Once Christian Marriage Means Nothing
(Part 1 of 2)
by James Jacob Prasch
'I say unto you whoever divorces his wife except for unchastity makes her commit adultery and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery' - Jesus Christ (Matthew 5: 32).
From around the world in recent months, Moriel has experienced something of a minor flood of emails, post, and calls about the divorce, and often remarriage of various high profile preachers. This has not simply included the divorces and remarriages themselves, but also other prominent preachers going along with it almost pretending that nothing has happened - as if the biblical permanency and sanctity of holy wedlock no longer mattered in the Body of Christ any more than it does in secular post Judeo-Christian society.
We have in our teaching tapes often pointed out that as the first kind of fellowship God ordained (apart from Adam's communion with Him) was marriage. It is in God's blue print for the human race and the foundation of society.
Once the foundation cracks, society cracks. Thus we see a direct proportional relationship between children from broken homes and single parent families and juvenile delinquency.
More fundamentally still, marriage represented the essence of Imago Dei; that man was made in the image and likeness of his Triune Creator. In the same way that the make up of our being is tripartite: having a body, a soul, and a spirit, so the marital union was to reflect this. The Hebrew term for the eternal oneness of God, Achad in the Shma, (the Hebrew confession of faith which Jesus called the greatest commandment) 'The Lord your God is One' is better translated 'Oneness' designating a plural oneness. As we are made in His image and because He loves, he designs us to want to love and to be loved, because He is creative, making us in His image. Because His own divine unity within The Godhead is permanent, He designed marriage accordingly as something He joined together that 'No Man Should Put Asunder'.
Thus the Hebrew term for marital sex in the scriptures is generally 'niknas ba', literally "to go into her" where a bond is designed to be formed as a permanent seal between two souls together via an act of physical oneness. Thus, in marital intimacy, one person is inside of another person and a third person is procreated. We have one in three, and three in one. This somehow, albeit mysteriously, reflects something of the Trinity in whose image we are created. While designed by The Creator to be erotically pleasurable, there is a spiritual dimension to marital romance transcending physical and emotional gratification, passionate intimacy, and the procreation of children. It is a bonding agent; a cement intended to last as long as temporal life does.
Yet even this falls well short of a scriptural understanding of marriage. The union was to be physical, psychological (as in emotional and intellectual), and because it is based on a mutual vow made to God, spiritual. The horizontal relationship with its physical, psychological, emotional, social, and legal links was to be predicated on a shared vertical relationship with God sealed with a solemn vow to Him as the basis of marriage. Sadly, blind as they are to the messiahship of Yeshua, Orthodox Jews have some grasp of these concepts, mystically believing the Shekinah hovers over the marriage bed and that Israel's covenant relationship with God has a counterpart in the Ketubah, a kind of ceremonial marriage contract carrying weight in halakik Jewish religious law. As with so much of the talmudic Judaism invented by the rabbis to replace the biblical Judaism of the Torah - fulfilled in The Messiah - otherwise valid truths are reinterpreted in light of kabbalistic mysticism, but the basic concept itself has a fair amount of biblical merit.
Once we contemplate how marriage, sexual intimacy and procreation mirror things divine and constitute the foundations of God's idea of society, the manner in which divorce and remarriage undermine His designs becomes obvious.
The biblical theology of marriage however, while certainly inclusive of romance and sexuality (for this we would recommend Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum's commentary on The Song of Songs), in actual fact goes well beyond it.
Thus even the erroneous talmudic Judaism of the rabbis realizes that Holy Matrimony is the reflected image of the divine relationship with Israel:
Hosea 2:7 - where the word for husband is ish meaning 'her personal "man"'.
Jeremiah 3:20 - where the word is rea, meaning 'her "intimate friend"'.
Jeremiah 31:32 - where the word is baal, literally 'the one who possesses her'; as in a husband and a wife sexually 'possess' each others body as in 1 Corinthians 7:4, so our bodies - the Greek word Soma - are for the Lord in 1 Corinthians 6:13).
These three terms indicate primary aspects of what Israel's relationship with God was to be akin to what a marital relationship was to be like. The term used in the Hebrew nuptial ritual for 'to wed' is mekudeshet, meaning the husband 'Sanctifies' his wife in God's sight making the union holy by a divine 'setting apart'. This is essentially the same term used for the consecration of The High Priest to make atonement, and theologically is a very serious and heavy term - never to be used lightly.
The difference was that in those days it was the unfaithful bride (Israel) who departed from her husband, the husband refused to depart. Today, Christian husbands and even preachers are often the ones doing the departing.
Even after a bill of divorce became necessary due to the unrepentant znut or harlotry which was the metaphor for idol worship (Jeremiah 3:8) and God said Lo Ammi ('not my people' - Hosea 1:9 ), He immediately claims that despite her infidelity He would reclaim her after dealing with her sin (Hosea 2:1-7). God proclaims that there is no bill of divorce, and that no man can put the relationship asunder (Isaiah:50:1-2). Despite the false doctrines of replacement theology, the so called 'christian' anti-Zionism of Rick Godwin and The Restorationists and the anti-Semitic lies of the Identity Movement who influence the likes of W.B. Howard and W. Beuster, The Lord promises and predicts He would again turn His grace back to Israel according to His eschatological calendar (Isaiah 66:20-24, Romans 11:25-27, Isaiah 59:20, Revelation 7:4-8).
It is therefore perhaps no coincidence that promoters of Godwin's ministry (which teaches God has put his relation-ship with Israel asunder) such as Ray Bevin in South Wales and Ray Macaulley in South Africa, are the very ones whose own marriages get put asunder. Macaulley has just split with his wife against the background of the cricket bribe scandal involving leading members of his church. A public scandal has rocked Bevin's Welsh church after he divorced his wife to marry another woman and front page newspaper articles are virtually labeling his church a cult on the testimony of those who have left it feeling like victims of exploitation. Bevin's church said they have no fixed policy on divorce and remarriage. While Bevin may not have a policy on divorce, God however does - He Hates It, and those not hating it do not take heed of their spirit and they are treacherous (Malachi 2:16).
Similarly, it is of very little surprise that in The UK, the Elim denomination is advertising a conference of Macaulley where he is to be joined by Elim's elder statesman George Canty, who teaches that "Jesus Christ Had No Jewish Blood". These same principles of God's divine marriage with Israel apply to and are replayed and expanded in Christ's relationship with His bride - the believing church (Revelation 21:2). Concerning Mr. Canty's Elim Movement, we actually have a copy of a letter from Elim's recently retired honcho Wynn Lewis to a Pentecostal leader in Texas in which, while not trying to defend the act, Lewis attempts to downplay the seriousness of an Elim minister sent to prison for having sex with a minor in an Elim Church because the girl was 15. This conference Elim is pushing in Birmingham is of all things called 'Fire'. The cast of characters speaking at that thing may indeed be leading people into the fire, but not the fire of The Holy Spirit. We do see a connection between the false belief that God permanently divorced Israel, and those holding such views getting divorced and remarried.
So too, sexual oneness has its parallel in oneness with Christ, and that our bodies too are not as such our own but are owned (1 Corinthians 6: 16-20). Once more, Christian marriage reflects Christ's marriage to the church (Ephesians 5:23-25). The romance and the longing of the ancient Hebrew betrothal in anticipation of the nuptial portrays the Church waiting for the return of Jesus (Matthew 25: 1-13, Song of Songs 3:1-5, 7:1 - 8: 14).
Thus, the New Testament plainly outlaws divorce unless one has an unbelieving spouse who abandons the believer, or a partner is involved in unrepentant adultery (Matthew 5:32, 1 Corinthians 7:15). Fifteen years ago, the only cases where a Christian was divorced is if it happened before they were saved Christians, an unbelieving spouse abandoned them or was involved in an adulterous affair, or there was a spouse backslidden into adultery who would not repent and became as a non-believer (1 Corinthians 5:13, Matthew 18: 17).
Today it is different. We now have leading preachers with broken marriages who therefore have no right whatsoever to even be in the ministry (1 Timothy 3:4-5, Titus 1:6). Among others, Richard Roberts, the hyper charismatic son of money preacher Oral Roberts is divorced as a supposed Christian and remarried, yet still has a TV following on the heretical TBN. Hal Lindsay, author of 'Late Great Planet Earth' is similarly on the TBN, while he is presently on his third marriage (which is why Moriel will not carry his books). Likewise, Peter Ruckman, godfather of the King James Only Movement, is also divorced and remarried three times.
Again, when one comprehends how Satan is trying to dismantle society and prevent the image and likeness of God being reflected on the earth, one immediately sees the strategy underlying promiscuity, homosexuality, same sex marriages with legal rights to artificially inseminate and/or adopt, and of course a 50% divorce rate. The church of Jesus Christ however is called by Him to be the obvious alternative to this. Instead Anglicans, Methodists, Reformed churches and The Lord knows who else are ordaining homosexuals (something neither Islam nor Mormonism would even do; cults and Islam have higher moral standards than the most visible Protestant churches). Homosexual and Lesbian clergy met in an Anglican Cathedrals in London and the homosexual dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Cape Town appearing on TV dressed in Anglican vestments actually sporting a devil's tail promoting homosexuality, while other Anglicans caught up in deception, gimmicks, and hype artistry claim there is revival.
But divorce is as much a component of Satan's assault on the family as is homosexuality. So instead of the Evangelical Christian Church maintaining a witness and testimony for Christ and being salt and light in society with stable committed marriages, divorce among Christians now abounds and the salt is good for nothing but to be trampled on the ground.
Thanks not only to them, but to those who will stand by them and join with them in so called ministry instead of disassociating from them in the prayerful hope they will repent, the only victory becomes Satan's.
The gospel believing church should be an example to a divorce ridden society of the permanency of Holy Matrimony, and our preachers should be examples of this to the true church. Instead, we have the opposite happening and it is accepted often in the name of love and unity. Such love however is not biblically the love of Jesus, neither is it the Unity of The Spirit! Christ plainly calls such divorce and remarriage nothing less than immoral adultery (Matthew 5:32). It should not even be found among saved Christians. No matter what our marital struggles, divorce is not an option for us.
We have had multiple complaints about Johannas Facius and The Ebenezer Fund bringing Peter Horrobin onto its board with Eliahu Ben Hayim. They are to be joined by Lance Lambert and Derek Prince at a July marathon in Bournemouth, England supposedly to 'Bless Israel'. We will wait to see how Steve Lightle, also at the conference, will explain why he has been away from the ministry so long, but it is the devil who wishes to sabotage the prophetic purposes of God for Israel and The Jews, and Satan will achieve this with two things: False Doctrine and Immorality.
Mr. Horrobin is the director of an institution with extreme doctrinal positions on deliverance and demonology founded in collusion with New Zealand's ecumenical Toronto advocate Bill Subritsky. We are moderately charismatic and Pentecostal ourselves in the biblical sense of those terms, but the beliefs and practices of Horrobin are void of biblical foundation, going well beyond the bounds of anything the Word of God teaches about dealing with demons.
More seriously however, Mr. Horrobin abandoned his dear wife, divorced her, and married a younger woman. While there was no evidence of any adultery at all, Mr. Horrobin reportedly accused her of 'spiritual adultery', which also has absolutely no biblical basis whatsoever (apart from the limited context of ancient Israel's idolatry and worldliness in the church in James 4:4, which even here has nothing to do with Christians getting divorced and remarried). The only adultery according to the New Testament would be Mr. Horrobin's, and if he is going to cast a demon out of somebody, perhaps he should begin with himself.
I am indeed disgusted and ashamed that such divorce and remarriage takes place within what is suppose to be The Body of Christ. I am additionally appalled that it has infiltrated into what is suppose to be God's End Times purposes for The Jews. But most of all I am in agreement with those who writing to us who are totally bemused by respected figures like Lance Lambert and Derek Prince joining forces with it in direct rejection of the clear teaching of the Jesus Christ to whom they will one day give account.
God hates divorce, and a true Christian will always not only love what God loves, but because they love The Lord, will also hate what God hates, including so called preachers dumping their wives like a sack of rubbish and taking off with another one. Paul writes that we should not associate with such immoral so called brothers (1 Corinthians 5:9). Jesus' teaching is that divorce and remarriage are adultery, and those not abiding in his teaching are not even to be greeted. For if we do as much as greet them we participate in their evil deeds (2 John: 9-11).
Not only do Johannas Facius, Derek Prince, and Lance Lambert greet such a one, but Ebenezer promotes him to their board and they all join on a platform in co-ministry with him. This is not guilt by association, but guilt by cooperation. The word of God, not Moriel, says that they participate in his evil deeds.
Moreover, this says to the followers of Derek Prince and Lance Lambert "See, divorce and remarriage must be aall rightbecause Peter Horrobin did it and Lance Lambert and Derek Prince co-minister with him". God however says, that by participating with him, Derek Prince, Johannas Facius, and Lance Lambert have participated in his sin, and as these men purport to be teachers, they will be judged even more strictly than others for doing so, as they willdifficulte to allow themselves to be used by Satan to mislead others by giving credibility to a man who did something so terrible (James 3:1).
Compromising with something God calls wrong by ignoring it and acting as if it did not happen is known in scripture as "Winking The Eye" at sin, (Proverbs 10:10) and the bible says: "they cause trouble, they bring sorrow and they become babbling fools who eventually will come to ruination".
Winking the eye is always ultimately self destructive, but it is sometimes difdficult to know where to draw the line between guilt by association and guilt by cooperation, yet the bible is clear that once immorality or heresy are involved, association becomes cooperation. This is particularly true where platforms or TV slots are shared so that approval of one's ministry becomes automatically implied.
The list of recognized Christian leaders divorcing is incredible. Dr. Charles Stanley, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta, and one of the few doctrinally sound voices on TV has just been divorced by his wife and Christian singer Amy Grant has recently divorced. Those divorcing and re-marrying, even multiple times is also a very sad testimony to the world and an indictment of the church that 'winks the eye' at it.