PERFECT ORDER OF HUMAN RELATIONSHIP
When Jesus stated, “in the beginning it was not so”, it must be remembered Christ was by no means trying to establish that a man himself must return to things as they were in the beginning before sin entered into the picture. No, you will never be able to return to that setting, as things were in the beginning, until after your body has been changed from mortal to immortality. When Christ stated “in the beginning it was not so”, He was simply in the process of answering a question asked him by religious leaders (Matt. 19:1-9) concerning that of the moral issue on Marriage and Divorce. Hence, Christ takes these Pharisees back to the very beginning and shows them once God had made male and female and joined them together He said, let no man put asunder (ever separate) what I have joined together. Nevertheless, Jesus shows how much later in his program God did permit Moses to add into the law a clause or one provision whereby divorce may be granted, Deut. 24:104. A grounds which, by the way, even freed the guilty wife, allowing her to remarry, though under no circumstances could that which was once joined together and later divorced, ever be joined together again. Beloved, whenever you desire to know God’s true feelings on any subject, always go back to the beginning of that subject and follow it through to the very end and this is what we must do with our subject. Following the dreadful fall in the Garden of Eden, the scriptures show the moral structure of mankind began to crumble. Here through various stages, especially before the flood, we must pause to observe the moral issue in question as it passes through time up until the flood, then more through time all the way out to Mount Sinai, hundreds of years later, where God gave unto Israel a marital law to guide their relationships. We must observe what the law actually did for the moral question involved or shall we say, what God placed within the law which affected the moral issue at hand. Next, we shall examine some 1400 years later, at the close of the law age, what Jesus taught upon the subject, what He said concerning it, and later how He handled the same issue whenever confronted by religious people who were guilty of trying to cover up their way of living by using a private interpretation of what they wanted to believe Moses actually taught. Last of all, we shall discuss what Paul, by the authority invested in him, had to say concerning Marriage and Divorce as it applied to the gentiles, a people living far below the law. Jesus’ remark was “in the beginning it was not so”. Christ started at the very beginning and came up through Moses’ law concerning the subject of the marital relationship between man and woman. Hence, we shall do the same. In Genesis 2:23-24, we begin with the scriptures where God placed Adam to sleep and removed from his body a rib and from the rib which the Lord God took from man made He a woman and brought her unto the man. Adam looks at this beautiful creature and he seems to know exactly what is taking place. No, he doesn’t say, Lady, who are you and where did you come from? Adam knew exactly where she came from.
MADE MALE AND FEMALE
She came out of him! In other words, God removed, along with his rib, a little flesh and all the feminine attributes which sometime before had been placed within this one body (called Adam) along with those attributes of man. Because the scripture declares the two (male and female attributes) dwelt in the same flesh, attributes which the Lord God had created long before He ever placed them together in this one body of flesh, calling their name Adam. Genesis 1:27 declares at the time God created man in His own image He created He him; male and female created He them. Later, after their creation, first as spirit beings, God fashioned a male body from the dust of the earth, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and placed within this created fleshly man both the complete attributes of the masculine and feminine beings. How long Adam remained at this manner no one knows; nevertheless, after a thorough search had been made to find Adam a help mate, none was found among the animals nor any living creature. No beloved, God didn’t suddenly decide to divide the masculine attributes from those feminine attributes which both existed within the same body. Certainly not! He knew all along what He was going to do because a close study of Genesis 1:26-28 reveals within that heavenly realm when God created these attributes (male and female) created He them, yet at that time neither one possessed a fleshly body in which to live.
CREATED AND COMMISSIONED
Nevertheless, verse 28 declares at that time they (both the masculine and feminine attributes) were given a commission that some time in the future must be fulfilled. The commission was be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion over all living things that move on the earth. Here was a commission given unto the two spirit beings in eternity long before God ever placed the masculine and feminine attributes into that fleshly body. We pick up the story where God causes a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and these feminine attributes have now been removed and placed into her own separate body of flesh. Adam awakens and sees this beautiful creature, who is a type of the bride of Christ. No, he doesn’t wonder where she came from, he knows. He knows where she has been all this time, inside of him. There hasn’t been an argument or war between the two and there certainly hasn’t been any division in their thinking or feeling while the masculine and feminine attributes dwelt together in this one fleshly male body.
DIVIDING ATTRIBUTES FOR A PURPOSE
God has now separated them in order that they may carry out the divine plan of marriage which must transpire between two fleshly people in order to fulfill His commission to be fruitful and multiply which was given the moment of their creation, Genesis 1:28. In order for that commission to be fulfilled, those two attributes (masculine and feminine) must somewhere be separated and placed into two separate bodies. Here we see that separation being accomplished and the first words we ever hear Adam utter was a prophecy concerning the purpose of the female creature as he says, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man, henceforth shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife (singular) and they shall be one flesh”. No, Adam was not prophesying, in order to be one flesh they must once again become one body as was the picture before God separated the masculine attributes or characteristics from that of the feminine. Why then did Adam declare man and his wife shall become one flesh? For the purpose of reproduction, to fulfill the commission to multiply or bring (more) life into the world. Recall, that prophecy came forth long before mankind ever fell in the Garden of Eden. Jesus made reference to this in Matthew 19:5-6 the same as did the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:31). Here in this beautiful perfect environment of the Garden of Eden (or Paradise) upon this earth, it all began with one man and one woman or one husband and one wife. Here in the beginning, we observe God’s perfect order concerning the subject we will investigate. In the very beginning, God ordained that the one man should have only one wife (not several) and likewise the one woman should have only one husband (not several). This would be forever and ever because in this hour not even death could separate the young couple, seeing they possessed only eternal life. They were not filled with death until after the fall in Eden. Our marital setting changes as more people become involved in the picture. God’s ordained purpose of marriage between one man and one woman is clearly seen and remains unchanged as we move on out into the line of Adam’s (Seth’s) lineage, that is, until they reach an entirely different setting found in Genesis 6:1-2. Not until this time do we see where any of Adam’s line of descendants ever took unto themselves more than one woman for a wife. However, this cannot be said for the lineage of Cain who fathered the first civilization after the death of Abel, who was truly a seed from the loins of Adam, the son of God. Cain was a man of mystery who at not time ever walked with God nor did any of his descendants. Cain was a man whom the scriptures refused to recognize as a son of Adam yet was born into Adam’s family (home). Watch, had Cain been a son from the loins of Adam (who was the son of God) or truly been in Adam’s lineage, then the scriptures could not have recognized that Enoch was the seventh from Adam, instead it would have declared Enoch the eighth (not 7th) from Adam.
Genesis 4 gives the complete story of how Cain left the presence of the Lord and dwelt in a land east of Eden called Nod. Out of this lineage of marriage between Cain and his one wife (Adam’s daughter seeing Adam had sons and daughters, Genesis 5:1-5) came an entire line of wicked, ungodly people who not only were responsible for every kind of sin imaginable and introduced every kind of attribute of evil, but they also introduced into the world the plurality of wives, better known as polygamy. Cain had a son called Enoch and in Cain’s lineage some five generations later, a man named Lamech, according to Genesis 4:19 appeared on the 3 scene and took unto himself two wives thus introducing for the first time unto the world that which is known as polygamy; one man having more than one wife. We who have always lived in a western society of culture, who have never lived around any area of the world where polygamy was practiced would find it most difficult to even accept God’s own attitude toward polygamy once it did begin to be practiced. No, God did not institute polygamy. God instituted a program whereby one man and one woman would live together as Adam prophesied (Genesis 2:23-24), not one man and two or three women living together under one roof. Nevertheless, as we study polygamy as shown from the scriptures, I pray not to be misunderstood over certain statements I must make in regard to polygamy. So please understand, none of the statements I shall make dealing with the subject of polygamy means I am telling you to go out and marry two or three wives and keep them all under the same roof, raise children and provide for them. I am not saying any such thing. I am just simply trying to deal with the subject of polygamy as well as marriage and divorce, strictly as shown from a scriptural viewpoint.
SONS OF GOD WERE MEN
Therefore, scripturally Cain’s lineage introduced polygamy. That act of polygamy will not, until much later, appear in Adam’s lineage, a lineage which does not go through Cain, but instead comes down through Seth, right on down into the seventh from Adam who scripture declared was Enoch who begat Methuselah, the oldest man who ever lived on earth. Perhaps not until many hundreds of years before the flood will polygamy be introduced into his lineage. Genesis 6:1-2 declares at sometime after men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them that the sons of God, who were not fallen angels as some have thought seeing angels have no sexual ability (Matthew 22:30) but instead these sons of God were men out of the lineage of Adam who himself was the son of God (Luke 3:38) as his lineage was definitely called generations before the flood.
PERFECT RELATIONSHIP DISRUPTED
Not until Genesis 6 do we begin to see Adam’s lineage (sons of God) approaching the realm of polygamy. Genesis 6:2 declares once the sons of God began noticing these women from Cain’s line, they began to take from the daughters of men wives of all whom they chose. Who got their eyes on these women? Sons of God! Up until Genesis 6, you have the complete separation of the two strains of mankind. Not only had polygamy been introduced through the Cainite line but murder and every other immoral practice or act was also introduced through this wicked ungodly group. Cain himself had only one wife; nevertheless, all these evil attributes or characteristics which were in Cain’s loins were passed on to his wicked offspring and later, after the time in Genesis 6:1-4, were passed on into the bloodstream of the sons of God through that of intermarriage. Before Genesis 6, Adam, Seth, along with Adam’s other children, produced a lineage or race who lived strictly loyal unto God even though they, like their father Adam, carried in their blood stream that death penalty because of the disobedience of their father Adam; nevertheless, they still upheld the revelation of truth before their God. An act which was continued into the period of Genesis 6 whereupon developed a genetic breakdown within the bloodstream and lineage of the sons of God who eventually lost their spiritual bearing, giving themselves over to strange flesh and the flood of judgment was on its way.
CROSSING TWO STRAINS OF HUMANITY
Not until the time period of Genesis 6:1-2 does Satan make his second successful stab at the program of God in that of marriage between one man and one woman within Adam’s line of descendants. As Satan made this second attack on God’s divine program he used much the same approach as was used in the Garden of Eden hundreds of years prior although at this time Satan had no manlike creature to inspire, called the Serpent, to work through. Instead, in Genesis 6 he chose to inspire women out of the ungodly Cainite line. Satan instructs these Cainite women how to dress, walk, talk and even look in order to attract the attention of the sons of God unto themselves. This they did and slowly they began to approach the sons of God lineage. May I state this lustful approach of flirtation or fraternization among these women toward those sons of God wasn’t a program accomplished overnight. No, it was a gradual process of acquaintance, a gradual deception and beguiling which eventually led to the breakdown of the resistance and the will of these individual sons of God to no longer 4 restrain themselves from taking from among men women as many as they chose for wives. However, as we shall see the children produced by these marriages were extraordinary. GIANTS BORN The Lamsa translation of Genesis 6:4 declares “there were giants in the earth in those days (before intermarriage) and also after that for the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men (who belonged to this giant race and they bore children to them and they (offspring) became giants, who in the olden days were men of renown”. Note, you have giants in the earth before intermarriage, you have also children from these marriages who grow up to become giants as well as outstanding figures, no doubt brilliant scientific minded as was their Cainite ancestors before them. They were outstanding in every manner except that of fellowshipping God. Renown in everything, but spiritual matters as were their fathers from Adam’s side.
From the crossing of these two separate genetic strains of characteristics in that of mankind there resulted a dreadful genetic disturbance which affected mankind in a way he never before had been affected. While at the same time, these two strains of mankind (one being of giant structure) began to mix bloodlines and produce offspring into the earth, children were born unto them who were giants. Why were giants born unto the sons of God? Because the genetic structure of both the male and female, each designed to carry 24 chromosomes (a total of 48) is used by the Almighty for the purpose of transferring parental characteristics into that of their offspring and with each passing generation these characteristics from the giant structured Cainite race overpowered the characteristics carried through the 24 chromosomes of the male into the fetus, thus, resulting in the offspring with each passing generation resembling more and more to that of the Cainite race which at no point in history can it be shown that one descendant of Cain ever reverenced the Lord. Thus, in the offspring of these sons of God who were to carry on their lineage there developed a total collapse in the offspring’s ability to receive spiritual, revelatory faith or their ability to hear God speak through His word. For without this revelatory faith, Hebrews 11:6 declares it is impossible to please God. And now with the bloodstream of the offsprings of the sons of God corrupt, which up till Genesis 6, the bloodstream of the sons of God was carrying only the death penalty, now slowly begins to be filled with all the evil characteristics clearly shown in the Cainite lineage as their intermarriage continues. Genesis 6 introduces that gradual breakdown of what had once been a high moral standard found in the sons of God lineage. That total breakdown and genetic disturbance destroyed especially the high standards of the sons of God as more and more their offspring tend to express Cainite characteristics, producing upon the earth still more and more wickedness until the flood came and took them all away.
ENOCH WITNESSES BREAKDOWN
Enoch (7th from Adam) began to witness this moral breakdown which was rapidly polluting the relationship of marriage between that of one man to one woman as God originally intended and Adam’s descendants had always so beautifully exemplified. Enoch was a witness to this terrible breakdown in genetic structure of both strains of mankind as the two strains slowly dissolve or vanish into that of one, their offspring. He cried out against such evil and then something happened in his life that caused him more than ever to draw closer to God; a sign was given unto him. At the age of 65, some 965 years before the flood, God gave him a little son from his own pure seed (other than the death penalty which was transferred to the lad and like many other children in the sons of God realm, this child’s name also prophetically meant something). Methuselah, which prophetically means when he is gone then it will come. Enoch, knowing the meaning of such a name but not aware at what hour Methuselah might be taken in death and God’s judgment would fall, walked even more closely to God, not aware his son would live to be 969 years old before death claimed him and the judgment would come. Knowing his son was a sign, Enoch had 300 years to continually draw closer to the Lord as this madness produced by this intermarriage continually increased. God, seeing Enoch’s heart, allowed him to have a vision of the coming of the Lord with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgment (Jude 14-15). Enoch, the 7th from Adam, warned this degenerate generation of humanity, rapidly now becoming nothing but a fleshly minded mass of humanity following only that of their own instincts. Through the polygamy intermarriages, 5 more giants were born into the earth, continually filling the earth before the flood.
VANISHING OF TWO STRAINS INTO ONE
Generations before the flood, God is heard in Genesis 6:2 to refer to one strain of mankind as the sons of God. This group, though death flowed in their bloodstream, did possess the ability to receive revelation from God whereby they could be led seeing they walked by revealed faith. While on the other hand, he referred to the gigantic structure of people in the Cainite race simply as men, meaning men with no spiritual mentality whatsoever, no relation or no fellowship with God. Yet, by the time the flood arrives, mankind is not referred to as two different strains, instead it is only one and God refers now to man as flesh or simply a purely carnally minded man who has always been at enmity with God (Romans 8:5-8). As I stated, the strain of mankind to suffer the greatest or to receive the greatest setback through that of this intermarriage was those revelated sons of God because Cain’s line already polluted with death and every evil attribute or characteristic had nothing to lose other than the disappearance of their own race eventually into that of the offspring who were eventually drowned in the flood. No, Cain’s lineage had no moral or spiritual breakdown to transpire, they never possessed any. Naturally, as the two strains continually crossed through polygamy intermarriages, as generations pass, there could not remain those two separate distinct strains of humanity. Both with all their attributes and characteristics will be absorbed into one lineage of mankind. The offspring of the sons of God generation after generation completely lost their ability to hear what the Spirit had to say to His people of the hour. Proof that no one could hear God through the preaching of His word by the time the flood came is proven in the fact Noah preached 120 years and is the only man who could hear God concerning the warning judgment. If others could hear, why did they drown when they could have gotten on the ark. God sees man before the flood after Genesis 6 now so fleshly minded that his constant thoughts deal only with satisfying that of his fleshly lower nature. That high moral standard once found within the Adamic race is now gone. Enoch seeing Methuselah almost 300 and thinking any day he might be taken draws still closer to the Lord as polygamy through intermarriage has now become the acceptable thing of society with mankind as God lifts Enoch off the earth through translation, Hebrews 11:5.
NOAH BUILDS ARK
Methuselah, a sign to the age, is still alive when God tells Noah to build his ark. Yes, God found one man, Noah, in that generation before the flood who still possessed the ability to hear God speak. Through revelated faith, Noah built an ark to the saving of his household, yet no one Noah preached to in the 120 years had the ability within their spiritual makeup to even hear the judgment warning of God in Noah’s message.
PERVERSION OF SEX
Bypassing polygamy momentarily, something we are fully aware was transpiring in that hour. Let us discuss something else of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24. Noah’s age was also an age of perversion of the sex life, even to that of a Sodomite condition of homosexuality. As it was in the days of Noah, declared Jesus, so would it be in the days of the coming of the son of man. Yes, Christ compared the endtime moral condition to be that condition found in Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities in the plains of Jericho destroyed by fire in Abraham’s day, which were given over to perversion of sex. Therefore, is there any wonder that clergy of various movements are now moving away from their hard core stand of scripture on homosexuality, saying it is now only a way of life that must be accepted, not only by society, but the church as well.
GENETIC DISTURBANCE REVEALED IN NOAH
However, in spite of this terrible breakdown in genetic structure which began through polygamy and resulted in the flood, watch how God still worked in that of his perfect order or original plan in marriage of one man to one woman as the flood came. Noah lived in the climax of an age of this dreadful genetic disturbance, a disturbance genetically which began generations before Noah’s time, but had now succeeded in polluting the blood stream of all mankind with Cainite attributes or characteristics. Noah was 500 years old before he begat three sons: Shem, Ham, Japeth, each who maintained enough of their father’s characteristics to grow up to marry only one wife each. However, to show you how by this hour the genetic structure of mankind had become so confused and fouled up through that of intermarriage look for a moment into Noah’s own family and see that born from 6 his own loins came a son whose name was Ham which in the Hebrew means burnt black. I’ll comment no further on this only to say that although some very strange characteristics or attributes broke through in Ham’s life after the flood when he saw his father’s nakedness (Genesis 9:20-25). Nevertheless, Ham, like Shem and Japeth, was truly a legitimate son of Noah, and Noah along with his three sons, married to only one wife each, got on board the ark, was spared from destruction and were used to repopulate the earth.
PERFECT IN HIS GENERATION
God started the race of mankind out with only one man married to one woman and even though the marriage relation between that of one man and one woman became polluted many times over. The flood washed that all away and all that was saved aboard ship was Noah and his one wife, his three sons and their one wife each. When God looked upon Noah and declared only Noah had found grace in His eyes and was a perfect and just man in his generation (Genesis 6:8-9), God was not comparing Noah’s righteousness unto that of previous generations of sons of God such as Enoch or generations before the age once it had become so horrible. No, God is comparing Noah not by Enoch and Seth’s generation, but by the standards of his own generation (Genesis 7:1). Hence, God declared Noah just and perfect man in comparison to that which was going on around him.
GOD CHOOSES HUMANITY NEAREST ORIGINAL
The fact Noah, who only had one wife, was chosen out of his generation, found grace in the eyes of the Lord shows God, as near as possible, had chosen the man whose moral character could best exemplify, under extreme present conditions as to what it had all been in the beginning with one man and one woman.
LOADING THE ARK
(ONE MALE, ONE FEMALE) Please observe for a moment in Genesis 7:2 even the arrangement of the loading of animals into this ark of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by 7’s, the male and his female and the beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. The fowls of the air, God said to Noah, thou shalt take by 7’s the male and the female to keep seed alive upon the face of the earth. Yes beloved, even in the loading of the animal kingdom we notice how it is, the male and his female, carried on board for the new age exactly as it was in the original beginning with the animal kingdom. No, it wasn’t one stallion and 4 mares put on the ark, but one male with his one female perfectly in line with the choosing of mankind, straight down the line. God chose Noah to be the pregenerator of the new race. God said, as for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation (Genesis 7:1). Noah had one wife as did his 3 sons each only have one wife. Spiritual-wise, they would truly fall short in that of their great contact and understanding as to what God’s divine will was as that will and purpose was understood by Seth and other great leaders who followed him in a much greater hour before this dreadful crossing of the two strains of humanity began in Genesis 6:1-2. Nevertheless, Noah was God’s man for that hour. The moral picture and character which they represented was as close to the original picture as God could possibly find in that degenerate hour of flesh . Please remember, that which is now in the ark is one male and his female to be used for mating, giving unto mankind another beginning upon this planet. This does, by no means, imply once everything starts out all over afresh and new, that this will bring them back to the beginning as things were in Eden before the fall. No, beloved, that would be totally impossible seeing especially what mankind did to himself after the fall. Nevertheless, it did provide mankind another new start, to undo the extremes mankind had brought into the earth.
POLYGAMY AFTER THE FLOOD
Follow our subject on marriage with one man to one woman, polygamy, etc., now on across the flood. Noah and his family with all the animals are back down safely upon the earth and mankind once again begins to multiply. Along with this multiplication, what do we see still remaining in the picture. Polygamy. Polygamy is seen once again springing forth within the righteous line which God intends to use for His glory. It is shown to be a way of life some 9-10 generations past the flood as we pick up our first major biblical character. This man lived in the land of Mesopotamia in a city called Ur. His name was Abram, who would later be called Abraham and who no doubt could remember Shem (Noah’s son) in his olden days. Recall, when Abraham was first called upon to leave his homeland and go into Canaan, Genesis 12:1-3, God promised him a son. Sarah, 7 Abraham’s only wife, was barren.
SARAH INTRODUCES POLYGAMY
Abraham reached 90 years of age and still had no child. After waiting so long for the promised son, Sarah thought it her duty to help God out somewhat by giving unto Abraham Hagar, her Egyptian handmaid to also be his wife. From this union, Ishmael was born (Genesis 16:1-16). Here, through the very man God has chosen to propagate a special race of people who would worship him, we see in our first biblical patriarch who was a prophet of God, polygamy being brought into his household. No, don’t jump the track and do something foolish, because polygamy was never God’s ordained route. As we saw in the beginning of the Garden of Eden, His ordained route was one man and one woman living together, not one man and two or three women. We saw also at the close of the age when polygamy and every other evil was raging that God chose to propagate the new world through a man who had only one wife as well as did his 3 sons in turn have only one wife each. Nevertheless, it goes to show that once polygamy had been introduced to mankind through Cain’s line as Lamech took himself two wives (Genesis 4:19) polygamy was still being practiced on the other side of the flood and Sarah was willing to be used in introducing it unto Abraham, Genesis 16:3. Years later, God gave unto Sarah the promise she would conceive and bare a son and Isaac would be his name. Had Sarah only known the will of God, she would have known polygamy was not the answer to give unto Abraham his promised son. (Genesis 10:9-10).
WHAT EGYPTIAN BONDAGE DID TO MARRIAGE VOWS
From the birth of Isaac, down into the period of Egyptian bondage, we note the spread of polygamy through Abraham’s seed once they began to multiply. Polygamy became a normal standard practice of life with many of the biblical patriarchs who followed. Jacob, for instance, who worked 14 years for 2 women, Genesis 29:11- 35, was also given by Leah and Rachel, their 2 handmaidens, Genesis 30:3-9. From these four women were born 12 sons who were destined to become the 12 tribes of Israel and it was these 12 sons with their children who were led into Egyptian captivity 430 years. Following that long 430 years of Egyptian bondage, we finally reach an hour when a law dealing with moral problems was at last given to Israel wherein God now begins to deal with the subject of adultery and fornication which is the complete extreme to that which was in the original plan in the beginning. The children of Israel having been forced to remain in Egyptian bondage over 400 years had produced children by the multitudes of thousands and no doubt under these unfortunate circumstances in which they were placed while in bondage, by the hour God delivered them the moral scene of the children of Israel was pathetic. Bound in slavery, home life of the married Israeli couples was continually disrupted and torn apart by circumstances beyond their control and secondly because Israel, 400 years in bondage, had been without the knowledge of God’s perfect will in this sacred matter. Certainly by now there was a moral situation existing in Israel of such a nature that God must do something about it. Following their deliverance out of Egypt through the Red Sea and into the wilderness, God led them to Mt. Sinai where He presented unto them a law which began dealing, among other things, with the moral sin of men and women. Beloved, a man through the ages has played with this law; nevertheless, with God’s help, let us study it in its true light pertaining to our subject. Recall how in Eden it all began. The picture started out being one man married unto one woman didn’t it? Then Cain’s lineage interrupted that picture by introducing polygamy, something that still remains and I want to call your attention to the fact that once we come to the law age of Mt. Sinai we do not see God doing one thing in Israel to undo polygamy. Why didn’t God touch polygamy? Watch close, polygamy, even though it was not the true order of the beginning, is alive and it is here and wherever that Israeli man had taken a 2nd or 3rd woman into one family to be his wife, it at least provided those children born to that polygamy union a home to live in and someone to call mama and daddy.
TYPES AND SHADOWS
Approaching the inspired law of God for Israel, we must examine it exactly as Moses taught the law to the Israelites, yet still bearing in mind that certain things placed within the law can serve only as types and shadows which project a beautiful picture into the grace age affecting only the relationship between Christ and his one bride or wife-to-be, the revelated, virgin word church. Crossing out of the law age into the grace age, we are 8 able to see those types, which under law were exemplified between that of the natural man and women in their relationship toward each other. Their relationship to each other projected that relationship of Christ in a spiritual capacity to that of the virgin word church and vice versa. Moreover, we must recognize the effects of those types (in the law) which deals with that of the moral situations and circumstances, how that once man, through the new birth, comes under the grace age covenant these things all lose their grip upon mortal man seeing he is now governed by the law of Christ. Many things in the Old Testament law which involved the relationship of the woman to that of her husband points straight to the gentile church who is pictured also as the female species, the bride and wife-to-be of this man Christ Jesus therefore hold no bounds upon mortal man and woman once borne into the grace age.
NEW MARRIAGE REGULATION UNDER LAW
In the law connected with our subject, we desire to now look into the two offices of the Levitical priesthood as well as the man in the Israelite congregation in relationship to him taking a wife or, in other words, who he may or may not choose as a wife. For that study we begin in Lev. 21:1-3, however before we deal with that ministry of the priests, may I remind you there are two orders or two bodies of Levitical priests represented in the Levitical priestly body of Leviticus 21. First, the scripture addresses its statements to that of the ministering priests of the temple and secondly, it will address its statements unto that office of the high priest. First off, in Lev. 21:1-3 Moses declares there shall none of these ministering priests (not the high priests) of the temple which are many, be defiled for the dead among his people only to that of his nearest kin. Exactly what is Moses saying? A young Levitical priest can visit only the dead corpse of his immediate family which would include his mother, father, brother, son, daughter or virgin sister, no distant kin or any other. Now God forbid that we should attempt to bring such requirements over into the grace age upon a New Testament ministry. Moreover, we must recognize this had to exemplify a certain character in Christ himself, because Jesus as a prophet in Israel never attended a funeral where He did not change death into life. However, bear in mind this requirement concerning the visitation of the dead (close kin) has no reference whatsoever toward that office of the high priest. It speaks strictly concerning that of the ministering priests who carry on many functions around the temple in behalf of the people of Israel. If you will read verses 4-6, you will find still more qualifications for the ministering priests only concerning things he couldn’t do; however, in verse 7, Moses begins to discuss who it is that this ministering body of priests could take or not take unto himself for a wife and remember again, this is not the qualifications for the high priests whose qualifications we shall examine next. Verse 7 declares the ministering priest could not take unto themselves a wife who was a harlot woman or profaned, neither shall they take a woman put away from that of her husband because remember, as we shall later study, Moses gave the one qualification for a man to put away a wife (she could be divorced only on the grounds of unfaithfulness in her relationship of her husband) she could marry another man, but she could never marry a priest for the priest is holy unto his God. Verse 8 declares he offers the bread of thy God; therefore, he is holy and sanctified unto the Lord. Verse 9 declares a daughter of any priest if she profanes herself by playing the harlot she has profaned her father and shall be burned with fire. We might also add one more qualification to that of a woman which a priest could marry. According to Ezek. 44:24 the ministering priest could marry a widow of another priest as well as a virgin woman.
QUALIFICATIONS OF A HIGH PRIEST
Bear in mind the above qualifications of the ministering priest office in marriage to a woman does not apply to that of a high priest office. Watch carefully as we see the qualifications now laid down for a high priest of Israel. Remember how in verse 1-3 the ministering priests could only go unto their nearest of kin who had died; however, according to verse 10 the office of the high priest among his brethren whose head has been anointed with one and is consecrated to wear the garment of the high priest shall not uncover his head or rent his clothes, neither shall he go into any dead body. No, not even his father or mother. See, the high priest can’t even be around the dead no matter who they are.
HIGH PRIEST FORESHADOWS ANOTHER OFFICE
Why was there such strict restrictions or qualifications laid upon the high priest of Israel in the law age? 9 Because that high priest characterized the man Christ who is the high priest of the grace age and at no time could Israel’s high priest stand in the presence of death, only that which had life. Why, because the high priest is the only man of all the ministering priests anointed to stand in the Holy of Holies within the temple where certainly there is no death present. Watch what he exemplifies. He exemplifies the man Christ Jesus who was a prophet in this world, became a sacrifice on the cross and ascended into heaven where according to Heb. 9:1-15 as well as Heb. 10:19-22 the man Christ filled the office of that high priest, standing in the Holy of Holies on the right hand of the majesty of the power on high where beloved, there is no death, ever. The man Christ Jesus, our high priest, is the perfect example of eternal life standing, ministering in the Holy of Holies in behalf of those within the grace age where nothing exists but eternal life. Therefore beloved, Israel’s high priest was a foreshadow of another high priest office which would be ministering in the heavenlies. That is why the high priest of Israel, representing the law, could never stand where death was present. He exemplified Christ our high priest.
A WOMAN THE HIGH PRIEST COULD MARRY
Now please note in verse 13 the only kind of woman Israel’s high priests could ever take for a wife, he shall take a wife in her virginity. Don’t get the two offices confused. This was not the requirement we saw for the ministering priests of the temple. I am sure you are already aware of why. The high priest of the grace age, the man Christ Jesus will one day leave his office as high priest in the Holy of Holies and return to take unto himself a wife, a church who is strictly a virgin. Christ, who is now our high priest in the grace age, will one day come and take unto himself a virgin bride, revelated Word, hallelujah! Therefore beloved, can you now see the difference in the qualifications between those two offices of those two kinds of priests among the Levitical priesthood represented under the old covenant as to who they could and could not marry. It is only the high priest who must marry a virgin because he represents the high priest of the grace age who shall take unto himself a virgin word church which is referred to in the feminine species. Nothing was said concerning the ministering priests absolutely having to marry only a virgin. They were even permitted to marry a deceased priest’s wife, Ezek. 44:22. We must see this high priest office of the Old Testament exemplifies the Christ our high priest of the grace age; therefore, he can marry no one other than a virgin to exemplify Christ will marry only his virgin church. Hence, wouldn’t it be rather foolish to try to take this virgin qualification over into the grace age and tack it onto the local ministry in the grace age today.
PRIESTS & POLYGAMY
Furthermore, we note within the law whenever Israel was not in apostasy, but walking upright before God, obeying the law to the letter, we do not find the role of polygamy stated as being a practice among that Levitical priestly line. Perhaps not until you reach the time of the Judges, during that terrible hour of apostasy in Israel’s history when every man was doing what was right in his own eyes, will you ever find polygamy being practiced among the Levitical ministering priests, although as I stated, in the true order of the priestly line polygamy was seldom ever practiced. KINGS & POLYGAMY Nevertheless, not so with the case among the period of the kings. Many kings of Israel, as well as devout men referred to as prophets, inspired and guided by the Lord, practiced polygamy. David, King of Israel, a man God considered after His own heart and one who was somewhat in the minor capacity of the prophetic line of a prophet had no less than four wives about whom we know. Yes, many kings of Israel practiced polygamy and beloved, never once in holy scripture, although it is not God’s divine plan, do we see God tear up one of these polygamy homes. Understand, I am not advocating polygamy. We are merely examining it and making our comments as it appears within the scriptures. Recall, when David looked down and saw Bathsheba and desired her, the scripture declares God angrily frowned upon their act of adultery in so much that when she brought their child, born out of wedlock, into David’s palace, God refused to allow the child to live. He refused to allow the child to live because He would not permit that child to follow in the royal line of the kingship of Israel. However, David’s second legitimate son, Solomon, by Bathsheba after he had taken her unto himself as one of his wives, was perhaps the greatest polygamist of all times with his 700 wives (I Kings 11:3). However, 10 at no time do we ever find God condemning or destroying any one of these polygamy homes. Yet, in each case He thoroughly punished every act of adultery. WHY VIRGIN? Having studied the requirements of the two offices of the Levitical priesthood concerning the women each office of men might marry, we saw the high priest was required precisely to marry a virgin only. Why? Because he represented the man Christ, the high priest of the grace age, who one day shall marry strictly a virgin church.
PROVISION MADE IN LAW FOR DIVORCE
Turn with us now to Deut. 22 where we shall begin with a number of different examples according to the law dealing with the subject of marriage and divorce among that level of the Jewish men who merely attended the congregation. (1) In Deut. 22:13-29 we are shown our first illustrations and some of these illustrations you may find most shocking, especially the last case we will thoroughly study found in Deut. 24:1-4. You who are interested in this subject should read carefully Deut. 22:13-19. Here we are shown a case wherein a man wanted to put away his wife, but had no legal grounds to do so; therefore, he was stuck with her. As would all similar cases be when Israel observed the law to the letter.
GUILTY WOMAN STONED, NOT DIVORCED
Now that you have carefully read the scripture, let us paraphrase it for clarity. Say a Jewish boy takes a Jewish girl to wife and lives with her for sometime. Then for some reason he discovers now he no longer loves her; therefore, he begins searching for the needed, acceptable excuse whereby he can rid himself of her. The idea comes to him to spread a falsehood concerning her virginity which, if proven, would free him seeing the elders would stone her to death. Therefore, he declares he came in unto her and to his amazement he found she was not a virgin; however, her parents bring before the city elders the token (blood stained cloth) proving her virginity on her wedding night. The husband’s charges are proven untrue and he is charged 100 shekels of silver which must be paid to the girl’s father. Now get this, seeing he has no acceptable grounds to put her away, this girl must remain his wife till death separates them. The scripture declares he may never put her away all the days of his life. Why? Because he could not produce grounds to show unfaithfulness to him and he is bound to her the rest of her life. There isn’t anything he can do because his charges were false and there wasn’t any other grounds in Israel for a separation when the Jewish rabbis heeded the letter of the law. However, let us say the charges brought against the wife were proved to be true. What happens to the woman then? Verse 21 declares who shall then be taken by the men of the city and shall be stoned outside her father’s house that she die because she hath wrought folly in Israel to play the harlot in her father’s house. BOTH PARTIES STONED Continuing on in Deut. 22:22 with out next example, if a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both the guilty man and woman shall die, that evil may be put away from Israel. Note, the scripture declares both man and woman shall die, not merely the woman who was taken in adultery, such as was the case in St. John 8:1-11. Why did Jesus not condemn this woman taken in the very act of adultery, John 8:4? Recall, Jesus on one occasion called those scribes and Pharisees a generation of serpents and vipers. A viper is a poisonous reptile whose nature is, in order to get at its victim it will go ahead and lie in the path waiting for the unsuspecting victim. That is exactly the spirit these scribes and pharisees showed toward Jesus. They had laid a trap for their victim. They had taken a woman in the very act of adultery and brought her unto Jesus declaring, Master, Moses’ law demands us to stone her (Deut. 22:22) but what do you say? This they did tempting him, hoping that somewhere they might have something whereby they could accuse Him of speaking out against Moses’ law. I repeat, nowhere on this subject did Christ ever speak contrary to Moses, instead he always vindicated what Moses had already stated. However, this was not a scripture of Moses. Moses declared both the man and woman taken in the act of adultery should be stoned. Where then was the man? Why wasn’t he brought for stoning also? Why was only the woman brought? See, a serpent’s spirit simply can’t obey the scripture if it had to. Moses had not commanded the woman alone be stoned, but declared both to be stoned.
WRITING IN SAND THAT CONDEMNED
11 When the Pharisees asked, but what do you say we do with her, Jesus simply stooped down and began to write in the sand. What do you suppose he wrote that so condemned every one of these religious leaders until, one by one, they left? (Strange, none of his preaching ever condemned them, but here something did.) After He remarked, let him who is without sin cast the first stone, He just kept on writing something in the sand. It may be purely speculation, but I feel it definitely merits thought. I believe whatever He was writing on the ground was condemning and shaming these men causing them to all leave. When He said he that is without sin, He could have been writing a certain sin they wanted to condemn the poor woman on. In other words, how could the pot call the kettle black? This alone should have proven to the Pharisees He was no ordinary man. Christ knew the law and furthermore, He knew they had not observed it seeing they had brought only the woman. No doubt, had they brought both the man and woman, they would have been stoned, but this was a trap to force Jesus to speak against the law, which He never did. Hence, we often hear people today saying, oh, but Christ forgave that adulterous woman. Sure, but I ask you, why? This was no ordinary case, for scripture had been broken by these Pharisees and Scribes in refusing to bring the guilty man along also. Our third case appears in Deut. 22:23-24. If a girl is engaged to a man and another (a different man other than her fiancé) lays with her, both shall be stoned. Such as was Joseph’s first impression as what would happen to Mary, his espoused wife, before the angel told him she was with child of the Holy Ghost. Matt. 1:18-20. However, Mary had done nothing worthy of being stoned nor being put away privily (secretly divorced). Yes, if a girl, engaged to a man, lays with another man, Moses said bring them both outside the city gate and stone them to death. Why? Because the girl, being in the city, did not cry out and the man is stoned because he humbled his neighbor’s wife. This was an open and shut case of adultery. However, watch verse 25. If the man find a girl who is engaged to a man and he forces her to lie with him, then the man only shall die. Why? Because this is definitely a case of rape, but we have still another case shown to us in verse 28. If a girl is not engaged to anyone and she is a virgin and a man finds her and lays with her, then the man shall give unto her father 50 shekels of silver and must take her for his wife and note, he may never put her away all the days of his life. Here beloved, we see what Moses declares God says in His law concerning the guilty as well as the innocent involved in the intimate relationship.
ONCE DIVORCED, FOREVER DIVORCED
Having discussed these cases and seeing what the law actually declares concerning each case, we turn to Deut. 24 to see where a legal divorce can enter into a Jewish marriage and I ask you to observe closely the most shocking truth concerning the woman who is actually guilty of uncleanness. See what happens to her, how it is possible, though she did commit an act with another man other than her husband, this is the only ground whereby she may be legally put away by a bill of divorcement from her first husband and note, she shall be free to go marry another. This may startle you, but we are now ready to touch and perhaps jar the gentile mind with a few scriptural statements which even our Lord Jesus Christ himself vindicated and declared to be the only possible grounds for a divorce and this divorce provides the guilty woman the right to go and be married unto another man and if this man, for some reason, hate her or her second husband dies, she may, under no circumstances, ever return to her first husband and become his wife. Why is this impossible? He divorced her and must now remain separated from her.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE DIVORCE IS GRANTED
Deut. 24:1 declares when a man hath taken a wife and married her and it comes to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath (actually) found some uncleanness (unfaithfulness or open prostitution) in her then let him write her a bill of divorcement and give it into her hand and send her out of his house. (The rest we must examine carefully for this is the part Jesus continually verified). Yes, here is the very verse that was the base on which Christ later stood in His teaching on the subject of marriage and divorce. Verse 2 and when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her and write her a bill of divorcement and giveth it in her hand and send her out of house or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife, her former husband which sent her away (the first time) may not (ever) take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled for that is an abomination unto the Lord. See, that first husband, having 12 divorced her can never under any circumstances ever receive her back as a wife. Why? Because it is what that bill of divorcement represents. Later, we shall see what the bill represents spiritually.
ONLY GROUNDS WHEREBY WOMAN COULD REMARRY
Now much is needed to be said here to clear up several points in our puzzled minds before we actually approach the teachings of Christ on this subject, for here will be the main point throughout Christ’s ministry He is seen defending. True, Moses never heard the actual Greek word (recorded by the King James translation) found in Matt. 5:32 except it be for fornication, which is of course adultery. The King James version records Moses as having used the phrase, found some uncleanness in her. However, the Lamsa translation reads, “if a man take a wife and lie with her and if she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some evidence of open prostitution in her, then let him write her a bill of divorcement.” But what happens to the guilty woman? She is then free to go be another man’s wife. She could remarry. Did you hear what God said? She who was actually unfaithful in her marriage vows may be put away through a bill of divorcement, leaving her free to go be another man’s wife, however if the second husband puts her away or dies, under no circumstances could she ever return to her first husband to be his wife. Beloved, how often have you heard religious people declare, oh, if she is married to a second husband, in order to ever be right with God she must return to the first husband. Why beloved, that is totally contrary to what the Almighty God did say. He said just the opposite. God said she may never return to her first husband who had put her away on the only ground for obtaining a divorce, that of open prostitution or uncleanness.
HUSBAND COULD FORGIVE
Bear in mind, that first husband, although he did find open prostitution in his wife, he didn’t have to put her away. He could have forgiven her if he so desired and she would have remained his wife. Remember, when Jesus was asked that followup question by those religious leaders, why then did Moses grant us the right to put wives away (Matt. 19:7)? Remember, Moses only declared a man could, if he wanted to, put away his wife if he had found open prostitution or unfaithfulness in her. Jesus said unto those Pharisees in answer to their second question, Moses granted you this one right or one ground because of the hardness of your heart to put your wife away and if it was on that one ground she could go be another man’s wife without being an adulteress.
ADULTERY – SINFUL YET FORGIVABLE
Let it be understood, this verse is not endorsing adultery. Adultery is sinful, but adultery is not the unpardonable sin as some think. It is forgivable. No, the Jewish man didn’t have to put his Jewish wife away, it was in his own power to forgive her. Yet, because the Lord knew even though the woman had done wrong that her husband, because of the hardness of his own heart, could never find it in his heart to forgive his wife for her act of open prostitution, rather than see this man and woman living under such terrible circumstances in the home, God says, all right because of the hardness of your heart (man) you go ahead and write her a bill of divorcement thereby she may go and be another man’s wife, but I will tell you one thing, once she becomes another man’s wife, you will never get her back. She will never be able to return to you after this and ever be your wife again. Beloved, contrary as it may seem to what we have always thought, I ask you what could be more clear than what this scripture is actually teaching? The Jewish man could not divorce his wife for just any cause, as people were guilty of doing some 1400 years after the law came when Jesus arrived on the scene and rebuked them for their loose way of living for just any and every cause and telling them they could not do this for any other cause except it be for fornication (sexually unfaithful). If you do, you cause that woman to be guilty of adultery in remarrying. Jesus, like Moses, declared if she be put away for any cause other than uncleanness or open prostitution against her husband and she is married to another, she would definitely be in adultery, only the grounds of uncleanness (adultery) could keep the woman from being in adultery. Divorce, for any other cause, would mean she would be in adultery should she marry again.
DIVORCE FOR “ANY CAUSE” FORBIDDEN
No, he couldn’t simply get angry with her and obtain a divorce like so many were doing some 1400 years later when Jesus arrived on the scene. She couldn’t refuse to cook his meals and other things and him obtain a 13 divorce. Those are simply not grounds for a divorce. However, if a divorce was granted on grounds other than unfaithfulness and the woman remarried, then she would be in adultery. Nevertheless, on any grounds was the way they were interpreting Moses’ law 1400 years later and Jesus was pulling them back to the truth of the scripture saying there never has been but one ground for a divorce. And remember this point, he may give her a bill of divorcement on that one ground of open prostitution or unfaithfulness. Yet, once that first husband divorces that woman, divorce has forever separated the two. That is thus saith the word unto the Jewish people under the law age. I am sure most of us would declare, because of what we have been taught, that the woman would surely be an adulteress having married the second time and if she ever hoped to be in fellowship with God, she would most assuredly (by religious standards) leave that second husband returning to the first one who divorced her. Religion says that God says I forbid her to ever go back to that first husband (even though she was guilty). The only chance of not being in adultery with her second husband was that her first husband had put her away on the only legal grounds, uncleanness or open prostitution or as Jesus said, the grounds of fornication. But if he does, he can never have her back. The true teaching found in the law of Deut. 24:1-4, that open prostitution by a married woman was the only grounds whereby Moses’ law granted a divorce as shown in the inspired word of God and that divorce then was only granted because of the hardness of the man’s heart in the face he simply could never forgive her for her unfaithfulness.
WHY GOD COULDN’T DIVORCE ISRAEL
Another illustration that we should touch upon showing forth the putting away of a woman, but not divorcing her wherein at a later time she may be received back into the marital program as a wife is illustrated through the life and ministry of Hosea the prophet. In the story that Hosea and his harlot wife portrays, shows the relationship of God to Israel, who in the spiritual sense, had taken as a wife but had lived adulterously with other lovers while in His house or land. God chooses Hosea, a righteous prophet, to portray a role which tells a story of Israel’s history once God found her and spread His skirt over her, taking her unto Himself as His wife. Our setting is around the 8th century B.C. and the 10 tribes of Israel have become polluted in their adulterous ways. May I say, that among God’s prophets such men as Hosea, Isaiah, prophets of this caliber, most of them were married men. However, they never practiced polygamy. Hosea, a godly man, will prophesy through his role in this picture something that will ring through the ages and beloved, its fulfillment is even taking place today because God is calling His wife Israel back home. How can God receive her back unto himself. Simple, he never divorced her, only sent her away. However, had divorce been granted, God could never receive her back unto himself in a wife relationship.
WOMAN CAN’T DIVORCE HUSBAND
The woman, you recall in Israel’s history, women of that nationality, could be put away by their husbands; however, if they ever divorced they might never under no circumstances return unto them. This, of course, was a setting of the natural, illustrating that of the spiritual realm wherein God could put Israel away. However, if she was ever to return to Him, He couldn’t divorce her. Once that divorce was issued, that was the final separation between the first husband and his wife forever. Women under the Jewish law, under no circumstances could divorce her husband; however, only on one ground he could divorce her. This too is to show the role of Israel with God. Israel may never put the eternal Spirit God away. However, God could put her away for a period of time, which He did. Although now, since 1948, she has been returning unto Him, the process is not over dealing with the nation Israel even yet. We won’t see that beautiful reunion until the millennium when all lovers forever will be cast aside. No, God has simply cut her away for a period of time. He didn’t divorce her in order that she one day would return to Him when she is through playing the harlot. All this transpires in the relationship of Israel and God as it is exemplified and characterized by the dedicated life of Hosea the prophet, who God instructs to take unto himself a wife of whoredom. How terrible, yet if Hosea is to play the role of God in the natural that Israel may see something, he can by no means take unto himself a virtuous wife. Because to portray Israel she has to be a woman of a low moral character. God desires to show Israel, through this story, what he is prepared to do unto her, this adulterous woman who is guilty of playing the harlot with many lovers, meaning many kingdoms, gods or deities. Israel, as a nation, had committed against 14 God every kind of relationship possible with that of her lovers. And that is exactly why the nation Israel had to be dispersed for thousands of years (beginning with the dispersion of the 10 tribes). Here throughout the story of Hosea and his harlot wife is God’s way of saying to Israel, all right you go out and make love to these fellows, but while you are doing to stay out of my house (his land). So God gave them up, no, God didn’t divorce her, he merely sent her out declaring while you are running around being an unfaithful wife, don’t come back here to me. It is all God’s way in his treatment of his wife Israel. To make a long story short, Hosea took this no good woman to wife in order to illustrate God’s qualities in his own relationship with adulterous Israel, even through the birth of children, born unto Hosea and this harlot woman. The children’s names further imply God’s relationship in his dealings with Israel his wife, showing that through a long period of time she would be away from him, but finally she would return as a true wife. Keep in mind Deut. 24:1-4. Had God divorced Israel she could never have returned unto him. See, Deut. 24 etc. was God’s natural laws set up to govern the local Jewish families which, in return, illustrated Israel’s relationship toward God in that of husband and wife. Remember, God could not put Israel away by divorce as was illustrated by the family life of the people of Israel in that of wife and husband relationship. The woman could never put the man away, showing Israel could never put God, her husband, away anymore than the church could put Christ away. Yet once divorce enters the picture, that finishes it for that particular couple. On the one proper ground for divorce, the male of the Old Testament, whether it be priest, king, prophet or the man of the congregation, the man could always put away the woman; however, one thing rings loud and clear, absolutely no where in the law was a provision made whereby a wife could divorce her husband. Were she to do that, she would in turn destroy or spoil her natural type which she portrays of the spiritual. Not even the grace age would permit a woman to divorce her husband; however, the one thing God did permit Paul to say under grace in this behalf will be revealed once we touch I Cor. 7.
WHY WOMAN COULDN’T PUT AWAY HUSBAND
Although this is one thing people surely enjoy hammering on, we might ask the question why did God characterize that the woman could never put away the man? Simply because the Jewish man, though born under the law and subject to the law and all its penalties, was none other than a type of Christ and shows in this captivity that if the church goes a whoring, Christ could put her away but never divorce her seeing once she is divorced nothing in history could ever return her to him to be his wife. Therefore, we note the same with God and Israel, he merely put her out, not divorce her because of her whoredom. Therefore, one day she shall completely return unto him, never again to look at another lover.
CHURCH CAN’T DIVORCE CHRIST
Bear in mind, although the Jewish man was given permission to put away his Jewish wife because of her unfaithfulness, she could by no means ever put him away. As we said, this was done to show forth that exampleship how the church may never divorce Christ. This by no means implies that Jewish man is lifted upon the same level to that of Christ. God forbid! History proves many of those men have been as wicked as can be. That is unfair to the woman, someone will say. No, it isn’t unfair because she must play that role in her type also and remember the same law which would not permit her to put away her husband would also protect her in the fact that if she truly upheld in her heart humbly the true ordinances of God and for some reason she had a no-good husband, as shown illustrated in I Sam. 25:3-39, God will free that woman by having that nogood man killed and leave the godfearing woman free to go and choose herself another mate. God is just God. Don’t think for a moment, under the law, God was going to make an Israelite woman hew the line and allow the Sanhedrin court to crack the whip over the head while the man, as no-good as he could be, let him get by. God forbid! In that law, it meant this: A no-good man got the goods the same as did the woman. However, when there was no Sanhedrin court in the land to execute judgment or who wouldn’t treat the man as he, under the law, should be treated, why then should God allow the same law to be executed on the woman? This I state in order to show you what the courts of the rabbis were doing in the day of Jesus Christ. Why, they were doing exactly the same thing with God’s law as the modern gentile church world and her national courts of the land are doing today.
CHRIST TEACHING ON DIVORCE
Turning now to the New Testament, a period still some three years under the law age before the grace age begins, and perhaps some 13 years or more before we will begin seeing gentiles converted to Christ and coming into the grace age (Acts 10). Our story now jumps 1400 years, up to the hour of Christ’s ministry. It has been roughly 1400 years since Moses received the law and penned the inspirational passages of Lev. 21, Deut. 22 & 24, passages we have studied. Don’t forget the Spirit of Christ or the Holy Spirit here in Christ is the very same spirit called the Father, speaking out of this vessel of clay named Jesus (who is both Lord and Christ) in that sermon on the mountain is exactly the same eternal one Spirit who was with Moses at Mt. Sinai and inspired him to write the law. THE SAME SPIRIT Hence, do you think the Holy spirit of God could possibly cause Moses to say one thing and here 1400 years later in the ministry of Christ, his son made under the law (Gal. 4:4), possibly allow him to speak something contrary to what Moses said 1400 years earlier. No beloved, He is the same Spirit who gave to Moses the law, now in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself He is the same, He is a consistent God.
NO NEW DOCTRINE FOR ISRAEL
Christ will have no new law to present the people of Israel on this subject of marriage and divorce. Instead, He will vindicate Moses’ law teaching on the subject, declaring exactly as Moses did, there is only one ground whereby a man may obtain a divorce from his wife, Deut. 24:1-4. If she is put away for any other cause, Christ declares as did Moses, she would be an adulteress, however (both said) if she is put away on this one ground of uncleanliness (amplified version translates indecency) and remarries, she is not an adulteress. Beloved, there are many words which could be used (that are identical in meaning) along with this word used by the King James translators called fornication.
DIVORCING ON ANY GROUNDS
Are you aware when Christ preached that sermon on the mountain, He was not asked one question concerning marriage and divorce? No question prompted him, He simply knew what was going on in the society of His day. Furthermore, recall He who knew the thoughts of all men never needed anyone to ask him a question in order to declare something. He knew what was in people’s minds. The scripture declares Christ would often make certain statements prompted from the thoughts in people’s minds. It is the thoughts of the people here as they listen to Christ and knowing the Jewish society of His hour, how they had forsaken the true interpretation of Moses’ teachings concerning the subject of marriage and divorce that prompts Christ’s statement. The rabbis are now issuing divorces for any grounds. No longer did divorce merit the only grounds of open prostitution which is uncleanness, fornication, adultery, now it was divorce for any cause. Why? Because this is what the present Jewish society was doing and we must remember any answer Christ gives to religious leaders after He brought in adultery in His sermon on the mount was never contrary to any of Moses’ teachings on the subject, although to some it might appear so. There will always remain under Jewish law governing Jewish people that one legal ground stated throughout the law age for a man to divorce his wife which could keep the woman herself free from adultery allowing her to marry another man. Beloved, Jesus never changed that ground.
PREACHED ONLY ONE SERMON
Matt. 5 through 7 brings out that lengthy sermon. Matt. 5:1 declares, he seeing the multitude went up into a mountain and his disciples came unto him then opened he his mouth and began to teach. After giving forth what is called The Beatitudes and other statements dealing with that of social life connected with the law, he assured the people he had not come to destroy the law. Therefore, his statement will not be contrary to the law as he speaks much about what the commandments declare as he also gives a true interpretation of their meaning. Yes, it was because of what the present society was doing which prompted many statements in this sermon as to how they were observing it in their own present day living. The same is true in what he said concerning marriage and divorce and perhaps so subject he ever touched on was as provoking as this one subject, marriage and divorce in the Jewish family under the law. Our setting in Matt. 5 for Jesus’ only sermon on the subject of marriage and divorce is somewhere in the early part of the first year of his ministry and here 16 he is in the process of delivering a sermon unto the multitudes from the Galilean slopes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. I remind you again no question had been asked him concerning marriage and divorce. It’s the thoughts of the people listening to his sermon which is prompting his statements as he is well aware of the loose society that exists in his hour concerning their interpretation of the law, and there shall be statements made in his sermon that struck home so deeply into their interpretation of Moses’ writings as well as their own loose living in that hour 1400 years later that many will never recover from. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he constantly rebuked the religious leaders for their private interpretation of the law (Matt. 23). However, perhaps nothing he ever preached was as rebuking or stinging as his one sermon which struck at their private lives and interpretation of the law on marriage and divorce.
BRIEF HISTORY LEADING TO CHRIST’S GENERATION
No, Christ had not been asked any questions pertaining to the subject. In fact, it is he who brought up the subject through his sermon. Christ well knew the society of Jews that he faced; furthermore, he knew Israel over the past 400 years had witnessed some very dark spiritual hours seeing they had no inspired prophet with holy writ to carry them on until 400 years later when John the Baptist, Christ’s forerunner appeared on the scene. No, perhaps not since those great revival days under Ezra and Nehemiah as Judah returned after 70 years of Babylonian captivity back to her homeland had she experienced such a great revival of all places at a place called Watergate. (Neh. 8:3) Ezra the scribe found the word of the Lord and for over a half day read to these spiritually starved Jews who wept and shouted at the reading of the long lost word which resulted in the Jews putting away their strange gentile wives acquired while in Babylon. The second temple was built and the priesthood was reestablished and set in motion perfectly as the law indicated; however, as always, the effect of the great revival didn’t last over one generation (40 years) seeing that Malachi the last inspired prophet Israel ever had for 400 years is seen in his hour prophesying bitterly against the priests of the temple who, less than 30 years ago, had reestablished God’s law and everything was placed back in its proper perspective as the law demanded. Malachi thoroughly rebukes the entire priesthood and ministry who guided Israel, for their carelessness, their looseness, in drifting away from the law and the true temple worship seeing in that hour they offered polluted bread upon the altar of God. Yet, he prophesied unto them (of Jesus), the messenger of the New Covenant who one day would come to this temple (Mal. 3:1). Following the days of Malachi’s prophecies, Israel for 400 years received no prophet to lead and inspire her until finally John the Baptist (who introduced Christ) clothed in the power and spirit of Elijah appeared on the scene for a brief ministry. Beloved, if you think the priests and rabbis of Malachi’s day, some 30 years after a mighty revival, had drifted off course from the truth of the Mosaic law you should see what Israel is doing 400 years later as they are presently interpreting the divine law of Moses when Christ comes on the scene.
Israel’s religion of one God and temple worship had roughly, for 50 years before Christ’s coming, been divided into three religious parties known as Pharisees, Sadducees and Zealots. Although the scripture mentions nothing concerning the Zealots, Jewish history does, revealing their belief on the interpretation of the law, etc. The party of the Sadducees were known to be less orthodox than even the Pharisees seeing they didn’t believe in angels or the resurrection. However, the group to continually buffet Christ on the interpretation of the law and etc. came mainly from the order of the Pharisees who no doubt felt their party (denomination) was the closest to that of the original interpretation of Moses’ law. It was this group Jesus referred to as the generation of serpents and vipers, seeing the nature of the viper, if need be is to lay in wait for its victim, which truly was the spiritual nature of those Pharisees who continually sought to trap Jess through statements on the law in every turn of the road. By the time Jesus appears, there are three main schools of thought on the law which is well planted in that Jewish generation mind. And this idea of divorcing a woman for just any cause was truly on the rampage. Hence, Christ in his very first sermon elevated high up in the Galilean mountains above the multitudes wherein his voice might echo down across the valley unto where stood the multitudes listening to a man deliver his first sermon. This gives a brief picture of the setting of Jewish society Christ must approach with the true interpretation of the law. True, the Jewish people through their three party religious system was 17 still holding onto their one God religion as his temple worship; nevertheless, as we learn from Matt. 23 and other scriptures, they had totally lost sight of what his law actually declared on practically everything surrounding the ten commandments. Jesus in his sermon was in the process of informing the people what they must do in order to be his disciples. Recall what a disciple is, one who follows explicitly the teachings of another. To be Christ’s disciple one must follow exclusively the teachings of Christ.
ISRAEL’S SORE SPOT
Many subjects have been touched upon in his sermon concerning the social life, etc. when suddenly he touches upon what will prove to be Israel’s sore spot. What he says, as they listen to a man who has authority to speak, will now cause eyebrows and tempers to raise among many within this religious group as they hear him ripping deeply into their theology seeing they also had their own interpretation concerning the subject he was approaching. When individuals such as these reach a pathetic place scripture carries no more authority over their individual lives and they begin to interpret certain things to fit their own choosing, not only have they lost their convictions and stability they’ve reached the point they could care less who says what, how or when. Such setting as this is exactly what Jesus is facing. He knew all things concerning every life standing before him as well as how they interpreted the scripture. He even knew how many times each one had been divorced under this new theology which they declared was the true interpretation of Moses’ teaching, whoever divorces his wife let him give her a bill of divorcement. Certainly, if Christ in John 4:16-19 knew how many husbands the woman at the well already had and the man she now lived with wasn’t her husband, don’t you think he knew what all these people had been doing as well? Furthermore, he knew exactly how to word every statement wherein it would hit their theology the hardest? Israel, divided now into her 3 major religious parties, was provided with 3 slants of interpretation on the teachings of Moses and believe me, this society was a terrible society (as well as our own) to try to preach truth to, seeing their theology continually buffeted his true revelation of Moses’ law. Furthermore, Christ is aware while preaching that he stands before a divided religious people in their thinking who knows practically as much about the true revelation of the scriptures on what Moses taught as did a horn toad know about water skiing across the Mojave Desert. Up until this hour, perhaps this multitude had never realized how much impact and authority the holy scriptures did actually carry seeing they had been so busy concentrating more so in the rituals and ceremonies of the present day. Sure, no doubt on certain things they hewed to the very letter, while other things they could care less which way it went.
MARRIAGE IN THE FINAL GENERATION OF LAW
One such attitude was found concerning the moral side of the family picture. Those rabbinical courts had twisted the moral side to such an extreme (much as our own courts have done concerning the matter of divorce) for just any cause. As Jesus preached the sermon on the mount (Matt. 5:27) you could obtain a divorce in Israel for just about anything as it is in our day. Recently, an article in the paper told of one man who obtained a divorce because his wife didn’t spread the mayonnaise properly on his sandwich. How ridiculous can you get. The situation of Israel was just about anything as it is in our day. The situation of Israel was just about that pathetic. Marry a person, live a little while with them, lay so much money down for the rabbi and obtain yourself a divorce, remarry another and etc. When Moses clearly taught that open prostitution of that wife which is unfaithfulness to her marriage vow was the only grounds God would permit a Jewish man to ever divorce his wife. Although now the law was being twisted to interpret (much as it is in our day) to fit an apostate society. Yet, all religious parties of Israel referred to themselves as devout followers of Moses.
LIVES, AN OPEN BOOK
Therefore, as the Lord of Glory, robed in the flesh, stood before these people, their lives were before him an open book. He knew the immorality in the life of each person present as well as those who weren’t present but who would definitely hear about his sermon through the mouth of others. He knew how many wives various men present had as well as how many husbands various women had also.
REBUKED PRESENT THEOLOGY
Suddenly, out of his mouth comes ringing words across that crowd to this effect. “You have heard it said by them of old times thou shalt not commit adultery.” And on the basis of how the religious leaders had 18 interpreted Moses’ teaching on the subject of adultery, the majority of the people could no doubt say amen. No doubt, there stood some in that vast multitude who still remained with the deep conviction over what Moses taught concerning the subject. In heir hearts no doubt they were saying, Jehovah help me to walk with a pure heart before you like your olden saints did. Many old gentile saints today, even in those old denominational systems also once lived that way, that is until the church systems decided to amend their by laws, constitution, and etc. Those old timers who loved that word, had definitely heard it said with conviction. Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Ex. 20:14) They could no doubt recall history over 440 years prior there at Watergate under Nehemiah and Ezra, the great revival in the word which sprang forth in their ancestors’ hearts as they wept and repented, putting away their strange gentile wives acquired in Babylon. However, now some 440 years later, the descendants of those Jews stood listening to Jesus and hearing him declare “You have heard it said by them of old, thou shalt not commit adultery”. However, watch now his following statement as he is ready to expose the filthy carnality which dwelt within their lustful, filthy minds, seeing that they are a people who now live in such a loose society, and no longer hew to the mark in respect to what Moses taught. Now, they respect nothing sacred of God other than their own theology which they believe to be of God. Whenever you lose your true convictions on the teachings of the scriptures, you can’t help but have loose, contaminated mind and spirit. Shaking their minds by saying something showing them exactly where they live as well as what was in their lustful minds, as he says, “But I say unto you (this time not addressing the old timers who still remain with conviction in their hearts) that whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” With this statement he stung that crowd worse than if he had smashed them over the head with a hammer. In this great multitude stood some men who still had only one wife. There stood others also who, because of a loose society, no longer maintained with conviction on what Moses actually taught. Their society, like ours, had reached a point you could obtain a divorce for any kind of disagreement. Because of that loose society, there were religious men continually looking around at someone else’s woman, desiring her. Sure, that’s what you encounter when mora laws lose their sting and a convicting power is no longer present in the minds of people. You have loose minds and loose spirits looking around, lusting after other women, declaring in their hearts, now if I can only get rid of mine, I’ll get that one. In their heart, what have they done? They’re already guilty of committing adultery. Not necessarily in an outward sense. No fleshly act of adultery has been committed by mere lustful thoughts. Yet, because of that loose living society, God sees their lustful filthy minds what they are thinking and Jesus says, “Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already in his heart”. (Matt. 5:28) Leaving them jarred and shaken by this statement, and giving his statement time to sink deep into their carnal minds, Christ continues on by saying in verses 29-30 whatever part of your body offends you, cut it off, etc. for it is better that member of the body perish and not the whole body be case into hell, etc. Now watch, he’s ready to rock them straight back on the revelated word of what Moses actually taught as he continues on preaching and may I remind you, these are the statements dealing with this moral issue which so stung, flabbergasted, and angered the religious leaders, they were never able to recover from his sermon until his dying day. Bear in mind it’s 31 A.D. in the first portion of the year of Christ’s ministry, and it’s the only time Jesus ever preached upon this subject of marriage and divorce. All other comments found later on are made by Jesus only because certain deceptive questions have been asked him in the latter part of his ministry concerning that one sermon he preached way back in the first part of his ministry. This one message echoed from that mount by word of mouth, from Jerusalem to Capernaum, until the effects of his statements in that one great message echoed all the way across Israel striking every phase of religious life. During those final six months of his ministry those religious leaders were so stunned and agitated, that modernistic adulterated generation of Pharisees and Sadducees, continually hounded him with questions relation to statements found in this one sermon. Yet, I remind you, nowhere at any time did Christ ever change his mind concerning what Moses had declared. Certainly not. Back to his statement in the sermon on the mount, Christ is aware His first two statements (Matt. 5:27-28) have actually stung as it ripped into their theology. Sure, they are more so shaken by that second statement, whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already with her in his heart. They knew Moses never said that. It is 19 true Moses never said that, that is Christ’s teaching. He showed them what they had on their minds. You will never find Jesus teaching contrary to the true revelation of Moses’ teaching. Jesus made that statement simply because this modern day society stood guilty of wrongly interpreting Moses and applying the effects of Moses’ teachings to fit their own adulterous way of life. That is exactly what has happened within every apostate church system under the sun. Watch your newspapers. Whenever you hear about the various large denominational conventions being held, sooner or later they will have something on their agenda concerning the very subject we are now discussing. In every case they always feel we must update our views on this subject. Marriage and divorce in their movement must be revised and note, the revising they seek to introduce in updating their amendments, constitutions and laws of faith will be as unscriptural as can be. Why? Because our religious society has reached a point they could care less whether their amendments are made to fit the scripture or not.
VERIFIED MOSES’ TEACHING
Ready now for his third powerful statement in his sermon, a statement (Matt. 5:31-32) which lines up identically with what Moses taught in Deut. 24:1-4. “It has been said (see this had been said) whosoever puts away his wife let him give her a writing of divorcement”. Watch out now, he is going to stab their theology in the heart as he seeks to correct their line of thought and bring it back into the word on what Moses actually did teach. He never changed Moses’ teachings. He only sought to correct their ideas as to how they were now applying Moses’ teaching and rebuked the way they were living. He continues by saying, “But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving (or except it be) for the cause of fornication (exactly what Moses said) causeth her to commit adultery and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commiteth adultery.” This isn’t some new doctrine, that is exactly what Moses taught. Divorcing a wife for some cause other than fornication (unfaithfulness or open prostitution) would certainly cause that poor woman when she marries another man to be committing adultery as well as would her new husband. Let me repeat that, that we may fully understand Jesus’ total endorsement of Moses’ teaching to Israel under the law in Deut. 24:1-4. A woman divorced on any grounds other than that one ground, if she goes and marries another man she is an adulteress, Jesus said. However, if she was guilty of open fornication or prostitution and there could be no reconciliation between the man and his wife because of the hardness of the man’s heart, he could never forgive her for what she had done; there would always be trouble in the home. God said, then let her go by giving her a writing of divorcement whereby she may go be another man’s wife but she can never return to the first husband who put her away. Jesus said, you divorce your wife for any other cause than fornication and she goes out and marries another, you (the man) have caused her to commit adultery as well as the one who she marries. Why? Because you divorced her on some other grounds other than fornication. Say a young Jewish man married a young girl in the environment of Christ’s day. They lived together two or three years but can’t seem to get along, can’t get adjusted, can’t bring their spirits under control to agree with one another; therefore, they go to the rabbi and say we want to get a divorce. Sure, we’ll give you a divorce, but the inspired law of Moses didn’t say to give them a divorce for any cause. What then should have been done? That old Jewish rabbi should have taken both of them and give them one good tongue lashing and sent them back home, saying you shut your mouth and start living right or the next time we’re going to throw you both in jail. Oh, no. The rabbis of Jesus’ day were saying just the opposite. We’ll give you a divorce for anything. Therefore, not only is Jesus sternly rebuking them for their loose theology by giving them thus saith the Lord he is also declaring what Moses taught. That is, if you send that woman away through a divorce on any other grounds other than fornication, you’ll cause her to commit adultery when she marries another. Why? Because in that society it was much different from our day. Say a man divorced a woman for just any cause other than unfaithfulness, ninety-nine percent of the time, that woman would choose companionship elsewhere. It was much harder for a young woman in that day to make a living for herself than would in this hour. This is the day they want to give young women as much authority to work in the plant, etc. as that of the man. However, not so in that hour of society. It was dreadfully hard for a young woman to make a living. Therefore, most women had to choose a man to be her provider hence she who is divorced (for some other cause) is going to choose companionship. She’s going to choose a 20 home life and to do so, she must be remarried to still another man. Circumstances in that hour especially throughout that law age and most of the grace age as well, would force that young woman to choose married life with that of a second companion and I remind you, were she to have been divorced by her first husband on some other grounds than fornication, she in return will be forced by what that man did unto her to live in the physical state of adultery. Why? Because she was illegally put away because of their own private interpretation of the law. That religious society of Jesus, now broken up into at least three separate religious parties of interpretation on the scripture, was a society full of divorce, for just any cause. They were living in adultery as though God or anybody else didn’t even care. Here’s what a modern loose society faces, once they lose all fear and respect for God’s true moral law. Therefore, do we hear Jesus say, “Lest it be for fornication, you cause her to commit adultery and whosoever marries her that is divorced commits adultery.” Why? Because she wasn’t legally put away. Her divorce was unjustifiable. Moses in Deut. Permitted divorce on one ground only.
ROME SAYS “NO GROUNDS”
Here is the true teaching of Christ as he endorses what Moses taught, as well as tries to bring this loose society back to the scripture. Read it again, first in Deut. 24:1-4 then Matt. 5:27-28, 31-32, and still there will be people who say, I just don’t believe it that way. If you can’t believe the Bible, what will you believe, your own ideas and opinions of the scripture? God forbid. You know why people refuse to believe what they are reading in this Bible? It is contrary to what they have always believed or heard? It is because the Catholic Church, being the mother of all organized religions, over a process of time destroyed the true meaning by refusing to grant divorces on any grounds and it has been the Catholic church, through the ages, wherever her powers have gone, first especially throughout Europe, who greatly affected the courts of that land. Because the courts made their laws to comply to the doctrines, teachings, and approval of the Catholic Church in Europe. For absolutely no cause, would they grant a divorce.
ANNULMENT, IS IT SCRIPTURAL?
Yet, watch this. Later on, this church became the first one who is guilty of cooking up this unscriptural idea referred to as granting an annulment. You can’t show me one place in the Bible where annulment is in the program of God in dissolving the marital life of two people. There was nothing in scriptures other than that one ground of fornication, which is unfaithfulness or open prostitution found in the life of a wife that can possibly merit a divorcement or separation of two married people. Jesus said except it be for fornication you divorce her and you’ll cause her to commit adultery. Meaning, a husband putting away his wife on any other grounds once she goes and marries another, (he) causes her to commit adultery. Moses said the same thing in Deut. 24:1-4.
AMERICA 200 YEARS AGO
However, 1400 years later, they had misinterpreted it, saying it was perfectly all right to divorce for any cause. You need a divorce, can’t seem to get along, go down and get separated. That’s all it took. 200 years ago, when this country was founded and our constitution was born in a prayer meeting, even though those founding fathers didn’t have the scriptural revelated light, we today do, nevertheless, these great God fearing men possessed enough spiritual ability to know and respect the moral side of God’s book. 200 years ago, it was most difficult for anybody to obtain a divorce. Why? Because young America had so much respect for the moral laws of God’s word. However, this is a day you can live together six hours, six days, six weeks, or six years and for any cause merely go down to the courthouse, pay a lawyer so much and he will start you a procedure on a divorce. Furthermore, it seems they could care less what the word of God declares concerning the matter. Beloved, as the devil brings into our hour a modern atheistic, loose living society this causes the courts of the land to be forced to change their old established laws to comply with that of a modern backslidden society. That in turn is causing the church world, rather than to lose their congregations, to break down their own convictions also to fit a worldly loose standard. Instead, the rabbis were doing exactly what this disrespectful slack, undisciplined people wanted. They wanted what they wanted, when, where and only how they wanted it. Once you are faced with such a society as this, you are bound to produce a society full of divorces, one that will have much trouble in their home life. When life itself becomes filled with only what I 21 want, when I want it, and how I want it, mark it down, that society is headed for a lot of trouble.
CHRIST’S TEACHING NEVER CHANGED
Recall, back in the early part of that first year of his ministry, Matt. 5 records the only time Jesus actually preached a sermon on this subject. Therefore, Matt. 19 is the period of only a few brief weeks before his crucifixion in 33 A.D. possibly as much time as 2½ years had expired since Christ preached his unforgettable sermon on the mount wherein he dug deeply into their theology and upset the apple cart. Accusing questions were continually thrown at Christ by religious leaders who failed to rejoice in his view or interpretation of scripture. Matt. 19 shows him beyond Jordan having already left the territory of Galilee making his way steadily toward Jerusalem for his trial and crucifixion. Assaulting him with question and seeking as usual to trap him, the Pharisees still with that chip on their shoulders, over the sermon delivered several years prior approaches and tempts him. Matt. 19:1 says Jesus, finishing his sayings departs from Galilee and comes into the coast of Judea beyond Jordan. A familiar spot for Jesus, seeing this is the area where John had baptized him where also the woman taken in adultery was brought to him and also where he was when word reached him concerning the sickness of Lazarus. With his mind heavy pressed with the burdens confronting him with Calvary, the Pharisees make it no easier on him with their questions, which are continually bent on trapping him into saying something against the law. Verse 2 declares he is beyond Jordan, the multitudes are following him and he heals them. The question that is about to be asked did not arise from his followers who would sincerely seek to know the truth. Instead it stems from the Pharisees who were among the crowd always trying, testing, or tempting him. The question they asked is not in order to get their theology straight, it’s only to aggravate him because that sermon preached several years ago still gnawed and ground away at them. The scripture reveals nothing he preached in this area would stir up their theology to ask such a question. No, their theology had been stirred constantly since his sermon over two years ago. They couldn’t get over it, like many of my critics will be once this message is released to the world.
Therefore, the marriage subject seemed to be the most disturbing of all his subjects because this hit more into the home area where they lived seeing over ninety percent no doubt lived in adultery, having divorced their wives for any cause. Now they sneakingly approach Jesus thinking they can outsmart him with this question. Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Why should they ask him such a question? They knew his position on the subject. They knew his position hadn’t changed from two years ago when he preached the sermon and openly declared unto them whosoever putteth away his wife save it be for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery. They knew where he stood and that was their problem. Nevertheless, they just had to come back and ask him again. Let’s paraphrase their question in our language, it would mean, can I divorce my wife for anything that I want to? Those deceptive religious crooks wouldn’t quote scripture correctly to save their lives. However, watch Christ who is now going to make these men through his conversation, acknowledge there is something written in this Bible. Some people are simply afraid to face the word as it is. Is it all right to divorce her for any cause, they asked? Watch his answer closely as he begins to answer them with a questions, saying, “Have you not read”, see how he throws the word straight at them? Jesus is going to make those brilliant, religious law students acknowledge what he is about to say is in the scripture and if he is about to show them something written in the scripture, they should be able to tell him what is written, seeing they are such students of the law. He’ll make them acknowledge, yes, I’ve read it. Then beloved, if they have read it, why in the world should they be coming to him with such a question of deception. Have you not read he said, sure, they certainly had read it, but one thing certain they had no intentions of obeying it, like many people today who’ll change this or that in order for it to read another way. The Pharisees were doing that. Have you not read he that made them in the beginning made the (one) male and (one) female, and then he proceeded to quote Gen. 2:23-24 unto these well read theologians. This you will recall, was the prophecy of Adam concerning the purpose of woman. See, in his process of answering their questions, he is making them acknowledge that something is written and they ought to acknowledge what is written rather than embrace their own private interpretation of the law. People are the same today. They’ll absolutely place a 22 church tradition above that of the scripture and swallow it hook, line and sinker. Cleverly, Christ is making these Pharisees acknowledge there is a few things written and since you’re such scholars of the word, why don’t you inform me of what it says.
AT THE BEGINNING
Therefore, instead of beginning his conversation with what Moses taught. Christ took them all the way back to the beginning to bring them up into Moses’s writing where he will answer their question. They came tempting him, not desiring to learn anything seeing they didn’t actually think he could teach them anything. Therefore, he is carrying them on a long trip through the word, the word by the way, which they’re already supposed to know, being such scholars. When he came to that part of Adam’s prophecy which declared they will be no longer twain, but one flesh, for what purpose would they be one flesh, reproduction of course that of bringing life into the world. Let me paraphrase briefly what God is saying. Since this is God’s plan and not man’s then whatsoever God had brought or joined together for this purpose, don’t let any man tear it to pieces like you’re doing every time you grant a divorce for any cause you want to. As he reached that part, what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder, this he quotes to stir up their minds because he knows now they’re going to ask him something and they are going over to Moses’s writings to get something from Moses’s teachings to throw back at him, because he is getting too close to home. They don’t want to acknowledge that this is truth. Watch him make them bow to scripture every time. Naturally, these poor deceived souls, already in error, seeing they don’t know what the scripture teaches, will quote the portion they are so adjusted to quoting, in other words, they will quote it like they are living it. That’s the working of a hypocrite in the scriptures every time, partly quoted truth.
JESUS HIT WITH QUESTION
Having said, let no man put asunder, these agitated leaders now hits him with a question. Recall their question was, can a man put away his wife for anything? A question based on how the society was treating the subject and what they wanted him to say was, sure, what you’re doing is perfectly all right. However, they could never get that answer out of him. One thing was sure, those Pharisees don’t want to stop in that scripture which read, let no man put asunder. They would be trapped there. What are they doing? They’re searching for an answer to get out of the trap he has brought them into. Each time he gets them a little closer to the scripture. In their minds they’re thinking, no man is to put asunder, therefore his remarks of this scripture opens the door for them to ask him the following question. Why then did Moses command to give a writing of divorcement and put her away. Still, they’re avoiding the issue. Moses never stated any such thing. He said unless it be on the grounds of uncleanness or unfaithfulness (fornication) in the woman’s marriage to her husband you couldn’t divorce her without facing charges of adultery in that of remarriage. What are these Pharisees seeking to do with the scripture? They’re trying to justify the manner the Jewish public is actually living the scripture in that hour. They’re living as though in God’s eyes he is just as pleased with what they’re doing as he was in what Moses actually taught. However, they failed to recognize the one who was addressing them was the same Eternal Spirit who gave Moses that law and he want’ pleased at all.
HARDNESS OF HEART
Watch what Jesus said following their question of why did Moses grant them to write a bill of divorcement and put her away. Christ takes them straight into Deut. 24:1-4 for his answer. Oh, I don’t want you to miss this. Note carefully that Jesus never changed what Moses said, after all he had been challenged over what Moses taught. It had been in his sermon several years ago that he defended to Israel openly what Moses taught and vindicated it to be the truth. In the light of apostasy being taught in that hour, Christ is challenged by these supposedly bible theologians who are actually nothing but apostate Jews and they, of all people, asked him a question which they completely took out of context of a true teaching of Moses (not divorce for any cause, unfaithfulness or fornication only). Having carried them the long way around in order to make them bow to the authority of the scripture whether they desired to or not, Christ at last reaching the end of his goal says, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered or permitted you to put away your wives, but let me tell you from the beginning which I just quoted to you, it was not so. No, in the original intention of God, it wasn’t to 23 be that way because God says what he joined together, let no man touch.
ADDING ONE GROUND
However, in the history of Israel, God inspired Moses to add this one exception whereby a divorce could be granted and as Jesus said it was because the man, if his wife ever committed such an act of this nature, he probably would never forgive her though, he should, seeing God had forgiven him for things far worse. Nevertheless, rather than there always be trouble in the home, God permitted Moses’ authority to say except it be for open prostitution. If it be on this ground and because of the hardness of his heart he may therefore grant her a bill of divorcement whereby she may go and marry another and not be in adultery. However, under no circumstances could she ever return to him who put her away. Christ, being God in the flesh is the Spirit who granted Moses this permission, and here he tells these Bible scholars exactly why Moses was told to issue this one ground because of the hardness of your heart in the fact that you couldn’t forgive such a thing. No doubt many couples in Israel over the 1400 years had faced that similar situation and forgiven and made a go at their marriage. Whereby in their behalf, no rabbi had to touch their marriage with divorce. Jesus said, for the hardness of your hearts Moses suffered you to put away your wives but from the beginning it was not so. Now watch him with his last statement say something to correct their theology as he quotes this, but I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife except it be for the cause of fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery. And whosoever marries her which is put away, (doeth also) commit adultery. Don’t you see it. That’s exactly what he preached several years ago in his sermon that he delivered on the mount in Galilee where he stirred up the devil in these religious people and they never got over it. The Bible is a book that is consistent in the picture that it paints for mankind. Seeing Jesus was none other than God himself in the flesh, it is he then who in the first place caused Moses to write some 1400 years ago what he did in Deut. 22 and 24 and certainly now that he is standing here in flesh 1400 years later, being that same Spirit, who spoke to Moses, standing here in the flesh of his own person he can’t help but confirm what he told Moses to say. What else could he do, seeing the Pharisees had confronted him on his own law concerning his own word. He couldn’t go contrary to his own word especially seeing that the people of his hour were subject to the law and not to the grace age which is just ahead especially for the gentile who had no law of God to govern them at this hour. No, Christ never changed a word of his original sermon and I’m not changing a word of mine and I might add that the Apostle Paul in his teaching of the subject to the gentile church never changed what Jesus said although Paul through the anointing of the Holy Ghost was given further revelation which would surely touch the personal needs of the gentiles under grace because bear in mind, every one of these Jews of the law age we are now studying about from their physical birth was subject to the law of Moses. However, no gentile can be subject to the law of Christ until he has first been born into the family of God. Hence, in no way can you possibly make I Cor. 7 apply to merely some gentile man living out in the world. No, that applies strictly to the gentile church along with the added revelation Paul received for this age and the only possible way you could make I Cor. 7 apply to a worldly gentile person is, once he or she becomes a part of the family of God through the new birth, when that happens there’s something somewhere said in I Cor. 7 that shall definitely touch their life.
MARK EXPRESSING SAME TRUTH
Continuing on, let’s watch Christ in defense of his challenge from those Pharisees not recorded by Matthew but by another writer, Mark. Remember, Mark 10 is the identical setting at Matt. 19. The only difference is that Mark worded his writing slightly different, yet it lines up perfectly with the way Matthew who was present and who recorded the event of which we just mentioned. Mark’s recording of the event shows the setting to be still in 33 A.D., on Christ’s final trip to Jerusalem for crucifixion. Mark 10:1 is identical with Matt. 19:1, speaking of how he left the territory of Galilee coming over into the coast of Judea by the far side of Jordan. These Pharisees are the same ones who approached Christ asking him if it was lawful for a man to put away his wife, tempting him. No, it isn’t a sermon he preached down there which aggravated these Pharisees with this question. For a long time, they have been looking for something to hang on him and no doubt here they feel through this slick way of asking him something they may trap him. Seeing the setting is identically the same. 24 Master, Moses said such and such but what do you say? Mark 10:1-9. What did Moses command you (see this is how Mark recorded it. He isn’t interested in bringing out all the fine details as is Matt. Mark is only hitting the high spots of the conversation.) Moses suffered us to write a bill of divorcement and put her away. See, they slid right over the truth of the scripture. To themselves they are thinking, oh boy, he’s asking us what Moses said and we are going to tell him what Moses said. What a poor excuse for such law students. They no doubt knew what Moses said. However, the problem was, they were living so far below what Moses taught that they’re going to quote Moses’s statement back to Jesus exactly in the manner they’re applying the scripture or the way that they are living the scripture in that hour 1400 years later. Like the church world today, who no longer allows the word of God to be their compass, and must interpret the word in the manner they live in order that they feel it won’t condemn them. Again we see Jesus, according to Mark, declaring for the hardness of your heat Moses wrote you this precept, etc. Yet from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female, etc. Remember, Jesus quoted Gen. 2:23-24 as Matt. Declared he did. And then followed that by saying, therefore what God joined together, let no man put asunder. In the house, his disciples asked him again the same matter. Recall, they were present, they heard all of the conversation as recorded by Matthew and Mark only Matthew went into detail declaring Jesus gave the one grounds for a divorce. However, according to Mark here in the house, following that discussion, he records him as saying, (and by the way this is what so many people will read and never read anything else and form their own opinion on one passage) Mark said whosoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery against her and so forth. Without ever stopping to link all the scriptures together. Some will simply say that is what Jesus said and they will never look at anything else concerning what he said. That’s the reason I have pointed out to you and stressed throughout this message what Moses said, Jesus endorsed. First it was vindicated in his sermon then as that accusation was hurled at him by the Pharisees he followed it up by saying, but I say unto you whosoever puts away his wife save for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery as well as he who marries her. That beloved, is established throughout the word of God and simply because Mark didn’t record the identical setting that Matthew spoke of in exactly the same words, please don’t get all confused. This is merely Mark’s way of expressing what Christ said. There has no new revelation come to Christ concerning this subject once he was inside the house with his disciples. He was God in the flesh, how could he receive a revelation, he was the revelation. Every incident we have seen in Christ’s ministry, whether it be the one time he preached on the subject or whether it was at the end of his ministry when he was being confronted with these questions to aggravate him concerning his stand by those who did not hold his viewpoint, his answer remained the same. Matthew recorded the full quotation each time which was always identical to Deut. 24:1-4. Sure, any other grounds positively placed the woman as well as the man who would marry her in adultery. Therefore, I repeat, simply because Mark, who wrote his gospel years after Matthew, though not word for word, it is the same, it does not change Jesus’s position on the subject seeing the setting is identical with Matt. 19, and may I say, it is not Mark’s intention to try and change the meaning to be different. That is why beloved, you can not read one verse of scripture and always get the true setting. Each writer had his own method of writing and he recorded only that part the Spirit required of him. No, it doesn’t make any contradiction whatsoever.
TAKING SCRIPTURE OUT OF CONTEXT
However I repeat, some people would read that one verse, and go haywire disregarding every other statement Christ ever made and stand there saying, because this verse doesn’t say, except it be for the cause of fornication, etc. I have scripture to prove there are no grounds for divorce. You may have a scripture, but you have sure taken it out of context. You can’t make your line of thought fit in the continuity of the truth which flows through this word. May I remind you, this is not a contradiction either. Mark is simply not impressed to record in detail, as did Matthew.
ONE MORE STATEMENT
Turn to one more little statement where no setting is seen other than the fact we know it was spoken sometime on that last journey going up to Jerusalem. Whether Luke is recording the same incident or not, is not clear. That is immaterial; nevertheless, there is one brief statement which I want to examine with you before passing 25 out of Christ’s earthly life and the law age as well which governed Israel some 1400 years. Again Luke, like Mark, goes into no detail concerning this setting of statement. It is found in Luke 16:14 and it is a statement thrown out by Jesus to the religious leaders who are in this crowd deriding him. Luke shows no detail, yet here again is a verse along with Mark’s statement that some will lift completely out of continuity with what all the other scriptures on the subject is clearly declaring. Nevertheless, Jesus said it, someone will say and irregardless to all other scriptures that is exactly the way it has to be. No beloved, that is not the way it has to be either. Remember dear soul, Jesus did not teach two lines of thought. Nor did he ever speak against his own law. Keep that in mind also as you read this statement. The statement recorded by Luke is definitely make in reference to the way the religious leaders of that hour are living and applying Moses’ writings. Therefore, Christ rebukes them in the light of how they are applying Moses’ teachings. According to Luke, Jesus is going along teaching (Luke 16:14) and the Pharisees also who were covetous heard all of these things and they derided him. Note Luke’s statement, they derided him. They were agitating him. Trying to aggravate Jesus, confuse him in his thought. See, standing there in the crowd were those Pharisees deriding him, throwing silly remarks. The sermon he preached in the first part of his ministry was brewing in their hearts and with their tempers up they searched for something, any kind of statement they might use against him to get rid of him. Yes, they were angry. Their theology had been blasted to bits.
Men have been known to be carnal enough to fight because someone attacked their theology. No, they could never shake themselves from the position which he held. Standing in this crowd deriding him or throwing silly remarks which could be to this effect. Hey, preacher, got any more good sermons on marriage and divorce? See these men were placed in that multitude of people for the sole purpose of agitating the crowd, making life miserable for Christ who was on his way to Jerusalem to be crucified, ridiculing him, fun-making and so forth. He has been preaching a parable and even this has gotten next to them. Luke 16:16, the law and the prophets were until John. Since that time, the kingdom of God is preached and every man presses into it. It’s easier for heaven and earth to pass than for one title of law to fail. Why would he say that? Because they were living so far below the law. They didn’t even know what the truth of the law was. Therefore, I repeat on the basis of the manner in which they’re living and representing the Mosaic law, the statement I am about to read is one he simply tosses out into the open at them. “Whosoever putteth away his wife and marries another, commits adultery, and whosoever marries her that is put away, from her husband commits adultery.” Why did he say it this way, when he never said it that way before? Simply because possibly over ninety percent of them were living in adultery in that hour. Their divorces hadn’t been on the grounds of fornication as they were supposed to be seeing that is the only grounds. Naturally, they were living in adultery and it was whosoever put away his wife and marries another commits adultery and so forth. That’s exactly what they had done. Hence, he stated it just on that basis. Again, I repeat, he had not received some new revelation that suddenly there is now no ground. Since they lived it that way, since they are deriding him he just threw it out that way. Believe me, he wasn’t suddenly disputing what Moses taught. He never did that. Matt. 5, as well as Matt. 19, links identically with the correct interpretation of Moses’ teaching to the law age, which I remind you these people are still under. Therefore, this is not a new revelation. It is merely the way the writers have worded their statements. Every accusation brought against Christ on this subject derived from that one sermon preached somewhere in the first year of his ministry. It’s not until the ending of his ministry that these questions are thrown at him showing they never got over his sermon. Irregardless to how it’s worded in Mark 10 as well as Luke 16, we must always remember these are mere statements, not sermons and they are by no means to be used to change his original position found in his sermon on the mount. A sermon which started all of his trouble. You can’t change one scripture around to make it mean one thing one day and turn it around six months later and make it say just the opposite. Scripture is always consistent with God, he doesn’t work that way. When Moses said something it was consistent. When Jesus says something it is consistent and when we turn into I Cor. 7, we are going to discover that Paul said was always consistent in everything which he showed forth on the subject. Remember, Jesus did not change what Moses said and if we get that established in our minds, it will then begin 26 to give us grounds for something to work toward, once we reach I Cor. 7 because remember the law that Moses wrote was for the children of Israel. It was given to govern their moral and social life in all of their spiritual and social activities. However, note the poor gentile who Paul deals with could not be saved or helped by observing the law. In fact, the bringing in of the law to a gentile would have been pathetic seeing the gentile’s structure of life was already so far down in the gutter of sin and corruption that when God looked through the law at the gentile people, they were so unclean so unworthy. Therefore, the law already had them condemned. Hence, only grace could now come and lift that gentile up, placing him in a realm before he could ever possibly have fellowship and contact with God.