Joseph Herrin (10-28-09)
Every step of the way as I have been writing this series The Marriage Covenant, I have been confessing to the Lord my inadequacy. I did not know where to begin. I still do not know how to end it. There are a myriad of questions that are unresolved in my mind.
I have been asked a number of specific questions concerning what the Father would have His sons and daughters do. Many have transgressed. Some have divorced and remarried before coming to Christ, others after having come to Christ. A number are convicted of their transgression. In the fear of God they want to know what they must do to be found acceptable in His sight.
I suspect most of those who have read this series have not contemplated all of the different questions surrounding these topics. It is usually the naive, or the exceptionally proud, who declare that they know all the answers, contending that they are all clearly given in Scriptures. I must sincerely disagree. Not everything is covered in Scriptures. Even that which is spoken of must be studied and prayed over to assure that one is “rightly dividing the word of God.”
Consider the counsel that Paul gave to the Corinthian church regarding those Christians who were married to unbelievers.
I Corinthians 7:12
But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, let him not send her away.
Paul again ventures to give his opinion regarding whether it is preferable to remain single, or to marry.
I Corinthians 7:25-27
Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
Paul was raised in the strictest sect of his people. He was a pharisee among pharisees. Paul was trained in the school of Gamaliel, a revered leader among the Jews. Paul knew the Scriptures.
Yet there were topics in which the Scriptures were silent, and in which Paul had received no command from the Lord either by the Spirit, through a vision, or by other means of revelation. If there were some sure statement from the Lord, or a clear answer provided in the Bible, surely Paul would have been familiar with it.
I have found that there are many questions that are not addressed with clarity in the word of God. As I ponder these things I am continually brought to confess to the Father, “I am not adequate for these things.” I fear to give an opinion lest I should counsel people in a manner contrary to the will and desire of God. Daily I find myself declaring to the Father my dependence upon Him to guide and direct me. I am reminded of the words of the apostle Paul.
II Corinthians 3:5-6
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
I could study the letter and derive some conclusion based upon imperfect revelation that would lead away from truth and life. Only in perceiving the mind of God through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us are we assured that those things we declare will result in life. Many times I have reminded the Father of His promise in the book of James.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
There are many doctrines and teachings in which I have not yet apprehended the mind of the Father. There are many subjects of which I will not venture to give an opinion. When I was younger I was quicker to speak, but age and experience have taught me to practice restraint.
Yesterday I completed laying the foundation of this teaching on the marriage covenant. When I began writing I had no idea the direction I would head in. Many of the revelations shared were not known to me before the Father had me write on this topic. Each day I did not know what would come forth. I had no idea in my mind that there would be ten chapters (Introduction included) and seven foundation stones laid thus far. Yet, ten is the number of ordinal perfection, and seven is the number of divine perfection. Discussing the topic of our glorious union with Christ strikes me as a wonderful way to complete the foundation.
But where to go from here? What has been shared thus far is revelation. It has contained an unveiling of the parables contained in the blood covenant; in the design of the physical body; in the life being in the blood; in the rites of betrothal; and in the sexual union. What has been presented reveals the holy design of marriage, the great value of a woman’s virginity, and the spiritual mysteries foreshadowed in the physical relationship between a man and his wife. Transgression has been shown to be exceedingly wicked in the eyes of a holy God.
It is my hope that the marriage union, and the act of sexual intercourse, will be esteemed as holy by those who have understood these things. From the e-mail responses I have received I have observed that a number of saints have come to abhor their own lack of sexual purity. Some men have been delivered of a spirit of lust as they have observed the holiness of that which God has designed. Fear to trespass against such holy things has gripped some. These responses are exceedingly good, yet there remain many questions to be answered.
I confess to you my inadequacy in answering all questions regarding divorce and remarriage. There are some things that are exceedingly plain.
God hates divorce!
“For I hate divorce,” says Yahweh, the God of Israel…
Adulterers and fornicators will not enter the kingdom of heaven!
I Corinthians 6:9-10
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
If a man divorces his wife for any reason other than sexual impurity he causes her to commit adultery, and the one who marries her commits adultery.
I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of sexual impurity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
If a Christian woman leaves her Christian husband, she must remain single, or be restored to her husband. A Christian man must not put away his Christian wife.
I Corinthians 7:10-11
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not send his wife away.
These things are evident, and the Spirit bears witness. Yet there are some things I am not so sure about.
People of God, I am encouraged to note that the fear of God is coming upon a remnant of His people. The hour is late and Christ is soon to return. Some are in agony concerning whether they might be rejected at His appearing due to their rebellion, selfish ways and uncleanness. Yet there are some questions I cannot yet answer with authority.
We do not need to apprehend the Scriptures with our natural mind. We need the wisdom of God that comes by His Spirit. “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” It is the Spirit who was given to lead us into all truth.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak…
At times the revelation of God tarries. Daniel was given a vision, and he was exceedingly anxious to understand it. He gave himself to fasting and prayer, though he was an old man. Twenty-one days he fasted until the angelic messenger arrived to declare the interpretation to him.
Do I desire to know the mind and counsel of God as badly ad Daniel? Do you? The angel declared that Daniel was “highly esteemed” in the eyes of God. Daniel loved truth, and he longed to know the mind of God. Perhaps it will require much fasting and prayer on my part before I am able to receive the answers to the many questions upon my heart.
If you find that there are things you need to know clearly; if you have transgressed in the area of divorce and remarriage, I urge you to press in to know the truth. There is an eternal weight of glory on the line. Do not accept the word of some minister, or some Bible teaching you have come across on the Internet. Press in to know the mind and will of God for yourself. You are the one who will have to answer to Yahweh for the life you lived.
It is because the saints of God have not feared God, nor have they loved righteousness, but have lived carelessly, that the church is so filled with fornication, adultery, divorce and remarriage in this hour. It will only be a return to the fear of God that will restore His people to the paths of righteousness.
II Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
I have asked the Christian brother who is managing the Heart4God website for me to post the chapters written thus far in The Marriage Covenant. I am waiting on the Father to know the conclusion of this matter. I very much desire your prayers that wisdom, revelation and understanding might be granted to me. As the Father makes clear His mind to me, I will strive to faithfully set forth that which I receive.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063