Volume 44 | Number 1 | January–February 2016

Inglés Español

The End-time Battle for a Biblical Marriage

By Dr. H. T. Spence

Today Christians have been called upon to live in the most treacherous time in history—a time when the evident unfolding of biblical prophecy clearly warns us of this hour in history. That which God declares to be true, contemporary man declares to be false; that which God declares to be either moral or immoral, man now declares to be the opposite. Man has either redefined or denied every divinely-appointed institution by God. Today’s humanists are a product of the ever-expanding foundations of atheism, evolution, moral relativism, freedom of inquiry, postmodernism, and the pursuit of a one-world government.

Our society has entered into a spirit of insanity where political correctness is controlling the governments of the world as well as the daily thought-life of society in general. George Orwell’s book 1984 revealed a compelling description of how the so-called Ministry of Truth used “Newspeak” to brainwash the people of Oceania. The party slogans were “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.” Through crafty manipulation, these lies were eventually embraced and believed.

Myths have their origin with Satan in the Garden of Eden. Satan convinced Eve that by disobeying the Word of God she could rule her own life, she could be her own god, and she could escape any thoughtless dependency on a Heavenly Being Who really had no right to claim her life for Himself. Since this first deception, there has continually been throughout the ages this great debate over whether mankind will be ruled by God or whether man is capable of ruling himself. Sir Julian Huxley, one of the founders of the American Humanist Association, gave a powerful definition of a modern-day humanist:

I use the word “humanist” to mean someone who believes that man is just as much a natural phenomenon as an animal or plant; that his body, mind and soul were not supernaturally created but are products of evolution, and that he is not under the control or guidance of any supernatural being or beings, but has to rely on himself and his own power.

Huxley was once on a television program in which he responded to the question of why evolution was so readily accepted. He admitted, “The reason we accepted Darwinism even without proof, is because we didn’t want God to interfere with our sexual mores.” Such candidness reveals that so-called modern man does not want to believe in God because he wants no interference from the Creator to his way of living.

As Christians, we are not pessimists in these matters, nor are we optimists; we are realists in discerning the times in which we live. Postmodernism, with its change of words, of languages, of philosophies of history, has brought us to a time in our contemporary that what was once believed as truth is now perpetrated as error, and what was once error is now presented as truth—insanity has become sanity and sanity has become insanity.

One of the great areas the Devil is dedicated to destroying is that “haven of rest” that God instituted and called marriage. God appointed and designed marriage to be a part of this precious life on earth; no matter how evil or difficult life becomes on earth, this area is to be marked with strength, love, and peace. Why would the world be against marriage? It is simply because marriage is ordained by God and not by man. God appointed marriage; God designated what marriage should be—its very concept, its very formation of a man and woman in an honorable living condition in the sight of heaven. This all is preserved in Genesis 2:21–25. How sad but true that the sin of man eventually over time destroys any creation of God or any identification of man with God.

God made the human body to serve Him; this body is to be presented unto Him as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, to do God’s will (Rom. 12:1, 2). The first time the term flesh is used in the Bible is in the context of woman:

This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Gen. 2:23, 24).

“Woman” is specifically the flesh that God appointed for man; she was to be his wife. Apart from God Himself, man was permitted by God to give his body only unto his wife. This is why God is against fornication. Fornication violates the appointment of the flesh in both its service to God directly and its dedication to the husband-wife relationship.

Note the Bible’s declaration in 1 Corinthians 6:18–20:

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The apostle Paul continues,

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband (1 Cor. 7:2).

Paul also states the following in 1 Corinthians 7:3–5:

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

God permits the body of the husband to be given to his wife and her body unto him. God denounces the fornication of man giving his body to himself, to another man, or to another woman; this includes the mental fornication of pornography. The body of a man belongs only to God and to the woman with whom a man has permanently become one flesh. God’s purpose in marriage is the bringing together of one man and one woman to become one flesh.

Contemporary media, govern-ments, and liberal churches are pressuring and promoting the destruction of biblical marriage. Recent and radical changes concerning the concept of marriage have led us directly back to the days of Noah and the days of Lot. Amidst the national battle to destroy biblical marriage, we will have to battle to keep a biblical marriage.

An example of the early decline of biblical marriage is recorded in Genesis 4:19, when Lamech brought polygamy into existence. He directly attacked the appointment of marriage. This happened in the seventh generation of mankind, well over a thousand years after Creation. Three generations later in the days of Noah (according to Gen. 6:1, 2), polygamy went beyond two wives to that of multiple wives. Ten generations after Noah (during the days of Abraham and Lot) there arises in history sodomy, which the Bible calls strange flesh. We are now in a generation that has denounced the Bible’s view and civilization’s view of marriage. The Christian only believes in marriage according to the Bible and its historic view throughout all of human history, especially as preserved in Western civilization.

Five areas of marriage have become the target of destruction today in our country.

(1) The Biblical Pattern for Marriage. Marriage is to be between a man and a woman: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). The original Hebrew of the Old Testament is very clear that this speaks only of two genders, a man and a woman. This is the pattern. God forbids any other pattern! Genesis 18:20 states, “And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous.” What was this sin? Genesis 19:5 reveals, “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” The word know is the same word used of a husband with his wife. Deuteronomy 23:17 declares, “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” We also read in Leviticus 18:22, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” God’s Word and will are clear in this truth. This is one of the reasons that God used the nation of Israel to judge the Canaanites: “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you” (Lev. 18:24).

Note the New Testament’s burden on this subject:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet (Rom. 1:26, 27).

In 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul declares

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.

The words effeminate and abusers of themselves are words that describe the homosexual lifestyle. Yes, the words of Paul go on to say that such individuals can be saved. However, they must stop their sin—“Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified” (1 Cor. 6:11)! A professing “homosexual Christian” is an impossibility.

(2) The Biblical Purposes of Marriage. “It is not good that man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). The relationship and companionship to be found in this chapter refers to a woman for life. It is also for responsibility in life together; for they were placed in the garden together to dress it and to keep it. This relationship is also for replenishing the earth (Gen. 1:28). Apart from the marriage relationship of a man and his wife, no other pattern can biblically replenish the earth.

Following the fall of man, another purpose for biblical marriage arises in 1 Corinthians 7: biblical marriage is to keep the man and woman from fornication. The Devil is endeavoring to hinder and destroy the existence of mankind; sodomy is a great tool of the Devil to diminish the population and promote greater abominations of fornication.

(3) The Biblical Purity of Marriage. Most wedding vows include the phrase, “And forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him (or her) so long as ye both shall live.” This vow is given in order to separate, to keep one’s self from any other person; likewise, it commits one’s self totally to his (or her) marriage mate. One of the Ten Commandments declares, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Jesus expanded that commandment to include that lust in the heart for another is also adultery. Permissiveness has become the norm in contemporary marriages. Rampant pornography is easily brought into the home through the internet; additionally, much of the music today is filled with words that suggest an immoral lifestyle. A husband and wife can only achieve oneness when both of them have given themselves completely to one another and to no one else. Such oneness can never be known in the sodomite context.

(4) The Biblical Permanence of Marriage. Our heart goes out to any man or woman whose spouse has become unfaithful; this truly is a casualty of departing from God’s biblical appointment in marriage. The Bible declares that man must cleave [i.e., “to glue, to stick together”] unto his wife. God never intended for this oneness to be divided. Matthew 19:6 states, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” This verse does not state whom God hath joined together; it states what. The what in this verse is the principle of a man and woman coming together in marriage. In Matthew 19:8 Christ declares, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” Jesus reinforced the principle of the permanence of marriage.

(5) The Biblical Picture of Marriage. This picture is found in Ephesians 5:22–25. Here the principle of husband and wife is paralleled to that of Christ and His Church. “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:32). The husband and wife relationship is a living, working picture of Christ and the Church. Our position in the true Church is to be not only preached about but also pictured in our lives. Biblical marriage is Christianity modeled; such a truth has become void in our day. The institutional Church on earth today is in apostasy, in adultery, and in all forms of spiritual fornication. The battle for marriage is a spiritual battle that goes far beyond just the breakup of a marriage; it is an attack against the very purpose of God concerning His true Church.

May God help us in these last and difficult days to remain true to the biblical principles of a biblical marriage. All other concepts and definitions of marriage are to be rejected and refused, no matter what it may cost us in our definitive stand for the biblical declaration.