POLYGAMY, THE NEW CONVERT AND CHURCH LEADERSHIP …4

Q: Now, is it right or okay for a Christian to marry multiple wives?

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Going back to the beginning, God made one woman for one man.

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.

1Co 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

1Co 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

 

1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

 

Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

There is nothing pluralistic about the above scriptures, so the concept of polygamy and polyandry cannot be said to be based on the word of God. So the talk of if someone wishes to marry more than one wife it is up to him, is not scriptural. If we choose to operate like that, then we are establishing no standard of any sort and that is contrary to the role of Christians and the Church in our society.

1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Where would such thinking lead us? … because we can’t stop at marriage. Soon, a person can choose to kill another and we would have to say it is up to him or her. We’re already doing that through abortions, by the way.

It is not up to us to pick and choose what we feel like doing, not if we are God’s children. We, of all people, are to seek that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. If it was important to God that Moses should maintain the design of the tabernacle as a representation of the design in heaven, how much more should we unto whom the excellency of glory has come. There is a pattern that the union of a man and a woman in marriage represents before God.

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.
Who better to uphold that pattern but us?

2Co 3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

2Co 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

2Co 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

2Co 3:4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

2Co 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

2Co 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2Co 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

2Co 3:8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

2Co 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

2Co 3:10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

2Co 3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

2Co 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech.

The word translated “plainness of speech” refers to frankness, boldness, bluntness, assurance amongst other similar meanings none of which leave room for suggestions, opinions or equivocation. It’s either the truth or it is not. That’s how Jesus taught and we should do no less.
Part 5 is to come.

See part 3: http://wp.me/p6rlMY-1j

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POLYGAMY, THE NEW CONVERT AND CHURCH LEADERSHIP …3

So, to the simple question, what should he do [with his mistresses] now that he is saved?

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Send the women away. Pay for the upkeep of the children but by all means separate him from those women. They are not his wives and they should not be made to be. That’s what happened in the example in the book of Ezra mentioned in a prior part of this series. 

 If he had married them by his culture’s accepted custom for marriage, then they should stay but should anyone of them decide to leave him because of his new found faith, they should not be held against their will. But that is for married couples, not co-habiting couples. I am not an expert on the legal systems of the world but I think the legal provisions for a marriage are different from co-habitants and possibly de-facto partners no matter how long they’ve been together or how many children they have.

Part 4 is still to come. 

See part 2: http://wp.me/p6rlMY-1h

POLYGAMY, THE NEW CONVERT AND CHURCH LEADERSHIP …2

Q: What if the man chooses to marry the other two women? Is it a big deal if a believer in Christ marries multiple wives?

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I hear believers say we shall not be judged because we have been justified and then some take it to mean whatever I do doesn’t matter since we are justified by grace and not works. Please, let me, by the aid of scriptures, attempt to clarify.

  1. A believer in Christ is indeed justified by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and so has passed from death to life which makes it unnecessary to judge him since he has been justified already. 1 John 3:14.
  1. Not everyone shall be judged but everyone’s works shall be judged.

Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

 

Jam 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

1 Co 4:4 I am not conscious of anything against myself, and I feel blameless; but I am not vindicated and acquitted before God on that account. It is the Lord [Himself] Who examines and judges me. [Amplified]

1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

All these verses of scripture show us that we shall give account of our words and actions to the one who died for us. So, why then did he die for us? What’s the point?

He died for us so as to redeem us unto himself. That means we belong to him now and will therefore answer to him alone for our actions, even if we are no longer at risk of the second death.

Q: Does that mean everything I have done wrong will be paraded before Christ on that day?

No.

1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse [GK: purge, purify] us from all unrighteousness.

So, if we confess to him, He purges all record of the wrong done. If we don’t, we don’t get kicked into the flames but I guess we get queried when we stand before him.

1Jo 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

1Jo 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

Righteousness is imputed to us by faith, but godliness is our choice. It is up to us to use the power of our righteous nature to do things that make us “look like” God to the people around us or choose actions that make it difficult for people to get a clear picture of what God is like. If I were God, I would reward that son that represents me well to the world at large. Wouldn’t you?

So, back to the original issue, sexual immorality is wrong, no matter who is involved, sinner or saint. Polygamy is welcome in a system of life we as Christians don’t belong to, but it is not acceptable with God. The instant response could be what of Jacob? He had two wives and two concubines, didn’t he? Why did God still approve of him if polygamy isn’t okay with Him?

The reason is that God held nothing against those guys in his relationship with them. They lived in an era of conscience and whatever was acceptable to them, God upheld it because that was the platform they had at that time. He did the same thing with the half-truth (a whole lie) Abraham told about Sarah being his sister.

But even in that era, when Sarah demanded that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away, God upheld it. If Abraham had consulted God before getting involved with Hagar, he might have saved himself the trouble but when he did connect with God, he was shown the right thing to do. But God not being wicked, knowing it was neither Hagar’s nor Ishamel’s fault that they were in such a position, He preserved them and blessed them. Genesis 21:9-21. So separating the concubines and children born of them is not new to God.

Even when the law came, a nationwide call came to end such marriages as were not acceptable under the law and God upheld it. But again being the good God that He is, He did not abandon them. The women and children thus estranged became the Samaritans and we know Jesus visited them with the good news of the kingdom when He was here. Ezra 10, John 4:1- 43.

So, as is with every other thing in our lives, God expects us to do what is expected of us and let Him handle the rest. If we try to take on the myriads of “what ifs” and “what abouts” that flow in and out of the current of human history and experiences, we will resort to humanistic view points and as is getting very clear these days, every human option, though it starts out as intentionally good eventually becomes practically evil.

Let me take an example I understand very well; Termination of Pregnancy. At one point, the Cesarean Section came into existence by the decree of the Cesar that no woman should be buried with a child in her abdomen and so, though both mother and unborn child were dead, the C-Section was carried out. With time, science mastered the art and began to use it to deliver babies from death during labour. Of course, initially the criterion was the danger of losing the woman to a difficult labour. And then with time, it was no longer just a difficult labour but also a difficult pregnancy that could be seen as a criterion for separating mother and child. And now, a difficult relationship, finances or even ego have joined the list and what began as a noble cause has become a holocaust called abortion. I hear abortion has killed more people than the first and second world wars combined, and that about one hundred thousand American teenage girls have an abortion for a pregnancy that doesn’t threaten their lives every year. That’s America alone. 

What would have been God’s preference at the point when it became necessary to kill a child to save the mother? I think a child of God could have been sent to lay hands on that sick woman and bring her out of danger. Am I saying hospitals could be run based on divine healing power by faith? Yep! John G. Lake did it to the extent he was called Dr John G. Lake. Others also had similar stories. I am not saying medical science is evil and satanic, I am merely saying God’s health plan is less complicated, has no side effects and is cheaper besides. I am also saying that no matter how noble mankind attempts to be, once we violate God’s principles, we will suffer the consequences as we watch things twist and spiral out of control into a God-consciousness-devouring monster called human civilization.
More to come in part  3. 

See part 1 here: http://wp.me/p6rlMY-H

Priorit-ice

​I just saw this advert: Two guys walked into a shop and wanted the same deep chilled bottle of sprite, the only drink, in the store. 


The store owner brought out the bottle and placed it in front of them and they decided to duel for it. 

First guy took the bottle, did all sorts of amazing stunts, flipping it, spinning it and all that, even got his gang involved. They finished their dance with the bottle of drink, placed it on the table. And gave the other guy a look that says, “Your  move”. 

Other guy picks up the bottle, pops it open and empties it down his throat. Then started to spin the bottle as he walked away smiling,  leaving the other guy and his crew looking like, “What just happened?” 
Lesson learned: What looks cool may not be useful. Identify what matters and then get it done. 

POLYGAMY, THE NEW CONVERT AND CHURCH LEADERSHIP…1

Q: An unbeliever [in Christ] who had three women, of which he married only one, and has kids by all three, has now given his life to Christ. What should he do now that he is in Christ? Should he send the other two away or should he marry them properly?

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The foundation of marriage is God. God is the creator of marriage and when he created it, it wasn’t with respect to human civilizations, emotions or logic. He created it because it was not good for the man to be alone. That alone tells me something: Adam didn’t know it was not good, he didn’t even realize he was alone…he wasn’t; he had God. But God, who knows more than even the unspoiled, pristinely wise man could ever know, knew that the man needed a companion of his type and so God made a woman. However, it was Adam who chose his wife. God didn’t force Eve on Adam but God recognized, respected and held him responsible for his choice.

Please, note that all this happened before sin came into the picture of humanity, before the promise of redemption was made, before the Abrahamic covenant of prosperity was struck and before the Mosaic Law was instituted. Hence Jesus, when confronted with what is right or wrong concerning some other marriage related issues referred to the master plan by saying, “in the beginning, it was not so”. Matthew 19:8

This means that the matter of what is right and what is wrong in life is not based on any of these tools or parameters that we have come to know from the bible, let alone our own logic based legal system, but on God and his point of view alone. Of course, God presents His view point in the Bible which is why we have to refer to it. Therefore whether a person is saved or not, under the Mosaic law or not, Jew or Gentile, B.C. or A.D., what is wrong is wrong whether the person feels so or not, is aware of it or not, or whether he will be condemned for it or not.

This means, even unbelievers are standing before God and he judges them as fornicators and adulterers if they are involved in such. Consider this scripture:

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Amplified says, “And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.”

The above verses were written initially to a set of Gentile Christians. It says they were at one time all these sinful things but now being saved are no more such. Now, why would God accuse people who never knew the Law of Moses, nor our bible, of right and wrong?

Rom 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

Rom 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Rom 2:15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.

While they didn’t have the law, they did have their consciences and by that, they knew what was right or wrong at least by the standards imposed on them by their own consciences. So, based on the awareness of right and wrong, thanks to Adam and the fruit he chose to eat, God holds mankind guilty or innocent of violations of their conscience.

So that means, while it is true that God will not condemn a soul to eternal damnation because of sexual sin, He will judge that soul for doing what is wrong. If you refer to Revelation 20:11-15, you will see the Books of Works out of which each man’s actions are judged and the second book which is the Book of Life out of which a man himself is judged and his soul is condemned to die the second death.

Based on the afore going, it means an unbeliever who is engaged in sexual immorality knows he or she is in error but lacks the power that our faith in Christ gives us to turn away once the hooks are sunk in. Of course, he can continue until he no longer cares (which is referred to as a seared conscience in 1Timothy 4:2) but whenever he does meet with the light of the gospel, he immediately mourns his past actions and this shows that he knew it was wrong to do those things but simply didn’t care. We can find an example of such in the interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman whom Jesus told has had multiple men and even her current man was not hers. John 4:16-18. Notice the woman raised no defence for herself.

More to come in part 2.

CITY OF LIGHTS 

I came across this song by Casting Crowns recently. Driving to work, I played it again and again and I mourned in my heart. I mourned because the message of the song was painfully true and achingly relevant to our time. 

In my early days as a Christian, I heard a lot about speaking the truth in love. We didn’t always get it right when it came to application but somehow, we stumbled forward to share, teach, rebuke, correct and encourage one another without breaking fellowship. It was tough but we found a way. 

Later, as I grew in the faith, I came across the concept that knowledge puffs up but love edifies, and that the letter kills but the spirit makes alive. We were encouraged, nay, charged to seek knowledge with all passion and to seek The Spirit with equal passion because one without the other was never balanced. I somehow realised, maybe because of the pervading mindset then, that seeking knowledge of scriptural truth with the Holy Spirit as your friend and tutor with love as your motivation was the way to go. 

But what I see now, both far and near, is a situation where knowledge is power seems to have evolved. It’s power to mock those who make mistakes or have it wrong, or are totally ignorant. It’s the power to shield yourself from rebuke since you know as much, or even more, Scriptures than the person with the authority to set you straight when you err. In fact, what is error now if not a concept based on relative disparity in levels of enlightenment and therefore can be argued and justified. Afterall, you can’t rebuke me unless you can prove that I am guilty, right? 

Many of us have enough knowledge now to protect ourselves from those who would take advantage of our ignorance but then we have so much as to be beyond the reach of those who seek to guide us. 

But that’s not the worst part, which is the message of this song. The problem is that what we know and the insights we’ve gained have pushed us apart rather than bind us together. Each thinks, “I’m better off without this other person because of what he doesn’t know”. 

For some, it takes the form of quarrels in defence of their Kingdom service territory, castigating anyone who doesn’t seem to be getting with the program to attain this desired level of excellence or output. And so we have two people who are actually on the same team battling each other as enemies because they refuse to lift up their heads to see the big picture. 

For others, it’s that we want to be right so strongly that we forget to  be decent and kind with each other. We pursue upholding the truth but don’t mind tearing others down to do it. (I wish to God that all this aggression were directed at the one enemy.)  I find myself pleading with rose around me to teach rather than mock, to encourage rather than berate. I say things like, “No matter how angry you are with this person, remember, he is your brother. No matter how you might wish to do without him now, remember we’re all heading to the same heaven”. 

Jesus knew we would disagree and have disputes and said to forgive 70 times 7 times. His paradigm was … if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.(Matthew 18:15). His aim was to regain fellowship, not at the cost of what is good and right by the word standards, but as much as lies within our power. 

But, sadly we, I think, have “moved on”  and we focus on correctness now. The preacher seems to no longer preach for us to be blessed and instructed but to have his understanding assessed in the quest to have the right to continue to preach to us lest we walk away. We seem to no longer listen for that one word from God that we so desperately crave and need. We accept the teaching based on its complete correctness. There is no more room for “honestly mistaken”, all we have now is “edifying” versus “false doctrine” with a sharp line down the middle. 

At least, these are the things I see. 

Usually, it takes a life time to witness such major paradigm shifts such that it was old elders who spoke of the “old days”  when things were different and so on. But here I am, coming to the same conclusion, and I’m in no way qualified to be called old. All these changes have found their places in “dear diary”  between 1987 and today 2016.
Jesus asked whether he would find faith on earth when he returns. I’m beginning to see why the one who holds the future would  ask us such a question. 

Here are lyrics  to the song… 

CITY ON THE HILL by Casting Crowns. 

Did you hear of the city on the hill
Said one old man to the other
It once shined bright, and it would be shining still
But they all started turning on each other

You see the poets thought the dancers were shallow
And the soldiers thought the poets were weak
And the elders saw the young ones as foolish
And the rich man never heard the poor man speak

But one by one, they ran away
With their made up minds to leave it all behind
And the light began to fade 
In the City on the Hill, the City on the Hill

Each one thought that they knew better
But they were different by design
Instead of standing strong together
They let their differences divide

And one by one, they ran away
With their made up minds to leave it all behind
And the light began to fade 
In the City on the Hill, the City on the Hill

And the world is searching still

But it was the rhythm of the dancers
That gave the poets life
It was the spirit of the poets
That gave the soldiers strength to fight
It was fire of the young ones
It was the wisdom of the old
It was the story of the poor man
That needed to be told

It is the rhythm of the dancers
That gives the poets life
It is the spirit of the poets
That gives the soldiers strength to fight
It is fire of the young ones
It is the wisdom of the old
It is the story of the poor man
That’s needing to be told

But one by one will we run away
With our made up minds to leave it all behind
As the light begins to fade in the City on the Hill

One by one will we run away
With our made up minds to leave it all behind
As the light begins to fade in the City on the Hill
The city on the hill 

(Come home)
And the Father’s calling still
(Come home)
To the city on the hill
(Come home)

This has been a long one but let me appeal to you, if I may, walk around this city on the hill with your sword sheathed so you can embrace a brother with your breastplate of righteousness rather than cut him with your sword of truth. That way you would have him, and his sword,  stand with you when the enemy brings the fight. 

CANCER ON A DIET… 7

The statistics do show more cancers in recent times than in ancient past. Why is that?

THE EVOLUTION OF SCIENCE VS RELIGION :
We are now having a lot more people taking their last breaths in hospitals where autopsies to determine the cause of death can be performed, so it is natural to find more cancers as a cause of death now than previously when we weren’t able to or interested in finding out.

Perhaps, some families that have been labelled as spiritually oppressed because they die young were simply plagued by a genetically transmissible health condition such as a cancer which we had no means of determining in the past. I am not saying the spiritual view is wrong, I’m merely submitting that many folks who died even in their ripe old age died of causes we didn’t know and they could have been cancers or any other disease. But now, we can blame illnesses because science has gained that proficiency.

Also, there are more artificial materials in our environment today that serve as triggers for neoplastic diseases. Some have been identified, notably Mercury in creams and soaps and bromate in bread, and certain preservatives, but others are still faceless (Changes are being made in the food industry to keep up with the science). However, there still needs to be a genetic potential to meet with these triggers for neoplastic disease to be a possibility.

It is common today to make blanket statements to avoid eating one thing or another and expect everyone to abide by it. This is not necessary as they are not disease causing entities all by themselves. The genetics must be in place for that to happen. For example, sugar is not the cause of Diabetes Mellitus, rather it is a problem with the pancreas and the insulin it produces.

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By the way, we used to believe He has given us all things to enjoy. (1Tim 6:17). We used to believe that He gave us all plants and animals to serve us as food. (Genesis 1:29; 9:3)
We are now adjusting our beliefs based on the experiences of a minor percentage of people who might have had health conditions that necessitated certain dietary and lifestyle changes in order to combat a disease we cannot have. We don’t go around dispensing anti-cancer drugs to everyone because we wish to prevent cancers do we? Why then do we think we should dispense anti-cancer diets to the whole population? They are both forms of treatment.

1Tim 4:1-5. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

The Bible says this is a doctrine of devils. Why? Because God made all these things for the benefit of mankind and if we can somehow believe that what God made is bad for us, where does that leave us? We may be forced to think God is either evil or he is not as all-knowing as we thought. We will be compelled to ignore him and pay attention to scientific discoveries which are based on statistical analysis of data, the results of which only give us educated guesses at associations of disease entities and their causes.

God is a healer. Even if there is cancer in your body, he can take it away. In fact, he has paid the price for the treatment of every disease.

Isa 53:4-5. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

So what should we do? If you notice a pattern of health problems in your family, speak with your doctor. Most diseases have screening tests that are cheap and easy to perform. Let your doctor make a diagnosis of a health condition in your family before you start treatment or even prophylaxis.

Let your heart be at peace.

See part 6 http://wp.me/p6rlMY-1a

In case you missed it, Part 1 is here http://wp.me/p6rlMY-Y