Marriage, Divorce, Vows, and Authority

August 5th, 2011

I have long contended that a proper understanding of marriage, and why it is that the western world – or the “greater Babylonian Metropolitan Area” at least – is such an incredible mess, is obvious from any even remotely honest examination of Scripture.  We literally call “good”, evil, and “evil”, good.  What He clearly calls “abomination“, government now “licenses”.   And what the Word allows, Caesar’s government, and its incorporated tax-exempt faith-based ‘church’, all too often forbids.

The Word of YHVH is simply not “politically correct”.

This, too, should not surprise us.  After all, our Savior warned us that the “world will hate you for My sake“.  The blessings, and the curses, described in Deuteronomy chapters 28 through 30 are impossible to deny – for those that have “eyes to see”.

But it is perhaps because marriage, as ordained and instructed by YHVH, is so utterly fundamental to an understanding of His intended relationship with US,  that it is a major battleground in the so-called “culture war”.    His instruction (‘torah’) about marriage is attacked by the Adversary, and truly hated by modern post-Biblical Babylon.  How DARE the Designer Himself actually come right out and say clearly that “male and female He created them” — and that we are “perfect” or “complete” (from the root ‘tamim/tamam’ in the Hebrew) for the purposes that He made us!  We must not confuse what it means to be equally “blessed and beloved of Yah” with the popular notion that men and women are somehow “equal”.

Most who have heard me talk or teach about ‘law’, or the Constitution for the once-united States, or Exodus 21 and what it means for a master to give his slave a wife, know that I eschewed licensing of marriage — even long before the ‘state of New York’ put yet another exclamation point on the argument this month.   Perhaps even more vital, however, and even MORE politically-INcorrect, to an understanding of marriage, I contend, is the nature of vows, and authority, outlined for a house which puts Him as its head in Numbers chapter 30.  Those who are, or ever intend to be, husbands, or wives, should read and study it carefully.  It is not only about ‘vows’, but about authority, in accord with His Word and will.

Summarized, and admittedly over-simplified, it boils down to, “Men – do all that you SAY you will do”.  And “women, if you are under the authority of a father, or later a husband, who ‘covers’ you in accord with that provision – be thankful.”  For while you, too, are accountable to do as you vow to do, there is a layer of protection for you in the covering of that head of your house:  If you make a rash vow, and he nullifies it when he hears it, HE “bears your guilt”.  (And all of this helps explain as well why the Savior advises us all to be VERY careful about vows, and let our “yes be yes”, and our “no be no”.)

This aspect of the Torah may in fact be one of the few examples I can think of where a well-known tradition of men – at least “once upon a time” – actually teaches the principle in Scripture correctly.*  Not only that, but it demonstrates as well how, properly understood, EVERY aspect of His “teaching and instruction” fits together like a glove.   Proper authority, and usurpation; marriage, covenant, and divorce; adultery, idolatry, and the process for “putting away” — all are consistent with His Word as Written, when we understand His ‘torah’!

Do you remember the phrase which was often traditionally used in marriage ceremonies, just before the time when a father walks his daughter down the aisle and to the groom at the altar?

“Who gives this woman to be wed?”

This tradition traces directly to Numbers 30 and the explicit authority of a man over the vows of his wives and daughters. Since a man may void, or cast down, the vows of his daughter while she is under his authority, it makes sense that a transfer of such authority would be expressly  observed.  The wife-to-be has accepted the offer of marriage from her eventual ‘covering’, and so does her father.

This tradition shows that a father is surrendering his God-given authority over his daughter, and her vows, to her new husband.  This is, I suggest, part of the reason why Scripture is so specific, in so many places, about marriage, sexuality, and that covenant union.

Now I ask the next question:

What then is a certificate of divorce?  As outlined by God in Deuteronomy 24:1-3, it is an explicit, necessary part of the proper and complete process for lawfully sending a wife out of his house – so that she is no longer under the former husband’s covering – and may thus remarry.

Is it not yet another explicit transfer of authority? A woman who has been lawfully and completely “put away” is now responsible for HER OWN vows, and has no husband in headship over her. With such a certificate, as a believer, she is eligible for remarriage; without it, she is not – and is guilty of adultery for joining with any other man while her husband yet lives.**

Likewise, if that husband puts her away unlawfully, then HE, as her covering, is guilty of the adultery that he has ’caused her’ to commit (as Matthew 5:32, properly translated, makes clear).  But otherwise, his giving to her of a ‘certificate of divorce’ is a written, second witness that she is eligible to be remarried.  (She, of course, is a witness as well.)

Consider who has thus taken authority, and responsibility, for making the vow void.   “Who gives this woman to be wed?”

If she was ever married, her certificate of divorce is lawful written proof that her former husband did!  Indeed, as Numbers 30:15 confirms, he “bears her guilt” for that vow as well.

It is important that each of us understand why Scripture says that “death and life” are in the “power of the tongue”.  We must learn to guard what we say, and do according to all that we say we will.  To make vows is serious, to break them even more so.  But Who we “submit ourselves to obey” – and thus serve – is just as important.  We must know and respect His delegation of proper authority, in accord with His instruction.

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*  Most, of course, will recognize that the line I quoted has since been corrupted by ‘egalitarianism’!

**  Note one other important thing, as both Numbers 30:15, Matthew 5:32, and many others make clear.  If a husband puts away his wife treacherously, then HE bears her guilt.  He “causes her” to commit adultery!

 

Latest “Come out of her, My people” Show and Torah session

July 31st, 2011

This week’s “Come out of her” Show dealt with the subject of vows, marriage, and what that has to do with our choices concerning what passes for “Law” in post-Constitutional Amerika:

Come out of her, My people for 28 July, 2011

(There is an iPod version and media player here as well.)

Talking Torah – Torah portion – Massei

Newest radio shows

July 22nd, 2011

Come out of her, My people, for Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Drive Time Friday, with Jeff Gilbert and Mark Call, for 22 July, 2011

Friday news – 22 July, 2011

 

AND – last weekend’s Torah portion, from TalkingTorah:

Pinchas

Contradictions and apparent contradictions

July 10th, 2011

Here are some additional links to the most recent audio teachings and podcasts available on-line.

 

Thursday’s “Come out of her, My people” show explores the concept of “Voluntary Bondage” to what Scripture refers to as “another master”:

Come out of her – July 7, 2011

 

The Torah teaching set for this Shabbat was about Balaam.  As usual, Joel Sanchez taught the first segment, Jeff Gilbert the second, and Mark Call the final part.   (Which had quite a spirited, and sustained, Q&A session at the end as well!)  I would summarize the main emphasis of my own part of the set by calling it “Contradictions and Apparent Contradictions” and noting that there are some very dramatic parallels between the nature of Balaam and ‘the Church’ which should not be overlooked!

…and I will also point out that the final hour (or a bit more) of the entire segment had to do with questions about marriage – and licenses!  Hope you find it interesting:

 

TalkingTorah for 9 July, 2011 – Balaam

 

Finally, here are links to several other recent shows from Hebrew Nation Radio:

 

Drive Time Friday – Jeff Gilbert and Mark Call – Friday, 8 July, 2011

Friday News

Thursday News

 

The Declaration of Independence…and withdrawing consent

July 1st, 2011

Here are links to several shows which have to do with the almost-forgotten concept of “Truths” which we once unanimously held to be “self-evident”, and other related topics.

 

Food for thought going into a weekend where there is more to remember than fireworks and barbeques:

 

Special show:  The Declaration of Independence

 

Come out of her, My people for 30 June, 2011

 

News – Friday, 1 July, 2011 – leading into “Fourth of July Weekend”

 

 

Self-evident Truths

June 30th, 2011

Every year about this time, I find myself thinking about the miracle of how a bunch of different men, with varied religious backgrounds, and a history of some fairly significant disagreements, managed to come together and “walk in unity” – unanimously, even – in order to literally pledge, and risk, “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” over an idea:

that we are “endowed by our Creator” with Rights, which come not from any earthly government of man, but from Him alone.

That there is a “Law” which has been given to us by the Supreme Legislator of the Universe.  And that “to secure these Rights, governments are instituted among men”.

And isn’t it “funny”, in hindsight, that the fact that there IS a God — that He created us — is so undeniable that it goes without saying?  After all, the “self-evident Truths” involve the fact that He GAVE us Rights, and that those Rights therefore cannot be “aliened” by any government of fallen men; of COURSE He has to exist in order to do that!

There is no doubt that there were differences among those men in their “doctrines”, their interpretation of Scripture, and arguably even in how they perceived Who that Creator was, and what He had Written meant to them.  But they were able to agree on what was written there in spite of them.  The major points were just, well, obvious.

They were able to walk together in agreement because they held that certain Truths were “self-evident”.  Undeniable.  So important, as a matter of fact, that everyone who signed the document, and pledged “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” was willing to die for them.  The crime of treason, which they knew their signatures on that document meant, carried the death penalty.

After studying the history of that period of time, and the incredible obstacles presented by the requirement for a unanimous agreement to declare those thirteen colonies independent of a despotic monarch, I am personally persuaded that they had, shall we say, Help in working out those differences.  Nevertheless, the principles that they set forth in that document served to outline the legal basis for the government that was to follow.   As such, I have long considered the Declaration of Independence to be the greatest document ever written originally in the English language.

But the disappointing fact is that so many “Truths….” once held to be “…self-evident” are now not only ignored but denied by so many people.  This is really not surprising at all, given the disdain of so many today for the Word of YHVH.  If a ‘government’ refuses to even acknowledge now that He EXISTS, how can it admit that His authority is superior to theirs?  And a people who attempt to deny what has been Written by the Hand of the Creator Himself,  can certainly show equal or greater contempt for all other so-called “law” as well.  A “living constitution” is no law at all…unless enforced at the barrel of a gun…by those ALLOWED to have the guns, today.  And, of course, it no longer means what it SAYS it means, in actual writing; it means what THEY say is was supposed to mean.

Many of us, who have ‘come out of’ what Scripture repeatedly calls the “whore” — a system, or a ‘church’, which puts other “mighty ones”, other gods, or “elohim”, in his place, have become frustrated at the refusal of ‘the world’ to see what we see.  After we begin to study, it seems obvious that He never changed His Sabbaths.  When He says, “I change NOT”  (Malachi 3:6), or that He is the same “yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8) and “came not to change one yod or tiddle” of His own torah (instruction) so long as “heaven and earth” still exist, we know what that means.  Pieces begin to fall into place.  He didn’t change our bodies, either…what He said was “food” is STILL food, and what was not is still not…men are still men, women remain women, and His instruction about marriage still applies, too — just as it has since He Wrote it down for us.

We might think some of those things are self-evident.  But the Truth remains that He Wrote it down for us for a reason.  Fallen men lie.  They change the meaning of words.  They “add to” and “subtract from” what is Written — in spite of His commandments to the contrary.

The Founders understood Scripture.  History records that the single most quoted work, most referenced book among ALL of the history and texts referenced during the Revolutionary period, the letters of the “Committees of Correspondence”, and the debates leading up to the Declaration, the Articles of Confederation, and later the Constitution, was the Book of Deuteronomy.

Neither the English “Common Law” (referenced directly in the Constitution) nor the references to God in the Declaration of Independence can be understood completely outside of a Biblical context.  Note, for example, that there are precisely THREE additional references to Him in the Declaration, outside of the use of the “Creator”: He is the “Supreme Judge of the world”, the Legislator, who gave us the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, and the King, or Protector, called “Divine Providence”.  How many people who now try to deny that ALL subsequent law in these formerly-united States is based on the principles outlined in the Declaration are ignorant of the fact that those three references come directly from Isaiah 33:22?   The King James version of that verse says, “For the LORD is our Judge, The LORD is our Lawgiver, The LORD is our King; He will save us.”  And from that specific set of references, added during the debates over the document itself, forms the basis for what is known as the “separation of powers”.  The Founders knew and agreed that man was fallen, and would seek to acquire power over time.  “In His hands ONLY”, they agreed, could such powers be combined!

We can take several lessons from things which are rarely still talked about, but vitally important, at this time of the year.  Law is Written down for us for a reason!  Even things that might once have been “self-evident” can become twisted over time by fallen men, and the deceit of the Adversary.  And it IS still possible to “walk in agreement”, even unanimously, when we are willing to trust and be led by Him…our Judge, our Lawgiver, and our King.  He WILL save us, just as He promises.

Finally, there is a message as well for those of us who have been frustrated by not being able to “get through” to some of our friends or family…who don’t seem to want to read the Bible like the Bereans…as it is Written.  Sometimes a different approach can make a difference.  If you can’t get people to read the Bible with you most of the time, try this:  See if you can get them to read just the first couple of paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, just this once, during this time.  Perhaps they’ll see the point that way, and it will eventually get to be “self-evident” that it is True.

Shavuot, and “Teachability”

June 13th, 2011

A recent theme that I have explored on both the regular Thursday afternoon “Come out of her” show on Hebrew Nation Radio, and in local and online fellowships, comes from the most recent Torah portion, in particular Numbers 11 and 12.  Here are the links:

Come out of her, My people

Talking Torah for 11 June

By the way, the half-hour daily news and commentary shows still go up every day (Monday thru Friday) on the podcast as well at Hebrew Nation Radio.  Here is the link for Monday, 13 June:

News – Fraud, FrankenCows, and the FBI

More recent radio shows

May 31st, 2011

Come out of her, My people, for Thursday, 26 May, 2011:

Has the “law” really been “done away with”?  Some informed speculation as to where that leads.

“Memorial Day” 2011 news…

News for Tuesday, 31 May.  First Greece, and then Belarus…coming soon to a Theater Near You…

The Curse of “Lawlessness”

May 31st, 2011

The events of the past few weeks have left an objective observer little choice but to conclude that much of the world is heading into what can reasonably be called “lawlessness”… from wars in northern Africa and the Mideast, to riots in Greece.   But it is in the United States where that word may be most appropriate, as so many recent court decisions and acts of Congress have literally turned centuries-old principles of law on their heads.

In Indiana, that state’s Supreme Court recently even made the astounding claim that the hapless residents there are not allowed to resist their police-state masters EVEN when armed men* enter their homes in COMPLETE violation of the law!  Thus, in one evil blow, the ‘court’ overturned not only the few remaining shreds of the 4th Amendment from the Bill of Rights, but even the eight century-old principles of the Magna Carta as well…that a “man’s home is his castle”.  In Texas, the state House overwhelmingly passed a bill to protect the citizens there from abuse by the TSA, saying that those who commit sexual assault, even in airports, by groping passengers in a form offensive to “reasonable” people, would actually be held accountable for the crime.  Before that bill could even pass the Senate, however, the Feds and TSA — like the legendary Godfather played by Marlon Brando —  “made them an offer they couldn’t refuse”.  They literally threatened to shut down all air traffic into the entire state if they failed to submit to their federal masters.  Texas caved.  And – although it really was no surprise – the US Congress again “renewed” the hideously-misnamed “Patriot” Act, confirming that  “we don’t need no steenkin’ warrants”, either.

Very little of what was once the “Bill of Rights” survives today.  And people who once believed in a “rule of law” wonder what happened.  In hindsight, however, the Truth is as simple as “we reap what we sow”.  In previous months, we have explored some of the ways in which dishonest money, or “unjust weights and measures”, lead inevitably to inflation and moral decay.  Both the Bible, and the Constitution, forbid the type of fiat paper dollars that masquerade as “money” today.  But there is another issue.

For well over 1700 years, the world has been misled by a ‘church’ which teaches that the “law has been done away with”.  Popes, priests, and pastors claim the authority to replace the commandments of YHVH with their own “traditions”, which the Pharisees before them were rightfully called “hypocrites” for doing.   In particular, the Torah, or “teaching and instruction” of God, as given to Moses, is often purported to be part of another “dispensation”, even though YHVH Himself said He does not change, and that His instruction would NOT change either, until “heaven and earth pass” (Matthew 5:17-19) .  Men have “changed times and seasons”, and declared that His Sabbaths, which He said we were to keep “forever” — no longer apply.  Commandments for everything from what constitutes marriage, to what constitutes food, have been treated the same way.  Now, all around the world, Caesar’s churches continue to peddle that self-serving lie.  Even dictators have learned to take advantage of a compliant state-licensed clergy, by twisting the language of Romans 13 to claim that while God no longer cares that His Law be obeyed, it is what the Almighty State decrees that really matters.

Consider, finally, some other recent developments.  The city of San Francisco just gave final approval to a ballot issue which proposes to outlaw circumcision of males under the age of eighteen, with no “religious exemption” for trivialities like Scripture.   And, for the first time ever, a Gallup poll claims that a majority of Amerikans now support “gay marriage” — again, in direct opposition to the Bible.  Is it any surprise that a people who believe such Big Lies are able to accept something declared “legal” which YHVH calls “abomination” …and vice-versa?

The cycle is complete:  The Constitution is now no more the “Supreme Law of the Land” than the Bible.  A people which have come to believe that the Written Law of YHVH the Almighty Himself can be “done away with” will eventually, and inevitably, conclude that the Constitutions of men are just as ephemeral, just as trivial.  There is no question that “many have been deceived” by false teachers and prophets.

And our Savior said, “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

How can one “love your neighbor” while ignoring the way our Father says we are treat him, in accord with His “torah”?  It is more than ironic that the same “church” which teaches lawlessness — that the “law has been done away with”, been “nailed to the cross”, or just “no longer matters” in “this dispensation” — is in large part responsible for fulfilling His prophecy of the sorrows to come.

“Lawlessness” — like the inflation and collapse which follows dishonest money — is a cancer.  It rots the very foundation of societies.  The admonition of Revelation 18:4, to “come out of her, My people“, and separate ourselves from the plagues which follow, is important, and bears repeating.  But there is an even stronger warning to those who “lead His sheep astray”, “fail to teach the difference between the set-apart (qadosh, or “holy”) and the profane”, and practice (much less teach!) “torah-less-ness”.  It is in Matthew 7:22-23:

“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your Name?
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ “

There is a reason why He Wrote it down for us.

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*  Note that I did not use the term ‘police’, much less “peace officer”, because there was a time not that long ago when a sworn official acting “under color of law” — violating their oath of office — was held to be acting criminally.  No longer.   And how does someone whose door is broken down by a “cop” know whether the thug acting against him and his family unlawfully is a “real” criminal, or just an impostor in a uniform?

Recent Radio Shows

May 19th, 2011

This last week has been QUITE a bizarre, disturbing, even disgusting one when it comes to “news” in the former Constitutional republics of Amerika.  You may find some of these to be a bit of a different perspective than the Wastestream Media:

Police State One

Police State Two – ‘the One-two Punch

Who owns “your” children?

The discussion on Hebrew Nation Radio of this week’s Torah portion (the end of Vayikra, or Leviticus) was also quite interesting:

BeChokkatai

 

Finally, this week’s edition of “Come out of her, My people” —

Fear not!