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Covenant Breaking  [ Menu ]

Covenant Breaking

Doctrine Revealed


Marriage Covenants

Herewith are both the initial question and the subsequent revelation (as when written for the first time) on the matter of covenant breaking doctrine as now preached at this ministry.

These were originally posted to the Friends and Fellowhelpers email listservs, on June 21 and 24, 2000, respectively.

-----Original Message-----
From: E
To: FAF Listerv
Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2000
Subject: Marriage Covenants

I have a question here:

When my wife and I got married, my Marriage Vows included the words "forsake all others and cleave unto my wife."

Now, if this were just a contract between partners, I could claim lack of prior knowledge concerning the fact that God considers Polygyny acceptable, and use this to say I am not bound by that part of my marriage vows.

We are not dealing with a contract, however, but a covenant. There are biblical examples of covenants in which members of the covenant are not entirely aware of the ramifications of all provisions of the covenant when they agree to it. It is however, still binding.

For example, salvation. When we get saved, we come into a covenant relationship with God. I don't know of very many who are truly aware of everything they are agreeing to when they get saved.

And what about the baby born to Jewish parents? He is part of an entire race born under covenant, but of course did not participate in the establishment of the covenant.

I have a hard time coming up with some reason that would allow me to say I am now no longer bound by my agreement to "forsake all others".

If I made that agreement (and I did), and I later come along and say I am no longer bound by it, how can my wife ever trust me? How could she depend on me to stand by my word, from that time on?

I don't see any clear answer to this one. Guys, Gals? Got any ideas? I don't consider the status quo bad. My wife is, in my opinion, one of the best any husband could ever have. But this is important to me. What if God told me to marry a second wife? Would I be bound not to by the terms I made in my first marriage? If my wife decided she liked the concept of polygyny, would that then open the door?



The Founder of this ministy then wrote the following reply, which turned out to be the original revelation that this ministry would thereafter be preaching about the matter of covenant breaking doctrine, as yet another affirmation of love-not-force.

-----Original Message-----
To: FAF Listerv
Date: Saturday, June 24, 2000
Subject: Re: Marriage Covenants

Greetings in the love of the Lord.

Dear Friends and Fellowhelpers,

While this is addressed specifically to E, who raised this excellent issue here, my reply here is going to be another one of those "meaty" replies, which might be of interest to anyone else here who might enjoy these kinds of posts. :-)

I pray this be a blessing for all who have opportunity to read it.

Dear E,

What a blessing you are to us here at FAF!

You have raised an excellent question here. Thank you!

And I see that there have also been some excellent replies to you indeed here at FAF. Amen. (And thank you to all who have indeed so replied, such a great replies!)

I would like to now share some further thoughts on this discussion as well.

E, the issue you raise is precisely why I myself hold that a Christian marriage is defined as being at the consummation between two believers in Christ (although I realize that there are some other denominational views on this), and not to be confused with issues of "hybrid" marriages between believers and unbelievers, to which 1_Corinthians 7:12-16 would otherwise apply. As for believers, though, the marriage is at consummation for, after all, Jacob was married to LEAH in the morning, despite the celebration feast the night before, wherein he thought he was getting his bride Rachel. (See Genesis 29).

Besides, Jesus instructed us to NOT make oaths, to not make swearings.

As it is written,

" Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time,
Thou shalt not forswear thyself,
but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

"But I say unto you,
Swear not at all;
neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool:
neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

"But let your communication be,
Yea, yea;
[[ or ]]
Nay, nay:
for whatsoever is MORE THAN THESE
[[ two sayings ]]
cometh of evil."
(Matthew 5:33-37.)

So, it is for that reason that I do not support the idea of making swearings or vows, even in marriage. Plus, marriage is a permanent relationship for Christians anyway, so that, while spoken words can be recanted (whether rightly or wrongly), a consummation can never be "un-done", even if, as is common among most of us in our fallen world, the bride was not a virgin at marriage.

Now, besides this, though, the question becomes...
Even though the words that are said in a Wedding are often referred to as "Wedding Vows", is there actually any VOWING or OATH-making going on? Or is it more simply, the act of making a committed promise, a contract, a COVENANT?

Although some Weddings might use the following words, (but if so, then they would truly be violating Jesus' words against doing so, as shown above), usually, though, the words of the common known supposed "Wedding vows" do not actually include the terminology of saying "I SWEAR" or "I VOW". And with that as the case, such would then indicate that this is NOT actually a vow or oath, anyway, but is only a COVENANT.

Mind you, this fact does not "get us off the hook" here (as it were), for truly, we are not to break covenants.

As it is written,

" Who knowing the judgment of God,
that they which commit such things
are worthy of death,
not only do the same,
but have pleasure in them that do them."
(Romans 1:31b,32.)

So, we cannot be covenant breakers, either. Not at all.

But there is a difference between a vow and a covenant. Namely, a covenant can be MUTUALLY re-written, even MUTUALLY nullified, while a VOW is a permanent thing. (Even Jephthah still had to fulfill his horrifying VOW of Judges 11:30-39, as even called as being faithful in Hebrews 11:32. Does that horrifying example make it any wonder why Jesus told us not to vow in Matthew 5:33-37? Yikes!)

(Mind you, of course, before some "wag" :-) tries to trip me up here with a funny semantic question....
if one had a made a stupid VOW to serve the devil, such a VOW would not thereafter so bind a man that he could not become saved in Christ Jesus, of course. Praise God His mercy! :-)

The matter before us, therefore, is about the PROMISES which a husband and wife make to each other, that they are not VOWS in actuality but are instead PROMISES, a COVENANT.

And a COVENANT between two parties may certainly be "re-negotiated", as long as it is MUTUALLY agreed. (Then it would not be "covenant breaking".)

Indeed, even the Lord has made a NEW Covenant. (Praise the LORD!)

As it is written,

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; WHICH my covenant THEY BRAKE, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law IN their INWARD parts, and write it IN their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

"And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they SHALL all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
(Jeremiah 31:31-34.)

Alleluia Hallelujah!

And as that is all explained in another place,
as it is written,

"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

"For finding fault with them, he saith,
[[ the above passage as we just saw from Jeremiah 31:31-34 ]]
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws INTO their mind, and write them IN their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

"In that he saith,
A new covenant,
he hath made the first
[[ covenant ]]
old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."
(Hebrews 8:7-13.)

The LORD has indeed made a NEW Covenant (Hallelujah!), thereby indeed showing us the difference here between covenants and vows.

However, obviously, for any one who might think that they or any of us should be or are still under the old covenant, thinking that they had not been one to "break it", such ones might be thus perceiving that the Lord made the new covenant without a mutuality of their consent.

This would not be correct, of course, because of these two things:

  1. ) None of us today were alive at the time of the making the New Covenant as made with the blood of Christ, which means that we as only offered the New Covenant anyway (by God's grace), as the old covenant would "vanish away".

  2. ) As it is written,
    "the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given unto them that believe."
    (Galatians 3:22)

    Because, as it is written,
    "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all"
    (James 2:20),

    therefore truly, as it is written,
    "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
    (Romans 3:23)

    Hence, the LORD
    "hath made
    [[ Christ our Lord ]]
    to be sin for us: who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
    (2_Corinthians 5:21.)

    Alleluia Hallelujah!

So, rather than His holding fast to the Old Covenant, the LORD in His wondrous mercy made a NEW Covenant, for our good. Alleluia!

And this brings us back to the marriage issue.

We know that the marriage (itself) is NOT open to "re-negotiation", even though a COVENANT may indeed be so "re-negotiated" when done MUTUALLY. (This is why I say that a Christian marriage is not defined as being at the time of making a covenant, but only at the consummation between the two believers.) Marriage may not be "un-done", even if COVENANTS may be "re-negotiated".

(And, obviously, such "re-negotiation" may ONLY be done within the confines of righteous and Scriptural doctrine. This fact should be understood as a "given" here, but it had to be said here, just in case anyone might misunderstand or mis-apply the points being made herein. That is, a Christian may not "re-negotiate" a New COVENANT in their marriage with unGodly concepts that are outside the parameters of righteous Godly Christian Marriage doctrine.)

Truly, even as COVENANTS might be able to be MUTUALLY "re-negotiated" (within the righteous parameters), the Christian MARRIAGE itself is still permanent and not subject to being "changed", regardless of any such MUTUALITY of agreement between the wife and husband.

Regarding this permanence in Christian Marriage, this is quite clear in the Scriptures.

When the Pharisees asked the Lord Jesus in Matthew 19:3 if it was acceptable for a man to divorce his wife for "EVERY CAUSE" or reason, Jesus replied in the verses through verse 9, saying back the exact answer of Deuteronomy 24:1. According to that, no, the only ONE exception whereby a man was therewith allowed to put away a wife was "her uncleanness", her being in fornication ---and for no other reason could he put her away.

After all, we know that,
as it is written,

"For the LORD... saith that he hateth putting away".
(Malachi 2:16a,c.)

And indeed, in Jesus' reply to the Pharisees in that passage of Matthew 19:3-9, He starts His answer by making reference to the fact that a consummation can not be "un-done", as being thereafter as "ONE FLESH".

As it is written,

"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. "
(Matthew 19:4-6.)

And then, at the end of His reply to the Pharisees,
as it is written,

"And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, EXCEPT IT BE FOR FORNICATION
[[ just as explained in Deuteronomy 24:1 ],
and shall marry another
[[ replacing the unjustly put away wife, violating Exodus 21:10 ]],
committeth adultery
[[ by causing the unjustly put away wife to break her wedlock ]]:
and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."
(Matthew 19:9.)

So, Jesus was clearly explaining how permanent Christian Marriage truly is.

Moreover, we have the COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD in 1_Corinthians 7:10-11 that the husband must not put away a wife.

As it is written,

"And unto the married I command,
yet not I,
[[ commands this ]],
Let not the wife depart from her husband:

But and if she depart,
let HER remain unmarried,
be reconciled to her husband:
and let not the HUSBAND put away his wife. "
(1_Corinthians 7:10-11.)

And so yet again, this goes back to my own reasoning for saying that Christian Marriage is defined as being at the consummation between two believers, as THAT is permanent, something which, once done, one can never go back and "un-do". (Hence the reasoning why we should also get back to holding virginity back to its proper place, so that that would impact our thought-process along these matters, bit that's another heart-filled discussion altogether. :-)

And so, the matter is that, while marriage, as being defined as at consummation between two believers in Christ Jesus (because a believer should not deliberately become unequally yoked, as in "married", with an unbeliever, as per 2_Corinthians 6:14), the CHRISTIAN Marriage between two true believers (as opposed to fakes) is permanent.

As it is written,

"The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only
[[ that she marry a believer man ]]
in the Lord."
(1_Corinthians 7:39.)

And as it is written in another place.

"For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."
(Romans 7:2-3.)

So, truly Christian Marriage is permanent, so long as the husband lives.

But while the Christian Marriage is so permanent, the terms of the promises made, the COVENANT, however, those may be MUTUALLY "re-negotiated".

And as such, if a first wife mutually agrees with her husband for a "re-negotiation" of their marriage COVENANT, whereby the whole "forsaking all others" clause is mutually agreed to be deleted, all so that another wife, were God to so call that to happen (as per 1_Corinthians 7:17), would thereafter be able to easily enter the family, then all that should certainly be fine and proper. In such case of mutually made "re-negotiation" to therewithafter remove that binding clause upon the husband, then there is no covenant breaking occurring.

Mind you, this is not to suggest that a wife has a sort of "veto-power", as that is not Scriptural. (That's because this is about the husband's own authority to which he binds himself in this matter, that his word be ever true.) But rather, this is simply saying that a first wife's inability to embrace Christian Polygamy most often has more to do with the man not YET helping her to be able to embrace it, than about much else. So, one should look at her inability not so much as "disobedience", but rather as a symptom for the man to grow even moreso in his selflessly-giving Christ-like love to her, so that she could then come to embrace it.

And truly, this whole matter yet again brings us back to the TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force and whether God really DID call a man to add another wife to their family.

We know that it is only as the Lord would so call.

As it is written,

"But as God hath distributed to every man,
as the Lord hath called every one,
so let him walk.
And so ordain I in all churches."
(1_Corinthians 7:17.)

Be it

  • NO wife,
  • ONE wife, or
  • MORE THAN ONE wife,
it should only be as God would call.

And we know that God would not call a man to be a COVENANT BREAKER, nor to have his Christian Marriage be torn apart as the first wife is not yet able to embrace Christian Polygamy. (God hates divorce, even threat of divorce.)

But clearly, such men who would apply the FORCE view of polygamy are indeed willing to be a COVENANT BREAKER with a first wife, as such men would be seeking to UNILATERALLY re-write the COVENANT which they had each made with their first wives. And as we saw, the Scriptures show us that God says that covenant breakers are "worthy of death", as it is written,

" Who knowing the judgment of God,
that they which commit such things
are worthy of death,
not only do the same,
but have pleasure in them that do them."
(Romans 1:31b,32.)

And this verse even goes so far as to refer to how such ones, including COVENANT BREAKERS, not only commit such things, but even HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM too! (God forbid.)

And so, if God would call a man to more than one wife, then the Lord would work the work, the Lord would help the first wife embrace it to indeed have the calling.

But if a man has to FORCE polygamy in his family, by just "marrying" another without regard for his first wife or for his COVENANT with her, then how could God be involved in that with which to even start?

And yet, we have a better way, truly given of God, for our good, as we move forward with the TRUTH BEARER Mission of Bringing Christian Polygamy to the Churches:

We have come to know it as the TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force, that a MAN must grow in such profound selflessly-giving Christ-like love for his first wife that he thereby helps her to willingly embrace Christian Polygamy.

And surely, as God is fully able, therefore, if God truly indeed ever calls a man to marry another wife, then, because we know that the LORD hates divorce, and opposes CONVENANT BREAKING, the Lord would most assuredly also empower the first wife to gladly embrace it as well. The LORD would not ever "need" a man to FORCE polygamy on his wife to perform His Will, because the Lord hates divorce (and would not use "testimonies" which would lead others to fall into divorce) and the Lord condemns covenant breaking.

The LORD is able to do His own will.

If God calls a man to polygamy, the Spirit is ABLE to work the work as the man simply walks in love-not-force.

And so what we really see here is yet another confirmation from the Scriptures of the necessity for the TRUTH BEARER Vision of love-not-force in Christian Polygamy, (in addition to the simple Spiritual truth of it all, and that men not lose their first wives by otherwise wrongly applying the cruel FORCE view upon them). Namely, this additional affirmation that this this gives is that love-not-force would also cause none of us to be COVENANT BREAKERS, nor to teach others to do so, all of which is "worthy of death", as we saw in Romans 1:31b,32.

Additionally, this message also forewarns us to whom we should beware if any ones among us might attempt to teach us of Christian Polygamy principles ---especially forewarning us if these one would even be so audacious to even purport to be "called of God" to teach Christian Polygamy, while their testimony is that of being such an unrepented COVENANT BREAKER (even if their first wife later acquiesced to the unilaterally changed covenant.)

Contrariwise, when a man follows and applies the message of love-not-force, it is not about his being cruel toward the "wife of his covenant" (as in Malachi 2:14) and not about being so self-absorbed so that he simply FORCES or "expects" her to "just accept" what he has self-exaltingly "decreed". Rather, it is about a man growing with so much profound love for his wife, so profound as that of Christ Himself so selflessly loving the Churches, that the husband therein has Spiritual power, whereby the very Spirit of God truly works the work and empowers the first wife to joyfully embrace the Scripturality and even application of Christian Polygamy for their own family.

If God calls, then God is able to work the work to make it happen. It is just that simple. Love-not-Force.

And with this, then the first wife is joyfully willing to MUTUALLY agree to the change of their Marriage COVENANT, whereby the "forsaking all others" clause (if that is what was so promised) is then no longer deemed to be part of their promises to each other.

That way...
No covenant breaking, no vow- or oath-breaking, and no divorce.


Oh the awesome truth of our God!

And I thank you for asking such an excellent question!

I praise God every day for the revelation of this vision of love-not-force for all of our sake, as He only continues to re-affirm and re-affirm in even more ways beyond what we first realized from it, all as being the right way we are to walk, as we go forward with the TRUTH BEARER Mission of Bringing Christian Polygamy to the Churches.

May the love of the Lord Christ Jesus be with us all.

© June 24, 2000,
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064
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