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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sorting out Confusion of Numerous Marital Relationships

If this is your first time reading my blog in awhile - I would urge you, before reading this post, to read the series of posts previous to this starting with "Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage (1)" on Friday January 23rd. Without that background, this post will not make any sense and will most certainly be misunderstood!

This post is for those who have read the previous posts and wonder how folks can ever make any sense out of confused marital situations in which many find themselves today. I trust that this will help those who have only been married once as well as those who may have been married, divorced and remarried numerous times to know just where they stand and what scriptural guidance applies to them where they are.

The following article is NOT for one who wishes to tell someone else what to do! It is strictly for those who desires to know and do the will of God in their own situation. The questions asked below CANNOT be answered on someone else's behalf so please do not try!

I am deeply concerned for folks who have married without knowing what kinds of relationships God judges and what kind He joins. But in my estimation, it is this ignorance which has lead to an extremely high rate of marriage failure in our society. But I am thoroughly convinced that there is always a righteous remedy available to any person who is willing to obey God. While obedience to God is always costly right on the front end, obedience to God always pays rich dividends of blessing in the long run. By way of contrast, disobedience to God is always the easiest thing to do at the beginning but the costs and consequences of disobedience also multiply in the long term!

So here is the questionaire:

I. FOUNDATIONAL UNDERSTANDING: Do you understand and can you clearly explain the six scriptural features which characterize each and every marriage which God joins? Do you understand and can you clearly explain how a marriage which God judges can be distinguished from one which He joins? If you cannot clearly explain these from Matthew 19 and Genesis 2 the rest of the questionaire will be pointless. Please review these things in the previous posts until they are clear in your own mind.

II. YOUR HEART'S MOTIVATION: Have you purposed in your heart that obedience to God is your number one priority, regardless of what it may cost you in the end? If you are willing to do His will whatever He reveals to you, you have the guarantee of the Lord that you will know His will. (John 7:17) However, if any are simply seeking for information in order to justify and maintain their current status and are unwilling to change if obedience requires it, the Lord assumes no obligation to teach them anything. (see Mark 11:27-33)

III.LIST THE FOLLOWING BASIC INFORMATION REGARDING ALL MARRIAGES IN WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN A SPOUSE: (This information is not for anyone else's eyes but your own unless you voluntarily choose to share it with another. The purpose of this list is to simply allow you to see the facts and be able to evaluate them in the presence of God.)

A. First Marriage:
1. Date of marriage:_________
2. Name of spouse:______________________
3. Kind of marriage at its very commencement: (circle one) divinely joined marriage or
divinely judged marriage.
4. If it was a divinely judged marriage, circle the perversion(s) which characterized the relationship between you and your spouse at its very commencement. (bestiality, sodomy, incest, adultery, polygamy)
5. If a divorce was obtained relative to this marriage, date of the divorce:____________
6. If the spouse of this marriage has died, date of death: ____________

Record all the same information for any and all subsequent marriages i.e. B. Second Marriage, C.Third Marriage etc.

1. Since death effectively terminates any marriage relationship, draw a large "X" through the record of any marriage above in which the spouse has died.
2. Since marriages which God judges are not joined by him but only by legal process of men, draw a large "X" through the record of any divinely judged marriage for which a legal divorce has been obtained.

The remaining record(s) will indicate the current marital situations which must be considered and dealt with. If according to your records above, there is a divinely joined marriage remaining, even if a divorce has been obtained in respect of that marriage, this marriage bond cannot be dissolved by anything but the death of one of the spouses. (Romans 7:1-3)

If there is a divinely judged marriage (or marriages) remaining, your information given at #'s 3 and 4 with respect to that marriage (or those marriages) will indicate the kind(s) of fornication for which that relationship has been judged by God and the reason(s) for which it is to be terminated and forsaken. The scriptures never counsel or permit spouses to sever a divinely joined marriage on account of an immoral relationship of one of the spouses outside of that marriage! The remedy for any immoral relationship is the severing of the immoral relationship, itself! Thus the "fornication exception" in Matthew 19:9 deals specifically with a marriage which, itself, is characterized by fornication from its commencement. i.e. bestiality,incest, sodomy, adultery or polygamy. (Polygamy is a common, legal and socially acceptable form of marital fornication in some countries. Adultery has become a common, legal and socially acceptable form of marital fornication in our own society. In recent years, following the same trend, we have witnessed sodomy becoming a common, legalized and socially acceptable form of marital fornication in our own society. So unless this trend is arrested, do not be surprised when incest and bestiality also become common, legal and socially acceptable forms of marital fornication as God and His Word, the Bible are abhorred more and more!!!!!

As we have seen in previous posts, marriages which God has joined form "no more twain unions". Thus when people seek "legal divorces" from such unions they utterly fail to sever the bond which God has joined. One scriptural example demonstrates this clearly: neither Herod's and Herodias' respective divorces nor their remarriage to each other succeeded in severing the marriage bond between Herodias and her husband, Herod's brother Philip. That is why John the baptizer reproved Herod with the words, "It is not lawful for thee to have her" (whom God referred to as, "his brother Philip's wife" .)Matthew 14:3,4

So if you are yet a spouse in a divinely joined marriage but are divorced from that spouse and married to another, obedience to God requires fleeing fornication which will mean terminating such a marriage which is judged of God.
I Cor.6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

I Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers (fornicators) and adulterers God will judge.

Your options of obedience to God regarding the spouse of your divinely joined marriage are two:
(1) remaining unmarried or
(2) being reconciled.
I Cor.7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

If there is no divinely joined marriage remaining, you are free to remain single or to remarry (Romans 7:3; I Cor.7:39,40) provided that such a marriage would be joined of God and would not join a believer and an unbeliever (II Cor.6:14)

I am fully aware that what I am teaching here is not at all a popular position, although I am convinced that it is thoroughly Biblical. So I am also well aware of many common objections to this position but am also convinced that the scriptures have adequate answers to all such objections. Therefore I'll deal with the major objections to this view in my next blog post. (To be continued....)

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