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03. The Threefold Cord

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

Any system that is well designed will have backup systems or contingencies built in if one system fails. The divine pattern that was first given to Adam and Eve as a reflection of Father and Son expanded to community and the church. As the family grew, the same “Of Whom” and “By Whom” pattern was replicated in each creating a threefold cord.

We see the divine pattern in the family clearly expressed by Paul when he stated.

1 Cor 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.  

As we have noted, the church and the community are patterned after the family. Notice again what Ellen White says:

“Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are "the issues of life"; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.” Adventist Home p. 15.

The society or community is a subset of both church and nation. Note how Paul connects the pattern of home leadership as a qualification of church leadership.

1 Tim 3:2-5  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband [of whom] of one wife[by whom], vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  (3)  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  (4)  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection [command his children after him Gen 18:19] with all gravity;  (5)  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

How does the church support a family when the blessing channel in a particular home is broken?

James 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Isa 1:17  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

These passages are addressed to leaders in the church. What is pure religion above all other things? To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction. Why? Because the home is the strongest reflection of the Divine pattern and church leaders need to do all they can to assist families where a father has gone missing either through death or dereliction of duty. When a father was no longer able to bless his children the spiritual leaders of the church were to step in and provide that blessing. This is exactly what Jesus did.

Mar 10:13-16  And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.  (14)  But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.  (15)  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.  (16)  And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Where did the abundance of the blessing that flowed forth from Jesus come from?

Matt 3:17  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  

Through Christ the divine pattern went into action and all the promises made to Abraham would be made certain. Abraham was a type of Christ when it was stated to him:

Gen 12:2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

It is the Son of God that the Father blessed and made a great nation from Him. Christ stands at the head of this blessing system and pours it through the three fold cord to fill our lives with blessings. Notice this process in action:

Luke 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Mat 28:18-19  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power [authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  (19)  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,

The message of Christ was amongst other things to heal the brokenhearted. What causes a broken heart more than the withering curses of a wretched childhood? For more on the message of Christ see chapter 19 of Life Matters.

The point we are making here is that the church was designed as a backup system or contingency for families when the “Of Whom” component of the family ceased to function. The community also contributed by ensuring that the fatherless and widows had food and shelter and protection. See Ruth 2 and the practice of gleaning the fields.

When a church and community reflect the divine pattern as an extension of the family then a child will grow and flourish and if a family suffers the loss of one of the channels the other two channels will supply the lack. As the verse says “A threefold cord is not quickly broken” but over time it can be broken.

Satan well knows that the whole channel of blessing rests upon having the divine pattern stamped into our minds. The God we worship is reflected in the home, the church and the community. Satan introduces to mankind an altered pattern; a pattern not of source and channel but of co-equality where the second component is merged with the first. This is the secret of desolation of the family, the church and the community. This is how Satan can break the threefold cord. Once people perceive a co-equality of status in their worship of the divine, then the relationship of marriage is altered to cut the blessing to children; male leadership is neutered in the church and the community and within one generation Satan can take control of the entire community.

There is a direct link between the god that the church of Rome adores and its ability to desolate the hearts of men.  The secret is breaking the divine pattern and replacing it with the Trinity. It does not matter what version you adopt as long as you perceive the second person as the same as the first just with a different title. The Catholic Church does this through a one substance being and the Adventist Church does it through three different labels for the divine beings that possess identical inherent qualities.

As an example read in the book of judges how Israel turned away from the God  with a distinct “Of Whom” and By “Whom” Structure for Baal worship. (Judges 2:9,10) Notice how the family relations become confused, men became ruled by passion as in the case of Samson and others. Men also lost their sensitivity to the women in their lives as seen in the life of Jephthah in Judges 11. As children are born into families that no longer bless and then tyrants are developed in some cases as in the case of Abimelech (Judges 9) or they become fearful as in case of Barak who could not fight without a woman leading him. (Judges 4)

Our church is going through the same process since we have embraced the Trinity with a divine pattern of co-equality as opposed to Source and Channel as revealed in 1 Cor 8:6. We are seeing the amount of men who can lead in our churches decreasing, marriage breakups are increasing, the commissioning of female pastors is on the rise, abuse within homes is increasing. All these things are symptoms of the desolating effects of co-equality in our worship; it is desolating our homes, churches and communities.

This process is accurately described by Jeremiah revealing the breaking of all the cords our Father has established and how the desolation affects families and the church and community:

Jer 10:20-25  My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.  (21)  For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.  (22)  Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country,[Babylon] to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.  (23)  O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.  (24)  O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.  (25)  Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

The call of Elijah is a call to turn our hearts back to the true God of Israel, the God who is revealed at the heart of the Ten Commandments:

Mal 4:4-6  Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.  (5)  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

The work of Elijah is a work of restoring the true God of Israel and a call to reflect our God in our families, our churches and our Communities.

Luk 1:16-17  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.  (17)  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

The turning of hearts involves a recognition of parents by children and a recognition by parents to bless. Turning people from disobedience involves people returning to a respect for their church and community leaders and for these leaders to recognise their need to bless and protect those under their care. The work of Elijah does not call men to free themselves from any human authority but rather to seek to restore that authority to the divine pattern. Let us join together in prayer for the power and spirit of Elijah to show us how to restore the divine pattern in our homes, churches and community. Now we need to address in detail the process of restoring this divine pattern in the the threefold cord.