Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Celebrating Anniversaries

I haven't posted in many months now.  I personally am very content with the answers that that I have received through diligent prayer and research.

With this contentment I want to begin a different blog that focuses more on the celebration of marriage and anniversaries.

The new blog address is:

I'm in a unique situation where I am able to interact with many couples on a weekly basis who are out celebrating an anniversary.  I am often privileged enough to be be given insights into the secrets of a lasting marriage from a variety of couples.

The new blog is meant to inspire and bring helpful tips to those who are currently married or thinking about getting married.

I'm unsure of where this new log will go, but I do hope to use it as a tool to help others in one way or another.

Please feel free to message me or comment if you have questions about marriage, divorce, remarriage.  If you are looking for some advice and tips from professions in the institution of marriage, please visit my new blog as that is where I am hoping to devote more time and energy from now on.

Thank you and God bless those of you who are seeking His will with regard to your own marital life!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Corroborating Testimonies of Moses and Jesus

It is interesting to me how people divide the Bible into the 'New' Testament vs the 'Old.'

First of all, there is no 'New' and 'Old,' there is only the Bible.  What people fail to see is that everything in the 'Old' testament was given to man as a picture of the things to come; the fulfillment of all of the prophecies in Yeshua our Messiah.

Those who subscribe to this 'New' Testament doctrine are doing themselves a great disservice in an attempt to reject the Hebrew roots of Christianity.  They seem to think that Jesus in the flesh changed everything; the whole process by which men and women are saved.  The truth is He fulfilled everything from beginning to end, He did not change.  All of the 'Old' Testament is comprised of shadows and types of things to come.

To fulfill is to accomplish, to carry out as planned, to actualize, 

For example, the brilliance of God's plan to restore Israel, and to bring in the fullness of the Gentiles, is nothing short of a miracle.  God divorced Israel for being a harlot and adulteress, ergo God did not cause her to commit adultery; Israel was already defiled prior to the divorce.  God laid out the Law that to return to a former spouse is an abomination however, if the husband is no longer alive, the woman (Israel in this case) is free to marry any man in the Lord.  Jesus (God in the flesh) died on the cross.  Jesus/God died a literal, physical death.  Israel is no longer 'bound' however she cannot 'marry' another God, because no other gods exist.  God said that a Levitt priest may not marry a divorced woman or a widow, Israel is both, but technically she is neither, since Christ (God) also rose again.  And God will cleanse Israel of her sins anyway, once she recognizes her Messiah, just as He promised and she (Israel) will no longer be 'defiled' once everything has played out.  Furthermore, God is allowed to take another Bride (Gentiles), in His Son Jesus, because although the two are one, they are also separate.  God has been divorced, with cause, but God also died in Christ and Christ has not 'married' yet.  This 'new' testament, or 'covenant,' will not make the 'old' null and void, rather this is the same thing that has been foretold since the beginning.  And all the while Satan thought he had won the battle.  Satan thought God was going to be forced to break His promise to Israel, or break His own commands, or that God would stay dead and no one would be redeemed.  It is all proof that God is faithful and will not break His own commands.  Again this is not that 'remarriage' remains 'adulterous.' Just evidence that God won't break His own commandments and standards.  This is nothing less than magnificent.

Back to the idea of an 'Old' and 'New' Testament.

The idea of old vs new when it comes to the Testament of God is somewhat contradictory.

An example:

Say you are the lead attorney in a high profile court case.  You have your key witness, who has provided you with their sworn testimony.  The day before the trial, your key witness walks into your office and says, 'Wait, I have a new testimony to provide.  This testimony discredits some of what I claimed to be truthful before, but we can just call it 'new' and everything will be ok!'  Your key witness is no longer your 'key' witness.  Or say that you have two strong witnesses and, moments before the trial begins, it is revealed that their testimonies contradict one another;  Your case is shot.

In court, when you have sworn statements, provided by witnesses, the statements must corroborate.  The testimonies, of all witnesses must match, otherwise doubt is planted in the jurors/judge's mind.  This doubt can result in the acquittal and release of known criminals.  The doubt that may be instilled in the minds of those listening, may also result in false convictions; this cannot happen in the perfect court of the Lord.

Take these words to heart, and use them when examining the idea of 'new' and 'old' as they pertain to the Bible.

Here is one definition of the word testament:

'a tangible proof or tribute'

It seems odd to say that God provided us with old tangible proof and evidence, but now He provides us with new tangible proof.  The use of old and new seems to imply that the old is obsolete.  It is not so much that the proof of the Bible is old or new, rather it is the same proof expressed in various cohesive manners. 

In 2 Corinthians 3:6 Paul describes this 'new' covenant.  We must realize that what Paul is expressing in the idea of this being 'new,' only applies to us, not to God.  The death of Christ ushering in the salvation of the Gentiles was/is new to us, but not to our Heavenly Father.  This 'new' covenant always has been and always will be; it's just expressed in a different way.  The very idea of the covenant with the Gentiles has been hidden, in various non-contradictory manners, throughout all of God's word.

Perhaps the way puzzle pieces fit together may help to explain the way God's word works.  Each individual piece of a puzzle has it's own shape and place within a large and beautiful picture.  The pieces never change shape and they cannot be placed anywhere but their assigned spot.  In the end everything fits together to show the beauty of the whole.

When we apply the idea of the Bible being a puzzle of sorts, we must see everything in it's precise place with not one piece missing or misshapen.  Everything fits together precisely as it should.  We wouldn't cut a finished puzzle in half and expect to view the same picture, would we?  Then we most definitely shouldn't divide God's word in half!

I would like to list words that are synonymous with the word 'testament:'

confirmation, evidence, validation, substantiation, etc...

We cannot have a 'new' confirmation,validation or substantiation, when interpreting the Bible.  The Bible, God, Jesus, Moses, Isaiah, etc... are ALL confirmation, validation and substantiation; neither 'new' nor 'old' they just ARE!  The entire word of God is a testament to salvation, to the Messiah; they are all pieces of the puzzle, that fit together to create the entire Bible (picture).

Let us apply this to the the evidence that is provided in Deuteronomy 24:1-4.  The evidence points to the divorced and married again woman being 'defiled.'  The testimony, given by Moses, states that returning to the former spouse is an abomination.

Adultery causes defilement (Lev. 18:20) and adultery is also an abomination to God, since it is breaking the 7th commandment.

Can we logically reason that Moses' testimony does not corroborate with Jesus testimony with regard to divorce and marriage to another?

Yeshua is our Messiah and Moses (a picture of Jesus) was designated (assigned a piece in the puzzle) to write the first five books of the Bible.  Moses wrote Genesis which gives the account of the first marriage, in the garden of Eden, between Adam and Eve.  Moses also declared what the outcome of a divorced woman  is in Deuteronomy 24:4; Moses declares the divorced and 'remarried' woman to be defiled.  Moses gives further evidence in his testimony that the act of adultery causes one to become defiled (Leviticus 18:20).

Here is the testimony of Moses given on marriage/divorce/adultery.  We have exhibit #1 the Genesis account between one man and one woman intended for life, we have exhibit #2 Deuteronomy 24:1-4 testifying to the existence of divorce and the outcome being 'defilement' and we have exhibit #3 in Leviticus 18:20 which calls adultery a defiling act.

Jesus' testimony in Matthew 19:5 corroborates with what Moses wrote in Genesis 2.

Jesus statement in Luke 16:18 (and others) corroborates with what Moses wrote in Genesis 2, Deuteronomy 24:4 as well as Leviticus 18:20.

Moses further states that to return to the former spouse, after having been divorced and married to another is an abomination.  Jesus states the reason that it is an abomination to return to the former spouse, since they have both committed adultery.  We can safely infer that the two witnesses testimonies corroborate to this point and that Moses' testimony about returning to a former spouse is still active and alive as is all of God's word (Hebrews 4:12)! 

John 16:8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;

God is the judge, Jesus is the advocate and the Spirit brings conviction.  If we ignore the Spirit we remain under the conviction; you are guilty as charged.  We must respond to the conviction of the Spirit, throw ourselves on the mercy of the court (repentance to God) and accept the sacrifice/punishment that Jesus (advocate) has already given to us.  In our modern day courts we call this a 'plea bargain.'

How is it that those who say you must return to a former spouse are still troubling you?  May God bring the peace that surpasses all understanding to those who are contemplating tearing their family apart to earn forgiveness.  Do not be troubled, for God has already declared through numerous witnesses that returning to a former spouse will not clear up the matter.  Love your husband/wife.  God has already settled this matter in His word for you.  Moses and Jesus are both giving corroborating evidence as solid, faithful and true witnesses on this matter.  Yeshua is your salvation and His name says it all; 'The Lord IS Salvation!'

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Just as in the Days of Noah...

It takes more effort to distort and twist Scripture to suit ones desires than it does to take it at face value and simply apply it.  Matthew 24:37-38 has been used by the divorce-to-repent to imply that that the married again are living in a sinful state.  Take a look at the verse:

Matt. 24:37-38: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. “For as in the days before the flood they were eating and , drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,” 

This statement was not made to declare subsequent marriages to be a permanently adulterous unions.  This Scripture points to how people will just be going about their daily lives and will be caught off guard as to the impending doom.  

This passage is relatively similar to Ecclesiastes 8:15 and Isaiah 22:13.

Jesus is not condemning marriage here, no more so than He would be condemning eating or drinking.

The idea of this statement is 'eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.'  

There is no doubt that many of the Churches today have become apostate or lukewarm at best.  Many in the Church are saying " “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing,” 

And Jesus is letting us know that we are 'wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked...'

This is true; and breaking up current marriages will only make matters worse.  It's just a repetition of the same process that God previously labeled an abomination; His truth, like His mercy, endures forever.  

Divorcing again does not alleviate the condition of the soul anymore than returning stolen goods does not rectify the spiritual condition of a thief.  Both permanently mar the spiritual condition of an individual.  Take these words to heart, for if repentance meant 'righting every wrong on our own' then we miss what Jesus did by dying on the cross.  This is further proof that stumbling in one area of the Law leaves us helpless and hopeless without Yeshua, the Messiah, meaning 'God Saves!'

All of these people who advocate this doctrine have lost sight of what it truly means to be saved!  They have somehow forgotten why Jesus died and paid the penalty. Even the slightest error, even with our own attemt at rectifying the situation,  without faith in the Messiah, means eternal death.  If a person truly trusts in Christ, in the gift of grace given by God, then they are saved (Acts 16:31)!      

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

'God had to Die in Order to Marry Another'

Yes, the battle cry of the divorce-to-repent army.

I don't know how they manage to use the death (and resurrection) of Jesus to validate their claims that the married again are living in adultery.

Of course God had to die, but not just to marry another.  I take that back, God the Father isn't going to marry the church, Jesus (God in the flesh) will be our husband.

I don't see what their point is?  God's purpose in death and resurrection has at least a threefold (if not more) purpose behind it:
  • To ransom the spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:18-20)
  • To defeat Satan and bring Salvation to all of the nations, just as God had promised from the beginning; specifically to Abraham (Genesis 12:3)
  • To find a bride for His Son Jesus; the Church (2 Corinthians 11:2)
 If anything God has proven that marrying a divorced woman (Israel; Jeremiah 3:8) was wrong, is wrong, and continues to be a wrong act. God will not break His own laws and defile Himself!

God forbade His priests from marrying a divorced woman (Leviticus 21:14).  Divorced women were categorized similar to prostitutes and widows, they were (are) 'non-virgins.'

For example does a woman who has lost her virginity condition improve over time?!  No, and neither does the divorced woman.

The facts point to:

  • Divorce, the very act of having been divorced, causes a woman to become permanently defiled. That is, unless, she has already defiled herself through porneia, which Israel was guilty of spiritual porneia (Matthew 5:32).  This means that even though God is Israel's original, 'covenant husband,' even He cannot marry Her again unless He has died.  It is only through His death that Israel will be free to marry God again, and Jesus will marry the Church.  Don't ask me to explain it, it's a mystery (Ephesians 5:32).  All I can theorize is this: God calls Israel an adulteress (Jeremiah 3:8), God cannot marry an adulteress, since this would cause God to sin (Hebrew 6:18, Titus 1:2).  When all of Israel is saved (Romans 11:6) it will be because they recognize their Messiah (Zechariah 10:12, John 19:37) and Israel will be cleansed and made new (2 Corinthians 5:17) and she will no longer be an adulteress (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  Paul declared that every man and every woman should be allowed to be married after receiving Christ (1 Corinthians 7:2).  If God isn't going to hold Israel in a permanently divorced/adulterated condition, then why are people in the Church doing this to new converts?!
  • Adultery does not always equate to a sex act.  A woman can be divorced without marrying another yet she is still defiled/caused to commit adultery (Deuteronomy 24:4, Matthew 5:32)
  • God's word, His testimony, how He looks at marriage and His ideals are consistent (Numbers 23:9, Proverbs 30:5, Psalm 33:4, John18:37).  They have never and will never change.
Using this idea of God dying simply for the purpose of marrying the Church, or escaping His marriage to Israel, is ludicrous.  Israel will be God's bride, and the Church will the bride of Christ and God will not go back on His word.

To see if a divorced woman who marries another is in fact 'married' we can look at Deuteronomy 24:1-4 where the 'latter' husband is a real husband, John 4 where the woman had five real husbands (at separate times), 1 Timothy 5:9, 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:12 and Titus 1:6 which all state that having more than one spouse is a reality for some. 

It's simple; divorce is real, marrying another is real and committing a sin (adultery) is real.  It all boils down to three truthful statements, in one simple sentence.

The idea that God had to die to marry another is only partially true.  God cannot lie and God cannot commit sin so of course God wouldn't marry a divorced woman (Israel); duh!  If God had done this before His death (and resurrection) He too would have committed adultery!  This fact that God (Jesus) was crucified does not support the idea of 'remarriage' being permanently adulterous/not legitimate.  What IS supported by the Bible is that divorcing again to marry a former spouse does nothing in the way of clearing up the divorced condition incurred by the original divorce (Deuteronomy 24:4, Leviticus 21:14); it only makes matters worse. A woman is still considered 'having been divorced' (active present in Luke 16:18; verb or active condition in Leviticus 21:14)' even if she returns to the first husband.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Prodigal Son is not Applicable to the Married Again

One of the more enduring stories found in the Bible is the parable of the Prodigal Son.  The story is found in  Luke chapter 15:11-32.  Here is the story:

 “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his [a]wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and [b]hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the [c]pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to [d]his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and [e]in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to [f]his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and [g]embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never [h]neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your [i]wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you [j]have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

We can't compare this story to that of divorce and marriage to another.  The 'divorce-to-repent' attempt to do this, but let's break down the story.

Let's begin by defining a prodigal.  A prodigal is 'a person who spends money in a recklessly extravagant way.'  A prodigal is not a wayward spouse.  A prodigal is not a former spouse who has married another.  A prodigal is the ultimate spendthrift who is so extravagant he has little if any regard for others.

In verse 12 we have a son demanding his inheritance.  The son is showing extremely disrespectful behavior in demanding his share of the inheritance.  Basically the son is saying, 'Dad I can't wait for you to die, I'm entitled to this money, so hand it over!'  The father doesn't object, but rather he does exactly as the son requests.  The son is not asking to divorce his father, the son is demanding his inheritance.

In verse 13 we find that the son had squandered everything.  The son spent his entire inheritance.  This inheritance was a gift to the son, something he didn't have to work for which represents the grace of God.  The sons inheritance was an unmerited or unearned gift and he went out and treated it as a license for sinful and loose living.  The Bible doesn't say what type of loose living, though we are given some insight later in the passage.  The 'loose' living is left open to interpretation; use your mind, one can only imagine what is meant by 'loose' living when it applies to a sinful lifestyle.

In verse 15-16 the son finds himself penniless and a stranger in a foreign land.  The son decides at this point to find work, no doubt an attempt to earn back his lost inheritance.  The son finds himself alone, starving and no one around to give him anything.  Much like the world will not restore anything to us who have squandered our inheritance.  The world will turns it's back on you, some may have compassion, but you will not find restoration in the world.  

Verse 17-19  The son comes to his senses and realizes what he forfeited by leaving his fathers home.  The son commits in his heart to go back to his fathers house and seek forgiveness.  The son has but a mere thought of sorrow, of brokenness, when he decides to travel back to his father.  The son has a speech prepared, in his mind that he is going to deliver to his father to express his sorrow.

Verse 20 is significant beyond words.  The son is still far off in the distance, when the father runs to embrace him and kiss him.  This represent how we may still be far from God, but once we have committed to our sorrow, once we have repented, He knows; He sees us in the distance and He is willing to throw all caution to the wind to come and embrace us right where we are!  

I am told that during the time that Jesus told this story it was culturally inappropriate for an older man to run, regardless of reason.  For the patriarchal figure of any house hold to 'run' was frowned upon, it was considered a silly or unrefined display of behavior.  The father in this story doesn't care how silly he looks, he doesn't care how unrefined he may appear, all he knows is that he sees his son at a distance.

The father has already embraced his wayward son, he has already kissed him, probably more than once, before the son is even able to utter a word.  Culturally speaking the son in this story should have been written off and considered 'no longer a son' by any other father of his day.  Most fathers would have felt so disgraced by their son that they would not have even have acknowledged the son's presence.  This is not what the father in the story does and this is not how our Heavenly Father treats us.

Verse 21 The son delivers his speech, but this is not what has reunited him with his father.  It was the son beginning the journey, in humility, back to his fathers home and the father actually meeting him before his journey back is complete!

In verse 22-24 the father practically ignores what his son has said and is already giving the orders to his servants to plan a great feast and celebration!  The father doesn't just want a celebration he wants the finest of everything he has to be brought in honor of his returning son!  In verse 24 the celebration commences, without any mention of the son's past reckless behavior!

Verse 25-27 The fathers other son finds out about the celebration and the reason for the celebration.

Verse 28-30 Needless to say the other son, the faithful son, is very upset.  He refuses to join the party and confronts the father saying, "Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never [h]neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your [i]wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!"

The other son is jealous and thinks that he is more deserving of such a reception for his faithfulness.  This other son doesn't represent another wife.  The other son is the faithful son. 

Verse 31-32- The father confirms the sons faithfulness, and tells the son that everything the he has belongs to the faithful son also.  The father concludes with, 'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

Notice how this is nothing like how the 'divorce-to-repent' try to relate this story.  The father doesn't dismiss the other son in favor for the one who has returned.  The father doesn't even make the prodigal go and correct all of his wrong doings, nor does he make the prodigal replace the squandered inheritance.  The whole point of the story is that both sons are loved, but when one feels deep regret, deep humility, overwhelming sorrow  and they decide to come to God in brokenness it is a cause for celebration.  This is repentance, this is forgiveness and this is God's love for His children! 

The point of this story is about reconciliation unto the Father, not reconciling with a spouse who has married someone else.  If you want for your spouse to be forgiven for divorcing and marrying another then you must pray for them to be reconciled to their Heavenly Father, not YOU.  

I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Repentance, the brokenness of heart, the contrite spirit brings more joy to God and His angels than those who never have cause to repent!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Permissive Authority

Divorce is not God's will and therefore it is sin.  We know that Moses made a concession for hard hearts and allowed them to divorce in order to prevent a greater evil.  The greater evil that would have occurred without the allowance of divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4), is that men would have accused a faithful wife of adultery and she would have been stoned to death (see the movie 'The Stoning of Soraya M.).  Divorce was allowed to prevent a worse evil.

If a person examines 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 we see that Paul gives similar permission in allowing new converts to marry.
Here is 1 Corinthians 7:1-2-

'Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.'

This is very similar to how Moses suffered men to put away their wives.  Paul is addressing a specific question, most likely from the men of the congregation, pertaining to celibacy/sex.
Compare what Jesus says in Matthew 19:9 to what Paul says, '...but because of sexual immorality...'

Because of immoralities Paul forgoes the idea of celibacy/singleness, in favor of permission to prevent further destruction through sexual immorality.

We know this is true because Paul says 'each man (meaning every man) should have his own wife and each woman (meaning every woman) should have her own husband.  Paul is not stating that if you were divorced you still have a husband or wife in waiting and you need to go back and find them.  Paul doesn't say that anywhere and neither does God.

This is permissive, not a command. 

The Greek word used in 1 Corinthians 7:2 is a Nominative, Masculine Singular Adjective.
Matthew 5:32 uses the nominative, masculine, singular adjective when Jesus says 'whosoever.'

The Greek words are different words and yet they carry the same meaning; they are synonymous.  They both mean 'everyone' the only difference is that Paul differentiates between masculine and feminine.  Jesus said ‘everyone’ and Paul says every man and every woman.

Paul is being permissive to prevent sexual immorality and Moses was permissive to prevent further evil.  Paul even declares his permission to be a concession in verse 6!  The permission to marry and the permission to not deprive one another are given in verse six.  The first paragraph is a concession to God's ideal, since remaining unmarried can lead to more destructive behaviors!

Then Paul continues to lay out the instructions for proper conduct in marriage.  Paul does not give permission to divorce, but Paul does give permission to marry to prevent further evils (sexual immorality) from occurring.
We can break down 1 Corinthians 7 very simply, without confusion, because God is not a God of confusion.

We can try to talk around it, but we create confusion and chaos.

What is evident is that remaining unmarried is a command; however because of sexual immorality permission should be given to marry.  In Christianity, like Judaism, a wife does not have permission to divorce, she may separate, but she may not divorce.  A man is commanded to not divorce, just like God never gave ‘permission’ for a man to divorce in the Old Testament; Moses gave permission and nothing has changed.  God is more ‘firm’ in the New Testament, but He hasn't altered His own doctrine.

Can those of you who advocate ‘divorce-to-repent’ picture for a moment what you are really teaching?  This is what you are teaching:

  • ·         Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 7 assuming that everyone would be familiar with what Jesus said about divorce + marriage to another = the sin of adultery even though the New Testament verse hadn’t been written and distributed yet.

  • ·         Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 7 assuming that people would know that they must return to a former spouse, even though the only text available to theses new ‘babes’ was what was written in Deuteronomy 24:4.

  • ·         Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 7 assuming that people would recognize that divorce doesn’t separate, even though these people were not familiar with Jesus’ definitive statements.

All of the ‘divorce-to-repent’ doctrine is based on assumption, and implied doctrine.

Did Jesus in the New Testament ever speak about homosexuality?  No, He didn’t.  So where do we turn to find the answers on whether or not men can have sex with other men?  We turn to Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13. 

Where do we turn to find out how one must repent of being married again?  Should we ignore the Old Testament and work off the undefined implications of the New Testament?  It defies reason to work off of implications.  It is absurd to justify something that God explicitly labeled an abomination in favor of what we assume to be a ‘new’ truth.  

The permission from Moses and Paul is granted by God, through the wisdom of His Spirit, as a preventative measure.  Ultimately God’s perfect Will should be followed. 

Adam and Eve should have died after sinning, rather God decided to create a plan of salvation.  Salvation was not God’s perfect will, obedience was (and still is) God’s perfect will.  Would salvation have been necessary if Adam and Eve had obeyed their one commandment?  No. 

Would divorce be in existence if there were not hard hearts?  No. 

Would the permission to marry exist if sexual immorality were not present?  Again, the answer is no.

We do not know what we lose out on when we don’t obey God. 

Adam and Eve lost paradise, but they did not lose their lives. 

If people divorce and marry others, it is uncertain what gift they could potentially be missing out on, but God isn’t giving you the permission to go back and find out.  

God didn’t give Adam and Eve the privilege of going back to the garden, no matter how sorry they may have been, just like God doesn’t give permission to return to a former spouse.

A woman who has an abortion, doesn’t realize the precious gift she is destroying and no matter how much she ‘repents’ God will not give her the same child back.  God may have mercy and give her the opportunity to have a different child, but she will never know the joy of the original child.  The woman does not have God’s permission to fully right her wrong.

God made a concession of salvation to avoid a further evil; eternal death.  Moses gave permission to divorce because of ‘hard hearts’ and Paul gives permission to marry to prevent sexual immorality.  It’s that simple; it’s that consistent. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Why 'Blaming' Moses is a Bad Idea

Moses is typically credited with having written the books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (The Pentateuch).  Some scholars choose to debate this, but ultimately a more viable author has yet to be presented.

Jesus states in Matthew 19:8 that, "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so."

In Matthew 19:8 Jesus is attributing the authorship of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 to Moses.  Since this portion of Deuteronomy (Chapter 24) is attributed to Moses, by Jesus testimony, then we can assume that most other portions of Deuteronomy were most likely penned by Moses under the influence of the Spirit of God (Numbers 11:25).

What we have here is evidence that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Moses (Numbers 11:25) and that Moses wrote Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (Matthew 19:8).  

If we consider these facts, that God promises to neither leave nor forsake His people (by way of His Spirit, Deuteronomy 31:6), that Moses had the Spirit of God upon Him (Numbers 11:25) and that Moses wrote most of the book of Deuteronomy (Matthew 19:8), then what must we also consider?

Let us examine a time when Moses acted outside of the Lord's will.

 Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.”
So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, just as He had commanded him; 10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them. 13 Those were the waters of [c]Meribah, [d]because the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them. (Numbers 20:8-13)."

In this passage God commands Moses to speak to the rock but instead Moses, out of frustration, struck the rock to bring forth water.  It is because of Moses' disobedience that God then tells Moses that he will not be able to lead the nation of Israel into the promised land.

Here we have God's command, Moses' disobedience, and God's punishment.

Regardless of how we view the punishment God doled out to Moses we must relate this story to what is stated in the book of Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 4 begins:

"Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you."

Moses begins to lay down the Laws of God in Deuteronomy chapter 4.  Moses does not state that these are his laws, rather what follows is God's law.

In Deuteronomy 24:1-4 we have divorce given as a concession because of the hard hearts of men.  

" When a man taketh a wife, and marrieth her, then it shall be, if she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he shall write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
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 give it in her hand, and send her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, who took her to be his wife;
her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before Jehovah: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."

Moses is not stating his opinion in this matter.  Every portion of this is what God permits (divorce) leading up to what God forbids (former spouses reuniting after an intervening marriage).

If we look at how God punished Moses for disobeying Him in  Numbers 20:8-13, then  we really need to ask the question, 'If divorce is not permissible and if Moses forbade spouses from returning to each other, and all of this was explicitly contrary to God's will, then why didn't God punish Moses for what he wrote in Deuteronomy 24:1-4?'  The answer is that Moses didn't write this command outside of God's permissive will (divorce) or perfect will (forbidding the reunification of former spouses).  God used Moses as an instrument of authorship and if Moses would have forbid the only thing that God desires then God would not have let Moses continue.  God would have put the kibosh on Moses' writing and God would have found someone else to dispense His Laws.

The 'divorce-to-repent' seem to ignore that the only portion of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 that is in fact God's Law, is the portion that forbids returning to the former spouse.  The divorce decree is given by man because of man and not because of God (though it is permissive).  God's perfect will in creation did not include sin, death, or divorce.  Divorce is permissive (though not advised) in Deuteronomy 24:1-2.  Then God (through Moses) gives an actual Law forbidding that the former spouses then reunite after another marriage has occurred.  What Jesus did not dispute, and what God had already declared, is that the former marriage is not to be reconstructed after an intervening marriage.

Another thing the 'divorce-to-repent' dispute is that God does indeed acknowledge the latter husband as being a real husband; again this is not something that Moses made-up.  Moses was irrefutably under the Spirit of the Lord and when Moses was not acting under the Spirit of the Lord, the Lord let Moses know.

This is not a debate.  Moses didn't make up his own rules as God demonstrates in Numbers 20:8-13.  Moses also did not do something so contrary to God's Law as to forbid the only thing that God desires; the reunification of the original couple after another marriage.  We must then conclude that God's Law doesn't expire or change, though we can never follow it perfectly and expect to be justified by the Law, as Jesus showed us.  Jesus gives divorce and remarriage a proper sin title (adultery) further showing that, although the Law stands forever, one cannot expect to skirt around God's perfect will (by divorcing and marrying others) and expect to be sinless.  It doesn't happen.  It's not a matter of living in perpetual adultery otherwise Moses clearly defied God in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, which would not have gone unnoticed for 1,000+ years.  The heart of the matter is that God's permissive will (divorce+marriage to another) is not so permissive that He will not label it sinful.  God's perfect will on the other hand will label sin as sin and forbid the remarriage of the original couple.  

In conclusion we can say that divorce is permissive but not that divorce is not sinful.  If we question whether or not Moses erred in this decree then we can't trust anything that Moses wrote, which eliminates the first five books of the Bible along with any other books that give credibility to Moses.  We cannot conclude that the original marriage being reconstructed is the only thing that God will accept as repentance.  Moses permitted divorce, but God forbade the original couple from marrying each other again after another marriage had interceded; Jesus never contradicted this.