November 23, 2011 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
Marriages that Ought Not have been Made
Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."
They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?"
He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery."
The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." But he said to them, "Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it."
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." And he laid his hands on them and went away. (Matt 19:1–15)
Are children not eunuchs because of their lack of sexual development? The sexualization and/or sexual exploitation of children should never occur for children are natural eunuchs, with their sexuality developing as they mature physically—
For the past couple of weeks, the Pennsylvania State University scandal has dominated regional news stories and has had widespread national coverage: a prominent coach is accused of showering with young boys and committing sexual abuses against them. If the allegations are true, this coach is worthy of punishment in this world and death in the lake of fire when the heavenly judgment of the coach is enforced.
Physical children born to human parents form the shadow and copies of sons of God born of the Most High God, a declaration that will be developed. Therefore, the sexual abuse of human children serves as a copy of heinous acts committed against sons of God by those who have authority over these children of God, with the ones holding authority not being football coaches but Christian ministers and priests—and the equivalent abuse of sons of God to sexual abuse of human children causes these sons of God to be terrified of the Father, the ultimate authority figure, and therefore never fully able to trust God. And because these abused sons of God will never fully trust any authority figure, they will by their doubts, their unbelief, their questioning of authority keep themselves out of the kingdom of the heavens.
All sexual relations outside of marriage is sin, is a transgression of the commandments, with consenting fornication between a man and a women being as damaging to the inner self as rape is to the physical, outer self. For consensual or nonconsensual fornication makes the two individuals one in an unholy union that necessarily excludes the Lord, with this mental union being as difficult to dissolve as rape is impossible to forget. Therefore, marriage should occur whenever a man and a woman cannot restrain themselves sexually. However, marriage should not occur where one or both individuals are eunuchs for the sake of the Lord as human children are eunuchs because of their lack of sexual development—but for the living inner self, an infant son of God, to be able to rule over the flesh is a rare occurrence.
When Sadducees that didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead asked about whose wife a woman would be who was lawfully married to seven brothers, Jesus chastised them, saying, “‘[Y]ou know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven’” (Matt 22:29–30) … resurrected saints will be like angels in that they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but isn’t the single event for which Christians await the Wedding Supper at which they marry the Bridegroom and become one which Christ Jesus? Angels are not going to marry the Bridegroom. Glorified saints will. So glorified saints will be given in marriage one time, at the Wedding Supper. They will not marry each other, but will marry the Bridegroom, with being glorified completing their spiritual maturation. Until glorified, the saints have no spiritual or immortal bodies that could be married to the Bridegroom. Rather, they are one with Christ Jesus through being the Body of Christ. It is, however, the juxtaposition of Pharisees testing Jesus concerning marriage and divorce, of Jesus’ disciples not really understanding what Jesus said about marriage, and of little children coming to Jesus and being prevented from doing so by Jesus’ disciples that needs explored—these three things remain problematic for endtime Christians …
When Jesus told Nicodemus that unless someone is born again, the person is not able to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3), Nicodemus initially understood the phrase [born of the Father from on high] that is translated into English in the shortened form, born again, to mean that a grown person must again enter that person’s mother’s womb to be born a second time as an infant as Jesus was born of Mary as a human infant whose Father was the Creator of all that has been made. Nicodemus may have been carnally minded, but he was not a simple man. He understood that Jesus could not do the signs that Jesus was doing unless the God of Israel was with Him. So when Jesus used an odd phrase that pertained to God procreating, and considering that Nicodemus would have believed the story of Jesus’ divine conception, Nicodemus would have logically thought that Jesus said that to be like Jesus, a man must again enter his mother’s womb, be conceived by God, and then be again born as a human infant—and that did not make sense to Nicodemus, hence his question: “‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?’” (v. 4).
To be born again, to be born of God from on high, the person will be an infant son of God, what Jesus said and what Nicodemus understood but couldn’t comprehend the mechanics thereof.
What Nicodemus didn’t understand was the sign of Jonah, the only sign that Jesus would give to establish that He was from heaven … while inside the great fish, the whale, Jonah, an adult man, died and was dead:
The waters closed in over me [Jonah] to take my life;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O LORD my God. (Jonah 2:5–6)
Jonah was returned to life while in the bowels of the whale, and this great fish puked Jonah out upon dry land (Jonah 2:10) where he was the recognized spokesman of Dagon, the fish god that people of Sidon and the people of Nineveh worshiped; hence, Nineveh believed the preaching of Jonah and repented.
While Jonah was in the whale, Jonah typified the inner self of all who will be born of God as sons: when humanly born, the inner self of the person is spiritually dead, and because this inner self is dead, the person is carnally [naturally] minded and hostile to God (Rom 8:7). The person doesn’t have the mind or nature of God, but has the mind and nature of the Adversary, who appears in this world as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14), and his servants appear as ministers of righteousness (v. 15). The inner self of the person is as Jonah was in the whale:
When my [Jonah’s] life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple. (Jonah 2:7)
The inner self of the person—analogous to Jonah in the whale, with the whale representing the fleshly body of the person, and with the whale being of a lower taxonomical order than Jonah—is resurrected from death when the human person receives a second breath of life, the breath of God [pneuma Theon] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christos]. This second breath of life doesn’t give life to the flesh (to the whale), but to the inner self (to Jonah), who after three days and three nights was puked forth to deliver the word of the Lord to Nineveh, where there were many people who didn’t know their right hands from their left and were thereby defiled in their filthiness.
The above seems simple enough, but in the early 1st-Century CE devout Israelites, unlike Greeks, were not deceived into believing that human beings are born with immortal souls. Therefore, Nicodemus couldn’t entertain the concept that there was an inner and an outer person—
If the inner person, inner self, is dead when a person is humanly born, does this inner self really exist? It certainly doesn’t exist as a shade that would dwell in the underworld after death as early Greeks believed.
When the lawyer came to Jesus and asked what he must “‘do to inherit eternal life’” (Luke 10:25) and when the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked the same question (Luke 18:18), both knew that they did not then have indwelling eternal, or immortal life.
Nicodemus would have known that he didn’t have indwelling eternal life. Nicodemus would have known that he had no living inner self that would go to heaven or go to Hades when he died. Therefore, when Jesus said that a man must be born of the Father from on high, Nicodemus could only reference human birth in terms of a woman bringing forth an infant. He couldn’t contemplate birth in any frame of reference other than exiting the womb of a woman.
Jesus told Nicodemus,
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and pneumatos, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of pneumatos is spirit [pneuma]. Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind [pneuma] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the pneumatos. (John 3:5–8)
The Greek signifier —pneuma means a moving invisible force as in wind or deep breath, and is the root for English words such as pneumatic tools, and pneumonia. Its direct translation into Latin is spīritus, which is usually understood as <breath> or <the breath of a god>. Therefore, it is always inappropriate to assign personhood to a person’s breath, to the wind, or to the breath of God … my words are audibly heard by modulations of my breath striking the eardrums of another person. God’s words are audibly heard as modulations of His breath striking eardrums (as in Acts 13:2) or striking a person’s inner ear. And when my daughters were younger and at home, even though they were sitting in another room and out of my sight they would never mistake my voice telling then to get to work for another person telling them to quit giggling and get some work done. They recognized my voice whenever they heard it, and so it is with genuine sons of God:
“Truly, truly, I [Jesus] say to you [Pharisees], he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. (John 10:1–6 emphasis added)
No one should expect Christians not born of God to hear Jesus’ voice: they simply are not His sheep. Thus, the Christian who assigns personhood to the breath of God, the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion], or the breath of God in the breath of Christ [i.e., in hearing Jesus speak the Father’s words], simply is not of God; has not been born of God; and has no indwelling eternal life [i.e., doesn’t have an immortal soul]. This Christian remains a son of disobedience: this Christian will not keep the law and indeed cannot keep the law (again Rom 8:7) for the Christian remains the slave of the Adversary.
Nicodemus was incredulous when Jesus told him that the person, when born a second time, would be like the wind:
Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (John 3:9–12 emphasis added)
It wasn’t that Nicodemus didn’t want to believe. It was that he wasn’t born of God so he couldn’t comprehend things of God even when these things were presented in metaphorical language referencing the things of this world such as deep breath and wind and Adam as a physically mature human being receiving birth from God when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed life into this man of mud. Nicodemus had no frame of reference upon which he could arrange Jesus’ words. So he heard what Jesus said, but he couldn’t understand the simplicity of being born of God; i.e., of the dead inner self receiving life when the person receives the Holy Spirit, the divine breath of God that enters the fleshly body of a person not through the nose but directly into the heart as a whale breathes from a blowhole in back of its head. In his inability to understand, Nicodemus forms the reversed image (the mirror image or chiral image) of endtime Christians within greater Christendom.
Now, going back to how Jesus addressed his disciples’ concerns about not being able to divorce a wife: for various reason there are eunuchs from birth, a situation modern medical science has mostly corrected through gender assignment and reassignment. The genitalia of a certain percentage of live births (about half of one percent) is not readily discernable so gender is surgically assigned to these infants whereas in earlier centuries, these infants grew to maturity as eunuchs. If the assignment doesn’t agree with the sexual orientation of the child or young adult, reassignment can be made, a subject that is fraught with difficulties for socially conservative Christians.
Jesus went on to say that there are eunuchs who have been castrated for political reasons [eunuchs made eunuchs by men], with the prophet Daniel being in this category … if the temple with its Holy Place and Most Holy Place had still stood in Jerusalem, Daniel would have been prevented from entering into the Lord’s presence, but because the temple was razed by Nebuchadnezzar, the way was open to Daniel and his friends in Babylon to go before God.
The third category Jesus mentions “‘are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven’” (Matt 19:12) … concerning marriage, Paul wrote, “Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am” (1 Cor 7:6–8). Paul was a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom: Paul was inwardly a child of God, a son that had not become sexually active but was as the angels were even though he wasn’t yet glorified.
Until the Second Passover liberation of Israel, the inner self of the Christian who has truly been born of God through receipt of the breath of God in the breath of Christ—the inner self of this Christian will not always successfully rule the fleshly body in which this inner self dwells. Jonah didn’t rule over the whale. God ruled over the whale and told the whale when to puke Jonah out. God returned life to Jonah, then left him inside the whale long enough for Jonah to realize where he was before commanding the whale to expel Jonah onto dry land. All together, Jonah was three days [three light/hot portions of a 24 hour day] and three nights [three turnings away from the light] inside the whale [great fish].
In the “P” creation account (i.e., Genesis chapter one), a day begins with darkness, with light coming from the darkness—and with Christ Jesus being the light of Day One (2 Cor 4:6) … the first Adam was created in the darkness of Day One, was created on the day when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens:
These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Gen 2:4–7)
The last Adam, the man Jesus the Nazarene, was born of woman, grew to physical maturity, was baptized to fulfill all righteousness, and received a second breath of life, the breath of God [pneuma Theon], with John the Baptist witnessing Jesus receiving this second breath of life in the form of a dove (Matt 3:16) … that which is of darkness and of death is physical whereas that which is of light and of life, with Jesus being the life and light of men (John 1:4), is of the spirit [ton pneumatos]—is as invisible as the wind.
The visible, physical things of this world reveal and precede the invisible, spiritual things of God (cf. Rom 1:20; 1 Cor 15:46); hence human birth and maturation reveals and precedes spiritual birth and maturation. The small children that Jesus’ disciples prevented from coming to Him typify the infant sons of God that Jesus’ disciples prevent from coming to Him, meaning that Christian ministry in the 1st-Century (and ever since) prevented born-from-above sons of God from coming to Jesus, with one example being in what John wrote:
For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth. I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. (3 John vv. 3–11 emphasis added)
Because Greek converts came into The Way loaded with pagan baggage, including dogma contending that human beings are born with immortal souls, an irresolvable conflict developed within the 1st-Century Church:
· Converts from Judaism didn’t believe that any inner self existed, that a person must be outwardly circumcised to be of Israel, and these converts dragged their preexisting dogmas into the early Church under the rubric of the Circumcision Faction;
· Converts from pantheistic Greek cultures came into acceptance that Jesus was the Lord while still believing that human beings are born with immortal souls that go to heaven or to hell upon death.
Because of the messianic fervor that gripped 1st-Century Judaism, then under Edomite rule—the Hasmoneans had forcibly converted Edomites and Nabateans to Judaism, an act that caused an ideological split within Judaism and an act that invited active Roman occupation—Pharisees and Zealots were looking for political liberation and a return to theological purity. Thus Rome fought the Jews in three wars of succession and caused Rome enough grief that by 135 CE, Emperor Hadrian outlawed Judaism as a religion. And in doing so, Hadrian ended the conflict within Christendom between the Circumcision Faction and the mystery of lawlessness that had been at work since the first Greeks were converted … the Greeks won. Men are humanly born with immortal souls and Christians do not need to keep the commandments of God. As Edomites ruled in Judea in the 1st-Century CE, the mystery of lawless ruled the Christian Church from the 2nd-Century on.
The inner self of the Christian convert who has actually received a second breath of life, the breath of God, is born as an infant son of God within a physical tent of flesh that has sexual desires and a particular sexual orientation, with that orientation usually agreeing with the biology of the tent of flesh … it is the metaphorical whales that marry and are given in marriage, that commit fornication and adultery, not the inner Jonahs that are spiritually born as infant sons of God, with the maturation of these inner Jonahs made visible by the previously occurring maturation of the whales.
As human infants are eunuchs because they haven’t developed sexually even though they are born with male or female biology, infant sons of God are eunuchs—concerning the saints, Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28 emphasis added)—because they haven’t and won’t develop sexuality while inside whales (i.e., tents of flesh). Rather, sex and sexuality are of this world and will remain in this world and will pass away when this world passes away. But the marriage relationship that exists between one man and one woman typifies the relationship between Yah and the Most High God seen in the Tetragrammaton YHWH, with this marriage relationship being broken when Yah entered His creation as His only Son, the man Jesus the Nazarene. But because this marriage-type relationship was broken by death, that of Yah, the only Son of Yah (i.e., the man Jesus) who became the Son of the Father when the Father’s breath descended upon Him in the form of a dove is free to marry a helpmate of His own. Hence, the Bridegroom will marry His Helpmate, the glorified Church, at the long awaited Wedding Supper.
Christians are not their outer selves, the whales, that the world identifies as Christian. Rather, Christians are the living inner selves that are sons of God born of spirit, born from on high, initially born spiritually by the Father resurrecting the dead inner selves that descend from Adam, whose inner self died the day he ate forbidden fruit.
What is physical is one whereas what is spiritual is two; therefore inner sons of God must receive a second spiritual birth, with this second birth coming when the Bridegroom chooses whom He will marry by giving life through causing the perishable flesh to put on immortality to whomever He will (John 5:21).
All of the above doesn’t seem difficult to understand. Where the difficulty lays is in identifying who is and who isn’t truly born of God—for Israel was not to marry foreign spouses, wives or husbands. For the whale in which the Christian temporarily dwells as Jonah was given life inside the whale—for the whale, human sexuality is a big deal, especially when the flesh first reaches physical maturity; for this is the time for marriage and procreation after the model seen at the heavenly Wedding Supper. Thus, Paul writes,
To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. (1 Cor 7:8—17)
In Jesus’ sign of Jonah—with the Church Jesus built being based on the movement of breath from the nose to the heart as seen in the names John and Jonah where aspiration represented by the consonant <h> occurs in front of the nasal consonant <n> in John, who prepares the way for Jesus, to behind the nasal consonant in Jonah—Israel moves from being the nation circumcised in the flesh to being the nation circumcised of heart (see Rom 2:25–29). Porneia is a marriage that should not have occurred, such as a brother marrying his sister, or the men of Israel marrying foreign women. Thus, when Israel is the nation of Jonahs dwelling in whales, with the whales seeking natural spouses, a problem occurs …
The living inner self is to marry no one other than the Bridegroom, but the fleshly body in which this inner self now lives very likely married another whale before this inner self was resurrected from death. In such cases, if the unconverted spouse is willing to dwell in peace with the Christian convert, the marriage is bound—it isn’t the spouse’s fault that the Christian convert changed when born of God and is no longer the person the spouse initially married, the basis for why Paul said what he did about marriages between believers and unbelievers. But if the whale in which the inner Jonah dwells is weaker than the inner Jonah, as apparently was the case with Paul, then the person will live as a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of God.
In a world awash in blatant sexuality, whales marry whales, then go on weight-loss plans to become more attractive to other whales as plain-dressing Christians, appalled by semi-clad whales flaunting their flesh, piously guard feigned purity, transgressing the Sabbath commandment instead of the commandment against adultery. But that is the way of this world.
What Jesus explained to His disciples without really doing so was that his disciples would be spiritually as little children are physically, including being eunuchs until glorified when they would marry the Bridegroom. And there would be no undoing of this marriage, for the glorified Jesus will have handpicked those whom He marries: many are called but few are chosen (Matt 22:14). Few will keep their inner selves undefiled and thereby virgins.
Porneia is not adultery, but simply a marriage that should never have occurred—a marriage between Israel and heathenism.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."