“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet.”
– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
In the days prior to launching this blog, we already had several teachings ready to go, with several more in the pipeline; there was no lack of content, and we all had a fairly clear idea how we would all contribute to this project to see it take flight. It was a fairly smooth, seamless process, with just one small snag: we didn’t have a name. As a leadership team, we deliberated over group chat, quite extensively, what to call this new ministry which we had intended to build together. Although there never was a clear consensus, someone suggested the name “11:3 Restoration,” based on 1 Corinthians 11:3, in which the apostle Paul writes,
“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”
It is with deep regret that we find it necessary to refute 119Ministries for significant error in their most recent video regarding their (un)Biblical position concerning polygyny.
While we admit this is a third rail topic laden with cultural and emotional baggage, we also believe that Truth is more important than public opinion. And, defending our Elohim, His Word and the honor of our fathers, the Patriarchs, is well worth the potential cost.
In the interest of ‘Testing Everything’, we present our well articulated response to 119Ministries’ error laden video. We are deeply sorry to see 119Ministries sacrifice their once solid reputation by handling clear Scripture so very poorly.
From the colonial period to the second decade of the twenty-first century in the United States of America, marriage has been the subject of legislation and court decisions. Specifically, the question that I am exploring herein is how statutes and court decisions define or permit “who can marry whom?” The following is not intended to be a detailed overview of more than four centuries of history. Undoubtedly, there exist monographs and books written on this topic and the interested reader can search them out. I did a search through DuckDuckGo on “history American marriage laws”, which returned several hits. The first sites, including Wikipedia, contained some information about the changes in American law since the colonial period and several things jumped out at me and that’s what I want to discuss. The reader is warned that this might be “getting into the weeds” somewhat, but the overall trend addressing “who can marry whom?” is what I’m interested in sharing with you.
In the opening article in my new “Marriage Laws” series, I made the proposition that Yeshua clearly said that some things belong to YHVH only, and that marriage is one of those things that YHVH has reserved to Himself, and not given to Caesar (the government) to legislate. In forthcoming articles, I will explore how “Caesar” in America and other societies in the past has arrogated to himself the power to regulate marriage. In this second article, I am going to answer the question of what YHVH has said about marriage. It turns out that He has said a great deal, and nowhere has He said that Israel’s rulers have any legal jurisdiction on this topic. If they don’t, how much less jurisdiction do the nations have?
We will begin at the beginning during Creation Week in which we are going to analyze what He said and did through the aftermath of the Fall. Later, we will discuss what He put into the Sinai Covenant and the related statutes and judgments in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
While I have long understood that one reason God created marriage was to image His relationship with His people (Eph. 5:22-33), to a much lesser degree, I understood that a purpose for marriage is sanctification. It was not, however, until the last couple years of understanding Biblical marriage, that I began to understand how very significant the aspect of sanctification is.
Sanctification, by definition, is the process of ‘making holy.’ Holy means ‘set apart’ or ‘consecrate,’ so ‘sanctification’ means ‘the process of setting apart, or making holy.’ See the following snip from an online dictionary:
So, wow. Not sure how to start this one. Just wow. Last night was such a spirit filled God breaking chains kind of night. I feel so free now. I just cannot even believe this is real life. Backing up to the beginning of this journey. Submitting has to be one of the hardest things I have ever done, not just any submission, but submitting to my husband’s desires. His desire for a second wife. Ok so having a second wife isn’t sin. I see all the wonderful things it can bring to our marriage. What I fear the most in submission when it comes to a second wife is the word love. Not the kissing and hugging and not even the sex really. When I see love, I see my husband holding my sister wife and looking deep into her soul and professing his undying love to her, telling her she is his world and he will be there for her, always. THIS, is my fear and where my jealousy comes from. I fight this demon and fight it often. I’ve prayed and prayed that this feeling would be lifted off of me. When I think, I can handle it and have a good day not thinking about these things again, I have these raging jealous tendencies. The enemy would have me so tight in his grip I could NOT EVER be at peace. I would literally be tormented by this thought 24 hours a day. I could not sleep. I’d wake up daily at around 3 a.m. to the demons that would speak to me, eating away at every inch of me until l completely literally freak out. And my freak out mode would be directed at Matthew. Every time. It got to the point where Matthew would get so annoyed with me even after telling me how much I was loved and how he would never want a second if I felt the way I do. He would hold up his flag and say he gives up. At that moment, I won. You would think I would finally feel better but I didn’t. Matthew would start to question himself as to why he ever thought this was God’s calling. But why? Because I made him submit to ME. That’s right. I manipulated him into submitting to my emotions. When he did this, for a brief moment I felt like a huge boulder had been lifted off of my chest. I would take the biggest sigh of relief. Until God started talking to me. “Jessie, what are you doing? This isn’t right. You need to give Matthew back his place and submit to him. Things will be better this way.” Ugh! Really!? Why God? Why do I have to feel bad again right after I can finally breathe? I would feel such guilt. I felt so ashamed with my manipulation. I didn’t even realize what I was doing. Why was I making my husband who is supposed to be above me, below me? So, I would apologize to Matthew, ask for forgiveness and go back to being so happy because Matthew was back in his place as the leader of his home. All was well after my submission. I felt free and at total peace after I submitted. Me being me, I would repeat this yo-yo instability over and over. Be submitted then get jealous and whine like a baby until he gives up and gives me the power above him. So last night was different. So, last night while Matthew and I made love and made me feel completely loved in his embrace, God showed up. I have never experienced God showing up in any sexual intercourse. This was very different. But he needed to show up here. He needed to be there to tell me and show me he loves me. In that moment God asked “Do you see? I have all the love you need and I can love you fully. Matthew can do the same too. He has enough love for more than just you. He will fully love you and your sister wife with the same amount of love.” I couldn’t help but have a praise session during love making. It was so real, so raw, so God. At that moment my chains of bondage were released from me. Finally. But was it absolutely true? I then asked God to show me if it was. To allow me to feel the same freeing feeling in the morning. So, in the morning I felt alright. I looked over at Matthew and asked him to test me. To tell me something that would have normally upset my stomach. He played out a scenario in his head and shared with me. I still felt free. Then I asked God again, if this is real please allow me to feel this peace when the sun goes down later on. In the evening hours is when my raging hormones always get the best of me. The peace of God was still there. I indeed was free. Not my jealousy issues in a general sense but that Matthew’s love is more than enough for just one. Just like the Fathers.
God makes me laugh out loud. He makes me smile. He is so good at being good. When I think he is so far away. When I think I have been abandoned by him, he always shows me how impatient I am. Almost childish of me really. He brought to me at the most perfect timing a 1st wife living in this plural lifestyle. We hit things off so well and I can call her a really great new friend. How wonderful is God? How ridiculous God has to show me how wonderful he is. Boy, I feel pretty dumb. I praise you Lord for all you reveal to your simple-minded servant. You are so so good. Thank you for new friendships. Thank you for the path you lead me down. You are amazing. Here I am Lord, flawed and small. I am not worthy of such love yet you freely give it all to me, always and daily. You fill all my emptiness with your tender love and mercy. You are the King of my heart and forever I will follow you.
The TV or print ads concerning aid for the hungry weigh heavily on the average person’s conscience. We are often quickly moved to open a checkbook or make a donation. Many churches or home fellowships have a system to help the known needs of those in the community. Most would react quickly and easily if they knew of a local family without food. We are familiar with James’ admonition,
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (2:15-16).
When people put forth arguments against the polygyny laws of the Old Testament, one of them is that if there are laws on the books that make polygyny illegal, then even if it’s legal in the Old Testament, it’s not legal in the present day, and the secular law is the controlling authority and should be obeyed.