From the teaching Adultery, Fornication, & Perversion 1-4
Greetings all! This time of year is a very busy time for many people. The summer school break is coming to an end and parents and children are preparing for the upcoming school year. We are preparing for our first official year of Kindergarten and it's exciting and challenging at the same time. After attending a German language Kindergarten before we moved back to the States, our son will be homeschooled this year. The challenge doesn't seem to lie in the curriculum, it's the juggling act of everything else. God has really been working on me to stay organized and working on reducing distractions. I'm definitely making progress, even if it's been a lengthy progression and I praise and thank Him for His longsuffering and loving heart towards me and all of his children. In an effort to remember that Father has been very patient with me and my shortcomings, I have to work to remember that when I have issues with others. That can be very difficult especially when we see the Scriptures being used to justify behaviors we believe are not Godly. As a general rule, there are some people that just don't know, some that wrestle with the truth, and some that just don't care.
In this teaching series Adultery, Fornication, & Perversion, Pastor Marcus takes on highly controversial topics of biblical discussion such as what constitutes a marriage; divorce and remarriage; sexual relations as the act that binds two in marriage; polyamorous propensities; and biblical purity. If we want to walk circumspect with the Father, nothing can be left to chance. We have to examine every thought and action and use His word as the standard for our behavior. Once I learned how religion can distract from having a true connection to our Creator, I had to get serious about this examination. What am I doing in my life that is contrary to His Word and what am I pursuing? It's definitely not a cliché that the flesh wars against the spirit. It is a very real struggle and having Father's Word and Spirit as a discerning factor in how we decide to proceed in life is paramount for His people. It's very important that Pastor Marcus started off with the elements of a marriage because it's the foundation from which we discuss the other subject matters.
When YeHoVaH created Adam and formed Woman from his rib, Adam prophesied that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Man and Woman here are 'iysh H376 and 'ishshah H802 in Hebrew; respectively husband and wife. What we have here can be interpreted as the introducing model for what we know as marriage. YeHoVaH joined the man and woman in union together to live as one flesh. When looking at those Hebrew words mentioned above, one can see that 'iysh refers to a male and 'ishshah refers to a female. Therefore, the union that results in becoming one flesh can only be between a male and a female according to Scripture.
Another very controversial topic of discussion covered in the series is divorce and remarriage. It's unfortunate that in our current culture marriage is a covenant entered into with such callousness. I can attest that when my husband and I were six months into our dating relationship, at the naive age of 19, I already knew that I wanted to marry him. I don't think I consulted God on the matter and if I did, it wasn't very diligently because I already had my mind made up. We were attracted to one another, we got along very well, he seemed to be open to God and church, and he was nice and caring. He made me feel good and that's pretty much all I felt I needed. Now I realize that it's so much more than that. We need to be under Father's leading and allow HIM to join us with the person He's designated for us. When many of us marry, we believe it's for life......until the rug is pulled out from underneath us. I tread carefully addressing this because there are people facing truly horrendous circumstances that are very difficult to live in. This very statement is why it's so important to be in agreement with YeHoVaH with the person we marry. Our culture has overridden what Scripture has to say about marriage and divorce, but as we all know, this road is not easy to walk and even the desires of our own hearts will get in the way of truly bending to His ways. Getting back to His ways means embracing everything He says pertains to us. When two become one flesh, that cannot be divided as Yeshua reiterated in Matthew 19:5-6. One may ask, "what if we don't consider the marriage one in which YeHoVaH joined together? Can we get a "do over"?" Marriage is a covenant and we are to abide by our word when we make vows of any kind (Numbers 30:2) and when a man becomes one flesh with a woman, they are bound for life. Yeshua addresses the inspiration for divorce in Matthew 19 by explaining that it was not the intention of YeHoVaH to have the union of marriage undone. It was due to the hardness of the hearts of men that Moses permitted husbands to separate from their wives, but this divorce is not the same as it is understood in our culture. In our culture, divorcing means that we are free from the commitment to honor any vow that was made to our husband or wife and are therefore free to make a new life with a new person. What Moses allowed was a separation that removed the two from having to dwell with one another, not to go and marry another person while their husband/wife was still alive. That is what culture has allowed and we have to realize that. 1 Corinthians 7:10 shows that if two divorce, they should remain unmarried or be reconciled back to each other. Well, what if you've already remarried and at the time you didn't know what YeHoVaH had to say regarding this? That's a very good question and it's one that I can't answer at this point in time, but as a people of the Book we need to let the Book be our guide. There is no provision in Scripture, that I'm aware of, that favorably deals with remarriage while the husband/wife is still living and that's in black and white. Where there has been transgression, it's important to seek the Father in true humility for a word from Him on the situation. He knows His creation and I believe Him when He says that He is just in His dealings with us (Deuteronomy 32:4). The whole idea here, especially for those that have yet to enter into a marriage covenant, is not to take it lightly and to make sure YeHoVaH is joining you with your spouse.
One concept that I remember hearing from time to time was that when a man and woman engage in sexual relations, they might as well address each other as husband and wife because now they're married. This is important because some will try to blur the lines to make engaging in fornication acceptable. Pastor Marcus provides scriptures that demonstrate the big picture concerning the process by which men and women were joined in marriage; it was not simply initiated with intercourse. It involved the giving of the woman to the man, some kind of interaction of the parents such as when the bride's parents keep the token of their daughter's virginity (Deuteronomy 22), and the payment of a dowry. Of course there are instances where this traditional path to marriage was not followed, but arguing that the act of intercourse is all that is needed to be bound in marriage is not biblical. Exodus 22:16 is an example of how intercourse before marriage is to be treated. It is not an acceptable act and the man must then endow the woman he enticed to be his wife, but if her father refuses his offer then he must pay her bride price. So again we see here that there has to include a giving of the woman to the man in marriage which is done in agreement with the bride's father.
Polygamy was the topic of the third teaching in the series and it's one that I didn't have lots of experience with other than reading or hearing about members of the LDS Church engaging in it as a biblical right. Again, if we look at the model Father set in motion in the beginning, we see that TWO shall become one. We can see many examples of men in Scripture that multiplied wives unto themselves and no written word condemning their behavior and this has cause some to question if it's right or wrong. This is one of the things that makes my husband scratch his head as well. "Why doesn't God outright condemn those men that had multiple wives?" I'm not sure, but what we CAN see is that the first example shown to us is the cleaving of one man to one woman in Adam and Eve. YeHoVaH even commanded the Kings of Israel not to take many wives due to the heart being led astray in Deuteronomy 17:17 . The motivation for multiple wives could be due to many different reasons and men will do whatever is in their hearts to do, but we have to be careful in using the actions of others to justify what is in our own heart to do. If Father established a pattern, commanded leaders not to multiply wives, and Yeshua reiterated the established pattern (Matthew 19), then why do we look to arrangements established by human beings to justify our own lusts? Polygamy is more of a cultural issue than a biblical right. In some instances, Father governed the people around their cultural trends and showed them how to properly treat people in circumstances such as slavery and multiple wives, however; the prototype was one man with one woman.
Lastly, Pastor Marcus deals with purity. He mentions the ubiquitous issue of pornography and other instruments of spiritual bondage. Indeed, pornography is a major problem that many don't view as an issue. There is an idea that if one is not physically acting on a desire, then 'no harm, no foul'. This is a very deceiving train of thought to the believer. When Yeshua came in the flesh and expounded on the spirit in which the Law was given to the people, he highlighted that lusting and hating in the heart amounted to adultery and murder. Out of the heart comes all of these evil things (Matthew 15:19). Every action is proceeded with a thought and this is why we must meditate on the Word of YeHoVaH without ceasing. The Psalmist constantly speaks of meditating on the Word, the Law, the Commandments and precepts of the Father. Father makes a distinction between the holy and the profane so that we know what He expects from those of us that come into covenant relationship with Him. Meditating on His Word and performing His Word, just as our Savior did, is critical in surviving the temptations of this world. Temptations will always exist and are designed to distract us from carrying out the Father's will. Temptations will also provide a proving ground for us if we operate in the Spirit of the Father to overcome and build confidence in Him. They will show us what's really in our hearts regardless of what we might profess. If we struggle with certain things, how aware of that idol are we and once we become aware of it, what do we do about it? We have to be willing to cut off the triggers that lead us down the path to that very thing. Pastor Marcus points out that meditating on the Words of YeHoVaH is very important in this battle that we face with our flesh, which is really a battle of the spirit. When we are faced with temptation and we have meditated on His Word, we can speak to that spirit of distraction and bondage with "it is written....". If we don't know His Word, then we are ill-equipped. Furthermore, if we don't practice walking in His Word, we can easily become bait for the enemy . Don't be devil's food cake, gird yourself with His Word and put into practice His ways. It's not an easy journey on the narrow path, but if that's what you desire, then fight for it and endure to the end. Our job is to preen ourselves so that we can be a light and bring others to Him and this requires us to make purity a priority.
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