The Very High Calling of Marriage
The Word of God regarding marriage is a much bigger lesson than just physical marriage to those given to receive it. The standards for marriage be they spiritually with our Lord or physically with our God-given spouse, are far higher than we first believed. Not many are able to receive the truth of the gospel and even fewer to walk it out in faith; however, the Lord has chosen some to be His preacher and go to those prepared to hear.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
The word of God is not bound by men’s lack of understanding or lack of faith. It will go forth and be preached and save those who are given to believe, whether men are pleased with it or not.
2Ti 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Getting this marriage issue correct is far greater than just knowing how to behave in our physical marriages. Marriage is the symbol and parable of our relationship with the Lord and the lessons learned about spiritual marriage apply to the physical and vice-a-versa.
Those in the true faith strive to obey the Lord and that means enduring through all the trials the Lord puts into our path. Those in true faith being dead to the law of sin and death [their carnal reasonings] are resting from their own works and stand in Christ. To those in faith, the simple commands of the Lord are clear and there is no allowance for divorce in any case or situation. We wait and trust in the Lord and do as we are commanded in seeking restoration if that be His will. This study will expose the errors of Babylon that continue to trouble many in seeing the truth and are still being used by the adversary to muddy the waters of life and sow confusion. The calling for the faithful few coming out of the chosen few that come out of the many called is truly high.
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The function of marriage [Joh 6:63] is a shadow of our relationship with Christ as His bride and He as our husband. Our marriage to Christ is for life and that is how the Lord wants His people to view and act on their physical marriages. Being married in spirit or in clay, we become one with one another and it that view those in the Body are married to one another and are never to be permanently divorced. These commands are to be obeyed in the same way we are not to physically commit adultery, fornicate, get drunk with wine, murder, etc.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
So right here the principle of oneness and the inseparableness of marriage is shown as the commandment of the Lord. The Lord does not have two standards or rules for Himself and for us. There is only one standard and we are to strive to follow His example and life in all things.
1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
There are many more witnesses to this to establish it solidly as truth and the doctrine of Christ. The Lord never leaves us or forsakes us and that is our example to our spouses when we are married physically.
Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Marriage as the spiritual example shows that it was always intended by the Lord to be for life. The exceptions most believe comes from the law of the Gentiles [the law of sin and death – carnal reasoning] and not from faith and belief in the gospel. This is the same as leaning on one’s own understanding and is a departure from the faith. The Lord’s own words tell us that there is no provision made for divorce or putting away from the beginning as we will soon see. Our obedience [love] is being completed as we grow in faith, stand in the face of our suffering and wait for the Lord to finish His work making no provision for the flesh.
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love [obey] the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Keeping Christ’s commandments is the end goal and purpose of the Lord’s work in us.
Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Pro 7:2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
Our marriage to Christ only occurs in the day of the Lord [Day 3]. This is important to understand as what was lawful and righteous under the law, before our day of the Lord and marriage to Christ, is no longer good enough to enter into the kingdom of God. Scribes and Pharisees are us before we know the Lord and before we are given faith to believe the gospel. When faith has come, the standard for righteousness is much much higher.
Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Pharisees argued with Christ about the way of life and those arguments will continue in our life when Christ comes to us and we begin to walk by faith and follow Him. Those being made righteous walk by faith trusting nothing of themselves and their carnal reasonings that were all perfectly lawful under the law for a carnal nation, yet we cannot enter into life and know the Lord while we are bound to that law.
Eze 20:25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
It is those few given faith upon whom the gospel is received and believed meaning the time of reformation is come to them.
Heb 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Christ the reformer, who changed what is lawful under faith, never uttered the word divorce in the times of reformation. Divorce is never an option under the law of faith [gospel] as the commandment is clear and simple: what God has joined let no man separate. Those that cannot receive the hard to accept yet simple truths show their unbelief and continued bondage to the law of sin and death in wanting to reason the Lord’s commandments. Hopefully, the truth will be heard and they will be set free of that bondage.
We are all hardened in unbelief at first, rich with our knowledge of the Scriptures and outward obedience. Yet we lack one critically important thing. This trial brings new light on this parable.
Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Mat 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
The true gospel is not received or meant for those who are rich, it is meant and received only by the poor [Luk 4:18] who of themselves are counting on the Lord in all things.
Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
In the day of the Lord, our wedding day with the Lord, it is no longer about the knowledge and our reasonings of the Scriptures which is a continuation of our being under the law and seeking to justify ourselves. That is what Pharisees and Sadducees do as they search the Scriptures trusting on that knowledge [riches] yet being unwilling to obey the simple commands. Such ones think they are awake to life yet are sleeping until awakened when Christ comes, and His commandments arise within us.
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Joh 5:40 And ye will not come to me, [MY COMMANDMENTS] that ye might have life.
Truth is rejected and those in unbelief will follow men who come in their own name with their spiritual riches and reasonings.
Joh 5:43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name [his own carnal reasonings about the commandments], him you will receive.
Joh 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
Sadly, some are now falsely believing that since their husband is “spiritually dead” and reasoning they could bear more fruit elsewhere have made plans and inquiries regarding departing their marriage via divorce. This is a total twisting and perversion of Paul’s words that Peter warned us we would experience that is called the error of the wicked.
2Pe 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16 As also in all his [Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
Note the intro of Peter reference to Paul mentioning the cross and our longsuffering to find salvation. Those standing in the faith will not be complaining to God they are condemned to a loveless marriage, they will know this is the cross, the longsuffering to which those in faith are appointed and in that they should be rejoicing.
Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
May the Lord open the eyes of understanding, so these errors are spotted for what they are — a stark departure from the true faith and living God. Lord willing, we are teaching all to stand by faith and wait on the Lord, letting no man take their crown by coming down from their cross.
Rev 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
The Gospel: Jesus Christ and Him Crucified
It is important to remind ourselves what is the gospel and how that is central to our faith. We are to believe the gospel and all the related promises of God. The gospel is also known as the “gospel of grace”. It is all about trials and us going to the cross and trusting in the Lord and the example He gave us.
Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
When we begin to reason the marriage or any commandments, we are being moved by another gospel that has one reasoning under the law of sin and death when one should or can depart a marriage. This is known as adding to the Word of God and that will bring further plagues and deceptions upon us if we are not given to repent and believe the gospel.
Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
We are told many times we must endure to end, finish our race in order to be saved and be given the overcoming of our sins. We won’t make it if we come down from the cross. All such reasoning is our carnal mind that will naturally seek and reason away sufferings. It is not of faith but from our father the devil who is rebuked when the truth is spoken.
Mat 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
When we twist the Lord’s commandments, we are fallen from grace and our faith [is now unbelief] is said to be in vain.
2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law [Rom 2:15 – carnal reasonings of Gentiles]; ye are fallen from grace.
Not many mighty works of the Spirit [i.e overcoming] are done if we abide in the midst of unbelievers. This is why the canker that has been spread about marriage needs to get out of our fellowship. It casts even more doubt upon the Lord’s promises if only we would believe.
Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
This dispute manifested when efforts to provide answers to “practical questions” about marriage and divorce was initiated. Immediately one in truth could see how this took the conversation away from Christ and turned it back to man’s own carnal reasonings under the law. The trumpet has been blown via this study and Lord willing, faithful watchmen will continue to expose these errors and departures from the only true faith that will save us.
Rather than entertain speculative hypothetical “what if” questions, acting in faith, would have us just believing the Lord. His promises to us include that He won’t give us a trial beyond what we can handle [1Co 10:13]. Is the Lord not capable of making sure NONE of His little ones is abused to the point of no return? Of course, He is more than capable, yet our carnal reasoning will continue to doubt and keep us in unbelief.
Mat 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man [trusting in his own reasonings and wisdom] to enter into the kingdom of God.
Mat 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
When we even begin to entertain the idea of divorce as a believer, we are entertaining our carnal reasonings. All of it is doubting the promises of the Lord who tells us He is capable of ensuring none of his sheep are put into an untenable situation. When we go beyond what is written it is not of faith but carnal works under the law. Here are two witnesses proving the Lord will not bring any trial we cannot handle.
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation [trial, grace, THE GOSPEL] taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Eph 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace [the fiery trials] according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
We must be found faithful in the end. This means we will not abandon the gospel but live it and declare it boldly in opposition to man’s wisdom and reasonings.
1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
If we claim to be Jesus Christ, of His Body and of His faith, then we best get with the program of knowing it is appointed we be crucified and lose our life. The bar is truly high and carrying a cross is harder than we thought just yesterday. We will learn to trust in the Lord and His promises to deliver us from evil and not try us beyond what we can bear. When the Lord comes to your personal earth [Luk 18:8] will He find faith? We know from the sum it will indeed be very few in this age, the vast majority of the chosen few will fall away from the truth and follow the fables of their carnal reasoning.
Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Those not ordained to have faith will depart and walk no more with Christ once they are told how high the bar is and what the Lord demands from us. This includes disciples who believed and walked with Christ for years even the one holding the bag of riches [knowledge of the Scriptures].
Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Anyone reasoning hypothetical questions and advising women to seek a divorce in order “to bear fruit unto the Lord” or do good works, has already departed from the faith and remain under the law of the Gentiles.
Gal 5:4 Christ becomes of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love [1Jo 5:3 – obedience]
Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Gal 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
The will of God is that we abstain from fornication [spiritual and physical] and walk by faith in Him and His commandments alone. We are not to give heed to these reasonings and carnal questions which are in fact spiritual fornication.
1Ti 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity [obedience] out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
The end of the commandment is a clear conscience towards Christ. The new command is much higher than “love your neighbor as yourself”.
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
We are to love others including our spouse as Christ loved us. A truly godly husband or wife acting in faith is sanctifying her spouse in Day 3 as they submit to Christ and give up their life [and carnal reasonings] to die in order to sanctify themselves and their spouse. It is the same example the Lord gave to His people to follow. As the Lord was sent, so He sends His true ones to die for the sinners and unbelievers [Joh 20:21].
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us [we are His spouse]
If we are unwilling to do this our faith is feigned meaning we are not in the faith and have fallen from the true grace of God. Christ is not attractive to anyone’s flesh, His commands are deemed too harsh and unloving by our carnal mind [Isa 53:2]. Christ rebuked the Pharisees strongly for trusting in their own knowledge and reasonings and unwillingness to come to Him with childlike faith. We are all those Pharisees and will naturally want to please the flesh and our hearers with smooth words that sound godly but are a departure from the law of faith.
Isa 30:9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
The time to be on guard for this is now, in the last days [Day 3] as the Lord is saving His people.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
This truth that is the gospel is not going to be popular. We need to be extremely wary of reasoning away any of His commands the very force Paul dealt with and wrote often about in his epistles to warn us of the same.
Prisoners of Christ preach the commandments and singleness of the gospel knowing it is never going to be well received and will instead bring persecution and much opposition from our own spiritual family.
1Th 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
1Th 2:3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
1Th 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
The simple truth and our obedience to those commandments is far better than volumes of knowledge that twist away the judgment of the Lord and make provision for flesh.
Pro 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice [judgment].
Our trials, even severe trials in marriage, are to teach us and produce the fruit of the Spirit in us. Lord willing, we will learn to trust the Lord in all things and wait on Him. Ruling and reigning with Christ over our flesh requires us losing that life to gain spiritual life. Our calling is extremely high as are the costs!
Mat 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
Luk 18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
“Disciples indeed” will be differentiated from disciples when the heat of the Lord’s trials is turned on and we are told to stand in faith and trust Him. Few are given to continue but some will hear and believe the gospel.
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
We are to continue in the commands and not to seek to exit a trial. Our doing so wrests away the judgment of God against our carnal life the very experience that is saving us from our sins. So, it is with all of the Lord’s commandments and the accompanying trials He brings to accomplish our obedience and that includes issues pertaining to marriage.
Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
The Simple Marriage Commands
The risen Christ within us is the rising of His commandments within us! It is those commands to which we should look to establish what is good and acceptable in His sight. The most basic commandment regarding marriage is to stay married and not seek to depart from what the Lord has joined together. Regarding marriage, the high calling is not difficult to pin down.
1Co 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, [this is a command] Let not the wife depart from her husband:
1Co 7:11 But and if she depart, [here is another command of the Lord] let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
We need to be watchful for the Pharisee spirit within us, that is yet carnal and wants to reason away the simplicity of the commandment. Here are some more witnesses to the simple truth that divorce is not an option under the law of faith, it only being for the carnally minded who are bound by the law.
Mat 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5 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?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
It is such a basic truth that the Lord causes and works all things [Eph 1:11] and has already determined every day and minute detail of our life [Psa 139:16, Isa 46:10]. This means that all of our physical marriages were ordained and caused by the Lord. The Lord did it, He joined us together with our spouse be they a believer or an unbeliever. We or no man is to be taking any action of cause to separate what the Lord has joined together.
No matter what the trials the Lord gives us, we are to stay married and trust and wait on the Lord, striving to obey Him in all ways. Divorce is all related to the law for the lawless not for those that walk by faith in Christ and believe in the gospel. Pharisees do not know the Lord and do not have faith and will reason against Christ [the Word, the commands]. Christ uses this to teach His disciples, those with ears to hear, the difference between the law of Moses/Gentiles and the law of faith.
Mat 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
Mat 19:8 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.
Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away [G630] his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Here we have some added details and contrast given by the Lord. These are some of the most butchered and mistranslated verses in all the Scriptures.
Putting Away versus Divorce
It is critically important to know the difference between “putting away” and “divorce” as all the orthodox doctrines have it wrong as do the translators in nearly every version. These differences between divorce and putting away are as applicable to spiritual marriage as they are to physical marriage. Referencing how we behave in trials with our brethren, to whom we are married in Spirit, will be a huge reinforcement and witness to how we are to act in our physical marriages with divorce and putting away. Remember, physical marriage is just a shadow of a larger spiritual principle.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
These verses have been horribly mistranslated and continue to this day to give cover to the carnal reasoning and confusion on what are truly simple commandments of the Lord. Here is the NKJV
Mat 5:31 (NKJV) “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
Mat 5:32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
The NKJV words bolded in every case are not the word for divorce. The subject being discussed is putting away if you look into the actual Greek words. Here is the KJV which gets it right in two of the three places G630 is referenced.
Mat 5:31 (KJV) It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away [G630] his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away [G630] his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced [G630 – should say put away] committeth adultery.
The reason it is considered adultery if one marries someone who is put away is that such a one is not divorced, remains married and is thus unable to marry another.
There is another blockbuster error that has sowed much confusion over the commands about putting away. One needs to understand that “putting away” a spouse for any cause other than fornication causes the one disobeying the Lord to commit adultery. It is an error to say the one put away is caused to commit adultery as nearly every bible translation says. Such reasoning is contrary to the Lord and who is to bear the inequity of sins.
Eze 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him [the one doing the sinning, committing adultery by their disobedience]
Adultery is our disobedience to the Lord’s commandments spiritually speaking. Said another way, it is our unfaithfulness to our Lord or His commandments. The translators add to the carnal confusion over this by choosing to use the word “her” for G846 which adds to the twisting of this commandment. The correction to this verse, which is 100% consistent with how the Greek word is used elsewhere is shown below.
Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her [G846 – himself or the same (i.e. the one doing the act of putting away)] to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is put away [divorced] committeth adultery.
The wrongly put away wife does not commit adultery just because they have been put away. What the Lord is saying, again consistent with the definition of spiritual adultery, is the disobedient husband [spouse] who puts away his wife [spouse] without cause is committing spiritual adultery with His Lord. The works of our flesh in all manner come back to adultery [our disobedience] which always seems to listed first in a list of sins.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness …
The Pharisees asked Christ about “putting away” in Matthew 19 not divorce and His answer was changing the law on putting away. Divorce was only mentioned by the Lord in His answer as he contrasted what was lawful under the law of Moses/Gentiles versus the new standard. The Lord in giving new commands is speaking about PUTTING AWAY a spouse, not divorce. As is the case for all things under the law of faith, the bar for obedience is being raised considerably.
Under the law for a carnal nation, one could put away their spouse for any reason so long as they gave a writ of divorce. Under the law of faith, one can only put away [NOT DIVORCE] for the cause of fornication. Both aspects of the “putting away” command are being raised to a higher standard. The reasons for putting away are being limited to just fornication and the option to permanently cut them off by divorce has been removed. The bar for those that walk by faith, trusting the Lord in all things has truly been raised HIGH.
Nothing in these so-called divorce verses in the Beatitudes, properly divided, that actually speak about “putting away’ are suggesting anyone in the faith can divorce their spouse and do so in the faith. They are speaking about putting away, doing the same thing the Lord does to us, and commands we do to those who spiritually fornicate in the Body of Christ to whom we are married. The Lord is 100% consistent in what He does with us, what we are told to do to our brethren spiritually and how we are to handle issues in the physical.
Only the Lord can and will end marriages He ordains and causes to be ended. Paul speaks the Lord’s commandments consistently as the Lord and tells us not to depart [divorce] our marriages.
1Co 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
1Co 7:11 But and if she depart [in a putting away only situation], let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband [leave/forsake/divorce] put away [not G630] his wife.
As the sum of the word shows us with eyes to see when addressing all these aspects of fornication, we are to separate for a time and a season always holding out the hope of reconciliation.
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross [our dying daily, carrying the cross, walking only by faith], by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Being married in Spirit to our fellow brethren, the spiritual or physical “Corinthian” fornicator is not to be permanently cut off or divorced forever. They are to be put away with the intent they will be reconciled back in due time. The Lord does not make it confusing, He is consistent in how the commands are applied.
1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
The law of faith has us staying unmarried and seeking reconciliation with our spiritual and physical spouses rather than divorce.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Christ dies for His enemies while they yet sin in order to reconcile them back to Himself. In the same way and example, we don’t forsake our spouses, we seek reconciliation and wait upon the Lord.
1Co 7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away [not G630 – leave or forsake] his wife.
Those holding to false doctrines and causing divisions in the church [the fellowship to whom we are married in spirit] are spiritual fornicators and they are to be marked and put away [not divorced]. It is the same thing as in our physical marriages. Putting away is intended to bring shame to those fornicating and in due time lead them to be reconciled back. Here are two more examples of putting away a fornicator.
2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him [put him away], that he may be ashamed.
2Th 3:15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid [put them away] them.
The hope of putting someone away is to keep ourselves undefiled and let the Lord bring His wrath and destruction to turn their hearts back [reconcile]. It works the same in our spiritual and physical marriages.
1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Christ puts us away when we spiritually fornicate but always accepts us back when we repent.
Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
The Lord takes us back when we repent, and ultimately the Lord will bring the fire to accomplish that repentance in our day of the Lord.
Isa 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning [repentance] and rest [from your carnal reasonings of self] shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
Under no circumstances are we to leave via divorce and disobey the commandment. Doing so is never of faith in the promises of the Lord including this one.
1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
To the carnal mind, this will seem like a condemnation to a loveless marriage, but to those who believe and trust in the Lord, it unleashes great power [Christ in us] to work many mighty miracles. This is giving all to Christ, the true tithe that will result in many miracles and overcoming, even the Lord sanctifying our unbelieving spouse. Yet so few have faith.
Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing [power to overcome, strength to endure, faith, etc.], that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Welcome to the lake of fire and what walking by faith and carrying a cross is all about! It is a much higher standard and hotter furnace than we first believed. Those being saved in that day learn to wait and trust in the Lord. If He breaks the marriage up, by His causing the unbeliever to depart, then we are no longer under any bondage as happened in several examples in our fellowship.
1Co 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
A godly wife acting in faith can lawfully in faith separate for a time with the consent of their husband, but they cannot divorce in the law of Christ. They stay unmarried and seek to be reconciled back to their husbands in the appointed times as the Lord makes happen.
1Co 7:16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
We return to the Lord, our first love in Day 3, walking out the gospel, carrying our cross to death that has us striving for the high calling God commands as it was from the very beginning. In the beginning, before the law of Moses/Gentiles was given, there was no option for putting away much less divorce.
Mat 19:8 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.
That is the high calling of God and where faith brings us back to when we are released from the law of carnal reasonings. It is a hard saying but divorce by the believer for any reason, is contrary to faith and there are zero exceptions. This is the message throughout the Scriptures. The reconciling with Judah, the two sisters, Hosea’s unfaithful wife, the prodigal son, the dream is one and the Lord is 100% consistent in His commands and the road to eternal life. When we receive the gospel, Christ marries us.
No matter how or where we are called, we are to abide there and suffer for righteousness sake and obey the Lord and stand in faith. The fruit of righteousness is borne in all of us through our many sufferings.
1Co 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised.` Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
1Co 7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
Unbeliever not Pleased to Dwell with the Believer
These verses have also been widely misunderstood and abused in continuing to encourage and defend those who claim to be in faith to divorce their spouse. Hopefully, the huge distinction of putting away versus divorce puts these verses back into their proper perspective. They speak to PUTTING AWAY not DIVORCE as Paul is by no means now contradicting the Lord and his prior words in the same chapter.
1Co 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
1Co 7:13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
If the Lord wants to end a marriage, He can and will do it. He can easily make the unbeliever to depart lest we forget how sovereign the Lord is. We of little faith need only to believe and wait on the Lord.
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Pro 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Many say they believe the Lord works all things but when their faith is tried on hard issues like marriage trials, they abandon the faith proving to be reprobates.
The true believer being made a prisoner [bondservant] for Christ and never moves or departs from where the Lord has placed him. They bear their reproach, knowing its good work in them and wait on the Lord.
Psa 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
Psa 62:6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
Only the Lord can open and close doors of life that all mankind pass through. We are learning of His Sovereignty in all things in our trials and waiting on Him to deliver us from all our adversaries within and without.
Jer 15:21 And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible.
2Ti 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
We are to be freed from serving our flesh and the old man as we no longer live for ourselves but unto the Lord.
1Co 7:21 Art thou called being a servant [of your flesh and lusts] care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
1Co 7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.
1Co 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
1Co 7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
Paul’s main point here is for us to serve the Lord not our own bellies. We have been bought and now belong to Him as a believer and all of our behavior is to be conformed into godliness. Our service to God is our work for God and that work is quite simply summed up by our Lord.
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Marriage Trials Produce the Fruit of the Spirit
We serve the Lord well when we suffer for the sake of righteousness. We can never in our doctrine imply that being bound to an unbeliever in marriage would hinder one from bringing fruit unto the Lord. That opens the door to the carnal mind to come in and destroy the commands of God. Such avoidance is not how God works. We don’t avoid trials to bring fruit unto God, we go through the trial including being in marriage with an unbeliever.
2Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
If we suffer for doing good, that finds favor with the Lord. That is what staying in a hard marriage does. Without a word we win our spouses over by our conduct and their sanctification process begins. The Lord puts us in those trials to try us and refine us as we suffer with Him. We never seek to escape and wrest the judgment of God away.
1Pe 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
1Pe 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
1Pe 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
And another witness.
1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing [obeying God’s commands], than for evil doing.
We are constantly warned about deception and deceivers that can creep in unawares and lead us astray from keeping His commandments. Those in faith are in the last day and we are warned to stand firm and not to let any many steal our crown and move us away from the simple child life faith in the Lord to deliver us from all evil. These admonishments are everywhere.
Col 1:22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish, and without charge in His sight,
Col 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard and which was proclaimed in all the creation under Heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister,
The subject of marriage is an area the enemy has feasted upon the people of God. Suffering is our appointment and that will only increase the further we stand for the truth against much opposition and endure in our day of the Lord.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
When one infers a believer should depart an unbeliever so they can bear fruit unto God, they have departed the faith and reverted back to carnal reasoning. The trials, the suffering, the afflictions is the grace of God that is saving us and that we must walk through. It is our doing righteousness in the trials that produces the fruit of the Spirit.
Christ’s Christ will save the entire world [their husband, their wife, all mankind] in the appointed time. This begins at home with our physical spouses yet so few truly have the faith to believe that. We either have the Faith of Christ and act on that faith or we do not. Reaping what we sow applies to our faith.
Mat 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith let it be to you.
When we have faith as small as a mustard seed that seeds says believe in Me and lean not on your own understanding. The truth of the Word says we can and will win our spouse back. With God nothing is impossible, but we must have faith for the Lord to work His miracles. That is the way we enter into Christ producing the fruit of the Spirit.
1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation [obedience to commands] of the wives;
1Pe 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
When we find ourselves in difficult and challenging circumstances, we should always seek the Lord first [His Commandments]. Asking Him to come to us and help us, bringing His commands into His Kingdom is how we stand, grow in faith and bear the trial and thereby produce the fruit of righteousness.
Those acting in faith do not seek to depart a marriage even when it is hard and full of trials. Those trials are producing fruit within us and they will in due time begin producing fruit in our spouse. So says the Lord if we only believe and have patience in waiting for Him.
1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
All things, even the suffering, and evil the Lord puts into our path are working together for good of those who believe [Rom 8:28]. To become like our Lord we ourselves must be taught patience and longsuffering. Our Lord long suffers with us, giving us the example of long-suffering with our spouses.
1Co 13:7 [Love, our obedience] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
To remove those trials is in opposition to the true works of God. The believing few are sanctifying the unbelieving both at home now and in the age to come to the whole world. We are being made ministers and sent to those who shall be heirs of salvation.
Rom 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Hard trials in marriage are a great proving ground of our faith to see if we will work the work of God or not.
Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
It is going thru these tribulations and trials that is making us worthy in the kingdom of God.
2Th 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
2Th 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
Our food and drink as the Body of Christ is to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood [Joh 6:53]. That is the only way we find eternal life. We best not water this down with the reasonings of Esau which is our carnal mind. The Lord says such offerings are contemptible to the Lord.
Mal 1:7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
Mal 1:8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
Those that belong to Christ have been bought with a price and live no longer for themselves but unto God. If the Lord, who is working all things, puts us in an unhealthy marriage regardless of the physical and emotional issues involved, our most basic command is to stand and endure what the Lord has worked. The righteous are never moved, it is always the unbelievers who depart.
Psa 21:7 For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.
Navigating the narrow way in marriage, like all issues of life require us to put on Christ and not make any provision for our flesh in our actions.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
As the day of the Lord approaches, the fire of “Day 3” is going to separate the few chosen from the many called when our bondage to Christ and adversity of our sufferings begin to manifest.
Heb 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Those few having received the promise of the resurrection, will not be accusing and excusing under the law of the Gentiles. Instead, they will turn down immediate deliverance and escape from trials so that they might attain to the better promise. Paul wrote of those examples of faith so we might embrace the high calling.
Heb 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
Heb 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
Heb 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
These hard to understand and accept truths will similarly grieve many yet they are the narrow way to eternal life which is knowing the Lord and His Father [Joh 17:3].
Seeking the Lord
When we begin to reason on the commandments, we open the door for strife and contention over what is the narrow way. This is the danger of reasoning off the top line commandment of marriage. For example, what is abuse can be a widely different standard depending on many factors. We must truly be wise and wary of any such carnal reasoning and bring those thoughts into subjection to the commandments. Where we have sincere questions, we are to ask the Lord, go to His Word and Commandments for wisdom when needed.
Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Luk 11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Luk 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
When we are in trouble and need guidance in a marriage, we are to seek the Lord [His Word and Commands] as only He can give us life and deliver us.
Psa 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Pro 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
This does not mean we don’t seek counsel from others but we need to weigh all such counsel against the Lord’s commandments and the high calling. We have so many warnings about the last days and the deceptions we will face as we earnestly contend for the faith.
Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
We should always look within ourselves first to see if our ways please the Lord. That inward focus could change our circumstances.
Pro 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
It is incumbent for the believer to always ask herself or himself, “am I acting in the faith of Christ, am I obeying the commands”?
2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
We should look to ourselves and evaluate our obedience [godly love] to the Lord in seeking to win over our spouse. This is the same as nourishing our enemies by living the example of Christ providing them spiritual bread to eat and water to drink.
Rom 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
We need to grow in contentment as the day of the Lord is all about suffering in the flesh.
1Ti 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
We have a body and a multitude of counselors to whom we can seek further help and encouragement along with our own work for the Lord. These matters should be handled with the utmost privacy as we tempt not anyone with the spirit of gossip.
Pro 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
The issues in this study are important matters of spiritual life and death. Anyone battling hard issues in a marriage should seek counsel in private. Come to the mature brothers or sisters to help you weigh the whole counsel of God and have peace in your heart of what is doing righteousness.
1Jn 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
1Jn 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things [asking in His name – according to faith] that are pleasing in his sight.
The Lord is working all things for good and the counsel of His will including all our trials in physical marriage. The Lord knows what we need and will create the circumstances to accomplish His will in our life. He does not need our help in going to the world’s courts to seek divorce to bring His will about and perform His strange work within us.
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
If we are being saved in this age, a day comes when we will face the fierce opposition to the truth that the Lord, Paul and the disciples faced. When those persecutions and contentions come to sway us away from the truth, we cannot give in even for an hour.
Gal 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
When the commands of the Lord are replaced with many questions and reasonings about specific situations we best beware and know the trial of our faith is at hand. We are to flee from such idolatry.
Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
The day of the Lord is at hand when Christ arises within us and we stand on faith and preach the gospel. Those found worthy will be persecuted and hated by their own people. The Jews put Christ on trial and our faith will also be tested the same as our Lord’s. May we all be counted worthy in our hour of trial.
Act 23:6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”
Marriage is very hard, even for godly couples. But as hard as it is, the Lord is able, He is even stronger. Don’t sell the Lord short in unbelief and trust in Him.
Psa 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
When we trust the Lord and stand in the face of great adversity that is when the Lord steps in and delivers His people. We can do all things in Christ but being in Christ means we have to stand on faith alone and walk the gospel.
Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Many of us began well in faith but grow weary and fall back into perdition. I pray this study will prick the hearts of everyone and awaken them from their sleep in the same way others have already been awakened.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
A prisoner of Christ bound to please Him and not men,