We are told in the Spirit of Prophecy, that the first law of heaven is order.
I have always wondered why this is so. I thought that love should be the first law there. Or maybe it should be the commandment that tells us to only worship the creator. But, no, the first law of heaven is order.
I decided to study the Bible about order to understand why it is so important. One thing I found out is that the word “order” in the Bible comes from its association with warfare as in the arrangement of troops. We know that there was war in heaven when God cast Satan out. But there is not war there now. We know that there is order in the placement of the stars and planets. The nineteenth psalm tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God. We can see the order in nature between the plants and animals. We know that there is order in the way that our bodies are made. All of the systems of our bodies work together with perfect order. We have our immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, and so on, all working with order to keep us alive. If any of those systems is not working to the proper order that it was intended to there is disease or even death.
In Romans chapter one it says that there is no excuse for anyone to say that there is not a creator. The order revealed in the things God has created, prove that God exists.
Order, then, is the foundation of creation and life. But this is all relating to the physical creation. This order is all about the things we can see and touch. Why should order have a moral quality about it or does it? Does order have anything to do with the Ten Commandments, which show us how to behave with each other? In the Bible the words “laws”, “commandments”, “statutes”, “ordinances”, “precepts”, “judgments”, and some other words are used somewhat interchangeably. They have in the original language of the old testament as part of their meaning, “due order”. In fact, the word “ordinance” comes from the word “order”. So then we can see how that all of God’s laws are really there to help us to order our lives morally.
I once worked for a rich man. He had a business of the repairing of parts for big aircraft. He was not a Christian but he knew that I was a Christian. Before he would hire me, he made me sign a contract saying that I would not talk about my religion at work. I was happy to sign it. One morning, after I had been working there for a couple of years, he walked up to my work area. He said, “I had a dream about you last night.” I said, “What was it about?” He said, “It was about a man who has his life in order.” That was all he said and he turned around and walked away.
You see that when we strictly keep God’s laws, we are demonstrating to others the validity of God’s existence, by revealing heaven’s first law, which is order. We must obey not only the Ten Commandments, which is God’s moral law. We must obey also God’s physical law to preserve our health to the best of our ability. In this way we show that we honor God’s creative power and authority.
Psalm 50:23 says n part, “…to him that orders his conversation right, I will show the salvation of God.” Here is another area in which God requires order. Our words should be well chosen at all times. Our speech should be carefully considered before the words leave our lips. This is one of the greatest evidences that we are a Christian. Have you thought about what it will be like in heaven? What about when we talk to the holy angels that are there? Will they be ashamed of our manner of speaking? Now is the time to train our mouths to speak words that are refined and uplifting. Proverbs 15:28 says: “The heart of the righteous studies to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” Could it be that by simply speaking without carefully considering the import and possible consequences of our words renders us automatically as among the wicked? I have fallen short in this area of my life many times. We must overcome all of our defects of character before we can enter the city of God. God help us, is what I say.
Psalm 37:23 says: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way.” Do we want the Lord to delight in our ways? Then we must let Him order our steps. Psalm 119;133 says: “Order my steps in Your Word…” There is very much more that can be said on just what it means to have our steps ordered by the Lord. It is a subject all of its own. It has to do with rhythms, cycles, cadences. Timing has everything to do with it as we will find out.
The Lord Jesus Christ wants to have control of every area of our lives. There is a divine order for everything we say, do or think. I believe there are some of us here that are not satisfied with our current relationship with God. We want a closure walk with Jesus. Let us look at how to please God with our lives as it pertains to order.
Solomon was said to have been the wisest man that ever lived. God did not give him wisdom all at once. Solomon asked for an understanding heart. God gave to Solomon the ability to become wise. Solomon tells us that he had to apply his heart to know wisdom. In other words he had to study very carefully many things. It was not easy. Solomon wrote down many proverbs and instruction. He says that if we apply our heart to understand what he wrote we can have wisdom also. Solomon left us a solemn warning, also. He said in Ecclesiastes 1:18, “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow.” Why is that? Jesus, Who was far wiser than Solomon was called “…a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. Again I ask, “Why is that?” Are we willing to get that wisdom if it will cause us much grief and sorrow?
Proverbs 4:7 tells us that wisdom is the most important character trait we can acquire. It is first in rank or order. Why is it not love, I wondered. Since order is the first law of heaven than we must follow order so that we can understand order. And since wisdom is the first in order of importance, it will teach us how to know and follow God’s order in all of the areas of our life, such as our words, actions, thoughts, and feelings. We are told that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” We are also told what the fear of the Lord is. Proverbs 8:13 says that the fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Do we really hate evil? What does it mean to hate evil? Have we become so accustomed to the ways of the world that we not only tolerate evil but we are entertained by it through the media? By watching evil for entertainment we are actually guilty of the evil ourselves.
Only God is the Judge. We are all going to be judged. We can claim the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf all we want but we are still going to face everything we say, do and think in the final judgment. Solomon tells us how we can by wisdom attain to God’s order and obtain the best status in the final judgment.
Let us find out what order and the judgment have to do with each other. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says that there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. After that, there are many examples given. There’s a time to love and a time to hate. There’s a time to be born and a time to die. There’s a time to make war and a time to make peace. What we are being told here is that everything has an appointed time when it will take place. God has a time when He does things. The challenge for us is to discern when is the right time for us to do or not do something according to God’s timing. We have instruction here that there is a right time and a wrong time for everything. It says also that there is a time to speak and a time to keep silence. It should not come as any surprise to us that there is right time and a wrong time to speak. The Bible tells us that we will give an account to God of every word we speak. It also says that we will be condemned or justified in the judgment by our words. Jesus Hisself told us this in Matthew 12:36, 37. But there is more to it as we shall see. Solomon left a prescription or formula for us to obtain wisdom and be assured of success in the judgment. If we can discover the process and master it we will have found the science, not only of success in the judgment but we will also learn how to win others to Christ and how to have our prayers answered.
Let’s go back to Ecclesiastes and see what Solomon was really trying to tell us. Ecclesiastes 3:16 says, “And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment , that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.” It is telling us that even in a situation that appears to have good judgment and righteousness applied, there can be and often is sin and wickedness. It goes on to explain in verse seventeen that this is the reason that God must judge every action of our lives. It says that there is a time for every purpose and for every work. The work that is being talked about is something we have done but shouldn’t have done. It also covers things that we didn’t do but should have done. There are sins of commission and sins of omission; just like a time to speak and a time not to speak. Now the word “purpose” in verse seventeen also means “desire” in the Hebrew. Purpose, then, is referring to our motives. Our motives may be correct or they may be incorrect, but the action we take based on the correct motive must also be at the correct time. Let me give an example. Jesus healed a leper. You can read about it in the end of Mark chapter one. Jesus sternly instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened until he had been cleared by the priests. But what did the man do? He went immediately and started telling everyone he could find about it. Did the man have the right motive in wanting to testify that God had healed him? Probably. The action in itself was not wrong to do. It was only in the timing that the man failed the test. Jesus had to greatly restrict His work in that city because of the healed man’s decision to ignore the correct time to do what would otherwise have been good. The healed man will face his decision and action in the judgment. He may have repented later and the Lord would forgive him. We don’t know.
Every situation that we find ourselves in throughout the day is a test to see whether or not we will do the right thing at the right time for the right reason.
Getting back to Solomon we find that he gives us a little more information on this topic in chapter eight of Ecclesiastes. In verse five it says that a wise man’s heart takes into account both time and judgment. Have you ever wanted to do something that you thought was good but it turned out all wrong? I have. It is more often the case that we move too quickly in some situations. We usually run ahead of the Lord, rather than following too far behind Him. It is our impatience that gets us into trouble. Verse six now says that because there is a correct and incorrect time for every motive and action, that it causes us a lot of misery. It is not easy to wait for the Lord to reveal the exact time for something. Jesus was found joyful when others were sad. He was sad at times when others were celebrating. He understood order so that His timing was accurate while everyone else had no idea that their timing was incorrect or out of order.
We have many instructions in the Bible that tell us when is the right time and when is the wrong time to do something. It is a part of wisdom; perhaps the greater part of wisdom to know when to do something so that the effect of that action does the greatest amount of good for the kingdom of God.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Why is there always so much emphasis in the Bible on waiting for God to do something? Why is the Lord seemingly so slow to act?
Will the Lord really tell us when to speak or not? Will He really tell us when to cry or laugh? Do we really have to be that in-touch with the Lord?
Jesus had to correct His own mother when she hinted to Him to provide wine for a wedding by a miracle. He told her that it wasn’t the right time yet. He granted her desire while letting her know that it is better to wait for God’s perfect timing.
In order to be successful in the judgment we must do the right thing at the right time for the right reason. How can we know if we have the right motive in doing or not doing something? I have often wondered about this. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that we should do right because it is right.
This statement provides us a clue as to how we can know if we have the right motives for serving God. When we love order as God has intended it, we will be willing to wait upon God to reveal the right time for us to act. Don’t forget that Jesus told us in Luke 21:19, “In your patience you possess your souls.” We could go on and on about waiting on the Lord. The whole test over Sabbath verses Sunday is based on the principle of order as it relates to time. Sunday keepers may have pure motives for observing Sunday as the day of weekly avocation. They may even keep Sunday exactly as Sabbath is to be kept. The problem is that it is not the timing of God’s perfect order. It is out of sync with God’s perfect arrangement of order based on time. It is a perversion of the natural cycle initiated by the Creator. Now most Sunday keepers do not understand the true issues at stake as to why the day of rest cannot be changed. Therefore they are not yet charged with receiving the “mark of the beast.” Soon the Sabbath will be explained more fully. Then the issue of force will be involved in the exaltation of the “spurious Sabbath.” The principle of time/order will then be leveraged against the rejecters of the true Sabbath. God’s jealousy for His perfect creation of order will have bearing in the judgment. Who has the right to change God’s perfect timing? Do you see the issue?
What will it be with us? Will we seek God’s order because it is right? Will we wait for the Lord to tell us when to speak or not? In the multitude of words there wants not sin the Bible tells us. Many things would be left unsaid if we followed wisdom in waiting on the Lord before speaking.
How will it be with you and I in the judgment? There is much grief in seeing people speaking and doing things that are out of order and out of time.
May the Lord help us!
More articles will follow, some of which will inevitably refer back to the principle discussed in this article.