They have gone
in the way of Lamech
REVISED: 3 Feb. 2013
For many years, both the pros and the cons of POLYGAMY, based on both the Bible and the messages of the Prophet-Messenger, William M. Branham, have been preached. The most quoted message of the Prophet-Messenger is undoubtedly 'Marriage and Divorce'. A large number of the 'Endtime Message' believers called it one of the greatest revelations that God had ever given to the Prophet. Such statement was made to support their own doctrinal understanding (or rather misunderstanding) that the Prophet sanctioned polygamy in his teaching. They maintained that the Prophet received this revelation from God on the mountain in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.
By their own understanding of this so-called revelation, ministers and believers began to marry two or more wives. This is prevalent in countries which condone polygamy. (A minister once said that “if the law of your country allows you to have more than one wife, you may marry another if you wish.”) But in countries like Singapore and the U.S.A. where polygamy is forbidden I have heard believers saying, “I believe in polygamy but I have only one wife.” My dear friend and brother in Christ: confessing of such a belief is as good as practising it.
If you are one who believes in polygamy, please do not hold back from reading on and studying what I have to say in this booklet. Several believers, including ministers that I have personally talked to or corresponded with, were very quick to jump the gun when I quoted the Sacred Scriptures to clarify what the Prophet had said. They shot at me saying: “You don't know what you are saying! You don't have the revelation! Look! I have studied this 'Marriage and Divorce' Spoken Word book over and over again, many times more than you! And God showed me that it's the truth!”
What is Truth? THE WORD of God is TRUTH! Not some QUOTES of what the Prophet said, or some misQUOTES of what the Prophet did not say. Many have said, “Say what the tapes say” but they did not have the revelation of what the Prophet was actually saying. All they knew was just to quote every word spoken by the Prophet. And reading a message book or listening to a message tape over and over again does not necessarily give one a better revelation over one who has not. Thousands have heard the Word of God being preached many times and yet are still unrepentant.
I would like to take you through the same message of 'Marriage and Divorce', which Brother Branham had preached, and examine it very carefully whether he really did teach and sanction polygamy the way that many believe it, or whether he taught it the Bible way according to the will of God. We will also find out what was that revelation which he received from God on the mountain and gave to his congregation in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Be ye as one who is quick to hear and slow to speak. Do not fight the Truth.
May God bless you as you seriously study this subject.
[Revised - January 2013]
1. Marriage — A divine institution for the intimate union of two persons — a man and a woman. It is a permanent relationship (Matt.19:6).
2. Adultery — A single or married person who lives with another person's spouse as man and wife commits adultery. Also applies to a married man or a married woman who lives with another as man and wife whether legally or illegally. (Where a nation permits it and the marriage is legal, the man is called a bigamist.) All adultery is fornication.
3. Fornication — the word comes from the Greek PORNEIA. It refers to illicit sexual intercourse between a man and a woman outside of holy wedlock. Incest, lesbianism, sodomy, male and female prostitutions are acts of fornication. A single or married person (male or female) who commits any of such acts is called a FORNICATOR. A married man or a married woman who lies with another person of the opposite sex commits fornication and not adultery (though the sexual act is often called an adulterous act). Fornication includes adultery.
Note: As statements are quoted from the 'Marriage and Divorce' message of William Branham, the abbreviation M&D * * is used where * * shows the page[s] the quotation is taken.
Texts: Genesis 1:26-28; 2:21-24; 4:19
In all studies of the Original Plan of God we have to go to the Book of Genesis because it is the Book of THE BEGINNING. The Prophet-Messenger of God to this generation, William M. Branham, in dealing with the subject of Marriage and Divorce, took the text of Matthew 19:1-8 and taught what Jesus said about going back to the beginning for the true scriptural answer. (See M&D 14-16.) The Pharisees were tempting Christ when they asked Him the question on whether it was lawful or not for a man to put away his wife for any cause (so that he could remarry). And Jesus pointed them to the beginning and quoted Genesis 2:24 adding that, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder” (Matt.19:6). When the Pharisees questioned Him further saying: “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” (vv.7-8).
Now, throughout this study, it's important that we remember this — THE BEGINNING. That was precisely what the Prophet was trying to get the people to understand — the Original Plan of God that was established in THE BEGINNING. THE SPOKEN WORD, IN THE BEGINNING, WAS (AND STILL IS) THE ORIGINAL SEED AND THE UNCHANGEABLE PERFECT WILL OF GOD. God never changed His Mind about His Original Word and His Perfect Will in that Word. Outside of God's Perfect Will is only His permissive will. Such permission is only granted for a time and season to achieve a certain purpose.
“It wasn't so from the beginning” that a man could divorce his wife and marry another. Bear this in mind as we continue with our study.
“The question, the true answer that Jesus want us to go back to, is to go back to the beginning. Then that would be in Genesis 'cause the word 'Genesis' is the seed chapter to every question in the Bible. And you always have to go back to the seed to see what kind of a seed's in a field, to find out what your crops will be.” (M&D 15.) Right, we are going to find out what kind of seed is in those who believe and are involved in polygamy in this age.
“Now, what kind of seed is sown? Genesis, being the seed chapter, we go back to Genesis. Jesus introduced us to that Scripture 'at the beginning'. Now remember, that's when time started to begin. Before that, it was eternity. Now, our question there was…Notice, if we go back to the beginning…Now, don't fail this! And that's the reason I want to talk slow, so that the people out on the wires…and that the tape will say it clearly.” (M&D 15) Do you see how Brother Branham was trying to get the people to realise God's ORIGINAL SEED PLAN? He continued to say, “If Jesus said, 'Go back to the beginning' — there was only one pair of anything on earth. There was one Adam, one Eve. They were joined by God alone.” (M&D 15-16) Now recall what Jesus had emphasized: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt.19:6b) thus showing that God's ORIGINAL PLAN was ONE MAN and his ONE WIFE, and nobody had the right to separate them from each other for they were ONE.
Let us now deal with the text “at the beginning” in Genesis.
Genesis 1:26-28 records the creation of MAN in the image and likeness of God. The Man was both male and female in spirit form before God took the dust of the ground and shaped a body for him. He was given that body of dust some time later after God had rested on the seventh day (Gen.2:3-7).
Some time passed by, and one day “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” (Gen.2:21-24).
Notice that the Woman (not as yet named Eve) was taken out from the Man. All the time she had been in the Man. God took the feminine part out of Man and made a Woman for him. The Woman was not created as a separate original creation from the Man. She was in the Man and came forth as a by-product of the Man. All other female creatures were created separately from their male counterparts. They were all original creations. Every creation was original except the woman; she came forth from the Man. Notice also that God did not make more than one woman for the Man! See? But in the process of time there was another seed planted in the field which brought forth a different crop altogether. It was the Serpent seed that brought forth Lamech, “and Lamech took unto him two wives” (Gen.4:19a). Polygamy was introduced by Lamech. It was not introduced by God as many had alleged. God only permitted it for a time and season for a certain purpose.
In his message (M&D 16-29), the Prophet touched on the harmony and perfect order of God's creation until the Woman broke the covenant with her Man and her God and thus lost her equality with her husband — “and he shall rule over thee” (Gen.3:16b). Eve was being deceived by the Serpent (1 Tim.2:14) simply because she was a by-product and not an original creation. The female dog, the female pig or any other female animal would not stoop so low or be as filthy as the woman. The woman is the only female species made prettier than the male. All other male creatures of God are generally more beautiful than the females. Satan took the woman in the beginning and worked on her. He influenced and 'designed' her to sway the mind of man. She gets prettier as the days go by but behind that beauty is deception and sin. God does not look for that kind of beauty. It is beautiful character that He wants. Because she is easily deceived, and a deceiver herself, God forbids her to teach but to “learn in silence with all subjection” (1 Tim.2:11-12).
“Now can you see why I have said the things and done the things that I have done, knowing all this in my heart, brethren, sisters? I know sisters, you've got your place and a wonderful character that God can mold in you, but I'm just trying to speak on the other side to show what you're actually from the beginning. Jesus told us to go back to the beginning to find it. That's what we're doing. Now, I've had to hit the high points on a lot of this, and I hope you understand it. And you people who will be listening to this tape, I hope you'll understand. Just go back. It's only to show that Jesus said, 'Go back to the beginning and find out.' All things go back to the beginning.” (M&D 29-30) Again we notice that Brother Branham was emphasizing “the beginning” of time. He told the sisters of the church that he knew their place and what God could do about their character; but he had to stress the actual position of the woman and her condition from the beginning. And all that time he was hoping that the people there and those listening to the tape would understand. Yet, today, many still don't.
In simplicity, Brother Branham was showing all about the woman's position with the man before and after the Fall. If she had stayed in her position and had maintained her original condition, she would not have brought forth Cain, a seed of discrepancy, and caused the Fall of Mankind.
“Notice, after that fall was made by Eve, after the Fall, there was need to be another covenant made… Jesus said, 'God at the beginning made one of a kind',…but now, after the fall, there's another covenant made. Now, she was no longer ruler with him. Each must have a separate covenant.” (M&D 31)
What was that other covenant? There was only one in the beginning, “just a covenant: Adam and Eve were co-equal; one man, one woman. Now, the woman sinned, and what does she do? That threw them all to death, and God had to make a covenant by that, another covenant. Here, it is right here in Genesis 3:16. He made another covenant.” (M&D 32) And what is Genesis 3:16? “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”! The woman was no longer co-equal with the man! From that time forth, the woman no longer has equal rights with the man. She must be in subjection to the man in all things. That was the second covenant!
I had the opportunity of talking with two polygamy-believing ministers (on separate occasions), who gave me two different “understanding” on the “two covenants” which closed “the beginning” of what Jesus spoke about. One of them (a minister from U.S.A.) stated that when Jesus said “From the beginning it was not so” He was referring to the beginning of the Gospel era. How could that be when Jesus was referring way back to the beginning of time and not the beginning of His day? Mark 10:6 points to the beginning of creation. The other minister (from West Germany) pointed to the Fall and said that we ought to pattern after the second covenant (which came after the Fall) and not after the first covenant. And according to him, God introduced Polygamy in the second covenant.
O my brother, do not say or add anything to God's Holy Word to make it sound like it — that God actually did say such thing! The Bible states very clearly that IT WAS LAMECH, AND NOT GOD, WHO INTRODUCED POLYGAMY! A Serpent seed did it! It wasn't God or any of His children! Check it out with the Scriptures. Look at the descendants of all the Sethites' firstborn (Gen.5:6-32). They could not have married more than one wife, for they had the revelation of the prophecy given by Adam in Genesis 2:24. All pure Sethites maintained a monogamous marriage. But the children born out of those who intermarried with Cainic women would have deviated from that revelation as they had serpentine nature. As these "sons of God" did not have the revelation of Adam's words they would take to themselves as many women for wives as they chose regardless of the women's bloodline. They were fallen "sons of God" who have gone in the way of Lamech.
Now, let me ask a question: what are the “TWO COVENANTS” about?
The answer from most believers is: “First covenant: one man, one woman: second covenant: one man, many women.” But that's neither what the Prophet nor the Scriptures taught!
Let's take a closer look at the Scriptures which the Prophet brought out to show the “two covenants”. The FIRST COVENANT is GENESIS 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Jesus added, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt.19:6). One man and his wife joined together in one flesh was God's original covenant.
The SECOND COVENANT is found in GENESIS 3:16b: “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” See? Nothing mentioned about God making a “Polygamy” covenant which many believe He did. Some even went to the extent of stating that God had said this: “Now, man, you can go and have other wives. This is my second covenant.” No, God never made such a covenant!
As we have already discussed, each of the firstborn of the descendants of Seth, having the right revelation, maintained the FIRST COVENANT while living under the SECOND in which their ONE WIFE came under their subjection. But the fallen “sons of God” who were born out of mixed (Sethic and Cainic) parentage took unto themselves wives, even of the “daughters of men” (Cainic women). Truly, they have gone in the way of Lamech who was the first to go beyond God's second covenant. Lamech knew specifically what the second covenant was. He knew that his wife's desire was subjected to him and that she could not have another man. He also knew that he had the power over her as she was no longer co-equal with him. Since she had no say in the matter, Adah, his first wife, had to remain silent when Lamech went and took Zillah as his second wife. Adah could not divorce him for committing polygamy or adultery. (The Prophet associated adultery with polygamy. Please refer to his message: “The Seed Is Not Heir With The Shuck”, page 13, SPOKEN WORD PUBLICATIONS, Vol.1:7. True, polygamy includes adultery.) She could not go and live with another man as her desire was only to her married husband. She could not do anything but accept the fact that she had to share her husband with another woman.
Now, can you see? Lamech introduced polygamy under the second covenant! Not God! But God permitted it to show what happened back there in the Garden of Eden when Eve partook of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was sexual pleasure that brought about polygamy. (Read M&D 19.) It proved the existence of the “Serpent seed” and that Eve had given herself to another “man”. She was deceived into partaking of sexual pleasure (through fornication) and it was by sexual desire that the world was populated. It was a secondary means. God's primary means was by creation without sexual desire when Adam and Eve would come together in the due season of life. See? Sexual desire brought about polygamy. God permitted it and even set this new order among the animals. Why? To prove that mankind had become part of the animal kingdom. And the original sin, with its serpentine nature, exists in everyone of us.
Does God ever change His Mind about His Word? No. The Fall, brought about by the woman (when she was beguiled by the Serpent into partaking the wrong tree) caused God to introduce the second covenant to put the woman in her place. So don't you go around saying that God introduced polygamy to put the woman in her place. I repeat: polygamy was not the second covenant! Polygamy was introduced under the second covenant by Lamech, a product of the Serpent seed, and God merely permitted it to show what had caused the Fall! If that isn't simple enough — somebody's blind!
To prove that God always holds to His Divine Will and Plan even though His permissive will is in operation, let's go to the Book of Genesis. We know that after the Fall, men began to have several wives (marrying and giving in marriage — Matt.24:38). Right? We also know that the male animals which originally were each given one mate (God created the animals in pairs) had begun to inherit several mates; one buck deer with several does, one bull with his cows, etc. Is that right? Now, let's see what happened when God ended the dispensation of conscience in the generation of Noah with a flood and started a new dispensation (commonly called human government).
When the populace rejected the safety of the ark which Noah built, God told Noah: “But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive” (Gen.6:18-20).
See, God never changed His Divine and Original Purpose. He started a new world after the Flood with four pairs of human beings: Noah and Mrs. Noah; Japheth and Mrs. Japheth; Shem and Mrs. Shem; Ham and Mrs. Ham; and seven pairs of every clean animal, and a pair of every unclean animal. Read Genesis 7:2-3. They were all in pairs, a male and a female of every creature that God had created.
In God there is ONLY ONE WILL that is ORIGINAL, DIVINE and PERFECT. Man in his own will violated God's Will and sinned against God. God, Who is rich in mercy, granted unto man a certain time and season in which certain covenant for certain purpose was permitted. As a result, His Personality and attributes are revealed.
Now, we understand that sexual desire caused the Fall and brought about the practice of polygamy. The world, before and after the Flood, was populated through sexual desire and men took unto themselves wives. But none of these women could have more than one husband. Also, no man could take a married woman to wife, while her husband yet live, without being guilty of committing adultery. See? (M&D 32-35).
Here is a shocker to you ministers who have two or more wives. The ministers of the Church are a type of the Levitical priests. “They could not marry another woman and woman that had been touched by a man, showing in type here, if you want to see it, that the Church of the Living God is purely unadulterated Word of God and not a denomination that's been handled by man!” (M&D 36) Israel's history shows that the Levitical priests were monogamous. And they married only virgins of the house of Israel or a widow of another priest. (The high priest could only marry a virgin because he exemplified Christ our High Priest.) However, in the days of the Judges, they went against the commandments that God had laid down for them (Lev.21:7,13-14; Ezek.44:22), and they became like other children of Israel, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes”. That is exactly what we are seeing today — carnal ministers doing that which is right in their own eyes.
Even the Prophets and Seers of the Old Testament of the calibre of Moses, Isaiah and Ezekiel did not marry more than one wife. Yes, as ministers of the Lord, we ought to follow the example of these men of God and walk in the LIGHT. If a true minister of God has to marry he should marry one wife only as he stands before God a “priest” and a “preacher”. It would be even better, according to Paul, if a man remains a bachelor (1 Cor.7:1,8).
“I want to get this to you. Matthew 5, Jesus spoke here of something that's really of vital importance. We want to see it.…Now, sister, I want to put you into a place where God's word promises you, and then you stay in that place too.” (M&D 36) In Matthew 5:31-32, Jesus said: “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”.
Notice: the Lord said “that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery” and the Prophet asked, “Why?” In reply to his own question, he said, “She'll marry again.” (M&D 37)
Now, let me ask: Why would she marry again? And why should she marry again?
The reason ought to be obvious from history. The women of those days were not the same as the women of today. Unlike today, there wasn't any “Women's Lib” movement. There wasn't any scrambling and struggling by the women to take the positions of men, to be scientists, doctors, politicians, technicians, etc. In those days the women's place was the home: their husband, their children, their kitchen. They would just get married and be a good housewife. So the only way for her to have a livelihood was to marry again!
The Lord who spoke in Matthew 5:31-32 was the same Lord who commanded Moses to write out the law to safeguard the women from maltreatment by their unscrupulous husbands. The Lord was quoting what was written in that law, found in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, that it was wrong for a man to divorce his wife on grounds other than fornication. If a man divorced his wife on grounds other than fornication, the wife would be forced to remarry and that would cause her to be an adulteress who would live in sin with her second husband. But if she did commit some sexual uncleanness (other than fornication/adultery which was punishable by death), she sinned against her husband who could put her away with a bill of divorcement if he could not forgive her because of the hardness of his own heart. Then she could go and marry another man; and in such a case, it would not be considered an adultery as it was within the law (Deut.24:1-2). However, under no circumstances could the first husband ever take her back to be his wife again (Deut.24:3-4).
Brother Branham was quoting Jesus (who was quoting Moses) to lay down the fact that a man could not divorce his wife on any frivolous ground (which the Jews in Jesus' time were doing so) except fornication. By doing so the man would cause the wife to commit adultery together with whosoever should marry her because she was illegally put away. (See Matt.5:32; 19:9.) “See, she's got a living husband, so no man could marry her.” (M&D 37) It did not matter who she was. No man could marry her without being guilty of committing adultery.
Remember, all these are in the law of Moses. Even the words of Christ to the Pharisees' questioning are clear. He said: “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.” (Matt.19:9 cf.Lk.16:18). See? The man and woman who consented to a divorce without scriptural ground would be committing a sin by forcing each other to marry someone he or she had no right to. And both persons, not just the woman alone, would be guilty of committing adultery. In addition when Christ's “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” (Mark 10:10-11). Notice what Jesus said to His disciples; He said that the man “committeth adultery against her”.
Now, notice what Paul (the First Church Age Prophet-Messenger) taught in 1 Corinthians 7, when writing to Bible-believing Christians in Corinth. He commanded the husband and wife (who were, of course, converts from paganism) not to divorce the spouse. He commanded the believing wife not to separate from her unbelieving husband. But if she were to divorce, or separate from, her husband, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled with her husband (vv.10-11). A Bible-believing wife has no power in anyway to seek a divorce from her husband whether he is a believer or an unbeliever. She is bound to him as long as he lives. Likewise, a Bible-believing husband cannot divorce his wife whether she is a saint or a sinner (vv.12-14). The bond between a man and his wife in marriage is for life, till death do they part. However, on the grounds of fornication committed by his wife, a Bible-believing husband has a choice of either forgiving her or divorcing her. Following the example of Prophet Hosea, a truly loving husband ought to forgive a truly repentant wife. A Christian must not harden his heart and refuse to forgive or to repent. If the wife is unrepentant and wilfully continues in immoral sin against him, the husband may, in such a case, choose to free himself from the bond by a divorce.
There is another exception (according to Paul's revelation in the same chapter) in which a marriage bond can be dissolved or broken: that is, wilful, deliberate desertion by the unbelieving partner because of the Gospel or the Word of God. Read verse 15. The believing husband or wife is not under bondage in such cases. God does not give the Gospel Truth to a person to frustrate him or her but to set him or her free and at peace.
However, this is one verse that Brother Branham did not touch on in his message. Because of this, many ministers tend to sidetrack the issue which Paul was talking about, while others merely refer you to verses 10, 11 and 39. But verses 10 and 11 deal with believing husband and wife who are separated from their spouse (not on the grounds of fornication); and they are commanded to remain single or be reconciled with each other. If either of them chooses to remarry, he or she would be guilty of committing adultery (Matt.19:9; Lk.16:18). Verse 39 is Paul's answer on whether a Christian woman could remarry after the death of her husband. Death breaks the marriage bond and the living partner is free to remarry. But verses 12-15 deal with an unbelieving spouse. A true Christian must continue to live with his or her unbelieving spouse if the latter is willing to live with the former regardless of his or her new found faith in Christ. A believer must not and cannot put away his or her unbelieving spouse. But an unbeliever (not having the Spirit of God and who doesn't care about the consequences) may wilfully and deliberately seek to divorce the spouse because of the Gospel. (Remember, both were pagans but one has just found Christ causing the other to hate and to separate.)
Prophet Ezekiel taught that the innocent should not be held responsible for the sins of the guilty (Ezek.18:2-4,13,17-32). Paul, having the same view and understanding, also wrote that if the unbeliever wished to divorce the spouse (who had believed Christ) let the unbeliever do so. The Christian brother or the Christian sister is not under bondage (of the marriage bond) in such a case, but that God has called us (Christians) to peace. If the unbeliever insists on breaking the marriage covenant, the believer should peacefully submit to the unbeliever's desire. The believer will not be held responsible under such circumstances.
Now, since a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases, can he or she remarry? Does the Gospel interpose (in such cases) any hindrance to further marriage and normal creative relationship? How does this man or this woman avoid fornication (the subject which Paul was dealing with in the whole of chapter 7 of 1 Corinthians)?
Many Endtime Message believers will retort that only the man can remarry but not the woman. And many, in refusing to look at the Scriptures squarely, would dogmatically assert that verse 15 is a part of verse11a. My question is: In Christ Jesus, is there a preference for the man over the woman? Are not all one and equal in Him as far as the Gospel is concerned? Read Galatians 3:28. In Deuteronomy 24:1-4, the Law of God allowed a woman, under certain circumstances, to remarry without her being called an adulteress. Why can't a woman, under the same circumstances stated in 1 Corinthians 7:15 and being under Grace, also be allowed to remarry without being called an adulteress? Is the Law more merciful than Grace?
On two separate occasions, I presented the following case to two ministers for their comments:
A young girl got married and divorced twice. In her sins, she came to meet the Saviour Who promised her a New Life and a New Beginning. She handed all her sins to Jesus Christ and repented, believing that He would throw all the sins of her past life into the Sea of Forgiveness and Forgetfulness. She then fell in love with a Christian man and wished to marry him. My question was: Can she marry? (You could also apply this question to a whore who have lain with many men and lived with some as man and wife, but subsequently found Christ Jesus and then a man she loved.)
“No!” came the answer. “She cannot marry because she already had two husbands. If she marry again, she will be living in adultery.”
Referring also to 1 Corinthians 7:15, I asked one of the two ministers as to why Paul wrote that God had called her to peace (see 2 Thess.3:16; Eph.6:15) when, according to him (the minister), God still remembered the sins of her past life? [Who would you believe: St. Paul or such ministers?]
Now, had not God thrown all her sins into the Sea of Forgiveness and Forgetfulness? Did not the Blood of Jesus wash away her every sin? Or had God suddenly decided not to forgive her and started to remember her past life of having two husbands? Is that the kind of God that we serve and trust for our salvation? If so, we have done it all in vain because He may just turn around and stop showing us His Grace and Mercy and bring up all our sins from under the Blood to remembrance so as to condemn us. Otherwise, that minister was wrong to presume that God would remember the sins which we had already repented of.
Brother Branham once said that man could forgive but could not forget the wrong done him by another. But that isn't so with God. When he forgives the sins of those who repent, He also forgets them. Blessed be the Name of the Lord! As such, when God forgave the sins of the young girl's past life, He would also forget her sins of adultery, fornication, cheating, lying, cursing, etc., and even if she had used God's Name in vain. “Therefore if any man (or woman) be in Christ, he (or she) is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor.5:17). She was a sheep who had gone astray in her own way, but has now been found by the Great Shepherd!
“She can find peace in God,” the minister said, “by remaining single, without marrying again.”
I asked, “Living the rest of her life, for some fifty or sixty years, without a husband and a family of her own? For the rest of her life, live and die as a spinster because of the Gospel?” (Does she deserve such a punishment? Wasn't she an innocent victim of circumstances, and a sinner born into this sinful world where anything could happen to a person without Christ? Is the Gospel Good News to set her free or is it Bad News to bind her even further?)
He replied blatantly and sarcastically, “If she desires to marry, it must be for sex!”
And this polygamy-believing minister admitted that he took his wife with him wherever he traveled because he needed her sexually (obviously to satisfy his own passion). Here is a minister who justifies his own needs but has no qualms in condemning the woman because of her needs! (Sounds to me like the Scribes and the Pharisees recorded in John 8.) Men like him preach polygamy to justify their own sexual desire or their involvement in polygamy. They try to bind a woman convert to her past of being a divorcee while disregarding her other sins. Such ministers are quick to judge but God is quick to forgive.
I once said that if accepting the Gospel Truth (as interpreted by such ministers[?] in the ministry who disregard the WORD OF GOD and misinterpret the words of His Prophet) was going to prevent a woman from having a normal married life it would be better for her to get married to a man who also had the desire to be a Christian, before they both confess Christ as their Saviour.
And, what would such ministers say then? Would they tell her to leave this husband to return to her first or second husband (who, being sinners, might by then had already remarried) in order that she could be a Christian? (Remember: God's Word explicitly forbids such reunion, Deut.24:1-4.) Or would they tell her, “I am sorry. Your third marriage is not valid. It's just not possible for you to be a Christian and be married.” Would they make the latter statement and pronounce that she had committed an unpardonable sin?
One so-called minister from Africa wrote in his letter to me that when sexual union had taken place between a man and a woman, it would automatically be considered a marriage. Hence, a young girl raped by a man was considered to be married to him and therefore could not marry another. O what folly! What idiocy! Imagine being married to a mad rapist. What kind of minister is he who would go around teaching such nonsense?
To many ministers there seems to be no solutions to such problems. Such young sisters in Christ are left to fend for themselves against the vile attacks of the devil on their flesh. But Praise God, the Bible has the answer! God always has an answer to any difficulty. In the Law era, He provided a way for the woman caught in a difficult situation because of the hardness of her husband's heart (Deut.24:1-4). In the Grace era that we are living in, He has also provided a way for the spiritually reborn woman who had been a victim of a sinful life molded by Satan, even her unbelieving husband (1 Cor.7:15). That's right. Remember, the Law of Moses affected Israel only because it was given unto them and not the other Gentile nations. Similarly, the Law of Christ does not apply to the unbelievers but only to those who are born into His Body. Remember also that we are not talking about couples that some sinner men or half-drunk magistrates or backslidden preachers have joined together (out in this sinful, messy world) that could be put asunder. But we are talking about those whom God has joined together in His Name that no man can put asunder without tampering with the Law of Christ. (See M&D 45)
At this juncture, I would like to remind those of you who are snickering at what has been discussed so far to check with the Word carefully. Don't merely quote the Prophet's words without an understanding. Don't say things which he did not say. But say only what he had taught on the tapes according to THE WORD OF THE LORD! Amen! The Logos of God is what you ought to hear and not merely the words of a Prophet. Don't satisfy your pride, lust and belief on polygamy by misquoting him. One thing for sure, you are not going to be judged on that Day by his words (his utterances) on the tapes but you will be judged by the Word (Logos) of God, which is laid down in the Holy Scriptures.
The Prophet was uneducated, but if you do exactly what he said, “Go back and check the Scriptures”, you will surely have the understanding. If you continue to quote his statements without any true revelation concerning the TRUTH, you will be just as blind as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes. The Prophet himself had said that if any of his teachings was not in the Scriptures then we should not believe it. Amen! He even cautioned the hearers “…to be careful what you're listening to. See? There's so much of it that it's just the human side…” (Sermon: “He Cares, Do You?”).
The Sacred Scriptures, contained in the Bible, are the Absolute of God, not the tapes of the Prophet. The preachers who told you that the taped sermons are the ABSOLUTE are LIARS! “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom.3:4). Flee from them before they destroy your faith! “Back to the WORD! Back to the Original!” screamed the Prophet. He never contradicted the WORD. Many people have misunderstood him.
On several occasions believers had come to me to share their views on the subject of mixed marriages among believers. A few of them quoted the statement “I don't believe in mixing marriages” made by Brother Branham and said that it was THE ABSOLUTE “Thus Saith The Lord”. Certain other statements were also used to support their views that mixed marriages were prohibited. Nevertheless, let's look at the WORD of God. Is there a Scripture forbidding mixed marriages? Obviously not, and I do know why the Prophet “don't believe” in mixed marriages. In the U.S.A. and countries where racial and political differences and problems thrive, such married couples will almost always be victims in those nets. In the Orient, if a Chinese marries an Indian, the couple face great social and cultural differences in each other's customs and traditions. The general Chinese and Indian populace tend to sneer at them. Their children might face difficulties in socializing. However, if mankind is not racially prejudiced, tell me what is wrong with mixed marriages? Are we not all descendants of the three sons of Noah? Were not the sons of Noah mixed seeds? Was not Brother Branham's father an Irishman and his mother a half Cherokee Indian? Were not the Red Indians descendants of the Eskimos who migrated from the Asian continent via the Bering Strait? Therefore, was not Brother Branham himself a hybrid twice over? And were both his wives of the same colour as him? Obviously not. (Consider Timothy's mixed parentage – Acts 16:1,3.) Are we not all hybrids? Yet, we are all of ONE KIND — MANKIND — “...made of one blood (that is, the bloodline of Noah and his wife) all nations of men…” (Acts 17:26).
We call certain people pure, for example, pure Chinese or pure Indian, because their ancestors, who have been living in their parts of the world, have never mixed with any of the other races in their marriages. However, their very first forefathers who settled in those parts of the world were already a hybrid when they first migrated there. The colour of our skin does not make a race superior or inferior in the eyes of God. The difference lies in our attitudes, self-respect and the environment which we choose to live in. That is the reason why we still have many “backward people” in many remote areas of the world. Of course, there are also “backward people” living in “civilized” cities and nations!
Why, then, are there different coloured skins, and even the different body build? Simply this: we are what we eat and where we live. Each group of the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth who migrated to different parts of the earth would eat of the produce of their respective lands. Because of the environments which they then lived in and the things that they ate, their bodies gradually began to adapt and adjust genetically, generation to generation, until they became harmonized with their environments. This might have taken them several generations or centuries. A Chinese is yellow-skinned because his/her forefathers, who lived in China, ate of the land there. And the land there is largely yellow. That is why China has a river called the Hwang- Ho River (Yellow River). The continents of Africa and India generally have black earth. Hence, the colour of the people. The early Red Indians were darkish red, obviously because they ate of the vast region of or near the area of the Colorado (Coloured Red). Although all the races are different, yet all of them descended from ONE KIND — MANKIND! Truly as King David said in his Psalm (139:14) that our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made — to even adapt to different environments. Amen.
Contrary to what some preachers are teaching, mixed marriage is not a sin nor is it unscriptural. Yes, God created the white and the red roses. But where cometh the pink? Did God create that or did He let the pollen of the white pollinate the red? And what about other coloured flowers of the same kind? God created one pair of sheep, but whence came the different breeds of sheep? And what about the horses, the tigers, the domestic cats, etc.? Why all the varieties? Do remember that these are animals of the same KINDS. (If you are thinking of the mule, remember that it is a hybrid from two different KINDS of animals altogether — viz, a mare and a male donkey.)
Some of you may just point to the commandment of God to Joshua regarding the destruction of all the Canaanites when they went to battle for their promised land (Ex.23:23,28-33), and also of the commandment not to take the “giant” people in marriage (Deut.7:1-3). True, the obvious reason was that the Canaanites were very wicked. So, the chosen people of God were forbidden to be unequally yoked with them. See? (Read also 2 Corinthians 6:14.) But to take these Scriptures to a believing Mexican brother and tell him that God forbids him to marry a believing American sister one is clearly dislocating and misinterpreting the WORD. Let me say this: if all truly born again people are God's children, then we are all of ONE KIND of SEED —CHRIST'S! Read 1Peter 1:23. Is that not so? Then, why the confusion? Because many have misunderstood what the Prophet had said. His opinion of “I don't believe in mixing marriages” has become “God forbids mixed marriages”.
My advice to those who are seeking a spouse: wait upon the Lord and seek one of your own colour. But if you fall in love with one of some other colour, let that love be strong in this colour-prejudiced world.
When “Marriage and Divorce” was preached in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Brother Branham was dealing it with the church people, and not unbelievers. It was mainly directed at the married couples (who would definitely gain more from what he had to say) because they were Bible believers. And he was quoting Matthew 5:31-32 and 1 Corinthians 7: 10-11 to show the believing wife (he was addressing the “sisters” – see M&D36) her place in God's Word. Both texts deal with God's people (Israel and the Church). Each text shows that the woman is already married to a believing husband. Therefore in such cases the believing woman must remain single or be reconciled with her husband if there has been a divorce. See?
Now watch what the Prophet said.
“Now, the Word of God runs true with nature of God; runs in continuity. See how there is one school went east and the other went west on it? YOU GOT TO COME BACK TO THE TRUTH TO FIND OUT WHAT IT IS. It's always been that way. That's the regular covenant with God from the beginning.” (M&D 37)
See what he said? “You got to come back to THE TRUTH to find out what it is.” What is THE TRUTH? The WORD of God! The Sacred Scriptures! The ABSOLUTE of God! Nothing else will do! Without IT, you'll go either east or west on “Marriage and Divorce” (see M&D 11), having no balance in THE TRUTH.
Now, watch what he said further.
“First, from the beginning, there's just one and one. After the sin came in, then there was one man and a bunch of women. Run that way in nature (every animal and human being) AND NATURAL FLESH IS ANIMAL. WE ARE MAMMAL. We know that, all of us. See? And it's all God's nature in continuity. BUT NOW that the Seals are opened, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH DIRECTS US TO THE WORD. That explains why all the mistakes has been down through the ages, because the Seals were not opened; this was not revealed. It's true.” (M&D 37-38)
Do you get what he said? Polygamy is found in the animal and human domains AFTER THE FALL and it runs that way in NATURE. “And NATURAL FLESH is ANIMAL. We are MAMMAL.” Right! Human beings became warm-blooded animals, possessing the Serpentine traits, after the Fall. See? “And it's all God's nature in continuity.” That's the truth. “BUT NOW that the Seals were opened, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH DIRECTS US TO THE WORD.” See, THE WORD, not some Quotes (or misquotes), not what So-and-So says, not some TRADITIONS in the direction of the east or the west! The Spirit of Truth cannot direct us to anything else other than the SACRED SCRIPTURES! See? It's this WORD OF GOD that explains why all the mistakes of one going east and another going west on Marriage and Divorce down through the ages. It explains why POLYGAMY; and why David, Solomon, Jacob, Abraham were polygamists. It explains how seriously God views acts of adultery but never breaks up a polygamous home. It even explains how God brought forth His Divine Plan Of Redemption through the polygamous Patriarchs. It explains how the Fall brought about polygamy in NATURE. It explains how MANKIND has become part of the NATURE of the animal world by the Serpent (who deceived the woman and caused the Fall). It explains why men practise polygamy — “NATURAL FLESH IS ANIMAL”. (See?) They are NOT BORN OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD. (Today, if it is not because of national law and certain self-respect, every man would choose to marry as many wives as he desires.) They are CARNAL and LUSTFUL. They are neither subjected to the Spirit nor the Law of Christ.
But that is not so with a BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN! He walks “not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So they that are in the flesh cannot please God”(Rom.8:4-8). See? A Bible believer is not carnal, and does not walk like men of the world (1 Cor.3:3). He has Christ in him: Christ Who had already condemned sin in the flesh “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom.8:4). He is subjected to the Spirit and the Law of Christ.
Saints, we are no longer of the world. Christ Jesus has purchased us back to God with His precious Blood. We are to conform to the Heavenly image, the image of the Son of God and unto those things that are good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Rom.8:29; 12:2).
The Spirit of Truth directs us back to The Word and explains to us what God's Original Will was. Bro. Branham explains what brought about polygamy in mankind, and that God permitted it to show the continuity of nature in man and animal. (This ought to throw some light on the Serpent seed.) He explains all these that we may understand the Perfect Will and the Permissive Will of God concerning Marriage and Divorce. O that we might not go in the way of Lamech but have the revelation of the prophecy of Adam concerning man and wife!
“Now, look. In the final analysis, there is ONE Jesus Christ. Is that right? ONE MAN: God Immanuel. Do you believe that? But the members of HIS WIFE are many, thousands times thousands of thousands. Is that right? HIS WIFE, the BRIDE, the Church, you understand now?” (M&D 38)
Too often I have heard believers misquoting what the Prophet was actually saying. We all know that Brother Branham was a Typologist, a real good one at that. But many believers are trying to do what he did without a proper understanding. To support polygamy they would quote statements like the above and say, “See, even Jesus, one Man, and we are His many wives. Just like one Solomon with his thousand wives.” They try to show the natural from the spiritual.
But, the Prophet never said that. He didn't say One Jesus, Many Wives, but One Jesus MANY MEMBERS of that One Wife! (And that is a lot of difference in meaning.) Jesus has only One Wife — His Church which is His Body with many members.
Brother Branham then talked about the BRIDE that was to come from the WORD by spiritual multiplication. And how that Adam, when he was both male and female in the beginning, was commissioned to multiply and replenish the earth. See, the natural types the spiritual: ONE AND ONE. From the side of Adam, while he slept, God took A WOMAN (A BRIDE) and presented her to him. From the side of Christ Jesus, while He slept at Calvary, God took A CHURCH (A BRIDE) for Him. But in the body of this (ONE) BRIDE are many members. The Bride is the True Church of God, the Body of Christ which consists of many members, not many wives (1 Cor.12:12-20,27).
“…and at the end there will be one Lord Jesus and His Bride many — singular.” (M&D 38) You get it? Bride – SINGULAR, not plural – not Brides, two, three, hundreds or thousands, see?
“Now, He plainly shows here in these types there is one Christ and many members of that WIFE. Notice, He can put us away for spiritual fornication and false doctrine anytime He wants to, but how dare you try to put Him away and make it! A man can put away his wife and marry another, but not the woman put away her husband and marry another. See all the shadows and types there perfectly balanced out?” (M&D 39)
A minister said to me, “See.The Prophet said a man can put away his wife and marry another.” It reminds me of a foolish man who said, “Your Holy Bible says there is no God.” (See Ps.14:1; 53:1). No wonder the Prophet warned the people to say exactly what he said on the tapes. People are misquoting him the same way many are misquoting the Scriptures.
Notice carefully: he was showing the perfect balance of the types and shadows of how Christ can put us away for spiritual fornication but we cannot put Him away (cf. Jer.3:1,8). And likewise, a natural man can put away his wife ONLY on the same grounds of fornication! And only then can he marry another. [Remember, if he puts her away on frivolous ground, such as, she is a bad cook or she bobs her hair, etc. , he cannot remarry. If he does, he sins against the Word and against his wife.] The wife cannot put her husband away. The types and shadows matched perfectly; the natural types the spiritual.
If a man puts away his wife without the cause of FORNICATION and marries another woman, he is guilty of adultery. (See Matt.19:9; Lk.16:18.) Would Christ put us away if we do not commit spiritual fornication? No. Neither can a man do that to his clean living wife. We cannot put away Christ and make it. Neither can a wife put away her husband and remarry.
“The Word is not contradictory; It has to stay in continuity.…And do you know that the whole Book, the whole Bible, is a revelation? That's how you have to know the Truth between this one and the other. It's because it's a revelation, and the revelation must be exactly with the Word! Not contrary to the Word. You say, 'Well, it was revealed to me.' But if it's contrary to the Word, it never come from God. That's right.” (M&D 42)
Amen! That's the truth! Too many ministers and believers have their own revelation that doesn't tie in with the Scriptures. They thought they have the revelation just because they quote the Prophet, and some quote the Prophet to justify their wrongdoings.
“When you got a revelation from God that's your wife, both the same thing, that's yours the rest of your life. See? But what man joins together anybody can put apart. But what God joins together no man better dare touch it.…See? I'm talking about what God joined together.” (M&D 45)
See, it should not be difficult to understand why he was quoting texts of Scriptures which pertained only to Believers of the Word, be they Jews in Moses' time or Jesus' time or Christians in Paul's time. Brother Branham did not touch on any other Marriage and Divorce situations other than those faced by married Christians who believe the Word. An unmarried believer must wait upon the Lord concerning a mate so as not to be caught up with the many marriage problems faced by those in the world.
In concluding his message, Brother Branham said:
“This is to my church only — not my church, the little flock that believes me and follows me: this is to them. The other day, knowing that when I tell you anything it must come THUS SAITH THE LORD, then I had the Scriptures as He revealed it to me, but 'Lord God, what can I say to that congregation? I'll have separations. Men will be sitting on the porch and out in the yard and everywhere else: “Shall I leave her?” Women: “Shall I leave my husband? What shall I do?” 'I said, 'Lord, what can I do?'
“Something said to me, 'Go up yonder in the mountain, and I'll talk to you.'” (M&D 47)
Now, that is the crux of why the Marriage and Divorce message was preached! But before he could preach it, it must be THUS SAITH THE LORD because there were too many questions on his mind. What was he going to say to his congregation? He was faced with the separation question which was on the minds of the men and their wives. So what could he do?
A minister (from West Germany) told me that Brother Branham, while on Tucson mountain, was given the revelation of putting the women in their place and that polygamy was the answer to that.
That was a million miles away from the actual revelation the Prophet had received! Let's see what was actually given to him on the mountain.
Brother Branham related what happened, while he was up there on that mountain, concerning the amber Cloud coming down, going back and spreading out. (He was told by the Angel of the Lord to be there because of the many questions on his mind regarding the mess the people had gotten into.) Then he said this:
“Friend…that's when this was being revealed to me what I'm going to tell you right now. So don't miss it.” (M&D 48)
Did you get that right? He was going to tell the congregation what had been revealed to him on that mountain. It wasn't the revelation on Marriage and Divorce; he had already preached that, and that was the conclusion that he was giving. And it certainly wasn't the revelation that polygamy was permitted (from that time) to the Christian men!
On Marriage and Divorce, Brother Branham already had the Scriptures as God had revealed to him (M&D 47). And he taught how that because the Seals were opened, the Spirit of Truth would direct the believers to The Word showing how and explaining why all the mistakes came about throughout the ages; why the covenant was changed; why polygamy was permitted and even ran that way in nature among human and animal (M&D 37-38). See? What was received on the mountain in Tucson was not the message on Marriage and Divorce. Then what was it?
He said, “…this was being revealed to me what I'm going to tell you RIGHT NOW. So don't miss it. Now, I'm speaking to the followers only (who's following me and this Message only), not the outside. Bear me record of this before God: just to this group only. Now, WE ARE FOUND IN THIS MESS BECAUSE OF MISINTERPRETED THEOLOGY. Is that right? THAT'S WHY YOU WOMEN MARRIED THE SECOND TIME AND YOU MEN, because of misinterpreted theology. NOW I WANT TO SHOW YOU SOMETHING THAT HE TOLD ME.” (M&D 48)
What did he say about the men and the women in “this group” before he told them that “something” which God had revealed to him? “WE ARE FOUND IN THIS MESS.” What “MESS”? The “MESS” that the women and the men (in “this group”) “MARRIED THE SECOND TIME”!! See? Remember, he was speaking to the group who was following him and the Message. (See also M&D 44-45.) He said, “What will I do when I got men and women sitting in my congregation, some that's been MARRIED TWICE or THREE TIMES? Good men, good women, all mixed up! What done it? False teaching. Exactly. Not waiting on the Lord.”
See, HE DID NOT ENDORSE POLYGAMY FOR BELIEVERS! Emphatically NOT! (Woe unto those preachers in whose mouths the Lord have put a lying spirit.)
Now, we are getting to that “something”, the revelation, that was revealed to the Prophet. He mentioned that when Jesus Christ was being questioned on Marriage and Divorce, He replied that Moses granted the people a writing of divorcement because of the condition they were in. Also, when Paul saw the divorce condition in the Corinthian church, he said: “This is I, not the Lord” (1 Cor.7:12,25).
“It wasn't so from the beginning. But Moses was permitted it, and God recognized its righteousness! And Paul also had a right when he found his church in that condition.
“Now, you believe this to be true and believe it to come from God. And by the vindication of His Cloud and His Message that's brought me this far, should not God upon the mountain PERMIT ME TO DO THE SAME THING TO SUFFER YOU TO GO ON THE WAY YOU ARE AND DO IT NO MORE! ? GO WITH YOUR WIVES AND LIVE IN PEACE FOR THE HOUR IS LATE! The coming of the Lord is at hand! We haven't got time to break these things up! DON'T YOU DARE TRY TO DO IT AGAIN! I'm speaking only to my congregation. But if you are married, and God bore me witness to that on the mountain that I could say this (a supernatural revelation because of the opening of the Seven Seals and this is a question in God's Word): LET THEM GO ON IN AS THEY ARE AND SIN NO MORE!
“It wasn't so from the beginning. That is right. It wasn't so, and it will not be at the end! But under modern conditions, as God's servant.…I COMMAND YOU TO GO TO YOUR HOME WITH YOUR WIFE NOW. IF YOU ARE HAPPY WITH HER, LIVE WITH HER, RAISE YOUR CHILDREN IN THE ADMONITION OF GOD! BUT GOD BE MERCIFUL TO YOU IF YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN! YOU TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO NEVER DO A THING LIKE THAT; BRING THEM UP IN THE ADMONITION OF GOD!” (M&D 48-49)
There you are! It couldn't be any clearer as to what was revealed to him on the mountain, the same mountain where the Seven Angels had come to him concerning the Seals. He repeated in his prayer what he had commanded the people. He prayed, “God, I pray that the people will go home being thankful that God has granted this grace to them. I only spoke it, Lord, through permission. And I only say it through permission, Lord. And let the people be so grateful that they'll never try to do that sin again. And may they never try to do any sin but love You with all their hearts.” (M&D 50) See, couldn't be any plainer. And for ministers and believers to say that they can go and marry two or three wives it is completely contrary to what the Spirit of God had commanded, through the Prophet, not to do!
Saints, I don't believe that the Word of God is so difficult for a child of God, who is truly being led by the Spirit, to understand. However, if anyone claims that “God spoke to me”, “God called me, 'My servant' and showed me...”, etc., and his revelation does not tie in with the Word of God, I believe that he must have been listening to another voice; either his own or the devil's. It does not matter how big his ministry is or how many hundreds or thousands of members there are in his church (too many believers are following BIG ministries today, as if God is in BIG ministries), an error is an error!
“It wasn't so from the beginning. That is right. It wasn't so, and it will not be at the end!” It wasn't so from the beginning for polygamy, for putting away wife (or husband) and remarrying. That is right. It wasn't so, and it will not be at the end! Amen! Christ Jesus came to provide a way to restore fallen mankind back to God to be conformed to His image. (Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.15:49.) And we who have been quickened by the Spirit should therefore not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom.8:1-13) “for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom.8:14).
In concluding this study, let us look at how polygamy gradually began to disappear from the people of the early Church and, at the same time, answer some questions which are on the minds of some believers concerning converts involved in polygamy.
We have learnt that Lamech was the one (of the Serpent's seed) who introduced polygamy under the second covenant. God permitted that, for through that He manipulated His Divine Will and Purpose to bring about His Plan of Redemption. Jacob, a polygamist of four wives, brought forth the twelve patriarchs who fathered the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. Israel was a nation chosen of God to bear His Name. The Word of God was literally given to this people. And Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the world, was born of this nation. See, God has everything under control without a hitch.
When mankind fell and polygamy began to be practised, it was in continuity with nature. When the Law came under Moses, God did not do away with it. However, He did chastise severely those who committed adultery. When Christ came, He did not condemn polygamy but He pointed men back to the first covenant at the beginning. Twice He pointed to the first covenant. That He discouraged polygamy is clear from certain statements He made. In Matthew 5:32, He put the blame on both the woman who was living in adultery with another man, and her first husband who divorced her not on the grounds of fornication. But in Matthew 19:9 (cf. Luke 16:18; Mark 10:11), He said that a man who put away his wife and married another had committed adultery. Notice, He merely shot that statement at the people among whom, no doubt, were many living in sin: marrying, divorcing, and remarrying without any concern for their innocent wives. A man who puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery because he has a living wife! See?
Some of you may say: “But He didn't say that a man cannot keep his wife and marry another.”
Right, Christ didn't say that. But that doesn't mean you could do it either. Nevertheless let's tie that with one other remark He made earlier in Matthew 5:27-28:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman (Grk: Gune – married or unmarried woman) to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
See what He said? For any man to lust after a woman he had committed adultery in his heart! If you are a married man and you lust after another woman, desiring her for wife or whatever, you have already committed adultery in your heart!
I believe that those men who heard that statement made by Jesus must have been flabbergasted. They were aware that He knew their carnal desires of trying only to satisfy their sexual promiscuity. And what about the men today, men in the Endtime Message, who believe in polygamy and desire to marry more than one wife? Aren't they walking in the flesh trying to satisfy their animal desires? [Note: The Prophet was right to associate adultery with polygamy. (“The Seed Is Not Heir With The Shuck”, page 13, SPOKEN WORD PUBLICATIONS, Vol.1:7.) The carnal Serpent Seed, Lamech, actually committed adultery when he took a second wife; he broke God's law of One Man, One Woman. However, God later permitted polygamy among His chosen people beginning from Abraham but under Moses He stipulated a law against anyone who marries another man's wife.]
The many statements by Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul on marriage relationship were made to cause the believers of God to see the Original Plan of God so that they might understand the mystery of the oneness of husband and wife. And further examples of the early ministers (in the 5-Fold Ministry), the bishops and deacons (1 Tim.3:1-13; Tit.1:5-9) strongly discouraged polygamy in the Church of God. (Notice: a converted polygamist could not hold the office of Bishop or Deacon.) By the second century, polygamy had completely faded from the Christian Church.
But what about those converted polygamists in the Apostles' time? How could they be accepted in the Christian Faith? What about today?
We have already learnt that God never broke up a polygamous home; and neither did Jesus nor Paul. We have also noted that God never ordained polygamy; Jesus never sanctioned it and Paul never encouraged it. So, when man comes as he is into Christ Jesus, God in His Grace has a way provided for him. A converted polygamist shall be accepted (as a member of Christ's Body) upon the Grace of God and allowed to live with his wives as he is (cf. 1 Tim.3:2-5). Even in this generation, those who are involved in polygamy because of false teaching, are told by the Prophet, with God's permission, “to go on the way you are and DO IT NO MORE! Go with your wives and live in peace for the hour is late. The coming of the Lord is at hand! We haven't got time to break these things up!” (M&D 48-49) Grace forgives all sins and creates a new life in the man that he may walk in the Light of God's Word henceforth! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
“It wasn't so from the beginning. That is right. It wasn't so, and it will not be at the end!” The way to Truth is the way of Christ. He's the Mystery of God revealed: “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending.” His Bride is being streamlined into the narrow Way of the Truth and Life as originally ordained of God before Time began.
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Marriage – the Ancient Problem
O how often I have heard polygamist preachers justify their polygamous marriage when they say, “I have received special grace from God for extra wives”. If such ministers want more than one wife, it is not my concern. My concern is in their subtle teaching of polygamy using words such as “special grace”, “from the beginning, the sex law by polygamy” and “we are to pattern after the second covenant”. One African letter to me states this: “It’s by faith that we understand the things of God and faith is a revelation. POLYGAMY is taught in the message of Marriage and Divorce, and read the following pages, 33; 37. After the fall not before, but after the fall, God made another covenant with man and beast and in this covenant polygamy was introduced in all. We don’t become polygamy (sic) by marrying many wives but we’re polygamist by nature. You can’t make the Word lie, from the beginning the sex law by polygamy.”
O how they have misunderstood and misused the prophet’s message MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE to feed and justify their carnality! They are creating confusion and problems for happy monogamous marriages when carnal husbands take in other women for wives. This doctrine of POLYGAMY – polygamous marriage where a man can have more than one living wife – is embraced and practiced by a good number of African and Indian preachers. (Some preachers of USA, Canada and European nations which forbid polygamy have said, “I believe in polygamy but my country forbids polygamy and I have only one wife” meaning that they would like to have extra wives.)
What do polygamists mean when they emphasize “we are in the Second Covenant, after the Fall”? By such an emphasis are they not implying that a Christian man can have more than one wife?
Now, let me ask a question: what are the “TWO COVENANTS” about?
The answer from most believers is: “First covenant: one male, one female. Second covenant: one male, many females.” But that's neither what the Prophet nor the Scripture taught! Here are two clear statements from the Marriage and Divorce message:
Now, there's a double covenant. First it was just a covenant. Adam and Eve was coequal: one man, one woman. Now, the woman sinned. And what does she do? That throwed them all to death, and God had to make a covenant by that, another covenant. Here it is right here in Genesis 3:16. He made another covenant. (M&D 32)
Then when the double covenant was made by man and woman through sex (another covenant altogether; not the original covenant, but another covenant), now what's introduced? Polygamy in all. Then after the beginning, polygamy was introduced both in man and in beast, after the beginning, the fall. (M&D 33)
Let's take a closer look at the Scripture which the Prophet brought out to show the “two covenants”.
The FIRST COVENANT is GENESIS 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Jesus added, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt.19:6). One man and his wife joined together in one flesh was God's original covenant. There was no disproportion between Adam and Eve.
The SECOND COVENANT is found in GENESIS 3:16b: “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Eve had to come under subjection to Adam ― because of her being deceived and fornicated with another. See? Nothing is mentioned about God making a “Polygamy” covenant which many believe He did. Some even went to the extent of stating that God had said this: “Now, man, you can go and have other wives. This is my second covenant.” No, God never made such a covenant! Ministers who insinuate so are liars. Just remember what the Scripture says about LIARS (Rev.21:8).
Any sincere son of God who has a true baptism of the Holy Spirit cannot fail to see what Branham was teaching ― that the second covenant (as he called it) has nothing to do with polygamy but with putting Eve (the woman) in subjection to Adam (the man). And with that polygamy was introduced. But who introduced it? It wasn’t God; it was Lamech, a great great great grandson of Cain, the seed of the Serpent. He was the first man to have taken to himself two wives.
Lamech, a Serpent seed, introduced polygamy under the second covenant! Not God! Because of the Fall God permitted it. “Polygamy” is not a word you find in the Bible. It is true that God had never done away with polygamous marriage in the Old Testament age nor in the New Testament age even at this very moment of time. However, let us tread carefully how God deals with people. Whether or not a polygamous marriage is permitted is centered around the issue of adultery. The Law clearly states:
Exo.20:14: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Exo.20:17: …thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife,…
Lev.20:10: And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Under the LAW of God adultery is committed when a man takes unto himself a woman who is married to another man. A man can take to himself as many virgins for wives as he can afford to care for them but if he takes just one woman who belongs to another man he commits adultery. A man, whether or not he is a polygamist, breaks the LAW the moment he takes to himself a wife who belongs to another man. However, when Christ came with His Gospel, He brought Grace and under the GRACE of God He showed us the importance of GOING BACK TO THE BEGINNING, the ORIGINAL WILL of God.
Mar.10:6: But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
Mar.10:7: For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
Mar.10:8: And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
Mar.10:9: What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Mar.10:10: And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.
Mar.10:11: And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
Mar.10:12: And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Every true servant of God will always point the elect BACK TO THE ORIGINAL WILL AND PURPOSE OF GOD. The Endtime Message of the Laodicean messenger, William Branham, was just the same ― BACK TO THE ORIGINAL APOSTOLIC FAITH. (Polygamist preachers will not point the elect back to the ORIGINAL WILL and PURPOSE OF GOD because they are carnal. Instead they will point them to some so-called revelation of theirs.)
Watch how Jesus dealt with the issue of marriage, divorce and adultery as He proclaimed the Gospel of Grace. Let’s examine it in three passages of Scripture and how He worded His words.
Not long after Christ began His ministry He had a crowd of disciples following Him (Matt.5). He brought them to a mountain and began teaching them. His words were general for all who believed in the Prophets and the Law. Unlike those spoken in parables they carried no mystery. Concerning marriage and divorce Jesus said: “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” (Matt.5:32). Observe the words that Jesus uttered. When the wife of a man committed no illicit sexual affair and was put away Jesus charged the man for causing his wife to commit adultery when she married again, and the man who married her was also in adultery. From this we can see that it was a common occurrence in which devious husbands simply put away their wives for any and every cause except fornication, thus causing such wives to commit adultery together with their new husbands. Notice that nothing is mentioned about the man remarrying.
Now observe what Jesus said in response to the Pharisees when they came to question him (in Matt.19:3-9), saying, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” You need to take note that the Pharisees were religious leaders and they were men who not only knew the Prophets and the Law but they were also teachers of the same. They were leaders who were supposed to know the Word. To their questioning Jesus said, “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.” The charge against the man appears to be the same as the one given in Matt.5:32. However observe carefully. Jesus, knowing the hearts of those Pharisees whose desire was to remarry other women, made a clear emphatic foreword statement that if such a man “shall marry another”, he “committeth adultery”. But notice that Jesus DID NOT say that the man committed adultery because he married a woman who belonged to another man. That is the foremost important fact ― just to put away a wife on unscriptural ground and to marry EVEN another virgin is adultery. The next important fact is “whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Later in a house where Jesus retired, “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” (Mark 10:10-11). Observe what Jesus taught His disciples; He said that the man “committeth adultery against her” ― his wife.
Therefore in all that are observed of what Jesus taught concerning a husband who divorces his wife for any cause except on ground of fornication and marries another woman the following facts are clear:
1. The husband commits adultery against his wife by marrying another woman, even a virgin. The husband lives in adultery.
2. The husband causes his wife to commit adultery when she remarries. The wife lives in adultery.
3. The husband causes the man who marries his wife to also commit adultery. The man lives in adultery.
Looking at such a case we see that the husband has two wives; the wife has two husbands, and the other man has a wife who has a husband. All these resulted from a carnal man who put away his wife for just any cause (eg. “She’s a lazy housewife, she’s quarrelsome, she’s rebellious.”) other than fornication.
In his book: “Marriage – the Ancient Problem”, on pages 9 and10, Ewald Frank quoted William Branham in a subtle manner to insinuate that Branham was teaching that God’s Second Covenant was the introduction of one male, many females. He wrote:
And now Brother Branham states seemingly incomprehensible thoughts for, but if we are willing and ready to consider what is said, it will be a shock, at the same time we are going to find our place. Quote: “Now, you see, then after the beginning it was – something else was introduced. Now, this is going to shock you. … Then when the double covenant was made by man and woman through sex (another covenant altogether; not the original covenant, but another covenant), now what's introduced? Polygamy in all. Then after the beginning, polygamy was introduced both in man and in beast, after the beginning, the fall … Second covenant: one male, many females …” (pg. 33). Then he added:
As announced earlier we are all shocked. We would never have expected such a statement. No one has the intention of introducing polygamy, but rather to set things in the scriptural order. Brother Branham taught what the Bible says, and testified that the place of the woman is different from that of the man.
“We would never have expected such a statement,” wrote he. But what statement was he indicating? It is obviously this statement ― “Polygamy in all. Then after the beginning, polygamy was introduced both in man and in beast, after the beginning, the fall … Second covenant: one male, many females …”
How subtle it is to take and twist statements to suit a purpose! By doing so he made Branham to have taught that polygamy was the scriptural order after the Fall. However, what was Branham actually trying to get across to his congregation? [Note: If you do not have an ear to hear you will not be able to understand what the Spirit is saying or if you do not take heed to what and how you hear you will miss the Truth over semantics.] Branham said that when the second covenant was made “something else was introduced”, something that would “shock you”. Then he posed a question “now what’s introduced?” Simply, after the second covenant was made, which is: “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen.3:16b), polygamy came into the picture; that’s what shocking. Lamech introduced polygamy after God had put the woman in her place. That’s the Scripture Truth!
POLYGAMY IS NOT THE SECOND COVENANT. THE SECOND COVENANT IS NOT ONE MALE, MANY FEMALES. He who believes and embraces polygamy has gone in the way of Lamech.
On pages 33 to 36 of the same book, under the subheading “Servants of God”, Ewald Frank wrote: “If we consider the servants of God, it is noteworthy that God did not ask a single one of them about their family status. He took whoever He chose, whether married or not. Life circumstances of His messengers were as varied as life itself.” Then he made mention of John Wesley, King David, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elkana, Gideon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Samson, and out of them many had several wives, or married even a widow or a harlot. Now, it is true of these servants of God in the Old Testament time and even during the Church Ages when religious church tradition blinded the eyes of the people. However, with the revelation of the Laodicean messenger’s message given us the Spirit directs us BACK TO THE WORD, BACK TO THE ORIGINAL, BACK TO THE APOSTOLIC FATHERS’ FAITH, we are no longer to come under the permissive will of God. We are to go back to the ORIGINAL PERFECT WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
Observe. We have already known that the Prophetic ministry of old does not reflect the “Ascension Gifts” ministry in the Body of Christ. The Levitical (Priesthood) ministry does. The former did not minister in the Tabernacle (or Temple) which speaks of the Ministry and Body (Church) of Christ; the latter did. That is why as Grace came in with the Gospel of Christ we do not see any of His servants, the Apostles, having more than one wife. Christ called them and God watched over those gifts. Christ set the standard beginning with those Apostles. The rest of the other ministries which came in as the Church grew followed the same standard. Christ wanted all the elect of God to pattern after the Original Perfect Will of the Father. There was no other standard until the antichrist spirit later came in (with the passing away of those apostles) and sowed the seed of fornication ― both spiritual and physical.
Some of you might butt and say: “But we are under Grace, what does it matter if a minister marries another wife, or a harlot or a non-virgin?” One answer is clear, it does not matter to a carnal person as long as he reasons and does what is right in his own eyes. God’s grace is made a disgrace. There is no fear, no reverence of God in them. Such people are abounding in religious Christendom, be they Endtime Message believers, the Charismatics or the Pentecostals. Christendom has many cages of unclean birds. Shame, O shame!
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Marriage Relationship of Ministers
God's law concerning the marriage of the Levitical Priests who ministered in the Holy Place of the temple is clearly stated in the following verses in the Old Testament books:
Lev.21:7: They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.
Lev.21:8: Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy.
Lev.21:13: And he shall take a wife in her virginity.
Lev.21:14: A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.
Eze.44:22: Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before.
The Scriptures state that the Levitical Priests were “holy unto his God” and that they “offereth the bread of thy God”. That was why they were commanded to marry within their own nation and only those that were virgins (or a widow of a late priest). Unlike the prophets (or messengers) whom God occasionally sent to deal with the nation of Israel and her neighbouring nations, the Levitical Priests were ordained to minister in the temple. The Levitical Priesthood was a gift of God for His chosen people (Num.18:7). The priests had three duties to perform: to stand before the Lord in the Holy Place of the Temple and offer up bread to Him, to teach the people of Israel the Law of God, and to inquire for them the divine will by the Urim and Thummim (Ezek.44:16; 2 Chron.15:3; Ezra 2:63).
Now, what does the Scriptures say about the marriage relationship of God's ministers today? Are they supposed to marry only a virgin, or can they marry just any born again Christian woman?
Nothing is stated in the New Testament books about the kind of woman a minister can marry. As such, some ministers prefer to remain silent on this issue while others believe that, being in the Gospel of God's grace, they are permitted to marry divorced women or even converted prostitutes. Does the Lord really permit this sort of union for those men He called into His ministry?
Let's find the answer within the framework of the Bible. Every Biblical question has an answer in the Sacred Scriptures. As we shall see, God's ministers are not supposed to just marry any women that they desire simply because they are under grace. Living in the Dispensation of Grace does not give us the right to live as we like. If we do, we make a disgrace of God's grace.
Hidden in the Old Testament books are types and shadows of events to be fulfilled. They are recorded there to reveal God's plans and purposes for Israel and also truths concerning Christ and His Church. The TRUTHS hidden within them are not like a law of God which commands: “Thou shalt...” or “Thou shalt not...” Unlike the law, the Truth of God is not designed to force His people to walk in line with His Word. Rather, by His grace, God seeks His children to embrace, and walk in, His Truth as He reveals it to them. Hence, there is a difference between living under the Law of God and living under the Grace of God. Under the Law a child is subjected to the Law to keep it. He is a slave to it. But under Grace there is no law. “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid” (Rom.6:15).
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus and the Apostles often used the natural things to illustrate the truth (cf. Jhn.12:24; 1 Cor.15:35-49). That's typology. The use of typology makes the doctrinal truth of God easier to understand.
When the Apostle Paul revealed the mystery concerning the translation of the Church (1 Cor.15:51-57), his revelation was based on what were already foreshadowed in the Old Testament books (cf. Gen.5:24; Job 19:26; etc.). There were enough facts from those books to support the doctrine that the believing saints would one day be translated and resurrected because of the Work of Christ. Paul's revelation was clearly supported by Scriptural truth. It was not based on his presumption.
With this knowledge, we shall approach the Old Testament for the pattern that reflects the present New Testament Gospel Ministry of Christ. And there is one — the ministry set up by the Lord in the service of the Tabernacle (Tent) of Moses. In general it is the ministry of the Levites. Note that not all Levites were Priests. They did not all minister to the Lord in the Holy Place of the Temple (Num.3:9; 1 Chron.15:14; 2 Chron.13:10). The Priests were the descendants of the sons of Aaron who was from the tribe of Levi (cf. Lev.21:1; Num.10:8). They formed the actual Levitical Priesthood.
The Tabernacle of Moses later evolved into a more permanent structure of the Temple during King Solomon's reign. The Tabernacle or the Temple foreshadowed the Life and the Ministry of Christ. It types the Church — the Body of Christ. The Old Testament Prophets did not minister in the Tabernacle or the Temple. Therefore they were allowed to marry non-virgins. Hence, the Levitical Priesthood reflects the Five-Fold Ministry of the Church; the Old Testament Prophetic ministry does not.
The Levitical Priests type the Gospel Ministers who are truly ordained of the Lord Jesus Christ — they are the Ascension Gifts given to the Church (Eph.4:11-16). The rest of the Levites who served in the Temple ministry reflect the other ministries found in the Church, such as the Presbytery and the Deacon offices.
Num.18:1: And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.
Num.18:2: And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness.
Num.18:3: And they shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die.
Num.18:4: And they shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle: and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you.
Num.18:5: And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.
Num.18:6: And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Num.18:7: Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
The Priesthood ministry of the Tabernacle clearly reflects the Gospel ministry of the Church today. Notice that the Levites were given to assist the Levitical Priests in the service of the Tabernacle. But the Priesthood was a gift for service. It was specially ordained, so to speak. Therefore what was required of the life of the Levitical Priests must also be required of those who are specially ordained for the Five-Fold Ministry in the Church.
Now, if the Levitical Priests (not the Levites) were required to marry only virgins, or a widow of a late priest, would any less be required of those who are truly ordained of God for the Gospel Ministry today?
Some may retort that the Ministers under the New Testament Grace are not required to adhere to the 'marry only virgins' law, otherwise they would have to adhere to all the other Levitical regulations as well.
Paul said that Christ has “wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross” (Col.2:14 NKJV). Yes, Christ fulfilled the Law — Law “which was contrary to us” He nailed it to the cross. But are all laws in the Old Testament “contrary” to us?
Consider these examples: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God” (Deut.22:5). Was this law done away with? Could the saints do away with these requirements as laid down in the Scriptures? Could they cross-dress? Absolutely not. The Devil has got many preachers to lie to women that it is alright to wear garments which are strictly man's. The women are even cutting their hair. Many of the Christian women's hair are not only short but they are even styled like the man's. Paul said “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering” (1 Cor.11:14-15). The Church World do not condemn their women wearing mannish garments but they certainly would if their men do wear womanish garments. Satan has deceived many churches today, and a few even condone homosexuality. Do they think that the law of Leviticus 18:22 - “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” was also nailed to the cross and is no longer applicable? There are many other similar laws, did God do away with them?
When a Christian does not want to tithe he goes and hide under Grace and uses it as an excuse to plead his case — “I am not under the Law and therefore I need not have to tithe.” When a Christian thinks only of Grace and belittles the Law he is treading on thin ice.
Many Christians have the wrong notion that Grace came after the Law and is superior to the Law. It is true that Grace is superior to the Law but it did not come after the Law. It is superior because it has always been there even before a law was ever given to mankind.
Look at Abraham, the Father of our Faith. He was not living under the Law for the Law came some 400 years later. God's Grace separated him from his kindred. It put him in a place where the revelation of God was shown to him. It was Abraham who started the practice of tithing. Read Genesis 14:18-20. As God blessed him he gave a tenth of everything to God. That's Grace! Not Law. And if “Father Abraham” had set the example then the children of his Faith should undoubtedly follow suit.
Now, if the people of Israel were “forced” to pay tithe under the Law, how much more should the saints who live under Grace, give of their tithes. Since God's Grace is superior to the Law, it would be a disGrace if Christians don't do what is right. And if the Priests, under the Law, were required to marry virgins, how much more should the God-called men under Grace do the same and more. It is certainly a shame for any “man of God”, who proclaims the Gospel of Grace, to live lower than what is required by the Law. That such a man is called of God to “offer the bread of His God” behind the sacred desk is questionable.
We are not talking about keeping the laws (as we are not under the Law) but about following the patterns shown to us in God's Word (cf. Heb.8:5). Grace does not do away with those patterns and orders in God's Original Plan.
Now, as the Priests were specially ordained to offer up bread to the Lord, so are those who are specially called into the Five-Fold Ministry.
Several ministers had confronted me to argue about this issue.
A few had this to say: “But my marriage life happened before I was called?”
In that case, God did not call you into the Ministry of the Ascension Gifts. Like the Levites who assisted the Priests, you are called to assist the Five-Fold Ministry.
“Brother Gan, what should I do now that I know that a pastor could not and should not marry a non-virgin? My wife is not a virgin when I married her; should I step down from being a pastor?”
The reply was often: “I don't know. I don't think so. The people need me and I know God wants me to take care of them.”
Very good. You have your place in the Body of Christ. You should not worry about trying to prove that you are a Pastor in the Five-Fold Ministry. Just remember that you have a work to do — just like the Levites who assisted the Priests in the Ministry of the Tabernacle. The Priests had a ministry. The Levites had a ministry. They knew their positions in the Tabernacle. So just stay in your place and do the work.
In the Body of Christ, we see the “Ascension Gifts” Ministry of the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. We also see the Presbytery Ministry of the Elders. The former follows the pattern of the Levitical Priests and the latter the Levites. It was the Priest, not the Levites, who were specifically required to marry virgins. Hence, other than those who are truly called into the Ministry of the “Ascension Gifts” the others need not follow the requirements of the Priesthood of marrying a virgin except that he must not be a polygamist (cf. 1 Tim.3:2,12).
Beloved, God watches over His gifts — to fulfill His Word. (Remember that the priesthood service is a gift - Num.18:7.) If a man is called into the Ministry of the Ascension Gifts, God certainly must have ordained him for it before he was even born. And God would certainly watch over him. He might have been a gangster who beat up some old ladies, or a drug addict, or a criminal who had been in and out of jail, or someone like Paul who sought to destroy life for a cause, but he would be kept from sexually touching any woman until he marries a virgin.
Why is the marriage union of the man who holds a position in the “Ascension Gifts” so important? Because he represents the Lord Jesus in His ministry to the Bride. Jesus Christ is the Virgin Word to His Virgin Bride. Remember that Jesus gave these gifts to the Church when He ascended to Heaven (Eph.4:1-16). Aaron, the first High Priest was a type of Jesus Christ. His sons, the Levitical Priests, were types of the Five-Fold Ministry. Just imagine what would become of the Sacred Desk and the Church if the “Ascension Gifts” ministers married non-virgins — divorcees, prostitutes or those who were deflowered by rapists? (Remember that the ministering priests “offer the bread of His God”.) Adam and Eve were supposed to come together in union as one. But Eve was defiled by the Serpent before Adam could copulate with her. Adam knew Eve was defiled but went ahead and took her in. When he did that the veil of Light faded away and a veil of darkness descended to replace it.
Look at the Church World today. It is but the religion of Mystery Babylon. We see men, who claim to speak for God, married to “Hollywood” type women — women who had been sleeping around with men. Yes, these ministers may claim that the women are converted to the Gospel. That may be true, but God watches over His gifts! Seriously, is God involved in such a union or are these ministers entrapped by the carnal fresh? Judge for yourself whether these ministers are truly men of God. Are they holding up the Light of Life and Truth or are they casting clouds of darkness and death over their assemblies?
If a man has an “Ascension Gifts” ministry he would truly wait upon his ministry. He would also wait upon the Lord to provide him a wife. The spiritual things of God are not to be rushed into. If the Lord does not provide him a virgin to be his wife, it would be better for him not to marry at all than to marry a converted prostitute or a non-virgin. If he marries contrary to God's Will then he does not have the gift. He is only deceiving himself.
Some may ask this particular question even when the Scripture is silent: “What if the virgin wife of the minister turns out to be a bad seed, a bad wife?”
How bad is bad — as bad as Job's wife who chided him that he should curse God and die? Or is it because she sins often like sinners do? Yes, a minister may have a “problematic” wife, but as a Bible Believer he should just love his wife and do the ministry. Like everyone else, if the wife sins she sins against the Lord. And if she commits fornication, the minister has the right to put her away.
Whether we like it or not, the Church of Christ has to conform to the patterns of God's Word. Would God call a deformed man or a blind man to stand and handle His Word at the Sacred Desk without first making him whole? Certainly not! Read Leviticus 21:16-24. Again, I am speaking here of those in the Ascension Gifts and not of the Presbytery or any other ministries.
Saints, the Bride will certainly be perfected. But a minister is answerable to God for what he does. Oh, yes, there are Ministers and there are ministers and again there are MINISTERS. The true “GIFTS” (Ministries) are watched over by the Lord. These Ministers will stay with the Bible patterns. And there are the other ministers who are led to do a “job”, to assist; they have their place. Then there are the MINISTERS who think they are the called ones but who only kill the Word. And if a man, who married a non-virgin, claims that he is an apostle or a prophet, the two most important gifts, his claim cannot be true. No, he has not fallen from grace, he is just deceiving himself in believing that he possesses a gift which is never given to him.
IF YOU SAY YOU BELIEVE AND DON'T FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE WORD, THEN YOU DON'T BELIEVE.
(The Token, 1 Sept.'63)