strength of worldly counsellours or numbers, but we should greatly value the strength and safety in the multitude of counsellours and multiplied wisdom within the walls of Zion. As the King of Zion, the Lord has given her wisdom in matters pertaining to the kingdom that we should never take lightly. It would be foolish to give people authority to judge in matters (which the church has the authority and necessity to judge within her walls) and then leave them void of wisdom. Therefore, the words of the aged in Zion need to be given due place and prudence. But, let us consider another aspect of the safety and security of numbers as portrayed in
God's word.

The Scripture before us has been used in a number of sound, valid applications. Two are better than one in marriage with Christ being the center of the thread (cord) that leads to a successful marriage. Naturally speaking, a whip of three cords is more sturdy and durable than a two corded whip. Certainly, the Trinity of the Godhead is seen as not broken with each Person in complete unity and harmony within the Godhead. But, let us still consider another thought in regards to the safety of numbers and a threefold cord not being quickly broken. How is it that we are related to God? As members of His family, how was that accomplished? How many ways can we find connection to Him? As the Bible shows the doctrine of eternal security, how many things can we find that bolster the thought?

As it pertains to our relationship with God, we certainly understand that He has an eternal purpose that supersedes and transcends this time world. Our eternal life is certainly eternal, but we are not. How did God give us eternal life without our existence? We find from Scripture that we are His adopted heirs (Ephesians 1:3-6), and our adoption occurred before we ever drew a natural breath. In the mind and purpose of God, our eternal life was secured before we were. As difficult as it is for our minds to grasp the thought, Scripture clearly affirms the truthfulness of the thought. (Isaiah 46 and Romans 4:17) While God did not set in motion every event that transpires, He is aware of every event that will transpire, and He most certainly set in motion every event necessary to redeem His adopted children to Him.

So, we are related to God by adoption as children, but what about vitally? As time-bound creatures, we could not be vitally united to Him from all eternity. Paul affirms the point in I Corinthians 15:46 that our natural existence precedes our spiritual existence. Before we can be vitally united to God, we must be naturally alive first. Even if quickened into Divine life while in our mother's womb (as John the Baptist), we are still naturally alive first. Nevertheless, we are related to Him by birth that occurs somewhere between conception and death. As an immediate work of the Holy Ghost, we are connected vitally to God by spiritual relationship. (Titus 3:5-8, John 3) While at this present hour our souls and spirits are united to Him in a vital way, the day is coming when our bodies will stand united with the soul and spirit in perfect harmony before the heavenly throne. (Romans 8:18-23) We will be wholly righteous at that point with each facet
of our person in vital union with Him.

Certainly, we have two here being better than one. It is better to be related to God twice than singularly, but we find that we are also related to Him intimately by marriage. As the elect family of God, we have a Husband that came to die for us. John the Baptist called Him the Bridegroom that he (John) was happy to proclaim. (John 3:18-30) As the friend of the Bridegroom, he was content that Christ increase while he (John) decreased. Indeed, the heralding of the Husband of God's family was a distinct privilege that John had, but it a beautiful privilege that we have to be called His bride. Today, it is difficult for us (as Westerners) to conceptualize that marriage thought. In the western world, our theme is "here comes the bride." In the Jewish world, the theme was "here comes the groom." Indeed, He came and gathered His bride to Himself, legally, by the stamping out of all her uncleanness. As is tradition in a Jewish wedding, the groom
takes a glass that he drinks from and crushes it beneath his heel after drinking its contents. Thus signifying, the bride is legally his by the breaking of the glass.

Dear friends, our Husband bruised His heel on the tree of the cross as He stamped out all our unrighteousness. To do so, the cup filled with the wine of the wrath of God had to be drained. After draining it down to its bitter dregs, He has the right to proclaim, "It is finished" for all the members of His bride. He can gather her to Himself and present them to His Father as the washed, redeemed, chosen, and loved apple of His eye. Our relationship to our God is both as children and bride with a threefold cord not quickly broken. If a threefold cord is not quickly broken and God cannot be overthrown, who will prise us from His grasp? Who will keep us from His love? Not one!

So if a threefold cord is not quickly broken, what would happen if we were related to the Lord in another way? How secure would that be? While indeed married to Him, adopted by Him, and born by Him, we are mentioned and named in another way. Hebrews 9 describes to us in rich tones what Christ did for us as compared to the law service that foreshadowed His work. In verses 16-18, Paul describes the force of a will and testament. A will and testament is not legally enforceable until the testator dies. As our Testator (Jesus Christ the Righteous) died for us, His will and testament is in force. Secondly, a will and testament cannot be enforced if its contents state, "This estate is for everyone in general and no one in particular." How would you like to be a lawyer to enforce that will? Therefore, our relationship to Christ and the Father is secured by a legal document that states exactly who the inheritance is for and who the redeemed are.
Revelation speaks of a book that is the Lamb's book of life. In chapter 20 of Revelation, we read the words "whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (verse 15) What is written in that book? Earlier in Revelation it is described explicitly as names.

Our names are written in His book as the joint-heirs of His possessions. Whatever is Christ's is ours by name. The idea that Christ could die for everyone in general (whole human race) and no one in particular (whoever chose to accept Him) would make as much sense as a nameless will. But, we are specifically named in His testament as His redeemed family. We are loved by Him from all eternity, known of Him from all eternity, born of Him while in this earth, married by Him through His work of atonement, and written by His finger upon the sacred pages of His book. Now, if that is His work of relationship to us, how will that be overturned? How could we, in our own arrogance, think that we could keep Him from us? Those that are kept from Him are those that He did not desire, love, choose, born, or marry. Therefore, may we rejoice in these things and seek evermore to show forth our love to Him. Indeed, He was not ashamed to be related to us in
multiple ways, may we not be ashamed to serve Him in the different avenues and facets of our lives. If He could so love us (His enemies) to unite Himself to us in so many fashions, may we seek to serve Him manifestly in so many fashions that our conduct would be glorious and majestic to His name and not shameful and blighted for all His rich grace and mercy to us.

In Hope,

Bro Philip