Marriage

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Wedding RingsOkay ladies and gentlemen, what are we going to do about marriage? How do we relate to it? Who am I married to? What constitutes marriage in the eyes of God?

To answer these and many more questions you didn’t even know you had, we again will go to the Bible and start right from the beginning. That is always a good place to start.

In Genesis we read where God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18. There are two points here. 

1) It is not good for man to be alone. 

2) We men need helpers who are suitable for us.

Let’s start with the first point.

Many of you in prison know what being alone is all about. Very few people on the outside understand this concept. And when I mean alone, I mean alone. No radio, no TV, no other human to talk to, etc. You folks in prison can understand that, if you have done any great length of time.

Those on the outside, give it a try. Turn off the TV, the radio, the tape and CD player and computer. Separate yourself from all contact with others for a week and see what happens. Trust God when He says, "It is not good for man to be alone."

Now comes the hard part. A suitable helper! Men and women fulfill each other’s needs perfectly. God designed it that way. Mentally, spiritually, intellectually, sexually and socially. Men need women. Women need men. The problem comes when we place ourselves outside of the role and position which God created for us. Remember when Lucifer moved outside of the position God created for him? Look how much damage and trouble he has caused us and the whole universe.

Choosing a “suitable helper” is no easy task in our world of sin. The Bible lays down what a “suitable helper” is. She must be pure, honest, kind, generous, obedient, respectful, able to raise children with patience and keep a house clean, tidy, neat and lovely for her family. Doesn’t gossip, stays at home with the children and brings a good reputation to the family.

Many of you say that you will wait until you have “tried out the goods” before making a commitment. “I won’t ‘get married’ and that way I won’t be guilty of ‘adultery’”. That won’t work. There is only one way to test the “suitable helper” and that is by using the measuring guide that God has set up. So let’s get started here.

Okay, the Ten Commandments forbid adultery. No problem you say, I won’t get married until I find the right person. Until then, I’ll just sleep around, but I won’t get “legally” married. That should satisfy the “legal requirements of the Law”. No, I’m afraid that won’t work. You see, if you mean by “married”, you are talking about a piece of paper from the state or “authorized” authority of the land, you are in for a big surprise.

 

No, I’m afraid that won’t work. You see, if you mean by "married", you are talking about a piece of paper from the state or "authorized" authority of the land, you are in for a big surprise.

If you want to get to heaven, you must play by heaven’s rules. There is no such thing as "paper" in heaven. So how do you know when you are married? By using the standard God has laid down. How was it in the beginning?

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Genesis 2:24. One flesh. Be united. That is the key concept. When are you married? When you become "united". When is that? At the time of intercourse.

This is why the Ten Commandments only deals with "adultery". The moment you have consensual intercourse with another person, you are "married" in the eyes of God to that person. That is simple. Remember, God keeps everything simple. It is man who messes everything up. Do we have more proof of this "marriage" concept? Yep.

"Cain lay with his wife." Genesis 4:17. No government back then to issue "paper". They were married simply because he lay with her.

"Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah." Genesis 24:67.  Do I need to tell you what they were doing in that tent?

But marriage went even beyond the physical union. A man and woman could be "married" in the eyes of God before the physical union. In Genesis 19:12-14 we find where the angels asked Lot if he had, "sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you?" Lot "spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters." See, they were considered those who "belongs to you".

"If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife". Exodus 22:16.  This is very plain. The moment you have consensual intercourse you are married, in God’s eyes. Now notice that this has to do with a virgin who "is not pledged to be married". That is a big difference. Notice what happens to those who seduce a virgin who is pledged to be married, but has not had intercourse.

"If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death--the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife. You must purge the evil from among you." Deuteronomy 22:23, 24.

God is as serious with marriage as He is with His 7th day (Saturday) Sabbath. Why? Because both were instituted by God. Both were instituted in the beginning BEFORE sin. Both were instituted for the purpose of bringing us the highest quality of good that God could bestow upon us.

Now you understand why Lucifer is so busy trying to destroy both the 7th day (Saturday) Sabbath and the marriage union. Both are unions of the highest degree of sacredness. One to keep mankind pure among themselves, the other to keep mankind pure with His God.

Wow, you say, I have many wives then. Yep, you probably do. You may have a whole harem of wives. Actually, there is nothing Biblically wrong with that, as long as you treat all of them the Biblical way. How is that? “If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.” Exodus 21:10. However, just because God, in the past, in this sinful world, has ‘winked’ at our many wives, we are to obey the laws of the land we are living in. If those laws forbid multiple wives, then we must obey the law. We are to obey the authority that is over us: God, Family, State, Employer, etc., in that order.

 

Since some of you may have many "wives" in the sight of God, you may be thinking to yourself that it would be better off for you to stay in prison. That may be. On the other hand, there is a way out. You see, Jesus said, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." Matthew 19:9.

We live in a world that is full of sin. We have been deceived by the master of all deceptions. Many of us were ignorant of these truths. Of course, do you think Lucifer wants you to know these truths? Of course not. He wants you to sin and sin and sin. He wants you to burn right along with him.

However, Jesus came to save sinners. If we repent of our past wickedness and give our sins to Him, He is faithful and willing to forgive us our past sins. But in order to receive that forgiveness, you must put those sinful behaviors behind you. No more intercourse with another person until you are ready to marry that person and perform your marital rights throughout eternity.

How do you know who to marry? Marry the person who is living the sinless, righteous, holy, perfect life of Christ. If that person you want to marry is not living that life, either wait until he/she does, or find someone else. But you say, what if there are no more people like that? You could be correct. There are very few people living now on the face of this earth who will be going to heaven, therefore, the majority are not living the way God wants them to. If that is the case, do what Paul says. Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-40. That whole chapter is good information.

But let’s say that you can’t find anyone here on this earth. Does that mean that you won’t ever have the wonderful blessings of a wife and children in heaven? Not at all. But you say, Jesus said, "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage." Matthew 22:30.

That is correct. Everything Jesus says is perfect and correct. However, did you listen carefully to what He said? You see, Jesus was not discussing our marriage situation in HEAVEN, but only at the RESURRECTION. That is very important to keep in mind.

 

To understand, we really need to go back and read what brought all that about. It was the Sadducees who came and asked Jesus, "At the RESURRECTION, whose wife will she be…"? Matthew 22:28.

The Sadducees did not believe in angels, in a resurrection, or eternal life. They believed that this life was all we got. Therefore, get it all now, and they did. No matter how you got it, get it now because this was all you were going to get. That is why they were Sad – U – See (Sadducees). They were very sad, since they did not believe in a life after this one.

The same could happen to you. You could become very sad and maybe not want to get to heaven if you couldn’t have a wife and the family you now have. But that is not what Jesus is talking about. He gave the Sadducees only what they asked. They only asked about the "resurrection", so He gave them only about the resurrection.

The fact is, my dear brothers and sisters, at the resurrection we are going to be very busy and there won’t be much time or interest in marriage. First, we have to get off this planet. After we are resurrected, we will take a seven day trip back to heaven. Then, there is that little matter of judgment. There will be a thousand years of looking over the books and getting over our sadness for those who aren’t there. A lot will be happening “at the resurrection”.

"The resurrection" is a one thousand year process. The first resurrection is only the beginning of the process. One thousand years later there will be the second resurrection of the wicked (Revelation 20:5, 6). That whole process is "The Resurrection" time. There will be no marriages taking place during that time.

However, after that time, everything will be made new. "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away." Revelation 21:1.  "The old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4.  Jesus says, "I am making everything new." Revelation 21:5.

But you say, Jesus said we would be like the angels. Yes, but does the Bible say anywhere about the angels being married or single? No! To understand what Jesus meant, read Luke 20:36.  Jesus is only talking about living eternally: like the angels.

Get the point? It will all be made new again, just as it was "new" at the beginning of the world when God created it new to begin with. And what did God create in that new earth? He created marriage and the Sabbath. Both of those were given to us from God. Both were given to last eternally. Both were given when the earth was made new in the beginning, and both will be given again when everything will be made new again. You will live eternally, just like the angels who obey God.

 

In Isaiah we read, "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." The same God here is speaking to Isaiah just as He was speaking to John in Revelation. And what will happen in this new heavens and new earth? Isaiah 65:17.

"As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before Me, so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before Me." Isaiah 66:22, 23.

See, the Sabbath continues. Wow, isn’t that wonderful? God is the same God. The same God who created the Sabbath in the beginning, will continue the 7th day Saturday Sabbath in the "New" beginning. So will marriage. Heaven would be a very lonely place without children. Listen to Jesus again. "They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with Married couplethem." Isaiah 65:23.

And even in the New Testament Jesus confirmed the eternalness of marriage. Listen to Him as He defends marriage: "Jesus replied, ‘But at the beginning of creation God "made them male and female." "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." So why would God separate them in heaven?  He won’t.

That is good news my brothers and sisters. Do not fear, God has a far better plan for you than you could ever imagine. Do not fret or worry. Just be obedient to Jesus and He will take care of everything you have ever dreamed about. The new world will be just like it was before sin entered. It was before sin entered the world that Jesus told Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." Genesis 1:28. So it will be after sin. We will be fruitful and increase in number. We will fill the earth. That is what God created us for, to fill it and to have communion with Him. What sweet fellowship. What a wonderful God.