The War against Marriage, Part 3 of 4

An overview of Part 1, Adam and Eve 

  • God instituted marriage with Adam and Eve, the first couple.  They lived in unity with God in the Garden of Eden.  It was God’s plan to test their love and loyalty.  He allowed the serpent to test their obedience.  They fell into the trap, disobeyed God and Adam lost his position as ruler over God’s creation.  The devil, Satan, became ruler of the world.   
  • Genesis 3 explains how the world was divided into two opposing kingdoms.  One is the Kingdom of Light with God as its Ruler.  The opposing kingdom of darkness has Satan as its ruler. 

An overview of Part 2, The two kingdoms 

Jesus confirmed the existence of the two kingdoms.  They are irreconcilable and at war with each other.  Their goals and standards of living are strange to each other.  There is no peace, no harmony and no common ground between them.  

We will always struggle to interpret what happens in the world if we do not understand the two kingdom world we live in.  This is especially important when it comes to God’s design of marriage.  

Part 3, God’s marriage pattern is a shadow

God created people with a very specific purpose to become part of His eternal Kingdom.

  • Marriage on earth is a shadow of the future marriage in heaven of Jesus and His eternal Bride. 1  The Bride will consist of billions of the saved individuals (it is like a body with billions of cells). 
  • When God pierced Adam’s side and formed his bride, it was a shadow of Jesus’ pierced side on the Cross where His Bride (the church) was ‘born.’  
  • Rejection of God’s marriage pattern is an insult to God and His Son, the Bridegroom and the Bride. 2    

God created marriage for a reason

  • The whole progress of God’s Kingdom is built on reproduction.  Only 25% of people who hear the Gospel respond and remain faithful (according to the Parable of the Sower,  Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23). 
  • That is why the All-knowing God allowed death into the earth.  It paves the way for new generations that can make decisions for Jesus.  So man and woman joined in marriage is important to produce children who can choose to become part of God’s Kingdom.
  • Noah and his generation of godless people illustrate how only a remnant usually choose God’s ways.  Only Noah, his wife and his three sons with their wives were saved.  The rest were all destroyed in the flood. 3   
  • Without reproduction, God would have a very limited number of citizens.  God needs many generations to reach His required number of people.   

The devil hates God’s kind of marriage 

  • For Satan it is very important to thwart God’s efforts to gather people.   
  • Satan hopes to postpone his eternal torture in the lake of burning sulphur if he can prevent God from getting the right number of citizens.  His hope is that the earth will then continue for a long time.  Thus he opposes God’s kind of marriage.

God’s opinion about these anti-Biblical marriage patterns

The Bible is about God’s Kingdom.  God decides whom He includes and excludes.  God is precise, and does not leave us in the dark.  That is so that people can change their ways and ensure an inheritance in God’s Kingdom. 

  • ‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.’ 4 
  • ‘The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.’  5
  • ‘For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the Kingdom of God.’ 6 

Note carefully who God excludes from His Kingdom

  • God mentions sexual immorality, homosexual offenders, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, the greedy, et cetera.  Because God never shows favouritism, He cannot pardon some, and judge others.  His Word explains His course of action.  It applies to all people.  Nobody has any exemption ‘certificate.’  You cannot obtain such a certificate, since it would amount to favouritism from God’s side.  
  • God doesn’t exclude people because they are inherently bad, but, because they will not submit to His ways.  Therefore He categorises them as rebels, followers of the chief rebel, Satan.  Yet they can change through Jesus the Saviour.   There are billions of saved people who left the kingdom of darkness and entered the Kingdom of God. 
  • Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient to save all people who want to, out of darkness, ‘For He [God] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son [Jesus] He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.’ 7 

Should followers of Jesus condemn others?

  • The answer is short and sweet.  No.  We have no right to condemn because the two kingdoms differ.    
  • James 4:12 says, ’There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and destroy.  But you — who are you to judge your neighbour?’  The ‘neighbour’ includes both the saved and (one would accept) the unsaved.  Only one eternal Judge can save and condemn.  It is not necessary for us to do God’s work. 
  • 1 Corinthians 5:12 makes it even clearer, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside.  ‘Expel the wicked man from among you [inside the church].’”  It is the Holy Spirit who convicts people of sin, righteousness and judgment, not we.  

What can we do?  

Pray!  Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the devil’s schemes and his demons.  Prayer is powerful and effective.  Do not judge but pray for your loved ones that may be in the devil’s trap.  Satan cannot stop Holy Spirit inspired prayer.

To be continued…

References

  1. Ephesians 5:25-32  
  2. Revelation 19:6-9  
  3. Genesis 6:5-10  
  4. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10  
  5. Galatians 5:19-21  
  6. Ephesians 5:5  
  7. Colossians 1:13

The War against Marriage, Part 1 of 4

We live in a two kingdom world.  

  • Some people belong to the Kingdom of God, but the majority do not.  The Bible often talks about the ‘world.’  By that it means people who do not submit to God’s authority.  They are quite content to be part of Satan’s kingdom, although they often don’t realise it. 
  • The two kingdoms have different ‘constitutions.’   The people of God’s Kingdom have the Bible as their Law book.  The people of Satan’s kingdom, have no laws to guide them.  They do as they please. They do not regard the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. 
  • Because Satan is hostile towards God and His people, the world in general is hostile towards the followers of Jesus.   That hostility has been evident since the time Cain killed his brother.  1 John 3:12 says Cain belonged to the evil one [Satan].   
  • The world does not understand Christians.  ’They think it strange that [followers of Jesus] do not plunge with them in the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on [them].’ 1   
  • The ‘war’ against God and His people is increasing in intensity.  Revelation 12:12c explains, ‘He [the devil] is filled with fury, because he knows his time is short.’   The short time relates to the final judgment when he and his followers will be thrown into the lake of burning sulphur.  

Adam and Eve, the first married couple   

  • God ordained marriage between a man and a woman shortly after creation.  He created Adam and gave him the right to rule over creation.  Then God created a female out of Adam.  God brought her to him and Adam said, ’This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.’ 2 
  • As Scripture describes it, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.’ 3 
  • God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number;  fill the earth.…’ 4  Though there are couples who cannot reproduce, and God does not blame them, in general man and woman is able to reproduce and fill the earth.  
  • God needs people of many generations to fill heaven.  So obviously, while the world cries, ‘stop the bus, reproduce less,’ it does not worry God.  

Adam and Eve’s honeymoon in the Garden of Eden

  • God planted a garden east of Eden and there He put the couple.  Adam was to work the Garden and take care of it. 5 
  • God put two trees in the middle of the Garden: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   
  • Adam was commanded not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  He had enough other fruit and probably nuts, to eat.  It was their test of obedience. 

God’s plan for man right from the beginning was an eternal nation of people.  We know that one of the biggest problems in most countries is disobedience.  If all citizens would obey the laws of a country, it would be almost heaven on earth.  Yet most countries need law enforcement departments, prisons, et cetera.  God does not envisage prisons or police officers in His eternal Kingdom.  Therefore He had the test for obedience.  

Note that it was a fairly easy test: don’t eat from one tree, but eat from all the others.  However, the test or command had a ‘clause.’  If you eat of it, ‘you will surely die.’ 6  God did not elaborate on what kind of death because He did not want to instil fear in them to obey.  God always wants free, voluntary obedience out of pure love for the Lord. 

An abrupt end to the honeymoon

All of a sudden, a serpent addressed Eve (not Adam).  That should have alerted Eve.  Yet before we judge her, remember that she was not present when Adam named the animals.  He knew animals cannot talk.  Yet it is strange that he was with her but did not warn his wife when the serpent spoke.  From what we understand, he watched the whole encounter that cut their honeymoon short.  

The crafty serpent asked Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Who was the serpent?  Scripture reveals that he is the ‘Dragon, that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan.’ 8  Satan was an angel who rebelled against God and deceived many angels to follow him.  They oppose God in all possible ways.)  

Eve’s response was, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” 9   Satan replied: 

  • ‘You will not surely die.’  That was the direct opposite of God’s command.
  • ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ 10

Why did the serpent focus on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?  God, as Creator, has the right to decide what is good for man.  After all, He created man.  If they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would become like God and decide for themselves what is good or evil.  

Eve fell into the trap.

‘When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.’ 11

The bubble burst.  Their harmony and peace evaporated.  When Adam ate from the fruit,  Satan took over Adam’s authority to rule over creation.  The rebellious angel had status.  He was now the ruler, the prince of the world.  He wasted no time.  He got Adam and Eve’s firstborn, Cain, as his first human citizen.  Cain murdered his brother because he belonged to the evil one. 12  

The ruined honeymoon opened the way to the two kingdom world we live in.  If we understand it, we are well on our way to grasp what happens in the world.  The kingdom of darkness never stops its war against the Kingdom of Light.  

Conclusion

Genesis 3 explains how the world was divided into two groups that oppose each other.  It is God Almighty with His people and Satan, a created angel, with his people.  That was the beginning of our two kingdom world: the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness. 

To be continued…

References

  1. 1 Peter 4:3-4  
  2. Genesis 2:23  
  3. Genesis 2:24  
  4. Genesis 1:28  
  5. Genesis 2:15  
  6. Genesis 2:17  
  7. Genesis 3:1  
  8. Revelation 12:9; 20:2  
  9. Genesis 3:2-3  
  10. Genesis 3:4-5  
  11. Genesis 3:6  
  12. 1 John 3:12

God is a separatist

One of Satan’s tempting suggestions to Jesus after His forty day fast was, ‘…tell these stone to become bread.’ Jesus’ answer was that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. 2

Underlying His answer was a principle: rock is rock, and bread is bread.  Why is that important?  It is because God is a separatist.  When He created, He put things in separate ‘boxes’ that are fixed and final. 

#  God’s separatist nature in creation  

  • He separated light from darkness. 
  • He separated the waters above from the waters below. 
  • He separated the land and the sea. 
  • He created kinds of plants.  The kinds are separate from each other.  This also happened with the fish, the birds and the land animals. 
  • When it came to humans, He separated them from the animal kingdom when He breathed His spirit of life into Adam.3  People have a mind, free will, speech, creativity, et cetera.  All that separates us from the animal kingdom. 
  • God also created man and woman separate.  Together they would become one, but they had different roles, especially in procreation. 

#  Practical applications of God’s separatist system  

  • It has become fashionable to claim that the two genders are interchangeable.  In other words, a boy can become a girl, and vice versa.  However, in God’s Kingdom, separation still exists.  Male is male, and female is female. 
  • There is a separation between the world, under the leadership of the devil, and God’s people who are led by the Holy Spirit.  In 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 Paul explains that God did not give His children the right to judge people outside the church.  We are only to judge people inside the church (our ‘box’).  God will judge those outside.  We are not allowed to shout at people in the world system who have different views than we have.  We pray for them. 
  • The same principle applies to marriage.  God ordained it to be between a man and a woman.  The world, in rebellion against God, decided it is rubbish, and they condone any kind of marriage.  They force or try to force the various churches to adopt their philosophy about marriage.  That happens, but with God, it does not sell. 

Conclusion

We do not judge the world, because as followers of Jesus, we need to understand God’s principle of separation.  That is why, in the end, God will separate the ungodly from the godly. 4

References

  1. Matthew 4:3  
  2. Matthew 4:4  
  3. Genesis 2:7  
  4. Matthew 13:24-30

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