Embassy of Heaven

Permanency of Marriage


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What is Marriage?

A happy marriage

When I counsel young couples, I ask them, "What is marriage?" They may give me many romantic ideas about marriage, but they often miss the foundation.

Marriage is a commitment. It is an allegiance bonding two into one flesh. Marriage does not depend on whether you have good times or bad times together. You are still married. Through sickness or health, the commitment remains. No matter what happens through the years, you are married until death do you part.

It is the same with us as we become the Bride of Christ. It is immaterial what our walk is with Christ. We are walking with Christ through good times and bad. Apostle Paul asks, "What will separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:35) He concludes that nothing will separate us. Our walk with Christ is for all eternity.

State promotes adultery

In the early 70's, lawyers were drinking and partying because of a new law that was going to greatly increase their business. My wife, Rachel, came home from the law offices where she worked and said the new law would make it possible for residents of Oregon to receive a divorce much easier. Under the new provisions, a divorce could be granted simply because the couple was having "irreconcilable differences."

Prior to the passage of this law, it was time-consuming and expensive to obtain a divorce. The state recognized a Godly form of marriage. Once united, the couple was bound "until death do us part." A divorce was granted only for a few specific reasons, usually because of marital unfaithfulness. And this charge had to be proved.

Why were the lawyers jumping up and down about the new divorce law? They knew that having easy divorce meant more people divorcing and more revenue for lawyers. Now, 20 years later we are seeing the fruit of this law upon this adulterous generation.

Staged Polygamy

The problem we are dealing with, is that the state does not acknowledge true marriage. The state has made an abomination of marriage. The state is promoting polygamy. Not bigamy, but polygamy. Polygamy means having two or more wives or husbands at the same time.

The state has made a revenue base out of man's desire to have multiple marriages. They say, "You can have polygamy, but you must stage out your wives. For a small fee we will give you a marriage license and for a greater fee we will grant you a divorce," which is no divorce at all.

Once you obtain the paper saying you are divorced, you can legally sleep with another woman and have children by that woman. However, you are still obligated to continue financing the previous wife and children. When you finish with that wife, you pay the state more fees and obtain a second divorce. Then you remarry with another small fee and when you tire of her, you pay the state the larger fee to set you free to marry a third time. This continues on, and all the while the state makes volumes of revenue off of your polygamy.

As a Christian, I do not recognize this form of multiple marriages. I cannot find anything in the Holy Scriptures that describes what the state promotes. Unfortunately, what the state is doing is allowing people to believe that they are able to "undo" a marriage and then unite with another partner. But the state has problems because they are still subject to God. The state recognizes that you cannot just walk away from a marriage. You still have responsibilities to your wife and children. If you are a divorced male, you become entangled in child support payments, visitation rights and a host of other problems. You try to start a new life with a new spouse, but the old marriage does not die. Life becomes nothing but a nightmare for all those involved. And the children suffer greatly.

Not only does the state promote these ungodly relationships, but the corporate churches condone them. The state has a harlot known as the churches and they are riding upon the state. The preachers of these churches are aligned with the state in promoting polygamy. They are binding people together in the name of the state, instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. They marry people under the authority of a state marriage license. The harlot Church cannot preach the word of God on marriage because they are beholden to the state. They don't want to lose their tax exempt status and other benefits. Therefore, they go along with the state's ideas on marriage and divorce.

What I have described is happening all over America. It is Sodom and Gomorrah, a "wicked and adulterous generation." The men are like well-fed lusty stallions; every one neighing after his neighbor's wife (Jeremiah 5:8).

An adulterous generation is attacking the very heart of the forest. The trees in this forest are now diseased. The trees no longer have loyalty to another human being. If you have no loyalty to your original marriage or to your spouse or your offspring, then neither will you have loyalty to Jesus Christ or God the Father. Because of "irreconcilable differences," you part company and do whatever you want.

I have an old saying, "Whatever you see in a microscope, is also true in a telescope." If you can look into a microscope and see an atom with all its electrons moving around, it looks just like the solar system with the planets traveling around the sun. It is just on a different scale.

We are talking about the same thing in our family relations and in our relationship with God. On the small scale of a microscope, we see a family being destroyed because the husband and wife have no more loyalty to each other. We see a couple who are one flesh being ripped and torn apart.

On the large scale of the telescope, we see men and women being ripped and torn apart from God Almighty. Once they were bonded to God, but then "irreconcilable differences," arose and they divorced God and married other gods. Now they are committing idolatry. Idolatry in the large realm of God is the same as adultery in the small realm of family. In the microscope we see the destruction of the family, in the telescope we see the destruction of society.

Are there exceptions to marriage law?

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his WIFE, EXCEPT IT BE FOR FORNICATION, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Matthew 19:9

Doesn't Matthew 19:9 allow a man to divorce his wife if she commits adultery?

No. The New Testament gives no grounds for divorce. When Jesus made an exception to the marriage law at Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, it was for a betrothed wife, not a real wife.

Betrothed wife

To understand why the word WIFE is used at Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, we need to know a little about Jewish customs because Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience. Jews had a social practice called "BETROTHAL," which is similar to engagement today. Betrothal starts when a couple agrees to give themselves to each other in marriage and ends in the actual marriage. Jewish Wedding Ringsbetrothal is different from modern-day engagement in one significant way. Once a couple was betrothed, they were regarded by the rest of society as "one flesh" and were called husband and wife. Usually within a year to eighteen months after becoming betrothed, the couple consummated the marriage.

In modern society during the period of engagement, if the couple change their minds, they break up and start over again. In Jewish society, however, once a couple is betrothed, they could not just call it quits. A betrothed couple in Jewish society had to obtain a LEGAL DIVORCE. Even though they were only engaged and had never lived together as man and wife, they were considered married and must get a divorce if they wanted to separate. This custom can be proved from the scriptures.

Mary is called "wife"

Look at Matthew 1:18-20 and 24-25. Here is a passage most of us have read many times and possibly missed a powerful truth that reveals this Jewish custom. Notice that Joseph and Mary are called HUSBAND and WIFE, even though they were only betrothed or engaged:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise; When as his mother Mary was ESPOUSED (engaged) to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph HER HUSBAND, (espoused, but called husband) being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. (literally, divorce her)

Notice that even though they had not yet consummated the marriage, Joseph was considering divorcing Mary.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee MARY, THY WIFE: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."

Then Joseph being raised from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him and took unto him HIS WIFE: and KNEW HER NOT till she had brought forth her firstborn son; and she called his name Jesus.

Jesus, being raised in Jewish society, was aware of this Jewish custom of being considered husband and wife during the betrothal period. Matthew records this special provision, not as a universal exception, but only as a clarification to the Jews concerning the betrothal relationship. The exception is for a betrothed couple when FORNICATION is committed BEFORE their marriage vows make them one flesh for life. The principle of the permanency of marriage that Jesus teaches applies only to those who have consummated their marriage, not to those who are merely betrothed.

No exception in parallel passages

With this understanding of Jewish custom, Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 concur with the other parallel passages of Luke 16:18 and Mark 10:11. If we take out the "EXCEPT IT BE FOR FORNICATION" clause, then Matthew 19:9 is almost identical to Luke 16:18:

Whosoever shall put away his wife and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

(Matthew 19:9 with fornication clause removed).

Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Luke 16:18

Matthew 19:9 appears to make an exception to the marriage covenant that is not made in the parallel passages at Mark 10:11 and Luke 16:18. But when the passage is viewed without the exception clause, it harmonizes with the rest of the New Testament teachings on marriage.

Fornication vs adultery

Another reason we know the exception clause is referring to a BETROTHED WIFE and not a real wife, is that Jesus makes the exception for FORNICATION, not for adultery. FORNICATION is illicit sex between an UNMARRIED couple. If Jesus was referring to a real wife, why didn't He say "except it be for adultery"?

Books and Feather PenThe word translated "fornication" is "porneia" in Greek. "Porneia" generally means illicit sexual relations between an UNMARRIED couple. If a real wife were unfaithful, she would commit adultery, not fornication.

The modern translations sometimes confuse the issue because they translate the Greek word PORNEIA not as fornication, but as the general term "sexual immorality." However, none of the modern translations we have seen translate PORNEIA as adultery.

If Jesus meant to say adultery is grounds for divorce, why wasn't a derivative of the Greek word "Moichao" used? That is the word translated as adultery in the same verse. "Moichao" (adultery) occurs when a married person violates wedlock.

Let us assume that fornication means adultery in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9. Then we could assume that if a spouse commits adultery, it is grounds for divorce and subsequently, remarriage. But how can this be? It flies in the face of what Jesus and Apostle Paul speak about so clearly elsewhere in the New Testament. Earlier in Matthew, Chapter 19, verse 6, Jesus says that a man and woman are joined as one flesh and no man can divide them. To seek a divorce, is to allow a man to separate what God has put together. Both Jesus and Apostle Paul teach that those who divorce and marry another commit adultery. Once the marriage has been consummated, there are no escape clauses. Marriage is until death do you part.

Only death ends marriage

Paul confirms Jesus' teaching of being one flesh for life by saying in effect:

If you separate, stay single or reunite with your only spouse, for if you do remarry before your partner dies, you are an adulterer or an adulteress; and adulterers SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. (See 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 7:11)

When one becomes a eunuch, he cannot go back to his former state. When one marries, they cannot go back to the unmarried state. Marriage is permanent. No wonder Christ's disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry" (Matthew 19:10).

Does Jesus allow a man to divorce his wife because of adultery? No, the scripture remains true, the only way out of marriage is death.

For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Romans 7:2-3

The blood covenant

Marriage is founded upon the commitment of a man and a woman giving their lives and their fortunes to each other, binding them into one whole. The woman comes under the covering of the man. The man has an obligation to that woman, "till death do they part," to be her covering. He is to take care of her and to have children by her, through good times and bad times, through health and in sickness. He is not going to be able to have just the good times. He is also going to have to go through the bad times. Marriage does not hinge upon whether it is an exciting time or an unexciting time. Marriage remains a lifetime commitment that is not dependent upon circumstances.

Marriage is a covenant between two people. Some say it is a "blood covenant." The woman, a virgin, spills her blood on their wedding night. Blood binds the covenant. This is not always true because there are situations where a spouse dies, and the other is free to remarry. In that instance, if the widow remarries, there is no blood spilt, but there is still a covenant, "until death do us part."

No sin in first marriage

What about all of the families who followed the state and thought they could divorce and remarry? People come up to me and say, "I wasn't a Christian back in the days of my first marriage. Now I'm on my second marriage. Is my first marriage forgiven so that I can remain with my second wife?"

I ask one question. What is there to forgive on your first marriage? Is it not your lawful marriage? There is nothing to forgive. What are you asking for? You are asking to remain in adultery. I find everybody looking for justification to remain in adultery. If you have a problem, why not seek out the way you can undo your adultery? The first step is to leave the adulterous relationship. If there are children involved, you are still responsible for them, but cut out the adultery. Walk away from it. You cannot remain there.

That is step number one. That is repentance. To repent of an adulterous relationship, is to quit committing adultery. It is like everything else. If you are angry, how do you repent of anger? You quit being angry. To have a repentant attitude, is to quit doing it. If you find you are an alcoholic, what is repentance? Quit drinking. Stop going to the persons, places and things that cause you to drink. The same thing is true with an adulterous relationship. If you are in adultery, how do you repent? You must leave the relationship. That is step number one.

What if you want to be married? Then go back to your original wife or husband.

"But they have already remarried," you say.

Who married them? God does not recognize their marriage. They are in an adulterous relationship. It is an adulterous generation. Everybody is in adultery and it seems nobody is sleeping with their God-ordained partner.

The problem is that the state, who has been promoting polygamy in a structured manner, is also going to prevent you from going back to your spouse. What you are fighting is not God. You are fighting the state. And the state is fighting God.

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