Patience Urged

by | Sep 29, 2009

Joseph Herrin (09-29-09)

The last two posts on the subject of Lawful Polygamy has led to some having failed in manifesting patience. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, and it is never more needed than when a subject is being discussed that is difficult and the Biblical testimony is contrary to socially acceptable morals. For those of you who have not read the comments posted on the past two blogs, you will find that there is a diversity of opinion among the saints of God. The most vitriolic responses have come via e-mail, and being sent as private communications, they have not been posted. Some have been so upset as to ask to be removed from the mailing list.

Let me share some perspective on these last two posts. They are not intended as advocacy for men entering into plural marriage unions. They are part of a larger teaching on the marriage covenant. It is needful to address this particular topic as it has much bearing upon understanding what Yahweh has permitted, and what He has condemned, as it pertains to marriage. The evidence has been presented that Yahweh permitted men to marry more than one wife, and that many righteous men chose to do so.

One sister wrote to ask if there were any other examples in Scripture of Yahweh speaking in reference to Himself as having more than one wife. The example from Ezekiel 23 was given where Yahweh speaks of having taken Oholah and Oholibah, two sisters, as His wives. They are symbolic of Israel and Judah (Samaria and Jerusalem). There are other similar Biblical examples.

Jeremiah 3:6-11
Then Yawheh said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there. And I thought, ‘After she has done all these things, she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. And it came about because of the lightness of her harlotry, that she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. And yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares Yahweh.

In these words written by the prophet Jeremiah, Yahweh portrays Himself as being wed to two sisters who act as harlots. These are Israel and Judah. Yet, such examples of Yahweh being wed to more than one wife are not limited to the Old Testament. They are found in the New Testament as well.

Galatians 4:22-31
For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written, “Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; For more are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.” And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.

In this allegory, explained by the apostle Paul, Hagar and Sarah stand as symbols of Israel and the Church; those under a covenant of Law and those under a covenant of promise (faith). Marriage is a blood covenant, and these two women represent two covenants that Yahweh has made with His people. He has in effect, married two wives, one free and one a slave. The bondwoman brought forth children first, and then persecuted the child of the free-woman, even as Ishmael mocked Isaac when he was weaned.

Once a man or woman have their eyes opened to discern the presence of plural marriage in the Bible, they begin to see it in many places.

However, I would exhort those reading these things to consider them in the larger context of those things I have taught. It is very easy to take one teaching and run to great error with it. Ever since I have had a public teaching ministry, I have taught that the saints are held to a much higher standard than simply doing what the Law allows. The second book I wrote, and perhaps the most important, is the book Sabbath.

http://www.heart4god.ws/id214.htm

It speaks of the great need for all the people of God to enter into Sabbath rest. The apostle Paul, writing in the fourth chapter of Hebrews declares, “Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.” This is a very serious matter. We are to FEAR lest we fall short of entering God’s rest.

What is this rest? The Sabbath of the Old Testament was merely a type and shadow of that spiritual rest the people of God are to enter into. Even as man was forbidden to do any work one day of the week, so are Christians called to cease from their own works. While the shadow pertained to only one day a week, the substance applies to every day of our lives. Here is the apostle’s description of Sabbath rest.

Hebrews 4:10
For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.

If we are to enter God’s rest, we must cease from doing our own works. That is to say, we must no longer be led of our soul. We are to be surrendered to the leading of the Spirit of Christ in every action and every word. The apostle ends this subject by speaking of the need to divide between soul and spirit.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

It is absolutely vital that the people of God discern the thoughts and intentions of their own hearts. They must divide between those things that arise from their soul, and those things that arise from the indwelling Spirit of Christ. They must cease from doing works of the soul, and only walk by the Spirit.

Romans 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are [mature] sons of God.

Consider that many things were Lawful for Christ to do, but He limited Himself to only doing those things the Father revealed to be His will.

John 5:30
I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

John 8:28
Yahshua therefore said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.”

John 8:42
Yahshua said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.”

John 12:49
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.”

John 14:10
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”

Christ walked in perfect Sabbath rest. There was no Law forbidding Him to turn stones into bread when He was hungry, but He discerned that it was the Father’s will for Him to wait. After the Devil left, the angels came and ministered to His needs. There was no prohibition against proclaiming openly the mysteries of God’s word, but Yahshua discerned it to be the Father’s will to speak to the people in parables.

If we only concern ourselves with what we may do, and do not consider what the Father’s will is, we have not yet begun to enter into God’s rest. Yahshua is the pattern for every believer. If we would be His disciples we must walk as He walked. It should be our goal to also declare, “I do nothing of my own initiative. I only do the will of the Father.”

When we arrive at this point we will no longer merely be concerned with what is permissible in the Law. We will desire to know the will of our Father in everything, that we might do His will. Then we will be able to testify as did Paul. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

I encourage you to keep these things in mind as you continue to ponder this present teaching. It is not complete. It is being presented precept by precept. It is necessary to look at some difficult topics, and some will find the teaching of Scripture offensive. However, if you will be mindful that this teacher is not advocating that any believer pursue the desire of their own soul, they will find there is no cause for alarm or offense.

I do ask for your prayers as I continue. I am in great need of discerning the mind and heart of the Father. I have been greatly helped thus far, but I need His wisdom to continue.

I would also mention that I have been camping for the past two months. I may be moving to another location tomorrow, as my time has run out at my present location. There may be some delay in posting the next writing, as well as in answering the many letters I am receiving, until I am settled at my next location, wherever that may be.

I thank all of you who send financial gifts. The Father has truly performed a marvelous work in this area over the course of the past ten years. He has kept me supplied, and it is a blessing to observe how He uses the body to minster those things that are necessary to the various parts.

Ephesians 4:16
The whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Yahweh has called me to walk after the pattern that Paul described to the church in Corinth.

I Corinthians 9:7, 11, 14
Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?… If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?… So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

Time after time, when there has been some need, the Father has impressed some part of the body of Christ to send forth that which was needed. You who have done so know who you are, and I owe you a debt of love, which is one debt I am glad to carry.

This week, I have found myself rejoicing in the calling the Father has caused me to enter into. From the time of my youth I desired to be a writer and a minister. These desires were seeded in my heart even as Joseph dreamed dreams of his future, or as David was told as a youth by the prophet Samuel that he would one day shepherd God’s people.

The great joy of realizing what the Father has done, after many years of patient waiting and preparation, has flooded my soul this week. I have found myself confessing to the Father my great delight in seeking treasures that are hidden in His word and sharing them with others. It is truly a great joy, and one which makes my heart glad.

Even when I am brought to some difficult topic that results in impatient and fleshly responses from the people of God, I yet delight to know the truth and to share it. It is for those who have ears to hear that it is presented.

People of God, I am not perfected yet. My knowledge and understanding is daily being matured. I am open to discussing any sincere objections to any topic I have taught upon. I only ask that you would agree with me to use the Word of God as the measure of that which is true. Let us look to the Spirit of Christ to preserve love of the brethren and to guide us into all truth.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

17 Comments

  1. wendyworn

    God bless you abundantly for these teachings. I have been posting links to these teachings at my blog and I have also had a hard time with these teachings (but I also recognized it as my flesh). Please stop by and read my lastest post concerning this:

    http://wendyworn.blogspot.com/2009/09/patience.html

    I am praying for you while you continue this subject and also for you to find a new camping place.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I am surprised but encouraged at these recent posts, because not too long ago I asked Father to please explain why it was Ok in the Bible for a man to have more than one wife. He let me understand in my spirit that our example is Jesus, who is THE bridegroom, the ONLY one, and He has a BRIDE, who is composed of many members. That was a simple explanation for me, though I did not completely understand it at that time.

    Your well-thought out and Spirit-led articles are backed by scriptural proofs, and one cannot argue with that. Your posts have been a double witness to my own understanding and have helped me through a difficult period in my life.

    Though I understand you are not advocating plural marriages,as some may suggest, my understanding has been greatly increased. I know you have probably been criticized greatly for even writing about such things, but thank you for being obedient to the Father for sharing such godly insight. The churches have no such answers.

    Reply
  3. Bob Schlenker

    I wanted to express my thanks for your continued willingness to go wherever the Lord does lead. It is refreshing to see the maturity and wisdom in the manner of presentation, your love is evident, my dear brother. I, too, have sought the Lord's mind and heart in these matters and have come to conclude in recent years as you have. It is a matter of true freedom in Christ as the truth shall make you free! I pray that those who have been bound by the error taught and modeled in Babylon will seek to know and abide in the Truth Himself. He is worthy of our devotion as the singular object of our desire! His care and provision for you and I and every one of His own is more than sufficient.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    There are not always answers that are readily intellectually apprehended, and this subject is particularly thorny, however, I have not disagreed with any Scriptures you have presented. How can I disagree with Scripture? It did seem obvious that you were laying groundwork and going forward, but sometimes for 'big picture' people (mea culpa) it is easy to lose patience with line upon line, precept upon precept. I would note, however, that in the beginning God created Adam and presented Eve to him as Helpmeet. Just two. Also, I like what Anonymous said in comments, that Jesus as Bridegroom will have a Bride composed of many with One Spirit.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I think these posts have been challenging but well supported by scripture. The Father has said that His ways are not our ways but we still get so bent out of shape when we come face to face with this truth. I'm resting in the fact that I don't have to render a verdict whether Joseph is RIGHT or WRONG or whether I need to put my rubber stamp on polygamy. I'm just reading with an open mind and letting this teaching impact me however the Spirit would desire.

    My one objection at this point came from the last post when you wrote: "Christ came to fulfill the Law, and to make known the spirit of the Law. He did not come to reinterpret it, nor to alter its commands." I find this statement to be contradictory since you also teach that keeping the actual commandments of the Law — for example, the Sabbath, biblical festivals and the dietary laws — is no longer appropriate for a follower of Jesus. Clearly, this implies a reinterpretation and altering of the commandments since Jesus and the apostles all did these things.

    Blessings on your ministry and may God strengthen you in the important work before you.

    Reply
  6. Joseph Herrin

    You have raised a very good question concerning the statement that Christ did not come to alter or change the Law. We must differentiate between the life of Christ before His crucifixion, and the life of Christ after the crucifixion and resurrection.

    Before the crucifixion Christ declared that He came to fulfill all the righteous requirements of the Law. On the cross He declared, "It is finished." The law had been perfectly fulfilled in spirit.

    It was after the crucifixion that Christ instituted "a new covenant" in His blood. We died with Christ to the Law that we might be joined to another. This happened at the cross, not before it.

    We now abide by the perfect law of liberty. That is to say, we are free to do all that the Spirit of Christ within us directs us to do. As Paul said after naming the various fruit of the Spirit, "against such things there is no law." We are no longer bound to a law of "thou shalt not." The life of Christ is manifested in our being, and we have perfect liberty to follow every thought and impulse that arises from the Spirit within us.

    I hope this will serve to answer your question.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Joseph – keep going. Hard stuff, but I know you're laying a foundation. If we yank out the stones we don't like, we'll find ourselves forever in the pit and never see the house completed.

    Coupla (diverse) thoughts:

    1) You wrote: "If we only concern ourselves with what we may do, and do not consider what the Father’s will is, we have not yet begun to enter into God’s rest".

    Amen! This may sound like a tangent but it's not.

    It's been my observation that the (wild and unproven) theory of parallel universes that's sprung up out of modern string theory in physics, the Eastern mystical notion of multiple lives, and the general clutter and distraction of our info-society have intoxicated God's people with this idea that they have to worry about every logical possibility.

    This is especially true in our litigious, consumer society where many are driven to think about all that could go wrong and all they could own, have and do… as well as all of the wrongs done to them. That stuff is all of satan.

    G-d calls us to "be in the moment" and trust in Him for the big plan — not passively, but with a reduction of worry about myriad evil hypotheticals that will never come to pass (because He is in control).

    2) In the Jeremiah passage you cite, it occurs to me that one of Biblical Israel's abominable sins (and we see this reflected in the Pharisees, among others) is to think of herself as the male in her relationship with G-d(!!) I.e., in addition to harlotry, hers was a sin of trying to take the leadership/ head-ship role… of "cross-dressing", of arrogance, and of a weird kind of psychological homosexuality. She was not only an adulterous wife but a perverse one as well.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Dear Joseph,

    Thank you for your prompt response, especially as you are following the cloud to your next campsite!

    One follow up question if I may. You wrote:

    We are no longer bound to a law of "thou shalt not." The life of Christ is manifested in our being, and we have perfect liberty to follow every thought and impulse that arises from the Spirit within us.

    Wouldn't you agree that we are still bound by the written restrictions of some of the commandments, though? I have heard the statement above quoted verbatim by Christian men who "are led" by the Spirit to divorce their first wife and run off with another woman.

    Wouldn't you say we are still "bound" to the Law of "Thou shall not commit adultery" [Ex. 20:14]?

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Anon at 7:19AM wrote: "Jesus as Bridegroom will have a Bride composed of many with One Spirit."

    That raises the rhetorical question: Are the provisions for polygamy intended to "work" only in cases where the wives seek harmony with one another (clearly not an easy thing to do without God's help!!) and that the head of the household (model for Christ) aides in that effort, lovingly working to bring the wives into harmony with one another and with him?

    And then *that* raises the theological question of ecumenism. I.e., are the one-spirited brides of Christ (the churches) meant to meld into one another or retain their distinct personalities?

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    I spent some time looking through the biblical families forum. Many of them are proclaiming how much those monogamist only's are in error. They had some material on the end times. Over the years, I have studied many biblical viewpoints on polygamy, marriage, divorce, and remarriage…almost all feel they are rightly dividing the word. There are copious amounts of groups promoting their viewpoints and quoting scriptures to back them up. Many speak in a very intelligent manner. You mentioned in your last response here on the law of liberty. The law of liberty takes on loving responsibly..maybe this is the truth:
    1. Marriage is honorable
    2.The husband can have more than one wife as long as the his first wife does not mind (in the law of love, if taking on another wife causes the first wife great stress, then the husband is no longer acting in love)
    3. If the unbeliever leaves neither man or woman is bound, they can marry another
    I am speaking this all hypothetically, and not as my opinion or even that this is rightly dividing the word. I am just pointing out that the Body of Christ is doing a whole lot of arguing in these areas..alot of energy being spent on what is acceptable and what is not..lots of confusion. I think the carnal mind has a hard time wrapping it's mind around these issues. All I know is that God is light and no perversity or darkness dwells within in Him. He is also love, and love thinks no evil and seeks the best of another

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    If my memory serves me correctly (and it may not), it seems that there was not a single case, in the bible, where poligamy turned out well… for everyone involved.

    Reply
  12. Joseph Herrin

    You asked:

    "Wouldn't you say we are still "bound" to the Law of "Thou shall not commit adultery" [Ex. 20:14]?"

    The spostles are clear in stating that those who are "in Christ" have "died to the Law that they might be joined to another." Some Christians have erred in thinking they have died to the Law and are now bound to NONE. Yet the apostle says we are bound to another, that is Christ.

    Romans 7:4
    Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.

    Paul is very adamant in that Christians should not use their freedom as an excuse to pursue the desires of the flesh. He continues with the following words:

    Romans 7:6
    But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

    If we have "died to the Law" then we are no longer bound to it. Yet, we are not free to follow a course of sensuality, or even the right course offered up by the counsel of our soul. We are to serve God in newness of the Spirit.

    If a man is walking by the Spirit He will be putting to death the deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5). This is the error of both those who teach that the saints are still under the Law, and those who teach that the saints have perfect liberty top do as they wish. They both lead away from a perfect submission to the Spirit of Christ which is Sabbath rest.

    Reply
  13. Joseph Herrin

    Unfortunately the answers to these comments are not all in sequence, so I will repeat the questions.

    "Anon at 7:19AM wrote: "Jesus as Bridegroom will have a Bride composed of many with One Spirit."

    And then *that* raises the theological question of ecumenism. I.e., are the one-spirited brides of Christ (the churches) meant to meld into one another or retain their distinct personalities?"

    I think that if we correctly understand the analogy of Christ and the church that we will find that His wife, though a "many-membered body" is yet one body. Christ is not depicted as having brides, but A Bride.

    Yahshua is described by Paul as the "second Adam." As such, the first Adam is a type of Christ. The first Adam had one bide whose name was Eve. This bride was formed of a remnant portion of His body, even as the bride of Christ will be formed of a remnant portion of His body (See the book, "The Remnant Bride.")

    http://www.heart4god.ws/id22.htm

    Reply
  14. Joseph Herrin

    A reader commented:

    "maybe this is the truth:
    1. Marriage is honorable
    2.The husband can have more than one wife as long as the his first wife does not mind (in the law of love, if taking on another wife causes the first wife great stress, then the husband is no longer acting in love)
    3. If the unbeliever leaves neither man or woman is bound, they can marry another
    I am speaking this all hypothetically, and not as my opinion or even that this is rightly dividing the word. I am just pointing out that the Body of Christ is doing a whole lot of arguing in these areas..alot of energy being spent on what is acceptable and what is not..lots of confusion."

    Please do not think I am being flippant with this comment, but would there not be a lot less "arguing in these areas" if people did not hypothetically when they are not assured that they are "rightly dividing the word of God."

    It is not necessary to comment on every topic raised. Christ said He never spoke a word on His own initiative, but only spoke that which the Father commanded Him to speak. Our words would be much more highly regarded by others if we also followed this standard.

    Consider that no man's words have had a more profound and lasting effect than the words of Christ. This is because there was no mixture in His speech. It was ALL Spirit. There was no soul in His words.

    Our words would be similarly powerful and effectual if we spoke only when the Spirit directed us to do so.

    Reply
  15. Joseph Herrin

    Someone wrote:

    "If my memory serves me correctly (and it may not), it seems that there was not a single case, in the bible, where poligamy turned out well… for everyone involved"

    To answer this we must define what is meant by "turned out well." Some polygamous unions ended with husbands and wife still faithfully married and devoted to one another, and with children having been brought forth from the union. This would seem to be an instance when things "turned out well."

    But if you mean instead that all the polygamous relationships had problems at some point, that is a different matter. Although there are a number of such unions where we have no information on the state of the union, the ones that we do have information on certainly do reveal that problems were common.

    Sarah and Hagar were rivals, as were Rachel and Leah, and Hannah and Peninah. David's wives are never mentioned as not getting along, but his children from different wives certainly had serious issues. Solomon had many wives and they turned his heart away from Yahweh.

    There can be no doubt that there are problems in polygamous marriages. However, if this is reason to exclude them, and we applied the same standard to monogamous unions, we would also have to declare that they should also be forbidden. Consider the words of the apostle Paul.

    I Corinthians 7:28
    But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.

    Paul is making a general statement that those who marry will have problems in the flesh, which is to say that their flesh will lead to problems. It is as true of those in a monogamous union as it is in a polygamous one; the flesh when it is not crucified, always leads to problems.

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    I hope this comment will be taken in the right way because I want to ask an honest question. I have read much of the posts on marriage but I can't understand what this issue has to do with a closer walk with the Lord or enhancing my relationship with Him. It is very specifically about a man with multiple wives. Am I just completely missing something? Perhaps if I understood the point I might could read it with a clearer understanding. Right now all I have is confusion. — Blessings, Beth

    Reply
  17. Joseph Herrin

    Dear Beth,

    Thank you for your question. If you will read ALL of the posts on The Marriage Covenant, you will find that the subject is much larger than that of a man having more than one wife. The topic of lawful polygamy is just one of five foundation stones that have been laid in this series so far, and the series is not yet concluded.

    That is why the post you are commenting on was written. It is titled "Patience Urged" because some are being impatient by judging the topic before they have heard the matter through.

    I encourage you to read all the preceding posts on the topic, and the ones that follow, and you will get a much fuller view of what is being discussed.

    May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New Blog Notifications

Your email is ONLY used to send you notifications when a new blog is posted. I respect your right to privacy. That's why I DO NOT have any Google or Facebook tracking codes on this website.

About This Site

This is the Blog site of Joseph Herrin. It is a companion to the Heart4God Website. Writings are posted here first, while the Heart4God site contains an archive of all of my books, presentations, concise teachings, audio messages, and other material. All material is available free of charge. Permission is granted to copy, re-post, print, and distribute (free of charge) any of the material on these sites.

If you value the labor of love that goes into this ministry and want to show your appreciation for the spiritual food that has been ministered to you through this website please consider showing your love and support.

Send a financial gift with Zelle

Send a gift to this minister.

Send Joseph a message

4 + 5 =

Archives

  • 2021 (96)
  • 2020 (121)
  • 2019 (134)
  • 2018 (132)
  • 2017 (70)
  • 2016 (62)
  • 2015 (99)
  • 2014 (91)
  • 2013 (106)
  • 2012 (143)
  • 2011 (131)
  • 2010 (116)
  • 2009 (150)
  • 2008 (126)

Love - The Sum of the Law

Macon Rescue Mission