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Dean Cullinane
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The final plenary will be something of a character study on the life of Jonathan and specifically his relationship with David, as expressed in 1 Sam 18. What can we learn from these ancient friends, and how might this relationship change the future of adventism?


Dean Cullinane

Theology student at Weimar College.


  • January 3, 2020
    6:30 PM


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It was presented at the g.i.c.. In Louisville Kentucky for other resource visitors to write. Good evening and happy Sabbath to you I see. As we begin this evening I would like to take the opportunity to thank you I see and everyone that is involved with this great organization for the opportunity to stand here before and with you and to be given the privilege to preach the Word of the Lord. Friends I have been blessed I hope that you have been blessed I hope that over the course of these past few days the Spirit of God has spoken to your heart and I hope that he does so again this evening and ask you a question what does the love look like how many of you here would say that you've ever been in love. So how many of you then know I saw some wives look at their husbands how many of you know then what love looks like I would like to take your minds back not too long ago when a member of the royal family of Britain fell in love with an American divorcee who were that I'm talking about. It is not Harry and Meghan No my not so long ago was slightly relative I'm referring to King Edward and Wallis Simpson at the parson of King George the 5th king Edward the 1st in line to the throne humbly took his father's position Little did he know however that his reign would last only less than a year why because the king to be had full and in love. You see 5 years before he took the throne Edward had met Wallis Simpson and they decided that they were going to get together the only hinderance with that was really that Wallace was already married actually for the 2nd time and so in order to be with the prince and the soon to be king she had to leave her husband and get another divorce and as they tried every which way to be married they were met only with opposition the Church of England didn't take too kindly to the idea of the king marrying a divorcee and although they tried every avenue to be united in holy matrimony they were unsuccessful which left only one option. The king would have to give up the throne and so he did. $326.00 days after he became king in December 1936 King Edward abdicated the throne to his younger brother shortly after that he got married and they lived happily at least we would assume so and so he paused in the year of 1972. Friends I tell you this story because I believe that true love always involves sacrifice. And what great to sacrifice then giving up the throne to be with the one that you love and so I ask you again have you ever been in love. A title for my message the seeding is the kingmakers Let's pray for Father in heaven we pray that your spirit would be present here with us this evening. Father. Lord we are not worthy. We have sinned against you and against heaven we know whether to be cool your daughters or your son's father your son Jesus Christ will forever be worthy to be called off Savior. And so we asked that he would speak to us this evening we pray in Jesus' name amen I would like you to turn in your Bibles to 1st Samuel chapter 18. First time you will Chapter 18 you'll find that just off the 1st time you will 17 when you're there you can say Amen. First time you'll Chapter 18 I believe presents us with possibly the greatest picture of love outside of the life of Christ when we think of love our minds usually just go straight to the romantic we think of we think of Adam and Eve Isaac and Rebecca Jacob and Rachel Ruth and Boaz we think of David and. Well we think of David and maybe many women but I think that the relationship I think that the relationship between Jonathan and David is also a picture if not even more of a picture of what true love is and just because 2 people have a connection on are willing to go to the ends of the earth for one another does not mean that they all romantically involved some people interpret this as though there was more than a friendship but you can have a friendship that shows a complete picture of the love and the character of our God. It is in David's great victory over Goliath in the chapter just prior to this and his subsequent conversation with so that we pick up this conversation in 1st time in 18 verse one it says and it came to a pause when he had made an end of speaking on to Saul that the soul of the Jonathan was knit with the soul of David and Jonathan loved him as his own soul David had won the heart of Jonathan and I believe that this is a picture of true Christianity true Christianity is not found in the acceptance of theories of doctrines nor in a certain exceptions of lifestyle although doctrine and lifestyle have their place but the very essence of Christianity is revealed in the outpouring of the heart in devotion to another person. I'll say amen for you pull says that without this experience all religion is but sounding bras and tinkling cymbal when John spoke of this love in his a pistol he said that if a man claims to love God but hates his brother then he is a liar. But some of us have taken this to say that in order for a genuine relationship with with God to remain genuine all we have to do is not hate our brother but this is not what John had in mind John was saying if you hate your brother then you definitely don't love God but in reading this the hope is that you would love all of your brothers and sisters as you claim to love God It is not enough friends to just not hates. Our Christianity and our personal relationship with God will always be demonstrated by our ability to love others. And Jonathan's heart beats for David. Verse 3 says then Jonathan and David made a covenant because he loved him as his own soul this is not the normal connection I might add that you normally find between 2 men you see when you have one when you look at relationships that females make they seem to usually connect on an emotional level they're happy to share with one another even though even go as far as to touch one another to hug one another to encourage one another to console one another but often times men aren't like that that's not to say if you like that you're not a man it just seems to not be the norm and maybe this is a generalization Maybe I'm just speaking about myself here but actually what I found is that men kind of seem to have bond over action instead of emotion we like to do things well to come together and plan some sort of adventure or something that we could possibly overcome and we usually don't have to talk on the way to doing that it's not unimaginable for a group of guys who are excited about something they are about to do to head in the same place in the same car and to remain unbearably silent in that vehicle even though they're all really looking forward to what they're about to do. They're loving it they're connecting they're getting to know one another better through silence. Jonathan and David I believe are connecting on the deepest of levels they're connecting on a spiritual level. Sure there's a lot of similarities they're probably close in age similar backgrounds and that they've grown up fighting Jonathan grown up fighting people David grown up fighting animals but where they connect really is in their desire to give their lives to serve God and I wish that more of us as young people would connect on that level I encourage my fellow young people to look to make friends with those that can actually bring you closer to God It's too easy to just connect with people that are similar to ours that look like us and dressed like us and like the same things that we do we also look to connect with people that want to pray with us that once or pray for us that are concerned with our spiritual life and with our eternal life because I believe that those are the friends that will stick with us until the end. Verse for however is where I really want to labor the Bible says In 1st time or Chapter 18 verse 4 and Jonathan stripped himself of the rope that was upon him and gave it to David and he has gone mince even to his sword and to his bow and to his belts. Friends do you know who Jonathan is he is the prince of Israel his garments and his robe they represent who he is they testify that he is next in line to the throne and this is not merely just an exchange of clothing if you go back to the Book of Genesis Chapter 41 from verse 37 on words the Pharaoh recognizes in Joseph that this truly is a man in whom God resides with and so what the Pharaoh does if you read verse 42 it says and Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it upon Joseph hand here raid him investors of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck Pharaoh was showing Joseph that by giving him new clothing a ring and a chain that symbolically Josephs very identity in the King in the Kingdom of Egypt was also changing and here Jonathan is doing the same thing friends I want you to understand the sacrifice that is taking place here Jonathan has spent the last few years preparing to be the next king of Israel the blessing of Heaven is clearly already upon him he is moved by divine impulses to go forth and slay the Philis times he believes that God can use one man to change the course of history and you arguably has already become that one man because the Bible testifies that Israel stands on that day because Jonathan was used by the Lord to save them but God had also chosen David to be sole successor and not Jonathan The thing is nobody had told Jonathan that. But catch this his heart is so in tune with his Creator and His love for his friend David is so great that he gives up the throne so that David can have it instead he says to David my friend I love you so much I will give up everything that I am so you can be everything that God wants you to be. Friends that's love and don't miss the part where Jonathan gives David his sword this is important David doesn't have a sword I mean why would a shepherd need a sword The insinuation is that when David went to war against the bear and the lion that he killed him with his bare hands it says that he grabbed the beast by its bid he had no soul when he went to take on Goliath he didn't have a sword he he use tones in fact he even he even rejected soul so because he says he hasn't he hadn't proved it David did not have a sword in fact if you go back to 1st time in chapter 13 from verse 221 was no one in Israel had a sword the only 2 men that had a sword were both soul and Jonathan in Jonathan giving his sword to David he was not just saying that you will take my place as the next in line of the throne he said you will take my place as the leader of this great nation in battle. Have you realize that it's from this point forth that David goes out with souls on me and when he returns the women are there singing that soul has killed his thousands and David his 10 thousands of course they're the men that have killed the most they have the only men with swords. Friends Jonathan gives up his position not begrudgingly. Not sulking that God had chosen someone else over him and he wasn't going to get the spotlight his heart was overflowing with love and his decision was that which poor out of his heart naturally and I think that that my friends is love. I've come to the conclusion that that love is the most unnatural love that exists in our world today when God sent His Son I believe he sent him to show us how to love but not necessarily how to love romantically. The love of God is the greatest love yet it is not a romantic love when when a widow loses their spouse and we tell them that God will be their spouse We're not talking in a in a romantic sense we are saying that God will devote himself to you in as much as any your husband or wife would devote themselves to you loving romantically I would be to you this evening is actually not that hard. In many cases it seems to come naturally it is loving and selfishly that is our greatest challenge. And I think it is completely evident within our church today that that is the case because there has always and there will always be issues that we do not agree on but friends theological differences do not have to lead to the disowning of Christian attitudes if we cannot love those who we disagree with even though we're part of the same faith how we possibly love our enemies when Christ was giving his sermon on the Mount he told that this is real perfection this is the character of the father to bless the righteous and the on righteous to love one's enemies. Friends I think that God knew we would struggle in this issue this issue of loving one another let me tell you why I think this is evident as 7th Day Adventists we believe in the law of God Can you say amen but we must look at the whole law as it is and I encourage you especially to look at it not as a list of do's and don'ts but rather look at the last 6 commom it's from the perspective of how breaking them actually hurts others. You see when we break the 5th when hurting our parents we break the 6th we're taking the lives of others and we break the 7th destroying other people's marriages we break the 8 was stealing from others when we break the 9th we're lying from others and we break the 10th we're jealous of others friends if we saw that it was important forgot to tell us to remember the Sabbath because we would forget then how or what does it tell us that he Aust us to love one another 6 times in a row and then wrote it in stone. It tells us that he knows our nature. I've realized this in marriage. Those that are married will know that I'm talking what I'm talking about. On our marriage day my wife and I declared to love one another and from that day food would God has been showing us how to actually love. And friends I'll be completely honest and completely transparent with you marriage is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. It's the most beautiful and the most rewarding and the most satisfying thing that I've ever done in my life but it's also the most difficult because every day I wake up my concern is not who is lying next to me but who's lying next to the person that's lying next to me my concern is me. Because every day that I rise up from my bed my battle is with self and marriage reminds me of how selfish I can be. Yesterday we were at a seminar. And someone asked how you can know if marriage is for you. My answer was simple check your pulse. Because if you're alive then it's likely that marriage is for you if you're alive it's because God wants you in the kingdom and it seems that marriage is designed almost solely for that purpose marriage is all about putting someone else before yourself and friends I believe that that is the mind of Christ. Why do I say this in Philippines Chapter 2 from Verse 3 it says let nothing be done through strife Oh vain glory but in loneliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man only his own things but every man on the things of others Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus this mine the mind of Christ is the mind where you a steam others as being better than yourselves. I know this isn't an amen no one likes to hear these things. Pull says that we should not conform to this whoa but we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds that my friends is the gospel to take the mind of Christ how do you know if the gospel is really taking a hold of your life. You esteem others better than yourself. What does that mean it means to respect it means to admire it means to approve of someone more than you approve of yourself but if you really believe that the others out there were greater than you it would not just be a false humility of admitting Oh yes everyone is better than I am no no if you truly esteem others better of better than yourself then you my friends would sacrifice yourselves for them. Is the gospel that you believe in cooling you to sacrifice what you have so that others can prosper to a greater degree than you. Shortly after I became a Christian I had to leave my home the lifestyle that I had chosen to live wasn't mixing so well with my family's lifestyles and I was asked to leave I had nowhere to go. It might be a stretch to say that I was homeless but I didn't have anywhere to stay at least for a few hours. It was only a few hours because I received a phone call from one of my closest friends now his name is Clive to tell you I think some of you already know him. And he called me that morning he said Dean is everything Ok I woke up this morning with a burden for you and I prayed for you and I just want you to know that if anything is wrong if you're ever in trouble or you ever need somewhere to stay I just want you know that I've got your back. I looked at my phone I looked up at the sky. I look back on my phone I said well actually. It's funny that you say that. And I explained the situation to him it took me about 2 hours to get to his house and when I got there he opened the door and standing just behind him was his mother and his father and I'll never forget the moment when his mom came up to me wrapped her arms around me. And said we are your parents now. We are your family now. This is your home now you can stay with us for as long as you wan and friends at no point do they have off me for rent money at no point that they are ever offering to chip in with money for food. And to push it out even further as I made my way through the embraces that I know I didn't deserve 5 took me up stairs to his bedroom and introduced me to my new bedroom he had moved out all of his stuff in that time in fact he moved into his dad's computer editing room he lives literally under a table that in all honesty had so many v.h.s. cassette stored on top of it it looked like it could collapse at any moment. Friends it was on that day that I saw what real Christianity looked like on that day I saw what Sure love look like and it made a difference in my life is showed me that the love of God was actually in the hearts of people I saw real love that day because I saw in others that they were willing to give up their comforts their home and their money for me who they barely knew. I saw people that for some reason esteemed me higher than they esteem themselves. And friends I want to encourage you that your acts of service and your kind words when you put yourselves out there for others you have no idea the kind of impact you could have on a single life I don't know if I would still be in the faith today were it not for the cootie family. Because that's where I was 1st shown the real character of God and that's why I believe that the story of friendship that we find in 1st time of Chapter 18 is one of the clearest pictures of the actual love of God because it is a near perfect representation of what Christ does for you and I. Stood there watching as man came up against a great giant except this time the giant the serpent was victorious man had fallen into sin but the heart of the Son of God not just Jonathan was knit with the soul of man not just David and Jesus loved us as his own soul and in response to that love Jesus and mad Mainak made a covenant because he loved us as his own sold a covenant friends was made on the cross. The course of Calvary is the testimony of love It is the testimony of the Son of God who looked upon you and I and esteem the us higher than himself is the testimony of one who owned all the riches of heaven but but agreed to lay all of that aside so that you and I could pick those riches back up that is the testimony of a god that would become man and walk on this earth for 33 and a half years the most this world could endure and then suffer the most excruciating the painful and agonizing death separating himself from the Father so that you and I could be reunited with that father. But he does not those of us his death he offers us his life. He offers us more than justification he offers us sanctification he places his robe upon us just as Jonathan placed his upon Davie He gives us that robe of righteousness friends he is faithful and years just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness he gives us his garment he gives us his sword. And Jesus Christ gave up everything for you and I. Just as Jonathan was the rightful heir to the throne and gave it up for David so too was Jesus the rightful King of Heaven yet he gave up his crown so that he could crown us. Friends Jonathan was a king maker he laid aside his position so that David could be king and I want to propose to you this evening that Jesus too is a king maker he gave up his throne so that you and I could sit on it next to his father. Friends Jesus could not see through the portals of the tomb that is love. Jesus could not see a resurrection for himself he hung on the cross and endured it he found joy in it firm in his conviction that if he was never really 19 with his father would be Ok because of the chance that you and I would be. That's love. As Satan wrong the heart of God His heart was given for us he trusted the wine press alone so that you and I would not have to and to top it all of Christ's death Paul says it was for us while we were yet sinners and so I bid you to dispel this false ideology that we must come to God writes. The police to come come to him do not expend efforts trying to fix your life before you come to Jesus because you will fail and you will fail and you will fail again I have so many of my young people come to me Mr Dean how do we know if we are ready for baptism I tell them the same thing every time you know that you were ready to give your hearts to the Lord when you think that you are not ready to give your heart to the Lord. Because it is in that feeling that is that understanding that you cannot do this that makes it the most opportune time to actually give him your heart because you will therefore dispel with any notion the changes that are happening in your life are happening because of you. How do you know it's the right time to come to God because you think it might not be. Because your trust in something is gone don't wait until you work it back up don't wait until you've made a few corrections don't wait until you fix up your mess come. So my appeal to nine's. Is for a very specific group of people. My appeal tonight is only for sinners. Friends heaven was poured out for you Jesus wants to make you a king and a queen in heaven the Bible says that great to love hath no man then this that he would lay down his life for his brothers. And the Bible says that it is a great to blessing to give than to receive friends that is not a verse full tithe. That is a God given principle that it is a greater blessing to give than to receive. Friends The father looked around have a noticed that you were in it he saw that you one devotee esteems you so much higher than himself that it was a great a blessing for him to give his son then to receive him. And so young people hear of g y c. I present to you the same opportunity. It will be a great blessing for you to give you a life to God then to receive it unto yourself. And as my sister in law comes forward to sing this appeal song I encourage you all to consider making that decision today consider finally giving your life to God consider trusting him with your life consider giving him. Everything that you have so that he can use you to make a difference in the home in the school and in the workplace wherever you are. Friends it will be the greatest decision that you ever make. And to my young people especially if you feel the Spirit of God moving you to esteem the love of God higher than the pleasures of this world if the Spirit of God has been speaking to you throughout these past few days he read you I see and encouraging you and moving your hearts to pull out to him everything that you have. If today you say that you want to give the Lord your life. I encourage you as you listen to these words to come to the front so that we can pray and pray for that commitment. To me. I won't be satisfied. Every victory with every. Every day every cause. You can put. Down my. Store. Was like Come. On these swell love. Each section long. It's true. Brutal was. Clever. No. A lot of. Non. Laws. Can explain it. Explain. I was. Still. See. Home was. Full of my. That's. Still. One of. The. Very full of every day. Things of which to. Thank you every way I. Miss my dog. When I heard you know mine. Oh no breed is served. Oh great a. Loaf. To. Know how. Satisfying me. Could have a sound system. Ah you want to be. It's. That has changed. It's show mom. You're. Better to listen. With. Better. Home. That's. Better as it. Was. That has worried me. God. Who was. In. Let's. Speak. To you. Through. Friends when you look down the list of kings of Israel. You will not see Jonathan's name. You will see David's name but you will not see Jonathan's name. But listen to this Jonathan by birth to add to the throne yet knowing himself set aside by the de got by the divine decree to his rival the most tender and faithful of friends shielding David's life at the peril of his own stead of far off at his father's side through the dark days of his declining power and at his side fulling at the last. The name of Jonathan is treasured in heaven and it stands on. A witness to the existence and to the power of unselfish love friends your name too can be written in heaven. In fact your name too can be written in heaven right now. And so I people especially. To those of you here this evening that have not yet given your life to Jesus Christ through baptism. If that is your desire if you want to say Lord I want to give you everything today I want to give you everything from this day forward for the rest of my life today you want to commit your life to Jesus Christ I off that you raise your hand keep it high. We're going to wait just a few seconds. If you desire to make that commitment today. If you want to respond to this love if you want to accept the crown that Jesus Christ has laid aside for you. And raise your hand high. Your wife you can you say amen we praise the Lord for the Spirit of God And now let us come together to pray and confirm those decisions that have been made by the judge. This message was recorded at the g y c conference by many or by few in Louisville Kentucky do I see a supporting Ministry of the 7th Day Adventist Church seeks to challenge and inspire young people to take a sacrificial initiative for Christ to download other resources like this visit us online at u.s.c. Web dot org.


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