Dear Friend, YOU WROTE~~~
Having read a good chunk of the stuff posted on your site, probably over 90% of the stuff, I conclude that we are indeed brothers in Messiah. Praise Yahweh. The stuff you have posted on the site is TRUTH!
Thank you for such deep love and edification. Your generosity of such kind words is so appreciated and received as a true blessing!
I have a small question requiring clarification. It stems from your reply to a former tabernacle attendee in the section on "Trial" in one of the chapters. You responded to him that you did not think that he was an adulterer. I got the impression that his first wife had left him and that his second wife had been "wife" to some other man prior to being this man's wife.
Yes, you have accurately understood that man's "situation" in that TRUTH Tract (located "inside" TRUTH BEARER web-site), which is titled,
"Requesting a TRIAL Before ALL the Church: Is This TRUTH or Heresy?"
That man and his wife had both been "legally married" to others before being married to each other. As well, however, both the man and the woman had come to the Lord for the salvation of their souls AFTER they were married to each other. That is, they had first come together to be "one flesh" when they were both unbelievers, but then later called upon the name of the Lord for the salvation of their souls.
You responded to the effect that "marriages" prior to one accepting Messiah are in effect fornication, and not valid before Yahweh. If I have understood you correctly (and I may not have, as I was speed reading the entire site to check out your standing with the word of Yahweh before delving deeper), is this to mean that "marriages" by those who are not in Messiah not really valid as such before Yahweh? And if not, why not?
Here is that reference from Chapter 6 of that copyrighted TRUTH Tract (copyrighted, © 12/4/96 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED), which was a part being addressed to that man to whom you just referenced. (May all who now here read this Post therefore understand that the following QUOTE is a re-print of a letter which had been written TO and addressed TO the man just referenced. That is, the QUOTE is NOT being addressed TO this Friend [here] who has asked the question here, but rather to that man therein being referenced BY this Friend [here]...)
First, though, please know and be comforted, I am not "under the Law", and more specifically, I DO NOT CALL YOU AN "ADULTERER" for being married to ((your wife)). When she accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, at that point, she became "a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new". (2_Corinthians 5:17.) However, as long as you, a believer, do live, Paul says it is a COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD that she must not "depart from her husband: But and if SHE depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to ((you)) her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife." (1_Corinthians 7:10-11.) "The WIFE is bound by the law as long as ((you)) her husband liveth." (1_Corinthians 7:39.) ((Your wife)) may never be re-married again as long as YOU live. But to MEN (not women), Paul writes, "Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou ((being a MAN)) marry, THOU HAST NOT SINNED; and if a virgin ((being a woman who has not been another believer's wife, if she)) marry ((thou, the man)), SHE HATH NOT SINNED." (1_Corinthians 7:27-28.) ((This also means that if a (believing) "departed wife" returns to her re-married (believing) husband, he (and his new wife) have the LORD'S COMMANDMENT in verses 10-11 to let her be reconciled to him!)) The words "man" and "woman" are too specific in that chapter to say that "man" includes the meaning of "woman". ((Your wife)) is a "new creature"; any previous "marriage" before becoming a Christian is nothing more than legalized "fornication" ---and old sins are washed away by the blood of Christ. So you are not an ADULTERER. A "new creature" wife of a "new creature" man, however, as Paul wrote in Romans 7:2, "is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth."
(What is now written hereinafter is again back to being addressed to this Friend [here] who asked the very good question to which this 6-Part post has been made.)
So, for clarity, what was being said there (in that above QUOTE) was that all so-called divorced "marriages" of a person, BEFORE they become a "new creature" in Christ Jesus, make those (pre-Christ) so-called "marriages" as nothing more than simply "legalized fornication".
I realize that this might seem like a bit of semantics right now, but the matter is important, which is why (I perceive) you raised this very good question in the first place.
Please consider this for a moment.
The actual definition of "marriage" is at consummation and not by some government definition. (For more on this specific matter about consummation and definition of marriage, please see the Posts I made in the series of Posts beginning with post Message # 24 and the other series beginning with post Message # 17 [at ~~ TRUTH BEARER ~~ Righteous Polygamy Forum].)
If it was not true that marriage occurs at consumation rather than by government or celebration, then Jacob would not have been married to Leah in the morning when he had "feasted" the night before, thinking he was marrying his beautiful Rachel, as per Genesis 29:21-29.
But then please consider what that means subsequently as well.
For example, I bear witness with my own testimony that BEFORE I, myself, called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to save my very soul, I indeed had been a fornicator on many an occasion, I say with shame but with gratitude for salvation in the Lord Yehoshua/Jesus from such sin.
While I had not sought the government-basis of defining a marriage for me to any of the women with whom I had committed such fornication, I had nevertheless been "one flesh" with each one.
Given that each act of being "one flesh" could be CALLED the "consummation" with each one with whom I had been "one flesh", does that mean that I am now somehow "married" to each one of those women with whom I had fornicated BEFORE I had come to Christ?
Was I married to those women? Am I still married to those women? Would the Scriptures have referred to these women as my "wives" or as "harlots"? Would the Scriptures have referred to me as their husband or as whoremongerer or fornicator?
Please consider also that each woman, with whom I had fornicated BEFORE my coming to Christ, had herself even fornicated with others even before fornicating with me. Would they not then be considered "married" to the ones with whom they each had fornicated prior to their fornicating with me?
Would that not then make me an adulterer for fornicating with them, when they had been "wife" of another because of their prior "consummations" with those other men before they were fornicating with me?
If I am indeed "bound" to those women to be my "wives" even now AFTER I've come to Christ, would that not equally then have to say that I am also thereafter "bound" to be an adulterer if I be "bound" to keep them as wives, when they were actually the "wives" of others? Is it really possible that I would ever be "bound" to be an "adulterer" thereby? (God forbid.)
And on and on and on this dichotomy would spin....
Ok, ok, so I'm beginning to get a little silly here. :-) But this dichotomy does lead to those kinds of issues and dichotomy.
I shall addess these issues though, of the differece between "fornication" and "adultery" and the difference between the meaning of "harlot" and "adulteress".
And after that, I shall address the issues of whether or not I would indeed be "bound" unto such women with whom I had fornicated prior to my salvation in Christ Jesus, when I had become a "new creature in Christ Jesus", as per 2_Corinthians 5:17.
© April 8, 1998, TRUTH BEARER
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064