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Trust in the Lord

"Marriage: Till Death Do Us Part"

 

Are there principles to apply to the marriage?

Yes I believe so. It was created and instituted in the beginning.

Is marriage a law like the Sabbath?

"He Christ referred them to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things 'very good.' Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity." Mount of Blessings (1896), p. 63:2.

Yes, it is an institution.

The definition of institution can be defined as law, custom or practice.

Let us read some of the scriptures about the first marriage:

  1. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. . . And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. . . And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-25.
    1. The man and wife became one flesh.

What did our Lord teach about divorce?

"When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him 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 giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance." Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

"He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." Matthew 19:8.

  1. There is a condition of the heart which granted the people divorce.
    1. One had to have a hard heart. "...because of the hardness of your heart...."
  2. What is the original plan? Marriage without divorce.
    1. "...but from the beginning it was not so."

Why was Jesus Christ interested in answering these questions?

Manuscript Releases
1899, Vol. 10, 198:3

"Jesus came to our world to rectify [man's] mistakes and to restore the moral image of God in man. Wrong sentiments in regard to marriage had found a place in the minds of the teachers of Israel. They were making of none effect the sacred institution of marriage. Man was becoming so hardhearted that he would for the most trivial excuse separate from his wife, or if he chose, he would separate her from the children and send her away. This was considered a great disgrace, and was often accompanied by the most acute suffering on the part of the discarded one.

  1. To restore the marriage institution.

Why was divorce granted?

Let us return to Christ's words "...because of the hardness of your heart...." Matthew 19:8.

What did He come to accomplish with regards to the marriage institution?

  1. To rectify mistakes
  2. And to restore the moral image of God in man

The Pharisees came to tempt Christ on the subject of marriage and the following is recorded:

"And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." Mark 10:2-12.

  1. How is adultery is committed?
    1. When man divorces his wife and marries another.
      1. In this case the man is the guilty spouse.
  2. What is another way to commit adultery?
    1. When a woman divorces her husband and marries another.
      1. In this case the woman is the guilty spouse.

In either case, both are committing adultery.

What about when the spouse is not guilty of adultery, cannot they remarry?

"And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and femae." Matthew 19:1-4.

  1. Here in this verse the Lord points them back to the beginning.
    1. "...Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female."
      1. "And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Matthew 19:5-7.
        1. The man is to leave his father and mother
        2. To be with his wife
        3. They become one flesh
  1. How long does this institution last?
    1. Till death do us part, no man is to split up what God has established.
      1. How does God perceive vows or our promises before Him?
        1. "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay." Ecclesiastes 5:4-5.
          1. Keep the vow that you have made.
          2. It is best to not make a vow if you cannot keep it.
  1. What is said of the marriage vow?
    1. "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man." Romans 7:1-3.
      1. It is a law which has legal authority as long as life
      2. When we married according to God's institution it is
        1. until death
      3. The woman is called an adulteress if she marries another man
        1. while her husband yet lives.
      4. The man is called an adulter if he marries another woman
        1. while his wife yet lives.
        2. Therefore death is the only way to free one from the marriage institution.
          1. Why? Because when the spouse dies they are no longer committing adultery even "...though she be married to another man."

The Pharisees ask Christ why did Moses give that command?

  1. "They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." Matthew 19:8.
    1. Why did Moses provide a divorce and put her away?
  2. 2. And then Jesus points them back to the beginning.
    1. "...but from the beginning it was not so."

So why would God give a law of divorce if it was not His will?

  1. "Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;" Ezekiel 20:25.

The Spirit of Prophecy
Vol. 1 1870,
page 265:2-265:3

"The Lord said of the children of Israel, "Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols, wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live." Because of continual disobedience, the Lord annexed penalties to the transgression of his law, which were not good for the transgressor, or whereby he should not live in his rebellion.

"By transgressing the law which God had given in such majesty, and amid glory which was unapproachable, the people showed open contempt of the great Lawgiver, and death was the penalty".

God does not force us into obedience but calls us out to repentance. In short, we may have been given the liberty to go and sin, but it is not with His blessing, it is with consequences.

Let us look where Jesus tells about the law and how and when adultery is committed:

"And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." Matthew 19:9.

Before concluding let us read on in Matthew 19:9:

"It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." Matthew 5:31-32.

"And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery." Mark 10:10-12.

"And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." Luke 16:17-18.

So let's review what we are reading:

  1. If the one who is seeking a divorce which marries another, they are guilty of committing adultery.
  2. If the one who is seeking a divorce due to their spouse's marital unfaithfulness, they are not responsible for causing the spouse to commit adultery.
  3. Anyone that marries the divorced person commits adultery.

Let us continue to read how the disciples are responding to this testimony of Christ Jesus:

"His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry." Matthew 19:10.

  1. They consider it is not good to marry.

And how did Christ respond?

"But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuch, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." Matthew 19:10-12.

  1. All men cannot receive this saying, except to those who it has been given.

It is important to note, that Christ desires to turn us back to the beginning, when divorce was not given. And He further helped us to see that divorce was only presented because of the hardness of the hearts.

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing
1896, pages 63:1-65:1.

"Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?" Matthew 19:3.

"Among the Jews a man was permitted to put away his wife for the most trivial offenses, and the woman was then at liberty to marry again. This practice led to great wretchedness and sin. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared plainly that there could be no dissolution of the marriage tie, except for unfaithfulness to the marriage vow. "Everyone," He said, "that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery." R.V.

"When the Pharisees afterward questioned Him concerning the lawfulness of divorce, Jesus pointed His hearers back to the marriage institution as ordained at creation. "Because of the hardness of your hearts," He said, Moses "suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." Matthew 19:8. He referred them to the blessed days of Eden, when God pronounced all things "very good." Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity. Then, as the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, saying, A man shall "leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one" (Genesis 2:24), He enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time. That which the Eternal Father Himself had pronounced good was the law of highest blessing and development for man.

"Like every other one of God's good gifts entrusted to the keeping of humanity, marriage has been perverted by sin; but it is the purpose of the gospel to restore its purity and beauty. In both the Old and the New Testament the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people, the redeemed ones whom He has purchased at the cost of Calvary. "Fear not," He says; "thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." "Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you." Isaiah 54:4, 5; Jeremiah 3:14. In the "Song of Songs" we hear the bride's voice saying, "My Beloved is mine, and I am His." And He who is to her "the chiefest among ten thousand," speaks to His chosen one, "Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee." Song of Solomon 2:16; 5:10; 4:7.

In later times Paul the apostle, writing to the Ephesian Christians, declares that the Lord has constituted the husband the head of the wife, to be her protector, the house-band, binding the members of the family together, even as Christ is the head of the church and the Saviour of the mystical body. Therefore he says, "As the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives." Ephesians 5:24-28.

"The grace of Christ, and this alone, can make this institution what God designed it should be--an agent for the blessing and uplifting of humanity. And thus the families of earth, in their unity and peace and love, may represent the family of heaven."

The Bible Echo
September 1899, paragraph 12

"All who enter the matrimonial life with a holy purpose, the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman's heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband's character, and give it completeness, fulfil God's purpose for them. Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil its every specification. He came to pull down and destroy the works of oppression that the enemy had raised up everywhere. It was in perfect harmony with His character and work to make known the fact that marriage is a holy institution. He came not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation. Thus He who made the first holy pair, and who created for them a paradise, put His seal upon the institution first celebrated in Eden, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy."

Christ came to restore not to tear down heavenly institutions.

"And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." Luke 16:17-18.

  1. The law does not fail because it is easier for heaven and earth to go away. Deferring to the 10 commandments in its simplest form we read:
    1. "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:37-40.

When the fruit of God's love is instilled in us, we cannot strive to cause another to be lead into temptation regardless of who is at fault. Love is gracious, generous and long-suffering. It is Christ that teaches us "Behold, I stand at the door and knock...." and He is faithfully waiting for us to answer that door even when we err. We are forgiven as we forgive.

Have you ever thought, "Why hasn't Jesus returned?"

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-21

  1. We need to
    1. Repent.
    2. Be converted.
    3. So that our sins may be blotted out.
      1. Why? So that we are prepared for the latter rain or refreshing from the Lord.
  2. Then He will send Jesus Christ.
  3. But He will remain in heaven until the times of restitution of all things.
    1. all things.
      1. The definition of restitution is the return of something to the condition it was in before it was changed.

Yes, we are to work towards restoration of His original plan for us.

"And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife." 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.

  1. The Lord commands us
    1. To not depart from the spouse
    2. Remain unmarried
      1. Or reconciled to the spouse
    3. Do not put away the spouse.

Conclusion:

"Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit, And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously." Malachi 2:13-16.

 

 

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