MONOGAMY AND THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
by Pastor Jeromy John Visser
This evening's sermon is called Monogamy and the Bride of Christ and I would like to discuss the issues of Biblical monogamy and polygamy and how they pertain to us in today's day and age. In all my days I never dreamed I would have to bring forth a study on these clear-cut aspects but many so-called Christians are now injecting venomous 'new doctrines' that promote the taking of more than one wife. The Word of God plainly states that we're to have one bride, period.
It should be no shock that these same 'believers' refuse other Old Testament teachings such as the food Laws or worse but will twist and manipulate scripture out of their own flesh desires to "lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts (2 Timothy 3:6)." After hearing this important sermon I hope that there will be no doubt in your minds that it is part of Yahweh's grand design for His followers to have only one spouse and has always taught as such from the beginning.
What's pretty startling is the fact that it has been only a mere twenty-five years since the Mormon church turned away from its original teachings on race and polygamy resulting in underground 'splinter groups' that now practice this anti-Biblical lifestyle in secret. It is estimated that there are over 30,000 practicing polygamists in America today, a majority of which live in Utah and Arizona -- the recent case of Tom Green and his five wives with twenty-five children might come to our minds.
Like all things in life, we can either choose God or mammon and usually those who fall aside to "the ways of world" do so out of their own selfish desires or flat-out refusal to follow what is clearly defined in our beloved scriptures. We will be expanding upon the themes of marriage as found in our Law while examining the examples of both David and Solomon who both brought evil upon their heads by refusing to do as Yahweh commanded. There is nothing good in having more than one life-partner.
(In The Beginning:)
I'd like to start in Matthew 19:3-6 that reads; "The Pharisees came unto him [Jesus], tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
One means just that -- one. Furthermore, because husband and wife are 'one' they further justify each another as Paul taught; "The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband (1 Corinthians 7:14)." It's also the very reason that we're to "love our wives as their own bodies (Eph 5:28)" because "He that loveth his wife loveth himself (Eph 5:28)." Both man and woman were designed to be one flesh or body -- children are an example of this.
Let's keep reading; "They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so (Matthew 19:7-8)." Again, the Creator Jesus taught that "at the beginning it was not so" meaning that Adam man possessed no ability to "put away his wife" nor was Eve his personal possession (as in little better than an animal).
If one can't see 'the seduction of Eve' as Paul plainly taught and put 'the fall of man[kind]' into proper perspective then they probably can't even see what the next passage is saying; "I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife [singular], except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given (Matthew 19:9-11)."
The word Jesus spoke transliterated as 'fornication' is taken from porneia (Strong's #G4202) which is also where we get our modern-day term of 'porn, porno or pornography.' I am teaching this only to give you something to ponder because while it's sure not the entire meaning of the word it's without a doubt part of it because porneia can also mean "harlotry, adultery, incest or idolatry." Serving another 'god' is also considered 'adultery' against Yahweh so let's keep our eyes and thoughts wholesome.
Also, beware of getting hung-up on terms like 'equality' because it's not the same thing as oneness. Oneness means that both man and woman are to be one unit with different positions while 'equality' is a bogus term that has been perverted by the enemy. If the Israel people are God's 'bride' and the bridegroom Jesus is considered 'one' with God then we're to do the same as He and have only one spouse. Jesus Christ is our perfect example to follow and thankfully He has only one bride -- us.
(One Wife Only:)
Turn with me in your Bibles to 1st Timothy, chapter 3 and we'll begin reading right at the top; "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach." Now, skip on down to verse 12; "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." Straight-forward enough.
In this particular chapter Paul is addressing the requirements for a 'bishop' of Jesus' own church meaning that any so-called pastor who preaches that it's okay to have more than one wife under the New Covenant isn't to be harkened to and is in violation of the scripture, period. One wife is simply that - one. Many snakes will try to wiggle out of this one by saying that they're not preachers nor involved with the church so it doesn't apply but we're all called to be teachers so it doesn't work.
Paul gets much more specific however; "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife [singular], and let every woman have her own husband [singular]. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband (1Co 7:2-3)." In these verses Paul is specifically using the term wife and husband in the individual sense -- it certainly doesn't say 'many wives.' This is also a New Testament commandment.
While Paul's personal choice was to take no bride of his own he also taught us that "it is better to marry than to burn (1st Corinthians 7:9)" giving everybody the option to marry another or not. He also repeats a very similar admonition to Titus; "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God (Titus 1:6-7)." As you can see already Paul was supportive of monogamous marriage in general.
Monogamy is not just a New Testament principle by the way because the 10th Commandment reads; "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife [singular], nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's (Exodus 20:17)." We should also take note that whenever the Mosaic law had so-called 'provisions' for polygamy it always reads conditional like; If he take him another wife (Exodus 21:10)."
Before looking closer at the kings David and Solomon we should first establish the fact that the taking of more than one wife is expressly forbidden for Israelite kings; "Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold (Deuteronomy 17:17)." There are several examples of polygamists found in our Bibles but practically every time this act occurs there is a direct negative result because of it.
(Bad Biblical Examples:)
The first recorded polygamist was the murderer Lamech
(Genesis 4:23–24) followed by Esau (Genesis 26:34) and because Yahweh's Law flat-out forbids the kings of Israel to be polygamous
examples of disobedience can be seen by the murderous 'sibling rivalry' between David’s sons from his different wives. Solomon’s hundreds of wives helped lead Solomon to idolatry (1st
Kings 11:1–3) while Hannah (Samuel’s mother) was humiliated by her husband Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah (1
Even the beloved Jacob desired only Rachel but was tricked by his uncle Laban into accepting her sister Leah resulting in seven more years of his servitude. Father Abraham wanted only Sarah but fell aside and accepted Hagar because of the prompting from his 'faithless wife' to have a child as her own. Hagar the Egyptian is eventually expelled from Abraham's camp and her mixed son Ishmael is considered "wild' and "against every man (Genesis 16:12)." Most Christians are familiar with these two accounts.
During a low point in king David's reign he conspires to murder Uriah the Hittite so he can wed his wife Bathsheba. For this act of treason against God's Law and humanity, the prophet Nathan says; "because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of YHVH to blaspheme, the child also born unto thee shall surely die (2nd Samuel 12:14)." As we can see for ourselves, David was found guilty of violating the Law and two others lose their life -- Uriah and the unfortunate progeny.
David's other son by Bathsheba was Solomon who later became the third king of Israel ruling in his father's place. While the wisdom of king Solomon has no equal neither then nor now, later in life he "did evil in the sight of the Yahweh (1st Kings 11:6)" because "his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with Yahweh his God, as the heart of David his father (1st Kings 11:4)." For a deeper study, request the Solomon's Strange Wives CD or read it at our website.
(Jesus' Own Bride:)
Hopefully I have already given you plenty of Biblical references and reasons against polygamy. A more overlooked reason against this practice lies within 'the bride of Christ' itself -- Jeremiah 3:14-15 teaches us; "Turn, O backsliding children, saith YHVH; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding."
The deeper student is aware that this is the very 'Bible story' itself and that "God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16)" comes as Emmanuel "God with us (Matthew 1:23)" to reclaim his precious bride -- the Israel people. In Revelation 21:9 it says; "Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife" proving that His 'saints' are a specific remnant of believers. This account has been billed as The Greatest Love Story Never Told but I say it's a rather clear-cut Biblical concept.
John the Immerser gives us a glimpse of this; "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled (John 3:30)." The very Covenant itself is a teaching against polygamy because God's unfaithful bride continually goes 'a whoring after [other] gods (Exodus 34:15)" and if it were not so there would be no 'chosen people' who are called more than the 'stranger.'
The reason for this is clear; "Did not he [YHVH] make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For YHVH, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith Yahweh of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously (Malachi 2:15-16)." I'm not ashamed to be called a "seedliner."
Like usual, I pray that Jesus Christ -- the bridegroom -- get honored through this evening's sermon. If any so-called 'reverend' comes along introducing this destructive heresy we should be able to render a harsh rebuke based on the examples I've provided. Jesus equates his people as "equal" to the angels in Luke 20:34-36 so it shouldn't be a big thing for men to love their wives as themselves as we're commanded. You can't love your wife 'as yourself' without equating her on the same level that you are.
Paul says; "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God (1st Corinthians 11:11-12" meaning that if we're to love our wives as ourselves than our woman would also be allowed to have several husbands if their bogus theory were correct. You'll find that sinful men who push this false teaching would also never consider sharing their wives with numerous suitors.
"Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them (Colossians 3:19)." War for Christ! Amen.
[ Date: Wednesday,
April 8th, 2005 ]
Last Page Update: March 28, 2010
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